As everyone knows, roadies are hired to set up gear, tear down gear, drink, and tune guitars. Now roadies can do one less of those things and do more of something else. The Roadie is an automatic tuner for any stringed instrument that uses the iPhone to listen to your guitar and a motorized accessory that turns the machine head to exactly the right position. It’s going to put a lot of real roadies out of business.
Created by Bassam Jalgha and Hassane Slaibi of Band Industries, the Roadie was incubated at Shezhen’s Haxlr8r and is nearly ready to ship. The product can tune almost any guitar or stringed instrument perfectly and can even support alternate tunings. A useful wind/unwind feature will spool the string off the peg in a few seconds, shaving off a few moments of downtime during your excessively loud guitar solo gone wrong. A pledge of $69 gets you an early bird model.
These sorts of tuners are nothing new but this is the first “smart” tuner that can do more than set up a guitar in one configuration. A feature called the Instrument Doctor can tell you if strings are going bad and whether the guitar needs repair or a tune up. It charges via MicroUSB and can tune 6,000 times on one charge. It’s compatible with iOS and Android and uses Bluetooth to communicate with the phone.
Jalgha expects to ship in June, just in time for summer rock season. Although I’m a tune by ear kind of guy – which usually fails – I’d use one of these in a heartbeat. At least my caterwauling git-fiddling will be slightly in tune.