Tuning your music instruments so they are all at the same pitch requires a very good ear or a little help from a device called a tuner. I will show you different types of tuners and help you decide what tuner to use in your studio.
Tuners for Instrument Tuning
A tuner is an electronic device that will assist you by telling you the pitch of the note you are playing. There are most commonly use to tune guitars but can be used to tune any instrument. The advantage of having a tuner in your studio is being able to tune multiple instruments so they are on the same pitch.
Types of Tuners
There are several types of tuners and we will look at them now.
A rackmount tuner will sit in a studio rack and is ideal for a home studio that already has gear in a rack. They are able to display the information you need about the note you are tuning and make tuning your guitar or other instrument quick and easy.
I commend the Korg PB05 Pitchblack Pro 1U for most home studio setups and the Rocktron VersaTune Rack Tuner is also a great unit with more inputs.
Portable tuners are small and can be moved around easily. They are often used on stage for live shows but can also be used in a home studio when you do not have room for a rack. A portable tuner is usually powered by batteries making it very easy to move from location to location.
I recommend the Korg TM50BK for a home studio if you want to use a portable tuner. The Korg CA40 as a lower priced option. also a good choice.
App and Soft Tuner
A final option you can consider is an app tuner or soft tuner. There are apps that emulate a tuner on your phone, tablet or computer. I don't recommend these unless you are not able to get any of the above options because the quality and accuracy of the tuner will depend on the device you are running the app on and phone microphones are not designed for this.
Further Recommendations about Tuners
If you are not sure what to choose then I would suggest a rack option would serve most home studios better than a portable tuner because they can be placed in a convenient place in your studio with your other equipment. A portable tuner can easily get lost and changing batteries can be inconvenient when you want to quickly tune up and start recording.