This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

That’s nothing. I have a banjo that plays tunes which I enter from the cordless remote. Leaves one hand free for drinking.

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

"Powertune is also listed online for 899 euros, about $600, and …"

Someone missed something here?

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Hrrmmph.
They’ll have bloody robots playing instruments next. Then think what sessions will be like before long. Skin-jobs playing bodhrans. R2D2’s on pipes. C3PO’s playing fiddles. 3 pints of the black stuff there barman — yes, your best diesel. The Clanky Brothers and Tommy Mechano, playing The Made-up Girl Behind the Bar.
Whatever next?

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

sounds more like £600 therefore $1200

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

"Whatever next?"

People using computers to talk to each other?

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

urgh.
If you can’t tune your own instrument on your own (in case it needs it), you don’t belong in a session if you won’t bother to ask for help.
Whatever happened to the old tuning fork?
Isn’t tuning an instrument part of learning how to make use of it?

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

That yahoo news report quotes: "Gibson says it is particularly useful for beginners, who tend to find tuning a headache" - thus ensuring that they’ll always remain beginners.
It’s going to be fun when the lithium battery of this device fails at a crucial point in a gig (I’ve never known a battery that hasn’t eventually died).

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions (self-tuning guitar)

This infernal device, together with the equally infernal Autotune, is the final proof that the Devil indeed exists.

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Jimmy Page had one ten years ago. There is nothing complicated in connecting a digital tuner to 6 servo motors. Programmable too, Have it in EADGBE and hit the DADGAD and neeeowweeeoohee … there you go.

But as Trev says, If you can’t tune your instrument, hoe the f u c k are you gonna be able to play in tune

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

"But as Trev says, If you can’t tune your instrument, hoe the f u c k are you gonna be able to play in tune"

Easy:

http://www.engadget.com/2005/08/29/the-worlds-first-player-violin/

With that, you can have a beer in one hand, a barmaid in the other, and still play your tunes. Brilliant!

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

£600 or the equivalent for the Gibson device? With that money a beginner could buy a respectable amount of good tuition from a teacher that would turn him into at least a half-decent guitarist. But that means hard work and dedication over a fair period of time - not a good idea, I’m afraid. Our beginner demands instant success and wouldn’t be wanting to waste his precious time on hard work and dedication, now would he?

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

I’ve just re-read the yahoo news report. As I understand it, you instruct the device to tune the guitar to a required tuning EADGBE, EADF#BE, DADGAD etc. OK, so this is an automated version of what the human with an electronic tuner with LEDs or VU meter has been doing for years.

But, the problem with any stringed instrument is, when you play it, it drifts out of tune, mainly because you’re altering the string tensions but also because of changes in temperature and humidity. A musician with trained ears will spot this immediately and will take appropriate action at the earliest moment, quite often on the hoof while playing (a quick twiddle on a micrometer tuning adjuster or a tuning peg), his experience telling him how much twiddle to apply and to which string.

The player with cloth ears who relies on a visual tuning meter or the Gibson device probably wouldn’t notice the instrument going out of tune and wouldn’t know what to do about it until the music is finished.

Furthermore, the G on a guitar is notoriously the most difficult string to tune in EADGBE, because the pitch of that string will depend on the key you’re going to be playing in if you want good-sounding chords. The tuning of that G string will be different if you’re playing in C or A, for example. I can see problems with automated tuning for this one.

If you play the fiddle the fingers don’t have frets to tell them where to go in order to play in tune. Only the player’s ears can do this, and until he has taken the time to train his ears he’ll never be able to play in tune. Using a multi-tuner to tune each and every string does not train his ears because he’s relying on his eyes. All he should ever need is a reference frequency (tuning fork, pitch-pipe, a fixed pitch instrument) to tune one string to (usually the A), and the rest is done quickly by ear.

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

In other news, attempts to make the first robotic self-tuning banjo have ended in complete failure…again…

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

>Whatever happened to the old tuning fork?<

It went the way of the tuning rock. Remember that?

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

What the hell is a tuning rock? Is that like a pet rock with musical talent?

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Can’t wait for one for flutes…

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Too techno for me, all of it.

"This fiddle will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim."

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

>"This fiddle will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim."

Actually, I’m thinking along the lines of a "Star Trek" vibe:

"Captain! The G string is out of tune — but the self-tuner’s not responding! Something’s wrong with the circuitry!"
"Scotty! We need to override the self-tuning controls!"
"It’s nae gid, Captain! The dilithium crystals are drained — you just canna play at warp speed!"

Incidentally, I think this is the most number of exclamation points I’ve used in a session.org post. Must be the Shatner Factor.

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

imagine an auto tuning hurdy gurdy…hours of time saved!
Hey where are the smilies here? Sorry first post.

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

How much can I pay someone to put one of these on my harp?

(36 strings).

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

This is excellent news! Now all one has to do to drive a guitarist out of a session is carry a small RF generator hidden in a pocket, leave it switched on throughtout the session, wait for it to send the guitar haywire, watch the guitarist frantically trying to countermand the device, give up, and..LEAVE!! Result!!

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

"If you can’t tune your instrument, hoe the f u c k are you gonna be able to play in tune"
get a fretless instrument like, I dunno, a fiddle ..?

like maxF’s idea
my mate hid behind the curtain once in an amateur musical play and sneakily reached out through the curtain and detuned the guitarist’s (who was peering intently at sheet music) instrument until he was playing some very interesting open chords and drone notes

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Tee-hee Max. Wouldn’t a simple magnet be cheaper? Or just a pair of pliers?

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Surely you just need a spirit level to ensure the pegs are parallel.

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

What I find just as distressing is the Guitar Hero video game. You buy a thing that looks like a guitar, but has some buttons on the neck. I assume that you invest some time in building up your skill level to play the game, but in the end, you only know how to push some buttons on the neck of a fake guitar. What happened to actually buying an electric guitar so that you can learn to play and annoy everyone within a block of your garage?

An experience, once removed?

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

It is a step up from just sitting on your butt pressing buttons. You actually get points for your air guitar moves.

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Lazyhound: "The tuning of that G string will be different if you’re playing in C or A, for example. I can see problems with automated tuning for this one."
Not if the article is telling the truth. Input your customized tunings, acquired by the system through a mic. No problem. And change from one tuning to another in 2s. Wow! I’d consider it if I were playing guitar on stage. If I wanted to provide the best possible performance, of course.

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

As one of the soul-less ones who hopes one day to make a living selling schmucks musically gadgetry such as this, I am impressed by the engineering behind it. Its a geek’s heaven.

But i don’t generally trust to digital tuners cos many of my instruments have messed up fret intonation. As usual, nature has given us better tools for the job than humans can make.

>Can’t wait for one for flutes…

Haha. That would be hillarious, constantly adjusting the headjoint while you play.

I like maxF’s idea. I can see it escalating into an arms-race of tuning and counter-tuning devices.

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

I find this absolutely hilarious since tuning is like, lesson number one, in order to play any tunable instrument. So you can get past learning how to tune…then what?

I guess it’s really meant a labor saving device though. But how much time do you actually need to spend to keep a guitar in tune? A piano, now….that’s another story.

I agree about not trusting tuners completely. I have an expensive chromatic tuner that I use sometimes to check intonation on fiddle, and while it’s usually about right, I’ve noticed times when it’s obviously off when the mic isn’t positioned right, or the planets are out of alignment, or whatever. It’s a handy objective opinion when I’m having trouble in a spot, but it’s no substitute for an ear.

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

Scouser banjo - tuned to A A A A A

What next, robots playing bodhoran? Exterminate the beat ….. Exterminate the beat

Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

"What I find just as distressing is the Guitar Hero video game. You buy a thing that looks like a guitar, but has some buttons on the neck. "

This makes the distinction between being a music performer as opposed to a music maker. It strikes me that the message is that there is little value in making the effort to learn make music. It would be fun to promote a culture where kids could hang out with adults and play music for fun and the pride of accomplishment.

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Re: This is liable to take all the fun out of sessions

I agree with what a lot of people have said: that this can, for a professional, save time and clean up inconsistencies by being able to keep your instrument in the EXACT tuning that you intend with quick changes without being distracted by it. On the other hand it’s quite wrong to suggest this as an alternative to being able to tune your instrument.

Then again, the belief that technical aids takes away from music could just be part of the whole obsession with performing skill in musicianship. -No classical composer could ever ‘play’ their orchestral pieces, but we recognise them as the geniuses rather than whoever’s in the orchestra. Performance and art are quite separate.