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Beating a dead horse? Tuner accuracy....come on!


watch4king
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One workaround that seems to help a bit in my experience, is to completely roll back the tone control on your guitar. This seems to keep the upper harmonics from interfering with the fundamental pitch.

 

Yep, and always tune with your neck pickup. The fundamental is stronger, and by rolling the tone off, you remove/reduce overtones so the tuner is analyzing a simple signal. Makes a huge difference. 

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Strobe mode!!!

 

Polyphonic strobes with 6-8 bands :)

Wheres that dead horsey bat? Kemper has the new strobe tuner. Accurate and stable as perfect can be. They had a bubble tuner before this and changed it. All software and its great as I can set intonation with it. And you know what? Theres no reason in the world why Line 6 cant do the same thing.  Its just time and money right? Oh, and don't forget a tuner for the editor...  ;)

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Yep, and always tune with your neck pickup. The fundamental is stronger, and by rolling the tone off, you remove/reduce overtones so the tuner is analyzing a simple signal. Makes a huge difference.

Yes absolutely. The neck pickup helps a lot.

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I hear putting a dead mouse next to the nut and wrapping a wet towel and 3 feet of acoustic baffling around the guitar strings helps with the tuner as well. :angry:  But in all seriousness thanks ramirezdan and hideout for the tips on how to reduce the jumpiness. I agree with Spikey on this one though, if other devices can get it right so can the Helix. I think we all agree a better solution is definitely just to activate the tuner and have it work correctly but I will use your suggestions until L6 gets around to this issue. Until then I am sure this method will result in me forgetting to reset sooner or later and have half a tune played with a toneless neck pickup rendition of something that should have had full tone knob on the bridge pickup.  ;)

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I hear putting a dead mouse next to the nut and wrapping a wet towel and 3 feet of acoustic baffling around the guitar strings helps with the tuner as well. :angry: But in all seriousness thanks ramirezdan and hideout for the tips on how to reduce the jumpiness. I agree with Spikey on this one though, if other devices can get it right so can the Helix. I think we all agree a better solution is definitely just to activate the tuner and have it work correctly but I will use your suggestions until L6 gets around to this issue. Until then I am sure this method will result in me forgetting to reset sooner or later and have half a tune played with a toneless neck pickup rendition of something that should have had full tone knob on the bridge pickup. ;)

You're absolutely right, it needs fixing. And yes, I've had the misfortune of forgetting to twist that tone knob back up. For now at least, we have an crude, inelegant but somewhat effective work around.

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Just had a thought about this and it seems to me that a fix might be relatively simple, unless I'm crazy - which is also highly likely.

 

What if Line6 could put in a filter that replicates what a tone knob does to the guitar sound in front of the tuner's input? The filter doesn't have to be anything special or complicated. Just a high frequency roll off filter. Am I nuts?

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You're absolutely right, it needs fixing. And yes, I've had the misfortune of forgetting to twist that tone knob back up. For now at least, we have an crude, inelegant but somewhat effective work around.

 

I really am going to use your suggestion until this gets fixed. In no way was my feeble effort at sarcastic humor directed at you or anyone else for that matter. It was squarely aimed at the inanimate object - the tuner (or in this particular case the all too overly animate object).

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I really am going to use your suggestion until this gets fixed. In no way was my feeble effort at sarcastic humor directed at you or anyone else for that matter. It was squarely aimed at the inanimate object - the tuner (or in this particular case the all too overly animate object).

Not to worry. I didn't perceive any barbs coming at me.

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I don't think it needs to be that complicated - a simple running average calculation should do it.  That's approximately 1 line of C code. :)

 

I recall reading an insightful post by amsdenj some time ago about the inner workings of the jumpiness. Finally found it: http://line6.com/support/topic/21955-tuner/page-2?do=findComment&comment=167375

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I recall reading an insightful post by amsdenj some time ago about the inner workings of the jumpiness. Finally found it: http://line6.com/support/topic/21955-tuner/page-2?do=findComment&comment=167375

 

He mentions a PID algorithm there - I disagree.  PID is used for control and is used to keep from overshooting the target point and and then oscillating around it.  In this case, that of a tuner, YOU are the controller and inherently in your brain you are applying a PID type algorithm when you tune, you just may not realize it.  For example, if you are way out of tune, you turn your tuning keys quickly, and as you close in on the proper tuning, you naturally slow down so you don't overshoot the correct tuning position and have to go back and retry.  He's right about the parameters, though, but PID is for a different application.

 

EDIT: and I suspect L6 is already using some type of running average on the data feeding the tuner display, so it's probably more a matter of tuning those parameters to get what folks are asking for, than writing new code.

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He mentions a PID algorithm there - I disagree.  PID is used for control and is used to keep from overshooting the target point and and then oscillating around it.  In this case, that of a tuner, YOU are the controller and inherently in your brain you are applying a PID type algorithm when you tune, you just may not realize it.  For example, if you are way out of tune, you turn your tuning keys quickly, and as you close in on the proper tuning, you naturally slow down so you don't overshoot the correct tuning position and have to go back and retry.  He's right about the parameters, though, but PID is for a different application.

 

EDIT: and I suspect L6 is already using some type of running average on the data feeding the tuner display, so it's probably more a matter of tuning those parameters to get what folks are asking for, than writing new code.

 

I understood (incorrectly is certainly is a possibility) that what amsdenj said was that if Line 6 is using a PID algorithm for the tuner, it's being used as a controller for the tuner display (does this algorithm kick in only when the target is close?) and just needs a little tweaking to tame the current jumpiness.

 

Maybe my brain hardwiring is missing the PID algorithm, cause when I tune my guitar, I always turn the pegs at the exact same rate. :lol:

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I understood (incorrectly is certainly is a possibility) that what amsdenj said was that if Line 6 is using a PID algorithm for the tuner, it's being used as a controller for the tuner display (does this algorithm kick in only when the target is close?) and just needs a little tweaking to tame the current jumpiness.

 

Maybe my brain hardwiring is missing the PID algorithm, cause when I tune my guitar, I always turn the pegs at the exact same rate. :lol:

Understood. PID is about control, and achieving the target result that requires actuating a control mechanism to actuate a physical system to home in on the proper setting to achieve it.

 

Another good analogy is that of driving a car. If you find yourself veering off the road very rapidly, you'll apply and fast and strong counter steer on the steering wheel. That's the P in PID - correction force is proportional to the error from where you are now to where you want to be. As you quickly approach the getting back in lane, the D portion of the algorithm (rate at which you are approaching the correct state) becomes more dominant and subtracts from the P portion. This has the effect of reducing your steering correction and you backing off on the hard steering maneuver so that as you approach the proper lane, you don't overshoot and head into the next lane.

 

Tha "I" portion (integral) is often not used, but that's more for systemic issues - for example if one of your front tires has low pressure, that may constantly want to pull the car to the left or right. The "I" portion addresses that by applying a long term correction to counterbalance that force.

 

And this is really used for control. The helix tuner doesn't control anything. It only displays the current state. A G-Force tuner mechanism probably uses a PID algorithm since it is actually making tuner key adjustments. Same thing you do manually.

 

But for the display, all you want is to filter the variability of the signal a bit more so that the display is smooth. And it's not uncommon to feed a PID algorithm with smoothed data so that it operates better.

 

PID for control (actuators). Data smoothing for display to smooth out the noise so you see a more stable response. Running average is a simple, effective, and tunable technique to do this.

 

Analog meters have this smoothing inherently built-in due to the weight of the needle being deflected and it ends up looking smooth.

 

The downside of smoothing is that the actual response you see is delayed a little bit. It can be a bit of an art to tune the smoothing parameters for each application, based on the data rate feeding it, and how jumpy is acceptable.

 

I use these techniques routiney for control applications in factory automation, autonomous vehicle control, etc. they are also commonly used is HVAC systems for temperature control. I don't think PID is appropriate for display of data, but rather it is useful for applying actuator strength to auomate corrections that actually affect the system. In this case, that would mean changing the tuning of the guitar (g-force). But serves no purpose in the display of the current state of tune. Use a running average or other data smoothing algorithm for that.

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I understood (incorrectly is certainly is a possibility) that what amsdenj said was that if Line 6 is using a PID algorithm for the tuner, it's being used as a controller for the tuner display (does this algorithm kick in only when the target is close?) and just needs a little tweaking to tame the current jumpiness.

 

Maybe my brain hardwiring is missing the PID algorithm, cause when I tune my guitar, I always turn the pegs at the exact same rate. :lol:

Understood. PID is about control, and achieving the target result that requires actuating a control mechanism to actuate a physical system to home in on the proper setting to achieve it.

 

Another good analogy is that of driving a car. If you find yourself veering off the road very rapidly, you'll apply and fast and strong counter steer on the steering wheel. That's the P in PID - correction force is proportional to the error from where you are now to where you want to be. As you quickly approach the getting back in lane, the D portion of the algorithm (rate at which you are approaching the correct state) becomes more dominant and subtracts from the P portion. This has the effect of reducing your steering correction and you backing off on the hard steering maneuver so that as you approach the proper lane, you don't overshoot and head into the next lane.

 

Tha "I" portion (integral) is often not used, but that's more for systemic issues - for example if one of your front tires has low pressure, that may constantly want to pull the car to the left or right. The "I" portion addresses that by applying a long term correction to counterbalance that force.

 

And this is really used for control. The helix tuner doesn't control anything. It only displays the current state. A G-Force tuner mechanism probably uses a PID algorithm since it is actually making tuner key adjustments. Same thing you do manually.

 

But for the display, all you want is to filter the variability of the signal a bit more so that the display is smooth. And it's not uncommon to feed a PID algorithm with smoothed data so that it operates better.

 

PID for control (actuators). Data smoothing for display to smooth out the noise so you see a more stable response. Running average is a simple, effective, and tunable technique to do this.

 

Analog meters have this smoothing inherently built-in due to the weight of the needle being deflected and it ends up looking smooth.

 

The downside of smoothing is that the actual response you see is delayed a little bit. It can be a bit of an art to tune the smoothing parameters for each application, based on the data rate feeding it, and how jumpy is acceptable.

 

I use these techniques routiney for control applications in factory automation, autonomous vehicle control, etc. they are also commonly used is HVAC systems for temperature control. I don't think PID is appropriate for display of data, but rather it is useful for applying actuator strength to auomate corrections that actually affect the system. In this case, that would mean changing the tuning of the guitar (g-force). But serves no purpose in the display of the current state of tune. Use a running average or other data smoothing algorithm for that.

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Another good analogy is that of driving a car. If you find yourself veering off the road very rapidly, you'll apply and fast and strong counter steer on the steering wheel. That's the P in PID - correction force is proportional to the error from where you are now to where you want to be. As you quickly approach the getting back in lane, the D portion of the algorithm (rate at which you are approaching the correct state) becomes more dominant and subtracts from the P portion. This has the effect of reducing your steering correction and you backing off on the hard steering maneuver so that as you approach the proper lane, you don't overshoot and head into the next lane.

 

Well, hopefully.

 

 

Tha "I" portion (integral) is often not used, but that's more for systemic issues - for example if one of your front tires has low pressure, that may constantly want to pull the car to the left or right. The "I" portion addresses that by applying a long term correction to counterbalance that force.

 

And this is really used for control. The helix tuner doesn't control anything. It only displays the current state. A G-Force tuner mechanism probably uses a PID algorithm since it is actually making tuner key adjustments. Same thing you do manually.

 

But for the display, all you want is to filter the variability of the signal a bit more so that the display is smooth. And it's not uncommon to feed a PID algorithm with smoothed data so that it operates better.

 

PID for control (actuators). Data smoothing for display to smooth out the noise so you see a more stable response. Running average is a simple, effective, and tunable technique to do this.

 

Analog meters have this smoothing inherently built-in due to the weight of the needle being deflected and it ends up looking smooth.

 

The downside of smoothing is that the actual response you see is delayed a little bit. It can be a bit of an art to tune the smoothing parameters for each application, based on the data rate feeding it, and how jumpy is acceptable.

 

I use these techniques routiney for control applications in factory automation, autonomous vehicle control, etc. they are also commonly used is HVAC systems for temperature control. I don't think PID is appropriate for display of data, but rather it is useful for applying actuator strength to auomate corrections that actually affect the system. In this case, that would mean changing the tuning of the guitar (g-force). But serves no purpose in the display of the current state of tune. Use a running average or other data smoothing algorithm for that.

 

Interesting stuff indeed. However Line 6 does the tuner, it seems like it wouldn't be difficult to fix the jumpiness, as you've indicated a few posts above. For the most part the jumpiness doesn't bother me, although it does make tuning a bass guitar slightly more difficult.

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Interesting stuff indeed. However Line 6 does the tuner, it seems like it wouldn't be difficult to fix the jumpiness, as you've indicated a few posts above. For the most part the jumpiness doesn't bother me, although it does make tuning a bass guitar slightly more difficult.

 

Yeah - and the million dollar question - there are certainly a few folks asking for less jumpy tuner display.  But are they the vocal minority and everyone else is happy with it?  I suppose that will be the deciding factor for how much effort they put in.  L6 already addressed the "precision" issue (avoiding the word accuracy :)).  That kind of confirms the old adage in software development - for every fix, two new problems are introduced - precision was fixed, but now folks want it more smooth.  Helps keep software developers employed I guess, since it results in a never ending request stream. :)

 

Personally, I do find the more precise tuner too jumpy.  But I also have another issue, which I'm really hesitant to even mention.  I use a Peterson strobe tuner between my guitar and Helix.  The Peterson has "sweetened" tunings for guitar which try to account for the guitar being an imperfect instrument and will inherently not be in tune all over the neck even though each string is 100% in tune according to the standard frequencies for the open string notes they represent.  I really like that sweetened setting since they make the guitar "more in tune" for the majority of the neck that is commonly played.

 

When Helix went to the more precise display, I did a little research on the Peterson sweetened tunings and learned what they were applying.  Most (all) of them were to a fraction of a percent.  But Helix only accepts whole number offsets when tuning.  I shudder to ask for them to be fractional - e.g., low E be tuned to -2.3 cents from standard.  With Helix you can do -2, but not -2.3.  So I still use the Peterson.

 

I've seen those crazy fret systems that account for this by having squiggly frets to account for the guitar's imperfect nature.  That's very clever.

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Yeah - and the million dollar question - there are certainly a few folks asking for less jumpy tuner display.  But are they the vocal minority and everyone else is happy with it?  I suppose that will be the deciding factor for how much effort they put in.  L6 already addressed the "precision" issue (avoiding the word accuracy :)).  That kind of confirms the old adage in software development - for every fix, two new problems are introduced - precision was fixed, but now folks want it more smooth.  Helps keep software developers employed I guess, since it results in a never ending request stream. :)

 

Personally, I do find the more precise tuner too jumpy.  But I also have another issue, which I'm really hesitant to even mention.  I use a Peterson strobe tuner between my guitar and Helix.  The Peterson has "sweetened" tunings for guitar which try to account for the guitar being an imperfect instrument and will inherently not be in tune all over the neck even though each string is 100% in tune according to the standard frequencies for the open string notes they represent.  I really like that sweetened setting since they make the guitar "more in tune" for the majority of the neck that is commonly played.

 

When Helix went to the more precise display, I did a little research on the Peterson sweetened tunings and learned what they were applying.  Most (all) of them were to a fraction of a percent.  But Helix only accepts whole number offsets when tuning.  I shudder to ask for them to be fractional - e.g., low E be tuned to -2.3 cents from standard.  With Helix you can do -2, but not -2.3.  So I still use the Peterson.

 

I've seen those crazy fret systems that account for this by having squiggly frets to account for the guitar's imperfect nature.  That's very clever.

 

Steve Vai uses a fretting system like that on one of his guitars. It's nice to want things ideally perfect, but that seems to go too far for a very minimal effect. Personally, I'm pretty rough with my guitar and am lucky if it stays in tune for more than a couple of minutes anyway. Most of the time, I don't even use Helix's tuner and just use my ear and the fine tuners on the bridge. It's quicker.

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I shudder to ask for them to be fractional - e.g., low E be tuned to -2.3 cents from standard.  With Helix you can do -2, but not -2.3.  So I still use the Peterson.

 

 

I doubt Line 6 will ever ask Fractal for anything...  ;) Oh ok it wasnt that close was it... :P

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Understood. PID is about control, and achieving the target result that requires actuating a control mechanism to actuate a physical system to home in on the proper setting to achieve it.

 

Another good analogy is that of driving a car. If you find yourself veering off the road very rapidly, you'll apply and fast and strong counter steer on the steering wheel. That's the P in PID - correction force is proportional to the error from where you are now to where you want to be. As you quickly approach the getting back in lane, the D portion of the algorithm (rate at which you are approaching the correct state) becomes more dominant and subtracts from the P portion. This has the effect of reducing your steering correction and you backing off on the hard steering maneuver so that as you approach the proper lane, you don't overshoot and head into the next lane.

 

Tha "I" portion (integral) is often not used, but that's more for systemic issues - for example if one of your front tires has low pressure, that may constantly want to pull the car to the left or right. The "I" portion addresses that by applying a long term correction to counterbalance that force.

 

And this is really used for control. The helix tuner doesn't control anything. It only displays the current state. A G-Force tuner mechanism probably uses a PID algorithm since it is actually making tuner key adjustments. Same thing you do manually.

 

But for the display, all you want is to filter the variability of the signal a bit more so that the display is smooth. And it's not uncommon to feed a PID algorithm with smoothed data so that it operates better.

 

PID for control (actuators). Data smoothing for display to smooth out the noise so you see a more stable response. Running average is a simple, effective, and tunable technique to do this.

 

Analog meters have this smoothing inherently built-in due to the weight of the needle being deflected and it ends up looking smooth.

 

The downside of smoothing is that the actual response you see is delayed a little bit. It can be a bit of an art to tune the smoothing parameters for each application, based on the data rate feeding it, and how jumpy is acceptable.

 

I use these techniques routiney for control applications in factory automation, autonomous vehicle control, etc. they are also commonly used is HVAC systems for temperature control. I don't think PID is appropriate for display of data, but rather it is useful for applying actuator strength to auomate corrections that actually affect the system. In this case, that would mean changing the tuning of the guitar (g-force). But serves no purpose in the display of the current state of tune. Use a running average or other data smoothing algorithm for that.

 

Very informative post, thank you!

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...

I know if we take into account 'true temper' this discussion could get a lot more complicated so I will intentionally sidestep it. ...

 

 

...

 

Personally, I do find the more precise tuner too jumpy.  But I also have another issue, which I'm really hesitant to even mention.  I use a Peterson strobe tuner between my guitar and Helix.  The Peterson has "sweetened" tunings for guitar which try to account for the guitar being an imperfect instrument and will inherently not be in tune all over the neck even though each string is 100% in tune according to the standard frequencies for the open string notes they represent.  I really like that sweetened setting since they make the guitar "more in tune" for the majority of the neck that is commonly played.

 

When Helix went to the more precise display, I did a little research on the Peterson sweetened tunings and learned what they were applying.  Most (all) of them were to a fraction of a percent.  But Helix only accepts whole number offsets when tuning.  I shudder to ask for them to be fractional - e.g., low E be tuned to -2.3 cents from standard.  With Helix you can do -2, but not -2.3.  So I still use the Peterson.

 

I've seen those crazy fret systems that account for this by having squiggly frets to account for the guitar's imperfect nature.  That's very clever.

 

The 'true temper' tuning you refer that I preferred to "sidestep"  for the moment would be the final stage in designing a tuner with truly superior capability. I'm with you on that "shudder to ask" thing. That functionality would be great but I would be happy if first we could get this tuner working properly with conventional tuning. Fixing the tuner is actually one of my highest priorities on the Helix right now, more so than new amps/effects or new functionality (although as always I remain enthused for the other stuff as well). I just see fast and proper tuning as fundamental to performing unless you are playing vintage blues and playing slide with an old butter knife.  I can see where it might not be as important to musicians who use the Helix primarily in the studio where unless you are paying a high end studio by the hour you have the luxury to take your time tuning but I consider the tuner a real problem for stage right now. I like being in tune and getting there quickly and the tuner just is not cutting it right now. Don't mean to sound harsh but if the Helix tuner was a standalone tuner pedal on my conventional analog pedalboard I would have long since replaced it with something more practical. I really hope L6 gets to this sooner rather than later. I know DI performs live with his band and there must be others at L6 who do as well. They have to be aware this is an issue.

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awoken.gif

 

Interesting stuff?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          [...]

 

 

 

 

snoring.gif

 

Klangmaler, master of the succinct video summation. ;)  Agreed, there are so many more interesting things to be talking about regarding Helix capabilities. So let's just fix this thing and stop flogging this poor revenant of a horse already.

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Just for balance, I don't feel like mine jumps around and very happy with it. Play live once or twice a week for the last year, certainly find the improved granularity a big plus. Appreciate it must be a pain if it's not working for some others, but I wouldn't want a step backwards.

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That nexus circle of repeating itself here was not caused by the user... Important to remember that the simple way out of the Nexus circle of fubar, is to repair the issue. 

 

Agreed.  And I'd describe it not as "fix" but more a cycle of continuous improvement.  Line 6 improved the precision of the tuner which was desired by many.  With that out of the way, that exposed jumpiness now that one can see the signal more clearly.  The next step in the continuous improvement cycle is to smooth the jumpiness.  Nothing wrong with continuous improvement - a highly desirable thing, in fact. :)

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Agreed.  And I'd describe it not as "fix" but more a cycle of continuous improvement.  Line 6 improved the precision of the tuner which was desired by many.  With that out of the way, that exposed jumpiness now that one can see the signal more clearly.  The next step in the continuous improvement cycle is to smooth the jumpiness.  Nothing wrong with continuous improvement - a highly desirable thing, in fact. :)

 

What happens when there's nothing annoying left in Helix? Is there a balance that's thrown out of kilter? Does CC128 then become a destructive entity? :)

 

Although I'm sure there's currently plenty to be annoyed with aside from the tuner, so we should be safe for a while yet...

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What happens when there's nothing annoying left 

 

 

I'm not sure I've ever run across that issue from Line 6 before.  ;)

 

 

Im quite sure they have not with me...

 

 

in fact I've not seen that issue (nothing annoying) with any of them yet.  Too bad we can't take the best parts, putum in a blender and come up with that perfect box.

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Personally, I do find the more precise tuner too jumpy.  But I also have another issue, which I'm really hesitant to even mention.  I use a Peterson strobe tuner between my guitar and Helix.  The Peterson has "sweetened" tunings for guitar which try to account for the guitar being an imperfect instrument and will inherently not be in tune all over the neck even though each string is 100% in tune according to the standard frequencies for the open string notes they represent.  I really like that sweetened setting since they make the guitar "more in tune" for the majority of the neck that is commonly played.

 

That was what Buzz Feiten was going for with his tuning system, basically a compromised nut. According to the luthier who built two of my custom made guitars, you don't need one if you have a perfect fret job. His opinion, just sharing! But he does do the most immaculate fret work I've ever seen.

 

The 'true temper' tuning you refer that I preferred to "sidestep"  for the moment would be the final stage in designing a tuner with truly superior capability. I'm with you on that "shudder to ask" thing. That functionality would be great but I would be happy if first we could get this tuner working properly with conventional tuning. Fixing the tuner is actually one of my highest priorities on the Helix right now, more so than new amps/effects or new functionality (although as always I remain enthused for the other stuff as well). I just see fast and proper tuning as fundamental to performing unless you are playing vintage blues and playing slide with an old butter knife.  I can see where it might not be as important to musicians who use the Helix primarily in the studio where unless you are paying a high end studio by the hour you have the luxury to take your time tuning but I consider the tuner a real problem for stage right now. I like being in tune and getting there quickly and the tuner just is not cutting it right now. Don't mean to sound harsh but if the Helix tuner was a standalone tuner pedal on my conventional analog pedalboard I would have long since replaced it with something more practical. I really hope L6 gets to this sooner rather than later. I know DI performs live with his band and there must be others at L6 who do as well. They have to be aware this is an issue.

 

Yeah, the ability to tune the guitar quickly is definitely an issue at live gigs for me too, especially with a floating bridge, which takes longer to tune as it is. I do appreciate the tips on this thread about backing off the tone control and using the neck pickup and I plan to utilize that advice. But I do have high hopes that Line 6 will "smooth" the tuner and make it more stable in a future upgrade. It's one of the only things about Helix that I consider to be less than excellent.

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