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 Post subject: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 10:58 am 
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Location: Butler, PA
Hi all,
If I know the frequencies of the open strings and their first octives can I make up a line cord with a bnc connector and read the frequency of the strings of my bass and Stratocaster?
Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 1:23 pm 
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The only issue I can think of is harmonics. Counters typically respond to zero-crossings in the waveform....if it is heavy in harmonics, there will be more zero crossings. Even so, there is hope. My signal generator produces lots of harmonics, and I can read the frequency by focusing on one of the harmonics. The issue is that I have to tweak the level to get a consistent reading. In your application, this might take three hands....;)

The best tuners I have seen use calibrated tones and display the beat frequency visually.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Thanks Mark I will give it a try

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 2:02 pm 
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Location: Cambridge Ontario
In frequency mode, it won't have enough resolution. 1 Hz is not close enough for the human ear. If you set it to 10 second time base it will just take to long to get a reading from the strings. Maybe in period mode, but you will be looking for some strange numbers. better to get a $10 electronic tuner LOL.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 2:28 pm 
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Actually I have a tascam tg-7 tuner and a boss db-60 and 80.
But what I want to measure is my intonation at the 12th fret.
This is one octive 12 semi tones from the open strings if in tune. For instance
If the open A string is 110 hz then the 12,th fret should be at 220 if not then you move the saddle to shorten or length the string

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 2:53 pm 
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you are describing a basic test for the construction of an acoustic guitar. Hold you finger lightly at the octave position and pluck the string--this gives you the 2nd harmonic, Then, press against the fret and you should get the same note.

Tom makes a good point about the resolution of the counter.

An electronic tuner that displays the beat frequency should also work---you should see the beat note on either the open string or the octave thread.

I've been struggling with tuning my own guitar---now I need to put away my "cheap filter" and go buy one of those tuners---so I'll actually know what I'm talking about.....;)

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 3:03 pm 
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how about using an oscilloscope ?

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 3:09 pm 
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glue_ru wrote:
how about using an oscilloscope ?

Only if you are also using a very accurate audio source and looking for beats. The time base of most scopes is not nearly accurate enough

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 4:35 pm 
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glue_ru wrote:
how about using an oscilloscope ?
The horizontal sweep accuracy on even the best lab 'scopes is only about 2%.
On common service instruments it's worse.

Then you get into questions of sweep linearity, trigger point accuracy, ...

- Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 5:55 pm 
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We need to work on our concise answers.....
glue_ru wrote:
how about using an oscilloscope ?

No

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 6:16 pm 
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Location: Cambridge Ontario
Well if you really had to do it electronically, you could do it with a signal generator, the frequency counter on 10 second time base to set the generator, and a scope on x y mode, and look for a stationary circle like pattern. Seems like a lot of trouble. The harmonic method is the usual way.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 8:19 pm 
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Cadmandu wrote:
Actually I have a tascam tg-7 tuner and a boss db-60 and 80.
But what I want to measure is my intonation at the 12th fret.
This is one octive 12 semi tones from the open strings if in tune. For instance
If the open A string is 110 hz then the 12,th fret should be at 220 if not then you move the saddle to shorten or length the string


I don't understand why you want to use the frequency of a note to set the intonation. Other than being an academic exercise, it doesn't give you any advantage over just using your tuner(s).

I use a Peterson strobe tuner to set the intonation on my instruments and those of my customers as well. The tuners you have will work perfectly well for setting intonation. Even something like an inexpensive Snark will work reasonably well.

For electric guitar, the tuners you have will enable you to check/set your intonation. Just use the harmonic at the 12th fret as Mark said, or play the fretted note at the 12th fret, then adjust the intonation accordingly. As you are aware, if the harmonic or note is flat, move the saddle forward. If it's sharp, move it backward. You should have new strings on the guitar when doing this; old strings may create problems.

I generally use the fretted octave note rather than the harmonic. That way you're automatically compensating for the string height and its effect on pitch. I also like to check notes up and down the fretboard - not just the 12th fret.

For an acoustic, well, you'd really be just checking the intonation. If the intonation is WAY off, you need to be thinking about relocating the saddle. But that's a whole other subject way beyond the scope of this discussion.

-Kevin

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Sun 17, 2017 9:20 pm 
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An O-scope may not give you an accurate readout, but it is fun to play a note and see it at the same time. When you pluck a note, the sound wave will peak to the width of the screen and then drop off to a flat line.

No harm in trying the frequency counter, but don't make any major changes to the guitar unless it sounds off to your ear as well. Unless you play like Neil Young. He makes his priceless Les Paul sound like it's always out of tune. :lol:
He does that purposely with the whammy bar, I think to match his voice. That's his sound, man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6xNft9MutQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovum-GjYWKQ
I think he hit the whammy bar hard at the end of this song. Either that or those strings are all a piece of crap.

A 14 minute jam down by the river.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiX8Rz5C3LY

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Mon 18, 2017 1:38 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
For music instrument pitch tuning, you very well may be able to use the Fluke.

But you need one more device in the chain from the pickup, or mike and the Fluke.
That device is an adjustable narrow band fundamental filter. It outputs a sin wave.

I have done that using a Bruel & Kjaer 2107 or a HP 202-A. It was mainly to analyze
a vibration. The other thing is frequency counters suck at low audio frequencies. Find one
that can display 1/f. ( i.e. Triplett 7700) You get more stuff to look at for small variations in pitch.


Doesn't Sound Forge do that ?

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Mon 18, 2017 2:34 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 9430
Location: Powell River BC Canada
westcoastjohn wrote:
An O-scope may not give you an accurate readout, but it is fun to play a note and see it at the same time. When you pluck a note, the sound wave will peak to the width of the screen and then drop off to a flat line.

No harm in trying the frequency counter, but don't make any major changes to the guitar unless it sounds off to your ear as well. Unless you play like Neil Young. He makes his priceless Les Paul sound like it's always out of tune. :lol:
He does that purposely with the whammy bar, I think to match his voice. That's his sound, man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6xNft9MutQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovum-GjYWKQ
I think he hit the whammy bar hard at the end of this song. Either that or those strings are all a piece of crap.

A 14 minute jam down by the river.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiX8Rz5C3LY


But see:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonautograph

Music theorists have been scoping sounds for more than 100 years.

As to the scope, a triggered Storage Tek 7833 could capture
one line of sweep, once the sweep rate had been decided.
The waveform was written on the screen, and kept there, by
flooding with a charge.

We did that for stuff. Then we used a Polaroid camera, with a special
bezel mount that fitted the 7833.

We looked at the photos. "Yep, thar she is !" What-N-Ell causes that ..
The photo was then filed in the log book, for wiser eyes to see...

Helmholtz , On the Sensations of Tone good read.

Attachment:
Turpentine soot recdording.jpg
Turpentine soot recdording.jpg [ 141.46 KiB | Viewed 950 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Thu 21, 2017 12:30 am 
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Many lab counters will count using the measured signal as the time base, and then calculating the reciprocal value for display. Harmonics should not be a problem, since I doubt you can stretch a string taunt enough reach a fundamental on the second or third harmonic. Regardless, if it is a harmonic count, is should be obvious and can still be used for tuning.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Thu 21, 2017 6:25 pm 
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Location: Battle Creek, Mi
Why not just use a guitar tuner phone app? Unless no phone of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Thu 21, 2017 6:43 pm 
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In grade 3 or 4 the music teacher had a tuning fork she used to start the song.
Might as well have been a starter pistol for a race. It seemed to please her though. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Sep Fri 22, 2017 11:47 am 
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Peter Bertini wrote:
Harmonics should not be a problem, since I doubt you can stretch a string taunt enough reach a fundamental on the second or third harmonic

Pete

LOL... I used to try it, out of ignorance and lack of experience or guidance, and broke many strings trying.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I use a fluke frequency counter to tune a guitar
PostPosted: Oct Fri 27, 2017 3:14 pm 
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A phone app called Da Tuner Pro might do what you need.

Used it once to tune an organ and it worked quite nicely.


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