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#2137889 - 08/23/13 05:45 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: daniokeeper]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
I would think that the increased tension would tend to stiffen the board. So, I don't think it's that. Edit: unless it turns out that the responsiveness of this particular board is really optimized at a higher tension.

Though I have never tuned the Young 1799, I have absolutely found that various temperaments will affect the resonance and character of the piano, beyond just affecting the harmony. This is the main reason I personally use them.

I try to stay with temperaments that are very close to ET. Even the 1/10th CM, which might technically still be considered ET, affects the resonance.

Also, the way octaves are tuned... whether one takes a "local" approach, or a "global" approach across the whole keyboard.


Thanks. I am using (I think) a global approach to the octaves by aligning the 2,3,4,6 and 8 partials of the lower octaves and fifths to the note being tuned (2,3,4 and 6 within 1/2 bps and often using 8 as the actual tuning pitch). It really makes the sound clear and bell-like.

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#2137967 - 08/23/13 09:11 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1068
Loc: PA
I was thinking of a simpler approach.

If you tune aurally, incorporate multi-octave checks into all your other checks as you expand the temperament outwards. That is, check that all the A's sound correct by checking all the A's with each other in every possible pair... even A0 with A7. And all the A#'s, the B's, the C's, etc. Edit: If compromising the octaves messes with your various beat speed progressions, then tweak accordingly, even if you have to redo the temperament several times. This will create a "custom" tuning for exactly this piano.

Edit: This is "simpler", not faster.


Edited by daniokeeper (08/23/13 09:18 PM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2138148 - 08/24/13 08:43 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: daniokeeper]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1645
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
I was thinking of a simpler approach.

If you tune aurally, incorporate multi-octave checks into all your other checks as you expand the temperament outwards. That is, check that all the A's sound correct by checking all the A's with each other in every possible pair... even A0 with A7. And all the A#'s, the B's, the C's, etc. Edit: If compromising the octaves messes with your various beat speed progressions, then tweak accordingly, even if you have to redo the temperament several times. This will create a "custom" tuning for exactly this piano.

Edit: This is "simpler", not faster.


This is the "musical" approach used in hybrid tuning with any of the machines - no traditional aural skills required. The better the machine, the better the result. The concept is simply to help guide the machine to the appropriate stretch, then letting it divvy up the intervals between. The process is somewhat inside out from the traditional method of tuning, instead of focusing on the temperament and then spreading this octave to the rest, first treat the piano as if it only has 8 keys - all the A's, for example, then the machine can divide up the octaves to provide the tuning calculation.

Follow the directions on the software to provide the machine with the measurements it needs to calculate a tuning. Next pre-tune one string of the A's - as you go check all the combinations to see if the result is as an instrumentalist or singer would like.(Most machines treat the A's as special to place A4 at 440Hz, but any note can work) If there is any waver, the machine is your landmark, but go ahead and shift the note flat and sharp to see if you can find a better location. If so, instruct the software to adjust the tuning to match.

Again, the calculation at the break and across the range of the piano depends on the sophistication of the software - some electronic tuning devices may never be able to achieve this adjustment, except on the bigger instruments.

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

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


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#2138153 - 08/24/13 09:07 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: RonTuner]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7424
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
I was thinking of a simpler approach.

If you tune aurally, incorporate multi-octave checks into all your other checks as you expand the temperament outwards. That is, check that all the A's sound correct by checking all the A's with each other in every possible pair... even A0 with A7. And all the A#'s, the B's, the C's, etc. Edit: If compromising the octaves messes with your various beat speed progressions, then tweak accordingly, even if you have to redo the temperament several times. This will create a "custom" tuning for exactly this piano.

Edit: This is "simpler", not faster.


This is the "musical" approach used in hybrid tuning with any of the machines - no traditional aural skills required. The better the machine, the better the result. The concept is simply to help guide the machine to the appropriate stretch, then letting it divvy up the intervals between. The process is somewhat inside out from the traditional method of tuning, instead of focusing on the temperament and then spreading this octave to the rest, first treat the piano as if it only has 8 keys - all the A's, for example, then the machine can divide up the octaves to provide the tuning calculation.

Follow the directions on the software to provide the machine with the measurements it needs to calculate a tuning. Next pre-tune one string of the A's - as you go check all the combinations to see if the result is as an instrumentalist or singer would like.(Most machines treat the A's as special to place A4 at 440Hz, but any note can work) If there is any waver, the machine is your landmark, but go ahead and shift the note flat and sharp to see if you can find a better location. If so, instruct the software to adjust the tuning to match.

Again, the calculation at the break and across the range of the piano depends on the sophistication of the software - some electronic tuning devices may never be able to achieve this adjustment, except on the bigger instruments.



Ron Koval



We like to trust strongly in our dreams, it helps.
_________________________
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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#2138412 - 08/24/13 05:15 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Olek]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1645
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally Posted By: Olek



We like to trust strongly in our dreams, it helps.


Quite descriptive of many of the aural tuners I get to follow...!

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

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


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#2138432 - 08/24/13 05:54 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: RonTuner]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
I was thinking of a simpler approach.

If you tune aurally, incorporate multi-octave checks into all your other checks as you expand the temperament outwards. That is, check that all the A's sound correct by checking all the A's with each other in every possible pair... even A0 with A7. And all the A#'s, the B's, the C's, etc. Edit: If compromising the octaves messes with your various beat speed progressions, then tweak accordingly, even if you have to redo the temperament several times. This will create a "custom" tuning for exactly this piano.

Edit: This is "simpler", not faster.


This is the "musical" approach used in hybrid tuning with any of the machines - no traditional aural skills required. The better the machine, the better the result. The concept is simply to help guide the machine to the appropriate stretch, then letting it divvy up the intervals between. The process is somewhat inside out from the traditional method of tuning, instead of focusing on the temperament and then spreading this octave to the rest, first treat the piano as if it only has 8 keys - all the A's, for example, then the machine can divide up the octaves to provide the tuning calculation.

Follow the directions on the software to provide the machine with the measurements it needs to calculate a tuning. Next pre-tune one string of the A's - as you go check all the combinations to see if the result is as an instrumentalist or singer would like.(Most machines treat the A's as special to place A4 at 440Hz, but any note can work) If there is any waver, the machine is your landmark, but go ahead and shift the note flat and sharp to see if you can find a better location. If so, instruct the software to adjust the tuning to match.

Again, the calculation at the break and across the range of the piano depends on the sophistication of the software - some electronic tuning devices may never be able to achieve this adjustment, except on the bigger instruments.

Ron Koval

My sense, as a amateur, is that aural tuners set the initial temperament octave+, using the iH of the piano in that octave, to achieve the theoretical beats rates for the temperament they are tuning. Do most good ETDs also adjust the frequencies of the notes away from the mathematically derived temperament in order to achieve the desired beat rates, which is, after all, what we want to hear? Dirk's tuner definitely does this, and I am doing it as well, just using the measured iH.

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#2138447 - 08/24/13 06:43 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1068
Loc: PA
If working aurally in ET, the tuner may experiment with different octave types i the tepmerament,or some compromise between them, to try to achieve a good "global" custom tuning for the specific instrument. He may expand the temperament outwards somewhat, and then find that problems are developing.

The tuner can choose a certain octave type for the temperament octave, or, even choose tune that octave type somewhat wide or narrow, whatever gives the best result across the whole keyboard.

If working in a UT, beat speed progressions, etc. might not be so critical. So, good "multi-octave" checks "might" be the main consideration, depending on how things develop.

Edit: It's trial and error when working aurally. Tweak tweak tweak as quickly as possible. At least, that has been my experience.


Edited by daniokeeper (08/24/13 06:46 PM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2138540 - 08/24/13 10:55 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
plunkit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/01/13
Posts: 20
Duane,

Go to Stevespianoservice.com. Look for the CD they sell that has their catalog and a DIY guide to repairs, and a thing called "Tunelab 97-3.07". I think you pay $20 for the CD and the CD has the Tunelab97 program on it.

If you install it and read the instructions and like it, you are asked to send an additional $34 to the inventor of the program.

I don't know how this program compares with the ET outfits used by the pros. I have used it on a couple old uprights of mine and it seems to work...at least to my untrained ear.
_________________________
beginning tinkerer

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#2138626 - 08/25/13 04:25 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Mwm]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Question to all you tuners out there. When I moved my piano from ET to Young 1799, I did not make an adjustment to maintain the overall tension. It is now slightly higher. I found that as I moved the pitch to the new temperament in the C6 to C8 range, the individual string would start to ring and have longer sustain than at the old tension. Is this normal? Is it a result of the increased tension? Am I just thinking it is different?


The observant tuner will have noticed, sooner or later that just the act of re-setting a pin will alter the tone quality of a string that hasn't been tuned for some time. it will increase sustain, volume and brilliance.

Multiply this by three and simply retuning an already in tune note that hasn't been tuned for some time will bring out the qualities that you have observed in isolated notes.
_________________________
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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#2138649 - 08/25/13 05:59 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7424
Loc: France
more tension also lower the ih audibly, making the tone better defined.

the wire is more elastic then. I doubt it change much the down bearing, at +- 1.5 % of the tension used as force on the bridge.

the more efficient mechanical behaviour of the wire must be what makes the sound cleaner.

what may remain in the "better tone category" is sympathetic resonance due to better matching between partials in different intervals.
_________________________
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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#2138683 - 08/25/13 08:51 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Olek]
Chuck Behm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 667
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Duane - I imagine that by now you're somewhat amazed (and confused) by the thicket of responses you've received to your simple, one sentence question. You asked for information on electronic tuners, and the answers (predictably) veered off on a tangent having more to do with aural tuning. Not what you asked, obviously.

Ignoring most of what's been said already, I've got several practical suggestions of how to get started. I started my own business years ago, but I'm approximately your age now (I'm 63) so I have a sense of where you're at in life.

1. Go ahead and buy a inexpensive tuner for starters. You'll want to upgrade this before you began tuning for a fee (I'll explain shortly), but it will be fine to begin with. What you'll need practice on at first is learning to control the tuning hammer and set the tuning pins. This is a skill that comes only with practice, and it's trickier than it looks.

The tuning hammer is a deceptive in appearance. It looks as if it should be simple to use, but it's not. Compare it to a set of drumsticks - nothing could be simpler, right. If that were so, one could hand a set of drumsticks to a non-drummer and say, "Play like Joe Morello." (Check the tape out, and advance to 4:45 in if you would like to see why this would be a problem). You can learn to bang a drum with a set of drumsticks in a few seconds. Learning to play like Joe did would take much, much longer.

Likewise, (and no matter how you learn to set a temperament), you'll need practice getting the feel for your tuning hammer - lots of it. Anyone can yank a tuning hammer to the right or the left. Doing it with the necessary finesse, and learning to feel and control the almost imperceptible movement of the pin and the strings over the friction points takes a great deal of practice.

What I would suggest you do is to go around to all the churches in your community, and offer to tune any pianos which they have which are not currently being used or tuned - pianos tucked away in storage rooms, classrooms, etc. Practically every church has a few of those. Don't tune their good pianos - you're not going to make any friends in the tuning community by taking someone's regular tunings. Just those instruments which are being ignored.

While you're practicing tuning, give aural tuning a try. Hopefully you have literature on various aural techniques and checks - see if you have a talent for it. If you do, and the learning proves to come naturally, more power to you. If not, don't despair. Just keep practicing you hammer technique, working on your control in setting the pin.

2. If it looks as if you're going to want to use an ETD for tuning, start saving for a good quality tuner. What you want is one that you calibrate to the piano, such as the Verituner that I use. Before you charge for a single tuning, you're going to want a good quality machine.

Why do you need a high price tuner? Imagine you weren't going into the piano tuning business, but instead you were starting an auto body business. To save money when you begin, you buy a 55 gallon drum of red paint, a drum of green paint, a drum of blue paint, etc. Now, whenever you repair a fender or body panel and it needs repainting, you stand back and ask yourself what one of your paint colors would look the best. If it's anything you might call "red" you tap into the drum of red paint. Anything greenish, and you tap your green drum, etc. You get the picture, I'm sure. Would your customers be happy? Of course not. The customer isn't going to want a paint color that's fairly close - they will want the color that matches.

In a similar way, each piano needs to be tuned so that the tuning matches the instrument. Because of a factor called inharmonicity of the strings (which has already been touched on) every piano will have a unique tuning signature which you will need to discover. A cheap electronic tuner will be incapable of doing this - it will just give you a generic, one size fits all type of tuning. A good quality machine that reads and records the vibration rates of the partials of each string will be able to calculate a temperament which is very pleasing to the ear.

3. Even if you tune using a machine to set the temperament, learn to use your ear. You'll be able to want to tune unisons by ear, and you'll need to be able to listen to chords and scales to make sure your tuning is on track. Occasionally, my Verituner will zero in on a partial of the note I'm tuning instead of the fundamental tone, and give me an erroneous reading. I play the note I'm tuning with the thumb of my left hand, while constantly checking the lower octave and fifth, so if it's wrong, I catch it immediately. Contrary to what's been said, you don't have to have a working knowledge of aural tuning to be able to catch mistakes (just as one wouldn't have to know all the details of the workings of the internal combustion engine to be able to recognize that his car engine wasn't running right) - you do however need to be able to listen.

Duane, I'm not in anyway saying not to learn to tune aurally, but what I'm saying is that you can do well for yourself as a tuner even if you don't. Using myself as an example, I tuned 4 pianos on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, 6 on Thursday, another 6 on Friday, and 5 yesterday. Monday I worked on a piano in the shop getting it ready for delivery - the only reason I wasn't out tuning was because I had shop work needing done.

4. After you've practiced on enough pianos (say an even 100) and you've upgraded your equipment to a more professional level (or have made the jump to aural tuning), then hang your shingle and start charging for your tuning. When you finished tuning a piano, then book the next tuning ahead whenever possible for either 6 months in the future or a year. Most customers appreciate being able to put the date of the next tuning on their calendar - of the 25 tunings I did this week, all 25 are prebooked for next year.

Again, good luck with your new career. Take everything said on this forum (including what I've just explained) with a grain of salt. No one has all the answers - you need to think for yourself and do what's right for you. Chuck







Edited by Chuck Behm (08/25/13 09:03 AM)
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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#2138701 - 08/25/13 10:19 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7424
Loc: France
if you want to learn tuning to make money I suppose it is possible that way. I you want to be really a tuner, and do a work that count for musicians, this is another story.

basic tuning is generally accepted, but the people that are used to listen to music discover when a really good tuner works on their piano that is is a totally different result. Even some not so much musicians are surprised and wonder what have been done so their piano sound so much better.

Then professionals musicians notice how long your work is holding, and from some "tuners" it is really not long.
_________________________
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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#2138710 - 08/25/13 10:38 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Olek]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Olek
more tension also lower the ih audibly, making the tone better defined.

the wire is more elastic then. I doubt it change much the down bearing, at +- 1.5 % of the tension used as force on the bridge.

the more efficient mechanical behaviour of the wire must be what makes the sound cleaner.

what may remain in the "better tone category" is sympathetic resonance due to better matching between partials in different intervals.


Thanks Isaac and RXD (and others here) for your insight and experience. I am enjoying, immensely, tuning my piano. I use a frequency meter to monitor my progress, but I do tune aurally, and find matching the partials fascinating, and frustrating. The ear/brain interface is odd and can be deceiving. Over the past year I have improved setting the pins, and now, when I tune, need to tune just a few unisons. I spent the time and money to achieve a very stable humidity/temp environment in the house which has really stabilized the piano.

I thought when I moved the temperament from ET to Young 1799, the piano would become unstable for a while. That does not seem to be the case. There are a few treble unisons that have moved slightly over three weeks, but otherwise it is very stable, for which I am pleased.

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#2138719 - 08/25/13 11:03 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Olek]
Chuck Behm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 667
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Quote:
"Then professionals musicians notice how long your work is holding, and from some "tuners" it is really not long." Isaac


Isaac - This is exactly my point about learning to use the tuning hammer properly, which is a skill apart from the tuner's method of determining the point at which to set each note. Whether done by using his own human ear, or by making use of a digital "ear" if the tuner is not able to adjust set the pin so that the tuning lasts, his skills in setting the temperament will be for naught.

Furthermore, with a professional quality electronic tuner, a tuner with excellent tuning hammer technique can certainly do work that will "count for musicians," as you put it. After calibrating my Verituner to the piano I'm tuning, I can strike a single note anywhere on the piano, and it will tell me to 1/10 of a cent how much adjustment needs to be made. My human ear can not duplicate that feat - maybe yours can, but not mine - not to one tenth of a cent. Also, my Verituner can measure and record the vibration rate of the partials of each string - out to the 8th partial - and use that information to find the "sweet spot" for the fundamental tone for each note, where everything will best blend together. I can remember a few numbers in my head (my wife's phone number, for example), but the vibration rate of every partial for every note?! Plus, my tuner stores that information for over 500 pianos!

The human ear will recognize and appreciate a beautifully crafted temperament, no matter if the tuner constructs that temperament using his aural tuning abilities, or by using a state-of-the-art electronic tuner. The idea that a digital tuner cannot replicate what the human ear is capable of is to me nonsense. A temperament is, after all, a mathematical construct in which all the vibration rates of all the fundamental and partials of all the strings of the piano are set to complement each other in the best possible way. When it comes to building a temperament based on mathematical principles, for my money I'll go with the computing power of a digital device. On the other hand, when it comes to appreciating and enjoying the beauty of the temperament thus constructed, the human mind is unparalleled.

At the completion of every tuning I give, I spend 10 - 15 minutes just playing the piano, for my own enjoyment and for that of my customers (they have all come to expect it). The fact that I set the temperament of the piano with the aid of an electronic tuner in no respect diminishes the musicality thus attained. Chuck Behm
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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#2138721 - 08/25/13 11:12 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Chuck Behm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Chuck,
The issue I have with ETDs is that, while an ETD may measure the iH of every note on the piano, unless the ETD has a way of finding the actual frequencies of the notes that will result in the lowest possible entropy over the whole piano, then it is still necessary to tune aurally. My approach of using a spreadsheet to look at and align every note on the piano to achieve the lowest entropy is a poor man's (insert untalented or inexperienced here) algorithm attempting to imitate a professional aural tuning.

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#2138724 - 08/25/13 11:17 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7424
Loc: France
Chuck, what I noticed is that the digital "ear" is not precise enough for the setting. the display moves too much unless you wait a lot to tune.

That is strange, as the digital precision is higher than the ear if the idea is to compare pitches.

If I use an ETD I am well certain I need my "tuner's ear" to tune.

The problem with ETD's is that they are long to decode, from vision to brain, while the ear is very fast and we tune with the whole body, so we know things that the ETD only lightly touch with a finger.

I am sure that, depending of the moment you choose to be right (after the initial crash) . The pitch will differ a little.

One may be capable at last to judge what he is doing. ETD make us lazy, and we do not use checks then. only at the end of the job the tuning is checked, and a second pass is often necessary.

An experienced tuner have very little left for a second pass.

I was a never ending "tweaker", (mostly for unison but not only) and this is not the solution for stability. The one is to be able to understand how the piano is moving during the tuning (as ETD with "overpull" mode).

This is again something that implies experience and trained ear.

ETD helps to see/understand what happen when the pitch is changed, but knowing that the piano slips a cent or more in the soprano region while tuning does not help if the ear is not trained to recognize that immediately when playing an interval.

being confident in the pin setting and the wire allow to have some luck in prediction.

Now there are pianos that have too thin long plate brace, but this is another problem.
_________________________
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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#2138725 - 08/25/13 11:22 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Olek]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Olek
Chuck, what I noticed is that the digital "ear" is not precise enough for the setting. the display moves too much unless you wait a lot to tune.

That is strange, as the digital precision is higher than the ear if the idea is to compare pitches.

If I use an ETD I am well certain I need my "tuner's ear" to tune.

The problem with ETD's is that they are long to decode, from vision to brain, while the ear is very fast and we tune with the whole body, so we know things that the ETD only lightly touch with a finger.

I am sure that, depending of the moment you choose to be right (after the initial crash) . The pitch will differ a little.

One may be capable at last to judge what he is doing. ETD make us lazy, and we do not use checks then. only at the end of the job the tuning is checked, and a second pass is often necessary.

An experienced tuner have very little left for a second pass.

I was a never ending "tweaker", (mostly for unison but not only) and this is not the solution for stability. The one is to be able to understand how the piano is moving during the tuning (as ETD with "overpull" mode).

This is again something that implies experience and trained ear.

ETD helps to see/understand what happen when the pitch is changed, but knowing that the piano slips a cent or more in the soprano region while tuning does not help if the ear is not trained to recognize that immediately when playing an interval.

being confident in the pin setting and the wire allow to have some luck in prediction.

Now there are pianos that have too thin long plate brace, but this is another problem.


There is still the issue of unisons. Only the ear can find the right balance of pitch, tone, and compromise needed due to false beats and vibrational modes of the string.

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#2138726 - 08/25/13 11:26 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Chuck Behm]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7424
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Chuck Behm
Quote:
"Then professionals musicians notice how long your work is holding, and from some "tuners" it is really not long." Isaac


Furthermore, with a professional quality electronic tuner, a tuner with excellent tuning hammer technique can certainly do work that will "count for musicians," as you put it. After calibrating my Verituner to the piano I'm tuning, I can strike a single note anywhere on the piano, and it will tell me to 1/10 of a cent how much adjustment needs to be made. My human ear can not duplicate that feat - maybe yours can, but not mine - not to one tenth of a cent. Also, my Verituner can measure and record the vibration rate of the partials of each string - out to the 8th partial - and use that information to find the "sweet spot" for the fundamental tone for each note, where everything will best blend together. I can remember a few numbers in my head (my wife's phone number, for example), but the vibration rate of every partial for every note?! Plus, my tuner stores that information for over 500 pianos!



Chuck, I used it for years, and was persuaded of the quality, but now I recognize a tuning done with it (sometime) and even my friend that use it daily yet, told me he uses it only as a money making tool. He had to be used with the progression proposed, which is really near what does a good tuner indeed, but still sound a little "generic" in the end, for lack of better word.

Mostly because the usual checks are not done. If done you are soon in a conflict as you wish to make something different , very often.

The tuner is supposedly right by taking in account a larger span, but does not provide as much consonance as is done aurally. the scheme is perceived even if not clear, not as decoded as, for instance with the SAT, where the precise following of the 3th partial by the dispay is audible in the tuning.

I believe that aurally we use more congruence, and also listen more to the tone return in the room.

I said it yet but the only ETD that provide something similar is the one from Dirk I tested. Possible because it is not considering from the start that partials are viable measuring tools for tuning.

Best regards
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#2138731 - 08/25/13 11:35 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Mwm]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7424
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Chuck,
The issue I have with ETDs is that, while an ETD may measure the iH of every note on the piano, unless the ETD has a way of finding the actual frequencies of the notes that will result in the lowest possible entropy over the whole piano, then it is still necessary to tune aurally. My approach of using a spreadsheet to look at and align every note on the piano to achieve the lowest entropy is a poor man's (insert untalented or inexperienced here) algorithm attempting to imitate a professional aural tuning.


that is the good point of view in my opinion. while most ETD are based on partial match theory, which is perfect as a theory, and would work perfectly on perfet strings and soundboards.

The point in basses is that it is apparently impossible to make 2 wound strings that will have a similar spectra / iH.

This is audible and enlarge the tone of bichords, and makes it very difficult to tune a 3 wound string unison.

A similar thing exists in plain wire, sometime it was even done voluntarily to create sparkle.

Then if using a computation as you do, or an entropy based ETD as Dirk's tuner, it must be "important" to tune from the same string that was used for evaluation of partials pitches.

Those pitches are supposed to change depending of the force of the blow, in basses. Did you recognize such effect when measuring ?

Regards


Edited by Olek (08/25/13 11:36 AM)
_________________________
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#2138736 - 08/25/13 11:48 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7424
Loc: France
CHuck ,with some hammer technique, a VT based tuning will certainly sound better than a sloopy aural one, hence making the difference in a positive way in some places.

The training for tuners here is 2 years and they all tune to a professional level, they really are well trained and do not loose time as it can be with self learning.

I very rarely match similar inexistent quality tunings as 20 years ago.

More then that , sometime the precedent tuner left the pins springy and my job is really easy, I only have to put my shoes in the last one, and it is clear he used the same technique than me, the pins are very tight , even a few years later, and the pitch is good (assuming the piano is not new/recent)

The last vertical I tuned that showed those conditions was not tuned in 3-4 years. I had less than 12 notes to really "tune" (change the pitch more than for unison tuning)

I believe that today we know how to describe what happens in the panel, the plate, the wire, tuning pin and block, and what is the final goal.

Different techniques are used mostly for tweaking, the foundations are really similar assuming the goal is extreme firmness and stability (which is not the case on Forte or instruments that need to be tuned often or in different temperaments)

there is an alphabet of tuning lever orientations to compensate the different situations.

For the techniques every one uses one that fit his taste, but I believe that some are really more fast and more efficient it is dictated by the final goal.
_________________________
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#2138740 - 08/25/13 12:03 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Olek]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Olek
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Chuck,
The issue I have with ETDs is that, while an ETD may measure the iH of every note on the piano, unless the ETD has a way of finding the actual frequencies of the notes that will result in the lowest possible entropy over the whole piano, then it is still necessary to tune aurally. My approach of using a spreadsheet to look at and align every note on the piano to achieve the lowest entropy is a poor man's (insert untalented or inexperienced here) algorithm attempting to imitate a professional aural tuning.


that is the good point of view in my opinion. while most ETD are based on partial match theory, which is perfect as a theory, and would work perfectly on perfet strings and soundboards.

The point in basses is that it is apparently impossible to make 2 wound strings that will have a similar spectra / iH.

This is audible and enlarge the tone of bichords, and makes it very difficult to tune a 3 wound string unison.

A similar thing exists in plain wire, sometime it was even done voluntarily to create sparkle.

Then if using a computation as you do, or an entropy based ETD as Dirk's tuner, it must be "important" to tune from the same string that was used for evaluation of partials pitches.

Those pitches are supposed to change depending of the force of the blow, in basses. Did you recognize such effect when measuring ?

Regards


The measured iH changes significantly depending on the force of the blow. One has to decide what is the best blow to find a reasonable iH measurement. The averaging technique used by TuneLab is, IMO, not accurate. It does not appear to remove highly inaccurate tests from the average, though the user can discard all of the tests and start over. I prefer to record the measurements on paper (having a wife is useful) and do my own averaging.

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#2138776 - 08/25/13 01:38 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: daniokeeper]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 166
Loc: South Jersey
_________________________
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Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#2138802 - 08/25/13 02:18 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1068
Loc: PA
Actually, a little sub-topic developed regarding tuning and increased sustain.

You cannot divorce electronic tuning from aural tuning theory. Having a basic understanding of what an aural tuner does will certainly help maximize the quality of the results that an ETD-only user can achieve.

It is at least as relevant as the other sub-topic that has been introduced here regarding hammer technique.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2138814 - 08/25/13 02:43 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1068
Loc: PA
Btw, there was a project...

Ultratune

which is a project that is (was?) being developed as free and open source piano tuning software.

The link was (is?) www.ultratune.nl

When I attempt to go there, the page just hangs interminably. This might be something to investigate if you are looking for piano tuning software that is free.

Perhaps the developer has moved on. Or, maybe the site is being blocked.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2138815 - 08/25/13 02:44 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: BenP]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
The question was answered by the first few posters, but the question itself was facile and needed a more complex and useful answer. It was like asking Michelangelo what brand of chisel he uses.


Edited by Mwm (08/25/13 05:01 PM)

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#2138829 - 08/25/13 03:00 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1645
Loc: Chicagoland
Chuck - really great write-up!

Mwm and Olek - not sure either of you really delved into what was possible with the software you used. I've heard back from the developer of the Verituner software that most of the owners simply put it on "Average" and tune away... (that after requesting more user-controls over various partial matching blending..)

Just as there are levels of aural tuning, there are those that push the envelope of what is possible with electronic tuning devices. The comparison of an "out of the box" standard tuning to a custom approach is similar to a "tooner" with a fork and a outdated aural approach, to one of the real aural artist in our field.

Duane, if you have an "i device" (iphone, ipod touch, etc) there are some cheap single partial tuning apps that can get you started on the lever technique to train stability and control. A lot of people use Cleartune, but I prefer the strobosoft by Peterson - it handles noise a bit better and is a little better at note finding - you'll want to be able to focus on the cents display and see how close to 0.0 you can reliably get the string to stay. It's tempting to just get the bars ALMOST stopped - the numbers don't let you do that!

When dealing with the simple tuners, try setting an Eb4-Eb5 temperament with A4 in the middle. (you could expand that to D4 - E5 to start hearing the quality of the fifths and fourths too) There is hardly any stretch in that octave and it can allow you the ear training of listening for the octaves and then octave + fifth to match in assisting finding a decent stretch for the piano.

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

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


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#2138837 - 08/25/13 03:10 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: RonTuner]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Chuck - really great write-up!

Mwm and Olek - not sure either of you really delved into what was possible with the software you used. I've heard back from the developer of the Verituner software that most of the owners simply put it on "Average" and tune away... (that after requesting more user-controls over various partial matching blending..)

Just as there are levels of aural tuning, there are those that push the envelope of what is possible with electronic tuning devices. The comparison of an "out of the box" standard tuning to a custom approach is similar to a "tooner" with a fork and a outdated aural approach, to one of the real aural artist in our field.

Duane, if you have an "i device" (iphone, ipod touch, etc) there are some cheap single partial tuning apps that can get you started on the lever technique to train stability and control. A lot of people use Cleartune, but I prefer the strobosoft by Peterson - it handles noise a bit better and is a little better at note finding - you'll want to be able to focus on the cents display and see how close to 0.0 you can reliably get the string to stay. It's tempting to just get the bars ALMOST stopped - the numbers don't let you do that!

When dealing with the simple tuners, try setting an Eb4-Eb5 temperament with A4 in the middle. (you could expand that to D4 - E5 to start hearing the quality of the fifths and fourths too) There is hardly any stretch in that octave and it can allow you the ear training of listening for the octaves and then octave + fifth to match in assisting finding a decent stretch for the piano.

Ron Koval

If the OP wants a very good, idiot proof software that will produce a near concert-level tuning without having to make any choices regarding setup, he should definitely purchase Dirk's Tuner. It is great for a single piano, or if you only tune a few. I would not recommend it for the professional, unless you want to measure the iH of every note on every piano you tune.
Is that a clear enough answer?

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#2139083 - 08/26/13 06:29 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: RonTuner]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7424
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Chuck - really great write-up!

Mwm and Olek - not sure either of you really delved into what was possible with the software you used. I've heard back from the developer of the Verituner software that most of the owners simply put it on "Average" and tune away... (that after requesting more user-controls over various partial matching blending..)

Just as there are levels of aural tuning, there are those that push the envelope of what is possible with electronic tuning devices. The comparison of an "out of the box" standard tuning to a custom approach is similar to a "tooner" with a fork and a outdated aural approach, to one of the real aural artist in our field.

Duane, if you have an "i device" (iphone, ipod touch, etc) there are some cheap single partial tuning apps that can get you started on the lever technique to train stability and control. A lot of people use Cleartune, but I prefer the strobosoft by Peterson - it handles noise a bit better and is a little better at note finding - you'll want to be able to focus on the cents display and see how close to 0.0 you can reliably get the string to stay. It's tempting to just get the bars ALMOST stopped - the numbers don't let you do that!

When dealing with the simple tuners, try setting an Eb4-Eb5 temperament with A4 in the middle. (you could expand that to D4 - E5 to start hearing the quality of the fifths and fourths too) There is hardly any stretch in that octave and it can allow you the ear training of listening for the octaves and then octave + fifth to match in assisting finding a decent stretch for the piano.

Ron Koval


Ron, I liked the logic of using the VT without the usual octave stretch regulation. When I was using it it was mostly on concert pianos, following 5 other tuners, and the use of the VT have modified the tuning from others, as well as their tuning was considered more important than what the VT was proposing.

The VT software cannot get rid of a first initial octave, the way that one is divided is influenced by external octaves. I do not agree even with the M3 progression within that A3-4 octave.

The way you where using different "recipes" and trying different things looked appealing, but what I could hear of the result was too far from what I was expecting. Plus your discourse as to be unnecessary to learn to listen to intervals, makes you look as a self taught that needed to be reassured about his own professionalism. Does not look too serious to me.

In the meantime you could have learned much, the abuse of the tool may have tweaked your perception of what is tuning- (as it begun for me before I stopped using those tools)

That use of the tool would have be really nice, but

The day I discovered that a pure M3 was better tuned by ear than with the VT, I knew the precision limit of the tool.
Same with pure 5ths.

The "ear" may not be as good as we thought.

One explanation that was given to me is that the iH curve discrepancies, false beats and other impurities at the single string level, was just adding some imprecision to the computing.

A tuner's ear auto correct those without noticing , and gives more congruence to tuning by the use preferred intervals as checks. (the own "recipe" of the tuner).

Even with Dirk's tuner one have to be a tuner to make the best job, but indeed there are less trouble, it is easier to agree with the result.








Edited by Olek (08/26/13 08:21 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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#2139105 - 08/26/13 08:17 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Mwm]
Chuck Behm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 667
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Quote:
"The issue I have with ETDs is that, while an ETD may measure the iH of every note on the piano, unless the ETD has a way of finding the actual frequencies of the notes that will result in the lowest possible entropy over the whole piano, then it is still necessary to tune aurally. My approach of using a spreadsheet to look at and align every note on the piano to achieve the lowest entropy is a poor man's (insert untalented or inexperienced here) algorithm attempting to imitate a professional aural tuning." - Mwm


Dear Mwm - I believe that as far as giving suggestions to the original poster, a man who is retiring from his factory job with the intent of starting a piano tuning business, your suggestions might be a bit impractical, at least if earning a living is a part of the outcome he's looking for. I tune pianos for a living, and in just a bit I'll be leaving to be driving to a town an hour away to tune 6 pianos. Imagine the problem I would have accomplishing this if I had to do a spreadsheet in the manner you're suggesting. I would be lucky if I was ready to tune a single piano by the end of the day!!

Besides that, to the best of my knowledge, the Verituner I use does pretty much what you're implying an electronic tuner isn't capable of. When I was looking for a new tuner to replace my worn out Tunemaster a decade or so ago (I'm fuzzy on the exact date), I called Dave Carpenter (the inventer) and had a interesting and informative discussion with him about the operation of his machine.

Anyone with more precise information feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but this is how I remember his description of its workings. The Verituner is first set to the piano by playing several notes, for which it recognizes and records the fundamental tone and the partials up to 3rd octave of the note being struck. It then sets up the initial tuning framework, taking the inharmonicity of the notes played into account and using algorithms to find the ideal temperament for the piano being tuned. As the piano is being tuned this initial time, the machine is keeping track of the partials of every note played, so that the temperament can be refined the second time it's tuned, by having the machine recalibrate according to the more complete information. In your own terms, the Verituner is creating the temperament which results in the "lowest possible entrophy."

My point is that for not only someone starting off, but for someone who's been in the field for a long, long time, this is really a great tool to have. When I'm out tuning pianos today in Humboldt, Iowa, using my Verituner to help set the temperament, I'm still the one in charge - I'm the one manning the tuning hammer. But as far as finding the ideal point to set each note of the temperament, I'm quite happy to allow my Verituner to do the mathematical calculations to guide me to a most satisfactory end point.

I want to thank you Mwm, and also you, Isaac, for carrying on a very civilized conversation about this topic. In the past I've seen this same topic, along with several others, spin out of control with sarcasm and name-calling. I respect your opinions (even when I don't agree with them) as I would hope you respect mine when you don't agree with me.

Well, I've got to break away from my computer here in a second to pack my lunch - otherwise I'll have a very long day without a meal! Best wishes, Chuck Behm


Edited by Chuck Behm (08/26/13 08:18 AM)
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#2139125 - 08/26/13 09:40 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Chuck Behm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Hi Chuck,

I agree my suggestion is impractical. I use it, as an experiment, on one piano only.

Even using my spreadsheet, or Dirk's tuner, or tuning aurally, the different iHs between the strings of a single note, especially the wound strings, means that, while the ETD will get me close to the pitch, my ear must find the best compromise amongst the strings of the same note.

I think we all agree that the real tuner is the one who wields the hammer, for that, in the end, is how the job is accomplished.

Cheers to all.

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