CenterPitch and Intellitouch Tuners
Centerpitch and Intellitouch are the original 'clamp on' tuners invented by a small US company. They 'feel' the sound rather than 'hear' it, and are unaffected by other sounds. While the essential function is the same, there are differences between the two, detailed below.
About CenterPitch and Intellitouch
CenterPitch and Intellitouch tuners are both designed and manufactured by Onboard Research, a small US-based company. I've been working with Onboard since the prototype stage of CenterPitch, and I'm a big fan of their products.
The essential function is the same with both tuners. They clamp onto the horn with non-marring pads. Because they ‘feel’ the sound rather than ‘hear’ it, they are unaffected by other sounds. This allows you to use them when playing in an ensemble. In the practice room, it allows you to combine visual pitch feedback with aural, e.g., drones.
Intellitouch was originally designed for stringed instruments and CenterPitch for wind instruments, but I find that they are equally responsive on my trumpet. Either should work on any instrument to which they can be attched. (Not vocal, sorry!)
Both CenterPitch and Intellitouch share the following attributes:
- Accurate to better than one cent over a seven octave range. (27 Hz – 6000 Hz).
- Transposition settings for concert, Bb, Eb, F and G instruments.
- Calibration from A = 410 – 450
- Auto shut off to conserve battery life.
Here are the differences:
CenterPitch uses a display based on six arrows, in combination with a red and green light. This display corresponds to the text and illustrations in Tuning Tactics. Tuning Tactics and CenterPitch is a powerful combination for improving intonation and understanding the relationship between equal temperament and pure tuning.
Intellitouch gives you a choice of a digitized strobe display or a more traditional needle display, also in combination with red and green lights. The moving strobe is easy to pick up in peripheral vision, so that one does not need to stare directly at the tuner to get feedback.
Intellitouch is somewhat smaller than CenterPitch, which may make it a bit more unobtrusive depending on where on the instrument it is placed.
The jaws of the clip are a little smaller on Intellitouch. Either one will clip securely to trumpet-size tubes, or on the edge of the bell, but CenterPitch may provide more location options on larger instruments.
CenterPitch has more dedicated buttons, which are easier to use but are also easier to hit accidentally. Intellitouch uses multifunction buttons to cycle through options, not as intuitive, but in most cases the settings will not be changed often.
METRONOME / CLOCK
CenterPitch has a built in metronome; Intellitouch has a built in clock. Since the metronome cannot be used at the same time as the tuner, the clock is a more useful option, especially for those of us who must reach for our phones to check the time.
PURE TUNING vs. EQUAL TEMPERAMENT
CenterPitch, like most tuners, displays pitch based on equal temperament. Intellitouch provides pure tuned options as well.
CenterPitch is an excellent teaching tool that provides immediate results. It’s a real eye-opener for students.
Terry Promane (University of Toronto)
CenterPitch tuners are used by most of my students at Indiana University, where at least a dozen of us us do a morning routine every day. They can each see their own pitch, even while surrounded by a dozen other sounds. They can also check pitch during large ensemble rehearsals. What a fantastic tool!
Jeff Nelsen (Indiana University / Canadian Brass)
CenterPitch is far easier to use than other tuners, and is well worth the investment!
Doc D’Errico (Southborough, MA)
I have used CenterPitch with some of my elementary music students, mostly violin and brass players. It is truly amazing what can be accomplished in just a few minutes of playing with this device. Intonation and pitch recognition are much improved. Our school district is ordering a bunch of them.
Craig Sengstock (Fullerton, CA)
My students took to it right away and progressed rapidly by using this tool. Highly recommended!
Dan Jacobs (Traverse City, MI)
When listening to various players in the band, it is evident to me those who practice with tuners and those that do not. I notice that many professionals use tuners; many amateurs do not. CenterPitch makes warming up with the tuner before VERY convenient. When teaching, sometimes I clip it to the student’s bell and adjust it so that I can see it but the student cannot. The goal is to have the student hear the intervals without looking at the tuner.
Graham Young (Weston Silver Band)
With CenterPitch I can see where I am instantly, helping me to maintain a centered pitch. It’s very easy to use and mounts onto my trumpet quickly.
Joy Oakes (Quincy, MA)
CenterPitch is particularly helpful in determining the unique intonation tendencies of certain notes on different horns. This helps me anticipate what I need to do to compensate before I actually play the note in question.
Gregg Peele (Charlotte, NC)
When doing octave slurs I close my eyes, fine-tune the note by ear, and then open my eyes and check my pitch with CenterPitch. I also use it with long tones, playing them quietly and striving to keep the frequency steady.
Jean Trudel (Ottawa, ON)
With CenterPitch, I am finally getting my ears and horn in tune with each other. I also bought one for my ten-year old son, a beginning sax player. It is very encouraging to hear that he is already developing an ear for good pitch.
Albert Benson (Broken Arrow, OK)
In our local community big band, the 3rd and 4th trumpet parts are often low and buried in the trombone harmonies, so that players have trouble hearing themselves. CenterPitch has been a big help in keeping everybody on pitch.
Richard Mason (Littleton, CO)
I have found the CenterPitch Tuner to be very useful during practice sessions to fine-tune my notes. My music teacher plans to stock CenterPitch for all the brass students.
Dave Lambillotte (Carlsbad, CA)
I have an antique Russian cornet that is hard to play in tune. CenterPitch sharpens my ear for that, as well as my other horns. It is an invaluable asset during my “comeback”.
Gary Ruggera (Durango, CO)
CenterPitch is a great tool; my son and I both use it. His teacher has him using it to get his ear in tune with the note. He thinks it”s neat to see how high he can play!
Pete Gandolfo (Belleville, MI)
The placement on the bell is handy, it provides a good visual and makes it very easy to check your pitch from time to time.
John Brooks (Chesterfield, MO)
Compared to other tuners, CenterPitch is MUCH easier to see while playing, and makes it harder to ‘cheat’. Count me as a satisfied customer!
Pat Gefre (White Bear Lake, MN)