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#2320922 - 08/28/14 01:29 AM Tuning the 7th octave
AaronM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Sarasota FL
How do you tune the highest octave efficiently? Ive been getting as close as I can with an ETD, then playing scales to decide what sounds right. It seems pretty hard to hear a near perfect unison. Playing a scale seems to be the most decisive aural check. How much detail does this octave require?

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#2321004 - 08/28/14 07:51 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
David Jenson Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2136
Loc: Maine
That's the octave that separates the tuners from the tooners. Use any set of intervals that helps; anything from octaves to arpeggios, and protect your hearing always!

The piano makes a difference. Some are very coherent in the treble, some are more in the area of educated guesswork. Get as much detail as you can, but don't obsess.


Edited by David Jenson (08/28/14 08:02 AM)
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David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2321031 - 08/28/14 09:31 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7872
Loc: France
listen

You are playing yourself or you do that for someone else ? if you p)lay you may be able to hear if your high treble is good enough for you. If not I dont know what to say.

the upper notes are enhanced by the octaves and 12th under them

arpeggios are misleading. they nee to sound rifgt but if they sound too nice you have too much stretch

I am again supposing I talk to someone with . decent lever manipulation level.
after enough training and enough ^pianos tuned it is possible, not when beginning

there are forums where a short presentation of member sis mandatory.
A very good thing in my view, it should be the same here so we know what our time is worth.


Edited by Olek (08/28/14 09:38 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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#2321052 - 08/28/14 10:30 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8564
Loc: Georgia, USA
I'm not a pro, or even much of a tuner, but I use the ETD extensively on the upper-most treble. In fact, a lot of pianos I've played, except the best quality ones, don't even make much of a sound for those last few notes. My Yamaha C7 has the clearest and most noticeable upper treble of any piano I've played.

Also, I have to be really careful not to over pull those last few notes... you can almost breath on the tuning pins and it will affect the sound.

I do try to get those last few notes as close as possible, for the sake of thoroughness if nothing else. The machine helps a lot there...

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2321131 - 08/28/14 01:04 PM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1388
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Starting at F6 I use this triple octave test:

C#4F4 < C#4F5 < C#4F6 < C#4A#4 and C#4F6 = F3C#4

This test confirms:
C#4F4 < C#4F5 (Wide 4:2)
C#4F5 < C#4F6 (Wide 2:1)
C#4F6 < C#4A#4 (Tempered 12th)
C#4F6 = F3C#4 (Pure triple octave)

F6 fits into the P4 window and creates a pure triple octave. The P4 window also finds notes that have drifted.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2321184 - 08/28/14 03:42 PM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1510
Loc: Old Hangtown California
On the listening end it is good to know about perception. Try this after tuning to ETD or aurally to your satisfaction.
Play and sustain a c# arpeggio from the bass to maybe the 5th octave then play and listen to C8 to see how it sounds and fits with the arpeggio, not how it tests as an interval. Does it sound ok, flat or sharp?
Now try it with a B natural arpeggio - how does that C8 sound, ok, flat, sharp?
Then try a C natural arpeggio.
What does your perception say?
Just something to play around with.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

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#2321219 - 08/28/14 05:31 PM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7872
Loc: France
you should see video samples. no way to understand that with written explanations.

I have seen one of students in a Japanese factory or school, with the instructor showing...

you only need the octave under, to tune the last octave (assuming the remaining is tuned with enough consonance yet).

then wait for the moment your octave (particularly the top note of course) is enhanced by the other yet tuned notes, (not played)

the octave only gives you yet an enhancement (if played 2 tones together)

then there is a consonance point where your note sound stronger, hence resonates longer.

this is indispensable with those very short high treble tones.


the enhance high note will sound in tune, you can believe me.

it is not a hz or cts question, but a consonance question.

Those sort of things (recognizing consonance) probably totally lost for ETD users that loose the ability to hear that (or never have trained to do so)


helmet ON


Edited by Olek (08/28/14 05:38 PM)
_________________________
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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#2321303 - 08/28/14 09:49 PM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: Gene Nelson]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2187
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Be sure to try Genes excellent experiment both prior to consuming two drinks and after.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2321342 - 08/28/14 11:54 PM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
AaronM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Sarasota FL
Thanks for the advice. I'll try it out

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#2321362 - 08/29/14 12:35 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Ed A. Hall Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 264
When I tune those high unisons, I listen to when they suddenly lose sustain. I leave it there with the realization that it'll eventually drift a little in a day or two. Most pianos have lots of false beats up there so you just do the best you can do. Sometimes a small amount of CA on the offending bridge pin cleans things up.

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#2321365 - 08/29/14 12:42 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Gadzar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1797
Loc: Mexico City

Are you talking about loose bridge pins?
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Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#2321368 - 08/29/14 12:48 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: Ed A. Hall]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 678
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Originally Posted By: Ed A. Hall
When I tune those high unisons, I listen to when they suddenly lose sustain. I leave it there with the realization that it'll eventually drift a little in a day or two. Most pianos have lots of false beats up there so you just do the best you can do. Sometimes a small amount of CA on the offending bridge pin cleans things up.

Ed, could you provide an estimate on about what percentage of false beats in the top octave you claim to clean up by applying CA glue to the relevant bridge pins?
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2321374 - 08/29/14 01:01 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: Chris Leslie]
Ed A. Hall Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 264
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
Originally Posted By: Ed A. Hall
When I tune those high unisons, I listen to when they suddenly lose sustain. I leave it there with the realization that it'll eventually drift a little in a day or two. Most pianos have lots of false beats up there so you just do the best you can do. Sometimes a small amount of CA on the offending bridge pin cleans things up.

Ed, could you provide an estimate on about what percentage of false beats in the top octave you claim to clean up by applying CA glue to the relevant bridge pins?


If the pins are loose, it cleans them up maybe not entirely but enough that it's a noticeable improvement. Loose pins can be verified by using an object like a screw driver to push on the pin while playing the note. If the false beat goes away, it's highly likely that CA will help. If the false beat doesn't go away, look elsewhere.

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#2321380 - 08/29/14 01:27 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 678
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Ed, that is fine, but the question was how often does this techniques fix your false beats, i.e. most, some, many, or about 5% etc etc.
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2321394 - 08/29/14 02:53 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: Gene Nelson]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7872
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Gene Nelson
On the listening end it is good to know about perception. Try this after tuning to ETD or aurally to your satisfaction.
Play and sustain a c# arpeggio from the bass to maybe the 5th octave then play and listen to C8 to see how it sounds and fits with the arpeggio, not how it tests as an interval. Does it sound ok, flat or sharp?
Now try it with a B natural arpeggio - how does that C8 sound, ok, flat, sharp?
Then try a C natural arpeggio.
What does your perception say?
Just something to play around with.


This is a good trick/idea. Someone with some musical ability will yet hear the eventual problems in the arpeggio.
As high treble cannot be tuned really nice without the under portions done the best.

The beginners tend to stretch, so the top note lines well in arpeggios.

When well tuned in fact the top is a little edgy may be, but on the low side.
That is a reason to tune the top "in the spectra" so in arpeggios, the high note sound as "landing" nicely in the rest, you listen harmonically while playing melodic, in that case.
_________________________
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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#2321397 - 08/29/14 03:00 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: Ed A. Hall]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7872
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Ed A. Hall
When I tune those high unisons, I listen to when they suddenly lose sustain. I leave it there with the realization that it'll eventually drift a little in a day or two. Most pianos have lots of false beats up there so you just do the best you can do. Sometimes a small amount of CA on the offending bridge pin cleans things up.



It is an exploit, you put 3 wrong things in one post!

I suppose you do not dismount the string to wick some CA there (I like to see that sort of job!)

High treble are the most stable strings when stabilized correctly.

Tuning when sustain lowers is not so good idea. Unless you have no accuracy for setting pins and strings but then we talk of something else)
You mean you tune them at the stretch limit. In regard of what? Octave? Consonance?

High treble can be tuned without mutes, assuming no much false strings/beats.
Checking intervals, why not, but it is not necessary I think.
_________________________
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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#2321451 - 08/29/14 08:01 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Ed A. Hall Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 264
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
Ed, that is fine, but the question was how often does this techniques fix your false beats, i.e. most, some, many, or about 5% etc etc.


Chris,
I can't give you an exact number because I haven't made it a scientific experiment nor do I plan to. It's a BandAid fix at best and I consider it another tool in the bag for the many derelict PSO pianos I work on. Recapping the bridge is the best solution but few are willing to spend the bucks. And sometimes before a concert or recording, there is no time for replacing a bridge so this all that I've got. If you haven't already, try it some time and form your own conclusion.

To Olek: Yes it's best to dismount the offending strings. Not doing so can bond the string to the bridge and kill tone. Any excess should be wiped up. You just want enough to wick down the pin and fill the gap and no more. I agree that high treble strings tend to be the most stable but they still drift over time even with the best pin setting technique.

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#2322000 - 08/30/14 08:14 PM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1228
Loc: Orange County, CA
Another thing that can help to hear the tuning in the top octave is to mute open strings that are resonating sympathetically. In some pianos the aliquot scale can be very noisy, as can other open string areas such as tuning pin segments in some pianos. If you are hearing a lot of high pitched "noise" when tuning unisons up there, try masking tape on the aliquot lengths.

As Olek mentioned, tuning the octave just slightly wide from the octave below will help sustain. Then when you tune the other 2 strings, mute the octave below so that you are not getting extra sound from the open strings. It's amazing how much better a tuning device will work when it isn't listening to the other open strings, too!

Don Mannino

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#2322427 - 08/31/14 10:47 PM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1388
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: AaronM
It seems pretty hard to hear a near perfect unison.


Nobody has addressed so I'll make some comments.

Tuning treble unisons. The two challenges as I see them are, identifying which string(s) need adjusting, and being able to effect a ultra small change in frequency.

To identify which string(s) could be out, try muting to isolate each string and compare them to each other melodically; one at a time. Often when one string is out, one can here it as sharper or flatter than the others with this technique. A quick tweak of that one string can often improve the whole unison.

When trying to effect a small pitch change, try massaging it down. If it goes to flat, turn the pin foot as little as possible, usually with an impact style, and try again. I find that the final motion that brings the string into tune when tuning the treble is almost always a massage; the sensitivity is so high up there.

I know most tuners know these things. I'm just mentioning them in case it is new for some.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2322497 - 09/01/14 03:43 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
pinkfloydhomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 280
I am just an amateur, but I'll say this:

At least on my piano, the tone in the high treble varies wildly with time, during the relatively short sustain it has up there. Measuring with TuneLab, I can see that the pitch at attack is not at all the same as during the (short) sustain. And there are more false beats. I guess on a better piano the tone is more defined and the sustain is longer.

In my case the best I can do is to tune all three strings of the unison with TuneLab, not tuning aural unisons here. Also, I am tuning for the tone at it's most stable (but very short) time which is more or less at the attack.
_________________________
Amateur pianist working on: Bach. And amateur tuning, regulation and servicing of my own piano.
Piano: Frustrating and cheap Dongbei Nordiska 120CA upright from 2004.

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#2322522 - 09/01/14 06:15 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7872
Loc: France
firing the note about 3-5 times /second, looking for the thickening of the attack, (the tone "project" suenly) and the lenghtening of tone due to the octave under.

go a hair higher an the 12 under "answer" too, as the double octave.

use the sustain peal and you will be pushed to stretch the high treble to the maximum, about 30 cts or more.

So this can be good to check those consonance effects.

Once the basics are tuned, you can listen more easily to a sustain, that can be long enough.
dont look for false beats or the like, just for thick and clean tone an forget efects as long they are not annoying (real strong beats) at a few feets from there.

The false beats are much lowered by a good coupling. could be also "erased somehow" but this is difficult technique implying 2 opposed couples. not always worth the trouble.

Work the terminations cleanliness to get rid of some false beats The wire touch the wood under/front of the pin, for instance, so lateral contacts can create waves (the wire is in a sort of channel)

Some falseness is within the wire and cannot be repaired, may be dismounting the wire an back, or mounting a new one. (clean the bridge in that case)









Edited by Olek (09/01/14 06:16 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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#2323056 - 09/02/14 09:55 AM Re: Tuning the 7th octave [Re: AaronM]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4945
Loc: Bradford County, PA
I can hear P12s up there better than P8s. What I mean is there is less of a tolerance that sounds "OK". The better the piano, the better I can hear the actual beats, what I call harmonic tuning. But at some point my ear turns to the pitch of the note, what I call melodic tuning.

As far as unisons, and setting the pin, and, and, and... there are so many things that work some-of-the-time and nothing that works all-of-the-time. Here is something that works most-of-the-time. Use a smooth pull to get where the string sounds best, and give the tuning hammer a measured jerk for how much overpull you think it needs. Then see if it is close enough to waggle into the sound that you decided was best. By waggle I mean to adjust the speaking and non-speaking parts, and the residual torque in the pin, to get the string on pitch and in a stable situation. If not, rinse-and-repeat.
_________________________
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Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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