VS-1 Virtual Strobe Tuner Instruction Manual

VS-1 Virtual Strobe Tuner Instruction Manual
peterson
VS-1 Virtual Strobe™ Tuner
Instruction Manual
Revised 05-2001 for Software Version 1.6
© 2001 Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc.
11601 S. Mayfield Avenue, Alsip IL 60803-2476
Phone: 1-708-388-3311 FAX: 1-708-388-3341
email@petersonemp.com
http://www.PetersonTuners.com
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VS-1 Virtual Strobe Tuner Instruction Manual
Congratulations on your purchase of the finest all-electronic tuning device ever
made! As the first product utilizing visionary (patent pending) Virtual Strobe
Technology recently developed at peterson, the concept behind this tuner
is a true marriage of peterson’s unsurpassed Digital Rotating Strobe-Disc
Tuning technology with the latest advances in analog, digital, and display
technologies available today.
Getting Started
LCD Display Screen
C
Current
MENU
Item
Text
Line
0
+ 00. 0

Power
Switch
DC
IN
MENU
Buttons
3-4VDC
<180mA
THRU
THRU Out
and Audio
line out
jack
Quick-TouchTM Rotary
(VALUE) Knob and
CHOOSE button
3
Your VS-1 tuner may be powered from either 3 AA-cell batteries or a regulated
DC voltage from an AC wall transformer. Depending upon your location, an
appropriate wall transformer may have been provided with the purchase of your
tuner. In any case, the wall transformer should provide a 3.0V to 4.0V regulated
DC voltage from the AC line voltage you are using and accommodate at least
180mA of current (500mW of power). The DC IN jack requires a standard
2.1mm / 5.5mm plug with the positive (+) terminal as the inner plug:
USING A WALL TRANSFORMER WITH THE WRONG
ORIENTATION OR VOLTAGE MAY CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE
TO THE WALL TRANSFORMER, THE TUNER, OR BOTH!!
The batteries are automatically electrically disconnected from the power circuit
when the appropriate plug is inserted into the DC IN jack. Any standard carbon
or alkaline AA batteries may be used as a portable source of power. NiCad or
NiMH rechargeable batteries may also be used but will not be recharged from
this product! Always use identical types of cells at any one time. Battery life
will vary greatly depending upon the type of battery cell used, the amount of
product use with the LCD backlight turned on, and the length of continuous use
at each session. One fully charged set of low-capacity NiCad batteries may
power the tuner with intermittent use and backlight always on for 6-7 hours. A
new set of (non-rechargeable) alkaline batteries used intermittently with
backlight always off may last as long as 50 hours! Expect battery life to
generally fall between these extremes.
It is recommended that batteries be removed if the product will not be powered
with them for more than 1 month to avoid undetected corrosion or other battery
failures. Batteries are inserted or removed by first removing the VS-1 from its
protective rubber boot. The Battery Cover at the back of the tuner enclosure
slides down and out with simple finger pressure.
BE CAREFUL TO INSTALL BATTERIES IN THE INDICATED
ORIENTATIONS. FAILURE TO DO SO MAY CAUSE PERMANENT
DAMAGE TO THE BATTERIES, THE TUNER, OR BOTH!
To turn the tuner on, a convenient slide switch has been mounted on the face of
the tuner. NOTE: If the bottom MENU button (
) is pressed during poweron, the resulting Bass Shiftindicated by a bass clef near the octave
numberpermits visual tuning down to C0 (16 Hz) and beyond. In any case,
after a brief appearance of an initialization screen showing product identification
and software version, a "RUN" screen will appear.
4
C
0
+ 00. 0

This first RUN screen always includes a four-band strobe display at the left, a
large scale-note indication (which may appear to fluctuate randomly when no
clear input signal is present due to automatic note detection), a “cents”
indication initialized to 00.0 cents offset, and a “current MENU item” of “cents”
in the bottom text line under the horizontal rule (separation line). This bottom
line of text is always reserved for the indication of the current MENU item,
that is, the parameterselected by either of the MENU buttonswhich
will currently be affected by the Quick-Touch rotary VALUE knob and
CHOOSE button.
The VS-1 will respond to any electrical signal (approximately 10mV to 5V)
presented to the EXT IN ¼" jack on the side of the enclosure including handheld microphones, electric guitars, or line-level audio sources. The built-in
microphone will be automatically activated for response to direct sound
whenever the EXT IN jack is empty. Generally, visual tuning is very simple.
When the note indicator is at the nearest scale note to the sound source to be
tuned, the strobe bands will appear to roll upward smoothly if the sound is sharp
or down if it is flat. When the image appears stationary, tuning is exact. The
greater the apparent speed of movement, the farther the source pitch is from the
reference scale note. (See the Visual Tuning section below for more details and
special cases.)
MENU Item Parameters
The two circular buttons at the bottom left of the tuner (labeled MENU with up
and down arrows) allow the selection of various tuning parameters and modes
of operation which will be of interest to most users. Because certain
combinations of parameters will be changed frequently in some applications, the
pair of MENU buttons allows the user to a) quickly alternate between any two
adjacent MENU items and b) reduce the number of required button presses to
traverse from one MENU item to any other. The following is a table describing
the effect and range of each MENU item in order from ¢ (“cents”) at power-on
to *AUTO/MAN that the user would see by repeatedly pressing the up arrow
MENU button. Also shown is the effect, if any, of pressing the CHOOSE
button built into the Quick-Touch rotary knob:
5
MENU
ITEM
¢ (cents)
KEY
A4
DESCRIPTION
1 cent = 1/100 semitone
offset (1200/2)
Transposition of the
displayed note based on
any of 12 scale notes
Concert A tuning
reference adjustment for
the tuner in 0.5 Hz
increments
TMPR
EQUAL or one of eight
non-equal temperaments
(note to note intervals)
with note C as the scale
root and note A set to
0  offset.
LIGHT
LCD backlight full ON
or dim
SAVE
MENU item values
which can be stored in
memory as new poweron values
TUNER mode

AUTO
MAN
Note selection
VALUE RANGE
/ DEFAULT VALUE
-50.0 to +50.0 / 00.0¢
CHOOSE
BUTTON
1¢ / 0.1¢ steps
Hold: 0 reset
Letter / Fret #
scale
B♭ to A / C
-2 to +9 / +0
433.0 to 447.0 / 440.0

EQU
PYT
JST
MNT
KRN
WRK
YNG
KLN
GTR

Equal
Pythagorean
Just Major
1/4 Meantone
Kirnberger
Werkmeister
Young
Kellner
Guitar 5ths
ON
LIGHT
TMPR
A4
KEY
Audio
(line)
}
OFF
(dim)
SURE ??
confirm
ON / OFF
st
1 : SURE ??
nd
2 :SAVED 
Visual
(strobe) Visual /Audio
C1 to G8:
/ AUTO
C0 to B5:
Bass Shift
C0 to B8: Audio / MAN
AUTO / MAN
The VS-1 can be operated in any of three modes: Visual Tuning (strobe display),
Audio Tuning (line-level signal out of THRU 1/4" connector), or SAVE mode
(saving MENU item selections to non-volatile memory). By pressing the
bottom ( ) MENU button during power-on, the resulting Bass Shift (shown by
a bass clef near the octave number) permits visual tuning down to C 0 (16Hz) and
beyond. When switching from Visual tuner mode (
) to the Audio ( ♪
)
tuner mode, the Note Select option is forced to MANual because it is the only
valid note selection method in the Audio (line out) tuner mode. This is indicated
with a “MAN” status display when the TUNER MENU item is switched to
:
6
C
--- MAN
2
+ 00. 0
TUNER
(Also note that the strobe bands are cleared since they are meaningless in this
mode.) If the *AUTO/MAN MENU item is made current when in AUDIO tuner
mode, an added “ ” icon is drawn in the current MENU item line as a reminder
of the current tuner mode, and the usual “select arrow” is replaced to indicate
that AUTO cannot be selected with the CHOOSE button while in this tuner
mode. In other words, notes must be manually selected when in the AUDIO
tuner mode:
C
--- MAN
2
+ 00. 0
---MAN
When switching from AUDIO tuner mode to VISUAL (strobe) mode, the strobe
bands are once again made visible and the note selection is forced to AUTO.
The RUN Screen In More Depth
The initial RUN screen may include additional indications at the top right of the
screen if one or more savable MENU item values have been saved to nonfactory-default values in any previous operation of the tuner. The savable
MENU item values are:
SAVABLE
MENU ITEMS
KEY
A4
TMPR
LIGHT
DESCRIPTION
Transposition of the displayed note
Concert A tuning
EQUAL or non-equal temperaments
LCD backlight full ON or dim
DEFAULT
VALUE
C
440.0
EQU
(ON)
7
To simplify the appearance of the display, the additional “status display” of
KEY, A4, or TMPR is made visible ONLY when a non-default value for the
given MENU item has been selected. Once altered to a non-default value, a
“status display” for an item will appear immediately whether the new value is
saved or not. No status display is ever given for the LIGHT MENU item since
its setting is visually obvious.
As noted in the previous section of these instructions, an additional status
display indicating MANual note selection (not a “savable” MENU item) is made
visible when active as a reminder that the note selection and indicator will NOT
change to the nearest note detected in the incoming audio signal as it would with
AUTO note selection (which is always the power-on default).
Thus, for example, if KEY had been previously saved to F, A4 had been saved
to 440.0 (the default), TMPR had been saved to JST (Just Major temperament),
and the tuner had last been set to MANual note selection, the LCD display
screen might look like this:
KEY: F
C
2
T: JST
---- MAN
+ 00. 0¢
If the A4 MENU item is then changed to a non-default value (even if it is not
saved) by pressing one of the MENU buttons to make A4 the “current MENU
item” in the bottom text line and turning the VALUE rotary knob to display a
value of, say, 440.5, then the non-default status of A4 will appear in its given
position (second text line). These non-default status displays will persist even
when a new “current MENU item” is selected:
KEY: F
A440.5
C
2
T: JST
----MAN
+ 00. 0¢
¢
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Tuning With The Virtual Strobe
The simplest and most common use of this tuner will be visual tuning with
AUTO note detection/selection. This is accomplished through the following
grueling sequence of steps:

Turn the tuner ON.
Yes, that’s it! The tuner always powers up in Visual (strobe) tuning mode with
AUTO note selection. Unlike traditional strobe devices, the VS-1 will not
respond to harmonics or high-frequency “partials” of an incoming sound. The
four strobe bands are provided only to extend the useful visual response to more
octaves of musical pitch. Generally, the “lowest” band that is visible (a
leftmost, larger-striped band corresponding to one of the lower OCTAVE
numbers listed beneath it) is the truest, most accurate band to “read”.
Tuning At Higher OctavesSpecial Considerations
At higher pitches (from Octave 4 and up), the lower bands do not convey useful
indications of tuning. If shown, they would appear to move randomly while the
higher bands show true relative tuning motion for the incoming sound. To avoid
unnecessary distraction, these lower bands are successively “blanked out” when
higher octave pitches are detected. For example, if one hums an A440 pitch and
it is AUTO-detected by the VS-1 tuner, the screen will change to the following:
A
4
+ 00. 0¢
¢
If 880Hz (A5) is sounded and detected:
9
A
5
+ 00. 0¢
¢
If a low pitch is then sounded (Octave 1-3), all four strobe bands will return.
There is another nuance of visual tuning with the VS-1 when reading tunings for
high octave sounds. Normally, AUTO note selection will adjust the tuner to the
nearest scale note frequency to that of the incoming sound. Usually, this means
that the incoming sound can vary by 50 (1/2 semitone) before the reference
scale note indication is adjusted. As the incoming sound goes flatter (lower
frequency) compared to the AUTO-note frequency, the strobe image will appear
to move downward at an increasing rate. Conversely, as the incoming sound
goes sharper relative to the scale note, the image appears to move upward at an
increasing rate. Normally, this movement is easy to see over the entire 50
range. However, for notes at higher octaves, the rate of movement when
approaching the 50 offset extremes becomes difficult to see with the eye. (It’s
not unlike the effect of “seeing” hubcap spokes on a moving car apparently
turning backwards from their actual motion.) In these cases, the VS-1
eliminates the strobe bands altogether and produces either an appropriate < or =
symbol above or below the note indication. The pitch range over which the
strobe bands remain for visual tuning gets narrower at higher frequencies, but
even at Octave 8, the strobe bands will be available for fine-tuning to match the
scale note. Think of the alternate ♯ and ♭ indicators as quick and easy-to-read
“way out of tune” signals. Below is an example of the display screen when a
sound that is 40¢ sharp of A5 is detected by the tuner:
♯
A
5
+ 00. 0¢
¢
10
Manual Note Selection
When tuning under unusual circumstancestuning extremely high-pitched
notes or low volume sounds in noisy environmentsit may be necessary to
manually select the note to which you would like to tune. Press one of the
MENU buttons until ♪AUTO/MAN becomes the “current MENU item”. At this
point, pressing the CHOOSE button built into the Quick-Touch rotary knob will
select between AUTO and MAN note selection methods. Alternatively, you can
simply begin turning the Quick-Touch knob (VALUE) to select the desired note
(and octave) which, in turn, forces the tuner into MANual note selection.
F
3
---- MAN
+ 00. 0¢

MAN
KEY TranspositionExplanation And Usage
The MENU item, KEY, provides a simple means of transposing note names for
instruments built around something other than Concert C pitch (for example, a
B= clarinet or E= saxophone). In addition, with this tuner, peterson
introduces a Fret Transposition Scale (FTS) which provides a clearer, more
meaningful transposing system for fretted instruments than the standard
alphabetical note name keys.
For example, when a guitar is in its standard tuning, we commonly call the open
string notes: E, A, D, G, B, and E. These are the Concert C key signature note
names for those sound frequencies. However, guitarists commonly think of this
tuning as standard E tuning because of the preponderance of Key of E notes.
Obviously, this can get confusing. Our Fret Transposition Scale (evoked by
using the Quick-Touch CHOOSE button while the current MENU item is
KEY):
11
KEY:+3
G
2
+ 00. 0¢
KEY:+3
provides an optional numbering system for key transposition which corresponds
to the equivalent fret “stop” of the strings. For example, if you apply a capo (on
a standard-tuned guitar) on the 3rd fret, the new “open string” notes without key
transposition would be: G, C, F, A#, D, and G. If you would like to tune these
new “open string” notes without having to mentally transpose note names, you
would simply select an FTS key value of “+3” which corresponds to the 3 rd fret
in this example. In this case, the open string notes will once again be displayed
as E, A, D, G, B, and E on the tuner.
To carry the analogy further, the open strings without a capo (the normal case of
the nut stopping the strings) is equivalent to the 0 th fret and so “+0” under FTS
yields the standard note names for the open strings. Further, if you detune the
strings down as in “½-step drop” (or “flat”) tuning, this would be equivalent to
having an “extra fret” as the stop in the opposite direction. Hence, the FTS key
to use would be “-1”. Our FTS system, in fact, permits transposition from –2 to
+9 which corresponds to B♭ to A in standard key transposition.
One more subtlety: for advanced users employing non-equal temperaments
(under the TMPR MENU item), key transposition still affects only the note
names for use with non-Concert C instruments. The tonic or root frequency of
the temperament remains at Concert C pitch.
Saving MENU Values As New Power-On Defaults
Your VS-1 Virtual Strobe Tuner is initialized at the factory with MENU item
values which are generally considered to be standard and will not need to be
changed by a great many users. These are:




Display backlight ON
EQUAL Temperament
Concert A at 440.0Hz
KEY transposition at C (standard “concert” pitch)
These values can be changed at any time when in either the Visual or Audio
tuning operational modes (as can all other MENU item values except attempting
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to choose AUTO note selection during Audio “
” tuning). In addition, these
four MENU item values may be changed and saved by the user as new power-on
defaults.
Before entering the SAVE sequence, the values of all four of these MENU items
should be at the desired values. For this example, let us assume that:




LIGHT is off (dim)
TMPR is Just major: JST
A4 is 434.5 Hz
KEY is F#
Press either the up “
” or down “
the current MENU item:
” MENU buttons until SAVE becomes
T: JST
A434. 5
KEY: F#

SAVE ?
At this point, the current values of the four MENU items are displayed so that
you can review the values you will be saving. Pressing either MENU button at
this point will cause a new MENU item to become current and no saving
operation will have occurred. By either turning the VALUE knob or pressing
the CHOOSE button once, however, a “confirmation” screen will appear:
T: JST
A434. 5
KEY: F#

SURE ??
The question “SURE ?? ” now appears on the current MENU item line. Once
again, pressing either MENU button will cause a new current MENU item to
appear and the SAVE procedure will have been aborted with no change to the
saved values. Similarly, turning the VALUE knob by one “click” will step back
13
to the first “SAVE ?” screen. However, if the CHOOSE button is pressed
while the “confirmation” screen is active, the SAVE procedure will have been
completed as indicated by the final screen:
T: JST
A434. 5
KEY: F#

SAVED 
The VS-1 tuner would now power-on with these MENU item values until a new
SAVE procedure is completed. The last entered tuning mode will resume when
one of the MENU buttons is pressed to create a new “current MENU item” and
exit SAVE mode.
APPENDIX A  Temperament Settings
NOTE: GTR is a proprietary setting geared toward “sweetening” the 4 th and 5th
intervals on a standard tuned guitar (or ½-step down tuning).
TMP
EQU
PYT
JST
MNT
KRN
WRK
YNG
KLN
GTR
C C#
D D#
+0.0 +0.0 +0.0 +0.0
-5.9 +7.8 -2.0 -11.8
+15.6 -13.7 +19.6 +31.3
+10.4 -13.3 +3.6 +20.7
+11.7 +1.9 +3.9 +5.8
+10.3 +0.5 +3.4 +4.4
+5.8 -4.0 +2.0 -0.1
+8.2 -1.6 +2.7 +2.3
E
F
F#
G G#
+0.0 +0.0 +0.0 +0.0 +0.0
+2.0 -7.8 +5.9 -3.9 +9.8
+2.0 +13.7 -15.6 +17.6 -11.7
-3.3 +13.6 -9.7 +7.0 -17.0
-2.0 +9.8 +2.0 +7.8 +3.9
+2.0 +8.3 -1.5 +6.8 +2.4
-1.8 +3.9 -6.1 +3.9 -2.0
-2.7 +6.3 -3.5 +5.5 +0.4
PROPRIETARY
A
+0.0
+0.0
+0.0
+0.0
+0.0
+0.0
+0.0
+0.0
A#
+0.0
-9.8
+33.2
+17.6
+7.8
+6.3
+1.9
+4.3
B
+0.0
+3.9
+3.9
-6.4
+0.0
+3.9
-3.7
-0.8
WARRANTY
We warrant this product to be free of defects in materials or workmanship for a period of
ONE year after delivery to the original purchaser. Our obligation under this warranty is
limited to the replacement or repair of any part or parts which prove upon our
examination to be defective.
This warranty does not apply to damage resulting from transportation, misuse, abuse, or
alteration. The complete unit must be returned to our factory, transportation charges
prepaid. In order to speed the return of the unit to you, it is recommended that for all
14
repairs, other than those required as a result of shipping damage, you deal directly with
our factory. In case of damage in shipment, a claim should be filed with the carrier. Be
sure to include a brief description of the difficulty you are experiencing and your return
address.
The above warranty is contingent upon the attached registration card being filled in and
returned to the factory within 10 days of the date of receipt of the product by the original
purchaser. The warranty conveys specific legal rights to the purchaser, other rights vary
from state to state and internationally.
TROUBLE-SHOOTING
IF:
I cannot switch from MANual
note detection to AUTO under
♪AUTO/MAN
Lower octave strobe band(s)
appear random while upper
ones seem to respond to input
The four strobe bands will not
appear in the LCD screen
At power-up, display appears
but then fades away
KEY indication is numerical
instead of a letter scale note
When using the AUDIO tuner
mode, I’m getting feedback in
my audio playback system.
IT COULD MEAN:
If the current MENU item includes the
symbol “ *” in it, the device is in the AUDIO
tuner mode which does not allow AUTO note
detection. Either change the note manually
(by turning the VALUE knob) or change the
current MENU item to TUNER and change to
the STROBE tuning mode first.
Under MANual note detection: the selected
octave is probably lower than the input signal
octave.
Under AUTO note: the analyzed octave is
probably lower than that of the actual signal,
often due to a weak (low-level) input.
Either the tuner is in AUDIO mode or the
signal frequency is too distant from the
reference note/octave (look for a ♯ or ♭ above
or below the scale note display). If in
MANual note detection, check that the
selected octave is appropriate.
Batteries are old or discharged.
Tuner is using the Fret Transposition Scale for
KEY. Hit the CHOOSE button when KEY is
the current MENU item to change it.
The THRU jack pre-mixes the audio tone out
with the input signal (which can be useful
when using headphones). One alternative is to
plug into the EXT IN jack instead of the
THRU jack to get the tuner’s audio output
tone. This will cutoff the internal MIC and
will boost the output level by about 10dB.
© 2001 Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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