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#621691 - 01/17/09 09:15 AM AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Matthew Lavender RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Michigan
Not too long ago I was tuning at a local school. The teacher who set up the tuning wanted his Yamaha G2 to sound nice for a recording he was going to use the piano for over the weekend.

About a third of the way through the tuning I suddenly heard this horrible racket coming from just outside the door which lead outside to a nearby sidewalk. It couldn't have been more than 30 feet away from where I was tuning.

Turns out there were some workers out there JACKHAMMERING the sidewalk. Nice eh? The teacher, after seeing the look of horror on my face peeked outside and asked if they could delay the work an hour. Of course they said no and continue to merrily beat on the concrete.

Since I'm a stubborn person and didn't want the workers to win, I grabbed my earplugs and went back to tuning. And as fate would have it the workers stopped just AFTER I had just finished with the unisons.

Needless to say I told the teacher that if there were any call backs for the tuning I would charge them for a full service call.

I'm sure this topic is an old bit but since I'm new to the forums I have to ask: what's the worst noise you've had to tune through and how did you handle it?
_________________________
Piano Technician

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#621692 - 01/17/09 09:31 AM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Hi Matt,

Welcome to this forum.

I've had jackhammers to deal with, and they're nasty!

I think running water bothers me almost as much as anything, because there are lots of high frequencies in it that interferes with what I'm listening for.

First tuning of the day, I can put up with almost anything. At the end of a long day, most any noise becomes an irritant.
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#621693 - 01/17/09 09:35 AM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
I have asked how long they expect to be. Then gone down to the local coffee shop for an hour and relaxed or I could organize my tool cases and parts.
Take a break.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#621694 - 01/17/09 10:29 AM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1677
Loc: Chicagoland
Earplugs yes, keystriker, yes. (you may need to play a little louder and repeat strike quicker to hear well enough.) The biggest help is to have a machine you can trust, using a saved file and just live in the land of the unison... you can hear that much better than trying to discern weak beats...

Jackhammer in the basement was the worst! Other problems have been:

1. Large church all marble - lots of echoes!
2. chair set-up for a concert
3. rumble from the HVAC system in some of the newer schools
4. summer tuning, open windows, heavy traffic outside.
5. Lawn service - they must have my schedule and follow me throughout the day!

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

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


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#621695 - 01/17/09 11:31 AM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Matt, I had to laugh as I read your post. I can't count the amount of times, I finished tuning and all noises went away. Funny how that works isn't it? It's almost as if it's intentional. haha, he's done now shhhhh!

Earplugs work wonders for drowning out the outside crap like that.

I've had to put up with stage set up, bands practicing, mic tests, "testing, TESTING TESTING" for 30 minutes... I felt like hollering SHUDDDAAAPPP! CAN YOU HEAR THAT??? I've put up with lawn mowers, scads of people talking, singing, you name it I've put up with it.

Usually, if they are in the same room as I, I'll politely ask them to be quiet and if that doesn't work, I tune 3 times as fast because if it is to noisy and sometimes, it is, you can't hear it regardless of what you do..

Sometimes, I even just get up and walk out....
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#621696 - 01/17/09 11:45 AM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1533
Loc: Old Hangtown California
Trying to tune at Mondavi Center in Davis Ca - they have a very large and loud air compressor that powers the movement of all stage related things.
At the local high school when their jazz band comes in half way through and I have a duel with the drummer.
At the NAMM Show where there are 15 other tuners trying to do the same thing in the same accousticly deformed room - at least we would try to work in different parts of the piano.
At the Community Center with three pianos for a Mozart piece and one pianist decides to rehearse during tuning.
These situations usually require that we produce a quality product under the most demanding conditions with zero recognition. We either do quality work or go home without pay, or have some sort of confrontation where we usually loose. If we stay and complete the work and the quality is not there then our name is on it in a very unforgiving way.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

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#621697 - 01/17/09 11:46 AM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
SuperTuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Manhattan, Montana
Wow, what a pain! I'm glad you had the foresight to warn about charging for a return service call.
My pet peave is legos. Apparently clients think that if their child is not yelling or screaming, it must be quiet. Hmmph.
I once had to tune in the SAME ROOM as a chainsaw. It was some dude ranch under construction, and I was very young and very stubborn. Now I'd not roll over for it!
_________________________
Elizabeth Heppler, R.P.T.
www.hepplerpiano.com

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#621698 - 01/17/09 12:33 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
dschwoyer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 135
Loc: Williamstown,NJ
I'm waiting for someone to mention " you need it quiet to tune?" How am I suppose to hear the TV/radio/phone?
_________________________
David Schwoyer
Dave's Piano service
Piano Technician

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#621699 - 01/17/09 01:24 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2506
Loc: Olympia, WA
I was called in at the last minute to tune a Mason upright in a gymnasium for an event that was happening that day. The event? It was a State wide hand bell conference! And yes they were practicing during the tuning! The icing on the cake was when the regular technician (who they were not able to get a hold of in time) decided to show up and was very grumpy that I was tuning the piano.

I was extremely happy to be done with that one.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#621700 - 01/17/09 02:58 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Gee, I encounter these situations as regularly as anyone. Do they bother me? Not that much, hardly at all, really. I have the right tools for the job.

A noise canceling tuning system.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#621701 - 01/17/09 03:43 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
 Quote:
Originally posted by Supply:
I have the right tools for the job.

A nose cancelling tuning system. [/b]
This could be a whole new topic of conversation....tuning by smell!
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#621702 - 01/17/09 04:26 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Maybe Jurgen just punches the guy in the nose and it's quiet. Are you Golden Glove Jurgen?
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#621703 - 01/17/09 04:33 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Re-read my post again - I don't know what you guys are talking about.. ;\)

OK, OK, a little fun at my expense. I am glad my occasional imperfect spelling amuses and entertains you.

But we all know what your friendly jabs are really about:
TOOL ENVY!

so there!



;\)
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#621704 - 01/17/09 04:46 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
So, you got caught too eh Jurgen? The spelling Bea's are in here so, we gotta wacth ittt. We might cacth there buggg.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#621705 - 01/17/09 05:42 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Hey, that "nose canceling" was totally irresistable!

Tool envy....good comeback from the northlands!
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#621706 - 01/17/09 05:54 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3191
I'm not a tuner, so forgive me for butting in, but this post begs a question:

When faced with a horrible noise distraction, on the level of the jackhammer, or the NAMM convention, would it be feasable to take a microphone and mike the piano into a small amplifier that you heard through sound isolation full earphones?

That might save the day when you know you will have this problem, i.e. NAMM.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

Free Tune from my Blues & Boogie-Woogie Piano CD:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_2665138101

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#621707 - 01/17/09 05:59 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Erus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Mexico
Yes, that's what they're talking about:

http://www.pianofortesupply.com/newsfall2007.html

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#621708 - 01/17/09 08:41 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I never tried tried these but, from what Jurgen says about them, they are worth the purchase. Hey, Jurgen, maybe you can take some along to the convention???
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#621709 - 01/17/09 08:44 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Horwinkle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1011
You mean you need to be able to HEAR in order to tune a piano??? Cry babies!

JK \:\) \:D

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#621710 - 01/17/09 08:55 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan


It kinda makes us wanna smack our heads on the wall.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#621711 - 01/17/09 09:26 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Matthew Lavender RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Michigan
Possibly one of the greatest purchases I've ever made has been my little pair of earplugs. It makes tuning through noise and little spinets really easy. 20 bucks for a fitted pair is probably the best money you'll ever spend. I don't think it's worth going through the trouble of putting a mic to a piano when all you need are the plugs.

The jackhammer was definitely the worst experience but yes there's been many others. Some of note were: tuning in a middle school cafeteria during lunch; tuning through a piano being buffed; sound check before a concert. The list goes on...
_________________________
Piano Technician

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#621712 - 01/17/09 09:44 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1912
Loc: El Cajon, CA
Does anyone make something like a clip-on microphone, or something to pick up sound directly by contact rather than through the air? I'm wondering if it might be possible to clip something either on the bridge or on the plate, route it to sound-isolating headphones like the Sennheiser HD-280 or Etymotic ER-6 and listen to the piano that way in a noisy environment?
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#621713 - 01/17/09 10:53 PM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Chair stacking. I don't know how many churches or schools I've tuned when the custodians start stacking chairs, folding tables, etc. WHAM, CLATTER, WHAM, CLATTER. Gimmie a break.

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#621714 - 01/19/09 08:09 AM Re: AHH!!! The Noise!! The Noise!!!
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Two thing that haven't been mentioned: 1. Vacuum Cleaner 2. Ceiling Fan (not the noise, but the beats it produces)
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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