Tuning your instrument. One of the necessary evils that goes along with being a musician. I remember back in the day, as a young flautist, standing outside Bristol Farms playing for holiday shoppers (ya, that’s how cool I was) and trying in vain to tune and retune our flutes as my fellow performers and I kept going flat due to the cold. Or, in high school orchestra, how a great classical piece could be seriously butchered thanks to a few out of tune oboes or violins. There’s nothing worse than an out of tune violin. I mean, seriously folks. Well, it looks like those days are soon to be over. For guitar players anyway.
According to the Listening Post, Gibson has come out with a self-tuning Robot Guitar (after 10 years of development). No, it doesn’t play itself for you, clean your room, or cook you dinner. But it makes tuning a heck of a lot easier. How does it work? The Powertune system (developed by German company Tronical), “uses a set of piezo-electric pickups to determine the pitch of each string. These are separate from the regular guitar pickups, which rely on the string vibrating in a magnetic field to cause a current.” (Read more here.)
While the guitar comes pre-calibrated for concert pitch, you can tune one string yourself and the rest of them will adjust accordingly. Powertune can even store custom tunings. You can either get the Robot Guitar itself or if you can’t part from your own favorite guitar, there is a $900 add-on which should do the trick. Pretty damn cool. Watch the instructional video here.
While critics may legitimately argue that real musicians should be able to tune their instrument, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the option out there, especially if you need to change tunings on the fly or want to ensure perfect pitch for a performance. Rock on, Gibson.