INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: tuners part II

 

Author Message
rg
tuners part II Dec 16, 2003 11:15 p.m.


I am not sure I understand the relationship between the microphones and the electric tuners - are you saying that you can connect the mic to the tuner and then get a better response???
pb
Re:tuners part II Dec 17, 2003 10:09 a.m.


I don't know about microphones, but there is a pickup with a clip on it that you plug in. It makes a big difference.

Pb


rg (Dec 16, 2003 11:15 p.m.):
I am not sure I understand the relationship between the microphones and the electric tuners - are you saying that you can connect the mic to the tuner and then get a better response???
jaym
Re:tuners part II Dec 17, 2003 03:59 p.m.


I got a nice KORG tuner for about $75. Will produce a tone at various mhz above and below 440.

It also has a sensitive mic so that it will pick up the sound of a sitar string and tell you if it is in tune or not.
Even when I put it done and play, if I leave it next to me it is always responding to the notes I play.

pb
Re:tuners part II Dec 17, 2003 04:15 p.m.


that must have a good mic on it. The only draw back of mics is when their is another instrument tuning up at the same time (e.g. tabla). It makes it more difficult. The pickup clip ignores other sounds and focuses on the thing it is clipped to.

Pb

rg
Re:tuners part II Dec 17, 2003 10:39 p.m.



jaym (Dec 17, 2003 03:59 p.m.):
I got a nice KORG tuner for about $75. Will produce a tone at various mhz above and below 440.

It also has a sensitive mic so that it will pick up the sound of a sitar string and tell you if it is in tune or not.
Even when I put it done and play, if I leave it next to me it is always responding to the notes I play.


does the pickup come with the tuner - or do you buy it separately - what is the model name?

rg
Re:tuners part II Dec 17, 2003 10:38 p.m.



jaym (Dec 17, 2003 03:59 p.m.):
I got a nice KORG tuner for about $75. Will produce a tone at various mhz above and below 440.

It also has a sensitive mic so that it will pick up the sound of a sitar string and tell you if it is in tune or not.
Even when I put it done and play, if I leave it next to me it is always responding to the notes I play.



- what's the model name?
Ken
Re:tuners part II Dec 18, 2003 08:49 a.m.


Hi all,
I've used several tuners over the years. I always liked the Seiko ST900, a bit pricey but very reliable. I used this up until I stumbled across the "just use your ears" philosophy. I then purchased a Sabine (oddly enough the model number is MT900) from Elderly instruments: http://elderly.com/accessories/items/MT9000.htm
This is a nice little tone-generator as well as a metronome, giving the beats with accents. I used a suction cup micropone on the tabli but this didn't seem to work well, I tried the suction cup on my Lowden guitar and it worked great. So I just think the built in mic is as good as it gets unless I can set it up with a small mic just for the strings... all in all a great little unit for just $27.95....ken
Keshav Das
Re:tuners part II Dec 18, 2003 10:00 a.m.



rg (Dec 16, 2003 11:15 p.m.):
I am not sure I understand the relationship between the microphones and the electric tuners - are you saying that you can connect the mic to the tuner and then get a better response???

Yes - that's exactly what I am saying. The mike that comes with the average tuner is not particularly sensitive. There is a real advantage to being
able to pick up an SM57 and point it directly at the source (your sitar).
SM 57s are designed to pick up what is directly in their path. Go to any concert with guitars or harmonium or anything that need to be discretely amplified and chances are the mic used will be an SM57 or it's equivilent.
As to other musicians being picked up - it's just a matter of courtesy that pros will wait until each musician is tuned. Of course this is not an option in the middle of a concert. But re-tuning in the middle of raga usually only involves one string and a good musician can always handle with his eyes closed.

pb
Re:tuners part II Dec 18, 2003 11:02 a.m.


Hey Ken,
have you tried the one with the clip as opposed to the suction cup? They are around $11. I think the clip one works pretty good, as good as the tuner anyway. I was thinking about the sabine one too, especially for the tone gen, but I bought a digital tanpura instead. I like to tune by ear, but it takes more time, although it sounds better in the long run (to me anyway).

Pb

Pb


Ken (Dec 18, 2003 08:49 a.m.):
Hi all,
I've used several tuners over the years. I always liked the Seiko ST900, a bit pricey but very reliable. I used this up until I stumbled across the "just use your ears" philosophy. I then purchased a Sabine (oddly enough the model number is MT900) from Elderly instruments: http://elderly.com/accessories/items/MT9000.htm
This is a nice little tone-generator as well as a metronome, giving the beats with accents. I used a suction cup micropone on the tabli but this didn't seem to work well, I tried the suction cup on my Lowden guitar and it worked great. So I just think the built in mic is as good as it gets unless I can set it up with a small mic just for the strings... all in all a great little unit for just $27.95....ken
pb
Re:tuners part II Dec 18, 2003 11:11 a.m.


Hey Keshav Das,
maybe it is courtesy on stage, but I'm not there yet. Often my instructors kids show me their new skils on the tabla or harmonium when I'm tuning up The clip is great for that scenario. The courtesy rule doesn't apply to them yet.

I'll keep the SM57 in mind for discrete amplification though, just in case I want to record myself!

Pb


Keshav Das (Dec 18, 2003 10:00 a.m.):

Yes - that's exactly what I am saying. The
As to other musicians being picked up - it's just a matter of courtesy that pros will wait until each musician is tuned. Of course this is not an option in the middle of a concert. But re-tuning in the middle of raga usually only involves one string and a good musician can always handle with his eyes closed.


Ken
Re:tuners part II Dec 18, 2003 03:06 p.m.


Hi pb,
Haven't tried the clip on guy yet but I have tried to tune to my electronit Tanpura and find the thing isn't reliable enough as far as tone stability is concerned. I've usually always tuned to either another instrument or by using the visual indicator on an electronig tuner. By using the tone generator your ear is being trained while your tuning time is cut way down.
BTW I personally like the more acoustic sound of a mic rather than a transducer with the added value of using the mic to amplify the vibes for the tuner....SM57 is a good choice but is a definite eysore on stage for Sitar and Tabla....ken
pb
Re:tuners part II Dec 18, 2003 04:20 p.m.


Hi Ken,
maybe your ear is sharper than mine I turn it on and let it run for 5-10 min and once I unpack my sitar and get ready to play, it seems ok without drift. I think the digital tanpura is set to 440 Hz though, which is what I tune at now.

I would much rather tune to the harmonium, but that is too hard to do on your own, and I don't have one! (I didn't buy one for this reason).

The visual reference of the tuner is great. When it wears out, I'll get the sabine.

Pb


Ken (Dec 18, 2003 03:06 p.m.):
Hi pb,
Haven't tried the clip on guy yet but I have tried to tune to my electronit Tanpura and find the thing isn't reliable enough as far as tone stability is concerned. I've usually always tuned to either another instrument or by using the visual indicator on an electronig tuner. By using the tone generator your ear is being trained while your tuning time is cut way down.
BTW I personally like the more acoustic sound of a mic rather than a transducer with the added value of using the mic to amplify the vibes for the tuner....SM57 is a good choice but is a definite eysore on stage for Sitar and Tabla....ken
Ken
Re:tuners part II Dec 18, 2003 06:28 p.m.


pb,
Naw don't think my ear is that acute, might be more like my Raagini just drifts way, way after the 10 min warm up period. I might have a bad machine? It drifts about 5-10cents sharp, sometimes it doesn't, it's an enigma. . . .all I know is the pro's all seem to just tune to the tanpura and are done touching up the instrument in just a couple of minutes, at least this was my experience with Indrajit who just laid the instrument in his lap, picked the strings with the fingernail of his right pinky(sometimes left) and tuned, sometimes stroking the chikari's to hear the relationship, sometimes a tone off the Ma string...too cool and too fast.. . I'm not that cool. . .maybe next incarnation when I have the luxury of starting on this magnificent instrument when I'm 5 or 6.....ken
Keshav Das
Tuners part II Dec 19, 2003 11:13 a.m.



Ken (Dec 18, 2003 03:06 p.m.):
SM57 is a good choice but is a definite eysore on stage for Sitar and Tabla....ken

I have to agree. There are other more expensive short "shotgun mikes" that look quite elegant. My experience is that while they are superior for use in a studio - the added cost isn't justified for live performance purposes. The average PA system doesn't really translate all the subtleties very well when it outputs to large speakers emitting sufficient DBs for an audience of any size. I was just in the studio (as a guest) with Sultan Khan a few weeks ago and I asked the engineer about the cost of the mic for tablas. I gagged when I heard the pricetag. BTW - after the session I went over and snapped my fingers about 4 inches away from Khan Sahib's sarangi and it resonated for just short of 30 seconds! Mind-blowing. It's like his sarangi is ignoring the laws of physics.
pb
Re:tuners part II Dec 19, 2003 11:19 a.m.


I wish I was that cool too! For now I can tune up in about 5 min with my chromatic tuner, if it is not too hosed, I'm not cool at all .

I don't think my raagini drifts that much, but maybe it does. I find it hard to measure with my cheap tuner, but when I tune up with the raagini and then double check with the tuner everything is ok. The annoying hum is there on low volume, but the tabla machine is worse. I am tempted to fix it, but I may have to do without it for a week or two in the process. We have a bunch of audiophile engineers here who are into digital audio, so maybe I'll pick their brains a bit. My guess is that it is a crap power supply. Digikey might have an order coming.

take care,
Pb


Ken (Dec 18, 2003 06:28 p.m.):
pb,
Naw don't think my ear is that acute, might be more like my Raagini just drifts way, way after the 10 min warm up period. I might have a bad machine? It drifts about 5-10cents sharp, sometimes it doesn't, it's an enigma. . . .all I know is the pro's all seem to just tune to the tanpura and are done touching up the instrument in just a couple of minutes, at least this was my experience with Indrajit who just laid the instrument in his lap, picked the strings with the fingernail of his right pinky(sometimes left) and tuned, sometimes stroking the chikari's to hear the relationship, sometimes a tone off the Ma string...too cool and too fast.. . I'm not that cool. . .maybe next incarnation when I have the luxury of starting on this magnificent instrument when I'm 5 or 6.....ken
Ken
Re:tuners part II Dec 19, 2003 03:42 p.m.


Pb,
My Raagini does drift, but my Riyaz Tabla machine started drifting tempo wise as well as tone. It was all over the place and totally out of whack now. I bought it from an Ebay dealer for 175 clams, thought I got a good deal, the thing lasted for about a year.
Sangeeta brought me back the Radel TaalMala digital electronic tabla when she went to India for vacation. I love it! It has a digital read out for keeping track of time and also lets you program different bols and then save it. Now it's not a problem to know where you are in teental or dadra (not that I can't count, it's just that Indian time signatures are a bit much to wrap your mind around, for me anyway).
But yes, I can tune the whole instrument in about 5 minutes using a tuner so I'll probably stick with that system until my ear gets better.
I agree with Keshav Das on the cost factor as well as most PA systems not being up to snuff for studio quality mics. Still I prefer a high end mic with a pre-amp and then feed through the PA not a stage amp, again just my opinion....uncle ken
K.K.
Re:tuners part II Jan 06, 2004 04:43 p.m.



Ken (Dec 18, 2003 08:49 a.m.):
...I then purchased a Sabine (oddly enough the model number is MT900) from Elderly instruments: http://elderly.com/accessories/items/MT9000.htm
This is a nice little tone-generator as well as a metronome, giving the beats with accents... So I just think the built in mic is as good as it gets unless I can set it up with a small mic just for the strings... all in all a great little unit for just $27.95....ken

On Kens recommendation, I ordered this tuner from Elderly - received it yesterday. This little gem works great! The built-in mic is totally adequate, if you follow the instructions that come with the unit.
It doesn't pick up the low strings too well, but all you have to do is pop a harmonic and it works fine.
AND...it has a built-in metronome with LEDs that flash green on the beat and red on the accent (the "one".)
The only negative is that you can't program it for "Just" tuning, so you have to compensate for that manually.
If you're thinking of buying a tuner, you can't beat this one for the $.

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