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So I have a technician coming tomorrow to voice my piano and possibly do some other regulation if needed. I wanted to do before- and after- recordings and so I thought I'd let you in on it.
Assuming everything goes well tomorrow I'll have another video up shortly.
I had two Røde NT1-A microphones in a sloppy ORTF configuration about the same place as the camera. The piano is a Samick WSU-131MD.
It's kinda apathetic playing, but if you're interested, I played parts of Bach WTC Book 1 Fugue 13 Mozart Sonata 8 first movement Beethoven Sonata 23 first movement Chopin Ballade 1 Scriabin Fantaisie Op. 28
I'm not sure if I can do this, but overall I want to redistribute energy into the lower partials when playing soft, but still retain much of the brightness when playing fortissimo. It doesn't need to be so loud. This should also increase sustain. Not sure what I can do with the bass. Maybe I'm expecting too much from a 52'' upright, but the bass is noisier than I'd like. I'd like to be able to more easily tell which note is sounding.
Actually, you can change the sustain through voicing. I will often voice the lowest notes without dampers so that there is less sustain, evening them out. The proper ratio of stiffness of the tip of the hammer to the softness of the inner hammer affects sustain.
It's a bit inconvenient to record now, but I'll show you something interesting anyway.
There are little spots of...this stuff on the hammers from 1 to 88. I noticed when I checked on him when he was about done. I said "Are you bleeding?" and he didn't answer. He asked to use the restroom when he was about to leave, and I when I used it later I saw blood on the edge of the sink and on paper towels in the trash.
The dude came in with a bandage on one finger, so there are a few possibilities. He came in the morning and it took about 5 hours to voice my piano, so he might have been bleeding from a wound the day before or earlier, and was just bleeding through the bandage. Or he stabbed himself early on while voicing my piano, and just didn't stop bleeding. Or maybe this is just his way of restoring a bit of mass to my hammers.
I'm a bit surprised myself at how apathetic/mild my reaction is. Maybe because this piano has drawn my blood before.
Loc: New York City
I would be furious even though the blood may only be cosmetic and is not really visible on an upright. I wonder what, if anything, should be expected as far as the tech rectifying the situation? I don't see how the tech could be unaware of what was happening and how he could just blithely continue doing it?
I wonder why techs don't use some kind of protective glove on the hand holding the hammer or do they?
Loc: Georgia, USA
The voicing needles are sharp and you have to hold the hammer with your hands/fingers tightly (very close proximity) to penetrate the surface with the needles. Also, a slightly different result can be achieved by either stabbing hard and fast or poking slowly and carefully. Either way, it is a hazardous task.
I'll admit that getting blood (and leaving it there) on the hammers doesn't seem professional... though I’ve gotten my own blood on my own hammers.
Don't know if I could be a piano technician for a living... it is difficult and painstaking. A good piano technician is worth every dime they may charge.
Nice looking and sounding piano... does it sound a lot better to you?
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
There's no easy way to remove blood on felt either. Would have to sand it off. Amazing that he didn't discontinue working until the bleeding stopped. Most people are fussy about their pianos - especially the ones who call a tech to service them. Also strange that he would refuse to even acknowledge you when you asked him about it. It's a credit to you that you are not angry about this. Hope you can forget about it and enjoy the work he did. Does it sound better?
Loc: Philadelphia area
The voicing needle will sometimes break off in the hammer felt. I asked an old timer what he did when the the needle broke off. He said, "Oh I just pull it out with a pair of pliers." I responded wondering how he does that without harming the hammer felt. "You mean when they break off in the hammer? I thought you meant when they break off in my finger." Needless to say, I bought drinks that night.
"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Yes, it sounds better. Overall, there's no more of the "microsmack" that starts each note. It also sounds cleaner, somehow, perhaps because of that. The bass also sounds cleaner because all of the bichord hammers were striking them crooked, and so he aligned them. There were a few notes near the top that sounded kind of "zingy" like maybe something small and hard was striking them, or it was striking them crooked. So a bit earlier I was steaming them like this and it seems to have taken care of it. It might come back by the time I record though; not sure. I don't think one could expect much better out of this piano. Except maybe it being more in tune. I tuned it.
Voicing has nothing to do with amplification. If the cabinet was assembled while playing the instrument would not be as loud.
Originally Posted By: PianistOne111
This should also increase sustain.
Again voicing has to do with tone, bright to muddy and everything in between. Nothing to do with sustain.
Dan, how are you using the term 'voicing' are you using it to mean exactly the same as tone regulation??? The term voicing is a relatively recent borrowing from the organ world and can also mean relative strength of notes in a chord as played by a pianist among many things.
I only ask because comparative loudness and sustain of each note relative to the others is a major part of regulating the tone or/and voicing as I understand the terminology.
Amanda Reckonwith Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England. "in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.
Hello PianistOne111, you may not have realized that your YouTube videos are set to private viewing. I would be interested in hearing the difference. Can you set the videos for public viewing? Thanks, Tee