Peavey Joins the Ranks With On-Board Software & Auto Tune

Peavey AT-200 Guitar With Auto TuneSome of you probably remember The Smitchens’ infamous rant about Antares’ auto tune technology, but if you don’t or would like to be subjected to the experience again, you can find it right here.

The Peavey AT-200 aims to fill a gap in the market left by Gibson with the Firebird X, and Line 6, with the Variax.

The AT-200 does a few things, most notable is the auto-tuning and intonation fix it performs for you on the fly. This isn’t robotic tuning or anything mechanical in any way. It actually electronically alters the pitch of each note, using Antares’ Solid-Tune™ software.

The nice benefit of this over the robotic style tuning is that it can continuously keep you in tune AND on pitch. This means if the intonation on your guitar is off a bit – no worries, it will be fixed, note by note. If the guitar slides out of tune a little, again, no problem. If you fret a chord a bit wrong, or maybe you dig into the string a bit too much, causing a sharp situation – it will actually attempt to fix it for you.

Thanks to the “Solid Tune” intonation, the strings are monitored on an individual basis, and each string (regardless of what you are doing with your fingers up on the fretboard) is kept in tune.

Something else you’ll be getting with Peavey’s new machine is DSP effects.

Also, the guitar’s software is upgradable, so you’ll be able to benefit from any updates Peavey releases.

The AT-200 will be under $500 when it is released in July 2012, so it will provide an option for the significant number of folks who would have trouble with the cost of Gibson’s Firebird X.

Here come the opinions.

So what do you think? Is this cheating, crazy, or really helpful? I can tell you one thing – it is becoming more and common for guitar manufacturers to put this kind of technology right into the guitars, so you’ll be seeing a good bit more auto-tuning and on board DSP effects – like it or not.

The fact is, Peavey is just meeting market demand with the AT-200, whether that demand is perceived or not (I’d venture to guess it is not).

What remains to be decided is how individual guitarists feel about it, and whether the considerable number of problems it could solve for them makes it worth using a product that some might consider to be a cheap way to sound better. Others will look at it as a convinient problem solver.

It’s all in how you look at it.

More Reading:

Video
Check out this pretty dramatic demonstration of the tuning capabilities of this guitar.

Tim Monaghan (131 Articles)

Tim has been playing guitar & bass since he was 12 years old and has been in Jazz, funk, rock & metal bands. Influences include Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Doug Stegmeyer, Baden Powell, Steve Vai, and pretty much anyone else who has a unique style that expresses their individuality. One of Tim’s many hobbies is building, tweaking, and repairing basses and guitars.