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Tuner Calibration

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JJBACOOMBA, Mar 23, 2006.


    JJBACOOMBA Commercial User

    May 31, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Lecompte Bass Owners Club Member #2
    I have the FenderRT-1000 tuner. I like it. I want to know about calibration. I know standard tuning is 440Hz, but what is it tuned down a half step? Thanks! Joe
  2. 440hz is the frequency of A above middle C. Middle C is 262Hz, and the next C up is 524... The A between them is 440 on standard tuning. A common method of moving the whole shebang around is to move the reference up or down by a few cents. It has nothing to do with a half step unless you made A = Ab, which would be A415! Which wouldn't really happen, BTW.

    Check this:

    If you want to tune down a half step, just tune down a half step.
  3. BTW, my reply doesn't really say anything about WHY you would want to be at anything other than A440. It could be used to be in tune with another instrument that is not tuned to A440. Say you happened upon a nice paino that was tuned to A435, you could set the tuner calibration to A435 and it would auto correct the tuning so that everything was 5 cents flat. Without the auto correction you might be trying to tune 5c flat by ear, or by comparison with the piano. The tuner is usually more accurate.
  4. Depending on the tuner. Those little Boss GT-2s are usually a little off. A nice tuner, like a Korg OT-12 or Peterson Strobe, yeah, those will be very acurate.

    Rock on
  5. ... hence the "usually".

    one other note: that comment that I made about A415 (A=Ab) could be challenged by fans of period instrumentation and arrangements. There are some really interesting factoids about the way tuning has been approached through history, and what instruments were the basis for group tuning. I'm sure that there is evidence that standards as low or lower than the equivalent of A415 were used. I happen to really enjoy things like diatonic music in just intonation. I wouldn't want to listen to it all day, but it is a whole different world.

    There is also a really interesting quote from Zappa about how he got consistent tuning across his live recordings. The band tuned to the vibraphone. They don't go out of tune with temp or humidity so they were the most stable reference in the band.
  6. Calibration isn't for tuning down. If you're using a chromatic tuner, you just tune each string to the note a half step lower than usual. If you're not, then get rid of your tuner and get a chromatic one. In the meantime, you may want to look for a button on your tuner that allows you to select alternate tunings. 1/2 step down would probably be in there.

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