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  #1  
Old 05-08-2017, 06:01 AM
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Default Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

My approach is to tune and leave alone. If a drum sounds “off” I’ll investigate and resolve but I’m not a compulsive tuner. I can get a drum sounding good, and get my drums sounding good relative to each other, but I don’t feel like I have a “method”, other than to tune top and bottom to the same note, with a pleasing interval between each.

Part of me – no idea which part – thinks that if I were able to objectively measure what I’m doing, I’d be able to get my drums sounding even better, and would be more consistent in my approach. What has your motivation been in getting (or not getting) a drum tuner? Have you got your drums sounding better?

If there is another tool that does the same job that you use in preference, clue me up on that too.

Disclaimer: Yes I play Mapex Saturns, but it seems that even they require tuning. I know, I couldn't believe it either.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

The consensus on this are as wide and varied as the 'big kit v small kit' or the 'trad v matched grip' debates.

Me? I wouldn't spend that amount of cash on something I can already do myself.

Plenty of others will agree. Plenty of others won't.

You simply need to work out the value to you. Not something a forum is best equipped to deal with unfortunately.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:13 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Pocket, as ever, you type sense.

I'm just looking to see other peeps' experiences.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Save your money, JJ. I tune by ear, always have, so no need for a bot or dial. Call me an old school fart. :)

As for getting a more accurate timbre note or increasing resonance using a bot, I doubt you'd notice a difference.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Part of me – no idea which part – thinks that if I were able to objectively measure what I’m doing, I’d be able to get my drums sounding even better, and would be more consistent in my approach. What has your motivation been in getting (or not getting) a drum tuner? Have you got your drums sounding better?

If there is another tool that does the same job that you use in preference, clue me up on that too.

Disclaimer: Yes I play Mapex Saturns, but it seems that even they require tuning. I know, I couldn't believe it either.
Tension watch.

To me: Tension watches aren't really for tuning your drums, they exist to document a tuning you like so that you can implement to the same thing later.

Consider the scenario where you record something. Two weeks later, you get a call to redo a fill. Since the tech was smart enough to jot down the tensions during the last session, there's no time spent futzing with tunings trying to get a match.

Consider the scenario where you're a drum tech for some famous drummer on tour. You need to make certain the drums are sounding exactly the same every night.

It's a great tool for that kind of stuff.

Tune bot / phone app

Good for recording songs where the toms need to provide a strong notes in a specific key. You can use them to echo the core melody, you can use them as an in-tune ostinato. You basically have a 2-4 note (loud) xylophone.

Handy when you need to emulate timpani with your floor toms (Play the intro to "2001, a Space Odyssey"... Or "George of the Jungle")

Useful in situations where you're trying to track down interference between the snare and other instruments. IE, If a snare rings like a bell in Bflat, and the song is in Amaj.



As far as being tools to learn to tune drums, both devices haven't really helped me at all. In my measly 3 years learning to play, I do not believe they have saved me the week that it took to learn to use them. The scenarios where they would be useful have come up almost, but not quite, never.

Last edited by KamaK; 05-08-2017 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I bought one and will say it was worth the money to me. I still tune by ear and 99.9% of the time I'm dead on when getting the tension on each lug correct. The tune bot shows you if any of the lugs are not the same. It will also save a certain amount of tunings for each drum which can be a great tool for love gigs. For example ..if you have a regular place that you gig, you can take some time to get the sound you want from your drums in that room and save it to the tune bot. That way the next time you come in to that gig, the settings are right there on the bot instead of trying to guess what you did previously. It saves time for me for playing multiple gigs that need different tunings for the room.

On top​ of that, you can look up all kinds of different tuning presets that pro drummers use with their tune bot to experiment on your own drums.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I got a tune bot a few years back and find that it is a very useful tool. You can tune your drums to any interval/pitch you want, including measurements for the longest and shortest sustain. Once you find a tuning(s) that you like, you can easily tune your drums the next time around.

And yes I could do it by ear, but the TB takes the guess work out of it.

Worth every penny in my opinion.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I think the TB is a very useful tool, but in order to make it really work for you, IMO you gotta be able to tune by ear and have a good feel of how turning one rod affects the rest of the head/drum.

But for me, it's invaluable for recreating my exact favorite tunings for recording purposes.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I use a Tama drum dial and the plus for me is speed and consistency of tuning. I can tune by ear, and did do that for years, but the accuracy of the dial just makes it quicker and easier to replicate in a gig situation if I break a head. Its not big or clever, simply personal choice, and it has not made me less of a drummer, despite what some might think.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:49 AM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Those tools can be useful, of course (like pointed out e.g. by keep it simple). Especially for those people who have serious problems with tuning by ear (not everyone is able to hear really well all those notes, intervals & overtones. Just ask my wife). In my case, I trust my (pretty good) ears. Worked for me so far. Drums sing, sound good, compliment the music. :-)
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2017, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Not sure if there is a scenario whereby you are called back into a studio to do just 1 fill? Surely you would notice when you play it back?

Even when my toms have been out of tune, they've still recorded OK, just sound a bit deader and flatter which sometimes matches the sound I want. I thought tune-safe would help but it doesn't, my prolites go out of tune as much as any other drums, tune-safe my @rse.

A freshly tuned tom sounds lovely, but I guess my drums aren't as susceptible to being out of tune too much as I have them tuned fairly low so they go flappy very quickly anyway (using Evans Onyx heads) and you get a boat load more attack when they do. So mine evolve over their tuning and I use them until the head is wrinkly then I re-tune them. But that is not a professional opinion, that's just how I roll within my own amateur situation

Mostly I tune by ear and then use drum dial to fine-tune.
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2017, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I spent around 3 years saying the tunebot would be a waist of money. I can tune drums OK without it, yea (that ole school mentality). I could buy a splash with that money. One day after fidgeting with a Saturn tom for an hour and not being satisfied, my wife said "hold up you can spend $2000 + on a Drum set but cant buy a $70 drum tuner, dont guitar player use tuners". So I bought one and it is one of the better investment's I have made. You dont have to get the $100 one, the $70 T.B Gig is all you need. It just does not store your settings. I got the original but I just write down my preferred tuning's. I mean why not, you can find a drums sweet spot and then have that reference setting at your fingertips. I am glad I learned what I did without it, but now having that combination of ear and T.Bot readily available is nice. There is a fine line between old fashion and hard headed. I am sure there are plenty guys on here that dont need one but as many threads and videos that have been made to aid people in tuning. There are still a lot of Drummers that lack tuning skills and it is nothing to be ashamed of. I get comments all the time on my Drum sound and some of that is the fact that I tune with the help of a T.B
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I bought one as a new drummer.. used to maybe 3 times.. has sat in a drawer since.. so no, i don't think it was worth buying. The only thing that i found it useful was in matching lugs to each other to get rid of overtones.. and i found that by ear i am usually within 1-2hz and over time have gotten faster and faster at tuning, if i kept using a tunebot i would not have learned how to tune.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I use to tune by ear-because none of this stuff was invented yet lol, but now I use a drum dial and a pitch app. The drum dial works great for cheap kits to clear head to itself and I bought the pitch app cause my hearing is so bad and I never know what I hear in aids is reality.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icetech View Post
I bought one as a new drummer.. used to maybe 3 times.. has sat in a drawer since.. so no, i don't think it was worth buying. The only thing that i found it useful was in matching lugs to each other to get rid of overtones.. and i found that by ear i am usually within 1-2hz and over time have gotten faster and faster at tuning, if i kept using a tunebot i would not have learned how to tune.
I agree, as a new Drummer a Tunebot will just further complicate the tuning process.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

It's probably not worth the money if others say their ears are more accurate.

I suspect it wouldn't tune my nice drums well at all because my nice drums are very wild. It would probably tune my crappy drums really well because those drums are either bad sounding or not-so-bad sounding. One turn of the rod with the crappy drums brings them to life, but one turn of the rod with the nice drums doesn't really make them sound bad unless it's really crazy out of tune.

If the ResoTune was a little bit cheaper I would spend more money on one of those before a TuneBot.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:14 PM
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  #17  
Old 05-08-2017, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

You should learn to tune by ear for a multitude of reasons.

But, as stated, there are situations where a tool is useful. It's also nice to have to just quickly get the right tension when changing heads.

Good tool, but don't let it keep you from fooling around and tringing yours ears when you're at home and have the time.

In any case. You can't rely on numbers to sound good. It should be the other way around. When you find something you like, then you notate the numbers as reference.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
What has your motivation been in getting (or not getting) a drum tuner? Have you got your drums sounding better?
Watching the videos of the Tune Bot in use has simply confirmed that my approach was on the money.

Having a Tune Bot would help to document what tensions work for a given drum, at certain pitches. That information would most certainly increase your skills as a drum tuner, and probably you would not need to use the Tune Bot anymore. But learning to use it would be good experience.

In the studio, it's sometimes desirable to bring the pitch of the toms up or down to suit the key of the song. Having spent time bringing your drums up or down, trying out different pitches and tensions, would help to speed up this process, even if you were just using your ear (and a piano or guitar).
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I know how to tune. I have a tunebot and I love it. No screwing around with a head change, 20 minutes and my entire kit is back to exactly where it was.

Consistency is the strength of any of the tuners. I know the intervals between my toms is even. I use a 6 piece kit so it's nice always having even spacing.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

As a relative Noob compared to most of the regulars here on DW, I thought I would give my 2 penneth. My observations are certainly very different to Icetech's.

When I purchased my Mapex Armory kit, I considered getting a Tune Bot at the same time but decided against it. 2 weeks later following numerous attempts to get my new drums sounding 'right' I found myself back in the store handing over the cash for a TB.

It was a good move IMO. There is a lot of misinformation out there on tuning methods and I simply got confused and incredibly frustrated that I could not get things sounded as I wanted to or tell why one drum was ringing more than the others. All this in spite of the 'patented SoniClear bearing edges' ;-)

As someone who was completely new to tuning acoustic drums, the TB was a godsend. I was able to get things sounding as I wanted to and, as importantly, develop my understanding of the relation between batter / reso tensions and how one lug being slightly out can make all the difference.

At the end of the day it's a piece of tech that would be (and is) seen by many more trained ears as a cop out. However, the point of tech is to make life easier. To this end the TB helped me massively by guiding me through tuning, removing frustrations, educating me, training my ears and, most importantly, getting my drums sounding like an instrument that I wanted to get behind and play.

The 'training' element is important. When I bought my TB, this was the objective that I kept in mind. My thinking was "This will make life easier but ultimately I don't want to rely on it". Now I am at the stage where I can tune my snares easily by ear and hardly rely on the TB. On toms I try and tune by ear and only use the TB if something sounds out. It's become more of a trouble shooting device than something I now rely on to get my drums sounding good.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Another downside occurred to me.. someone above mentioned always having their drums at the same tuning using it.. if i had done that i might have found a tuning that sounded OK.. and just said good enough, but tuning by ear my tuning has changed over the years and i might not have found the place i am with my tuning now if i had just stayed locked into what i decided i liked at once time and just kept repeating that..

Just something to think about.. I found it good for matching lugs when i started tuning though.. Honestly tuning was the most frustrating thing for me to learn. I set aside like 2 hours every sunday for months just to loosed all my heads and re-tune the kit. It's practice like anything else.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I have no intention of getting one, being perfectly happy with my own tuning methods; but I don't look down on anyone who has one and for whom it works well.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I think a Tune Bot is great for people who build or rebuild and sell drums. They are great for a Guitar Center drum department.

However, for a giging drummer, I don't think they are useful. Have you ever noticed how drums sound different in different venues?
Or how drums sound different as the heads wear out? It's better to learn how to quickly tune your drums by ear.

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Old 05-08-2017, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

So far I can say it's a time saver. For the past 3-4 years, I tune before rehearsals and shows very quickly, thanks to the app where you can save your settings for different kits/situations - it takes me all of 10 min. now.

Every rehearsal/show - my drums sound damn good.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:22 PM
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  #25  
Old 05-08-2017, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

The one thing that the tune bot doesn't address is the parallel-ness of the flesh hoop...in relation to the bearing edge of the drum it's on.

I found that the most perfectly tuned drum...that sounds the best it is capable of sounding...it's flesh hoops are completely parallel with the bearing edge of the drum....and here's the hard part...on all 360 degrees of the perimeter. The drum dial, by virtue of it's design, is kind of all about that. I get the most pure note the drum can make when the flesh hoops are perfectly parallel.

A perfectly tuned head according to a tune bot...that head can still be cocked in relation to the bearing edge. That's my problem with the tune bot. It's a dealbreaker for me. You can get identical readings with a cocked head...but the drum isn't all it can be. That's why I don't use one. I have one. I prefer the DD but at this point I just really need my ears. Bass drum resos is where I need a DD the most, but I can still tune it without one obviously.

Also...if your tune bot tuning yields all identical readings and you are happy with your drums tone...that doesn't mean that everyone will like the tone. There is the batter/reso pitch relationship that is the real fine tuning of the drum. That's where people's preferences start to differ. Then when one drum is tuned good...you have to tune all the others good and make them sound good together with complimentary pitch relationships. Tuning is a real art. A perfectly tuned drum set is a thing of beauty. It's an achievement all on it's own. You can't say that about most all of the other instruments.

One person's version of a well tuned drum, may not match at all, my idea of a well tuned drum, so in the end, it still comes down to the tone the drummer will be satisfied with, tune bot or not.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I think that touches on it.

It's not a cure all. It's just a useful tool.

I've played on drums that were out of round or just had uneven hoops and they were actually still possible to make sound good, really good, but to achieve that the lugs were anything but even.

I don't have a Tune Bot. I use the iDrum app when changing heads. I use it in a very basic way and it's semi-useful. I get the pitch and then check if there's an issue. I tune up evenly, so it's not like there's ever gonna be any real bag gaps.

It's not much of an investment, so I might get one, if for nothing but doing some measurable experimentation. If you find something that really works for a drum it's just wise to measure and write it down.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I have nothing but good things to say about my Tune bot. I could never tune well and it showed me what I was doing wrong, and my drums sound infinitely better. I find it especially helpful for my large (8 pc) kit.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Never used a Tune Bot, but love my Drum Dial. I usually tune by ear, unless I'm just not in the mood or pressed for time. That's when DD is golden. I just replaced batters and resos with heads I've never used before. DD came in handy as I first started tensioning the heads to make sure they were even. Once I started tuning, I tuned by ear, till I found a happy spot, then retuned again later after break in. I then wrote down my settings for faster tuning in the future. DD and TB are both great tools as references for others too. When asked what the drums are tuned to, you can give real values, instead of I tuned it to sound good!

Either would be a worthwhile tool in the right situations.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I think Andy makes a great point-and a cautionary tale about use of technological tools-they shouldn't replace our human skill just be an aid or tool to help us get the job done.Sadly I see a dependence on technology such we are becoming the tool.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

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I have nothing but good things to say about my Tune bot. I could never tune well and it showed me what I was doing wrong, and my drums sound infinitely better. I find it especially helpful for my large (8 pc) kit.
+1 I was never very good at tuning a drum, but now can not believe how good I can get them to sound.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

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+1 I was never very good at tuning a drum, but now can not believe how good I can get them to sound.
That's great man, how can anybody argue with that.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
could not disagree more

the only time I use it is on the gig when I cannot hear properly to tune by ear ... works great at festival type gigs as well when you are changing heads or tuning outside where nothing ever sounds quite right ...
Well I stand corrected. I never thought of that. You are correct, a Tune Bot could be useful on some gigs.
One time I was in an outdoor situation where I could not hear my drum tuning because of the background noise.

But I'm not in enough situations where I would need one.


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Old 05-08-2017, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I bought the $100 one, and a Drum Dial at the same time---tried both, and returned the Tune Bot---The drum Dial gets the head tension even---I can get the note I want on my own---I found the Tune Bot to be a pain in the ass!!
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:06 PM
crashtest drummy crashtest drummy is offline
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I use the drum dial for about 1 1/2 years now. What can I say, though I am used to tuning by ear, it makes a big difference in terms of time to use or not to use the dial. It speeds up the whole process a lot, and especially certain drums I struggled hard in the past tune up easily now.
I still apply a little ear correction at the end, but the overall advantage is enormous.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:26 PM
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JosephDAqui JosephDAqui is offline
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Well I stand corrected. I never thought of that. You are correct, a Tune Bot could be useful on some gigs.
One time I was in an outdoor situation where I could not hear my drum tuning because of the background noise.

But I'm not in enough situations where I would need one.


.
It's funny how I'm in that situation all the time - need to tune up before a show - always in really loud rock/metal clubs, or loud rehearsal studios and "busy" recording studios. There's really no substitute.
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  #36  
Old 05-08-2017, 08:57 PM
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CaptJackSparrow CaptJackSparrow is offline
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I picked it up to help me tune my bass drums to be identical. I would say I am a pretty good tuner, but the Tunebot helped me tune faster. I tuned my basses within 20 minutes and they sounded great. I can swap out heads, tune them fast, and play. Its a great tool, but you still need to listen and use the same tuning techniques; star pattern. I think it is a great time saver.
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  #37  
Old 05-08-2017, 09:18 PM
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VitalTransformation VitalTransformation is offline
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I wouldn't really say it makes my tuning process faster, since I get OCD about chasing down that last Hz on the lugs...
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  #38  
Old 05-10-2017, 07:02 AM
jdavis jdavis is offline
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

I'd say it's a useful tool. I used the iDrumtune app for a while. Since picking up a TuneBot Gig, I can say that the app wasn't as good at handling kick drum frequencies as the Tune Bot. On my kick drums (24" and 26"), the Tune Bot was better. But, for snares and toms, both gave pretty good results. To each their own.

BTW, the combo of using DTS tuners on my toms and the Tune Bot means I can try several tunings in literally seconds. Makes it amazingly quick and simple to get a good sound. And, I don't even have to remove my toms from their stands! :)
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:44 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

Thanks for all the input.

I have placed an order for a Tune Bot, and I'll report back when I've had a chance to have a play with it.
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:22 PM
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Kenflux Kenflux is offline
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Default Re: Tune Bot - Worthwhile or Not?

never owned one, but downloaded 2 apps for iphone that do the same thing, they helped for a while and are real good at perfecting your art, but after a while i stopped using them and went by ear. i only go back to it after im struggling to lock a tone in,

so kinda helpful but no benefit for practice and playing around on your own with what sounds good
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