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Thread: Tuning your ukulele with a smart phone

  1. #1
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    Default Tuning your ukulele with a smart phone

    Hello Ladies and Gents,

    Does anyone else tune their uke to a tuning app on your smart phone? I'm noticing that clip-on tuners seem to be the most common tuner I see with ukulele players. Although I've never noticed a discrepancy tuning with my app, I'm curious if people swear by the clip-on tuner being the most accurate- hence it being my perceived most common tuner I see for ukes.

  2. #2
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    Clip-on tuners are nice because they measure vibration. Even if you are in a noisy environment(a uke meetup, for example) they will work perfectly.

    Smartphone tuners measure pressure waves in the air, which means ambient noise can interfere with your tuning process.

  3. #3
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    Ah yes, that makes sense about the reliability of reading the vibrations from the instrument. Thanks MopMan.

  4. #4
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    I use the app "Da Tuner" on my Android and love it. Before the smart phone there was the Korg Chromatic tuner that did the same thing. The advantage with the app is that it tells me what octive I am in and exactly how many cents flat or sharp I am. I find it much more accurate than a clip on tuner, I have all kinds of those as well. Clip on tuners do a good job and are indispensable in a noisy environment. They both have there place.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    They both have there place.
    Right on. That rocking-out banana is pretty great

  6. #6
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    Day to day I use a Snark or a D'Adderio Micro. When I change strings I usually use my smartphone and the stroboscopic tuner app iStroboSoft by Peterson. The app is very useful when tuning new strings up to pitch as it shows Hertz and the note plus relative scale, i.e., A3. A4 etc. It will also display in cents, either plus or minus, great for checking intonation.

  7. #7
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    I use both, but like the clip in tuners because they aren't my phone! No fear of checking messages, etc., and when I'm playing with others I don't want the distraction.
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  8. #8
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    Pretty much what Mopman is saying, phone apps are fine if there isn't a lot of other noise, but if you find yourself trying to tune up in a group setting, like in a bar or at a festival, the app tuners seem to pick up everything but your ukulele.
    Last edited by Rllink; 01-05-2018 at 12:22 PM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    Pretty much what Mopman is saying, phone apps are fine if there isn't a lot of other noise, but if you find yourself trying to tune up in a group setting, like in a bar or at a festival, the app tuners seem to pick up everything but your ukulele.
    +1 for this ^

    D'Addario NS-Micro tuner or cheap Reverb clip-on tuner if a physical tuner (and in noisy environment), 'Da Tuner' or 'Kala Uke Tuner' on Android, and 'instuner' or Garageband (If recording something) on iOS for me.

    If setting intonation, I usually use 'instuner' because of the detailed display options.

    I was thinking of the TC Electronic PolyTune clip-on strobe tuner, or the Peterson clip-on strobe tuner, since I ALSO play guitar and other instruments, but cannot justify the $50-90 cost for those when cheaper options exist and work so well.
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  10. #10
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    I had a fun experiment testing Cool Cat’s tuner sensitivity...and the D’Addario is about as accurate as you are going to get in the price range. That said...a $.97 clip on tuner from eBay also does the trick well enough. Unless you have perfect pitch, the minuscule differences between the cheap tuner and something like the Peterson clip on are not going to be apparent to most of our ears...and those strings likely go that much out of tune the second we start playing. I have been following a lot of YouTube ukulele “teachers” (i.e. people that show how to play pop tunes) and Elise Ecklund recently recommended the Tunefor Ukulele Tuner, which is free and seems to be good; Kala has a tuner that I like less since its update—it is harder to read and the needle jumps more, Fender recently added ukulele, a UU member created the UkeTuner+ app, and the Ukulele App will be adding a sound based tuner in the future. Not so ironically, Martin’s tuner does not have ukulele as an option.

    One thing that I have noted is that if you are tuning 60 Ukuleles—as I do frequently—it is nice to use my iPad on a stand, and to move the stand from position to position rather than to use a clip on. But that is a situation where I am the only one playing.

    I do love having a tuner with me at all times. It often comes in handy at a music store!
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

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