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#1831108 - 01/24/12 04:56 PM Angel Shot Voicing
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
As briefly touched upon in the "So what did you do today" topic...

It's angel shot, not angle shot, although the angle of the voicing tool is crucial to the success of the technique.

It's a very effective, quick way to voice down hammers, almost like a sugar-coating approach, but it can be permanent and it can make a fairly drastic change in timbre. The technique involves a single needle, say a #6, inserted directly into a string cut about 1/3 of the way from the distal end of said string cut on the speaking length side of the hammer. (On a grand action inside the piano , come in 1/3 of the length of the string cut starting from the distal side of the hammer from the player/tech, not the proximal.) So you would be aiming the needle toward the tail end of the piano when doing this technique.

The needle is inserted in almost a "subcutaneous" type manner, so that if it were long enough it would poke out the distal side of the hammer. The angle of the needle should definitely be directed away from the crown and the hammer moulding. There should not be much resistance, although if done at too shallow of an angle it will not be effective.

It can be done with a chopstick through the strings but I prefer pulling the action and supporting each hammer in my hand to get the point of entry, angle and depth just right. The great thing is that it doesn't affect the crown area of the hammer - you are needling away from that area, away from the moulding, and since you aren't trying to penetrate many layers of compressed hammer felt downward there is little to no risk of breaking a needle.

The PTG journal article mentioned by Les K is really well written (covered in two consecutive issues) and worth seeking out, especially for the illustrations, which make it ultra clear.

The article suggests starting out with the center string cut and going in with the needle only 1mm, then testing. It is potent, so start in very small increments...If more is desired the outer string cuts can be voiced and/or the depth of the inserted needle can be increased.

This is a very brief description and I certainly hope other techs will want to add many more additional comments.
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#1831131 - 01/24/12 05:27 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Bojan Babic Offline
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Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 325
Loc: Vojvodina, Serbia
I am very interested to learn about this method. I just have a problem , not knowing what does the word "distal" means.
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#1831217 - 01/24/12 08:46 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
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Distal is away from the point of reference, the opposite of proximal. In this case, the point of reference is the player.
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#1831218 - 01/24/12 08:47 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
"Distal" means "towards the rear" (away from you). This has been a very useful and effective technique for me. It seems to "kill" offensive high partials (harmonics) without making the hammer sound "dull". It is also a very efficient and effective way to control tone. "The most bang for the buck", so to speak.

To me, any method that takes the least amount of time and effort to produce the most desired results is worth knowing about and pursuing. This is one of them. Go for it.
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#1831230 - 01/24/12 09:01 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thanks for that contribution, BDB. I have often heard "distal" an "proximal" used by technicians. It is a lot like "port" and "starboard" used by sailors or boatmen. Whether one means to say, "right" or "left" depends upon one's orientation at the moment.

For example, to move a jack position one way or the other depends upon one's position. If one is facing the piano action in the normal way with the keys in front, to move the jack forward would be to move it "distally". To move it away from the person would mean to move it "proximally". If, however, one is looking at the piano action from the side, "proximal" means to the right and "distal" means to the left.

One good way to remember what each of these terms means is to think "distal" as in "distance" (further away). "Proxil" as in "approach" (something near).
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#1831341 - 01/25/12 01:37 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Yes. I am familiar with that technique, I had never hears it called that before. They used to talk about the harmony coming from the back of the hammer (in a grand) and the melody from the front. I read, somewhere, a slightly less romantic notion that the part of the hammer on the long side of the speaking length from the strike point requires a softer part of the hammer than the short end where the higher harmonics come from.

I have no idea of the validity of these notions, nor does it matter, but, whenever speedy work is required, experienced technicians always work on the back of the hammer first.

So, speaking of romantic notions, who came up with the term angel shot, and
why?
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#1831444 - 01/25/12 07:58 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
UnrightTooner Online   content
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Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4923
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Thanks James! That was a very clear explanation. I'll give it a try (on my own piano first.)
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Part-Time Tuner
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#1831454 - 01/25/12 08:34 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I've used that technique for years. It does work very well. wink
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#1831477 - 01/25/12 09:17 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Mark R. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1983
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: James Carney
The needle is inserted in almost a "subcutaneous" type manner, so that if it were long enough it would poke out the distal side of the hammer. The angle of the needle should definitely be directed away from the crown and the hammer moulding. There should not be much resistance, although if done at too shallow of an angle it will not be effective.


James,

If I define the angle between the needle and the string groove as follows:
90° = poking straight down into the crown, parallel to the hammer moulding
0° = having the needle lie in the string groove, parallel to it

How big is the angle of the angel shot technique typically? You wrote: "not too shallow". I would take this to mean not smaller than 30°? 45°?
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#1831517 - 01/25/12 10:27 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
....and if I'm doing one string at a time , I'll select the brightest string first.
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#1832118 - 01/26/12 07:30 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: Mark R.]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Originally Posted By: James Carney
The needle is inserted in almost a "subcutaneous" type manner, so that if it were long enough it would poke out the distal side of the hammer. The angle of the needle should definitely be directed away from the crown and the hammer moulding. There should not be much resistance, although if done at too shallow of an angle it will not be effective.


James,

If I define the angle between the needle and the string groove as follows:
90° = poking straight down into the crown, parallel to the hammer moulding
0° = having the needle lie in the string groove, parallel to it

How big is the angle of the angel shot technique typically? You wrote: "not too shallow". I would take this to mean not smaller than 30°? 45°?


About 45 degrees.
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#1832131 - 01/26/12 07:59 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: rxd]
James Carney Offline
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Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Originally Posted By: rxd
....and if I'm doing one string at a time , I'll select the brightest string first.


Really good advice.
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#1834675 - 01/30/12 12:57 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Zormpas Offline
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Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Monterey, Ca
An angel was shot voicing a piano? Has the perp been caught?
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#1836808 - 02/01/12 09:33 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Jim Moy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 292
Loc: Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
My mentor showed me the technique some years ago, using a chopstick voicer. To him, the primary advantage was being able to use it on individual notes here and there without dragging the action out. I use it, but don't have a good gauge on its longevity, compared to traditional jabbing. I ought to use both techniques in one piano to compare, I suppose. Maybe my own...
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#1837146 - 02/02/12 11:25 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
KurtZ Online   content
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Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 885
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT


[quote]"proximal" means to the right and "distal" means to the left.



For side to side position or direction, I prefer "medial" for towards the centerline and "lateral" for away from the centerline.

Kurt
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#1837503 - 02/02/12 10:15 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: KurtZ]
Ed A. Hall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 251
Am I doing this correctly?



Edited by Ed A. Hall (02/02/12 10:18 PM)

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#1837584 - 02/03/12 12:12 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
That needle looks huge! Looks like "Dragon Shot" voicing!
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#1837623 - 02/03/12 12:58 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: rysowers]
Ed A. Hall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 251
Originally Posted By: rysowers
That needle looks huge! Looks like "Dragon Shot" voicing!


Not to worry. These hammers are petrified junk. The previous owner who passed away was practically deaf. Even with "Dragon Shot" voicing, I don't hear any difference. It's time to get the vice grips out!


Edited by Ed A. Hall (02/03/12 01:03 AM)

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#1837753 - 02/03/12 07:26 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
UnrightTooner Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4923
Loc: Bradford County, PA
BDB:

You haven't chimed in on this one. Do you have experience or thoughts on this technique?
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Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1837793 - 02/03/12 08:41 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: Ed A. Hall]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Originally Posted By: Ed A. Hall
Am I doing this correctly?



Yes, the angle and position both look good. But that needle looks the business end of a horse tranquilizer! Use a #6 or #7 and keep the length much shorter than what is pictured. You will only be going to a depth of 1-4 mm. (Start with 1mm and test. This is finesse work.)

I would reshape those hammers to get rid of the flat striking points before doing any needling at all.
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#1837819 - 02/03/12 09:35 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Ed A. Hall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 251
Originally Posted By: James Carney


Yes, the angle and position both look good. But that needle looks the business end of a horse tranquilizer! Use a #6 or #7 and keep the length much shorter than what is pictured. You will only be going to a depth of 1-4 mm. (Start with 1mm and test. This is finesse work.)

I would reshape those hammers to get rid of the flat striking points before doing any needling at all.


Thanks for the additional tips. Looks like at least I got the idea of it. These hammers are going to be replaced with some cold pressed hammers. They're not worn that much but they're almost 100 years old and full of hardner.

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#2146998 - 09/09/13 02:31 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
OperaTenor Offline
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Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Thanks to a heads-up by Ron Koval, I just tried this technique for the first time today on a set of Renner hammers on a 1980 SF-10 (original hammers), that has been giving me and the owner fits for the past year. The hammers act like they're poured concrete. I've probably needled them - aggressively - ten times over the past year. Last week, I resurfaced them (the piano gets play a LOT - ~4 hours a day), and it was like all of my previous voicing went right down the drain; the overtones would build like an avalanche.

I ended up making two passes with the angel shot voicing, and I pretty much plunged the needles to the hilt. It seems to be somewhat calmer. I'll know tonight when the owner practices...



Edited by OperaTenor (09/09/13 02:32 PM)
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#2147220 - 09/09/13 09:19 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Jbyron Offline
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Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 514
Loc: USA
Operatenor,
I hate to say it, but it sounds like those hammers are shot. If no amount of needling fixes the 'hardness' of the tone, then the hammers have probably lost all resiliency, possibly from past over-needling. The tone will just fall flat again shortly after you voice it.
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#2147268 - 09/09/13 10:31 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7481
Loc: France
It is from new limited pre voicing that some hard hammers can be made somewhat playable. The crown and shoulders get supported from inside.

If not anything packs at the speed of light.

If done the shoulders need very little if any needling.


Edited by Olek (09/09/13 10:34 PM)
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#2147340 - 09/10/13 01:45 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: Jbyron]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Jbyron
Operatenor,
I hate to say it, but it sounds like those hammers are shot. If no amount of needling fixes the 'hardness' of the tone, then the hammers have probably lost all resiliency, possibly from past over-needling. The tone will just fall flat again shortly after you voice it.


Yes, I think you're probably right, and the owner agrees. We need to get the piano through a couple of performances this weekend, and then it'll be new hammer time.
He was pretty happy with today's result.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
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#2147621 - 09/10/13 02:24 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 658
Voicing is interesting and there seems to be a plethora of techniques "out there".

With regard to angel shot voicing, David Love, Rpt, wrote, about a year or two ago,

"There is much written these days about various types of voicing techniques: deep needling, angel shot voicing, sugar coating, compass point, etc, etc. These tips tend to be viewed in isolation as if one uses one or the other and the challenge for the uninitiated is to decide when and where to use which one. I think that is not the way to look at it. I view needle voicing as fundamentally a three part process (this is very simplified so bear with me):

1. Deep needling in which the needles start in the 10-11:30 area and are aimed at the staple.

2. Secondary needling in which the insertion point is just off the crown and the needles are aimed slightly away from the molding tip parallel to the sides of an inverted triangle (point up).

3. Crown needling in which a thin but soft layer of felt is created right over the crown of the hammer. The depth of this layer may vary depending on the pianissimo target range and the overall attack sound target.

The first process we understand creates resilience and controls hammer contact time, reduces harshness etc.

The second process reduces tension near the strike point and begins to remove the harshness associated with lower levels of playing. Interestingly, so called, angel shot voicing is this second process with the exception that it happens through the strings with a single needle and therefore only on the backside of the hammer. It is effective if the other work has been done but limited and insufficient as a complete method. In the long term using only angel shot voicing will be detrimental to the hammer, in my view.

The third process is associated with the compass point/ball pein style. Its purpose under normal circumstances is to refine the pianissimo end of the spectrum and help create a tonal gradient. By itself it is also not sufficient but in certain cases may be a last recourse when other methods are ineffective due to poor quality hammers, too much lacquer or worn out hammers with insufficient amounts of felt.

To view any of these processes in isolation is a mistake, in my view. However there are clearly times when some methods will be more effective than others."


Edited by Mark Davis (09/11/13 12:08 AM)
Edit Reason: minor correction
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#2147646 - 09/10/13 02:51 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 658
A qualification, David was writing about hard pressed hammers, not soft pressed hammers.
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#2160832 - 10/02/13 12:27 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Jbyron
Operatenor,
I hate to say it, but it sounds like those hammers are shot. If no amount of needling fixes the 'hardness' of the tone, then the hammers have probably lost all resiliency, possibly from past over-needling. The tone will just fall flat again shortly after you voice it.


Yes, I think you're probably right, and the owner agrees. We need to get the piano through a couple of performances this weekend, and then it'll be new hammer time.
He was pretty happy with today's result.



Update:

While he was happier with the tone and controllability, the hammers still had a glassy/metallic quality. I tried one other thing that was suggested by yet another tech who no longer frequents PW: I needled straight into the striking point, no more than ~4mm.

I have to go back and give the result a listen, but my customer says I cured it, and he no longer feels the need for new hammers. Go figure...
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#2160840 - 10/02/13 12:51 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21448
Loc: Oakland
The general rule that I use is that the softer the blow that creates the harsh tone, the closer to the strike point you have to needle.

In extreme cases, I will needle under the strike point, parallel to the string. The needles could come in one side of the strike point and out the other if I needled enough.

What I am aiming for is the dead-blow hammer effect, where the hammer remains on the string long enough for the tone to develop. This is especially important in the bass, where the hammers can bounce off the string so quickly that the fundamental of the lowest strings will be restricted at best.

To get this to work properly across the range of the piano, from A-27.5 to C-4186.0 requires that the hammer stay on the string 152 times longer at the lowest A than it does at the highest C. That is an incredible variation, not likely to happen, but it is what we should be aiming for.
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#2160990 - 10/02/13 10:12 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
rysowers Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
On some hammers you just have to go for the juggler!
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#2160995 - 10/02/13 10:22 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21448
Loc: Oakland
The juggler's jugular? Or carotid?
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#2161001 - 10/02/13 10:53 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: rysowers]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: rysowers
On some hammers you just have to go for the juggler!



I'll be sure and tell him...

laugh
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#2161003 - 10/02/13 10:55 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: BDB]
Jbyron Offline
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Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 514
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
The general rule that I use is that the softer the blow that creates the harsh tone, the closer to the strike point you have to needle.

In extreme cases, I will needle under the strike point, parallel to the string. The needles could come in one side of the strike point and out the other if I needled enough.

What I am aiming for is the dead-blow hammer effect, where the hammer remains on the string long enough for the tone to develop. This is especially important in the bass, where the hammers can bounce off the string so quickly that the fundamental of the lowest strings will be restricted at best.

To get this to work properly across the range of the piano, from A-27.5 to C-4186.0 requires that the hammer stay on the string 152 times longer at the lowest A than it does at the highest C. That is an incredible variation, not likely to happen, but it is what we should be aiming for.


BDB, that's very interesting, thanks for that description. So finding a way to minimize the rebound of the hammer in a case like that would un restrict the sounding of the fundamental. I wonder if needling on the shoulder (non speaking length side) rather than the sustain side would also help to slow the rebound? Of course you would lose some power though.
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#2161032 - 10/03/13 01:32 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
rysowers Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
Sometimes you have to go for the juggler's jugular! laugh
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#2161034 - 10/03/13 01:53 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21448
Loc: Oakland
I think the difference between which side is voiced is minimal. Of course, you are free to experiment. Learning voicing takes a lot of experimentation. But good theories can direct your experimentation in ways that are more likely to be fruitful.

Hammers which are too hard have a couple of characteristics. One is that the hammer bounces off before the maximum displacement of the string. The other is that it tends towards putting the energy into higher modes. Think of a couple of kids with a jump rope. They can turn it together at a relaxed pace, and the rope forms a nice catenary curve. If they whip it faster, they can make the rope turn with a node in the center, sort of like a sideways S. That is the rope vibrating at the second harmonic. Faster yet, and you get another node, which is the third harmonic. But those nodes barely move, which means that there is very little fundamental, or even second harmonic in the latter case. Hitting a string very briefly is like whipping a jump rope very quickly. It does not give a chance for the sound to develop.

It also puts less power into the string. The hammer rebounds from the string too fast to put a lot of energy into it. This is why we should aim to make the hammer more like a dead-blow hammer, which has weights in a viscous liquid which add more force after the hammer has hit its target.

This is not the only factor in voicing, of course. Just as you can have a dead-blow hammer with a hard plastic end, or with a soft rubber end, you can adjust the characteristics of the surface to suit the sound you are after. Again, you have to experiment.
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#2161148 - 10/03/13 11:10 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
OperaTenor Offline
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That's the thing. I spent 35 years knowing needling the striking point was verboten...
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#2161163 - 10/03/13 11:36 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: OperaTenor]
jim ialeggio Offline
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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
That's the thing. I spent 35 years knowing needling the striking point was verboten...


Agreed...I often deal directly with the strike point as well, but almost never as sugar coating.

Often in the crown, I use #10 needles, and though it of course varies from piano to piano, will use the needle in multiple full insertions in the Angel Shot orientation, but not necessarily the Angel Shot location...often starting, with the Angel Shot orientation, towards the distal side of the crown, and progressing to the proximal side of the crown as needs be.

As well, I have found David Stanwood's compass needle/ballpeen hammer technique occasionally a life saver. This technique is directly applied to the crown as well.

Jim Ialeggio
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#2161164 - 10/03/13 11:39 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Olek Offline
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I thought that angels where a protected specie, shooting forbidden even during season...
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#2161177 - 10/03/13 12:03 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: Olek]
OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted By: Olek
I thought that angels where a protected specie, shooting forbidden even during season...


Good one, Isaac!

I keep thinking, "How many angels were shot in the name of good tone?"
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#2161235 - 10/03/13 02:13 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Olek Offline
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That needling all along the hammer curves I have seen depicted as an old method used at Grotrian Steinway, but now possibly they do something similar at some point.

It seem to slow the hammer in intermediate level of play without impacting the density of FFF -I perceive that as lessening the color for mF (kind of neutral tone)

It sort of fight some partials without lowering global power (as the "angelkill" thing but for higher levels too)

I hardly imagine the final effect in the hammer, but that seem well suited for their tone anyway. Did it on a vertical with good results.

More neutral tone : more power at intermediate levels of playing (saturation later) long needles needed #5-6 10 mm.

I have no idea of the usefulness on cold pressed/lacquered hammers, but why not.

Possibly releasing the tension on the outer places may allow a little reinforcing under and near the crown, too


Edited by Olek (10/03/13 02:24 PM)
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#2161246 - 10/03/13 03:06 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
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Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
That's the thing. I spent 35 years knowing needling the striking point was verboten...



And that's still true.

This is no substitute for complete tone regulation but can sure save time with a long needle between the strings without removing the action when only two or three adjustments need to be made.

All this is extremely location specific. One light poke at a time. Testing in between.

Often just a scratch in the string mark of the brightest string is enough or begin with the needle very shallow at the distal end of the string mark and test before going anywhere near to the middle of the string mark. Do it in small increments and there will be no need to damage the hammer by starting at the crown as shown on the photo.

If you go to far, you can bring the note back up a little by a single stitch taken between the strings above or below the felt securing wire.

Personally, I always bring notes up, those that need it, first, before taking any notes down.

Sometimes a pianist will attempt to direct you in this sort of work. If you feel they are asking you to go too far, slow right down. Start to take the action out if necessary. They will get frustrated or bored and go away thus saving the piano. There's one very famous pianist whose personal piano is dead because he does this by himself to his own piano.

As Isaac says, you can kill a hammer very quickly if this is done carelessly.


Edited by rxd (10/03/13 10:32 PM)
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#2161258 - 10/03/13 03:46 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: rxd]
jim ialeggio Offline
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Registered: 06/03/05
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Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: rxd
There's one very famous pianist whose personal piano is dead because he does this by himself to his own piano.

Does he like the sound he achieved on his piano?

Jim Ialeggio
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#2161260 - 10/03/13 03:54 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
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Loc: France
The same can happen with moisture and heat, as the result sound pleasing but the felt loose its interlocking soon, then pack in an unlively cushion.

As say Jack Brand, (owner of Wurzen felt factory) "moisture is the enemy of felt" (and of steel, shellac, so many other...)

The conservatory stopped doing so, here.

Now a friend want to use the "dry vapor" machines used for cloth cleaning.

RXD, do you believe the hammers can gain a little contraction by base stitching if they are lacquered ? I pre voice lacquered hammers as others but the results are very different.



Edited by Olek (10/03/13 03:58 PM)
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#2161279 - 10/03/13 04:22 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
rxd Offline
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When I used laquer, I only used a single needle once or twice in that area to bring up the hammers that needed to come up but not as a general habit. The trick was to guess the concentration of laquer that left as little needling as possible to do.
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Eschew obfuscation.



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#2161288 - 10/03/13 04:36 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
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I find that lacquer should be followed by sandpaper. Any particles of lacquer need to be removed, because they will wear off quickly if they are not, leaving the tone uneven if you evened it previously.

Sandpaper is an important tool for removing harshness.
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#2161294 - 10/03/13 04:43 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: BDB]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
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Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: BDB
I find that lacquer should be followed by sandpaper. Any particles of lacquer need to be removed, because they will wear off quickly if they are not, leaving the tone uneven if you evened it previously.

Sandpaper is an important tool for removing harshness.


That deserves repeating.
_________________________
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2161298 - 10/03/13 04:49 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
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Loc: France
I do not see the point, the last gesture when needling is to file, but you talk of something else.
How lacquer dust do influence the tone ?
You mean a layer stay poorly lacquered and have to be filed ?



Edited by Olek (10/03/13 04:52 PM)
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#2161315 - 10/03/13 05:15 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
rxd Offline
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The point was about sanding after laquering and before needling which is standard practice. or used to be.


Edited by rxd (10/03/13 05:17 PM)
_________________________
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Eschew obfuscation.



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#2161320 - 10/03/13 05:24 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
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When in doubt, try it yourself! There is no substitute for experience.
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#2161330 - 10/03/13 05:43 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: rxd]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
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Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rxd
The point was about sanding after laquering and before needling which is standard practice. or used to be.

you may talk about cold pressed or NY hammers, sometime refelted hammers are lacquered before anything but with Renner type hammer I first needle , then sand then lacquer if necessary, needle and sand.

I cannot see the need to lacquer before first voicing. while it may be an option exceptionally.
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#2161336 - 10/03/13 06:00 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
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One should sand before needling. Fitting the hammer to the string is very important. It is another thing that will happen by itself if left long enough, and result in uneven tone if the hammers were voiced to be even when they are not properly fitted. Of course, needling hammers poorly fitted is not likely to result in even tone. Different problems have different solutions.
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#2161342 - 10/03/13 06:10 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
rxd Offline
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Loc: London, England
We are talking about certain American hammers that require lacquer initially, often total saturation. It is not usual to do any prior needling or fitting. All that is done after the laquer is dry.

Is that where the confusion lies?

The way you use lacquer with European hammers is different.
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2161347 - 10/03/13 06:19 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: BDB]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7481
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: BDB
One should sand before needling. Fitting the hammer to the string is very important. It is another thing that will happen by itself if left long enough, and result in uneven tone if the hammers were voiced to be even when they are not properly fitted. Of course, needling hammers poorly fitted is not likely to result in even tone. Different problems have different solutions.


sure , that is just crown work then. I was more in processes prior to voicing, hammer prep (indeed a fast crown filing is done but hammers can be evaluated without precise fitting)


Edited by Olek (10/03/13 06:20 PM)
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#2161402 - 10/03/13 08:46 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
Gary Fowler Offline
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Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
BDB, exactly! Make sure the hammers are hitting all 3 strings at the same time. That in itself can do wonders to the tonal response you get out of the hammers.
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#2161418 - 10/03/13 09:12 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
OperaTenor Offline
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Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Well, that was the thing for me in this particular case. I had previously needled these hammers ~10 times in the preceding year and a half. I pulled the action to do it again and noticed they were in need of resurfacing first. When I resurfaced them, it was as if all of my previous voicing came undone; the overbrightness was back in all of its glory, and the sound was totally uncontrollable; any sustain would produce an avalanche of sound. And these hammers - original Renners in a 1980 SF-10 - have absolutely never been lacquered.

And my customer was giving a performance on this piano in ten days...

Hence, my foray into Angel shot voicing, and then into needling the striking points themselves.

FWIW, the resurfacing I did this past time was probably the most aggressive, thorough resurfacing job I had ever done; they looked new when I was finished.





Edited by OperaTenor (10/04/13 12:57 AM)
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#2161455 - 10/03/13 10:26 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: BDB]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2003
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
BDB,
How did you derive that the hammer contact time at A1 should be 152 times F of C88?
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#2161463 - 10/03/13 10:36 PM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
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Loc: Oakland
Division.
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#2161484 - 10/04/13 12:04 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: BDB]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2003
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
BDB,
So your hammer string contact theory has no term for the inertia of the hammer?
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#2161500 - 10/04/13 12:34 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: James Carney]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
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No, it only considers the frequency of the note, which is only a function of time.

Mass might be a concern when one is trying to make hammers rebound in a given time, but that was not the topic that I was addressing.
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#2161547 - 10/04/13 02:44 AM Re: Angel Shot Voicing [Re: rxd]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7481
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rxd
We are talking about certain American hammers that require lacquer initially, often total saturation. It is not usual to do any prior needling or fitting. All that is done after the laquer is dry.

Is that where the confusion lies?

The way you use lacquer with European hammers is different.


Dear Rxd yes that is what I've suspected. Thanks for clearing. that is different indeed . the final hammer is a sort of composite material then.





Edited by Olek (10/04/13 03:16 AM)
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