TUNE BOT GIG REVIEW

xsabers

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I finally sprung for a Tune Bot, but I decided to go the cheap route and get the new Tune Bot Gig. It has most of the critical features and costs about 30% less. I actually have yet to read the instructions (yea, men!) and instead just went to their on line calculator. You select drum diameter, low, med, high, or max sustain desired, default pitch or +- 1-3, and whether you prefer batter or reso to be higher.

1st attempt: 10" tom. I selected max sustain, default pitch and did not choose batter or reso to be higher. It gave me a value of 253 Hertz at the lugs, top an bottom. I maintained standard tuning procedures and used the star pattern and brought each lug up incrementally until one hit 253. I then pressed the main button and it switched to the "difference" mode. It should the target of 253 at the bottom, then showed how much each lug was off when tapped. It was so fast and easy to get to the 253. It helps illustrate how subtle an art tuning is, because the slightest twist of the key could make notable differences. I could have easily done this without hearing the drum hits.

RESULT: The drum sounded amazing. I mean really amazing! That said, I thought the amount of sustain might be a bit much under real world conditions, so I went to the calculator and changed the inputs to High resonance, default pitch, and still no preference on batter or reso being higher. The result was 245 over 261. Wow, just like that, the pitch remained the same, but the resonance was slightly more controlled. I finally decided on adjusting the pitch to -1 and boom, there's my sound. Did the same combo on the 12" and it just sounds amazing. The only time I spent beyond normal tuning was testing the different variables. Once I settled in on one combo, it was lickety split fast. Probably faster than my normal tuning by ear process because it illuminated any misjudgments on my part.

I know this product has been a bit controversial, but I have to say that I would rate it 10 out of 10. It was easy to stumble through and once I got it figured out, it was a complete breeze. I should point out that the user interface has been reduced to an idiot proof single button, plus the on/off button. I could not be happier. Wow, the drums sound great!
 

DrumKeys

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I love the tune-bot. I have the older version. I don't need it to tune my drums but I love the ability to objectively record the various tensions I've used at different times when they sounded their best. I basically log all my setting on an Excel spreadsheet. Great for snares too.
 

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Hmmn. Okay. Food for thought. I bought the original TuneBot when it first came out and returned it within a week after total frustration. Worthless in my book. Maybe this new version is the real deal, because the original product detuned my drums, and I dumped it post-haste.

So, can you tune your drums with this new model without your ears?
 

xsabers

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Tom, yes, but I've seen a video doing the same thing with the original model. Other than this being a bit stripped down and only having one button operation, I don't believe that fundamentally the units are much different, certainly not in application. Here's a great video (long) by Joe Crabtree and he does exactly that; puts on headphones so he can't hear and tunes the drum. He also uses a similar calculator as I was using.

 
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xsabers

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Regarding the Crabtree video, he does have some issues because he didn't mute the opposite head. You only have both heads open when hitting the center to get the fundamental of the drum. When tuning the individual lugs positions, you need to mute the opposing head so it has no influence on the process.
 

DrumKeys

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Tom, I'm not following how the device could detune your drums. But the new model and the old model are basically the same. The older version allows you to separate some of the modes individually. I just love having the ability to write down settings that I like to recreate them quickly (after head changes and such). You don't necessarily need the device to get your drum sounding good, but to keep it sounding good, for me at least, is where it shines.

Thanks for the video xsabers. Gonna watch it myself now!
 

airborneSFC

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I have a lot of good things to say about the Tunebot! When I was gigging a lot and had to change up heads often it got me right where I needed to be. Helped me stay consistent.
 

tommykat1

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DrumKeys said:
Tom, I'm not following how the device could detune your drums. But the new model and the old model are basically the same. The older version allows you to separate some of the modes individually. I just love having the ability to write down settings that I like to recreate them quickly (after head changes and such). You don't necessarily need the device to get your drum sounding good, but to keep it sounding good, for me at least, is where it shines.

Thanks for the video xsabers. Gonna watch it myself now!
I can (and do) do this with the Drum Dial all day long, without having to hit the heads. In fact, I adjusted new Remo Coated Vintage Emperors on my 12-13-16-22 Rogers 1967 Londoner 5 this week from memorized settings, i.e., from "ear" adjustments recorded long ago. It doesn't get any easier, and the pre-tuned settings I worked out are still spot on with my band's tuning 1/2 step down. We've been together for 7 years. No issues. No drama. No hours of adjustments.

The Tune Bot required way, way more time and effort and ultimately I tired of it very quickly. I was able to return it for a refund. Just my .02.

BTW, I tune my snares (all of them) with the DD at 90 on the batter and 84 on the reso, once a month or so before leaving for a gig. I never, ever bother to even listen to the result. I don't need to "HEAR" the drum for the correct tuning. I simply adjust the tensioners to the DD reading, put the drum in its case, and head out the door. Takes all of five minutes, if that.
 

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I have the older model and begging to love it. It's more confusing and I was lost for a while until I asked a question here at DFO. I believe it was Dan and another gentleman that asked me if I was using the Filter function, I was not.

What happens when you push THAT button it filters out overtones and some background noises and it makes the process so much easier and faster. But you have to find that target number first. If you don't push that button it sometimes picks up the overtones and gives erroneous readings way off the charts. And don't try to tune that lug, go to the others first then come back the next time or try changing positions of the tuner until you find that target number.

sherm

OH; BTW: You mentioned having to kill the tone of the opposite head when tuning. In my head I'm trying to design some type of clip on pad for the other head while on the rack. You could take it off the rack and set on a small towel on top of a floor tom if your using one I guess.
 

DrumKeys

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tommykat1 said:
Tom, I'm not following how the device could detune your drums. But the new model and the old model are basically the same. The older version allows you to separate some of the modes individually. I just love having the ability to write down settings that I like to recreate them quickly (after head changes and such). You don't necessarily need the device to get your drum sounding good, but to keep it sounding good, for me at least, is where it shines.

Thanks for the video xsabers. Gonna watch it myself now!
I can (and do) do this with the Drum Dial all day long, without having to hit the heads. In fact, I adjusted new Remo Coated Vintage Emperors on my 12-13-16-22 Rogers 1967 Londoner 5 this week from memorized settings, i.e., from "ear" adjustments recorded long ago. It doesn't get any easier, and the pre-tuned settings I worked out are still spot on with my band's tuning 1/2 step down. We've been together for 7 years. No issues. No drama. No hours of adjustments.

The Tune Bot required way, way more time and effort and ultimately I tired of it very quickly. I was able to return it for a refund. Just my .02.

BTW, I tune my snares (all of them) with the DD at 90 on the batter and 84 on the reso, once a month or so before leaving for a gig. I never, ever bother to even listen to the result. I don't need to "HEAR" the drum for the correct tuning. I simply adjust the tensioners to the DD reading, put the drum in its case, and head out the door. Takes all of five minutes, if that.
That's cool, I hate drama.

I still have my drum dial but no longer use it. But if it works better for you, that's all that matters. For me, tune-bot is light years ahead for a few reasons. But rather than go into them, let's just say I'd rather use something that actually listens to pitch rather than something that simply measures physical tension of a drum head.
 

xsabers

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I do like the Drum Dial on snares, for sure. But I think the Tune Bot was as fast or faster on toms. Mine doesn't have the filter feature but I didn't need it apparently. Where the Tune Bot excels is in reading true pitch, not tension. So I could run 2 ply over single ply, or single over single, and get the same results where the Drum Dial would give different readings to get to the same pitch based on the head thickness. And Tom, 90 over 80 is my go to on snares. I'll have to try your 84 on the snare side and see how I like it.
 

tommykat1

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DrumKeys said:
Tom, I'm not following how the device could detune your drums. But the new model and the old model are basically the same. The older version allows you to separate some of the modes individually. I just love having the ability to write down settings that I like to recreate them quickly (after head changes and such). You don't necessarily need the device to get your drum sounding good, but to keep it sounding good, for me at least, is where it shines.

Thanks for the video xsabers. Gonna watch it myself now!
I can (and do) do this with the Drum Dial all day long, without having to hit the heads. In fact, I adjusted new Remo Coated Vintage Emperors on my 12-13-16-22 Rogers 1967 Londoner 5 this week from memorized settings, i.e., from "ear" adjustments recorded long ago. It doesn't get any easier, and the pre-tuned settings I worked out are still spot on with my band's tuning 1/2 step down. We've been together for 7 years. No issues. No drama. No hours of adjustments.

The Tune Bot required way, way more time and effort and ultimately I tired of it very quickly. I was able to return it for a refund. Just my .02.

BTW, I tune my snares (all of them) with the DD at 90 on the batter and 84 on the reso, once a month or so before leaving for a gig. I never, ever bother to even listen to the result. I don't need to "HEAR" the drum for the correct tuning. I simply adjust the tensioners to the DD reading, put the drum in its case, and head out the door. Takes all of five minutes, if that.
That's cool, I hate drama.

I still have my drum dial but no longer use it. But if it works better for you, that's all that matters. For me, tune-bot is light years ahead for a few reasons. But rather than go into them, let's just say I'd rather use something that actually listens to pitch rather than something that simply measures physical tension of a drum head.




OK, I'm the opposite. I wanted to love the Tune Bot and bought it it when it first came out. Returned it after an evening of noise and frustration. Went back to the Drum Dial precisely because it does not listen to the drum head.
 

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xsabers said:
I do like the Drum Dial on snares, for sure. But I think the Tune Bot was as fast or faster on toms. Mine doesn't have the filter feature but I didn't need it apparently. Where the Tune Bot excels is in reading true pitch, not tension. So I could run 2 ply over single ply, or single over single, and get the same results where the Drum Dial would give different readings to get to the same pitch based on the head thickness. And Tom, 90 over 80 is my go to on snares. I'll have to try your 84 on the snare side and see how I like it.
I'm not sure but I think the button on the new model and the filter on the older model performs the same way.

And your right about the drum dial, if the batter and reso were different and using the same number in most cases the reso head would have a higher tone. Example: Coated on top and clear on the bottom.

sherm
 

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I really like the Tune Bot. The only thing with mine is that it seems to have trouble hearing correctly the lugs on the opposite side of the drum, even with the filter on. So I can't just leave it clipped on the hoop in one spot, I have to move it close to whatever lug I'm currently tuning. I don't think my Tune Bot had that issue when I first bought it. But other than that minor annoyance I think it's great.

My ears aren't the greatest at hearing minor differences in pitch especially on a drum where overtones can really muddy the waters. The Tune Bot has in a way trained my ears and made me better at tuning by ear.
 

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After re-reading this thread, I might have to spring for that new model and give it another go.

I remember trying to use the filter function, and I also had problems with reverberation from the opposite head. I couldn't get a consistent reading. Also, I scratched my head when trying to tune the snareside reso head. With the drum upside down, the snares rattle on the head, of course, and give a pretty odd reading (as I recall). How do you handle this?
 

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tommykat1 said:
After re-reading this thread, I might have to spring for that new model and give it another go.

I remember trying to use the filter function, and I also had problems with reverberation from the opposite head. I couldn't get a consistent reading. Also, I scratched my head when trying to tune the snareside reso head. With the drum upside down, the snares rattle on the head, of course, and give a pretty odd reading (as I recall). How do you handle this?
You have to mute the reso head or it's not going to work in my experience.

I loved my tunebot for a while. I now use the Rob Brown method as a starting point and come up to my desired pitch from there. I find that only minor adjustments are needed because his method starts you out with the head being in tune or close enough. In a pinch I can tune without having to hear my drums because it's close enough that you won't be able to hear a difference in front of the kit.
 

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I've had my Tune Bot about three years now and never really got the hang of it. I'll have to give it another shot.
 

Markkuliini

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Who tunes their drums without muffling the opposite head in the first place? That way they are turning something relatively easy almost impossible.
The weirdest way to tune, that I have seen is, keeping the rack tom on the stand and turning the lugs while hitting the batter drum head at normal playing volume to the center. And also tuning the reso this way. Just playing the drum at the same time. Seems extremely random to me.

Edit: If Tune bot can be used with both heads resonating at the same time, then great. But if not, I would not blame it. 2 heads at different tunings create tons of harmonics.
By the way, that Crabtree's demo video was quite impressive. Maybe I should get one...
 

xsabers

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tommykat1 said:
After re-reading this thread, I might have to spring for that new model and give it another go.

I remember trying to use the filter function, and I also had problems with reverberation from the opposite head. I couldn't get a consistent reading. Also, I scratched my head when trying to tune the snareside reso head. With the drum upside down, the snares rattle on the head, of course, and give a pretty odd reading (as I recall). How do you handle this?
If you do, I highly suggest you take one of your toms that is tuned to your liking, and get the fundamental pitch from the Tune Bot, then get the lug to lug reading off each head with the other side muffled. Write them down, detune your drum and try to match the numbers. Then experiment knowing you can always get back to square one.

I still don't know if you can beat the drum dial on snares though, except you run the risk of dimpling the reso head where the TB doesn't contact the head. Going to try tuning my bass drum today.
 


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