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Thread: Free Boss tuner app

  1. #1
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    Free Boss tuner app

    I was looking for an accurate chromatic tuner and found the Boss tuner available as a free download. I have an Android phone and this works exceptionally well. Default is a regular guitar tuner but there are settings to change to chromatic. Seems too good to be free, but it is.
    Tom Phillips likes this.

  2. #2
    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Cool. Thanks Mick. I would never have thought to look for that.

    The download screen information presented is:
    The BOSS Tuner app brings BOSS’s trusted and world-renowned chromatic tuning technology to Android mobile devices. Available as a free download, the convenient app features the familiar look and intuitive display style of the best-selling TU-3 / TU-3W pedal tuner. Using the mic in your Android device, you can tune a guitar, bass and other instruments like violin, cello, brass, etc.
    Features
    - Provides hands-free chromatic tuning for a variety of instruments
    - Audible reference pitch function for tuning by ear
    - Supports horizontal screen to enlarge meter view
    - Tuning range: A#0 (29.14 Hz)--G8 (6,271.93 Hz)
    - Tuning accuracy: +/- 1 cent


    The "Audible reference pitch function for tuning by ear" can even be used as a signal generator if one doesn't have the bench equipment. (Adjustable over the range 110-880 Hz)

    The app includes a built in operator's manual.

    Cheers,
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Phillips; 01-22-2018 at 06:13 AM. Reason: Typo Repair

  3. #3
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    I can't help but think that companies like Peterson ended up shooting themselves in the foot when they decided to focus on strobe simulations via PIC controllers as replacements for the servo-driven mechanical stroboscopic tuners. I warned them about the VS-1 cannibalizing their StroboTuner sales when it was still in prototype. They followed by releasing several different "virtual" strobe tuner apps, continuing to divorce the software form the hardware until they eventually ported their tuners to an iPhone app. I think that was a bad mistake. Now the apps will run on independent hardware and nobody needs their proprietary hardware any more.

    As soon as they put their app on the i Phone, their hardware tuner sales dropped like a rock. Everyone liked the cheaper tuning app, and that amounted to writing on the wall. The competition like Boss responded by giving away their tuner software for nothing. I'm sure this doesn't really hurt Boss, it probably helps to drive Boss sales. But it's got to suck for a company like Peterson, whose bread and butter is a narrow market focused primarily on hardware tuner sales.

    It's hard to feel sorry for them -- they did it to themselves.
    Last edited by bob p; 01-21-2018 at 10:52 PM.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  4. #4
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Well, had they not done it, someone else would have. That's just the nature of technology.

    I've been using the "gstrings free" app for years. I don't think the Boss app was even available yet when I started using it. I was just looking at the Boss app, and though I haven't tried it, I think I like the gstrings one better. The meter takes up more of the screen and I'm old and blind.
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  5. #5
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    I was looking for an accurate chromatic tuner and found the Boss tuner available as a free download. I have an Android phone and this works exceptionally well. Default is a regular guitar tuner but there are settings to change to chromatic. Seems too good to be free, but it is.
    Ah, but does it suck tone like the Boss tuner pedal does when you run your guitar signal through it en route to your amp?!?

    I've been using PitchLab Pro for many years now on my Android tablets. The free version is pretty good, too.

    Yikes! I just checked the Play Store for updates and it is nowhere to be found. Reading the app notes it sounds like the author has had patent issues and might have gone out of business which isn't as catastrophic as it might sound for an app developer working alone out of his home picking up a few bucks when users buy the premium ad-free version.

    Here is a link to webpage with a liberated version of the now orphaned app...

    Download PitchLab Guitar Tuner (PRO) 1.0.20 APK | downloadAPK.net

    I have also attached a zip file of the apk.

    PitchLab-Guitar-Tuner-PRO.1.0.20.apk.zip

    Steve

    P.S. I find the Pitch Lab app to be really slick — you can set up a split page view with a simple EADGBE tuner on the left and a very accurate chromatic strobe tuner on the right. There is an amazing number of different tunings and all sorts of pages available, most of which I've never used. A veritable swiss army knife!

    P.P.S. For clip-on tuners I found a great one that puts the Snarks to shame, the Korg Sledgehammer Pro ($19.95@GC & MF) A guitarist was using one at a local jam and nobody could figure out how to use it when he went out for a smoke. Once I got it working I was very impressed so I bought one with my $20 gift certificate at GC. It was not stocked locally and when I ordered it I was surprized that I didn't owe sales tax on it (close to $2 where I live.)

    It has 3 modes, a regular one, a strobe one and a combination of the two. The knob on the right allows you to choose between 10 different detuned frequencies.

    A few downsides: it doesn't look as hardy as a Snark so I would keep it in a container, initially a very large pill bottle but I picked up a plastic box at the local fabrication shop that fit perfectly: 2-11/16"×2-11/16"×1-3/8" for $1.40.

    Also while the tuning display is very visible (the green line in the middle glows brighter as you get more in tune) I find it difficult to read the note letters sometimes... probably even worse with a Firebird. So at least for me it is best for fine tuning, like when I'm pretty close to the proper pitch.

    But it is really great for setting intonation... I never realized how inaccurate the Snark tuners were.

    P.P.P.S. There is one downside to using a tuner with your tablet — depending on proximity your guitar may pick up some digital noise from it. One thing about RF frequencies they might have beat notes in the audio realm (that would be the difference between the two frequencies.)
    Last edited by Steve A.; 01-23-2018 at 08:31 AM.

  6. #6
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Well, had they not done it, someone else would have. That's just the nature of technology.
    A friend of mine who is pretty high up at nvidia tells me that Jensen Huang (CEO) is famous for using a phrase about the nvidia campus. It's something along the lines of this: "It's not important that your competitors know how something can be done, what's important is that they know that it can be done."

    The point behind this is that once you let out the secret that something can be done, your competitors don't need to know how you did it. All they need is the knowledge that you did it, and then they'll find a way to do it too.

    When Peterson came out with the virtual tuner app, they violated Jensen's rule. If they never created the virtual strobe tuner app, chances are that nobody else would have created the idea, at least not right away. And to a corporation that makes it's money selling one item, putting off the competition for a few years can lead to a significant difference in the revenue stream.

    I don't think it's as simple as saying that someone else would have done it eventually. There's value in being the first one to have an idea. The copycats follow other people, and being copycats, they may never have come up with the original idea on their own.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  7. #7
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    But it is really great for setting intonation... I never realized how inaccurate the Snark tuners were.
    What's the accuracy on the Snark? I think I read that the Boss app was accurate to +/- 1 cent. The Peterson clips, by comparison, are accurate to +/- 0.1 cent, which makes them as accurate as the AutoStrobes, and better for intonation.

    That said, I still use a benchtop AutoStrobe 490 for intonation work, and a 490R in my rack. I bought them long before the clip-on thingies came along, and I find them easier to use.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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