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#1491917 - 08/09/10 06:33 PM @RCT users: how do you use your RCT?
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Hi all,

today I used an ETD for the first time in my life!

I decided to give my newly bought Pocket RCT a try, pitch-lowering my Yamaha G2 from 444 to 442 Hz. Humidity keeps pianos high-pitched over here during this season, but I needed it at standard pitch for demo recording purposes (442 Hz is standard pitch where I live).

I used the smart tune setting, and I really have to say it got me very close right on the 1st pass. Not spot on of course, but closer than my average aural pitch-shifting pass would take me.

Dizzy by the CyberEar spinning, I decided to start this thread grin

----------------

There must be tons of RCT users in this forum, so this question goes out to all of you: How do you use your device?

There would be two extremes, as far as I can see:
  1. Using it in automatic setting, for tuning the whole piano (including unisons)
  2. Using it for reading of pitch only (solely as a reference for aural tuning)

In between, there are many possibilities, and there is nothing like experience and creativity combined.

So, if you have the time, please give some field reports on how you use your RCT in your everyday tuning life. Aural or ETD emphasis doesn't really matter - whatever rocks your boat will certainly cast some nice rings on the water for us others to benefit from smile
_________________________
Patrick Wingren, RPT

Senior Lecturer (jazz piano, composition, music theory, conducting) @ Novia University of Applied Sciences, Jakobstad, Finland
- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.

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#1492143 - 08/09/10 10:13 PM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: pppat]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2437
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Patrick, I have been using the full version on a netbook for the past 2 years. I like to feel out the piano first aurally to get an idea of what kind of stretch would suit it best in the extreme bass an treble. The pianalyzer works great for deciding the strength of upper partials in the bass and what to choose over the standard defaults. I rarely use the easy setting and mostly fiddle with the sliders to get the proper stretch and smooth transitions.

The smart tune was somewhat dissapointing upgrade. Not that it doesn't work as advertised, but I think the pitch raise function will do about the same job if you overide the settings and lower everything by 2 cents. (I had read somewhere that the pitch raise is defaulted 2 cents higher than normal a 440 to account for a slight drop in the over all tuning after a couple weeks).

To speed things up I always turn down the sensitivity of the spinner for pitch raise or my tendancy is to spend more time than necessary trying to get too close on first pass. Doing a pitch raise aurally in the past was always a hit or miss situation, RCT is a godsend in this regards and almost always puts me right near where it needs to be.

Unisons I just do by ear, simply faster and more accurate and usually theres a few notes in the octave tuning or the temperament I will tweak by ear also.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1492172 - 08/09/10 10:44 PM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: Emmery]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
This is great advice, Emmery - thanks!

Good hint about the sensitivity of the spinner during pitch raises - I certainly dwell to much today during my first try.

Do you pull in you unisons by ear during pitch raises also?

And when you fine tune using the RCT, do you go in the sequence from A0 upwards, or do you set the temperament and its surroundings first?
_________________________
Patrick Wingren, RPT

Senior Lecturer (jazz piano, composition, music theory, conducting) @ Novia University of Applied Sciences, Jakobstad, Finland
- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.

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#1492231 - 08/09/10 11:48 PM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: pppat]
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1228
Loc: Orange County, CA
When adjusting pitch, most people feel it is best to use either Smart Tune or Pitch Raise modes for a quick pass, tuning bottom to top, and tuning unisons as you go. The overpull amounts are calculated according to this method, although they also work from top to bottom if you want.

For fine tuning, I strip mute the piano and tune in an aural manner, using both my ears and the machine at the same time. I like to use the "Custom Equalizer" function, so I listen carefully as I tune the octaves up and down to make sure I agree with the computer's calculations. If I don't like it, I go back to the Custom EQ and change a setting, calculate a new tuning, then go right back to the tuning. This only takes half a minute or so.

I find that over time I don't need to recalculate as often, though, because I have learned to set the Custom EQ right the first time in most cases.

Sometimes, though, I just do the first pitch adjustment pass, then do a normal Aural tuning. I find it to be enjoyable, especially because the first pass got the piano so close.

When I first started using RCT I became much slower at tuning, but it didn't take long to settle on a comfortable tuning method and get back to a more normal speed.
_________________________
Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America

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#1492283 - 08/10/10 12:57 AM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: KawaiDon]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Originally Posted By: KawaiDon


When I first started using RCT I became much slower at tuning, but it didn't take long to settle on a comfortable tuning method and get back to a more normal speed.


That was true for me several months ago when I started using TuneLab too! Now though, I'm back to a good give and take from ear to machine, and I'm faster and more accurate. I haven't used the RCT, but I love TL's screen display on my netbook.

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#1492442 - 08/10/10 07:42 AM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: pppat]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2437
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Patrick, I used to set the temperament first until I fully got used to trusting the machines' choices. As stated by others, the pitch raise and smart tune works by going from one end to the other in order to do the proper overpull calculations. I tune the unisons in pitch raise by ear. I almost always lessen the overpull amounts on the plain wire strings because it reduces the occurance of broken strings on older pianos. When I get an old beast of a piano thats more than 100 cents flat I will often do a blind pitch raise just by testing a few notes and giving all the pins a crank (flat, then sharp) just to get the over all tension on the strings up half a note or so. It takes less than 5 minutes and makes the pitch raise function more accurate I find.

I will often use the Pianalyzer function when I come across a string that won't sit right with the others to determine what is going on or confirm what my ear is telling me. I use an adjustable home-made striker mechanism that replicates the key strike force exactly to remove any human error (it works similar to the PTG mechanism on tests for stability). I also use it when voicing to confirm my changes. It also helps confirm to the customer (when asked) why a particular note has a strange amplitude response or a partial that really rings out more than it should.

I use a wireless mouse with the net-book. It has tape over the laser sensor so I can lay it on the floor and use my foot on it like a pedal. The netbooks touch pad is used to place the cursor over the proper arrow for going up or down the keys. This way I can manually clik up the keyboard hands free without the nuisance of the cursor mistakenly jumping an octave or the auto setting picking the wrong note when the piano is more than 100 cents flat.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1493139 - 08/11/10 12:11 AM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: Emmery]
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1228
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Emmery

I use a wireless mouse with the net-book.


Hey, that's a great idea! Very efficient.

Don Mannino

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#1493472 - 08/11/10 01:19 PM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: KawaiDon]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Yeah Emmery, some really creative things you have come up with! I like your "neutral striker", too.

RPD and Don: thanks for your encouragement. My first ETD tuning (using smart tune) took a very long time. Practice needed, but what else is new?.

Many of you pitch raise by tuning the center string by ETD, then pulling in the unisons by ear, right? I think this might be my way to go, too.
_________________________
Patrick Wingren, RPT

Senior Lecturer (jazz piano, composition, music theory, conducting) @ Novia University of Applied Sciences, Jakobstad, Finland
- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.

Top
#1494299 - 08/12/10 01:39 PM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: pppat]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2437
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
For pitch raises I dont bother to sample the piano. First of all the strings arn't tensioned or close enough to A 440 to get a give true readings. Secondly, I have enough stored tunings to use a piano that has the same aproximate size, you save 5 minutes that can be better used. I'll check the A notes after the pitch raise and tweak them a bit closer if needed, then I sample. I do the whole pitch raise using rubber wedges or pap mutes, I don't think the way the software works allows a strip mute to be used in smart tune or pitch raise mode because its assuming your raising the pitch on all strings and then moving on chromatically.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1494588 - 08/12/10 07:17 PM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: Emmery]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Sounds logical and in line with my own conclusions, thank you for confirming that, Emmery!
_________________________
Patrick Wingren, RPT

Senior Lecturer (jazz piano, composition, music theory, conducting) @ Novia University of Applied Sciences, Jakobstad, Finland
- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.

Top
#1494919 - 08/13/10 02:32 AM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: pppat]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7881
Loc: France
Dont use the A0 c88 sequence on an old piano a semi tone flat.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#1495147 - 08/13/10 11:48 AM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: Olek]
Thomas Dowell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Twin Lakes, WI
Originally Posted By: Kamin
Dont use the A0 c88 sequence on an old piano a semi tone flat.


Why do you say that? I always thought that going from A0 to C8 resulted in the least amount of pitch change when doing a pitch raise. This is the sequence always used for many ETD users, myself included.

What sequence do you use to raise pitch?

Respectfully,
_________________________
Thomas Dowell, R.P.T.
Dowell Piano
www.dowellpiano.com

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#1496732 - 08/15/10 08:09 PM Re: @RCT users: how do you use your RCT? [Re: Thomas Dowell]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2437
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: Tdowel
Originally Posted By: Kamin
Dont use the A0 c88 sequence on an old piano a semi tone flat.


Why do you say that? I always thought that going from A0 to C8 resulted in the least amount of pitch change when doing a pitch raise. This is the sequence always used for many ETD users, myself included.

What sequence do you use to raise pitch?

Respectfully,


Although I have used the A0-C88 sequence (with RCT)without any issues for many old pianos, I used to pitch raise aurally going by octaves and was taught to do it this way because you load the soundboard and bridges more evenly as you progress. I was told that there is a slightly higher risk that something will crack if you strictly work left to right or vice versa. Maybe there are other reasons also if anyone wishes to chime in.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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