One question about the tune-bot

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TwoCables

Guest
Does the room you're in have to be very quiet while using it? Like, nearly silent? Or, does it work equally well in a noisy environment such as a bar? What if you arrive a bit early to practice and you want to tune but your band mates are noodling at like half their normal volume? Or, what if your band mates are simply holding a conversation? Would even that be too much noise for the tune-bot? Or, what if you're using it but your bassist is trying to work out a part and he needs to be able to hear it through his amp? Would that be too much for the tune-bot?

I have many, many more questions that I could be asking here, but if it needs a fairly silent room in order to work, then I won't need to ask any more questions. :)
 
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XplosiveDrummer

Guest
Tunebot in studio or quiet situations, torque key for quick adjustments before a gig and if a head needs to be changed out quickly. IMO of course.

In fact you made me remember that I wanted to do a quick review on the Tunebot as I returned it about a couple months ago and NOT for reasons that were bad. Just because I wanted to try it but couldn't justify the hundo for it at the time.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
no it won't bother the device ... especially if you use the filter option

the only time I use it is when changing a head or tuning up in a loud room and cannot use my ears and my settings always hold true and the drums sound good

although I am a little pissed that I spent $100 on tunebot only to find the IDrumTech app just a few months later for a few dollars and find it to work much better .....and I don't have to carry an extra device

http://idrumtech.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V824aV_UaG8
 
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TwoCables

Guest
Tunebot in studio or quiet situations, torque key for quick adjustments before a gig and if a head needs to be changed out quickly. IMO of course.

In fact you made me remember that I wanted to do a quick review on the Tunebot as I returned it about a couple months ago and NOT for reasons that were bad. Just because I wanted to try it but couldn't justify the hundo for it at the time.
Yeah, that's what I thought. Damn. lol When I read that it has this very special high-tech "microphone", I almost knew that this would only work in quiet rooms. lol Since that's the case, I'll never be able to use it because I never get any studio time (I'm far below that level).
 
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TwoCables

Guest
no it won't bother the device ... especially if you use the filter option

the only time I use it is when changing a head or tuning up in a loud room and cannot use my ears and my settings always hold true and the drums sound good

although I am a little pissed that I spent $100 on tunebot only to find the IDrumTech app just a few months later for a few dollars and find it to work much better .....and I don't have to carry an extra device

http://idrumtech.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V824aV_UaG8
Aw, I can't afford an iPhone.

Anyway, whoa, you only use this in loud rooms when you cannot tune by ear and it works? Oh wow. There's a huge smile on my face now. Do you think this would work for someone who can always tune by ear, but who literally never has enough time and therefore cannot even think straight enough to be able to tune by ear (due to requiring some kind of concentration lol)?
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
Aw, I can't afford an iPhone.

Anyway, whoa, you only use this in loud rooms when you cannot tune by ear and it works? Oh wow. There's a huge smile on my face now. Do you think this would work for someone who can always tune by ear, but who literally never has enough time and therefore cannot even think straight enough to be able to tune by ear (due to requiring some kind of concentration lol)?
a monkey could use it

I prefer to tune by ear ....just what I am used to for 30 years

but I have had great success with tunebot changing snare heads or tuning up toms in rooms when maybe an opening act is playing and I cannot hear the pitches as I would like to
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I have used it with my guitarist tuning and it didn't seem to matter at all. It definitely gets the drums in tune, but I think you need to have a good starting point to get the sound you really want out of your drums.
 
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TwoCables

Guest
a monkey could use it

I prefer to tune by ear ....just what I am used to for 30 years

but I have had great success with tunebot changing snare heads or tuning up toms in rooms when maybe an opening act is playing and I cannot hear the pitches as I would like to
I prefer to tune by ear too. Unfortunately, as I said, I no longer have 24/7 access to my drums. The only time I can tune is either at practice or at a gig, and that means only a few short minutes to tune everything. If the tunebot can help me get better results in that short amount of time than I can by ear (because it's nearly impossible to concentrate due to the time limit), then this might be worth it for me.

So my question is just if this would help me get noticeably superior results (that I can truly appreciate) in those same few minutes that I always try but fail to achieve with ear-tuning?

Back when I had 24/7 access, I would just go up to the practice room every day and so tuning was never a problem. I rarely had to spend much time at a gig or at practice tuning. If I ever had to tune at a gig, it was to tune for the room which was always easy because my drums were already tuned up. These days, I have to tune them up the 1 or 2 times per month we practice, and also at our gigs which are like once every other month on average. So, now I need something to replace ear-tuning until I can figure out a way to get 24/7 access to my drums again - which could take like 5 years. I mean, I simply can't get good results anymore with ear tuning due to this extreme lack of time.
 
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TwoCables

Guest
I have used it with my guitarist tuning and it didn't seem to matter at all. It definitely gets the drums in tune, but I think you need to have a good starting point to get the sound you really want out of your drums.
Oh, that's good to know and I feel very blessed because that's something I know I can do because it sounds to me that I would only need to be able to do it once. That much I'm sure I would be able to do. If not in one day, but maybe over the course of a few practices or a couple of gigs. I'm fine with that and I'd be very happy! Thank you, Leo!

Really, thank you everyone so far. This is a great start to my thread!


Oh no, I forgot to use the Multi-Quote button. I apologize everyone.
 
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XplosiveDrummer

Guest
no it won't bother the device ... especially if you use the filter option

the only time I use it is when changing a head or tuning up in a loud room and cannot use my ears and my settings always hold true and the drums sound good
Interesting. From my limited testing with it before I returned it, it seemed like you wouldn't get as accurate a reading unless you were in a quiet setting. Well there you go Two Cables lol I guess you can use it in a loud situation, so that's cool.

With that said and now knowing it would work well during a gig, it really is a nice product! I hope to get one back at some point because not only do I like to work with gadgets like that I like the idea of getting the pitch of each rod as close as possible and when I did use it, it made my drums with Pinstripes on them sound so pure and fat! It was great! Little to no over tones and when wearing ear muffs they sounded incredible!

I say get it if you can or like WhoIs said get the app if you have a phone to use it with.
 
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TwoCables

Guest
Interesting. From my limited testing with it before I returned it, it seemed like you wouldn't get as accurate a reading unless you were in a quiet setting. Well there you go Two Cables lol I guess you can use it in a loud situation, so that's cool.

With that said and now knowing it would work well during a gig, it really is a nice product! I hope to get one back at some point because not only do I like to work with gadgets like that I like the idea of getting the pitch of each rod as close as possible and when I did use it, it made my drums with Pinstripes on them sound so pure and fat! It was great! Little to no over tones and when wearing ear muffs they sounded incredible!

I say get it if you can or like WhoIs said get the app if you have a phone to use it with.
I can't afford an iPhone, but yeah this conversation has jazzed me up to the point where I just started looking up "tune-bot" on YouTube (like only 3-4 minutes ago). So far, I'm getting the impression that this really wouldn't have any problem in a noisy environment, just as long as the pitch and frequency you're trying to tune to in the Difference mode doesn't come from anywhere else!

I learned about one minor problem though: when sound enters the mic, the LED light turns on (as you know). Well, here's the problem: the unit can't be turned off when that light is on. So, if the environment is so loud that the light is constantly on, then you're gonna have to take the batteries out! lol

Getting back to the positives, it sounds to me that even if background noise is so loud that it's triggering that indicator LED, then the only way that they would be a problem for tuning is if those noises were in the frequency that it's "listening" for in the Difference mode. The 2 videos I watched already do a much better job of explaining this than I can, but it seems hopeful so far.

Anyway, keep the replies coming, everyone! This is far more positive than I thought it would be. I thought this would be another typical thread saying "don't get it, it's a gimmick". Although, this thing seems like a godsend. You just pick the pitch for your lugs by selecting the pitch of one of your lugs, switch to the Difference mode, and then it helps you get all of the lugs to that exact same pitch by showing you how different each lug is from that pitch. Then, my favorite part, you can save it and it categorizes by type of drum, and batter or resonant. Nice.

Best of all, my local Guitar Center carries it, so if it doesn't work for me due to too much noise screwing with it, then I have the 30-day return policy. lol :)

No, that's not the best part. The best part is that there's someone who lives about 10-15 miles away from me who might be able to loan his to me so that I can see if I like it! I'm only saying that because he's a very cool guy and he really wanted me to know about this thing. You see, he knows my dad (my dad's a bassist), and so my dad is gonna have to be the one to call him and ask. Either way though, my local Guitar Center has it in stock, I have $100, so there you go. I might have it within the next few days here. Only, the next few practices are tomorrow evening, then the 30th, we have a gig on October 4th, then we practice again on October 23rd after that. This is the busiest practice schedule that we've had in a few months. lol Regardless, those are the days I'll be able to play with it, if only for 5 minutes.



Edit: I'm still learning about it on YouTube. At this point, I am totally sold on it. I'm buying it tomorrow before practice if I have time. It sounds to me that this thing is going to be giving me exactly what I've been missing for the past 20 years: something to tell me get the pitch of each lug the same! For some reason, I've never been able to do it. I've practiced, I've watched videos, I've studied Bob Gatzen's videos, etc. etc. etc. but it seems I can never do it as well as anyone else. I used to wish that I could have a tuning expert like Bob Gatzen next to me while I'm tuning going, "tune that lug higher", "tune that lug lower", "that lug is perfect, try the next lug", and now I'm going to have exactly that in a fancy tuning device! Omg I'm extremely happy that this thing has been invented.
 
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TheBob

Member
I have had both the Tunebot and iDrumTech tuner and I would never go back to using the iDrumTech tuner after getting the Tunebot. I thought the iDrumTech was good until I got the Tunebot. I like tune by ear and bought the Tunebot just to see how close I was getting with my tunes. I don't think you can go wrong with the Tunebot. I love the ability to store my drums and quickly tune them to the same settings.
 
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TwoCables

Guest
I have had both the Tunebot and iDrumTech tuner and I would never go back to using the iDrumTech tuner after getting the Tunebot. I thought the iDrumTech was good until I got the Tunebot. I like tune by ear and bought the Tunebot just to see how close I was getting with my tunes. I don't think you can go wrong with the Tunebot. I love the ability to store my drums and quickly tune them to the same settings.
Absolutely!

I'm still watching tune-bot videos on YouTube, and I'm loving it more and more as I keep watching. Ever since I experienced the Tama Tension Watch, I thought that I would never buy a drum tuning gadget ever again! What a waste of money that thing was. lol Yet, here I am drooling over this tune-bot. lol I mean, it is precisely what I've been hoping and praying for ever since I began learning how to tune, especially getting the pitch by each lug to be the same. I've been trying to get good at that for the past 20 years, but it seems that I'm mentally tone deaf to it at least to some extent. Like, I would need some expert like Bob Gatzen sitting next to me going, "tune that lug higher", or "tune that one lower", or "leave that one; it's perfect. Move on to the next lug", "now tap the center so that I can hear the fundamental". "Now let's see if we can tune it to a note" lol Enter the tune-bot, and watch me smile. I can hardly wait to start learning how to use this thing!

This is like a dream! I almost feel like Morpheus at the end of The Matrix Revolutions where he's with Niobe and he goes, "Is this real?" I mean, in a way, I really have "imagined this moment for so long", just as he said, kind of in that same way.

What a crazy day this turned out to be. lol :)
 

TheBob

Member
Absolutely!

I'm still watching tune-bot videos on YouTube, and I'm loving it more and more as I keep watching. Ever since I experienced the Tama Tension Watch, I thought that I would never buy a drum tuning gadget ever again! What a waste of money that thing was. lol Yet, here I am drooling over this tune-bot. lol I mean, it is precisely what I've been hoping and praying for ever since I began learning how to tune, especially getting the pitch by each lug to be the same. I've been trying to get good at that for the past 20 years, but it seems that I'm mentally tone deaf to it at least to some extent. Like, I would need some expert like Bob Gatzen sitting next to me going, "tune that lug higher", or "tune that one lower", or "leave that one; it's perfect. Move on to the next lug", "now tap the center so that I can hear the fundamental". "Now let's see if we can tune it to a note" lol Enter the tune-bot, and watch me smile. I can hardly wait to start learning how to use this thing!

This is like a dream! I almost feel like Morpheus at the end of The Matrix Revolutions where he's with Niobe and he goes, "Is this real?" I mean, in a way, I really have "imagined this moment for so long", just as he said, kind of in that same way.

What a crazy day this turned out to be. lol :)
haha, that's a great post!

I also have the Tama tension watch and couldn't agree more. If you get the Tunebot, be sure to also watch the videos on Tunebot's website (which you probably have since you are watching the youtube vids). I couldn't be happier with the Tunebot. If you get it, be sure to let us know what you think of it.
 
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TwoCables

Guest
haha, that's a great post!

I also have the Tama tension watch and couldn't agree more. If you get the Tunebot, be sure to also watch the videos on Tunebot's website (which you probably have since you are watching the youtube vids). I couldn't be happier with the Tunebot. If you get it, be sure to let us know what you think of it.
hehe I've watched close to a dozen videos now. I feel almost 100% ready to use this thing, almost as though I've been using it for a while now. Man, I love YouTube. :) Y'know, it's kind of like using Street View before driving somewhere I've never been to before. hehe I've gained a ton of insights and experience from all of these videos. I'm pumped!

Anyway, yeah I'll definitely be posting my thoughts. I am hoping that I'll be able to buy it tomorrow and also use it tomorrow at tomorrow night's practice. If not, then it'll be next Monday. If not then, then it will be October 4th, which is when we have a gig. Fortunately, the background noise at this place isn't that much.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The main advantage the tune bot has over tradition methods is it will work in a noisy environment when it's otherwise difficult to hear what's going on.

People agree and disagree as to how well it works, but it's #1 selling point IMHO is for drummers and roadies who need to tune in noisy venues, such as while another band is sound checking or playing, etc.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Tune Bot is good for some things, especially cutting through some overtones to get to the root note, but there are still inconsistencies that annoy the crap out of me. Even in filter mode, it picks up errant frequencies & offers readings way out of anything reasonable. Additionally, sometimes it just doesn't get it right.

Here's a little clip I put up when I first got my unit. Put on some headphones, & you tell me who's right - machine or ears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlvTZDjjh30
 
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XplosiveDrummer

Guest
lol TwoCables you were just like me until the point that I couldn't take it anymore and just HAD to know how this thing worked and how off the tone of my drums were. I watched videos repeatedly for weeks and when I seen Mike Johnston's video (no he didn't sell me on it because it was him) and how well the video was made and the simplicity of the product I finally gave in and got it the next day. I liked it a lot for it's sole purpose but there are also reasons that made me return it but mostly money was the issue. Hope you enjoy it when you get it!

Tune Bot is good for some things, especially cutting through some overtones to get to the root note, but there are still inconsistencies that annoy the crap out of me.
This I agree with. When I tested with it for about a week and while using Remo Pinstripes I noticed that it picks up the initial attack of the head and not the actual tone or note of the drum. You had to gently hit it to minimize the stick attack so it would give a proper reading. Even then it was a bit difficult to get proper readings back to back. On the other hand it seems to LOVE single ply heads as when I tuned my Ambassador resos, it went quick and 99% error less.

In some ways it's a great and very fun gadget to work with but on the other hand as finicky as it is, especially with 2 ply heads (at least for me it was) and knowing I'd only really use it when changing out heads as it's basically useless on worn heads, I decided to return it as I couldn't justify the $100 to keep something around that I wouldn't use that often.

Now when I can justify the money, I may get it back. Though part of me wonders about the Drum Dial as well. I'm very curious to see what kind of a sound I get with "equal tension" on the lugs and if it would satisfy my ears. If so I could save about $50. I also wonder if the Drum Dial works better with die cast hoops vs TF hoops.
 
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TwoCables

Guest
(I sincerely apologize for the length of this post, but it's just the way it ended up being)

I purchased it yesterday, but I wasn't able to try it at practice last night out due to two things: not enough time, and my drums didn't really need much of a tuning last night - which disappointed me because I wanted to play with my new toy! Still, I didn't really have enough time because I still had to set up my drums because we hadn't practiced since our last gig.

However, I don't mind because after watching all of the videos that seem to exist about the tune-bot (not just "official" videos), I feel that I made a very wise purchase. I mean, I am feeling significantly more peaceful about the inevitable times in the future when my drums will need to be tuned up because I'm never in the mood to be sitting there going around each lug trying to hear the differences between the pitches - which has always been very difficult for me, even after roughly 20 years of experience. I usually just give up after spending a ton of time working on the pitch by each lug and I tune the drum based on its whole sound, which is fine because by that point the pitch by each lug is already somewhat the same - it's kind of a "quick and dirty" method that gets me by even though I'm personally nowhere near being satisfied. It's really the only way I've ever been able to tune, regardless of how much I practice and how many times I watch Bob Gatzen's tuning video. Speaking of which, when he says that one of his lugs is higher or lower, I find myself going, "It is?! I can't tell a difference." With my own drums, I can be comparing two different lugs saying, "High, Low, High, Low, High, Low", and then I can easily convince myself that it's the exact opposite, "Low, High, Low, High, Low, High". I can't tell you how frustrating that is.

So yeah, it has been a dream of mine to have something telling me what the pitches of my lugs are so that I don't have to rely on my apparent tone-deafness. Go figure, I seem to be somewhat tone-deaf to the differences in pitches around my lugs (with the ability to easily say "no, that lug is actually higher, not lower" and continually go back and forth like that), yet I have no other tone-deafness. It's difficult to explain, but what I'm getting at is this: I know that I need the tune-bot. I know that I will be depending on it. Strangely, I had no problems tuning my drums when I had Bob Gatzen's video playing at the same time, as though it was a private lesson. On my own, I suck. lol

For example: I had a gig on August 24th. When I began tuning before the gig, I started with my 10" tom (I have 10", 12", 14"), and it scared me because it sounded deader than a cardboard box. Somehow, it lost its tuning entirely, just as though some mischievous child messed with it (it was just that bad). So, I had to take it off the mount (I hate when I have to do that because then I know I'm going to be in it for the long haul), put it on my stool and spend time trying to tune it up - hoping to God that maybe today I wouldn't have that much trouble hearing the differences in the pitches between the lugs. As usual, that wasn't happening that easily, but thanks to all of my efforts over the years, I did a decent job and I brought the drum back to life, but it took well over a half an hour (I think that it took almost an entire hour, but I'm trying to think more realisitically - it just couldn't have taken that long) and it ruined my entire day because I was already short on time! I mean, I still had to go back home to shower, shave, and eat and then hopefully relax for a little bit. Sigh. To add insult to injury, I could still tell that the pitch was not the same from lug to lug at all, but I was having trouble evening them out mostly due to sometimes not really being able to tell if a lug is actually higher or lower than the other lug that I'm comparing it to. Just when I think I figure out the pitch relationship, I begin being able to mentally "flip" it. I hate that. lol Fortunately, this tune-bot isn't going to do that, and that's exactly what I've been looking for and it's exactly what I need. I mean, for the past decade or more, I've been thinking that it would be nice to have someone (like Bob Gatzen) or just something sitting there with me that could just do all of the listening for me while I do all of the work. Of course, I'm still going to be judging the tune-bot's results, but I can already see that it will make tuning significantly easier for me without forcing me to use different tunings methods, such as strictly going by the tension of the head! I see this as kind of like a hearing aid, in a sense, which is what I desperately need.

So, the next time I have an emergency tuning situation like that, I'll just happily take out my tune-bot and bring it back to life in just about 5 minutes. No big deal. This is exactly the way it should be. As Overtone Labs said, guitarist and bassists can do that, so why can't we? I realize though that there are guys who can tune their drum from "dead" to fully alive in a matter of 5 minutes or less with a beautiful result due to ear tuning, but I just can't do that. I need help; lots of help.


The main advantage the tune bot has over tradition methods is it will work in a noisy environment when it's otherwise difficult to hear what's going on.

People agree and disagree as to how well it works, but it's #1 selling point IMHO is for drummers and roadies who need to tune in noisy venues, such as while another band is sound checking or playing, etc.
For me, I think that it will help me every time I tune because I need something or someone to sit there telling me when a lug is higher or lower, or when it's perfect. For me, I can tell that the tune-bot is going to be a godsend and I haven't even used it yet. All I've done is I've watched easily over a dozen videos on YouTube. I already feel that I made a wise purchase. Really, it's an investment.

I don't know if I will absolutely depend on it because I can definitely do a "quick clean-up" tuning when my drums basically sound good already but could use a very slight tune-up. However, this thing is going to safe my ass the next time I go, "Wow, they sound horrible right now." That has happened way too many times, and it has always resulted in consuming a minimum (yeah, a MINIMUM) of about 30 minutes. When I'm setting up at a gig, the last thing I need is to be spending large amounts of time tuning my drums. For one thing, I want to sit down with my practice pad and warm up, but I also don't want to be subjecting everyone in the venue to the noise I must make while tuning because I always tune to the overall sound of the drum, and that requires me to hit the drum at a normal playing volume. It sounds to me that the tune-bot will help tremendously there because then I won't be having to do any guesswork. Just use the tune-bot to get the pitch the same by each lug, play the drum with a hit or two in order to see if I like the overall sound, and then go from there. That's the way it should be for me with all of the years I've had trying to get better at ear tuning, but it just hasn't happened and it seems that it's never going to happen.


Tune Bot is good for some things, especially cutting through some overtones to get to the root note, but there are still inconsistencies that annoy the crap out of me. Even in filter mode, it picks up errant frequencies & offers readings way out of anything reasonable. Additionally, sometimes it just doesn't get it right.

Here's a little clip I put up when I first got my unit. Put on some headphones, & you tell me who's right - machine or ears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlvTZDjjh30
Yep, there's a guy on YouTube who addresses this in the video below (mainly between the 2 and 3-minute mark, but it's all within the context, so watch from the beginning): his name is Geoff Fry. Here's the video that I know will help me overcome this problem quite easily:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BRTblC8Odc (this video can go up to 720p)

Basically, try placing the tune-bot on a different part of the drum, such as between the next set of lugs either to the right or to the left. But watch the entire video because he has the tune-bot completely figured out.


lol TwoCables you were just like me until the point that I couldn't take it anymore and just HAD to know how this thing worked and how off the tone of my drums were. I watched videos repeatedly for weeks and when I seen Mike Johnston's video (no he didn't sell me on it because it was him) and how well the video was made and the simplicity of the product I finally gave in and got it the next day. I liked it a lot for it's sole purpose but there are also reasons that made me return it but mostly money was the issue. Hope you enjoy it when you get it!
The reason I got it is different: I need something (or someone, like Bob Gatzen - I'd love that) to be telling me when a lug needs to go higher or lower, or when a lug needs to be left alone. The tune-bot is going to give that to me, and the reason I felt so comfortable purchasing it is that, after watching all of these videos, I learned lots of tips and tricks that will help me get the most accurate results from this thing possible, rather than dealing with some of the problems mentioned already. Those can be avoided by just doing a few simple things (I hope I'm remembering everything here):


  • Try placing the tune-bot between other lugs. That is, don't be afraid to move it around like that because sometimes it gives you more of a true reading.
  • Make sure you're very careful to hit by each lug with the exact same velocity (as much as humanly possible).
  • More importantly, make sure to always hit at the exact same distance by each lug. Small differences in the distance between lugs (even such as precisely 1cm from the hoop on one lug and then 1.25 cm on the next lug) can give pretty different readings. One guy on YouTube is using his finger. He calls it "The Knuckle Technique" because he taps the head with the side of his index finger while simultaneously making sure that he hits the hoop with the exact same part of his finger every time - which is always his middle knuckle (which I guess is obvious because it's the only knuckle that you can use when doing that). This ensures that he hits the head at the exact same distance from the hoop from lug to lug. Although, he admits that his knuckle can get a little sore - but by the way that he said it, it sounds to me that it's not unbearable, especially if you're focusing on light taps.
  • There's apparently a noticeable difference between using the tune-but with your drums mounted in your drumset vs. taking them off the mount and putting them on your stool or even further away from the drums.
  • There's a massive difference between having the drum sitting on your stool, vs. your leg, vs. a pillow. Geoff Fry on YouTube prefers using a pillow because he gets the most consistent and accurate results.
  • There's apparently a difference between using the tune-bot in a small room, such as a tiny practice room (like, a room only big enough for you and your drums) and a large room. This makes sense to me because then the sound can disperse and not bounce around and come back right away. It's more "isolated", such as the difference between being outside and inside. Outside, the sound just flies away, while inside it bounces around and comes back very quickly.

I think I remembered all of the tips and tricks that I learned from all of these videos, and y'know, I think that most of these tips and tricks should be applied to tuning by ear. Unfortunately again, I have difficulty with tuning by ear, even after roughly 20 years of trying to get better at it. However, what excites me is I've learned a LOT about how to tune (I mean, a lot) because of all of my efforts to get better at it (I have watched and studied Bob Gatzen's Drum Tuning Sound and Design and also the "Simplified" video dozens or maybe hundreds of times). Therefore, I can apply a lot of that knowledge to tuning with the tune-bot. For me, the tune-bot looks like it will be just like having Bob Gatzen with me while I'm tuning, which is what I need (not just what I want). It's not that I can't hear the differences at all, but it's that I have a lot of trouble doing so no matter how much I try - sometimes the harder I try, the worse I get. The tune-bot seems to be like an answer to my prayers. It may even help me get better at tuning by ear because I can see how this can even be used for ear training. To me, that alone worth the $107.11 that I paid for it. I mean, how much money would I need to spend on lessons from someone in order to get that much ear training? How about ongoing training? That alone makes it worth it, but the fact that it sounds that I will never again have to worry about trying to get the pitch by each lug to match using just my ears is even more worth it and that's why I bought it.



This I agree with. When I tested with it for about a week and while using Remo Pinstripes I noticed that it picks up the initial attack of the head and not the actual tone or note of the drum. You had to gently hit it to minimize the stick attack so it would give a proper reading. Even then it was a bit difficult to get proper readings back to back. On the other hand it seems to LOVE single ply heads as when I tuned my Ambassador resos, it went quick and 99% error less.
Not to be rude or anything, but listen to how gently they tap in their own video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-gGk4N6p68

Although, they should have made sure that everyone knows that they shouldn't be hitting at full volume, but instead tapping very gently.

However, I don't see this as being specific to the tune-bot. Bob Gatzen himself teaches that it's best to tap very gently by each lug. He even said, "always use your weak hand", just to get the point across. I think the reason for tapping as gently as possible is so that you won't get distracted by the attack. Apparently, it's the same with the tune-bot, and that's a good thing because I want a tuning device that "hears" like a human, not like a machine. It needs to be just that sensitive, and it sounds to me that the tune-bot is that sensitive, and I like that. I can apply all of my tuning knowledge without having to make any adjustments. It sounds to me that it will be like a supplement to my hearing, giving me exactly what I'm missing: the ability to easily hear the difference between the pitches, even though the tune-bot will be doing most of the listening for me while I'm going around from lug to lug. I will always be the judge of the final result! There's no way I'll let anything else do that for me, unless it's a person like Bob Gatzen. Maybe. lol I know what I want, but getting there is sometimes nearly impossible for me. That's where I feel the tune-bot will come in.

Another thing I like about needing to hit softly is: that's how I tune! If you read (if you "red") my bad experience above about my gig on August 24th, then there's one thing you should know that I forgot tot mention: I couldn't tap very gently because there were enough people in the bar that it was too loud for that. So, I was also pissed off from that: I had to hit quite hard for tuning (not at a playing volume, but just a lot harder than normal for tuning), and it made tuning that 10" tom even harder. The reason for tapping as gently as possible is so that you only hear the pitch by that lug instead of having it being drowned out by the rest of the head. In other words, you're "isolating" that lug by tapping as gently as possible. So, this isn't only for the tune-bot.


In some ways it's a great and very fun gadget to work with but on the other hand as finicky as it is, especially with 2 ply heads (at least for me it was) and knowing I'd only really use it when changing out heads as it's basically useless on worn heads, I decided to return it as I couldn't justify the $100 to keep something around that I wouldn't use that often.
Yeah, I would agree that this is definitely not for everyone. In ideal situations, I would bet that there are guys who can get the same results just as fast, if not faster, than the tune-bot. So for those people, the tune-bot could be a waste of money.


Now when I can justify the money, I may get it back. Though part of me wonders about the Drum Dial as well. I'm very curious to see what kind of a sound I get with "equal tension" on the lugs and if it would satisfy my ears. If so I could save about $50. I also wonder if the Drum Dial works better with die cast hoops vs TF hoops.
I had the Tama Tension Watch which is, of course, another "drum dial". I bought this before learning how to tune by ear. The reason I bought it is that I assumed that having the tension being precisely the same by each lug would result in my drums sounding their best. After learning how to tune by ear, I learned that I was wrong. When I began learning how to tune by ear, I began comparing what I learned about ear tuning to using the Tension Watch. I found that even though I was able to get the tension to be perfectly the same by each lug, the pitch by each lug was obviously different from one to the next (none of them were the same). So yeah, the pitches were so different from lug to lug that I was noticing it even back then because now I knew that I should be paying attention to the pitch, which is something I did not know until I began learning how to tune by ear. Now, you might be wondering how I was able to tell that the pitches were different from lug to lug if I'm saying that I usually have a hard time with that. Well, that's just how different the pitches were from lug to lug.

Now, I don't remember the overall sound that I was getting with the Tama Tension Watch, but I remember getting a better sound with ear tuning from what I learned from Bob Gatzen's video (VHS, even). So, I got significantly better results tuning with Bob Gatzen's help in that video than I ever got with the Tama Tension Watch, and I had no idea that this was going to be the case. So, I stopped using the Tension Watch entirely.

There's something else I didn't like about it, but it's a minor nit-pick: it left visible circles on my heads by each lug! There was also a noticeable tiny mark where the tension measuring rod touches the head, but I had to look closely in order to see that tiny mark. It was probably due to learning how to use it. I don't know.

Now, you might be thinking that maybe my tension wasn't precisely the same, but no: it was. When I began learning how to tune by ear from Bob Gatzens' tuning video, I decided to try the Tension Watch again just for the sake of comparison. After getting the tension to be perfectly the same from lug to lug, which I would verify by just carefully resting the Tension Watch by each lug when I was finished just to make sure it really was the same, I began tapping by each lug. To my shock, none of the lugs were at the same pitch. Now, the drum sounded fine. Don't get me wrong, but tuning by ear with Bob Gatzen's help made my drum produce a significantly better sound.

Unfortunately, that was the only time I could get such an amazing sound out of my drums with ear tuning. Why? Because I was tuning my drums while watching the video (and pausing it and rewinding it). On my own, I suck - even to this day. I don't know what it is, but I just suck on my own. What's worse is, I don't have the luxury of being able to do that again. So, now I really need something like the tune-bot so that I don't have to be wondering if the pitch by one lug is really higher or lower than the next because I can mentally "flip" the pitches in my head. It's kind of like those spinning illusions where you can see the thing spinning either counterclockwise, clockwise, or you can see it just oscillating back and forth - depending on how you choose to perceive it at any given moment.

So yeah, I bought the tune-bot yesterday, didn't get a chance to use it, but I already feel that it's worth the investment. I have another practice on September 30th and a gig on October 4th. I am anticipating that the first time I'll use it will be on October 4th. :)
 
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