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> Strobe Tuner for Steel Guitar
John Norris
post Apr 25 2003, 01:47 AM
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When we first looked into designing the tuners which became the Peterson V-SAM & VS-II, we were looking for instruments that are not always tune-able using the usual "Equal Temperament tuner", there are quite a few of these, and steel guitar (pedal and lap) is among them. Nobody builds a tuner for these instruments, at least nothing thats simple and easy to operate without the user having to be a rocket scientist wink.gif, and certainly no tuner exists with tempered tuning presets for E9, C6 and universal 12 string.
Until now, that is.

We are musicians, not just engineer geeks here at Peterson, so pedal steel was not exactly new to us, however, the concept of building a dedicated E9 and C6 temperament initially proved to be a challenge.
Listening to artists as diverse as Lloyd Green, Junior Brown, BJ Cole and Buddy Emmons, it was obvious that these gentlemen had their own different tuning systems, but one thing was common to them all, they sounded in tune.........

Steel Guitar, whether lap style or pedal is unique in the guitar family, in that the intervals MUST be consonant, not equally tempered, otherwise the triads and chords in general sound horrible (to our ears at least biggrin.gif).
This led us to the presumption that Steelers were tuning to something in their heads which they deemed ideal, but which the common LED/Needle tuner could not zero in on.

So we studied, read, spoke to players and listened to steel guitar music, country, jazz and "sacred steel" music.

Through the encouragement of people like long-time Peterson user Gary Steele and Clint Black´s PSG player Jeff Peterson, we decided we could "build a better mousetrap".
I had personally spent some time with Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association members like Chris Kennison of Berkley Guitars and Sage from Harmos Steel Guitars (listen to Robert Randolphs great playing on the Harmos instruments) taking measurements and trying different stuff out with the VS-1 which was still new at the time:

http://www.petersontuners.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=68

After a bevy of beers (these guys could drink biggrin.gif), they explained the physics of the instruments to me, it was important to me to understand where the lap steel players were coming from.



We have been involved with the Just temperament, the Meantone temperament and Equal temperament and just about every other way of re-arranging the notes in a scale longer than any other electronic tuner company, looking back, we have been doing this since 1936, but could we apply this knowledge to steel guitar?



We took a look at Jeff Newman´s charts, Tom Bradshaw´s system, we learnt that Buddy Emmons tuned straight 440Hz (but we didn´t really believe that wink.gif) especially on the E9 neck, we did the math, we dialled in the "cabinet drop" numbers, and listened again.

We were faced with the fact that everyone believes that Just or "Natural" tuning is so limited in scope that the player is stuck to a key with a very narrow choice of chord modulation. Then there was the universal 12 string tuning. What to do??

There was only one remedy, try them out in every possible permutation, tune to ET, then tune to MT, then tune to JT, how does it sound? We filled in the blanks left by previous systems, after all there are 12 notes in an octave.
The result?
Like flavors, the tunings sounded different in different keys, but not out of tune, and we were able to return to those cent values again and again thanks to the strobe´s accuracy and real-time operation.
Making accurate tuners allows you to make pretty good judgements, so we made short work of the experiments.

So......?

We built them all into a tuner, so accurate that there are no stones left unturned, the purist can tune his or her guitar to various tempered tunings using the custom E9 & C6 preset steel temperaments (S-E9 & S-C6), the fence-sitter can use Meantone, the less "adventurous" can use Equal temperament to tune more accurately than ever before possible and the temperament dabbler can program a custom tuning or two.

Then we decided to allow the user to change the temperament roots to any one of 12 notes, which meant that you not only have an E9 preset, but also D9 etc. and not only a C6 preset but also B6 etc.

Hell, you can even measure your cabinet drop accurately at last!
Up to now, you had to recalibrate the "A" for every string if you used a standard LED tuner, very awkward, and after all that, those tuners (even the rackmount tuners) have an error of up to 5 cents ohmy.gif.
With the V-SAM its no-hands tuning to 0.1 cent accuracy all the way.

We made a global control to shift the entire temperament up or down to match any keyboard or regular guitar band members tuning, and we threw in a tone generator and a metronome for good measure.

"What?", I hear you say - "but my ear is PERFECT, I have PERFECT PITCH!"
Yeah, so perfect that when you´re tuning your steel it can hear in three different temperaments while the jukebox in the corner is playing "Islands in the Stream" at full blast, you have a streaming cold and the band is due onstage in 5 minutes.

That, my friend, is where your Peterson V-SAM comes in.

Oh and we even managed to rig a clamp to get the V-SAM right where you want it, but out of your way when you want to tweak the changer.



More about the clamp HERE.

Then came the time to put it all to the test, so we called Paul Warnik, a member of the steel guitar community whose work is well respected by the likes of Ry Cooder, you might have read an article about his exploits in Guitar Player recently.

Paul has played since he was a teenager and is conversant in the music, history and construction of the pedal steel guitar.



Paul has a whole mess of guitars, but two canditates stood out from the bunch, a mid sixties Emmons push-pull and a Marlen all-pull.

"What should I bring?" he asked me on the day before showdown, I thought "Mmm, if he brings the Marlen, it´ll be easy", it was tempting, but in the end I asked him to bring the old Emmons.
"Really?" says Paul, "Yeah, lets do it!"

So, next day Paul pulled up outside Peterson, and we loaded out his Emmons, a Standell amp and his Pack-a-seat.



I had reserved the Peterson Library for the afternoon, with Paul, two Peterson engineers and myself, I had a feeling we´d probably be in there for a while biggrin.gif.

I felt we were making a little bit of history in a minor way smile.gif, nobody had previously made a tuner with preset tunings for this instrument and most of the steel guys I met were much more informed in tuning than regular guitar players, so I felt sure this would really be worth it.

We set up, and sat down, I showed Paul the chrome tuner clamp prototype and we hooked everything up.



Paul hooked his Emmons up to a low-boy Goodrich volume pedal and the Standell, I clamped the V-SAM to the leg of the Emmons.

Then Paul tuned the C6 neck to the Equal temperament preset on the V-SAM.



"Good as I´ve ever gotten it with my old Peterson 520...", Paul doesn´t use the old 520 at gigs, only for recording, he thinks its too big & cumbersome for stage work, he uses an ancient non-tempered k&$g WT12 instead, "...Hey, it fits inside my pack-a-seat!"

Then Paul wanted to check out the C6 tempered tuning preset, he was doubtful it would sound good, since the C6 neck is often tuned to Equal temperament for jazz and the dense chords could prove difficult if the tuning was too "pure" when he changed key a lot...



He played a couple of licks and started to comp some chords, immediately I noticed a difference, a brightness and character which didn´t show up in the ET tuning. I looked at Mike the engineer, Mike looked at Chris the software shark, Chris looked at me.... "sounds pretty cool!" said Paul, he played on, I chuckled at his off the wall turnarounds and key changes, "nice pick-blocking Paul", Mike looked over at me "man, this really does work!".

We took some time out to see how the V-SAM measures cabinet drop, thats the detuning effect that happens when a pedal or two are depressed and the cabinet "sags", causing some other strings to go flat, some older guitars have this problem, some of the new ones don´t.



We measured 4.6 cents of a drop with the A & B pedals down.
"Thats roughly what I figured" Paul said, "but its sure nice to be able to measure exactly how much drop is in there, when you go about trying to improve things on the guitar"

Then Paul tuned the E9 neck to the V-SAMs E9 preset, straight through in one pass.



The bracket held the V-SAM nice and visible while allowing easy access to the changer.

Paul hit pedals and knee levers, but the V-SAM followed his movements in real-time, and soon he was able to adjust stuff at speed, I learnt a lot by seeing each adjustment´s effect on the strings while the pedals were operated, "damn, that tuners fast!"

Finally Paul played, the effect was not quite as dramatic as the C6 transformation, but that was to be expected, since a player will often spend half an hour ohmy.gif getting the E9 tuned (especially in the case of a push-pull guitar), Paul got it done in 1 minute flat.

"Every steel player should have one of these!!" was Paul´s final verdict.

So there you have it, a very educational and worthwhile experience was had by all of us, we´re now turning our attention to other non-equally tempered instruments like Highland bagpipes [}: )] Uilleann pipes [B )] and other exotic instruments.

I hope all you steel players enjoy the new Peterson V-SAM, and thanks to Paul Warnik for his time and expertise.

[img]http://www.petersontuners.com/oldweb/images/bank/Paul-Warnik5.jpg[/img]

John Norris

P.S. The new VS-II has E9 and C6 presets too!!

Peterson Pedal Steel Page
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Ron Randall
post Apr 25 2003, 07:56 PM
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Thanks John
Thanks Paul

MAn it sure makes sense. I have 2 VS-1 tuners and love em, but I have always had to do it the hard way. I have a R490 I bought from Gary Steele and it is fine in the rack at home.

This is an answer to a prayer for all my steel, dobro, stuff.

I bet the bluegrass boys will be next to discover, so they can tune Gb JI, or G# JI.

Thanks again. I too play a new MSA Universal 12. I tune mine Bb6/Eb9.
(hey, thats my story and I'm stickin to it.)
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Paul Warnik
post Apr 28 2003, 08:04 AM
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John-On behalf of pedal steel players everywhere I extend to you much thanks for your attention to the issues of pedal steel guitar tuning theory and the manufacture of the V-SAM strobe tuner-Your knowledge of the different brands of steels that are made,the people who play them,and current happenings in the world of steel guitar are most impressive coming from someone who does not actually play pedal steel I have been going through all of my pedal steels and retuning them to the V-SAM Pre-set temperaments and they all sound wonderful! Keep up the good work John-I think you have been bitten by the "steel guitar bug" and will be owning and playing a pedal steel soon!
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dobro
post May 5 2003, 04:32 PM
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I'm mostly a dobro player, with some pedal steel...I bought a VS-1 the next morning after I had one demo'd to me at a gig about 8 months ago. I know I've sold a couple other steelers on 'em also.

So, what's the upgrade path to a V-SAM from a VS-1?

Or am I just stuck with buying a V-SAM and trying to sell the VS-1...I can't justify keeping both unfortunately.

Thanks,

Lee
lee@dixieliner.com
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John Norris
post May 5 2003, 11:24 PM
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Lee,
I remember you from a while back, you´re a Dobro player who likes to tune in Just Temperament to flatten those thirds.
The V-SAM is not an "Upgrade" to the VS-1, no more than the Stratocaster is an upgrade to the Telecaster, different strokes for different folks.
The VS-1 that you bought is still the most advanced tuner you can buy for your particular needs.
In your position, I would hang on for a few months, regular guitar players are only starting to realise what you have known for quite a while and there is quite a market for your VS-1.
How about telling us what your experience has been with the VS-1 compared to your previous tuner which was a generic needle type if I remember correctly?

John Norris
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dobro
post May 7 2003, 09:48 AM
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[QUOTE=Converted Post]Originally posted by John Norris

I remember you from a while back, you´re a Dobro player who likes to tune in Just Temperament to flatten those thirds.


Mostly...In G-tuning, I normally tune the G and D in EQU temperament, then grab the knob and dial in -15 cents to tune the B strings...approximating JT.

[QUOTE=Converted Post]The V-SAM is not an "Upgrade" to the VS-1, no more than the Stratocaster is an upgrade to the Telecaster, different strokes for different folks.


Not sure I agree with this...semantics, perhaps!

[QUOTE=Converted Post]The VS-1 that you bought is still the most advanced tuner you can buy for your particular needs.


Well, I think the V-SAM has it beat if I understand how it works. I still have to manually dial in -15 cents adjustment for my B-strings...with the V-SAM, I could store the temperament I normally use, correct?

While JT would probably be what I want to use, the V-SAM has JT in G, correct? If so, I actually could use that feature, rather than having to dial in offsets manually as I do now.

Unless I still haven't figured it out, short of dialing in manual offsets, I can't use JT with the VS-1 for G-tuning.

[QUOTE=Converted Post]How about telling us what your experience has been with the VS-1 compared to your previous tuner which was a generic needle type if I remember correctly?


Obviously I think the tuner is excellent...everyone I show it to is amazed. I've used all sorts of "generic" tuners - needle and faux-needle digi tuners, all inacurrate due to the inherent resolution limitations.

What is a PITA is trying to retune the B-strings on stage...if it's during a song and I need to touch-up tuning, I've gotten kind-of used to how the bands "spin" to guesstimate -15 cents on the Bs. It would be much better if I could just tune to make everything stop moving (w/o turning the knob, of course).

I have no plans of being without a strobe (virtual or actual), but the V-SAM looks lots better to me for my use than the VS-1 - or I'm missing something with the VS-1!

I'd actually hoped maybe there was a firmware chip drop-in available that would put the V-SAM software in the VS-1, minus the stuff accessed by extra buttons that I don't really need (like metronome - well, I need a metronome, but I have one and don't need it built in the tuner!biggrin.gif).

Thanks,

Lee

lee@dixieliner.com
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John Norris
post May 7 2003, 11:26 AM
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(Converted Post)
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The V-SAM is not an "Upgrade" to the VS-1, no more than the Stratocaster is an upgrade to the Telecaster, different strokes for different folks.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Not sure I agree with this...semantics, perhaps!


Lee, the VS-1 and V-SAM are somewhat similar on the outside, but they differ completely on the inside, theres different hardware.
Thats why an update is not possible, its simply a different tuner.

John N.
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dobro
post May 7 2003, 11:35 AM
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[QUOTE=Converted Post]Originally posted by John Norris

[quote]the VS-1 and V-SAM are somewhat similar on the outside, but they differ completely on the inside, theres different hardware.
Thats why an update is not possible, its simply a different tuner.


Oh well...sad.gif

So, when will the V-SAM manual go online? I'd like to give it a look-see before I decide to pick one up and sell the VS-1.
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John Norris
post May 7 2003, 12:48 PM
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Lee,
the manual will go online when we start to ship in a few weeks, by the way, some stores buy gear to sell second hand, should be no problem with the VS-1.
It sounds like the V-SAM is ideal for what you want it to do, all temperaments in all roots and two programmable temperaments (all in all thats 157 temperaments).
By the way, I remember you were looking for a clamp to attach your tuner to a mic stand, we are working on one right now:



John N.
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hparris
post May 28 2003, 11:20 AM
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Since today is May 28th, when will our new V-SAM's Be delivered? I can't wait to get my hands on one.
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John Norris
post Jul 3 2003, 01:39 PM
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Here is some information especially for Steel Players on how to use the V-SAM :



The Basics


The V-SAM comprises 3 separate devices; a Virtual Strobe Tuner, an Audio Tone Generator and a Metronome. Use the “Mode” button to switch between them:



To step through the parameters of each device, press either of the two “Menu” buttons below the “Mode” button:




The parameters appear one by one below the horizontal line on the lower right side of the display:



To change the value of the displayed parameter, rotate the “Value” knob:





Within some parameters are further levels of control, press the “Value” knob gently to “Choose” between them:



Using the peterson V-SAM for Steel Guitar


The Tuner

Factory defaults values are
Concert A = 440.0Hz
Temperament = Equal,
Tonal Root = C
KEY = C

Connect the V-SAM´s input jack to the output of the Steel, volume pedal or amplifier line-out. We recommend the use of a Peterson Pitch Holder to mount the V-SAM to a leg of the steel, thus optimizing the viewing angle and keeping the tuner out of the way but within easy reach. Play a note. The V-SAM´s virtual strobe image flows upwards to indicate that the note is sharp in pitch and downwards to indicate that the note is flat. The speed of the movement is in direct accordance with the distance of the played note from the V-SAM’s target pitch. The note is in tune when the image is immobile.

To step through the parameters, press either of the lower two buttons to the left of the Value knob. The first parameter is Cents.

To find out exactly how out of tune a tone is, use the Value knob to adjust the cent value until the Strobe image is immobile. In this case you are tuning the tuner to the instrument. The amount of “out of tuneness” will be displayed on the V-SAM´s screen.

Press lightly on the Value knob, the cursor will jump from 00.0 cents to 00.0 allowing you to fine tune even further in 1/10th cent increments.

The V-SAM contains the first ever tuner presets (E9 & C6) for Steel Guitar. To access them follow the steps below.

Switch the V-SAM on and press the lower menu button three times until “TMPR: EQL” shows in the lower right hand corner of the screen.

The “TMPR” parameter: Use the Value knob to choose a suitable temperament for your steel guitar –
SE9 (ROOT: C) Tempered Steel Guitar E9 Tuning
SC6 (ROOT: C) Tempered Steel Guitar C6 Tuning
SE9 (ROOT: Bb) Tempered Steel Guitar D9 Tuning
SC6 (ROOT: cool.gif Tempered Steel Guitar B6 Tuning

By pressing gently on the “Value” knob (“ROOT:”) you can transpose the chosen temperament to any one of 12 chromatic keys, in the case of the E9 neck choose “TPMR: SE9” and then “ROOT: C” (for C6 choose “TMPR: C6” and then “ROOT: C”), then proceed to tune open strings, pedal and lever positions.
Note : The V-SAMs default Root is “C”, always check settings especially if more than one person is using the tuner.

The “Save” parameter: This allows you to save your previously chosen Tuner parameters into the V-SAM´s memory. Now, every time you switch on the V-SAM, these saved parameters will be active.

For D9 tuning, select “TEMPR: E9” and then “ROOT: Bb”, for B6 select “TMPR: C6” and then “ROOT: B”

The V-SAM has two programmable temperaments for any other offsets you may want to save. To commence programming, press and hold the upper menu button while switching the V-SAM on. Rotate the “Value” knob to adjust the pitch and press the “Value” knob to advance to the next note. When finished, press the upper menu button twice and follow the screen prompts by pressing the “Value” knob to save the new settings.

To measure “Cabinet Drop” choose a string which is not attached to a pedal and tune it until the strobe image is immobile, then press the A, B & C pedals, pluck the string again and watch for a change in pitch. To work out how much Cabinet Drop is present, adjust the V-SAMs cent control until the image is immobile. The drop will be displayed on the screen in cents/10th of cents.

Happy Steelin´

cool.gif

John N.
Marlen D10

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Randy Beavers
post Jul 6 2003, 07:21 AM
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I received my V-Sam last Thursday. This is what we've been needing! I have two questions. I would like to know why the Steel presets are 9.8 cents sharp for the roots. Is this to compensate for the cabinet drop of the guitar you tested? If so, we should deduct or add to compensate for our own guitars. My push-pull Emmons has 2.0 cents of drop. Even so, Pauls guitar had 4.6 cents of drop. Why the extra 5.2 cents of sharpness?

My other question is, when storing my own presets, do I need to save after each individual note, or go through all the notes and save once at the end?
Thanks,
Randy
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John Norris
post Jul 7 2003, 02:11 PM
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Hi Randy,
The reason for the E9 & C6 temperament "location" is nothing to do with Cabinet Drop, but simply because we found no general concensus on which Equally tempered note everyone was starting out from, so we chose a starting point that matched Jeff Newmans, which "straddles" A-440Hz with notes both above and below 440Hz.
The easy way to "park" the E-9 and C-6 preset temperaments for your own particular situation is to decide on one note that you want to match with a regular guitar or keyboard, and do the following:
Switch on the tuner and choose your temperament (E9 or C6), then go to the A440 parameter, then play that chosen note (lets say "E") on the regular guitar or keyboard and adjust the Concert A setting on the V-SAM until the strobe image is immobile.

The V-SAM is now locked to the Equally Tempered E on your band-mates instruments, although it is in E9 or C6 temperament for all other notes. You can now tune your steel.
If this is your usual setup, save this setting as your default so that you only have to switch on and tune without further adjustment.

When using the V-SAM in "Program" mode, you adjust some or all of the notes first and then press "Save", you don´t have to save for each note.

Stay tuned!

John N.
Marlen D10
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John Norris
post Jul 9 2003, 04:13 PM
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We met pro-steeler Robby Turner recently here in Chicago. Robby is excited about the new steel guitar presets in the VS-II and V-SAM.
"Up to now steel players have been on their own when it comes to tuning" he says "I gotta temper my guitar, I just can´t listen to a straight 440Hz tuned steel!"
Thats a problem on big shows, you can´t just walk out onstage in front of 10,000 people a half an hour before showtime for a quick check or tune. Leaving it to the crew doesn´t always work either because up to now theres been no reference tuner for Steel Guitar.
"Its been a long time coming, but I´m sure glad its here!"



Robby´s latest CD is "Steel Guitar By Moonlight" available from CMH Records, Box 39439, Los Angeles, CA 90039, he is currently on tour with the Dixie Chicks.
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Tony Harris
post Aug 7 2003, 09:41 AM
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I've only just discovered your site, so apologies if some of my points have already been covered. I'm a long-time guitar player (tune to ET on a little tuner and LEAVE IT!), who now plays lap steel in C6 or C6/A7 tuning. I know that by tuning JI (even without a tuner my ear wants to flatten that third!) the open C6 chord could be perfect, and this would be fine if all we did was slide this major chord up and down the neck to fit the song. But notes from that C6 chord also have to function as an Fmaj9, A7 etc. So surely we have to tune to ET to compromise, especially as the rest of the band has done just that? For example my open A string must surely agree with eveybody else's A?
Thanks, Tony Harris.
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John Norris
post Aug 8 2003, 07:10 AM
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Hi Tony,
we believe that there should be a choice to do whatever you want when it comes to tuning, unfortunately most tuners give you only one option - ET - mostly innaccurately.
Unequal temperaments have many uses and lend character and color to the sound of an instrument.
After all, a stretch tuned piano is usually over 25 cents flat in the bass region and similarly sharp in the higher octaves, even though the temperament octave is mostly tuned to ET - to make it pleasing to the ear, which is all anyone is trying to do when tuning.
Alternate piano temperament is on its way back, however, people are beginning to hear the differences between the rather bland and uneventful ET and temperaments with character and color such as Meantone or Kellner.
Here is Temperament Guru Ed Foote's take on this:

(Converted Post)
The flowing changes of musical tension are enhanced by the contrast of dissonance and consonance. These are musical effects that the composers certainly were aware of, effects that are not possible in Equal Temperament.

The "acceptable" amount of tempering has changed over the course of history. Rulers and audiences have demanded different music at different times. In the Meantone era, when music was heavily influenced by the church, a good third was a pure third and everybody knew where the wolf lurked. Today, with the ubiquitous use of Equal Temperament, we have come to accept the lack of pure intervals and contrast in the keys. As a result, we have deprived ourselves of the depth that was written into the tonal music of the masters. In the Well Temperaments of the Classical Era, created during a time when art, science, and religion battled for dominion, we hear both the pure and the dissonant, the calm and the storm. In the characters of the keys, we hear the souls of the classical composers.

In an orchestra, how does one reconcile violins & cellos tuned to Pythagorean temperament with horns tuned to Just [?]?
Creative use of dissonance enhancing consonance, maybe?.

Guitar players have only begun to explore temperament and the VS series tuners are about the only tuners which offer the accuracy and the ability to do all that.
Our current tuners have 14 different temperaments two of which are programmable so the choice is yours (we even have ET in there biggrin.gif!).
Stay with ET or try another flavor, its up to you. Have you ever tried another way of tuning? What kind of tuner do you use at the moment?

John N.
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Tony Harris
post Aug 12 2003, 03:35 AM
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Thanks John...but with a few more temperaments to choose from, I'm even more confused. I have a few tuners, all small, cheap and convenient - by Korg, Sabine, Seiko, and now a pedal model by Boss, which I find convenient in that it mutes when tuning so I can quickly check onstage between (or during) a number if I suspect I'm out of tune, without re-plugging. All I want to do is sound in tune with the rest of the band - and they may not even be in tune with themselves! For lap steel C6th I tune to ET, making the thirds and sixth "a few cents" under, and the fifth a few over - as recommended in the Cindy Cashdollar video. Getting the steel to 'gel' with the rest of the band is all I ask...
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bperlik
post Aug 12 2003, 12:10 PM
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RE:[?]In an orchestra, how does one reconcile violins & cellos tuned to Pythagorean temperament with horns tuned to Just ?
Creative use of dissonance enhancing consonance, maybe?.


I often wondered about this until I played in an orchestra...

A friend of mine, a grad student in conducting, explained it this way. Modern orchestra music is played in tempered tuning. Orchestra players aim to be in tune with each other on that chord, not all stay to one temperament, and SOUND GOOD biggrin.gif (unless they are a baroque orchestra or other historical type).

The mathematical difference is not so great between these different tunings that it causes too much trouble. Violinists are already used to adjusting their playing (no frets), and brass players know that the interval is a bit wider when playing with strings as opposed to with a piano. That's why ombuchure for a brass / woodwind player is so important. They can very carefully and accurately adjust the pitch of a note to match the pitch of a string player. Also, most brass instruments have slides (even a trumpet has a small slide) which can be lengthened or shortened, making the sound lower or higher and more able to match a pitch if great extremes must be taken.

The orchestra leader will say "Let's tune that chord!"
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John Norris
post Aug 13 2003, 12:31 PM
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(Converted Post)
For lap steel C6th I tune to ET, making the thirds and sixth "a few cents" under, and the fifth a few over

.....which amounts to a mild tempering like the Meantone temperament, but ET it is no more smile.gif!
The tuners you mention are inexpensive but they will not be able to "nail" any temperament, rather display a rough approximation of ET. The pedal tuner you mention has a manufacturers specified accuracy of +/- 3 cents, which ammounts to a 6 cent error window, you will not be able to tune or recognise temperaments properly without something which has a better definition.
What we offer are precise devices which have all the temperament options, and once you have settled on a suitable one, or have programmed your own, they allow you to repeatedly return to those values quickly and effortlessly time and time again without any adjustments to the tuner.
We have made it one of our goals to ensure that steel players get more relaxation before a gig, instead of tuning for 30 or 40 minutes while the rest of the band look on from the bar wink.gif!

John N.
Marlen D10
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Tony Harris
post Aug 14 2003, 07:53 AM
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Thanks for your help John, I'll investigate further.
On a lighter note, I've been playing guitar since I was a teenager in the sixties - long before any sort of tuner existed (or affordable ones anyway). I didn't know anything about temperaments, different string gauges, or that a guitar needed to be correctly intonated to play properly. Luckily my ear in those days was more 'forgiving'. I read that a guitarist in one of our top British guitar groups would start tuning his guitar at the soundcheck in the theatre at 3 in the afternoon, and still be fiddling with it as the curtains opened at 8!!! Ouch!
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John Norris
post Aug 14 2003, 08:44 AM
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I lived in Hamburg for quite a while (15 years) and met some of the bands who came from the UK to Germany in the '60s in the wake of the Beatles, they mentioned tuning to notes on a harmonica or a piano etc., but actually tuners had been around since the 1930´s.
Heres the first ever handheld tuner, a Peterson Model 70, which ran on a 9v battery and came out in 1964:



....and was quite inexpensive smile.gif - Bill Hass, who designed it, is our CFO here at Peterson, man does he have stories to tell biggrin.gif.

When the Beatles dissolved Apple at the end of the '60s, there was a Strobe Tuner among their gear, Jimi Hendrix also used a strobe during his short but eventful career.

Likewise the legendary slide guitarist Duane Allman, seen here using a Peterson Model 400 Strobe Tuner in the late 1960s...



So although tuners were perhaps not quite as common as they are today, they have been around for over 60 years.
Most of the bands who are icons from that period used them, but because a tuner is not as obvious as a guitar or an amp, nobody noticed.
I am putting together a small collection of early tuners and will post it here soon.

John N.

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miroslav
post Aug 14 2003, 10:40 AM
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I love the poster!!!

Can it still be gotten in a bigger size than this 3.5" x 4.5" JPG?

It would look super in my studio! cool.gif

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John Norris
post Aug 14 2003, 11:56 AM
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There are sadly only a few originals left, but we do have the poster in vector format. Let me know if you would like me to email the vector version to you.
Meanwhile, check this out:
http://www.petersontuners.com/oldweb/image...ps_1024x768.jpg

John N.

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miroslav
post Aug 15 2003, 05:45 PM
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Yes...I would love a vector version of either or both.

The first poster is really cool but the second one is sharp too...both take me back....waaaaaaay back maaaaaaaan! cool.gif

miroslavl@yahoo.com

Oh...Yahoo has a 500KB limit per attachment. If they are each large than that, I can try a different email account.

Thanks!!!

The strobe crop circle photo is great! biggrin.gif
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John Norris
post Aug 15 2003, 06:52 PM
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Barb Perlik, come in - your time is up, I have discovered a spelling mistake:
(Converted Post)
That's why ombuchure for a brass / woodwind player is so important.

Barb, its "embouchure", my parents had the misguided idea of sending me to France at the age of 15, I won´t say I learnt "embouchure" then (but I certainly did later biggrin.gif). Back then I quickly learnt that "fermez la bouche" meant "shut up" in French (it was said to me a lot at that time).
How did Fiddle camp go? I mentioned Kevin Burke because he really is a top fiddle player in the purest (Irish) sense of the word. Here is his site:
http://pws.prserv.net/kevinburke/html_home.html

John N.
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Bar Slant
post Sep 2 2003, 07:27 PM
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Thank you to the person at the Peterson booth at Scotty's Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis last saturday, not only did he sell me a great product but when I mentioned that I was not so hot with new fangled appliances, he programmed my desired offsets into my new VS-II tuner right there in the booth!
Now THAT is what I call service, are you listening Korg/Boss/Sabine!!!

Jim Siegler
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John Norris
post Sep 23 2003, 01:28 PM
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Thank you Jim,
thats what we're here for.
For more info on Strobe Tuning and steel guitars
Click here

John N.
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miroslav
post Oct 1 2003, 05:28 AM
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[QUOTE=Converted Post]Originally posted by John Norris

....if you would like me to email the vector version to you.




Hi John,

I'm sure you have been busy and just forgot, but if your offer to email me vector versions of those classic Peterson Tuner posters is still on...

...I would still like to get them! cool.gif


Email them to:
miroslavl@yahoo.com

Oh...if the files are larger than 500 KB, Yahoo may not accept them.
I can then give you a different email address (just send me a note to my miroslavl@yahoo address, 'cuz I won't post that address online) . biggrin.gif
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Chris Labriola
post Oct 2 2003, 12:32 PM
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Miro,

Here is the link for the vector Peterson Poster.
It is in .swf flash vector format.

You can scale it to any print size.

Click Here!

-Chris
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miroslav
post Oct 3 2003, 05:44 AM
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Excellent!!! smile.gif

You guys rock!!!
Hey...if you have any of the other ones as vector grahipcs, please post up their links too. tongue.gif

I know some folks that have large format color printers/plotters...I'm going to see if I can get it printed at something like a nice 2' x 3' size.

This will be a sweet addition to my studio!!!
Really cool!!! cool.gif
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William Steward
post Jan 17 2004, 06:46 PM
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I am about to order a VS-2 or V-Sam. Does either also have 'presets' for acoustic pianos - in addition to several steel instruments I have Howard/Baldwin small grand and Fender Rhodes stage piano. I know piano tuning is a complex topic but I am pretty capable of touching up the unisons on my pianos between regular tunings and have tuned my Fender for years but know it could be better.
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John Norris
post Jan 20 2004, 08:14 AM
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The VS-II and V-SAM both have historical temperament presets for harpsichord, but not for stretch tuning pianos. Although you can use the VS tuners to set the temperament on an acoustic piano, we recommend the AutoStrobe 490ST for piano tuning.
As far as classic electric pianos go, the Fender Rhodes preamp was designed by us here at Peterson, here is the original stretch chart



John N.
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tom anderson
post Jan 25 2004, 11:06 AM
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I play univeral pedal steel single 12 e-9/b-6 tuning & just bought this tuner (VS 11) to help stay in tune. It sounds great, but I had to program the tuner following a recommended series of settings that came with my quick start guide. Is this the easiest & most accurate way to tune this instrument? It seems cumbersome switching between p1 & p2, as well as turning off the tuner & turning it back on to tune the Eb notes, & I am not sure why you do so. Why don't you use the e-9 & c-6 presets & change the root note in c-6 to b? Also, the tuning seems to be slightly sharp, so I have to hold my bar one one side of the fret slightly to be in tune with practice records. I have only used it for one day, so I am not completely sure about this. If so, can I reset the presets or the root note on p1 & p2 to tune everything "down" a few cents? There is more of a learning curve than I thought there would be with this tuner, but my guitar so far sounds wonderful. Thanks, Tom
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John Norris
post Jan 28 2004, 10:44 AM
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Hi Tom,
sure you can change the root of C6 (on a V-SAM the root is adjustable, but on a VS-II you need to program it).
The instructions on U12 tuning were based on Jeff Newmans charts and method as we felt that the majority of players were familiar with Jeffs tuning system.
Regarding switching the tuner on & off etc., its simply the quickest way. The long way is described in the other manual included with the tuner.
(Converted Post)
If so, can I reset the presets or the root note on p1 & p2 to tune everything "down" a few cents?


The Newman presets are 9.8 cents sharp on the open Es, some like that, some don't, so you can either subtract 9.8 from each offset when you're programming or just adjust the global cent value by -9.5 cents each time you switch it on.
A third way is to set the tuner to 437.5 and save that as your default value. That has the effect of lowering your "E"s to 00.0 cents but keeping all other notes tempered relative to each other.

John N.

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John Norris
post Jun 3 2004, 08:08 PM
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This thread was originally about pedal steel guitar, but it got slightly off-topic.
To bring everyone up to date, I would like to ask anyone who wants to buy a Peterson tuner for steel guitar tuning to buy it from Mrs. Fran Newman, wife of the late Jeff Newman who's career was tragically ended recently, Jeff did more for steel guitar tuning than anyone else.
To order, please use the phone number 800-373-3418 (for orders only), any technical questions will be answered here or by calling 708-388-3311 ext. 141 (Outside the U.S.: 001-708-388-3311).
Jeff Newman steel guitar instruction videos and DVDs will continue to be available from the Jeffran College of Steel Guitar.

John N.

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John Davis
post Dec 3 2004, 01:41 PM
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Mr.Norris,
Thank you for your "something for the steelies" post I had spent an hour or two with the VS2 and up to finding this topic it was still a mystery to me!!! even with the instruction book!!!but its looking better now!
John Davis
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John Norris
post Dec 6 2004, 03:07 PM
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Hello John,
glad you're getting the hang of it.

Enjoy your VS-II

John N.

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John Norris
post Aug 21 2006, 11:20 AM
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Update:
The new Peterson VS-F StroboFlip has even more presets for steel and also Dobro plus many more exclusive instrument presets.



John N.
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John Norris
post Jan 9 2008, 02:59 AM
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In memory of a friend and a great Steel Guitarist

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh_T255pSiM

John N
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