Software electric piano/keyboard tuner?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Kapt.Krunch, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know of a good software tuner to use to tune an old RMI 368X ElectraPiano/Harpsichord?

    Picked this thing up in AAA+ condition, (footpedals and keyboard cover included, cosmetics of exterior, interior, legs, knobs etc. VERY good, and keys excellent and level). I think it just needs a bit of tuning, and according to the service manual, a bit can be done with the thumbwheel pots.

    It doesn't sound too far off, and I suppose some of those old wax-covered Mylar caps could have drifted a bit, but I'd like to see if I can get it in tune without changing any caps, if possible.

    I don't know of any full-range electronic instrument software tuners for keyboards. Anyone?

    I may also be able to use it to eventually try to tune an old ARP Omni 2 synth (that I'm trying to salvage one out of two non-working/broken ones for a friend), though, with their apparent well-documented tuning instability problems, that may be even more of a chore.


  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I've seen a band member using the tuner app on his iPhone as a full-range tuner.

    What you should look out for is capacitor leakage rather than just tolerance. Leakage will vary with temperature, so you may find that it's relatively easy to pull it into tune at any one time, but an hour later when you are really into the hot, sweaty gig, it's gone again. If you find this sort of behaviour, re-capping may be necessary.
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member


    Thanks. No iPhone, here. Was just hoping for a simple, free (or shareware) app for the computer, so I can just plug the RMI in, and try that. There are gadzillions of free guitar tuners out there...apparently not so for full-range keyboard tuners.

    I realize all the stuff about the caps. That's apparently THE main problem with those old ARPs, in that you can tune the thing, and an hour later it's all whacked after it's warmed up. In calling it "drift", I encompassed tolerance drift from age, and operating-temp drift, as well as leakage. They can all basically be considered "drift" I guess, since it's drifting out of range due to...something.

    Anyway, the first obvious thing is to try to tune it, and then see what happens. I've compared it, by ear, to some VSTi sounds, and some Roland XP-30 sounds, and some notes are slightly skewed. I could probably tackle the time-consuming task of trying to tweak each note by ear, but was hopiing someone knew of a software tuner. I guess I could try a frequency analyzer, but since the limited sounds are rather complex (nothing near a pure sine wave, etc.), I'm not sure one could accurately lock onto a signal to nudge it to whatever that note's frequency is supposed to be. Even though a guitar tuner is basically a "frequency analyzer", it's designed for dealing with the pluck, sustain, etc., (basically, the ADSR.)

    I'd like to get the thing really close to in-tune, create samples of the single and combo settings...and eventually sell the backbreaking beast. I know I can always tweak the tuning of the samples relatively easily after in the computer, but I'd like the unit adequately tuned to sell it. It does have some cool sounds, especially running it through effects and PODs, etc. I just don't really need it all that much, but would like to keep some access to some of its sounds.


  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Peterson offers a "strobe tuner" software, but I'm sure it isn't free. Their stuff is the boss, though...
    I have an RMI Computer Keyboard I picked up for $50 off of Craigslist. Their stuff was pretty cool for 1970's technology. Rick Wakeman (of the original Yes ) used one of those "Rocksichords" like yours on all of his earlier stuff. Anyway, good luck to you
    with it!

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