I want to buy a new guitar tuner, mostly for studio use.
I want something that I can use with electric guitar, acoustic guitar and bass.
Maybe a clip-on tuner would be good but I’m open to any tuner that works well.
Something that is easy to read, with a nice big and clear display.
Something that is accurate and is fairly good quality (hopefully will last a long time).
I have a Snark. It’s… okay. I know they’re very popular so maybe I got a bad one, or else it just went bad or something, but it just doesn’t work very well anymore. I got it about 4 years ago. It’s hard to get it to pick up the vibrations and I always have to fiddle with it, so I don’t use it much anymore. I remember that I was never a big fan of it to begin with. It was always a little finicky. I was happier when I had a regular Korg tuner before that one, that listens to the sound of the guitar. The only benefit I see to the clip on tuners is that you can use them at a gig where it’s loud and you can’t use the ones with the built-in microphones.
What I use for my electric guitar is the built-in tuner in my Eleven Rack. I think it’s quite accurate, and suspect that there are some great pedal tuners you could get that would also be very accurate. For acoustic guitar I use a MetroPitch. I bought it as a metronome, but the tuner works great as well. With those sort of tuners, I don’t think you get the same level of accuracy, so you have to use your ears as well. It also has a tone generator which can be used to tune by ear.
I’ve been pretty happy with the Snarks for clip on. Korg is actually making one that is really quite awesome. I’ll try find the model. It’s a clip-on, but it also has a strobe mode, which is more accurate and usually found in more expensive tuners. The Korg pitchblack pedals are nice, as well as the newer TC polytuner pedal. Don’t get the original though. The originals that I’ve used just didnt function as well overall. My 2 cents
I really like the Snark, used one for 5+ years so mine’s probably an older model. There are some other cool clip-ons out there now but this is the only one I have tried so far. Works for electrics (including Bass) and acoustics. It even works with my shaman drum because I like to tune it down to a low frequency for resonance, I clip it on the shell and can usually get a tone reading which is pretty cool since there are multiple and varied tones coming through the natural skin drum head. Also, the Snark can be adjusted to other tunings, so I can get down to 432 Hz for my ultra-spiritual compositions.
The CR2032 battery is easy to swap, which is a plus. I like the display, it is clear and readable (and pretty) as long as the battery has good strength (in bright light anyway).
Indeed it does save time… I just leave the tuners engaged on my tracks so that I can fine-tune in between takes, to make sure everything stays in tune. And if one’s DAW doesn’t have in-line tuner in each channel, one can find a free tuner plugin to drop in there and get the same result, more or less…
If you want one for your studio, make sure you get one that will allow you to accurately do intonation. I you’re into special tuning formulas to temper your tuning, it needs to read in cents accurately. Guitar shops still often use the old strobe tuners, but it might be because they’ve had them forever, and also you can read them from 10 feet away. If you are talking tuning live, a pedal is much more convenient, since it will typically kill the signal while tuning, saving the audience from the dreaded “Tuning Song” that some bands play 10 or twelve times a night.
You can do that, but actually Dave’s talking about Mixcraft. When you arm a track you can toggle its meter between the input signal and a tuner. Very handy. In fact everybody in my studio uses it.
For live, it’s a Snark. Firstly, because it’s one less thing to cart around and plug in when you have to set up quickly. Secondly, because it’s easier to see than a footpedal. Thirdly, you can casually tune up even in the middle of a song (say, while you’re playing an open string as part of the song) while on the opposite side of the stage to your rig.
I’ve heard other similar reviews of the Snark. That’s the reason I’m a bit hesitant to buy one. Of course every product will have a few defective units, so maybe I shouldn’t be too worried about getting one but I really don’t want to buy something that’s going to last me only a year or two.
I have 2 really old KORG guitar tuners that still work. One of them is probably over 20 years old. The only thing I don’t like about them is that I have to plug my electric guitar in to them to get a signal. That’s why I was contemplating getting a Snark or something similar. They seem pretty convenient.