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RV-related and other recreational activities => Making music on the road => Topic started by: Tom on May 05, 2012, 10:18:44 PM

Title: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 05, 2012, 10:18:44 PM
The daTuner (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bork.dsp.datuna&hl=en) works quite well on my Samsung Galaxy (aka Android) tablet, and correlates with my standalone chromatic tuner and my calibrated ear. I downloaded the paid version, but there's also a free version.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: SeilerBird on May 06, 2012, 08:01:34 AM
That is cool Tom. Here is the best guitar tuner I have ever found. It clamps onto the headstock so it can feel the vibrations. No need to plug it in to anything. Works with either acoustic or electric and it is accurate and fast.

http://www.amazon.com/Snark-SN1-SN-1-Tuner/dp/B003VWJ2K8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336309185&sr=8-1
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 06, 2012, 09:11:36 AM
Aye Tom, I have a couple of clamp-on tuners, including the Snark. "guitar tuner' is a bit of a misnomer, although that's what it says on the box. It works fine for almost any string instrument. OTOH the other tuner I have (like this one (http://www.amazon.com/Cherub-WST-550U-Ukulele-Tunner/dp/B000WEH44Y/ref=sr_1_4?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1336312451&sr=1-4)) has a switch to tune in a given range, and it's specifically for a uke; It also has idiot lights to tell you how far off tune the string is. Either one works fine, but most folks who borrow my tuners prefer the simplicity and display of the Snark.

BTW there's no need to plug anything into the instrument or the tablet (or clamp anything on) when using the tuning app I mentioned; The built-in speaker on the tablet picks up the audio and the app does the rest. I got it merely for fun, but it does display the absolute frequency and volume. I'm curious to see how it performs when when 20+ others are tuning up around me  ;D

OTOH I have to say that my Fluke (uke) and Firefly (banjouke) stay in tune, even with the abuse they get.

I've been playing around with a number of other music-related Android apps, including key transposers, chord charts, music libraries, and score/lead sheet writers; I haven't yet found any that are as cool as the daTuner app.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: SeilerBird on May 06, 2012, 10:59:09 AM
BTW there's no need to plug anything into the instrument or the tablet (or clamp anything on) when using the tuning app I mentioned; The built-in speaker on the tablet picks up the audio and the app does the rest.
Does it work if the instrument is not plugged in and being amplified? That is why I like the Snark so much. I practice scales without being plugged in.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Gottasmilealot on May 06, 2012, 11:10:43 AM
"Gstrings" is another phone app for tuning. I use it on an android phone. It might also be available for the iPhone.

With regard to clamp-on tuners, they are a necessity when playing with others so the tuner only hears your instrument by way of the vibrations coming through the clamp.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 06, 2012, 11:19:05 AM
Quote
Does it work if the instrument is not plugged in and being amplified?

In my case, yes, because all my ukes have a hollow body and don't need amplification (we don't amplify any of the ukes in our band). I don't have a solid-body uke to try it with, but I hope to be at a music store where they do have them some time this week; I'll take the tablet with me.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 09, 2012, 02:22:51 AM
Quote
With regard to clamp-on tuners, they are a necessity when playing with others so the tuner only hears your instrument by way of the vibrations coming through the clamp.

FWIW this evening I tried out the chromatic tuner on the Galaxy tablet at uke practice. It worked flawlessly, and wasn't affected by other ukes in the background. Presumably, this was due to the (low) sensitivity and directional feature/limitation of the tablet mic. Several folks used this tuner to tune their ukes, then checked them with their clamp-on tuners.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: BadjerJim on May 09, 2012, 10:27:23 AM
If you have an iPhone (or an iPad), check out GuitarToolkit.  I think it's freakin amazing.  It's a tuner, and has settings for 6-string, 12-string, Uke, Banjo AND alternate tunings (drop-D, etc.) It also has a metronome, scales, and a chord finder.

It's $10.  I put it on my iPhone, and then was pleased that it was also placed for free on my iPad.  With the bigger screen, the iPad version is awesome.

The chord finder is invaluable... after all: quick: how do you play a C#m7?  It's there.

Sometimes I get somewhere without a guitar tuner, but I always have my iPhone.  GuitarToolkit saves the day.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 09, 2012, 10:37:48 AM
Thanks, but my devices are Android except for my iPod Touch which doesn't have a mic. There are numerous related apps in the Android Market, and I've been evaluating a bunch of their freebie versions before buying.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: BadjerJim on May 10, 2012, 09:47:06 AM
Thanks, but my devices are Android except for my iPod Touch which doesn't have a mic. There are numerous related apps in the Android Market, and I've been evaluating a bunch of their freebie versions before buying.

Hey Tom - you may be surprised that your iPod Touch has a microphone:
http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/specs.html
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 10, 2012, 10:03:08 AM
Thanks. I don't see a mic, but I just fired up the Voice Memo app and it says "no microphone". Maybe I have an older version of the device  ???
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: SeilerBird on May 10, 2012, 10:51:12 AM
I had a first generation iPod Touch and it did not have a microphone and did not do video recording. It was the last Apple product I bought. I would rather listen to a week long Yoko Ono Music Festival than to put up with iTunes for one more minute.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Jim Dick on May 11, 2012, 08:46:18 AM
Tom J.,

I found a chromatic tuner for the iphone. Works great for the Ukin! I never would get it tuned by ear.  ;D

I replaced the bridge with a bone bridge. Had to shape it myself. Not perfect but much better than the soft wooden one. Now I have it restrung. Maybe I'll learn to play it a little.  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 11, 2012, 09:50:12 AM
Sounds like good progress Jim! Can't wait to hear it.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Jim Dick on May 11, 2012, 02:52:28 PM
I doubt it will sound like a real Uke. :)
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 11, 2012, 06:17:20 PM
Jim, I'd bet it has it's own unique and great sound, probably bright, but not like a banjo uke. I'm sitting here with 8 ukes, and no two of them make the same sound.

So, start practicing, then have Pat video it and put  it on YouTube  ;D
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Jim Dick on May 11, 2012, 09:55:37 PM
Tom,
 
I've already had my 15 minutes of fame.  ;D ;D ;D I did find a neat site for beginners that even has audio tracks for different practice sessions. Made it through the three basic chords and strumming. The link is http://www.ukeschool.com/index.html
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 12, 2012, 09:21:51 AM
Jim, ukeschool has done a nice job on their site (I spent a little time there this morning). There are other good ones out there, including www.ukuleleunderground.com but it's whatever best serves one's needs.

When you're ready for 'music' (aka lead sheets), there are a number of sites that offer a large selection of online music/downloads for free. I created a page of links to such sites here; (http://deltastrummers.org/?page_id=151) More uke music than you could ever need.

One useful (and fun) book of uke tunes is Liz and Jim Beloff's The Daily Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=the+daily+ukulele); Contains chords and words for 365 uke songs, with chord diagrams displayed for each song. For someone with a keyboard, regular music scores are included. I have the printed (spiral bound) version, but it's also available on Kindle.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 12, 2012, 09:38:48 AM
BTW Jim, which strings did you put on the ukin?
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: PancakeBill on May 12, 2012, 09:47:36 AM
I have the first gen of ipod touch and no mic, not sure which one added the mic.  My ipad first gen doeshave the mic and I have the tuner.  My clamp on is the one I use though.

Wow, ukes have certainly made a comeback. 
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 12, 2012, 09:53:42 AM
Quote
Wow, ukes have certainly made a comeback.

Aye Bill, it seems the resurgence has been going on for the last few years.

As a kid I used to watch George Formby play the uke in his unique style, but forgot all about it until I was invited to talk to a local uke group last June. After my talk, I stuck around for their practice and got hooked.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 12, 2012, 02:33:41 PM
Jim, here's a complement to your ukin - a banjolin (http://www.morganmonroe.com/MM-MB2.html) or banjo mandolin.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: PancakeBill on May 12, 2012, 10:54:29 PM
For a long time the only two images to come to mind when a uke was mentioned was a hola skirted girl and Tiny Tim Tiptoeing through the tulips.

Coming back around mainstream again.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Jim Dick on May 12, 2012, 10:57:47 PM
Both of you are too young. Arthur Godfrey used to play the Uke on his show. Never had a show without it.  ;D ;D Of course, I was only a small child then. Really!!!

Tom, the strings were the best......Martin!!! :)
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on May 13, 2012, 12:06:48 AM
Quote
... the strings were the best......Martin!!!

There's no questioning Martin strings Jim. OTOH I wouldn't put them on any of my (non-Martin) ukes; They're best suited for ukes with the kinds of woods that Martin uses, and the result is an unbelieveable tone. The best all-round uke strings are Aquila (http://www.aquilacorde.com) nylgut strings; They have a poor web site, but these strings will make any uke hum.

I have one uke that someone recently bought me as a gift, and it doesn't play well at all. It came with el cheapo GHS strings, and my first step will be to put on Aquila strings; I'm confident the uke will come to life.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: PancakeBill on May 13, 2012, 08:08:45 AM
I remember Godfrey, but not the uke.  Jim, you using nylon strings?  Do they all?  No steel strings for ukes?

Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Jim Dick on May 13, 2012, 11:04:13 AM
Tom,

I'll have to make a note of those strings.

Bill,

They are nylon, not steel. Arthur use to strum it on his show. Don't remember if he really played a lot. Still, it kept the Uke in people's minds.
Title: Re: Chromatic tuner for your Android device
Post by: Tom on June 03, 2012, 06:44:54 PM
Quote
... doesn't play well at all. It came with el cheapo GHS strings, and my first step will be to put on Aquila strings; I'm confident the uke will come to life.

Finally got around to ordering the new Aquila strings and put them on today. It'll take a week or so to nurse them in, but already there's a huge difference in the sound from that uke. Ordered  the strings from Amazon, cost all of $7.67 for the set, and they were shipped from Total Music Source (http://www.totalmusicsource.com) via UPS.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, here's an illustrated explanation of how to string a ukulele (http://www.ukeland.com/pages/articles/stuff/string.jpg).