Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
With just a little practice ...... this thing is definitely a keeper !
on January 18, 2015
If you have good and experienced ears you can get your drums sounding pretty good. For those who consider themselves in that camp, you don't need this device. But I would say that even folks with "good ears" and decades of experience will do a better job of tuning, and do it much quicker, and ore consistently with this little device. As others will point out, it takes a little patience and yes, even a little experience (tuning a few drums with the device) to use it effectively. There are indeed moments when you get values that are outliers, wildly off from previous pitch readings, but you learn to identify those for what they are, stray values. Getting consistent readings is improved if you tune the drum away from the kit, in a quiet environment, and hit the heads with the same force and at the same distance from the rim. WIth a little time, you learn how to get more consistent results and the "filter" mode is essential to getting proper results. There are lots of youtube and internet videos on how do to all this.
Bottom line? It works. You can know tell what note your drum is tuned to. You can decide what note you'd like it be tune to, and with a little practice get it there with very impressive accuracy in about 5 minutes per drum. With that kind of speed and accuracy, you'll be able to experiment with different tunings and intervals across the toms and learn what notes each individual drum "prefers". Why not 5 stars? The occasional stray value, which is likely real and not an artifact does make this just a bit of an "art". But anyone can master it if you devote 1-2 hours of self training with a few toms. My Yamaha birch absolutes sound much better after using this little device.
Use Tips and Review Update Jan 19
Some reviewers (including me above) comment on getting "spurious" frequency results with the TuneBot. You can indeed get multiple frequencies but they aren't random and they aren't really mistakes. When you hit a drum, the recorded sound is almost always a mix of several frequencies. TuneBot has built in algorithms that select what it thinks is the fundamental frequency, but like all algorithms, sometimes it gets it wrong (usually by reporting/showing a higher than expected frequency). The common frequencies detected when a drum is hit include the true fundamental frequency of the "drum" and the frequency of the "head" which will be about 1.5 times (range of perhaps 1.2x times to 2x) the fundamental frequency of the drum. Head frequencies are always higher than the overall drum frequency. If you know the approximate note of your drum as it exists or want it tuned, it's fairly easy to identify these higher reported frequencies as being "head frequencies" or related harmonics. There are other reasons for getting what looks like spuriously high values, but this is one of the big ones.
Accepting the lowest recorded frequency is usually the best tip to use as the "fundamental" freq. If you then select the filter option, it's fairly easy to tune from there.
I checked TuneBot against a very inexpensive IPhone app (about $5) that does almost the same thing (no names mentioned). They both have to deal with the "multiple reported frequency" issues, because it's just the nature of the audio physics. Both "devices" occasionally report the wrong frequency as the fundamental frequency. Both the TuneBot and the Iphone app provide similar (but not identical) numerical results. Using both simultaneously on the same drum generates values that are within 2-5 Hz of each other, and occasionally identical. This is again due to algorithmic choices used to identify the "center" of the band of frequencies the "device" interprets as the fundamental frequency. The point is that you have to have at least a readout tolerance of perhaps 0-5Hz for any frequency measured.
They each have strengths and weaknesses. Either could work very well by itself, and because they aren't identical, using both is better than using either alone.