This gadget tunes your instrument automatically

This gadget tunes your instrument automatically


norman lebrecht

January 25, 2016

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

The hand-held device, which sells for $99, attaches to a tuning peg on a stringed instrument. After the user plucks the string, Roadie analyzes the sound and automatically adjusts the tension to get the string tuned properly. An app stores profiles for different instruments and custom tunings and keeps track of the elasticity of the strings, telling the musician when new ones are needed.

Too good to be good? Read more here.

tuning up violin




  • Cubs Fan says:

    Now if they could make one that tunes every note as you play. What a boon to amatuer orchestras (and some professional ones).

  • thekingontheviolin says:

    This is absurd in my opinion. We are already into a generation of technical brilliance (especially oriental) with vacuous destruction of music making by obfuscating the meaning of a composition with sounds and notes instead of music and this little invention comes along as a final nail in the coffin.
    I hope it fails to sell.
    Actually, on reflection, I have changed my mind. It is a brilliant invention which can be used as a metaphor to explain the demise of music making and its replacement with a copy which has fooled most people…especially on this site where competitions are blamed when it is the individual fools and their teachers and parents who are the real culprits.
    To explain: When a string player tunes, s/he needs to listen in silence to the desired note; then it is played and an intellectual/emotional appraisal of matching/mismatching of the current pitch to the desired pitch takes place. Then there follows the acceptance of achievement or the the struggle to overcome and obstacle involving intellect emotions and reparative action (turning of the peg) which also needs intellect, emotion and developing skill viz full participtation of the person. This invention avoids all of the above and does the tuning for the player!
    I repeat ABSURD! Yet I thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain why modern, young, so called violinists yet vacuous and anti -musical, acrobatic genius notwithstanding, are plaguing the planet via this silly little invention which encapsulates in its essence the real attack on human development which is the divorce of human kind from its intellectual, emotional and acting potential, and replacing the vacuum with mechanistic copies …….

    • Robert says:

      Remember, it only tunes four notes.

      The player still has to tune all the others by ear and hand.

      I see it having modest success among teachers of large string classes and perhaps pit musicians who have to tune quickly in circumstances lacking “silence”.

    • milka says:

      You perhaps are being too harsh and quick in judgement and so not to be lumped in
      with Borstlap and his merry followers lost in the desert of time think on this invention
      a little more . Might one suggest that the vacuous ,anti-musical, acrobatic genius,
      technically brilliant (especially oriental ) violinist as you phrase it existed long before this
      invention came on the market .It is a piece of mechanism that seemingly might benefit
      an up and coming player . All so called new ideas meet with resistance, in reality it is the
      human condition with which you have a problem . A piece of mechanism is just that ,how
      it is used is another story . If this is any good it will sell and kudos to the inventor.

  • Mikey says:

    with a bit of research one notices that the image in NL’s little blurb above is erroneous.
    The Roadi does not work on string instruments with wooden pegs (ie: orchestral string instruments).

  • Hobart says:

    ““I used to struggle tuning my oud during rehearsal, so I used to spend half the time isolated or making sure my band mates were quiet so I can tune my instrument,” he says. “I thought there must be a better solution.”

    He’s an amateur for sure, there are a plethora of tuners that read the vibration of an instrument (even if other people are playing theirs around you). Often called clip-on tuner, and Korg has a wide variety of those.

    He just created a variation of things that already exist on the market, nothing groundbreaking.