A few years ago, Kickstarter was home to a campaign for the Roadie Tuner, a smartphone-connected automatic guitar tuner three times more accurate than the human ear.
“It grew out of a personal need,” co-creator Hassane Slaibi told Digital Trends. “My cofounder and myself were at university, where we met in the music club. He was studying mechanical engineering and I was doing computer engineering. He was playing a 12-string instrument, which was very hard to tune, and one day we started talking about whether there could be a handheld machine that could tune instruments for musicians.”
Roadie Tuner was the result — and went on to achieve success not just on Kickstarter, but also scooping up prizes such as the TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 Audience Choice Award and first prize on the Stars of Science reality TV show.
Now Slaibi and cofounder Bassam Jalgha are back with their Roadie 2 upgrade, which improves on the original in virtually every way. The problem it’s solving remains a common one: automatically tuning guitars so as to avoid taking away valuable playing time from human guitarists.
Roadie 2 is compatible with any string instrument that features a guitar machine head, so whether you’re a 6-string guitar player or a mandolin-plucking hipster you’ll be well taken care of.
“What’s new about Roadie 2 is that it’s both vibration-based, which makes it work in even noisy environments, and also standalone, so you don’t need to use your phone to use it,” Slaibi said. “In this sense, it’s more convenient than the first Roadie Tuner.”
While you don’t have to use your phone, though, users who do won’t be disappointed — since the companion app provides feedback on important metrics like the health of your guitar strings, so you’ll know when to change them.
As to why the team decided to go back to Kickstarter after successfully building a brand, Slaibi had this to say: “It’s a good question. We had a lot of discussions about it. What it came down to was that we first [had] a sense of community on Kickstarter. We really connected with the community there, and they’ve been a great source of feedback to us. We’re incredibly grateful to the people who supported us there with our original product. Without them it would never have been possible. We wanted to come back to the same community, and offer them an early bird discount.”
Given that Roadie 2 hit its funding target of $50,000 in just three hours, and has already doubled it, it seems Slaibi and Jalgha certainly made the right decision.
If you want to pre-order a Roadie 2 or Roadie Bass you can do so now on Kickstarter, where prices start at $79. You’ll never have an excuse for an out-of-tune guitar again!