Korg tuner keeps time, improves technique

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The TM-50TR combines tuner, metronome and tone trainer

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A few years ago, Korg released a nifty practice tool called the TM-50 that combined tuner and metronome in one unit, allowing musicians to keep time and stay in tune. Now the company has added the ability to analyze and improve tone and technique with the release of the TM-50TR.

Korg has a pretty solid reputation for tuner accuracy, I've tried many tuners over the years but it's the company's Pitchblack Poly that sits at the head of my pedalboard. The new TM-50TR is a high-precision tuner for brass, woodwind and string instruments, with a C1 to C8 detection range and reported ± 1 cent detection and sound accuracy. The musician can see what's going on in the pitch department thanks to a good-sized color LCD display with white backlighting top and center.

The tuner has a Sound Out function that outputs a reference tone from the internal 23 mm dynamic speaker to allow a player to tune by ear, an increasingly rare skill in the digital age. And a Sound Back feature which lets users verify the pitch by both eye and ear, throwing out the reference tone closest to the note being played to help users get a feel for accurate pitch.

Like the TM-50 before it, the new tuner can be used at the same time as the built-in metronome. There are 15 types of rhythms available, with a tempo range of 30 to 252 beats per minute, and the unit also includes something called periodic metronome – where the beats alternate between sounding out and muting to help players practice the art of keeping rhythm.

New to the TM range is the Tone Trainer, which is based on a technology developed in cooperation with Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University and already used in an iOS tuner app called cortosia. It registers and displays the pitch of a note being played in real-time, but also provides visual feedback on volume, brightness and stability of a sustained note. Korg says that such analysis will allow musicians so easily identify any playing areas that need some attention.

The TM-50TR is powered by two AAA-sized batteries, has an integrated kickstand for ease of use, comes in either silver or black, and is available now for US$59.99.

You can see the main functionality in the short video below.

Product page: Korg TM-50TR

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