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#2029961 - 02/09/13 03:56 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: Olek]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Olek
Well Dan why not floating the pitch, I question the tuning the users are left with on those high humidity rise.
When I tuned for schools the pitch was 444 445 after summer, if I lowered it to 440 I find it a 438 Hz in winter, and anything under 440 is not accepteable.

So before looking at your cts display you may want to think about the condition of the tuning in regard to humidity of the day .

Indeed after some time you may well finish with less variations than on the beginning, but for instance lower the pitch 30 cts ?


The great idea of any lazy tuner (I believe we are all wink is to allow the work to be as simple and fast as possible.

Some places where I tuned pianos had a 28% HR in winter with very high temperature, dspite that I dont recall having so large pitch changes, indeed we are in a moderate climate in summer , with 65 % HR +- occasionally 70 on rainy days.

A piano have its own stability, the role of the tuner is to find it


That's worth repeating.

A piano has its own stability. The rôle of the tuner is to find it.

(and put it where a musician can use it) goes without saying.

If the piano is allowed to float, you will cut the range of pitch variation by approximately half immediately and over years of doing just this, by not continually jacking the pitch around by gross amounts, the piano will reward you by reducing its pitch variation even more all by itself.

This will also make the piano more useable by musicians more of the time with a bit less wear and tear on the piano and the tuner.

Repeat after me three times;

A piano has its own stability, the rôle of the tuner is to find it.

It's the best way I've ever heard it said.

Thanks. Isaac.

_________________________
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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#2030221 - 02/10/13 02:14 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1067
Loc: PA
I agree that floating the pitch is best for the piano. I have asked and explained. But, I am not allowed to do so. They want it tuned at A440 every time.

It's their piano, not mine.

"Mine is not to question why..."
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2030247 - 02/10/13 03:36 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3319
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
I agree that floating the pitch is best for the piano. I have asked and explained. But, I am not allowed to do so. They want it tuned at A440 every time.

It's their piano, not mine.

"Mine is not to question why..."


If only floated a relatively small amount, your clients will never know unless they use the piano with other instruments.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2030276 - 02/10/13 05:49 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7189
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
I agree that floating the pitch is best for the piano. I have asked and explained. But, I am not allowed to do so. They want it tuned at A440 every time.

It's their piano, not mine.

"Mine is not to question why..."


Joe, I understand, but let's see things differntly :

You are the professional and you know what is good for them, they don't.

So it is a better service to them in the end not to respect bad instructions, they don't know why they give them exactly, in the end. (or you have to evaluate that part too)

Only in recording studios where non numeric samples where used, or with a singer, we really have to respect a precise pitch.

All other situations, the less we move the piano the better , of course in a small pitch window.

anyway the first warming of the place will change your pitch, so I consider that the instrument is priority, on standards.

As you like experiments, you can propose them to experiment some pitch float, I believe that you will show them (as you have the data , which is excellent) in a year that it was worth the experiment.

DO you have the data for all A's (or C's) ? this may help to show them how the piano varies.


Edited by Olek (02/10/13 05:52 AM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2030278 - 02/10/13 06:02 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7189
Loc: France
A well conducted pitch floating will reduce the range of the out of tuness from the whole scale initially, to a small few octaves place where the pitch change is more apparent.

But it goes progressively . We can count on a 5 octave zone due for "real" tuning and the rest just for tweaking, after some time (years/months, depending ...)

I sold the schools I work with cheap "tuning corrections" that could be done in 30 minutes and often less.
This allowed to "train" the piano to his "natural" tuning , not allowing the instrument to move more than the moisture/heat conditions . I did not tune for schools for some time and lately I made a tuning while the weather was warm enough, but just prior the cold (which was expected)
I did a short stretched medium range, the cold came and go, then back, and the piano did not follow enough. I will tune it again in a few days.

The pianists will accept and extreme rise of stretch, but not the opposite .

I also believe there are "consonance nodes" that helps the instrument to stop moving at some point. the physics below that escapes me unfortunately, but I am very attentive to that while tuning...
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2030307 - 02/10/13 08:05 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Don't let the tail wag the dog. With the finest of pianos in the most demanding of circumstances in any major music centre in the world with the most pretentious of prima donnas.... The pitch has to float and it's going to drift around whether we like it or not. the piano is no respecter of our externally imposed pitch.

It will, however, work with us if we show just a little understanding.

The float range is whatever the local standard of pitch is, plus 1Hz. sharp. Never below standard. This way, the piano will not go below pitch except for seasonal changes.
pianos are quite comfortable floating inside this range with an occasional nudge or a general raise or lower a couple of times a year. This is for Internal spaces. Some orchestras have an open air venue in the warm months. This is often 2Hz higher than local with the same float range.

I have never known difficulties wih singers unless some fool tells them but from time to time, an electronics person in a studio will specify absolute 440. The last time this happened, the frequency of tuning had to be doubled and the pitch sometimes went below standard between tunings which was intolerable for orchestral musicians using the same studio. it turned out that the problem occurred when it had been tuned by an over stretching tuner that was with us for a while.

Most tuners only tune every few months on the same piano and are surprised at the between tunings vagaries when it is seen more often.

With you seeing the piano more often now, you are in charge so try a float. It can't be that fine but you can get away with 442. I have, when circumstances dictated. our standard is 440 but most of the musicians here work internationally so it's easier here.

We're all here supporting you so you won't have to float alone.


Edited by rxd (02/10/13 08:25 AM)
_________________________
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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#2030713 - 02/10/13 06:23 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1067
Loc: PA
I agree with everything that has been said on floating the pitch. Rxd, i really do appreciate "not having to float alone." smile LOL!

The arguments I receive (paraphrased) for tuning each time to A440 are:

1) "I have students here with perfect pitch. I know the piano will drift. But, I want it at A440 so they know the piano is correct immediately after tuning."

2a) "I want the piano tuned to A440 close to the concert date. I will be using other instruments with the piano. Let the piano drift from A440 after the concert."

Or...
2b) "I will be using the piano for rehearsal, and a keyboard on the actual stage. Let the rehearsal piano drift from A440 after the concert."

Edit: Basically, everything seems to be directed towards the concert dates for Fall concert and then the Spring concert, unless the piano has gone so far out that it's unusable. Then, the tuning schedule may vary a bit.

Edit: Btw, I have been chasing the pitch on this particular Kimball for many years. The tuning pins are still ridiculously tight... but that's a Kimball. smile


Edited by daniokeeper (02/10/13 06:38 PM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2030837 - 02/10/13 11:23 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Glad you enjoyed my last line, Joe. That particular double entendre only works on your side of the pond.

Yes, those 'reasons' are the usual imaginative self defeating notions that the average dilettante has about pitch.

I just thought that, since you are volunteering your time, you could show them how they could have a musically useable piano for much much more of the school year.

Don't even try to explain what you are doing, it only serves to confuse fixed notions. Students should be given the same conditions that are given to professionals.

Educate them and their teachers by guiding them to slowly realise things, as if all by themselves.

What Isaac, myself and others describe is the way that has been agreed on over the years between professional musicians and concert tuning departments all over the world in order to deal with an age old problem.

When I talk about the good of the piano, in this context, I refer only to it's stability and our duty to find it.
_________________________
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.



Top
#2030920 - 02/11/13 02:57 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: rxd]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1067
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: rxd
Glad you enjoyed my last line, Joe. That particular double entendre only works on your side of the pond.

Yes, those 'reasons' are the usual imaginative self defeating notions that the average dilettante has about pitch.

I just thought that, since you are volunteering your time, you could show them how they could have a musically useable piano for much much more of the school year.

Don't even try to explain what you are doing, it only serves to confuse fixed notions. Students should be given the same conditions that are given to professionals.

Educate them and their teachers by guiding them to slowly realise things, as if all by themselves.


What Isaac, myself and others describe is the way that has been agreed on over the years between professional musicians and concert tuning departments all over the world in order to deal with an age old problem.

When I talk about the good of the piano, in this context, I refer only to it's stability and our duty to find it.

[Emphasis added]


Yes, that really is the best way. Help them realize it on their own. Very wise advice. Thank you smile

For the time being though, I'll complete this initial experiment and see where it goes... if anywhere. If pitch stability seems to improve, then maybe I can continue without rocking any boats. If not, then I can try gently approaching them and seeing if they would like to "experiment" with floating the pitch.

But, I'm only able to do so many freebees. Whether or not they float the pitch, or have me chase the pitch, I start charging again after this particular experiment is over.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2030943 - 02/11/13 05:41 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Thanks, Joe, I understand that and I heartily applaud all those who do pro bono work. While none of us do it for reward, it has a funny old way of giving a greater return, sometimes 20 years later. This is not metaphysical, but simply the result of a giving nature. (although at one point, I began to suspect that you just might have shares in Milsek. But that betrays a hopefully small part of my nature).

Just while it's on my mind, I woke up this morning to a light dusting of snow. I had intended to go into my conservatoire real early this morning because I had noticed some pianos losing pitch.

Has anybody noticed that a heavy rainstorm might not affect the pitch of a piano much but even a light dusting of snow will immediately result in a slight raise in pitch? Or have I become the complete piano geek and really lost it?

Anyway, I decided that a another day of this will reduce my workload and stayed home letting the weather do my grunt work for me.

I did, however have a 9 o'clock tuning on a 9' that I have been tuning all week and presiding over a gradual loss of pitch. Yesterday, I noticed the pitch on 440.1 and fully expected to have to raise at least the middle this morning but the snow came and boosted the pitch to 440.35 leaving a few adjustments mainly around the breaks in the treble and a leisurely infinitesimal lowering the last octave of long steels and some of the covered strings.

I could slip my lever back in my pocket and walk away from an exemplary tuning in under 20 minutes.
_________________________
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.



Top
#2045338 - 03/09/13 01:36 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1067
Loc: PA
I went back tonight to measure, re-treat, and re-tune the piano.

This is how the A's drifted in cents from the last time:

A0 0.0
A1 -0.3
A2 +0.1
A3 -7.5
A4 -5.3
A5 -2.1
A6 -1.1
A7 -1.6

When measuring tonight, I measured the unisons, not individual strings. Close enough to let me know what's going on.

After measuring, I re-treated the board.

I re-leveled the pitch with one quick pass.

I then re-tuned the piano. Last time, I decided to go exactly with the VT. But, the octaves weren't as good as I'd like with the default VT stretches. So, I tried the other stretches suggested on the VT forum.

None of those seemed to get me close enough, either. So I decided on the "Simple Kaplan" Style and set the notes between A3 to A4, (the VT's temperament octave) strip muting the bass and tenor. I decided to try the "1/7 CM with 1 Pure 5th" temperament. Then, I tuned the rest of the piano by ear.

After using the Vt to set the temperament between A3 to A4, I expanded the temperament downward to A2. Not sure of how to expand a UT by ear only, I used the ascending 4th/descending 5th test compromising with the M3/M!0 test compromising with the octave/double octave test.

Then, I expanded downward to A1 using the same tests, as well as the single-octave/double-octave/triple-octave test.

Then upward to A5 using the same tests, as well as the single-octave/double-octave/triple-octave/quadruple-octave test.

Then , to A0. Then, to A6, to C8... finally verifying with the 2^x octave tests all over the keyboard as a last step.

Then I decided to measure and record the differences between where I put the As by ear, vs where the VT using the Simple Kaplan Style wanted them.

A0 +7.5
A1 -0.6
A2 -1.7
A3 +0.1
A4 0.0
A5 0.0
A6 +3.1
A7 +1.0

Yes, I noticed A3, too. The SK Style is the one that got the A3-A4 octave cleanest. So, I made due. Life is imperfect; life is short.

Edit: I think I'm going to create several more octave styles myself with the only consideration being choices for the A3-A4 octave. That way, I can set a UT by machine, then tune the rest of the piano by ear if necessary.

-Joe smile


Edited by daniokeeper (03/09/13 01:42 AM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2083429 - 05/16/13 12:23 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1067
Loc: PA
Well, the experiment is concluded.

I returned tonight after hours and tuned the piano. All the A's were about 9 cents high, except for A0 and A1 and A7, which were only about 7 cents high.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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