View Full Version : Korg DT-3 for tuning?
07-14-2005, 07:01 PM
Wondering if the Korg DT-3 tuner is the best way to go for tuning bass and tenors, and if I could get away with a less expensive tuner that would do just as good a job? Any thoughts or opinions?
07-14-2005, 08:07 PM
I suspect you could, however, I also have a feeling that some of the features that make the DT-3 so handy would be missing from some of the less expensive competitors. Being able to calibrate the tuner to the pipes - precisely at the time of tuning - is a time saving feature. Then, its no question of "hmmm, they're at 482 today, so, the 18" drum should be set to..." Its - OK - this is the root for the chord. Now - where's the 3 and 5 (if you're tuning to a major triad).
I've found the extra money to be well worth it.
07-14-2005, 08:25 PM
The Korg DT-3 has a wide tuning range being A0 (27.5 Hz) to C8 (4186.009 Hz). The upper limit isn't the issue, but the lower frequencies are important with bass & tenor tuning.
If the bass is set in an octave relationship to the pipes, then a chromatic tuner with a range starting from A1 (55 Hz) would be sufficient. The standard reference of B-flat on that scale would be 58.270 Hz (with a calibration of A=440).
Should your pipes be set at low-A = 480 Hz, then the bass drum would be 60 Hz. That said; some chromatic tuners starting with a range of A1 will tune standard bass sections quite well.
Unfortunately, some A1 tuners struggle to lock into lower frequencies. I am not sure if it is the algorithms used in the programming, or some other factor. I have seen a Korg CA-30 lock in on the tenors, and struggle with the bass.
If you are putting the bass back (in frequency) towards “F”, then you would have to use a tuner that has an octave span starting at A0.
I guess it might be poignant to see what everyone uses. I have the following in my collection;
Korg MT-1200 http://korg.com/gear/info.asp?A_PROD_NO=MT1200
Korg AT-12 (no longer on the Korg site)
Korg DT-3 http://korg.com/gear/info.asp?a_prod_no=DT3&category_id=5
All of these tuners are very capable (the MT-1200 is a gem). Precise calibration, and offset with regards to chromatic cords or pipe chanter pitch is a far more involved issue. That’s another thread. :wink:
Hope that helps (a little) and am sure some of the other B&T lads won't mind joining in. :idea:
07-14-2005, 08:51 PM
I have always used the KORG CA-30. It's a nice chromatic tuner that will fit in any vest pocket or sporran. It can also calibrate to different pitches (410-480Hz).
And don't worry about buying one (though they are cheap). Just steal your pipe majors extra one. That's what I did.
07-14-2005, 09:00 PM
Hi Crun Man.
I have a DT 3 and a CA-30.
The DT 3 has an LED display, is a very nice tuner. Sometimes frustrating, beause the display is hard to read in bright sunlight, so occasionally it makes it difficult to use outdoors. Other than that, I agree with Ken and He Who Was.
The CA-30 is less expensive, less featured, but is easy to read as it has an LCD black needle on white background display; that part I like. The problem with the CA-30 is the the calibration adjustment above 440 stops somewhere around 475, so one has to do a little guess-work if the band is at say 480.
The perfect tuner would be a marriage of the easy to read CA-30 & the easy to calibrate DT 3.
07-15-2005, 01:58 AM
The CA-30 gets to exactly 480 so anything above that and there's guesswork to be done... but then again the DT-3 only goes up to 445 and then it's time for math.
I got the DT-3 a while back (paid $80US) to take to clinics and to have on games day to help set up student bands. The LED readout is absolutely useless in the sun and eventually I gave up. Then I found the little CA-30 for $29.99US and when I found that it calibrated all the way up to 480 - a sale was made!
I went ahead and also picked up the MA-30 metronome (http://korg.com/gear/info.asp?a_prod_no=MA30&category_id=5) as a companion and with the two matching little gadgets I'm ready to hit the field or run a clinic with ease!
Of course... this is all with the underlying disclaimer that most of us "polish" the tuning by ear just before we go on. But even folks who don't have that ear yet can learn themselves closer with a quality tuner and lots of practice.
07-15-2005, 02:40 AM
Have to make a correction re my earlier statement, for some reason I thought the CA-30 had a range starting at A1, upon double checking on the Korg site, I found it had a starting at C1, which is 32.70 Hz. :blush: :eek:
My mistake :( , it was a recollection that I had from a workshop (a year or so ago) that had me commenting on the CA-30. Maybe it was the individual tuner, but it definitely had an issue with the bass. The specs say it should have worked. :confused: :)
07-15-2005, 03:57 AM
I've used all of the Korg products as they have come available.
I travelled the world talking about how great the DT-3 and it's calibration switch is. A lot of that is useless now that we've matured away from tuning in concert pitch.
The major triad with perfect intervals just doesn't cut it any more.
My new favourite tuner is the Qwik Tune QT-2
It's a wicked little tuner. Easy to read, easy to use and inexpensive to purchase, loaded with features.
Fits nicely in the sporran.
Let me know if you can't find one, I have em here.
07-15-2005, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by Andrew H:
The CA-30 gets to exactly 480 so anything above that and there's guesswork to be done... but then again the DT-3 only goes up to 445 and then it's time for math... The LED readout is absolutely useless in the sun and eventually I gave up... Of course... this is all with the underlying disclaimer that most of us "polish" the tuning by ear just before we go on. But even folks who don't have that ear yet can learn themselves closer with a quality tuner and lots of practice. hee hee hee - The readability is part of why I get a "helper" to block the sun - that way the led readout can still be... well... read. :eek:
Listening to the sound produced is the absolutely most important step - I've recommended using the tuners to get close - then *listen*
Hoss - I absolutely agree with you about the major triad, presuming you have an experienced section and a pipe major who picks music that flows well tonally. In that case, tones that *work* are far more important than building a chord that sounds pleasing on its own. The question will always remain, "how do they sound with the pipes?"
Having said that, when working with lower grade bands or bands with little experience in their section, I've still found the triad to be a good solid first step they can relate to - and then grow and broaden tastes and flavours from there.
07-15-2005, 06:49 AM
The DT3 is a good choice since it doesn't seem to pick up all of the overtones that some of the other tuners display. The LED's in the sun is a good point, but I've come up with a crouching tiger stance that allows me to block out the sunlight while looking like I'm playing statues to people passing by.
I've tried other, more expensive tuners but the overtones and aftertones make it difficult to get a solid read with the dials or LCD flying. The DT3 will also take incredible punishment, which is key for a tuner being used in the field.
07-16-2005, 05:16 AM
The future as I see it is to have all drums in the band in tune "in concert".
I tuned to even tempered intervals for 10 years in the Frasers.
That was a good start but the notes on the GHB scale are not even tempered.
Therefore, if you are going to tune to a supposed "Major or minor triad" that's fine as long as the exact notes are shifted slightly to be in tune with the notes on the chanter.
Each band and each GHB solo player choses different intervals.
So in order to take this tuning thing into the "2000's" tune your notes to the chanter and lets get on with it.
Ken Maltmans section is doing this and so is Shotts.
Get a listen at the Worlds to hear the effect.
PUT your band in tune!
P.S. I guess I got tired of crouching like a Dragon and that's why I starting looking into which tuner best suits our needs.
QT-2 hands down!
07-16-2005, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the info Hoss and others! I totally agree, it's time to tune to the pipe scale!!!