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Topic Options
#1978442 - 10/25/12 11:20 AM ETD again... Will it do the job?
Mario Bruneau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 133
Loc: Québec, Canada
Hi all,

I tune "by ear" since 35 years and use an ETD only for double checking the temperament and the overall state of any piano. I am now 61 years old and my ears are not as good as they used to be when I was younger. So my problem now is the upper last octave of the piano.

I used to be a "champion" in tuning the high register of any piano but not anymore...

I have heard of piano tuners that use Electronic Tuning Device successfully. I even have check for myself some ETD tuners jobs and the piano was very satisfying. Even the upper stretch was NOT overdone!

I wonder how a little cheap microphone like the ones found on these electronic devices can "read" or "listen" to upper notes and give a reading.

Yes, today's modern iPhone is way out of this world in terms of technology advances.

So my question is:

Am I lost as far as the new technologies is concern?

Is there a device that really can tune the upper register.

Is there a device that can read the upper register.

Do ETD tuners really tune ALL the piano using exclusively the ETD?

Thanks for shedding light for me.

Mario Bruneau

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#1978451 - 10/25/12 11:46 AM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
Hi Mario,

I've been tuning by ear for 20 years, and have started messing around with ETDs fairly recently. Mostly with school pianos. Tunelab is the software I've been using.

Its interesting what you say about using the ETD to check the temperament - I've had the opposite experience, I have to use my ear to check the ETDs temperament. I've also found I can't be completely confident in how it tunes the bass section, especially the low bass. Maybe its partly that I'm running it on a cheap netbook?

Anyhow, I HAVE found that what I like it for best is the top octave. In combination with your ears it is possible to get a smooth clear sound up there. That is by far the most difficult part of the piano to tune in my opinion. I can see how the ETD, used smartly, can take some of the stress out of locking in the highest notes on the piano.

Most tuners have trouble with that section - that's why the PTG tuning exam has a 6 cent wide tolerance in the high treble. That's why most people pass that section. Most people who use an ETD on the exam get very good scores up there.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1978488 - 10/25/12 01:30 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hello Mario,

I can only speak from my experience using several of the ETD's that are out there over the last 5 years or so.

Not being a pro tuner, I cannot tune a piano by ear, I can only do it exclusively with an ETD. I have been a professional musician for the last 30+ years, and I am around pianos in my work.

I started out back in 2004 with a simple etd that did not take measurements. I then graduated to the newer etd's that did measure inharmonicity, Tunelab, RCT, and the Tunic OnlyPure. All of those work fine, but the one I settled on was the Verituner for the Ipad/Iphone, and now the mini Ipad! It does a great job with the whole scale, and is very easy to use.

As an example of how the my Ipad Verituner works with a grand piano, earlier this year I visited a friends home who has a very nice 1982 8ft2in Kawai GS-80, the first model of what that is now called the "Shigeru" Kawai, if I am not mistaken. I was there to tune the piano before a small gathering of friends coming to hear some new LX material. The Kawai has the LX player system installed, as does my M&H BB. www.live-performance.com

I tuned it with the Ipad Verituner, using the pre-set "Extended" stretch in ET, intended for the larger grands and concert grands. I sampled the A's, and then let the Verituner generate the stretch. I did not have my usual recording set-up, so the sound is not that great, as I used the built-in Ipad video/mic. Never the less, you can hear how the Ipad handles the bass and treble, and the whole scale. There was no tuning by ear, other than unisons.

I have some earlier recordings on my M&H BB, which I made with the other ETD's, with much better sound...if you would like to hear those, PM me and I can send you the links.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLlSoi6al...mp;feature=plcp

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQXASNhk_...mp;feature=plcp


Here are a few examples of how the Ipad Verituner handles a mild WT that was made for my piano by Bill Bremmer, called EBVT III. All 88 notes were measured by Bill, using his Sanderson Accutuner, installed those figures into the Verituner, which I then tuned. These are played with the LX on my M&H BB.

Albeniz--Rondena from Iberia-- in EBVT III.mp3 https://www.box.com/s/a67b7ac8c623f43979bd

Debussy-- Pour les arpeges composees-- From Douze Etudes --Original Key-- EBVT III .mp3 https://www.box.com/s/7e05fc34393fbfb5f2ac

Debussy --Pour les arpeges composees--Douze Etudes--Half-Step Lower-- EBVT III .mp3 https://www.box.com/s/049100a7df2f36f8e234

Debussy--Pour les arpeges --from Douze Etudes--Whole Step Lower--EBVT III .mp3 https://www.box.com/s/74bfddde2421907cda5b

Scarlatti 4th mov in EBVT III .mp3 https://www.box.com/s/8311e80ae9e21ddac108



Here, another example using the Verituner with a temperament called "Wendell Synchronous Quasi ET" Using 12 offsets, the Verituner generated these tunings, again played with the LX on my M&H BB.

Mozart 2--Wendell Quasi ET Temperament--.mp3 https://www.box.com/s/iby20pqvt3dj89rj1e8f

Scarlatti 4th mov -Wendell Quasi ET Temperament--.mp3 https://www.box.com/s/x60vgwdhk8o30htuwhqp


Edited by Grandpianoman (10/25/12 03:49 PM)
Edit Reason: added soundfile and content

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#1978604 - 10/25/12 05:29 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1652
Loc: Chicagoland
The little mics can work, because they are only listening for a very specific pitch... Even in the lower range, they are focusing on higher partials to determine the tuning.

Yes is the short answer to your question. There are many options, so you need to determine what YOU want from the machine. Most can be controlled by you to set the stretch parameters so that the piano ends up just how you want it to be... If you do your homework to learn how to control the machine, there shouldn't be any surprises during tuning.

Since you mention the top octave, you may want to see if you can meet with other techs to audition some different ETDs to see how the display reacts in the section that you aren't hearing as clearly anymore. It's a personal choice.

Ron Koval
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#1978621 - 10/25/12 06:44 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
Ryan Hassell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 455
Loc: Farmington, MO
Hi Mario!

I can only speak to Tunelab, but yes Tunelab can pick up all notes from A0 to C8. I use an iPhone and it works GREAT. I remember though that Tunelab would not work with an iPhone until the 3GS version of the iPhone came out. It was something to do with the quality of the microphone. That was fixed with the iPhone 3GS.

When I stated using Tunelab, I had a Dell Axim Pocket PC circa 2003, while it worked fine for me then, I find the iPhone app gives me a much clearer and accurate tunings.

I my opinion the use of an ETD could greatly extend a person's years of tuning.
_________________________
Ryan G. Hassell
Hassell's Piano Tuning
Farmington, MO
www.hassellspianotuning.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hassells-Piano-Tuning/163155880804
ryanhassell@hotmail.com

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#1978851 - 10/26/12 10:52 AM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 166
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Mario Bruneau
Is there a device that really can tune the upper register.

Is there a device that can read the upper register.

Do ETD tuners really tune ALL the piano using exclusively the ETD?


I will echo what a couple of other people have already said - the top octave is probably the part where I use and appreciate the ETD the MOST. It is extremely accurate, even up to C8, where there are a lot of overtones. If anything, the low bass section is where it is not as helpful, since it relies on 1st and 2nd partials to determine the low pitches. Even then, though, it is highly accurate - just a little harder for it to pick up the sound, in my experience.

As to your last question, I do not use the ETD exclusively, and very few people do. I tune unisons by ear, and sometimes octaves as well in the bass section. But I do use an ETD for temperament.

EDIT: I am referring primarily to Tunelab, which is what I use. It works well even with the built-in speaker on a laptop. There are other comparable ETDs though, such as Verituner.


Edited by BenP (10/26/12 10:55 AM)
_________________________
Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#1978859 - 10/26/12 11:19 AM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1652
Loc: Chicagoland
Just a correction, I don't think any of the ETDs use the first or second partial for tuning in the bass... (You'll see 4:2 or 6:3, or 10:5 - meaning it's calculating the location of the 4th, 6th or 10th partial based on the samples and the guesstimates for the other strings above)

My take on the problem with the tuning calculations in the bass section has to do with the random nature of inharmonicity of the wound strings... Most of the ETDs are creating a smooth curve of one of the partials to drive the display - while an aural approach may shift partials from note to note, depending on a variety of factors.

Ron Koval
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#1978932 - 10/26/12 02:30 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: RonTuner]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 166
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Just a correction, I don't think any of the ETDs use the first or second partial for tuning in the bass... (You'll see 4:2 or 6:3, or 10:5 - meaning it's calculating the location of the 4th, 6th or 10th partial based on the samples and the guesstimates for the other strings above)


I've wondered about this - I guess it's slightly off-topic - but in the PC version of Tunelab, on A3 for example, it says "Using 2nd partial frequency: 440 Hz." That is just on a flat tuning curve of course. But does that mean it's actually listening to the 2nd partial only?
_________________________
Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#1978934 - 10/26/12 02:35 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: BenP]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1652
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally Posted By: BenP
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Just a correction, I don't think any of the ETDs use the first or second partial for tuning in the bass... (You'll see 4:2 or 6:3, or 10:5 - meaning it's calculating the location of the 4th, 6th or 10th partial based on the samples and the guesstimates for the other strings above)


I've wondered about this - I guess it's slightly off-topic - but in the PC version of Tunelab, on A3 for example, it says "Using 2nd partial frequency: 440 Hz." That is just on a flat tuning curve of course. But does that mean it's actually listening to the 2nd partial only?


Yup, exactly correct. You can step up and down to see which partial is being used to drive the display in different sections of the piano. (If you click to the graph display, the breaks in the curve represent different partial picks. The partial choice can be changed by the user on any note or section. I believe there is some software that auto-picks the partial, to try and be more responsive to the particular piano. As far as I know, Verituner is the only one that uses multiple partials to drive the display.

Ron Koval
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#1979077 - 10/26/12 08:12 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3853
I use Tunelab for overpull tunings because every piano I see for the first time requires a pitch raise. I'm amazed at the job it does getting things close, so my second pass by ear is a breeze. I sometimes tweak the ETD temperament - usually 3rds and 5ths are not bad, but sometimes 4ths could be better, so I fix them by ear. I've experimented alternating aural and ETD when setting octaves. Sometimes the ETD catches me in an error, sometimes I catch it.

I've got it on an Ipod, and the microphone on that is very good. The apple program on I pod seems more accurate than my old version on my Dell pocket pc.

Having tuned for so many years aurally, using an ETD was like learning to tune again - I had to learn the eye-hand coordination - translating the ETD screen to my tuning hammer.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1979092 - 10/26/12 08:27 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3321
I can't speak for the other devices, but Verituner does calculate aural quality tunings. There are only a handful of times where I thought the tuning wasn't turning out right, and every single time, it ended up being user error.... usually my selecting the incompatible tuning style by mistake.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1979846 - 10/28/12 09:28 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
Mario Bruneau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 133
Loc: Québec, Canada
Hey thanks Ryan, Grandpianoman, Ron, BenP and Bob.

This is very encouraging for me. I don't do as many tuning as I use to but I still want to tune my own piano and friend's too.

Grandpianoman, your M&H sound great and I am very impressed with the natural and smooth stretch over the high region. Very nice and not overdone. Your tuning sound nice too.

So it looks like I have to get myself an iPhone and Verituner. I had a piano tuning student of mine using it and he talked to me about the "automatic" stretch and compensation for an "out of pitch" piano and didn't know what he was talking about then but now, after viewing Ron's piano pitch raise fundamentals YouTube video, I understand.

Thanks for your input everyone.

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#1979874 - 10/28/12 10:45 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hello Mario,

You're welcome, and thank you for the compliments! I appreciate that coming from a professional tuner. I took up piano tuning out of necessity.... Having 2 player systems and playing them everyday, is like having a concert pianist sitting at the piano. It's also very rewarding, having created something that sounds so good musically, never having done it before now.

I think you will be very happy with the Verituner. One point I should mention. The Verituner works great with the Iphone, however, it is a small screen. If that does not bother you, great. The Ipad, and prob the mini Ipad that just came out, have bigger screens, much easier to see from a distance. That's a benefit for my older eyes. wink

Since you mentioned the higher octaves, here are a few more recordings using the upper octaves as well as the lower ones. I used the 12 offsets for the Wendell Synchronous Quasi ET temperament and the "extended" stretch for the larger grands, as I did for the Mozart and Scarlatti. I tuned most all the unisons by ear, except for the bass and treble extremes.



Wendell Synchronous Quasi ET Temperament, tuned with the Ipad Verituner


Modern New Age Music

"Admiration" https://www.box.com/s/y1lfnxnz40b2f0bol06a

"Reflections" https://www.box.com/s/i4d4xzvakl5i3wa7bo3c


Bach

Bach 2 --Wendell Quasi ET Temperament--.mp3 https://www.box.com/s/z7p3a6ecizz2naldc6rg

Bach 3 https://www.box.com/s/gi3o8ej19l64go64ej7u








Edited by Grandpianoman (10/28/12 10:49 PM)
Edit Reason: correction

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#1979910 - 10/29/12 12:36 AM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
Jim Moy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 292
Loc: Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
Also consider a 4th generation iPod touch, available used on eBay for about $150. Some will use their iPhones, but I prefer keeping the tuning software on a device separate from my phone. You can go even cheaper with previous generation iPod Touch units, but they will require an external microphone since it is not built in until the 4th generation.
_________________________
Jim Moy, RPT
Moy Piano Service, LLC
Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado
http://www.moypiano.com

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#1979917 - 10/29/12 12:58 AM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Jim Moy]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3321
Originally Posted By: Jim Moy
Also consider a 4th generation iPod touch, available used on eBay for about $150. Some will use their iPhones, but I prefer keeping the tuning software on a device separate from my phone. You can go even cheaper with previous generation iPod Touch units, but they will require an external microphone since it is not built in until the 4th generation.


I also have a dedicated iPod for Verituner. I don't even hook it up to the computer. Ever. Too afraid of shenanigans.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1979921 - 10/29/12 01:14 AM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21431
Loc: Oakland
You can buy a refurb Ipod Touch from the Apple Store online with a warranty for $149.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1979929 - 10/29/12 01:29 AM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: beethoven986]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
wrong post............sorry about that.


Edited by Grandpianoman (10/29/12 01:39 AM)

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#1980051 - 10/29/12 11:36 AM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: Mario Bruneau]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1652
Loc: Chicagoland
Mario, as good as the Verituner is using the default generic settings, using the custom style setting unlocks the real potential of the software... I'd be happy to help you get that set up once you are ready.

Ron Koval
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#1980077 - 10/29/12 12:46 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job? [Re: RonTuner]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3321
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Mario, as good as the Verituner is using the default generic settings, using the custom style setting unlocks the real potential of the software... I'd be happy to help you get that set up once you are ready.

Ron Koval


Agreed. I use yours a lot, and actually, your 1.5 saved my butt last week with a Samick SG 140. The built-in clean style just wouldn't work on on this "piano".
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1980095 - 10/29/12 01:17 PM Re: ETD again... Will it do the job?.Custom tuning styles.. [Re: RonTuner]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Verituner Custom Styles...speaking of which, Ron Koval gave me a custom style at the time this Weber was delivered a few months ago. It's a 1920's Weber Duo-Art Grand, 6ft Grand piano, however the Duo-Art roll system takes up a lot of room. I measured from the front of the plate to the back, 4ft 7, but I think it's more like a 5ft 2 grand.

The piano has it's original soundboard, a new Tokiwa action and shanks, a new set of Isaac "Cadenza" S hammers, and a set of his "Profundo" bass strings. The Duo-Art has been totally rebuilt.

I did not have the time to get the Duo-Art adjusted properly, so these 2 short recordings are not up to my usual standards. Never the less, I thought it would be good to hear how the Verituner handles a custom stretch, and you can hear what a new set of Ari's hammers sound like right out of the box so to speak.

Once I have the time etc to refine the Duo-Art etc, will post some files, and I look forward to re-tuning your custom style Ron. It sounds great as it is, but I am sure you have tweaked it further. smile I did the unisons by ear, except for the bass and treble extremes.


Weber Duo-Art 6453 Butterfly + Black Key Etudes.mp3
https://www.box.com/shared/static/ly6704nsvbs4g7qc9tbf.mp3

short sample of another roll
https://www.box.com/shared/static/rxlc6hs1ka8zha2cfydo.mp3


Edited by Grandpianoman (10/29/12 04:56 PM)
Edit Reason: corrections

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