Roadie Guitar Tuner and App Review

Review of the Roadie Guitar Tuner and App

It’s not very often that new innovations pop up in categories like guitar tuners. Honestly, what more is there to innovate besides the device’s basic function: tune my darn guitar!

I’ve had the opportunity to test run the new Roadie Guitar Tuner this past month and it has certainly proved to be a new twist on an accessory that everybody already owns. The question is this: is the Roadie Tuner one that you need to own?

See the video review below, followed by a more in-depth written review:

–>Check out the Roadie Tuner on Amazon.com<–

Innovation: Roadie Review

Over the past decade, the only other true innovation in the guitar tuner category that I can think of is the Polytune, a pedal guitar tuner that allows you to play all your strings at once and immediately pinpoint which strings is out of tune.

The Roadie Tuner is interesting in that not only does the app do all the legwork of figuring out what is in-tune and out-of-tune, you now have a device that physically spins the guitar tuner heads to get it in tune. In essence, you are taking the human out of the guitar-tuning equation.

Using the Roadie Guitar Tuner on my acoustic guitar

Before I get too far into the Roadie review, I want to point out that I have mixed feelings about this idea. Do I think it’s a stinkin’ awesome innovation? Absolutely! Do I like the idea of having a robot tune my guitar…not really. I’ll dive deeper into my thoughts on this later.

What’s Included: Roadie Review

A close-up view of the Roadie Guitar Tuner

There are three items that you receive when you open up a new Roadie Tuner:

  1. The Roadie Tuner Device
  2. A Roadie charging cable (USB)
  3. A Guitar-to-phone adapter cable (1/4″ female to 1/8″ male)

That last cable is small, but important. I personally found that in high-noise environments, it was much better to plug my guitar into the phone to get more accurate readings.

The Roadie guitar to phone adapter cable

The free Roadie app was simple to find and download and connects with the Roadie Tuner without any extra setup. All that was required of me was to make sure that Bluetooth on my phone was enabled and the Roadie was turned on. The connection was made on its own, which was nice.

–>Read more about the Roadie on Amazon<–

Using the Roadie

Tuning using the Roadie Tuner app on the phoneOnce the Roadie was connected to my phone, I was able to simply place the Roadie on my tuner head and initiate the calibration through the app.

Important: I found out the hard way that calibration is a very important part of the Roadie setup process. Seems obvious, I know, but I’m sure that a lot of you, like me, might just start using the device without reading the instructions carefully. Failing to calibrate resulted in the Roadie behaving erratically on my tuners and having a very difficult time finding the right pitch.

After calibration was finished, which took me about 5 minutes, the tuning process from that point forward was less than 30 seconds. Incredibly simple.

The power of the Roadie extends to the functionality of the app. Within the app I am prompted to setup a profile for my guitar so that it can track the usage of my strings and let me know when I need to change them.

Within each profile I can setup specific alternate tunings or use the preset tunings that the Roadie can be configured to automatically tune to. It’s quite a handy feature that cuts down a lot of time when changing tunings, I found.

Alternate tunings available on the Roadie Tuner phone app

There are only two buttons on the Roadie: an on/off button and one switch button. Personally, I rarely used the switch button but I can see it being useful for louder environments where auto-detection of your string might be difficult.

My Take on the Roadie Guitar Tuner

First, let me say that I’m very impressed by the Roadie Guitar Tuner. It’s a fun little device that has been a blast to show off to different people. It’s small and compact, making it easy to carry around and it’s well-designed, so it looks pretty cool to show off. Kudos to Band Industries for making such a nice product!

The Roadie Guitar Tuner and box

 

You can find the Roadie Tuner on Amazon.com

As I mentioned earlier, I did have a few problems during the initial setup of the Roadie, although I later learned that it was because I didn’t properly calibrate the tuner prior to use. Also noteworthy: the Band Industries customer support was incredibly quick to respond to my questions.

At one point while I was tuning in an especially noisy environment, the Roadie began to wildly spin my tuner peg on the G string, causing such tension that it snapped. This is my primary complaint with the Roadie: the lack of control was unnerving. I wish that the switch button on the side could be configured as a “kill switch” of sorts to make sure the wild spinning doesn’t happen again.

Now once I get past the “wow” factor of the Roadie, I’m also left with another thought: am I really so inept that I can’t tune my own guitar? Obviously this isn’t what the manufacturer is hinting at, but I can’t help but think that removing me from the tuning process (other than just sitting there holding the device) implies that I can’t do it myself. It seems that the Roadie guitar tuner is aimed at a mostly novice guitar player; however, if I were a guitar teacher I wouldn’t want my students to use it because I would want them to learn to tune the guitar by ear. Do you see the problem?

Concluding Thoughts

I’ve concluded that the Roadie is very useful for anybody who uses alternate tunings often or who has already trained their ear to tune but would rather not have to do it all the time. In both of these cases, the Roadie Guitar Tuner shines.

Currently the Roadie is priced at US$99. You can check out the specs and reviews on Amazon for more information.

In my case I think I’ll continue to use it as a conversation starter, showing people that innovation continues to be done, even in an industry that has remained mostly the same over the past few decades.

 

3 Responses to Roadie Guitar Tuner and App Review

  1. Rene says:

    I bought an roadie tuner model RD100 but does not connect via blue tooth with the LG610 and the doogee max5 pro tryd everything but nothing works.

  2. […] features allowing you to choose what instrument you are playing and how you want it to sound. The original Roadie requires you to connect to the app in order to tune your guitar, however with the new model you can […]

  3. Bruce Smith says:

    Some basic math…
    1. The roadie tuner says it is accurate to only about a 2% I read this as a plus and minus value tuning, Now I agree it is faster but not that much more so than the Peterson tuner (Good to 0 .1 hz and if you make sure you keep in tune reasonably closely it doesn’t need much of a touch up.touch up. The roadie is a lot faster if you change your strings I will admit, but once tuned where is the need when you can improve the tuning overall by about 4 hz (a 2hx tolerance with a plus and minus value) It is just easier for me to simply keep it in tune with a more accurate meter..

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