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Topic Options
#1984980 - 11/10/12 09:50 AM Aural versus electronic tuning
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
I was trained to tune using a temperament aurally. In the past year I have tuned at our local concert hall a number of times, sub contracting for a colleague when he was out of town. I believe that I was trained more than adequately to tune, using a temperament that clarifies each interval, 4ths and 5ths, 3rds and 6ths etc., leading back to the root note A 440 or 442.
After tuning for the hall for an international artist from Czech playing Liszt and some heavy pieces, a 2 hr recital, I was notified that apparently the piano's tuning had gone quite sour.
Very dismayed, I reluctantly tuned there again when my colleague asked. Taking sometimes 1:30hrs - 2hrs to complete a standard tuning. Checking intervals, thirds, ninths, octaves, double octaves and so on, much to my shattered nerves ends.
The piano is a fairly new Steinway Mod D, about 5 or 6 years old now. I have tuned many many pianos and many Steinways, from Mod D right through to S's.
Long story short... I started to doubt my aural training and needed a reference point to believe with regards to expanding octaves etc. my teacher and mentor was not always accessible to me for various reasons. So I've got the TuneLab app for the IPad.
Although this has certainly eased my mind as to my ability, I still have trouble with the programme. Can anyone shed some light and put my mind further at ease? Much appreciated.
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1985005 - 11/10/12 10:54 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21910
Loc: Oakland
There are two aspects to tuning: getting the notes at the proper pitch and getting them to stay there. It sounds like your problem is with the latter, and an electronic tuner will not help you with that. You also need to be certain that the ambient conditions of heat and humidity are not changing. It takes practice.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1985017 - 11/10/12 11:43 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
Hmmm... Thanks for your input. I haven't had problems ever really with setting the pin. My issue, after checking with the TuneLab software, was that I tended to expand my octaves a little too much aurally.
Do you know much about this TuneLab software and just how reliable it is?
I'm enjoying the software, make no mistake.
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1985036 - 11/10/12 12:47 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Ryan Hassell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 487
Loc: Farmington, MO
You can download the user manual from the Tunelab website. The manual is very well written and user friendly. The designer of the software, Robert Scott is also very faithful to answer questions.

Here's the website address: http://www.tunelab-world.com/
_________________________
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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#1985055 - 11/10/12 02:02 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Actually Brendan, the ETD can help you with stability in a way. Not sure if tunelab can have its sensativity turned up but many ETD's which have the spinner sensativity turned up will show an incredibly small shift on pitch (tenths or hundredths of a cent). This exceeds the commonly accepted discernability of the ear which is more along the lines of 1/4-1/3 of a cent.

To this effect, when the note is tuned and stable, wiggle the hammer around the pin a slight amount, in both axial directions and also in a bending/flagpoling direction. If the tuning pin isn't in a neutral position you will see the spinner momantarily deflect in the direction of instability. I tuned for years without an ETD and did some small changes in my tuning technique to get better stability once an ETD showed these subtle shifts.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1985056 - 11/10/12 02:07 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2494
Loc: Olympia, WA
I have to agree with BDB - if the tuning sounded "sour" after a relatively short period of heavy use, subtleties in temperament or stretch are insignificant compared to rock solid unisons.

Tunelab can be helpful in analyzing your stability due to its sensitivity. It will show very clearly if your notes are drifting after a powerful test blow.

Liszt for 2 hours is a daunting test indeed for tuning stability!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1985073 - 11/10/12 03:20 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
RonTuner Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1677
Loc: Chicagoland
Realize that with any software, the average or default tuning is just a starting point... a generic approach that works pretty well on most instruments.

You will be much more pleased with the results of any machine once you gain control of the process! The stretch in tunelab is controllable by a number of different parameters. The application of the chosen stretch is effected by the choice of partial match in each section.

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

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


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#1985098 - 11/10/12 04:48 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Tuning not holding up in a heavy concert situation is not a matter of "Aural versus electronic tuning". Hence, the thread title is a misnomer.

When tuning is such a situation, it is highly advisable to play heavy test blows (or, better yet, use the "forearm smash") and re-check and carefully fine tune the unisons.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1985122 - 11/10/12 06:23 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2197
Loc: Maine
Quote - ... "I was notified that apparently the piano's tuning had gone quite sour."

It would be interesting to know who made that judgement, if there was a temperature change involved, and exactly what the term "sour" entailed. That's not a very precise term.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1985178 - 11/10/12 10:20 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 413
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Quote:
what the term "sour" entailed. That's not a very precise term.


That's so true, but then I know it's difficult for someone to describe something that they don't know how to describe. crazy I guess it's the only thing they could come up with.
_________________________
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com

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#1985234 - 11/11/12 04:04 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
Maybe I should clarify... After the comment of my tuning "souring"... Comment made by the person who organizes the tuning schedule at the hall, a business person, as are most people in charge of arts and culture in South Africa, either his own opinion or that of a few Pseudo-culture patrons. Politics with regards to piano technicians here is ridiculous and no need to go into that now...
(It might have been a bad day for the organizer, I don't know...)
Anyway, this happened early on in my tunings for the hall.
The reason I made the topic aural versus electronic is that after this one incident, I started doubting my tuning. I never received another comment in the negative again from the powers that be at the hall, maybe due to the fact that I check and re check ad nausium until my head bursts... Or maybe because Rachmaninov or Liszt isn't the usual itinerary... Dunno!....
Having said this.... My tuning has been in doubt and a bone of contention, inwardly. Not having my mentor close at hand and one of the only people I could honestly believe a word... I opted for an electronic tuner in TuneLab.
TuneLab is what I could afford as opposed to the Sanderson Accutuner or Reyburn Cyber tuner...
Commencing with the programme, I realized very quickly my subsequent expansion of octaves and have now to re adjust my previous 15years tuning by ear...
Aural versus electronic. Can I rely completely on starting my tuning on A0 and going up per note and then tuning the unison until the last tri chord?
Does this not put undue pressure on the frame whilst tuning in the bass first, raising pitch for example...
My previous method of tuning was to a temperament. In the middle. Then down to the bass and third break last.
Maybe I'm not using the programme properly, but after I've raised the pitch from A0, my tuning wasn't as good as when I did it aurally.
Yes I did read the manual, yes I do do the over pull procedure etc.
Does anyone use TuneLab and what have been their experience?
Sorry for the long winded post, but I'm sure some of you at least may understand my frustration. Those are the people I'd like to hear from.
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1985235 - 11/11/12 04:10 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
Hi Ron... I don't generally use the default tuning when I'm tuning for a concert. I try programme the software with the input taken from the piano itself. I do the inharmonicity settings, even the chromatic settings as opposed to the arpeggio setting and try leave nothing out.
Do you have experience with this software and would you be willing for me to trouble you with questions I just can't seem to answer?
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1985246 - 11/11/12 06:10 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
rxd Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1806
Loc: London, England
It has to have happened to us all at some time or other. Just when we think we've got this tuning thing down then along comes somebody who plays like an orang-utang.

Always volunteer to take another look at the piano as soon as possible and do yourself a favour. See how much of the piano did stay in tune. If you can lay claim to 75-80 percent, that's a passing grade in most peoples books. Unfortunately not in concert tuning.

Once you have satisfied yourself that at least some of the piano withstood the onslaught, analyse what went wrong with the rest of the piano. Did strings generally go flat, or sharp? Which pins of the three tended to go out the most and in which direction? Check what the pin on the out of tune note feels like and see what it takes te get that string solidly tuned. Use the situation as a learning tool and, above all, don't beat yourself up over it. Eventually you will tune everything as though it was going to be played by an orang-utang. This does not mean to beat the piano to death with test blows- you will never hit it harder than an orang-utang, nor would you want to but good pin setting, sometimes not strictly according to the book, is the answer. It is a lifetimes study. I can honestly say that I am still improving to where pianos can be played with string breaking vulgarity but the rest of the piano is still in tune.

I'm putting off fixing a broken string by writing this. I'm glad there's no tuning to do. I think I strove to become a more solid tuner out of a basic laziness.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#1985250 - 11/11/12 06:55 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
Thanks for the vote of confidence rxd.
Off to get hold of Robert Scott...
Thanks to all comments. I've taken notes.
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1985273 - 11/11/12 08:37 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
RonTuner Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1677
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally Posted By: SimplyBrendan
Hi Ron... I don't generally use the default tuning when I'm tuning for a concert. I try programme the software with the input taken from the piano itself. I do the inharmonicity settings, even the chromatic settings as opposed to the arpeggio setting and try leave nothing out.
Do you have experience with this software and would you be willing for me to trouble you with questions I just can't seem to answer?


Sure, ask away! I've used it a bunch in the past, but most know that I use the Verituner all the time now. Feel free to take this to a private message if you prefer. I still use tunelab as a research tool.

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

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


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#1985356 - 11/11/12 01:01 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 672
Loc: Toronto

I would think a 2 hour Liszt concert will knock out some notes
from anyone.

As far as your stretch, this is adjustable in tunelab and your aural stretch may be correct for your tuning style.

Since this is a confidence thing, see if you can find another tech who can evaluate your work. I bet it's just fine.

Take care,

Steve
_________________________
Vintage Piano sales and restoration in Toronto
Exclusive Live Performance Player Systems Dealer

http://stevejacksonpianos.com

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#1985399 - 11/11/12 02:47 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 413
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I've been using TuneLab for quite a few years now so I'll share with you how I use it.

I now have the Android version so I'll assume you're using the Android or iPhone version. It's pretty much the same as the Pocket PC version but one of the big differences is the sampling. You can sample as many notes as you want compared to six on the Pocket PC.

I'll assume you know how to sample notes and adjust the stretch for now. I usually use the fully automatic setting. I start tuning at the plain wire just after the bass and go all the way up checking at various points to make sure things are going okay, mainly playing 5ths and octaves. Sometimes at the treble break I'll offset +3 cents because that section tends to fall back a bit so I try keep things moving up and not back down. I tune unisons as I go up but I tune them by ear. I would not recommend tuning every string to TuneLab. Besides, I think it's faster to tune them by ear. Then I finish with the bass, again checking the octaves with the treble section to make sure we're doing okay. (On the single bass strings I usually just go with TuneLab.) Quite often I disagree with TuneLab here and go with what sounds pleasant.

That's a very simple explanation. Since you already tune aurally TuneLab can be a nice tool or an extra set of ears, more like a partner. It's also nice for pitch raises. Do one quick pass with TuneLab and then tune it aurally if you want.

Maybe all of this is obvious but I hope it helps you out.
_________________________
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com

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#1985418 - 11/11/12 03:37 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Jerry Cohen, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/05
Posts: 80
Loc: New Jersey
Brendan,
Here are some more suggestions when doing concert work.

Always try to attend the performance. Then you can hear for yourself if notes sound "sour". Also you can start to form opinions about stretch, with real music while sitting in the hall. The trick is to get a good balance between octaves not sounding stretched and arppegios not sounding flat.

Always try to meet with the pianist. Ask him if he has any special requests. Tell him you will be attending, so if there is any problem, you will be there to take care of it. That should put him at ease.

I hope this helps.
_________________________
Jerry Cohen, RPT
Piano Craftsman offering, concert tuning, voicing, regulating, rebuilding.
Serving Northern New Jersey area.

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#1985475 - 11/11/12 06:57 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: BDB]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1104
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: BDB
There are two aspects to tuning: getting the notes at the proper pitch and getting them to stay there. It sounds like your problem is with the latter, and an electronic tuner will not help you with that. You also need to be certain that the ambient conditions of heat and humidity are not changing. It takes practice. [Emphasis added]


An excellent suggestion!

As to heat changing, sometimes stagelights can also warm the piano, causing things to shift a bit. Especially when using an black piano.

Is there anything that could be happening to the piano between when you tune it and the performance? Not to get too far O.T... Years ago, I actually refused to continue tuning for an organization that would put on concerts. They would call me in to tune the piano in the middle of winter. Invariably when I would be about half way through, up would come the garage doors as they would begin moving equipment into the auditorium. If a matter of a few minutes the temperature might drop as much as 20 or 30 or more degrees. But they didn't care because they were working and they liked it cooler. There was no way to persuade them to alter their routine because that was the way they always did it. Not to be paranoid, but could there be some 'funny business' going on when you are not with the piano?
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1985635 - 11/12/12 07:38 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Brendan:

Welcome to Piano World!

I have always tuned aurally. That said, I think this is a confidence problem not a tuning or even a stability problem. If an ETD gives you the confidence you are looking for, well and good. If not, or if it is eroding your confidence, drop the ETD like a hot potato!

As has been said, stability is more important than anything else. Endless "tweaking" can result in wavering hammer technique and instability being the result.

I often wonder about ETD tuning. As everyone knows, the first string that is tuned does not stay exactly on pitch. Aurally, this is used as a reference as additional notes are tuned in the temperment. And then the temperment is used as a reference for the rest of the piano. If these references drift a bit, it doesn’t really matter. But the use of an ETD for fine tuning apparently requires that the piano already be tuned and that no notes drift. Perhaps drift is what is happening when you use it. And then there is the whole problem of quirky partials on wound strings.

As far as stretch, I humbly suggest listening to the 12ths (octave + fifth). The RBI test is the M6/M10 test: F2-D3 beat the same as D3-A4 when the 3rd partial of D3 is at the same frequency as the first partial of A4. If the 12ths are pure, or close to it, the stretch is appropriate regardless of the piano. This is something I have studied.

But back to what I perceive as the real problem: Confidence! Pride is a two-edged sword. It can make you do your very best. It can also make your very best seem inadequate. I can only suggest that you do your very best and realize that you must be satisfied with that. And then let the person that pays the bill decide what they will do from there. In your case, I suspect the ETD is doing more harm than good.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1985705 - 11/12/12 12:09 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
wcctuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 116
Loc: Princeton, NJ
Brendan,
As others have said, tunelab, as any other ETD, is a starting point. I have used tunelab in my work here at WCC, but rarely use the automatic setting. To me, octaves are often too narrow. I'll take IH measurements, then using the manual adjustments tune some octaves until I get what I like. After using the program a while you'll learn how much adjustment you'll need, so you can usually do this quickly. It is a great program, but you need to set it up so that you will be happy with the results.
_________________________
Dave Forman
Piano Technician, Westminster Choir College of Rider University

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#1985935 - 11/12/12 11:06 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3894
When tuning for a Liszt programme -

1. Tune the piano, banging in every unison - use a key banger

2. Let the artist practice his concert

3. Re tune everything that slipped 1 hour prior to the concert - bang it all in.

The piano will be stable for the concert, and usually for a time afterwards, unless the humidity changes.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1986202 - 11/13/12 02:01 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
I thank each and all that have posted here.
The assumptions have been spot on with regard to my confidence.
Got kinda shattered...
BUT... Knowing that there are people that can relate and give sound advice is incredibly reassuring.
I like TuneLab. Don't understand much yet, but from what I gather from you guys is that it will certainly take time to get to grips with it.
Being able to manipulate the tunings per individual piano with the aid of this software AND my aural training is really exciting.
Your words of encouragement are most appreciated.
UnrightTooner, you have made my life a little easier, knowing what you do with the way you go about your tuning.
I noticed after tuning a piano with TuneLab, that the treble sounded a little flat...according to my ear. I found it difficult to leave just by the settings on TuneLab and spent another 30mins tidying up from the treble break to the top.
At the end of it, it made me wonder about this electronic stuff....
BUT now I have come to learn that it can only enhance what I hear by customizing. I'll adopt the adjusting of the treble and see how it works for me.
I know I know.... Should've seen that one coming!
Confidence is a friend and an almighty foe when she feels inclined either way.
Very happily onward from here.
Thanks again.
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1986212 - 11/13/12 02:35 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Robert Scott Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 287
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: SimplyBrendan
?..I noticed after tuning a piano with TuneLab, that the treble sounded a little flat...according to my ear. I found it difficult to leave just by the settings on TuneLab and spent another 30mins tidying up from the treble break to the top.
At the end of it, it made me wonder about this electronic stuff....
BUT now I have come to learn that it can only enhance what I hear by customizing. I'll adopt the adjusting of the treble and see how it works for me.

Before you resort to semi-manual adjustments try the easier method - just select an interval for the treble that produces more stretch naturally. For example, if you are using 4:1 now, switch to 4:2. Do this before taking inharmoniticy measurements so the new interval will take effect.
_________________________
Robert Scott
Hopkins, Minnesota
http://www.tunelab-world.com

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#1986409 - 11/14/12 12:06 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
Can't wait to try all these suggestions. Got a day of tunings planned. I'm so glad I don't have a mundane job.
Thank you all again and again.
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1986439 - 11/14/12 01:30 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
rxd Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1806
Loc: London, England
I note your desire to hear notes sharper in pitch. It is a common tendency to tune trebles much sharper than necessary.

I have always been connected to a piano store or two and I have heard many tuners who come looking for work and I find over stretching very common. If we are busy, I can give them work doing pitch raises. You can always take a fault and turn it to advantage.

Many self taught tuners have a playing style that it just single note melody with simple accompaniment. This can allow an outrageous amount of stretching and can sound great to the casual listener. It can make a tuner very popular among beginning level musicians.

The piano music of Franz Liszt has a lot of huge chords that span much of the keyboard. Excessive stretch will make this style of playing expose any mistuning. Your octaves, double octaves and triple octaves have to appear absolutely clean and so the amount of stretch has to be rigorously controlled.

I use M3rds, 10ths & 17ths as checks to keep me honest in this respect. (you'll find these checks very useful also when tuning in noisy environments).

Relying on pure melodic sense in tuning can vary from day to day or even time of day so if the treble sounds flat to you and all the tests work out, it is a problem of perception. If you took a break and came back an hour, or even a few minutes later, it would seem different again.

Listen of good recordings of classical piano music, not the vanity recordings made by many pianists but recordings from well known labels. They are tuned using minimal stretch under strictly controled circumstances. Do you hear those trebles as being flat?
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#1986521 - 11/14/12 07:47 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: rxd]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: rxd
.....

Listen of good recordings of classical piano music, not the vanity recordings made by many pianists but recordings from well known labels. They are tuned using minimal stretch under strictly controled circumstances. Do you hear those trebles as being flat?



I should have posted a link when it happened. There were some recordings on public radio from the last Cliburn competition. One piece had a slow melody in the high treble. It sounded so flat I wanted to scream.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1986553 - 11/14/12 08:53 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
rxd Online   happy
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Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1806
Loc: London, England
Jeff. I didn't hear that particular performance but I have observed this;

Sometimes the orchestra goes sharp and can make the piano, particularly single note treble tunes sound flat. Octaves and fuller handfuls of notes, being stronger, can cover this situation and the piano regains the ascendancy over pitch perceptions. Remember that, in some halls, the musicians cannot hear the piano. That's just one reason why a prudent concert tuner will keep the whole piano sharp. Sharpness of the piano is not noticed as much as flatness. A prudent oboist knows this, too when giving an A. Professional orchestral Harpists always tune to 441 or more.

There is one pianist, I believe, who is doing the rounds with his own piano and tuner. Anybody confirm this?.

Listen carefully next time you hear an orchestra tune up. There is an A for the winds and a slightly different A for the strings. I have been in halls during rebearsals and ffrom the back of the orchestra, the winds can seem sharp and ahead of the beat, but from the front, everything is as it should be.

Legend has it that Sir Henry Wood had the strings tune to 440, the winds to 441 and the piano at 442. That was 100 years ago on hot, rainy summer evening 'promenade' concerts.

How did the treble sound during piano solo sections?

Joel and Priscilla used to do that job years ago and the piano was tuned right up to the performance. They knew the score. Speaking of which, which concerto was it?

If I am on a recording session and the orchestra goes sharp on the piano, I, as the hired ears, am perfectly free to point this out. That's one reason the tuner is always in attendance on important recordings. The phenomenon doesn't happen much in studios where every musician can usually hear everything else. Live broadcasts can be a nightmare. The tuner would most likely have been on hand at the Van Cliburn broadcasts but what could be done at that point?

Opera house orchestras have been clocked doing 446 on a hot summers evening before air conditioning was usual.


Edited by rxd (11/14/12 09:23 AM)
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

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#1986572 - 11/14/12 09:34 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
UnrightTooner Offline
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rXd:

It was a solo selection. I really should have brought it up at the time.

The older vinyl recordings I hear seem to have a flatter treble than modern recordings. There is quit a bit of variation in the treble stretch. Pure twelfths really do work for me...
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#1986684 - 11/14/12 03:16 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
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Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
...Before you resort to semi-manual adjustments try the easier method - just select an interval for the treble that produces more stretch naturally. For example, if you are using 4:1 now, switch to 4:2. Do this before taking inharmoniticy measurements so the new interval will take effect.
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Robert Scott
Hopkins, Minnesota
http://www.tunelab-world.com

I tuned today and incorporated the ideas above. Set from 4:1 to 4:2. Then took inharmonicity measurements. Maybe a little enthusiastic on a piano that WAS 70c flat.
Decided to not use over pull and rather raise as I would have aurally. I set TuneLab to 443hz and raised the middle using my temperament and TuneLab. Set the octaves up to and down to the breaks, pulled in the respective unisons, replaced my temperament strip and started on the temperament again. The raise had fallen maybe to 442hz after the mid raise.
Pulled it to 443hz again and got to the tenor break. Used TuneLab to raise the tenor string by string to the bass, pulling in the unisons as I went still to 443hz. After setting the bass initially to 443hz, the second pass I set to the falling mid, which stood at 442...something hz(I didn't make a note of this).Going to the treble
break, I decided to listen to how much I would usually stretch my octaves when I raise and found it to be around 15c sharp.
When I raise my trebles, I use 3 pabs wedges for the respective octaves(starting at the treble break) and tune octaves, eg. F#5, 6 and 7, then G5, 6, 7 , pulling in the unisons etc. I expand each octave a bit more as I've found that it drops
considerably here.
This time, however, I just set TuneLab to +15 and started note by note to TopC.
When I checked the relationship between the mid and treble, the treble was very flat and understandably so.
So I checked what pitch of the mid was and adjusted TuneLab accordingly and tuned the treble again. Relying on TuneLab heavily.
When I returned to check my mid and set the unisons, I was happy to see that my pitch was sitting at 441hz, treble nicely related to the middle, with only a few notes towards the treble break from the mid that needed a slight tweak...like 3cents up again...
Unisons throughout the piano i thought were relatively clean, considering it was a
raise and bass, mid and treb related. And it was above the 440hz mark.
All this in just on an hour.
I'm definitely seeing the advantages of this marvelous software.
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1986875 - 11/14/12 10:38 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Grotriman Offline
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Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 724
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: SimplyBrendan
Hmmm... Thanks for your input. I haven't had problems ever really with setting the pin. My issue, after checking with the TuneLab software, was that I tended to expand my octaves a little too much aurally.
Do you know much about this TuneLab software and just how reliable it is?
I'm enjoying the software, make no mistake.


You should download Dirk's Piano Tuning software. The trial version allows you to play every single note on the piano and it finds out what stretch is optimal and plots what the piano is tuned to, against where the partials dictate you have to be. Very helpful and free. Then for not much (I guess for a professional tuner, but too much for me and my piano) you can purchase the software for all of the features.

Tunelab - I haven't figured out how to get the stretch programmed in yet.
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#1986966 - 11/15/12 05:54 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: UnrightTooner]
Mark R. Offline
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Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2069
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
As far as stretch, I humbly suggest listening to the 12ths (octave + fifth). The RBI test is the M6/M10 test: F2-D3 beat the same as D3-A4 when the 3rd partial of D3 is at the same frequency as the first partial of A4. If the 12ths are pure, or close to it, the stretch is appropriate regardless of the piano. This is something I have studied.


Jeff, I'm still learning about tests, so just for clarity:

Should that not read, "F2-D3 beat the same as F2-A4"?
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#1986971 - 11/15/12 07:04 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
rxd Online   happy
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Hi. Jeff.
My first call today was a concert grand that was tuned twice yesterday by a colleague of mine for a major artist, concerto with orchestra It was perfect. An exemplary tuning. Sitting nicely at 440.65. I had absolutely nothing to do, as often happens so I exhibited a modicum of tuning-like behaviour to fulfil the contract. All the M10ths and 17ths were exactly the same beat rate as the M3rds they were derived from so, remembering this thread, I aurally checked the 12ths in the treble. No audible beating there. I was about to get out my electronic box and really nitpick but thought better of it, rattled off a text to thank my colleague for once again making me a gentleman of leisure, thanked the stage crew for their forbearance (always do that) and took my leave. I've just finished a deliciously thick Arbroath smokie with a poached egg on top. A chef once taught me to stick a fork inside a half lemon while squeezing it and the juice just floods out. Life doesn't get much better.

I used to use 12th a lot myself and still do on the last few covered strings on a bright, noisy smaller piano, but only as a quick check. I used 12ths a lot on the5-6 foot models when I worked for a well known manufacturer. They had magnicifent bass and tenor regions for their size. I only used the 12th on these to be sure that I hadn't compromised it too much. The scale was such that to make the 12ths too pure across the break would be fatal to the tuning. I wouldn't fault the scale because of what it produced in quality of sound but it did take an awful lot of care in tuning across the break. I used to tune 5-6 of them a day when I was in my 20's.

I have described what I would call minimum stretch and, on an Hamboyg Steinway 9' treble, at least, it seems to amount to enough of the same thing as using 12ths. Of course, it is possible to stretch more than that but with 70-100 seasoned professional musicians listening intently and judging their own pitch from what the tuner has specified, why play fast and loose with this when other musicians are also staking their reputations on what the piano is telling them.

None of this explains what you heard on a broadcast of the Van Cliburn. Does anyone have a copy of this recording? We must all trust our perceptions, to do otherwise is crazy making. I know that I have cringed when I hear a radio on low volume and too many of the necessary harmonics are missing from what I hear to distort my perception of what I know to be perfectly good tuning because I have turned up the sound to be sure of what I was hearing. Television speakers are terrible for this, especially when I am nodding off.




Edited by rxd (11/15/12 07:29 AM)
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

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#1986975 - 11/15/12 07:21 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: Mark R.]
UnrightTooner Offline
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Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
As far as stretch, I humbly suggest listening to the 12ths (octave + fifth). The RBI test is the M6/M10 test: F2-D3 beat the same as D3-A4 when the 3rd partial of D3 is at the same frequency as the first partial of A4. If the 12ths are pure, or close to it, the stretch is appropriate regardless of the piano. This is something I have studied.


Jeff, I'm still learning about tests, so just for clarity:

Should that not read, "F2-D3 beat the same as F2-A4"?


Thanks for catching my error, ah, I mean my test. I wanted to see who was paying attention. wink
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Part-Time Tuner
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#1987331 - 11/16/12 05:19 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
rxd Online   happy
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I was just reminded, listening to someone practicing some Liszt just now. Let's not forget that there are pianists out there doing the circuit that just simply produce an ugly sound at any dynamic. Some of them winning piano competitions. I have heard it said that you would have to break a string to win a piano competition in Italy. There are some whose tone quality can make an in tune piano sound out of tune.

I have every reason to believe that FLiszt himself produced an ugly sound, blasphemer that I am. He is famous for pushing pianos beyond their limits, much to the delight of the impressionable. This is not to detract from his compositional skills.
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

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#1987365 - 11/16/12 08:39 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Those tuning machines lack soul, and tend to push you to compress your tuning, as they just don't "HEAR" the amount of openess that a given octave is providing AND the amount of acoustical return that the concert hall is allowing.

While they can show you the tinests changes due to temperature or bridge settling ON ONE STRING , they are totally unable to check a piano tuned with unisons, and that is what is heard in the end.

So if Brendan have problems with the ETD and he prefer having a tuning with more freeness, and that musicians find it more enjoyeable, I would suggest that the ETD can be used as sort of "safe guard" just to limit the extra stretch the aural tuner tend to use, to a more quiet quantity (it can help on bad days for sure)

Any tuning have to be done in overpull mode, particularely when the stretch is moderate.

I actually consider tuning as simply being VERY quiet (not easy in concert venues I admit) , and let the piano own resonance drive the interval's stretch. (on the second pass that begin to be really perceived in the 5th octave, and then no real question arise in regard of the stretch, the problem may more be to allow enough than the opposite)

Have confidence in the pin setting method (my "student" I showed how to set the pin firmly had only 1 unison mistake when he passed his exam, and the examiner banged on heck because he was expecting more notes to move)
The pin setting is so simple and so "clearly read" once you have some experience, it should not cause any problem (the main problem is due to a bad apprehension of what happens within the instrument)

Then we get used to the different problems and we learn to detect the soon :

The plate brace flex more than wanted or plate is not screwed tight
The bridge/soundboard moves more than expected (and the 5th octave fall more than wanted when the treble is tuned)
The pins are touching the plate (difficult to set)
The strings are yet new (4-5 years should be largely enough on a concert piano but the newer strings does not accept a brutal playing).

You are tuning too differently from the usual tuner, the piano need a second tuning then the second day.

When different tuners are working on the same instrument, the tuning is advantageously kept within a moderate standard, meaning, progression of 10th 17th and the like can be kept from a tuning to the next.

No doubt that ETD can help to attain that "perfection" but to have at the same time a piano in tune with itself enough is a different matter.

The "opening" of the unison is what allow the little refinements when it comes to the real final pitch perceived for each note.

The ETD tend to consider that each note is fixed in pitch, and that is not the case, the pitch impression varies depending of the unison style, in time , between the initial attack, dwell and extinction curve you have well enough pitch variations to loose even an evolved ETD

What I did not like with them is that they oblige me to wait for the pitch stabilization, while my ear have yet detected the pitch in regard of the relative note, the ETD need to hear only one tone and one string.

How can you keep your mind focused on the tuning "at large" while being obliged to play only one note a time ?

the thing that stressed me the most with the ETD is that they seemed to empeach me to use checks, jumping to an unattended note while I checked.

The huge congruence that can be felt with the best ETD tunings is finally sounding a little not natural to the music, in the end (even if of course the pianists like to have no surprise and a well evened progression)

The best tunings have a technical/theoretical part, but I believe there is a direct transmission from the musical ear of the tuner to the sound environment he is prepariring. That, when pushed to the limits, provide a really "singing" tuning (most of the trick there being based on the unisons, for what I have seen)
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#1987414 - 11/16/12 10:54 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: Olek]
Emmery Offline
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: Kamin


...The "opening" of the unison is what allow the little refinements when it comes to the real final pitch perceived for each note....


I am not sure what you mean exactly by this "opening" of the unison since I have heard many different explanations of it from various tuners.

I find that there is a threshold which relates to coupling with unisons and one must exceed this threshold to open the unison up. I personally don't do this and opt for clean unisons myself for several reasons. First of all, if you are trying to gain some energy from the overall tone...leave this to the pianist, they are the ones who decide how loud the note will be played.

Secondly, I have been together in groups of really good tuners and if any of them tune a unison, there seems to be a unanomous consensus that no improvement can be made on it once all the strings jump within that threshold of coupling.

Lastly, the unisons are the first thing I see go out of tune on a freshly tuned piano. this indicates that the threshold for coupling is likely very small, maybe on the order of less than a tenth of a cent (I'm guessing here). If one deliberately tunes outside this threshold to get some wanted effect, it stands to reason that the piano will sound out of tune much quicker than if the unisons are locked in tight and allowed to drift to the same effect over time.
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#1987427 - 11/16/12 11:31 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
hi Emmery, unisons are tuned for coupling energy in a stable position. if that imply that a string is slightly in unbalance, when seen with an ETD let's be it, but I prefer to tune them in the best tone I hear immediately, not wait for the pianist to do my job.

Time wise it is better, in my opinion, when I check a piano that have not been tuned for long, the still clean unisons are in that shape, so I suggest they fall there naturally (with a bit of luck)

But in the end that is way more a voicing question than a tuning one, most probably (again my humble opinion)

To provide enough dynamics to the pianist one may find a use for most of the energy provided at the impact. The part of tone that thickens and tone stronger is not the attack, but a tiny part of tone that can be perceived at pppp and that inflates and get stronger when more energy is trowed in.

The number of partials perceived at any range have no much to do with that, it is just an energy use question.

difficult to explain...

The threshold you talk of is larger than you believe, probably, while just the coupling of 2 strings is yet producing some kind of very very slow "beat" due to the extinction curve all kind of effects can be superposed within that space.

A very crisp and immediate tone can be useful, but provide less nuances, as a too soft tone tuned too late with mostly the tail clean.

The tuners have the problem that the initial impact on the strings is noise, mostly, so at that moment our ear is closed and in defensive mode, opening more or less soon after.

The quietness we need allows to accept the tone in a larger way and begin to tune sooner is something we work thru a quieter touch, or focusing on the sensations under the fingers, or focusing on the tuning pin, our normal reflex is to avoid listening to the attack, then it is not managed .


Edited by Kamin (11/16/12 11:43 AM)
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#1987494 - 11/16/12 02:19 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
Ok... Having read all you fellows say, let me ask...
If I'm to understand correctly...
Opening up a unison is to be adjusting the individual pitch of each string, much like some tune a 12 string guitar(please bear with me...) a little sharp or flat from its partner in order to give it a more full sound? This is something that the ETD won't allow due to its perfect programming I assume?
If that be the case...
As an aural tuner, I've always tried to tune the unisons pure myself, having the opinion that that is what is required. I've not tried to expand these unisons in order to produce "colour" or get something out of it. I agree that that may(or may now not ...) be the artists prerogative. Having said this, I've not been tuning at Concert level for very long... If one could even think I do... But do have a few recording studios and competent musicians that I do exclusive work for and they have never mentioned anything but good with regards my servicing and tunings of their respective pianos. ( Steinways, Yamaha C7's and various conservatory grands etc.) I don't know if this is due to South Africa's culture or lack thereof with regard to talent or international exposure.... Never the less... It intrigues me to learn more.
This week of intense "TuneLab" tunings has brought one thing to the fore for me though, the world of partials, inharmonicity and things that I, me personally, have skipped by not being introduced to.
Guys writing about partials connected to this harmonic and the thigh bone connected to the chicken wing... Sorry!!!...
This is new to me.
Please excuse my ignorance... (And I CLAIM to be a piano tuner...BAH!)
That what you obviously understand and have studied, I have taken much for granted and just tune as I was taught and go with what my "gut"(?) feels.
Pianos to me do sound different, from make to model, from day to day, from climate to climate and I adjust them with few things in mind...
1. If the piano is below pitch... Raise it!
2. If the client wants the pitch to be at a certain herz rate... Accommodate!
3. Do your utmost to have clean unisons, octaves, double octaves, tripple octaves.
4. Make sure your temperament and intervals within this temperament... Be that whatever temperament you are using... Historical or not... Be as close to proper as is instrumentally possible(taking into account all thing within the pianos limitations, strings, regulation, soundboard, voicing etc. and deciphering them if at all possible)
I'm sure there are more things that I just can't think about at this moment that influence my methodology behind what I HAD considered my way at tuning....

Then comes the TuneLab....
WOW....
Not to be completely ignorant and a complete boor at considering myself a tuner, but I had heard about partials and inharmonicity and stretch and intervals and relationships and the likes, but never considered or even dreamed about actually being able not only to SEE them on a PHASE display or the SPECTRUM display, but to one day when I'm big, to even "Partially" understand them.
My hats off to you fellows for making this a study. I only hope that one day I'll be able to " open unisons" as I like or find the " heart" of a piano...
This I only hope for.
Again, my 15 or so years of diligently plodding away at what now seems a semi- fruitless endeavor in tuning is again as new to me as when I apprenticed and learned how to clean pedal systems or packed my artisans bag in awe of what he may be heading off to...
A long winded admission of how much I know...
Thinking now, not many of my clients(maybe 350 in total...) some being the recipients of scholarships to study music by winning competitions like the Unisa Piano competitions and Hennie Joubert international Piano Competition, have complained or looked down at my competence level at all. Thankfully...!

I would dearly love to know more and use it to my advantage personally.
There must be material that I can find or could be led to?
Or is this just something that gets practiced and deliberated over, over time?
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Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1987496 - 11/16/12 02:25 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Emmery Offline
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Isaac, I understand what your saying but I tend to concentrate my efforts with unisons more along the lines of long term usefulness/stability. To this end, I come to the conclusion that unless one is doing a concert tuning (perfection within a short time frame) it is best to get unisons as clean as possible and time will allow them to drift away slightly to get the same effect that you are looking for initially. Kind of like launching a rocket to the moon. Your best off aiming its trajectory to the exact center of it, so that if it wanders during its flight it still ends up nearby.
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Niagara Region

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#1987526 - 11/16/12 03:50 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
@Brendan, I cannot say how you tune but be persuaded that if your customers are happy you are doing well.

AT worst unisons that are a tad too straight anc closed will open and warm themselves because the piano will be played, so it may only be a temporary situation. (it may depend how the energy is driven from the start, but when aiming for maximum cleanness and maximum tone immediately, the evolving in time may go the good direction in my opinion)

Emmery, I am perfectly sure I aim for "clean" unison (I dont allow any beat even very slow to be noticed (particularly in the treble)

What I use most is an "energy sensor" that helps me to refine what I hear.

That way I can use what I feel thru the tuning lever, thru my fingers, my body, etc.

This gives the impression that unisons (at last) can be tuned "without listening" , because the energy is showing its quality and quantity in time in regard of your sensations of the hammer bumping on the strings. (that is amix, the ear came last, eventually)
It is also so much less tiring, and I believe I can tune unisons while listening the radio (with one ear) - not in noise, but in a quiet environment .
It is also possible , as showed me Alfredo, to focus more on the bending/twist of the tuning pin, than on the wire (as the job on the wire is done with the ears, and if you are slow enough to move the wire, you have the impression of absolute control on tone, once the twist/untwist motion of the pin is well in the body.

Tone wise it is as easy as :

Taking the energy provided by the hammer/finger (in the bass for instance light bumps of the hammer help the ear to focus on the good part of tone to work from)

have that energy rule/straighten the most thick part of the spectra the sooner possible in time.

focus on the partials,and decide how much coupling you allow for the 2nd 3d partial, then have it show up in the mix ass soon as possible.

Chase for false beats

The coupling energy, at any level, kill part of the differences in spectra (between strings) , but I believe we tend to kill more than necessary, the pitch of the partials very rarely can be coupled really for all partials plus fundamental, only on low ih Instruments as Faziolis or other with similar clear tone a little straight, tending toward 2nd partial and up more than fundamental.

The discrepancies between strings spectra is what allows the tone to be at the same time clean and stable

When tuning very slowly, the "window" of usable unison is really noticed and it is often surprising to discover how large it is. (similarly as for octaves, there is some room that allows to favor fundamental and strength of attack, or the more high partials.)
The energy taken from one goes toward the other, but a strong fundamental tend to drive the spectra , sort of adbsorbing the partials in its energy. that gives a strong but somehow "square" tone that can be useful, but tend to moan at Forte level,

SO we are anyway obliged to listen to the "tail" of the tone, if not, tuning unisons could be done very fast, as soon as the optimal energy level is noticed at the wanted moment after attack.

When I was less experimented, I noticed that listening to recordings I like helped me a lot, I had the tone in my ears and tuning with some imagination seem to sound always better than tuning in regard of an abstract scheme (unison wise, but the same can be said for 3ds, 4,5th etc..

The most important thing is to be absolutely confident in the pin manipulation, then every pin gives you some bonus and allow to cheat a bit, so in case of trouble you can use that.

Nethertheless, an identical bending/setting of each pin allows for the most strong and homogenous tone, that is why this is the primarly goal, to me... clean AND strong, and they go together, what we do in concert tuning (where the piano is regularely yet in tune when we begin) is to refresh the wire termination points when we manipulates the hammer to "warm" the tone.

Indeed an ETD would show "horrible" few tenths of cts, eventually, but, because I measured string by string the tuning of the most demanded tuner here (the one asked by the most prestigious musicians when they travel to Paris, to simplify) and I find extremes openings, so the tone is very brilliant, I know that compared with my unisons, they are really quiet and minimally opened (and I try to use the piano's own voice for its brilliancy,(sparkle) only a very little is added)

Unfortunately we are obliged to use some compromizing (as tempering and octaves stretch) if not we could allow the instrument to sing by itself all the harmonic content it have, but the justness would be unaccepted... But we can tune in a way where a note played is putting many others in motion (damped or not)

As a musician, I would admit I prefer an "inspired" tuning where the tuner follows an idea about consonance or his ears, to a "perfect" tuning following a theoretical scheme but lessening the reactions from the piano to a small part of the scale.

When tuning in high treble, we play really very fast repeatedly, as 6 times a second or more, so the energy (dissipates very fast) that raise when coupling is noticed.
the same process apply all along the keyboard, as one important part of the tone. When playing the finger may have access to that energy, that is how the pianist can manipulate the tone.
If it is not "tuned" of it it dissipate for coupling more the partials and the fundamental, the pianist have less tools at hand to manipulate the tone.

We can make a perfectly tuned piano that miss that discrete part, then the attack of the tone feels like an electrical shock if the hammers are dense, or damped,, the energy of the attack does not give the foundation for something.





Edited by Kamin (11/16/12 04:16 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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#1987559 - 11/16/12 05:16 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: Emmery]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Emmery
Isaac, I understand what your saying but I tend to concentrate my efforts with unisons more along the lines of long term usefulness/stability. it is best to get unisons as clean as possible and time will allow them to drift away slightly to get the same effect that you are looking for initially. Kind of like launching a rocket to the moon. Your best off aiming its trajectory to the exact center of it, so that if it wanders during its flight it still ends up nearby.


I trained hard to tune that way, anticipating the drift of each string, even before concerts, then I find my pin more firmly set after the piano have played.

I guess I understand what you are talking about too, and it relates to energy as well, you leave the energy in a condition where you feel that it cannot be less good in the future.

But I noticed it is possible to tune hoping for long term, what helps is the bending of the pin and the stress equilibrium between the pin and the wire .

In concert I believe we tend to leave a little extra so a too strong stroke will use it without lowering the unison audibly (one of my mentors told me that a too high strings will be less noticed than the opposite, in case the equilibrium is broke (the "node" is "untied" but the tension raise)

When I leave an unison I feel it is strong in that direction : if played strong no drift is expected, eventually a little more strong pin setting, so what I work is really the evening between the torque of the pin and the one of the wire...
_________________________
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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#1987713 - 11/17/12 06:50 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Here is a piano tuned for immediateness, that favor the attack, but the energy is like self crucnched for the sustain (I hear that more in the treble) :

http://youtu.be/_kER-kIOPQ8

When playing stronger, only the attack take the energy, the rest of the tone does not lenghten, on the contrary it sound like adbsorbed in a black hole... the piano can be in cause as well indeed


Edited by Kamin (11/17/12 07:00 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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#1987716 - 11/17/12 07:17 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
This piano sounds very Bright... Harsh even maybe? Or is that just Jazz!
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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#1987783 - 11/17/12 11:40 AM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Jazz indeed, also that could be apiano regulated with a large drop , raise the impact tone.

That kind of tuning is adapted to the music played anyway, but if some energy was left availeable for the thickening of the tone the piano would have more dynamics in my opinion.

it may be done by tuning a few miliseconds later after the inital "crak" , my mentor showed me how the ton e semm to go along the wire at fast speed then develop in the room (while a closed tone tend to go straight up to the ceiling)

imagination indeed...
_________________________
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
#1987834 - 11/17/12 02:08 PM Re: Aural versus electronic tuning [Re: SimplyBrendan]
SimplyBrendan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 25
Loc: South Africa
LOL! Imagine!
_________________________
Brendan Hamer
Simply Pianos

South Africa

www.simplypianos.co.za

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