New Toys

Peterson StroboSoft™ Virtual Tuner

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No software DAW music system should be without a way to check instrument tuning--especially if you record guitars. Renown and oldest strobe tuner manufacturer Peterson has just release StroboSoft™, a standalone virtual tuner that will run along side any PC DAW software. (MAC version available by the time you read this.)

StroboSoft has two modes: Chromatic and Instrument (available only in the Deluxe version). Chromatic works like any chromatic tuner except it is more accurate (0.1 cents or 0.001 semitone) and has higher resolution (the ability to distinguish minute pitch differences). There is a small window that shows pitch deviations in cents, Hz or as a MIDI note number. You also can see a stroboscopic readout just like Peterson's hardware tuners showing the relative speed and direction of a sharp/flat pitched note. If I had one request it would be a full-screen display of the readout you could see from across the room--even on a fifteen-inch computer monitor.

Instrument mode is specifically for string instruments where you can select standard acoustic/electric EADGBE tuning, any open string tuning (there are 54 built in like DADGAD or DADDAD and you can add and store your own tunings too), and 27 custom sweetened tunings including the Buzz Feiten Tuning System. You can also store your own custom sweeteners and create your own temperaments in the Deluxe version.

We installed StroboSoft Deluxe on a 3.4 GHz single P4 PC and found no problem running it along side a big Nuendo DAW session. StroboSoft uses somewhere between 5 and 10% of the CPU's resources and, if you use Auto-Power Off, the tuner automatically relinquishes the DAW's audio input. Having StroboSoft connected to the stereo mixing buss is a godsend when overdubbing multiple guitar parts--there is instant tuning feedback that'll keep your guitar player honest!

Other features and specifications are: built-in oscilloscope great to check synth wave shapes; spectrum analyzer; note range: Eb0 (MIDI note 15) to Eb8 (MIDI note 111); frequency accuracy: 0.005Hz; frequency range (to maintain this accuracy): 20Hz-5,000Hz; supports 11.025 through 96kHz sample rates; global cents offset range is -50.0 cents to +50.0 cents in 0.1 cent steps; Transpose/Drop/Capo: -12 semitones to +12 semitones in 1 semitone steps. The standard version sells for $49. The Deluxe version I reviewed here is $79. Order this great product from

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