We’re big fans of the Roadie, a handheld device that automated guitar tuning. While many seasoned guitar players probably won’t need it, it was something both novices and intermediate players could definitely use. Over the years, they’ve continued to refine the product, making it faster, more compact, and even more versatile. The Roadie 3 is the newest iteration of that guitar accessory, bringing with it a suite of functions that might make even veteran musicians take notice.
Like its predecessor, the device automatically tuned your guitar one string at a time. You simply choose the tuning you want, put the spinning section on a peg, pluck a string, and let it go to work. This time, though, it does the tuning in just a fraction of the time, all while being able to work its magic beyond your standard six-string axe.
The Roadie 3 has sensors that detect string vibration, allowing it to know exactly what kind of sound a string will make while it turns the pegs, so it will keep rotating when needed and stop as soon as it hits the right pitch. It can detect sound at a range of 43.65 Hz to 668.84 Hz, allowing you to use it not just with acoustic and electric guitars, but with any instrument that uses geared pegs. That means, you can use it to tune everything from 12-string guitars and ukuleles to banjos and mandolins. Do note, you won’t be able to use it tune the strings on a bass guitar, as their strings are way too thick for the motor to handle. They recommend going with the outfit’s Roadie Bass model for that.
Both vibration detection and tuning accuracy have supposedly been improved in this iteration, along with the device’s immunity to external noise, so it should be able to tune instruments even in noisier settings. It also does the job faster with the built-in 120 RPM motor, along with an improved winding function that brings a string to tension and tunes it in a single step.
The Roadie 3 won’t just tune different string instruments, it can also switch a guitar to alternate and tempered tunings, depending on what you need. You can even tell the device when you’re tuning with a capo on. That means, you can switch to a different guitar sound quickly between songs on a set, saving you from the hassle of pausing a set to retune your guitar or keep multiple guitars on hand. A small RGB LED screen (135 x 240 resolution) and a control wheel right on the body allows you to choose instruments, tuning, and other functions easily.
Got a specific tuning you want that’s not available in the menu? Not a problem, as they have a full tuning library available from the companion app. Simply choose any tuning you want to download on the app and sync it to the device (it has built-in Bluetooth). Just in case all that’s not enough, it can even function as a vibrating metronome to keep you in rhythm.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Roadie 3. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $99.