I can do it by ear! Although this is totally cool.
Legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson is reporting plenty of interest in its self-tuning Robot Guitar. Gibson's self-tuning roboguitar The technical details of how the axe keeps the strings nicely in tune - via pitch-monitoring bridge, CPU, and servo-motored machine heads - is available here. All the guitarists among you need …
I first came across self-tuning guitars in the late 90s :
Although I find they really come into their own when you play a set with loads of different tunings.
Personally, I'd rather fit a little bit of extra h/w to my favorite ax, rather than get lumbered with a guitar I don't like just to have it stay in tune.
Any fule kno that page 1 of "How to play guitar like Frank Zappa for dummies in 24 hours made easy" has "how to tune your guitar" on page 1.
If your going to spend thousands on a real Gibson you'll probably have got the hang of that bit. If not, you just have more money than sense.
...Oh wait, I get it now ...
The whole reason I play guitar is because it gives me a break from bloody computers... I bet i would to service pack my guitar (after appropriate change management approval) and do a full reboot once in a while...
Anyway, if you play an obscure C-based drop tuning as i do specifically for bottlenecked slides it probably won't do the job...
Also, even in standard concert tunning I personally prefer my EB strings to be slightly sharper than they should be - a doubt a fancy self-tuning guitar could deal with an individual personal players preferrences...
The solution to this problem of tunning is better strings and better instruments. Why is it that my violinist friend can drop her instrument - and its in tune still - but If I do the same with a guitar then its instantly needs a retune. Thinks: Her instrument is about 2,000 more than mine. Maybe that's it!
Second thought. I moved away from super-elastic XL strings on my gibson to practically medium guage thirteens - ribbon wound to reduce any string noise when I do jazz or blues numbers. Its the sting that does it. Any rock guitarist will know keeping the G string in tune with XL's is near impossible...
As for improving your playing - I think we will have to wait until we all have the ability of Jimi Hendrix - who managed to play "Wild Thing" at the Isle of WIght festival on guitar that was out of tune....
@Gibson............ "I suppose all the dentists who hang them on their walls need all the help they can get."
Never a truer word said, Stratman, you clearly know your subject.
@Arrrghhhh... "Any rock guitarist will know keeping the G string in tune with XL's is near impossible..."
During 25 years as a guitar roadie I never found it a problem keeping a 'light G' (15-17 gauge plain) in tune. The problem you're referring to is one of excessive finger pressure bending the string when fretting the note. However, during the gig the guitarist usually plays with equal excessive pressure on all strings so negating minor differences.
Of course some guitarists have club fingers and a vice-like grip, which makes keeping the whole guitar in one piece much more of a problem... (let alone the guitarist).
Having used various tuning devices over the years I think it safe to say one should NEVER entirely rely on electronic tuning, otherwise you may emulate Eddie Van Halen a little to closely...
Can the coat icon be used to indicate an anorak? I think we should be told...
I believe Gibson have made what they're calling a "Digital Guitar". It's got 6 bridge pickups (one for each string), Mic In, Headphone Monitor and it's all carried through what seems to be a normal Cat5 cable with an RJ-45 connector. Quite impressive kit. A guy was given one to do a review on it and he loved it. Ran the 6 string outputs into his laptop and configured their Volume, EQ and effects manually. If I remember it right, he put a pitch shift on the Low E and A so he could play the bass line the same time as the melody.
Stroke of genius on Gibsons part...
One benefit of this technology is the ability to recall preset tunings and perfect them in a couple of seconds.
During live gigs, performers often switch out their guitars so they can play the next song in short order... the tuning is different for those songs, so they need to switch to keep things flowing.
So, grinding one axe for all songs may speed things along and give your fans more bang for their buck.
@Mike: (electric guitars go out of tune when dropped; violins don't)
Conversely, classical instruments are more prone to changes in temperature and humidity than the electric guitar. It's the payoff from having far higher tensions in steel core strings, rather than gut-analog (or yer actual animal innards in authentic baroque circles. (Interesting factoid: I've known many people blanch when I tell them about gut strings, but then they eat the same stuff!)) --- The same absolute change in tension due to environmental influences produces a far greater error in classical instruments; while the mechanical parts in an electric guitar are less resilient than a few sticks of wood held together with tree sap and a prayer.
"Having used various tuning devices over the years I think it safe to say one should NEVER entirely rely on electronic tuning, otherwise you may emulate Eddie Van Halen a little to closely...
Supposedly that was caused by the Keyboard player, not the Guitar being out of tune. Sounds dreadful...
A TV journalist was making a documentary about a rock band and was watching them tune up just before a small gig. The band strummed chords, plucked strings and twiddled tuning pegs for about half an hour before they were satisfied and left the stage. The journalist went over to speak to the lead guitar player.
"Y'know I watched Andrés Segovia play guitar at a concert once. He took less than a minute to tune his guitar."
"Yeah? Well maybe he just didn't give a shit man."
It's obvious that the thing preventing this technology from going mainstream up to now was the lack of a cheap Blue LED. Not satisfied with Red for "that sounds sh*te", Orange for "Ooh, there's something wrong with that" and Green for "Check, check, one, two, all's good, let's go down the pub", the Gibson lights up blue to tell you everything is not only in tune, but the nitrous is turned on, the turbo's are warmed up and this thing is ready to blow some eardrums :-)
@Anonymous Coward "I believe Gibson have made what they're calling a Digital Guitar. It's got 6 bridge pickups (one for each string), Mic In, Headphone Monitor and it's all carried through what seems to be a normal Cat5 cable with an RJ-45 connector."
Got me one of those. It's not a Gibson though, I can't remember who made it. It's all white so I keep on calling it the iGuitar. ^_^ Plug it into the laptop, pick a set of mods, and away you go. Still works best with an Amp, though - and for the life of me I still don't understand why the drivers for the guitar don't like the drivers for my video card.
I totally agree on not mixing technology and guitars ... yes yes new pick-ups - extra hot pick-ups - even noise reducing pick-ups ------- but self tuning or fully digital guitars ???? And yes some digital effects on amp are fine too.
I play to take a break from all the total techno crap I deal with all day. Christ - having to stop playing because your axe "lost" it IP address --- or that annoying Red LED is blinking indicating your low on memory or you need to update your firmware. Screw that shit.
I tune my guitar in less than a few minutes and then beat the crap out of it.
"Got me one of those. It's not a Gibson though, I can't remember who made it. It's all white so I keep on calling it the iGuitar. ^_^ Plug it into the laptop, pick a set of mods, and away you go. Still works best with an Amp, though - and for the life of me I still don't understand why the drivers for the guitar don't like the drivers for my video card."
If someone makes a Guitar Hero type game where you can do this and use an _actual_ guitar to play along, I'd buy that. Then let's see the kids who think they're cool actually keep up.
Totally right. I just fulfilled a childhood dream of owning an ES-335. I would have felt even less justified in my self-indulgence were I not able to tune the thing properly. It's a fine instrument though, and it stays in tune however hard I bend the strings.
digital guitars eh ? Anyone remember the Roland Synth Guitar (the G707) of the early/mid eighties (looked like the bastard love child of an armalite rifle and an electric guitar), so beloved of the truly awful Sigue Sigue Sputnik. One of its quirks was that it depended on strings being at pitch in order to trigger the synth, silence being the result in the demo I saw when the guitar strings drifted out of tune. Useful for muppets like Sige Sigue Sputnik.....
The guitar that people are struggling to find the name of is the Line6 Variax. Not only can it digitally alter tunings at the flick of a switch (so your strings stay in concert tuning but the sound that comes out is open-G, or the lower strings emulating a bass, or any other tuning you program in), but it also digitally alters its tone to emulate a Strat, Les Paul, Ricky, National steel, or a bunch of others. Sounds pretty damn good too.
The one thing it doesn't do is auto-tuning - its tuning alteration just raises or drops the pitch for a string by preset semitones, so you need to be in tune to start with. But as has previously been said, if you're dropping serious money on a guitar and you can't tune it, you're screwed anyway. Not to mention that many guitars have quirks of setup or stringing which require the open strings to be slightly off in order for the fretted notes to be perfect.
Saw this on Gibson's site ages ago and it's been discussed on must music forums. GIbson *have* adopted the tech from Transperformance, I believe. It's a great idea since it allows you to change tuning on the fly and not worry about temp changes mid set. Beats having a bunch of spare guitars with alternate tunings. MInd you, a backup is always a good idea in case of string breakage.
If I was looking for another guitar this would be on my list.
Went to the launch for this and was really impressed. Did a load of research and decided to get one and couldn't be happier.
The auto tuning thing is great...it really is reliable and works well and has already saved loads of time in the studio.
But, way beyond any of that is the guitar itself. It's a beautiful guitar. Really great tone...plays so sweetly...its an ebony fretboard with a late 50's style neck...about 12-inch radius. The alnico2 and alnico5 humbuckers really do sound great and there's no crackle or hum.
I normally play a Strat...and I'm used to spending time tuning properly. It's not a big deal except for live between songs. But this baby really rocks. And what's amazed me is in just a couple of days playing the robot guitar I'm already more keenly aware of when the guitar goes out of tune. I now tune after each solo or take when recording because it really is noticeable that it's slightly out.
This is a great instrument. It's not cheap and it was a major investment for me to buy it. But on balance I'm very happy and as I type this I'm rushing because I want to get back to playing it!.