As a very short intro, the Roadie 2 is an automatic stringed instrument tuner that only requires you pluck a string. It’ll turn the tuning knobs for you and beep when it’s good. This is not a device I’m particularly in my area for testing as besides being colorblind I think I may be slightly tone deaf.
I recruited a friend of mine John M, who is married to my old roommate. John works a steady gig in the music industry with a band you’ve probably heard of:
number of awards dropped, award name dropped, band name dropped.
John primarily tuned acoustic guitars and ukuleles while testing this out, saved a few string presets for quick changes, and tested notes against a piano and found them to always be accurate.
John’s notes on the Roadie 2
John generally found nothing against the thing, but when I mentioned a review of “just works” didn’t for purposes of a review, he found the following (slightly edited for formatting from a chat session).
The only con so far has been the device’s inability to distinguish being on the “wrong string” or the correct string that just happens to be more than a whole step up or down from the target note. A warning light message pops up that I’m sure is meant to keep you from overwinding your strings and having them break. It’s a smart feature in theory, but you may have to dismiss it 2-3 times depending on how long you’re tuning that one string. Kind of annoying since I knew that I was changing ALL the strings tuning that same amount, meaning I had to dismiss that warning nearly a dozen times before it was over.
I could not find a way to change a setting like that. The settings list itself is kind of limited.
The only settings you can change: device name, test device, front led on/off, and tune up. That tune up setting is nice because if you find the tuner is slightly off, you can designate a pitch for it to tune itself to.
Definitely a great piece for a studio or home musician. In a live setting, may have issues performing with loud ambient noise around it*
*Paul will note this was not used with loud ambient noise, which is one of the things that is mentioned on the Bass version of this product as handling well.
More notes on the Roadie 2
This has been a fairly long review. I’m sure the PR company thinks I abandoned this but illness, touring, etc have made this a months-long endeavor during which John noted he has not recharged the thing once and has used it quite a bit. It has been significantly longer than the one month on a charge it claims.
The Roadie 2 has an app if you want to set up custom settings. John’s was set up and running like he wanted it and I completely forgot to get screenshots of the Roadie app. It works. You don’t require the app or to have a cell phone after you’ve got things set up.
The grip for the tuning pegs is plastic, as such should not damage the pegs. Works with most.
If you have a large number of things to tune (such as if you’re tuning for
Completely Different Dropped Band,) you can drop your tuning time significantly and not have to sit there plucking away. If you’re a music teacher or handle a large number of stringed devices, I’d imagine this would save your sanity.
If you’re looking to tune bass instruments this is not the device for you, there’s a Roadie Bass, which is a different product with a more powerful crank winder for approximately $20 USD more.
As a note watching those videos, you can tell the production quality was high as only the most hyperactive children were screaming off camera. As such make sure the volume is down. Hyperactive screaming kid managed to cause the Roadie 2 to adjust the wrong way once during a take we didn’t use however it mostly seemed unphased by the caucophony of competing sounds.