Tuners come in many different types and form factors. How do you pick the right one?
What kinds of tuners do you have?
- Mostly I use my TC Electronic Polychromatic tuner – 4 years
- I have an app for that. No really.
- A Boss TU-2? type tuner… the kind you can plug into about the size of a battery pack
- A Snark clip-on, but I keep losing it 🙂
- Mainly use the tuner in my multi-effects pedal. It’s quite accurate.
Have you used any others, like at a studio?
- If I’m recording at my home studio, if the interface has a solid tuner, (Line 6 POD)
- I also use a clip on with acoustic basses
- A Petersen strobe tuner… typically the best kind I’ve seen but too expensive for me to keep around in the home studio
Pros and cons, price range, recommended units
- Built-in (like on an ABG)
- + Can’t beat the convenience!
- – Tend to be cheaper so the mfr can cut costs, can be off from standard tuning
- – If you leave it on it can drain your battery
- Clip-on for headstocks
- + Super portable, you can almost afford one per instrument
- – Also can be inaccurate
- Pocket sized
- + Take standard batteries
- + Usually somewhat better detectors
- + Some also have a mic for tuning
- – Not as convenient, usually don’t have a passthrough so you need an amp with a tuner out
- + Fit right into your pedalboard
- + Tend to be very accurate
- – (Same risk of buzz, i/o issues like other pedals?)
- Rack mount
- + Very accurate
- – Expensive, heavy addition to equipment
- Studio quality
- + Most accurate
- – Most expensive
Tips for live vs. studio
- Make sure everyone tunes to the SAME tuner
- Don’t find out tuning problems as you’re mixing later 🙁
Photo by Andrew Imanaka, licensed CC-BY 2.0.