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#1902682 - 05/25/12 12:08 AM Advice about unison tuning.
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
Got a question on tuning unisons. When I'm tuning unisons, I'll come across two strings that go into unison and are perfect. All the noise completely disappears and it is one sound.

I call it dead which is really not a good description but that's what I think. Sort of like dead calm. That only happens on 1 in 5 unisons for me. The others, I have to work at and go flat and sharp two or three times to get the unison which still isn't like the ones that go dead on for me.

Now is this because I am new to tuning and all the unisons will eventually go this way or am I running into string anomalies that just have to be made as good as one can?

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#1902688 - 05/25/12 12:22 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
It sound like a listening priority to me.

I would wait for "bloom" and articulation (the note "speaks")
Voicing and lesser quality pianos (as the one on the video I made) does not produce a very clean tone at each doublet. But you can always reproduce the same characteristic at each doublet. Same enveloppe.
_________________________
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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#1902698 - 05/25/12 12:44 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1940
Loc: Philadelphia area
Your still developing hammer technique. When I started to focus my attention to the point of hammer attack, my technique developed quickly.

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#1904681 - 05/28/12 09:27 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
Yes, I am certainly still working on hammer technique especially setting the pin. I can find the unisons much easier pulling the hammer or going sharp. Pushing the hammer or setting the pin is tougher for some reason.

I still haven't decided if its harder because its a push motion or because the string is pulling in the same direction as the turning of the hammer. Maybe both. But as I pull or go sharp I can easily hear the unison as I pass it and find it harder to hear coming back. Weird.

I do know that setting the pin is harder physically and find that I have to flex my lats. The person that trained me taps the hammer as he is setting the pin and has fantastic accuracy doing that. I guess after ten or so thousand pianos it's second nature.

I also think it has to do with the older pianos I am working on. Some unison just snap into place and others have to be worked on.

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#1904683 - 05/28/12 09:30 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Olek]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
Originally Posted By: Kamin
It sound like a listening priority to me.

I would wait for "bloom" and articulation (the note "speaks")
Voicing and lesser quality pianos (as the one on the video I made) does not produce a very clean tone at each doublet. But you can always reproduce the same characteristic at each doublet. Same enveloppe.






I appreciate your threads but some of your terminology is beyond me. DOublet? Envelope? Bloom? Articulation? I understand the words just not their use in piano tuning.

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#1904691 - 05/28/12 09:57 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: plns


I appreciate your threads but some of your terminology is beyond me. DOublet? Envelope? Bloom? Articulation? I understand the words just not their use in piano tuning.


My understanging, may not correct:

Doublet: two strings sound together. Kamin suggest tune left to center, then mute left and tune right to center. Tune the two doublets to equal tone.

Envelope: The loudness changed during the whole singing period of the sound. For example, at attack, the sound is strong, then weaken, then grow up, then decaying. Synthesizer can control the envelope by turning some buttons.

Articulation and intonation, sorry for not know how to explain. May be I am totally not understand.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1904829 - 05/29/12 04:02 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Weiyan]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Weiyan
Originally Posted By: plns


I appreciate your threads but some of your terminology is beyond me. DOublet? Envelope? Bloom? Articulation? I understand the words just not their use in piano tuning.


My understanging, may not correct:

Doublet: two strings sound together. Kamin suggest tune left to center, then mute left and tune right to center. Tune the two doublets to equal tone.

Envelope: The loudness changed during the whole singing period of the sound. For example, at attack, the sound is strong, then weaken, then grow up, then decaying. Synthesizer can control the envelope by turning some buttons.

Articulation and intonation, sorry for not know how to explain. May be I am totally not understand.



Enveloppe is well described indeed.

I would say articulation is the same, simply the differences between enveloppes provide different articulations (like different accents when speaking)

For instance most of the most often encountered "US type unisons" speaks loud at the attack but have shortened hold and decay due to trying too hard to clean beats and then cleaning the tone envelope to a straight slant, leaving a very percussive instrument where the tone can be more open, to me)
That is the reason why the crown of the hammers are voiced so much so to quieten a tad the harshness of that percussive attack.
Then only the hammer is responsive for the dynamics of tone, the unisons does not participates.

much of this cleaning of the dynamics of tone is done when the 3d string is tuned, while focusing mainly on beat in the end of the tone (that is how I perceive that)
Tuning doublets separately facilitates the shaping of the envelope, The natural dwell of 2 strings is not so straight, but it is easy to kill.

Intonation = musical justness.
_________________________
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#1905281 - 05/29/12 09:37 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Mario Bruneau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 133
Loc: Qu├ębec, Canada
Originally Posted By: plns
Got a question on tuning unisons. When I'm tuning unisons, I'll come across two strings that go into unison and are perfect. All the noise completely disappears and it is one sound.

I call it dead which is really not a good description but that's what I think. Sort of like dead calm. That only happens on 1 in 5 unisons for me. The others, I have to work at and go flat and sharp two or three times to get the unison which still isn't like the ones that go dead on for me.

Now is this because I am new to tuning and all the unisons will eventually go this way or am I running into string anomalies that just have to be made as good as one can?


Hi there,

According to what you wrote, for sure, your piano is NOT perfect but then again when do you find a perfect piano? But you understand me, some pianos are really imperfect.

Don't be afraid of starting over and over again until you get the perfect unison. If you don't move too much the pin, you wont do any harm to the piano. I use the impact tuning method which is about changing the tuning pin's position as instantly as possible and with tiny increments so not to disturb the pin's rest position.

I am a pro tuner and I sometimes need to go over one unison 10 times and more before it satisfy me so your two or three times is really not much!

When you say "I call it dead" you are in the good direction. Tuning unisons is a matter of tuning with the "timbre" of the note. So when you can hear that change in the tone or timbre, you know you're right on!

Also, note that your ears are more sensitive 3 seconds after the attack of the hammer hitting the strings and it is after 3 seconds that you will achieve the better unisons.

The string anomalies you are talking about are most of the time "FALSE BEATS" the piano tuner's nightmare. When tuning unisons with strings that have false beats, you can only do your best... But still, even if some strings have false beats, you can tune this particular piano to IT'S BEST if you take the time and effort to get it right.

Always tune your client's piano as if it was your own piano!

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#1905345 - 05/30/12 01:09 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Mario Bruneau]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mario Bruneau
Originally Posted By: plns
Got a question on tuning unisons. When I'm tuning unisons, I'll come across two strings that go into unison and are perfect. All the noise completely disappears and it is one sound.

I call it dead which is really not a good description but that's what I think. Sort of like dead calm. That only happens on 1 in 5 unisons for me. The others, I have to work at and go flat and sharp two or three times to get the unison which still isn't like the ones that go dead on for me.

Now is this because I am new to tuning and all the unisons will eventually go this way or am I running into string anomalies that just have to be made as good as one can?


Hi there,

According to what you wrote, for sure, your piano is NOT perfect but then again when do you find a perfect piano? But you understand me, some pianos are really imperfect.

Don't be afraid of starting over and over again until you get the perfect unison. If you don't move too much the pin, you wont do any harm to the piano. I use the impact tuning method which is about changing the tuning pin's position as instantly as possible and with tiny increments so not to disturb the pin's rest position.

I am a pro tuner and I sometimes need to go over one unison 10 times and more before it satisfy me so your two or three times is really not much!

When you say "I call it dead" you are in the good direction. Tuning unisons is a matter of tuning with the "timbre" of the note. So when you can hear that change in the tone or timbre, you know you're right on!

Also, note that your ears are more sensitive 3 seconds after the attack of the hammer hitting the strings and it is after 3 seconds that you will achieve the better unisons.

The string anomalies you are talking about are most of the time "FALSE BEATS" the piano tuner's nightmare. When tuning unisons with strings that have false beats, you can only do your best... But still, even if some strings have false beats, you can tune this particular piano to IT'S BEST if you take the time and effort to get it right.

Always tune your client's piano as if it was your own piano!


Mario,it is nice to give advice but something misses to your method , ... wink give samples if you will so we can discuss about them. Thankyou

PS I hear the tone since the first milliseconds, the sooner the better, but more than that, I feel it !

I believe the only time the dead unison is appreciated is when the piano have enough voice to compensate, or when the music is more percussive than singing as Jazz, main stream kind music.

There are some tuners that keep some energy in the tone for the body of the tone, and others who chase for a big "crack",
A good understanding and description of an unison and of a method to tune one may help, and possibly 10 15 years will be gained..

There is a trap in our job, the piano is always better after we finish, the customer happy, and our saturated ear tend to hear what it wants. it is difficult to stay aware and have some distance with the job done, but it is possible (look at a computer for instance wink ) In my shop I tune while listening to the radio, for instance , that make a little less concerned with all those badly sounding notes I will correct after tuning smile



Edited by Kamin (05/30/12 01:24 AM)
_________________________
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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#1905350 - 05/30/12 01:34 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Mario Bruneau]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mario Bruneau



Don't be afraid of starting over and over again until you get the perfect unison. If you don't move too much the pin, you wont do any harm to the piano. I use the impact tuning method which is about changing the tuning pin's position as instantly as possible and with tiny increments so not to disturb the pin's rest position.

I am a pro tuner and I sometimes need to go over one unison 10 times and more before it satisfy me so your two or three times is really not much!


The string anomalies you are talking about are most of the time "FALSE BEATS" the piano tuner's nightmare. When tuning unisons with strings that have false beats, you can only do your best... But still, even if some strings have false beats, you can tune this particular piano to IT'S BEST if you take the time and effort to get it right.

Always tune your client's piano as if it was your own piano!


Mario you say there important things :
You can tune 10 times a single unison. I've been doing that too, but in the end hopefully it is not necessary.

To avoid that one may have a clear idea on how the tone is constructed, so to perceive any drift or change immediately

Be confident that a tuned string will stay put (that is the hard part) the only work that happens is due to other strings tuned and moisture/heat changes.

NOt to be afraid with the tuning pin and wire, but at the same time be gentle and affirmative, as if you instruct a young dog or a young child . The piano may accept your wish so this is important to know what it is, and better than that wish is to be attaineable.

False beats ; the more you tune the less they are a hassle, many of them can hide in the "normal" beat caused by the swell (hence the advantage to have it slow and not an abrupt slope that will move to a more stable solution by itself)


If you cannot go against the wind, go with the wind (very excellent and precise instruction to a novice tuner i may say I ams so proud of myself wink

Most coherent way to tune, hold the lever, and have a result relatively fast : Japanese school. (now for attack work, the European pianos are so much more accepting energy immediately they can be tuned differently)



May be we could hear samples and talk about them.



Edited by Kamin (05/30/12 01:36 AM)
_________________________
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


Top
#1905419 - 05/30/12 07:54 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Olek]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Kamin

PS I hear the tone since the first milliseconds, the sooner the better, but more than that, I feel it !



Tune with faster rhythm, play quietly is important. Sharp blow to make the wire move and confirm pin setting.

Some partials decay faster and some partials sustain longer. Focus on sustain may align higher partials. The sound is rather fantasy. This is my experience in recent days unison tuning exercises. The experience may different with different piano.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1906272 - 05/31/12 10:54 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
Thanks everyone for the posts. I will address them when I have a little more time. I will try to get a recording of me tuning shortly. Maybe even by tomorrow night as I will be at the shop.

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#1906429 - 06/01/12 08:40 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I don't know if its just me, but if I had to swing through a unison 10 or more times to get it right, I wouldn't consider myself a "pro" tuner. After tuning 10's of thousands of unisons or more, a "pro" tuner should'nt be spending more than 15-20 seconds on even a difficult unison unless there are other issues like outside noise interferance or severe ear strain/fatigue. Just my opinion, thats all.

I was taught that if something hangs you up like this on a tuning, leave it and move on. After a few minutes go back to it with fresh ears on that note and take care of it.

I have never understood why some tuners mess with a unison to create some effect other getting a clear sound with no rolls or beats. I've heard all kinds of explanations with fancy words explaining how energy or dynamics are alterered/improved ect...
In reality, that tuning begins to go out of tune (on an incredibly fine scale) the moment you pack your tools up to leave. Within a few days, or even a few hours of playing, those small variences (+/- a tenth of a cent) show up in the unisons and elsewhere to give the same effect as if you deliberately tuned it that way...so why would one bother to waste time at speeding up that natural process in the original tuning?
_________________________
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George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1906528 - 06/01/12 11:59 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
You are wrong Emmery, sorry to say so... I agree not to stay too long on an unison however.. When you tune the unison a certain way, after the concert you find it in similar shape.

What is moving and why ? how much ? in how much time ?

Having a good apprehension of the way the tone is constructed allow for more precision than even the edt , because we address things that the EDT cannot "see" (it would be nice to have a display that show the unison shape)

What moves is the heat in the room, and the moisture so you found your unison that have changed, and if you did a good job it change evenly and the change is not really hears b y the pianist. Yesterday I tuned a small grand Boesendorfer, last tuned 6 months ago, and in the hands of a pretty professional pianist that play with much energy( hammer wear raised much in 6 months where she had concerts to prepare.
May be one or twoo notes with a perceptible beat, basses a little unfocused
Break and first octave between basses and mediums differntly tuned (larger octaves, larger intervals, too rfast 3ds at the bottom of the long bridge) which is usual with the raise in humidity.

When I retuned the piano I find every first string on the low side, center string "normal" and right string on the high side... no beat, same kind of attack tone I densified when last tuned.

I worked 4 hours : regulated better the letoff and drop (with a bit more feedback and power, jack a hair farther, let of evened, drop a hair lower.
Changed 2 centers that where stiff
Banged the hammers as heck
Filed them relatively fast
Voiced the hammers.

A more dense tone, return of better dynamics, very good result everyone happy.
The hammers have been changed 4 years ago, the heads where took from the hammer maker catalog and not from the factory. As a result the felt is not as thick it should be, and the hammers are yet a little thin in the treble.
SO the price for the hammers from the factory is where VERY high, but they would not have to be changed in 4-5 years maximum. All in all it would be less expensive (plus I suspect that the strings and the capo bar may suffer when the treble hammers will be really worn out...

The shanks where left so the touch is less responsive too...

Next time I see a piano so much played and tuned some time ago I will record it. I may see one Japanese vertical I raised a full tone a few months ago. It may still be OK as the owner is cellist and she would have called me...
(raised 1 full tone in 3 hours with apparently good stability - Chas pre tuning method.)
For years I did not knew what was really tuning unisons, I had to work among experienced concert tuners to ask me the good questions about it. if not I probably would be satisfied with the method I had before.











Edited by Kamin (06/01/12 04:28 PM)
_________________________
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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#1907678 - 06/03/12 04:30 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
pni




Edited by plns (06/04/12 09:27 AM)

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#1908193 - 06/04/12 12:34 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
I am listening to different tunings on the beginners part of the forum

here is a Walter vertical with nicely tuned unisons. (justness could be better, but the tone have the properties I like to find)

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/recital_files/Recital_26/27.%20MaryBee%20-%20Gnossienne%203,4,5.mp3

The aftersound is really tuned. Then despite the poor justness the piano is agreable to listen.

Other sample n: Bosendorfer 2.00 :

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/recital_f...20BWV%20846.mp3

No unison tuned

That one normal unisons , a piano in Berlin :

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/recital_files/Recital_26/44.%20Bunneh%20-%20Nocturne%20In%20Eb,%20op.9%20No.%202.mp3


Edited by Kamin (06/04/12 01:12 PM)
_________________________
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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#1908223 - 06/04/12 01:21 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
All this talk about unisons...I've been learning piano care and tuning for the past couple of years (well one year, really, since I've been recovering from injuries this past year). I've taken in much of what's been discussed over the time and have tried to develop a consistent method for dialing in a tuning that sounds musical and inviting for the piano player. Yes, it's still a work-in-progress and I look forward to re-engaging my clients in the next few months.

Prior to my surgery in mid-April, I did one last tuning. Here it is...unisons, octaves and all (about three minutes of your time). There's a fair amount of sustaining here, despite the music, so you can hear how the unisons and other intervals interact. For your review and comment.

https://www.box.com/s/778175e3b3395ffd8264

Let 'er rip wink

Glen
_________________________


March piano audio
https://app.box.com/s/evl3yyp1kj52ve8l069u


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

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#1908316 - 06/04/12 04:29 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Inlanding]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
I took my other post down because it required a download. Here is my recent tuning which was a pitch raise a half tone. All you have to do is play it from the website.

https://www.box.com/s/224780843d12d7c040bb


https://www.box.com/s/1e1b1f79de57fa7da545


Please forgive my key striking as it's not quite as nice as the prior two postings.

I would like some honest critiques.

Thanks smile

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#1908317 - 06/04/12 04:33 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Olek]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
Originally Posted By: Kamin
I am listening to different tunings on the beginners part of the forum

here is a Walter vertical with nicely tuned unisons. (justness could be better, but the tone have the properties I like to find)

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/recital_files/Recital_26/27.%20MaryBee%20-%20Gnossienne%203,4,5.mp3

The aftersound is really tuned. Then despite the poor justness the piano is agreable to listen.

Other sample n: Bosendorfer 2.00 :

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/recital_f...20BWV%20846.mp3

No unison tuned

That one normal unisons , a piano in Berlin :

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/recital_files/Recital_26/44.%20Bunneh%20-%20Nocturne%20In%20Eb,%20op.9%20No.%202.mp3


Nice Kamin. Thanks for the input. How would you say my tuning is?

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#1908318 - 06/04/12 04:34 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Inlanding]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
All this talk about unisons...I've been learning piano care and tuning for the past couple of years (well one year, really, since I've been recovering from injuries this past year). I've taken in much of what's been discussed over the time and have tried to develop a consistent method for dialing in a tuning that sounds musical and inviting for the piano player. Yes, it's still a work-in-progress and I look forward to re-engaging my clients in the next few months.

Prior to my surgery in mid-April, I did one last tuning. Here it is...unisons, octaves and all (about three minutes of your time). There's a fair amount of sustaining here, despite the music, so you can hear how the unisons and other intervals interact. For your review and comment.

https://www.box.com/s/778175e3b3395ffd8264

Let 'er rip wink

Glen


Nice tune Inlanding. Wish my sample was as pleasant sounding.

Top
#1908337 - 06/04/12 05:10 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
hi I am sorry Plns, thank you for providing your samples. I did not took the time to listen them really, just a little, you seem to be doing well with the tuning lever, good rhythm with the playing hand also I believe you try to have the 3d string in the 2 others , it is easier to only tune 2 at a time for a begin.

I was expecting others to give you a few comments , but we are too much occupied fighting wink

I will listen for tomorrow and try to have something to write to you.
_________________________
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


Top
#1908826 - 06/05/12 01:41 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Olek]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: Kamin
You are wrong Emmery, sorry to say so... I agree not to stay too long on an unison however.. When you tune the unison a certain way, after the concert you find it in similar shape.

What is moving and why ? how much ? in how much time ?

Having a good apprehension of the way the tone is constructed allow for more precision than even the edt , because we address things that the EDT cannot "see" (it would be nice to have a display that show the unison shape)

What moves is the heat in the room, and the moisture so you found your unison that have changed, and if you did a good job it change evenly and the change is not really hears b y the pianist. Yesterday I tuned a small grand Boesendorfer, last tuned 6 months ago, and in the hands of a pretty professional pianist that play with much energy( hammer wear raised much in 6 months where she had concerts to prepare.
May be one or twoo notes with a perceptible beat, basses a little unfocused
Break and first octave between basses and mediums differntly tuned (larger octaves, larger intervals, too rfast 3ds at the bottom of the long bridge) which is usual with the raise in humidity.

When I retuned the piano I find every first string on the low side, center string "normal" and right string on the high side... no beat, same kind of attack tone I densified when last tuned.

I worked 4 hours : regulated better the letoff and drop (with a bit more feedback and power, jack a hair farther, let of evened, drop a hair lower.
Changed 2 centers that where stiff
Banged the hammers as heck
Filed them relatively fast
Voiced the hammers.

A more dense tone, return of better dynamics, very good result everyone happy.
The hammers have been changed 4 years ago, the heads where took from the hammer maker catalog and not from the factory. As a result the felt is not as thick it should be, and the hammers are yet a little thin in the treble.
SO the price for the hammers from the factory is where VERY high, but they would not have to be changed in 4-5 years maximum. All in all it would be less expensive (plus I suspect that the strings and the capo bar may suffer when the treble hammers will be really worn out...

The shanks where left so the touch is less responsive too...

Next time I see a piano so much played and tuned some time ago I will record it. I may see one Japanese vertical I raised a full tone a few months ago. It may still be OK as the owner is cellist and she would have called me...
(raised 1 full tone in 3 hours with apparently good stability - Chas pre tuning method.)
For years I did not knew what was really tuning unisons, I had to work among experienced concert tuners to ask me the good questions about it. if not I probably would be satisfied with the method I had before.


Kamin, I'm not sure if you had selected the proper word for what you meant when you say the unison is "similar" at the end of the concert. There is a differance in english between "similar" and "identical". "Similar" would imply there was a small change, and it is this change I am speaking about.

If there was no drift or slight changes in the tuning from the playing, the lights ect... there would be no need for the tech to remain at the concert or offer a touch up (if needed) during an intermission.

On careful inspection with a quality ETD, extremely small differences show up after on a freshly tuned piano that is heavily played. I am talking on the order of tenths of a cent. The human ear may not pick up on it, but an ETD will. If one is playing with unisons to create these incredibly small differences for effect, I would think that you are simply speeding up that, which will occur anyways.

I am not against it being done as far as effecting the quality of the tuning, I just find it is unnecessary to waste my time with doing it. The piano will take care of that by itself.
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#1908905 - 06/05/12 04:06 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Yep Emmery a freshly tuned unison show some differences about 0.2 to 0.4 cents . then it can move during the concert due to lights or heavy playing, but the drift keeps the unison musical. I dont use etd actually so I cannot make precise experiments, (only with tunelab on a cell phone eventually) but there is a "stable shape" and one that will move towards hopefully a stable one, but often to a non regulated one.

When you dont strive to have some absolute pitch precision on each string but something that rings with a natural tone out of the piano, the stability is surprising. May be I only "push" the unison in the direction it will go if played hard enough. In anyway the unisons is to be build, that mean the tone is evened, the attack of the tone is regulated similarly from note to not(, the level of opening of tone is worked. AN eventual less long note will be lengthened.

I tend to believe that if one want to reinforce the fundamental, he need to decouple some partials as they are often inconsistent.

Leaving some of then attack energy to drive and project the tone, is giving the unison a shape that will stay way longer in time, but the most important is that it gives to the pianist a mean to interfere more with the tone (more than the very abrupt unison that uses its energy so fast and oblige the voicing to cut in the attack to avoid saturation.


A BIG part of the quality of tone is also "hidden" in the strenght of the pin and in its springiness.

What I noticed before learning how to separate the different parts of tone , is that after being played I heard beats showing up more soon than with the tone I have now. I also have seen tunings done 6 months ago and on piano played professionally dayly, that where having only a few notes beating.(I have seen even more amazing things but you will not trust me wink

I tend to believe that if the unison tend to go to a stable position under playing it is our advantage to tune it AT this position. (but I believe it will not go there under the best conditions if not installed in its "bed" for that (words are missing !)


That is an energy and a coupling question the +0- shape tend to moan easily, the +0+ is more stable in time, like if the external coupling provide a "barrier"... the most common shape tuned is a doublet between 2 strings well coupled and a third that adjust the end of the sustain.

Can you help Plns , we are way OT (my fault ) there...








Edited by Kamin (06/05/12 05:13 PM)
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#1908937 - 06/05/12 05:07 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: plns
I took my other post down because it required a download. Here is my recent tuning which was a pitch raise a half tone. All you have to do is play it from the website.

https://www.box.com/s/224780843d12d7c040bb


https://www.box.com/s/1e1b1f79de57fa7da545


Please forgive my key striking as it's not quite as nice as the prior two postings.

I would like some honest critiques.

Thanks smile


Hello, I am afraid that is less good than the first samples you send (when you where tuning) the second one is useless , and the first , you play too fast for me to hear really enough to comment.

If you whant to have comments you should leave a fews seconds each note or interval, avoid 3 tones chords provide some intervals too (but the inquiry was about unisons) .

You where doing a good move on the unison in that first sample I heard a few seconds, anyway the first notes you tuned where not that bad (indeed you left some beats in the first doublet then try to add another string, and this cannot work).
in your scale there a few notes sound more or less in tune but not constructed, and very aggressive. (due also to the piano and recording I admit ) If the piano have an aggressive tone you can warm it a little with the unison tuning, choose to let flow all the partials so they take energy from the aggressive part of the tone, for instance.

I'll try to listen to those samples you send if they are yet there.





Edited by Kamin (06/05/12 05:16 PM)
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#1908939 - 06/05/12 05:09 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Where are those first recordings ? if you want some comments we should hear how you tune, not the final product.
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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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#1909093 - 06/05/12 10:51 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
Sorry guys. I've been away from the computer most of the day.

Here are four links.

Temperament:

https://www.box.com/s/7dde52d33b40ebcf5d3f


1st Octave:

https://www.box.com/s/2e700fd12cf065d07222


Higher octave:

https://www.box.com/s/f383967ba3ae94d067c1


Lower octave:

https://www.box.com/s/03d54a468ff1aff6e7a0



The piano was a half tone flat. Last week I simply raised everything sharp and now tuning for real.

AS Kamin said, I was tuning the first octave against three strings but only on the first 2 or 3 I realised this and switched to tuning one on one from the temperament.



Edited by plns (06/05/12 10:54 PM)

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#1909234 - 06/06/12 07:57 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
http://soundcloud.com/weiyan-1/unison-6-june-2012
This is some of my unison today. I play it softly, not as hard as in the record.
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#1909301 - 06/06/12 10:45 AM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 693
Loc: England
Weiyan :

I think you are playing the notes too repeatedly and too quickly to enable yourself to hear when the unison is spot on. Try playing the note only once, and let it sustain while you work with the pin ... if the unison is still off, then repeat the process until it becomes pure. The speed at which you tune doesn't give you any chance of listening to hear any "beats" less than one might get from a rough "pitch raise" type of tuning. What I'm trying to say is that if a unison is out by less than 1 beat per second, then it's pointless sounding the note for less than 1 second, and if it is even closer ... say 1/4 beat per second ... then you will need to listen to the sustained note even longer. Many tuners get into a bad habit of double striking when tuning unisons, and when tuning octaves, they strike the bottom note first before the octave above .... this tends to confuse the ear and leads to loose octaves. Play the two note of the octave together and listen while manipulating the wrestpin ... this gives a much clearer picture of what is going on.
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#1909537 - 06/06/12 04:44 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: plns]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Hello Jonkie, you are right in what you say, but I try to show Weiyan that he can learn to recognize the behaviour of the tone when there is no beat (basically) then only the "tail" of the tone have to be fine tuned.

SO I told him to play rhythmically so the note stay at a certain level (it is quieter for the ear also) .
He play too fast and to short to hear. The principle is to play repeatedly to get the good "bloom" and at that moment to let the sustain longer so the rest of the tone is tuned too.

That method of playing enough often may work as I have yet helped some to build good unisons, and it was understood soon.

Coming from the end of the tone it is easy to leave a tone with sort of delayed attack, if you see what I mean.
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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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#1909552 - 06/06/12 04:55 PM Re: Advice about unison tuning. [Re: Weiyan]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Weiyan
http://soundcloud.com/weiyan-1/unison-6-june-2012
This is some of my unison today. I play it softly, not as hard as in the record.


Yes I dont understand Weyan, because you seem to hear what you do with the tuning hammer, but you never allow the note to sound long enough to verify.

Avoid that short stroke, as I hear it it does not give you anything. play more slowly and in an even rythm until you are listening to the whole lenght of the tone. Also you are not tuning the "attack" (the moment where the tone speaks, you manipulate correctly, but not at the good moment, to me , you still tune too late (not enough synchro between left hand and right hand, but this may be only due to your eneven playing then you cut the tone too fast).

I believe you have more or less the good fundation but that is not really what I mean with "tuning at the moment the note speaks) You where doing so at some time, I should not show you that double stroke to go fast. You will go fast later wink

Best regards




Edited by Kamin (06/06/12 04:58 PM)
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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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