The idea for Gibson’s revolutionary Robot Guitar auto-tuning system came to Chris Adams in a fit of frustration. Aggravated that he couldn’t keep his guitar in tune and that he was spending so much time trying to, the twenty-something turned to the Internet to see if there were any automatic tuning systems on the market. Dissatisfied with what he found, he imagined a system that would automatically tune a guitar in no-time-flat. That got him thinking about other possibilities too: a system that could switch effortlessly between multiple tunings, keep a guitar perfectly intonated, and even change
strings for you. The fact that Adams had little engineering experience didn’t deter him. Over a period of 10 years, the professional guitar tech perfected a lightweight and foolproof system that tunes a guitar precisely and automatically in only a few seconds. “I wanted to create something that would respect the tonal concept of the instrument without changing it, but there was so much new technology that had to be developed to make it what it is today,” Adams explains. In 2005, Adams opened his Hamburg, Germany-based company Tronical, and began getting the word out about his invention.
It didn’t take long. Uli Jon Roth, Steve Vai, Billy Corgan, and other notables already use the system and all sing its praises on stages worldwide. “I haven’t met anybody who doesn’t love it,” Adams says. “This is a dream for guitar players. They don’t have to think about tuning anymore. Many artists have told me that having this makes them so relaxed because they know that, no matter what, they will be in tune. If you are more relaxed, you have a better performance. You can be more creative.”