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Hands on with Roadie, the fully-automatic guitar tuner

Admittedly, when we first caught word of this automatic guitar tuner called Roadie, we had mixed feelings about it. Initially, we thought that if you can’t tune your instrument, you probably shouldn’t be playing it. On the other hand, we realized that not everyone has a perfect ear, and listening to somebody play a poorly-tuned guitar is probably one of the most agonizing experiences we know of.

We were a bit skeptical at first, but seeing Roadie in person made us believers. Not only is it more accurate than a human ear, it’s also faster and more practical for certain situations. Initially, you have to calibrate it for your particular instrument, but once you’re all set up, tuning takes just a couple seconds. Simply place the device’s rotating head onto your tuning pegs and pluck the corresponding string. Roadie will listen to the note with it perfect mechanical ears, determine what note is being played, and then spin the peg accordingly until the note is on point. This all takes place in a matter of one or two seconds – even if the guitar is completely out of tune.

Unlike other tuners, Roadie can even be used in loud rooms with lots of background noise. If you’ve got an electric or acoustic-electric guitar, you can plug your phone directly into your instrument so Roadie cuts out all ambient sound and can only hear the notes you play. Using the accompanying smartphone app, the device can also be used to give you feedback on the health of your strings, and recommend restringing as soon as the tone quality deteriorates.

Creators Basasm Jalgha and Hassane Slaibi have already worked out deals with manufacturers, and plan to launch Roadie in just a few months for the price of just $99 bucks. Find out more here.