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Inconsistent and inaccurate Tuner!!!

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Goodmorning everyone.

I waited more than a month before writing this post to be sure of my evaluations .
I also expected an update that would solve this problem .
But now I would like to compare myself with you .
I own several tuners , pedal and rack . (Peterson, Turbo tuner, Korg rack, org pitch black, Danelectro).
I tried several different guitars and various ways to tune .
The tuner of the Helix is by far the least accurate and stable I have ever tried .
I also compared with an old Danelectro I own for the past several years .
The tuner will stop on the green segment even if the note is a lot off frequency.
Compared to Turbo Tuner or Peterson I own, when Helix gives me the green others are a lot moving the strobe!!!
Too bad because the Helix in my opinion marks a very important step for us guitarists.  a tuner of this kind is not acceptable on such a sophisticated instrument.

I've a little recording studio and I play live and in my opinion The Helix tuner is unusable in both situation.

Is this a bug that Line 6 can fix with an update???
What do you think?

Best regards.

Andrea 

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You are not the only one that thinks the tuner is no good.

 

There are other threads about it. Line 6 say it is highly accurate!

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The stability of the display is useful -- it doesn't jump around a lot -- but the tradeoff appears to be that it's stable because it's pretty low resolution. It says things are in tune when I can hear that they're not.

 

A global Tuner Resolution setting might be useful, so people can make their own decisions about where they stand on that continuum.

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The stability of the display is useful -- it doesn't jump around a lot -- but the tradeoff appears to be that it's stable because it's pretty low resolution. It says things are in tune when I can hear that they're not.

 

A global Tuner Resolution setting might be useful, so people can make their own decisions about where they stand on that continuum.

I  agree!

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I don't have a Helix but know the tuner issues with MFXs. They seem to work the best with a 12th fret harmonic rather than an open string.

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I have been using the Helix Tuner for 4 months now exclusively, and I am always in tune with the band. Just my experience.

It is more problematic with older strings, but I'm hard on strings (lots of capo use) and when they get old they intonate badly.

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There are other threads about it. Line 6 say it is highly accurate!

Well honestly, whether it works or not, what did you expect them to say? "Oops, we f#@&!d up?". It's just like a car accident...never admit fault, not even for a little fender-bender. Eyes front, no talking, call a lawyer...;)

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I've experienced the same as well.  What is more frustrating is trying to tune a Variax guitar.  I can tune up with the mags and sometimes the Variax model will show as being out of tune.  Ear training has been a life saver and stress reliever.

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While I'm sure that the Helix tuner itself is very accurate, I have to agree that there's something about the display that's not helping.  I can tune up with my Polytune 2 or Snark and then double check it with the Helix tuner and everything will be in the green.  If I tune up with the Helix tuner and then check it with the others, and my ears, it can be a little off.

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Ok on Youtube I found this!!!

It's what I feel!!

When others are moving the Helix tuner is stable!!!

 

All that means is those other tuners offer higher resolution or precision than the Helix tuner. The Helix is tuner is accurate to within +/- 1 cent. I believe the Peterson is accurate down to .01 cent or something ridiculous like that. But there's nothing wrong with the calibration of the Helix tuner as far as I can tell. I've been using Helix live for over 6 months now, with multiple bands, and I've recorded with it, and I've never had any issue with being in tune with other members of the band. I actually think that unless you're using a tuner for intonating, much beyond 1 cent accuracy is probably more of a marketing thing than a helpful feature. How long can a guitar string stay tuned to within a tenth of a cent?

 

There was a long thread over on TGP in the Effects section about the new Boss TU-3W, which I believe has a stated accuracy that's the same as the Helix. On that thread, it was kind of split between people saying how +/- 1 cent accuracy is horrible and others saying that it was perfectly acceptable... Anyway, if you have a tuner you love, just use it. The guitar is an instrument built around compromised tuning anyway (all modern Western music, kind of).

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I enjoy the stability of it.  To me it's a stage tuner and works great.  Would I set my guitar's intonation with it?  Well, no... (but I have).  And it does work better using harmonics, even though I prefer the ease of using open strings.

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I think folks here are confusing Resolution with Accuracy.  IMO you want maximum resolution in a tuner to get your guitar tuned properly.  Many cheap tuners don't do this because they sacrifice resolution for stability of the display.  The Peterson "strobe" display is always moving.  The pitch of your strings is also moving.  It is sharp when you first pluck it and it levels out as the note settles down and starts to decay.  Some players tune on the attack and some tune on the decay.

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I notice that a lot of complaints about the tuner only mention the green color and fail to mention the more important brackets that appear when the string is in tune. Is it possible that some of these users are failing to notice the brackets and therefore are not using the tuner correctly?

 

-Max

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How long can a guitar string stay tuned to within a tenth of a cent?

 

Not long enough to avoid complaints about the tuner...;)

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This thread is again like

 

giphy.gif

 

I have been using the Helix Tuner for 4 months now exclusively, and I am always in tune [...]

That's true for my helix & my guitars, too.

 

I use the latest firmware, good strings (that are not too thin) and, always, my ears 'additionally' ;)

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I notice that a lot of complaints about the tuner only mention the green color and fail to mention the more important brackets that appear when the string is in tune. Is it possible that some of these users are failing to notice the brackets and therefore are not using the tuner correctly?

 

-Max

The Brackets are 100% in sync with a single green bar.  If you see red/green just a single bracket is on.  If you see green only both brackets are always on.  There's no additional resolution from the brackets, as much as I wish there was (and there may someday be.)

 

Unless there were changes in the latest beta firmware updates, the tuner display will get you to, at best, +/- 2.3 cents at A440, based on my observations.  Some of the frustration amongst those in these discussions is claims of +/- 1c but the reality is those claims can not been supported.  If we were at +/- 1c I'd probably never chime in again.  

 

Many of the demos approach this from the wrong direction:  IF my Peterson is dead on, the Helix shows dead on.  Another was "the a440 sine wave from my synth showed as in tune."  The fallacy in this approach is it doesn't show what happens when you shift the input frequency.

 

Test for yourself. Here's a wav file that sweeps a sine wav from just lower than -2.3c to just higher than +2.3c of A440, or from 439.4 to 440.6 hz.   My Helix tuner display does not change. Start with your volume low to not damage ears or equipment (standard disclaimer with other sine wave generators http://soundchunks.com/439-4-to-440-6.wav

 

Another eye-opening test is to use your Peterson to get a string exactly in tune.  Go to the tuner offset settings and change the offset on that string by +/- 1 to 2 cents.  Nothing happens.  In current state, using the Helix offsets to try to match a Buzz Feiten tuning is somewhat pointless because the tuner display doesn't offer the resolution to display the appropriate offset.

 

I'd love some additional display resolution, even if it was in the form of brackets only both lit at +/- 1cent or a couple brackets per side that move towards that.   As for stability, i think over tuners use some averaging to smooth the display, emulating what an older needle tuner might display.

 

For electric in a hurry, it gets the job done. 

 

Texasdave

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This is about time that someone will claim that they don't need a tuner anyway, because of the way their left big toe vibrates when things aren't "just right"...

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The Helix is tuner is accurate to within +/- 1 cent.  

 

 

Phil, with all respect, the last time I questioned you about this you were passing along information from others. Have you tested it for yourself?  It's not.  +/- 2.3c at best.  

 

See my sine wave sweep in my earlier post and try it for yourself.  It may help you understand the frustration of others.  Half the room is saying +/- 1c should be good enough for anyone, and the other half knows in some form or fashion the tuner isn't to that spec.

 

Texasdave

 

PS: Please don't use the word accurate, You'll send Digital Igloo off a cliff ! ;)  The tuner is highly accurate, but the display lacks granularity.  It's like having a clock that's accurate to the second because it sync's with the atomic clock but is missing the second hand or the minute hand.  

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Phil, with all respect, the last time I questioned you about this you were passing along information from others. Have you tested it for yourself?  It's not.  +/- 2.3c at best.  

 

See my sine wave sweep in my earlier post and try it for yourself.  It may help you understand the frustration of others.  Half the room is saying +/- 1c should be good enough for anyone, and the other half knows in some form or fashion the tuner isn't to that spec.

 

Texasdave

 

You'll have to take that up with Line 6 then. I'm just quoting what the published specs are.

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I have never liked or used the pod tuners.  They are all not good enough IMO.  I have had many versions of pods over the years and they are great! (But not the tuners)

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You'll have to take that up with Line 6 then. I'm just quoting what the published specs are.

 

That's why I'm here, Phil.  "Published" where, other than a quote from Digital Igloo?  You're perpetuating a myth (see frustration comment in my prior post.)  As far as I can tell, he misspoke.  From what I can tell, I'm the only one of the three of us who's actually tested the granularity for themselves.

 

 

Run that sine wave into your tuner and let me know your results.  at +/1 cent the tuner should display flat then in tune, and then sharp.   My tuner displays "in tune." throughout the sweep.

 

Texasdave

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That's why I'm here, Phil.  "Published" where, other than a quote from Digital Igloo?  You're perpetuating a myth (see frustration comment in my prior post.)  As far as I can tell, he misspoke.  From what I can tell, I'm the only one of the three of us who's actually tested the granularity for themselves.

 

 

Run that sine wave into your tuner and let me know your results.  at +/1 cent the tuner should display flat then in tune, and then sharp.   My tuner displays "in tune." throughout the sweep.

 

Texasdave

 

Well. DI is the project manager, and he's mentioned it here and over the TGP, multiple times. I'm sure Line 6 has done testing as well. If your test don't match what they're saying, then that's something you should talk to them about.

 

Regarding doing testing on your own, I guess my question would be how accurate are the sine wave generators themselves? Is there a way of knowing that a wav file claiming to play a 440 Hz signal is dead-on? I imagine that's a lot more to doing such testing than that. I know DI has mentioned that they tested the Helix tuner using gear costing in the tens of thousands of dollars.

 

Not really trying to defend or deny anything. I don't notice a problem with the tuner. That's not to say that it's not possible that some people will like others better. It's not saying that there may be a bug. I have no ability to confirm those sorts of things though. I'd say bringing it up with CS in a support ticket is probably the best way to contact Line 6 in an official way.

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I suppose you can spend all day measuring and such if you want, I suppose.

 

My measurement is... when I tune up am I in tune with the band? The answer, for me, is clearly yes. So that ends it for me.

 

POD HD 500 tuner worked well for me, too. Before that? Nope.

Intonation? Strobostomp. But just tuning the guitar on stage? This is just peachy.

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I'm both a musician and a Luthier.  I'm finding the Helix tuner to be just fine.  Is it accurate to a 1000th of a fret like the Peterson?  Evidently not.  But I'm not using the Helix to intonate a guitar for myself or a customer. I'm using the Helix tuner for tuning the guitar during play.  Tuning a guitar to an open string or harmonic and actual play are two different things.  No one on this planet can play a fretted note, let alone a chord, consistently enough to not press a string out of tune to the tolerances being demanded on this thread.  Now I have experienced tuners that are off a few cents across the board and that's not good.  But I definitely am not experiencing that with my Helix.  The accuracy of Peterson, etc. strobe tuners (1000th of a fret) is for bigger, or other, purposes than actual play of a guitar.  They are also designed to tune many other instruments other than strings that don't have variables - like the piano for instance.  The movement of the strobes in the video represent a difference that is ridiculous in any real time application sense.  I don't like to be negative, but to complain about the differences displayed in the YouTube video seems a little petty to me personally.  However, I am having trouble with my Helix tuner coming on at all since the beta update.  The switch appears to be in momentary position or something.  If it decides to come on, I have to hold the switch down. 

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Please stop using the word "inaccurate" if you don't know what it means. Misinformation spreads on the internet like wildfire.

 

If you want Helix's tuner to have more granularity, vote it up on IdeaScale.

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Well. DI is the project manager, and he's mentioned it here and over the TGP, multiple times. I'm sure Line 6 has done testing as well. If your test don't match what they're saying, then that's something you should mention to them.

 

 Nothing would make me happier than to have a one on one civil discussion with him on this topic at some point in the future.    I also have zero expectation of any tuner change prior to a final public stable release of the editor, if ever.  That's the priority and I get that.     Meanwhile, spend 60 seconds and run that sine wave sweep through your tuner before perpetuating the myth of +/- 1 cent.   I have a trouble ticket reply that says it's plus/minus 1 or 2 cents.  Well, if it's "1 or 2" then it's "2."  Can you seriously not envision a scenario where someone gave him bad info?   He's got more time-critical stuff on his plate and that's exactly the reason I (a) closed the trouble ticket where I was trying to get some clarification and (b) quit discussing it elsewhere.  In the meantime, I'll challenge you, him, or anyone else who wants to claim +/- 1 cent because I don't see that result with my own testing and I will say with great confidence you will not either if you actually test it for yourself.  Others have posted similar sine wave tests. 

 

 

For now, the tuner is what it is.  Let's call it what it is, and not what it ain't.

 

 

 

 

 

Texasdave

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 However, I am having trouble with my Helix tuner coming on at all since the beta update.  The switch appears to be in momentary position or something.  If it decides to come on, I have to hold the switch down. 

 

That's weird... Is this while only connected to the editor, or all the time?

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That's weird... Is this while only connected to the editor, or all the time?

Yeah I have never read a post of anyone else having that issue.  That's an unusual one 

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...  However, I am having trouble with my Helix tuner coming on at all since the beta update.  The switch appears to be in momentary position or something.  If it decides to come on, I have to hold the switch down. 

 

Maybe there's something wrong with the switch mechanics. Does the Tap Tempo function behave properly?

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...No one on this planet can play a fretted note, let alone a chord, consistently enough to not press a string out of tune to the tolerances being demanded on this thread... 

 

Everybody read that again.

 

...sine wave tests...

 

@texasdave,

 

When you use the Helix tuner, does it yield results that are out of tune with other musicians you play with? In other words, do these tests that you mention bear out in real world use?

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Nothing would make me happier than to have a one on one civil discussion with him on this topic at some point in the future.

 

Hi Dave,

 

The tuner in Helix has an accuracy of 0.1 cent (1/1000th of a semitone), not 1 cent, and again, we have über-expensive testing equipment that can prove this. Accuracy has nothing to do with how fine the visible feedback of the note played is displayed; it only has to do with whether or not the correct box is lit.

 

Say you did a search for my house in Google Earth. If Google Earth tells you "Los Angeles," when you wanted a neighborhood or street address, that doesn't mean Google Earth is inaccurate, because I do indeed live in Los Angeles. Google Earth would be inaccurate if it said I lived in San Diego, just like Helix's tuner would be inaccurate if the wrong box was lit.

 

What you mean is that Google Earth's granularity (or precision if you prefer) is not as high as you'd prefer. With greater granularity, Google Earth will tell you that I live in Hollywood. With even greater granularity, it'll tell you I live in Cahuenga Pass between Universal Studios and the Hollywood Bowl.

 

Again, I'm not claiming Helix's tuner is perfect, and sure, we could add more granularity (greater number of bars) when the note appears close to being in tune. But  unless you require better than 1/1000th of a semitone accuracy, claiming the tuner is inaccurate is... wrong.

 

Some might then say "Sure, fine, granularity, whatever." No, not whatever. I've seen first-hand how misinformation spreads online. One dude says something like "Eight of Helix's ten wahs originally started in HD but have been rebuilt in HX with more nuance and control" and 24 hours later ten forums are filled with people claiming all of Helix's models are 15 years old.

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I suppose you can spend all day measuring and such if you want, I suppose.

 

My measurement is... when I tune up am I in tune with the band? The answer, for me, is clearly yes. So that ends it for me.

 

POD HD 500 tuner worked well for me, too. Before that? Nope.

 

Intonation? Strobostomp. But just tuning the guitar on stage? This is just peachy.

 

 

 

Everybody read that again.

 

 

@texasdave,

 

When you use the Helix tuner, does it yield results that are out of tune with other musicians you play with? In other words, do these tests that you mention bear out in real world use?

 

Peter, with electrics in P&W and other environments, I use it and don't even sweat it. I love being able to see it from 10 or 15' away.  For me with MANDOLIN it needs more granularity.   I got frustrated a couple months ago with reports of greater granularity from the brackets, specifically +/- 1 cent.  I tried to find out if my unit should have that and didn't and got nowhere.  

 

See also my Buzz Feiten comments regarding the string offsets.  Meaningless to be able to set a string offset at -1 or -2 cents if the tuner doesn't display with that granularity.  

 

Please reread my comments on where I see frustration between the two sides.

 

The circular line of  conversation that gets us nowhere is this:

"granularity of +/- one cent"

"No it appears to be +/- 2.5"

"Who cares, that should be good enough for you anyway."

 

I had hopes in March I'd find out that the current spec on the tuner was +/- 1 was correct and that my unit had not picked that up in an update.  

 

 

Texasdave

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The line circular line of conversation that gets us no where is this:

"granularity of +/- one cent"

"No it appears to be +/- 2.5"

"Who cares, that should be good enough for you anyway."

 

If I've ever said or implied that Helix's tuner's granularity is "good enough," then I apologize. I don't remember ever saying this, but I do remember saying that many people prefer specific types of tuners and we've designed Helix to seamlessly incorporate them. That shouldn't imply any sort of dismissal.

 

Yes, we can provide greater granularity. It's toward the top of our list. Thanks, señor.

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...

Yes, we can provide greater granularity. It's toward the top of our list. Thanks, señor.

 

Fantastic!

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...See also my Buzz Feiten comments regarding the string offsets.  Meaningless to be able to set a string offset at -1 or -2 cents if the tuner doesn't display with that granularity...

 

Actually, my electrics are both BFTS (Tom Anderson). I don't bother with the offsets anymore, since I forgot to put them back in on a couple occasions after I did a reset. I normally use no offsets for my acoustic (you really don't need them with BFTS acoustics) and I use the "tune to E" method very successfully on electric (except I always tune the low E string fretting at 2 and tuning F#).

 

But when I put them in, it worked just peachy for me (and see DI's explanation of the tuning accuracy above. It is accurate to 0.1 cent.

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If I've ever said or implied that Helix's tuner's granularity is "good enough," then I apologize. I don't remember ever saying this, but I do remember saying that many people prefer specific types of tuners and we've designed Helix to seamlessly incorporate them.

 

Yes, we can improve the granularity. It's toward the top of our list. Thanks, señor.

 

 

From my earlier reply today:

PS: Please don't use the word accurate, You'll send Digital Igloo off a cliff !  ;)  The tuner is highly accurate, but the display lacks granularity.  It's like having a clock that's accurate to the second because it sync's with the atomic clock but is missing the second hand or the minute hand.  

_____
I repeat that so that you can hopefully see that you and I are on the same page with regard to ACCURACY.  Certainly I misused the word months ago.  I no longer (consciously) do that thanks to your instruction.  
 
++
The crux of all my frustration was with this comment (I believe from TGP,) all of which relates to granularity.
 
Digital_Igloo, on 07 Feb 2016 - 1:41 PM, said:

When only the green box is lit, your note is within +/– 1.5 cents; when both bracket arrows are lit, your note is within +/– 1 cent (1/100th of a semitone).

 

++

 

There are those who treat that statement as indisputable fact; I'm just not seeing it.  Knowing the real world as it is, I considered the possibility that that spec had been passed on to you but had not yet been implemented.

 

I was a lot happier when you said +/- 3 cents at an earlier date because the GRANULARITY was at least that good.  My contention is the GRANULARITY is  greater than +/- 2 cents at present and i grow weary of people suggesting that "if you're not happy with +/- 1 you're really never going to be happy. " 

 

Now that I have your ear on the topic, I'd be happy with big bars staying as they are and  closer granularity available with the single brackets, or multiple brackets that help see "the middle of the middle" of the single green bar.  My 2 cents, no pun intended. 

 

Regards,

 

Texasdave

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Well I for one am glad this is finally being discussed openly. Perhaps I can finally put an end to all of those sleepless nights, brought on by a lack of tuner granularity...or was it the damn strobe? ;)

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That's weird... Is this while only connected to the editor, or all the time?

When connected to editor, it seems I can't get the tuner to come on at all.  When disconnected, I recently discovered that it appears to work in a "momentary" switch mode only.  I ran into this problem after doing my very first update.  I put off returning it long enough for a new update to come out and the problem went away.  Then when I recently updated the new beta, viola!  I'm baaack!  I'm not sure about the tap tempo working or not as, I must confess, I've evidently never quite comprehended its proper use.  I've not gotten 'my' expected results from any tap tempo I've ever used on any pedal.  It 'seems' like a no-brainer to me, but there's something I'm not getting.  As for the tuner problem, I'll just use it in momentary mode until another update comes out and hope it corrects itself.  I don't want to be without the unit long enough to send it in.

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