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#611600 - 07/06/08 06:42 PM Newest Version of Cybertuner
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
I just recently downloaded the latest version of Dean Reyburn's Cybertuner. I like the new "smart tuning" mode. I still use the verituner and/or Tunelab (both current versions, of course) sometimes, but perhaps won't do so quite as often now.

What do you folks think of the new RCT version? Anyone else tried it yet?
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#611601 - 07/07/08 05:19 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2334
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
As an owner of the full version (Laptop) I would love to comment, but it won't be until the fall/winter(so I've been told). Seems as if the pocket RCT owners are the preferred customer...so to speak, and this upgrade won't be available to the rest of us with full version for a while. On the lighter side of things, one benefit about being a denigrated to this level of customer care/concern is that if we ever do see the new version, it will most likely have all the bugs worked out, if any are there. I would love to hold my breath...but ..for months?
Incidently, I think the upgrade is just a better /more accurate version of the pitch raise feature but I would like to hear from others about it.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#611602 - 07/07/08 11:16 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
I downloaded it Sunday and tried my first piano with it today, an old Chickering 5'4" grand.

I was concerned that the tenor section only went as high as F4, since Smart Tune mode requests that information. I called Dean and he said that although F4 was pretty low I should still go for it. I tuned unisons as I went up from the bass tenor break, then down into the bass, tuning the last octave or so by ear, a bit lower than the program (OTS4).

Although I had to increase the overpull percentage as I went up into the treble, I still think the program did a great job, accomplishing the goal of a nice tuning in one pass that likely would've required two otherwise.

I asked Dean about differences between Smart Tune and the normal Pitch Raise mode. The main thing he said was that PR mode tends to err a bit on the side of sharpness, since that's better for PR's, whereas Smart Tune aims to end up right on pitch.

I also have Verituner 100 and SAT III, both of which I like for different things. But, I do think Smart Tune mode will be one more incentive to pack RCT in the morning. I think with Smart Partials RCT often does a very impressive job in the bass, maybe best of all the ETD's, for my tastes anyway. I love CyberEar's display, and the tweaking possible with Custom EQ.

Emmery, I can empathize with you about the laptop version, even though I don't have it. My take is that Dave Carpenter of Verituner is probably leaning toward his PPC version these days as well, and I only have "The Box." However, I do know RCT's laptop version still has many things the PPC version doesn't, although those features may not be as important practically as something like Smart Tune. The situation with Verituner might be similar.

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

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#611603 - 07/08/08 10:46 AM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Hi Jeff,

I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who has multiple etd's and favor one over another for one purpose or another! I have the pocket computer of RCT, Verituner and TuneLab, and each has its weak points and its strong points.

I tuned a twenty-five year old wurlitzer console yesterday that hadn't been tuned in at least 20 of those years and had been moved three times to three different climates! It was 3/4 semitone flat and I used RCT in "Pitch Raise" mode. I had to stop and change the parameters to 5% flat because it was tuning the bass strings +32%! I was worried about breaking them! (am I a coward?)

I haven't tried "smart tune" for anything over a 15% pr yet. Have you?
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#611604 - 07/08/08 10:51 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
Some parts of the Chickering's treble were off by more than that, but the rest of the piano may've averaged 10 or 15 cents flat. It's still the only piano I've tried Smart Tune on, but another will likely come along this week.

I'm not sure I follow your numbers on the pitch raise you did. Was RCT overpulling 32% in the bass, or tuning 32 cents sharp? I'm not an RCT expert, but either case sounds really strange. I don't think the program parameters are supposed to allow those kinds of numbers. I've never seen anything like that, but I certainly would do something like what you did if it happened. Many times, when pitch raising with an ETD on an older piano, I'll just quickly tune the bass to pitch by ear rather than risk any overpull at all. It doesn't take that long to make another quick pitch raise pass through the bass if needed. ETD's frequently want to tune the low bass sharper than I do anyway, so I don't take any chances. One reason I don't usually start tuning at A0 and work up is that I'd be likely to change the bass later anyway.

On the multiple ETD thing, I guess there are a number or reasons why I've gone that route. I agree they do all have their strong points, although I'm sure there are ETD tuners whose methodology is satisfied by just one unit. To me the investment wasn't really that much. In most other areas my tastes are pretty simple and low-cost. Ironically, I still tune at least half the pianos I do by ear. I think ETD's have widened my perspective of aural tuning quite a bit.

Has TuneLab just come out with a feature that automatically adjusts stretch according to inharmonicity? I read something recently that I thought meant the user could now leave octave type selection, etc., to the device if desired. Am I off about that? If I'm right, have you tried this feature, and what do you think? (Others besides Dennis, please answer as well if you care to.)

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

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#611605 - 07/09/08 07:03 AM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Robert Scott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 268
Loc: Minnesota
 Quote:
...Has TuneLab just come out with a feature that automatically adjusts stretch according to inharmonicity? I read something recently that I thought meant the user could now leave octave type selection, etc., to the device if desired...
Yes, TuneLab can adjust stretch automatically based on inharmonicity. The selection of the octave types for the bass and treble is still up to you, but you can leave it at the default setting if you don't want to think about it.
_________________________
Robert Scott
Hopkins, Minnesota
http://www.tunelab-world.com

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#611606 - 07/09/08 07:58 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3202
Loc: Midwest U.S.
Just for clarity, Tunelab didn't "just" lately incorporate that inharmonicity measurement and stretch. It's been a component of the software at least since I started using it about four years ago.

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#611607 - 07/09/08 09:42 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Hi Jeff,

I had never seen numbers like that either. The overpul was +32CENTS! I had never seen such numbers either I was using the pitch raise mode, not the smart-tuning mode, btw on that one!

Methinks it was a "glitch. . ." I HOPE so anyway. If it happens again, I'll contact Dean!
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#611608 - 07/09/08 09:45 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Hey Emery,

Just a note. . .I didn't get the laptop version since the BATTERIES on my pocket pc's (I have two of them) have a much greater battery life than any laptop I have had, and I have found it easier to find a spot to rest on in spinets and other upright pianos. I originally tried the free version of Tunelab on my laptop and found it to be quite cumbersom. You might consider "upgrading" to a ppc. . .I think you would be pleased when you did.

Dennis
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#611609 - 07/09/08 10:07 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
(Edit: Dennis, I was preparing the below while you posted the two above posts. Thanks for the info on your wild PR. That does sound like a glitch.)

Oh, okay. In other words, within the parameters set down by the bass and treble octave types (default or user-chosen), TuneLab self-adjusts the stretch. I guess that's where it was the last I experimented with it several months ago. Thanks for the answers and clarification.

I guess what had me thinking this might be something new was seeing the new ad in the latest PTG Journal, promoting the latest TL version, 4.0. At the top of a list of features it says, "Automatically adjusts stretch to match inharmonicity." I do know about the automatic curve adjustment option, if that's part of what's referred to.

Dennis, I used Smart Tune on a Wurlitzer studio today, that was mostly in that 10-15 cents flat range, with the treble sometimes more. I had to change the calculated bass and high treble with custom EQ before starting, and I tuned the last notes in the bass to pure 8:4 using direct partial matching, a procedure RCT is often passable at. The final tuning may not've been as good as another pass would've gotten it, but I judged it very acceptable for the circumstances.

I've been thinking about something while using Smart Tune -- something that apparently never mattered to me before, when pitch raising with an ETD and knowing it was only the first pass:

When raising the first string of a unison (particularly in the treble), sometimes it's flat enough that when adding the second and third string the whole unison ends up significantly flat from the overpull target, where I left the center string. If that happened during a normal fine tuning I'd raise the whole unison up again, but I'm wondering if doing that -- particularly through a whole section -- messes up the overpull calculation.

A couple of days ago on the little Chickering I retuned each unison that slipped, before I went on to the next note. Today on the Wurlitzer I, for the most part, tried just getting the first string stable but didn't worry if bringing in the other strings caused CyberEar to rotate left.

I suppose the question, in a nutshell, is whether Smart Tune's overpull factors in flatness caused by bringing in the unisons, or just flatness caused by increased tension on the bridge as one tunes notes on up the scale.

The whole idea of single-pass ETD tuning when starting below 10 cents flat is a new thing for me. Maybe I'll have to call and bother Dean again about this. Anyone have ideas?

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

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#611610 - 07/10/08 07:04 AM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Jeff:

I don't have any "ETD" ideas, but I've noticed that when I do a "blind" pitch raise before tuning, that too much of a pitch raise in the treble doesn't hurt things as much as too little.

Regards,
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#611611 - 07/10/08 11:28 AM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2334
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Dennis, I get about 3 1/2 hours of battery life on my Dell laptop (good for at least 2-3 tunings)and carry an DC-AC converter in my car for charging between jobs. Other times there is an outlet nearby. I like the full features and easy viewing of a bigger screen, have a custom holder I made for it too that fits in my case, and a remote wireless mouse is right near my hand for quick easy control. I was also told by a computer expert that pocket PCs have less stability of calibration since the chips and quartz components are not isolated as far from the heat generated inside. I could just imagine a future topic in a couple years on this forum titled "'Are laptop ETD users dinosaurs?" LOL
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#611612 - 07/10/08 08:05 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
Well, I had a bit of a disappointment with Smart Tune today.

There's a church's Yamaha P22 I tune regularly, typically by ear. For scheduling reasons, I thought I'd try to pick up some time with Smart Tune instead of a two-pass aural tuning.

It was tuned 4 cents flat about four months ago and was a bit sharp today, particularly in the midsection. I figured, since the amount of variance from A440 was clearly less than the two pianos previously mentioned, that a good one-pass tuning on this piano would be a piece of cake for Smart Tune.

After getting through the tenor and treble I went back and discovered most of it was too flat to be acceptable, and didn't sound musically very good besides. So, I had to do a second pass with Fine Tune mode, tuning the low bass by ear and some direct partial matching using RCT.

The final result sounded fine; but, since in Smart Tune I took the time to finalize each note as if it were to be a single-pass tuning, I ended up blowing about half an hour.

Maybe when lowering pitch things are a bit dicier than when raising? I guess I've done way too few trials with Smart Tune to say much of anything with certainty; but in critical situations I may be more likely in the future to stay with the old tried-and-true two-pass system.

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

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#611613 - 07/11/08 07:10 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Hi Jeff,
------------------
You posted:
When raising the first string of a unison (particularly in the treble), sometimes it's flat enough that when adding the second and third string the whole unison ends up significantly flat from the overpull target, where I left the center string. If that happened during a normal fine tuning I'd raise the whole unison up again, but I'm wondering if doing that -- particularly through a whole section -- messes up the overpull calculation
-------------

I've experienced the same thing. When doing a significant pr I usually tune one string, then the others, then do it again. Then I do a "fine tune" pass. Perhaps Dean took this into account when he did the math to make the overpull calculations from. You might ask him. . .

I'm not sure how he would calculate the change in pitch from the pull of one unison to another in a significantly flat piano tho. . .
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

Top
#611614 - 07/11/08 07:17 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Hi Emmery,

I would be interested in seeing the holder you have for your laptop! Like you, I have a charger in my car, and I carry TWO pocket pc's, both of which have Tunelab on them, one with Verituner and the other with RCT. I guess that makes me SUPER prepared!

If I remember correctly the pocket pc's use a quartz crystal oscillator and also if I remember correctly it takes a LOT of heat to change the frequency of such an oscillator very much. Because of them being physical crystals, they are harder to calibrate to their intended frequency exactly, so "count-down" must be done to calibrate our etd's (if I remember correctly).
\:D In other words, I think they are VERY stable, and have experienced no stability issues with mine. I tend to be paranoid about accuracy so I check both ppc's weekly or more with the Seiko thing I got with my RCT. I never have to recalibrate when I do tho. . .
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

Top
#611615 - 07/11/08 08:46 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
Dennis said:

 Quote:
I've experienced the same thing. When doing a significant pr I usually tune one string, then the others, then do it again. Then I do a "fine tune" pass. Perhaps Dean took this into account when he did the math to make the overpull calculations from. You might ask him. . .
Dennis, is that what you do when using Smart Tune if this slippage happens? Just wondering if you would do two passes, or still try to make do with one.

Had another good experience with Smart Tune today, on a 1925 M&H A. It's never been restrung, has a couple of tied strings on it, I CA'd the pinblock a couple of weeks ago (there'd be cracking of the glue joints during the first tuning), and the owners are very conscious of cost. It'd been at least four years since I tuned it last, and the upper section dropped off quite a bit. I was a bit apprehensive, actually.

I thought it'd be great to get through it in one pass, with as little time wrenching the pins around as possible. I used Smart Tune with OTS 3, thinking I wouldn't stretch much in the treble. It came out pretty well (not pefect, but definitely good enough for this job), although I noticed the lowest few fifths in the tenor section were a bit too contracted. I tuned the bass by ear, quite a bit below where OTS 3 would've put it, which also minimized the risk of string breakage.

It may not be perfect, but I think this Smart Tune is really going to come in handy down the road. (Don't worry, I'm not going to make a journal entry every time I tune a piano with it.) \:\)

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

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#611616 - 07/15/08 11:11 PM Re: Newest Version of Cybertuner
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
In case anyone's interested:

I e-mailed Dean about my unison tuning with Smart Tune question (see above). He suggested I just tune the center string to CyberEar, then bring in the unisons by ear -- not worrying if the whole unison drops according to CyberEar. He said otherwise I'd spend too much time "chasing the unison."

In other words, pretty much the same procedure as for a normal pitch raising.

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

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