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Rack Tuner
Old 31st December 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Rack Tuner

Does anybody know what's the reason Korg doesn't make rack tuner anymore? I

want to buy rack tuner but it seems there are only 2 kinds of rack tuner

available on the market today(Behringer BTR 2000, Peterson VS-R Strobe Tuner)

I'm not a fan of Behringer gears, and I heard Peterson tuner is great but

I'm just not familiar with strobe tuner.... I prefer chromatic tuner.
Old 1st January 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I have a Fender-branded rack tuner in the studio. Seems to work quite well, and it was relatively inexpensive.
Old 1st January 2012
  #3
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I bought a Korg rack tuner recently at a cheap price, but to be honest i'll probably replace with a Korg clip on tuner. I thought it would be convenient with my Pod Rack and Line6 wireless stuff, and it certainly works as intended - but:

1 - the power transformer hums loudly acoustically, and also emanates a hum field that gets picked up by dynamic mics and pickups that are very close. Not a real problem, but my other rack gear does not do this. Mainly because the cheap plastic case does not offer grounded steel shielding.

2 - it's a bit of a waste of a rack space - i struggle to keep everything compact as it is

3 - the display is distracting while you play - looks pretty rude

4 - it's only useful if you can see the rack, which limits where you can put it

The idea of the clip-on tuners is that you clip it behind the headstock - so it's hidden from the audience but always right where you need it. You can turn the volume off and it will still work because it picks the acoustic vibrations.

In the studio, I would use a plugin tuner.

I personally don't care for strobe tuners etc - I think they are geeky toys and I think it's a fallacy to think they are more accurate. A strobe is simply a visual indication, and no more valid than a meter or lights or any other visual indicator. The digital algorithm defines the relative accuracy, and if it is going for Equal Temperament then it is "wrong" anyway. Which is why I believe that no tuner can give you excellent guitar tuning, and you must tune to the chords you are using - you can't beat using your ears as the final sweetening.
Old 1st January 2012
  #4
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Terminology clarification: a chromatic tuner is one that shows all the permissible values in the chromatic scale. The name differentiates such a tuner from tuners which are set up to offer tuning with a limited range of notes for specific instruments, ie, like a guitar tuner.

FWIW, Peterson's far cheaper digital tuners are specified as delivering the same accuracy as their wildly expensive strobe and pseudo-strobe tuners.

However, in at least some marketing literature they get 'artful' and use different terminologies to describe the same level of accuracy across their range of tuners. Their top of the line Peterson Stobe Center 5000-II lit says:

Quote:
Accuracy: Equal temperament scale, all preprogrammed alternate temperaments, built-in stretch tuning tables, user definable temperaments, and stretch tuning tables are guaranteed to be within 1 / 10 of 1 / 100 of a semitone (1 / 10 of one cent, or 0.006%)
... but once you get down to the iPhone app, they're not inclined to waste many glowing words on that accuracy...

Quote:
Plug in and tune your electrics and acoustics quickly and easily with 1/10th cent accuracy. (External mic required for iPod touch.)
Same accuracy... so what's the diff between the strobe tuner with 12 strobes and 1/10th cent accuracy and the iPhone app with 1/10th cent accuracy?

$4790.

The 12 strobe job lists for $4800 and the iPhone app sells for $10 (or did when introduced).

Same accuracy.

________________


On the guitar tuning and Equal Temperament thing, I've rolled around with the issue plenty, particularly since I'm a bottleneck player.

Of course, as a slide player, I can tune my guitar to a 'perfect' open triad -- and it will sound excellent on that or any other major triad.

The problem comes when you fret any non-major triads or any richer chords -- since tuning the guitar to perfectly in-tune 1st, 3rd, and 5th puts it out of tune -- and woefully so -- on other chords.

For a while, when working in non-chord tunings, I was using a hybrid tuning system, tinkering the tuning each time I changed key -- but, of course, what makes one chord a little sweeter will make other chords less in tune.

The 12 Tone Equal Temperament is a compromise and does mean that every interval is a little 'out' (in pure mathematical/harmonic terms) and that a perfectly tuned guitar or keyboard will -- invariably -- have beat tones where you probably wish it didn't... but that compromise is a necessary one that makes being able to modulate and transpose (without retuning) possible.

So, finally, I've come to peace with 12TET and now tune my guitars to strict Equal Temperament since, overall, it gives me the best tuning over a range of keys.

(BTW, no matter how many times I've read the marketing materials for the Buzz Feiten system, it sounds like hooey from someone who doesn't seem to understand 12TET. But maybe there's something I'm just not getting. Certainly, a number of accomplished guitarists have claimed to like the system. In fact, I just read their marketing materials again and, unless it has something to do with metal string inharmonicity, I just don't get it.)


FWIW, I use the gStrings Free Android tuner app. It has a slug of alternative temperaments and all sorts of adjustments for using it with different instruments (since different analytical algorithms work better for some instruments than others). But if I an Ab tuning fork dropped out of the sky (ie, I didn't have to go spend money), I think I'd probably start using a fork again, since, before I started dropping my guitars a half step I had used my A fork so much that I simply had its pitch memorized and could tune from memory (in a quiet environment, anyhow).

Here's the AppBrain write-up on gStrings Free: http://www.appbrain.com/app/tuner-gs...ortor.gstrings

And, after nearly four decades, I've finally come to realize how best to use fretted relative tuning... I play the reference tone -- make sure it's in my short term auditory memory (a separate neurological subsystem) and then completely stop the string and all guitar sound and then use that [briefly] remembered tone as the reference. An alternative is to use a synth or other tone over headphones -- so as not to induce any sympathetic harmonies in the guitar -- and tune to the sound in the headphones. The key to it all (no pun intended) is to make sure that the guitar is dead silent except for the string being tuned. If the other tunes start sympathetic resonance in the slightest, I stop them. In fact, I'll often damp all five strings not being tuned. Ditto that for tuning to the meter, as well.
Old 1st January 2012
  #5
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Barish's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Get the Peterson stuff. You won't go back. What's it take to get used to a friggin' tuner anyway... It's not going to ask you to change your entire feeding habits.

B.
Old 1st January 2012 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barish ➑️
Get the Peterson stuff. You won't go back. What's it take to get used to a friggin' tuner anyway... It's not going to ask you to change your entire feeding habits.

B.
I think I'd be a lot more inclined to get their $10 iPhone App (if I wasn't an Android guy and didn't already have gStrings Free) than their $4800 list hardware box -- particularly since it has the same specified accuracy. [Understood, however, that the OP was looking for a rack tuner specifically.]

Changing one's habits isn't a bad thing -- as long as there is an actual benefit. I know some folks like the strobe/pseudo-strobe approach but, honestly, I've never understood why it should be any better than any other. I haven't found that strobe tuning is any faster or more accurate than other good tuners,* at least not for me.

*Of course, there are lower quality tuners out there. I've seen a few that are so dumbed down as to be more something to get one into the ballpark. But, as I noted above, it's hard to imagine a much better tuner than gStrings Free.
Old 1st January 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Does Sabine still make them? Those work just fine.
Old 1st January 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I had a Korg tuner which died for some reason (nobody could tell me what happened and I am not the most electronically-savvy guy). I was pretty sad when I found out Korg didn't make the tuner anymore.

So I bought a pedal tuner. Same deal. Musicians are used to it. Instruments are in tune. Win. No way am I paying $1k+ for a tuner. I don't know many ppl who would, professionals or otherwise.
Old 1st January 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman ➑️
I had a Korg tuner which died for some reason (nobody could tell me what happened and I am not the most electronically-savvy guy). I was pretty sad when I found out Korg didn't make the tuner anymore.

So I bought a pedal tuner. Same deal. Musicians are used to it. Instruments are in tune. Win. No way am I paying $1k+ for a tuner. I don't know many ppl who would, professionals or otherwise.
I've seen discussions here by people who insist -- even when confronted by the Peterson specs -- that those mechanical strobe tuners are 'more accurate.'

Now, in a professional studio, you do have to keep people happy. And many artists are not, shall we say, technically literate. (Of course, neither are many recording 'engineers' these days. But that's for another thread, eh?)

And there's probably a lot to be said for a tuning system that's both intuitive (which, seems to me, lets strobe tuners out, but, hey, once you're into them, you're into them, I guess) and easy to use and see -- as well as easy to calibrate.

That said, a rack tuner in a studio (as opposed to a high end guitarist's rack) seems of limited value. For one thing, your talent has to come in off the floor to use the tuner. That's a drag. And if, heaven forfend, the temperature inside the CR is different than the studio floor (it's been known to happen, of course, when you get a bunch of tubed up gear in a smallish room), then you're going to have a situation where the guitar or other instrument starts going back out of tune as soon as it hits the colder (or hotter) air.
Old 1st January 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➑️
I've seen discussions here by people who insist -- even when confronted by the Peterson specs -- that those mechanical strobe tuners are 'more accurate.'

Now, in a professional studio, you do have to keep people happy. And many artists are not, shall we say, technically literate. (Of course, neither are many recording 'engineers' these days. But that's for another thread, eh?)

And there's probably a lot to be said for a tuning system that's both intuitive (which, seems to me, lets strobe tuners out, but, hey, once you're into them, you're into them, I guess) and easy to use and see -- as well as easy to calibrate.

That said, a rack tuner in a studio (as opposed to a high end guitarist's rack) seems of limited value. For one thing, your talent has to come in off the floor to use the tuner. That's a drag. And if, heaven forfend, the temperature inside the CR is different than the studio floor (it's been known to happen, of course, when you get a bunch of tubed up gear in a smallish room), then you're going to have a situation where the guitar or other instrument starts going back out of tune as soon as it hits the colder (or hotter) air.
+10
Temperature definitely plays a part, and for the reasons you gave are indeed a concern and a reality.

I've worked in rooms that charge WAY more than I currently do, and even their rooms were hotter in the iso spaces due to tubes of 4-5 heads heating it up. It happens.

As for musicians, most of them are more comfy tuning with a Boss pedal tuner that 95% of the people who come to me have in their pedal bag. And can I tell a difference between tuning with that and tuning with the tuner I used to have that was 2-3x the money? No haha. Maybe that's me tho
Old 1st January 2012
  #11
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ears2thesky's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I had a couple of rack tuners over the years, and I found them to be inconvenient and a waste of rack space.
If you are playing live you want to be able to mute, quickly check tuning and unmute. Having to turn around to see the display and adding a remote footswitch are just annoying.
Get a good, easy to read floor unit like this:

Boss Stage Tuner for Guitar and Bass: Shop Accessories & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend
Old 1st January 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
BrianVengeance's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➑️
I've seen discussions here by people who insist -- even when confronted by the Peterson specs -- that those mechanical strobe tuners are 'more accurate.'
Really comes down to the gear. I think that most guitarists are used to something like the Boss TU-2, which does give more accurate feedback in strobe mode. You can use the regular mode to tune and then switch to strobe mode to find that it is not quite there. No less accuracy in the circuit, but better feedback granularity in one mode vs another.
Old 1st January 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
When you tune a guitar accurately, why is the "A major" chord (non-Barre) always out of tune?
Old 1st January 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman ➑️
+10
Temperature definitely plays a part, and for the reasons you gave are indeed a concern and a reality.

I've worked in rooms that charge WAY more than I currently do, and even their rooms were hotter in the iso spaces due to tubes of 4-5 heads heating it up. It happens.

As for musicians, most of them are more comfy tuning with a Boss pedal tuner that 95% of the people who come to me have in their pedal bag. And can I tell a difference between tuning with that and tuning with the tuner I used to have that was 2-3x the money? No haha. Maybe that's me tho
I still have a soft spot for my old Boss tuner (not a pedal but the little box one from the 80s with a pleatherette wraparound case and a real mechanical meter) but I kept going through 9 volt batteries (and those aren't 19 cents a piece like they were when I was a transistor-radio-toting kid) and the fact that Roland/Boss make their power-supply jacks so that only Roland/Boss power supplies work with them always kind of irritated me.

A few years back I started using the shareware AP Tuner (Win only) on my desktop computer -- but I had to recalibrate it, since the motherboard audio interface my desktop 'skype mic' is hooked up to is a whopping 35 cents 'out of tune' with my pro interface. (No wonder we need to sync interfaces when we use them together, eh?)

AP Tuner's got some nice features, but I have to say that the gStrings Free Android app surpasses the version of AP Tuner I had.
Old 1st January 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Anyone using those TC tuner pedals? The ones where you tune all 6 strings at the same time?
Old 2nd January 2012 | Show parent
  #16
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➑️
When you tune a guitar accurately, why is the "A major" chord (non-Barre) always out of tune?
That's because you have not tuned the guitar 'accurately' ...

There are so many issues with guitar tuning, that the concept of tuning 'accurately' with a guitar tuner (no matter how sophisticated) is a fallacy.

Your guitar tuning is one huge compromise at best - same as any fretted instrument. Ideally, that compromise is Equal Temperament tuning, by design. In practice, it might deviate considerably from this 'ideal' compromise. Check your intonation for a start. I prefer to do this by ear, by pinging harmonics at the 12th fret, and then see how far they are away from the fretted note on 12th.

In my perfect world, all guitars would have a zero fret. But they don't, and very often the fretted notes may be a little out of sync with the open notes.

Something I notice with my (chromatic) rack tuner that is constantly telling me what note i've played ... is that even when i've tuned the open notes perfectly, the fretted notes always seem to be sharp.

Here is another cat amongst the pigeons .... the tuning of a note varies over the time it plays! Hit a string hard, and the tension in the string rises - causing the pitch to be sharp. Then, as it sustains, the energy and tension falls, so it flattens out. For a fantastic example of this, listen to the guitar playing in The Beatles Helter Skelter ... this has to be some of the maddest, heaviest guitar playing in the history of rock - unequalled by most so call heavy metal bands. (For the kids unfamiliar with The Beatles, or only exposed to their annoying #1s - you have to hear this).

This has big repercussions on tuning. For example, if you are doing fast punk stuff you probably need to tune to the intitial transient, and don't let the string sustain while you are tuning. For slow, sustained stuff, you need to ignore the initial transient and tune to the tail ...

So forget accuracy ... basically use a tuner (any tuner will do) to get yourself into the ball park ... and then tune by ear, for the chord and for the playing technique you are going to use.

In the studio, you might need to tune for specific phrases ...
Old 2nd January 2012
  #17
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
BTW - i've used guitar tuners since my first Ibanez thingy probably around 1980. Something I learned then, and basically still find to be the case today ... is that for some reason the it pays to tune the G string a little flat according to the tuner. Does anybody else do this? I seem to recall some theory about this way back then to do with the maths of the frequency division in those early tuners. It probably doesn't apply any more with modern chromatic tuners, but for some reason the habit still seems to work for me.
Old 2nd January 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianVengeance ➑️
Really comes down to the gear. I think that most guitarists are used to something like the Boss TU-2, which does give more accurate feedback in strobe mode. You can use the regular mode to tune and then switch to strobe mode to find that it is not quite there. No less accuracy in the circuit, but better feedback granularity in one mode vs another.
And familiarity, too, I strongly suspect. We all like what we're used to, as long as it's something that works for us.

I do have to say that the ability to switch to a logarithmic scale on the gStrings Tuner means that you can get that needle to cover a lot of ground (in the vicinity of the target note) for not much of a pitch spread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta ➑️
When you tune a guitar accurately, why is the "A major" chord (non-Barre) always out of tune?
As Kiwi suggests, there are a jillion ways for it to to go wrong, a little or a lot. No instrument is truly perfect, so, to some hopefully but not necessarily small degree a guitar can sound 'perfect' in one place and out in another.

Then there's the inharmonicity of metal strings -- the gap between what Pythagorean theory tells us the pitch should be at a certain fractional length and what it actually is because of the bending/stretching properties of metal strings -- which is part of why we sometimes resort to 'adjustments' like stretch tuning in guitars and pianos.


And then, as Kiwi suggests, you have to remember that Equal Temperament itself is 'out-of-tune' with itself. A perfectly in tune major triad will always have a third that is ~14 cents sharp; a minor triad has a third that's ~16 cents flat. And the fifth will be ~2 cents flat.

That's why, even on a 'perfectly tuned' digital keyboard running unmodulated sine waves, you will nonetheless hear noticeable beat tones in a major or minor triad -- it is the nature of ET, a compromise that makes modulation and transposition on keyboards and guitars possible.
Old 26th October 2015
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I won an old Korg Rack Tuner on eBay but realised, as soon as I got it, that it has no microphone!
Only an instrument input is provided... ANY ideas about how to make this work with a mic, please?
Old 26th October 2015 | Show parent
  #20
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by merseymale ➑️
I won an old Korg Rack Tuner on eBay but realised, as soon as I got it, that it has no microphone!
Only an instrument input is provided... ANY ideas about how to make this work with a mic, please?
Connect a mic and a mic preamp of some sort ... if you are mic'ing your guitar on stage then take a split from your mic preamp output. Franky, it would probably be easier to fit a pickup on your guitar just to use the tuner. As much as I think a mic is a superior way to record a guitar - for live performance I think pickups or internal mics are the way to go anyway. You can move around and perform, instead of sitting on a chair in one position.
Old 26th October 2015
  #21
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funkycam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Old thread... Korg does make a 19" tuner at this time.
Pitchblack Pro RACKMOUNT TUNER | Tuners / Metronomes | KORG

I have that & the super fancy Peterson sweetened tunings thing.
The Korg holds it's own.
Old 26th October 2015 | Show parent
  #22
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkycam ➑️
Old thread... Korg does make a 19" tuner at this time.
Pitchblack Pro RACKMOUNT TUNER | Tuners / Metronomes | KORG

I have that & the super fancy Peterson sweetened tunings thing.
The Korg holds it's own.
It's a looker ... i'd like one if it's not a crazy price ...

My old Korg still gets a bit of use - but it's ugly.

Apart from guitar techs setting up a guitar in a shop - I don't get the need for ultra accuracy. The idea that you can tune your 6 open strings perfectly and somehow end up with a perfectly tuned guitar in all chord positions is just wrong ... ultimately, guitar tuning is a massive compromise that must be made by ear. So a tuner just gets you into the ballpark - I see no reason to think that some fancy strobe tuner will solve this basic music problem ... if you don't develop your ears and fingers, you will always be playing out of tune, regardless of how much money you throw at a tuner.
Old 26th October 2015
  #23
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Yuck - the new Korg Pitchblack tuner doesn't have a built in AC power supply. That kills it for me - I hate having plug packs in a rack.

Also - I see no mention of it being polyphonic. Even the really cheap floor Pitchblack tuners are polyphonic.

I generally have trouble with using capos ... I find most guitars go violently out of tune when a capo is fitted ... I can usually sweeten it by twisting the capo so that the strings that got stretch more get stretched back the other way.

What would be great is if a rack tuner like that one could display all 6 strings at once IF you strum a chord. Then - you could tell which one was out the most, and solo that string for the full accuracy - strum, check, solo, repeat ...
Old 28th November 2015
  #24
Gear Nut
 
tonejunkee's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm currently loving the NS-Micro tuner. Almost invisible and never leaves the top of the guitar
Old 29th November 2015 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➑️
No instrument is truly perfect.
That's why i love Indian classical music. The melodic expression is not compromised for harmony. The intervals are just and sound so much better. It takes a while to get used it after listening to a lifetime of equal tuning, but once adjusted, you see what you have been missing.

Now I have pretty much given up on functional harmony in my own music. I figure if the Indians can play can entire concert in one key and keep it interesting and compelling, there is no need for chord changes and modulations, which to me only hinder musical expressiveness.
Old 29th November 2015 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 ➑️
That's why i love Indian classical music. The melodic expression is not compromised for harmony. The intervals are just and sound so much better. It takes a while to get used it after listening to a lifetime of equal tuning, but once adjusted, you see what you have been missing.

Now I have pretty much given up on functional harmony in my own music. I figure if the Indians can play can entire concert in one key and keep it interesting and compelling, there is no need for chord changes and modulations, which to me only hinder musical expressiveness.
I'm sure you've checked out the alternate tuning systems of Harry Partch, but a very interesting contemporary guy named Prent Rodgers has also done a great deal of work with alternate intonation systems. His recorded works are often a bit 'plain jane' because of earlier limitations with synths and the difficulties of fielding justly intonated instrument ensembles (why Partch often invented his own instruments, of course), but he's done a great deal of interesting work in that arena.
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