Interesting tuning anomaly

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by GordonH, May 24, 2006.

  1. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    The oboe player tunes to a digital chromatic tuner.
    I tune to the Oboe.
    Everyone agrees I am perfectly in tune with the oboe as far as their ears can tell,
    but..... on the tuner I am consistently sharp on every note (by a very large amount, so much so that to get it "in tune" I am pulled out two inches and am very obviously flat and heading to being a trumpet in A).

    Obviously its not a real life tuning problem as I am actuyally in tune with the rest of the orchestra, but why can't the tuner pick me up correctly?
  2. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Check the oboist's tuner's calibration. It may be set higher than yours by a good amount..
  3. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    No, I meant on the same tuner (her one) !
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Sounds like her tuner is picking up an overload of higher partials off of your horn than off of hers. Is this the case with all notes or only with the traditional concert Bb tuning note?

    I've seen some tuners do some squirrely things too, when everyone is tuning all at once. I guess that's why they say "your best tuners are on either side of your head!"
  5. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    All notes pretty much showing off the scale sharp, getting worse the higher I play.

    We double checked her against a tuning fork so it was picking up the oboe fine.
  6. krossum

    krossum Piano User

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    no worries... it's better to be sharp than out of tune, eh?

  7. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Jul 13, 2005

    A simple answer that Toots started to touch on: some tuners can't properly read the overtones produced by a brass instrument. As mentioned, it's tracking high partials.

    Tune to the oboe and don't bother with technology

  8. LFRoberts5

    LFRoberts5 Pianissimo User

    Nov 1, 2003
    St. Louis
    I don't play with tuners and I don't tune to them. I play with live people and their instruments and that's what I tune to.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
  9. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    I never use tuners either.

    It came about because I did play sharp in one passage due to not being warmed up properly (intonation more than tuning).

    The conductor wanted to check me on a tuner as he wouldn't accepot that I could blow that sharp without the instrument needing tuned.
    Of course it all worked out Ok in the end as he saw me pulling out the slide and getting obviously flat.

    I find I never really need to move the slide on my trumpet to play in tune unless it is very humid. Maybe thats because I play big trumpets and big mouthpieces?
  10. Cornet1

    Cornet1 Pianissimo User

    May 22, 2005
    Essex, England
    I just had to comment on this!

    Speaking from a Uk brass band perspective I think these 'guitar tuners' have largely failed and there seems to be much less use than a few years ago. For mixed ensembles they don't work at all in my view.

    About four years ago I was a guest with an excellent and 'up and coming' band for an important concert which was to be conducted by a supposedly famous choral conductor. At the first rehearsal he immediately got out an electronic 'guitar tuner' and the whole room was instantly silent and frosty! He was then shot questions by all the band's corner players,...I heard; "Do you think we play sour then?" and "Where's your fork (tuning fork)" When he admitted that he had never heard the band play he was told in no uncertain terms to "put it in his pocket" To my certain knowledge he has never conducted a brass band again....

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