I don’t know how my name got out there with the crowd-funding crowd, but oh well, it’s out there, and I’ve been contacted by several folks over the last several months. Like press releases, I take a glance at most of them, and usually send them to the trash. Most of the announcements are for crowd-funded recording projects, but sometimes, as in the case of the BeatBuddy and now, The Roadie Tuner, something drops in my inbox that makes me think, “You know, I could use something like that at my solo gigs.”
So here I am making a plug for the Roadie Tuner. From the picture, it kind of looks like a handheld drill, which indicates that it’ll do the tuning for you. It does that, but there’s a lot more to it than just the tuning apparatus. You see, it connects to your smartphone or tablet (iOS is the only platform supported right now, but Android will be following soon after) via a Blue Tooth connection. It’s the app that’s included that actually does the tuning calculations. The apparatus is there to do the physical tuning.
In case you’re wondering, accuracy is to 2 cents. Not bad at all. It’s not as accurate as the Turbo Tuner which is .02 cent accurate, but it’s more accurate than a TU-3. Besides, it’s mechanically precise, so you don’t have to fumble as you would manually.
Speaking of winding, the Roadie Tuner can be used to wind and unwind strings. Now THIS is a cool feature. I hate winding up new strings. It takes a long time. But with the Roadie Tuner, you just hold the apparatus in place, and it’ll do it for you! Awesome!
Admittedly, when I first got a message from the creators of this device/app combo, I was a little skeptical. But as I read through the information on their KickStarter page, I became more and more intrigued. I occasionally use alternate tunings, and getting them right can be a bit tricky. But the Roadie Tuner apparently isn’t just a passive device. The more you use it, the more it learns about your instrument, so it will learn about the quirks to make tuning more accurate in different tunings.
I’m not yet clear if the app will support different guitar profiles, because each guitar will have its own “personality” so to say, and if the app only assumes a single guitar, then would it get confused? I’ve put the question out to the maker. I’m hoping he has an answer.
Update 12/24: I just got an answer back from the creator of the Roadie Tuner. He confirmed that the app will include multiple profiles. Apparently, you’ll calibrate the app for each guitar, and the learning starts from there. This is very cool!
In any case, this is definitely something I’m going to look into further. For now, check out this video to see how it works.