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#624914 - 04/10/04 01:51 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Most will end up with a reverse well temperament when tuning aurally.You can tell one from the other by their beat rates when setting the temperament.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#624915 - 04/10/04 07:35 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3866
I just stick with equal temp myself. I'm satisfied if all the interval beats gradually increase in speed as you go up the scale. That wouldn't happen with a well temp. It is the sudden beat difference in well temp that makes some keys sound dark while others are more pleasant. I'm sure a "reverse well temp" wouldn't sound very pleasant.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#624916 - 04/10/04 10:00 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
I tuned my piano the other day using a well temp. file from the verituner and using a custom stretch someone showed me from the VT user forum. It turned out remakable nice. Much better than all the ET tunings I've done on that piano. It started me thinking, do we really tune in ET or WT when tuning by ear? Are we really in the ET era or have we migriated back, or maybe never left WT? The WT sounded so much better to me.
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#624917 - 04/10/04 11:10 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
The majority of people who play the piano are used to "some degree of ET." The degee of perfection of ET solely depends on the tuner who is doing the tuning. If I were to begin using WT or any of the other "designer" temperaments, the vast majority of people I tune for would know the difference, and not consider the piano in a good state of tuning. People who have advanced beyond the beginner level of playing readily know the difference in sound. In other words, they know when the ET tuning is correct, by the beating of the various intervals.

The question has been asked, how an aural tuner can properly tune using ET, implying that an ETD can only assure fine tuning using ET. Aural tuning takes years and practice on many many pianos to achieve. There are many aural tuners out there who have a very limited degree of knowledge and experience. On the other hand, there are ETD tuners who tune strictly by what the machine is reading and they fall almost as short of what the aural tuner is trying to achieve.

There is just no way around a properly trained and practiced ear when tuning pianos.

Going back to the above statement I made about WT and "designer" temperaments. Based on my experience, accomplished pianist who primarily play classical pieces, are far more likely to enjoy an alternate tuning temperament.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#624918 - 04/10/04 11:29 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
This is the very first time I have ever seen anyone but myself acknowledge that commonly made errors when attempting ET often result in a backwards version of a well temperament, the so-called reverse well. I've been saying it publicly for years and there is an article about it on my website, (http://www.billbremmer.com/ReverseWell.html), so the idea must be slowly taking hold. It will be part of my series of articles for the PTG Journal but will probably not appear until sometime next year.

The answer to the question about how aural tuning ends up depends on the skill and the scrutiny given by the tuner. There is a lot of debate about when true equal temperament came into practice. Some people want to believe it was 200 or more years ago. I personally believe that most aural tuners and even some electronic tuning device users are still struggling with it.

A true and perfect equal temperament produces no "colors" or effects. Each key or tonality is exactly analogous to the other. Whether many people truly achieve this kind of complete neutrality or not, I would be the first to acknowledge that it has long been the *goal*. But failing that goal, even by just a little, one inadvertently introduces effects into a tuning. If these effects run roughly opposite to what a well temperament has, it will surely make for a really bad sounding tuning.

That is to say, if a mild well temperament seems to make the piano sound "better" or "warmer", somehow more interesting and musical, unintended errors which produce the opposite kinds of effects will produce a tuning which really does sound sour, chaotic and off key, no matter what is played on it.

There has been a rebirth of interest during the last 20 years of alternative ways to tune and temper the piano. Once true perfection of equal temperament has been possible through both advanced aural tuning techniques and electronic tuning devices, people have begun to look beyond that goal and have questioned whether it is really the ultimate and best compromise for the piano. Many people are still under the impression that a tuning must and should be equal temperament, otherwise it would inevitably be something completely unacceptable. Yet, at the same time, the either/or folks seem willing to grant a wide degree of tolerance.

It is within that range of tolerance that I began to work about 15 years ago. As strictly an aural tuner at the time, I had an "ear" for how far one could go before being "busted", so to speak. There are people who have an interest in tuning harpsichords and fortepianos in authentic, period temperaments and that is all well and good. But to tune a modern piano in an extreme 16th through early 18th Century temperament is to produce effects on that piano which would be intolerable for general use.

However, most music that is enjoyed today, no matter which century it comes from is tonal in nature. Composers of today seem to still choose a key to write in the same way they have for centuries. Choosing a temperament which is aligned with the cycle of 5ths as any well temperament is but which also does not deviate radically (more than a few cents on any given note of the midrange) will bring out a character from the piano and virtually all music which is played upon it which has largely been unknown, undiscovered and unheard of until very recently.

The fact that we can all communicate the way we are via the Internet, that we have organizations like PTG and forums like this one and in particular, scientists with no preconceived prejudice about such issues as ET vs. WT who have invented such marvelous electronic tuning devices has made this new area of interests possible and exploitable.

Recently, I found this post in the Pianotech archives:

"At the risk of stirring up the recent food fight, I would like to recommend that folks interested in the topic could download the Verituner manual and read chapter 8 (pp. 83-117), for further information on unequal temperaments."

I read the Verituner manual pages on the use of unequal temperaments and found it to be the most fascinating, up to date, nonjudgmental offering of alternatives the *default* tuning known as equal temperament I have ever read anywhere. Now, everyone knows that unless you know what you're doing, you should use the default settings. You can't go wrong, it has been provided for you by people who know much more than you do.

But that alone should create a distinction between people of differing sets of interests and ambition. There will be those who will just use what has been provided, just the usual, keep it simple, don't take any risks. The same possibility for alternatives will spark the interest of those who are more curious and who have more ambitious goals. There will be those who, knowing of other possibilities and having heard of other's enthusiasm about what they've discovered and heard, will want to try these ideas to experience them for themselves.

It's all up to you as an individual.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624919 - 04/10/04 11:31 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
That hyperlink to ther Verituner manual didn't come through in my last post. Here it is in black & white:

http://www.verituneinc.com/veritune.asp?id=33
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624920 - 04/10/04 11:40 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Bill,you showed me the light years ago.No more reverse well. \:\)
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#624921 - 04/10/04 01:56 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Bill,

Which stretch would you suggest using with your EBVT temperament in the verituner? Probably an impossible question to answer without konwing the piano, but if you had to pick one of the three (clean average, expanded) for a Steinway B, which would it be? For now I've been using a modified stretch by Ron Koval and the Broadwood Best temperament.
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#624922 - 04/11/04 02:02 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Since I use a different method entirely to determine stretch, it is hard to say but the closest would probably be the expanded, especially with a Steinway B. Be open to other choices under different circumstances though.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624923 - 04/11/04 01:56 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I'll be very much interested to find out what differences you perceive between the EBVT and the Best Broadwood temperament. They are both Victorian style temperaments but there are substantial differences. The word "best" merely means that it is "milder" or closer to equal temperament than the "usual" Broadwood.

There are two features about the EBVT which I consider to be important: it is the very mildest well temperament I know of that still has 5 pure 5ths. It also has a much higher incidence of equal and proportionately beating intervals than does the Best Broadwood. These conspire to make the harmonies in the simple keys (those with no or few sharps or flats) sound much closer to pure than they really are. This savings avoids harshness which would otherwise be intolerable in the complex keys.

Please let us all know how you perceive various kinds of music to be affected, especially ET vs. EBVT and EBVT vs. Best Broadwood.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624924 - 04/11/04 03:50 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Bremmer RPT:
Please let us all know how you perceive various kinds of music to be affected, especially ET vs. EBVT and EBVT vs. Best Broadwood. [/b]
I sure will Bill. I'll probably retune the piano tomorrow and use the same custom stretch as I do for the Broadwood Best so I get a good comparison. The stretch I use is called the K3a and can be found in the verituner user forum by another poster. I can tell you right now, I'll never tune to a strict ET again. The upper register intervals beat too fast and the treble and bass are stretched far too much for my liking. I can see now that many good aural tuners never really tune in ET but rather some form of WT. Now that we have very sophisticated machines that measure pitches so accurately, that becomes very clear. The best aural tuners should store their best tunings in an EDT for all of us to use.
_________________________
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#624925 - 04/11/04 05:02 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I tried to access the Verituner user forum but it only allows Verituner owners. I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I am one but I am not, at least not yet. However, the more I see and hear about it, the more I am leaning in that direction. The inventor was flattering to me in requesting to place the EBVT in its program. It does seem to be the most versatile device on the market.

I have some more temperaments in the works which can only be done with an ETD. However, I have tried first to present ideas which could be done surely and accurately by ear. The Best Broadwood really can't be. Neither can the Coleman temperaments. The possibilities are infinite when an ETD is used. Many combinations of ideas are possible.

Could you please describe the kind of stretch you use so all of us here may be informed?
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624926 - 04/11/04 07:55 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Bill,

Here's the custom stretch I got from the VT user forum. The Verituner has a setup page under the "style" menu to program the VT which partials to listen for and at which point on the piano to switch to a different set of partial samplings. You can also give multiple set of partials and assign them a percentage of importance. I also set for 0.0% beat rate for the octaves. The default in the VT is 0.33% beats. That's what one would get if you used one of the default stretches (clean, average or expanded). Well, here's the seguence for stretch K3a, all beat rates are set to zero:

A0
10:5 60%
6:3 20%
8:1 20%

A1
6:3 40%
4:1 30%
8:4 30%

A3
4:2 60%
6:3 40%

A4
4:2 60%
6:3 40%

A5
4:1 60%
4:2 20%
3:1 20%

A6
4:1 60%
4:2 20%
3:1 20%

C8
2:1 80%
4:1 20%


Hope that's clear. I did my best with my limited knowledge.
_________________________
Do or do not. There is no try.

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#624927 - 04/12/04 11:42 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Bremmer RPT:
Please let us all know how you perceive various kinds of music to be affected, especially ET vs. EBVT and EBVT vs. Best Broadwood. [/b]
Well Bill, I tuned my piano to your file using the stretch I posted above. The perfect intervals are pure throughout the piano and the double and triple octaves are perfectly in tune. It's the best the piano has ever sounded. The Broadwood Best is very good too, with less stretch in the bass and more stretch in the treble, but your's is a more conservative WT tuning, maybe closer to ET than the Broadwood, but much better than ET. At least on my piano, ET sounds noisy in the upper treble. It's a S&S B which has a little bit of a noisy front duplex, but a WT tuning suits it much better than ET. I'll be using your tuning file for now on.
_________________________
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#624928 - 04/13/04 06:53 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Wow! I couldn't have paid for better advertising! When you get the time, you may want to read about how I developed the EBVT, the story is on my website, "The Origins of the EBVT". I find it curious that you perceive the EBVT to be milder than the Best Broadwood because clinically, it is stronger. According to Jason Kanter, the range in sizes of Major 3rds of the Best Broadwood is from 6.7 to 17.7. The EBVT ranges 7.9 to 18.8. (In ET, all M3rds are 13.6 cents wide of just intonation).

I can see however that the Best Broadwood C4-E4 M3rd beats at about 4 beats per second and mine beats at 6. When you play a broad C Major chord, however, do you hear that fast, 6 beats per second somehow get "swallowed"? When played as a broad chord, C Major seems to have the quiet stillness of a much stronger temperament such as a 5th Comma Meantone.

I'll bet that the EBVT simply sounds "smoother" than the Best Broadwood. It is the usual way that I tune the piano for virtually all kinds of music. Only when there is a special request for a specific temperament do I use something else. There is a classical music recording using the EBVT now in the works. I have no idea, however ho soon it will be on the market.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624929 - 04/13/04 09:45 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1658
Loc: Chicagoland
Hi Ralph,

Congratulations! Nice sound, isn't it? Those are my stretch numbers, maybe tweaked a little by Jon Page... The Verituner has that ability, to bring out the resonence in your piano, by matching up the octaves in a pleasing manner.

What you are hearing is the careful manipulation of the beat ratios between two intervals sounding at the same time. (The major third and minor third in a triad) This effect is haphazard in many of the historical temperaments, but Bill seems to have found an aural path to this effect. While we've been looking at width of major thirds for quite a while, only recently have a few of us been charting more information on beat ratios. Check out Bob Wendell's syncronous, for full beat syncronicity. Paul Bailey has a few full-strenght options that he uses to rave reviews. My KV series uses the effect in the remote keys to reduce the dissonence normally found there.

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

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


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#624930 - 04/13/04 10:08 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Clically your EBVT is stronger if you go by the numbers. The Best Broadwood seems to "compress" several more intervals than EBVT , which perhaps more stretch in the bass and less in the treble. The result, however, is the opposite. EBVT produces and better and more pleasing, even sound throughout the keyboard. All pianos are different. On mine, the F2 has always been a problem. I have a hard time getting it in tune the F4 and F5. It just sort of fell in place with the EBVT. With the BB and ET, it was too sharp. I always had to correct aurally. The BB puts the C's, F's , and I think the G's sharp by 4-5 cents. That pulled the exteme ends of the scale toward the middle resulting in less stretch in the bass, but also a less conservative or universal sound. That's what I meant by "EBVT beinging more conservative". In other words, it's more useful for a wider range of repertoire.

If one is playing music which stays pretty much in the middle of the keyboard, the BB works extremely well. For later works, the bass just isn't stretch quite enough and the treble is pushed up a bit to compensate, but that can get a little sharp sounding. It also depends on the instrument and the environment of the instrument. In a concert hall, the BB with the sharp treble (C's, F's and G's) could just sound clear and project. In a home, it could be very annoying after awhile.
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#624931 - 04/13/04 10:26 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1658
Loc: Chicagoland
Now wait just a minute....

Using the Verituner, altering the temperament won't alter the stretch at all. So any temperament used, using the same stye, (K3a) will put the F's in the same relative position to each other. Did you change styles as well between tunings? The octave matching from end to end is a result of custom style development, not custom temperaments.

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

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


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#624932 - 04/13/04 11:51 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
I'll have to doulbe check what I did. I may have picked the expanded default stretch instead of the K3a. I can't really remember, now that I think about it.

I think you're right about what you're saying. The relationships between the same notes in different octaves should remain constant regardless of the tuning file used as long as the same style or stretch in selected. I suppose the intervals WITHIN an octave are changed depending on the tunung file. Is that about right?
_________________________
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#624933 - 04/13/04 06:32 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Ron,

I see your temperament (KV 2.0) is close to ET. The thirds vary from 10.9 to 16.0. I'd call that conservative at least on paper. I have not tried it yet. Do you have any favorite stretchs for a S&S B? Any new temperaments coming out?

The Broadwood B is in fact rather radical by ET standards althought it did not sound that way to me. It's possibly due to the fact that I"m playing Beethoven's 1st sonata and a bunch of bach inventions and partitas. Of course the Beethoven is in F minor with areas in Ab and Db. Still sounded pretty good. Other repertoire may sound different.

Bill, how would you place your EBVT in terms of radical departure from ET as compared to the above two examples?


Ron again,

I posted a question for you in the VT user forum. Sorry, I forgot.
_________________________
Do or do not. There is no try.

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#624934 - 04/13/04 11:28 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
I butchered my earlier post three posts up. The second sentence makes no sense and is flat out wrong. I'm not sure what I was trying to say.

This I know I'm right about, the K3a stretch works great with the EBVT.
_________________________
Do or do not. There is no try.

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#624935 - 04/14/04 04:35 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
The EBVT is not designed to be or sound *radically* different. In fact, most people including technicians don't really notice that a piano tuned in the EBVT is "different", they just notice how good the piano sounds.

It is designed to be as mild of a well temperament as it can be, preserving the charachter, effects or "colors" of each of the 24 major and minor keys and yet be compatible with other fixed pitch instruments, be useful for all kinds of music as ET is supposed to be.

It was designed in 1992 and since that time, I have seen that it is possible to make a milder Victorian and also to make Quasi Equal Temperaments but I still rely on the EBVT to produce the kind of sound that I consider to be ideal under most circumstances.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624936 - 04/14/04 01:39 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
I agree with what you're saying. If does sound better, but I would not be able to tell the piano wasn't tuned in ET if I didn't know. The Best Broadwood is very good too. Different than EBVT, but I'm still not sure how. It will take some time since I'm not willing to retune the entire piano every other day. Right now I've got it tuned to your file and I'll tweak it here and there to keep it in tune. It has also been raining for 4 straight days and the humidity in my room has gone from 28% to 45%. The piano keeps going sharp, but mainly the right string unison. The left string of the upper tenor and treble holds the pitch, but the right will go sharp. The middle one moves just a hair. The lower tenor section and bass are pretty stable. Strange. Anyway, I have to clean it up almost everyday right now. It's hard to compare tuning files if the unisons aren't right.
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Do or do not. There is no try.

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#624937 - 04/14/04 09:25 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
A Dampp-Chaser system would help. I've got one on mine and my piano never sounds bad. You bring up one of the greatest impediments to the study of the effects of different temperaments. You can't ever conduct a truly scientifically controlled study. You experiences will almost always be anecdotal.

But I'd surely like to put my idea up against the Best Broadwood and other popular mild Victorian style temperaments like the Moore and Coleman 11 (and/or 16) in a contest like we had back in 1998. I still think I could win it hands down with the way I temper and the way I stretch the octaves. I literally tune the piano to itself.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624938 - 04/15/04 02:12 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Bill,

Exactly how do you stretch the octaves? I know it depends on the piano, but do you have a formula that can be input into the VT or other ETD that measures inharmonicity?

I looked up the offset for the EBVT in the VT and saw the range of major 3rds in cents. The Best Broadwood looks a little less severe to me, but works out to a sharper tuning than EBVT especially in the low tenor and bass. Am I missing something?
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#624939 - 04/15/04 07:58 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3225
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I make an equal beating compromise between the octave and 5th and when I have tuned enough notes, an equal beating compromise between the double octave and octave and 5th. If I want maximum stretch, I favor a pure 5th and octave and 5th and allow the octave and double octaves to have a slight beat. It's really very simple but all of the ETD's calculate the octaves on an entirely different basis.

That is one of the reasons why I don't use my Accutuner's FAC program. I can use the Accutuner in the program mode and make whatever compromise I want. Now, I think Ron Koval understands what I do and I don't really understand his method of making custom stretch with the Verituner. Maybe he can explain.

I wrote an article long ago called "How to Tune *Tempered* Octaves. It is posted on my website. Here is the link if it will come thru:

http://www.billbremmer.com/TemperedOctaves.htm
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#624940 - 04/15/04 09:57 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1658
Loc: Chicagoland
Ralph, make sure to compare apples to apples. I think you may have gotten the temperament adjustment, and the style adjustment mixed up during tuning, somehow. Changing a temperament should not effect the amount of stretch set on your piano. You've gotten some good advice on adjusting styles in the Verituner, both here, and on the VT forum. Now you need to just tune and listen, listen, listen to work on matching the machine to your preferences.

When dealing with very mild temperaments, or equal temperaments, it is possible to use the machines to come up with pleasing matching of the octaves and octave + 5ths, as Bill does.

(Think about this part) As you move on to stronger temperaments, the beating of the fifth will influence the width of the octave. The width of octaves will vary on notes close to each other. (tempered octaves)

You will not find a machine that will be able to calculate and set this up for you.... yet.

Machines and aural tuners approach alternate temperament tuning from opposite directions. An aural tuner will work AWAY from a pure interval. That is, find the place where the interval is pure, and then alter it to get the required effect. A machine divides. (they're just fancy calculators...) Give it the width of an octave, and it will split it up into equal temperament. (way oversimplified, here) Once it has that figured out, it then uses offset numbers to get to the requested alternate temperament. Your finished tuning will match the piano only as well as the machine is capable of matching the piano, if you are totally relying on the machine. That's why I continue to recommend the Verituner. For me, it comes down to the quality of the measuring and calculating.

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

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


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#624941 - 04/15/04 11:02 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
fratheni Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 8
Loc: salzburg
Congratulation for all these comments. The probleme is only, the most artists cannot hear the different.
First, for nearly each concert, I have to change the piano pitch. Second, in summer, in winter, you come with your tuning fork in the hall, and where is your tuning-fork-pitch?
So I bought my first "machine".

Franz Nistl
Austria

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#624942 - 04/15/04 11:35 AM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21528
Loc: Oakland
I used to worry about the pitch of my fork, so I bought another one to compare it with. I use steel forks, and they have little variation from time to time, so I am confident that most artists cannot hear any difference. I used to get asked to tune to an organ, which required a big pitch change from season to season, but most organs now are either air conditioned or have constantly heated pipe chambers.

The problem is finding a decent fork. I am fortunate to have bought a heavy steel Deagan early in my career. I guard it constantly. I recently bought the English equivalent, and it is not nearly as good. The harmonics are very prominent on it, making it unpleasant to use.

I was talking to Bobby Hutcherson about Deagan a couple of times recently. He said that many years ago he visited Deagan and saw vibraphone tone bars being tuned. It was done by a blind guy in a room three floors underground. First he would tune the bar to pitch, and then tune its harmonics. Each bar would take a couple of weeks.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#624943 - 04/15/04 05:07 PM Re: Do you tune by ear or machine?
Robert Scott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 283
Loc: Minnesota
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
I used to worry about the pitch of my fork, so I bought another one to compare it with. I use steel forks, and they have little variation from time to time, so I am confident that most artists cannot hear any difference...[/b]
The big problem with forks is temperature. My tests show that a steel fork varies about 1 cent for every 7 or 8 degrees F change. If you want half-cent stability then you must maintain 4 degree temperature consistency. Some tuners keep their fork in a shirt pocket so that their body temperature stabilizes the fork.

As for absolute accuracy, even the cheapest fork can be trimmed to absolute accuracy, as shown on my website:

http://www.tunelab-world.com/calforks.html

Robert Scott
Real-Time Specialties
_________________________
Robert Scott
Hopkins, Minnesota
http://www.tunelab-world.com

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