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Why Does Everyone Use Tuner Pedals (vs non-pedals)

markesquire
December 21st, 2010, 04:10 PM
I'm looking into making a pedalboard with a Boss BCB-60, which has room for 6 pedals (and room for a small non-pedal tuner on the top). I see most of you use a TU-2/3 on your board. I understand that the pedal permits you to mute the signal while you tune, but is there any other benefit for taking up a whole spot on the board?

Brian blaut
December 21st, 2010, 04:20 PM
what's your alternative? one of the headstock clip ons? Rack mount tuner? Tuning fork?

There's no other benefit, except some might use a buffered tuner pedal to buffer their chain, and I'm not 100% sure, but I'd expect some tuners to be much more accurate than a ClipOn (such as the turbo tuner and Korg Pitchblack) . BTW, all pedal tuners that I know of mute the signal (or offers it as an option), not just the Boss. Many will provide daisy chain power for a couple of pedals, but nothing than can't be done better with a One Spot. BTW, doesn't the boss pedal board you're talking about provide a space at the top for the TU-12 style tuner? If I were you, and space is an issue, I'd forgo the Boss pedalboard and get a PedalTrain Jr in a hardcase. You'll have more for at least 8 regular sized pedals and you have the option down the road of putting a Voodoo Labs Power Plus or BBE supa Charger underneath the unit.

Ash Telecaster
December 21st, 2010, 04:27 PM
Better visability on stage. I don't think the acuracy is any better.

The small unit has a back lit needle as opposed to big bright flashing lights.

Some of the small models have left and right arrow lights and would probably work just fine.

Tim Armstrong
December 21st, 2010, 05:09 PM
I don't use a pedal. I keep a tuner on top of my amp, and if I need to tune between songs, I quickly unplug from the amp and into the tuner. Takes maybe three seconds longer than stepping on a pedal, and I can see it better!

Tim

elicross
December 21st, 2010, 05:21 PM
I don't use a pedal. I keep a tuner on top of my amp, and if I need to tune between songs, I quickly unplug from the amp and into the tuner. Takes maybe three seconds longer than stepping on a pedal, and I can see it better!
That would be the main advantage to a pedal vs. another kind of tuner -- not having to unplug-plug into tuner-tune-unplug-plug into amp whenever you want to check your pitch. It's quicker, and there's less bending over or crouching. Some of us have bad knees! :lol:

Tim Armstrong
December 21st, 2010, 05:23 PM
That would be the main advantage to a pedal vs. another kind of tuner -- not having to unplug-plug into tuner-tune-unplug-plug into amp whenever you want to check your pitch. It's quicker, and there's less bending over or crouching. Some of us have bad knees! :lol:

I put my guitar amp on top of my bass head, which sits on top of the bass cab. So I don't have to do any bending!

:mrgreen:

Tim

Ash Telecaster
December 21st, 2010, 05:29 PM
I prefer playing out of tune. It makes my playing more avant garde.

Seriously I do tune by ear a lot. It's an old school thing and over the years I've gotten real good at it. I am not opposed to tuners, or stubborn about it, and I use them when I have one in front of me but I'm not in trouble if I don't have one.

vedt
December 21st, 2010, 05:35 PM
I prefer playing out of tune. It makes my playing more avant garde.

Seriously I do tune by ear a lot. It's an old school thing and over the years I've gotten real good at it. I am not opposed to tuners, or stubborn about it, and I use them when I have one in front of me but I'm not in trouble if I don't have one.

Jack White?

schenkadere
December 21st, 2010, 05:37 PM
I use a Korg AW2-G clip on. I actually feel it tunes better than my Pitchblack did. I sold the Pitchblack.

I still have my Korg DT-1 Digital Chromatic Tuner from the 80's...I think I've only had to change the AA batteries about 4 times in 20 years. Amazing piece of equipment.

Ash Telecaster
December 21st, 2010, 05:43 PM
Jack White?


No Kidding! He made a career out of being out of tune!

Jakedog
December 21st, 2010, 06:03 PM
Convenience. That's it. It works great. I just step on it signal is muted, I'm tuned up in no time and down the road. As someone who does a lot of lead vocals, it also allows me to face the crowd and talk to them while I'm tuning, thus keeping the momentum going. Glancing down frequently while I'm making fun of somebody or selling drinks does a lot more to keep the show going than turning around and plugging into something.

Plus, man, no way could I see one of those standard tuners all the way down on the floor at this stage in the game. Even with my glasses on. And I can't play with my glasses on...

Back before tuner pedals were common, I used an AB box and a standard tuner. I'd just click over to the tuner side, tune up, and then click back to the amp side. but I could see those suckers back then, now I can't.

Also, standard tuners run in line can, not always do, but CAN add a lot of noise to your signal chain. The pedals don't.

tele2313
December 21st, 2010, 06:13 PM
The pedal tuner just makes the board look better. The more flashing lights the better. :-)

Telenator
December 21st, 2010, 06:13 PM
Like the dog said, you can tune silently, and the tuner has a buffer built into it which is good for your signal chain.

franchelB
December 21st, 2010, 06:15 PM
Actually, there's no difference. I also have the BCB-60, and I use an old hand-held Matrix SR5500 tuner...same size as the TU12.

BrassNut
December 21st, 2010, 06:19 PM
I recently built a home-brew pedal-board and it includes a PitchBlack.....my first tuner EVER.:roll: Always did it by ear prior to this. Frikkin' love it.....especially when going back and forth between standard and open "G" tuning, for instance.

Tele-Monster
December 21st, 2010, 06:27 PM
I mostly use a TU-2 for the flashing lights....

jefrs
December 21st, 2010, 06:30 PM
The Peterson does not have to mute the signal, but it does eat batteries then. But no-one like to hear a guitar being tuned at stage volume. Having it audible is useful for intonation.

A clip-on tuner is all that is necessary when performing. And you can roll your vol down to zero. They do look silly and they fall off. Guitar should be tuned before going on stage, and a tele will stay in tune for weeks.

The band needs to be tuned to the same pitch. If the band has a real piano, you have to tune to that - tuners are useless, you will be obligated to do it the old way.

dugums
December 21st, 2010, 06:31 PM
My amp has a tuner line out and a switch to mute the output when I'm tuning, so I usually use that. A true bypass tuner pedal is usually the most convenient in a stage situation - they are easy to use and see.

Jakedog
December 21st, 2010, 06:35 PM
Does anybody remember the Sabine tuners from the 90's? They stuck right to the front of your guitar? Little oblong things?

Those suckers worked GREAT! Wish they still made them. Or do they? They looked goofy, but good golly they worked great. Somewhere there's pics of me in box from a whole tour when I used one of those. Stuck right to my tele, right on the upper bout.

Impulse
December 21st, 2010, 06:40 PM
I use a Korg AW2-G clip on. I actually feel it tunes better than my Pitchblack did. I sold the Pitchblack.


I hear ya! I love my Planet Waves clit on, beats most pedal tuners I tried.

RockerDuck
December 21st, 2010, 06:55 PM
When I play my les paul, tuners help alot. With my tele or Strat, not needed much. However, I bend the snot out my strings, so the tuner is necessary for me. I use the Korg pitchback.

Jakedog
December 21st, 2010, 07:00 PM
I hear ya! I love my Planet Waves clit on, beats most pedal tuners I tried.

Don't respond, don't respond, don't respond... It's sooooooo tempting...:mrgreen:

Chiogtr4x
December 21st, 2010, 07:02 PM
Like the dog said, you can tune silently, and the tuner has a buffer built into it which is good for your signal chain.

Good point; that buffer is good for my true bypass OD's that I may put before the tuner as well as what goes after...
And the Boss TU-2 tuner has a Power OUT jack so I just use a One Spot into the tuner and daisy-chain out to the other pedals. Never had power supply/"tone suck" issues

Also, in one of the groups I play in (classic country) we have 3 guitars: me, another Tele rhythm player and a steel player and truthfully it seems like someone will go out of tune and I can't tell whom! So I kind of "nudge" us all to check our tuning pretty often, and the pedal makes life easier...ever play with an out of tune steel player?

BrassNut
December 21st, 2010, 07:14 PM
Don't respond, don't respond, don't respond... It's sooooooo tempting...:mrgreen:

LOL @ Jakedog!:lol:

goldtopper
December 21st, 2010, 08:27 PM
No Kidding! He made a career out of being out of tune!

High voice, erratic, angular guitar, out of tune.
Hmmm,,could Jack White be Neil Young's love child?

hybridrocknroll
December 21st, 2010, 08:32 PM
@Jakedog, don't feel bad, I chuckled to myself when I read that.

weezy109
December 21st, 2010, 08:41 PM
I hear ya! I love my Planet Waves clit on, beats most pedal tuners I tried.

Interesting, a female only tuner eh?

Twanginator
December 21st, 2010, 09:51 PM
I hear ya! I love my Planet Waves clit on, beats most pedal tuners I tried.

Sometimes typos are just plain fun!

birv2
December 21st, 2010, 10:31 PM
I love my new Snark clip-on tuner. Bright with very pretty colors! Closer than the pedal, no need to lug the pedal and cable(s).

beep.click
December 21st, 2010, 10:49 PM
there's less bending over or crouching. Some of us have bad knees! :lol:

Some of us have bad eyes. I agree with Tim A.: no pedal for me. I want that tuner up on the top of the amp, where I can SEE the dang thing.

jjfatz42
December 21st, 2010, 11:46 PM
I've got a planet waves pedal tuner. Found out the hard way it is usless in daylight.

dwlb
December 22nd, 2010, 01:16 AM
I still have my Korg DT-1 Digital Chromatic Tuner from the 80's...I think I've only had to change the AA batteries about 4 times in 20 years. Amazing piece of equipment.

I had one of those, loved it. It vanished on a gig years ago.


Nowadays I use a TU-12, just a flick of the standby switch and I'm tuning. I suppose one of the pedal jobs with the mute switch would be cool, but right now...this pedal's paid for! :roll:

Anchoret
December 22nd, 2010, 01:20 AM
Seriously I do tune by ear a lot. It's an old school thing and over the years I've gotten real good at it. I am not opposed to tuners, or stubborn about it, and I use them when I have one in front of me but I'm not in trouble if I don't have one.
This is the correct answer, in essence.

Using an electronic tuner is misleading. Even if you are mathematically "in tune" with your open strings, you will (if you have decent ears) almost certainly want to tweak at least a string or two when you play a six-string chord, for a couple of different reasons.

Guitarists really, really need to lose their reverence for and deference to electronic tuners and straight mathematical intonation on open strings.

Lots of articles about this have been written, but because they are about learning something instead of buying something, they don't get the attention they should. :rolleyes:

Electronic tuners are a help, but they're not a substitute nor replacement for a proper sense of pitch. I think people believe more nonsense about tuners than any other piece of gear...which is really saying something.

Tim Bowen
December 22nd, 2010, 04:15 AM
I don't use a pedal. I keep a tuner on top of my amp, and if I need to tune between songs, I quickly unplug from the amp and into the tuner. Takes maybe three seconds longer than stepping on a pedal, and I can see it better!

Tim

But. you're. a. bass. player.



Things I love about bass gigs:

* No pedals.

* Tune every three weeks, whether it's needed or not! Seriously, I've always tuned once before a bass gig, and that's it. I can beat a G&L L-2000 half to death and it refuses to be out of tune. Lovely. Fender Telecasters and mandolins? No such luck.

Tim Bowen
December 22nd, 2010, 04:36 AM
This is the correct answer, in essence.

Using an electronic tuner is misleading. Even if you are mathematically "in tune" with your open strings, you will (if you have decent ears) almost certainly want to tweak at least a string or two when you play a six-string chord, for a couple of different reasons.

Guitarists really, really need to lose their reverence for and deference to electronic tuners and straight mathematical intonation on open strings.

Lots of articles about this have been written, but because they are about learning something instead of buying something, they don't get the attention they should. :rolleyes:

Electronic tuners are a help, but they're not a substitute nor replacement for a proper sense of pitch. I think people believe more nonsense about tuners than any other piece of gear...which is really saying something.


All of that is true.

When I cut for a session, it doesn't matter if I have a Peterson Strobostomp in line, I still wind up tuning by ear. I recently had my fave tech intonate my most often used instruments. I played some of my favorite voicings up and down the neck of the instruments and he took notes and measurements. I know how to intonate instruments with a strobe tuner. I pay my tech for his intonation services because he's far better at realizing the compromises for my material, right and left hand approach, and pet grips than I am.

Live is a different story. I use a BOSS TU-2 over a StroboStomp or a KORG Pitchblack or any of my various clip-ons because it allows the least amount of dead air between tunes in changing instruments. It's great that my Peterson more accurately tunes all my instruments, but if more time is involved, that's dead air, the kiss of death for the entertainer.

tele salivas
December 22nd, 2010, 06:21 AM
I don't use a pedal. I keep a tuner on top of my amp, and if I need to tune between songs, I quickly unplug from the amp and into the tuner. Takes maybe three seconds longer than stepping on a pedal, and I can see it better!

Tim

yep, my only battery powered pedal is the tuner on my amp, which is worked just as Tim described...I'd rather have the audience think I'm up to no good, ala Keith Richards, than get bored watching me tune away at my board stage front.

GigsbyBoyUK
December 22nd, 2010, 06:23 AM
If the band has a real piano, you have to tune to that - tuners are useless, you will be obligated to do it the old way.

Not true. There are plenty of tuners that can be calibrated to a flat or sharp instrument. My wife has a melodica that's sharp - I calibrate by tuner to the melodica and then tune my guitar/uke whatever to the calibrated tuner. Works a treat and very handy at gigs when I don't want to stand there like an idiot struggling with tuning.

I don't buy this 'you shouldn't rely on tuner' stuff. Sure, there is sometimes a need for tweaking tuning, especially when recording. But when I play live with five guitars to keep in tune AND I am singing and working the crowd I like just being able to stomp on a pedal to get in tune - or 99% in tune which is good enough for a gig.

varakeef
December 22nd, 2010, 08:12 AM
I have that regular, old no nonsense Boss tuner in my pedal board. It's not a pedal.

I can mute my guitar with A/B-box and still use the tuner.

Big John
December 22nd, 2010, 08:49 AM
I don't use a pedal. I keep a tuner on top of my amp, and if I need to tune between songs, I quickly unplug from the amp and into the tuner. Takes maybe three seconds longer than stepping on a pedal, and I can see it better!

Tim


Same here !, Peterson VSII does it for me and I can see it (even though I'm too vain to take my glasses off).

http://archive.harmonicasessions.com/feb06/harpbench_peterson%20vs2%20tuner.jpg

Oakville Dave
December 22nd, 2010, 09:20 AM
Convenience, accuracy, reliability, durabililty, easy to see on stage in any light level.

I once had a string break on my guitar during a show, before I had a backup guitar. We shuffled some tunes on the fly so I could restring as the show went on, then I tuned the guitar with my TU-2 pedal onstage while I sang "Wild Night" at the same time!! That was interesting, but it worked out! Get a reliable tuner pedal with a good led readout so that you can see it in any level of light and you're good to go.

Impulse
December 22nd, 2010, 03:19 PM
Sometimes typos are just plain fun!

Especially when I mean them. :wink:

Bad Chile
December 22nd, 2010, 11:43 PM
I use a turbo tuner. Can check all the strings wicked quick. I don't gig, I jam with friends a couple times a month.

Certainly easier than the unplugging, and since my board is powered, it is always ready to go...

RexGuitars
December 23rd, 2010, 03:40 AM
I use a Peterson Strobo Stomp. It's a DI as well when run in non-true bypass mode, which comes in handy when given a bass or acoustic gig. It has a big footprint for a pedal tuner, but it's so accurate, quick and bright that I'd really either be desperate for real estate or a different tuner blows my mind all over the sidewalk.

Tsetse
December 23rd, 2010, 08:49 AM
Another Turbo Tuner on a powered pedalboard here.

With regard to intonation / pitch and not being able to rely on tuner pedals for those things, that just doesn't apply to the TT. The TT has a number of programmable presets for that reason so if you want to change the pitch of a few strings for a song in a certain key, you can just tune / calibrate it by feel or by ear or whatever, save that as a preset and be done with it.

However, for playing live I just use the standard setting. Seriously, I can't be bothered to really care about some notes in a chord sounding a little off when I'm on a stage. To my ears, it's simply good enough that way and I don't want the hassle of tuning all the strings for every song. My two main guitars stay in tune extremely well, anyway. Every kind of intonation is always going to be a compromise on a traditional fretted instrument.

(That said, we don't use real pianos or any other acoustic instruments on stage so I normally don't have to adjust for that - but I could if I needed to.)

Of course, recording is a different story and that's where the ability of the TT to shift the pitch of independent strings by a few cents comes in handy.

Why I use a pedal tuner and not something else? Simply because it's convenient.
No un-plugging of cables plus the ability to mute everything and the display is also quite big and very bright, so I can read it without any problems in difficult lighting situations. To top it off, the TT responds FAST and it's reliable and sturdy.

In case of the TT, the display consists of a circle of bright red LEDs either moving to the left (if the string is flat) or to the right (if it's sharp) with either the name of the reference note or the number of the string (depends on how you set it) in the middle of the circle - seriously, anyone not being able to read this display should have their eyes checked.

Among other pedals, I've got a RAT and a Carbon Copy on my (black) pedalboard - if my eyes are good enough to find their footswitches in difficult lighting during a song when the light guy goes crazy, then my eyes are also good enough to tune using a TT in between songs.

I don't want to step on anybody's toes here and I realize that it all comes down to preference in the end, but a few of the arguments against the use of pedal tuners are a little far-fetched imho.
To anyone condemning the reliance on electronic tuners - do you suggest tuning by ear in a live situation? Seriously?

eddie knuckles
December 23rd, 2010, 10:52 AM
Barcus Berry Soul mate - convenient clip-on, and can switch between guitars/bass/lapsteel....

http://www.amazon.com/Barcus-Berry-Soulmate-Clip-Style-Chromatic/dp/B00157QJZM

Timbertea
December 27th, 2010, 10:28 AM
I had a cheapie Arion stage tuner that I loved a lot for when I had to play with keyboard players. Some of the older organs, and all pianos you are stuck tuning to them. It had a pot adjustment that you could dial in for it to match to the piano or organ, and then you had the stage tuner set forever to that tuning. The only drawbacks were that it didn't support alternate tunings; even for drop D I had to use a harmonic to set the tuning on the low E string. I used that thing all through the 90's, and paid $19 for it.

JeffOlson
December 27th, 2010, 01:23 PM
Snark clip-on tuner.

One less pedal to worry about.