With so many brands and models to choose from, you won't have a hard time finding a great tuner. In fact, the only difficult part will be deciding on just one. To make your decision less overwhelming, here is a breakdown of some highly recommended options.
KORG CA-1 Chromatic Tuner
Clear and simple to use, this tuner is about the size of a compact cell phone. The digital 'needle' on this tuner is very sensitive, and operates with a green-light/red-light function that will reward you only when the tuning is precise. This tuner also contains a "sound" function that's clear and loud, giving you the option to practice tuning with your ears as well as your eyes. Overall, it's a perfect tuner for students, or in any setting where other musicians aren't making too much noise. However, horn players should look elsewhere, for this tuner in live situations will pick up every other sound in its proximity. For guitarists in a live setting, it should be fine if they simply plug into the ¼'' jack.
Similar to the Korg CA-1, this tuner also includes a "sound" option and a clear, finely sized display. Additionally, this tuner also features a wire stand, giving you the choice of propping it up. A great tuner for any musician, the CT-40 can also make fairly accurate readings of other instruments close by at different volumes and distances from the microphone. Of course, the tuner works best in live settings for instruments that can utilize the ¼'' input.
Korg has a long history of constructing fantastic tuners, and the Korg PC-1 is another superb example. This compact clip-on tuner is specifically made for guitar players, but not recommended to trumpet players, as the clip isn't tight enough for the bell, and the tuner's angle isn't ideal for viewing if it's clipped to any tubing. But it works great for acoustic guitars. Overall, it's a simple and straightforward tuner that will do the trick just fine.
A unique little device that comes in a sleek and stylish packaging, this clip-on virtual strobe tuner is slightly larger than most other tuners, and the stainless steel casing lines up perfectly to a horns bell. Whether you're playing a sax, trombone or trumpet, this tuner contains a lavishly sized clip that can attach on to just about anything. The virtual strobe gives you an incredibly precise view of pitch with even the smallest variation shown clearly. The "Sustain Mode" isa great feature on this tuner as well, which displays a pitch even after the sound is gone. As for guitarists, they should find the "alternate tunings" feature very handy.
This tuner works tremendously for any instrument, but it's specifically designed for brass and woodwind players. Boss has a reputation for making incredible tuners, and this one is no exception. Although it isn't a compact clip-on tuner, it comes with a non-microphone attachment clip-on device that can be easily attached to your horn, allowing the tuner to pick up only your sound, even when you're in the presence of an orchestra.
Additional bonus features on this tuner include:
- A "Quick Response" setting, which has the ability to read pitches fast even when you're performing extended musical passages.
- A carrying case for initial protection when it's sitting amongst your other equipment.
Overall, this tuner is an ideal choice for brass and woodwind players.