Best Tuner For Bright Sunlight

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Supertanker, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    I need a tuner that works well in bright sunlight.

    Played an outdoor gig yesterday and discovered my tuner (Zoom B2) was utterly useless in bright sunlight.

    I had to resort to using a keyboard to tune.

    There's got to be a tuner that works well in direct sunlight.

    Any recommendations?

  2. BigNoise

    BigNoise Guest

    Nov 19, 2007
    Knoxville, TN
    I have a planet waves strobe tuner that works great in sunlight I am selling because I have switched to a multi pedal let me know if you want it!
  3. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    maybe one with a needle indicator instead of a light...
  4. JKT

    JKT Guest

    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    Intellitouch clip on. Hands down the most visible tuner in any light- or lack of it. I am using the tuner built in to my ME 50B more lately, but I don't like it as much from a visibility standpoint. Large backlit LCD display on the Intellitouch.

  5. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    A BIG +1 on needles!

    I wish I had a nickel for every time I've been onstage with a colleague doing the one-foot-shade-the-tuner dance while I effortlessly glance down at the needle on my TU-15! Most needle tuners also have a lighted display as well for dark stages. The only thing is, I haven't seen a needle pedal tuner yet. You'll have to have to have another way to mute if you want to tune silently...
  6. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    OMG, I felt soooo stupid.

    I had another band member come over and shield the tuner, that didn't work.

    I thought I was going blind.

    Then I had to resort to calling out notes to the keyboard player to get some what tuned, while the audience sat there.

    I didn't want to do it again so I only tuned on bass.

    It was bad...
  7. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    What about the Boss TU-2?

    On their website they have a video where an endorser claims that is works fine in sunlight.

    Can anybody who has one vouch for that?
  8. I can vouch for the TU-2 NOT working in sunlight.

    Played a gig last weekend where I could not see a thing, Both me and my guitarist had to bend over and shade the thing with one hand while tuning with the other.

    I wonder about the pitchblack, but im going to guess they're all the same.
  9. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    That's what I thought...

  10. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I'm sure BOSS is 100% correct claiming that their tuner "works fine in sunlight". Reading the TU-2 on the other hand...:rollno:

    The TU-2 is horrible in direct sunlight! I've actually heard of guys making little cardboard "shrouds" so they could see the darn thing.

    I previously asked in a different thread whether or not the PitchBlack is readable in direct sunlight. While my query was answered in the affirmative, I'm going to withhold judgement until I see one in action myself...
  11. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tuning fork it works in any light. Strike the tuning fork, hit the harmonic that matches the tuning fork note and hold the tuning fork over your pickup you'll hear come thru your amp.

    Why would you say "I had to resort to using a keyboard to tune." you don't check your tuning against the keyboard, especially acoustic pianos? You have to tune to pianos/keyboard because they aren't going to be tuned. When playing with acoustic pianos I would check the piano with my tuner to see if it was in tune. If it wasn't I would note how far off it was so I could tune to match it.

    Also tuners may be technically correct, but your instrument may not sound or sustain its best tuned perfectly. You should check your instruments tuning with itself. Tune one string, then use the 5th & 7th fret harmonics to check your tuning to tune itself.
  12. grooVWy


    Apr 9, 2005
    same story here. I´m glad I could hide it "under" the monitor, so I could see it.
    Though. the LEDs in my TC Electronic Vintage Bass Distortion pedal were bright and very visible.
    edit: Maybe BOSS should do some product development and use those white (brighter) leds instead.
  13. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    That will certainly work in direct sunlight.
    Is this how you tune?

    I'm used to tuning silently and without a fuse.

    I've never played with anyone playing an acoustic piano or a tuneable EP. If I did I would certainly tune to it.

    Although I've played piano for 30 years I always assumed "most" electronic keyboards are in tune (A 440) and there is no need to tune to them (I maybe wrong).

    I do recall hearing Donald Fagen say that synths always sound out of tune to him, that why he only plays tunable instruments like a Fender Rhodes.

    Ahhhh, here's the rub for me.

    I've asked several (maybe a dozen) high profile bass players how do you tune your bass. I've gotten almost a dozen answers.

    I keep my basses setup correctly and intonated at the 12th fret, tune each string to pitch and roll with it.

    There has got to be one way that's correct for the instrument.

    What is it?
  14. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Being I started playing before there were tuners I am used to using tuning forks. I do have a tuner and use it at home usually to get my first note then tune to itself with harmonics. If too noisy I will use the tuner for all the strings.

    The problem is too many musicians today are like a fish out of water if they don't have their tuners and other gear. Even if just to be ready for the worst case they need to know how to tune to other instruments and over time should develop their ear to tune at least close with nothing. If your gear is well maintained then tuning to itself should be close to what the tuner produces, but tuning to itself also tunes to the resonance of your instrument so notes ring more. This is real important if playing intervals or chords.

    As for others yes things vary as you say. Now the weirdest I ever seen done only a couple times was the bass player had someone on the piano use their fist to hit all the notes from D to A at the same time. I thought it was a joke, but he tuned to it. I saw it done once again by someone else. One of them might of been Tom Fowler of Zappa fame.
  15. I use a technique that works for every musical instrument ever conceived since the dawn of time, and will work for every musical instrument made in the future until the day the sun swallows the earth. It costs nothing, works brilliantly in direct sunlight, requires no batteries or cables, is ridiculously accurate, automatically adjusts for non-440 tuning and automatically compensates for imperfect intonation.

    My ear!

    (I was gonna post a picture, but ears are really f'n ugly things, so I decided against it!)

    Tuning your instrument is fine, but tuning your BAND is utterly essential. So, unless you all use the same tuner you run the risk of being perpetually out of tune. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a band tune to their tuners, play the first song, realise they're out, tune again, play the second song, realise they're STILL out, tune again... repeat for the entire out-of-tune set!

    If only they had tuned to each other instead!

    There seems to be some notion that tuning by ear is difficult, or requires special knowledge - it doesn't. It just requires a little patience and concentration in the first instance until it becomes second nature.
  16. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Tuning by ear should be something every player learns to do. It makes you more aware of your own instruments tuning anomalies and leads to a better trained ear. Use of natural harmonic tuning and recognition of note oscillations is actually quite easy to master. An electronic tuner is also little help for an improperly intonated instrument (at least during the gig)! You guys do have a point that too many (probably most) players rely on electronic tuners, but then most (probably all) bassists are already relying on electronics to begin with. We are talking electric bass guitar here! :)

    I would like to point out that tuning by ear is rarely practical during performance, however. It is rather unprofessional to tune audibly between songs and today's modern tuners are very quick & accurate to use (as long as you know how to use the thing in the first place e.g. accidental calibration, etc....). A tuning fork works great in the living room, but it's going to be more of a distraction than anything else at the outdoor gig you're playing. Just my opinion...
  17. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Boise, ID, USA
    Have you considered using a rack tuner instead of a pedal tuner?

    I use a DTR-1000, and it's worked very well in daytime conditions... but I have yet to fire it up under direct sunlight. I honestly don't think it'd be a problem simply because the display isn't facing up at the sun, the display is much larger than on a pedal tuner, and the sweeping display is comprised of bright blue LEDs. :)
  18. The other thing to keep in mind is that there are problems associated with using harmonics to tune by ear. When you hit the 7th fret harmonic, you are hearing a note one octave + a fifth higher - BUT you are hearing a JUST fifth, not an equal tempered fifth. So if you use 5th/7th fret harmonics and tune by beat matching (the little warble you hear when you are out of tune), you are essentially tuning your open strings to Just temperament, which will NOT sound in tune with an equal tempered instrument (piano, guitar, etc...) In equal tempered tuning, a perfect 5th is 2 cents flat, so if you tune your A string to your E string by 5th/7th fret harmonics and you beat match, your A string will be 2 cents sharper than it should be in equal tempered tuning. If you continue this method, your D string will be 4 cents sharp, and your G string 6 cents sharp.
    So theoretically, the only ways to get perfectly in tune is to use the fretted 5th method (assuming your intonation is set up spot on) or use an electronic tuner. I suppose you could use a pitch pipe or tuning fork for each string, but it would be a pain...
    David Jayne likes this.
  19. It's not so much about reliability as it is about those electronics agreeing with each other to a very high degree of accuracy. No matter how accurate your tuner is, it's still not always going to agree with every other tuner.

    I wouldn't recommend a tuning fork either as it can still lead you astray.

    To me the most unprofessional thing a band can do is spend too long between songs with nothing happening, or even worse, snappy banter from the singer! So in that sense, using a tuner is, to me, just as bad as tuning audibly.

    Frankly if you want to be professional, you tune back stage and trust your professional quality equipment to stay in tune for the duration of a set! And if you need a slight adjustment you should aim to do it on the fly like a professional would! ;)
  20. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    I had one and sold it.

    I thought it was way too slow for a $180.00 tuner...