Looking to buy a new tuner and metronome. I was thinking about splurging for a good tuner (any to recommend?), but perhaps use my cellphone as a metronome? Do you guys know of any good iphone apps that would act as a good metronome? Thanks a bunch 🙂
I endorse Korg Tuners, and their Orchestral Tuner is the most useful, but their cheapest ones work very well. I do not recommend using a cellphone app. I did not find them reliable, and you have to worry about power usage and distractions.
The best small tuners I have seen are both apps: Peterson iStroboSoft and Cleartune. You may need a clip on mic in noisy situations. A guitarist friend introduced me to Cleartune, and I have not found any compact tuner that will come close. Even so, the lowest octaves and highest really need some careful work by ear to get them right. There is also a standalone version of iStroboSoft. Our pipe organ technicians use both of those for quick checks, though we do 99% of tuning by ear.
For really good, extremely accurate tuners, you can’t beat the plug in strobe Petersons–but I expect your definition of “splurging” doesn’t extend to the $750-1000 they cost.
My Korg Orchestral Tuner gathers dust because the “Tonal Energy” Iphone app blows it out of the water and that is no easy feat! Seriously, give it a try. I don’t use its metronome function but it is very elaborate, it can count all the sub-beats you care to pay attention to in addition to the usual quarter note pulse.
I find the Peterson iStrobasoft tuner is most accurate. If you play a pedal harp, it pays to buy the add-on “sweetener” for tuning the low bass notes. Sorry, Saul, you need to move with the times – even my harp regulars use a cell phone and iPad tuner. I use the metronome on my iPad in forScore.
Move with the times? How ridiculous. Never.
I did get a Peterson tuner and it is nearly useless. I had to use my Korg with it to verify the pitches, the dials were moving so much. Oddly, different tuners do produce a slightly different overall flavor. I doubt I will ever buy an Apple product in my life. I see my friends constantly go through conniptions with their devices, tablets, and constant problems. No way. Now, I mostly use my oldest, simplest Korg. I clip the pick-up onto the brass handle of the harp for the bass and middle, and clip it to the top end of the brass plate for the highest notes. So, I recommend the cheapest tuner you can get with a needle display. The Matrix metronome with the dial is still the best for practicing with. You can change tempos quickly and easily, and it is easy to hear, fairly sturdy. Digital metronomes require constant button pushing, and complex rhythms are more complex to set up than to practice. As for the sweetening of the Peterson, the stretch tuning settings were interesting to find out, but not worth the $150 price tag. I use my own stretching system, thank you. The ear works best.
Unless its a tuning fork, even a dedicated tuner uses batteries. I have a $14 external battery that can charge my iPhone 5s four times before its own battery needs charging! The microphone of a tuner app does not need to be high quality you aren’t trying to make archival quality recordings. I am amazed at the sensitivity of the one on the iPhone. It tries to lock in on and give pitches to sounds that are incredibly faint. It is certainly more accurate than any ‘ear’. Not knocking ears but some things technology can do as well or better. Full disclosure: I am not trying to tune a harp with my tuner. The o.p. did ask about metronomes, however, and the best tuner apps usually have good metronomes built in. How many discrete devices do we want to tote around? That may be the question.
Howard, I hate to dissappoint you, but a smartphone may need almost daily or every other day to be charged, while the battery of a dedicated tuner could last you months. Also, when the battery is a bit low, it seems to make it harder for the microphone to catch the pitch.
Also, you would need a tuner that can handle both the lowest and the highest notes of your harp. I never had a problem with the lowest notes, but catching the highest register seems to be difficult or even impossiblefor some tuners (they simply don’t seem to register them), even when you hold the tuner directly next to the strings,
Even a dedicated tuner may have problems with catching the highest notes of one’s harp. I use a Korg TM-50 and though it’s able to catch all notes of my L&H 40 string Prelude, I still need to keep the tuner quite close to the strings in order to have the tuner register the highest notes.
I guess I’m just old fashioned. For day-to-day tuning I am very happy with a Snark SN-8 preferably attached to my tuning wrench. I find the Korg GT-120 perfectly adequate when I need both hands free e.g. if mounting or regulating levers.
As for metronomes, I look for a tic-toc sound; chimes etc. are annoying; I also want the option of an earphone. That led me to the Wittner MT-50.
Sorry I did not directly answer the question, but these are low tech, low cost and reliable tools.
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