My Piano in EBVT III

Posted by: Grandpianoman

My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 03:21 AM

Greetings all,

Last week, as many of you here on PW may know, Bill Bremmer flew out to my home and tuned my piano in his "EBVT III" Temperament. During the day on Saturday, Bill tuned the piano, and that evening I had a small group of frends over to hear the results and enjoy an evening of piano music. I also met Randy Potter who made the drive down from Bend, Oregon, and joined us for the afternoon and evening. We all had a great time. After Bill finished tuning, Randy Potter sat down at the piano, played it a bit, looked up at Bill and said "I want to tune my piano this way". smile

Earlier in the week, my piano rebuilder, Randy Cox, flew up from LA to install a new backaction kit from Wessell Nickel&Gross. (Thanks to Gene Nelson here on PW for posting back in Sept about this kit, and to WNickel&Gross for an excellent product) While it took a bit of work to get it in there, the resulting playback of both the Ampico and the LX is now in a class by itself. Both mechanisms play the piano now with such preciseness and finesse, it's beyond my expectations. Here is a picture of the damper tray during the installation.



The carbon-fibre is so much lighter and quicker than the wood, so as a result, the Ampico and the LX have less resistance lifting the dampers which equals more precise playback. Each note has 3 adjustments and operate differently than the the old tray, which had no adjustments. The resulting playback is so crisp and clean, it's like a new piano! The rail itself is made out of aluminum...overall, it's a great product!

I wanted to record Bill's tuning right after he finished, but because we had guests coming, I did not have the time to record. I did record 2 days later, after Randy Cox was finished adjusting the Ampico and LX. As a result, the tuning is not quite like Bill left it...some unisons are out, and the piano fell a bit flat in spots. Another factor is that we pounded the upper 2 treble sections pins down the night before Bill arrived, that, and the fact that both player systems really play the piano hard, more so than a real artist, so the tuning is not as pristine as when Bill left it, but you can get a very good idea of the EBVT sound. As Bill said, "I believe there are two factors here. One is that in spite of the extraordinary time taken to tune the piano, especially the unisons, the player system drives the piano as hard or harder than the most exuberant artist. It would be expected that the day after, a broadcast quality tuning would need to be freshened up.

Secondly, the fact that the piano generally went flat to some degree points to heat generated from the player systems. The latter is perhaps more significant than the former."

Bill brought his Sanderson ETD and recorded every note for me. I now have this tuning record installed in my ETD's and I will be able to replicate Bill's tuning in the future.

I have never heard my piano sound this good. There is something "right" about this EBVT III. Every piece I played sounds great.

For those of you who are not familiar with my piano, it is a 1925 Mason & Hamlin 7ft RBB. The entire rebuilt piano, including the installation of both mechanisms, was done by Randy Cox of Anaheim Hills. It has Ari Isaac's Cadenza "S" hammers and his bass strings. It also has the Wapin bridge conversion done by Roy Peters, who posts here on PW. http://www.wix.com/petersrpt/peters-piano It also has both a rebuilt Ampico Piano Roll reproducing system from the 1920's and the LX playback system from www.live-performance.com

Here are a few Ampico and LX selections in this EBVT III. Enjoy, and there will be more coming in the future.

A big thank you to Bill Bremmer for taking the time come out to my home and do his magic. It was also a pleasure to meet Randy Potter. We all had a great time! GP smile

1. Ampico Piano Roll: "Reflets dans L'eau" by Debussy played by Leo Ornstein played on the Ampico http://www.box.net/shared/4i7phr8ezs

2. Earl Wild plays Chopin on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/t0kgk4oqfu

3. Ampico Piano Roll: "The Torrent" composed and played by Leslie Loth on the Ampico http://www.box.net/shared/axl7oyhuad

4. Ampico Piano Roll: "Etude Tableux" composed and played by Sergei Rachmaninoff on the Ampico http://www.box.net/shared/4k7r0qaybf

5. Gershwin's "Our Love is Here to Stay" on the LX
http://www.box.net/shared/0i7ajimsmx

6. Gershwin plays Gershwin "Rhapsody in Blue" on the LX taken from the Duo-Art Piano Roll http://www.box.net/shared/mf14vmvryl

7. Gerold Robbins plays Scarlatti on the LX (from the Bosendorfer SE recordings) converted to the LX format by Wayne Stahnke.

Scarlatti Four Sonatas
1. Sonata in C minor, K.11
2. Sonata in G. K.14
3. Sonata in E, K.531
4. Sonata in A, K.533

http://www.box.net/shared/e6oakti0yd
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 08:37 AM

Congrats! Sounds like a wonderful experience. Since I know you are a "tuning experimenter", let me suggest something for further investigation. Compare your new saved tuning with other tuning(s) that you have liked. jJust compare the A's to try and see how the stretch compares. I believe that there is a lot of unexplored effects based just on altering the stretch. (ie. "Grand Obsession")

You may find it interesting to try ET as well as other temperaments using the stretch that you liked so much with this recent tuning. This also points out a problem for ETD users trying to emulate Bill's tuning without customizing the stretch parameters of the machine. You can also double check the EBVT III offsets after matching the stretch to see if you can re-create the tuning via machine calculation. (does the calculated tuning match the saved aural tuning?)

I can't hear the recordings here, but will check them out tonite!

thanks!

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: RoyP

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 08:53 AM

Hi Grandpianoman:

Still keeping Randy busy, I see. The piano is sounding great. I have been working with the EBVT some, and do like it. Have you voiced the Isaacs hammers at all? I'm glad you went to those. They aren't compacting like the others did.

Bill is right that the pounding by the player systems and the heat both make tuning stability difficult. One thing I would point out in regards to heat is that the LX power supply is different from the other systems on the market. Wayne said he has three patents on the power supply alone. On most power supplies, there is a voltage regulator. That is what gets hot. So there are fans installed to cool them. They blow heated air under the soundboard of the piano. The LX doesn't have that, but controls the voltage on the circuit driver boards. This takes away a major heat component. I don't know how it works. The power supply also is built to turn on and off when you turn off the CD player. So, there is no electronic vampire to suck energy while the thing is turned off. These are two points which don't affect playback, but which I like about the system.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 09:45 AM

GPM:

Thanks for spending all this time and effort!

I only listened to “Our Love is here to Stay”. It took half an hour to download… I liked the amount of stretch very much. It was better than the RCT stretch that you posted a while ago. And the stability was pretty darn good too, much better than the piano Garrick Ohlsson played for Chopin’s 200th birthday. I am very glad you like EBVT III, but whatever part of my mind is musical just does not understand it. I hear that some chords are more dissident than others, but it does not make sense to me that they should be. It sounds wrong, not right, to me.

I sent you a PM in regards to the “further investigation” that Ron mentioned.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 10:57 AM

Grandpianoman, thanks. I haven't heard everything yet but I loved the Debussy. The title means "Reflections upon the water" and you really get that idea from the music.

Jeff, it would not make sense to me that all chords would be equally dissonant. The relative consonance/dissonance of well tempered tuning is always according to the key signature. There was always a reason to choose a key signature for its expected color. There was always a reason to modulate: a place to go from where one is and a place to return. So, when you hear more dissonance at any particular time, it is a way of building tension which will be followed by release. The whole musical experience is far more satisfying and the way it was actually intended to sound.

The Debussy would be well worth your time to download, it would probably take about 45 minutes. You can hear many sustained chords and modulations. You will clearly hear the tension and release I referred to. the return to the home key is so much more satisfying after an adventure away from it than it ever could be in ET where all harmonies bear equal amounts of mild dissonance an no consonance.

By the way, you don't have to download these selections, you can just click "play" but perhaps if you don't have a high speed connection, that won't work, I'm not sure.

Ron, the amount of stretch there is in each octave is different from one to the next. What there is in this tuning on this piano is unique to this piano and this temperament and cannot be applied to any other temperament or any other piano.

I'll bet that Grandpianoman won't be very interested in returning to ET. If anything, he'll want to try the original EBVT and then 1/7 Comma Meantone.
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 11:16 AM

"Ron, the amount of stretch there is in each octave is different from one to the next. What there is in this tuning on this piano is unique to this piano and this temperament and cannot be applied to any other temperament or any other piano."

Yup, got that - my interest has always been to look at how the inharmonicity drives the stretch. You may remember me writing years ago that I wondered if what you do is more a "style" than a temperament in the respect of being able to "get there" from an ET tuning via machine. While EBVT III offset numbers have been published, I've never seen anything in print to indicate that someone has replicated an aural tuning done by you with those numbers. I believe that GP has the gear available to test this...

My last class talked about the difference that both stretches and temperaments can make to customize the tuning to the client.

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Gene Nelson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 11:27 AM

Glad this WNG kit worked out for you.
Actually, the carbon fiber is more dense than the wood.
It may appear lighter to the player mechanism because damper return
springs are not really necessary - I would be curious if Randy chose to
use return springs. Also a tray return spring is
not necessary. A tray spring is probably what helped warp your
original.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 11:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

Jeff, it would not make sense to me that all chords would be equally dissonant. The relative consonance/dissonance of well tempered tuning is always according to the key signature. There was always a reason to choose a key signature for its expected color. There was always a reason to modulate: a place to go from where one is and a place to return. So, when you hear more dissonance at any particular time, it is a way of building tension which will be followed by release. The whole musical experience is far more satisfying and the way it was actually intended to sound.

.....


Thanks for the explanation, Bill. I have read this before, understand it, and actually heard what you are talking about. It was a piece on Performance Today on NPR. I do not remember what the piece was. It must have been classical. It did not modulate much like a romantic piece would. What I first noticed was how pure the chords close to Tonic were. Then I noticed that the chords further from Tonic were not, and this made me nervous. I knew instinctively that if the piece modulated a little bit more that it would go beyond my “dissonance threshold.” It never did modulate that far, but I did not enjoy listening to it because of my dread. I suppose if I had listened to the piece a number of times, I could have gotten used to it and maybe liked the temperament. But what was going on made sense to me. What I hear in EBVT III does not. My musical sense may not be as refined as others.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 01:55 PM

I particularly like the Debussy and Scarlatti pieces.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 06:05 PM

Bill & GP,

The piano does sound very nice! Very musical!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 08:58 PM

Thanks for all your comments....will talk more about that later....Here is an Ampico roll I forgot to put in my original post.

"The Ice Skaters Waltz" by Waldtaufel Played by Leslie Loth, EBVT III Tuning

http://www.box.net/shared/k58tkbj5zn

There are more to come as I transfer these from my digital recorder.

For those interested in my sound recording equipment. I have upgraded the recorder and the mics. The digital recorder is a Korg MR-1000 1-Bit Pro Mobile Recorder...a breeze to use and it's portable. The 1-bit recording is fantastic. I just wish when reducing to mp3's, the sound was better, but that's not the fault of the Korg. The mics are great....Avenson Audio STO-2 Matched Omni-Electret Condenser Mics. These sound so natural on piano and guitar...one of the reasons I bought them.

Enjoy, and more to come! GP
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/04/10 09:48 PM

Next batch.....the Die Meistersinger (The Master Singer) from Richard Wagner and the Concert Study by Ernst von Dohnanyi are 2 of my favorite Ampico rolls to show the immense power of the Ampico and the M&H bass sound. Also, Bill's EBVT III really shines as well. Enjoy, with more to come as I transfer these. smile GP


1. Die Meistersinger p/b Rybner http://www.box.net/shared/nj3u8dq19m Bill Bremmer's EBVT III Tuning

2. Concert Study composed and played by Ernst Von Dohnanyi http://www.box.net/shared/l0crbc2zsc Bill Bremmer's EBVT III Tuning
Posted by: Erus

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/05/10 12:20 AM

Those are some very nice recordings and Bill's tuning sounds very good.

It sounds like your player systems can really pound those strings!

It would be interesting if you tell us later how close you are to replicate Bill's tuning by yourself. Did you also have a tuning master class? Did you just watch him?

Don't hesitate to post more recordings smile
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/05/10 05:28 AM

Hello, GrandPianoMan thanks so much for sending those very enjoyable recordings. I like the tone of those pianos, the quality of the recordings is also amazing (as the players actions, your efforts to have nice pianos seem to pay !).

I find that the tunings have a nice resonance, and open tone, and I understand how enjoyable the pianos may be to play, nevertheless, some harmony with different rendering have not much musical sense, as the flat(no beat) interval, I or the G5 that I find a little high. This induce to me a little sensation of less listening comfort. or does not have, justification in music (I am twisted by Jeff's comment, but I may say I agree).

That said, The resonance part seem to be something similar to the Chas resonance, with a concentration of the relation around the double octave, with the second inversion of the minor chord at the bottom.

I dont see how this can be coherent if the temperament is uneven, but the reconciliation of double octave and 12th provide a coherence of the spectra that play a role not only at the top note, and to me that is some sort of "self locking" to the good equilibrium between frequencies (part of the Chas effect is that)

This may be what Bill call the "mindless octave", as long as the lower part is coherently sounding the evenness of beating of the 12th and double octave induce an evenness at the M3 and M6th level, that will borrow the same beat difference with the bottom note. Then I've find that the hot spot for the double octave relation is a real emphasis of the sound.

I dont grasp the logic on how that may be working if the temperament is uneven, but as only 4 notes are involved each time if the relation between M3 and M6 is coherent within the tuning, that should work.
In any case iH give us ample room to conform to resonance .

I had little time to really enjoy recording all the music. I will listen more during the week end.

In the meantime, I am experimenting with that Major triad second inversion as used to expand the double octave (and octave) in the tuning, as this seem to me an interesting thing.

Sorry to be out of topic, I am not totally anyway .

Can someone tell me, when the 12th and 15th are beating the same speed, what doe sit mean in regard of the 4Tth created with the bottom note ?.

PS European grand pianos never have damper springs, on damper levers, even the tray is free most of the time (the pedal mechanism have a return spring)

Best regards.

To summarize, I propose the theory that the good resonant tone is due to the expanding of the tuning (!)

Best regards; Thank you again
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/05/10 05:57 AM

Well, euh, I am truly sorry, but I am listening to Rhapsody in blue, sound false to my ears since the beginning.

Not adding anything to music...

The resonance is not even that large. something is non natural.... (apart from the roll) like somebody that work with aleg shorter than the other.

And I feel that the tuning pins and upper wire segment is not tense to the top, that can be hears in the somewhat mufled tone of the treble (lack of air.)

I am really apologizing, I had wished that the tuning would tone better.

Something remains : to me, for the pianist, playing a piano that surprise the ear because of unexpected harmonies may be fun, more than for the listener.


I also have the impression that my theory is correct, and the that justness progressively re conciliate in the treble (and bass ?) with the "mindless octaves", the tuning get closer to the natural harmony, that make the tuning acceptable. I just wonder what it would gibe if octaves doubles and triples should follow the same pattern all along.

Because of that "natural resonance" concept, I believe that the pitch of notes can naturally settle to a resonant spot that allow the tuning to sound nicely when larger span is used.

That said. The listening comfort is good as long as I dont think "justness"

Just wish I could have been more positive, sorry Bill. (the unisons are too close to me, also)
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/05/10 06:07 AM

What is funny is that some chords/tonalities have the resonance of the piano that have not been tuned for years, while others sound "no beat" (dry). That makes to me a mix that goes against the coherence of the tone , generally speaking.

In the midele some tonalities are good, that is just a question of luck.

I am still listening, no piece sound perfect to me, alqyas something make my teeth... bad idea, from the start.

sorry again,

Sad as it may be time consuming to come to that solution.

I feel bad ..
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/05/10 06:08 AM

GrandPianoMan can you post recordings done with another tuning so we can compare ?

Thanks so much to allow us to benefit from those experiment, I highly appreciate that.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/05/10 07:27 AM

Kamin:

You posted, ”Can someone tell me, when the 12th and 15th are beating the same speed, what doe sit mean in regard of the 4Tth created with the bottom note ?

In the case of equal beating 12ths and 15th with the common note on top and an implied fourth on the bottom, the beat speed of the 12th and 15th will be exactly half the beat speed of the fourth. And by combining the M3-M6 test for the fourth, the M3-M17 test for the 15th and the M17-M6 for the 12th, a series of progressive RBIs are available as a test.

Example with an arbitrary P4 beat speed:

P4 G3-C4 beats 1 bps wide. M3 D#3-G3 beats 1 bps slower than M6 D#3-C4

P15 G3-G5 will beat ½ bps wide. M3 D#3-G3 beats ½ bps slower than M17 D#3-G5.

P12 C4-G5 will beat ½ bps narrow. M17 D#3-G5 beats ½ bps slower than M6 D#3-C4.

So we have a progression of three RBIs from slowest to fastest of M3 D#3-G3, M17 D#3-G5, and M6 D#3-C4.

…..

Since these are tests, not just checks, inharmonicity will not affect the results. And if for some reason the 4th is narrow, the justness of the other intervals and the RBI progression is opposite.

I hope this is what you were looking for, and I hope one cup of coffee is enough to say it correctly!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/05/10 09:12 AM

Kamin and Jeff, Grandpianoman and I expected you to say what you did. If every pianist for the last 20 years for whom I have tuned this way perceived what I do the way you do, don't you think I would have heard some comment about that by now? Could it not be that your own perception is wrapped up and locked up in the total devotion to temperament equality and it has robbed you of all ability to enjoy music for the way it was intended and expected to sound?

Grandpianoman is a professional musician of the very highest caliber who studied music at the university and earns his living solely as a musician (but is not a pianist). He has a fine home and his very expensive piano is only one of the many fine possessions that he has. Don't you think it is somewhat condescending of you to tell him what is wrong? Should you not allow him to have his own opinion about what kind of sound he prefers? Are you really right and everyone at his home that evening, a group which included other fine and professional musicians are all wrong? Is the entire history of tuning before the 20th Century all wrong? Is only mathematical theory right?

Your opinions, as I said, were anticipated but they will not influence or change anything whatsoever about the way I tune. They will not cancel the session with Randy Potter in June that there will be for me to teach him to tune as I do. They will not prevent this preeminent instructor of tuning and piano technology who has students all over the world and teaches at virtually every PTG seminar and institute from broadening his knowledge and skills and adding what he learns to his curriculum. Do you presume to call him a fool and to tell him not to try to tune this way as you have told me repeatedly and also warned Patrick from Finland of the dire consequences of daring to do anything but what you say is correct?

Is it possible that more and more people, technicians and musicians alike will find these concepts to be musically appealing and leave only you to express your dislike of them? Was Peter Serkin wrong when he wrote his long letter that was published in the PTG Journal? Is PTG also wrong to present that idea for tuning, far more unequal than mine with far more dissonance versus consonance than mine at the next PTG convention? Is everybody who likes these ideas, finds them appealing, wants their pianos tuned this way wrong and only you are right?
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/05/10 09:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

Don't you think it is somewhat condescending of you to tell him what is wrong?

.....


It would be condescending if that is what I did. That is not what I did. However, it is what you are doing, Bill. Rather than saying what you or others simply prefer, as I did, you are saying that my preference is wrong. You are being hypocritical, Bill.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 06:54 AM

Frankly , I was disappointed, expecting something more coherent, more fun, more resonance.

Those recordings have been uploaded exactly for that purpose, so everyone can have an idea of how it tones and eventually comment. (thank you again) in fact it was so strange that at some moment I thought I will not comment, as probably some others will to not sound rude.

I simply state what that tuning provide to me in terms of musicality or listening pleasure. It is perfect, if some enjoy it, it does not worry me , why would it ?

But thats just me, and I am also listening with "perfect pitch" which does not help when it comes with uneven temperaments.

But for instance I appreciate those recordings in Well or Werckmeister III, etc : http://www.pianoteq.com/listen_historical .

They make sense to me, musically.

(I also appreciated what you did with that small spinet that the pianist recorded, and what PPat recording in EBVT)

My impression is really about disequilibrium in harmony - voila, sorry - but I agree with the way some ET are bland and not having enough harmony sometime, I listened to a perfetcly tuned Steinway recently, a concetr for CHopin anniversary was given in Poland, Chopin concertos, with orchestra.
Lot of stretch , so the piano pass above the orchestra, , crispness,) but little harmony. While listening I understood what I had find with Alfredo "Chas" approach, and it missed me in the listening.

Those sensations of lack of harmony may well be the origin of your quest for something different, and better.

Best wishes
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 11:15 AM

You are apparently in the minority, Isaac. I heard a few moments of the Beethoven sonata in Werkmeister III and had to turn it off. It sounded terrible to me. What puzzles me is that you seem to like a recording that has a far more unequal temperament than the EBVT III, far worse unisons and octaves that scream. It is the way I tune for everybody and nobody yet has ever said what you did. Instead, I get phone calls, e-mails, thank you cards in the mail, cash gratuities and technicians on this list wanting to learn how to do it the way Jim Coleman, Sr. and Randy Potter have. I am not tuning for you, so it doesn't matter to me what you think and your opinion will not change my practices.

I am eager to hear how well Grandpianoman can restore the tuning using the data I gave him. That, after all, was the main purpose of the trip.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 11:59 AM

So first of all we are told that we should wait for Grandpianoman to post the recordings of the tunings ok?

Then these tunings are posted .People chime in and give their opinions. Then when an unfavourable opinion is posted that is not liked by the people involved in the tunings procedure they are jumped all over.

There is a reason that Isaac and Jeff are in the minority. Some of us realized this “set-up” and refuse to participate in yet another reason for you to continually promote yourself and your own work Bill.

If your ego will not allow you to take honest opinions of your work then you have not learned much about life or this business.

If you cannot take constructive criticism then perhaps stay out of camera range.

Why do you think some of us refuse to comment on this project?

It is quite apparent to me now that you are not interested in honest opinions Bill you are only interested in praise.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 12:30 PM

A shame that the tuning was partly lost.But I do like the Debussy and Scriabin recordings very much.

Bill, are you still tuning in the earlier EBVT's, too? For some pieces, I may like them more. Please don't take offense--I just wish there were more recordings using those, so we could compare them to the EBVT III.

Isaac makes an interesting point about a wide stretch being used so that a piano can ride on top of an orchestra. To get the treble high, the middle is stretched, too? It doesn't have to be, but often is? And EBVT wants, in part, to bring back more harmonious sounds, and thus uses a few pure 5ths in the middle?

But let's not get into an argument over one temperament being better than another.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 12:38 PM

Dan, I already know that you, Emmery, Jeff and Kamin are ET only people and what your opinion of anything but ET is, even if you never heard it. So, what is new? For 20 years I've been told by technicians that what I am doing is wrong and have been warned not to do it. So, what else is new? I don't care what your opinion is. If you don't like it, I don't care. I only care about what my customers think and about helping other technicians to learn how to tune ET, the EBVT III and octaves which is what I have been doing for many years. One more time: I don't care what you think. So, if you don't want to comment, don't comment! Don't comment on why you don't want to comment either because I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK!

For all of those who "realized" what the "set up" was, leave room for those who are actually interested. I already know what your opinion is, so you do not need to take the trouble to write it. Your opinion will not change my opinion nor will it change the opinions of those who pay for my services. Your opinion will not change in any way whatsoever how I choose to tune the piano. So, don't bother. You will be wasting your time and energy and accomplish nothing.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 12:55 PM

The tuning sounded decent. The piano sounded mechanical.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 12:57 PM

No one is trying to change anyone’s opinion of anything here that I can see. No one stated that you are wrong either.

The definition of a “forum” is for the free exchange of ideas, techniques and opinions.

If people cannot share their honest opinion without you becoming a child of 5 years of age then this forum ceases to function.

I have seen you claim to be a musician and artist.

A true artist will paint a picture, produce a canvas or write a song. A true artist will then present this to the public.

There will be supporters and detractors. A true artist will take this all in stride. After all it is art. Some will like and some will not. Get a hold of yourself Bremmer, grow up and act like a professional.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
A shame that the tuning was partly lost.But I do like the Debussy and Scriabin recordings very much.

Bill, are you still tuning in the earlier EBVT's, too? For some pieces, I may like them more. Please don't take offense--I just wish there were more recordings using those, so we could compare them to the EBVT III.

Isaac makes an interesting point about a wide stretch being used so that a piano can ride on top of an orchestra. To get the treble high, the middle is stretched, too? It doesn't have to be, but often is? And EBVT wants, in part, to bring back more harmonious sounds, and thus uses a few pure 5ths in the middle?

But let's not get into an argument over one temperament being better than another.



Thank you for your comments and questions, Jake.

The loss is actually quite minimal but that is why I am interested to learn how well GP can restore it and make use of the data for the future. Any studio recoding session would have a technician on standby to restore a tuning at the slight hint of deterioration.

I still use the original EBVT on occasion but not the EBVT II. The only difference between the original EBVT and the EBVT III is that F#3 and E4 are both sharpened slightly. (The EBVT II has only E4 sharpened). However, think about all of the intervals related to those two notes: The pure 5th, F#3-C#4 is now tempered. The pure 4th B3-E4 is also now tempered. The F#3-A#3 M3 and the E3-G#3 M3s are slower, less harsh but the D3-F#3 and C4-E4 M3s are faster. The original EBVT has more of an early 19th Century character than late 19th Century.

The way the octaves are tuned is not so mysterious but a smooth curve from a calculated ETD program won't do exactly the same thing. Think of it this way: What would an aural tuner do when tuning octaves from a temperament that was intended to be equal but for whatever reason, did not turn out as expected?

Let's say too that the tuner did not know any rapidly beating interval checks. The tuner would first tune an octave, then compare the corresponding 4th and 5th below the note being tuned (thinking of tuning upwards from the temperament octave). The tuner may try to improve slightly any tempered 5ths. The more a 5th is tempered, the wider the octave may be tuned to improve the 5th.

If the 5th was pure or nearly so in the temperament, then it would require little or no stretch in the octave to make the octave, 4th and 5th agree. The idea in the high 4th and 5th octaves is to have no objectionably beating 5ths. Therefore, when the note D5 is tuned, for example, G4 below it was already sharpened slightly to improve the C4-G4 5th and that made the G3-G4 octave certainly wider than the G#3-G#4 octave because the C#4-G#4 5th is pure. The D4-D5 octave must be made wider yet for both the C4-G4 and G4-D5 5ths which are contiguous to both sound good. The D3-D4 octave can't be very wide or the D3-D5 double octave would be overly wide.

When tuning by ear, it is all easily heard and done. But a calculated tuning would tend to stretch all notes in both directions upon a smooth curve.

Once the note F5 is reached, the double octave is compared with the octave and 5th below it. Both are made to be equal beating. Because the 5ths in the EBVT III are all tempered by differing amounts, this also means that all of these double octave and octave and 5th comparisons will vary in size (width) from one to the next. The difference in widths however is still always very slight and is generally not perceived in a musical context. Only careful interval checks would reveal them.

Once F6 is reached, the triple octave and double octave and 5th are compared analogously to the way the double octave and octave and 5th are from F5. Triple octaves and double octaves and 5ths are tuned as equal beating to the top.

This is a very good way to tune treble octaves in ET, by the way. By ear, you would do the very same thing but because all of the 5ths are tempered alike, there would be far more consistency from one octave to the next.

The Bass is handled very much the same as the treble, only a mirror image of it.

Now, all of this can be approximated with an ETD and I do it this way sometimes but it is never quite as good as the aural method. Enter the correction figures for the EBVT III (or EBVT) and tune according to the calculated program from C3 to F5. Now, play all of the 5ths chromatically starting from C4-G5. When you encounter a 5th that beats a little too strong for your taste, sharpen the upper note of that 5th in your ETD program by 1 cent. Tune to that and check to see if that made the improvement you wanted. Usually 1 cent will do it but a little more or less may be what works. You won't want to make a tempered 5th completely pure, just improve it. Sometimes, all I really have to do is fix D5. The rest are usually OK. Whatever you change, enter that change in the program.

When you get to F5, reset your partial selection to the 1st partial (F5 read on F5). Play F5 as it has already been tuned and stop the pattern. Now play F3 and A#3 and adjust the cents up and down until the pattern rolls or moves equally sharp for F3 and flat for A#3. Whatever the cents reading is, enter that an tune F5 to that.

You can continue the very same all the way to the top but I recommend that at F6, return to F3 and A#3 for the readings. What this does is tune those high treble notes to the actual inharmonicity from the temperament octave. It will give you a beautiful and very in tune sounding treble and high treble. It won't match the calculated stretch at all but it will tune the piano to itself and that is what makes it sound so good.

You'll find that with practice, it will not take very much time to find those values from F5 to C8, only a few extra minutes that will be well worth it.

For the Bass, the ETD will most likely already read on the 6th partial but if not, use the 6th partial for all notes from A0 to B2. Starting downward at B2, play alternately B4 and F#4. Find the point where the pattern shifts equally for both notes and enter that reading in the program and tune B2 to it. Continue that way to B1 and then go back to B4 and F#4 again and tune that way all the way to A0.

This method can be used for ET of course, any quasi ET or any Well Temperament or 18th Century or later temperament. For the very early temperaments, it is better to use only the double octave as beatless idea.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 02:13 PM

Here, for anyone interested is the temperament Peter Serkin likes. The figures in the Journal are not the offsets to use with and ETD calculated program. They were measurements of aural tuning. This temperament will work well with a calculated stretch because it is a meantone temperament. In meantone, all 5ths are tempered alike, so you don't have the problem there is with an irregular WT like the EBVT and EBVT III.

It is the Jean Baptiste Romieu 1/7 comma meantone with one modification, the E-B 5th is pure. That mitigates the harsh side of the temperament just enough for Serkin's liking. He is touring the country using it. The key of A-flat sparkles with energy. The minor keys with four or more flats are very dark and disturbing. Excellent for Rachmaninoff's and Fauré's darker pieces. All 17th and 18th Century music have the proper tonal character. Dissonant chords in Jazz are all the more incisive. Show tunes and standards are superbly singable.

Grandpianoman, you will want to try this some day! Just use the RCT or Tunelab default stretch.

C: +3.0
C#: -1.0
D: +1.0
D#: +6.0
E: -1.0
F:+4.0
F#: 0.0
G: +2.0
A: 0.0
A#: +5.0
B: +1.0
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 07:29 PM

I have found this discussion interesting, and eagerly listen to any sample recordings.

However, I have a problem listening to and evaluating the tuning (temperament) if the unisons are out, and unless I am overlooking something I haven't heard a recording that is really good enough to be evaluated. Am I the only one? I realize that the tuning drifted before the recording could be made.

While we all know the importance of a good temperament, it is the unisons which are critical for fine tuning and some think they are the most difficult aspect as well.

I realize that the tuning drifted before the recording could be made. Hopefully next time it might be recorded after
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/06/10 10:46 PM

I am in the process of re-tuning with Bill's figures as I type this...taking a break right now (this is not easy work, I am trying to make the unisons as clean as I can.....may hat's off the pro's out there who do this day in and day out.) smile Of course I am going string by string with my rubber mutes as opposed to strip muting, which takes me a bit longer.....I watched Bill use a muting stip, but did ask how to do it. frown I should have a few recordings posted later tonight.


Interesting phenomenon....I have both the RCT and the IPhone Tunelab ETD's going...I can see both as I tune...both ETD's have agreed on pretty much everything...except as I now tune the 6th octave and above, I am finding some notes that they do NOT agree on...RCT says it's flat, Tunelab, says it's sharp, or vice-versa.....interesting...the partial selection is correct...not sure why the discrepency...however, I taking the final word this time around from the RCT. Next time I tune, I will go with Tunelab's tuning.

Bill, thanks for the Serkin figures...have already written them down.

Stay tuned (pun intended)....more recordings on their way.......GP
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 04:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Here, for anyone interested is the temperament Peter Serkin likes. The figures in the Journal are not the offsets to use with and ETD calculated program. They were measurements of aural tuning. This temperament will work well with a calculated stretch because it is a meantone temperament. In meantone, all 5ths are tempered alike, so you don't have the problem there is with an irregular WT like the EBVT and EBVT III.

It is the Jean Baptiste Romieu 1/7 comma meantone with one modification, the E-B 5th is pure. That mitigates the harsh side of the temperament just enough for Serkin's liking. He is touring the country using it. The key of A-flat sparkles with energy. The minor keys with four or more flats are very dark and disturbing. Excellent for Rachmaninoff's and Fauré's darker pieces. All 17th and 18th Century music have the proper tonal character. Dissonant chords in Jazz are all the more incisive. Show tunes and standards are superbly singable.

Grandpianoman, you will want to try this some day! Just use the RCT or Tunelab default stretch.

C: +3.0
C#: -1.0
D: +1.0
D#: +6.0
E: -1.0
F:+4.0
F#: 0.0
G: +2.0
A: 0.0
A#: +5.0
B: +1.0


I am listening to Toru Takemitsu recordings by Perter Serkin, and while I understand well his interest for other temperaments and contemporary music, I doubt that he will play for instance Takemitsu in any other temperament than ET.
Listen to that magnificent piece : "les yeux clos" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3g_wsokvBg

I wrote to him to ask what music /instrument he may play when using a 1/7 comma meantone, as I am begin to believe that you are purposely sending misinformation on that subject.

Certainly when performing on Forte pianos, the original temperaments can be used.

I am also listening again to the recordings provided, just to understand which is the aspect that gives me that "unbalanced" sensation, coherence miss somewhere, may be only at the resonance (harmonic) level.

The one I really cant stand is Rhapsody in blue, it really hurt my brain.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 07:34 AM

The one I like best is Rhapsody in Blue. It sounds the way I intended it to sound and the way I like it to sound. When I was visiting with my colleague on Friday, a call came to him from a technician in another part of the country for information about how to tune the 1/7 Comma Meantone for Peter Serkin. Mr. Serkin does not perform on fortepianos. He is a Steinway artist.

Here is the text of his article from the February issue of the PTG Journal:

The Tuning of my Piano

By Peter Serkin

I had already been curious about the idea
of tuning keyboard instruments to historic
temperaments when I visited Tim Farley’s
shop and encountered some of these tunings
directly.
I remember playing the second subject
of the first movement of Beethoven’s Waldstein
Sonata, first as it appears in the exposition,
remarkably, in E Major, the major
mediant, itself a kind of bridge in a structural
bass-arpeggiation from the tonic through
the mediant to the dominant; then that
second group in the recapitulation where it
answers in the sub-mediant, A, upper neighbor
to the dominant, Major, then its modal
consequent beginning in A minor and back
to a G bass and cadence to C Major. In the
historic temperaments, one actually heard,
vividly, the innate differences in key colors
that exist among these tonalities, giving a
real aural sense to the harmonic structure of
the piece. One viscerally experienced the carried colorations
within each harmonic change.
I also played some of those passages from Beethoven
Concerti which feel somehow suspended by their remoteness
to their home-keys. In seventh-comma modified meantone
temperament, to which Tim Farley had tuned the pianos, all
the harmonic relationships become fully alive and meaningfully
colorful in a manner that, it seems, cannot be conveyed
in standard equal temperament. We can admire much in the
black-and-white lines and forms of great paintings, but how
much richer and more beautiful they are in full color, too!
In seventh comma there no longer seems to be a need to
overly fabricate a specialness to certain varied harmonies with
concocted voicings, slowing of tempo, or what-have-you; now
the pitches themselves manifest these colors and atmospheres
directly and convincingly. In Schubert, too, music reappearing
in various, often distantly related keys, arrived at through
extensive modulation, takes on new light and character in each
of its emanations, in seventh-comma.
I was fascinated by what I heard on that first visit, but it
was not until twenty years later that I started to use these tunings
myself. In this more recent encounter I was so persuaded
and intoxicated by it that I now try to have pianos, for every
concert where it might be effected, as well as on my instruments
at home, tuned to one-seventh syntonic comma modified
meantone temperament. Midway between one-quarter
(pure) meantone and one twelfth comma (equal) meantone,
one seventh comma seems to be a magical solution to accommodating all keys (more or less), albeit
with some wolf intervals, and at the same
time retaining an intrinsic variegated keycoloration.
No longer confined to only one key in
two modes, major and minor, which in standard
equal temperament are then transposed
eleven times, the older traditional tunings
open up the spectrum, giving distinct individual
character to each of twenty-four
keys. This difference is both subtle and
profound—subtle enough to sometimes use
this temperament without anyone noticing it,
other than to comment on the beautiful tone
of the piano; profound in emanating real differences
in keys and intervals while allowing
the instrument to resonate euphoniously.
I have used this tuning for all kinds of
music: Dowland, Byrd, Bull, Bach, Mozart,
Beethoven, Brahms, Schoenberg, Messiaen,
Takemitsu, Carter, Wuorinen and others.
There being no particular historical justification at all for using
this one temperament for so many periods of music, the
fact that it works so very satisfactorily for all this music attests,
I think, to its intrinsic viability as a general temperament for
keyboard instruments.
Peter Serkin
[This article is an excerpt from a letter in which Peter Serkin discusses
his use of one seventh comma meantone temperament. The complete
text of his letter can be read on ptg.org/journal-media.php.]

******************************************************************

Kamin: Note that Serkin says he plays music by Takemitsu among other modern composers. Obviously, his opinion about non-equal temperaments and the effects they have on music is far different from yours.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 09:00 AM

Bill, I listened to the Rhapsody in Blue since you suggested it was the best representation.

The tuning sounds pretty clean. Is it possible that what I thought were wild unisons are simply intervals I am not used to hearing at a particular beat rate? Are some 4ths or 5ths a bit on the wild side? I am hearing this mostly in the middle. The upper treble sounds fantastic, is it pretty well stretched?

Please forgive me for not having the time yet to decipher the variances, since I am an aural tuner it can require math I'm not used to using.

Another sense I get is that this recording sounds very 'vintage', as if it were performed back in Gershwin's time. Is that also the reasoning behind this type of tuning? As if it was what was being used at that time. Maybe not what you see today in terms of modern concert tuning, but what certain individuals are eager to discover. Just my thoughts.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 09:58 AM

Well some bass resonance are magnificent, but E major sound out of tune, the variations, to me does not add anything to the music.

More than that the tuning sound dull and lack "air" in the high medium, like with not enough opening of the octaves.

Clean, may be the term, but c5 is flat as ever. those F#4 sound harsh to me, that is not juicy, simply dull, to me.

Thanks for the letter from Peter Serkin, I wait to listen to that, I suppose that recordings will follow, but I believe that he may keep at last a consistent size for the octaves in hist tuning. something have to add resonance or the harmony is lowered.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 11:43 AM

Good to hear from you, Nick. Basically, you are right on all counts. First, let me talk about unisons. You remember I said I do not believe in anything but the most beatless unison possible. There are some people who do advocate some kind of manipulation of unisons and I believe it to be a quest for some kind of "color" when the very sterile sound of a perfected ET proves to be less than satisfying.

The way I temper the scale is very purposeful and deliberate. It follows the basic rules of Well Temperament where the slowest Major thirds (M3s) are among the keys with the fewest sharps or flats and the fastest M3s are among the keys with the most sharps or flats. That idea has been around since the time of J.S. Bach although it was not Bach who came up with it. He only used the idea and wrote music with it in mind.

I knew you would want to hear how I had tuned for Grandpianoman in Portland but I also had no expectation that you would like what you heard because from the recordings I have heard where you tuned, I heard what is considered to be standard practice today and the very finest example of it. What you do is what most piano technicians do or at least strive for. Any deviation from a perfectly equalized scale would upset the balance, so to speak.

A good technician who can really tune ET by ear with perfect unisons has trained the ear to perceive the very slightest imperfection in that model. It is work that is practiced daily, one piano after another. It is easy to understand how that particular model or style of tuning becomes what sounds "right" and how anything else is "wrong" or somehow inferior. A performing artist who has the luxury of always having a freshly tuned piano can also become accustomed to that sound and regard anything else as unacceptable. Recording engineers may also develop that kind of sensitivity.

That being understood, let us now imagine how other people may perceive the sound of a piano and music in general. Most people do not hear such perfection most of the time. Certainly, not all piano technicians can deliver it but even when they can, the piano owner can only enjoy that state of perfection for a very brief period of time. This means that most people, most of the time hear something other than that.

There was a time when I practiced what you do and believed only in a perfected ET as being the best a piano could sound. I could certainly do that today but what I found through experience and interaction with those for whom I tune pianos, those of all levels of experience from very limited to performing artists was that a Well Tempered sound has more appeal than the equally tempered sound. People simply prefer a distinction in harmony versus all harmony the same.

There is an infinite number of possibilities for Well Temperament as there are for any other variety. People, however do have their limits as to what sounds acceptable and what does not. The EBVT and EBVT III are both designed to remain within those limits but still provide the distinction from one key signature to the next that was known, accepted and used in the past. Those distinctions are an integral part of music and music composition history. They are also an integral part of keyboard tuning history.

Now, as to what you may have heard in either these recordings recently posted on here or those on my website, I have also heard what you hear. After tuning as perfectly as I could, unisons included, I have sat in the audience and listened as an artist performed. To get the well tempered sound, it is necessary to temper at least some of the 5ths more than they would be in ET. Nobody likes the sound of a tempered 5th. If we could tune all 5ths pure but also have all M3s beat gently, we would. Some tuners do stretch the temperament octave enough so that all 5ths sound virtually pure but of course, the consequence of that is that all M3s and M6s beat more rapidly and therefore sound more dissonant.

What I have heard when listening is that sometimes the sound of the tempered 5th sounds like an imperfect unison. I don't want my unisons to be anything but perfectly beatless because that would only upset what I do with temperament and octave stretch. Yet, when I know that my unisons have been as pristine as possible, I have heard from the piano what sounded to me like "dripping", "liquid" or "wet" unisons.

This is what happens with 5ths that are tempered more than they would be in ET. When I tune up and down from the central octave, I try to "hide" the sound of the tempered 5th as much as possible. It does not change the temperament any more than octave stretching in ET changes that temperament. What I can do, however is utilize the piano's own inharmonicity to "hide" the tempered 5ths and give the piano a clear and beautiful sound in the outer octaves the same way that any piano technician would when tuning ET. An electronically generated curve does not do that for me. It is an example of when I want something done right, I have to do it myself.

In next month's PTG Journal, there will be a new article I have written published about just the way I tune octaves. I thank Patrick from Finland for providing the impetus to write it. You can read it now, however here: http://www.billbremmer.com/articles/aural_octave_tuning.pdf

There has been much discussion about the effects of octave tuning. There is the Chas method which I have never really been sure of just what it means, there is the Stopper tuning which as I understand it, creates an ET within not an octave but an octave and 5th which is tuned as beatless. Either of these has 5ths which are barely tempered but as a consequence, M3s, M6s, M10s and M17s which all beat faster and are more dissonant as a result. Some people like that sound, others do not.

What I discovered long ago, in the early 1980's before I ever started tuning any unequal temperaments was that equal beating double octaves and octaves and 5ths produced the most beautiful sound possible. Neither the double octave (slightly wide) nor the octave and 5th (slightly narrow) are perfectly beatless but the amount of tempering in each is extremely small. Both intervals sound virtually pure. I can do this with either ET or either version of the EBVT or any 18th Century or later style of non-equal temperament.

This means that in the outer octaves, I can make the piano sound clear and bright regardless of which temperament I use. Anyone who tunes aurally that uses this method of octave tuning will produce a beautiful sounding piano even if the temperament is not as perfect as intended.

Your comment about the recording sounding "vintage" is interesting. Gershwin was an early 20th Century composer. He was heavily influenced by the Jazz and Blues of his time. Even though it is most often said that ET prevailed from the 20th Century onward, I know enough about tuning methods to believe that the late 19th Century style of Well Temperament (which the EBVT III is) would have persisted well into Gershwin's time. The playing that you hear was done by Gershwin himself, recorded on a paper roll as the very first digital technology. While that technology was imperfect and the information has been manipulated this way and that, I firmly believe that this is the sound that Gershwin himself enjoyed while he played.

The smoothed out harmony of a perfected ET would not have been what Gershwin knew and enjoyed. The modulations have purpose and distinction. Additionally, there is the sound of the small minor third present in many melodic lines. This mimics the "blue note" sound of a Jazz or Blues musician. They are meant to sound as they do in the recording. The unisons have not deteriorated badly enough to ruin it. It sounds basically the way it is meant to sound. Certainly, there would have been very few piano technicians in Gerswin's day that could have or would have tuned a perfected ET the way we know it today, 100 years later.

Nick, if these and any future recordings spike your interest, I would be happy to travel to your place of business and tune for you. I can do it all by ear if you wish. I provided Grandpianoman with a digital record so that he can replicate what I did at will but for you, I can leave my ETD at home and tune any piano aurally.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 11:58 AM

Quote:
Certainly, there would have been very few piano technicians in Gerswin's day that could have or would have tuned a perfected ET the way we know it today, 100 years later.

I do not understand that. If anyone could have tuned whatever you mean as "a perfected ET the way we know it today," everyone with enough talent to tune a piano at all could have.

What would be the difference? If the claim is that they did not want to tune that way, how would they have wanted to tune?
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 12:30 PM

BDB, thanks for you comments and questions. I am glad you liked the way the tunings sounded. I guess any player piano would sound like a player piano at some point but I was truly amazed at how the original Ampico player system performed. The Modern, LX system would be expected to perform better but I was impressed with both.

I will answer your question that you quoted this way: People in all walks of life range from superior to inferior. The people in charge of major enterprises sometimes get fired or have to resign because of incompetence. Not everyone can perform as expected. Owen Jorgensen documented hundreds of pages of evidence that ET was not tuned as we know it today in earlier periods much to the dismay of people who had always believed that ET was the one and only way a keyboard instrument was ever tuned.

Recently, I went on you tube and found many examples of less than desirable piano tunings. I even caught one guy in the act of tuning reverse well.

Now, you may think in terms of what could possibly have been but so do I. What I truly believe is that technicians in Gershwin's time, those that were good enough for him to hire, still tuned with a 4ths & 5ths temperament sequence (the way that was documented at the Broadwood factory) that would have produced not ET as we know it today but a Victorian style temperament. What they would have done was close to ET, yes, (as is the EBVT III) but still retained the well tempered characteristics.

Gershwin was used to the distinctions of key color and worked with them as all composers had done previously.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 02:14 PM

Have you tried listening to old fixed-pitch instruments, like celestes or marimbas?
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 08:23 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
Have you tried listening to old fixed-pitch instruments, like celestes or marimbas?


No and what would that have to do with this discussion?
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/07/10 08:35 PM

Because they would still have their period tuning.
Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 04:58 AM

Hello,

GP, thanks for sharing the recording of Bill's tuning.

Bill,

I think you did a good job, a tuning that all together can be enjoyable, and you may not need me to say that. Your feedbacks from your customers also do confirm the quality of your tunings, so it should not be this the point of any discussion.

Anyhow, the main point of yours seems to be: ET is colourless, all keys are equally wrong, pianists can enjoy UTs more and composers think of music in UT terms.

You may know, by now, why I cannot agree with you on many of your statements, mainly because I do not manage to follow the logics behind them, so I find them merely confusing.

By reading Peter Serkin's above:

..."In seventh-comma modified meantone
temperament, to which Tim Farley had tuned the pianos, all
the harmonic relationships become fully alive and meaningfully
colorful in a manner that, it seems, cannot be conveyed
in standard equal temperament."...

You see that Serkin himself writes "colorful in a manner that, it seems, cannot be conveyed in standard equal temperament.".

Modern ETs are not "standard" equal temperaments, but very performing variants. Today you could acknowledge this simple fact, and I wonder what you find difficult about the whole issue. Yet, you know that reverse well is the product of many attempts, if one ever wanted to tune 12th root of two ET, the 300 years old ET model.

You write:

..."There is the Chas method which I have never really been sure of just what it means,"...

This statement of yours again puzzles me. How can this happen? Since May 2009 you could well know about Chas Temperamental Theory and its new approach to beats and the sound whole. How can you not "be sure of just what it means"?

And many times you happen to talk about music in philological and historical terms, so I ask: could not you acknowledge ET's evolution and the basic difference between a method and a theory, before referring to actual equal tempering of the sound scale? Should not you try your best to witness these new ET theories and their practical effects? 

You write..."there is the Stopper tuning which as I understand it, creates an ET within not an octave but an octave and 5th which is tuned as beatless. Either of these has 5ths which are barely tempered but as a consequence, M3s, M6s, M10s and M17s which all beat faster and are more dissonant as a result. Some people like that sound, others do not."...

But you yourself wrote that you met Stopper and that you liked his tuning, the pipe-organ effect being included. This again confuses me more.

Then you write:...”What I discovered long ago, in the early 1980's before I ever started tuning any unequal temperaments was that equal beating double octaves and octaves and 5ths produced the most beautiful sound possible.”...

Do I read correctly? Does “equal beating double octaves and octaves and 5ths” produce “the most beautiful sound possible.”?

So I can only wonder more. But despite any kind of “barrier”, and with the idea that no temperament should be exclusive, I would still be happy if you, Bill, took part actively and professionally to this precise moment, exactly now Bill, when temperament's theory and tuning practice is being renewed.

Regards, a.c. 
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 05:20 AM

This has been a lot of fun, although tuning for a "broadcast" quality recording is not easy!

Today I was able to get the piano up to where Bill left it when he finished it last Saturday, not an easy task by the way, he is VERY good! Part of the problem last week, was the fact that we pounded the pins down of the upper 2 treble sections the night before Bill arrived, and then did not record for 2 days. Those 2 sections seem to migrate to the flat side of the pitch even today. A fair amount of unisons seem to go out after every piece, especially the louder ones...so I tried to correct those before recording the next piece, I corrected most of them, but not all.

I must say right off the bat, I have NEVER heard my piano sound this beautiful. In the past, everything has been some form of ET...mind you, ET sounds very pleasant, and I have no argument with it....but when you hear this EBVT III, there is no comparison, ET sounds flat to me, not in pitch, but in it's ability to bring out different colors etc. EBVT III seems to bring out colors in the music I have never heard. The Rhapsody is just astounding in it's depth and scope of it's harmonies and the richness of the music comes through so well. The Debussy, magical. The modern pieces from the Movies are also beautiful.

What amazes me about this EBVT III, is that every type and style of music sounds great. As I said to Bill on Saturday, it "feels" right to my ear. Listen to "Il Postino"...the depth....the sweetness and beauty of the harmonies, which seem to envelope you...I could listen to this all day and never tire of it. Randy Potter heard it live on Saturday, and was impressed. I was so taken with the piano today after tuning it, I just kept recording ...LOL.....so here they are. Enjoy, and please feel free to comment, be it pos or neg.

I am glad to have met Bill, and to have had the opportunity to experience his tuning first hand, and to have been able to recreate and demonstrate his valuable work with my Mason & Hamlin RBB to everyone here at PW.....what a piano this is, especially now with the Isaac Hammers and Bass strings, (Roy, the hammers have not been voiced!) the Wapin bridge modification, the Ampico and LX playback systems, the new WN&Gross back-action, and now Bill Bremmer's EBVT III...wow! I don't think I will be changing the tuning for my piano for long time. 85+ year old pianos can still rock!!! Thanks Bill!


1. "Rhapsody in Blue" played by Matt Herskowitz, played on the LX in EBVT III, using Mark Fontana's Mid2Piano CD software. ( A slightly different interpretation than the previous recording) smile http://www.box.net/shared/18mtn6eq2d

2. "Il Postino" played on the LX in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/m9ca7ctxtg

As a comparison, here is the same "Il Postino" played in Equal Temperament from the RCT, OCT 5 stretch. http://www.box.net/shared/fav9kacmpv

3. Reflets dans L'eau in EBVT III, played by Leo Ornstein on the Ampico http://www.box.net/shared/pmvag7o200

4. A Tribute to Gershwin played on the LX-EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/7q0u5pmfon

5. "Out of Africa" on the LX-EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/y7hsemgiaa

6. "Somewhere in Time" on the LX-EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/6rua8m6hvb

7. "Age of Innocence played on the LX-EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/byr8pb545y

For comparison, here is the same piece in both the RCT OCT 5 tuning and the Stopper Tuning, which I posted back in Oct, 2009 here on PW.

Stopper (corrected for sound level) http://www.box.net/shared/s4huo9y1pm

RCT OCT 5 (corrected for sound level) http://www.box.net/shared/hagt0fk2ly

8. Rachmaninoff playing "Maiden's Wish" on the Ampico in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/i58daryc85

9. Very patriotic...:) Rachmaninoff playing "The Start Spangled Banner" on the Ampico in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/0n542k21ik

Well, that's if for now....I have so enjoyed this experience in hearing my piano in a completely different light. Thanks again to Bill for taking the time to come out and tune my piano, and it was a pleasure to meet Randy Potter as well.



Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 06:31 AM

Thanks GP for sharing a recording of the piece Age of innoncence, which you have also previously recorded with the OnlyPure software.

I do not want to comment about the tuning qualities, everybody has it´s preferences. I don´t have concerns with an out of tune effect in this piece as i had in the rhapsody in blue (which could also be caused by a partly gone tuning, which was the case as you mentioned already).

Anyway something must have been happened with the unisons between the two recordings.
I believe the hammers are voiced down to a level i don´t like, or maybe the assistance for unison tuning with the OnlyPure software did the difference for more opened unisons. I find the recording with the Stopper tuning more open and breathing in the unisons* as your own machine re-tuning with Bremmers EBVT figures. I am sure Bill could have tuned the unisons more open. Unfortunately they were already gone when you recorded with Bills original tuning.

*Although i found not all unisons were perfect either with the OnlyPure record, but probably just a lack of experience.




Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 07:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Dan, ..... I don't care what your opinion is. If you don't like it, I don't care. I only care about what my customers think and about helping other technicians to learn how to tune ET, the EBVT III and octaves which is what I have been doing for many years. One more time: I don't care what you think. So, if you don't want to comment, don't comment! Don't comment on why you don't want to comment either because I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK!
.....


The gent doth protest too much, methinks.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 07:44 AM

BDB, yes, I suppose they may but however those tunings were effected would have been quite different from the way pianos were tuned. Tuning a temperament and octaves on a piano is quite a different experience from tuning fixed pitch percussion instruments, organ pipes, etc. You also have to consider that any such percussion instrument has much higher inharmonicity than a piano. It would be an apple and orange comparison.

I do assume that those instruments were tuned in ET (or at least attempted that way) but that is only an assumption. Grandpianoman has two of those player type instruments with the large metal disc (I can never remember what they are called). They produce a charming and beautiful sound. They are amazing in the fact that the sound itself is produced by a relatively small set of tines. They are naturally amplified by the wooden box. The tines are arranged in an even looking comb which could only reflect ET, otherwise, the lengths of the tines would appear uneven. I've never heard of any tuned percussion (other than Gamelon) instruments being tuned in anything other than ET but how exactly true they are to ET is another matter.

Alfredo, thank you for your comments. Frankly, quite some time ago I gave up on following your threads. I cannot understand the math and I find your English barely understandable and therefore difficult to read. I am sorry but to this day, I do not know what "CHAS" means. I do get the idea that you tune in ET and that you stretch the octaves in a particular way but that is about all I understand. The same goes for the Stopper tuning.

Whatever difference there may be between the way you stretch the octaves and the way Herr Stopper does seems to me to be quite small and virtually indistinguishable. Yes, I liked the way Stopper's tuning sounded; it makes the piano sound crisp and clear. From what I have heard of your tunings, I certainly find nothing objectionable. However, when I played two recent examples that were posted, a CHAS tuning and a "standard" tuning, I frankly could not tell the difference.

Both of you seem to feel that you have found the ultimate solution for tuning the piano. You want to prove somehow with math that it is valid and I have no argument with that but I personally cannot understand what the math I have seen tries to portray, so it is lost on me. In any case, the difference in the way ET sounds, stretched very little, to moderately, to the most it could be only seems to yield very subtle nuances of difference.

I must admit that the first time I heard Grandpianoman's comparison between two examples, one with RCT default stretch and the other in the Stopper tuning, I preferred the clarity I heard in the Stopper tuning. There was more of a difference than I expected to hear. So, there is something to be gained or lost with the amount of stretch applied, yes. There were some listeners who clearly preferred the RCT default stretch calling the sound "warmer" or "mellow".

Now, I did arrive at the conclusion about stretch in ET long ago as I have said. Stretching the temperament octave to a compromise between a 4:2 and a 6:3 octave, then causing an equal compromise between double octaves and octave and 5ths seemed to be ideal for me. Many people, technicians and pianists alike expressed voluntarily how beautiful the octaves I tuned sounded. As I had written to you long ago privately, I seemed to be able to turn the two problems in tuning, inharmonicity and the comma, against each other in a favorable way by using that approach. It reduced the "noise" inherent in tuning. It made the piano sound beautiful and clear.

It turns out that this is the way most of the best tuners tune today whether they arrive at those results the way I did or not. Most technicians, pianists and music educators still believe firmly in ET as the best and/or only way to tune the piano.

No matter what is done, piano tuning is ultimately a compromise. Stretching ET to the point where the tempering of the 5ths is apparently hidden is one compromise, yes and it does yield its advantages and disadvantages. People can become accustomed to that sound and they can become fixated on that one sound being the one and only acceptable sound.

Everyone already knows I have found another compromise. I am in the minority, yes. Most people are skeptical about it. Some people reject it outright, some without ever hearing it. That does not hinder me because I have enough people who are interested to continue. Condemning what I do with ridicule and mockery however only invites the same in return. I recall the admonition, "If you can't say something nice, it is better to say nothing at all".

Therefore, I am not really interested in debating, analyzing, confirming or refuting which amount of stretch applied to ET is the ultimate solution. I already have my own idea about that but since I don't tune in ET, it is a moot point for me. I use the same idea when tuning the EBVT III but of course, because the EBVT III has 5ths of varying sizes, the octaves also vary in size.

Thank you for posting these latest recordings, Grandpianoman. I enjoyed listening to them all. As I listen to the three versions of the Age of Innocence, I hear again the clarity of the Stopper tuning but also a kind of "tart" sound to all harmony. The RCT version does indeed sound warmer and softer but it lacks that sparkle that the Stopper tuning has. The EBVT III seems to provide both the clarity and warmth I desire to hear from the piano. Modulations provide the tension and subsequent release of it that is inherent in the music the way it was written.

What you have is truly unique in all the world. Who else has a 1925 Mason & Hamlin BB with both the original Ampico player system and the modern LX system? It would sound just fine in whichever version of ET might be tuned but you asked for what I do and you liked what I did, so that is what matters. What you expressed in your phone call last night is what many people have expressed upon the discovery of the well-tempered sound (not just this well-tempered sound): a new musical experience that ET simply cannot provide.

The more you correct and re-correct the tuning back to the specifications I provided, the more the piano will begin to accept it and remain stable that way for longer. Enjoy it!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 07:59 AM

Bernhard, the hammers on the M&H are VERY soft. There has been no voicing done as of yet. They are naturally that way. When the piano is played manually, you really have to play hard to get anything out of it. However, this is necessary because the player systems drive the piano very hard. The American preference for a softer sound than most of the rest of the world should also be considered. As Grandpianoman continues to use the piano, the hammers will surely need to be shaped and voiced.

I can say this about tuning that piano. It requires a lot of effort to attain a particular pitch for each string. It has relatively new strings and a new Wapin style bridge. Grandpianoman can tune beautiful unisons but at this point, the piano is quite resistant to retaining the precision we all would like to hear from it although things are progressing well. The pinblock is also new and the tuning pins very tight. I believe that as the piano gets better broken in and each string is corrected and re-corrected to the specifications GP has, it will become more accustomed to staying in a beautiful tuning for longer.

Certainly, a Yamaha, Kawai or any German made piano is far easier to tune precisely. The M&H also does not tune the way a Steinway does. It has its own uniqueness to it. Since GP does not tune for other people and he only wants to keep his own fine instrument in tune, I know that he will become used to how it behaves and he will be able to do better and better with it. Personally, I am enjoying very much the progress so far as I know GP is.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 10:31 AM

Quote:
BDB, yes, I suppose they may but however those tunings were effected would have been quite different from the way pianos were tuned. Tuning a temperament and octaves on a piano is quite a different experience from tuning fixed pitch percussion instruments, organ pipes, etc. You also have to consider that any such percussion instrument has much higher inharmonicity than a piano. It would be an apple and orange comparison.

I do assume that those instruments were tuned in ET (or at least attempted that way) but that is only an assumption. Grandpianoman has two of those player type instruments with the large metal disc (I can never remember what they are called). They produce a charming and beautiful sound. They are amazing in the fact that the sound itself is produced by a relatively small set of tines. They are naturally amplified by the wooden box. The tines are arranged in an even looking comb which could only reflect ET, otherwise, the lengths of the tines would appear uneven. I've never heard of any tuned percussion (other than Gamelon) instruments being tuned in anything other than ET but how exactly true they are to ET is another matter.


It just seems that exactly how true the percussion instruments are to ET is going to be how true everything was tuned to ET, at least by the best tuners of the day.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 11:15 AM

Bill:

Earlier in this thread I mentioned liking the EBVT I for some pieces, and you explained the difference between the first EBVT and third. Perhaps it is those pure 5ths that I miss in the third version.

You and Alfredo are actually in agreement about important things: Alfredo specifies that 12ths are slightly narrow in his CHas temperament. The exact pitches of 12th's in his tuning will of course differ from those of ET or EBVT, but you both prefer a slow beating on that interval and the octaves.

By the way, in your list of the off-sets that Serkin uses, you left out the G#\Ab. Is it left at 0?

(Are there recordings of Serkin using this temperament?)

Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/08/10 11:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

I do assume that those instruments were tuned in ET (or at least attempted that way) but that is only an assumption. Grandpianoman has two of those player type instruments with the large metal disc (I can never remember what they are called). They produce a charming and beautiful sound. They are amazing in the fact that the sound itself is produced by a relatively small set of tines. They are naturally amplified by the wooden box. The tines are arranged in an even looking comb which could only reflect ET, otherwise, the lengths of the tines would appear uneven. I've never heard of any tuned percussion (other than Gamelon) instruments being tuned in anything other than ET but how exactly true they are to ET is another matter.

.....


If the tines where not even, then the notes would not be in chromatic order. The tines could be in a outrageous temperament and still be even looking.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 03:08 AM

Hi,

To add to Jeff's comments, the difference between ET and WT is a small fraction of each tone's frequency. The tines on an ET and WT instrument would differ by such small amounts that I would bet my bottom dollar (or South African Rand) that there would be no appreciable optical difference between the two.

Just think about it: a semitone (from one tine to the next) is 100 cents. A typical WT offset is what? Perhaps 2 cents, or 4 cents at most? Compare that to the 100 cents semitone - I don't think you'd spot the difference with your eye.

But fortunately, we have ears too. So it would indeed be interesting to examine fixed-tuning percussion instruments from earlier periods to gain insight to the tuning practices back then.

Back to topic.

Bill, I've listened to "The Age of Innocence" in all three tunings (Stopper, RCT and EBVT III). I still prefer RCT because in my ears, there are fewer extremes.

Example: at the climax of the piece, the B-flat maj. chord at 2:45 with Bb6 in the melody, as well as the B-flat maj.9 chord at 2:50-2:51 with C7 in the melody, both sound cleaner to me in the RCT tuning. That's my opinion, which I give freely, because I presume that this thread was started to solicit opinions (why else?) - even if they should happen to be pro-ET.

On the other hand, I can't find any places in the piece where the EBVT III sounds convincingly purer than the RCT. If you have any such specific examples, I'd appreciate your pointing them out to me.

And just for the record: I'm not ridiculing you, I'm not trying to make you change, I'm not trying to do anything to you. I'm giving an opinion. If however, you should want to read only pro-EBVT opinions, then please state this explicitly from the outset, and I'll go away quietly.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 05:25 AM

BTW It makes me listen to the some Gerswin recordings that are available on Youtube , and to me none of them are as extreme as EBVT. (they simply tone as ET to me).

On that one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U40xBSz6Dc&feature=related

The piano is a little low in high trevble vs the winds. (I traced it to the lights or the warmness of the audience) .

But the tuning is at best, (to please Bill !) a very mild Well (I can hear the C3 - , and then the G's that are MAY BE slightly less tempered, and it is may be only due to an enlarging of the C3 C4 octave in temperament).

But that does not lend to such unbalanced harmony than with the EBVT, and what may be more important, the intervals are lininig octaves, doubles etc, that gives more coherence in anycase, I suggest that the imbalance sensation I get from the EBVT is coming from there, as I believe I could listen to a no perfect ET and not feel bad.

On other recordings at piano solo this is always ET , to me.

Eventually may be they could be in some Well temperament, or have the same kind of slight difference in the last 5ths that I could see even n some good concert tunings sometime (that make a little change in some tonality if compared to a perfectly balanced ET, but often it was due to the sequence used by the tuner, and the need to have stretch soon, and the fact that he decide that it is more important to have good stretched octaves and nice unisons than to search for the perfect ET and spend 10 minutes more, he reconciles all in the stretch - a little like does Bill) That was the old way, most younger tuners goes for a more evened RBI progression from the start actually (and that is not always providing the most harmonious piano, as may be not all are striving for that).




By evidence a tuner who know how to have a piano that ring well can find how to make a perfectly balanced tuning be it with slow beating intervals or no (I recently recorded myself tuning with only 5 th 4 t h for the temperament, and octaves for the rest, and the RBI intervals are all absolutely progressive, it was only a matter to stay in the "resonant spot" all along the treble, I have done that with Chas, but was doing the same before with a more standard ratio (staying in the spectra resonance at all times) .

That I did not believe it was even possible a few months ago (making a 4-5th sequence and obtain a perfect progression of RBI's , but it is, in fact and I sea no reason 19520 tuners did not do so !

I can assure you that I generally trace any slight difference in harmony. I would not probably hear immediately a very light Well, but at some point there is an interval that tells me he tone differently.
I have been highly trained to that, of course I can be wrong sometime but depends of the quality of the sleep !



MArk "The RTC" does not mean something else than a tuning with smooth 3d partial curve in the medium and begin of the treble. (that provide some resonance yet, but does not suffice !)
That does not really describe a tuning, to me . Or are you saying something else ?


Regards
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 07:16 AM

Here is "Maiden's wish" played by Rachmaninoff :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB6B_xpXMYw

That one tones just to me.

I listened to the new recordings. When comparing th 3 RCT, EBVT, and STOPPER, Ive find the EBVT more musically enjoyable, as for a recording. may be it is due to a differnt tone in unisons, better quality recording.
But more harmonic resonance in the mediums when listening to the RCT OT5 (The basses are not very nice on that one.
The Stopper I've find just, but somewhat dry.

On a real piano, I really like the 12ths that are "broken in".

I really cant get acquainted to it, always that unbalanced sensation at some moment , and lack of harmony.

By evidence each one believe he find THE good way to tune, but there are preferences that can be applied and that, depending of the situation.

Each tuning ask for a compromising.. To me the Chas lend to a very large one that raise the "reverberation like" behavior of the piano.

That is what I appreciated first with the VT100 the fact that partials are well evaluated, and then are lining well. large harmonies still maintain a resonant state without too much incoherence no prominence of some beats, more quietness.

Just me, probably !

Those tuning things make us very emotive and passionate.

Thanks for the sharing. I am happy you enjoy it.






.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Kamin
MArk "The RTC" does not mean something else than a tuning with smooth 3d partial curve in the medium and begin of the treble. (that provide some resonance yet, but does not suffice !)
That does not really describe a tuning, to me . Or are you saying something else ?


I am not really saying anything with "RCT". I was just referring to the names that Grandpianoman has given his tunings/recordings:
Stopper only pure
RCT
EBVT III
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 08:37 AM

I did not get it. sorry !
Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 09:36 AM


Bill, thank you for your reply. You'll find mine in another thread.

Regards, a.c.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 10:27 AM

Thanks for all of your comments. Kamin, when you say "unbalanced" to me, that is what occurs in reverse well. It means that wider or narrower M3s are in the wrong places with respect to the rules of Well Temperament. To you, it must mean anything but perfect ET. What I recognize from both of you is what I expect to hear from most piano technicians. You have become accustomed to a perfected ET and anything that deviates from it in the very slightest way sounds incorrect. I could choose to tune that way but I have made another decision.

Kamin, what you recognize from the vintage Gershwin recording (and what I also hear) are three things: Quasi ET, less than perfect unisons and an octave tuning method that is random. The octaves were most likely tuned one upon the other without listening to the effects of double and triple octaves nor the 5ths in between or any RBI checks. There are still technicians who tune that way today. In the old tuning books I have, it says not to stretch the octaves too much. Some people today still say that. I never hear a piano in any of the recordings from the early 20th Century or even those from the 60's or 70's that sound as good as they do today. None of them would fit the description of "broadcast quality" for today.

Yesterday, I worked for 12 1/2 hours with another technician to replace key frame and damper felts, bridle straps, file and align hammers on an old upright owned by a professional musician. So, I did not have any time at the computer, nor will I for the rest of today (tunings out of town and PTG meeting tonight). The customer was also a sound engineer and he made some CDs for me of GP's latest tunings. We listened to them as we worked on a good stereo system. They were very enjoyable.

Neither the technician who worked with me nor the musician whom we were working for made any such comments as have been written here. Only the music was enjoyed. The piano I worked on was tuned in the end as usual, in the EBVT III. The musician loved all of the improvements in tone and touch. His wife provided lunch and dinner. He understood all about the EBVT III, liked the concept and that is why he hired me. He played and played when the piano was finished, enjoying every moment. He paid the bill by check but also gave both me and the other technician a generous cash tip. As we left, the sound of the piano playing could be heard from outside.

So, it is this kind of feedback to what I do which I respond to, not what technicians on here may say. It happens every day and has happened every day since I first tuned the EBVT in 1992. If I did, in fact, receive the kind of feedback from the pianists for whom I work that I do from some technicians, I would certainly change what I do to satisfy them but the fact is, that I don't. Instead, I receive comments along the lines of what Peter Serkin wrote which cannot be ignored. Should I listen to what he says or should I listen to what other technicians say?

I take the position that I have always heard from Steinway: We respond to what the artists say, not what technicians say. It is not that technicians are necessarily wrong in their opinions. For example, I still firmly believe that the Model O Steinway scale should have been changed. But when I express what I feel is deficient about it, I only get strong rebuttals from pianists who say they like it the way it is.

I know there are people in my area who do not hire me to tune their pianos because of what they perceive (whether having heard it or not) and they make their decision to hire the technician they prefer. It would always be that way regardless of the reason they make their decision. I also know at least three technicians who come to mind immediately who make their living tuning pianos and who have their own loyal customers but who consistently tune in reverse well. Would I tune in reverse well so that maybe I could get those customers? No. Would I tune in ET sometimes as a guess that maybe this customer or that customer may like it better than the EBVT? No, I would not do that either.

I have a full clientele of people who want what I do the way I do it, so I give them what they want. I have a full day today of all fine grands, each of which needs to be maintained the way I do it, so I have to get going and do it. I know that GP likes what I did and I hope he will post more offerings soon.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 12:19 PM

I think the new recordings are a tremendous improvement and I enjoyed listening to the songs, so much so that I could start to analyze what I was hearing.

My observations are from a strictly only aural tuner who likes tuning with utmost precision in ET. I don't understand a lot of the math that is used to express the deviations from ET, and probably without the use of an electronic tuner would have a difficult time doing anything else.

The new recordings with the cleaned up unisons were very enjoyable. For me it was like listening to an orchestra that has good intonation. If it doesn't have really good precision, naturally someone who tunes pianos is going to be annoyed listening to it. The different instruments of the orchestra have to blend correctly to sound in tune with everyone else, and that is what this tuning reminded me of.

This type of tuning to me sounds 'less' like a piano since you do not hear as much of the beating. But this is what makes a piano unique, because this must occur in order to have the ability to have all the notes at your fingertips, unless you seek the modifications to ET which are being illustrated in this thread.

In complex chords, I think many pianists and tuners like the sounds that ET gives them, sort of a vibrato effect and lots of color. It seems as though there is less of this with the modified tuning, which may be desirable to some, just like the sound of an orchestra that combines many different instruments into one harmonius sound.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 01:20 PM

The new recordings make a tremendous difference. I think that part of what Kamen was responding to was the bad unisons and the few notes that went entirely off. He hadn't heard the recordings from several months ago. These very latest recordings after a second tuning really remind me of why I like the EBVT. Still a little more tension in some intervals than in ET, but this is great, warm sound:

http://www.box.net/shared/m9ca7ctxtg

Kamin--A completely different sound from the first recordings in this thread, yes? But, yes, very different from CHas. Different animals entirely, with different goals in the intended sound.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 04:54 PM

Greetings all,

I am not a tech, but I think by pounding the upper 2 treble sections as we did the night before Bill arrived, did not do the stability issue for the whole piano any favors. Even after Bill spent the better part of Sat, grooming the piano, it was somewhat out of sorts 2 days later when I recorded it. Even after I re-tuned it, it is now out again. Bill showed me a different hammer technique...before, I was slow pulling the hammer a bit sharp, then hitting the key while I nudged the hammer a bit to get the string to fall into place to make a clean unison. Bill suggested that I "impact" the hammer with a quick easy blow to the sharp side, which he explained as sending a slight shock wave through the whole length of the string, which hopefully will equalize the tension in the whole length of the string. I tried this on my tuning, and it seemed to work, but then after a few days of concerts every day,:) the tuning is not right again.

I think what is going on here is partly due to my not being able to do a really good stable tuning, yet, and the pounding of the 2 treble sections, which disturbed the tension in the whole piano, and the daily concerts. wink

My sonic observations so far....how to put it into words....I am getting a sound that is more "earthy". When the piano is fresh from my tuning it, it is so musical sounding, unlike anything I have heard before. More sonic observations later...I am going to have to tune it again. Hopefully, the more it's tuned this way, and with no more pounding of notes or changes to the piano, (Wapin), it will eventually settle.

Bill is correct, both player systems play the piano, depending on the piece, like a concert pianist doing a concert. It really pounds the notes. So I guess I can't beat myself over the head for the tuning not being so stable. One thing to mention...while Roy Peters is correct, the LX puts out very little heat if any, the Ampico motor on the other hand, does just the opposite. It's a large electric motor, and after being on for awhile, it's put's out heat. In addition to that, there is a vinyl cover over the whole belly of the piano, to cut the noise of the Ampico mechanism. This traps the heat from the motor and probably effects the soundboard a bit and the tuning to some degree. It certainly helps with the moisture issue up here in Oregon though.

Jake, I agree, especially on the Il Postino. Even in that though, there are treble unisons that are not right, and some of the treble has slipped flat, even so, the effect of the EBVT III is magical. That was recorded several pieces after the Herskowitz Rhapsody, which really pounded the notes at times. This "tension" you mention in some intervals...I think this is what I perceive as "earthy" sounding, and gives EBVT III a distinct sound from ET.

Nick, your explanation is right on the money.

Everyone has a different take on what a beautifully tuned piano should sound like. It's all so very subjective. I am glad there are people like Bill, Alfredo, Bernard etc, that are pushing the envelope of piano tuning so that we can have more of a 'sonic' palette to choose from! Now if Don Gilmore can perfect his self-tuning piano, I would be in 10th heaven, not 7th, 10th. smile Just think about it, at the push of a button, one could have either EBVT III, ET, Stopper, CHAS, etc etc etc.

This re-tuning I did of Bill's original tuning, I relied solely on the RCT for the whole tuning. Btw, my thanks to Dean Reyburn for emailing me the file with Bill's figures so I could load them into my RCT, and to Robert Scott for showing me how to input the EBVT III figures into my Iphone Tunelab, a very easy process btw. Both took my phone calls right away!

This time around, I am going to rely totally on the Iphone Tunelab. I had both ETD's going while I did the tuning, to see if they agreed, which they pretty much did, but I relied on the RCT as the final say. One thing I did notice between the RCT and Tunelab...the RCT was a bit quicker in showing me the correct tuning...this was pretty much only as I tuned octaves 6 and 7, the higher I went up the treble to the end, Tunelab took a bit longer to show the correct tuning.

Some explanation of my antique music boxes is in order. I played both my Reginaphone and Olympia music boxes (circa 1900-1907) for Bill. I showed him the musical combs and how a music box disc strikes 2 tines together for 1 pitch/note, this is called a "double-comb" music box. (They also made "single" comb boxes, with only 1 tine per note.) They did this to get more volume and a more complex sound. According to the experts, each note has 2 tines to it, tuned slightly different, but the same note....this effect when all are going, produces a unique sound. The way they tuned these tines, was by attaching lead weights of different weight, under each tine/note to sharpen or flat the note/tine. I had forgotten to mention that to Bill. So while there is a uniformity to the combs when looking at them from above, below where the leads are attached, it's different, although the lead still follows that the longer and heavier the lead, the lower the note, and vice versa for the higher notes. With this lead "voicing" so to speak, they were able to fine tune the tines/notes a lot better than by just making the tine larger or smaller.

More music to come....:) GP
Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 06:02 PM


Thanks GP, it is so nice reading and hearing your satisfaction. Do not worry about unisons, it is notorious how delicate they are, and you and Bill have done very well. These recordings are very enjoyable and better than many piano recordings I've heard.

Regards, a.c.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 06:29 PM

Alfredo, you're welcome!

Unisons...must be the bane of all tuners....LOL ...if just some unisons are out, even slightly, a broadcast quality recording is not possible.

Since learning how to tune, my ear is much better at hearing these out of tune unsisons, and I can't stand them. wink
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 07:26 PM

GP, I have time for one post before I go to the PTG meeting. While unisons are the easiest concept for a novice tuner to understand, any veteran tuner will tell you they are the most difficult to perfect in the end. I hear a couple of "liquid" ones in Il Postino but most are just fine. You are doing well, don't worry. To really get them absolutely pure, you have to listen to each one while it decays through most of the time the string will sound. That takes a lot of time. A 2 hour time frame for tuning your piano, even when it is still pretty good would not be too long to spend.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/09/10 07:33 PM

Thanks Bill.....nice to know not to pull all my hair out!

And thanks for the tip on listening to the string decay to the end...when I do unisons by ear, I have not listed for that.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 09:54 AM

grandpianoman:

When you can, could you tell us a little about your mic(s) and where you placed them? Particularly for Il Postino.

(I like these recordings because they are so intimate, and let the listener hear the resonances of the piano.)
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 11:36 AM

Be happy to Jake. I chose these mics specifically for their neutrality and their natural sound quality. Here is the link to their website. For what they do, they are NOT high priced.

http://www.avensonaudio.com/sto2.php

I am amazed at the quality of sound from these small mics. smile

They are both on mic stands, one at the treble end and the other at the bass end, facing straight down. The treble mic is higher than the bass, as there is more high-energy coming from the treble stings.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 12:17 PM

Thanks. (Are they facing down into the piano near the rim, or just outside it?)

I'm still a little astonished by how well mics with small diaphragms can capture a certain kind of piano sound. Not a big concert sound, necessarily, but the sound of a piano in a room.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 12:33 PM

Well folks, I am in another world, sonically that is. smile

I spent last evening re-tuning the piano again, in EBVT III of course. This time I used my IPhone Tunelab. The results are better.... I must say though, it could have been my fault...when I was tuning with the RCT, I caught it on the wrong octave...I don't know how many notes I may have tuned incorrectly. In any case, this time around I was very careful to make sure I was in the right place with the Tunelab.

I was very careful with the unisons, listening as Bill suggested to the tone as it decayed. I was so taken with the sound of the piano after I was done, I just sat there recording song after song, not wanting to get up to clean the unisons after each piece. smile So, I will put them in order as I played them from the first piece right after I tuned it, Il Postino was No 1, then the rest follow. You can hear by the end, some unisons are out, and it's going flat a bit in the treble, but the overall tuning stayed better this time...(no heavy pieces) LOL, Enjoy!

I chose these particular pieces as they show how EBVT III can sound in modern music, and there is lots of sustain, rather than a lot of fast notes. The jazz music is very enjoyable with this tuning.

If you have a set of headphones, give them a try with these files...sonic heaven.

As for the sound of EBVT III...I am in awe of your work Bill! It's hard to put it into words....all I know is that I am completely taken with it. All of those pieces I recorded so far, I have heard them many many times, but never have they sounded like they do now. Rich, deep, earthy sounds from the bass/mids...clear, sweet treble notes, then combined, it all fits sonically. Bravo!!

1. (First piece recorded after tuning) Il Postino in EBVT III played on the LX (better tuning) http://www.box.net/shared/s4jke70s5l

2. The Age of Innocence in EBVT III played on the LX (better tuning) http://www.box.net/shared/qq0ue81djl

3. Theme from "The Accidental Tourist" by John Williams, played on the LX in EBVT III (better tuning) http://www.box.net/shared/aullgde8nb

4. Music from Star Wars, "Princess Lei's Theme" by John Williams, played on the LX in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/16ruokxmz4

5. Music from John Williams from the movie "Sabrina" (Main Theme) played on the LX in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/z4asx6zm1j

6. Jazz on the LX, "Oh Danny Boy" played by Eric REED in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/ydy035q3jm

7. Jazz 1 on the LX, played by Eric Reed in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/3moufol0zh

More to come. smile ...GP


Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 12:47 PM

Very well-done, GP. Thanks for posting these.

Glen
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 01:44 PM

Yes, thanks for posting these. And yes, the jazz does sound very good.

A perhaps outlandish thought---I've mentioned before on another forum that EBVT sometimes, on some pieces, reminds me of the piano sounds from some older Hollywood musicals. I had the same, very pleased, sensation when listening to the last (Jazz) recording, here. Do I have specific films in mind? Well, no. Just a general impression. I can very easily imagine Lauren Bacall stepping up to sing beside this piano.

I know that Bill has written about how Well tunings lasted longer than some charts indicate. Does anyone else have a similar impression that Well tunings were more specifically popular in American films (perhaps indicating that they were fairly standard in clubs and homes, too)?

Just a vague sonic impression or memory.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 06:40 PM

Inlanding, thanks. smile

Jake, the mics are under the lid, facing straight down. The treble mic is higher, about 18 inc from the strings than the bass mic, which is about 8 inch above the strings. This what they call a 'close' mic setup. My living room is not the best room for putting the mics away from the piano, plus I like the sound you get from inside the piano, as you mentioned, lot's of piano sounds.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 07:35 PM

Grandpianoman, my ear is uneducated about tunings, but I have very much enjoyed what you have posted for us to listen to. (I may be in the same situation as the rich lady in an art gallery, who told an art critic, "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." The critic replied, "Madam, so does a cow.")

Moo!

I'm a little curious about the mikes. Would you mind saying where you got them, and how you chose them? Nice, flat response curve; that is not so easy to find without spending a LOT of money--- out of my league.

Good idea about listening with the headphones.
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 08:07 PM

Thanks for all of your hard work GP. This is quite enjoyable.
Would you happen to have any David Lanz, George Winston, or anything like that to play? I'd like to hear the EBVT with that kind of music sometime.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 08:20 PM

Jeff, that is very funny! smile

Music is a universal language that the average person understands on some level, so your instinct kicks in in situations like this, and it's valid.

I did some research on mics on the internet on several recording forums...and I came across a LOT of mics for every kind of home and pro recording situations. Many of the them were outrageously expensive, way beyond what I could afford. The Avenson's were highly praised for their natural sound quality, and the max spl level was good at 145, which is necessary when recording a piano due to the very high spl peaks, similar to a snare drum, but more complex. I was able to choose them because there were several sites that had comparison tests between mics, average folks recording at home etc, and the Avenson won out on the piano by far, a very real and natural sound. The cost of the mics were very reasonable, considering their quality etc. I bought them over the internet from Front End Audio, a very reputable store for all kinds of audio etc.


Byronje3, you're welcome, glad you are enjoying the recordings. I don't recall having any discs that have those artists on them, but let me go through my collection, and get back to you on that.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/10/10 09:23 PM

As promised, here are the remainder of the recordings I did on this 3rd tuning with the EBVT III figures Bill gave me.

As you can hear, as the recordings progress, a few more unisons out of tune, and a bit flat in the treble section. No matter, I am not going for a CD to sell wink

This has been a great experience, hearing Bill's EBVT III on my piano. It's brought out a beauty and complexity in the piano and the music that I have never heard before. I am glad you are all enjoying it!

**Forgot to include this folder, where I've put most of the EBVT III recordings :)**

EBVT III Folder: http://www.box.net/shared/82xvrsq3t2

8. Jazz 2 Eric Reed playing on the LX in EBVT III (better tuning) http://www.box.net/shared/jlejls0pz5

9. Jazz 3 Eric Reed playing -Round Midnight- on the LX in EBVT III (better tuning)http://www.box.net/shared/y44634mhta

10. Music from -Schindler's List played on the LX in EBVT III (better tuning) http://www.box.net/shared/m16a4e4yfh

11. Theme from Out of Africa played on the LX in EBVT III (better tuning-last file of this recording session 3-9-2010 http://www.box.net/shared/72udpzsgeq
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 03:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Well, euh, I am truly sorry, but I am listening to Rhapsody in blue, sound false to my ears since the beginning.

Not adding anything to music...

The resonance is not even that large. something is non natural.... (apart from the roll) like somebody that work with aleg shorter than the other.


Kamin--I had the same feeling about one leg shorter than the other in this Rhapsody in Blue, but tracked it down to the interpretation of the music rather than the tuning. The interpretation is halting, not fluid. I know you said, "apart from the roll," but I hear a very pristine quality to the tuning.

Grandpianoman--Thanks for all of this. What a blast!!!
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 04:50 AM

Thanks Cinamonbear , may be yes the rolls, but I really find some chords are unexpected, and don,t relate to the same tonalities that are played a few octaves lower. I was thinking harmony, not the music played, , as by evidence the reproducing systems are not providing much rubato, if any)

To me the tuning is only a neutral support to music, so the pianists can play and express himself, or express what he fell and understand of what the composer had intention of.

The only role of tuning is to put the piano in beauty, raising harmony, resonance, and such.

It may not interfere with the music, it may support it.

So it is music related, but it may have some coherency along the scale, if the rule is too complicated, at some time I hear that as unbalance up to prefer a too compact tuning of an old recording.

Hopefully, the piano, because of iH, have some room to provide harmony in different situations.
More than that, Pianomùan discovered that the piano cna be tuned open, it differs alot from the usual way of tuning, and resonance have a grip at the double/12th relation that enlight the whole tone, even when beginging from a somewhat uneven temperament.

SO global harmony is raised, You would find the same with a tempering based on that relation since the start (and stretch then became natural, not "artificial" to the natural harmony of the piano.

Indeed those last records show that you get the grip for that resonance, thats pretty evident when listening (very enjoyable.

Still, when justness is not balanced between treble and bass it does not make really sence musically speaking , to me.

A very interesting experience would be to record the cts value of the tuning. In the treble it get tempered in a more usual way, probably in the bass as well.
Or simply to record progression of 17 th, 24 th and 12ths all along the keyboard.

Your tuning is very good !













Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 05:26 AM

Starwars : justness looks good, the 5th octave a tad compact, high treble very luminous and agreable. Bass nice.

Danny boy : sound false from the start, unfocused (harmonically speaking)

around midnight :
medium umbalance between mediums and bass at the beginning of the piece. generally enjoyeable but so-so.

Shindler list : medium imcomfort , some strange chords.

SABRINA : absolutely awful by all aspects (the music also, thats my revenge for having taken some time listening to those... the name does not come to me...)

Well you lost me here ...

The other jazz piece just tone fine without anything hurting.

I am under the impression that the high treble and the basses resonance "save" the tuning from being dull and anesthetic.

Out of AFrica : incoherent , some noice resonances in the bass the tonality is so so. no much harmony despite the plain simple chords..


So it is tonality related.

Really piano tuned in the Marx brothers movies or all those Jazz records where , eventually not tuned from some time, for the last ones, but tuned in a more coherent ET for what I have heard till today. You know, tuners have ears, it did not appears magically at the 21 th century. Many of themr play the piano, they imagine what they want to hear and correct their tuning accordingly. They dont apply a method blindly, just because that is how they have been told.
Some even may have "perfect pitch".

MOst of them have been using chords (if no fast beating listening) 10ths and 17 ths to proove the eveness of their work, it is clearly audible in most of the movies from those years. There can be some fluctuations in the RBI intervals, certainly not as straightly progressive as tuners have learned to manage them those days, but not with differences in beat progression that can be heard in the middle of a piece.

Just checking major chords inversions and progressions oblige you to have more progressiveness than there.

But yes, our ears tenb to give us what we want to hear, so as it works in the 2 directions, you may hear a very pleasing piano, and I may hear one which is not so well in tune !
I cant count the number of times I thought my tuning was magnificent, just to discover that it was too clear and harsh, for instance, or with too fast beating progression.

It is very difficult to stay honest and aware of what we hear.

Usually, the music helps a lot to bypass all the tuning mistakes or inconsistencies, there is a confort zone, wher the music can take the advantage on that, hopefully, if not pianos would have disappear from the musical scene for a long time now !










Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 07:41 AM

All:

Now wait a minute… I haven’t read all the posts here but a little red light has been blinking in the back of my mind saying something does not add up.

If Gershwin composed for how tuners tuned at the time, and if those tuners tuned with 4ths and 5ths, then according to Bill the result would have been Reverse Well. So shouldn’t Gershwin’s music be played in the temperament of the period? Shouldn’t it be played in Reverse Well?

Actually there must be plenty of recordings available from that time period that can be analyzed to determine the temperament and stretch and even the inharmonicity of the pianos. Does anyone know if this has been done?
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 08:58 AM

Late 19th Century and early 20th Century tuners tuned in Victorian style Well Temperament and Quasi ET. Reverse Well only came into existence as a result of the Braide-White book.

Kamin, there is no such thing as "perfect pitch". What you are calling "unbalanced" harmony is actually quite well balanced according to the rules of Well Temperament. What is there is deliberate and intended. You have also given the "neutral palette" argument. If the tuning has no distinctions in harmony, the pianist can create the intended color. Just how does a pianist do that? How can a pianist change tonality according to key signature by playing louder and faster or softer and slower?

One of the limitations about using a player piano (which we all discussed long before I ever went to GP's to tune his piano) is that the player system cannot "hear" the tuning. It will play the way the pianist recorded the piece regardless of how the piano is tuned. When a live pianist performs with a Well Temperament or mild Meantone (as in the case of Peter Serkin), the tone colors of the temperament cause the pianist to shape the music in a far more sensitive way than if the piano is tuned in ET.

I hope Patrick of Finland will show us some examples of this. He is perhaps the one contributor on here who could do it best. Some months ago, I gave the example of the Schubert Impromptu #4 which has within it, as written, the potential for a great variety of expression. The first time I ever heard that piece, it was played on a piano that I tuned in the 1/7 Comma Meantone. The performance was stunning and breathtaking. No pianist can possibly do what I heard at that time in ET. They don't even try. They can't express what is really written, so they just play the notes and the wide variety of moods in the piece are not heard.

I continually see here by the ET only people the argument for taking away all expression that there is available from the way a piano may be tuned. Let's put all music on Prozac (a tranquilizing medication), so to speak. Let's take away all the expression that a piano can have built into it by the way it is tuned so that the pianist will have none to work with. I won't do that. I know what pianists like and I will continue to provide all of the colors of the palette for them to use. ET limits the pianist to only shades of gray, no strong contrasts, the ability to create any expression severely compromised.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Late 19th Century and early 20th Century tuners tuned in Victorian style Well Temperament and Quasi ET. Reverse Well only came into existence as a result of the Braide-White book.

.....


Has this been verified by analyzing recordings?
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 10:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

I continually see here by the ET only people the argument for taking away all expression that there is available from the way a piano may be tuned. Let's put all music on Prozac (a tranquilizing medication), so to speak. Let's take away all the expression that a piano can have built into it by the way it is tuned so that the pianist will have none to work with. I won't do that. I know what pianists like and I will continue to provide all of the colors of the palette for them to use. ET limits the pianist to only shades of gray, no strong contrasts, the ability to create any expression severely compromised.


Ridiculous! The “ET only people” merely express what they prefer. You continue to insult people that have a different preference than you. It reminds me very much of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 11:40 AM

Well, some samples:

Teddy Wilson in 1941.(No video, but the audio is fairly good.) I hear something different from ET, but I don't have the ears to tell if it's a Well temp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUQdpoMaVhs

This next one sounds more like ET. Surely not the same tuning as the first? Not sure of the date. Great later Billie accompanied by Jimmy Rowles, her favorite pianist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQlehVpcAes&feature=related

And I have to add "As Time Goes By" in Casablanca, from 1942. Sounds like ET but with something else? Or does it just need tuning...Only about 40 seconds of the piano, though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vThuwa5RZU&feature=related

And those Chico Marx piano moments are all online, too. Hard to judge the tuning? :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkCiRSDPIzk or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZyhosgpS48&feature=related

But this could become a long, long list. (And Lauren Bacall was a bad choice for imagining a singer beside an EBVT piano--I'd forgotten that her singing voice wasn't great. I'd like to hear Billie Holiday beside a piano with this tuning. Couldn't quickly find a Holiday-Wilson recording without other instruments drowning out the piano, however.)

I do hear something different in the 1941 Wilson. He might be a good person to check the recordings of, since he was playing from the '30s up until his death. Might provide a snapshot history of jazz piano tuning, at least.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 12:39 PM

Jake:

It is good that these are available. Some just sound like poor octaves, maybe deliberately. It seemed to me that the piano in the Superbowl Sonata commercial was deliberately mistuned. If someone is going to declare that pianos were tuned a certain way, it should be based on an objective study of the information that is available. I am sure old recordings can be analyzed. Maybe a study has been done.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 01:15 PM

It occurred to me, too, that the Wilson piano, the first piece, might just have unusual or narrow octaves.

I'm trying to imagine the steps for a formal study of the subject. Finding older recordings of say Waller and Johnson and early Wilson might be a starting point, since there are many recordings and thus probably some slow pieces here and there. Would a piano have to be tuned to match a recording to really determine the tuning, or could you just capture as many notes as possible here and there, find their exact pitch with software, and then determine the tuning?

Jeff, do you know when you will complete this study? (Could we get that by this weekend...?) smile
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 01:22 PM

Even at best, old recordings may vary in speed enough to distort the tuning. If you want to look into them, I suggest listening to someone who was known to have super-accurate perfect pitch, like Josef Hoffman. However, I suspect some of those recordings were "corrected" to A-440, which he did not use. (I wonder if the change led do his drinking problems.)
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 02:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
Well, some samples:

Teddy Wilson in 1941.(No video, but the audio is fairly good.) I hear something different from ET, but I don't have the ears to tell if it's a Well temp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUQdpoMaVhs


Thanks for sending those . That one sound like a good ET (or quasi"ET" as there may be some slight differences, for some notes I have seen that often and it is not noticed when music is played.)
The particular sound and a tuning very nicely open yet, I tried to find a reason why (may be old tuners knew better how to tune than us, there may be more piano factories in those times, and and many where also near from the sources, coming from Germany or whatever European country, while now the musical taste is somewhat polluted since the young age, by TV show and lift music ! )

There is particular clarity of tone despite a "just enough stretch" and a pure medium (not really widely open but the tone does not ask for it) . in the treble that is what gives that particular acidity, as the piano does not ask for mot of stretch there (In RCT, I recall that the concert Pleyel had a "negative iH" in the treble, I never was able too understand what it means but it was clearly audible when one had to tune in that region.

I begin to believe that it was mostly due to the better quality of the piano wire from those times, purer metal, less iH. The tone wanted was also less powerful than, now, hence, again, less iH.

But the string is at the origin of piano tone, the soundboard come just after.

A freind have a "collection" of Steinway's and Bechsteins from 1900 to 1960 , it is very interesting how the evolving of tone can be heard (most have their original strings) . The tone was very rich and little by little it begin to get more e"pure" with less partials and more power (less "barrel tone and less "defects" too).

But simply tuning in standard ET one of those pianos give that kind of tone (a little restrained of course as the wire age and get hard, but the basis of the spectra remains, I believe)
The recording method also add some texture of course.

It may be not too difficult to test a little the tunings, but better have records than videos, so the file can be used in a spectra analyze software, and checked, with Tunelab or similar.

I am changing the stringing on a 1930 Pleyel, in Roslau wire I have way more iH than originally 0.96 while it was 0.56, that is on that piano that the 12th coming from A440 need 5Hz to be in tuner "just"

To find a similar open tone I'll have to use softer wire AND to lessen the thickness a lot the tension then comes from 750 to 550N in the mediums.
If not , I have a strong but unpleasing tone, it loose most of its light and quality, sound "pinched".

















Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 02:44 PM

Jake:

I do not intend to even look for a study. That is up to the person that is saying that pianos where tuned a certain way, that is, if the person is looking for truth and not just implication.

BDB:

The recording speed would not matter when the question is the temperament. Wow and flutter could certainly be corrected for, also.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 03:14 PM

Thanks for the Billie Holiday links, it was nice to listen and see that.

To me all the tunings are in ET, but the ones of the Marx brothers who sound loose, and may be with less tempered white keys. But in others records from the Marx Bro's I did not heard that.

in that one B- C is large - It happens , to me, because of the sequence used (is it Braid White?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5MCn2juMS0&NR=1 but is it a Well temperament ?

In Germany, France and Italy a A fork is used , then the sequence is between E and E or F and F, or E-4 (I did not heard of a A-A sequence since Chas) . Then if some 5ths may be less tempered they will be A E ,B F# , c# G# , etc...
I giess it is easier to be tempted to tune a "reverse well when beginning with a C fork, but , I guess it may have happen often because of a highly in harmonic tone that push the tuner to enlarge the first octave more than necessary (that plus the security for drift). I also noticed that many verticals have a somehow acid tone, this is also the sign of more iH.
When measuring with tunelab, a plucked string will have more iH than a played one, and a hard hammer note will have more iH than a soft hammer one. The apprentice tuners in factory learn first to chip (plucking the strings) , they work with full ih. That learn to open the octaves to the most, it is a good school.

Sorry I derivate completely from the topic.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 03:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
I

I'm trying to imagine the steps for a formal study of the subject. Finding older recordings of say Waller and Johnson and early Wilson might be a starting point, since there are many recordings and thus probably some slow pieces here and there. Would a piano have to be tuned to match a recording to really determine the tuning, or could you just capture as many notes as possible here and there, find their exact pitch with software, and then determine the tuning?


I believe I could do that by listening plus using an EDT, the ability to stop and play back a certain note may suffice.
An editing software, as Audacity is enough to do that.
Ears when in analytic mode, can catch many things, but yest it have to be backed up (or instance the C' being higher than the rest in the last link, this can be seen in Tunelab, (or whatever EDT software) and measured in cts - with a small precision but enough to have an idea of the level of deviation. the display have to be regulated to stop , and the offset noted.

I just tried on the Marx bros (with orchestra, not easy) . I traced to a lot of stretch beginning at C7 th B-C too large sensation.- it may be around 1 cts ors so, not much) B3 is a tad low, B3-C4 then is a tad large, but B4C5 is normal - pitch seem to be 438 (does not mena much in fact)

I would need MP3 or wav files to do that more precisely.



It may, however, take some time ...

Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 04:54 PM

Regardless of what is found out, any historical study of actual tunings from the early 20th century would be good. It could supplement the Broadwood manuals from the 19th century.

Come to think of it, would companies that existed then and are still extant, such as Steinway, have similar tuning manuals from those decades or tuning records? Surely they have a library. (And I would think that they would make some effort to retain documents such as tuning records for well-known performers' pianos.) Some of you here have studied at Steinway. Any contacts who could be contacted?
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 08:46 PM

Cinamonbear, you're welcome!

In the end, what really matters is what sounds good to me. I am enjoying the new sounds coming from my piano with this EBVT III. It's opened another 'sonic' window. smile
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 09:02 PM

grandpianoman,

The sound is great. Sorry if I helped to sidetrack things. We just went off into the subject of how long Well tunings lasted, and before I knew it, I was posting links to the Marx brothers. I do hope you understand that no disrespect towards the tuning or the great sound that you get from the piano was intended--I love watching Chico have fun on the piano.(And we did get to see Ingrid Bergman along the way.)

Do you think of EBVT as a sound that you recognize from older music?
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/11/10 10:09 PM

Jake, not a problem! I have seen this happen on PW before...going off track...actually your sojourn still had to do with tuning, so no harm done. smile

You know, I don't think I have enough of an experience with older piano music to give an opinion one way or the other. I am an avid audiophile as well, and listening to old piano recordings with all the wow & flutter just grates on my musical senses. That's why I am a big fan of www.zenph.com They can take these old piano recordings, and allow us to hear them on a modern piano with 100% accuracy. I wish I could let you hear the Zenph Glen Gould and Art Tatum for the LX on my piano in this EBVT III, it's great, but it's a copyright issue to put them on the web, which I understand.

I do know that this EBVT III, to my ears, has a richer, more complex sound from the music, any music for that matter, than in ET. I am enjoying the change, and I as I am able to more finely tune the piano in EBVT III, and it stays in tune, it's even more enjoyable.

When Bill was here, and he was finished with his final pass, he sat down and played a few pieces and chords, I was in awe of the purity of the sound. Randy Potter said basically the same thing. It had a purity of tone, (not just from Bill's excellent unisons) that was undeniably great. Then as we played a variety of music from the Ampico and LX of which I was very familiar with, it became evident that I was hearing things I had never heard before. The harmonies, it's complexities, the richness in the bass, and the beautiful extended and airy treble section, were much more evident than I had heard in ET. Also, some of the music on the LX and Ampico, when it would arrive at a certain point, would always sound not quite right, but in EBVT, those same sections sound correct...interesting. smile

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 08:30 AM

Thanks, GP, I am glad you are enjoying it and that it sounds right to you! You are the person I did it for and that is what matters to me. I recall that we joked about who would say what about it on here. So, when I said that I already knew what they would say and didn't care, I meant it. Either of us could publish the actual data for your tuning but I don't think we should for two reasons: it is specific for your piano and your piano alone and there would only be one comment about it: it is all wrong! The mathematical theories would prove it is wrong too! So, let 'em just wonder about it and keep 'em guessing.

As for proving that early 20th Century pianos were not tuned in ET, how about proving to me that they were. I haven't heard one yet that comes anywhere close to today's broadcast quality standards. To somehow believe that they were all a perfect ET but the unisons were bad, the octaves were bad and the hot lights made them go out during the recording is all grasping at straws to believe that the almighty ET is now, always was and always will be the only way anyone ever tuned a piano. It just is not true.

I had two interesting experiences yesterday, both first time customers. Upon finishing the first of these, the lady commented, "That is the very best this piano has ever sounded to me! I can say that without hesitation." That was after playing the piano in ALL the keys too and I do mean all, not just the mild ones. Really, if even one of my customers ever said anything like what some of the people on here have said (and I knew they would say because I know that they already have their minds made up about it), I might pursue things a little differently. They don't, however. They never do. They only shower me with compliments and they refer me to others.

The second was a nice Mason & Hamlin model A in a beautiful home. It turns out that the lady hosted gatherings of the symphony league which is the financial support group for our local symphony. She said, "I had this piano tuned only recently by someone else but the symphony conductor (with whom you have worked) was here and he said it did not sound right". I listened to what was there. Sure enough, it was reverse well. The C4-E4 M3 was the very fastest beating interval by far. The high treble octaves also varied incredibly in width from very narrow to very wide. It took two passes to tune each section of the piano even though the piano was at standard pitch. It would have taken two passes even if I had tuned it in ET.

Someone recently said they thought it had to do with using a C fork but I don't think it did at all. The A3 and A4 were right on pitch. What happens is the tuner begins tuning 4ths & 5ths from A3. The first interval tuned is A3-E4 and it is tuned too close to pure. That means A4 is too sharp. Then D4 is tuned too close to pure, so it is too flat. Then G3 is tuned from D4 too close to pure so it is too flat. Then C4 is tuned from G3 too close to pure, so C4 is too flat. C4 is too flat and E4 is too sharp, therefore, the C4-E4 M3 ends up being 20 or more cents wide (instead of the 14 cents it should be). There were no checks to use leading up to that error. At that point, the tuner could recognize that the interval sounds overly wide and do something about it but obviously they usually don't.

The path to reverse well continues: From C4 which is too flat, F3 is tuned as a too pure 5th, so F3 is too flat and the result is that the F3-A3 M3 is too wide, also far wider than 14 cents. If the M3/M6 check is used, both intervals may sound similar as they are supposed to but both of them are far too fast (just as it is seen in the last You Tube video I posted on the Reverse Well thread). F4 is tuned from F3, a "pure" octave, of course, just like the books all say it should be.

The road to ruin continues as A#3 is tuned from F3 as a too pure 4th. The A#3-D4 M3 is way too fast. Now D#4 is tuned as a too pure 4th from A#3. There is nothing to check that with, so G#3 is tuned as a 5th. The G#3-C4 M3 is too narrow and therefore beats too slowly. C#4 is tuned from G#3 and the A3-C#4 M3 beats too fast. F#3 is tuned from C#4 and the F#3-A#3 M3 beats very gently. B3 is tuned from F#3 and the G3-B3 M3 ends up 20 cents wide but the B3-D#4 M3 sounds as sweet as syrup.

That is how it typically happens and it is firmly believed to be ET. The Braide-White and all of the other 4ths & 5ths tuning books deliberately leave out any information whatsoever about what a well temperament is. If they say anything at all, they equate it to ET which is not true. So, tuner after tuner after tuner have done some version of the above for their entire career and believe it to be ET. The very notion of an unequal temperament is disturbing to their way of thinking, even though that is what they always do.

They won't try to learn another way to construct ET, the 4ths and 5ths sequence seems so logical to them, tuning contiguous major thirds does not. They have their way of doing it and prefer to mock and ridicule any other method. All of their clients have always heard the piano tuned this way and grown accustomed to the backwards and imbalanced harmony. So, it is little wonder to me why the way I tune sounds so beautiful when my clients hear it. The harmony, for the first time in their lives sounds as it should.

These clients have no built in sensitivity to the slightest deviation from ET as some tuners on here do. They have never heard a perfect ET, so they have no reference point for that. When they hear their music come alive in a way they never had before, it is truly an epiphany for them.

By the way, I very much enjoyed the theme from Schindler's List. The dark and disturbing sound of the minor key in the beginning is exactly what I expect to hear from this music. After all, that film is about genocide. Playing the same music in ET would take the edge off of the way it is really meant to sound. So, despite the claim that all modern music is composed with ET in mind, modern era composers still choose key signatures correctly, the same way they did in past centuries. It doesn't matter to me that the film soundtrack is in ET. What film critic hasn't pointed out what could have been done better in the very best of films? The way that music sounds in the EBVT III is the way it should sound and the way it should have been recorded.

The Mason & Hamlin lady will host another party this weekend where there will be professional musicians who will play her piano. Did I even once think that maybe I should tune it in ET because somebody might notice that is not ET and complain about it or say anything like what has been said on here? No, I didn't and I surely am not the least bit concerned about it.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 09:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

As for proving that early 20th Century pianos were not tuned in ET, how about proving to me that they were.

.....


Come on now, Bill. It is up to you to prove your statements, not for me to disprove them.

But there always comes up the question of what is ET? If we take the most strict, mathematical definition of ET, then no piano ever has or ever will be tuned in ET. And if we take the broadest definition, then Bach tuned in ET because all key signatures were available. Even my practical definition of M3s and M6s being progressive is not very easy to achieve. I often cannot do so because of the condition of the pinblock and the rendering of the strings. There is much to be said for Jorgensen’s definition. If I remember correctly, it is what most tuners achieve when they attempt ET and is characterized by generally progressive RBIs.

So I would say that the intent of most tuners in the late 19th and early 20th century was ET, and that the result of most of these tunings is the definition of ET at that time. To apply a more strict or modern definition of ET to that time period and saying it is not ET is as unfair as applying a broader definition of ET to Bach’s time and saying that it was ET.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 09:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

Either of us could publish the actual data for your tuning but I don't think we should for two reasons: it is specific for your piano and your piano alone and there would only be one comment about it: it is all wrong! The mathematical theories would prove it is wrong too! So, let 'em just wonder about it and keep 'em guessing.

.....


If both the offsets and the iH of the piano are taken into account, general trends could be looked at. After all, that is how ETDs are able to tune pianos. Wouldn’t you want to know how mindless octaves effect an unequal temperament? Or do you just want to keep wondering and guessing? "Ignorance is Bliss"
Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 09:58 AM


Bill, reflect upon your own words:

About revers well, you write..."That is how it typically happens and it is firmly believed to be ET."...

So, you are comparing EBVT to what?

About customers, you write:..."They have never heard a perfect ET, so they have no reference point for that. When they hear their music come alive in a way they never had before, it is truly an epiphany for them."...

Then, you could explain GP's enthusiasm.

And:..."The way that music sounds in the EBVT III is the way it should sound and the way it should have been recorded."...

So you could understand where pride leads to.

By reflecting upon your own words, you may also acknowledge ET's evolution and mixed SBI/RBI tuning sequencies, and teach tuning at its best.

You also allow yourself to write:..."The mathematical theories would prove it is wrong too! So, let 'em just wonder about it and keep 'em guessing."...

What kind of game is this, in GP's enthusiastic thread?

Modern ET mathematical theories would tell you that your tunings too can improve, from a Well/quasi-ET hybrid to a more euphonious form. Perhaps this does not sound "nice", but it may be simple enough.

Regards, a.c.

Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 11:24 AM

grandpianoman:

When you get a chance: I'm curious about the zenph system. I've read through their site, and I see that they take into consideration 10 factors in the recording and generate a high-definition midi file. I'm puzzled, however:

Does the high def midi file change the pitch of the note to match that of the recording? In other words, if one has a Diskclavier that's tuned differently from the a recording one wants to reproduce on it, and one uses one of their midi files, will it correct the tuning so that it matches that of the original recording? (So, does your EBVT-tuned piano become an ET-tuned piano when playing one of their files?)

If it does "correct" the pitch, does it do so with pitchbends on each note? (Have you examined the midi files in a sequencer that lets you see the midi data stream?)

Going in the other direction, do you know if their system can record the original tuning? In other words, if a piano was tuned to a meantone temp, would their midi file record the pitches of the notes accurately. I imagine so, but their site never mentions pitching or tuning.

IF SO, THIS would be one good way to examine the history of early 20th century (popular music, I suppose) piano tuning, you see: if they can autorecord the pitch variations of each note, it would give us much. Not the upper partials, but the fundamentals. On the other hand, this would be expensive, assuming that their scholarly interests and time might be undermined by other considerations. Yet the pitch data might be the very easiest thing for them to read, and it would be a valuable contribution to musicology...


Thanks for any insight.

Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 11:42 AM

(I'm starting a new thread about the more general subject of researching early 20th century tunings, so that the original subject of this thread--the great recordings--isn't diluted.)
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 01:43 PM

Actually, a method used to tune pianos in the early 20th century was tested to the limits of the equipment available in the mid 20th century and was found to produce ET. Dr. White included this in his book.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT


One of the limitations about using a player piano (which we all discussed long before I ever went to GP's to tune his piano) is that the player system cannot "hear" the tuning. It will play the way the pianist recorded the piece regardless of how the piano is tuned. When a live pianist performs with a Well Temperament or mild Meantone (as in the case of Peter Serkin), the tone colors of the temperament cause the pianist to shape the music in a far more sensitive way than if the piano is tuned in ET.

I hope Patrick of Finland will show us some examples of this.


Thanks Bill, I will try to do just that. I plan to record my Yamaha G2 in my home tuned in both ET and EBVT III, using identical mic positions, closing out as much of the 'randomness' as possible, going for only two factors: 1) the tuning, 2) the interpretation.

I will play some classical music, just to shut out the argument of 'playing the good notes, hiding the rest'... smile

I like the analogy of grayscale/color, that is very close to the way I experience ET/EBVT III. Both can be beautiful, and there is something esthetical about the mathematically symmetrical tuning (ET), but there is no question that the color palette of EBVT III makes the (sensible) pianist play the instrument in a different way.

Just out of curiosity, I sent the recording of the improvisation i did earlier (http://www.wingren.fi/patrick/public/ebvt02_main.mp3) to three tuners I know. None of them are participating here, and thus their input is kind of fresh to this discussion. I mentioned that I've started to tune EBVT III, listed references to your site, and asked for feedback.

  • The first one (whom I've mentioned earlier) is a superb Steinway tech (trained at 57th st, NY). He has a very harmonic, aural approach to tuning. He just simply stated that he liked the tuning very much smile

  • The second one is a tuner from Helsinki that I learn to know some 20 years ago. He replied (translated from finnish):

    "Hi, it sounds very nice - I can't grasp how you have been able to learn how to tune the piano like this by self-studies, and aurally too. You have a lot of talent, I already recognized that 20 years ago. Bill Bremmer's EBVT III works superbly, it sounds spacious and the spread gives a really nice feel. I have to explore that tuning and start practicing. I had a break in my tuning career for several years, but now again I'm getting interested in the profession that I left behind."

  • The third tuner is a concert tuner, former fazioli tech, who tunes for a lot of the big names here in Finland (Olli Mustonen, for example). He replied (again, translated from finnish):

    "Hi, and thank's for your mail. I just listened to your playing and it sounded good. The intervals sounded tranquil, even at the outer ends of the piano. I still have to listen through my headphones, because my speakers don't give me enough lower bass. I have to explore this temperament myself."


Now, these are some pretty honest guys with as unbiased an input as you you might get. They all seemed very interested and eager to learn more about EBVT III. This is not to prove something right or wrong, I'm just giving a 'field report'. Anyway, them encouraging this temperament is a welcomed confirmation that there is something good going on here smile
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 04:38 PM

HI Pat, nice to see you back.

And the school studio experiment ? 2 different pianos will give you less trouble.

To me 17 ths, double octaves and 12ths played along the scale will probably tell me much about the musicality of a tuning.

Easier to listen, I see your point about the construction in ET, I know we can have the envy to have a change.

Best regards

Isaac
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 06:13 PM

Hi Isaac,

Yes that was (as you know) my original plan, but now I'm really attracted to the idea of tuning the same instrument with two different tunings, just to rule out everything else. Even though I have Yamaha grands lined up at the conservatory, they sound a bit different and that affects the overal color of the tuning, too!

PS did you get snow this week? Northern Italy (Vicenza) is caothic, from what I've heard.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 06:30 PM

Hi Pat, no, no snow, but I heard of an earthquake in Madrid , they say at the radio - then I understood it was because the Madrid foot ball club lost when playing against Lyon...

The journalist does not respect nothing !

I would be "afraid" to make 2 different tunings on the same piano for comparison purposes.

That will give you much work and in the end you will not be sure if a drift occur, unless you can play, and tweak each tuning until it is good enough, all pianos react and vary (even between the morning and the evening !)

Yes if the YAm of the conservatory are too much different in age that could be a concern, but also a way for you to hear them played by differnt persons (?).
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 07:35 PM

Patrick, welcome, and I am glad you are joining this discussion.

Your improvisation recording is great. It's great to hear such clean unisons too. One can hear the multitude of colors in the tone and the richness that EBVT is able to produce. It's hard for me to imagine anyone not liking your recording/tuning. There is definitely something 'good' going on with EBVT III. I have heard it, Randy Potter heard it, my friends at my piano party heard it, and now your 3 tuner/tech friends have heard it. smile

As I mentioned before, I have nothing against ET, it is pleasing to the ear. EBVT III adds more dimensions to the sound, and brings out colors/harmonies that I don't hear in ET, yet it still remains beautiful, like in your recording. It's also very illuminating to hear EBVT III on a different piano.

Yesterday, I played some files on my Yamaha Disklaiver that I had been playing on the EBVT M&H RBB...it's a digital disklavier, no strings, and I have owned it for about 4 years now. It has Yamaha's tuning from their 9ft Concert Grand. The same file played on both pianos was like night and day. The Yamaha sounded flat, lifeless compared to the EBVT M&H RBB. I never noticed that much difference before, since I was tuning the M&H in ET. I kept looking at the Yamaha settings to see if I had something incorrect...lol. I much preferred the EBVT. As an experiment, I am going to take the digital out's of the Yamaha, and record a piece, then play the same piece on the RBB with EBVT III, then you can hear what I am talking about. It won't be like tuning the M&H in ET, then in EBVT III, but you will be able to hear what I am talking about.

I still have my older Rode NT5 mics, which I had not tried yet....last night, I connected them and recorded a few pieces. I am going to have clean up the tuning on the piano a bit, and will re-record them for a later posting. Different mic, slightly different result.

I look forward to your ET-EBVT III tunings!
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 07:58 PM

I would like to try a variation on my tuning to replicate what you did here, except I tune without an ETD.

It also seems that there have been lots of descriptions of temperaments using 4ths and 5ths mainly. However, I use faster beating intervals as I was taught this produces a more exacting result.

I am wondering if I could make some simple changes to the parameters I currently use aurally to produce this tuning and therefore have a 'live sample' I could evaluate. Is this possible?

Just in case Bill or anyone would tell me what I should do differently in order to make the proper adjustments, I will provide my current temperament sequence and summary of beat rates:

I tune the temperament octave F3-F4, starting with a C fork.

A flat from the C (major 3rd)

F3 from C4 (5th)

F4 from F3 (octave)

A4 from F3 (major 3rd)

C#4 from A4 (major 3rd)

F#3 from c#4 (5th)

A#4 from F#3 (major 3rd)

D4 from A#4 (major 3rd)

G3 from D4 (5th)

B4 from G3 (major 3rd)

D#4 from B4 (major 3rd)

E4 from C4 (major 3rd)

This sequence allows for good comparison between the consecutive 3rds. The F3-A4 major 3rd starts out at 7 beats per second and the consecutive 3rds progress at about .5 beats per second so that the C4-E4 major 3rd is 10.5 beats per second.

I hope this summary is simple enough because it ought to be just as simple to make the variations needed.

I use the even progression of major 3rds as the absolute priority and let the 4ths and 5ths try and sound as clean as they can, which is pretty close to pure for the 5ths.

Does this temperament have a similar standard?

Thanks,

Nick
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/12/10 09:38 PM

Jake, sorry, I forgot to answer your question...have got to do some errands etc...will come back later and address your questions about Zenph.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/13/10 03:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
I would like to try a variation on my tuning to replicate what you did here, except I tune without an ETD.

It also seems that there have been lots of descriptions of temperaments using 4ths and 5ths mainly. However, I use faster beating intervals as I was taught this produces a more exacting result.

I am wondering if I could make some simple changes to the parameters I currently use aurally to produce this tuning and therefore have a 'live sample' I could evaluate. Is this possible?

Just in case Bill or anyone would tell me what I should do differently in order to make the proper adjustments, I will provide my current temperament sequence and summary of beat rates:

I tune the temperament octave F3-F4, starting with a C fork.

A flat from the C (major 3rd)

F3 from C4 (5th)

F4 from F3 (octave)

A4 from F3 (major 3rd)

C#4 from A4 (major 3rd)

F#3 from c#4 (5th)

A#4 from F#3 (major 3rd)

D4 from A#4 (major 3rd)

G3 from D4 (5th)

B4 from G3 (major 3rd)

D#4 from B4 (major 3rd)

E4 from C4 (major 3rd)

This sequence allows for good comparison between the consecutive 3rds. The F3-A4 major 3rd starts out at 7 beats per second and the consecutive 3rds progress at about .5 beats per second so that the C4-E4 major 3rd is 10.5 beats per second.

I hope this summary is simple enough because it ought to be just as simple to make the variations needed.

I use the even progression of major 3rds as the absolute priority and let the 4ths and 5ths try and sound as clean as they can, which is pretty close to pure for the 5ths.

Does this temperament have a similar standard?

Thanks,

Nick


Nick, from the sound files you have posted, you could not improve the way you tune ET any more, in my opinion. An aural tuner these days that can truly perfect ET, especially using the sequence you posted is a rare occurrence. You have the natural ability that it takes to listen and adjust the intervals that it takes to tune a good ET. My recent work with other ET sequences has been an attempt to provide another scheme for those who have failed using traditional methods.

If you really want to find out what the EBVT III would sound like, all you have to do is follow the aural tuning directions on my website. Others have done it, Patrick from Finland and Rafael from Mexico city come to mind. I won't be offended if you do not like the results, just don't post ridicule and mockery as your answer.

You have seen that GP likes what I did for him. It has been quite a struggle to maintain that tuning, for sure. I can arrange a visit to you at your place of business and tune entirely aurally and show you how it is done, if you wish. If you are disappointed with the results, I will take it in stride because I know that you have become accustomed to the sound of ET.

I'm not expecting you to embrace the idea but if you do, so much the better. Even if you want to keep it as an alternative, that would be fine with me.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/13/10 03:44 PM

Isaac: Yes, that might be the cause of it - Lyon played very well! smile

I think I might do both the studio side-by-side setup and the single piano. To me both could be most interesting, and as I'm curious by nature... smile well, let's see what happens when I get started.

Grandpianoman: Thank you for your reply, and for the great effort you have put into your recordings! It is really good to get aural examples of something that is of aural nature, instead of just discussing it all from a theoretical point of view.

Likewise, I appreciate Isaacs and Alfredos recording work, I have yet to listen carefully to that. This is the web at its best - being able to exchange ideas, challenge, and stimulate each other!

Nick: As you tune aurally and are used to FBI's, I think you would have no problem getting the hang of EBVT. Bill Bremmer's tuning sequence starts from an A fork, but as the F3-C4 is a pure 5th you'd just need to shuffle the order in the first part of the sequence a little bit.

Here's Bill's sequence, it can be downloaded as a pdf file from his site (http://billbremmer.com/ebvt/summary_ebvt_sequences.pdf)

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer (www.billbremmer.com)


Simplified and Summary EBVT I, EBVT II & EBVT III Sequences


1. Tune A4 to A-440 pitch source.
2. Tune A3 to A4, a 6:3 type octave.
3. Temper the F3-A3 M3 at 6 beats per second.
4. Tune the F3-C4 P5 beatless.
5. Tune the C4-F4 P4 beatless, creating a F3-F4, 4:2 type octave.
6. Temper the C4-E4 M3 at 6 beats per second.
7. Temper the G3-E4 M6 at 6 beats per second.
8. Temper the G3-B3 M3 at 6 beats per second.
9. Temper D4 from both G3 and A3 so the G3-D4 P5 and the A3-D4 P4 beat exactly the same.
10. Temper A#3 from F3, a widened P4, so the F3-A#3 P4 beats exactly the same as the G3-C4 P4.
11. Temper the A3-C#4 M3 so it beats exactly the same as the A#3-D4 M3.
12. Tune the F#3-C#4 P5 beatless.
13. Tune the G#3-C#4 P4 beatless.
14. Temper D#4 from both G#3 and A#3 so the G#3-D#4 P5 and A#3-D#4 P4 beat exactly the same.
15. EBVT II option: Sharpen E4 so the B3-E4 P4 now beats exactly the same as the A3-E4 P5.
Skip this step to retain the original EBVT I.
16. EBVT III option: Sharpen F#3 so that the F#3-B4 P4 and the F#3-C#4 P5 beat exactly the same.


Note that if you stop at #14, you have EBVT I. To reach EBVT III, you go all the way through #16. Bill considers EBVT II (stopping at #15) obsolete these days, and advocates I or III.

EBVT III is milder and, to me, a very nice and colorful temperament that can be played regardless of genre or key signatures.

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/13/10 03:52 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat
Hi Isaac,

Yes that was (as you know) my original plan, but now I'm really attracted to the idea of tuning the same instrument with two different tunings, just to rule out everything else. Even though I have Yamaha grands lined up at the conservatory, they sound a bit different and that affects the overal color of the tuning, too!

PS did you get snow this week? Northern Italy (Vicenza) is caothic, from what I've heard.


Hello Patrick,

I loved the sound file you posted and appreciated the comments from other people. I would be extremely interested to hear that Schubert Impromptu #4 as you have learned to play it first in ET, then in the EBVT III on the same piano. Record it first in ET, save the file, then tune that same piano in the EBVT III and practice the piece again, playing it however differently you may interpret it in the EBVT III and record that. Your comments about both experiences will be well appreciated.

One day, I would like to hear it again in the 1/7 Comma Meantone as I first did in 1995. I wonder how Peter Serkin would interpret that piece as opposed to all the lifeless recordings of it I have heard on You Tube?
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/13/10 06:17 PM

Ron Koval: I understand that GP sent you the data of his tuning as he also did to Tooner. What I expect to hear is that it does not match in any way any expectations. When I showed the data from my 1998 tuning at the PTG Convention in Providence, RI to Dr. Sanderson, his first reaction was, "I have never seen numbers that looked like those."

Yet, as GP works with "those numbers", you hear the results. You know that I am within a day trip to your location. I can visit you, tune a fine piano the way that I would and explain everything to you. I have actually wanted to do that for a long time. I only need the invitation. I am interested to find out if there is a way that the Verituner could cope with the way I tune the octaves.

I will post here for all to see, the way I tune a late 19th Century restored Steinway (9 foot but I am not sure if it was a model C or D) for a regular customer in the Milwaukee suburbs. The lady hosts regular events in her in-home concert hall (you would have to see it to believe it) with the finest area performing musicians. I always tune her piano this way. I often use this basic model as a preliminary tuning for many pianos as I did with GP's but I never use the data for the wound strings. I only tune them aurally. After roughing in the tuning using this data, I customize the tuning aurally and/or by direct interval meathod.

EBVT III for a Steinway

The following pitches are read on the 6th partial:

A0: -8.0
A#0: -2.0
B0: -4.0
C1: -3.0
C#1: -6.5
D1: -7.0
D#1: -4.0
E1: -4.0
F1: -2.0
F#1: -5.0
G1: -2.0
G#1: -4.0
A1: -5.0
A#1: -1.0
B1: -2.5

C2: 0.0
C#2: -1.0
D2: -1.0
D#2: 0.0
E2: -2.5
F2: 1.0
F#2: 0.0
G2: 1.0
G#2: 0.0
A2: 0.0
A#2: 2.0
B2: 0.0

The Following pitches are read on the 4th partial:

C3: 2.0
C#3: -1.0
D3: 0.0
D#3: -0.5
E3: -2.0
F3: 1.0
F#3: -2.0
G3: 3.0
G#3: 0.0
A3: 0.0
A#3: 2.0
B3: 1.5

The following pitches are read on the second partial:

C4: 2.0
C#4: 0.0
D4: 0.5
D#4: 0.0
E4: -2.0
F4: 1.0
F#4: -1.0
G4: 4.0
G#4: 2.0
A4: 1.5
A#4: 3.0
B4: 2.5

The following pitches are read on the first partial:

C5: 3.0
C#5: 1.0
D5: 2.5
D#5: 2.0
E5: 1.0
F5: 2.0
F#5: 1.0
G5: 6.0
G#5: 4.0
A5: 3.0
A#5: 4.0
B5: 4.0

C6: 6.0
C#6: 4.5
D6: 8.0
D#6: 6.5
E6: 6.0
F6: 8.5
F#6: 8.0
G6: 12.0
G#6: 11.5
A6: 13.0
A#6: 14.0
B6: 14.0

C7: 19.0
C#7: 18.0
D7: 22.0
D#7: 22.0
E7: 21.5
F7: 25.0
F#7: 26.0
G7: 34.5
G#7: 34.0
A7: 35.0
A#7: 36.0
B7: 38.0

C8: 40.0

It would be interesting to know how closely this data matches with a Verituner generated program for any Steinway. You will notice that all of my figures are either whole of half cents. If I start with A3 on 0.0 (as I always do), I can get every subsequent pitch to be either a whole of half cent. My F3 is invariably a 1.0, no matter which piano it is. The F3-A3 M3 is supposed to beat a 6 beats per second and F3 at +1.0 cents against A3 at 0.0 seems to do that every time. F4 at the same +1.0 creates a perfect F3-F4 4:2 octave every time.

When I tune C4 pure to F3, the result is almost always 2.0. When I tune E4 to -2.0, it is always just right for the EBVT III but -2.5 is right for the original EBVT. F#3 at -2.0 is almost always right for the EBVT III but -2.5 or -3.0 is right for the original EBVT. So, you see, that the M&H RBB in the temperament octave is nearly identical to the Steinway, even though each is already known to have a radically different scale and far different amount of inharmonicity:

F3: 1.0
F#3: -2.5
G3: 2.5
G#3: 2.0
A3: 0.0
A#3: 3.0
B3: 0.0
C4: 2.0
C#4: -2.0
D4: 2.0
D#4: 1.0
E4: -2.0
F4: 1.0

Remember that there is a partial selection shift from 4th partial in octave 3 to 2nd partial in octave 4. But you can easily see how all of these figures very closely straddle theoretical ET as they are all read in octave 5. The harmony is affected as intended by plus/minus deviations from theoretical ET but the basic pitch of each note is either exactly on or a very small increment from theoretical ET. That is intended and is by design. I can easily understand why Kamin seemed to like the Bass in the EBVT III postings because of how very closely each pitch came to theoretical ET, particularly in octave 2.

As I move upward from the F3-F4 octave, I expect to raise each value by 0.5 or 1.0 or maybe not at all to improve the way a 5th sounds. By the time I reach F5, I go entirely by what is called, Direct Interval. Some technicians apparently have not understood that concept. If I have my ETD set on F5 for example, reading on the first partial, if I play F3 as I have tuned it, I can find an exact reading that will make F5 be in tune with F3 as a perfect double octave. Just play F3 and stop the pattern and you would have that (regardless of temperament). But what I like to do at this point is to make an equal compromise between the double octave and the octave and 5th. So, if I stop the pattern as I pay F3 (as it is reading one F5), then I play A#3, I would expect to see the pattern roll sharp. I then find the point where the pattern rolls equally sharp for F3 and flat for A#3. I always try to find a whole or half cent value for that. If the amount seems to fall within that range, I go for the sharp side. (I would go for the flat side in the Bass). Micromanaging less than one half cent outside the temperament octave is of no benefit. If the temperament octave itself is arranged on whole or half cents, it makes all determinations much easier.

So, the data you see for either the Steinway or the Mason & Hamlin RBB in the outer octaves has been determined by the actual inharmonicity that the piano has. Double octaves compared to octave and 5ths from F5 to E6 and triple octaves compared to double octaves and 5ths from F6 to C8. The numerical data is what the piano itself produced. The same is true for the Bass. Yes, anyone could produce different data with a different temperament and a different idea about how to stretch the octaves and any such idea could be deemed to be valid. I am only revealing how I did it.

Anyone is welcome to come up with what they think is a better idea. Post your own ideas and their results if you care or dare to do so. I am content with my own ideas at least for the present but I have never stopped refining them. I know what works for me and my clients. Bernhard Stopper and Alfredo Capruso know what works for them. They have clearly defined what they do and everything they do is valid as far as I am concerned.
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/13/10 07:35 PM

Thanks for posting that, Bill. I never got any direct data from GP...

I'll be able to take a look at the numbers this week and get back to you - I've got a couple of Ds in my Verituner to compare - the 1912 one at the college is probably the closer match. It should be fun!

(I may just take you up on the visit down this way.... thanks for the offer!)

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/13/10 10:25 PM

Patrick, you're welcome!

Here are a few more recordings made after my 4th tuning of the EBVT III figures Bill gave me.

Again, please forgive my out of tune unisons as the recordings progress from Clair de Lune, which was the 1st after I tuned, to the last one, Warsaw Concerto. I just wanted to sit back and enjoy, rather than jumping up after each recording to clean up those unisons. wink

I did a little experiment with mics as well. I had not used my older Rode NT5's before with the EBVT....the first several recordings here, I used them. With headphones, you can hear the difference, albeit slight. From what I have read in home-recording forums, the cardioid is preferred for acoustic recordings, but it's not written in stone. I liked both mics...your thoughts? On a few of the recordings, I was monitoring the levels and did not quite turn them down quick enough, so some clipping is there.

I am yet again in awe of Bill's work as I listen to these. As I become better and better at rendering this EBVT III to my piano, I am sure stability will improve, as well as the overall tuning. At this point, my treble is still not stable.

The Ralston pieces are a little schmaltzy, but the Warsaw Concerto is impressive, even with the shmaltz. smile Pezzone wrote his own material I believe...the Kosovo piece written reflecting that conflict. This music shows that EBVT III sounds good in any type/style. Enjoy! smile


1. "Clair de Lune" played on the LX by Bob Ralston in EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/cuhnetcuox (Rode NT5 Cardiod mics)

2. "Longings" played on the LX by Brian Pezzone in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/g94vct2d6t (Rode NT5)

3. "Dara Dream" played on the LX by Brian Pezzone in EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/yulethcomi (Rode NT5)

4. "Kosovo Home" played on the LX by Brian Pezzone in EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/61ezxkf2j1 (Avenson ST0-2 Omni mics)

5. "Oh Danny Boy" played on the LX by Brian Pezzone in EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/5a9z5qbsfy (Rode NT5)

6. "Warsaw Concerto" played on the LX by Bob Ralston in EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/0977f2fapr (Avenson STO-2 Omni mics)


Here is a folder with all the above music:

Bill Bremmer's EBVT III-4th Tuning: http://www.box.net/shared/ouii7b91bn

**One thing I have noticed, for some reason, when I use the box.net player online, the sound is a bit distorted, as opposed to downloading the mp3 to my computer, then playing it from there...much better sound, not so strident in the upper harmonics, and a better dynamic range, especially in the bass area.**


It's been a great experience to meet Bill, have him tune my piano, and then enjoy the beatifull music. Thank you again Bill for your great work! You've opened up yet another door to my music/piano!

I am also glad to have been able to further his work on PianoWorld and share it with everyone here. After all, "music makes the world go 'round" as they say, and thanks to Frank, PianoWorld, and the Internet, we can all share our ideas so much easier.



Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/13/10 10:57 PM

Thanks Bill, and Patrick, for explaining in terms I understand how to go about this tuning. I glanced the instructions and it seems the simple adjustments I asked for are adequately explained, except that I don't know what a 6:3 octave is, but it does not seem that the understanding of it is crucial since it is at the beginning of the sequence, or is it? I'm guessing it's just a pretty normal octave.

I can't wait to try this, maybe even tomorrow.

Thanks, Bill for all your explanations.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 12:21 AM

Hi Jake,

I will try and answer your questions about www.zenph.com

As I understand it, Zenph takes the sound (information) from the original recordings, and converts it into a high-resolution file that is able to be played back on the SE system that Wayne Stahnke originally developed back in the 80's for Bosendorfer. There is an updated and improved SE system now, made by a gentlemen in England, using Mr. Stahnke's original designs, which is what Zenph is using for their recordings. They also released some of their work for the LX, the Gould Goldberg Variations and the Art Tatum music.

Their high-def midi file does not change the pitch...it only 'plays' the exact notes on the piano..so whatever tuning/pitch that piano has, that's what you hear. You never hear anything digital. So my piano in EBVT III or ET, is playing in the same key it was recorded in originally, but that's it. I am hearing 100% playback of the original recording, timing, tempo, pedaling, and expression....an amazing feat!

Zenph cannot record a tuning, nor can my LX system, which is based on the SE system, it's only for playback of notes.

Hope that explains a bit about the Zenph software.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 03:25 AM

I don't like the NT5's on the early recordings--they seem to compress both the amplitude and the freq range. Don't know if it's because of the mics or the board, or the mic position, but on these specific recordings using NT5's, there's a nice, warm saturation in the mids, but no range. Too much of a focus on the mids for me.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 05:23 AM

Jake, all my earlier recordings for the last few years, have been with the Zoom H4 and it's built-in preamp. I think that may be the reason for the compressed sound you are hearing. The Korg is in a different league, as well as it's built-in preamps. DSD or Direct Stream Digital 1-bit, 5.6 MHz recording was something only very high-end recording studios and the Hollywood soundstage/orchestras etc could afford. It's 2 times better than SACD. The price has come down considerably since then.
Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 10:47 AM

To colleagues only.

Last night (in Italy) Bill wrote a useful post:

..."You will notice that all of my figures are either whole of half cents. If I start with A3 on 0.0 (as I always do), I can get every subsequent pitch to be either a whole of half cent. My F3 is invariably a 1.0, no matter which piano it is. The F3-A3 M3 is supposed to beat a 6 beats per second and F3 at +1.0 cents against A3 at 0.0 seems to do that every time. F4 at the same +1.0 creates a perfect F3-F4 4:2 octave every time."...

So, no iH problems. 

..."When I tune C4 pure to F3, the result is almost always 2.0. When I tune E4 to -2.0, it is always just right for the EBVT III but -2.5 is right for the original EBVT. F#3 at -2.0 is almost always right for the EBVT III but -2.5 or -3.0 is right for the original EBVT. So, you see, that the M&H RBB in the temperament octave is nearly identical to the Steinway, even though each is already known to have a radically different scale and far different amount of inharmonicity:"...

One more clue about iH.

..."Remember that there is a partial selection shift from 4th partial in octave 3 to 2nd partial in octave 4. But you can easily see how all of these figures very closely straddle theoretical ET as they are all read in octave 5. The harmony is affected as intended by plus/minus deviations from theoretical ET but the basic pitch of each note is either exactly on or a very small increment from theoretical ET."...

I think Bill may be right.

..."I can easily understand why Kamin seemed to like the Bass in the EBVT III postings because of how very closely each pitch came to theoretical ET, particularly in octave 2."...

This may be correct, Kamin may say.

..."As I move upward from the F3-F4 octave, I expect to raise each value by 0.5 or 1.0 or maybe not at all to improve the way a 5th sounds. By the time I reach F5, I go entirely by what is called, Direct Interval. Some technicians apparently have not understood that concept. If I have my ETD set on F5 for example, reading on the first partial, if I play F3 as I have tuned it, I can find an exact reading that will make F5 be in tune with F3 as a perfect double octave. Just play F3 and stop the pattern and you would have that (regardless of temperament). But what I like to do at this point is to make an equal compromise between the double octave and the octave and 5th."...

Isn't this beats symmetries?

..."Micromanaging less than one half cent outside the temperament octave is of no benefit."...

This is where our approaches may depart: I'd tend to micromanaging any audible intervals progression, what no ETD can do.

..."If the temperament octave itself is arranged on whole or half cents, it makes all determinations much easier."...

Bill says "easier" and it is an interesting and relevant "key".

..."So, the data you see for either the Steinway or the Mason & Hamlin RBB in the outer octaves has been determined by the actual inharmonicity that the piano has."...

To me, it seems that in Bill's tuning, outer octaves are determined by beats simmetries, am I wrong?

..."Double octaves compared to octave and 5ths from F5 to E6"...

I do not konw, was I wrong?

..."and triple octaves compared to double octaves and 5ths from F6 to C8."

Yes, it is better to refer to octaves close to your temperament register (when you distinguish it), this can round things better.

All together, (O) Bill could put an end to his crusade against ET, by recognizing that EBVT tuning (by design) sounds like a fair, comfortable and good enough version of actual octaves stretching and beats simmetries, in the way modern ET theories can describe. Then, the many aleatory comments about colours and emotions could be avoided.

Say you tune a good modern ET today, wouldn't you find a fairly good "non equal" the day after? Doesn't the piano itself "micromanage" what you have tuned, so putting "colours" on top of your tunings? Will Bill have listened to the M&H RBB the next day?

Bill says that what I'm doing is valid. This is also what I think about Bill's tunings, but my point is looking at pianos issues clearly for what they are, along with our deepest insights joined together.

Have a nice sunday, regards, a.c.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 12:29 PM

iH is providing much of the problems when you want to follow the 4:5 ratio rule all along the keyboard. (he 4beats to 5beats relation between M3ds) that is when the beats are created by partials that are located high in the spectra.

Unfortunately, as those RBI are very audible we have to manage them

Then you often finally have the choice to have the M3 progressive and the 5Ths less of the 5ths nice and the 3M with some variation in progression.

What I hear when listening to EBVT is a mild temperament in the medium range, that keep is shape but way less in the 5 th and 2nd octave, and is way more even in the high treble and low bass.

A consecutive 17 th , and 12 th scale would show it.
I wonder if a more strict respect of the temperament would not provide more the wanted effect.

In the basses indeed many intervals are re conciliated, but still I hear some tonalities more large (C, and others small, as F#) than others (as this is the intention I suppose this is normal).

In any case what I recognize in terms of global resonance (raised harmony) can be at last partly given to the reaction given between the 4th, the 12th the double and the sixth as to my ears it tend to "lock" at a resonant spot at each time)

That beat synchronism can be heard in that tuning test on a vertical : http://www.box.net/shared/ptfcnaommd

There is some space within that good spot despite the precision it can offer.

Talking about the partial selectioned and used by the tuning softwares or goodies most of them compute you a justness based on the smoothing of the 3d (12 th) the second (octave) or the 4ths (double octave) partial, trying to derive a fundamental frequencies by Ih computation, there is much space for mistakes, even if they can help, they tend to change the way you are listening, and then you'll have a neat 12th progression then something that is derived from that progression. I believe the cause of the lack of musicality in those tunings is due to that, no precise intention, just guesses.


Indeed in the hand of a good tuner they will eventually help him, eventually show him the piano drift during tuning, (and provide a good justness model if they can take in account more than one partial at the same time) but I would consider all those EDT as being less precise than what our ears can do ; not a question of 10ths of cts or ear discrimination, but beat count.

They can be used in direct tuning, eventually, but still they dont listen as goos as you !

I, for one wish to hear that Schubert 4th impromptu,whenever possible.

Here is a nice "clair de Lune" "clinically cold, but recorded in March I guess" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2XzoA94Zws
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 12:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Thanks Bill, and Patrick, for explaining in terms I understand how to go about this tuning. I glanced the instructions and it seems the simple adjustments I asked for are adequately explained, except that I don't know what a 6:3 octave is, but it does not seem that the understanding of it is crucial since it is at the beginning of the sequence, or is it? I'm guessing it's just a pretty normal octave.

I can't wait to try this, maybe even tomorrow.

Thanks, Bill for all your explanations.


Nick, don't worry about the 6:3 octave, you will tune it naturally as you work on the octaves above the temperament. Just use A3 as it is from where you tuned it in ET. I will send you the same detailed instructions I sent to Patrick a while back. These need to be posted on my website but I have not yet taken the time to carefully edited them for any typos, etc.

It would be great if you are able to understand and follow the instructions, like the results and can post a recording!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 01:02 PM

GP, that is the cleanest, most beautiful sounding Claire de Lune I have ever heard! I have been quite busy lately and fallen behind on private e-mail to you but I will try to get to those. Could you please post the sound file that another interested party made and that I forwarded to you?
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 01:21 PM

[/quote]

These need to be posted on my website but I have not yet taken the time to carefully edited them for any typos, etc.

[/quote]

Why not? All of your postings here have always been perfectly edited. It seems like it would be a good idea to have them posted on your website.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 01:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Hello Patrick,

I loved the sound file you posted and appreciated the comments from other people. I would be extremely interested to hear that Schubert Impromptu #4 as you have learned to play it first in ET, then in the EBVT III on the same piano. Record it first in ET, save the file, then tune that same piano in the EBVT III and practice the piece again, playing it however differently you may interpret it in the EBVT III and record that. Your comments about both experiences will be well appreciated.

One day, I would like to hear it again in the 1/7 Comma Meantone as I first did in 1995. I wonder how Peter Serkin would interpret that piece as opposed to all the lifeless recordings of it I have heard on You Tube?


Hi Bill,

it's quite possible that I'll take you up on this challenge. I know the piece, but it's nowhere close to 'under my fingers' as it's one of the ones I've never studied deliberately.

Needless to say, it would need some practicing. It's not overly difficult, but it needs to be under control if there is going to be any benefit from it. (Makes me think of the famous quote by Rachmaninoff: "without technique, there can be no interpretation" :-D )

Anyways, I'll take it up for practicing, and I will also check with my classical collegues at the conservatory, maybe some of them has it in their repertoire.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 01:28 PM

Thanks, Byron, I did in fact use that material for an article on octave tuning which is now on my website and will be published in the April issue of the PTG Journal. The document is quite long and it contains comments that were specific for Patrick that I need to change for public consumption. I just need to find the time to go through it, format it properly and send it to my webmaster. I am enjoying listening to GP's recordings right now!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 02:30 PM

Thanks Patrick, as you study it, I hope you find in it what I did. Since it is a composition from the Romantic era, there is a lot of freedom to interpret tempo and dynamics. I wish there were some way that I could recover the recording I have somewhere on a cassette tape and make it available here. I still remember the way it sounded 15 years ago, however. No interpretation of it that I have ever heard since has come even close.

Here is a link to Arthur Rubinstein playing it. It is better than another I had seen that I thought was really lifeless. Now, he is a great master of the piano and the piano is tuned as we would expected it to be. However, Rubinstein's interpretation can't hold a candle to the way that an 18 year old student interpreted it 15 years ago on a Baldwin 9 foot tuned in the 1/7 comma meantone.

He took the passages in the Major key of A-flat, started with a pleasant sounding mood but soon, that mood became frenzied, nervous and breathless, swirling with emotion until it built to an incredible climax and suddenly crashed. After the crash, the mood was brooding and painful but slowly recovered until it built again to what it had been before.

It is this kind of extreme emotion that can be found, recovered and expressed again in music through the use of non-equal temperaments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcR3tAeTwmE

Consider what Jean-Phillipe Rameau had to say about this:

"We receive different impressions from intervals, in proportion to the amount of alteration. For example, the Major third which moves us naturally to joy, as we know from experience, impresses upon us ideas even of fury when it is too large. The minor third which brings us naturally to sweetness and tenderness, saddens us when it is too small...Knowledgeable musicians know how to exploit these different effects of the intervals, and [they] value the alteration which one might [otherwise] condemn, because of the expression they draw therefrom."

The above quote was found in a 2001 doctoral dissertation by Dr. Willis G. Miller, "The Effects of Non-Equal Temperament on Chopin's Mazurkas"

The complete text can be viewed here: http://www.millersrus.com/dissertation/#
Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 06:29 PM


Hello.

Sorry GP, I'd never mix other issues with your fresh enthusiasm, but this is a due action.

I don't know how many of you have gone and read the dissertation linked above.

Anyway, in paragraph n.7 you read (about unequal temperaments): "The degree of color variance, then, is entirely manipulative."

In paragraph n.9 you read: "Ozanam theories on key characteristics are echoed in Jean Phillipe Rameau's (Digione, 1683 – Paris, 1764) first publications..." (1722).

In paragraph n.12 you read: "Eleven years after the publication...Rameau became infatuated with the concept of Equal Temperament and completely dismissed the existence of key-characteristics."

Now, I would find that partial information is "manipulative", like we read about UTs, and that would be despicable.

Any explaination?

a.c.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 07:07 PM

Bill asked me to post this from one of his customers who is liking EBVT III. Ralph, that sounds wonderful, and nice playing! Bach 3-part 2-channel #2 http://www.box.net/shared/yvq9nzknu8

Bill, glad you enjoyed the Clair de Lune, lovely sound in EBVT III, and such beautiful music. I noticed that after this 4th tuning, that pesky treble section is not going flat as much. smile

LOL...I keep thinking of things to say after I post...it's such a pleasure Bill, to re-discover all this music on my piano. It's literally like I am hearing if for the first time.

I have just made some recordings last night of several Ampico pop rolls of the 1920's and 30's that are some of my favorites....I will post them tonight. I have heard these rolls many times, and I must say, they sound so much better in EBVT III...harmonies/resonances that just grab my attention, which makes them even more fun to listen to....:)

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 07:17 PM

Yes, Alfredo, it means that he changed his mind about what he was interested in. The temperament he used was a modified meantone and it was VERY unequal and that was typical of his time. Just like Bach, he decided at one point that he wanted a temperament that was more accessible to all keys. The theory of ET had always been there, since the time of Pythagoras and even before that among the ancient Chinese way before the common era.

But did you also read that just because he thought about ET did not mean he could tune it and he could not. Rameau was known for many temperaments, including some quasi ETs but not ET itself. He did not discover a way to tune ET accurately. It would be quite highly manipulative in my view, to take that one phrase that you found to suggest that 11 years after he wrote about the effects of interval sizes on emotions, he took a tranquilizer and tuned his pianos in ET after that.

What I was actually looking for was a list of descriptions of the effects of various key signatures that composers themselves wrote. They are in Owen Jorgensen's publications somewhere but I thought I might find them on the web and they may be but I cam across that phrase by Rameau.

It described quite well what I was referring to in the interpretation of the Schubert Impromptu. You can hear Rubinstein play it and if you like that, fine but I for one, have heard it performed in an amazing way that I will never forget. I would like for Patrick (who just happens to be a piano performance professor) to learn the piece and he can then show us how a non-ET can add to the emotions in the piece which are clearly intended. The fact that Rameau later attempted to explore ET was not pertinent although I did consider adding that I thought his change of mind was an interesting twist. That interesting twist does not change the fact that interval sizes do affect the emotions.

Patrick may also be able to come up with some other examples as he learns to play according to temperament and show us how ET affects his mood in one way but the EBVT affects it differently. The player piano cannot do that. Some of the darker moods of the Fauré nocturne in E-flat minor, Chopin in a dark mood, such as the funeral march, Rachmaninoff in his darkest moods, etc...

I recall at the 1998 event, the pianist played that Chopin funeral march in the original EBVT. The audience was impressed by the intensity of sadness there was in the EBVT and the lack of it when she played it in ET. The Schubert piece I would like to hear is interesting because it goes from one end of the spectrum to the other and back again, all in one piece.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Bill asked me to post this from one of his customers who is liking EBVT III. Ralph, that sounds wonderful, and nice playing! Bach 3-part 2-channel #2 http://www.box.net/shared/yvq9nzknu8

Bill, glad you enjoyed the Clair de Lune, lovely sound in EBVT III, and such beautiful music. I noticed that after this 4th tuning, that pesky treble section is not going flat as much. smile

I have just made some recordings last night of several Ampico pop rolls of the 1920's and 30's that are some of my favorites....I will post them tonight. I have heard these rolls many times, and I must say, they sound so much better in EBVT III...harmonies/resonances that just grab my attention, which makes them even more fun to listen to....:)



Thanks a lot, GP, I have enjoyed every single one of your posts so far! Ralph is not one of my customers. He read about the EBVT on my website and learned to tune it. He did not know how to post the recording however and neither do I, so I asked you to help with that. Thanks for the accommodation!
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 08:17 PM

I just tried the EBVT III and it was EASY!

I just followed Bill's instructions. I thought being an aural tuner would make it hard for me. Is it possible that exactly the opposite is true?

I thought it would be more radical than it is. It is actually a lot like the way I tune already, in that I favor nice clean 5ths over octaves anyway - always have.

As far as the major thirds in the temperament, it actually sounds like a lot of other tuner's tuning! Those who primarily use 4ths and 5ths.

I have always strived for evenness in my tuning, but these variations seem to actually open things up a bit more, not so 'contained'. And the piano sounds calmer which is actually pleasing.

After the temperament octave, I just did what I like anyways and tuned 5ths pure. The stretch seems to be very good and musical. It occured to me while tuning the octaves in the treble that what I have used previously might be limiting my stretch because if you stretch too much the 5ths get noisy on the expanded side, does this make sense?

As regards the bass, it seems also stretched to the down side a little more than with ET and this is where you might be able to hear more variances over ET because you tend to hear the rapidly beating intervals more in the bass anyways. They are less pronounced, but the piano still has some vibrato effect and it gives the piano a lot cleaner sound.

Bill, do you think I did it right? It was fast and easy for me. I kind of like not messing around with all those RBIs.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 08:32 PM

I have just gone over the piano again (playing it) and I hear nothing inconsistent or objectionable. I didn't think a non ET would be so even.

I can see why/how Bill could make this the only way he tunes.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 10:02 PM

It sounds like you nailed it, Nick! Past the first 4 RBIs that I tune, I never listen to another one after that. It's all 4ths, 5ths and octaves. It is a very easy and simple way to tune a piano and it can be remarkably consistent in spite of how little cross checking there is. It does resemble to a large degree what a crude 4ths & 5ths tuner would do but instead of the inequality producing random effects or worse yet, reverse well, the effects of well temperament are there.

We would all be interested to hear some recordings. you are in a unique position to find out how the musicians who visit your showroom react and also if the way you make the pianos sound actually increases your sales. I believe it can based on the experience of one of my colleagues here in Madison. He refuses to ever tune a piano in ET. He says he does not want his pianos to sound like his competition's pianos. Until a few years ago, there were four piano dealers in Madison but now it is down to two but his sales and business remain very strong.

The first time you ask one of your musician friends to try a piano tuned this way, I would suggest not revealing what you have done differently. Just get the reaction without introducing any influences which may affect perception. Certainly, for example, if you said outright, "I tuned this piano in an unequal temperament", it would influence the perception. What you want is an honest, unbiased reaction. If you can, you could have two of the same make and model of piano, one tuned in ET as you always have and the other tuned in the EBVT. Ask the pianist to try both and tell you which he/she likes best and take note of descriptive terms.

Rather than me telling you what to expect which I believe would be all positive, I would rather you tell us what happens. You have seen all the warnings and read all of the negative comments. Let's just find out how musicians and the public who buys your pianos and uses your services reacts. I know that you are also a concert technician. The first thing that many people would tell you is not to dare to try it. I would suggest finding out how your clients perceive what you do and get to the point where you are totally confident with it. I have used the EBVT for all concert tunings since I developed it with the exception of the Beethoven Emperor Concerto for which I use the Vallotti temperament. Never once have I had an artist ask me to change the temperament. I always get nice compliments.

I sincerely hope that you have discovered something new that you can put to use to your own benefit and the benefit of the music that comes from all of the pianos you tune.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 10:11 PM

GP,

Thanks very much for posting the recording of the Bach 3 part invention #2. Now that I listen to it again I wish I had hit more of the correct notes. If you get a chance, PM me with instructions on how to post a sound file.

I have really enjoyed Bill's EVBT and EVBT III. I've always thought of it as "blooming" the piano. The sound opens up and blooms like a church organ. It's a great temperament. Thanks Bill.
Posted by: Andrew Ranger

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 10:20 PM

I just have to chime in here. I tuned my piano with EBVT III and it sounds wonderful! It has a softer more calm sound to it. I didn't think I'd notice much difference but I did. It sounds very musical to me, not offensive at all.

Andrew
Posted by: Andrew Ranger

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/14/10 10:28 PM

Grandpianoman, I just want to say that I like the sound of your latest recordings alot better, very enjoyable!

Andrew
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 05:51 AM

Dear Bill,

Many thanks for your description of how a fourths-and-fifths tuning can easily slip into reverse-well. To get a feeling of how "bad" things can become, I have a question. Here's what you wrote:

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
The A3 and A4 were right on pitch. What happens is the tuner begins tuning 4ths & 5ths from A3. The first interval tuned is A3-E4 and it is tuned too close to pure. That means A4 is too sharp.


I don't quite understand this, by the way, because you just wrote that A4 was right on pitch. But that's just an aside. You continue:

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Then D4 is tuned too close to pure, so it is too flat. Then G3 is tuned from D4 too close to pure so it is too flat. Then C4 is tuned from G3 too close to pure, so C4 is too flat. C4 is too flat and E4 is too sharp, therefore, the C4-E4 M3 ends up being 20 or more cents wide (instead of the 14 cents it should be).


By way of comparison: if I understand you correctly, the C4-E4 M3 in EBVT III is about 10 cents wide (please correct me if I understood this wrongly!) Could you give me an indication of the width (in cents) of the neighbouring M3s (B3-D#4 and C#4-F4), both of which are five positions removed on the circle of fifths, and would therefore both be classified as "lively" or "colourful" keys - by how many cents are they wide in EBVT III?

I'm just trying to get an impression of how unequal the EBVT III really is.

Many thanks!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 08:51 AM

Mark, sorry, in the first quote, it should have said E4 is too sharp.

For a good visual representation of the EBVT III, see the color graph here:

http://www.billbremmer.com/ebvt/ebvt_iii.jpg

The graph shows all interval sizes in both cents and beat rates.

Also, Rafael from Mexico City calculated the beat rate differences for me as they would be if you played the notes unison for unison with a keyboard tuned in ET. When I posted the information, Tooner attacked it and called it misleading and warned against drawing any conclusions from it.

F3 0.2 bps
F#3 0.0 bps
G3 0.4 bps
G#3 0.1 bps
A3 0.0 bps
A#3 0.4 bps
B3 0.0 bps
C4 0.6 bps
C#4 -0.2 bps
D4 0.1 bps
D#4 0.3 bps
E4 -0.1 bps
F4 0.4 bps
F#4 -0.1 bps
G4 0.7 bps
G#4 0.2 bps
A4 0.0 bps

What I think the above figures show is how the EBVT III is compatible with other fix pitched instruments tuned in ET. These figures confirmed what I already knew from experience. The actual difference between ET and the EBVT III is actually an extremely small one. There is a purpose and an effect from that difference, however an that is the reason why I use the EBVT III and have used it year after year on thousands upon thousands of piano tunings without a single complaint from any people for whom I have worked. You must draw your own conclusions.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 09:07 AM

It would not be as misleading if the figures were listed as hz instead of bps. If hz was used, it would be understood that the difference is between the fundamental of two pitches with the same note name. bps is generally used when referring to nearly coincident partials of two different notes.

A simular list of "bps" for any non-ET including the so-called "reverse well" could also lead someone to believe that the difference in the beat rate of RBIs would hardly be noticeable.

But even when tuning or playing unisons, the matching of upper partials still comes into play. A 0.4 hz difference in fundamentals will produce 1.6 bps on the fourth partial.

The real problem is in staddling the fence. If EBVT III is different than ET and that is what is preferred, fine. But if it is hardly noticeable from ET, then what's the difference, and why bother? We better get used to people talking out of both sides of their mouth. I't a mid-term election year.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 09:36 AM

That zone, the one in which on one hand, doesn't matter but at the same time results in a positive difference is where I have explored now for over 20 years. The usual perception is that any difference at all from ET would be unacceptable. But then, there is the "just get it close" mentality. That would work too. What can be done within that range that really does make the music come alive? Well tempering is the answer. I'm not the only technician who has done it.

Why is straddling the fence a problem? If the temperament were unequal enough to really be clearly noticeable, it would be unacceptable to nearly everyone. It seems to me that GP is glad that he "bothered". Now, Nick M. who was quite skeptical has found that not only does he like the sound but the whole idea is far easier to execute than ET. It is therefore, less of a "bother", an example of how to get better results with far less effort.

Can you argue with Owen Jorgensen's comment which the graph maker, Jason Kanter chose to post at the top of his graph? "For what they accomplish, your temperaments are remarkably easy to tune. They will prove to be very valuable for that reason". What has been accomplished has been very valuable to me and my customers. Now, other technicians are realizing the value as well. Jorgensen's prediction was correct.

So, just who is talking out of both both sides of his mouth here? At the same time, the EBVT III is unacceptable but also not enough difference to really matter. Which is it?
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 10:06 AM

The problem with straddling a fence is that you get splinters in inconvenient places. Another way to put it is that if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. And I am not talking about the art of compromise. I am talking about making something seem one way for one situation and another way for a different situation

But you bring up a point that I have been toying with. All temperaments are discussed in relation to ET. There can be solid definitions of Just and Meantone temperaments, but there is no such thing as THE Well temperament. And I see it as admirable for a person to say that they like or dislike a temperament on its own merits. But to base a preference on how far, without being too far, it is from ET seems wishy-washy to me. And to choose a temperament because it is easy to tune seems just plain lazy.

If I had a second piano to goof around with, I would try Wendell’s Well of 2002 (WW2?). It seems very circular and may be more understandable to my musical ear.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 10:56 AM

My question about the three consecutive M3s (B3-D#4, C4-E4 and C#4-F4) was simply aimed at what is still an acceptably wide M3. If, for example, the B3-D#4 M3 in Bill's EBVT III were 20 cents wide, what makes it more acceptable than a 20 cents wide C4-E4 M3 in a reverse well? Hence, I was hoping for a comparison in cents terms.

EDIT follows:

OK, so Bill has posted the widths of his M3s in cents. The C#4-F M3 is about 17 cents wide. So, if a reverse-well C4-E4 M3 was 17 cents wide, I'm just wondering what makes the C#-F 17 cents M3 more acceptable than the C-E 17 cents M3.

Both deviate the same amount from ET.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

So, just who is talking out of both both sides of his mouth here? At the same time, the EBVT III is unacceptable but also not enough difference to really matter. Which is it?


So, you are trying to make it appear that I am talking out of both sides of my mouth by putting words in my mouth??? OUTRAGEOUS!!!

I merely said that it sounds wrong to me. I really cannot say anything else about what I hear. However, there is usually much to say about how you say things, Bill.
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 01:26 PM

At this point, I would hesitate to use any of the published numbers to attempt to replicate or analyze the EBVT III... While the graphs are pretty and the information is plentiful, it doesn't seem to match the tuning record posted.

I'm working on a translation for ETD users - I think the best that can be done is a single octave in the middle, then use the direct tuning via matching partials that Bill writes about.

I'm going to go over the aural directions some more and place it on a few varied pianos before coming back with any numbers.

(All this has to do with the way the machines calculate other tunings via ET.)

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 01:54 PM

I have to say that the day after tuning my piano aurally according to Bill's instructions, that I am a little bit dumbfounded.

It's funny because I feel like I don't know what I did, but it sounds fantastic, such a clean and pure sound. It's outside the 'box' I have always used, but nothing radical.

It's as if its not so exacting but yet it is. Practicing ET aurally for 25 years makes this seem a bit strange but the end result is good and I think more aural tuners who also play piano should try it and see what they think.

I am going to try and make a recording.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 02:01 PM

Mark, the difference between Well Temperament and Reverse Well is that the relatively wide or relatively narrow intervals are in the correct place according to the cycle of 5ths (key signature). What do you expect to hear in terms of color from a particular key signature? That aspect is completely negated and neutralized by ET. Tooner says that any particular color in any key signature sounds wrong to him. He wants every key signature to sound the same. If during any piece of music, there is a modulation, there should be no change in mood or emotion from that or it will sound wrong.

What is your instinct about that? Should the key signature chords with no sharps or flats sound identical with those of six sharps or flats? If so, why not make a piano with no black keys like a Cajun diatonic button accordion? They make terrific music using only the "white" keys. Why ever modulate to a distant key? Won't a related key do just as well?

If your ear could not find a problem with any of the recent postings there have been, then is there a problem?

Reverse well makes every tonal color the complete opposite of what it should be. Go to the thread on Reverse Well and play some of the links. Even if you cannot honestly say that you hear a problem, does that still mean that the EBVT III could never be right for you and only ET could be? If so, how would you know if you hired a tuner who claimed to tune ET but gave you reverse well instead?

Is the conflict you or anyone else may have only in the mind itself? How could a professional musician who earns his living by superb musical performances and other piano technicians who earn their living tuning pianos (as I do), all be wrong but one person, who is admittedly only an amateur tuner who only tunes the poorest grades of pianos, be right? I quote, "I merely said that it sounds wrong to me. I really cannot say anything else about what I hear".

Just what is "wrong" about it? Just what is "right" about no distinction in key signature? The people who cannot stand the very idea of an unequal temperament have all done the very same thing, as predictable as the sun rising and setting: they bring up the prospect of ancient temperaments that they know for sure could never work on the modern piano. "Just and Meantone temperaments". There, that's a REAL historical temperament for you! Then they may display some ancient instrument tuned that way. It is all in the attempt to demonstrate that for the modern piano, there is no other alternative but ET. Why "bother" with these "wishy-washy" temperaments when if you what you want is really unacceptable, you can go all the way and be really unacceptable?

None of what Tooner says on here ever has or ever will affect what I do as a piano technician. I've heard it all before and never changed what I do according to those remarks either. Mark, you have the choice. Go with what you ear tells you sounds good to you or go with what some people try to tell you should sound good to you.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 02:06 PM

Thanks, Ron and Nick -
I had a client listen to Patrick's version of EBVT III and she next wants me to tune her piano in EBVT III once to mimic that sonic signature.

I see the aural tuning sequence for EBVT III, which seems far more simple than the Equal Tuning methods I've been practicing, but what are the checks? I am so used to progressive beat-rate checks and have been receiving good results with the final product, that I am not sure how one would check across the register with EBVT III.

TuneLab looks more appealing the more I look at the offsets for EBVTIII - I don't think I can hear +/- .63 cents...;) nor do I want to become dependent on an ETD...for some reason.

Glen
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 02:28 PM

Bill:

There are many differences between you and me.

The biggest is that you do not acknowledge that opinions are different than facts as I do. Saying something like “I prefer chocolate ice cream.” is not the same as saying “You must not eat vanilla ices cream.” Actually, I think you understand exactly what I mean but stoop low enough to attempt to make me into a straw man for you to knock down. It is a disgusting habit.

But also you and I took very different paths in learning to tune.

I sought out an experienced tuner and took lessons until I was told that there was nothing more he could teach me. Within months I took and passed the PTG exams on the first try.

You bought a correspondence course, tuned to suit yourself, and then (I am not sure how many years later it might have been) you failed the PTG tuning exam because you were tuning at an apprentice level. Later you finally figured out how to tune ET and passed the exam.

It is very predictable that you do not like ET and I do.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 02:33 PM

Glen,

I found it easy for aural tuners. You don't need as many checks because there is a simpler standard of priorities.

Have Bill send you his list of detailed instructions. What I did yesterday as I read his detailed list was to simply make abbreviated notes, and then I just took them over to my piano and tuned it no problem.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 02:56 PM

Glen & Ron, you are both making it far more complicated than it really is. basically, Nick just "used the force" and the force being with him, he accomplished what no machine could ever do.

Ron, the reason you can't reconcile my numbers with electronic calculations is that basically, that never will happen. This is why I think, with your very analytical mind, that you would do well to experience working with PTG tuning examiners. Your area is saturated at the moment, however. Ben Gac has been amazing in his enthusiasm and learning curve. There are more examiners in your area than are needed.

Take the newest, best, most highly perfected PTG exam master tuning by the smartest, most experienced team of aural tuning magnates, compare that against any electronically generated tuning data and you will have one crate of apples and one crate of oranges. Even if you reconcile the partial selections where they are different, nothing will match except randomly.

The very finest, most experienced aural tuner's data will never match one on one with the master tuning, even when the pitch is reconciled. The electronic calculations have to do what they have to do with their hundredths of a cent calculations but really what an aural tuner does to within 1/2 a cent except possibly in the lower midrange is a close enough tolerance.

The calculated stretch that sounds good and right to the ear would never come remotely close to a calculated program for an ETD. If you have a Steinway D available, or any Steinway grand for that matter, go ahead and tune it according to the generic data that I provided but suspect especially that the wound strings may need some aural verification and correction, especially if it is a smaller grand. I don't expect that the Verituner would say that even a single note is "right".

That does not mean that one could not use the Verituner and the EBVT III correction figures to get a good tuning any more than it means that the Verituner would be inaccurate for tuning ET. It just means that the approach is different and the difference in the end results is insignificant.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 03:16 PM

So, Bill - as posted earlier - this is it? Just stretch octaves as is responsible from the temperament section and ensure the bass notes compliment the rest of the register? Throw those progressive beat rate checks I've been using out the window, since we have several M3 and M6 with identical beat rates?

I am all for it!

Simplified and Summary EBVT I, EBVT II & EBVT III Sequences

1. Tune A4 to A-440 pitch source.
2. Tune A3 to A4, a 6:3 type octave.
3. Temper the F3-A3 M3 at 6 beats per second.
4. Tune the F3-C4 P5 beatless.
5. Tune the C4-F4 P4 beatless, creating a F3-F4, 4:2 type octave.
6. Temper the C4-E4 M3 at 6 beats per second.
7. Temper the G3-E4 M6 at 6 beats per second.
8. Temper the G3-B3 M3 at 6 beats per second.
9. Temper D4 from both G3 and A3 so the G3-D4 P5 and the A3-D4 P4 beat exactly the same.
10. Temper A#3 from F3, a widened P4, so the F3-A#3 P4 beats exactly the same as the G3-C4 P4.
11. Temper the A3-C#4 M3 so it beats exactly the same as the A#3-D4 M3.
12. Tune the F#3-C#4 P5 beatless.
13. Tune the G#3-C#4 P4 beatless.
14. Temper D#4 from both G#3 and A#3 so the G#3-D#4 P5 and A#3-D#4 P4 beat exactly the same.
15. EBVT II option: Sharpen E4 so the B3-E4 P4 now beats exactly the same as the A3-E4 P5.
Skip this step to retain the original EBVT I.
16. EBVT III option: Sharpen F#3 so that the F#3-B4 P4 and the F#3-C#4 P5 beat exactly the same.

Thanks in advance
Glen
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Glen & Ron, you are both making it far more complicated than it really is. basically, Nick just "used the force" and the force being with him, he accomplished what no machine could ever do.


Well, maybe.... ;-)

What I meant to point out was that the published numbers don't seem to relate to your tunings.

And that's fine - but a bit misleading to those following the numbers!

That's why I've decided to just "use the force" and analyze what's going on with a variety of instruments. Then maybe I can let people know how to get there via machine!

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 03:52 PM

Here is a sound sample of what I produced following Bill's instructions and my interpretation of them for aural tuning. I like it very much:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcl8p9_a-new-style-of-piano-tuning_music

The unisons have not been tuned yet - the temparament strip is still in the piano. I'm leaving it that way for now so I can better study the results.
Posted by: charleslang

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 04:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Here is a sound sample of what I produced following Bill's instructions and my interpretation of them for aural tuning. I like it very much:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcl8p9_a-new-style-of-piano-tuning_music

The unisons have not been tuned yet - the temparament strip is still in the piano. I'm leaving it that way for now so I can better study the results.


That sounds amazing. I really really like that sound.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
I have to say that the day after tuning my piano aurally according to Bill's instructions, that I am a little bit dumbfounded.

It's funny because I feel like I don't know what I did, but it sounds fantastic, such a clean and pure sound. It's outside the 'box' I have always used, but nothing radical.


Nick: this I exactly the way I felt the first time i tuned EBVT III, too. smile

I have been baffled a few times, tuning EBVT III on pianos I've tuned several times before. The characteristics of the piano - the tone itself - changes. Best I can describe it in words is it becomes resonant and alive. I hope to be able to show that in A/B recordings of ET/EBVT III soon.

Meanwhile, I look forward to hearing your recordings, Nick!
EDIT: just heard your recording - yup, that is definitely the sound right there! smile

And Bill - temperaments aside for just a sec smile - this is a great performance of the Schubert Impromptu #4 (Op 90):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZm3JbzFzrQ

By the way, I'm having a great deal of fun practicing for the recordings. My main field is jazz piano (although classically trained as a youngster), and because of that I've gravitated towards 'functional' classical music (Bach) and, of course, the harmony of the impressionism (mainly Ravel). Haven't played Romantic music in years, so it's a blast, really smile

The other example you mentioned would be a great one for anyone of us to include in the sound samples. Chopin´s funeral march is easy enough to play - much easier than the overly used first prelude in C major from WTC - and it gives a much better impression of the tuning, too.

Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 05:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding
So, Bill - as posted earlier - this is it? Just stretch octaves as is responsible from the temperament section and ensure the bass notes compliment the rest of the register? Throw those progressive beat rate checks I've been using out the window, since we have several M3 and M6 with identical beat rates?

I am all for it!



Hi Glen,

Bill helped me immensely when he kindly took the time to elaborate on how he extended the EBVT III temperament. This was in an earlier thread around Christmas. I'm pretty sure that Nick followed much the same directions (isn't that right, Nick?)

The thread can be found here:
Learning EBVT: 1st attempt

Hope this helps!
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 05:19 PM

Patrick,

Did you hear the sample I just posted?

I'll go record a quick sample of the Chopin Funeral March.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 05:31 PM

Nick, yes I just heard your first sample - sounds great, that sounds like an excellent EBVT III to me!
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 05:48 PM

Thanks Patrick for bringing that old thread back into the mix. On my next tuning, I will implement the EBVT III - getting a road map as to what to listen for as it pertains extending the temperament up and down the register is a huge help!

By the way, Patrick, your recording was absolutely fantastic. Is that your composition? Very, very nice. The example of your tuning is so very musical sounding. This is of key importance to me. The piano is very well prepped.

Nick - I look forward to hearing your finished product, Funeral March or Scott Joplin, or both! Thanks for your PMs.

Glen
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 05:54 PM

Thanks guys, here is the funeral march I just recorded:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xclc3k_a-new-style-of-tuning-ii_music
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 06:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Thanks guys, here is the funeral march I just recorded:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xclc3k_a-new-style-of-tuning-ii_music

Sorry, but that sounds really bad to me.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 06:15 PM

Nick: Sounds very good in the low range too!

This is an example of what's really nice about EBVT III. the Bb minor is really disturbing in a gloomy way, and then - you can hear it in the last cadenza you play - the transition to Db, which becomes much brighter than we are used to hearing it!

Glen: thanks! The music was just improvisation at that given time, moving through the keys, listening for colors. Interesting that a lot of people (including you) have liked that so much . But it must have to do with the fact that I really enjoyed playing it, like I said in an earlier thread right after the session - it felt somewhat like swapping a B/W pencil for a box of color crayons smile
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 06:17 PM

Wow. Nothing like diplomacy.


I think the recording level is a little too high and causing some distortion.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 06:23 PM

Thanks for the feedback about the bass, which is what the funeral march is attempting to show off.

Perhaps Bill will scold me a bit here, but in the bass I gave priority to the fifths and let the octaves roll quite a bit.

Again, this was my interpretation of the EBVT III. I had an idea of what I could get away with in each particular register of the piano.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 06:50 PM

It's great to see such a spirited discussion here about EBVT III.

Nick, I enjoyed both your recordings..they sound very 'right' to my ear.

Hear is a change of pace...some Ampico rolls from the 1920's-1930's.

Again, my caveat is that the treble section, while holding better, is still not stable, and some unisons have drifted.

This is just a small representation of the wonderful 1920's and 1930's dance music that was performed on the reproducing player piano. My M&H grand was called an "RBB", the R stands for "Reproducing". Only the rich could afford a 7ft grand like this...the cost at that time in 1925 was $7,000+!! The normal folks would buy the uprights.

The Ampico, and some of the other player systems of that time, really could not replicate exactly what the pianist played, but it's close. The Ampico system to me, holds more of a unique place in the player piano history, than a perfect playback system. It has a playing style all it's own. Back in those days, Mason & Hamlin and Knabe would take their 8ft Concert Grands on tour. In the auditorium, they would have the pianist play first, unseen by the public, then at the appropriate time, they would have the Ampico play. The public was then asked to fill out a scorecard, saying when they thought it was the Ampico or the artist playing the piano. Suprisngly, according to accounts that I have read, a lot of people were fooled into thinking the pianist was playing, when it was the actually the Ampico.

EBVT III sounds great in this genre of music as well.

1. Ampico Roll, "The Night When Love Was Born" Fox Trot by Baer, played by Ernest Leith on the Ampico, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/rigtupdkyp

2. Ampico Roll, "What Is This Thing Called Love" Fox Trot, from "Wake Up And Dream" by Cole Porter, played by Arden & Carroll (4 hand piano arrangement) in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/42h4dl61ua

3. Ampico Roll, "Down South" Fox Trot by Myddleton, played by Adam Carroll on the Ampico, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/ehbpees7fs5.

4. Ampico Roll, "Outstanding Hits Of The Moment" Fox Trot and Waltz, played by Frank Milne on the Ampico,(listen to the harmoines/chords in the first selection "The Touch of your Lips") in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/ujpxgmosa7

5. Ampico Roll, "Titina" Fox Trot by Daniderff, played by Zez Confrey on the Ampico, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/ujpxgmosa7

6. Ampico Roll, Fox Trot Medley,"No Regrets" by Ingraham, "Some Day We'll Meet Again" by Magidson-Conrad, "I Can't Escape From You" by Robin-Whiting, played by Frank Milne in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/v6nuk2oq1r

7. Ampico Roll, "A Song Of India" Fox Trot-Chanson Indoue, by Rimsky-Korsakoff, played by "The Original Piano Trio" (six hands piano arrangement) in EBVT III #202491F http://www.box.net/shared/l9b2jg99xl

8. Ampico Roll, "That Red Head Gal" Fox Trot, by Van-Shenk Stothart, played my Muriel Pollack on the Ampico in EBVT III #203771E http://www.box.net/shared/ympkvchxkk

9. Ampico Roll, "Say It With Music" from "Music Box Revue" by Irving Berlin, played by Herbert Clair in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/ff1d1eoczm


Here is "Reflets dans L'eau" on the LX. This was originally an Ampico roll. It's been scanned and then converted to play on the LX system.

"Reflets dans L'eau" by Debussy, played by Leo Ornstein, played on LX in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/pi155b7yq7




Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 07:48 PM

Hello everyone, thanks so much for all the discussion while I was out getting a few pianos tuned. Nick, you definitely have the right harmony, so go for the unisons. If you want to really record that funeral march, however, you can afford to play much softer. The softer you can play those strains, the more effective they will be.

Patrick, thanks for the You Tube video of the Schubert Impromptu. Yes, that artist does seem to have a better grasp of what is really in the music than any other commercial interpretation I have heard but it is still way off the mark from what I know it can have. Once you can get it "in your fingers" or in your "muscle memory" as I have heard it expressed, I believe the piece will speak to you in a phenomenal way. It just won't happen quite the same when the piano is in ET.

Nick, the Bass the way you tuned it sounded fantastic! That is what I would do too, so no problem there.

I have to run to a rehearsal. It's been a great day. I can't wait to hear GP's latest recordings!

I didn't realize that Jazz was your specialty but so much the better. It has often been said that only ET works for Jazz. The more examples there are of music that isn't supposed to work in anything but ET, the better. So, any examples you can give us of music that you really know well and how the way the piano is tuned helps enhance your playing will be quite welcome.

Ron, I don't know what else to say about the "numbers" issue beyond what I already said. If you couldn't get the finest aural ET to match an electronically generated program, how could you expect the same for any other temperament? If I use the FAC program, I do get some kind of barely satisfactory results in the temperament octave, yes but as you know, I don't care at all for what it does with the octaves, so I rarely use it.

I much prefer to start with my A3 at 0.0 read on the 4th partial. That way, I know where the rest of the notes will usually fall either by ear or direct interval. As I mentioned, I usually find that F3 at +1.0 creates the 6 beats per second I am looking for in the F3-A3 M3. Rarely, it could be another value but I would say that 95 out of 100 times, what I get sounds right to me. I couldn't approximate exactly 6 beats per second any better by ear. If an electronic calculation said +0.9 or +1.1, I would not hear that any differently.

Once the F3 is tuned at +1.0, I can leave the ETD set on F3 and tune C4 to that since they both share a coincident partial. When I go to C4 and read what I tuned, I would record the value at +2.0 even if the most careful reading of the pitch said +1.9 or +2.1. If I have any doubts about arbitrating either way, I listen to the interval created by the half or whole cent value I have chosen to verify if it still sounds aurally correct.

In that F3-C4 5th, I am looking for a beatless 5th. As we all know, there could be a difference in interpretation of what a beatless 5th would be depending on whether the 3:2 coincident partials or the 6:4 coincident partials are considered or whether it is a compromise between them (just like when tuning octaves). If I set C4 at +2.0 and the 5th sounds pure, that is good enough for me. I could even use the aural tests for the pure 5th, either one or both of them and it probably wouldn't change my decision, only confirm it.

If I tuned F3 at +1.0 as read on its 4th partial and I tune F4 at +1.0 as read on its 2nd partial, by definition, that creates a perfect 4:2 F3-F4 octave. If I play F3-C4 and C4-F4, I get pure sounding intervals every time and that is what I want up to that point. The rest of the decisions about the value for each note are made very much the same way. They would never exactly match an electronically generated program using the published offsets no more than the most perfectly executed ET (as in a master tuning) would. So, if you expect them to, you will be frustrated and confused by the numbers every time.

A more relevant trial would be to use the published offsets and then play the intervals so verify that certain pairs do in fact sound equal beating as they are specified in the aural tuning instructions. If they do, then the electronically generated program is just as valid as the electronically assisted and recorded program. What I don't think the Verituner can do is manipulate the octaves up and down from there the way any of us aural tuners do quite naturally but there is a way around that too. It's not as hard as you think it would be but you do have to listen to what you're doing as you make the changes. That is why I think I would need to meet with you to see how the Verituner works and how you can get it to do what you want it to do.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/15/10 08:00 PM

grandpianoman:

Thanks for posting those fox trots. The sound I hear there is one reason I asked earlier if they reminded you of an older sound. Don't worry, I'm not about to post another Chico Marx clip.

And "Reflets dans L'eau" sounds gorgeous. It's the tuning and it's your piano. My, my.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 01:31 AM

You're welcome Jake. Lol...Chico Marx was fun to watch!

The Ampico rolls were still working off my 4th tuning...I just tried to clean up the unisons between each piece. Thanks for the compliment on Reflets...it's a very magical piece to begin with, and in this EBVT III, it's even more so.

There are 2 links that do not work in my post above.

Here are the corrected links:

"Down South" http://www.box.net/shared/ehbpees7fs

"Titina" http://www.box.net/shared/9m5gq5tubj
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 02:01 AM

Hello all, thanks for sharing all your try and samples.

What I hear in the first sample from Nick is mostly the "pure 5ths" resonance that is spread on a temperament that contains enough synchronism not to worry this one in CM and its minor relative, hence that huge resonance.

I will ask my friend that tune the "Serge Cordier" pure 5th but by memory that is what the resonance is.

The second sample sound not so good, to me, too much move in the basses.

Very interesting .

To me that way Bill and probably Pat are tuning the EBVT, they add a Chas like resonance to the temperament.

The way Nick does it is different.

Those are very interesting experiences.

About "pure 5th" (the first octave is 6:3) some like it, some find it too much present when music is played. It is a context question, I suppose, as it may be very pleasing , keeping the ear extended on the right and left when you are at the piano, the singing quality is noticed.

But it is a so strong effect that it may even be disturbing (particularly musicians with so called "perfect pitch" (I know Bill will say there is nothing as such, but it is in any case something that allow the ear to understand how the intervals behave, and know the notes names without a pitch reference - being able to tune a A around 440 +- 2 Hz without a fork, for instance)

Best regards to all.


PS Thanks Pat, for the Zimerman recording, I like it but find it a little too straight, for some reason (?).

I find that one (Schubert "moment musicaux) and the pianos is tuned in Chas, to me : Rosalyn Tureck - Schubert moment musicaux






Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 02:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
Wow. Nothing like diplomacy.


I think the recording level is a little too high and causing some distortion.


Am I supposed to lie?

There is nothing wrong with the recording. The tuning is bad. There are wolf intervals. It sets my nerves on edge.

I suppose one can get used to anything, but I suggest that if you want a future tuning pianos, you do not get used to this.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 05:19 AM

Bill, thanks for your reply.

As you might recall, I tuned a harpsichord to EBVT III in December. It was probably not perfect, but it must have been close. I did receive very positive feedback about the closer keys (two flats to two sharps), which our family typically uses for chorals, but the occasional use of distant keys with their unusually wide M3s was met with less enthusiasm (myself included). My family has always abhorred two things on a keyboard instrument: over-tempered fifths (narrow) and over-tempered M3s (wide).

So, if you write:

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
the difference between Well Temperament and Reverse Well is that the relatively wide or relatively narrow intervals are in the correct place according to the cycle of 5ths (key signature). What do you expect to hear in terms of color from a particular key signature?

(emphasis is my own)

Then I answer:

I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea that it's OK for B, F# and C# major to be really wide (to my ears: uncomfortably wide), but it's not OK for C major. Conversely, it's wonderful to have C major and its neighbors sound so pure, but the price this exacts on the distant keys causes me discomfort.

If I play, just for my own enjoyment, the beautiful english horn melody from the second movement of Dvorak's 9th symphony (from the New World), and I hear a very wide Db maj chord, that conflicts with the tranquility and simplicity of the melody. I know, the piece was not written for piano, but did Dvorak not choose this key for a reason - if nothing else, then the enharmonic relative minor to the first movement's e minor? [EDIT: sorry, that last bit was nonsense, I've struck it through.]

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Tooner says that any particular color in any key signature sounds wrong to him. He wants every key signature to sound the same. If during any piece of music, there is a modulation, there should be no change in mood or emotion from that or it will sound wrong.

What is your instinct about that?


At the risk of appearing to you as yet another derisive critic (which is not my intention), my take is this:

Tuning is a compromise. Purer keys can only be achieved at the expense of other, harsher keys, and the resulting discomfort makes me shy away from those distant keys. My personal preference therefore tends towards an equal compromise between all keys. I would rather have this compromise done as best possible, than have some keys pure at the expense of others.

That's my preference, and NOT a criticism of what you do.

Bach, for example, in his booklet of chorals, often wrote one choral in two or even three key signatures, e.g. G and Ab major. When I played one of those Ab major chorals after tuning EBVT III, the harsh M3 really jumped out at me, and (sorry to say) I started shunning this key. I went back three times to the tuning procedure, trying to fine-tune some more comfort into Ab major, but inevitably, it came out this way.

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Why ever modulate to a distant key? Won't a related key do just as well?


For me, the modulation to a distant key is, in itself, already a novelty to my ear, and it does not need the additional "support" of a harsher M3. If Aunt Martha decides to play the last verse of the Christmas Carol a semitone higher, that in itself is enough change - to my mind. The new key doesn't have to be radically different. It's new, that's enough for me.

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
If your ear could not find a problem with any of the recent postings there have been, then is there a problem?


I had limited opportunity to download all the recordings, but I did listen closely to The Age of Innocence, because I still have the earlier versions for direct comparison. And I did post one or two problems (in all modesty), with accompanying questions, but have received no answers on those.

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
None of what Tooner says on here ever has or ever will affect what I do as a piano technician. I've heard it all before and never changed what I do according to those remarks either. Mark, you have the choice. Go with what you ear tells you sounds good to you or go with what some people try to tell you should sound good to you.


Again, Bill, as I've said before, I'm not trying to change anything you do. In the spirit of a forum (marketplace platform), I'm trying to give feedback on what I hear.

When you post about EBVT, apparently you desire feedback, and whenever this feedback is positive, you're happy. I just find it regrettable that as soon as the feedback is not-so-good, or questioning, you take this as a personal affront. Why, then, ask for feedback at all?

Or is it your intention that everyone should read the EBVT III posts, listen to the recordings, give only positive feedback, and if we happen to have a problem or question, NOT write anything?
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 05:38 AM

This experiment was VERY interesting.

I have a Yamaha Disklvier DGT2IIXG. It has no wound strings, it's totally digital. Here is the spec on the Piano Tone:

"Digital stereo sampling (CFIIIS concert grand), 30 megabyte wave memory, 32-note stereo polyphonic, sustain pedal resonance effects, reverb (3 modes with depth control)

Superb Concert Grand Sound
The highest level of piano sound reproduction. Tones are stereo sampled throughout their full range of dynamics and tonal modulation from the CFIIIS concert grand, using 30 megabytes of memory for this piano sound alone – over ten times more powerful than a standard digital piano. Even recreating harmonic resonance on other strings that results from incremental use of the sustain pedal. Controllable reverb effects simulate acoustics of various playing environments."

If you would like to read more of the specs: http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/ModelSeriesDetail/0,6373,CNTID%253D1253%2526CNTYP%253DPRODUCT%2526VNM%253DLIVE%2526AFLG%253DY%2526DTYP%253DNOTSELECTED,00.html I could not find anthying in the Specs about the stretch, ET or something else.

Here are 3 selections from EBVT III, and the same 3 selections on the Yamaha. The one constant here is the playing of these pieces is exactly the same on both instruments, interpretation, etc. The AUX Out was used from the Yamaha into the digital recorder, so, no mics, and no digital reverb or Hall acoustics were added.

Even though this is not quite the same as re-tuning my M&H RBB, it does give a little insight into what we can expect from an ET tuning on an acoustic piano. This certainly shows the difference between EBVT III and ET. (if that is what Yamaha used) Any thoughts if this Yamaha is in ET? Never the less, I much prefer the EBVT III in every aspect of the music.

I am looking forward to hearing Patrick's test, and what Nick's further tunings produce.


1. Yamaha Disklavier DGT2IIXG version of "Clair de Lune" played by Bob Ralston http://www.box.net/shared/v2bq6141s6

2. Mason & Hamlin RBB/LX version of "Clair de Lune" played by Bob Ralston in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/cblh6breoe


1. Yamaha Diskavier DGT2IIXG version of "Schindler's List" played by Bob Ralston http://www.box.net/shared/qlu4fqsvxo

2. Mason & Hamlin RBB/LX version of "Schindler's List" played by Bob Ralston in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/m16a4e4yfh


1. Yamaha Disklavier DGT2IIXG version of "Il Postino" played by Brian Pezzone http://www.box.net/shared/0ahqknyuls

2. Mason & Hamlin RBB/LX version of "Il Postino" played by Brian Pezzone in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/s4jke70s5l
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 09:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Ron, I don't know what else to say about the "numbers" issue beyond what I already said. If you couldn't get the finest aural ET to match an electronically generated program, how could you expect the same for any other temperament?


Oh - I thought this little gem of misinformation had been left behind by the tuning community a few decades ago! I believe just the opposite, if people aren't getting "as equal" of an ET out of aural methods that is available from the current machines, they are doing the tuning profession a dis-service... Here's a little quote from a tuning examiner earlier this century:

"He then used his verituner to complete the tuning. I'm sure that this happening is not unusual . What is different though is that the finished tuning was virtually identical to the master tuning. In fact it was closer than I had ever seen in his many years as an examiner. There was only a few tenths of a cent difference at B7."

This tuning was done by someone that had taken the time to set up a custom style to match the parameters of the tuning exam. The same system can be used to create whatever style of ET tuning stretch wanted...

Your point is well-taken on the way you spread the temperament out to the ends of the keyboard. That, I think is the real benefit of the EBVT tuning approach. Probably any mild unequal temperament (Moore/Bach-Lehman etc..) would sound similar if your direct-measurment double octave/ octave +fifth guidlines were followed. I'll do some experiments to check this out.

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 09:54 AM

Mark, it is fine with me to read your comments. I have so much mail and there are so many comments, I cannot manage sometimes to respond to each and every one. I expect that there would be some technicians who would say essentially what you have. That is the nature of unequal temperament. For ever interval that is narrowed, another is widened.

What I have a problem with is those who choose ridicule and mockery as their form of criticism. You have not done that, so I don't have a problem reading your comments.

All Well Temperaments follow a set of rules which I think you probably already understand. The narrower M3s belong among the simpler keys and the wider among the remote. The EBVT III is about as mild of a construction of WT as is possible, enough so, that their was the recent comment, "why bother"?

The EBVT III wasn't really designed for harpsichord but there is no reason it could not be used. However, what seems to be your sensitivity to M3s that are wider than ET would most certainly be found in the temperaments harpsichordists are typically known for using. I often read comments that say the Historical Temperaments are appropriate only for harpsichord and fortepiano. Typically, these are historically documented 17th and 18th Century WT, modified meantone and meantone temperaments such as 1/4 and 1/5 comma types.

Those temperaments which harpsichordists are known to use (at least from what I have often read and heard in performances) are far more unequal and would have characteristics far more upsetting to you than the EBVT III. I am more likely to hear from a harpsichordist that the EBVT III does not have enough of the key color that is expected from a historical temperament than I am to hear from a pianist that it has too much.

So, it seems to me, (also not trying to change your mind nor be offensive), that you are quite in the minority among harpsichordists. I know from reading the PTG College and University Technicians (CAUT) list that there are many universities whose only use of historical temperaments is with harpsichords and other early keyboards. That is where the use is considered necessary and appropriate.

You have the right to tune your harpsichord any way you want. If only ET seems satisfactory to you, than so be it but you clearly have the minority view on that.

I know the English Horn melody you speak of. I heard it in a symphony performance only recently and it is a favorite of mine, having known it virtually my whole life. To me, if the orchestral score were played in a piano reduction on a piano tuned in the EBVT III, the color of D-flat Major in that temperament would seem quite appropriate to me. The wider M3s are considered to be the melodic ones.

It seems to me than many people who have become involved in tuning stop listening to music and only listen to beat speeds. There may well be a few of those who upon listening to any of the posts there have been in the EBVT III cannot hear music, only beat speeds that irritate their sensitivity. To me, that is unfortunate because clearly, those who have enjoyed the posts have enjoyed the music as I have.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 10:01 AM

Ron, thanks and that is an interesting quote. I am completely out of time now until this evening. I can't even read and respond to all of my mail right now. What occurs to me is that, particularly in the Chicago area, the Verituner is quite often used for tuning exams. The Verituner is used to set up the preliminary tuning for the Master tuning but whatever it generates still has to be aurally verified and it is never left unaltered by the exam committee.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 10:42 AM

Bill, I just want to add that I found "The Age of Innocence"immensely enjoyable in ALL the tunings presented here. My feedback came from a direct comparison between the three. Like I wrote a few weeks back: when my wife and I did a blind test, I hardly managed to distinguish the Stopper tuning from the RCT.

So, just for the record, I do not find EBVT III to detract seriously from the general enjoyment of the song. It's just not my preferred tuning.

And yes, I realise that with my sensitivity to wide M3s, I may well be in the minority of harpsichord players. I've heard some Well Temperaments at at so-called historically informed performances, and frankly, they put my teeth on edge. I remember hearing melodies and passing bass lines, and thinking to myself: "That note is so far off, it seems to fall out of the melodic line altogether.

Perhaps it's just the paradigm that I grew up in... My first exposure to non-ET was only after school.

And now, I'll pipe down and leave this thread to the techs.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 10:53 AM

Originally Posted By: RonTuner


..... if people aren't getting "as equal" of an ET out of aural methods that is available from the current machines, they are doing the tuning profession a dis-service...



I think about this often. But unless a tuner tunes aurally until there is no more improvement, how can they ever know if they will be able to tune better than a machine and thereby do “the tuning profession a dis-service” by not striving for aural excellence?
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 10:57 AM

Catch-22?!? wink
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 11:01 AM

Yup, but in the real world the limiting factor is almost always my ability to manipulate the pin, which of course is the piano's fault. wink
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 12:36 PM

This recent discussion has helped me to see one advantage to being an aural tuner. If I was not, I would be very cautious about trying anything different.

Having tuned pianos for over 25 years aurally, and having been a pianist even longer, I think I should know what sounds good and what doesn't.

My piano sounds absolutely fantastic! But I didn't have a machine tell me how to do it. I took new information but still let my ear decide beyond the temparament octave. I questioned again today that perhaps I expanded the bass a little much, but it is fine the way it is.

But hey, what do I know? I'm just a simple-minded only by ear tuner.

It has occured to me also that perhaps someone using and ETD does not realize the deviation that is possible without anything objectionable happening.

I am going to have to tune more pianos this new way, to hear how some 'lesser' pianos respond to it. But from what I have seen thus far I don't think you'd get a single complaint from a pianist and many people wondering how you got the piano to sound so good.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 01:05 PM

Great Nick, nice job!

Out of sheer curiosity, can you post some audio clips of a variety of pieces you play written in different keys? I am interested in the overall sonic/harmonic signature for common piano music that I know evoke a particular emotion for me and I know none of the professional recordings were made with EBVT III.

For example, Chopin's Tristesse or Revolutionary Etude, Liszt Liebestraume 3 or Hungarian Rhapsody 2, Schumann's Trauerei or Des Abends, Beethoven's Pathetique or Appassionata, Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G-min, Scriabin Etude Op 2 No 1, Brahms Intermezzo 117 1, 2, or 3?

They are all written in different keys of course, and have wonderful modulations. When you have time, can you provide some audio of music in your répertoire along those lines?

Thanks for posting a sample of your tuning...it is piquing my interest more and more.

Glen
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 01:37 PM

Um, my repertoire is no longer quite so extensive, but perhaps I could play chords in all the keys to give a better idea.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 02:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Late 19th Century and early 20th Century tuners tuned in Victorian style Well Temperament and Quasi ET. Reverse Well only came into existence as a result of the Braide-White book.


Claude MONTAL 1800-1865 , the blind piano builder, wrote a book on tuning where he ranted about the tunings made for simple keys, and advocated of ET because of "modern music" (in 1836 !)

He proposed a temperament based on 3 M thirds stacked, 5ths and 4ths, and use of M chords inversions to check the "colour" or behavior.

I may be a little dumb (fried brain !) but a friend who have read the thread, and listened to the samples make same the remark that all the pieces are in the simple keys (or minor relatives)

So I made the effort to listen again, and true, the tonalities are all in the simple keys with maximum 4 alterations at the key. I did not even think to check that.

Yes Nick to me you made a very good work, I'd be curious to listen to chords in all keys, (and if you dont mind for a few scales in 10ths 17 ths, etc...

To me you extended the temperament very well, even better than on the original.






Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 03:53 PM

Does this help?:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xclptf_a-new-style-of-piano-tuning-iii_music

Major and Minor Chords with 10ths in the left hand, Circle of Fifths on my piano.

Appreciate your comments. Thanks,

Nick
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 06:36 PM

In my posting of the Ampico Fox Trots, I forgot to include these 2:

Ampico Roll "Moonlight on the Ganges" http://www.box.net/shared/jkvy6lhilu

Ampico Roll "The Continental" 'You Kiss While Your Dancing' (first Academy Award Winning Song, 1934) 4 hand piano arrangement played by Victor Arden and Adam Carroll http://www.box.net/shared/7bpya4rlvj

Nick, to my ear, that sounds great. What I hear is that "earthy" sound I mentioned in an earlier post. There is something very 'grounded' in the sound of EBVT III that is hard to put into words.

Question, in this case, what is the advantage of your strip mute?
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 06:40 PM

I have just left my temperament strip in the piano, not having tuned the unisons yet, so I can better study (hear) what I have done.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 07:06 PM

Thanks...not being a pro tuner, I was curious.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Claude MONTAL 1800-1865 , the blind piano builder, wrote a book on tuning where he ranted about the tunings made for simple keys, and advocated of ET because of "modern music" (in 1836 !)

He proposed a temperament based on 3 M thirds stacked, 5ths and 4ths, and use of M chords inversions to check the "colour" or behavior.


Interesting - time after time, digging into history lets us find our 'new' ideas right there smile

Originally Posted By: Kamin

I may be a little dumb (fried brain !) but a friend who have read the thread, and listened to the samples make same the remark that all the pieces are in the simple keys (or minor relatives)

So I made the effort to listen again, and true, the tonalities are all in the simple keys with maximum 4 alterations at the key. I did not even think to check that.


What - fried? I thought you French people just cooked everything gently, in a lot of wine? :-D

You're probably mostly right about the keys, as the majority of music naturally is written in up to 4 sharps/4 flats. There is at least one exception in this very thread, though, and that's Clair de Lune, which is pretty heavily rooted in Db flat.

Another exception would be the improvisation I made around christmas. That improvisation is literally keyless, and played that way with an intention to cycle different tonalities, with no tonal center in mind.
EBVT tryout, 2nd attempt

Now, in that improvisation, the last two chords (as I know you can hear, Isaac, but for the record) are C major and B major. My upmost octave is a little bit too stretched, but otherwise I really don't find the B major 3rd to be overly wide, and certainly not in a way that would make me hesitate to use it. On the contrary, it contrasts very nicely against the somewhat calmer C major.

Bill himself thinks EBVT III is easier to tune than ET, but it's still not to me. In ET, you go for uniform M3s, and get as close as you can. There are without doubt deviations in our everyday tuning practice, fractions of cents +/-, but that's natural, as we are all humans. The ear (of the listener as well as of the tuner) can stand quite off-target M3rds and still accept it as ET - just as long as nobody says that they deliberately want them to be uneven in a certain way... then hell breaks loose wink

Now, in EBVT III the margin of error is in my opinion actually smaller than in ET, because if the remote key M3's get too wide the harsh sound is going to make many an average listerner object, let alone tuners finely tuned in to the sound of ET.

These are the pitfalls I've noticed myself:
  1. The F3-C4 can't be wide at all, it has to be beatless on the verge to narrow. Otherwise the Ab3-C4 gets too wide.

  2. The temperament extension can't be too optimistic in the first steps up and down. Especially Eb3 and G4 should't be overly stretched, because then the Eb major chord in the mid-range gets an overly wide 3rd.
    (This is true of ET tuning as well, by the way - the Eb3/G4 relationship was one thing that used to drive me nuts during the many years I played the piano before I knew anything about tuning. Now I think I know why.)

  3. The D#4 should be placed equal-beating 'between' G#3 and A#3, Watch out for the well-known tendency to favor the 5th, getting a too wide B3/D#4 M3. Better stay away from that.

  4. F3-F4 has to be 4:2, not wider, otherwise the C#4/F4 gets too wide.

I suspect that many tuners trying out EBVT III make at least one of these small 'errors', play the instrument, hit that wide M3rd and dismiss the whole temperament.

Now, why this impatience with EBVT? Jeez, if I judged my first attempt at ET by the same standards, I would never have found a temperament that would sound right smile
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 07:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Does this help?:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xclptf_a-new-style-of-piano-tuning-iii_music

Major and Minor Chords with 10ths in the left hand, Circle of Fifths on my piano.

Appreciate your comments. Thanks,

Nick


Hi Nick,

great hearing the cycle of 5ths smile

I really like the progression into the remote keys and back. I think your 5-6 #/b keys sound just enough 'twangy' without being too harsh (I wrote in an earlier post about the four mistakes I made in the beginning, and how to watch out for them. You seem to do that naturally, in your very first try-out. I am in awe... smile )

There's one thing that sounds slightly out of concept, but again that might be just to me. When you raised the E4 in the last step of the EBVT III instructions, you might have slightly favored the 5th instead of placing it truly equal-beating 'between' A3 and B3.

It sounds a little busier than C major should - this is again just in my opinion. I notice that you stretch beautifully and definitely in favor of pure-sounding 5ths (and I KNEW Isaac, aka Kamin, would like that - it reminds me very much of his stretching before his CHAS experience smile )

The way you like to stretch might make you automatically rise the E4 just a tiny little bit too much.

Or then, I'm just too used to my own way of putting the EBVT III into play.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 09:24 PM

I just had a thought...my disklavier can transpose to any key...and with a recent LX upgrade, the disklavier can now be played through to the LX..which means any of my disklavier library can be played directly on to the M&Hamlin RBB/LX, allowing key changes.

I remember seeing a YouTube video of Earl Wild giving a master class, and he talked about how much of the classial piano repertoire is in too high a key, due to our A440....lowering it a half or whole step, closer to what the composer had intended, makes it more enjoyable.

So, if there is anything someone wants to hear in a different key, let me know. One caveat...the midi info playing from the disklavier to the LX is not quite as good as the native LX format...but for this purpose, it should not matter that much.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 10:02 PM

Patrick,

I followed Bill's instructions which were specific regarding the E in the temperament octave, in that you sharpen it slightly until the A-E 5th and the B-E 4th have the same tempering, which I interpret to mean having the same beat rate. I checked and both are beating very slowly.

I would not 'stretch' it beyond this point, because I do not have any choice in the matter while I'm still in the temperament octave. The temperament needs to be as precise as possible per the instructions given. The term 'stretch' applies once you leave the temperament octave. And there I will still strive for a very even standard from note to note. You can also gauge the accuracy of your temperament by how well you are able to tune from it, meaning beyond it.

I hope that I have not experienced some sort of 'dumb luck', and certainly my first try should not be the best I can do, so I hope to repeat this again and again in order to perfect it and fully understand it. I can't wait until I am able to make some concert recordings.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 10:59 PM

Thanks a lot for all the responses. Mark, your comments are still welcome. The acclimation to ET that some people have is still a reality. I thank you for not resorting to condescension in expressing your sentiments. If all you really like is ET, that is fine with me but in as much as you did seem to enjoy some of the benefits of a WT, you may yet discover a way of working that in to your satisfaction. There are WT's even milder than the EBVT III (although it is very mild) and also quasi ET's that seem to suit some people's desires.

Kamin, the Montal information is "old hat"; just like Rameau, he dreamed of ET but never really perfected it. It was all covered in the PTG Journal. Even if Montal, himself, somehow managed to tune a piano in what we call ET today, how many other tuners would you say read what he wrote and also tuned every piano in a perfect ET for everybody ever since? How many of them actually tuned for Chopin? Here is my estimate: None, Zip, Zero, Nada, Rien, Niente, Kein, Nul. What is your estimate? After all, how many tuners who have read the Braide-White book manage to do so? (I do know of two or three who do, or at least they say they do).

Thanks to many others, especially Nick M. and Patrick for answering questions which I have not enough time to do. Nick, I especially like your comments about the variability of aural tuning having its own validity as opposed to very rigid electronic tuning standards. The fact is, as Ron Koval aptly demonstrated long ago with some graphs that he made himself (please re-post these if you want, Ron), that Well Temperament does not have to fit into the same rigid model as ET to be valid.

Now, Jeff recently posted a comment about some ancient historical temperaments which did have rigid rules. I have seen this tactic many times. Bring up some ancient style of tuning to "prove" that one "knows" about that kind of thing but to be sure, whichever item is mentioned can surely NEVER be used to tune a modern piano for all music. Moreover, to include "meantone" in the argument shows that whoever brings up that term does not know that there is an infinite number of possibilities for a meantone temperament, including the 1/11 comma meantone which is the equivalent of ET. In ANY meantone temperament (strictly speaking), all 5ths are tempered exactly the same as one another. Is that not the definition of ET (if all 5ths are tempered narrowly by 2 cents)?

GP, I would suggest not transposing anything except for a few examples to prove that the original key signature is correct. I truly believe that all music has been composed in the correct key signature. Whatever character it has in that key signature was meant to be. Can anyone play and record the "Going Home" melody from Dvorak's 9th symphony in the correct key of D-flat in the EBVT III? GP, would you have that in your library somewhere? Nobody could ever convince me that any orchestra ever played that in strictly ET intervals. If you could find it, GP, playing (and recording) it in D-flat and then in C Major (and/or D Major) may prove something. It belongs in the key that it was written and it was conceived as having wide intervals, not narrow.

I'll get back to any more comments or questions that I can, as I can, sorry if I missed yours, it was not intentional.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/16/10 11:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Patrick,

I followed Bill's instructions which were specific regarding the E in the temperament octave, in that you sharpen it slightly until the A-E 5th and the B-E 4th have the same tempering, which I interpret to mean having the same beat rate. I checked and both are beating very slowly.

I would not 'stretch' it beyond this point, because I do not have any choice in the matter while I'm still in the temperament octave. The temperament needs to be as precise as possible per the instructions given. The term 'stretch' applies once you leave the temperament octave. And there I will still strive for a very even standard from note to note. You can also gauge the accuracy of your temperament by how well you are able to tune from it, meaning beyond it.

I hope that I have not experienced some sort of 'dumb luck', and certainly my first try should not be the best I can do, so I hope to repeat this again and again in order to perfect it and fully understand it. I can't wait until I am able to make some concert recordings.


Nick, I am very impressed that you have understood all concepts so well and so quickly. To me, they are all so simple and natural. Where I struggle is to convert what is so natural to the ear to the way ETDs have been constructed to tune. I personally know what to do and achieve the kind of superior results and pass them on to others (as with GP's best efforts) but I find that information difficult to pass on. Everyone who gets the information immediately wants to modify it to what they think it should be and then tells me it doesn't work.

Thanks so much for just following the very simple directions and achieving such superior results! Your octaves sound superb!
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 03:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT


Kamin, the Montal information is "old hat"; just like Rameau, he dreamed of ET but never really perfected it. It was all covered in the PTG Journal. Even if Montal, himself, somehow managed to tune a piano in what we call ET today, how many other tuners would you say read what he wrote and also tuned every piano in a perfect ET for everybody ever since? How many of them actually tuned for Chopin? Here is my estimate: None, Zip, Zero, Nada, Rien, Niente, Kein, Nul.

T


Bill you seem to forget Pleyel, and that we had fine acousticians that where exploring the world at that moment yet.

The main thing that Montal stated is that dividing the octaves in 3 thirds allow to intall the basis of a good ET.

For what I know, the "Pleyel temperament" does the same (3 thirds stacked for the first octave.) As soon as the beginning of the temperament is done that way you are sure to get to something that is at worst a quasi ET. The idea that tonality have been tuned volontarly with differnt harshnesses is all that I can get along with. Thy certainly where dreaming of it, or, as Nick (that BTW does not even know what is a 6:3 octaves, it is nice to find tuners that are not stuck in theorizing trying to reinvent the wheel and that can tune a perfectly nicely sounding ET just by listening, and if you pretend than none exists before that century it is simply not possible.

Books are books, musicians are musicians , tuners which are musicians know what they are after : a way to tune so the instrument can play in all tonalities, and that is, for a long time.

Simply tempering the M chords output is even mores precise than using only 3ds, or only 6ths or only whatever interval, to rule the tuning.

The source of that "clinically straight" tone that we can hear is a misunderstanding of the octave size theory, and tunings that are driven, by smoothing partial matches high in the spectra. Then the ear of the tuner locks on those high pitches and clean them, forgetting to tune the fundamentals, (and the attack of the tone).

Just to say that historically speaking the subject stay highly debatable. the relation between interval speed and modulation not evident, to me.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 05:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
... the "Going Home" melody from Dvorak's 9th symphony ... belongs in the key that it was written and it was conceived as having wide intervals, not narrow.

(Text selection and highlight are my own)

Bill, here I would beg to differ in all humility - and this was exactly the point I was getting at earlier.

As you probably well know, the movement starts with a slow progression of chords in the brass and woodwinds:

Db maj, G maj 6, Db maj, Bb maj, Gb maj, Eb min (5-6), Db maj.

For anyone interested, here is the score at IMSLP.

After the first pass of the "Going Home" melody, the woodwinds repeat this chord sequence, and the brass do so again at the end of the movement, which is then closed by the double basses who play a soft Db major chord, with the M3 (F3) at the top.

I have played as a violist (in one instance, principal) in a number of symphony orchestras, and have played Dvorak's 9th numerous times. The violas also carry the major third of the Db Maj and Gb maj chords quite often.

Here's my point:

A wide M3 in such a brass or woodwind chord would stand out like a very sore thumb. The brass, woodwind and string players would never play the M3 of these distant keys wide. If anything, they would play them purer, for a cleaner harmony in those monolithic chords. They would therefore, in effect, play some type of reverse-well temperament.

And this is in direct contrast with playing "Going Home" on a keyboard instrument tuned to one or other well temperament.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 08:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

Now, Jeff recently posted a comment about some ancient historical temperaments which did have rigid rules. I have seen this tactic many times. Bring up some ancient style of tuning to "prove" that one "knows" about that kind of thing but to be sure, whichever item is mentioned can surely NEVER be used to tune a modern piano for all music. Moreover, to include "meantone" in the argument shows that whoever brings up that term does not know that there is an infinite number of possibilities for a meantone temperament, including the 1/11 comma meantone which is the equivalent of ET. In ANY meantone temperament (strictly speaking), all 5ths are tempered exactly the same as one another. Is that not the definition of ET (if all 5ths are tempered narrowly by 2 cents)?

.....


Yes, Bill, I do know that there are an infinite number of meantone temperaments and if you read what I wrote carefully you will see that I allowed for that. The thing is each of those meantones has a precise definition, but well temperaments do not. (Actually, I have been thinking of ways that some could...) And that was my point in my musing, not the twisted way you are referring to what I said.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 08:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

What I have a problem with is those who choose ridicule and mockery as their form of criticism.

.....


Bill, your claim of persecution reminds me of the man who murdered his parents begging for mercy because he is an orphan.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 08:46 AM

Kamin, Marpurg did the same thing long before Montal or Playel. It produced a temperament that had no key color but it was not ET.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 09:03 AM

From Wikipedia: Antonín Leopold Dvořák September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. His works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works include his New World Symphony, the Slavonic Dances, "American" String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B minor...In the winter and spring of 1893, while in New York, Dvořák wrote Symphony No.9, "From the New World".

The title of the very first chapter in Owen Jorgensen's book tuning is: ET was not practiced on pianos in 1885

So, however Dvorak's piano was tuned, he obviously didn't have a fit about it as he wrote his compositions.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 09:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Congratulations, Mark, you found a reason to never tune any piano in any well temperament! Some day, somebody may come along and want to play the piano reduction of the New World Symphony score and it would be a disaster!

.....


Mockery? Ridicule? Oh, yes.
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 09:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

The title of the very first chapter in Owen Jorgensen's book tuning is: ET was not practiced on pianos in 1885

So, however Dvorak's piano was tuned, he obviously didn't have a fit about it as he wrote his compositions.


I don´t know how Jorgensen backed up this statement. In a reedition of Werckmeister´s "Musicalische Temperatur", (original 1691) by Rudolf Rasch from 1983, a quote of Rasch (p. 35):

"In the older works (1681-1691, to which "musicalische Temperatur" belongs) only unequal temperaments have been described explicitely. In the middle works (1697-1698) equal temperament has been mentioned as a possible solution, when all keys are to play an equal part in musical performance. Since this was not the case, Werckmeister prefers unequal temperament, because it favours the common, diatonic keys. In his late works, (1702-1707) Werckmeister is an unambigious propagator of equal temperament because it makes possible unlimited modulation and transposition as well as any enharmonic change of notes and intervals."







Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 09:57 AM

Mr. Stopper:

Thank you very, very much for posting that.

It has bothered me that the apparent evolution of ET could somehow not have been true. Just the way that string players tune shows that well temperament is not the goal.

There is this sort of conspiracy theory about how ET became predominant as a pretender to the throne. Perhaps it is actually proponents of Well Temperament that have been trying to stage a coup.

We can expect a great deal of smoke and thunder now. I hope everyone considers the source.

The unfortunate thing is that it is perfectly fine if someone prefers how a temperament sounds. History need not enter into it at all. It seems to be a justification for getting on a soap box.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 10:34 AM

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner


The unfortunate thing is that it is perfectly fine if someone prefers how a temperament sounds. History need not enter into it at all.


If any of them know or care what a temperament is. I’ll wager that 9 out of 10 ordinary people could not tell you which temperament is which. Most just listen to music casually on the surface they do not break it down.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 10:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Patrick,

I followed Bill's instructions which were specific regarding the E in the temperament octave, in that you sharpen it slightly until the A-E 5th and the B-E 4th have the same tempering, which I interpret to mean having the same beat rate. I checked and both are beating very slowly.

I would not 'stretch' it beyond this point, because I do not have any choice in the matter while I'm still in the temperament octave. The temperament needs to be as precise as possible per the instructions given. The term 'stretch' applies once you leave the temperament octave. And there I will still strive for a very even standard from note to note. You can also gauge the accuracy of your temperament by how well you are able to tune from it, meaning beyond it.

I hope that I have not experienced some sort of 'dumb luck', and certainly my first try should not be the best I can do, so I hope to repeat this again and again in order to perfect it and fully understand it. I can't wait until I am able to make some concert recordings.


Nick,

the only reason I gave that feedback is that I feel (and still do, listening to the cycle of 5ths) that the last C major is wider than the G major and D major right before.

This might be due to a small inconsistency in the temperament. It might also be due to the sound recording limitation, my vivid imagination, or my (currently) clogged sinuses help smile

If everything is ok over there, don't think about it further. Just a spontaneous comment.

I really look forward to possible concert recordings!
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner


The unfortunate thing is that it is perfectly fine if someone prefers how a temperament sounds. History need not enter into it at all.


Jeff,

why is that unfortunate? I think it's a relief smile
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 10:51 AM

Darn English language! (Some of us are stuck with it, you know.)
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Congratulations, Mark, you found a reason to never tune any piano in any well temperament! Some day, somebody may come along and want to play the piano reduction of the New World Symphony score and it would be a disaster!


That tears it, I'm outta this thread.

I took EXTRA care to state my opinions humbly, calmly and clearly, I went to SPECIFIC detail about not wanting to criticise Bill or what he does. I explained how an orchestral composition was typically played in the orchestras of which I've been a member.

And now this flaming. It's disgusting - and a damn shame, I might add, after the kind exchange that Bill and I had via e-mail, when I tuned my parents' harpsichord in December.

But I have better things to do than act as a lightning conductor (no pun intended) for Bill's electric storms.

Bill, I wish you well with your endeavours. But PLEASE, do learn to separate the person from the issue.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 12:05 PM

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Darn English language! (Some of us are stuck with it, you know.)


smile well, over here I'm stuck with the minority language swedish, 94% of the country speak finnish as their first language. And THAT is a strange language, I tell you!
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 02:16 PM

I see I'm not the only one who tried EBVT III and liked it:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1220388/1.html
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark R.
[quote=Bill Bremmer RPT]

That tears it, I'm outta this thread.

I took EXTRA care to state my opinions humbly, calmly and clearly, I went to SPECIFIC detail about not wanting to criticise Bill or what he does. I explained how an orchestral composition was typically played in the orchestras of which I've been a member.

And now this flaming. It's disgusting - and a damn shame, I might add, after the kind exchange that Bill and I had via e-mail, when I tuned my parents' harpsichord in December.

But I have better things to do than act as a lightning conductor (no pun intended) for Bill's electric storms.

Bill, I wish you well with your endeavours. But PLEASE, do learn to separate the person from the issue.


I'm sorry you were offended by the remark. It was too late for me to edit it myself but I asked a moderator to do it.

I have been a lifelong musician. I have studied strings (violin and bass), brass (trumpet, euphonium and french horn), piano, percussion and voice. I was a music major in my university studies and I continue to study as a grad student in voice and am often selected as a soloist for performances. So, I very well know what ensemble performing is all about.

Unfortunately, ensemble performing has no relation at all to keyboard tempering. I hope someone can play the orchestral reduction of the second movement of Dvorak's 9th symphony (The New World) in the EBVT III so we can all hear how Dvorak himself may have heard it as he composed.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 09:09 PM

It always amazes me how personally we respond to what we hear musically. For some reason sounds are very emotional. Some people love what they hear while others have an opposite reaction. I'm reminded of the fights and small riot that broke out during the premiere of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring". People can be as passionate about harmony as they are about political ideology. I'm not passing judgement on anybody, just making an observation.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 10:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

The title of the very first chapter in Owen Jorgensen's book tuning is: ET was not practiced on pianos in 1885

So, however Dvorak's piano was tuned, he obviously didn't have a fit about it as he wrote his compositions.


I don´t know how Jorgensen backed up this statement. In a reedition of Werckmeister´s "Musicalische Temperatur", (original 1691) by Rudolf Rasch from 1983, a quote of Rasch (p. 35):

"In the older works (1681-1691, to which "musicalische Temperatur" belongs) only unequal temperaments have been described explicitely. In the middle works (1697-1698) equal temperament has been mentioned as a possible solution, when all keys are to play an equal part in musical performance. Since this was not the case, Werckmeister prefers unequal temperament, because it favours the common, diatonic keys. In his late works, (1702-1707) Werckmeister is an unambigious propagator of equal temperament because it makes possible unlimited modulation and transposition as well as any enharmonic change of notes and intervals."


Bernhard, I will quote exactly what Jorgensen said about that with no comment from myself. The text below is verbatim. I added no emphasis that was not in the text already. I made not parenthetical comments. The spelling and punctuation are exactly as they appear in the text. While I am very tempted to comment, make emphasis and to use American spelling for a word or two, "ET" for every time "equal temperament" is mentioned and to use slightly different punctuation, the text below is exactly as it is in Owen Jorgensen's book.

I would only note at this point that Professor Jorgensen felt it important enough to make these among his very first statements in a book of nearly 800 pages. In other words, READ THIS!

From Owen Jorgensen's book, Tuning, the very same article that was quoted before ("ET was not practiced on pianos in 1885") From page 2:

Andreas Werkmeister and Jean-Phillipe Rameau were typical 17th and 18th Century theorists. Early in their lives and writings, they favored simple ratio harmonies, especially in the commonly used natural diatonic keys (the white keys of the modern piano). They promoted the accepted temperaments as used by keyboard musicians. Later in their lives, they became more philosophic and, as mature old men, they promoted the avant-garde notion that equal temperament should be applied on keyboard instruments.

It is important to realize that the leading proponents of equal temperament such as Mersenne, Werkmeister, Neidhardt, Rameau and Marpurg, were simply avant-garde theorists who were proposing a philosophic ideal. They furnished no tuning instructions containing the necessary information on where to listen for beating among nearly-coinciding harmonics, how fast each beating frequency should be, or the fact that any interval when played chromatically up the keyboard must increase gradually and evenly in beating frequencies. In other words, these theorists could not tune equal temperament by ear, but they could tune crude approximations of it on keyboards by copying tones from monochords. Practicing musicians rebelled strongly against this. They tuned by ear, and they did not want to sacrifice key-coloring. They voiced strong objections to the harsh thirds on the natural diatonic keys in these approximations of equal temperament.

The above named theorists published several books. Influenced by these, nineteenth- and twentieth-century historians (who had no experience or knowledge concerning the aural requirements for tuning equal temperament by ear and therefore could not distinguish between philosophic theory, temperament propaganda, and actual practice by musicians) published the false statement that J.S. Bach introduced equal temperament in keyboard practice in 1722 and that most musicians have been using it ever since. Even today, some uniformed writers state that J.S. Bach invented equal temperament. This erroneous information is often repeated by today's musicians.

When Alexander John Ellis conducted his research he discovered that mathematically exact equal temperament was not yet being practiced. He wrote in 1885 that equal temperament is what tuners at the present day intend to follow, though none of them absolutely succeed in so doing. Very few ears could be trusted to tune a succession of perfect Fifths and Fourths. For Major Thirds and minor Sixths there is no chance at all (except by a real piece of haphazard luck) to get even one interval tuned with absolute correctness by mere appreciation of ear....All attempts to tune by ear must have grievously failed...even the laborious and careful training of modern tuners for obtaining the very slightly altered Fifths and Fourths of equal temperament can only lead to absolute correctness by accident.

It takes a quick man three years to learn how to tune a piano well in equal temperament by estimation of ear.

The only satisfactory way, however, of tuning perfect and tempered intervals is by a fork tonometer.

About the so-called German equal temperament, Ellis wrote that there is a variety among the chords, and "Of course the temperament was never thoroughly equal."

The great piano technician Alfred James Hipkins introduced the idea of equal temperament to the Broadwood factory in 1846. About the tuners then working for Broadwood, Ellis wrote,

Not one of the old tuners Mr. Hipkins knew (and some had been favourite tuners of Mr. James Broadwood) tuned anything like equal temperament....It is one thing to propose equal temperament, to calculate its ratios, and to have trial instruments approximately tuned in accordance with it, and another thing to use it commercially in all instruments sold.

Resistance to the universal adoption of equal temperament was not dead in 1885 when Ellis wrote, "Tuners of the piano sometimes still intentionally tune unequally, and hence make the effect of A and A-flat really very different."

[skipping to the end]

Before 1917, tempering was an art based on a keen sense of color awareness for each individual interval or chord on the piano. This color sense that was developed through environmental conditioning by listening to tunings and piano music during the nineteenth-century is now lost. Wise aesthetic decisions based on classical traditions are no longer being made. Indeed, such judgments are contrary to twentieth-century atonal philosophy.



Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/17/10 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
It always amazes me how personally we respond to what we hear musically. For some reason sounds are very emotional. Some people love what they hear while others have an opposite reaction. I'm reminded of the fights and small riot that broke out during the premiere of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring". People can be as passionate about harmony as they are about political ideology. I'm not passing judgement on anybody, just making an observation.


Ralph, thanks for that comment. I really like the Rite of Spring and have performed in other works by Stravinsky that I hated at first but grew to like as I became better acquainted with them. It must be also taken into consideration that the startling dissonances in many of Beethoven's compositions were considered outrageous at the time by many.

In the art world, many of the greatest painters we cherish today were ridiculed and mocked in their time. Van Gough cut off his ear because of what people said about what he did. None of Cezanne's beautiful works remain in his native Aix-en-Provence. They were all considered to be trash.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 05:05 AM

Bill,

Apology accepted.

I am well aware that ensemble performing has no relation at all to keyboard tempering. (In fact, my earlier post only confirms this.)

As far as I can see, it was not I but you who made a connection between ensemble playing and keyboard tempering, by applying one of the characteristics of a well temperament (wide intervals in distant keys) to an orchestral composition (Largo from the New World):

Quote:
... the "Going Home" melody from Dvorak's 9th symphony ... belongs in the key that it was written and it was conceived as having wide intervals, not narrow.


Even if Dvorak's own piano was tuned to some well temperament, somehow I doubt that he conceived of a symphony orchestra playing the major thirds in Db major at something like 17 cents wide. Anyone can try this on a violin - suffice it to say, it sounds awful less-than-beautiful.

But I do realise that this line of argumentation is off-topic to this thread, which is about the enjoyment of EBVT III on a piano - hence I won't labor the point further.

Wishing all pianists many happy and musical hours - in whichever temperament you prefer.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 08:18 AM

I cannot believe that a composer would chose a key because it sounded one way on a keyboard and not care how it sounded when played by the orchestra.

I think keyboards have been tuned with the intent of ET, and close enough for practical purposes, for a long time and for good reason.
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 09:59 AM

I do not agree that Werckmeister was only a theorist. He made his life as an organist in Hasselfelde (1664), Elbingerode (1674) and in Halberstadt (1696).
It is also known from Bach that he had knowledge of Werckmeister´s writings. So i find Jorgensen´s statement "ET was not practiced on pianos in 1885" one hundred seventy years after Werckmeister´s ambiguous propagation of ET a quite daring one.

The preference of a part of the musicians for unequal temperaments (which is still existent until today) that was existent before ET propagation in that time was because of the purer sounding common keys and not because of colors (others call it out-of-tuneness) of the less used keys, as all writings from that time seem to indicate.






Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 10:30 AM

Mr. Stopper:

Please continue. This subject needs both sides presented.

I wonder how the tuners could have the ability to tune specific key colors, but not have the ability to tune a practical ET. It seems the ability needed to do the one would allow a tuner to do the other.

But also, wasn't it Werckmeister that prescribed the rules for Well Temperament which supposedly were then followed? Why wouldn't his later call for ET also be followed?
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 11:43 AM

All:

I was just taking a close look at "quasi-ET" tunings on the Rollingball site. I think it would really be splitting hairs to say that most of these are not as good an aural ET as is tuned nowadays. I take it that many of these were derived from tuning instructions. And as all tuners know there is always room for aural adjustments regardless of the sequence. And if any of these were actually measured from tunings, how accurate was the measurement?
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 11:46 AM

Tuning might have been measured using equipment like this. The accuracy would still be limited to one's ability to hear the differences.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 11:48 AM

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Mr. Stopper:

Please continue. This subject needs both sides presented.

I wonder how the tuners could have the ability to tune specific key colors, but not have the ability to tune a practical ET. It seems the ability needed to do the one would allow a tuner to do the other.


Jeff,

I'm just trying to be logical here. Key coloring was probably involuntarily applied first: the common keys were given priority, and then - to make the math work - the distant keys got whatever crumbs they could get.

From there, this must have been gradually refined to a pretty nice balance with C in the middle and the distant keys not as harsh as before. Thus, I find it fully possible that the art of key coloring could exist without ET.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 12:03 PM

BDB:

Interesting... Since they are not electronic, they could be used during a PTG exam. And if they are accurate enough to determine a tuning is not ET, then they should be accurate enough to pass a PTG exam. Anybody think it would work?

Pat:

OK, the art of key coloring could exist without ET, but I still think the ability required to do the one would be the same as the ability required to do the other. I think that when the desire for ET existed, the ability was already there, although the ability to explain how to do it may not have been. I cannot explain what a properly tempered 5th sounds like, but I can tune them.
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 01:27 PM

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner


I wonder how the tuners could have the ability to tune specific key colors, but not have the ability to tune a practical ET. It seems the ability needed to do the one would allow a tuner to do the other.

But also, wasn't it Werckmeister that prescribed the rules for Well Temperament which supposedly were then followed? Why wouldn't his later call for ET also be followed?


Good arguments. The tuners of this time were probably able to do ET in the same grade of quality as they were able to tune unequal temperaments. Werckmeister speaks of shortening every fifth by a 1/12 of the comma. This was done by tuning an octave first, and fitting the fifths iteratively inside the octave. Werckmeister also described that beats are to be progressive. ET is not less a historical tuning as the well temperaments, already known and probably in use since the time where those many variants of well temperament came up.





Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 03:55 PM

Interesting to see those resonators. But their pitch isn't given, although one of them does allow itself to be tuned.

I remember reading that sets of forks were also used, along with glasses filled to resonate at the freqs of specific partials. My impression is that there was one for each note, at least for the middle of the piano. Surely there are some sets of those forks around--what were their pitches?
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

Pat:

OK, the art of key coloring could exist without ET, but I still think the ability required to do the one would be the same as the ability required to do the other. I think that when the desire for ET existed, the ability was already there, although the ability to explain how to do it may not have been. I cannot explain what a properly tempered 5th sounds like, but I can tune them.


Yes, Jeff, that sounds logical too smile

It was probably a matter of taste, and choosing to make a sacrifice - the remote keys were not used as much as the common keys (they still aren't), so instead of having everything sounding a little out of tune they gave priority to the common keys.

With 'a little out of tune' I mean ET, as perceived then. Nowadays our ears are used to it. Time and taste changes, as does the music.

Sometimes I've been contemplating that the quite obvious lack of direction in modern classical music might have something to do with equal temperament. Or maybe that ET reflects our time in a logical way. Where to go now, after tonality has been smashed, twisted, and broken down - starting somewhere around Wagner, culminating in the atonal period of the mid 20th century?

Fact is that from somewhere around 1950 and onwards, the core of the classical music scene has been nourishing from an era that is long gone. I don't think anything similar has happened to this extent earlier in the history of classical music.

Well, somebody might come up with something smile Personally I think rhythm might be the thing that will lead the classical music into a new era, I think I see some hints in that direction.

Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 04:48 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
Tuning might have been measured using equipment like this. The accuracy would still be limited to one's ability to hear the differences.


BDB: cool gear! Kind of an orthodox flavor to them? Or is it just me... we DO live close to Russia... grin

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

Interesting... Since they are not electronic, they could be used during a PTG exam. And if they are accurate enough to determine a tuning is not ET, then they should be accurate enough to pass a PTG exam. Anybody think it would work?


Jeff, I think that if you'd bring that set into the testing room, they'd pass you quickly, just to get you out of there. Then they'd go to a group therapy session!
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 05:00 PM

I found the pitches of one set of forks, but they're not just for pianos, apparently. They're in Ellis' "The History of Musical Pitch" (1880) on page 300 of the Journal of the Society of Arts. It's online and the pdf can be downloaded. No time to compare the charts to ET right now, though, and his discussion includes some problems with the forks, which he discusses as one way in which pitch could be measured:

http://books.google.com/books?id=hnkWAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA294&ots=swO3NYamM9&dq=ellis%20%22history%20of%20Musical%20pitch%22&pg=PA305#v=onepage&q=&f=false

See also the discussion of ET on page 336.

By the way, in which of Ellis' works are the actual charts of Broadwood tunings given? Maybe in a later version of this essay?

Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/18/10 06:38 PM

Here's one of Ellis' original charts, again in the JOSA, on page 489. (May be easier download the pdf and then search for Ellis or Broadwood.) These differ, I think, from the charts we've seen. They are attempts at ET done by Broadwood tuners. The first four are piano tunings. This is his essay "On the Musical Scales of Various Nations" (1885). Bagpipes, too!"

http://books.google.com/books?id=qSsFAAAAQAAJ&dq=%22Journal%20of%20the%20society%20of%20arts%22%201880%20ellis&pg=PA501#v=onepage&q=ellis&f=false

(I don't have the Jorgensen book, so I don't know the exact source of the charts referenced there.)

(The reference to tuning glasses of water to the partials is from Ellis, too, in his "Notes of Observations on Musical Beats.")
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/19/10 07:21 AM

Originally Posted By: pppat
.....

Sometimes I've been contemplating that the quite obvious lack of direction in modern classical music might have something to do with equal temperament. Or maybe that ET reflects our time in a logical way. Where to go now, after tonality has been smashed, twisted, and broken down - starting somewhere around Wagner, culminating in the atonal period of the mid 20th century?

Fact is that from somewhere around 1950 and onwards, the core of the classical music scene has been nourishing from an era that is long gone. I don't think anything similar has happened to this extent earlier in the history of classical music.

Well, somebody might come up with something smile Personally I think rhythm might be the thing that will lead the classical music into a new era, I think I see some hints in that direction.



Pat:

I am going to muse a little bit. This may lead things back to the original topic.

Personally, I prefer the piano as a solo instrument. Neither the tone nor the tuning really meshes with other instruments. I suppose it is good for accompanying vocal groups if the arrangement keeps the piano in the background. And a really good jazz ensemble is OK, if the instrumentalist can play in tune.

My background is in low brass. I remember knowing how a piece would sound because of the key signature – the more flats the mellower it sounded. Others did not notice this. I now understand why this is. It does not have anything to do with Well Temperament, but perhaps it was the intent of the composer. It has to do with brass instruments being, really, valved bugles. A major triad formed naturally with the 4th, 5th and 6th partials is pure. But a major triad unnaturally formed by using valves from the 5th, 6th and 8th partials has an extremely wide major 3rd. But there can be clashes of intonation with the woodwinds and also between brass instruments in different keys. So I do not think either ET or WT is played by instrumentalists, anyway.

As far as where music, classical or otherwise, is going I would say it is following the money. There have been some fantastic scores written for movies. Sure, a lot of the Disney stuff is sappy, but at least it has a melody you can remember!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/19/10 09:00 AM

I am trying my best to stabilize these 2 treble sections...they are still not quite right yet. In any case, here is Il Postino again, this time fresh off the 5th tuning....such beautiful sounds from this EBVT III. Also included here, is a crazily fun Medley of Fox Trots from the 1920's...and to think they danced to this music!!

1. Il Postino played on the LX (5th tuning) using Mid2Piano CD software into the LX emulation, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/0dy30iqc8g

2. Original Ampico Roll--"Fox Trot Medley No.4", Recording Without Words For Dancing--Played by Harry Shipman and Victor Lane in EBVT III (4 hand piano arrangement) http://www.box.net/shared/50fv8hy7ob

1. I Still Get a Thrill
2. I'll Be Blue Just Thinking Of You
3. Good Evenin'
4. My Bluebird Was Caught In The Rain

3. Original Ampico Roll--"It's DeLovely" by Cole Porter, played by Frank Milne on the Ampico, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/4zr3jdyj6a

Here is an interesting comparison...the same roll, "It's DeLovely" back in May, 2009. The tuning is from my RCT, #5 stretch...the tempo is bit slower. Very different overall effect between ET and EBVT III. http://www.box.net/shared/t8bg6keqa1

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/19/10 09:49 AM

GP, thanks, it is getting better all the time! I love the contrasts I hear in the modulations. They sound right and purposeful to me. They provide for a momentary departure and a return that would be neutralized by ET.

I like anything by Cole Porter! I recall singing it in a small ensemble during the show, "Anything Goes". I also recall sending Owen Jorgensen the score to "For Thine is a Lovely Face" from "Kiss Me, Kate" after rehearsing it with the local opera company in the original EBVT. As I recall, it is written in five flats and I noted at the time how well the well tempering worked with the mood of that song.

Recently, I tuned the piano in the EBVT III on stage for a Cole Porter review where the piano was center with a small orchestra which included strings, winds, a harp and a celeste. I attended the show that evening mostly because I like Cole Porter music but also to see and hear how the piano worked with the ensemble. Not only was there not a problem, the ensemble playing was stunningly in tune! I had taken the time to really customize the tuning of the Kawai grand that was used. The singers were great and the pianist who knew me thanked me for the "great piano sound" (as he put it) afterward.

In 2002, I played the character, Anselmo in The Man of La Mancha and tuned the piano in the EBVT III for all of those rehearsals (often freshening it up right before each rehearsal). I relished in the dark moods of many of the songs that were in 5-7 flats, such as "One Pair of Arms is Like Another". Yet, for the solo I sang, "Little Bird" which was in G Major, the mood was appropriately sweet.

I had the same experience twice with Man of La Mancha helping the on stage guitarist who had little experience tune his guitar. In a previous production of that show with the opera company, the on stage guitarist obviously didn't know how to tune his own instrument very well but I stepped in to fix that problem and used the well temperament for guitar that I came up with and tuned the guitar for him back stage shortly before he performed that number each time.

I had spoken of this on Pianotech way back then and some people found it unbelievable that an opera company would hire a guitarist that didn't know how to tune the guitar. Sometimes, it is a matter of who they can get and the other skills that person may have and it is only assumed that a guitarist would know how to tune his guitar.

In the second show, it was a matter of not having to hire a guitarist just for one number because one of the actors could manage to play the simple chords that were required. He also had a very poor concept of how to tune the instrument but I programmed my SAT for the well tempered guitar tuning, showed him how to use it and I had a perfectly tuned guitar in equal beating well temperament to sing with each time.

I could cite song after song, show after show of examples where the EBVT or EBVT III was used to tune the piano for all of the rehearsals and how the choice of key signature was appropriate each time. There never was an instance where it was not.

GP, any luck finding the "Going Home" melody by Dvorak in your library?
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/19/10 06:46 PM

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the positive comments on my tuning...It's not easy to get a 'broadcast' quality tuning to sound perfect. Lol...I am so particular now about unisons.

I too hear the differences in the modulations. That's one of the reasons I like your EBVT III.

I have more rolls of Cole Porter and also, Irving Berlin..will post a few more later.

Interesting story about your Cole Porter experience....being a pro-musician myself, I find it hard to believe that other musicians, pianists etc, would not enjoy your EBVT III. Once one hears it, going back to ET, something is missing. To my ear, you have combined the best of ET, and added another dimension to the sound.

I am looking forward to Nick's recording, and Patrick's!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/19/10 07:20 PM

Thanks GP, any musicians any pianists I have ever tuned it for have very much enjoyed it. Granted, you can't please everybody all the time. Piano technicians sometimes are very sensitized to anything but the most perfected ET. That can lead to propaganda for and against it on both sides, so let's be fair. Let's go with the music itself.

We all know that music in the simpler keys can sound improved with a WT. But I am particularly interested in demonstrating that music in the remote keys, those where a WT is theorized to not be acceptable can also be enhanced. So, any of these great melodies you can find in a remote key, such as "If I loved you" from Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein would be particularly effective.

It will be naturally pleasing to hear some items in the simple diatonic keys but the more you can find with complex harmonies in the remote keys and multiple modulations, the better. It is all music and it will all work in the tuning I provided you.

That one roll you have of Rachmaninoff playing the "Flight of the Bumble bee" is great too. It shows off the great regulation you have and the lightning fast repetition your piano is capable of.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/20/10 02:48 AM

Agreed....to each his own! smile

I just looked it up in my Ampico Catalog, someone DID make "Going Home" on the Ampico...I have to see if I have it.

I have come up with a few Ampico rolls that should be very interesting for their key signatures. The Dohnanyi selections, played by him, are very unusual...they are not that well known, but are very beautiful never the less, and in EBVT III, a very mystical and magical effect is heard. The harmonies are just fantastic...listen to the long glisando with the dampers up around 3:15 secs into Rhapsody selection.

It still amazes me that they had this technology back in the early 1920's, and were able to produce music like this...the people must have been in awe when they watched and listened to the reproducing player piano.

I have an original Rachmaninoff playing "Flight of the Bumblebee"!...this is something else, short but sweet. I recorded it in 2 different speeds, one as marked on the roll, the other, a bit slower.

If your have a pair of headphones, these mp3 files will sound great.

Debussy's "Nocturne in D Flat".....beautiful...albeit, some of the bass notes are not spot on, but you can hear the effect that EBVT III has in this key. The ending is exquisite.

Had to record one Fox Trot amongst all this classical music...."By the Waters of the Minnetonka"...played by Zez Confrey...what a FUN piece of music...zany!!

These recordings are all working off my 5th tuning...they are not all perfect.....I tried to clean up all the unisons between each take...was almost successful...there is one treble section that keeps going out..that's the section down from the very top....I wonder if some type of string "seating" would help...have been reading about this on the Wapin forum. The rest of the piano is much more stable. Enjoy, GP smile


1. Recut Ampico Roll, "Music of the Spheres" from "Wintereigen" by Ernst Von Dohnanyi, Played by E.V.Dohnanyi, on the Ampico in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/b5fvvv7tbn

2. Recut Ampico Roll, "Rhapsody" Op 11, No 2 by E.V.Dohnanyi, played by E.V. Dohnanyi on the Ampico in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/xnojy1dxnj

3. Original Ampico Roll, "Nocturne in DFlat" by Debussy, Played by Julius Chaloff on the Ampico in EBVT III

4. Original Ampico Roll, "Flight Of The Bumblebee" played by Sergei Rachmaninoff on the Ampico in EBVT III (tempo as marked on the roll) http://www.box.net/shared/srj7d2kdsf

5. Original Ampico Roll, "Flight Of The Bumblebee" played by Sergei Rachmaninoff on the Ampico in EBVT III (slower tempo) http://www.box.net/shared/yrn32tluiz

6. Original Ampico Roll, "Hungarian Rhapsody No.10" by Liszt, played by Hans Barth on the Ampico, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/ft2bs71are

7. Original Ampico Roll, "By The Waters Of The Minnetonka", Fox Trot, played by Zez Confrey on the Ampico, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/iu43uh3lrf



Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/20/10 10:03 AM

GP, thanks but the one I wanted to hear the most, the Debussy, you did not provide a hot link for. The Hungarian Rhapsody sounds the most in tune.

I am not sure whether string seating would help the stability or not. The action itself will make the strings go quite flat. What you really don't want to do is damage either the strings and especially not the bridge. I have never done that on any piano in many years. I have a special tool for it but I don't carry it with me. I don't even think about it. It can be a case of if a little does some good, would more be better? Definitely not if it damages something.

The tuning instability you are experiencing is disappointing. We know that the player systems drive the hammers much harder than most pianists actually play. This could be causing the strings to ride up somewhat on the bridge pins. That would be a reason to seat the strings, of course. But being that you have a Wapin bridge, that may complicate matters. I'm afraid I cannot give you good advice on that. Yours was the first piano I ever saw with one!

If there is anyone reading who has some experience with string seating on a Wapin bridge, I hope they will provide some input. Otherwise, I would suggest consulting directly with the Wapin installer.

There is another thought that came to mind. Pitchlock string couplers: http://www.pitchlock.com/pages/primary_pages/couplers.html

Since you already have so many innovations on your piano, why not another? From what I understand about the Pitchlock string couplers, their primary function is to keep unisons in tune longer. They also will solve false beat problems and solve mismatched wound string problems.

I have a kit that I bought from the innovator, Scott Jones but I have never used them, so I also have no experience with how well they work. Some of your treble notes do have some false beats although they were not bad. String seating can also cure false beats.

What always scared me about the Pitchlock couplers is how anyone would go about tuning unisons that have them. From what I understand, you have to tune the first string a "little" sharp. There is already that problem in getting the whole unison to "hang on" to the program pitch. It is impossible to give a specification about how much a "little" means.

It might be a good idea if you could find a technician that could do three things for you: seat the strings, get the piano back in tune according to the program (using either Tunelab or RCT), install the Pitchlock string couplers and tune the piano according to program with them installed. You would want to observe how the technician tunes with the string couplers installed.

Anyone else think this may help?
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/20/10 10:44 AM

I am tuning more pianos this weekend at my store using the EBVT III and will report back. I am also going to tune one in a customer's home and gauge the reaction. I don't have it down yet without using notes, so I'm afraid of looking like a beginner following notes for temperament. In my store nobody is watching me.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/20/10 10:52 AM

LOL, Nick, I can remember having a sheet of temperament instructions in front of me and a customer staring at me. Good luck!
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/20/10 12:10 PM

I've got a few pitchlock installs under my belt - it may help, but makes tuning more of an adventure! The best way I've found via machine (like GP would have to do) is to tune the locked strings "open". That is, with the two strings singing adjust by cracking the unison and shifting back and forth until the display is dead on. Then the third string is no problem. It does "dull" the tone just a tiny bit. Since GP never has to deal with major pitch adjustments, it might be something to try.

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/20/10 05:41 PM

Bill, thanks for the advice...this pitchlock and string seating may be something to look into going forward. Ron, thanks for your advice as well.

Another thought, this could be my hammer technique. In the future, I may have a tuning done by a pro, to see if there is any more stability than I am getting now.

Sorry about the link to the Debussy...here it is:

Original Ampico Roll, "Nocturne in D Flat" by Debussy, played by Julius Chaloff on the Ampico, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/lz04xurktr

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/20/10 07:18 PM

Thank you for the Debussy, GP! Even though the tuning is not pristine, the music is delicious! It is in a key that is supposed to not work and that is what thrills me because it clearly does. The modulations provide for stunning texture.

I mean the following seriously: GP, I know you will be busy with work next month, so any more tinkering with your piano other than what you can do for yourself could wait until May when maybe you have some money to spend on it. Why not invite Ron Koval out the same way you invited me, a short weekend trip. He could take an evening flight from O'Hare, work Saturday and either retuen that evening or the next day.

I know Ron as a very capable technician who could handle the string seating problem if there is one. He could install the Pitchlock devices and show you how you wing-wang the unisons into tune according to the program. Ron can load the data into his Verituner (remember about partial selection!) and can prove to himself that stored data for a particular piano works! I think Ron is also familiar with the RCT. Who knows, maybe I would want to come out again too and learn something for myself.

GP, be sure to watch the video of how the Pitchlock couplers work. They can serve to make quick unison touch up easier because you would only need to tune the third open string to the coupled unison until the whole piano needs retuning. You could keep the tuning fresher sounding more easily and quickly that way. You have a beautiful set of Bass strings, no mismatches but I also think that the couplers would keep your wound strings in more solid unisons longer too.

I don't remember about the duplex scale of your piano but apparently the couplers can clean up a "dirty" duplex too. One of the most exquisite pianos I have ever tuned is the Fazioli which has an easily tunable duplex. Some pianos are deliberately built with a wacky duplex. That "dirty" sound of random resonances is meant to be appealing. On the other hand, the sound I get when I have all the harmonics lined up both in the speaking lengths and the duplex side of the bridge is nothing short of stunning! It is so pleasing to the ear to hear those faint harmonics and resonances gel together! I have never heard the "pipe organ effect" like I have on the Fazioli. I would swear I was in a giant cathedral and the organ is playing, not the piano! The sustain on the Fazioli is so long, its scale design so perfect and its duplex system so cooperative that it produces this holy grail sound.

I think that may be possible with your piano too. The sustain is excellent. You have come so far with it but the quest for perfection never ends. Two heads are always better than one, so if Ron and I can get together on taking your piano to yet a new height, I would be game for it. I can review your tuning program and make slight adjustments to it. I know Ron has a good ear and we can both listen and determine the compromise for each note according to the plan and make any fine adjustments we deem appropriate. He can learn once and for all, in person, what I do with the octaves and maybe find out if there is a practical way to manipulate the Verituner to do that. I hope the sostenuto pedal works, because I would definitely need it.

After all, the entire program is in whole and half cents. I normally work that way for my own sanity but surely, it means there is room for some tiny improvements, tenths of cents, but when you're going for true perfection, every tenth counts.

So, GP and Ron, give it some thought and let me know. So far, this has been the most interesting and fascinating tuning project I have ever worked on but it can be done one better.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/20/10 08:06 PM

Bill and Ron, that sounds like a great idea! Let me look at my schedule, then we can all work something out.

Thanks for the pitchlock info..I took a look and listen on their website....it makes sense. Probably the best thing is to first diagnose the stability issue, then go from there.

I don't know why this is....My RCT has your exact EBVT III figures, as well as the my Iphone Tunelab, I've double-checked them twice. As I tuned the piano this last time, I had both machines going to see how they agreed. The RCT, for most of the piano except for the treble sections, was telling me that the notes were too sharp when Tunelab was telling me the notes were correct. The last appx. 3 octaves, the RCT pretty much agreed with the Tunelab....strange.

I agree, the Debussy is beautiful in EBVT III, even with the uneven tuning. The harmony is magical.

Randy, my rebuilder, seems to think that the tuning is unstable mostly due to my constantly, over the last 3 years, changing things, the Wapin and now the pounding down of the 2 treble sections, and my hammer technique. I have tuned several friends pianos, and they don't go flat like mine. However, they don't have 2 player systems that are giving daily concerts, LOL~!

Here is what I have noticed these last 5 tunings since you left, and even before your arrival, since I received the piano in 2007......when I go back to tune the whole piano, the upper 2 treble sections are the worst. The very top treble is not nearly as bad as the section below it. In fact, that top section is quite stable in unisons and pitch.

The section that is a problem, between D#5-G6, that section constantly goes flat first before any other section, and the unisons drift out first there before any other section....that's why we pounded down the pins, thinking that would help. For example, after tuning from bass to treble, that problematic area, after 1 or 2 pieces that really pound the piano, that section is already somewhat flat! Then slowly, the more the piano is played, the whole piano starts to drift flat, it never seems to go sharp.

Bill, this whole experience has been great for me as well...hearing the piano in your EBVT III tuning has been very rewarding, and I look forward to continuing on the road to sonic perfection!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/25/10 06:07 AM

Here are a few more fun Ampico Fox Trots. Still working off of the 5th tuning, and cleaning up some unisons. I brought out my Rode NT5's and tried the Omni capsule...quite a difference in sound. Enjoy! GP smile

1. "Sheherazade" Fox Trot, melody by Rimsky-Korsakov, played by Felix Fox on the Ampico, in EBVT III, Original Roll http://www.box.net/shared/p8q018z1ko (Avenson STO-2 Omni Mics)

2. "Beautiful Ohio Blues" 1-Step, by King, played by Shipman&Joyce on the Ampico, in EBVT III, (4 hand piano arrangement) Newly re-cut roll by Sierra Music Rolls http://www.box.net/shared/9qvhj277ce (Avenson STO-2 Omni Mics)

3. "Musical Comedy Favorites" No.2, played by Adam Carroll on the Ampico, in EBVT III, http://www.box.net/shared/ce154jp7ki (Rode NT5 Mics, Omni Capsules)

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/25/10 09:20 AM

Thanks GP, I always enjoy hearing your piano. I think the instability issue is a combination of factors. The strings are still relatively new. You did have all the tension off for the Wapin bridge conversion. I suspect that the Wapin bridge itself does present some string rendering problem. There is the heat from the player system. Your tuning and hammer technique are always just barely pulling the strings up to pitch.

On the last, you need to perform a pitch raise tuning on any section that is generally flat first before you can expect that section to really hold. I am not familiar with how the RCT calculates that but from what I have heard, it can do that for each note as you go. You need to consult your manual for it.

Generally speaking, it would be calculating a pitch 25% or 2.5 cents sharp of however much the string is flat. If you just bite the bullet and do that first as you may remember seeing me do it, you will actually make it a lot easier on yourself. I have quite often commented on that here. I almost never try to tune a piano just once. I vividly remember the comment from George Defebaugh at the first convention I attended 31 years ago, "You can tune a piano a lot faster and easier [less stressfully and more successfully] twice than you can fight with it once."

If you consider that after a pitch raise tuning that is targeted at +2.5 cents above pitch, all pitches will drop approximately by that amount but you expect a flat piano to hold after just one pass, you are expecting something that just won't happen. What is, in fact happening, the piano just goes flat again is actually normal.

I have often seen the comments by tuning novices who dread having to tune a piano twice. The whole ordeal seems so daunting that doing it once is as frightening as invading the beach at Normandy, doing it twice is just imponderable. Then, they ask how they can raise a piano a 1/2 step in just one pass. It just ain't gonna happen!

If the whole piano is flat, which I suspect it may be the next time you attempt a full tuning, use the pitch raise function. Don't try to be as precise as you would in fine tuning. Just bring each string up to the pitch raise target pitch as quickly as you can and move on. Go through the whole piano and run the player system. Run rolls that will play as much of it as possible. The tuning won't be very good and the player system will knock some notes out more than others.

You can let that pitch raise tuning settle for a day if you want or just while you're taking a break from tuning. After the pitch raise tuning, you will find the piano will accept a fine tuning much better.

If during the fine tuning or anytime you tune the piano, if that treble section is the only part that is sagging significantly, run the pitch raise function in that section only, give all the notes a good pounding and then start over fine tuning. If you don't do that, the section that was flat will go flat on you while you are trying to tune it! I would not expect otherwise from it.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/25/10 08:23 PM

Thanks for the tuning tips Bill. I have never used the "overpull" in RCT or Tunelab.

Because I am not a pro-tuner, I don't relish the thought of going over the piano twice, as it already takes me 3 hours to just tune it once. LOL...but I am going to give all of this a try!
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/25/10 08:54 PM

Bill gives good advice GP. It may seem like more work going over it twice but as it is now you are having to go over it again later anyway. You won't have to deal with different sections dropping below pitch if you use overpull. If you tune your friends pianos again the tunings will last longer too.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/26/10 12:39 PM

Thanks Byronje3....I tried the overpull function in Tunelab...I must have not done it correctly when setting it up, as it was telling me I had to overpull anywhere from 89-101 cents...may piano was not that flat. If I had tuned the piano with those overpull figures, I surely would have had a lot of broken strings the higher I tuned. I read the manual, but must have done something wrong.

In any case, I tuned it in the normal mode using the Iphone Tunelab. As i was tuning, I noticed that 1 section of notes in the upper treble, 4-6th octaves appx, were SHARP...the rest of the piano was not...so that tells me I was not paying attention to the Tunelab, and must have tuned several octaves incorrectly. (on the wrong octave)...so this time, I made sure I was on the right note/octave. The tuning turned out much better, as you will hear on this roll. Save for the few unisons that are out, the EBVT III really shines here..rich harmonies and contrasts, a very beautiful sound.

This "Rhapsody in Blue" was Ampico's answer to not being able to hire Gershwin to record it, as he was under contract with their competition, Duo-Art. Adam Carroll, one of their excellent pianists, arranged and played this, adding a few Fox Trot rhythms to the piece. It was a VERY popular roll, probably mainly due to that great theme.

Original Ampico Piano Roll, "Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin, arranged and played by Adam Carroll on the Ampico, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/vqs94kf781

If you would like to see the piano in action, here is the link to my YouTube page. Enjoy! smile http://www.youtube.com/user/AmpicoGPM?feature=mhw5
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/26/10 02:11 PM

GP - you can use either of your saved files to "see" where different sections of the piano are before tuning. RCT seems to me, to be a bit easier/more intuitive (and more accurate?) when it comes to pitch adjusting. Any piano over 5 cents out will benefit from the overpull mode. Done right, you should get many "freebies"- strings not needing touching on the second pass. (all platforms work by measuring the initial pitch of the unison and then applying varying percentages of overpull to the calculation - 10-20-30% or more by section)

I've been missing because I decided to follow Bill's advice and "just do it" and tune. There's an upright disclavier at the college I hope to record.... needed to practice on a few pianos first! (and get a video camera working) I hope to post a link soon.

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/26/10 11:19 PM

Ron, thanks for your advice. For me, the Tunelab was very easy to pre-measure the notes. In fact, it gives you the option, at least the Iphone version does, of pre-sampling every note, which I did. At the end of the measuring, a warning came up saying that there was too much of a difference between adjacent notes to use the overpull safely? I just re-measured, in over-pull, the C major chords on the piano, which is another option, and here is what I have from the Pre-measurements:

Bass Bridge

C1 +38.3
E1 -341.6
G1 -176.6
C2 -183.6
E2 -345.1

Tenor Bridge

G2 -280.8
C3 -213.5
E3 -340.9
G3 -278.6
C4 -0.6
E4 -341.4
G4 -278.4
C5 +4.9
E5 -330.5
G5 -278.4
C6 +20.0
E6 -343.0
G6 -286.0
C7 -247.5
E7 -0.2
G7 -283.3
C8 0.0

What do these figures mean? Are they in 'cents'? This is what Tunelab tells me when I clik on to tune, using the overpull with the above figures:

"Over-pull Warning"

"Some over-pull pre-measurements differ from their neighboring pre-measurements by more than 80 cents. If this is not expected, then you may want to go to Over-pull settings and "Edit pre-measurements" and delete the erroneous readings"

As an example, using the above figures, Tunelab is saying, with EBVT III selected, that the over-pull offset for A0 is 6.4 cents, A1-29.5 cents, A2-45.4, A3-44.9, A4-50, A5, 6, 7, are all at 50 cents because I set the parameter to no higher than 50 cents for the whole piano for saftey. Are these figures correct?

I began to tune AO with these settings, and I was pulling up the pitch way to high it seemed, so I stopped it and went back to the normal tuning. So I am not sure what I did wrong, if anything, or maybe these readings are correct? The piano was not that flat from A440 to begin with. Any suggestions? Can anyone who uses the Over-pull features in Tunelab, explain the figures I ended up with?

Sorry for all the questions, but I have never used the over-pull feature in either ETD. I have not explored the RCT overpull yet.

Ron, I look forward to your recordings as well. Many thanks, GP


Posted by: wouter79

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 04:02 AM

That Sherazade sounds fantastic, both piano recording and playing. Thanks.

I just noticed a small artefact, you can hear it best at 0:25 - 0:30 but also at other places, some ticking in the background like a metronome but like someone is softly tapping on the floor. Maybe it's some mechanic thing.

BTW here you report the player is Felix Fox

On the link you report the player is Vincent Lopez

And what is EBVT III?
Posted by: wouter79

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 04:16 AM

"If you would like to see the piano in action, here is the link to my YouTube page. Enjoy! smile http://www.youtube.com/user/AmpicoGPM?feature=mhw5"

I am often amazed when I see these. How is it possible to press so many notes at a single time? For example at 1:40 I count 12 notes pressed apparently at once, spanning almost the entire piano! These are recordings of human players, right? Is this a single human playing?
Posted by: rxd

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 07:24 AM

Originally Posted By: BDB
Quote:
Certainly, there would have been very few piano technicians in Gerswin's day that could have or would have tuned a perfected ET the way we know it today, 100 years later.

I do not understand that. If anyone could have tuned whatever you mean as "a perfected ET the way we know it today," everyone with enough talent to tune a piano at all could have.

What would be the difference? If the claim is that they did not want to tune that way, how would they have wanted to tune?


Exactly, BDB, When I took my first job as an outside tuner for a large international company in the 1960's much of my work was following a Hungarian gentleman who must have been in his 70th decade then, so my experience of him and others of his vintage is relevant to this discussion. He could tune a beautiful E.T. (everything was 4 times per year under contract, only rarely was there a twice a year contract, and the concert and studio work was, of course, daily. so everything stayed in tune very well and often there was almost nothing to do except exhibit piano tuning-like behaviour.) Occasionally, though, when he thought he could get away with it, perhaps, I would come across a piano where he had tuned an unusual temperament. It occurred too often than to be just the way the piano had drifted. From what I analysed then with my knowledge of historical temperaments, (There was some studio harpsichord work with this job) it was a modified well temperament of some sort.
I simply don't understand the current fad for maligning Braid White, since it was from his book that I learned to use major thirds and sixths in my work, first as checks and later as starting points. It was an extremely valuable and practical book when I was first learning all those years ago and there was little else available and I luckily picked up his book in an outdoor secondhand bookmarket. Let us, please put it in it's historical perspective. Must we scorn the base degrees by which we all ascended?
Anybody with a sense of adventure and a smattering of intelligence is going to depart from the ways that are generally taught sooner or later. The older tuners were thinkin' men I knew many of them who would have been in their heyday in the 1920's and '30's. They were fascinating men to drink with (and we were taken out drinking regularly by management, sometimes as a very pleasant disciplinary measure if they wanted us to be aware of something,) and they were all different as human beings so we can no more generalise about then than we can about now....

This stuff is not new, nor are the arguments but it all still fascinates me. "Plus ca change......."
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 11:00 AM

The preponderance of reverse well that I have encountered for over 20 years and the number of times that I have witnessed an examinee who tried to use a 4ths & 5th temperament fail a tuning exam tell me a completely different story. How the few managed and went out to bars to talk about it were far outnumbered by the many who tried, failed and were left to obscurity. Today, You Tube reveals what the reality is. So does the 50% fail rate of all first time attempts at the PTG tuning exam.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 11:39 AM

Ah I just saw that EBVTIII is a tuning Temperament. Sorry for that question, search came up with the last page and I didn't notice
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 11:52 AM

(Hm...Tuners and bars. I have to ask--were tunings usually done before going to the bar or after leaving it? Has another variable contributing to wide variations in ET tunings been revealed?)
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 12:23 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
, and here is what I have from the Pre-measurements:

Bass Bridge

C1 +38.3
E1 -341.6
G1 -176.6
C2 -183.6
E2 -345.1




GAAAAAAACK! Warning - something is waaaaay wrong with that. Try again. I'll look at mine again and try and offer some hints...

Ron Koval
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 01:26 PM

Rxd:

Bill failed the PTG exam using a 4ths and 5ths temperament sequence. It was one he got from a correspondence course, not Dr. White's sequence. I think he is still bitter. But regardless of anything else, it is a poor workman that blames his tools.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 01:40 PM

The examples of "reverse well" in YouTube that were posted did not sound half as bad as the example "EBVT" funeral march that I said sounded terrible. I could not say for certain that any of the recordings of "EBVT" sound good, because for the most part, they are in a single key, and even just intonation will sound good in a single key.

I have not listened to most of grandpianoman's recordings because I do not like the sound of his piano. I am concerned that it needs tuning so often, however.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 02:06 PM

Ron, def a GAAAACK moment! LOL....not to worry, I did not tune my piano with those overpull figures. Robert Scott has contacted me and I am going to do the pre-measurements again.

BDB, you seem to be in the minority, but that's fine, to each his own. It really does not matter what anyone thinks, it's what I think that's most important. I love the sound of my piano now, have never heard it sound better than with this EBVT III that Bill made for me. Unless something comes along that will make my piano sound better than EBVT III, I will continue to tune with it. The one area that I DON'T like yet, are the 5th-6th octaves. As soon as I tune it, then come back to check it, it's a bit flat...but this was the case when I was tuning in ET, so it's not EBVT III's fault.

This last tuning, it stabalized a bit more than in the past, so I am hopeful. Also, I think my hammer technique is not quite there yet. Couple that with how hard the 2 machines play the piano..it's like a concert artist playing it everyday, plus the heat of the Ampico motor in the belly of the piano, and the vinyl cover that covers the whole underside/belly of the piano...all these factors probably have something to do with the tuning stabilty, especially the unsions in the treble.

Wouter79, no problem. smile
Posted by: rxd

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 02:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
(Hm...Tuners and bars. I have to ask--were tunings usually done before going to the bar or after leaving it? Has another variable contributing to wide variations in ET tunings been revealed?)


Mostly before, sometimes after and, regrettably, often instead.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 04:47 PM

Quote:
BDB, you seem to be in the minority, but that's fine, to each his own.

A minority in that I am willing to buck the trend perhaps. This whole thread has come to seem like a bunch of people trying to convince themselves that this temperament is better than it is.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
Quote:
BDB, you seem to be in the minority, but that's fine, to each his own.

A minority in that I am willing to buck the trend perhaps.


Who's bucking the trend??
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 08:09 PM

Do you suppose it's a little bit like mass hysteria? help
Posted by: JPDelmore

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 08:11 PM

While I'm not going to pretend that I've read all nine pages of this sauric thread...I have listened to the audio files linked in the original post.

Is there anyone who's said that it doesn't sound EXCELLENT?
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 08:59 PM

Interesting, with 9,495 views to this thread as of this moment, something, must be peaking the interest in this topic. wink wink


I am looking forward to hearing ppat and Nick Maul's recordings.
Posted by: JPDelmore

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 09:03 PM

And, btw...listening to the Gershwin roll recoding re-enforces my admittedy xenophobic opinion that Europeans should not be allowed to play his music.

Flame suit zipped to the hilt...
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 09:07 PM

LOL, JPDelmore....you just might need a fire extinguisher! smile
Posted by: JPDelmore

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 09:09 PM

LOL!! Meh...Uh've had woise...

I hope folk will take it in the sense it was meant...that no American has come close enough, and Europeans, fine though they are, are even further out.

Of course, there is no way we could ever enforce such a ban...and really no reason to...
Posted by: JPDelmore

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 09:18 PM

Oh...and if it's not perfectly clear yet...your piano sounds like a wet dream...

(Forgive me...as pseudo-Mozart said, I'm a crude man...)
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 11:06 PM

"Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa".....:) I must apologize to Robert Scott, the inventor of Tunelab....I did not do the Overpull measurements correctly! frown

Since I had never used the Overpull function in Tunelab, and, it's a fairly new ETD for me, I was using the note that was in the center blue box as the note to play for the measurement, PLUS I was not muting all but 1 string....what I should have been doing was using the note in the right-hand box as the note to play. It says right there in the right-hand box, "now play C0" etc. etc.......LOL.....also, it's in very small print, so my eyes did not clearly focus on that...LOL...isn't getting old fun!! wink

Here are the "corrected" overpull figures for C Major:

Bass Bridge

C1- +25.9
E1- +17.6
G1- +14.9
C2- +6.5
E2- -0.2

Tenor Bridge

G2- -0.7
C3- -O.1
E3- +1.7
G3- -2.2
C4- -1.1
E4- +2.3
G4- -0.6
C5- +1.1
E5- +0.8
G5 +1.3
C6- -3.6
E6- -2.4
G6- -0.7
C7- -0.4
E7- +1.3
G7- +0.7
C8- 0.0

So, given those figures, would it help to use the overpull function when I tune?




Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/27/10 11:38 PM

Wouter79, I see I did not answer your questions about the Ampico etc.

Felix Fox did not play the Sheherazade, Adam Carroll did..I can't go back and change it.

The AMPICO used some 'tricks' as they say, to enhance their rolls. One of them was to add notes to a piece, which of course would be physically impossible for 1 person to play. It gave the roll a more robust presentation, more sound etc.

These were real people playing/recording these rolls, although, there was a lot of editing after the roll was recorded. The technology at that time, 1915-1935 was limited as to how much detailed information the recording piano could record. Therefor, music 'editors' would come in and clean up timing errors, add expression etc. After those edits, taking sometimes 5-6 weeks, such as the "Blue Danube" Concert Paraphrase, they would call the pianist in to listen to the piece. He/she would then make a few more suggestions as to expression, correct wrong notes etc, the pianist then gave the final ok, and the roll was mass-produced.

Sergei Rachmaninoff was reportedly paid $1,000 to record each of his rolls...that was a lot of money in those days. I don't think the pop pianists of that same time period were paid the same amount per roll.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 01:46 AM

Ok, so here's a couple of recordings I made last night smile

I tried something slightly different: I tuned the EBVTIII temperament, extended it downwards by stepping down with 6:3 octaves until B2 (up to the break, that is). Then I went with pure 12ths from there upwards (starting with F#4).

It shouldn't be a huge difference, but after 1) discussions in the stretch thread that Jeff (UnrightTooner) started, and 2) listening to Nicks close-to-pure 5th stretch, I wanted to see how EBVTIII accepts pure 12ths. Surprisingly well, would be my biased verdict smile

So this should be an EBVTIII that keeps it's characteristics all the way to the outer ends of the piano. I don't say that's better, but it could be an interesting addition to this lively thread (thanks GP for your enthusiasm!).

The piano I recorded is in my home, it's the piano that my family bought when I was around 10. Jeez, that makes it 30 years old :-O Time flies....





It's a Yamaha G2, as in slightly too short and compact, but I still like it smile The action is regulated a few years ago, so it is very playable. Not much bass and very prominent middle register, but that's the nature of these instruments.

There are one or two slightly twangy unisons, but I just couldn't grab the hammer while playing. Different mindsets, somehow.

Anyways, here's the music:

The first one is the Siloti piano transcription of Bach's prelude in B minor (originally E minor).

Bach-Siloti Prelude B minor, in EBVTIII

The same piece of music is used as an example on Bernhard Stoppers site (http://www.piano-stopper.de/html/klangbeispiele.html)

The second recording is of Ravels "Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn".

Ravel: Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn, in EBVTIII

Should anybody be interested, the score is available here:
Sheet music - Ravel: Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn

Feedback is, as always, most welcome!

Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 02:05 AM

Originally Posted By: JPDelmore
And, btw...listening to the Gershwin roll recoding re-enforces my admittedy xenophobic opinion that Europeans should not be allowed to play his music.


JP,

I'm embarassed to admit that I feel much the same way myself - being an European and all wink
Posted by: JPDelmore

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 03:01 AM

Originally Posted By: pppat
Originally Posted By: JPDelmore
And, btw...listening to the Gershwin roll recoding re-enforces my admittedy xenophobic opinion that Europeans should not be allowed to play his music.


JP,

I'm embarassed to admit that I feel much the same way myself - being an European and all wink


Well, pppat, the truth is often like that...no one wants to hear it, and it not nice to hear from others...but, see my post above, and you'll know that my respect for those European is well placed.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 04:14 AM

Wow Patrick...listening to your beautiful piano/tuning/playing as I type this!

Mystical, magical, ethereal come to mind as I listen to this...colors galore, harmonies that soar and intermingle and grab your attention, and the piano/strings are resonating like crazy when the pedal is up....just beautiful.

I plan to record a few more selections, since I just did a quick re-tuning.

Yes, I am definitely enthusiastic about this EBVT III, even with your modification, and your recording just further cements my belief in EBVT III.

I wonder how many will be in the minority now. wink We really should try and keep count. wink

I see your mic setup...is that 3 mics I see? I only have 2...I am tempted to try the mics on the outside of the piano, like you have in your picture.

I am glad to have started this thread...it really shows how a tuning/stretch can change the character of the piano. More to come! smile


Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 04:59 AM

I am sure we may encounter an extreme polarization :-)

Grandpianoman, don´t you think it would be helpful for Bill´s tuning to identify yourself, as well as we all do here and stand with our names for what we prefer? (I know you are a well known artist in your category)

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper


Posted by: JPDelmore

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 05:16 AM

Herr Stopper...I can't imagine what difference grandpianonmans "real" identity would make...he's sort of a "non-combatant"...though I could see how some might regard him as a "rogue state"...

I hold you in high regard for your honest defense of your preferences. Please don't sully that with shady 'politics'.
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 05:26 AM

Originally Posted By: JPDelmore
Herr Stopper...I can't imagine what difference grandpianonmans "real" identity would make...he's sort of a "non-combatant"...though I could see how some might regard him as a "rogue state"...

I hold you in high regard for your honest defense of your preferences. Please don't sully that with shady 'politics'.


Mr. Delmore,

be sure my motivation for this request wasn´t shady politics. The differences we hear stand for different tastes and it may be quite interesting for the readers of this thread, if there may be a preference of tastes from artists of different categories of music.
And it would of course help EBVT III to gain acknowledge if well known artists express their preference for it. There is no need to compete or convince people of what they want to prefer.


Regards,

Bernhard Stopper


Posted by: JPDelmore

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 05:43 AM

Can we honestly parse "taste"?

If that is all it comes down to, is there an argument?

With respect,
John
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 06:01 AM

Originally Posted By: JPDelmore
Can we honestly parse "taste"?

If that is all it comes down to, is there an argument?

With respect,
John


There is no argument about taste. But a widespread tendency of people trying to convince others from their own taste. Highly humanly.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 09:44 AM

GP - the middle starting pitch numbers look pretty normal, but those ones on the bass bridge? Hmmm, usually the bass bridge pitch stays the most stable due to humidity shifts...

Glad you are getting a bit more comfortable with the software / display interface!

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 10:21 AM

Mr. Stopper, while I can understand your reasoning for asking me to divulge my identity, I have purposefully tried not to have that known here on PW. I am still active professionally, and just do not want the publicity etc. that would invariably happen. As Mr.Delmore said, I would like to remain a 'non-combatant', but I am def NOT a 'rogue state' kind of guy. smile

I will say this much, I am a classically trained musician, (not a pianist :), and enjoy ALL kinds of music, except hard rock.

When I was growing up, I used to love to visit this one particular friend of my mother's...she had a grand piano, and I used to sit there and just play notes. smile Unfortunately, my parents never picked up on the fact I loved the piano, and music in general, so consequently growing up, I did not have any support from them for music. It was not until high-school, thanks to my high school choir director, and later a music college, that propelled me along in making music my life's work. So you can understand why I love the piano so much and why I have 2 player systems in there. I can never play the piano as well as they can. wink

Enough about me!...:)

Last night, I did a quick re-tune of my piano, and some recording, spurred on by Patrick's recording. I have to say, while I was recording "You'll Never Walk Alone" played by Roger Wiliams, (great pianist btw), I was moved literally to tears. Part of that is due to my losing a family member some years ago to cancer. The words to "You'll Never Walk Alone" are very cathartic and they bring up painful memories. However, I also feel that this emotion was due in large part to Bill's EBVT III. The harmonies are so incredible in this tuning, that it effects one's emotions. The sound was so beautiful, especially live, words cannot fully describe the beauty and emotion this piece did for me. I wish I could have cleaned up the twangy unisons, but no matter, it's breathtaking as it is. Listen to it with a pair of headphones, and I think you will be transported to another plane. This was about the 3rd piece I recorded after the tuning, so there are out of tune unisons, and that pesky treble section is not spot on, never the less, it's magical. Bravo Bill!

"Septmeber Song" "New York, New York", and "On A Clear Day" are just great. "On A Clear Day" was the first piece I recorded after re-tuning, so it has the least of the twangy unisons.

Mr. Stopper, it's not that I am out to change everyone's mind about EBVT III. I have put your tuning out there, as well as the RCT and Tunelab's take on it. I enjoyed your tuning, as well as the ET that was in my original ETD, and the tunings that I got from Tunelab and RCT. However, all them do not speak to me like this EBVT III does.

My intention in this thread, was to share with everyone, my newfound joy in EBVT III. Each of us have our own subjective ideas on what a beautiful sounding piano should be.

No matter how good/great something is, you cannot please everyone. Enjoy! GP


1. "You'll Never Walk Alone" played on the LX by Roger Williams, in EBVT III (transferred from the Pianocorder Library) http://www.box.net/shared/288rvn3qej

2. "On A Clear Day" played on the LX by Roger Williams, in EBVT III (transferred from the Pianocorder Library) http://www.box.net/shared/h50sbqivzh

3. Theme from "New York, New York", played ont he LX by Roger Williams, in EBVT III (transfered from the Pianocorder Library http://www.box.net/shared/57lxgrmymq

4. "September Song" played on the LX by Roger Williams, in EBVT III (transferred from the Pianocorder Library) http://www.box.net/shared/iqbytlal5g


** For everyone's info...Roger Williams recorded for the Pianocorder Company, back in the late 1970's early 80's. These selections were from an Album of songs he did for them back then. They have been transferred into the LX encoding.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 02:56 PM

Bernhard, please respect GP's desire not to reveal his identity in these discussions. Knowing who he is myself, I fully understand that. I might be another matter if he were a pianist which he is not, or a professional piano technician which he also is not. His name is publicly known. If his name were printed even one time on here, it could easily cause problems with his professional career. Google has its way of fouling up people's lives. The right to privacy is sacred. There are many other pianists and piano technicians on PWF who also do not reveal their names and they all have their reasons for not doing so. So, let's not put any pressure on anyone who wants to protect their life and career from needless, irrelevant and unnecessary publicity. Let's just regard GP as an amateur piano technician who enjoys tuning and listening to his own player piano.

I very much enjoyed the comparison of Patrick's rendition of the Bach side by side with Bernhard's offering. Patrick, there is not a problem with the way you did the stretch, I sometimes put that much into it too, it depends upon the piano. GP's piano has a low amount of inharmonicity and does not lend itself well to going "sky high" with the stretch. It works well on that small Yamaha, however and would definitely work well on a Steinway.

To his credit, Herr Stopper's unisons are the epitome of refinement. To some, in a preference for one rendition of the Bach over the other, that could be the overriding factor. Herr Stopper's piano also has more highly refined voicing which is definitely to his credit.

There is no doubt nor argument that Herr Stopper's style produces and effect which many people have said they find appealing as I have. I love the crystal-like clarity and I do find a certain kind of beauty in it. It does make the higher registers sparkle like a fine cut diamond. The purity of the unisons, fine quality piano with superbly even voicing contribute to that quality.

There could be no doubt nor argument that the EBVT III also produces an effect, that of restoring the contrasting key colors of the cycle of 5ths. It is designed to do that. Some Historical Temperament (HT) enthusiasts would likely say it doesn't go far enough in doing that. I am well aware than many fine piano technicians have for their entire careers, refined their technique and sensibility exclusively to ET and therefore, any departure from it sounds flawed, incorrect, unbalanced, irregular, improper, distracting, irritating or just plain out of tune. I may as well lay it all out. Any other negative comment imaginable could also be applied.

However, I am also aware that not all piano technicians share that view and certainly, most musicians, including pianists do not. Indeed, the general listening public does not. The general public cannot and does not perceive beats the way skilled piano technicians do. If they did, we would all have a lot more problems with our clientele than we do. We know that our finest efforts will always deteriorate but our customers must live with that deterioration until the next time they can have us tune the piano again. GP now has the luxury of doing that whenever he needs and wants to.

So, I return to my original opinion of the Stopper Bach recording, giving it as much praise as possible. The playing itself sounds unemotional and mechanical. It reminds me of one of those computer generated renditions of a score that you can use to get an idea of how a particular piece of music would sound. A computer plays it, not an artist. It is too fast. There are no subtleties, no changes in tempo or dynamics.

Now, some may argue that those kind of inflections would not be proper for Baroque era music but from what I know, they do. The later Classical period retreated from them to a large degree, only to bring them back in the Romantic period.

So, in spite of the lesser quality piano, less refined voicing and unisons (although the unisons are fairly good, especially in the higher registers), the difference in the two renditions is like night and day! Patrick's interpretation is highly moving and emotional. The effect of the temperament makes that possible. The pianist who played Herr Stopper's piano could have made those same inflections but the emotional quality would not have been the same.

I haven't heard GP's new recordings yet, I was just so blown away by what Patrick did, I played it over and over and compared it to Herr STopper's several times.

I will be back with more comments later and hopefully have time for a few more tuning tips and insights for GP.

Thanks so much to everyone for all of the comments and participation!
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 03:04 PM

Patrick:

Those recordings are great. Thanks for doing this experiment. It gives us a completely new sound, combining EBVT with the pure 12ths.

Questions:

1. Does your photograph show the exact same mic setup that you used for the recordings?
2. Are all of the mics turned on? (I think I see four mics in the photo.)
3. Did you doing anything with delays, gain compensation, etc?
Posted by: wouter79

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 04:03 PM

grandpianoman

Thanks for the explanation! Now I think I also understand some very fast parts on some rolls, that sound completely mechanical in my ears. I guess they cleaned it up so much that it does not sound human at all anymore.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 04:06 PM

GP, the You'll Never Walk Alone was stunning! The original score key was C Major but William's arrangement in G Major preserved the original character by keeping it in closely related key. Williams was a Steinway artist. Steinway had him perform at one of the conventions but I stood outside the room, not really wanting to hear it. I could hear the "tinkling" of Autumn Leaves (similar to what he does in September Song) through the door, however. That was as close as I wanted to get. At another convention, Steinway had a piano and string ensemble playing Mozart in C Major and I had to likewise clear the room. Too many beats for me!

I enjoyed these renditions very much. I heard just the right amount of key color and contrast in them. I can hardly imagine Williams objecting to the way your piano sounds. The low voiced harmony is especially rich.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 06:37 PM

Ok, while we're on the subject of Roger Williams, I did a quick Wiki look-up and learned (in part):

"He majored in piano at Drake University in Des Moines, but was expelled for playing "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" in the practice room.[2] Weertz ... served in World War II. While still in the Navy, he earned a bachelor's degree from Idaho State College (now ISU) in 1950, and afterwards re-enrolled at Drake, earning his master's degree. He then moved to New York to study at the Juilliard, where he studied jazz piano under Lennie Tristano and Teddy Wilson.

One night Weertz was scheduled to play as an accompanist on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. When the singer failed to appear, Weertz went on as a piano soloist and won the night's contest. He was heard by David Kapp, founder of Kapp Records, who was so impressed that he signed the pianist, changing his name to 'Roger Williams' after the founder of Rhode Island...

In 1955 Williams recorded "Autumn Leaves", the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on Billboard's popular music chart.[1] While many other recordings have been made of this song, Williams' version is easily the best known and most played. It sold over two million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[4]"


Now, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" is not even a little scandalous--- what kind of school was that, anyway? Happens, it's a favorite of mine. A Jerome Kern number from 1933, written for the Broadway musical, "Roberta."

I wonder if you have that one, GPman, and wouldn't get in trouble for posting it? I'd kind of like to hear Williams paying "Autumn Leaves," while we're in the file. Haven't heard it since I was a young rugrat.

Roger Williams sport was boxing; broke his nose a few times before he gave it up.

One more little story, if it's not too much:

"After a piano concert by the Polish genius Ignacy Jan Paderewski, young Roger waited for 45 minutes outside in the freezing cold to meet his idol. When the pianist finally appeared it was to rush to a waiting automobile. "I didn't even get near enough to touch him or get an autograph," says Williams. "It was then and there I resolved that if ever I became famous I would never disappoint anyone who wanted to talk to me." [5]

Williams was the first pianist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."
Posted by: Alan T.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 08:38 PM

GPman, I know what you mean about the emotion of EBVTIII. I tuned my Schimmel 174 to the EBVTIII last week. I have an arrangement of the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy" with the largo from New World Symphony. It is achingly beautiful and did, in fact, move me to tears. By the way Bill, the opening chords, Db, G, Db, Bd, etc. are gorgeous in EBVTIII. The bass (and all) of my piano has never sounded richer.

Alan
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 09:06 PM

There's been a little talk about stretch on in this thread but not much. The end result of a tuning will largely depend on how much stretch one puts on the temperament. Some of the comments I think are more related to the tuner's proficiency and stretch rather than the actual temperament. I changed the stretch on my Verituner to a sequence Ron Koval (RonTuner) gave me several years ago for a piano like mine. I applied it to EBVT III and the results are fabulous. I also used it with ET with better results than using one of the three in the built in Verituner. Not that the VT stretches aren't good, they are, but Ron gave me one specific for my pano. Maybe Ron would like to post one of his custom stretches.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 09:44 PM

Bill, thanks for your compliments. This whole experience has been so musically rewarding. The combination of the Wapin, Ari Isaac's hammers and bass strings, and now your EBVT III, has transformed my piano! Thank you!

Ralph, great to hear your story.

Jeff Cleff, Yes, I have Autumn Leaves, as it is on the same album as those 4 Williams pieces I posted. I will try and record that tonight, and post it...I have to first clean up those unisnons wink

Jeff, thanks for the story on Williams. He is, I think, one of the great all-time pianists of the pop music scene.

Alan T, what you are saying corresponds to what I have experienced.

Here is an excerpt from a posting I saw on another forum that I participate in, from a Piano Tech at a University here in the states. He is responding to the same posting I did there, of the 4 recordings of Roger Williams here on PW. It's self-explanatory:

"I applaud your zeal regarding tuning. Here's a nutshell version regarding the EBVT III tuning. We have a 1977 Baldwin SD-10 that I recently moved from the stage to a large multipurpose room where the students have their weekly studio and the upper level piano majors can practice on a concert instrument. I occasionally will change the temperament without advance notice and get their feedback. I tuned a EBVT III last Monday prior to studio. The piano did sound quite "alive" to me afterwards. I listened to different students play Bach, Schumann, and Scriabin. I asked if they were aware of a change in sound telling them I had only tuned it that morning. The students, having played on that piano on a regular basis and with an equal temperament, noted that it seemed the piano had "opened up". Just wanted to share that."


Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 10:18 PM

Thank you, Jeff Clef for your research! Today, whatever weird or ethnic name someone may have would be an asset. I love the music of Landon Pigg, for example. It is so unpretentious, non seeking of pop culture but yet it grabs it as what people really like to hear. He provided the one and only example I could find anywhere of octaves played singularly in the low tenor upon the piano (an old upright) blended with the sound of the guitar (tuned however they did it) that I have ever been able to find. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erywPdFfORE

Commercial interests did pick up on it and that is how I discovered it. I think I have heard other such examples since.

It is hard to imagine being expelled form a school of music for playing "Smoke gets in Your Eyes" in a practice room! But perhaps that can be compared to daring to even talk about an unequal temperament in a piano tuning forum (not just this one) and having participants suggest that I be kicked out for it. Owen Jorgensen faced the same thing in PTG. He was a lot more meek than I could ever be about it. He simply persisted in his endeavors and nothing came of the call to expel him from PTG for his research and beliefs. He went on to be the recipient of PTG's highest honor shortly before his death at an advanced age.

I am very encouraged by all of the positive responses. I expect the vile and negative comments. I already know what they would be and I know why they would happen. I respect all opinions and accept them but I do not tolerate condescension or ridicule as a way of promoting one idea of tuning style over another. It is clearly understood to me and should be to all that each kind of tuning style has its own merits.

Alan, if there is any way that you could post a recording of your work, we would all love to hear it! I understand that it may not be possible as it has never been possible with me because the purchase and implementation of recording devices is a task unto itself. But thank you very much for your comments. I am very interested in the emotion that can be restored to music from the piano by the way it is tuned.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 10:21 PM

"Opened up", very happy to hear that comment and that others have been utilizing the EBVT III!
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/28/10 11:25 PM

Thank you all!

GP and Jake: I recorded with two pairs of microphones, just to make an A/B test. I ended up using the DPA 4011's, but actually added just some lower bass from the TLM 103's. Thus no need for delay etc. And, yes, the mics are in the spots used in the recordings.

Bill: Thanks - it's really a huge difference playing the piano... The temperament suggests dynamics and phrasing in a most interactive way smile

Here's another recording that I made today. I thought it would be nice to hear some music written for WT.

Bach Prelude in Eb major (WTC1) - EBVT III

I like this complex prelude very much. First it introduces the motive briefly. Then follows a hymn ('chorale'), and from there it develops into a fugue using the slow theme of the chorale and the motive from the introduction. Brilliant writing.

It modulates quite a bit, and the different colors are certainly there in EBVTIII!

I play it without sustain pedal, which leaves it very naked. That, and the fact that the mics are closer than in any ordinary concert situation really reveals a lot.

Here's a link to a download page for the sheet music, should anybody want to take a look at what's going on smile

Sheet music - Bach prelude Eb major (WTC1)
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 06:01 AM

Jeff, here it is, "Autumn Leaves"...brings back memories!

Even though the treble was out a bit, I let the piano record the next 2 Roger Williams pieces, they were so good. Some of those bass chords and harmonies are to die for in EBVT III. Enjoy, GP


1. "Autumn Leaves" played by Roger Williams, on the LX, in EBVT III, from the Pianocorder Library. http://www.box.net/shared/lfv0zhzis6

2. "Misty" played by Roger Williams on the LX, in EBVT III, from the Pianocorder Library http://www.box.net/shared/f2gk9mdje0

3. Roger Williams on the LX in EBVT III (The chords and harmonies on this piece are particularly beautiful and rich sounding in EBVT III) http://www.box.net/shared/mcq1ogilj4


Patrick, that is really beautiful. Thanks!

Rontuner, thanks for your insights regarding my Tunelab overpull figures.

Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 06:27 AM

Grandpianoman,

i see that there are good reasons for you to stay anonymous here. I don´t see me as a combatant of Bill, i rather feel me as a brother in mind with him (including Alfredo Capurso or Serge Cordier and many others), we were all trying to go beyond the limits what former tuning theory told us about octaves and we all find ourselves from time to time in front of ridicule of some individuals (often serious scientists or musicians) who never want to accept that an octave could be tuned anything else than pure. Although it´s not the sound i´m after, i am glad that you found the way your piano is to be tuned to give you what it probably does.

All the best,

Bernhard Stopper

Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 08:55 AM

Hi all, I was out for some days, tuning Forte pianas, a Pleyel Pianino (kind of 2stringed wooden framing birdcage action) , a Viennes Schott piano.

After thinking about some Valotti or similar gelatti tunings, All the pianos have been tuned in my usual way of today (namely "stretched octaves" in Chas ratio)

As a result , inquiries for using them in recordings, and the pianas justness was appreciated, I proposed to tune in a more "contrasted way" but the offer was declined.

A second result that could be noted is that the Viennese piano was able to stand a 100 km moving and be played without a real tuning, the initial one seeming to grip to the piano very well, despite th pith changing.

A customer that was building bridges in his carrer told me that the resonance stability questions are understandeables, as there is an acoustic settling in every element that resonante to its prefered freqencies.

Hardly computeable, but the concept is accepteable.

I'll listen to the new records of the thread tonight. I will also provide you some records on the old instruments in ET.










Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 10:27 AM

Thanks Pat, I hear differently.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 12:21 PM

No prob, Jeff - to each his own smile
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 06:55 PM

In listening to Patrick's excellent recordings, I noticed how clear the sound was. I should be getting something very close to that, even with different mics etc. So I went into my software and checked to see if I could improve on the sound. I changed a few of the settings, and it has def improved the sound.

Here are 2 examples of that.......same mics, and basically the same mic position. "There's A Small Hotel" is from a very rare 1936 Original Ampico Roll. It has been scanned and then encoded for the LX. This really is amazing, as it now sounds like a real person playing the piano. Thanks to the efforts of Wayne Stahnke and others, it's now possible to preserve these rolls for posterity, and in most cases, better than the original. One of the benefits of this new technology, is to have the same speed at the end as there is in the beginning. When one plays a piano roll, the speed increases as you get towards the end of the roll, due to the take-up spool. With this new technology, one can keep the same speed throughout.

1. "There's A Small Hotel" from "On Your Toes" by Richard Rogers, played on the LX by Adam Carroll, transcribed from a Rare Original Ampico Roll #215791-in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/m2luhnlb4v

The lyrics of these Fox Trots are are half the fun of playing a piano roll, for example:

Lyrics for "There's A Small Hotel"

There's a small hotel
With a wishing well
I wish that we were there together
There's a bridal suite
One room bright and neat
Complete for us to share together

Looking through the window
You can see that distant steeple
Not a sign of people -- who wants people?
When the steeple bell says,
"Good night, sleep well,"
We'll thank the small hotel together

And when the steeple bell says,
"Good night, sleep well,"
We'll thank the small hotel together



2. Original Ampico Roll-1.One Song 2. Sweet As A Song 3. In Old Chicago 4. You Appeal To Me played by "The Sherry Bros" aka Frank Milne Roll #216313 http://www.box.net/shared/oefde6cs21
Posted by: Alan T.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 07:05 PM

Bill, I don't have any recording equipment. I would love to record my piano. I am so excited by how it sounds now. I can't wait to tune a customers piano in EBVT III. I use my Verituner to tune the Temperament then tune the rest of the piano aurally. I went back over the temperament aurally and it was extremely close, so I use the VT to save time. I use the mindless octave technique when I tune ET and it gives a very clear treble. Using it with EBVT III combines the clarity with new colors. The bass is very clear and with a growly edge similar to a Baldwin or Mason 7 footer. I really enjoy this temperament and could be easily persuaded to use it rather than ET as my standard tuning.

Alan
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 09:35 PM

Thank you, Alan, that is very encouraging to hear! Thanks for reporting. Thanks for the latest recording, GP, there was a lot of clarity in that one. Would you happen to have Franz Liszt's Lieberstraume?
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 09:44 PM

GP, the Autumn Leaves is amazing! The technique involved with carrying out the simple single not melody, as well as when it is played in chords while playing the fantastic accompaniment is super human! The piano sounds very clear and the harmony very correct.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 10:00 PM

Hi Bill, let me check on the Liszt.

I am not a "recording engineer" and as a result, there is learning curve to doing home recording with sophisticated equipment, which I now have. I guess you could say it was the same thing learning to use an ETD to tune.

Continuing to explore the sound files I posted before, I just now re-did "You'll Never Walk Alone". The difference is quite remarkable. There is something called "TPDF Dither"...lol..sounds foreign to me too...This almost always applied to any 24bit recording. I did not have this engaged when making the WAV and MP3's which you hear from my box.net site.

What I am hearing now is a very clean, clear sound, with NO upper end distortion/grunge, and a very coherent stereo image. It sounds almost live. I have just replaced "You'll Never Walk Alone" with the new dithered and normalized version on my original post, but here it is so one does not have to search back through this thread. Comments are welcome! Headphones are a plus. smile

Another thought...as a result of this clarity in the overall sound, I am hearing more of the effect of EBVT III.

Dithered and Normalized- "You'll Never Walk Alone" http://www.box.net/shared/288rvn3qej

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 10:10 PM

I liked the Misty but sad to say, the piano was already out of tune, not the best representation I have heard. I could still hear the contrasting harmony but the unisons and everything else going a bit haywire were distracting. Same goes for the third recording. We really have to get to the reason why your piano won't stay in tune more than 5 minutes!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/29/10 10:13 PM

LOL...I agree...it's very frustrating!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 04:29 AM

Here is the last of my recordings...have to get to work and earn some money to pay for this piano! smile

Mr. Stopper, thanks for your comments, as well as everyone's input. It's been fun. As I mentioned earlier, EBVT III has opened up another dimension for my piano, it's great. There is a place for it in the piano world, just as there is for ET.

Thanks again Bill, and I hope in the future to tackle this issue with the tuning. The problem seems to be mostly in the 5th and 6th octaves. The same 7 or 8 trichord's inner strings go out, and the piano as a whole goes a bit flat.

Enjoy! GP

1. Ampico Piano Roll, Re-cut, "Butterflies in the Rain" played by Frank Miline on the Ampico, #214581 http://www.box.net/shared/ttfgdtv9m0

2. Original Ampico Piano Roll, "Learn to do the Strut" by Irving Berlin, played by Vincent Lopez on the Ampico, #204231E http://www.box.net/shared/zmm6uvdqy8

3. Original Ampico Piano Roll, "Side by Side" by Harry Woods, played by Frank Black on the Ampico, #209001E http://www.box.net/shared/0o5vqxubob

Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 10:34 AM

Dear Grandpianoman and Bill Bremmer:

This is an updated note of heartfelt thanks for your labors of love on this project: the traveling, the tuning, the recording, the postings, the encouragement--all of it! As you may know from my other posts, I am a rank amateur pianist with a strong post-mid-life-crisis desire to share my playing with others, for all of the good music can do for the soul. I have been richly blessed by what you have both done and greatly excited by where it seems to be leading other contributors to the thread. I consider myself a happy recipient of spill-over blessings that have been a result of your work, and wanted to share some of the ways it has effected me personally.

Grandpianoman : I have spent hours listening to the various recordings. Aside from enjoying the rich, crystal tones of your piano, you taught me that much of the music that my grandma played was of the fox trot variety! When I hit those, I was ecstatic! Now that I know what it's called, I can look for the scores!!! (I have only four pieces of photocopied music from her, from her day.) I've listened to the recording of "The Continental" over and over again, and it makes me laugh and giggle with delight EVERY TIME!!! You wouldn't happen to have "Up The Lazy River" in your collection, would you?

GPM and Bill : Rhapsody in Blue. I've spent alot of time listening to the first two posted versions. Somehow, when I listened to the Gershwin version the first time, I missed that it was played by Gershwin! So I had to give it a really close second listen. Anyway, after really hawking down on these two recordings, I've concluded that, in this instance, as Bill has said elsewhere, "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself!" So I got out my score that used to belong to my dad and started practicing/playing. (When I was in late high school, early college, I asked him, "Do you think I can play this?" He said, "Sure!" I whittled away at it for a while, and then regarded it as too big for me. I'm happy to say that 30 years later, I think it will fit.) This new personal mania with Rhapsody in Blue is a result of my dissatisfaction with both versions posted in the thread--not because of the tuning, of course, but because of the interpretations! (I know, I know! Everybody's a critic! In fact, ohmygodIcan'tbelieveI'mgoingtosaythis, but) In my estimation, they both lack passion and conviction. The Gershwin sounds like he's just throwing out jazz idioms, as if to say, "Here's one," sprinkle, sprinkle, "And, here's one," sprinkle, sprinkle, "And, oh, what the heck, listen to this one," sprinkle, sprinkle. On one listening, I got the impression that he'd played it one too many times, and by the time he got around to recording the piano roll, he was just tired of it! The other one is played very well, but it's too "accurate." It sounds to me like a textbook rendering. Someone recently posted a version in the Member Recordings of the Pianist Corner that's played nicely, but it's done on a digital and his interpretation is way too liquid for my taste. The Adam Carroll version is also nice, as far as it goes, played very thoughtfully and at times tenderly. Thanks so much, GPM, for posting this one, too. But in all of these, what I miss is some VERVE! So, I hope someday to share my own version of Rhapsody in Blue, and believe me, it will be VERVY! (You may have to come to the nursing home to hear it, because that's where I'll probably be by the time it's ready!)

The "Clair de Lune" brought me to tears.

As far as examples of remote keys with multiple modulations, I have wanted to hear Bach's Prelude No. 22, WTC Bk.1 in EBVT III.

Patrick , I really, really enjoyed your Bach/Siloti and appreciated the comparison posting of the Stopper tuning. It did what I wanted to hear out of the Prelude 22. However, if you take requests... No.22 is very "chordal," modulates all over the place minor and major with beautiful, soul-stirring intervals, and seems to me to be a good candidate for the purpose of this project. Also, I just came to realize recently that in my Czerny edition (G.Schirmer 1893) the last chord is B maj., where a more recent Peters edition has the last chord as B min. It certainly changes the meaning of the piece!

So, Grandpianoman and Bill, thank you very, very much for what you started and all you've done on this project. I am still feasting on and studying through this thread. So much of it is over my head, but I'm sponging it up nonetheless, trusting that it will make sense later somehow. What a terrific resource!

By the way, I got a kick out of Jake Jackson's links to Chico Marx, and Nick's recordings of his tunings. Thanks to you guys, too! This is all SO COOL!

With deepest appreciation and gratitude,
Andy Strong
Rockford, IL
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 12:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear

As far as examples of remote keys with multiple modulations, I have wanted to hear Bach's Prelude No. 22, WTC Bk.1 in EBVT III.

Patrick , I really, really enjoyed your Bach/Siloti and appreciated the comparison posting of the Stopper tuning. It did what I wanted to hear out of the Prelude 22. However, if you take requests... No.22 is very "chordal," modulates all over the place minor and major with beautiful, soul-stirring intervals, and seems to me to be a good candidate for the purpose of this project. Also, I just came to realize recently that in my Czerny edition (G.Schirmer 1893) the last chord is B maj., where a more recent Peters edition has the last chord as B min. It certainly changes the meaning of the piece!


Thanks Andy!

I seem to have somehow missed that suggestion earlier in this thread (WTC1 #22). I haven't played that earlier, but I played it through once just a moment ago and it is a beautiful piece, and it does sound great in EBVTIII. I'll see if I'd find the time to practice it, it would indeed be a good example along these lines.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 12:21 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman

Continuing to explore the sound files I posted before, I just now re-did "You'll Never Walk Alone". The difference is quite remarkable. There is something called "TPDF Dither"...lol..sounds foreign to me too...This almost always applied to any 24bit recording. I did not have this engaged when making the WAV and MP3's which you hear from my box.net site.


Hi GP,

dither is actually addition of low noise. As strange as it might sound, it's needed to overcome the quite low resolution of .wav and .mp3 files (96 dB max). Especially the sound in the first of the 16 bits (just above the treshold of 0 bits = silence) need something to cling on to smile

We usually also dither when adding digital processing such as EQ, effects and so on, even if the media stays 24 bit after mixdown. This again could be illustrated as giving the algorithms an easier job, wrapping the last decimals in a forgiving blanket of low-level noise...

Technically speaking dithering is used to overcome quantization problems (such as, for example, in the two cases above).

Remember that if your target media is 16 bit, you can be generous with headroom up to 0dBFS if you record at 24 bits, because there you have about 6 x 24 = 144 dB of dynamic range.

Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 03:07 PM

Originally Posted By: RonTuner

I've been missing because I decided to follow Bill's advice and "just do it" and tune. There's an upright disclavier at the college I hope to record.... needed to practice on a few pianos first! (and get a video camera working) I hope to post a link soon.


Well --- Bummer! The loaner disclavier upright has been reclaimed; it's not at the school anymore. Back to square one!

Ron Koval
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear

As far as examples of remote keys with multiple modulations, I have wanted to hear Bach's Prelude No. 22, WTC Bk.1 in EBVT III.

Patrick , I really, really enjoyed your Bach/Siloti and appreciated the comparison posting of the Stopper tuning. It did what I wanted to hear out of the Prelude 22. However, if you take requests... No.22 is very "chordal," modulates all over the place minor and major with beautiful, soul-stirring intervals, and seems to me to be a good candidate for the purpose of this project. Also, I just came to realize recently that in my Czerny edition (G.Schirmer 1893) the last chord is B maj., where a more recent Peters edition has the last chord as B min. It certainly changes the meaning of the piece!


Thanks Andy!

I seem to have somehow missed that suggestion earlier in this thread (WTC1 #22). I haven't played that earlier, but I played it through once just a moment ago and it is a beautiful piece, and it does sound great in EBVTIII. I'll see if I'd find the time to practice it, it would indeed be a good example along these lines.


Thanks, Patrick! Actually, I had not made the suggestion earlier--it's just been floating around in my personal wish list as, "Wouldn't this be a great one to hear?" Sorry I didn't use my words better!...

If you would, whenever you're ready, that would be outstanding! I really enjoyed your other posts.

--Andy
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 05:41 PM

Ok Andy, I'll put some work into it and see where it takes me to smile

Here's the last sound file from my weekend session. It's just a cycling the 5ths in the same spirit that Nick has put up EBVTIII recordings and Isaac (aka Kamin) has done for CHAS:

It's pretty pure and resonant chords, and they extend all over the keyboard. This would be a good example to listen to the pure 12th:s stretch that I used:

cycling the 5ths in EBVTIII
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 07:01 PM

That was fascinating, Patrick! It is something anyone who hasn't been sure about the key color effects of well temperament need to hear. One thing no one has really heard yet is the amazing pipe organ effect. I hope either you or Nick will display a short file when you have the piano tuned very well. Simply hold the damper pedal down, play C1, C2, G2, C3 and then a C Major arpeggio from there to to C8 and let it ring. The resonance will sound amazingly like that from a pipe organ!

For more fun, cut off the striking of the keys and begin the sound file with just the resonance. Slow it down to the maximum and see if you don't really think you are hearing a pipe organ rather than a piano!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 10:19 PM

Patrick, that sounds wonderful, very easy on the ears, and the harmonies etc. all work together...beautiful!

Thanks for the explanation about dither. The digital recorder I am using uses 1-bit recording. The supplied software, "Audiogate" by Korg, has many ways to convert the 1-bit recording to a WAV or MP3. I hope I set the correct parameters. It seemed to help the recording when I added the dither and normalized it in Audiogate.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/30/10 10:42 PM

Patrick, I have really enjoyed your latest contributions and am trying to get caught up on this thread after a very busy week!

Yesterday I spent time on a customer's piano using the EBVT III and the results were truly outstanding.

I am trying to determine what standard of 'consistency' I can apply to this tuning beyond the temperament octave. I think that equal temperament is measured by consistency and maybe that's just the way I'm used to thinking about tuning.

So it has occured to me that once I am confident of my absolute accuracy in the temperament octave using Bill's instructions, then my own interpretation of what I do next will produce a good standardized result. I am sharing my impressions in case they will help anyone else and also to obtain feedback.

Bottom line is, this temperament does produce a very musical and beautiful sounding piano, when finely tuned. Beyond the temparement octave I have tried varying approaches, and I think I just may settle on this particular formula: temper the octaves and fifths beyond the temperament octave the same.

At first, I tuned fifths pure at the expense (sometimes) of octaves. As I gained consistency in the temperament, it did not seem that there were too many instances where I had to sacrifice either very much. After thinking my approach was perhaps a bit too wild, I then sort of reigned in the octaves to make them more 'correct', but this did not seem to have the same effect.

Therefore, it seems to give equal weight to both and to temper them the same, which is part of the temperament setting process anyways for this style of tuning. I think it makes sense, and will look forward to making what I hope to be some fabulous recordings, once I can get the pianist and recording engineer together again. Thanks,

Nick
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 01:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel

I am trying to determine what standard of 'consistency' I can apply to this tuning beyond the temperament octave. I think that equal temperament is measured by consistency and maybe that's just the way I'm used to thinking about tuning.

So it has occured to me that once I am confident of my absolute accuracy in the temperament octave using Bill's instructions, then my own interpretation of what I do next will produce a good standardized result. I am sharing my impressions in case they will help anyone else and also to obtain feedback.

Bottom line is, this temperament does produce a very musical and beautiful sounding piano, when finely tuned. Beyond the temparement octave I have tried varying approaches, and I think I just may settle on this particular formula: temper the octaves and fifths beyond the temperament octave the same.


Nick,

good to hear from you again. As you might have seen, I've been elaborating a bit on the stretch myself. I used pure 12ths for the last recordings, which happened to work pretty well on this particular piano (the Yamaha G2).

I tuned a small upright yesterday, though, and had to use less stretch not to end up with wobbling octaves. So i think the equal-beating 12/15ths that Bill uses might be the best overall starting point.

I've tried less stretch too, but then the temperament loses some of its sparkling openness.

I'm glad that we are investigating this together, please keep me updated. I will do the same!

Patrick
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 02:09 AM

Quote:
Simply hold the damper pedal down, play C1, C2, G2, C3 and then a C Major arpeggio from there to to C8 and let it ring. The resonance will sound amazingly like that from a pipe organ!

What happens if you transpose that up or down a half-step?

(Actually, any effect from doing something like that would probably depend more on how well the octaves were tuned rather than the temperament.)
Posted by: CoolPianoStuff

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 04:26 AM

Bill, can we see your temperament for this?:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_today/8594836.stm

shocked
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 05:39 AM

At last we can hear that instrument played, and to whom he can be of some use

It is really more a dulcimer with a keyboard and a half step tuning feature, than a piano (no hammers I question the repetition action)

The justness may be fun ! as all those strings may need a frame, and I have not see one - may be it is underside, as on cymbalums (is dulcimer the name for )

Or may be the strings are more (probably) kind of thick harpsichord strings.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 05:43 AM

Nick said :
temper the octaves and fifths beyond the temperament octave the same.

What is to be understood, to me, is that that way change the way you listen, from an analytic octave/partial based listening, to a musician like one.

One of the most important thing to get to produce musical tunings.

Then, comparing the 5ths and the octave is not easy, so I'd stay with the 12ths vs double as being easier, and smoother too.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 08:47 AM

Nick and Patrick, I think you both have the right idea. It was all spelled out in the detailed instructions I sent you. You can't simply tune pure 5ths after going up and down from the temperament octave. What you will want to do is to tune an octave, then compare it to the 5th formed with the upper note of that octave and equalize both the octave and the 5th.

Since the 5ths are of differing sizes, this means that the widths of the octaves will vary too. For example, when you tune G4, the 5th below it is C4. Looking at the Jason Kanter graph of theoretical values, the C Major 5th is -2.64. (1.2 beats per second, theoretically). If you tuned a very pure sounding G3-G4 octave, the C4-G4 5th would sound uncomfortably narrow, beating slightly more than once per second. If you widen the octave slightly, it will improve the 5th.

It is quite a reasonable compromise to make. If you were to make the C4-G4 5th perfectly pure, it would cause the the G3-G4 octave to be overly wide. It would also cause you quite a dilemma when you try to tune D5. If you also tuned the G4-D5 5th pure, the D4-D5 octave would be terribly wide, not an acceptable sound at all.

So, making the octave and 5th equal beating is quite a natural way to tune. In ET, if the temperament octave has a slight width to it to begin with, the ascending octaves and 5ths can all be made to sound exactly alike and that produces a beautifully smooth and clean sound for ET. Once you reach F5, you can make the double octave and the octave and 5th beat exactly alike all the way to the top and that gives you a very nice sound for ET.

Now, for the EBVT III, I use the very same idea but because the 5ths vary in size, the octave widths vary also. Take G#4, for example: The G#3-C#4 4th is tuned pure in the temperament. Therefore, for the G#3-G#4 octave and the C#4-G#4 5th to be exactly the same, the G#3-G#4 octave has to sound very pure. So, you will have a G3-G4 octave with a bit of width in it and a G#3-G#4 octave very pure right next to each other.

This would not happen in ET but it does happen quite naturally when tuning a well temperament with irregularly sized 5ths aurally. No ETD program that I know of can do that. It will dictate some kind of smooth stretch curve or another. With the above example, it may not sharpen G4 enough but it would sharpen G#4 too much. It may not be so bad if all one can do is use an ETD program but it can never be quite as good as tuning the octaves by ear would be.

Tuning the octaves and the 5ths to beat equally creates enough of a dilemma that you would not want to tune octaves any wider than that. As I mentioned before, when you reach D5, you have already sharpened G4, so to get the G4-D5 5th to not beat objectionably, the D4-D5 octave will have to have about a beat per second width in it. That is about as wide as you would want to go. Other octaves near it would not be so wide.

Once you reach F5, you can use the sostenuto pedal to play the F3-F5 double octave. Tune the double octave so that it sounds pure first. Then use the sostenuto pedal to play and hold the A#3-F5 octave and 5th. You should hear some beating. Sharpen F5 slightly until the double octave and octave and 5th sound the same (equal beating). Neither will have a very perceptible beat. They will both sound apparently "pure".

The double octave will still be slightly wide and the octave and 5th will still be slightly narrow but the amount of tempering there will be in each can barely be heard, if at all. This is where the "magic" happens. I believe it is what Herr Stopper and Sr. Capurso are looking for when they tune in ET. I use the same idea when tuning any unequal temperament. The double octaves and octave and 5ths will continue to vary slightly, one to the next, just as the octaves and 5ths did in the upper fourth and lower fifth octaves.

Do this same procedure from F5 to E6. You will find it very easy to do when you use the sostenuto pedal. It is what I have called the "mindless octaves" approach. The PTG Journal will have an article on that in a few days. It is so easy to do, you don't need to really think about it. You are just eliminating beats.

Now, when you reach F6, it becomes even easier. Simply tune F6 pure to A#4 below it. Use the sostenuto pedal and tune a pure interval, as simple as that. After there are no more dampers, you won't need the pedal anymore. Do this for another octave until you reach F7. If you can still hear the beats, you can keep tuning pure 12ths but if you can't clearly hear a beat in that range, you can simply tune the octaves from F7 to C8 to where they sound "sweet" to your ear.

For the Bass, you do a mirror image of what you did in the treble. Compare octaves and 5ths and make them equal beating. Compare double octaves and 12ths and make them equal beating. The lowest octaves can be tuned simply for the nicest resonance.

The "pipe organ" effect is best heard with the long, C Major arpeggio for a few different reasons. The C Major third is the slowest and the M3s and M6s have been tuned as equal beating, so they cancel each other to a large degree, so they are not heard to beat as rapidly as they actually do. The octaves and 5ths and all of their multiples are also equal beating, so they also cancel each other. When C8 is played as the final note of the arpeggio and if it is tuned sharp enough, it will cause all the pitches which have coincident partials to it to be excited one last time across the entire scale.

All of those equal beating intervals are "locked" against each other. This causes the entire large chord which spans the entire keyboard to have a slow, "phasing" sound rather than rapid beats. Instead of conflict, there is reinforcement of the sound. It seems to swell at first, then slowly decay. Every single person to whom I have demonstrated it has agreed that it sounds to them like a pipe organ.

Now, of course, this has very little to do with the actual playing of any music unless the music itself ended that way. I don't know of any music that actually does but it is possible, of course. So, it is simply a side effect of tuning an equal beating well temperament with equal beating octaves and 5ths. It is exciting and fun to listen to, however and amazes everyone who hears it. It confirms for my customers that the piano is really in tune with itself from one end to the other.

When I heard Herr Stopper's tuning at a PTG convention, we tried that same trick and we did hear some of that phenomenon because of the way he tuned the octaves. The full effect was not heard, however because the M3s and M6s were not tuned as equal beating the way they are in the EBVT III. The pipe organ effect is not the reason for tuning the EBVT III with tempered octaves, it is simply an anecdote but an interesting and fun aural experience.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 09:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer
It is what I have called the "mindless octaves" approach. The PTG Journal will have an article on that in a few days. It is so easy to do, you don't need to really think about it. You are just eliminating beats.


Bill, that is a great way of putting it - making the two intervals (12th/15th) as calm as possible!

Originally Posted By: Kamin
What is to be understood, to me, is that that way change the way you listen, from an analytic octave/partial based listening, to a musician like one.

One of the most important thing to get to produce musical tunings.


Isaac, I agree. You (+ Alfredo indirectly) and Bill have been most important to me in learning how to stretch the piano (you still are... smile ), and I very much like that you both look at it from a musical point of view, and look for the techniques to get the desired result.

---

I believe strongly in 12th/15ths. To me, the pure 12ths are too wide, the piano doesn't hold harmonically together. This, again, is my own opinion and in no way any claim for truth.

EBVTIII seems to be more forgiving about stretch. I tuned ET with pure 12ths for a recording session last week. I didn't get any angry phone calls, but I met the piano player today. I mentioned that I tuned the piano wider than the last time I tuned for him, and he instantly replied "Well, that I noticed...".

This was for a demo recording, so no big harm done. Still, with close-up mics (like in this case) I'll settle for a more compact stretch in the future.

I recall Ed Foote mentioning something along these lines, that close-up mics (in his tunings for Nashville commercial studios) asked for a more conservative stretch.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 09:53 AM

Originally Posted By: BDB
Quote:
Simply hold the damper pedal down, play C1, C2, G2, C3 and then a C Major arpeggio from there to to C8 and let it ring. The resonance will sound amazingly like that from a pipe organ!

What happens if you transpose that up or down a half-step?

(Actually, any effect from doing something like that would probably depend more on how well the octaves were tuned rather than the temperament.)


It needs a good octave tuning (as in a musically 'open' stretch) but there IS a great difference to the C arpeggio and the Db arpeggio, for the very reasons Bill stated earlier today in this thread.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 11:31 AM

Excellent detailed information regarding what to listen for up and down the register from the tempered section!

I look forward to tuning a piano in EBVTIII this weekend.

Thanks a million!

Glen
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat

To me, the pure 12ths are too wide, the piano doesn't hold harmonically together.


Patrick,

this statement would imply, that on a string quartet the consercative span used with these string instruments wouldn´t hold harmonically together too.
Remember that in a string quartet the violin is tuned with 3 consecutive pure fifths. The viola too, but a fifth lower. So we have already a span of four consecutive fifths in the violin and viola used in this scale. The cello is also tuned with pure fifths, but with a distance of a pure duodecime (twelfth) to the violin. The cello has a distance of a pure octave to the viola, and as the viola has a distance of a pure fifth to the violin, the average is again the twelfth.
The ET scale on pure duodecimes (twelfths) is even slightly narrower than this "conservative" violin family scale span (which is in fact a pythagorean span between the lowest cello C and the highest violin E. A slight tempering of this pythagorean third into the direction of a pure major third does happen with an ET scale based on pure duodecimes. There is nothing wrong with that harmonically and musically for me.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper





Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 01:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer

The double octave will still be slightly wide and the octave and 5th will still be slightly narrow but the amount of tempering there will be in each can barely be heard, if at all. This is where the "magic" happens. I believe it is what Herr Stopper and Sr. Capurso are looking for when they tune in ET.


Let me correct your statement about my approach Bill.
I am doing the duodecimes (twelfths) aurally pure. This results with slightly wider double octaves than in your method (and Alfredo´s). The stretch is necessary for the purity effect to occur when playing chords.

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer

When I heard Herr Stopper's tuning at a PTG convention, we tried that same trick and we did hear some of that phenomenon because of the way he tuned the octaves. The full effect was not heard, however because the M3s and M6s were not tuned as equal beating the way they are in the EBVT III.


Although this pipe organ effect in my tuning is not occuring as prominent as in the one chord in EBVT III, it is therefore present in any key.

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 01:59 PM

Bernhard,

I've scored countless of times for string quartet, by itself and with piano (and vocals).

I've worked with some of the best string players there are to find in this country. This as a pianist, conductor, composer, and arranger. I slipped into the tuning obsession just a few years ago (and, I love it smile )

With the piano, string players constantly adjust their fingered notes. Open notes are more difficult, even to the extent that a lot of players willingly temper their open string 5ths when they have to deal with us others!

But you're right in what you say. If you want to have the piano sound like a string quartet, stopperstimmung is the ultimate solution. To me, that kind of tuning - be it piano or strings - will always sound too wide.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 02:08 PM

And Bernhard,

seriously,

what pitch? Considering the string quartet... the vibrato is the ultimate solution to the pythagorean comma wink
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 02:25 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat

But you're right in what you say. If you want to have the piano sound like a string quartet, stopperstimmung is the ultimate solution. To me, that kind of tuning - be it piano or strings - will always sound too wide.


If it is too wide for you ok, but for many millions of string players and their audience it is not.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 02:29 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat
And Bernhard,

seriously,

what pitch? Considering the string quartet... the vibrato is the ultimate solution to the pythagorean comma wink


Yes please let us keep serious. If you can show me how to vibrate an open string, you are my hero, Patrick.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 02:32 PM

FWIW:

For harmonic tones, a pure 12th is only 2.0 cents wide of theoretical ET while a pure 5ths ET would produce 12ths that are 5.3 cents wide of theoretical ET.

And on a Yamaha U1 you could expect D3 to be 2.6 cents flat when tuned as a pure 12th to A440 and would require the octaves to be tuned only slightly wide of 4:2.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 02:42 PM

Bernhard - touché smile Can't do that, but here's a real life example from a score i arranged a few years ago.

The CD has a single track of string quartet + vocals (the rest is jazz trio /w vocals, or jazz trio /w vocals + string quartet.)

In this song there are a lot of open 5ths. If we roughly divide it into A B A (B being the instrumental part = #5 in the score), I can clearly hear that the strings are playing less tempered when they are by themselves, so to speak.

Vargsången ('The song of the wolf')

Here's the score (for reference):

Vargsången score

None is necessarily better than the other, but the pitch together with the singer is more coherent to me. Others will, without doubt consider the 'B-part' to be better.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 02:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
Originally Posted By: pppat

But you're right in what you say. If you want to have the piano sound like a string quartet, stopperstimmung is the ultimate solution. To me, that kind of tuning - be it piano or strings - will always sound too wide.


If it is too wide for you ok, but for many millions of string players and their audience it is not.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper


Can't possibly be that many left... wink The rest of the modern world is not stretched to that extent anymore. Seriously.
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat
Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
Originally Posted By: pppat

But you're right in what you say. If you want to have the piano sound like a string quartet, stopperstimmung is the ultimate solution. To me, that kind of tuning - be it piano or strings - will always sound too wide.


If it is too wide for you ok, but for many millions of string players and their audience it is not.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper


Can't possibly be that many left... wink The rest of the modern world is not stretched to that extent anymore. Seriously.


Not true. Seriously.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 03:20 PM

smile easy answer. Indeed there was no question, I'll give you that.

To the point: I asked you earlier if you've ever encountered negative feedback in tuning the stopperstimmunng for a close-mic recording of a piano in an ensemble setting. Well, have you?

Then, if you would devote a fraction of your time to the sound clip I posted... do you hear what I hear, that is, the difference between stretch in string quartet w/singer and string quartet alone?

Not to say that you have to agree in any way at all, but do you hear it?
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 04:26 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat
To the point: I asked you earlier if you've ever encountered negative feedback in tuning the stopperstimmunng for a close-mic recording of a piano in an ensemble setting. Well, have you?


Never. You also asked me what jazz pianists said. (I forgot to answer another question you mentioned earlier, i apologize, i want to take the chance to do this now too) Well look on my homepage, you find a statement of a well known german jazz pianist. I also tuned recently for a duo concert with Jasper van´t Hof and Bob Malach. Mr. van´t Hof took notice of the outstanding clarity and harmony of the tuning which helps complex chords come out very defined and clear.

Originally Posted By: pppat
Then, if you would devote a fraction of your time to the sound clip I posted... do you hear what I hear, that is, the difference between stretch in string quartet w/singer and string quartet alone?

Not to say that you have to agree in any way at all, but do you hear it?

I answer this asap.

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
Well look on my homepage, you find a statement of a well known german jazz pianist. I also tuned recently for a duo concert with Jasper van´t Hof and Bob Malach. Mr. van´t Hof took notice of the outstanding clarity and harmony of the tuning which helps complex chords come out very defined and clear.


Yes, and both are well known and respected European jazz pianists. But Dauner is 70+ and van't Hof 60+. Which reminds me of Horowitz.

My close friend was one of Franz Mohr's protégés. Small world. Mohr was the best man at his wedding, just to give a picture of how close they where (are). Mohr took him under his wings when he walked in to the office at 109 W 57th street.

My friend told me that Horowitz wanted more stretch the older he got. In his last years, Mohr tuned the C8 of his piano +100 cent, that is, C#8!

I think there is something happening with age. And I really do think younger musicians in general (to whom string quartets are more or less an anecdote) prefer a more compact sound.

This again just my own thoughts. Me myself am 40 by now. I would say my desire for stretch have increased already. Still I consider equal-beating 12ths/15ths hitting the upper limit of my tolerance, and in case of my (non-classical) piano students they have an even lower acceptable maximum range.

I am in no way sure, but I predict that average stretch will shrink in the future.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 09:04 PM

The customer I tuned the EBVT III for the other day (who was not home at the time) is apparently intrigued. The e-mail I got says:

"The tuning sounds great on the piano. John said that you had a new way of doing it. Maybe you could explain."

What do I explain? That I didn't know what I was doing before? Or better yet, HOW do you explain what you are doing different to others?

Thanks,

Nick
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 09:16 PM

Patrick, while I don't profess to understand this theory/tuning discussion between you and Mr. Stopper, I do understand what 'sounds' good. That recording of "Vargsången ('The song of the wolf')" is very beautiful, and stunning in it's simplicity! However they tuned their instruments is first rate, and the singer is excellent. What is the title/info of this CD?

Your theory regarding age and the loss of high-frequencies makes a lot of sense. I wonder if there have been any definitive studies as to how this would affect the way we perceive stretch in a piano?

Rontuner, sorry that disklavier is not there anymore. Perhaps you will come across one in the future.

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 09:17 PM

BDB, to answer your question specifically, what does the C# Major arpeggio sound like? To tell you the truth, I had never played it that way. So, today, I did a custom tuning of a restored Gildemeester & Kroeger 9 foot concert grand. [Ron Koval, I want to send you the data on that when I get a chance]. It is owned by a local performing artist who earns her living as a vocalist and pianist. I worked the latter half of the day on tuning and regulation.

I played the usual C Major arpeggio and got the marvelous pipe organ effect which I really only expect from C Major. Yes, G, D, A and E yield it too but to me, that top note, C8 is key to the effect. Curiously enough, it is among these keys with 5ths more highly tempered than they would be in ET that yields the effect. F Major which has the same M3 beat speed as G Major sounds very clean and pure but it does not sound like a pipe organ. It sounds very nice, yes but does not have that magic effect. The M3 and M6 are not equal beating in that key.

Now, the C# Major chord is also perfectly pure and does have equal beating M3 and M6 intervals. Now, I suspect that you would think that C# Major would have this wild, violently out of tune, horribly sour sound, so intolerable that no musician could ever stand it. It would make anyone's skin crawl, lawsuits would be filed, I would get kicked out of PTG for it, etc. The fact is that (according to Jason Kanter's graph) the M3 is less than 3 cents wider than an ET M3 would be at 16.81 cents.

When played as a long arpeggio, C# Major yields a very clean and pure sound because the 5ths are pure, the octaves are pure and the M3s and M6s are equal beating but it does not sound like a pipe organ.

Debussy wrote a lot of material in D-flat. The song, "If I loved you" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel" is in that key. Anything you play in C# Major or D-flat Major that was originally written in that key sounds as it should in the EBVT III. Anything written in B-flat minor also has the dark sound that it should. The aftermath of the fire scene in the new opera, Shining Brow (for which the EBVT was first conceived) comes to mind.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 03/31/10 09:55 PM

Regarding ultra amounts of stretch among the highest notes of the high treble, I have frequently encountered pianos which had been tuned by aging tuners who have now passed on where those last few notes were literally in the stratosphere! (More than 1/2 step sharp). I've also seen broken strings that were left broken there too. I've heard opera singers, both Tenors and Sopranos and some violinists that pushed the envelope that far too.

Occasionally, I encounter a client that just can't get enough stretch. I can always find a way to provide it and still keep the piano in tune with itself. It is quite simple, just keep referring back to the temperament octave itself. For the last few notes of the high treble, G7-C8, simply play the quadruple octave note below it, G3-C4 (but reading in the 7th octave) and you will have C8 end up at +75-80 cents.

Of course, to do that, you have to build up to it. You have to "push" the stretch the entire way, favoring the 5th over the octave, favoring the 12 over the octave, favoring the double octave and 5th over the triple octave. It works far better on a high inharmonicity piano such as a Steinway than it ever could on a low inharmonicity piano such as GP's Mason & Hamlin.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 12:19 AM

Bill,

Have you ever tried toning the "wellness" of EBVT III down even more? I know it's more homogeneous temperament than EBVT I with less range in the M3 beating rates, but I mean brining it down even more. Like 1/4 or 1/6 EBVT.

http://www.rollingball.com/A10z.htm

At what point would you loose the benifit of key color for the sake of equalness of all keys? In other words, where's the optimal or most universally accepted temperamnet?
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 01:39 AM

I could not wait any longer to give EBVT III a try - this being my first attempt at it.

Here are a few clips (mistakes and all) of tonight's tuning in EBVT III. I set the temperament as closely as I could follow the instructions and as well as my ears could decipher the new details. No doubt there are a few notes that can be better brought in line - time was running short tonight.

If you'd like, I can record more music with EBVT III in a variety of key signatures, and as well post before and after clips for many of the same pieces previously recorded.

Glen

C Major Prelude BWV 846
http://www.box.net/shared/ylco4mlh58

43 1 Db Major
http://www.box.net/shared/0aedzyckn0

Schumann's Warum
http://www.box.net/shared/4hy7y28cdb

Moonlight Sonata Mvt 1 C#-min
http://www.box.net/shared/vs4f6iit8r
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 02:22 AM

Inlanding, it sounds great...I would say your first try is a success! Enjoyed your playing as well!

Thanks for posting these...very enjoyable.
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 04:13 AM

Originally Posted By: pppat
Bernhard - touché smile Can't do that, but here's a real life example from a score i arranged a few years ago.

The CD has a single track of string quartet + vocals (the rest is jazz trio /w vocals, or jazz trio /w vocals + string quartet.)

In this song there are a lot of open 5ths. If we roughly divide it into A B A (B being the instrumental part = #5 in the score), I can clearly hear that the strings are playing less tempered when they are by themselves, so to speak.

Vargsången ('The song of the wolf')

Here's the score (for reference):

Vargsången score

None is necessarily better than the other, but the pitch together with the singer is more coherent to me. Others will, without doubt consider the 'B-part' to be better.


Very nice playing and sounding (of course, as they are probably using standard string tuning, where the overall stretch is quasi more close to StopperStimmung than mindless octaves resp. Chas) so sorry i can´t follow your intention to justify the relevance of a stretch lesser than pure duodecimes by sharing this beautiful example.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 04:32 AM

Aging tuners of course tend to raise the last few notes up to an amount that the note can be identified as the next note step. However, this is generally occuring on the highest fifth and can be done without any problem with a pure octave temperament too. The beats of those last notes are so fast then, that there can´t be recognized any beats at all (beat speed way more than 20 Hz).

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 07:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
Bill,

Have you ever tried toning the "wellness" of EBVT III down even more? I know it's more homogeneous temperament than EBVT I with less range in the M3 beating rates, but I mean brining it down even more. Like 1/4 or 1/6 EBVT.

http://www.rollingball.com/A10z.htm

At what point would you loose the benifit of key color for the sake of equalness of all keys? In other words, where's the optimal or most universally accepted temperamnet?


Ralph, thank you for the question but the answer is that with an aural tuning method, I probably can't. The very first interval I tune is the F3-A3 M3. It is set at 6 beats per second. That is the "throttle speed" for wellness. I can use the same sequence and begin at 5 or 4 bps and get an early 19th or 18th Century style WT respectively but if I went to 7 bps, I could only get a quasi ET.

There are, however milder WTs. The Moore and Moore (I think it's called) and Ron Koval have come up with some. I have experimented that way as well just by using small numbers on my ETD.

For a very mild temperament which will work very well with your ETD's default or custom stretch (as you prefer), I recommend the 1/9 comma meantone. You can e-mail Jason Kanter with these figures and he will shoot you back a graph. Each 5th is narrowed by 2.4 cents. That is just 0.4 cents narrower than an ET 5th. You can barely perceive the extra narrowness of the 5ths.

Since each 5th is narrowed more than ET, it leaves one 5th that cannot be resolved and is wide instead of narrow. That is true of all meantone temperaments. It is commonly called the "wolf" 5th because to some degree or another, it sounds out of tune and beats noticeably. However in the 1/9 comma meantone, that "wolf" 5th (between G# and D#) is wide by the same amount as all the other 5ths are narrow. If you play all of the 5ths chromatically, you don't really notice that is any different from the rest.

Therefore, all of the 4ths and 5ths sound apparently no different than an ET with very little stretch would sound but the M3s and M6s have very mild and correct key coloration. I sometimes use this for Jazz and for hotel piano bar, cocktail type piano playing.

The 1/9 Comma Meantone

C: +1.2
C#: -1.6
D: +0.4
D#: +2.4
E: -0.4
F: +1.6
F#: -1.2
G: +0.8
G#: -2.0
A: 0.0
A#: +2.0
B: -0.8

Note that the largest cent deviation is -2.4 and the next largest is +2.0. These are very small deviations from ET. In fact, if you could actually tune this aurally, the temperament would score an 80 on the PTG tuning exam and thus "pass" as ET even though clearly, it is not. The EBVT III would "score" a 70.

Please let us know if you have tried this and how you like it. (Anyone else too).
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 07:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
The customer I tuned the EBVT III for the other day (who was not home at the time) is apparently intrigued. The e-mail I got says:

"The tuning sounds great on the piano. John said that you had a new way of doing it. Maybe you could explain."

What do I explain? That I didn't know what I was doing before? Or better yet, HOW do you explain what you are doing different to others?

Thanks,

Nick


Nick,

The answer is obvious, that you used a slightly different temperament. They will probably want to know what that means. Never say the word "unequal". Say, instead that it means the "arrangement of the notes within the scale is just slightly different enough to enhance the overall sound.

Never say that you didn't know what you were doing because that is certainly not true. Say instead that you had recently learned how to perform this advanced tuning concept which very few people know about.

Cheers,
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 09:04 AM

I like to tell people that there are probably a dozen or so slightly different tunings that will sound good on their piano - I'll try different ones each time and see if they respond with "wow" to one of them...

Something that Bill has _always_ said, but doesn't get written about much is the combination of temperament and stretch seems to be the key. Just applying the temperament offsets via machine to a standard stretch won't do it. If you alter the stretch parameters to achieve a balance between the octave-fifth and double octave, you get much closer to what he does aurally. (read about mindless octaves on his website if you want an idea how to check yourself as you tune)

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 09:21 AM

Thanks Ron,

This is why I particularly recommend the 1/9 comma meantone for those that can only manage to plug in numbers. The problem with most WTs is that the sizes of 5ths are irregular, so a regular stretch doesn't quite do them justice. However, a meantone temperament, by definition, has all 5ths (except the unresolved one) tempered alike. It can yield beautiful results using an ETD, especially if you hit that sweet spot in your stretch.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 09:28 AM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Inlanding, it sounds great...I would say your first try is a success! Enjoyed your playing as well!

Thanks for posting these...very enjoyable.



Thanks for the kind words, GP. If you'd like to hear more (or a before and after EBVT III comparison as you were kind enough to do), I am happy to oblige. I am still not sure I've got the temperament and stretch to where it sounds optimal. Perhaps others will chime in.

Glen
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By: pppat
Bernhard,

But you're right in what you say. If you want to have the piano sound like a string quartet, stopperstimmung is the ultimate solution.


Just found this:
http://community.livejournal.com/cellists/449207.html

It´s about harmony, not stretch. The word stretch implies something non-natural. The feedback i always get is harmony, clarity and rich overtones. Not the first cellist (or pianist by the way) saying this.

But yes, of course very difficult to achieve. Quite impossible for an amateur tuner, aurally or with the device.

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 10:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
Very nice playing and sounding (of course, as they are probably using standard string tuning, where the overall stretch is quasi more close to StopperStimmung than mindless octaves resp. Chas) so sorry i can´t follow your intention to justify the relevance of a stretch lesser than pure duodecimes by sharing this beautiful example.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper


Hi again Bernhard,

I'm glad you liked the recording!
I just feel that the instrumental part is intonated with a higher stretch than the parts together with the singer (or is it just my ears deceiving me?) If it is true, however, I find it most interesting that these string players adjust to a 'main-stream' stretch when playing with other musicians not accustomed to the closer-to-pure fifths.

I also keep thinking of the phenomenon that I repeatedly encounter with my students - they are generally accustomed to narrower fifths (that is, even narrower than my taste wink ). I believe this has to do with close-mics, the pop industry, and the conservatively stretched digital pianos around.

I sent a text message to John Storgårds, the first violin player in the quartet recorded. He is a good friend of mine, and besides being a brilliant instrumentalist he is also one of Finland's rising conductor stars.
http://www.johnstorgards.com/News.htm

And you were right - they didn't adjust their tuning for the recording session, they just adjusted non-open strings by ear. I can't help quoting his reply when I mentioned piano tuning: "Good luck with that, it is indeed a challenge to get the piano to sound in tune. On string instruments that is fully possible - but rarely done ;)"
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 10:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
Aging tuners of course tend to raise the last few notes up to an amount that the note can be identified as the next note step. However, this is generally occuring on the highest fifth and can be done without any problem with a pure octave temperament too. The beats of those last notes are so fast then, that there can´t be recognized any beats at all (beat speed way more than 20 Hz).

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper



This is probably most true (regarding tuners). But aging piano players often want more stretch way before that - at least in my experience (hanging out with them, hearing them complain about 'too low pianos' in the upper range). This has happened a lot of times, with them hitting notes anywhere above F5.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 11:06 AM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Patrick, while I don't profess to understand this theory/tuning discussion between you and Mr. Stopper, I do understand what 'sounds' good. That recording of "Vargsången ('The song of the wolf')" is very beautiful, and stunning in it's simplicity! However they tuned their instruments is first rate, and the singer is excellent. What is the title/info of this CD?


Thanks GP, I really appreciate that! I hadn't listened to that record for a year or so, but that is one of my favorite songs on the record.

The CD is called "Wonderland - I sagans värld" (where the latter part of the title is in swedish and roughly translates into 'In the world of fairy tales'. It was released in 2008.

The record is sung in english and in our mother tongue swedish (6% minority here in Finland) by the singer Johanna Grüssner www.johannagrussner.com

It is scored by me - for vocal, string quartet, piano and double bass. The full ensemble has six songs, the rest is in a very naked jazz setting (voc/pno/db).

Because of the bilingual approach it was not really internationally released, but it can be found on web shops like This one

[/url]

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman

Your theory regarding age and the loss of high-frequencies makes a lot of sense. I wonder if there have been any definitive studies as to how this would affect the way we perceive stretch in a piano?
I never thought about it in particular, but I'm getting curious myself. That is one of the best things with a discussion like this - it tickles ones brain! smile
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 11:14 AM

That is fantastic, Patrick!
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 12:25 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat
[quote=Bernhard Stopper]Aging tuners of course tend to raise the last few notes up to an amount that the note can be identified as the next note step. However, this is generally occuring on the highest fifth and can be done without any problem with a pure octave temperament too. The beats of those last notes are so fast then, that there can´t be recognized any beats at all (beat speed way more than 20 Hz).

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper


Originally Posted By: pppat

This is probably most true (regarding tuners). But aging piano players often want more stretch way before that -

The extreme example you gave with Horowitz was for C8 (100 cent+) and must probably (at least to a major part) be contributed to the same effect (last fifth) that was encountered at aging tuners.

Originally Posted By: pppat

at least in my experience (hanging out with them, hearing them complain about 'too low pianos' in the upper range). This has happened a lot of times, with them hitting notes anywhere above F5.


Probably musical wisdom -
The more playing experience they have, the greater chance that they came across pianos satisfying their stretch expectations. Once this happened, they are spoiled.


Regards,

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/01/10 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding
I could not wait any longer to give EBVT III a try - this being my first attempt at it.

Here are a few clips (mistakes and all) of tonight's tuning in EBVT III. I set the temperament as closely as I could follow the instructions and as well as my ears could decipher the new details. No doubt there are a few notes that can be better brought in line - time was running short tonight.


Glen,

I think this is a very good first go at this temperament! You've been doubting your bass stretching in many of your posts here - listening to your recordings, I can see no reason for you to continue doing that smile I think you are expanding the temperament very musically in both directions, and particularly downwards.

Especially the Moonlight sonata sounds very colorful, and it's a great bass reference, too - Very good octaves down there! What kind of piano did you tune, by the way?

The few questions I have are the same things I've been pondering quite a lot myself. Here comes the same question I asked Nick earlier (and if this pattern is repeating itself in the future too, I might consider draining my ears... smile ) : what about the C-E? It sounds a bit wide to me over here.

Do you use spotify? If so, try a search for No. 1 WTC 1. You'll get countless of hits. Listen to the first cadenza in the opening bars in a bunch of them. Is your C4-E4 narrower than ET, like it's supposed to be in EBVT III?

It might be the mp3 format playing a trick on me, but check it out if your interested! Along the same lines, I think F3-F4 might be slightly wide of 4:2.

And, as always, please bear in mind that I might be wrong... just spontaneous listening feedback.

I hope Bill with his thorough experience and understanding of this temperament will comment, and Isaac as well - he has a great ability to isolate specific intervals. They've both provided me with most valuable feedback, and for that I'm very grateful.

That said, indeed a very good first attempt - I think it sounds much better than when I started exploring EBVT myself.

Originally Posted By: Inlanding

If you'd like, I can record more music with EBVT III in a variety of key signatures, and as well post before and after clips for many of the same pieces previously recorded.

Please do, I'd be eager to listen. I learn very much from listening to you others, getting my own thoughts mirrored from a distance, so to speak.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/02/10 09:39 AM


Glen,

I think you are doing just fine. I could hear the slight contrasts of key color and they all fit the music as it was written. You play with remarkable sensitivity. Would you say that the way the temperament makes the music sound affects the mood of the music and therefore the way you interpret it?

I liked all of the selections. I noticed you did not use the pedal in the Bach the way most people do. There are so many examples of that one piece on You tube and most of them are quite bad. The only one I found that was actually in a WT was on a harpsichord. When the piano was played by a professional artist, it had the usual ET with every last bit of key color refined out of it. When it was an example of an amateur, the piano was inevitably in reverse well and the pianist just hammered it out with apparently no concept of what the music should really sound like.

I particularly enjoyed the piece in D-flat. There is an edge to the harmony that belongs there but is rounded off by ET. The Schumann sounded had this sentimental quality that I expect to hear from his music. If you can play Schumann's Traümerei, you will have a new experience with it, for sure. I would like everyone to hear that.

I wonder how Bernhard Stopper would translate the word, Traümerei? My knowledge of German is limited. I know that the word for "dream" is a cognate in German: "traum". I am somewhat familiar with how plurals and adjectives are created, as well as compound words, so I am fairly certain that a translation of Franz Liszt's "Liebestraüme" would be "love dreams". But "Traümerei" makes me guess something like Roy Orbinson's song tile "In Dreams" or something along the lines of "A dreamlike state". Glen (or anyone else), see if you can capture that quality from the music tuned in the EBVT III.

The Moonlight sonata was also captivating. I so often hear it played so badly, just hammered out with no feeling. It seems as though the pianist is somewhat disconnected from the sounds that are being produced. The worst I ever heard was Andras Schiff playing a Bösendorfer Imperial (mandatorily tuned in ET at A-443). He just stepped on the pedal and played the notes. I wanted to walk out!

I would like to hear any and all you may have to offer in any and all keys. I did not hear any particular problem with the way you tuned, so you are definitely on the right track. We can all find room for improvement, however, so just keep doing your personal best. Let us know what your customers say too.

Cheers!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/02/10 09:55 AM

On the subject of how sharp some people seem to hear and how some performers really push it, I had mentioned that opera Tenors often do this. I once heard a live performance here in Madison by a traveling Italian opera company of Bizet's Carmen. There definitely were some high notes that were 1/2 step sharp!

Coincidentally, a fellow local singer e-mailed me last night about another Bizet opera, "Les Pêcheurs de Perles" (The Pearl Fishers) and about a particular aria he was studying. He found this example of Placido Domingo singing where he really pushes the pitch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suUa7l2QQ...&playnext=9
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/02/10 10:49 AM

Well, it's better to be sharp than out of tune. wink
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/02/10 03:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
Well, it's better to be sharp than out of tune. wink
Haha... "if in doubt - go higher!"
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/02/10 04:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
Originally Posted By: pppat

at least in my experience (hanging out with them [aging piano players], hearing them complain about 'too low pianos' in the upper range). This has happened a lot of times, with them hitting notes anywhere above F5.


Probably musical wisdom -
The more playing experience they have, the greater chance that they came across pianos satisfying their stretch expectations. Once this happened, they are spoiled.

Maybe. But if so, how come some younger piano players object to a pure 12ths stretch? If that tuning is ultimate, shouldn't that first encounter - according to your own logic - be a revelation instead of a moment of discomfort?

For reference, I list two links for comparison. This is in an attempt to give voice to the musicality of it all.

-------

Here is the link to Bach/Siloti in Stopperstimmung:
http://www.piano-stopper.de/dl/Bach.wma

... and here's that same piece as provided by Isaac (AKA Kamin), utilizing CHAS, I'd assume (please correct me Isaac if I'm wrong):
http://www.box.net/shared/98dd35abqv

-------

To me, the B minor chord harmony in the highest part (reaching D6) is coherent in the latter example, but uncomfortably high in Stopperstimmung.

Let me state that I consider both to be excellent tunings, accomplished by two exceptionally good tuners.

This not as a question of right and wrong, but more about how we perceive stretch differently. I am really curious about this, and like I said earlier - I think younger piano players (jazz as well as classical, those half my age...) favor less of a stretch than Stopperstimmung.

I'm thinking about setting up an A/B test for my students with these two recordings, but it would have to be carefully done in order not to trigger a biased response.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/02/10 05:21 PM

Patrick,

Thanks for the feedback on the temperament. The piano is a predominantly original 1917 O Steinway (my piano). I replaced the bass strings last year and the hammers were replaced with NY Steinway hammers about 15 years ago, but the piano was not played much for those 15 years. I did replace the dampers at the beginning of the year, too. Everything else about that piano is original, including the treble strings.

C-E does sound wide. So does F#-A#. That is perhaps a result of my inexperienced ears, but I did have to make some compromises when setting up EBVT III.

I set F3-F4 as close to a 4:2 as I could get it, but it also might be that some of the intervals moved as I was tuning other strings in the bearing section and out. I did not take the extra time to double check as I tuned unions. I did stretch as much as I could stand it this time. Usually, I don't do that - to a fault.

I've never heard of spotify...That CMaj Prelude can be ruined easily. I try not to ruin it. wink

Bill,
Thanks for your comments and encouragement!

Yes, the temperament of the piano does make the music sound different and it does have an effect on how the piano is played, at least in my mind. Surely it's not real, but if the piano is out of tune or simply tuned with a strange sounding temperament, it feels different, almost more difficult to play. The acoustics of the room also plays into it, too.

Traümerei is another short Schumann piece that is really very difficult to play well at all. I'll need more practice before I'd give it a go to record it. I am working on a few other pieces right now.

Below are the pieces I already posted indicated as EBVTIII, then underneath I posted a link to the same piece played on the same piano prior - a more equal temperament, at least as equal as I am capable. No question there are differences.

I also did some noodling in different keys, played one Charles Mingus piece, Good Bye Pork Pie Hat. The top pieces in EBVTIII, the bottom one in the same key was played prior to tuning the piano in EBVT III. So please go easy on me with those...

If I thoroughly haven't annoyed everyone with all this, I will play some standards and put them up to demonstrate the contrasts as I did here.

Thanks for all your suggestions and I hope you enjoy listening to the pieces and notice differences in the temperaments. I kept the improv pieces on the short side for that reason.

Glen

C Major Prelude BWV 846 EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/ylco4mlh58
C Major Prelude BWV 846 before
http://www.box.net/shared/45sqj83vi6

43 1 Db Major EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/0aedzyckn0
43 1 Db Major before
http://www.box.net/shared/hyuboaj34m

Schumann's Warum EBVTIII
http://www.box.net/shared/4hy7y28cdb
Schumann's Warum before
http://www.box.net/shared/nubj4vbxg2

Moonlight Sonata Mvt 1 C#-min EBVTIII
http://www.box.net/shared/vs4f6iit8r
Moonlight Sonata Mvt 1 before
http://www.box.net/shared/1ldt5fxu9n

F-min EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/xm0fa7dvmt
F-min Before
http://www.box.net/shared/nra1eyqev1

Good Bye Pork Pie Hat EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/2l1fk47g6i
GBPPH before
http://www.box.net/shared/btiko8zsx5

Db - Bbmin EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/pl77a3bt1f
Db - Bbmin before
http://www.box.net/shared/j1mdbi474n

G-min EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/ktyjrt3isi
G-min Piece Before
http://www.box.net/shared/7ry3dq43kk

Eb - Cmin EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/rblcipxxvm
Cmin Before
http://www.box.net/shared/343cglzyqv
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/02/10 05:50 PM

This is great, Glen - I'll listen through it all, little by little.

From listening to the first one (Bach) there's a great example of harmonic motion roughly around 1'00'' in both recordings.

F/E-Dm7-G7-C really has a lot of movement in the EBVT III, and that has nothing to do with phrasing. In the ET version the cadenza is more or less just strolling along.

I'll get back with more input.
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 01:39 AM

Kittle disgression on the violin, to confirm what said Patrick above, my brother Raphaël just answered me on the tuning on the violin, he said that he used to tune in pure 5ths for a long time, but now as long as he had to play with an instrument that have a large scale, particularely in the basses , as piano or cello, he try to temper his 5ths as much as possible.

here is the 3d movt of the Poulenc sonata "presto tragico" :

http://www.box.net/shared/xj4tbcxgr6

With Artur Pizaro ,piano.

the piano is nicely open, still I feel it could be a little more.
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 05:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Kittle disgression on the violin, to confirm what said Patrick above, my brother Raphaël just answered me on the tuning on the violin, he said that he used to tune in pure 5ths for a long time, but now as long as he had to play with an instrument that have a large scale, particularely in the basses , as piano or cello, he try to temper his 5ths as much as possible.


"...to temper as much as possible"

The same statement used by all tuners since around 400 years dealing with temperaments. Of course he hast to temper to the best fit of the instrument he will play along with. The piano could be tuned with more or less stretch (for example StopperStimmung or Chas or something other between pure octave stretch and pure fifth (Cordier) stretch) so he has to do with the violin, to keep unisons of open strings relative to the accompanying instrument as much as compatible. I don´t see any relevance of a preference of one over another stretch implied in your brother´s statement though.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper


Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 06:19 AM

Yes Bernhard, I agree, but why does he temper when playing with cello's ? I will ask him where the advantage is.

Here is the first movt : http://www.box.net/shared/mc2epzm1vp "allegro con fueco"

And the lent et tres calme : http://www.box.net/shared/jcavxxpsxe

Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 06:44 AM

Originally Posted By: pppat

Maybe. But if so, how come some younger piano players object to a pure 12ths stretch? If that tuning is ultimate, shouldn't that first encounter - according to your own logic - be a revelation instead of a moment of discomfort?
To me, the B minor chord harmony in the highest part (reaching D6) is coherent in the latter example, but uncomfortably high in Stopperstimmung.

Maybe your personal preference is really different in this example from mine. Maybe your personal opinion is just biased because you know that it is not the stretch you want to expect.

Remember your experience with experienced and well known pianists who generally concern about too low higher registers. Serge Cordier for example, who stretched up to pure fifths, (which is much more stretched than the difference between Chas and StopperStimmung) has listed a reference of more than 30 prime league pianists in his book.
My guess is that stretch preference has nothing to do with the age, but are personal preferences. I have experience with plenty of pianists of every age saying that the stretch type StopperStimmung provides, does produce "octave identity" when played melodically. My former piano teacher Else Herold (pupil of Emil von Sauer, pupil of Franz Liszt) told me when i tuned her piano the first time in StopperStimmung, that this tuning reminds her to the best tunings she encountered on stage in her career (i was 27 years young at this time and i liked the stretch very much despite my youth ;-) while she was over 80 (ok her comment does obviously not convince you in this context... ).


Originally Posted By: pppat

Let me state that I consider both to be excellent tunings, accomplished by two exceptionally good tuners.

This not as a question of right and wrong, but more about how we perceive stretch differently. I am really curious about this, and like I said earlier - I think younger piano players (jazz as well as classical, those half my age...) favor less of a stretch than Stopperstimmung.

I´d rather backup such presumptions with validated data before making them appear as generally valid.
For me stretch expectations is rather a matter of taste just as with the sound differences produced by different tuning methods (for example the purity occuring in StopperStimmunng vs the livelieness occuring with EBVT III.

Originally Posted By: pppat
I'm thinking about setting up an A/B test for my students with these two recordings, but it would have to be carefully done in order not to trigger a biased response.


Good idea, but use an uncompressed wav file for this test (Kamin´s record is uncompressed wav while the example on my homepage you linked here is wmv compressed (which is equal to mp3 quality). Compression does introduce artifacts and reduces overtone colour and dynamics. I will soon upload an uncompressed wav version on my homepage too.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 06:48 AM

Bernhard, how would you translate the word "Traümerei" in English?
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 07:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Yes Bernhard, I agree, but why does he temper when playing with cello's ? I will ask him where the advantage is.

Here is the first movt : http://www.box.net/shared/mc2epzm1vp "allegro con fueco"

And the lent et tres calme : http://www.box.net/shared/jcavxxpsxe



Isaac, maybe you have just overseen one of my former posts where is answered this. In a string quartet for example, the standard string tuning with pure fifths on the cello and the violin (both are tuned with pure duodecimes (twelfths) on the respective open strings) the cello C and the violin E will result with a sharp pythagorean major third. Tempering both instruments accordingly while maintaining the pure duodecimes between the two instruments does smoothen the pythagorean third to a less sharper StopperStimmung tempered third. Same is true for viola and violin. Lowest C of the viola is a pythagorean major third relative to the violin E, which will be smoothened by tempering the fifths accordingly on both instruments. Keeping the duodecimes between cello and violin pure (there are three then) while tempering the cello fifths accordingly. Tempering the octaves between cello and viola, so that the tempered octaves between the cello and viola and tempered fifths on the viola also have the summed span of pure duodecimes, makes all open strings fit perfectly a StopperStimmung.

Regards,

Bernhard Stopper

Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 07:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Bernhard, how would you translate the word "Traümerei" in English?


Bill,

"dreamery" by german thinking, but that is probably poor foreigner english. I don´t know if there is a better equivalent. Babelfish web translator gives "fantasy" but i think that this does not express very well what it means in german.


Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 07:10 AM

I tend to agree with Bernhard there out of the 5-6 last notes of the old tuners, due to other reasons, and generally speaking with age tuners tend to like less stretched tunings, to me.


Stretch , to me is the relation between the high treble and the mediums, the basses and the medium.

What changes with StopperSTimmung or Chas, or Cordier, is that there is in some way "less stretch" as the added aperture at the mediums adborb most due stretch from the treble and basses.

Hence the more "natural" behaviour.

But at the same time it change all the harmonic content in chords.

That is there prefernces may be used, to me.

We are so much used to listen to tempered 5ths that a friend told me that when he took his first tuning lessons, he was unable to tune pure 5ths, to him the pure interval was tempered, he tuned them that way naturally.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 07:29 AM

Thank you, Bernhard, "dreamery" sounds good to me!
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 08:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper

Originally Posted By: pppat

Let me state that I consider both to be excellent tunings, accomplished by two exceptionally good tuners.

This not as a question of right and wrong, but more about how we perceive stretch differently. I am really curious about this, and like I said earlier - I think younger piano players (jazz as well as classical, those half my age...) favor less of a stretch than Stopperstimmung.

I´d rather backup such presumptions with validated data before making them appear as generally valid.
For me stretch expectations is rather a matter of taste just as with the sound differences produced by different tuning methods (for example the purity occuring in StopperStimmunng vs the livelieness occuring with EBVT III.

Originally Posted By: pppat
I'm thinking about setting up an A/B test for my students with these two recordings, but it would have to be carefully done in order not to trigger a biased response.


Good idea, but use an uncompressed wav file for this test (Kamin´s record is uncompressed wav while the example on my homepage you linked here is wmv compressed (which is equal to mp3 quality). Compression does introduce artifacts and reduces overtone colour and dynamics. I will soon upload an uncompressed wav version on my homepage too.

Absolutely, an uncompressed sound file was the next thing I was going to ask for (if you liked the idea of an A/B test)!

I think it would be most interesting to get that test done, because - just as you say - my presumption is not a validated statement in any way, it's just a hunch I have. Which can be wrong, of course smile Neither would a small group of students validate it as any kind of universal truth, but it would give interesting feedback.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
[...]
Tempering both instruments accordingly while maintaining the pure duodecimes between the two instruments does smoothen the pythagorean third to a less sharper StopperStimmung tempered third. Same is true for viola and violin. Lowest C of the viola is a pythagorean major third relative to the violin E, which will be smoothened by tempering the fifths accordingly on both instruments. Keeping the duodecimes between cello and violin pure (there are three then) while tempering the cello fifths accordingly. Tempering the octaves between cello and viola, so that the tempered octaves between the cello and viola and tempered fifths on the viola also have the summed span of pure duodecimes, makes all open strings fit perfectly a StopperStimmung.


That makes sense, Bernhard. And the width of the fifths in the string quartet could be less than StopperStimmung too, as long as the tempering is consistent between the vlns/vla/vlc. The match on open strings would be just as perfect, if you like - and want to go for - a slightly narrower tuning. Right?
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 05:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Kamin

[...]
Stretch , to me is the relation between the high treble and the mediums, the basses and the medium.

What changes with StopperSTimmung or Chas, or Cordier, is that there is in some way "less stretch" as the added aperture at the mediums adborb most due stretch from the treble and basses.
[...]

Yes, the definition ('stretch') really isn't easily applied to symmetrical tunings like StopperStimmung or CHAS. It's more like 'the width' or 'the span' of the tuning... or something like that.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/03/10 06:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding
Patrick,[...] I did stretch as much as I could stand it this time. [...]

I hear you smile

Originally Posted By: Inlanding

I've never heard of spotify...That CMaj Prelude can be ruined easily. I try not to ruin it. wink

My apologies - I didn't remember that Spotify is, as we speak, taking it's first steps onto the US market.

It's a web site (web service) where you can listen to streaming music. Due to a deal with the record companies, most (but not all) records can be found there.

It's a neat service, and it really has changed the way Europeans listen to music. It's made a teacher's life easier, too. All my students have it, and I can give them listening recommendations/assignments aso, knowing that the music is there for them (legally, too wink )

Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/09/10 04:16 PM

Here is an unusually beautiful composition by the, I should say, somewhat forgotten composer Moritz Moszkowski, Etude, Opus 24, No.1, played by Felix Fox on the Ampico.

It has wonderful colors and harmonies that are brought out in EBVT III. http://www.box.net/shared/xoamu98toh

Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/10/10 12:01 PM

Last Thursday, Bill Bremmer tuned my little Lester (to EBVT III, of course). While he was working, he said something like, "You know, nobody has recorded the Pipe Organ Effect, yet." I said, "I'd be happy to do it!" He said, "I was thinking, wouldn't it be neat to make a sample that starts after the broken chord, add your reverb, and slow it down to make it sound huge, and say, 'Can you believe this came from a Lester?'" We both laughed.

So, without futher adieu, here is the Pipe Organ Effect on my humble 1940 Lester spinet. Two samples: first, plain and simple so you can hear the C chord played bottom to top, second, edited to start after the chord and enhanced with reverb and volume. (I couldn't get the wav to cooperate with the "slow it down" request.) Please note that my piano bench is creaky and gets in the way a little bit (it's 1940, too!)

EBVT III Pipe Organ Effect on Lester Spinet

EBVT III Pipe Organ Effect on Lester Spinet dressed up for church

Also, since Bill made my piano sound so nice, I made a couple of recordings to contribute to the discussion. In the past, I have added special EQ and reverb to my recordings to try to get rid of hiss and make my piano sound more "grand." I'm happy to say, I've recently learned a little more about controlling hiss. Also, since the piano sounds so good, I skipped the reverb. This is pure Lester spinet, in my ordinary carpeted 12' X 15' living room. In other words, this is my piano in EBVT III! laugh I hope you enjoy it.

JS Bach, Sarabande, Menuet 1, Menuet 2, from Suite 1 in D min, Little Notebook

Scriabin, Prelude in E, Op.11 No.9

Andy Strong
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/10/10 01:12 PM

I hope you can broaden your horizons sometime.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/10/10 01:20 PM

Thanks for the posting Andy.

Very nice sound, and from a spinet no less. Enjoyed your playing as well.

That pipe organ effect is quite something. I remember Bill telling me it was easier to achieve that effect on a piano that had more inharmonicity than on my M&H BB, which has low inharmonicity.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/10/10 01:33 PM

Both the Bach and Scriabin sound great. The EBVT sounds really good on that piano.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/10/10 06:13 PM

Thanks for the "pipe organ effect" Andy! The enhanced one is unbelievable! You are the first to post it! I've suggested it to many but none have come through with it yet. If a lowly Lester spinet can produce that kind of sound, just imagine what a Steinway D or Fazioli could do!

When I finished my tuning at the concert hall yesterday, I said to the sound engineer, "Hey, listen to this! When I finish playing all the keys, tell me this does not sound like a pipe organ. I did it and he said, "Wow! That is amazing! It really does sound like a pipe organ!"

I also enjoyed very much the two recordings you made of music. I found the Bach to be especially appropriate for the kind of piano you have but the Scriabin was also a pleasant surprise.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/10/10 06:43 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Thanks for the posting Andy.

Very nice sound, and from a spinet no less. Enjoyed your playing as well.

That pipe organ effect is quite something. I remember Bill telling me it was easier to achieve that effect on a piano that had more inharmonicity than on my M&H BB, which has low inharmonicity.


Yes, GP, I recall on your piano and the M&H BB that I tuned at the PTG convention, I was a bit disappointed. It was there but not what I had heard on other pianos. Somehow, a Baldwin Acrosonic does a great job. The Steinway D is quite impressive but never had I been in a cathedral like I was for a moment when I played it on a Fazioli!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/11/10 06:05 PM

That's very interesting Bill. Is there a reason why the M&H BB does not have the full effect?

I just posted this in another thread, but thought it would be good to revisit here. It does not sound like an organ per se, but there is so much resonance when the dampers are up, and the harmonies are so beautiful, the effect in EBVT III is quite something.

"Going back through my recent recordings of EBVT III with Ari's hammers and strings, I find that this piece really demonstrates the synergy of the hammers, strings, and the Wapin, all beautifully enhanced by the EBVT III tuning. One can lose one's self in the magical sounds of this piece from Debussy. You can almost picture the reflections in the water.

The ultimate is to download it, then play it back with a pair of headphones."

"Reflets dans L'eau" by Debussy, played with the Ampico by Leo Orenstein http://www.box.net/shared/4i7phr8ezs
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/11/10 07:47 PM

Hello GP, the pipe organ effect is just an interesting albeit amazing side effect, not the purpose behind tuning in the EBVT. It just doesn't come through as well on a low inharmonicity piano because I can't stretch the upper octaves as much as I can on other pianos. Everything you have played on your piano has always sounded wonderful, however, so don't worry about that.

If you are able to, just press the damper pedal and strike a long, C Major arpeggio: first the lowest C octave, then 5th (G) then C-E-G all the rest of the way to the top and let it ring. Record that and if it sounds anything like a pipe organ to you, then post it.

The "Réflets dans l'eau" has always been one of my favorites!
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/12/10 01:58 AM

Originally Posted By: BDB
I hope you can broaden your horizons sometime.


BDB,
Would you please elaborate? I don't know what you mean, and I really want to know, because when people give me advice, I want to consider it carefully.

Thanks!
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/12/10 02:51 AM

Dear Grandpianoman, Jake, and Bill,

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

Here's one more I did today that I just have to share. It is a picture postcard from northern Illinois. Watercolor, I think. In front of my house is a bush. Birds sing. In front of the bush is a street. Cars go by. Across the street is a playground. Children play. This is Sunday morning, eleven o'clock, early springtime, windows open. Daffodils and crabapple blossoms. The key is G major.

Vladimir Rebikoff-Mouvement Plastique
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/12/10 04:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
...When I finished my tuning at the concert hall yesterday, I said to the sound engineer, "Hey, listen to this! When I finish playing all the keys, tell me this does not sound like a pipe organ. I did it and he said, "Wow! That is amazing! It really does sound like a pipe organ!"


And now for a report: I got to hear one of Bill's pianos in EBVT III on Friday night. It was the one mentioned in the above quote, a Steinway D. The setting was a moderate-sized performance hall. The piano was accompanied by a stand-up acoustic bass (which had a pickup) and a drum set.

The pianist was Michael Kaeshammer, who plays a boogie style. He's a very animated performer who interacts with the piano in a variety of ways. He's the kind of musician that challenges the piano to BE musical--playing the whole range of keys, thundering in the bass and tickling the soprano, drumming on the cabinet to elicit various pitches from the wood, muting the strings with his hand or forearm while playing chords, harping the strings at musically appropriate times. He's a vibrant performer with a keen sense of humor and a drive to make the piano speak.

Bill left at intermission and didn't get to enjoy this accolade, so I'm relating it here as a testament to the EBVT III temperament in this setting--

After a whole bunch of rowdy pieces in which it was obvious that the performers and the audience were enjoying things very much, Mr. Kaeshammer slowed it down in a solo section. He played a quiet, harmonious piece that started with a pop pattern in the left hand ala Bruce Hornsby and morphed into an improvisation ala George Winston (but better than any George Winston I've heard!). I could tell he was really into the sound of the piano, because every so often he would play a line and smile with delight. (I believe I know exactly what he was experiencing!) At the end of the piece, as he took his bow, he acknowleged the piano, TWICE, during the applause, patting it, pointing INTO it, and when the applause died down, said, "That's a really nice piano!" He meant, of course, "That piano sounds beautiful! Thank you Mr. Piano Tuner Whoever You Are!"

Another highlight was the encore, in which they did a version of a sentimental pop song. I don't know the name of it, but it has a memorable melody. It was a quiet piece, and the drummer used yarn mallets. The bass player used the electric bass. The sound was warm and rich. It was very nicely done and the piano and the bass were perfectly in tune. At times, the piano and bass played a duet with the bass playing a chorded melody against the piano's thematic rhythms. This, with the sound of the quiet wash of the cymbals and gentle, toneful thub of the toms on the drums was quite stunning.

For those of you who are not familiar with Michael Kaeshammer, here's a sample. However, the piano in this clip doesn't come close to the tuning Bill gave the Steinway in the Janesville performance hall. The EBVT III sounded "up," "healthy," and alive. The piano in this clip sounds flat and sickly by comparison.

Michael Kaeshammer Hamps Boogie-Woogie / Sweet Georgia Brown

--Andy Strong
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/12/10 09:38 AM

Thanks so much Andy! I loved your last piece. Wow! I did not know that the artist had acknowledged my work (which is rare for an artist to do but I have seen them do it far more often for unequal temperaments than they ever do for ET). So, to all those who condemned the EBVT III and said or implied that a performing artist would find it unacceptable, I have never found that to be true. Instead, they offer accolades.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/12/10 12:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: BDB
I hope you can broaden your horizons sometime.


BDB,
Would you please elaborate? I don't know what you mean, and I really want to know, because when people give me advice, I want to consider it carefully.

Thanks!

I think you should try the same thing on a variety of pianos, rather than just a worn-out spinet.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/12/10 01:37 PM

BDB, I saw the old upright that Andy rescued. It is quite a well build piano and really not in bad shape at all. I would love to help him recondition it. Whether or not Andy could really afford to go out and buy a new piano, I sense that he would gain more from the experience of saving the old one that had been put out as trash. He could always sell it later and get a new piano.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/12/10 10:04 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: BDB
I hope you can broaden your horizons sometime.


BDB,
Would you please elaborate? I don't know what you mean, and I really want to know, because when people give me advice, I want to consider it carefully.

Thanks!

I think you should try the same thing on a variety of pianos, rather than just a worn-out spinet.



Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
BDB, I saw the old upright that Andy rescued. It is quite a well build piano and really not in bad shape at all. I would love to help him recondition it. Whether or not Andy could really afford to go out and buy a new piano, I sense that he would gain more from the experience of saving the old one that had been put out as trash. He could always sell it later and get a new piano.


BDB and Bill--

Ha-ha-ha! laugh (That's me laughing melodiously and with good intentions.) Yes, BDB, I would love to broaden my horizons that way!!! Yes, Bill, you are absolutley right and I'll look forward to your directions! Here is a long, way-off-topic reply about some of my journey, since you brought it up...

Last month, I went piano shopping and spent several hours at the piano store in town to see if I believed it was the right time to hunt for a nicer piano. I played the heck out of two Yamaha uprights, one Kawai upright, a couple of Yamaha grands, a Pearl River upright and a grand, a Mason and Hamlin grand, and two Charles Walter consoles. I was specifically looking for touch and tone. I listened and listened and listened and I touched and touched and touched. Nothing beat my Lester. Honestly!

I have also had a lot of experience on a Yamaha grand (new in 1982) that belonged to my dad. It was a joy to play and we spent many hours together on it playing four-hand arrangements (Dvorak, Haydn). Then, when my dad passed away, I spent many hours playing it, deciding how to take care of it. (He lived in New Hampshire, I live in Illinois). For a variety of reasons, I gave it to his star student who had recently gotten a Masters in Music Composition (I truly believe it was the right thing to do, and now we are growing to be brothers because of it!) grin I also believed (and still do) that at the right time and in the right way I would get a really nice piano that is right for me. At the moment, I'm not in a position to buy a bigger, better piano. But when I noticed this Schiller sitting on a neighbor's porch, I kept geting that nagging feeling that I should check it out, which is why it is in my basement now. So, instead of a fine piano at the moment, God gave me a project! Who am I to argue?

I've had my Lester for about 16 years. I got it because I liked its touch and tone and thought we could cooperate. I believed in my Lester, and now that Bill got his hands on it, listen to the sound! I believe in my Schiller, too. (I think Beethoven is going to sound great on it. And fox trots, GP!) Time will tell what specific temperament it needs to bring out its beauty!

So that's some background about past horizons. Who knows what the future holds? For now, I'm content with a piano that lets me play well enough to make some home-made CDs for friends and old ladies, and a piano where I can earn some sweat equity! So, Bill, you're right, I've always been interested in piano guts and I think I have the patience to work with them, now.

BDB, Bill, thank you so much for your thoughts! Sorry if this bunny trail went to "the land of too much information!" But that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

smile

Andy Strong
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/14/10 05:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
... For now, I'm content with a piano that lets me play well enough to make some home-made CDs for friends and old ladies, ...


...By "old ladies," I meant "little old ladies," as in, "little old ladies who give me cookies for helping them get their houses fixed up without getting cheated." (That is my superpower). I missed the edit window and hope I didn't offend anyone! blush

--CB
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/14/10 07:52 PM

Andy is the kind of customer that confirms for me the reason never to refuse service based upon the kind of piano they have. Any piano can provide a pleasurable musical experience through the application of basic piano technology.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 02:06 AM

Glen,
I just studied your Bach C maj prelude comparisons, and here's what I hear. (I know this piece VERY well)...

The EBVT III is quieter, wetter, and sweeter. The prior ET is "pokey," meaning it pokes at your ears. It is cutting and harsh and sour by comparison. Your playing is very thoughtful, sensitive, and even (which is VERY difficult to pull off in any rendering of this piece). Kudos.

I wonder if Bach knew what he was giving future generations when he wrote this "test piece"?

I also wonder if Jeff Beck knew what he was doing when he recorded "Goodbye Porkpie Hat"? Jeff Beck made some poke-notes in his rendition as well!...

Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 02:27 AM

Ive listened again to the Bach 2 versions, and I feel the same probably as you when playing, meaning a little surprized with some changes in chords harmony a little unsecure (may be because you are not yet used to that temperament, you are way more at ease with the ET version, even if yes the tuning could have be a little more "singing" - it is yet avery good tuning I'd say.) .

In the EBVT version Some intervals looks like if their span is too large.
The final C maj harmony is nice but with something not quiet, to me.

The more it goes the less I find beauty in unevenness, but indeed I am really having a very accurate hear, used to ET etc...

It seem as that purity is higher (in some tones indeed) , but at the expense of resonance, globally.

SO the musical output may be can be more in front , I dont know, but the harmonic foundation give me feeling of insecurity.
It may in any case be a nice experience from the pianist point of view, the ear/brain like to be surprised.

If it was possible to get that feeling without the sensation of discomfort, that would be perfect.

I would try however to have that kind of purity in standard tuning whenever possible. Unisons quality (and tuning pin firmness) play a large role in that (even more than I have believed before)









Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 03:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Andy is the kind of customer that confirms for me the reason never to refuse service based upon the kind of piano they have. Any piano can provide a pleasurable musical experience through the application of basic piano technology.


Yes agreed it is also rewarding, and you feel you have done right to some musician.

But somewhere it is a pity that good pianos are so rare.

On those kind of piano, a service call range between 4 and 8 hours (the first one). Often, despite the explanations, the customer stay on the impression that I am doing "too much" ("this is not for concerts"...). And remind of the cost before calling me back for a regular tuning, so most of the benefit is often lost soon.

I am well aware of that now when dealing with those situations, most often I do a PR and a little cleaning, screw tightening, capstan turning for a moderate fee, and I take an other date with a quote to make the final job.

With the method "preparatory tuning + extra strong pin setting) shown lately by Alfredo to me, it is possible to make in one pass a little PR ( up to 20 cts possibly) and final tuning (whith a good judgement about the stretching)

A good EDT may help for those situations, as I noticed sometime (when I was using EDTs daily) that a large PR can be more settled (tuning pin wise) than an usual tuning for some reasons (probably the fact that when using an EDT we move not enough the tuning pin and string because if we do so the display get crazy).











Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 09:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Ive listened again to the Bach 2 versions, and I feel the same probably as you when playing, meaning a little surprized with some changes in chords harmony a little unsecure (may be because you are not yet used to that temperament, you are way more at ease with the ET version, even if yes the tuning could have be a little more "singing" - it is yet avery good tuning I'd say.) .

In the EBVT version Some intervals looks like if their span is too large.
The final C maj harmony is nice but with something not quiet, to me.

The more it goes the less I find beauty in unevenness, but indeed I am really having a very accurate hear, used to ET etc...

It seem as that purity is higher (in some tones indeed) , but at the expense of resonance, globally.

SO the musical output may be can be more in front , I dont know, but the harmonic foundation give me feeling of insecurity.
It may in any case be a nice experience from the pianist point of view, the ear/brain like to be surprised.

If it was possible to get that feeling without the sensation of discomfort, that would be perfect.

I would try however to have that kind of purity in standard tuning whenever possible. Unisons quality (and tuning pin firmness) play a large role in that (even more than I have believed before)


Yes, Isaac, we have heard it all before. You like ET, only ET and anything else disturbs you. There are a few other people that say the same thing but many more people who don't. The artists often make positive comments about their musical experience but have nothing at all to say about what ET does for them. They can only comment about the piano itself.

The fact is that Bach did not write this music for ET and did not play it in ET. I know, there are people who say that he could have and will go to any length, any speculation possible to find some way to say that he did or that if he lived today, he would want ET.

So, I will counter your remarks and say that I have listened to both versions and I prefer the one in EBVT III. I dislike listening to almost any piano tuned in ET and don't even finish listening to the recording. I rarely go to a concert where there is a piano tuned in ET but when I do, I find myself not listening to the music but thinking how I could have made the piano sound better and more interesting.

I fully understand that if you were to attend a concert where I had tuned the piano, you would do the same. You would not enjoy the music, you would be saying how this interval or that is too large, the others are too small. Every phrase of the music would disturb your sense of balance and harmony. You would go on to say that no artist for whom you work would ever want that.

You claim to have "perfect pitch" but I know that there is no such thing as perfect pitch. It does not exist. No one can have what does not exist. What does exist among a few technicians and even a very few pianists is an overly developed sensitivity to ET. That is what you have.

So, I fully understand what your opinion is and that you are entitled to have your own opinion. However, this means that the only thing you can or ever will say about any of these examples of music in another temperament is that it sounds wrong to you. You are welcome to keep saying that but don't expect that it will prevent others from having a continuous journey in the pleasure of discovering all of the nuances of music that are impossible to discover in ET.

None of what can be heard from a piano tuned in a non-ET can be heard from a piano tuned in ET by playing louder or softer, slower or faster or by using the pedals in various ways. Yet, all of those techniques can be used to enhance further any music played in a non-ET.

What I continually see from the ET only people is an effort to suppress the use of non-ETs to the point of trying to forbid it. The ET only people wish to impose and enforce their own opinion on the entire world. If they manage to impose their rule, no one would ever hear any music any other way.

This, unfortunately, has mostly already come true. The recording industry and music education profession have already accepted it and believe in it without question. The greatest fear among the ET only crowd is that someone may experience a non-ET and actually like it. That can only open the possibility that the people who pay for piano tuning will discover that there are in fact, alternatives and will ask for them.

The deliberate suppression of knowledge of anything but ET created its own nemesis: Reverse Well. Pianists learned to stop really listening to the music they play because of it. When they hear what beauty really can come from the piano, they embrace it.

It's been a long hard road for me to persist in what I believe but I find daily confirmation that it is the right path to follow and I am not turning back. My clients all like what I do. The few negative comments expressed here by a small minority of technicians never do construct a solid argument against it while the positive comments far outweigh the negative.

What would be interesting, is for anyone who wants to take the time and trouble, would be to post some A/B examples on the piano forum. Without identifying which is which, ask the readers to comment on the same music played in ET and the EBVT III or any other non-ET. Which example do you prefer and why? Any descriptive terms are encouraged. Most people will not be able to say which recording is ET but they will have a preference. I already know that the preference for the non-ET will far outweigh the preference for ET.

There are already enough such postings in various threads to do this. I hope that more can be made and it can be an on-going study.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 10:27 AM

Dear all,

I've quickly popped into this thread, after taking a break for a few weeks. Bill's closing comment struck me:

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
I already know that the preference for the non-ET will far outweigh the preference for ET.

There are already enough such postings in various threads to do this.


With all due respect, Bill, it's really not surprising that there will be more (apparent) support for non-ET, because as soon as someone in these threads starts criticising non-ET (specifically EBVT-III), he/she gets accused of "wanting to forbid" non-ET, or "wanting you to change the way you do things" - sometimes to the point of being flamed by you. (As I myself have experienced)

Are you surprised, then, that there are (apparently) more supporters of non-ET than critics? Who would want to criticise if the outcome is bound to be a flaming by Mr Bremmer?

Just for the record: I don't think for one moment that Jeff (UnrightTooner), Isaac (Kamin) or anybody else is trying to "forbid" anything, or trying to "make you change your (oh-so-bad) ways". That's what you read into their criticism. (Criticism that was asked for, but not welcomed when it was given!)

If negative feedback is only going to make you defensive, why ask for feedback in the first place?

Anyhow, for my part, I've listened to a number of EBVT-III recordings, and find the deviations from ET so small that I don't find it objectionable.

Wishing all technicians happy tuning!
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 10:44 AM

It has all been stated previous Mark. Interesting to note while everyone here is willing to let Bremmer have his point of view (however skewed it may be) and further, everyone is willing to let him tune the way he would like to, Bill simply cannot abide the fact that some might have a differing point of view. And have people tune differently??? It is almost piano tuning blasphemy according to Bill...
The whole scenario gets tiresome and quite silly after a while....
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 11:06 AM

I tuned a piano for a local musical a while ago and went to one of the performances. While the very small pit band warmed up I knew there would be trouble. The lead guitar was tuned so “sweet” I would call it greasy. And the bass guitar was played by someone with Absolute Pitch that by reputation tunes to suit his inner ear and not the rest of the world. It was not obvious when they weren’t playing the same notes, but when they were it sure did sound wrong, but probably only to me.

Afterword I got to thinking what I could have done different. Should I have researched how the lead guitar and bass guitar tuned and tried to match it somehow and then charge quadruple to pay for the research, the custom tuning and the retuning to ET? Or maybe tune EBVT III that really doesn’t ever sound right to me anyway so that I cannot quite put my finger on what is wrong? Like what a drywaller might do with a ceiling that is out of whack. Put enough texture on it to keep the eye from noticing the flaws.

Well, I just don’t think that way. I tune ET and make no excuses.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 11:24 AM

Mark,

What I proposed was a study on the Piano Forum of pianists listening and evaluating, not a thread in which I would participate at all. Thanks for your comment that you didn't find much that was objectionable but your very comment shows that you come from the side of the issue where anything but ET would be considered objectionable and therefore wrong. If the temperament were unequal enough that you would notice something, the only thing that you would notice would be something disturbing to your sensibilities and therefore, it would be wrong.

It is OK with me if some technicians don't like the EBVT III but what I find is that the opinion is always a pre-determined one. I really think that in most cases, the people that have scrutinized what they have heard so carefully (with the idea already in mind that it will be unacceptable), find descriptive words that go far beyond what is really there.

Let me draw a comparison: A person that passes the temperament and midrange portions of the PTG tuning exam both with a score of 100 is rare. That means that most aural tuning of ET has some sort of deviation in it. A person can still pass that exam with a total of 15 cents worth of error (deviation)in the temperament and even more in the midrange. Such people who do are usually professional piano technicians. Among those who only tune aurally but who barely pass that exam are still able to please their customers. Otherwise, they could not remain in business.

Indeed, there are some who tune aurally, please their customers but even after repeated attempts, do not pass that exam. The EBVT III contains a total 0f 16.8 cents worth of deviation from ET. When plus versus minus deviation is considered, there is only 12.8. I submit that if one of these people were to put a recording of a piano for comments, those who instantly come up with harsh criticism of the EBVT III would not have the same kind of comment about the flawed attempt at ET. Indeed, what I truly believe that if the recordings which are identified as the EBVT III had not been so identified, those who criticize it so harshly would have never noticed. They may have even praised what they heard.

So, it is not that I mind criticism, I see it for what it is: a rejection of the idea itself. If I had approached the artist for whom I worked last Friday, for example and asked him if he would like to try an unequal temperament or a non-standard tuning, the answer would surely have been, "No". Instead, I never even saw him before he arrived on stage to perform. He played the piano and clearly liked what he heard and took it upon himself to say so publicly. How could it be that he would have an opinion that was so completely different than Isaac's, for example? Why did he not, after rehearsing before the show, ask me to "correct" the tuning? He did (through the house director) ask me to fix the pedal squeak but also commented that the tuning was fine. Why didn't he notice what Isaac or any of the others notice? Why did he instead, actually like what he heard if it is so objectionable?

So, don't take what I say as being defensive. I am only trying to point out that the offense is fabricated and disingenuous.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 11:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

.....

So, it is not that I mind criticism, I see it for what it is: a rejection of the idea itself.

.....


So, don't take what I say as being defensive. I am only trying to point out that the offense is fabricated and disingenuous.


Wow! No wonder you do not tolerate the opinions of others.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 03:59 PM

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

Well, I just don’t think that way. I tune ET and make no excuses.


You make my point, Jeff. The ET only crowd essentially says to performing musicians, "I am right, you are wrong".
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 04:37 PM

I have only once performing musician specifically ask for a temperament, and that was on a harpsichord. He liked it, I did not, but I did not say he was wrong.

I tune equal temperament because I prefer it on pianos. I have never had a musician complain about it. If they want something else, they have to tell me explicitly what they want, and I will give it to them if I can, but that has never happened. So tell me, Mr. Bremmer, how am I saying to performing musicians that they are wrong? For that matter, is it not far more likely that you are telling performing musicians who may prefer equal temperament that they are wrong?
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 05:21 PM

I'm wondering how many performers even know they have a choice?
Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 05:54 PM


Hello,

Bill you write:

..."The EBVT III contains a total 0f 16.8 cents worth of deviation from ET. When plus versus minus deviation is considered, there is only 12.8. I submit that if one of these people were to put a recording of a piano for comments, those who instantly come up with harsh criticism of the EBVT III would not have the same kind of comment about the flawed attempt at ET. Indeed, what I truly believe that if the recordings which are identified as the EBVT III had not been so identified, those who criticize it so harshly would have never noticed. They may have even praised what they heard."...

Indeed, I enjoyed some of the EBVT samples that have been posted. In my opinion, and listening "musical", EBVT sounds quite close to the ET I can talk about, and generally speacking EBVT can sound better than many quasi-ET? failed in reverse well.

(O) This, together with its ETD tuneability, can be thought and proposed as a respectable and satisfactory tuning.

Then, things get difficult on some other issues: today a temperament has to offer a shareable reason, and this reason can not be only a "label" like UT, Well, non-equal, ET or what so ever, nor can that reason be "all my customers love it", simply because most of us could say the same: how good, my customer loves my tunings (check dentists, I guess each one of us can suggest a very good one). Customers are not pro-tuners, meaning that we may have higher standards and a different sensitivity threshold.

Also running ET down and wanting to establish a supremacy through sticky clichés or brain hammering or prosaic words does not help either.

And, an ET world against you may be only an unfortunate projection of yours. I'd rather distinguish my source of satisfaction from a call to arms. One point could be "let's enjoy our tuning".

Regards, a.c.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 05:55 PM

BDB, if your musicians had never heard their piano in a different temperament, how would they know to ask for it.

As far as my experience with EBVT III is concerned, and being a professional musician, I did not know what I was missing with EBVT III until I actually heard it on my piano. Perhaps the same can be said of your clients.

If I were a pro-tuner, I would want to explore any and all ways to improve what I do. What might be interesting, would be to tune 1 or 2 of your clients pianos in EBVT III without telling them..see what their reactions are.....you might be surprised at the results.


Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 06:41 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
BDB, if your musicians had never heard their piano in a different temperament, how they would know to ask for it.

As far as my experience with EBVT III is concerned, and being a professional musician, I did not know what I was missing with EBVT III until I actually heard it on my piano. Perhaps the same can be said of your clients.

If I were a pro-tuner, I would want to explore any and all ways to improve what I do. What might be interesting, would be to tune 1 or 2 of your clients pianos in EBVT III without telling them..see what their reactions are.....you might be surprised at the results.


Are you willing to pay me for this?

You are of course assuming that pianos that I tune do not sound better than what you are used to. That could very well be an unwarranted assumption.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 07:06 PM

BDB, I am not assuming that at all. I think I can assume however, that the pianos you tune sound great because you are successful and in business. You must be doing something right.

I was responding to your statement that you prefer ET, so you tune your clients pianos in ET. That's perfectly fine. My suggestion was to push the envelope and expose your clients, who probably have never heard EBVT III on their pianos, to a different way of tuning, and in doing so, they might like it better than ET, then again they may not. What would you have to lose in trying that? If...they do like it better, you have gained their respect even more.

Perhaps a better and less expensive way to go so as to not impact your business, would be for you to tune your own piano in EBVT III when you have some free time, and see if it's something that would appeal to your clients.

In closing, I am not suggesting that what you do is inferior to EBVT III, I am just saying to maybe explore outside the 'norm'.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/15/10 08:23 PM

Thanks GP. I can use the same arguments the ET only guys use. Nobody ever asked me for ET. My clients like the way I tune the piano and I like the way the piano sounds the way I tune it. I wouldn't want to risk having to tune the piano back to the EBVT III after somebody says they liked the way I used to tune it better. Who is going to pay me for that? This ET thing was just some theoretical experimental tuning by some mad scientist named Helmholtz who worked out a bunch of numbers on paper but a lot of people were suckered into it because it sounded like a good idea. No matter how people tried to describe how to tune it, hardly anybody could ever get it right. A guy named Jorgensen wrote a big book on it all, thicker than all the books on ET combined! I'm going with the solid research, not some experiment! We have to have a tuning style that works best for all music, since we don't know what the pianist will play. The EBVT III does work for all music but ET ruins a lot of it. Saps the energy right out of it! ET goes against the way that tuning was done throughout all music history until people started promoting this experimental thing that I'm just not buying! Everything sounds wrong to me when I hear it! I'm sticking with what works for me and has worked since 1992! A lot of other technicians and musicians agree with me on this too. I'm playing it safe!
Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 03:31 AM

Bill, you write:

..."This ET thing was just some theoretical experimental tuning by some mad scientist named Helmholtz who worked out a bunch of numbers on paper...

Mad scientist? Are you talking about Hermann von Helmholtz?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_von_Helmholtz

You write:...but a lot of people were suckered into it because it sounded like a good idea."...

That is your opinion, does it justify this war of yours?

..."No matter how people tried to describe how to tune it, hardly anybody could ever get it right."...

Today things go differently, anybody can tune what ever he/she likes, aurally or with an ETD.

..."A guy named Jorgensen wrote a big book on it all, thicker than all the books on ET combined!"...

Thicker? what do you mean?

..."I'm going with the solid research, not some experiment!"...

To me, it seems that you are happily going with a bunch of ETD numbers, a bunch of cents deviation what from? ET. And as I say it can work, and more, anyone can play with an ETD, add or sottract some 0.nth cents and call his/her own temperament what ever they like. Nothing wrong with that, actually very democratic indeed, quasi-ET variants for all tastes. Then, no need to fight a war.

..."We have to have a tuning style that works best for all music, since we don't know what the pianist will play. The EBVT III does work for all music but ET ruins a lot of it. Saps the energy right out of it!"...

A tuning style that works best? Personal opinions and preferences only do not allow you to state that, so that sounds strange.

..."ET goes against the way that tuning was done throughout all music history until people started promoting this experimental thing that I'm just not buying!"...

Do you mean: since "people started promoting this experimental thing" music and music history has stopped? This to me sounds very odd thinking. Out of your own experience, you approach ET as a threat, but ET has made and is making history, and it has evolved too...if only you wanted to know more.

..."Everything sounds wrong to me when I hear it!"...

Really? You did not say that about my tuning, could you tell Stopper when you heard his tunings?

..."I'm sticking with what works for me and has worked since 1992!"...

Fair enough, this sounds reasonable. But all the rest you wrote?

Regards, a.c.

Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 07:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

Well, I just don’t think that way. I tune ET and make no excuses.


You make my point, Jeff. The ET only crowd essentially says to performing musicians, "I am right, you are wrong".


Yes Bill, I understand that when someone says they think differently that you take it to mean they are saying you are wrong and they are right. But when you say that I am wrong and you are right, I cannot take it to mean that you are saying that you think differently.

Stating opinions and making judgments is not the same thing and they are not interchangeable. When you learn to truly respect other people’s opinions you can have more productive conversations.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 09:28 AM

Jeff and Alfredo, I certainly do respect other people's opinions. However, when I read things like, "When people ask for a tuning, they expect just one thing like when you order a cup of coffee, you expect one thing"; or, "What if she wants it to sound like a piano, not an organ?", I see the same kind of "brick wall" facetious arguments I made.

Jeff, I continually see from you (regarding the EBVT III) things like, "Thank you for posting the examples of the EBVT III, now I know I will never try it", "I don't like the sound", "Everything sounds wrong to me". You have the right to that opinion, of course but don't I have the same right to say that about ET? If I do say the same thing, why does that mean I disrespect your opinion but such statements by you show no disrespect at all?

So here goes: I won't tune in ET because I don't like the sound. I won't even try ET because I have heard it and I don't like it. When I hear a piano in ET, everything sounds wrong to me. There. I said it and I mean it. I didn't say you were wrong to have your opinion about it or wrong to tune in ET. I just said that I don't like it. So, how is that any more disrespectful of your opinion than what you said? It is only disrespectful in your mind because in your mind, you are right and I am wrong.

In the example you gave of tuning a piano at a show and noticing that there was a tuning problem with the bass and guitar, rather than intervening, particularly since these were student musicians, you set yourself above them. You were right, they were wrong. You tuned the piano "right" and the fact that they were wrong was their problem and you wouldn't lift a finger to do anything about it. The only "right" tuning was the proverbial "each pitch unequivocally equidistant from the other" ala Isacoff. Only that makes music, in your opinion. Any other opinion is wrong and just to have another opinion is disrespectful of your opinion.

Well, I do happen to have a different opinion about what makes music from the piano sound its best and I would have helped the guitarist and bassist make their instruments compatible with it as I have done on many occasions. I would not have taken the condescending attitude that I tuned the piano "right" and make no apologies for it.

Alfredo, obviously what I said about Helmholtz was satire.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 10:06 AM

Bill:

The guitarists were not students, they were semi-professional musicians. Even if they were students, I would not stick my nose where it does not belong. It is up to their teachers to teach them how to tune their instruments.

But let’s take this a step further. Let’s say that they were students and the teachers had taught them to tune that way. Perhaps two different teachers taught them to tune two different ways. The question remains as to what could I do in such a situation. The best I could do is tune ET.

You say that you respect the opinions of others, but when I explain that “Well, I just don’t think that way.” you call it condescending. No, you do not recognize when someone is stating an opinion and therefore cannot respect what is stated. And yes, that is a judgment (shared by others) and not just an opinion.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 11:30 AM

It would take me months of study to begin to do an adequate job tuning a new temperament; even longer if it is one only vaguely explained. That is because I only do professional-level tunings. To devote that kind of effort for dubious results is more than I am willing to do, particularly on the basis of a bunch of recordings of out-of-tune, bad-sounding pianos, or the word of someone who cannot get a piano to stay in tune for more than a couple of days. The hacks and the amateurs can do that.

How many concert-level tuners have any of you convinced to tune in this temperament? How many commercial recordings? Any? If the advantages are so great, there should be plenty of them.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 12:44 PM

I see BDB, "months of study" you say for such a professional tuner as yourself. Well, of course no one would want you to spend "months of study" to be able to tune, at least your piano, in a different temperament, after all, you are a professional tuner and you do professional level tunings.... time is money. Far be it from me, who I guess in your book is some kind of "hack", to suggest to you to try a different approach.

I have never asked you to take my word about anything. It was you that took it upon yourself to share your displeasure about EBVT III and now, my piano, tuning, and recordings of EBVT III. That's fine, you are entitled to your opinion.

Btw, thanks for your encouragement in learning to tune better. I am sure glad you are the ONLY professional tuner on this forum that treats "hacks" and "amateur" tuners like this..if you were not, I would not continue to post here on PW, and by the way, I will continue to post here on PW, my journey with my recordings, using EBVT III, and my continued experience in trying to learn to tune my piano better. I don't mind criticism if it's constructive.

It's not worth it for me to try and defend my recordings, tunings etc for someone like you, suffice it to say I have nothing but positive emails, msgs and postings here on PW regarding the beautiful tone, timbre and the overall sound of my M&H BB.

Your attitude clearly demonstrates you have a major bias, and, a major problem dealing with other ways of tuning a piano, not to mention your attitude towards "hacks" and "amateurs".
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 01:15 PM

Hi all,

this thread's still busy! smile

I tuned a Yamaha C7 yesterday, the (classical) piano player in an upcoming concert wanted it raised to 442 Hz from 440. He said something like "It's in tune, but too low for the flute recital".

So, I went there to pitch-raise it. I played it upon arrival, and it sounded good, except for a midrange stretch that was too wild for me. Then I put the strip mutes in, and checked ascending 3rds.

They were not progressive at all. It was not EBVT III, but neither was it by any means ET. It wasn't reverse well either, because C major was as calm as could be.

The tuner who tuned the piano a while ago is the #1 concert tuner in this area. It was a great lesson for me. Listening with non-tuner ears, the piano sang beautifully. Analyzing it with strip mutes inserted, it was all mathematically wrong.

Jeff: Whether you notice it or not, you ARE far from objective, as is Bill. And my question is who ever asked for objectivity in this matter?

Bill is passionate and undoubtedly crosses the line repeatedly, but who draws that very line? I would get crazy much sooner than him.

There is nothing automatically right about preferring the mathematically correct mainstream. There is no correct center from where deviations will take place. There is a mathematically center where everything is even, yes. But that doesn't necessarily make it the right end to aim for. In fact, to me (subjective as any opinion should be), that center is sterile and rather unnatural.

Life in itself is uneven. Few, if any of us, are centered. To be right on the spot would mean summoning all human deviations, becoming neutral. That indeed is the spot in the middle, but that spot ain't a sweet spot to me.

Maybe this is what I like about EBVT III. There is something humanly imperfect about it. Light shining through the cracks, to loosely quote Leonard Cohen.

I really like Bill's approach, because it stems from a musical point of view, and from his passion for music. This goes for his way of tempering 5ths in EBVT III, for his mindless octaves, and for his encouraging belief that ET (or temperaments in general) is no mathematical gift reserved for the selected few - that all of us, through his helpful demystifying of the magics, can reach it with our average ear, just listening.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 01:34 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
It would take me months of study to begin to do an adequate job tuning a new temperament; even longer if it is one only vaguely explained.

Well, you can have your opinions about EBVT III, but please don't say that it's vaguely explained. It's one of the most clear and simple tuning sequences I've ever encountered.

No doubt it will take a while to do adequately, but why the rush? ET doesn't get under your hands over a night, either.

Funny thing is that many passionate people around here post recordings. Isaac, Alfredo, Glen, Gadzaar, Grandpianoman, me myself - we all do that. Others, again, place themselves in the tuning supreme court seat. Although I respect you much and am grateful of your help in my own tuning journey, I have no idea whatsoever of how you tune. I just know you from your critique of other tuners tunings, and you seem to be picky and very determined of what the piano should sound like.

So, if you care about this in a non-bashing way, why not post some non-dubious ETs of yours? I'd really like to hear what a piano tuned by you might reveal.

Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 02:09 PM

Pat:

Of course opinions can be subjective. That is what preferences are, and it is obviously a preference when I say something sounds wrong to me.

As far as obtaining mathematically correctness, when considering a piano's iH, it is not a simple thing to even decide what parameters to base a tuning on. Having progressive audible RBIs is just the start.

But I cannot agree with you when you say ”To be right on the spot would mean summoning all human deviations, becoming neutral.” It think more on the lines of: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” Robert Browning.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 02:25 PM

All recordings are dubious. Did you have any specific objection to the one that I did post? I do not have the equipment to make recordings other than with my laptop. There are other recordings, but I do not have the rights to them. I could have a recording made at one of the schools I tune at, but that is difficult to arrange. However, the guy who played the Chromatic Fugue may make some recordings there sometime. It is the same piano, and I still tune it.

You can always buy a ticket to a show I tune for. There is a good one tonight, in an acoustic situation which makes for difficult tuning. It is not a job for hacks or amateurs. There may be tickets left, but it was a sellout last time.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 04:06 PM

Jeff, I just think it's a very comforting thought that something not perfectly flawless might be beautiful - and even more so than the ideal, so to speak. And I like both Cohen and Browning wink

BDB: I'm sorry, I seem to have missed your postings, I will look for them! Now (touching the anonymity vs full disclosure thread) how on earth would I know where to by a flight ticket, if I get into BDB/ET-checking mode?

As far as sellouts go, in my experience they are no meter for the quality of tunings - I've played excellent tunings for empty rows and crappy tunings for full houses. And, God knows, everything in between... wink
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/16/10 10:03 PM

A little Gershwin.....please forgive my 'hackneyed' tuning and lousy 'out-of-tune' sounding piano. wink

Played on the LX playback system, in EBVT III

http://www.box.net/shared/avzhe6juyn

For those interested in how I recorded this..Korg MR-1000, using 2 Avenson STO-2 mics under the lid, one in the bass, the other in the treble, facing directly down, about 2-3 feet above the strings. No processing, reverb, or any sonic enhancements were used, only volume equalization. What you are hearing is the resonance of the piano, helped by the EBVT III tuning, hammers, bass strings, and Wapin, and of course, the excellent Mason & Hamlin piano itself.

(In listening to this and any of the recordings I have put on box.net, it's much better if you download the file, then play it, rather than listening to it played directly from the website. For some reason, there is some type of distorion, albeit slight, that creeps into the recording. Earphones are a big plus!)

Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/17/10 12:49 AM

Nice choice, GP!!!

The EBVT III supercharges this one!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/17/10 11:28 AM

Thanks Cinnamonbear!

The harmonies and the complexity of the music really stand out with this piece, especially tuned in EBVT III.

I forgot to put in the title of the Gershwin piece...it's the 3rd movement of his Concerto in F.


Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/17/10 03:53 PM

Thanks for posting this, GP! The Gershwin Concerto in F is one of my favorite pieces! It really sounds great on your piano!
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/17/10 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
It would take me months of study to begin to do an adequate job tuning a new temperament; even longer if it is one only vaguely explained. That is because I only do professional-level tunings. To devote that kind of effort for dubious results is more than I am willing to do, particularly on the basis of a bunch of recordings of out-of-tune, bad-sounding pianos, or the word of someone who cannot get a piano to stay in tune for more than a couple of days. The hacks and the amateurs can do that.

How many concert-level tuners have any of you convinced to tune in this temperament? How many commercial recordings? Any? If the advantages are so great, there should be plenty of them.


I would like to state that the above post is the exact opposite to what I have experienced.

I found that once I received insructions on setting the EBVT III temperament that I as an aural tuner could understand, it was easy. The first time I tried it I thought the results were spectacular! The deviations from ET are nothing radical, and produce a very sweet sound. I have tuned it for customers who liked it very much as well.

I say, don't knock it until you try it. Listening to samples was not going to do it for me. I tried it for myself.

So, when the previous post asked the question "How many concert-level tuners have been covinced to use this temperament?", I raised my hand! And I have tuned ET aurally for over 25 years.

I appreciate all that Bill has done in helping others to learn that there is something else out there that can really be enjoyed, even savored - especially by the pianists themselves. Since most technicians are not accomplished pianists, perhaps they cannot have the same appreciation for how the piano sounds musically.
Posted by: BDB

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/17/10 10:30 PM

I have not knocked anything other than what I have actually listened to that sounded bad to me.

Have any of you gone through the effort of trying to learn to tune the way I tune? It seems not, if you do not even understand what I would have to go through to learn what you seem to think is so simple.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/17/10 10:54 PM

BDB, it might actually do some good if you took the time to lay it out. If you already have, find that post and repost it here.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/18/10 04:55 PM

In re-listening to my recording of the 1st and 2nd movements of Gershwin's Concerto in F, there are enough beautiful sounds coming through to warrant presenting them here, along with the 3rd movement, which I had already posted above, but also include here as well.

The caveat here is that I was not able to produce a "broadcast" quality tuning, where every unison is perfect, and where my trouble area, the 5th and 6th octaves are not spot on.

Nerve the less, keeping those points in mind, there are some wonderful and incredible sounds coming from the piano. EBVT III seems to bring a richness to the harmonies and themes. Best to download and listen with your favorite headphones. smile

During the summer when I have some free time, Bill is going to work with me to improve my hammer technique. We will also be making some recordings with Bill tuning my piano in EBVT III.

Enjoy!


Gershiwn's Concerto in F played on the LX system, in EBVT III

Gershwin-Concerto in F 1st mov, played on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/dpgxgm42sb

Gershwin-Concerto in F 2nd mov, played on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/4573rycabj

Gershwin-Concerto in F 3rd mov, played on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/avzhe6juyn
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/18/10 08:11 PM

Hammer technique will only improve once you can get into a position where you are tuning several different pianos a day, five days a week or so. After about a thousand you'll have it down. It's been said hundreds of times, tuning the same piano over and over again won't do it.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/18/10 10:10 PM

Byron, I respectfully disagree in this instance. GP is really only interested in keeping his own piano in tune although I believe he has mentioned he has done a few tunings for a few friends. Having the privilege of knowing who he really is, a truly great musician and artist that would humble us all, he neither has the need nor the interest in becoming a piano technician.

What he does want to do is learn to maintain his instrument the best he can. This would have been and is discouraged in most cases. There are, however exceptions to every rule. GP proved his capability to me with his first examples. I was honored that he even wanted to try a method of tuning that so many had literally stomped upon, dismissed, ridiculed and mocked (and they're still doing it). He has been delighted with the results and considering his stature as a professional musician and performing artist of the very highest caliber (if all of you only knew where he is now and what he is doing, you would step back and bow in humility), I consider it to be the confirmation that I need to continue. (GP is not the only artist by far who has confirmed this to me. So many high caliber musicians have on a regular basis and NONE of them have EVER said anything remotely close to what some technicians here have said. Is it any wonder why I would dismiss those opinions as disingenuous and not worth consideration?)

While I haven't yet worked with GP and observed his hammer technique, I actually don't believe the hammer technique itself is really the problem. There have been a number of possibilities suggested as to why the 5th and 6th octaves seem to want to go flat. They are all plausible. One that hasn't yet been suggested is that the fitting of the pinblock to the plate flange may have some gaps in it. I have not questioned the rebuilder about that nor do I intend to. If that is indeed the problem, it can and will eventually resolve itself.

What I do think may be the problem is in the hesitance to perform a pitch correction first before a fine tuning is attempted. This is fairly common among tuning novices. If what is happening is what I think is happening, it is no surprise to me that the piano goes flat and out of tune quickly. It is, in fact, what I would expect to happen.

After the PTG convention, I will visit GP again, work with him as an experienced tuning tutor and attempt to solve the problem. I will spend some time there and we will make a fresh batch of recordings with the piano exactly as I intend it to be. I have every confidence that GP will be able to learn to tune the piano and keep it in tune within reason.

Everyone must remember that if one expects to hear a broadcast quality sound, no piano on earth can maintain that beyond a brief period. For any commercially released recording you have heard, the piano was tuned immediately before that recording. If a recording session is to take hours on end or days to complete, a piano technician has to be on standby to correct any deterioration that develops.

I believe that with a consistently applied technique and a tuning program to which the piano is always returned each and every time, GP's piano can eventually develop some remarkable stability. Some of the remarks that have been made here have been shameful in themselves when it considered how freely GP has wanted to share his experience with all of us. Look forward to more offerings by GP and expect a richness in tone and a delightful experience in key color as GP's technique develops and he acquires new musical offerings.

I'll be putting them on my website. I will want performing artists to hear what they could be experiencing. I will be expecting that as performing artists become aware of the enhanced sound that they could be getting, they will ask for it. Such changes in artist expectations happen very slowly, particularly because so few technicians can or will provide them. When the artists become aware that they have choices and do not have to accept only one tuning style, they are sure to require what they want and they will find the technician who can provide it.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/19/10 04:02 PM

Bill, thanks for your post, appreciate it very much.

Thank you ppat, Nick, Cinnamonbear, for pointing out that there is more than one way to go about tuning a piano to sound beautiful, and that ET is not the ONLY pathway. You all hear it as I do, as a different approach that brings out qualities to the music that ET seems to lack.

Having lived with EBVT III for several months now, when I hear other pianos, I miss the color changes and the effect EBVT III has on the music overall...in ET, they sound 'nice' but they are missing that extra depth and complexity to the music. If I had not heard your EBVT III, I would have never known what I was missing.

I checked with the re-builder in regards to the pinblock and how it was installed. It definitely does not have any gaps in there, so we can rule that out. It's a "Falconwood" pinblock btw.

I look forward to working again with you, and this time, NO piano party, or perhaps AFTER all the recording is done, we can have one! smile

I don't think I posted this one before, beautiful sounds in EBVT III....Roger Williams playing "September Song".....lot's of runs etc. Amazingly enough, Roger Williams recorded this in the late 1970's early 80's for the Pianocorder Playback system, which worked off of cassette tapes! We now can take those recordings, re-encode them with software, (Mid2Piano CD) to the LX language and play them through the LX. It's a great way to save these recordings for posterity, and enjoy them as if he recorded them yesterday!

Thanks again for your post Bill. GP

Roger Williams on the LX playing "September Song" http://www.box.net/shared/iqbytlal5g


Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 08:52 AM

Thanks, GP, I am pleased to know that the rebuilder is confident that there would be no gaps between the pinblock and the plate flange. Many rebuilders fit the pinblock the best they can but as an added measure, install it with epoxy between the pinblock and the plate flange for a rock solid fit. From the answer that there "definitely" are no gaps, I imagine that must have been done.

Falconwood is the very toughest pinblock material on the market. Some technicians joke about it, calling it "F***in' wood". The laminates are so highly compressed that the wood takes on a different character, like coal to a diamond. This is what gives the tuning pins that extreme amount of resistance. It makes tuning difficult now but it also assures that the piano will never develop loose tuning pins in your lifetime.

I've written quite a lot about how the hammer technique I use largely avoids twisting of the tuning pin but when there is as much resistance as your piano's pinblock offers, it cannot be avoided. You simply need to learn how to win the "tug of war" with your piano and you will be able to enjoy tunings that last longer.

I very much enjoy any selections by Roger Williams. The texture provided by the EBVT III enhances the modulations, providing the appropriate tension and release that is written in the music.

When you get home, I wonder if you can find in the LX catalog any recordings done by that Boogie Woogie artist I recently worked for, Michael Kaeshammer? His technique is so phenomenal, you would hardly believe human hands could do what he does.

We have already enjoyed "Flight of the Bumble Bee", I wonder if you can find any recording of "Bumble Bee Boogie"? It is very entertaining! As it does for all music, the EBVT III enhances Boogie Woogie with tension and release. The small minor thirds create the "blue note" effect that we hear in most of the Gershwin and any Blues type music. Boogie Woogie evolved out of Blues, so the blue notes fit right in where they belong. I hear them in the September Song melody too.
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 09:37 AM

I have a hunch that GP is Neil Diamond. Am I right am I right?? laugh
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 09:54 AM

No, and I am not supposed to tell anyone, BUT (it's Elvis!)
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 12:25 PM

SHHHH......neither......I wish! LOL

That makes sense Bill...before we pounded the pins down in that upper treble section, the pins were not that difficult to work, now they are definitely tighter than the rest of the piano, but still are giving me grief. I am sure we can figure it out, and is most likely, as you say, due to the way I tune with the ETD.

I will check what I have, but as I recall, I don't have the "Bumble Bee Boogie". I am sure I can find something similar in my Ampico and LX collection. Another possibility are the musical libraries of other companies.


Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 01:25 PM

As I recall, Bill uses a extended tip for grands - to be consistent with lever technique across the piano? Are you changing anything (hand/body/lever position) in the problem area that might be causing instability?

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 01:49 PM

Hi Ron,

I don't think I am....I usually drop the pitch slightly before pulling it slightly sharp, then I bang on the note while nudging the pitch down to stop the ETD. A lot of the notes in that 5th-6th octave, after I have pounded the note to be correct, if I keep pounding, the note continues to go flat. I am sure it's the way I do it that's at fault. The rest of the piano does not go flat near as fast, and the unisons are much better as well.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 02:06 PM

I like to pull up to the pitch the a short snap with the wrist. I don't like to nudge down to the pitch as my last adjustment. I find the piano goes flat quickly with that type of move.


Elvis is dead isn't he?
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 02:44 PM

I can't feel your block/pin/string connection from here. Bill should be able to come up with some suggestions...

Try this for now - (single string test)
After you drop the pitch a bit, do a quicker pull to get above the pitch. That has a better chance of moving the "root" of the tuning pin. Any small movement now will be torquing the pin a little. The goal is to place it where the pitch wants to stay high. Go ahead and bring it down just a little and see if some pounding makes it shift any more. Sometimes the pitch will even creep up!

Play with the difference between feeling the pin move and feeling the pin torque. Then you will have a better chance leaving the pin/string in a stable position.

make any sense?

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 03:06 PM

Originally Posted By: RonTuner
As I recall, Bill uses a extended tip for grands - to be consistent with lever technique across the piano? Are you changing anything (hand/body/lever position) in the problem area that might be causing instability?

Ron Koval
chicagoland


Ron, I did away with the extended tip what I got the Joe Goss tuning hammer.

I wrote essentially this on another thread: I think the reason that section of the piano goes flat so quickly is the high pin torque and that GP will naturally put a lot of twist in the pin. If the entire section is flat, even by just a few cents and all GP does is pull and twist the pin until each string is just barely up to the pitch his ETD indicates, it is no wonder to me that the whole thing quickly reverts to nearly where it was to begin with.

I need to teach him how to do a relatively quick and stress free pitch correction. I believe that he will then find fine tuning of that section far easier to accomplish and it should hold much longer.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Hi Ron,

I don't think I am....I usually drop the pitch slightly before pulling it slightly sharp, then I bang on the note while nudging the pitch down to stop the ETD. A lot of the notes in that 5th-6th octave, after I have pounded the note to be correct, if I keep pounding, the note continues to go flat. I am sure it's the way I do it that's at fault. The rest of the piano does not go flat near as fast, and the unisons are much better as well.


I forgot to mention that the 5th and 6th octaves are a little more sensitive than the rest of the piano. The "it keeps on going remark" tells me a lot. I know very well what you mean by that. Essentially, the piano is winning the "tug of war". You need to learn how to send people over to that side and kick them in the butt so you can win at this game. It's really fairly simple and all a matter of technique, knowing how the piano will respond. You know what the piano wants to do, so you take counter measures to defeat it.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 03:19 PM


Here's a nice summery of good tuning technique.

http://www.blackstonepiano.com/tutorial/tuningtechniques.htm

GP, If you "flag pole" the tuning pin the tuning will definitely be unstable. The pin has to turn even ever so slightly. I like to have a little play in the hammer so I can tap to pin.

Ron, you have many great videos. Do you have any showing good hammer technique?
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 03:43 PM

Took a huuuuuge break from the videos.... Hoping to get going again soon!

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 04:57 PM

Ralph, thanks for the tip. Yes, I am aware of the 'flagpoling' issue...that's why I wanted the pins to a bit lower, as they were somewhat high, and easily prone for me to flagpole them a bit. My tuning hammer is the Fujan with only a 5 degree head...that was suggested as a way for a novice tuner to do less flagpoling. Here is a picture before we pounded them down.



That makes sense Bill.

After watching Bill this last time and his explaining that a sharp nudge/tap on the hammer is better than a slow pull, as it helps equalize the whole length of the string, I did not have enough time to try it out. I am sure we will get into all that when he returns.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 05:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
I like to pull up to the pitch the a short snap with the wrist. I don't like to nudge down to the pitch as my last adjustment. I find the piano goes flat quickly with that type of move.


Ralph, you hit the nail on the head. That will only lead to the "they keep on going" syndrome. I have been tuning pianos for so many years and have made all of my significant income for over 30 years by tuning pianos that I have naturally learned to become very efficient. I hardly have to think about the movements I make to stabilize a tuning pin and the string. The movements are instinctive to me, so they take very little time. I would say that most technicians on here would not even be aware of the actions I take to set a pin because they happen so quickly.

While I can appreciate the idea of taking a slow and very careful approach to tuning, time is money. It is certainly not about hacking out 4 or more tunings a day, wham, bam, thank you, ma'am and running a piano tuning racket. Pianos do require other services. There is travel time. There are time constraints on the part of the client, whether it be in a home, a school, church, restaurant, hotel, performance stage, etc. Those who can consistently get the job done and get it done well survive in a market with heavy competition.

I took a good long time to tune GP's piano that day but I would be the first to say that it can probably be improved. I wouldn't change it much, no, but I think I may be able to stretch the high treble a bit more and get that glorious pipe organ effect that seemed to be a bit disappointing in this case. I would also focus more on getting truly equal beating intervals where they are called for.

While I had the entire day, I did have to wait for long periods for other technical work to be finalized. A lot of time was wasted tracking down an annoying "buzz" when by instinct, I knew where it must be coming from. Only when I finally looked for what I was sure it must have been but was twice told, "No, it couldn't be that", did I resolve the issue quickly.

That is why I brought up the possibility of pinblock "rocking" because of potential gaps in the fitting. It does happen and therefore it came to mind. It is not something I could do anything about, so I accept the answer that "it couldn't be that" in this case.

There are many extremes in the life of a piano technician. I won't try to list them all here but how long it takes to tune a piano very well is a good example. Many times, I simply must get the job done as quickly as I possibly can for whatever reason. I do it and it happens. However, I would also say that when I have had all the time in the world to get a piano tuning to a state of complete, flawless perfection, that has never happened once, not even in 8 hours of concentrated work, not in over 40 years of wishing that I could. There is always some kind of cut off point. The closer one is to that ultimate state of perfection, the more elusive it becomes.

Speed and accuracy are not to be thought of as something negative. If any one of us were to watch a skilled factory stringer, for example, one who can lay on the strings and cut the string accurately enough for a perfect 3 coil job would be amazed at how quickly each string is so expertly installed in a matter of seconds. Neither that person nor the factory could afford the 10-15 minutes it take me to install a string and really get it right!

Originally Posted By: Ralph
Elvis is dead isn't he?


They say he is but there have been "sightings" in Wisconsin. smirk The recent meteorite crash near here was said to have finally taken him out! tiki

Those of you who have speculated on who GP is are not even warm. You'll never guess in a hundred years. The most I'll say is what he has already said, that he is a classically trained musician and performs as such. I do wish you all could experience his amazing technique. He is a man of talent and has done remarkably well so far in tuning his piano. Any of the professional technicians on here would find tuning his piano and putting the tuning up for display on here to be quite a challenge.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 06:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Ralph

Here's a nice summery of good tuning technique.

http://www.blackstonepiano.com/tutorial/tuningtechniques.htm

GP, If you "flag pole" the tuning pin the tuning will definitely be unstable. The pin has to turn even ever so slightly. I like to have a little play in the hammer so I can tap to pin.

Ron, you have many great videos. Do you have any showing good hammer technique?


Ralph, I don't know who you are but I just read the "bible" when I went to your link! GP, out of all of the drivel that may be written on here, the link that Ralph posted may be of more help to you than anything I have seen yet. Study his material carefully!

Ralph, I don't know if you are a PTG member or not but your writing is so excellent that with a little editing, it would make an excellent PTG Journal article! Articles by non-members are sometimes published.

I truly thank you for a most excellent contribution! If you like the idea of publishing your ideas in the PTG Journal, I would be more than happy to help you edit them into a final format. I believe every technician should be aware of what you have written. It is all very practical and true to my own experience.

As a Steinway involved/trained technician, I also thank you for not taking the "bashing" route on this thread. You have offered practical and useful advice on how to attain desired results. That is immensely appreciated! There are certain Steinway tuners who are occasionally called upon to perform the "Rembrant" (colorful) tuning. What they actually do has always remained unexplained. With that in mind, I would like to know of your true impression of the recordings GP has submitted. Do you find an enhancement or does the inequality of temperament rub you the wrong way? I promise no flames as to your response.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 06:36 PM

Thanks Bill. Ralph, I will definitely read through your tuning instructions, and thank you very much for posting the link to them.

It's very much appreciated to see this kind of help, as opposed to some of the negative posts I have seen here that offered nothing but criticism etc!
Posted by: Alan T.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 08:31 PM

Ralph: Your website link in the above posting has great information. I really enjoyed reading it and can't wait to use what I have learned.
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 08:56 PM

[quote=Bill Bremmer
Those of you who have speculated on who GP is are not even warm. You'll never guess in a hundred years. The most I'll say is what he has already said, that he is a classically trained musician and performs as such. I do wish you all could experience his amazing technique. He is a man of talent and has done remarkably well so far in tuning his piano. Any of the professional technicians on here would find tuning his piano and putting the tuning up for display on here to be quite a challenge. [/quote]


A hundred years! Good grief. He must not be that famous then.

Could he be.......Chris Botti trumpeter and composer? whistle
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 10:02 PM

I would never tell, even if you guessed right.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 10:18 PM

Thank you Bill. You give me far too much credit.

The website I found that had the tuning information is the following:

http://www.blackstonepiano.com/

It's really a great site with a lot of information.

As far as me publishing an article, I'm not sure anyone wants to hear anything I have to say about anything but I'm about to say it for the first time right here. Buckele your seatbelts.

One topic that does interest me is how molecules, specifically protons, spin in nature. I know, now I sound like a real wacko, but protons do spin. In fact all molecules spin or more specifically, undergo precision. They spin a wobble like a top. The interesting part is that they spin at a very specific rate and direction when put in a magnetic field. They orient themselves north and south in that magnet and spin at a very specific rate depending on what other molecules are around them. That's the fundamental reason we can see things like herniated discs with MRI. Now what does that have to do with tuning and temperaments? My theory, and as far as I know it is just mine, is that our atoms respond when exposed to certain frequencies. Just like in an MRI machine, energy is absorbed when the correct frequncies are experienced. Everybody has experienced the feeling of music washing over them when something happens that's just right at a concert. I actually think we feel music as much as we hear music. When the piano is tuned correctly and the frquencies somehow line up a certain way, we can feel it, not just hear it. I believe something happens at the molecular level for that experience to take place. In fact the whole universe can be expressed as a domain of frequncies as defined by Fourier transform.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourier_transform

How's that sound for the subject of an article? Pretty wild stuff huh?

As far as EBVT III goes, I find it facinating. It does exactly what music and art are meant to do, create tension, then resolve it. At times EBVT makes me feel very uneasy and uncomfortable because I'm not sure where it's headed, but then somehow it finds a home and resolves. It creates far more tension then ET. If a person likes it or not is purely a matter of taste, and I won't debate taste very often. Those that have expressed negative reactions to EBVT III I think are very sensitive to that tension similar to how many people felt during the premiere of Rite of Spring when fights broke out in the audience. I just saw that with the Philadelphia Orchestra and it is at times a very uncomfortable piece. I also think we have inherited memory from the cosmos in our DNA and because of that, certain combination of frequencies rub us either the wrong or the right way. I just haven't quite figured out why that is or what those secret memories from the beginning of time are just yet. I have a feeling the beginning of the universe was a very traumatic event.

Sorry you asked yet?
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 10:22 PM

That must mean I've nailed it. I've never seen you post such few words!

I'm just having a little fun, Bill. smile I'll stop playing detective and get out of your hair and respect Chris's....I mean! GP's desire for anonymity. wink
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/20/10 10:32 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Thanks Bill. Ralph, I will definitely read through your tuning instructions, and thank you very much for posting the link to them.

It's very much appreciated to see this kind of help, as opposed to some of the negative posts I have seen here that offered nothing but criticism etc!


Believe me GP, after all or the excrement that we both have had to deal with, the humble posting by Ralph is the one worth absorbing every word of. He really knows what he is talking about!
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/21/10 10:48 AM

You're being very nice Bill. Thank you, but it looks like my post scared everybody off. I do have that affect every once in a while.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/21/10 04:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer
There are many extremes in the life of a piano technician. I won't try to list them all here but how long it takes to tune a piano very well is a good example. Many times, I simply must get the job done as quickly as I possibly can for whatever reason. I do it and it happens. However, I would also say that when I have had all the time in the world to get a piano tuning to a state of complete, flawless perfection, that has never happened once, not even in 8 hours of concentrated work, not in over 40 years of wishing that I could. There is always some kind of cut off point. The closer one is to that ultimate state of perfection, the more elusive it becomes.


This is very comforting to hear, Bill. Lately my tuning average time has been increasing. I'm getting stuck in the variety of choices. I have to start commanding myself to let it go, and to start listening again...
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 02:21 AM

The headline would be "EBVT III Pipe Organ Effect Spotted in Kabalevsky."

Indeed, I got out some Kabalevsky to practice last night--some stuff I hadn't worked on since Bill tuned my piano to EBVT III. Lo and behold! I was merrily playing a prelude, when what to my wondering ears should appear, but the pipe organ effect, perfectly clear!

It's at the end of this little one minute piece of music, played a little frantically but I hope you can forgive that--It was an exciting discovery! (All the standard disclaimers apply: Lester spinet, creaky bench, blah, blah, blah...)

Kabalevsky "Prelude" Op. 5, No. 2
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 09:36 AM

Thanks for that example, Andy! I really liked it. Your little piano is holding up fairly well. I'm also glad you found a piece where the pipe organ effect is heard in a true musical context, the way the music was written.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 10:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
Thank you Bill. You give me far too much credit.

The website I found that had the tuning information is the following:

http://www.blackstonepiano.com/

It's really a great site with a lot of information.

As far as me publishing an article, I'm not sure anyone wants to hear anything I have to say about anything but I'm about to say it for the first time right here. Buckele your seatbelts.

One topic that does interest me is how molecules, specifically protons, spin in nature. I know, now I sound like a real wacko, but protons do spin... [etc.]

Sorry you asked yet?


Well, Ralph, the article on FT is way, way over my head but the fact that temperament can and does have an emotional effect on people is not. I'm not at all sure whether it can be explained in terms of how a temperament can make people's protons spin a certain way but clearly, the effects of temperament and other ways a piano may be tuned can be either pleasing or displeasing.

I did find the Blackstone piano website interesting. In particular, this quote:

Bach Prelude

Why not provide a musical example of what my tuning sounds like, before you delve into my tuning method? I’ve included a recording of J.S. Bach’s Prelude #1 from The Well-Tempered Clavier recorded after I finished tuning the piano for this tutorial. I don’t claim to be much of a pianist; I only recorded this so people could hear an example of my tuning, not to be critiqued on my playing ability (so go easy on me). Mr. Bach wrote the most elaborate and beautiful tuning test ever created. It is a brutally honest reflection of the accuracy and consistency of the tuning, as well as a check on the evenness of the piano’s action regulation and voicing.

Listen to J.S.Bach’s Prelude #1

http://www.blackstonepiano.com/tutorial/mp3files/bach.mp3

We have heard many examples of this same music from examples in Reverse Well both in error and deliberately, in ET with and without the pedal and also in the EBVT III. It is interesting that some piano technicians only like it in ET while it is clear that Bach would have never heard it or played it that way. It is also interesting that Mr. Blackstone (I assume that is his name) considers the piece to be a test and confirmation of a correctly executed ET. When you hear no change of mood during the modulations, it is right, according to him but Bach clearly wrote the music to have those moods represented.

Many people argue that more modern music, usually anything 19th Century or later and certainly any music 20th Century forward was written with no effects from temperament in mind. To put effects in the music alters it. Doesn't removing effects from earlier music likewise alter it from what was intended? We have already heard some comments about the effects the EBVT III has on music both pro and con and more should be forthcoming soon (according to my private mail).
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 11:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: Ralph
Thank you Bill. You give me far too much credit.

The website I found that had the tuning information is the following:

http://www.blackstonepiano.com/

It's really a great site with a lot of information.

As far as me publishing an article, I'm not sure anyone wants to hear anything I have to say about anything but I'm about to say it for the first time right here. Buckele your seatbelts.

One topic that does interest me is how molecules, specifically protons, spin in nature. I know, now I sound like a real wacko, but protons do spin... [etc.]

Sorry you asked yet?


Well, Ralph, the article on FT is way, way over my head but the fact that temperament can and does have an emotional effect on people is not.


When you hear no change of mood during the modulations, it is right, according to him but Bach clearly wrote the music to have those moods represented.




That's my quandary. Why do certain combinations of sounds create mood? Obviously they do. To over simplify, a major chord makes us happy while a minor chord makes us sad. It's very strange why we assign and experience emotions with sounds. The EBVT III creates beats with certain intervals that we are not used to hearing with ET. Some can tolerate those beats, others find them challenging, difficult or even irritating. Helmholtz did a lot of experimenting with perception. He was primarily involved with eye sight, but how we see is nothing more than the perception of wavelengthes. Each of use probably sees a liitle differenly. What one would describe as red another may also, but it's probably slightly different. Someone else may see it as green. Who's right when it's merely a perception? Our entire experience of our world is primarily through vision and hearing, both of which are perceptions and interpretations of frequency and wavelength.

Your EVBT III has definitely tapped into a primitive part of our brains which conjure up all kinds of emotions. EBVT III does create mood. I still find ET pleasing but it is a little sterile and vanilla when compared to EBVT III.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 12:55 PM

Cinnamonbear, thanks for your recording. You can really hear that "pipe" organ effect towards the end.

Ralph, that's what I was referring to as an "earthy" sound when trying to explain in words what EBVT III felt like. Now that I hear piano music with this added dimension to it, I want to hear more, and when I hear ET now, it's missing that added dimension.

I don't think I posted this one, another of Roger William's pieces from the Pianocorder Contemporary Artist series. You can hear the color changes and the moods EBVT III brings to the piece, especially in the lower section of the piano, and even with my slightly out-of-tune treble. smile

"Misty" p/b Roger Williams on the LX playback system. http://www.box.net/shared/f2gk9mdje0
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 01:34 PM

I can hear exactly what you're talking about and I like it too.

Some people like their food spicey while others do not. I like the spice.

I had an interesting experience a while back. I was playing the piano one day and thought to myself that it sounded extraordinarily good. I actually thought it was more "harmonious" than the previous day. About a minute later my wife came in the room and made the exact same comment to me. Then she asked why does the piano sound so good today? I didn't have an answer, but had the same opinion. I broke out my Verituner and started measuring pitches. I had it tuned to EVBT III which I did a few days earlier. The lower tenor section had gone just a little flat which in essence created a wider stretch. Mind you, I'm talking a very small amount. Maybe 0.3 to no more than 0.5 cents. The difference was really amazing. It was so much better. The next day it was gone. I wasn't smart enough to save the pitches into my VT.
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 02:42 PM

Ralph - since you have a Verituner....

Try retuning using another mild well temperament. Either the Koval variable well 2.0, the Coleman 11, or maybe the Broadwoods best are all similar in strength to the EBVT III. All can be found under Well temperaments in the Verituner. PM me if you want to try a stretch style that should enhance the alternate tempered tuning. (what did you use before?)

I think... what's been percieved here by people that enjoy the recordings is not so much an EBVTIII phenomenon, but an alternate temperament with a particular approach to octave stretch - Bill's mindless octaves.

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 03:14 PM

Ron,

A few years ago you actually emailed me a stretch that you use for Steinway Bs. I don't have the B anymore, but now I have a D. I've been using your stretch with good results. I don't really like the stretches built in the VT. I've changed the precentages of the partials a little, but can't quite get it right. I'm using 60% 10:5 and 40% 6:3 in the bass up to C1 I think and then start increasing the 6:3. If you have a custom stretch for an S&S D I'd love to try it. The biggest problem I'm having is getting the octaves from Bb4-Bb5 to G5-G6 to sound clean.

I have tried your Koval 2.0 and even lowered the offsets by 1/2 to create a milder temperament and called it Koval 1.0. I've also tried Braodwwods Best, but never Coleman 11. The ranges of the offsets of the major thirds scare me a bit.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Glen,
I just studied your Bach C maj prelude comparisons, and here's what I hear. (I know this piece VERY well)...

The EBVT III is quieter, wetter, and sweeter. The prior ET is "pokey," meaning it pokes at your ears. It is cutting and harsh and sour by comparison. Your playing is very thoughtful, sensitive, and even (which is VERY difficult to pull off in any rendering of this piece). Kudos.

I wonder if Bach knew what he was giving future generations when he wrote this "test piece"?

I also wonder if Jeff Beck knew what he was doing when he recorded "Goodbye Porkpie Hat"? Jeff Beck made some poke-notes in his rendition as well!...



Hi Cinnamonbear,
Thanks for noticing and commenting on a couple of the pieces I played before and after tuning in EBVT III. I've been out of town for awhile; just now catching up...

I am getting ready for my first-ever recital in May (five pieces), so I am taking a bit of extra care in my playing. I placed a few other non-classical pieces (improvs) that were played in a variety of keys in hopes there would be notable differences. They certainly are subtle.

The immediate feedback I've received from a few customers in which I've tuned their piano in as close as I can get it in EBVT III has been positive. I was receiving positive responses from others when I was attempting ET as well, so I am not sure many of the customers can decipher the differences.

The true test will be when I go back to tune the same customer's piano in EBVT III on which I previously tuned it in ET.

Keep in mind, I have just under 100 aural tunings on different pianos under my belt since embarking on this journey and consistency of results is still a work in progress. I won't leave until I tune a customer's piano to my satisfaction, although the customer is frequently happy with it before I have made my final tweaks. I am finding that I spend more time tuning consoles and uprights than grands...

My piano teacher likes the EBVT III tuning, but she claims that complex/dense chords sound "wrong" to her ear. My girlfriend is somewhat tired of all this comparison recording I do, but regardless, she prefers ET and does not want me to tune her Bluthner 4 in EBVT III, as even a test.

Anyway, my piano no longer has a fresh EBVT III tuning on it and it seems to have settled, if that is the right term. It is still quite playable and I don't have any inclination to put a fresh tuning on it yet. However, with a fresh tuning, I am trying to figure out a way to make Eb-min, Ab, Db sound richer, like it does in ET. There is more color in EBVT III in those keys and all keys, but the richness (if that is the right term for it) is quite different than in ET. Now that I am learning to tune; becoming a tuner now affects how I listen to any piano!

I like having the ability to tune different types - it is part of the interminable learning curve.

When I listen to the radio in the car - I hear good music played on pianos that are too far out of tune for my novice ear. I am poisoned! wink

Glen


G-min EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/ktyjrt3isi
G-min Piece Before
http://www.box.net/shared/7ry3dq43kk

C Major Prelude BWV 846 EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/ylco4mlh58
C Major Prelude BWV 846 before
http://www.box.net/shared/45sqj83vi6

43 1 Db Major EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/0aedzyckn0
43 1 Db Major before
http://www.box.net/shared/hyuboaj34m

Schumann's Warum EBVTIII
http://www.box.net/shared/4hy7y28cdb
Schumann's Warum before
http://www.box.net/shared/nubj4vbxg2

Moonlight Sonata Mvt 1 C#-min EBVTIII
http://www.box.net/shared/vs4f6iit8r
Moonlight Sonata Mvt 1 before
http://www.box.net/shared/1ldt5fxu9n

F-min EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/xm0fa7dvmt
F-min Before
http://www.box.net/shared/nra1eyqev1

Good Bye Pork Pie Hat EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/2l1fk47g6i
GBPPH before
http://www.box.net/shared/btiko8zsx5

Db - Bbmin EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/pl77a3bt1f
Db - Bbmin before
http://www.box.net/shared/j1mdbi474n

Eb - Cmin EBVT III
http://www.box.net/shared/rblcipxxvm
Cmin Before
http://www.box.net/shared/343cglzyqv
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 07:44 PM

Thanks for posting all of those files side by side, Glen. That should give Andy some easily accessible material for the study he wants to do.

Those who talk about the differences between any particular mild WT are correct in the observation that they all do essentially the same thing: restore key color. The EBVT II and EBVT III were a response to the comment that the original EBVT was still a bit too unequal to please the most squeamish taste. The Moore & Moore (or something like that anyway) is milder and Ron Koval's experiments are too.

The EBVTs are written the way they are so as to be easily replicable as aural tuning sequences but they do have their own unique characteristics.

Ralph, if the Coleman 11 scares you, you might try to find the Coleman 16. One thing will always be true: the more you try to eliminate harshness in the bottom of the cycle of 5ths, the less harmoniousness there will be in the top. The closer you get to ET, the less emotion will be expressed. If there is a desire for that emotion but a squeamishness for the consequences, there can still be that one right temperament for each individual. ETD users who desire the very mildest departure from ET are encouraged to explore the 1/9 Comma Meantone. I published the data for that a few pages back.

Cheers,
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 08:31 PM

I would love to hear a pianist like Billy Childs play on a piano tuned in EBVT III.

Most of the comments on the EBVT have been from pianists and/or tuners.
How do horn players and string players feel about it?
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 08:48 PM

Here is a track from a Jazz concert that I tuned for in 2002. The piano is a Yamaha C7. The recording is the pure, raw feed from the sound engineer with no mixing or alteration of any kind (although it could have used some balancing). The tuning is the original EBVT. Make up your own mind as to whether an unequal temperament can work for Jazz or not. I spoke to the pianist afterward and told him that the tuning was "different", he replied, "I noticed and I liked it!" He asked what I did differently and I said I could send him some written material about it. He said, "I don't need to read about it, I heard it!"

http://www.box.net/shared/yngaql7g9d
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 09:08 PM

From what I can tell Bill, the piano blended beautifully with the ensemble.

For a little toe-tapping 1920's music, here are 2 Fox Trots, in EBVT III.....(how did they ever come up with the name "Fox Trots"....I guess the music conjured up trotting Fox's...LOL Here is a link to Wikipedia's explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtrot

1."When I Was A Dandy And You Were The Belle" Fox Trot, Orig Ampico Roll played on the Ampico by Vincent Lopez http://www.box.net/shared/bgba35abv6

2. "Me And The Boyfriend" Orig Ampico Roll played on the Ampico by Vincent Lopez http://www.box.net/shared/p7g9ukq0qm
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 10:45 PM

It does blend nicely. The pianist was obviously into it. There seems to be a sensation of the piano 'riding on top' slightly rather than just disappearing into the musical mix, while at the same time blending in well.

I haven't got the nerve to deviate from my ET comfort zone yet. Maybe one day. I find it fascinating.
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/23/10 11:13 PM

Bill has done a great service by making a clear set of aural directions...

I was working with a student that prefers to avoid machines, but wanted to be able to alter standard tunings - both stretch and temperaments. I consider many of the directions in the big red book unusable - a series of beat rates to replicate without any consideration of the specific piano...

She was easily able to follow the recipe (heck, even I could!) and I told how easy it was to vary the strength with the setting of the F-A speed.

Nice work to all of you willing to post recordings!

Ron Koval
chicagoland
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/24/10 01:36 AM

Glen--Thanks for those recordings. They really bring out the effect of the temperament.

And the fox trots are a nice shift, GPM, after Moonlight.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/24/10 10:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Thanks for that example, Andy! I really liked it. Your little piano is holding up fairly well. I'm also glad you found a piece where the pipe organ effect is heard in a true musical context, the way the music was written.


Yay, Bill! Thanks! Northern Illinois is a harsh climate for pianos, especially in a family that likes to throw open the windows when it finally warms up to 55F! (Maybe that's why the old Schiller on the porch intrigued me--I thought I could improve its lot in life by a degree! grin) The Lester sounds really fine to my ears, and since I found that pipe organ effect in it, I had to share.

The expression in the performance was not what I was after, though. I was hoping for something quieter and more fluid. So I tried something yesterday when I was in a calmer frame of mind. I played it with the soft pedal held down through the whole piece and slowed down the tempo. Unfortunately, what I got was a performance that might be called "languid." crazy But, I'm posting it here anyway because the pipe organ effect in it is so different.

Kabalevsky Prelude Op5No2--Soft Pedal Version

I'm going to post the two versions on Pianist Corner Member Rercordings for help with the expression.

I also plan on posting the other pipe organ effect clips in a separate thread there. Which reminds me, Does anybody remember the post (I think it was Patrick's) that had the YouTube clip of the solo pianist in a concert hall playing a piece that had the pipe organ effect in it? I think it was Carnival of the Animals, but I'm not sure? I've been looking and looking and can't find it, but I know I saw it and I think it was back in January. Help, please!

GP, Glen, Bill, can't wait to listen to the new recordings. Right now, it's off to work, Hi, Ho!

--Andy
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/24/10 11:00 AM

Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Bill has done a great service by making a clear set of aural directions...

I was working with a student that prefers to avoid machines, but wanted to be able to alter standard tunings - both stretch and temperaments. I consider many of the directions in the big red book unusable - a series of beat rates to replicate without any consideration of the specific piano...

She was easily able to follow the recipe (heck, even I could!) and I told how easy it was to vary the strength with the setting of the F-A speed.

Nice work to all of you willing to post recordings!

Ron Koval
chicagoland


Thank you for these comments, Ron. The whole reason I developed the EBVT was because there was no usable Victorian style temperament instructions in the big red book. In 1992, I had the SAT II but I hadn't really learned to use it yet. There was no way to apply temperament correction figures except if one did that manually and I would never have spent a half hour doing that, possibly make errors, etc., when I could be nearly done with an aural tuning in that amount of time.

Jorgensen's Handbook of Equal Beating Temperaments had the only temperament instructions I could follow because in them, an interval was either pure or made to beat the same as another. That I could do. I could also do the Vallotti temperament because half the 5ths were pure and the other twice as tempered as in ET. Among those tempered intervals, 4ths beat the same as M3s.

All of those temperaments, except for the Marpurg (which is a quasi ET with no key color) however proved to be too unequal to work as a "universal" temperament. Jorgensen did provide a clue, however in section 73 of the red book, Tuning According to One's Own Personal Taste. That is where the beat speed clue for the F3-A3 M3 is found. It sets the "throttle", so to speak.

You are well aware of the "long road" it took to develop and finalize those instructions. As an aural tuner, I could always make things work out to my satisfaction but putting them in writing and having them work out theoretically was very difficult.

The final sequence, however works very well. It can be used to create an earlier style WT or even a modified meantone just by slowing down the initial F3-M3 M3. The F3-F4 temperament octave from an A fork is familiar to most aural tuners. It does not require the complex checks that ET does in order to be completely accurate to the intent.

Jorgensen noted that the EBVT III is numerically a virtual replica of one of Neidhardt's temperaments that he developed later in life when he, like Rameau and Werkmeister were gravitating toward the idea of ET, that all key tonalities would be equally accessible. Neidhardt applied the term, "circulating" to the idea.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/24/10 11:18 AM

Here is another partial track from the 2002 Jazz concert. It began with a long, solo piano segment which unfortunately the engineer lost all but the tail end of, having not noticed that his digital tape had run out. There is enough remaining, however to hear how the EBVT works with Gospel type piano playing as a sample.

Some interesting anecdotes about this music: The Yamaha dealer had the piano tuned prior to delivery, so it was on pitch in a fairly good ET. He told the nightclub owner that it would only need a "touch up" if anything. The dealer called me and warned me NOT to tune the piano in any "crazy tuning". He additionally warned me that I would be liable for "damages" if he had to hire a technician to tune the piano "back" after the event. The technician who had tuned it attended the event and saw me and we spoke briefly. I recall him saying, "I guess it sounds OK from here".

Having taken over an hour to tune the piano, pounding hard and working fast, all entirely by ear, the club owner asked me when I finished, "Was the piano badly out of tune?" I replied, "No, just a little but it still takes time to change the whole piano just a little".

Of course, I completely ignored the warning and threat by the dealer. The promoter of the event was my client and an avid Jazz pianist and wanted me and only me to tune the piano the way I tuned it. After the event, the dealer questioned the promoter about it and that is what was said. What the artists want prevails.

Within only four years of the event, the promoter, the pianist, the nightclub and the dealer were all deceased. Therefore, what you hear in this clip is a historical performance in many regards. If there is enough interest, I will try to find other tracks that I think would be interesting from a piano technician and pianist's view to hear how an aurally tuned EBVT worked at that time.

http://www.box.net/shared/2sb4244s7b
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/24/10 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Within only four years of the event, the promoter, the pianist, the nightclub and the dealer were all deceased.


I guess they all tripped over an un-even temperament and banged their heads.........
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/24/10 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
...(how did they ever come up with the name "Fox Trots"....I guess the music conjured up trotting Fox's...LOL Here is a link to Wikipedia's explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtrot


While I was out and about today, I stopped at the pullick liberry and looked up "fox-trot" in the Oxford English Dictionary. It lists when words first entered the printed record. Here is an abbreviated version, reformatted and with added punctuation for readability:

fox-trot , sb. 1. A pace with short steps, as in changing from trotting to walking.

1872 F. M. A. Roe, Army Lett., (1909), 70, "He has a fox trot, which is wonderfully easy."
1888 Century Mag. Oct. XXXVI, 897, "She heard a horse approaching at a *fox-trot."
1894 R. Kipling, Day's Work, (1898), 58, "Would you consider a fox-trot, an' single-foot, an' rack, an' pace, an' amble, disctinctions not worth distinguishin'?"
1946 M. C. Self, Horseman's Encycl. 134, "Fox trot, a slow, shuffling trot, the fox-trot is one of the gaits permitted in a five-gaited saddler as a 'slow-gait'."

2. A modern dance, of American origin, consisting chiefly of alternating measures of long and short steps; also, a piece of music suitable as an accompaniment for the fox-trot.

1915 Truth, 17 Mar., 1/5, "A new dance, the 'Fox-trot', a relation of..'Ragtime'."
1915 Victor Record Catal., May, "Dance records... Fox trots."
1917 S. B. Leacock, Frenzied Fiction, (1919), v. 70, "The others were dancing the fox-trot to the victrola on the piazza."
1919 G.D'Egville, How & What to Dance, (1922), 55, "The Fox-Trot is a dance of many steps, and to the casual observer everybody seems to have different ones."
1919 E. Scott, All about Latest Dances, 68, "The true basis of the American Fox-Trot is an alternation of four slow and four or eight quick movements, depending on the step chosen."
1923 ---A.B.C. of Dancing, 84, "The foxtrot is not a dance in the sense that the waltz and polka are dances because it has no distinctive rhythm and no characteristic step or figure."
1928 Melody Maker, Feb., 127/1, "You have just heard a fox-trot, 'I call her honey because she sticks to me'."
1946 R. Capell, Simiomata 11, 48, "Kirou remembers Macaskie singing foxtrots."

On a related note, there was a fox in our backyard twice this week, rare in an urban setting such as ours. It really did trot.

Funny how these things work, don't 'cha think?

Ralph, I truly believe we all respond to frequencies in deep and mysterious ways, that we are in tune with certain people and not in tune with others, that life is largely made up of cycles and rhythms, and that we need a new forum on Piano World called "Metaphysicians Corner." laugh I once worked with someone who couldn't get near a computer without having it go haywire. LOVED your post!

--Andy Strong
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/24/10 05:56 PM

Andy, thanks for all the definitions! Definitely learned something new. smile

Here is another great "Fox Trot" ...they sure were popular in the 20' and 30's, tuned in EBVT III, of course. wink

"The Night When Love Was Born" played by Ernest Leith on the Ampico, Original Ampico Roll http://www.box.net/shared/rigtupdkyp

Bill, would love to hear more if you can find them.

A large part of the enjoyment when playing these piano rolls, is reading the words as they go by on the right hand side of the roll. They lyrics are a kick, reflecting the culture of pop music in America when the music was composed in the 1920' and 30's. The reason these words were printed on the roll, was to enable everyone to gather 'round the piano and sing along. Before stereos and TV's, this was the entertainment in living rooms that could afford a player piano.

Here are the lyrics to "The Night When Love Was Born" You can actually sing along! smile



NIGHT WHEN LOVE WAS BORN, THE
Abel Baer / David Oppenheim / Young

as rec by Elsie Carlisle 1930's

also rec by Connie Boswell w The Dorsey Bros Orch 1932


You took my lips and sprinkled them with twilight,
Oh what a night, the night that love was born!
You took my eyes and thrilled them with a June night;
I blessed the night, that night when love was born!

The trees did cover dawn beside a silver stream,
With leaves they covered us so we could dream and dream.
You took my heart and dipped it in the moonlight,
That wondrous night, the night when love was born!

Just one Summer night of tenderness
Made a lonely heart confess
Of a love divine.
Just one Summer night meant happiness,
That was when I whispered, "Yes!",
And it made you mine!

The trees did cover dawn beside a silver stream,
With leaves they covered us so we could dream and dream.
You took my heart and dipped it in the moonlight,
That wondrous night, the night when love was born!






Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 04:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Here is another partial track from the 2002 Jazz concert. It began with a long, solo piano segment which unfortunately the engineer lost all but the tail end of, having not noticed that his digital tape had run out. There is enough remaining, however to hear how the EBVT works with Gospel type piano playing as a sample.

Some interesting anecdotes about this music: The Yamaha dealer had the piano tuned prior to delivery, so it was on pitch in a fairly good ET. He told the nightclub owner that it would only need a "touch up" if anything. The dealer called me and warned me NOT to tune the piano in any "crazy tuning". He additionally warned me that I would be liable for "damages" if he had to hire a technician to tune the piano "back" after the event. The technician who had tuned it attended the event and saw me and we spoke briefly. I recall him saying, "I guess it sounds OK from here".

Having taken over an hour to tune the piano, pounding hard and working fast, all entirely by ear, the club owner asked me when I finished, "Was the piano badly out of tune?" I replied, "No, just a little but it still takes time to change the whole piano just a little".

Of course, I completely ignored the warning and threat by the dealer. The promoter of the event was my client and an avid Jazz pianist and wanted me and only me to tune the piano the way I tuned it. After the event, the dealer questioned the promoter about it and that is what was said. What the artists want prevails.

Within only four years of the event, the promoter, the pianist, the nightclub and the dealer were all deceased. Therefore, what you hear in this clip is a historical performance in many regards. If there is enough interest, I will try to find other tracks that I think would be interesting from a piano technician and pianist's view to hear how an aurally tuned EBVT worked at that time.

http://www.box.net/shared/2sb4244s7b


WOw !!!

I listen to that musci this morning when waking up !

I am still laughing , as ANYONE is playin false in the ensemble !! What a joke !.

I dont know if it is due to the piano, or if the ensemble is used to play with moderate justness.. but I feel the ensemble very desepared, justness wise.

Even in the solo the pianist wonder what happen, but as he know that by heart he play the notes.

I'll keep silent for the newxt month now ! thanks for the laught Bill ! at last this was not annoying !



Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 04:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
I can hear exactly what you're talking about and I like it too.

Some people like their food spicey while others do not. I like the spice.

I had an interesting experience a while back. I was playing the piano one day and thought to myself that it sounded extraordinarily good. I actually thought it was more "harmonious" than the previous day. About a minute later my wife came in the room and made the exact same comment to me. Then she asked why does the piano sound so good today? I didn't have an answer, but had the same opinion. I broke out my Verituner and started measuring pitches. I had it tuned to EVBT III which I did a few days earlier. The lower tenor section had gone just a little flat which in essence created a wider stretch. Mind you, I'm talking a very small amount. Maybe 0.3 to no more than 0.5 cents. The difference was really amazing. It was so much better. The next day it was gone. I wasn't smart enough to save the pitches into my VT.


That one makes me laugh as wall !!
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 04:29 AM

Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Ralph - since you have a Verituner....

Try retuning using another mild well temperament. Either the Koval variable well 2.0, the Coleman 11, or maybe the Broadwoods best are all similar in strength to the EBVT III. All can be found under Well temperaments in the Verituner. PM me if you want to try a stretch style that should enhance the alternate tempered tuning. (what did you use before?)

I think... what's been percieved here by people that enjoy the recordings is not so much an EBVTIII phenomenon, but an alternate temperament with a particular approach to octave stretch - Bill's mindless octaves.

Ron Koval
chicagoland


Koval variable , Ron, did you finally learn to tune by ear ?
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 04:29 AM

Let me OUT of here !

Bye
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 05:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding



Keep in mind, I have just under 100 aural tunings on different pianos under my belt since embarking on this journey and consistency of results is still a work in progress. I won't leave until I tune a customer's piano to my satisfaction, although the customer is frequently happy with it before I have made my final tweaks. I am finding that I spend more time tuning consoles and uprights than grands...



I like having the ability to tune different types - it is part of the interminable learning curve.

When I listen to the radio in the car - I hear good music played on pianos that are too far out of tune for my novice ear. I am poisoned! wink

Glen




VERY good job Glen, and thanks.
You will be a first class tuner , I bet.

Still I generally prefer the ET versions even if you can certainly perfect them.

In EDBVT the piano tone more as a toy piano I find.

Your unisons are quite nicely open (may be in basses could be a little more "bodied" they are way better than Bill unisons, to my ear.

Good job.

And sorry Bill I am not trying to put oil on fire but may be someday you will understand what I state about unisons.

As everyone seem to be appreciating what you do I feel I can just put my pinch of salt just to let know I hear things differently.


Best regards to all !
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 10:15 AM

Oh, Isaac. smirk

Glen, I think the toy piano sound that Isaac is referring to has to do with microphone placement, not EBVT III. You are catching some kind of slapback reverb, maybe from the lid, maybe from the wall, but it is definitely affecting the sound. If you could move the mics back some it would help. I think I can hear the individual fibers of hammer felt and damper felt caressing the strings as they move by. smile I am not finished studying your selections, yet, but wanted to chime in in your defense after Isaac's comment. BTW, both versions of the G min improv were very nice music! The ET version was more pleasant to listen to, but only because of the microphone placement, I think.

Bill, About the jazz recordings--I feel like I'm listening to a really high-quality bootleg! grin There is some really fine jazz playing by the pianist and the solo sax. I can imagine what a nicely mixed and balanced recording would sound like. To respond to Isaac's comments here, the musicians definitely are not together until well into the piece. Another problem is that the bass player is not listening to what he is doing. He is all over the road with his pitches and he is always well behind the beat, especially through the solo piano in Joyful Noise. There is one brief section from 9:48 to about 10:00 where he gets on board and you can hear a beautiful resonance with the piano serveral times. (This was the kind of resonance I heard at the Michael Kaeshammer concert I told you all about (p.13 in this thread), where the bassist and the pianist created warmth through the whole piece.) But it only lasts for about 15 seconds, and then he's off in his own private Idaho, again. In the Gospel piece, the pianist simply loses his line of thought. He was trying to develop something dark and chordal, couldn't quite get there, and moved on to something else. If he "wondered what happened," Isaac, it was with his own thinking, not the tuning. What I hear in these recordings is a very nicely tuned piano with lots of energy, holding its own with the saxes. I agree with JByron, that the piano seems to ride on top of the mix while blending well with it--that's a really apt description! Thanks for sharing these, Bill. BTW, what was the bass player playing on?

GP, Once again, the fox-trots made me giggle with delight! I wonder if you can tell us what key they are in? (Actually, I kind of wonder if we can all tell each other the keys of our selections whenever possible and practical, since a big part of the discussion seems to be about tonalities/emotions/tension/release as it relates to specific settings... just a thought.) Both "When I Was A Dandy" and "Me and the Boyfriend" seemed "high and tight," a little bit tense, more toward "crisp" than "tense," perhaps, and, yes, definitely "Vervy!" laugh "The Night Love Was Born" was much more relaxed. Were the first two in the same key? It sounds like it. BTW, now that I know a little more about fox-trots, they strike me as being "Rhapsodic Rags."

The Kabalevsky was in C maj. blush

Best wishes, everyone.

--Andy

Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 12:48 PM

Andy,

Glad you liked my Fourier transform post. It's out there I will admit.

I've been spending a little time looking at stretches and offsets and how to fit the 12 tones into an octave and have the octaves beatless. It's pretty much impossible to do unless we come up with a new scale with more notes in an octave. The Pythagorean comma is about 23.4 cents or close to a quarter of a semitone which is very close to the syntonic comma which is 21.5 cents. I do not see anyone working on a new scale to replace our current scale, so the task is still up to the tuners to find the best compromise. Apparently physics, just like politics, is all about compromise.

For all you calculus buffs out there, differentiation and integration is nothing more than a very close approximation to the truth. Basically our entire knowledge universe is nothing more than an approximation of the truth, just like equal temperament. If we had more than 12 notes we could get closer.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 12:49 PM

Andy, glad you enjoyed them. These fox trots are certainly a fun look-back into the popular music of the 20's and 30's.

Depending on how well the Ampico was rebuilt, it effects how the music is presented. Also, the pianist and the arrangement have a big influence on the end result.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 01:32 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Andy, glad you enjoyed them. These fox trots are certainly a fun look-back into the popular music of the 20's and 30's.

Depending on how well the Ampico was rebuilt, it effects how the music is presented. Also, the pianist and the arrangement have a big influence on the end result.



GP, Do you think I was hearing something in the fox-trots that has to do with the mechanicals? I thought I was hearing something that had to do with the key signatures. The first two were really vervy, in that the "tenseness" or "taughtness" of the sound fit the piece well. I felt like it was in G or something. The ending of "Me and the Boyfriend" is especially cute! It's all very bright and tight. Whereas, "The Night Love Was Born," should be more relaxed, as befits the subject, and it is. It sounds like it's set in a couple of flats. Just curious, for the sake of discussion! laugh

--Andy
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 05:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Let me OUT of here !

Bye


If you want out, why do you keep coming back? Don't you have plenty of subjects on which you agree and are comfortable to comment? Why does someone else who said he would not comment and then commented as to why he would not comment, keep commenting?
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Kamin


Your unisons are quite nicely open (may be in basses could be a little more "bodied" they are way better than Bill unisons, to my ear.

Good job.

And sorry Bill I am not trying to put oil on fire but may be someday you will understand what I state about unisons.

As everyone seem to be appreciating what you do I feel I can just put my pinch of salt just to let know I hear things differently.


Isaac,

Yes I know what you mean. I knew what you mean 27 years ago when I passed my tuning exam with a score of 100 in the unisons. I knew what you mean each time I took the exam since then with the same results. I have known what you mean each time I have examined a tuner for the tuning exam during the past 19 years and given a score for them.

I also know what you mean every time you come on here and make any comments about the EBVT. I knew what you mean before you said it, I knew what you would mean and what you would say before you said it and I know what you mean and what you will say in the future and will always say about it. You mean that it sounds wrong to you and that you don't like it. So, believe me, I know what you mean.

Now, let's imagine a scenario in reverse of that Jazz event in 2002. You are in Madison (and the following could easily occur if you really were here). You are called to tune a Yamaha C7 for an event that evening in a night club. You have a specific time appointment and you arrive for it but are told to wait. You wait. Then, when you are called to the stage, they tell you that you only have an hour. They also say that the dealer said the piano would only need a touch up, so they don't expect you to take an hour but you do and even go over that hour by a small amount.

Before you arrived, the dealer called you and forbade you to tune the piano in ET saying, "I don't want my pianos tuned that way!" "We will charge you if we have to tune the piano BACK to the historical temperament that we normally have on it!" But the promoter, who hired you told you, "I want you to tune the piano the way you usually do. That is what I want and that is why I hired you".

So, you go to the stage, there are noises around, people interrupt you from time to time asking you how long will it take and if the piano is badly out of tune. You see people watching you impatiently. They want you out of the way so they can finish their technical work.

What would you have done? Would you have refused to work? Would you have insisted that the job will take much longer than they allow? Could you have tuned the piano in that amount of time entirely to your satisfaction including each and every unison? Would the piano have held perfectly when so little time had been allowed?

I didn't refuse anything except to acquiesce to the demands of the dealer. I wanted the money for that job and I wanted the money for all of the jobs in the future where I could be and have been depended upon to get the job done on time and under the pressure of time constraints and distractions.

I did such a job today, in fact, on Sunday when I usually don't work except for public performances. It was a 7 foot Shigeru Kawai in a small auditorium for the local piano teacher's association student recitals. I had exactly one hour to work, from 12 PM to 1 PM. The piano was off pitch and flat. I did a two pass tuning but really, it should have been three but there was no time for that. At exactly 1 PM, I finished and played the pipe organ effect.

A skeptical piano teacher who believes only in ET had been watching me, glaring at me and tried to interrupt me (but I did not allow her to). People were coming in early of when they were supposed to be allowed, talking and creating other distractions. She came right to me and said, Well, that sounded fine" and then asked me the same thing BDB did, "But how does the same thing sound in C-sharp? Would you care to play that too?" I replied, "Certainly". I played the C-sharp arpeggio and the teacher extended her hand to me and said, "Nice job!".

I sat with her for a while as we listed to various students try the piano a bit to warm up before the recital at 1:30. Even though she is known to be one of those teachers who only wants ET and makes public comments about it being the only correct way to tune the piano, she made several remarks to me about how good I had made the piano sound in such a short time under so much pressure. (I had worked up a sweat during the one hour, aerobic style concert tuning that I am often called upon to perform).

Now, of one thing I am quite sure. If there had been a recording of that recital and I posted it on here, You, Isaac, would be making the same remarks you always have. The intervals are unbalanced. The distortions in harmony are inappropriate to the music. There would also be comments about the unisons. They could never come close to your approval. I would know what you mean. I won't know it some day, I already know what you mean and I always have.

But ask yourself this again: What would you have done under that circumstance today? Would you have refused the job because you could not take all of the time in the world to tune the piano the only way it will satisfy you?

I wouldn't have and I didn't. The only way I can ever get a piano to sound completely satisfactory to me is if I spend at least half the day tuning it. Isn't that essentially what you have said too? Unfortunately, I don't have at my disposal any 9 foot concert grands with a fine artist playing an array of classical music and a professional recording engineer. I don't live in NYC, LA or Nashville, so I don't really expect my tunings to ever make it to any such commercially available recordings any time soon but who knows? I may well get such an invitation.

So, you have the right to say whatever you will but I already know what you will say, so why bother? Why not spend your time being a source of constructive knowledge rather than irritating remarks?
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 06:26 PM

Ahh...I see your point Andy...yes, the key signature definitely has something to do with the effect of these pieces, along with the arrangement and the pianist. EBVT III certainly brings it out.

Just a general comment about this post..... if there was so much dislike in here about EBVT III, the sound, the effect it has in general, why, are there to date, 28,430 views? People certainly do not keep coming back here to listen to out-of-tune pianos tuned by "hacks" and "amateurs" as was eluded to earlier.


EBVT III is striking a chord with people. It's something 'new' and different, and positive, to add to the tuning world. I for one will keep tuning this way, and I look forward to exploring it in more detail when Bill is here in July, and, in learning how to tune my piano better.
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 06:49 PM

Are you currently in KS?
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 06:50 PM

Originally Posted By: RonTuner
I think... what's been percieved here by people that enjoy the recordings is not so much an EBVTIII phenomenon, but an alternate temperament with a particular approach to octave stretch - Bill's mindless octaves.

Ron Koval
chicagoland

Ron, I think the stretching is important, but more as an extension of the temperament. I've tried both ET and EBVT III with similar and slightly different stretches.

I think Bill might have come up with the most musical solution I've seen this far.

There is something about that particular temperament (EBVT III) and his stretch that makes it highly musical, and higly human (as in not mathematically perfect, but still/thus beautiful).

Actually i'm tuning 50/50 ET/EBVT III by now. Besides that I like Bill's temperament, my ET is getting better. My stretch is developing, too.

I've never understood the downside in achieving a common goal (as in a tuned piano) in different ways. Neither do I have a problem with colleagues disliking EBVT III. I do not tune for tuners, but for musicians.

To put it simply: when I play the piano, I really like the sound of EBVT III. Grandpianoman, too, loves that sound. As do quite a lot of musicians I've introduced EBVT III-tuned instruments to.

Now, I - as a piano player, shutting out all the maths - couldn't care less if it doesn't add up the way it should. I want to tune for music. Bill's temperament is a very musical way of tuning the piano, and that is why I want to get better at tuning that way.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:01 PM

JByron, "We're not in Kansas anymore"....lol...no, I am not in KS. smile Does that clarify who I am 'not'? wink

Patrick, well said! EBVT III is very musical, and as I mentioned earlier, very "earthy". smile
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:12 PM

laugh Hey, wait a minute. If you're 'not', then how did you know where the person that I am trying to clarify that you are is?

Seems a little fishy to me. wink wink
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Oh, Isaac. smirk

Bill, About the jazz recordings--I feel like I'm listening to a really high-quality bootleg! grin There is some really fine jazz playing by the pianist and the solo sax. I can imagine what a nicely mixed and balanced recording would sound like. To respond to Isaac's comments here, the musicians definitely are not together until well into the piece. Another problem is that the bass player is not listening to what he is doing. He is all over the road with his pitches and he is always well behind the beat, especially through the solo piano in Joyful Noise. There is one brief section from 9:48 to about 10:00 where he gets on board and you can hear a beautiful resonance with the piano serveral times. (This was the kind of resonance I heard at the Michael Kaeshammer concert I told you all about (p.13 in this thread), where the bassist and the pianist created warmth through the whole piece.) But it only lasts for about 15 seconds, and then he's off in his own private Idaho, again. In the Gospel piece, the pianist simply loses his line of thought. He was trying to develop something dark and chordal, couldn't quite get there, and moved on to something else. If he "wondered what happened," Isaac, it was with his own thinking, not the tuning. What I hear in these recordings is a very nicely tuned piano with lots of energy, holding its own with the saxes. I agree with JByron, that the piano seems to ride on top of the mix while blending well with it--that's a really apt description! Thanks for sharing these, Bill. BTW, what was the bass player playing on?


The Kabalevsky was in C maj. blush

Best wishes, everyone.

--Andy



Andy, first of all, I loved your languid rendition of the Kabalevsky. I felt you were listening more to the music and expressing it the way it was written as opposed to just playing the notes.

As to your perception of the Jazz, I am repeatedly amazed at how keen your perception is! It is indeed a recording of the nature you described it which I will not repeat in writing (I take the 5th) [the right under our constitution to not be obliged to admit to have committed a crime for all non-USA people on here]. The recording was made and given to me by the promoter and was not copyrighted.

The Bass in the recording is what seems to lie "on top" to me. It is louder than anything else and I agree with you that his pitch at times seems very erratic. The sound from the pick up gives it a hard, metallic attack. For these reasons alone, the whole recording is somewhat ruined. If the Bass had been properly mixed with the appropriate equalization, there would not be as much of a problem. The Bassist was a renowned figure in Jazz and is on the UW faculty as an instructor in Jazz Bass playing.

Many people dislike this kind of Jazz but obviously, the audience loved it. It is a matter of taste. I used to enjoy such live performances in my teen and young adult years. Today, I find almost all of those recordings unbearable for listening enjoyment because virtually all of the pianos are out of tune far beyond the tolerance I have for that now. It has nothing to do with ET versus non-ET, it has to do with substandard tuning, plain and simple.

The sounds that the saxophonists make also push the pitch envelope frequently. They also make sounds which some people find vulgar but which I enjoy.

It is interesting to note that the pianist and bassist are mature Black men who had made Jazz performance a career. The saxophonists were 30 something Black men from NYC who regularly perform in Jazz night clubs there.

The drummer on the other hand was a young, fair skinned, blue eyed and dark blond Italian American from Brooklyn, New York, only 19 years old. I found his playing remarkably supportive and contributory, especially considering the age and cultural differences from the other musicians. He kept the pace of the rhythm unwaveringly, in spite of the often dragging bass. At the private reception following the event, he had an entourage of other boys his own age whom the other musicians called his "groupies". The pianist alludes to this in how he pronounces his name in this next offering from that same event. There is some nice solo work by the drummer in this track.

This is an example of the "Be-Bop" style or something close to it. The Bass seems a bit more tolerable. After two saxophone solos, the piano can be well heard. There is then a trade off of solos and the crowd roars before the Be-Bop style theme is repeated.

http://www.box.net/shared/5os5mfz1n5

I challenge anyone to post a recording of this kind of music, a live Jazz performance in a nightclub where the piano actually sounds more in tune and where the unisons are better.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:20 PM

JByron, huh??? I am not following you.......I think. wink

Oh and btw, I don't like fish! wink smile

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:20 PM

Originally Posted By: byronje3
Are you currently in KS?


Byron, you will never guess where GP is performing and recording right now and we aim to keep it that way.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:23 PM

Bill, very enjoyable and very natural sounding. It sounds to me like it's all blending quite well, especially when the piano soars in the treble above the ensemble.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:24 PM

Originally Posted By: byronje3
laugh Hey, wait a minute. If you're not, then how did you know where the person that I was trying to clarify was you was?

Seems a little fishy to me. wink wink


One thing for sure who GP is not is the Wizard of Oz. You can rule that out. I might actually be a little closer to that if I said all you need to tune the EBVT III is a brain, a heart and some courage.
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:41 PM

This is giving me the CB GP's.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 07:58 PM

LOL...JB..here, try listening to this...it might help to calm you down. wink

"Chanson Dansante" Fox Trot p/b The Original Piano Trio http://www.box.net/shared/jsr3h0g1hc in EBVT III, of course wink
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 08:15 PM

You're right, GP. Sound's great. Great sounding music is what it's all about.

You have to admit, my guess was a pretty good one though.

Bill, I have decided to learn EBVT III but I have to wait until I get another piano in the house. I
can't practice out in the field.
Posted by: Piano Guy

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 09:59 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman


Just a general comment about this post..... if there was so much dislike in here about EBVT III, the sound, the effect it has in general, why, are there to date, 28,430 views?





Just watching feathers flying between a handful of music people.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/25/10 11:01 PM

More than a handful, I'd say. So, here goes another track from that 2002 Jazz event. The second set does seem to be a bit more balanced engineering-wise than the first. The pianist finishes acknowledging the soloists from the previous number first, then he says that it is important to address the form known as "The Blues" in a nightclub named, "Luther's Blues". (So sad to see it go after a tragic fire).

There were other nightclubs such as "Headliners" where I tuned the piano for artists such as Ray Charles and "Merlyn's" where I first heard Wynton Marsalis when he was only 19 years old, performing with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (who had a similar format to these recordings) where I was regularly employed 2-3 times a week as a piano technician. Merlyn's actually has a website up for audience and artists alike to reminisce about the days when they could hear real live music that has now faded from the scene. Today, a real piano played by a real pianist in a nightclub is rare.

This 18 1/2 minute segment opens with the piano. The tuning is deteriorating but still holding to a standard far above what you would ever hear on a recording from the 60's and 70's, especially in a live performance. You can hear how the modulations work well from the primary key and how the "horns" (saxophones) intone right along with that. There is an amazing bowed Bass solo which oddly mimics a voice. "Bent" pitches and all, it displays amazing art and technique. The sound is far more well balanced. The engineer must have actually been listening.

http://www.box.net/shared/ov2qe9z2m2
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/26/10 01:35 AM

Give it up for the catz, indeed! That be-bop, quick-ting was pretty hot! And the blues number--what's not to like?!!! Who can argue with the sound of the piano??? That track is a gem. (I'd say the bassist redeemed himself, there. grin) And the balance was completely tolerable, especially for a recording of the nature previously described but not put down in writing by you...

BTW, Bill, you wouldn't happen to have a recording (OTNPD-BNPDIWBY) of the Kaeshammer encore from a few weekends ago in your back pocket, would you?

Thank you for posting these. Thank you, also, for painting the picture so well about who these guys are and your work with them. Good schtuff, man.

--Andy
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/26/10 02:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT


........far above what you would ever hear on a recording from the 60's and 70's, especially in a live performance. ......
You can hear how the modulations work well from the primary key .........
There is an amazing bowed Bass solo which oddly mimics a voice. "Bent" pitches and all, it displays amazing art and technique.
http://www.box.net/shared/ov2qe9z2m2



ADMIRABLE , it make my day ! - A way to begin the day with a large smile on my face , thanks to that forum.


The tzigane bassist is indeed astonishing !

kind of ice skating driving, very interesting

I cant refrain listening to that once more.

He is about 1/4 tone high most of the time half between piano and saxophone.

There are some medics to aid when the band feel in that
state, Captain Beefhart made a blues about that condition , if I recall correctly, the title escapes me, but the subject is clear when listening.


But The sax is salvaging the situation somehow and follows its own justness, which is good. with no help harmonically wise, from the piano, who sound as a puzzle of notes without coherenece.


They make Miracle when it comes to that Dd in the bass


It inspired me, really !

go on Bill, up to you !





Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/26/10 07:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
[...]The Bass in the recording is what seems to lie "on top" to me. [...]


Bill, just a note about the first two jazz pieces you posted. I would describe the bass as "out front." I want to take him and his amp gently by the shoulder and move him back on the stage about 7 feet.

The description of the piano as "riding on top" has more to do with the quality of the sound, in the way that the piano moves over the rest of the music, like a surfer on a wave. JByron, I repeat, the description is "apt." Correct me if I'm wrong, but the piano can be heard cutting the wave of other instruments. There's a "rudder" quality to it--while the piano steers, while the drums drive. (I also hear a razor quality to it, like a finely honed instrument.)

Bill, I also wanted to ask--the drummer was 19 yrs. old?! Man, what maturity. What's he doing, now? That guy's going places, for sure!

Thanks, again, for posting these.

--Andy
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/26/10 07:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Kamin

There are some medics to aid when the band feel in that
state, Captain Beefhart made a blues about that condition , if I recall correctly, the title escapes me, but the subject is clear when listening.


Wow, Kamin! Captain Beefheart?! Really?! What's the song, please? Do some digging!...
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/27/10 12:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
[...]The Bass in the recording is what seems to lie "on top" to me. [...]


Bill, just a note about the first two jazz pieces you posted. I would describe the bass as "out front." I want to take him and his amp gently by the shoulder and move him back on the stage about 7 feet.

The description of the piano as "riding on top" has more to do with the quality of the sound, in the way that the piano moves over the rest of the music, like a surfer on a wave. JByron, I repeat, the description is "apt." Correct me if I'm wrong, but the piano can be heard cutting the wave of other instruments. There's a "rudder" quality to it--while the piano steers, while the drums drive. (I also hear a razor quality to it, like a finely honed instrument.)

Bill, I also wanted to ask--the drummer was 19 yrs. old?! Man, what maturity. What's he doing, now? That guy's going places, for sure!

Thanks, again, for posting these.

--Andy


Welcome, Andy,

I found information about the drummer, Vinny Sperrazza quite easily just by Googling his name. I didn't even finish typing his name before it offered me the suggestion.

Here is the link to his My Space profile:

http://www.myspace.com/vinniesperrazzadrums

There is a lot of information about him on there and what he is doing now as well as music you can enjoy. It will require an open mind about what good music is. There are several other sites that Google offers with information about him.

It is interesting to me that as a piano person, you would take an interest in a percussionist. I found his playing, frankly, the most interesting of all the musicians at this event. I enjoyed the saxophonists, especially the tenor saxophone; it reminded me somewhat of John Coltrane's playing which I had enjoyed so much in my earlier years.

It is rare for me to take an interest in an instrumentalist other than a pianist but I had a similar experience when I first heard Wynton Marsalis at the Merlyn's nightclub back in the 1980's, when Wynton was also only 19 years old. I was not generally attracted to trumpet playing but what that young man produced was extraordinary! I took it upon myself to speak to him at the time and told him that it was the tone that I heard that attracted my attention!

I told him that I was the piano technician and that I would usually not be interested very much in what trumpet player would do but I felt compelled to say something about it. There was such a variety of tone. At times, it was so rich that I could only imagine that it was coming from a different instrument such as a flugel horn. So fat and so mellow! Yet, at other times, he seemed to replicate a rather thin and transparent sound that I had heard from Miles Davis. Wynton thanked me for my remarks and said that they were truly a compliment. Now, today, you can see how far he has gone as an artist! I will always treasure that moment!

Vinnie says on his My Space page that he had worked with the pianist, James Williams who died in 2004. I recall saying to Vinnie that his playing reminded me of that of the famous Jazz drummer, Art Blakey with whom Wynton Marsalis had performed at Merlyn's, late in Art Blakey's life in the 1980's. Vinnie told me that as a youngster, he had savored and learned a style of playing that you hear on these recordings from the very same records that I had enjoyed in my youth.

Here, at the bottom of this post is the last track from this Jazz concert that I think people on here may enjoy. It opens with some nice solo work by the piano. The pianist acknowledges in particular the percussion work of Vinnie Sperraza in this 16 1/2 minute track. It is interesting to me that an elder Black man could have had so much influence on a young white man. The Bass seems to also be more on top of the beat.

The pianist also acknowledges the now deceased promoter of the concert. Dr. Blattner was a scientist, specializing in the study of the human genome (the set of genes that compose the present day human anatomy) but he was also a Jazz pianist and was one of my favorite customers until he died. (Human genome study is one of the specialties of scientific development at the University of Wisconsin). He raised two extraordinarily gifted sons who not only excelled in academics but also in athletics. I recall seeing photos of them performing amazing skateboarding feats on the walls of Dr. Blattner's home.

Dr. Blattner would regularly take time off from his scientific work in the Summer to attend Jazz piano playing camps/workshops as his vacation time. The piano he had was a Packard old upright. As many times as I tried to persuade him that he would enjoy a fine quality new piano at his stage in life (he could certainly have afforded it, he was a millionaire), he loved the old piano that he had. He lived in a modest house and never locked the doors. When I went to tune and service the piano, I always let myself in.

Sometimes he was there, sometimes not but there was always a check waiting for me on the piano. I recall that when he was there, he would be eating a breakfast of corn on the cob and whole wheat toast. I always had to clear the piano of an array of Jazz compositions he had been working on. The house always had a well lived in look to it. You will hear his voice at the end of this track asking people to "put money in the pot". He seemed to know how to spend the money he had well and to ask people to contribute to what he thought was worthwhile. He left a large contribution to the University of Wisconsin and a scholarship to his sons.

Dr. Blattner is yet another example of why I never discriminate to a customer based solely on the type of piano they have.

http://www.box.net/shared/yngaql7g9d
Posted by: JBE

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/27/10 12:55 AM

Exactly what I was thinking when I wrote that, Andy exactly! Like a surfer riding a wave. Staying ever so slightly on top and out front...eeeeever so slightly.

I noticed it on some of the other recordings as well. It's not the mix, it's the tuning.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/27/10 10:12 AM

Right! And that's a good thing! laugh It sounds great!

--Andy
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/27/10 03:10 PM

OK, here is a track from a commercially released CD that I also did in 2002 for the avant-garde Jazz composer and instrumentalist (saxophones, flute other wind instruments and percussion), Roscoe Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell has been my client since 1978. He maintains a home in Madison, Wisconsin but in 2007, Mitchell was named Darius Milhaud Chair of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he currently lives, returning to Madison for the Summer months.

More information on Roscoe Mitchell can be viewed here from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Mitchell

This music will definitely not appeal to everyone but I enjoy it immensely as I do many forms of music. There are two pianos, a Yamaha C6 and a Kawai RX-3. One is heard on the right channel, the other on the left but I don't know which is which. These pianos were tuned in the EBVT but contained the modifications that were eventually codified as the EBVT III. In other words, I knew at that time what to do to make the original EBVT a bit milder but I had not yet figured out a way to put it in writing.

http://www.box.net/shared/379pbklni0
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/27/10 04:40 PM

Wow, Bill! Well, we've certainly come a long way from the fox-trot! laugh

Pretty stellar jazz drumming in this one, too. "tippy-tippy-tippy-tippy, clock-clock, whissshh." Very cool.

The pianos sound excellent. Anyone who says anything derogatory about the tuning is not listening, IMHO. This is very fine hard jazz. Thanks for posting it! Now, I'm going to have to go back to the liberry and check out some CDs!

--Andy
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 10:03 AM

I spent several hours last night listening to jazz recordings from the library--Joshua Redman, Tord Gustavsen, Ralph Petersen, after weeks of really studying EBVT III with my non-tuner-trained ears, and listening to almost nothing else but EBVT III (including practicing on my own piano), except for some comparison recordings that are in this thread, as well as some recordings posted to Member Recordings in Pianist Corner on Piano World.*

So after weeks of EBVT III immersion, here is what struck me about the pianos in the jazz recordings I listened to last night, which I assume were ET. The ET has a "down" quality, where the EBVT III has an "up" quality. Don't get me wrong, the pianos were tuned well and sounded lovely. Some of the music was very melodic and lyrical and some of it was quite challenging. But the ET sounded kind of "down" and "tired," like it couldn't "get up and go," where the EBVT III strikes me as "up" and "healthy." Even on the heart-wrenching pieces like the Chopin (in this thread, p.1, first post, selection 3), or "Age of Innocence" (p.3), or "Clair de Lune" (p.4) there is a healthy, vibrant quality to the tuning that comes through the emotion expressed in the playing.

Just wanted to report the experience, for the sake of discussion.

--Andy


________
*Most recordings in Pianist Corner Member Recordings are done on pianos that are--less than freshly tuned. There is one notable exception. ChrisKeys posted his performance of Respighi's "Notturno" this week on his freshly tuned Baldwin L. It is a beautiful performance and worth listening to.

ChrisKeys performing Respighi's "Notturno"
Posted by: ChrisKeys

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 12:08 PM

Andy, thanks for the reference. And for the record, my tech does ET.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 12:24 PM

Bill, I loved that performance! The counterpoint was awsome and the piano sounded terrific.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 02:14 PM

Have been away from this thread for awhile...Bill, that last Jazz recording was great. It's nice for a change to hear Jazz that is a bit dissonant. I thought the piano sounded great in the mix.

Chris, nice playing! I have that with Earl Wild playing on the LX...will have to record that in EBVT III and post it at some point in the future for a tuning comparison.

Here is an interesting tuning comparison between EBVT III and ET. I think I have a few more of these Eric Reed comparisons I can post later.

As I was going back through my recordings, I came across this Jazz recording of Eric Reed playing "Oh Danny Boy". I originally recorded this back in Dec, 2009, in ET, then again in March of 2010 in EBVT III. The performance is exactly the same other than the temperaments, however, in the ET recording I used the Rode NT5 mics and the Zoom H4, and in the EBVT III recording, the Avenson STO-2 mics and the Korg MR-1000. Also, the back-action/damper tray was changed to the WN&Gross composite system in the EBVT III recording.

With those differences in recording equipment in mind, you can hear the differences in how the 2 temperaments affect the music. As I have said before, I find more colors and a more earthy sound to the EBVT III temperament.


"Oh Danny Boy" p/b Eric Reed, in EBVT III (Using Tunelab for the Iphone) http://www.box.net/shared/ydy035q3jm

"Oh Danny Boy" p/b Eric Reed, in ET (Reyburn Cyber Tuner, OCT5) http://www.box.net/shared/jmid03kmle


Here is Earl Wild playing a short Chopin piece in EBVT III

Earl Wild playing Chopin on the LX, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/7gxtcj23yk

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 04:04 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman


Here is an interesting tuning comparison between EBVT III and ET. I think I have a few more of these Eric Reed comparisons I can post later.

With those differences in recording equipment in mind, you can hear the differences in how the 2 temperaments affect the music. As I have said before, I find more colors and a more earthy sound to the EBVT III temperament.


Ah HAH! I see right through the trickery here! You used better microphones for the EBVT III just to make ET sound bad. It's all a set up! mad

LOL, just kidding. We already know what they would say!
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 04:42 PM

Hello GP, I am back to work today but have time for a short break before I have to tune two more pianos. I will listen to the other recordings posted here this evening.

I had time to compare the two Danny Boy recordings. The RCT version sounds just fine. It is what we expect to hear. It is the reason I knew you would be worthwhile to help, you clearly have the ability to tune your own piano. The EBVT III adds some infectious depth to the sonorities. It is like the difference between a packaged, frozen food entree and one prepared by a skilled chef with the finest of fresh ingredients.

I truly believe that the reason some people reject the EBVT III outright is that they know they will get hooked on it but it goes against everything they have always known and were taught. They are afraid of getting involved with it and the trouble it would cause them if they started going around doing it. I've never had any such trouble, of course, only success. Like the Wizard of Oz said, all you need is a brain, a heart and some courage. You've always had them, you just needed to find them.

I'll post some more recordings I have tonight too. Nick and Patrick, where are you?
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 07:41 PM

It was a trick, but you saw right through it Bill!! wink

Actually, I did not have the Korg or the Avenson's back in Dec of 2009. smile

Appreciate the compliments about my tuning.

I agree with you, the ET is fine, but lacks the color and complexity that EBVT III brings to the music. The difference between the two is quite amazing.

I found another Eric Reed example, same end effect here, more colors and a more complex sound to the music with EBVT III. Same recording equipment used as the "Oh Danny Boy" recording above.

Jazz 1 p/by Eric Reed on the LX, in EBVT III (Using Tunelab for the Iphone) http://www.box.net/shared/oy850lbv4l

Jazz 1 p/by Eric Reed on the LX, in ET (Reyburn Cyber Tuner, OCT5 stretch) http://www.box.net/shared/x0vj94cjyk

I hope Nick and Pat will contribute, as well as any other folks out there!

Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 10:12 PM

Bill,

I have tuned the EBVT III for two customers who are audiophiles and were absolutely thrilled. I am told that recordings have been made, and will be shared.

For my own purposes I plan to make some of my own recordings, and will use the EBVT III also. It has just been not too long ago since my last recording session. I promise what I think will be spectacular results! At least that is what I and my customers think about the way the pianos sound.

Thanks,

Nick
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/29/10 10:21 PM

Bill,

I do have a question/observation and I wondered if it was accurate, and thought it might benefit others on this thread; so I will post it here rather than send to you as a private message.

In establishing the framework in EBVT III of the 4 rapidly beating intervals, it is obviously very important to nail the 6 beats per second, especially because you are going to match this beat rate to the other intervals.

As I am doing this aurally and getting comfortable with this tuning, there obviously has been some slight variation in my results. It has occured to me that if my beat rate is not quite as fast as the true 6 bps, I will be on the edge of dissonance in some chords. And conversely, if I am slightly more than 6 bps, it will just not sound as special, more like ET. I got this clue from the inverted thirds (relative to ET) sounding either too inverted or not enough, when of course they need to be 'just right'. Does this make any sense?

Thanks,

Nick
Posted by: Olek

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 04:26 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvNO0BfBecc

Thats what the poetry there make sme think of !

Great guys ! and huge artists !
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 11:43 AM

Honestly, Isaac, I cannot understand what you are talking about.

GP,
In the Danny Boy samples, I replayed the opening three notes over and over again until my non-tuner-trained ears caught it.

The ET is "wongy" as the notes sustain. The EBVT III is calm and clear. The beautiful dissonance of the "chord" is there in both samples, but it pulses like a head-ache in the ET, and it does not in the EBVT III.

Thank you for the excellent recordings to compare!

--Andy
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 01:51 PM

Andy, you're welcome!

Nick and Patrick, looking forward to hearing your recordings.

Nick, It does not surprise me that your 2 audiophile customers are thrilled with EBVT III. smile

Isaac, what is your point with a video such as that? I thought I was going to see and hear something worthwhile when I clicked on your link. Again, what is your point in posting that video here? Am I missing something?
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 02:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Bill,

I do have a question/observation and I wondered if it was accurate, and thought it might benefit others on this thread; so I will post it here rather than send to you as a private message.

In establishing the framework in EBVT III of the 4 rapidly beating intervals, it is obviously very important to nail the 6 beats per second, especially because you are going to match this beat rate to the other intervals.

As I am doing this aurally and getting comfortable with this tuning, there obviously has been some slight variation in my results. It has occured to me that if my beat rate is not quite as fast as the true 6 bps, I will be on the edge of dissonance in some chords. And conversely, if I am slightly more than 6 bps, it will just not sound as special, more like ET. I got this clue from the inverted thirds (relative to ET) sounding either too inverted or not enough, when of course they need to be 'just right'. Does this make any sense?

Thanks,

Nick


I am getting behind with all of this because of what happened on Monday but the good news is that I will be getting a brand new car within a few days.

Yes, Nick, you are right about what you observe. Obviously, you can't know for sure whether one of your intervals is really 6.000000 beats per second or 5.9736542 or 6.000123 but the mathematical calculations and Jason Kanter's graphs are based on exactly 6.0 beats per second.

I actually wrote an 18th Century style well temperament with basically the same sequence except that you start with 4 equal beating intervals each at 4 beats per second. You could do the same with 5 beats per second. Each would have its own sound but as you have guessed, the slower those first 4 intervals beat, the harsher (more dissonant) the wider M3s will be.

If you had 4 starting intervals at 7 beats per second and followed the same scheme, you would end up with a quasi equal temperament that would not have that special magic that the EBVT or EBVT III has. You do get the best results in nailing the initial 6 beats per second and subsequently getting all other equal beating intervals as equal beating as possible. The two pure intervals need to be very pure and not wide and also not having any hint of narrowness.

The outer octaves that equalize octaves and 5ths and double octaves and octave-5ths also contribute to the overall purity of the piano sound.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 03:51 PM

I was just thinking about this very subject, Bill - still trying to get it right.

When I am setting the EBVT III temperament, no matter how close I get to 6bps on the key intervals, F#-A#, C#-F, and D#-G are wide, making the common keys of Ab, Fmin, Db, Bbmin, Eb, and Ebmin, Cmin sound somewhat harsh - and of course it gets worse the more I stretch the octaves, etc. If I go less than what I calculate as 6bps, it messes with the "pipe-organ" effect when playing arpeggios in the keys of C, G, and F...

Any idea what I am doing wrong? I've been using a metronome set at 120 and count 3bps on those key intervals to get them set. Also, I go back and ensure the pure intervals are as close as I can get them that way.

Glen
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 04:50 PM

I went back to the recordings I made of "The Age of Innocence" in ET from my ETD that has both the Reyburn Cyber Tuner and the Stopper Only Pure programs installed. I posted these 2 recordings in a previous thread comparing the 2 temperaments. I now have my IPhone/Tunelab tuning of this piece in EBVT III. Here are all 3 for an interesting comparison.


1. "The Age of Innocence" in ET, Reyburn Cyber Tuner, OCT5 stretch. Recorded Oct 7, 2009, Zoom H4, Rode NT5 mics http://www.box.net/shared/hagt0fk2ly


2. "The Age of Innocence" in ET, Stopper Only Pure Tuning Temperament, Recorded Oct 17, 2009, Zoom H4, Rode NT5 mics, http://www.box.net/shared/s4huo9y1pm


3. "The Age of Innocence" in EBVT III, tuned using my Iphone/Tunelab, Recorded March 10, 2010, Korg MR-1000, Avenson STO-2 mics, http://www.box.net/shared/p0vookkmm5
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding
I was just thinking about this very subject, Bill - still trying to get it right.

When I am setting the EBVT III temperament, no matter how close I get to 6bps on the key intervals, F#-A#, C#-F, and D#-G are wide, making the common keys of Ab, Fmin, Db, Bbmin, Eb, and Ebmin, Cmin sound somewhat harsh - and of course it gets worse the more I stretch the octaves, etc. If I go less than what I calculate as 6bps, it messes with the "pipe-organ" effect when playing arpeggios in the keys of C, G, and F...

Any idea what I am doing wrong? I've been using a metronome set at 120 and count 3bps on those key intervals to get them set. Also, I go back and ensure the pure intervals are as close as I can get them that way.

Glen


Thank you for your question, Glen, although I am not sure what you mean by "less than 6 bps". Do you mean slower or faster? In any case, someone whom I did not know at all, Dr. Herbert Anton Kellner from Germany (now deceased) had seen what I had written about the EBVT many years ago and took it upon himself to write to me and wrote me a yearly Christmas card until his death.

He seemed to think that 6 beats per second had some exceptional quality to it and was a stroke of genius on my part. He said it had a psychological effect and went on to describe how it worked with time and space. It synchronizes evenly with the second hand of a clock (whereas the 7 beats per second of the F3-A3 M3 of ET is out of synchronicity as are all other Rapidly beating Intervals of ET). He seemed to believe it was the very rhythm of life.

You can read some of Dr. Kellner's writings here: http://plaza.ufl.edu/wnb/baroque_temperament.htm

When I have people on my side such as Professor Owen Jorgensen RPT, Dr. Kellner, honorary Dr. Jim Coleman RPT, the esteemed and most highly respected tuning authority, Virgil Smith RPT and now internationally known instructor of piano technology Randy Potter RPT confirming the validity of what I do, not to mention PTG having me present these ideas three times already at its conventions, it is easy for me to be dismissive of comments from the "peanut gallery".

Glen, you have to get away from what "banging" on the wider M3s sounds like to you in that context alone. If you do that, only ET will sound "right" to you. You have to remember that tuning the piano is preparation for the music that will be played. Playing isolated intervals is not playing music.

If you have a perfectly executed ET, each and every interval is slightly bad but when you play music in that perfectly executed ET, you don't hear that. The same goes for either version of the EBVT. Look beyond the beating of any particular interval out of musical context. Follow the directions, do your best with them and then decide for yourself if any and all music is not enhanced over the way it would be in ET or not.

If, in the end, you have heard both and you decide that you still prefer ET, I accept that and it is OK with me. What I dismiss is the preconceived idea that the EBVT or EBVT III won't work and the completely out of proportion descriptions of its effects. It is not unequal enough for most proponents of Historical Temperaments (HT). The slightest audible deviation from ET is too much for the proponents of ET only.

You have to make up your own mind about these ideas and use them as you see fit in your daily work. Even if you decide that what I do is not for you, that is OK with me. At least you have given it fair and proper consideration. You will always know that you have an alternative if the opportunity presents itself.

Once again, the "pipe organ effect", as curious, interesting and thrilling as it may be, is not a goal in itself or a reason to tune the piano in a way that would produce it. Very little music as written would reveal it. The amazing effect that I hear only confirms to me that I have made an optimum compromise in the temperament and the extended octaves.

An organ's pipes have no inharmonicity. If I am able to manipulate the piano's tuning so that the effect as a whole sounds like a pipe organ, it merely means to me that I have handled the problem of inharmonicity in the most effective way I can. It is like well spread icing on a cake. Sloppy icing would taste just as good but the appeal to the eye of a good presentation has another appeal all its own.

A well tuned piano in ET with whichever amount of stretch in the octaves will sound good. The question is if one amount of stretch will make the overall appeal better or not. The question further is if manipulation of the temperament will also add to that appeal. You must decide this for yourself.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 10:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding
If I go less than what I calculate as 6bps, it messes with the "pipe-organ" effect when playing arpeggios in the keys of C, G, and F...

Also, I go back and ensure the pure intervals are as close as I can get them that way.

Glen


Glen, if you play an F Major or D-flat Major arpeggio (which both have pure 5ths in the EBVT III), you will not hear the "pipe organ effect"! The chord will sound good and pure but it will not mimic the sound of a pipe organ. Only the C major arpeggio gives you the truly splendid effect for a number of reasons. A few of the other keys have it to a lesser degree. G, D, A and E, (maybe even B) Major, the more tempered 5ths keys will but all of the keys which have less tempered 5ths will not.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 10:18 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
I went back to the recordings I made of "The Age of Innocence" in ET from my ETD that has both the Reyburn Cyber Tuner and the Stopper Only Pure programs installed. I posted these 2 recordings in a previous thread comparing the 2 temperaments. I now have my IPhone/Tunelab tuning of this piece in EBVT III. Here are all 3 for an interesting comparison.


1. "The Age of Innocence" in ET, Reyburn Cyber Tuner, OCT5 stretch. Recorded Oct 7, 2009, Zoom H4, Rode NT5 mics http://www.box.net/shared/hagt0fk2ly


2. "The Age of Innocence" in ET, Stopper Only Pure Tuning Temperament, Recorded Oct 17, 2009, Zoom H4, Rode NT5 mics, http://www.box.net/shared/s4huo9y1pm


3. "The Age of Innocence" in EBVT III, tuned using my Iphone/Tunelab, Recorded March 10, 2010, Korg MR-1000, Avenson STO-2 mics, http://www.box.net/shared/p0vookkmm5



GP, I took the time to listen to all three of these again carefully as I have done before and I still come to the same conclusion: there is only a "shade" of difference between the RCT and the Stopper tuning. Both sound good and nice. I prefer the "sparkle" of the Stopper tuning over the RCT in the higher registers but the RCT does sound "warmer" in the middle while the Stopper sounds a bit strained and "tart".

The EBVT III version, however renders emotion to the music in a way that the other two fail to provide. The player system plays each exactly the same but somehow, the EBVT III version sounds like a different interpretation that is more appealing. The modulations are more meaningful and the return to the home key is therefore more musically satisfying.

I consistently find this happening with the EBVT, EBVT III or any other Cycle of 5ths based temperament.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 10:43 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
It was a trick, but you saw right through it Bill!! wink

Actually, I did not have the Korg or the Avenson's back in Dec of 2009. smile

Appreciate the compliments about my tuning.

I agree with you, the ET is fine, but lacks the color and complexity that EBVT III brings to the music. The difference between the two is quite amazing.

I found another Eric Reed example, same end effect here, more colors and a more complex sound to the music with EBVT III. Same recording equipment used as the "Oh Danny Boy" recording above.

Jazz 1 p/by Eric Reed on the LX, in EBVT III (Using Tunelab for the Iphone) http://www.box.net/shared/oy850lbv4l

Jazz 1 p/by Eric Reed on the LX, in ET (Reyburn Cyber Tuner, OCT5 stretch) http://www.box.net/shared/x0vj94cjyk

I hope Nick and Pat will contribute, as well as any other folks out there!



GP, I am now listening to the ET/RCT version of the Eric Reed recording and find it thoroughly enjoyable. I hear some "liquid" unisons and that tells me why some people like that bit of "color". The sound is pleasant and the chords are resonant. Good sound overall, nothing negative to say about it. I will now audition the EBVT III version.

I get the same experience again! It somehow seems that the pianist plays with more feeling, more emotion! Every chord seems to have more meaning to it compared to the sterility of ET. I hear the "blue note" effect that was absent in ET. In short, the music seems to "come alive" in a way that it did not and could not in ET. I heard tension and resolution at the end that I did not in the ET version.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 04/30/10 10:53 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman


Here is Earl Wild playing a short Chopin piece in EBVT III

Earl Wild playing Chopin on the LX, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/7gxtcj23yk



Once again, without being able to hear an ET comparison, I hear emotion. I hear more of the mood from the minor key than I would expect to hear from the same thing played in ET.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 10:32 AM

Bill,

Thank you for taking the time to clarify what I have been experiencing. I think your written instructions are marvelous, in case they are available to anyone for the asking.

It's funny how this style of tuning already fit so well with what I was already doing as an aural only ET tuner using rapidly beating intervals (mostly 3rds) to set my temparament. I was even taught to set my first note using a fork that was 6 beats off, in order to get the pitch just right. For those not familiar with this, I was taught it is much better to learn to count 6 beats per second then to try to make 'pure', where there might actually be 1.5 beats in 5 seconds for example.

Since Bill has confirmed that 6 beats per second is critical, I have found this helpful link from Cy Shuster's website:

http://shusterpiano.com/6-bps.mp3

Just go to bed at night listening to this LOL.
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 11:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: grandpianoman


Here is Earl Wild playing a short Chopin piece in EBVT III

Earl Wild playing Chopin on the LX, in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/7gxtcj23yk



Once again, without being able to hear an ET comparison, I hear emotion. I hear more of the mood from the minor key than I would expect to hear from the same thing played in ET.


Sorry to me no mood or emotion at all (Ok it is a player piano, but that is exactly what i hear).

Here are two short clips of historic Chopin recordings in ET, each one with a slightly different stretch (german broadcasting archive, from 1942):

http://www.dra.de/online/hinweisdienste/musik/1999/oktober17.html

Clip 1 is from my former piano teacher Else Herold, i hear a stretch very close to the tuning protocol i am using, and the second clip is from Hubert Giesen, where a stretch closer to standard ET is present.

The mood, emotion and "cantabile" in Else Herold´s interpretation is incredicble and benefits in my opinion of the shining and clarity of the tuning, which is not present in the other clip and which can obviously not occur with using an unequal temperament, as the liveliness of unequal temperament would destroy the required calm and pure character in the D-flat key in this piece.

Else Herold was a pupil of Emil von Sauer, who was a pupil of Nikolai Rubinstein and Franz Liszt.

Bernhard Stopper


Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 11:13 AM

Thanks for that link, Nick. It would be a useful tool to put on my website. I have something similar now for the contiguous major thirds in my ET section. By the way, I recently updated the basic instructions on my website for tuning the EBVT.

http://www.billbremmer.com/ebvt/summary_ebvt_sequences.pdf

The results do not change. I didn't like to have to add more words but I really think what I did makes it more technically correct. Robert Scott (Tunelab) had pointed out to me that tuning a pure 4th from C4 that had been tuned as a pure 5th from F3 didn't really exactly make F3-F4 a 4:2 octave, even though it would have been close. So, I have you tune A#3 from F3 temporarily as a pure 4th. When you tune a pure 5th from A#3 to F4, that really does make F3-F4 a perfect 4:2 octave.

Later, you sharpen A#3 slightly to temper the F3-A#3 4th so that the F3-A#3 4th beats exactly the same as the previously tuned G3-C4 4th.

These instructions follow the example of some historical temperament instructions that really allow anyone to replicate the temperament accurately by ear. The only regrettable part is that I had to use one beat rate specification, 6 beats per second but that is very easy to get right. Any of these instructions that have beat rate instructions with decimal points in them are virtually useless. Who could ever know if they are exactly right?

For that matter, getting 6 beats per second exactly right is hit or miss and so is making any two intervals beat exactly the same. However, a good tuner can come close enough with these to make the results be what is intended.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 11:19 AM

Bernhard, thank you for your contribution. I tried to listen to the files but my computer does not recognize them. Is there any way you could convert them to Windows Media Player or MP3?
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 11:52 AM

Bill,
you need to install codec to be able to play real player stream format.
You can use a free real player codec package that is available here, which works for several players so you don´t need to install the commercial real player:
http://files.3dnews.org/pub/soft/multimedia/player/Real_Alternative_202.exe
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 12:41 PM

Bernhard, thank you for that link. I have heard the recordings. I am planning to meet with GP again after the convention and we are hoping to have a guest pianist who plays Chopin. If we are lucky, we will have a recording of that same music for comparison in the EBVT III played by a live pianist rather than the player system.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 12:46 PM

Bernard, thanks for the link as well. However, when I went to the link you provided for the free real player codec, my browser came up with this link, http://safeweb.norton.com/report/show?url=3dnews.org which warns that it is not a 'safe' url. Do you have another website with this codec info? Or, can you change this file into an mp3 or .wav file? Thanks.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 12:55 PM

About the Chopin on the LX...that was recorded live by Mr. Wild on the Bosendorfer SE system back in the mid 1980's. The SE system recorded with 100% accuracy everything the pianist put in. The LX system can faithfully reproduce with just about 100% accuracy, any SE material, however, the piano action and adjustments of the LX must be well adjusted. I believe when I recorded that, we had just put in the WN&Gross back action kit. It needs to be adj further, but we/I did not have time to do it.

As Bill mentions, If I can get my classical pianist friend to come visit during Bill's time here, we will have a live performance AND an LX performance of the same pieces. What will be interesting is to post both of them, and not say which is the live person playing. Should be interesting. Stay tuned! smile
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 01:07 PM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Bernard, thanks for the link as well. However, when I went to the link you provided for the free real player codec, my browser came up with this link, http://safeweb.norton.com/report/show?url=3dnews.org which warns that it is not a 'safe' url. Do you have another website with this codec info? Or, can you change this file into an mp3 or .wav file? Thanks.



Hello GP,

Other download sources can be found here:
http://codecguide.com/download_real.htm

The files are streamed from a server, so one can not donwload them directly and convert them.

Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 01:22 PM

Thank you, Bernhard. I had no trouble with the installation. I have saved the files in Real Player format but I have no way to convert them.

Here is the opening number from the 2002 Jazz concert. It is a 14 1/2 minute file but there is a full minute of silence before the piano plays, so you can skip ahead 1 minute and then you will hear the music. The piano plays solo first and the alto saxophone follows. Then the piano has a solo. The engineering is unfortunately badly balanced with the Bass being louder than anything else.

It is a familiar tune but I can't think of the name of it at the moment.

http://www.box.net/shared/2sb4244s7b
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/01/10 02:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
I was just thinking about this very subject, Bill - still trying to get it right.

When I am setting the EBVT III temperament, no matter how close I get to 6bps on the key intervals, F#-A#, C#-F, and D#-G are wide, making the common keys of Ab, Fmin, Db, Bbmin, Eb, and Ebmin, Cmin sound somewhat harsh - and of course it gets worse the more I stretch the octaves, etc. If I go less than what I calculate as 6bps, it messes with the "pipe-organ" effect when playing arpeggios in the keys of C, G, and F...

Any idea what I am doing wrong? I've been using a metronome set at 120 and count 3bps on those key intervals to get them set. Also, I go back and ensure the pure intervals are as close as I can get them that way.

Glen


Thank you for your question, Glen, although I am not sure what you mean by "less than 6 bps". Do you mean slower or faster? In any case, someone whom I did not know at all, Dr. Herbert Anton Kellner from Germany (now deceased) had seen what I had written about the EBVT many years ago and took it upon himself to write to me and wrote me a yearly Christmas card until his death.

When I have people on my side such as Professor Owen Jorgensen RPT, Dr. Kellner, honorary Dr. Jim Coleman RPT, the esteemed and most highly respected tuning authority, Virgil Smith RPT and now internationally known instructor of piano technology Randy Potter RPT confirming the validity of what I do, not to mention PTG having me present these ideas three times already at its conventions, it is easy for me to be dismissive of comments from the "peanut gallery".

Glen, you have to get away from what "banging" on the wider M3s sounds like to you in that context alone. If you do that, only ET will sound "right" to you. You have to remember that tuning the piano is preparation for the music that will be played. Playing isolated intervals is not playing music.

If you have a perfectly executed ET, each and every interval is slightly bad but when you play music in that perfectly executed ET, you don't hear that. The same goes for either version of the EBVT. Look beyond the beating of any particular interval out of musical context. Follow the directions, do your best with them and then decide for yourself if any and all music is not enhanced over the way it would be in ET or not.

If, in the end, you have heard both and you decide that you still prefer ET, I accept that and it is OK with me. What I dismiss is the preconceived idea that the EBVT or EBVT III won't work and the completely out of proportion descriptions of its effects. It is not unequal enough for most proponents of Historical Temperaments (HT). The slightest audible deviation from ET is too much for the proponents of ET only.

A well tuned piano in ET with whichever amount of stretch in the octaves will sound good. The question is if one amount of stretch will make the overall appeal better or not. The question further is if manipulation of the temperament will also add to that appeal. You must decide this for yourself.


Thanks for the link to Dr Kellner's writings.

It's just that in the context of music, the main theme of Pathetique's second movement (Ab) is largely thirds and other intervals. Brahms Intermezzo 117 No 2 (Db) uses many two note intervals, not just thirds.

I am not a member of any peanut gallery, Bill. I am a big fan of the ET via Marpurg sequence and the use of contiguous CM3 and applying the EBVT III sequence to a piano when setting a temperament. Like it or not, I've tuned several pianos in EBVT III with good results and managed to post some of my amateur recordings of side-by-side temperament comparisons of the same tune or tunes played in like keys in hopes others might find the direct comparison somewhat interesting.

I'll rephrase the question...when aurally tuning EBVT III, is there a method for quieting or slowing (even slightly) those faster beating intervals while at the same time maintaining much of EBVT III's personality?

Thanks in advance,
Glen

Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/02/10 03:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding
[...] It's just that in the context of music, the main theme of Pathetique's second movement (Ab) is largely thirds and other intervals. [...]


Glen, I'm glad you mentioned this one.

After Bill tuned my piano to EBVT III for the first time in January, the second movement of the Pathetique is the one I played for him. laugh There was one particular chord that was bugging me in there, the E maj chord that starts the maj section of the Second Theme. He asked me if it was fixed and I said yes, because it really was! But the temperament was so new to me then, I wasn't sure what else I was hearing for a day or so of playing. Even though I knew I liked it initially, I was still making judgements about it. It's no secret that I am now totally sold on the EBVT III over ET.

But aspects of this movement bug me in both ET and EBVT III. For some reason, this movement still does not sound right to me whenever I play it. In EBVT III, striking the first chord, the Ab major, sounds "off." In ET, the first chord sounds right, but the second chord, I think it's an Eb maj 7, sounds "off." There are other things that bother me too, in both temperaments, depending on where I am in the piece. (I have a recording I made of this one in ET in December, so I can study it and remind myself). There are places that give me a very anxious feeling when I'm playing it, and I don't think this is an anxious piece.*

So, I tried something this morning, thinking about your question and all of the previous discussion about the influence of the key signature on the music and the way EBVT III brings it out. Remember, I am not a tuner, a technician, or a pianist (really), but I am a curious person. So I transposed the first phrase up a half-step to A maj, just to see what it would do. It's interesting. It's calmer and sweeter, but it loses a bittersweet longing that the Ab has, and that I think it is supposed to have.

Then, since that was so striking (to me, at least) I made a clip to share. It starts with the first phrase in Ab, plays the first phrase up a half-step in A, chords the first phrase in A, chords the first phrase back down a half step in Ab, and plays the first phrase again in Ab. It's a little minute and a half clip.

I realize that it might be the limitations of my piano that are causing me such grief with this piece of music that I love to play so much. But, for what it's worth, I am posting this clip hoping that it adds a dimension to the discussion as you get your question resolved. It is noteworthy that, as Bill has stated, the phrase played as the music is written does speak differently than the chorded phrase that is played in a more "interval testing" way. That's what I hear, anyway. You be the judge. Of course, I'm interesed to hear other's assessment of it as well.

Beethoven Op.13-2 Theme, Ab to A to Ab clip

--Andy

_____
*I do not have this same sense when listening to the clip. To me, the recording is easy enough to listen to (you know, for what it is...). I catch shades of disturbance, but nothing like when playing it. When I play this, especially that Ab maj chord, I just want to get off of it. I really do get an anxious feeling right in my solar plexus! No joke! eek
Posted by: FogAudio

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/02/10 10:29 PM

I have recently had the fortune of Nick at Nick's Pianos to tune my Hailun HG-218 in EVBT III tuning. It *really* sounds sweet! I can't thank Nick enough for the high quality tuning he did last weekend on my piano. I made a bunch of high-resolution recordings but I am still editing and converting a few of them. (Had to go see the Tampa Bay Rays finally win against KC today, so unfortunately might not get the other recordings up on the net until next weekend).

Anyway, the recordings came out pretty well I think. I kept the recording chain very minimal so that the noise floor was as low as possible.

Studio Project B1/B3 (in an AB configuration)
Presonus MP20 preamp
FMR Audio RNC 1773
Edirol R-09HR (recorded in 24bit/88.2KHz)
Edited in Sonar 6

So, here is Enya's piano piece called Watermark (off of album of same name). I uploaded to Google Docs at 3 different qualities so folks could download the best quality that was also convenient to their internet connection:

Enya-Watermark-HighQuality

Enya-Watermark-MidQuality

Enya-Watermark-LowQuality

I hope to upload a few other pieces very soon. The others are pieces that I have written or are just me doodling on the piano. Also the other pieces that I play have a lot more chords in them so are probably even better to gauge the sweetness of EVBT III.

Thanks again Nick! (and Bill too for teaching this method).
Ryan

Edit: Forgot to mention I unfortunately reversed the microphone inputs (I was going for a sound that the pianist would hear, bass to the left, high notes to the right). If listening to this on headphones I recommend listening with headphones on backwards (hopefully I'll find a software editing fix for this soon). Also, please forgive my sloppy playing, the best that an amateur like me can do!

Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/02/10 11:44 PM

Ryan--
Nicely done! Lovely piece, played lovely! I downloaded the HQ version and listened to it 4 times, now.

Isn't it exciting? Tell me if getting this new temperament on your piano is not like getting a new piano? It sounds so right.

Way to go to you, too, Nick!

Looking forward to your other recordings!

--Andy

P.S. Some sound editing software has a feature that lets you "rotate stereo" as an audio processing option. Another possibility is to open a new (or blank) wavefile project and copy and paste the left channel from the original into the right channel spot in the new form and do the same with the right channel from the original into the left channel in the new form.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/02/10 11:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding


I'll rephrase the question...when aurally tuning EBVT III, is there a method for quieting or slowing (even slightly) those faster beating intervals while at the same time maintaining much of EBVT III's personality?

Thanks in advance,
Glen



The short answer is, no there isn't. You can't get something for nothing. For every thing you gain, there is something you lose. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Any number of other clichés may apply but that is simply the truth.

The difference between the original EBVT and the EBVT III is a good example of that. I still prefer the properties of the original EBVT. There are 4 pure intervals (5 if you count both F3-C4 and C4-F4). There are 4 equal beating intervals of the "magic" 6 beats per second. The beat synchronicity that Jason Kanter identified (the ratio of beating between the Major and minor thirds) is damaged somewhat by the EBVT III compromise. Having said that, the original EBVT had some intervals that were just too wide to be tolerable to some sensitive perceptions.

I appreciate all of your interest, Glen and your curiosity. Andy's contributions to this discussion always amaze me with the depth of perception he has.

ET is the ultimate compromise. The 12 tone scale must be tempered one way or another. The Comma presents us with a challenge of a certain amount of dissonance that cannot be eliminated. Tempering the scale will always be some kind of division of consonance and dissonance. Anytime any interval is made to be more consonant, another will become more dissonant.

So, ET as purely a theoretical idea creates the ultimate balance between consonance and dissonance. You might think of ET as going as far as it is possible to mitigate dissonance but the consequence of doing that is that all possible consonance is also eliminated.

For our entire lifetime, pianos have always been tuned in ET or at least, ET was the goal. Most of us have never even heard a keyboard instrument and certainly not a modern piano tuned in 1/4 Comma Meantone even though the latter had a much longer period of use as a "standard" way of tuning than ET has been considered standard.

We are used to hearing tempered intervals, so a truly consonant triad that would have a pure 5th and a pure M3 would actually sound strange to most of us. It would be truly and purely consonant but it may well be perceived as "dead". There would be no beating at all.

Let's just imagine that somehow an electronic keyboard could be designed so that each time any triad were played, it would always have a pure 5th and pure M3. Some computerized program would be able to change the tuning so that on the fly, as music was being played, each and every interval could be made beatless.

The quest for absolute consonance would be achieved but I am afraid that it would also mean that the music would sound completely lifeless. It could have no direction, no emotion at all, no reason to modulate to another key. It would be quite boring. It would amount to sensory deprivation.

There is a need in music to have consonance and dissonance. We can hear some music that is very consonant and calming such as that which a massage therapist would put on to relax the patient. I have experienced that. I can remember telling the therapist to shut it off because the "music" had no direction to it. It was nothing but sweet sound and that in itself was disturbing to me. The therapist seemed puzzled as to why I did not like the "music" but I simply answered, "It would be a very long explanation. I would just prefer quiet, thank you."

I am very glad that Andy put on his examples before I had the chance to respond. To me, the Beethoven piece sounds "right" in the EBVT III. Looking at Jason Kanter's graph of the EBVT III, the M3 for A-flat Major is 16.8 cents wide. (It is the same in the original EBVT). All ET M3s are 14 cents wide. The A-Major M3 in the EBVT III is 12.4 cents wide (and the same in the original EBVT). So, A-flat Major in either version of the EBVT is more dissonant than in ET and A-Major is slightly more consonant.

Either key in the EBVT produces a different effect from ET. If you consider that Beethoven would not have had his fortepiano tuned in ET, he chose the key of A-flat for a reason. His fortepiano would probably have been tuned in a temperament with an even wider M3 for the key of A-flat than either version of the EBVT offers. Beethoven did not have a modern piano, of course.

It could well be argued that the modern piano has its own characteristics and that music from the 19th Century forward is complex enough in nature that only ET will suffice. This is the conventional wisdom. But if you or anyone wishes to entertain the idea that a well-tempered system of tuning could really restore the character to the music that was actually intended and enjoyed at the time Beethoven wrote it, then it means that what you hear in the key of A-flat is what was meant to be there when the piano is tuned in the EBVT.

I suggest listening to Andy's examples carefully. As a piano technician, you have trained your ears to hear beat rates. You can hear the slightest gradation of them. Piano technicians who hold firmly to the ET only concept perceive any audible departure from ET as "wrong" and disruptive to the music. Those who have learned to appreciate well tempering hear something else: emotional character.

Glen, from what you have written and the questions you pose, I believe that you are still coming from the perspective of hearing beat rates more than music. Fortunately for most musicians, I think GP included, they do not hear beat rates in the same focused manner that a skilled piano technician does. Most listeners are able to enjoy the character of the different key colors that Cycle of 5ths based temperaments provide.

In Andy's examples, there is clearly a difference when he transposes. The key of A-Major sounds calmer and more consonant. But there is something that the chords do not do in that key but which they clearly do in A-flat. There is a certain sentimentality that goes right to the gut in A-flat that is completely lost in A-major.

If all you hear is intervals beating too rapidly, you have to look beyond that. Try to ignore the beat rates, just listen on a higher plane to what the sound of the music does for you. Is there not some kind of nostalgia that is evoked from that key of A-flat?

I thoroughly appreciate that you are not sitting in the "peanut gallery" hurling peanut shells and rude comments. I am taking the time not not give you a dismissive response out of respect for your genuine interest.

If you were to take the EBVT III and try to mitigate the width of the A-flat M3, you would have to make the G#3-C#4 4th which is pure, narrow. That would make the key of E-Major even harsher than it already is with a M3 at 14.8 cents wide. That is only slightly wider than it would be in ET but if you did that, it would create an "imbalance" in the scheme of well temperament. A-flat Major would sound "better" but E Major would sound "worse". You could slightly temper the F3-C4 5th but then that would detract from the desired consonance of C Major.

I have to admit that sometimes, I have actually narrowed the G#3-C#4 just a tiny bit to make the G#3-C4 M3 beat just a little less strongly. We all do something sometimes in aural tuning as a compromise. It is often called "fudging". The eventual description of the EBVT III is actually a "fudged" version of the original EBVT. The F#3 and E4 are both slightly sharpened.

As an aural tuner, you can do whatever you want. Who knows, you may even come up with a way to slightly alter certain notes very strategically that would produce yet another milder version of a well temperament. But if you want people to be able to replicate what you do, it has to be able to be described in a way that cannot be misinterpreted. The rules for well temperament do not allow a 4th to be narrow but the rules for a modified meantone do.

So, if in your aural tuning experience, you feel compelled to "fudge" any interval one way or another, you have the right to do that. After all, the reason an interval may sound too harsh could be the result of some previous error. Try to make sure that you haven't tuned another interval a little too wide or narrow that would make that the result. In the end, if well tempering is not satisfactory to you, then only ET or perhaps a quasi ET would be. Try to evaluate the effect that the temperament has on the music beyond beat rates taken out of context.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 12:41 AM

Ryan,

Thank you so much for your contribution! It came in while I was writing my detailed response to Glen. It surely is a pleasure to hear some sweet music as a reward. The key of F Major does sound so sweet on your piano. The key contrasts are easily heard when the piece does modulate but nothing sounds extreme nor even close to sounding out of tune.

I must congratulate Nick on doing a most excellent interpretation of the EBVT III! Nick tunes the most beautiful unisons possible. What Nick was able to do with such clear and solid unisons very aptly demonstrates how "color" in a tuning is best achieved through manipulation of temperament, not unisons.

I am very much looking forward to more contributions that demonstrate how the EBVT III brings life to piano music in a way that ET cannot.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 01:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
[...]
There is a need in music to have consonance and dissonance. We can hear some music that is very consonant and calming such as that which a massage therapist would put on to relax the patient. I have experienced that. I can remember telling the therapist to shut it off because the "music" had no direction to it. It was nothing but sweet sound and that in itself was disturbing to me. The therapist seemed puzzled as to why I did not like the "music" but I simply answered, "It would be a very long explanation. I would just prefer quiet, thank you."
[...]


Bill,
After I tell you this story, we might need to ask Ralph to comment about synchronicity. grin This is a little side-bar, but it underscores your point, and once again we find ourselves in agreement!

Anyone who works a trade and does not get massage therapy is missing the boat. So, every week, I go for this special "physical therapy" called "massage." After several months of care, I noticed that I kept hearing the same two or three CDs playing on the sound system, and that I could hum along to the ambient music. I knew where all the bird chirps were, and where all the gongs and chimes came in, etc. There was something seriously wrong with that picture.

I knew what to do. It was an emergency. I would make my new friends at the massage place some "mix" CDs of relaxing music (pleading fair use of the copyright law if ever busted). So, I went to the pullick liberry and checked out the limit of New Age CDs (10 at a time), and pulled from them selections that were quiet, relaxing, and more or less on the happy, pleasant side. I skipped everything eerie, avant garde, sad, or, as you indicated, "lifeless." I specifically chose music that "went somewhere," and music that was good enough to want to hear over and over again. After several trips to the library over a couple of days, I had two CDs to give them, which I rushed over days before my next appointment.

When I went for my appointment, everyone who worked there was smiling! laugh The person who usually works on me is a very closed, taciturn individual. As soon as she came into the room, she said, referring to the music playing on the sound system, "This is one of the CDs you gave us." (I laughed inside--as if I didn't know...) I said, "Yes, I recognize it." Then she said, "I really like this one."

The whole mood of the place changed. I've made them probably 10 mix CDs, after listening to about 120 CDs of New Age music from the liberry from the As to the Zs. Music is very powerful. It can make you sick and it can make you well, and infinite shades and depth besides. I suppose that's why we find it so important to work so hard to get it right, and why we argue about is so passionately!

Thanks for your post above, Bill. Once again, I learned a whole big bunch!

--Andy
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 01:26 AM

Andy, thanks for posting the Beethoven...I like what I hear!

Ryan, thank you for your contribution! I enjoy this kind of new-age piano music. I took your HQ file, ran it through my Audiogate software, which "normalized" it and added TPDF dither, which is what I am doing with all my recordings now, and then ran it through "Audacity", which was only used to reverse it. You can dload Audacity for free, and it's easy to use. Not sure about Audiogate, which came with my Korg MR-1000 digital recorder. I sent you a msg with the link to the mp3 I made of your Watermark HQ. Please feel free to use the link here, or dload it to your site and use it.

Btw, no apologies are necessary about your playing, it's great. smile

It sounds beautiful in EBVT III. Please keep them coming!


Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 02:45 AM

Andy, thanks a lot for your comments. I should correct the term I used, "synchronicity" to "synchrony" which is what Mr. Kanter called it. I am not sure if the two words mean the same or not. I only came to know of this particular property that a temperament would have when I asked Mr. Kanter if he had any idea why the 1/7 Comma Meantone had its own "magic". His response was very quick. He pointed to the fact that in the 1/7 Comma Meantone, all but the "wolf" triad have a perfect 2:1 ratio of beating between the Major and minor third in any Major triad.

By contrast, ET has each at the odd number ratio of 1.7:1. Every Major triad "fights" itself just a bit by the same amount. The original EBVT has no 1.7:1 ratios but the EBVT III has two in the E Major and B Major triads. I don't really know how significant this is but it is interesting, as Mr. Kanter pointed out to me, that the compromise I made to create the EBVT III ruined some of the beat synchrony that he considered to be the "magic" of the original EBVT and gave the EBVT III the same beat synchrony as ET has to two of the intervals.

It turns out that the key of E Major in the EBVT III is nearly identical to the way E Major would sound in ET but still, no tonality whatsoever, Major or minor in either the EBVT or EBVT III is exactly the same as it would be in ET. Each Major and minor triad is distinct from the other in the width of the Major or minor third and whether the 5th is pure or tempered. No 5th is tempered the same as it is in ET.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 03:54 AM

Bill,
What you just posted is very cool, and I swear I'm cutting tuner's teeth because I read it and I think I understand it--

but what I meant by Ralph commenting on "synchronicity" was in the sense of the word that is the title of a song by the Police! laugh The lyric goes: "A connecting principle/Linked to the invisible." I was thinking of Ralph's "Fourier transform" post, about frequecies, which morphed in my mind to ripple effects, and the rhythm that would have us notice the same thing as we were getting a massage in different places at different times, that the music went nowhere and was particularly annoying. And that we would both express it here in some way.

In addition, while we're on the subject, I would think anyone who worked as a massage therapist would appreciate the concept of "tension and release" and would want to support that particular therapeutic effect with music that did the same.

Anyway, the word "sychronicity" does not appear in the old Webster's. But "synchrony" does. They are both nouns, in any case. And, in correcting the term, you brought us back to the topic and hand, EBVT III, so it looks like it's all good! grin

--Andy
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 06:35 AM

Hi all,

When Grandpianoman posted "The Age of Innocence" in two different tunings a few weeks ago, I actually did a blind test to see whether I could recognise one from the other.

Well, he's now given links to all three tunings (a few posts back).

Has anyone here actually done a blind test to see whether he/she can recognise the tuning? I'd like to challenge everyone here to do this, and post their success rates here.

It's one thing to listen to a clip if you know what it is... hence my challenge. Have someone else open one of the soundfiles without your knowing which it is, then you guess the tuning, and have the helper write down your answer.

In my case (comparing the RCT and Stopper), I thought I could distinguish them, but the actual blind test had pretty shocking results.
Posted by: FogAudio

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 07:37 AM

Thanks grandpianoman! What a grand gesture (sorry poor pun smile ). I copied the corrected file over to Google docs so I can repost gpm's file. No flipping headphones around required on this one!

Enya-Watermark-StereoCorrect-HQ

Best Regards,
Ryan
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 09:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Hi all,

When Grandpianoman posted "The Age of Innocence" in two different tunings a few weeks ago, I actually did a blind test to see whether I could recognise one from the other.

Well, he's now given links to all three tunings (a few posts back).

Has anyone here actually done a blind test to see whether he/she can recognise the tuning? I'd like to challenge everyone here to do this, and post their success rates here.

It's one thing to listen to a clip if you know what it is... hence my challenge. Have someone else open one of the soundfiles without your knowing which it is, then you guess the tuning, and have the helper write down your answer.

In my case (comparing the RCT and Stopper), I thought I could distinguish them, but the actual blind test had pretty shocking results.


This is a very good suggestion, Ralph. I wonder how many among the people that have condemned the EBVT III could actually identify ET 100% of the time?
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 09:55 AM

Or, differently put, Bill, I wonder how many of the EBVT III enthusiasts could actually spot it reliably amongst the two ETs?

Cheers,
Mark (not Ralph)
Posted by: Bernhard Stopper

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 11:20 AM


The three recordings in question here are all not on a professional level.

Not astonishing that they are not very easy to distinguish for everybody in a blind test though, as temperamental differences and tonal effects caused by those differences (which would be present in an optimal representation) are erased to a certain degree by a random uncertainity.


Bernhard Stopper
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 04:51 PM

Bernard, my recordings are not "professional" by any means, but they are well beyond good enough to hear the differences in tuning and temperament. One does not need a top professional or their equipment to hear these differences.

I think a possible explanation as to why one cannot distinguish easily between ET and Stopper is that that they are not all the much different from one another. They both sound very pleasing.

The Korg MR-1000 1-bit recording technology was originally only available, due to cost, to top recording studios and movie sound-stage studios. Now, we mortals can use it. smile The Korg is definitely a step up from the Zoom H4 that I was using. The Rode NT5 microphones, are professional mics used by pro-recording studios everywhere. The Avenson STO-2 mics are also used by the pros.


So with those explanations in mind, here is another example of ET and EBVT III. This is a "blind" test. Feel free to post what you think is the correct temperament. In the end, I think it would be a better idea to msg everyone who would like to know the correct answers, as opposed to posting the correct answers.....what do you all think? Unfortunately, I don't have a Stopper Only Pure recording of this Jazz piece.

Also, if there is any interest, we can have a 'blind' test comparison between ET and the Stopper Only Pure temperaments with Liszt's Ballade No.2, although I don't have that piece in EBVT III...yet. smile

This comparison test is a Jazz piece. One is in ET, using the Reyburn Cyber Tuner, OCT5 stretch, the other is in EBVT III, using the Iphone Tunelab. Both were normalized in Audiogate, and converted from a .wav file to an mp3 file in Audacity, using the highest quality settings for mp3's in both Audiogate and Audacity.


1. Jazz Temperament Test-No.1 http://www.box.net/shared/q33lmi9hfs

2. Jazz Temperament Test-No.2 http://www.box.net/shared/78og9iz3zd


I just noticed the "CHAS Theory" pre-set temperament on my Iphone Tunelab. Perhaps in the future, we can continue this, and include these other temperaments. It takes a lot of my time to tune and then re-tune my piano, so I can't promise this will be happening quickly. smile

Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 04:56 PM

Ryan, you're welcome! Looking forward to more recordings. smile
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 08:30 PM

Here are 2 more excellent examples of these 2 temperaments, Et and EBVT III. Again, this is a "blind" test, same parameters as above. Feel free to post what you think is the correct temperament. Headphones are a plus! smile


1. "Il Postino" Temperament test No.1 http://www.box.net/shared/sdfbiuoz72

2. "Il Postino Temperament test No.2 http://www.box.net/shared/hr9pk5ifyk


1. "Out of Africa" Temperament test No.1 http://www.box.net/shared/b3p9xif7zs

2. "Out of Africa" Temperament test No.2 http://www.box.net/shared/ac1z75rlcl





Posted by: alfredo capurso

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 08:39 PM


Hello.

Sorry, this is not about EBVT.

I'm surprised to get to know that there is a Chas version available on Tunelab, section "Load a non-equal temperament - CHAS Theory".

Thank you, GP.

I would be happy to go through all due experimentations and tests on real Chas tunings first. Only then would I be able to release the actual offsets, as to offer the most correct ETD relative figures and a reliable, professional tool.

While I hope this out-of-enthusiasm draft, which I have not heard yet, will not confuse you, I shall ask you to wait for the implementation I'll have been able to approve.

Regards, a.c.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 09:00 PM

(I'm confused by the mentions of 1 bit recording. Maybe the term is being used in a different way by Korg--my understanding of sound terminology makes me think that a 1 bit recording would be very bad. We now have 24 and 64 bit recording, which means that we have 24 and 64 levels of amplitude at any given moment. Obviously a 1 bit recording, along these lines, would mean that all of the sounds have the same amplitude, which would be very bad. Is Korg using the term "1 bit" to mean something that the term itself doesn't reveal?)
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 09:36 PM

Hi Jake,

From my understanding, the "1-bit" technology has improved. Perhaps Patrick can chime in with a good explanation.

Here is some info from the Korg website:
http://www.korg.com/product.aspx?pd=289

Quote:
The mobile/tabletop MR-1000 delivers an astonishing 1-bit/5.6 MHz, doubling industry DSD recording quality standards. This new super-rate spec delivers a "true to what you heard" fidelity that will amaze even the most jaded audio enthusiast. Real World Features in a Mobile and DSD Recorder
The MR-1000 can record to multiple formats, allowing you to choose the type that matches your needs. There are three ultra pristine, high definition 1-bit recording formats at your fingertips; DSDIFF, DSF, and WSD* (2.8224 MHz @ 1-bit or 5.6448 MHz @ 1-bit). In addition to the 1-bit recording options, multi-bit PCM formats (BWF or WAV) with resolutions up to 24-bit/192 kHz are also available. The MR-1000 can play back all of these file types and more, with the newly added MP3 playback feature. Various resolutions can be played back, including bit rates from 32 - 320 kbps, with a sampling frequency of either 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz. This gives you the added ability to store and listen to web ready MP3 files right on your stereo recorder. All of these functions make the MR-1000 a truly future proof tool that will be useful for recording all your endeavors in the years to come. It features a 40 GB internal hard drive, offering up to six hours of recording at the highest audio quality (1-bit 5.6448 MHz stereo), or approximately sixty hours at CD quality (16-bit 44.1 kHz).


and

Quote:
1-bit Technology Equals Pristine Fidelity
1-bit recording is the latest advancement in audio, and has been adopted for use in the critically acclaimed SACD recording format. It offers a frequency response of DC to 100 kHz and dynamic range of 120 dB. This uncompromising fidelity, low noise floor, extended dynamic range, lifelike imaging and analog quality depth has been praised by top experts. But there are other important advantages to the format of this stereo recorder that are of benefit to all recording professionals, regardless of their tracking platform.


and

Quote:
Future Proof Flexibility
Today's state-of-the-art 24-bit converters use high-speed 1-bit conversion to capture audio, using real-time decimation and other processes to present the data in the desired bit depth/sample rate format. The beauty of the MR's bitstream format is that it uses the original 1-bit data, without the need for the other processes. What comes in comes out, with no manipulation needed.

As files are converted and reconverted between various bit depths and sampling rates, there are possibly degrading effects, depending on the sample rate conversion algorithms. The critical issue is that files mixed and mastered in today's state of the art high-resolution audio may be insufficient for tomorrow's formats. Archiving your final mixes and masters in a 1-bit system allows you to bypass these issues, and preserve your music with both the highest fidelity and in a more "universal" format. That data then can more easily be converted at a later date to the bit depth/sample rate format of your choice without compromising the integrity or fidelity of the data. You can even convert to newer formats that will be adopted in the future, be they multi-bit or a further migration to the 1-bit format.
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 10:16 PM

Thanks. I think we're at the mercy of marketing-speak, here. I have to admit that I still don't understand exactly what they're meaning by 1 bit recording. Unless they mean that their method offers a 1-1 correspondence between the amplitude of each sound source and the recorded amplitude of each sound source. That would create a great sound, but it's not 1 bit resolution. Doesn't resolution, in every field I can think of, grow better with higher numbers?

Korg may have a great sound, here, but reversing the scale and calling something 1 bit resolution when they mean a higher resolution than 24 bit muddies the water, particularly when they use terms like "24 bit" in the same paragraph.

Sorry to interrupt the discussion, but that term just stopped me dead in my tracks.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 10:35 PM

Not a problem Jake...perhaps Patrick, who has experience with the pro-recording people can chime in here.

I am not so sure it's marketing hype as it is an improvement to 1-bit technology. Here is a white paper on the subject, you have to copy and paste for some reason.

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:n_bmvaWJmPQJ:www.korg.com/services/products/mr/Future_Proof_Recording_Explained.pdf+1-bit+recording+technology&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESh1EcgAJ0cmAmQp6UF55_T_wxJdHAwqoeyWrJBA6oQFkwjWo7NJaIKANUBJCZIMZh5rxA3PDO_yDFAqi6HFyLtEwoPyxWbDTtoCCh-28scuZiVKZkocOgZ1I7w2I8jKSRjIMeqG&sig=AHIEtbSwbQqZBz7y7zmHFT52bZ8SFnZ20A
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/03/10 11:08 PM

Thanks for the white paper link. I see what they're arguing, now. But now I want to hear the result of combining a faster sampling rate and low resolution. I wonder how long it will take for soundcard developers to create cards that can use this format.
Posted by: DoelKees

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 12:25 AM

Originally Posted By: grandpianoman
Here are 2 more excellent examples of these 2 temperaments, Et and EBVT III. Again, this is a "blind" test, same parameters as above. Feel free to post what you think is the correct temperament. Headphones are a plus! smile


1. "Il Postino" Temperament test No.1 http://www.box.net/shared/sdfbiuoz72

2. "Il Postino Temperament test No.2 http://www.box.net/shared/hr9pk5ifyk


1. "Out of Africa" Temperament test No.1 http://www.box.net/shared/b3p9xif7zs

2. "Out of Africa" Temperament test No.2 http://www.box.net/shared/ac1z75rlcl






Hi All,

My first post here. I've tuned and played harpsichords for decades (you tune it, then you play it, so you have to be able to tune), only recently got into piano tuning.

Here's my guess:

"Il Postino" 1 is ET, 2 is EBVT. 1 sounds brighter, 2 sounds
darker. I prefer 2, but by a small amount.

I can't tell the other piece. I would like to hear something simple like WTC I prelude to see if I can hear the difference.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 05:19 AM

Hi,

Seeing I called the challenge, I'd better participate... wink

After listening only on small PC speakers (don't have earphones with me),
and without further explanation or preference, my guesses for now are:

Il Postino: I found this easiest, and hope I'm right: 1 is EBVT, 2 is ET.

OoA: not so easy, but I think 1 is EBVT, 2 is ET.

Jazz piece: most difficult; I really can't say. They clearly sound different,
and I do have a preference for one of them. If pushed for an answer, I'd say:
1 is EBVT, 2 is ET, but I'm not really convinced.

GP, kindly let me know by PM how I fared.
Posted by: FogAudio

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 07:14 AM

Hi Jake,

1-bit recording has been marching into obscurity for the last 4-5 years or so. Technically it has many advantages over PCM but also a few disadvantages (and those are hard to overcome).

You can google Super Audio CD (SACD) or Direct Stream Digital (DSD) for more on its short-lived history.

Regards,
Ryan
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 10:36 AM

Hey GP - excellent challenge, and good music!!

Since I am learning to tune both temperaments with respectable consistency - this is a good little test, here is what I perceive while making my way to work on the train.

Glen

Out of Africa
No 1 EBiii
No 2 ET

Jazz Temperament
Test 1 ET
Test 2 EBiii

Il Postino
No 1 EBiii
No 2 ET
Posted by: DoelKees

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 02:32 PM

After some more listening I think I can hear a difference in the other 2 pieces. I think:

Out of Africa 1 is ET, 2 is EBVT.
Jazz piece 1 EBVT, 2 ET.
(Still think Il Postino 1 ET 2 EBVT.)

I don't really hear any tuning, the pieces I think are EBVT sound a little warmer to me.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 04:56 PM

Hi everybody, I've been busy doing other vaguely related stuff (arranging and playing grin )

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Bill,

I do have a question/observation and I wondered if it was accurate, and thought it might benefit others on this thread; so I will post it here rather than send to you as a private message.

In establishing the framework in EBVT III of the 4 rapidly beating intervals, it is obviously very important to nail the 6 beats per second, especially because you are going to match this beat rate to the other intervals.

As I am doing this aurally and getting comfortable with this tuning, there obviously has been some slight variation in my results. It has occured to me that if my beat rate is not quite as fast as the true 6 bps, I will be on the edge of dissonance in some chords. And conversely, if I am slightly more than 6 bps, it will just not sound as special, more like ET. I got this clue from the inverted thirds (relative to ET) sounding either too inverted or not enough, when of course they need to be 'just right'. Does this make any sense?

Thanks,

Nick


I am getting behind with all of this because of what happened on Monday but the good news is that I will be getting a brand new car within a few days.

Yes, Nick, you are right about what you observe. Obviously, you can't know for sure whether one of your intervals is really 6.000000 beats per second or 5.9736542 or 6.000123 but the mathematical calculations and Jason Kanter's graphs are based on exactly 6.0 beats per second.

I actually wrote an 18th Century style well temperament with basically the same sequence except that you start with 4 equal beating intervals each at 4 beats per second. You could do the same with 5 beats per second. Each would have its own sound but as you have guessed, the slower those first 4 intervals beat, the harsher (more dissonant) the wider M3s will be.

If you had 4 starting intervals at 7 beats per second and followed the same scheme, you would end up with a quasi equal temperament that would not have that special magic that the EBVT or EBVT III has. You do get the best results in nailing the initial 6 beats per second and subsequently getting all other equal beating intervals as equal beating as possible. The two pure intervals need to be very pure and not wide and also not having any hint of narrowness.

The outer octaves that equalize octaves and 5ths and double octaves and octave-5ths also contribute to the overall purity of the piano sound.


Nick and Bill, this is very much in line with my own findings - glad to find it confirmed here!
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 05:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding
I was just thinking about this very subject, Bill - still trying to get it right.

When I am setting the EBVT III temperament, no matter how close I get to 6bps on the key intervals, F#-A#, C#-F, and D#-G are wide, making the common keys of Ab, Fmin, Db, Bbmin, Eb, and Ebmin, Cmin sound somewhat harsh - and of course it gets worse the more I stretch the octaves, etc. If I go less than what I calculate as 6bps, it messes with the "pipe-organ" effect when playing arpeggios in the keys of C, G, and F...

Any idea what I am doing wrong? I've been using a metronome set at 120 and count 3bps on those key intervals to get them set. Also, I go back and ensure the pure intervals are as close as I can get them that way.

Glen


Glen, - I'm glad you bring this up. Here are the results of my own empirical research on the subject smile :

F#-A# easily gets a bit too wide if you favor the fifth instead of placing F#3 truly equal-beating (F#3-B3/F#3-C#4). Sometimes the 6:4 fools me into easing the tempering of the fifth, and that gives me this result.

C#4-F4 gets a bit too wide if the F3-F4 is larger than 4:2. Combine this with stretching generously in placing C#2, and you'll get a very fast 10th. I have chosen to error towards the narrow side if anything - that is, my F3-F4 is **absolutely not** wider than 4:2.

D#4-G4 gets a bit too wide if you stretch G4 a little too much in favoring the fifth C4-G4. This will also have you make a bigger compromise in the D4-D5 octave once you get up there. This balance (C4-G4-D5 vs D4-D5) is one of the hardest choices to make, just as Bill stated in his instructions to me some close to six months ago.
Again, combine this with a largely stretched D#3 and you'll have a very fast 10th.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 05:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Here is the opening number from the 2002 Jazz concert. It is a 14 1/2 minute file but there is a full minute of silence before the piano plays, so you can skip ahead 1 minute and then you will hear the music. The piano plays solo first and the alto saxophone follows. Then the piano has a solo. The engineering is unfortunately badly balanced with the Bass being louder than anything else.

It is a familiar tune but I can't think of the name of it at the moment.

http://www.box.net/shared/2sb4244s7b


Wild piano player... suddenly I miss the US wink Who is it?
The tune is "On Green Dolphin Street"
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 05:57 PM

Originally Posted By: pppat

Wild piano player... suddenly I miss the US wink Who is it?
The tune is "On Green Dolphin Street"


The pianist is James Williams but he died a few years after the recording was made.
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 06:25 PM

Ah, I remember him from my NY days. His work with bass player Christian McBride is great!
Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 06:37 PM

Originally Posted By: FogAudio
Hi Jake,

1-bit recording has been marching into obscurity for the last 4-5 years or so. Technically it has many advantages over PCM but also a few disadvantages (and those are hard to overcome).

You can google Super Audio CD (SACD) or Direct Stream Digital (DSD) for more on its short-lived history.

Regards,
Ryan


Jake and GP,
what FogAudio says.

The idea is good, and it has many advantages over especially the cd standard 16-bit/44.1 kHz). The 64x oversampling splits the opinion, though, as do the reluctance to introduce yet another standard on the market.

When I mix pre-masters for CD I always send them in 24-bit or 32-bit float, because I know the receiver at the mastering plant can deal with them comfortably.

That said, it might be a very nice solution for a recording system that fits your needs, GP!

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 07:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Inlanding

It's just that in the context of music, the main theme of Pathetique's second movement (Ab) is largely thirds and other intervals. Brahms Intermezzo 117 No 2 (Db) uses many two note intervals, not just thirds.

Thanks in advance,
Glen


I noticed when I tried these chords that the G#2-C4 M10 seemed to beat exactly the same as the F3-A3 M3, 6 beats per second. Looking at Jason Kanter's graph, the G#3-C4 beats at 10.1 beats per second. That is not all that fast. The M10 would be half that amount and perhaps because of octave stretching, it very closely approximates that "magic" 6 beats per second.

Again, considering that Beethoven would probably have used a stronger temperament, he chose the key of A-flat for the "warble" it has. Herr Stopper once commented about that, like the voice of a warbly mezzo soprano in a church choir. That is the sound Beethoven wanted. ET takes it away, plain and simple.
Posted by: FogAudio

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 11:45 PM

Hey GPM,

My guess for EBVT III:

1. "Il Postino" Temperament test No.1

2. "Out of Africa" Temperament test No.2

Regards,
Ryan
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 11:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: Inlanding

It's just that in the context of music, the main theme of Pathetique's second movement (Ab) is largely thirds and other intervals. Brahms Intermezzo 117 No 2 (Db) uses many two note intervals, not just thirds.

Thanks in advance,
Glen


I noticed when I tried these chords that the G#2-C4 M10 seemed to beat exactly the same as the F3-A3 M3, 6 beats per second. Looking at Jason Kanter's graph, the G#3-C4 beats at 10.1 beats per second. That is not all that fast. The M10 would be half that amount and perhaps because of octave stretching, it very closely approximates that "magic" 6 beats per second.

Again, considering that Beethoven would probably have used a stronger temperament, he chose the key of A-flat for the "warble" it has. Herr Stopper once commented about that, like the voice of a warbly mezzo soprano in a church choir. That is the sound Beethoven wanted. ET takes it away, plain and simple.


Bill,

This is fascinating to hear you say this--because I learned when practicing this tune yesterday (Beethoven, Pathetique, movement 2) that if I slowed down my playing, and cooperated with the "beats"--the warbles as you call them--actually timed the tempo to play with them, everything inside of me calmed down. Plus, I heard a whistful whisssh in the beating of the chords that was behind the notes being played, which painted a picture of a dim memory. When that happend, I figured I understood what Beethoven was after. Problem solved, as far as I'm concerned! grin

--Andy
Posted by: FogAudio

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/04/10 11:58 PM

My guess is EBVT III on this one?

1. Jazz Temperament Test-No.1

I found this one harder than the other examples (or at least that is to say, I found the quick chord progressions of this particular piece harder to make a distinction than the other 2).

Also, GPM I'm curious if you are using a preamp with these recordings or using the Korg's mic inputs?

Really nice recordings and pieces! Also, I see that those Avenson mics are sold by Mercenary Audio. I trust most things sold by those guys (they seem fanatical about high-end). IIRC, that is how I heard about FMR's RNC!

Regards,
Ryan
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/05/10 09:52 AM

Originally Posted By: pppat

Glen, - I'm glad you bring this up. Here are the results of my own empirical research on the subject smile :

F#-A# easily gets a bit too wide if you favor the fifth instead of placing F#3 truly equal-beating (F#3-B3/F#3-C#4). Sometimes the 6:4 fools me into easing the tempering of the fifth, and that gives me this result.

C#4-F4 gets a bit too wide if the F3-F4 is larger than 4:2. Combine this with stretching generously in placing C#2, and you'll get a very fast 10th. I have chosen to error towards the narrow side if anything - that is, my F3-F4 is **absolutely not** wider than 4:2.

D#4-G4 gets a bit too wide if you stretch G4 a little too much in favoring the fifth C4-G4. This will also have you make a bigger compromise in the D4-D5 octave once you get up there. This balance (C4-G4-D5 vs D4-D5) is one of the hardest choices to make, just as Bill stated in his instructions to me some close to six months ago.
Again, combine this with a largely stretched D#3 and you'll have a very fast 10th.


Thanks, Patrick and Bill~~

This is a great starting point and most likely where the source of it is! I've gotten in the habit of stretching early on - from what you describe is that I need to do less of that.

My own piano is tuned EBiii for over a month with daily playing and it's settled in quite nicely with only having to shore up a few unisons. Follow-ups with the two folks that now play their pianos in EBiii indicate they are happy with their tunings. I follow-up after a couple of weeks.

It's interesting to note how pianos fall out of tune over time and/or react to the atmosphere (temp/humidity) and its affect on the piano's voice.

Wood, felt, and steel - what a combo!

Glen

Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/05/10 12:31 PM

Bill,

I know this is off-topic, but I'm very sorry to hear about your car accident. I hope you're ok, even if the car isn't. (And that the accident won't prevent further explorations in EBVT III...)
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/05/10 12:57 PM

Thanks for all your posts regarding the temperament test. Will let this go a bit longer before compiling the results.

Ryan, I used the built-in mic preamps of the Korg. I should also add that there was no processing done to these recordings...no reverb, no manipulation of the original recording, other than a normalization of the sound levels and the addition of dither, using the Korg Audiogate software for those.

Posted by: pppat

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 03:37 PM

GP,

I'd be more than willing to take up the blindfold challenge, but I guess I have an unfair advantage (since you listed the mics and preamps earlier... wink )

I can PM you my answers, if you'd like to confirm or (possibly) put a final nail in my sound engineer's coffin grin
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 04:34 PM

Hi Patrick,

LOL....you do indeed have that advantage wink I don't think I will be putting any nails in your coffin any time soon! PM me and I will send the key to you. smile
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 05:15 PM

Tap, tap, tap...enquiring minds want to know wink

I have a few nails left, but maybe no more after this little test.

Glen
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 06:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
Bill,

I know this is off-topic, but I'm very sorry to hear about your car accident. I hope you're ok, even if the car isn't. (And that the accident won't prevent further explorations in EBVT III...)


Thanks for your concern Jake, the whole experience as not been pleasant. I am still suffering some pain but I look at things on the positive side: no broken bones or bleeding and I can still get some work done. I will also get a brand new car tomorrow. It will look like this:

http://www.box.net/shared/gans7zqucv
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 07:30 PM

Wow, Bill. I had no idea - it is not off topic at all. I wish you a full recovery.

Glen
Posted by: Jake Jackson

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 08:51 PM

(And what was it that happened, exactly--who hit you? Or did I miss another post somewhere else that had details you may not want to go into again?)
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 08:54 PM

It looks to me like GP's challenge, "which one is which" seemed to scare away all of those who had only something negative to say about the EBVT III. If the EBVT III is as bad as several of you have claimed (and all of you know who you are), then it should be perfectly evident to you which recording is which and a vivid description as to why. I actually don't expect any of those people to respond. If the EBVT III is as unacceptable as it has been described, then a difference in microphones or any other minor difference should not matter at all.

If the EBVT III doesn't work, it doesn't work. If the piano had been tuned in 1/4 comma meantone, it wouldn't work for all of today's music. So, go ahead, all of you who said the EBVT III wouldn't, shouldn't and couldn't work because it is uneven, unbalanced, inappropriate, like a piano that had not been tuned in many years, one that someone would be calling you to do something about, made you cringe, made the piano professor wince and frown, made your skin crawl, gave you a headache, made you vomit, made you tear your hair out, caused you to write a letter to the PTG Home Office to demand that I be kicked out of PTG for "going around doing this and imposing some kind of unethical experiment on an unwitting public", all of you who came up with any such condemnations, go ahead and prove that you actually knew what you were talking about. I double dare you to do it and come out being 100% correct. It won't happen because I never believed a word of what any of you said and I know that you cannot back up what you have said. You can't really tell, can you?

We'll wait a few days for all of you to actually prove that you can reliably tell the difference and describe what it is about the EBVT III that offends you as compared to ET. I don't expect any of you to actually respond because I know already that the challenge is beyond your perception, even as a dedicated and life long piano technician. You are not sure. You couldn't risk being made the fool because you guessed incorrectly, so you abstain.

That shall therefore be your reason to further abstain from and negative comments in this thread. We who are enjoying the pursuit of what we believe to be state of the art innovation in tuning concepts do not need to read comments from people who have already dismissed any such ideas purely on pre-conceived notions or beliefs.

To those who have been seeking perfection in modern piano tuning merely by manipulating the amount of stretch in the octaves but still insisting on ET only, may I suggest that you have been "looking for love in all the wrong places".

The idea that tuning theory reached its pinnacle with ET was popular in the late 20th Century. ET was the ultimate. The more perfected it could be, the better the music would be. At the same time people were espousing that view, others were saying, "I don't think so". I was among them.

So, now in 2010, the May issue of the PTG Journal has two important and pages-long articles that say essentially that we have not yet found any ultimate solution at all. We haven't found the ultimate design for a piano and we haven't found the ultimate tuning for the piano.

If you want a real challenge, it will not be how to stretch so much or not stretch so much ET but how you can give each key signature its own definition and character yet still have the piano be able to perform all music the way that only ET is thought of as able to do. I have done that with the EBVT III. Can you do better? If you can, I will be tuning your temperament and octave stretching style on the pianos I service as soon as you can write it out.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 09:31 PM

To all...please take a brief respite in the rigors of this temperament test, and take a listen to this piece in EBVT III. It's not done that often. In EBVT III, it has a magical quality to it. At the very end are several arpeggios that sound beautiful in this temperament...in fact, the whole piece is quite beautiful in EBVT III! smile I don't have it in ET. frown

Ampico roll "Music of the Spheres" from "Winterreigen" Opus 13, composed by Ernst von Dohnanyi in 1905, played by E.V.Dohnanyi on the Ampico roll system. http://www.box.net/shared/b5fvvv7tbn

Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
(And what was it that happened, exactly--who hit you? Or did I miss another post somewhere else that had details you may not want to go into again?)


Let's go with a forensic explanation. I love the X-box file way to share files that GP introduced me to. I will share with you all the file from the official sheriff's office report:

http://www.box.net/shared/0k2d0piszi

I was turning left into a client's driveway in a rural area on a curved road. The driver behind me had been looking at his cellphone for signal strength and was therefore distracted. [The entire reason behind there are new "texting while driving" laws now being considered in many states.] He did not see until too late that my car had slowed to make a left turn. He hit me at full speed. He could have been switching radio stations. He could have been reaching for his sandwich or cup of coffee. He could have simply been admiring the beauty of the beautiful Wisconsin Spring at this time of year.

I am not angry at that driver. I understand why and how it happened. He was kind, helpful and remorseful after the accident. Unexpected incidents do happen. I could have easily been the one who caused the accident although I am an extremely defensive driver. I can't say how many very serious accidents I have avoided due to a practice and policy of defensive driving.

Off topic but relevant.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/06/10 10:29 PM

So glad you're OK Bill. Amazing how quickly things can happen.

Now for the test; and it's a good one. I'm going to stick my neck out by saying which one I like the best and lable that as EBVT III.


Il Postino:

#1 EBVT III
#2 ET

Out of Africa:

#1 EBVT III
#2 ET


The Out of Africa I though was much tougher.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 04:55 AM

Wow, Bill, you've certainly thrown down the gauntlet at your critics!

Nothing wrong with that, but by the same token, given your - umm - somewhat strong words, I think it would only be fair if you stick out your neck and do the blind test yourself.

Can't expect to draw your critics out but not do the test yourself... Why not make a start? Now that would be a gauntlet for sure.
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 08:04 AM

Thanks Mark but I would have an unfair advantage and besides, I already know the answers. No criticism anyone ever wrote persuaded me to not tune in the EBVT III which is the way I tune almost every piano. I occasionally tune in Marpurg or 1/7 Comma Meantone but NEVER in ET. I make the choices I do because they result in a better sounding, more musically pleasing piano than any version of ET ever could. The number of people who have come to understand this to be true is growing and gaining momentum. I predict the the end result will be that ET will end up having been a fad that lasted about 100 years.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 08:44 AM

I did not listen very long to the test recordings, and there was a post where there were two and then there was 1, I think the jazz, and that was much harder to tell.

However, on the post that included the two selections, my immediate reaction was that the first example of each was EBVT III. I did not post my reaction right away, but it seems to agree with what others have guessed.

Thanks,

Nick
Posted by: Emmery

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 09:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
... I make the choices I do because they result in a better sounding, more musically pleasing piano than any version of ET ever could. The number of people who have come to understand this to be true is growing and gaining momentum. I predict the the end result will be that ET will end up having been a fad that lasted about 100 years.


The rest of the 10's of thousands or piano tuners out there continue doing what they are doing because it is the accepted norm for almost a hundred years now. A "fad" is something that gains popularity for a brief, short time, by definition.

Even if all your clients were happy and could even tell the difference, the sum of you all represents less than a 1000th of a percent of all the pianos out there being regularly tuned differently. Smoke, mirrors, puffery and all the self praise in the world you can muster will hardly challenge or persevere against what is accepted by most everyone else out there (accepted for their own valid reasons). There have been countless others before you who have also made the same claims and faded into obscurity...not one has gained a foothold in the mainstream of music. As the famous saying goes...your a long, long way from Kansas, Dorthy.
Posted by: FogAudio

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 10:08 AM

Emmery, OTOH, there is clear evidence that during the last 3000 years that the Pythogorean scale has been tweaked and adjusted to approximate the most pleasing sound. The evidence of this are the large number of alternatives there are (with new ones such as EBVT III coming out all the time). Other instruments with centuries old issues have also attempted at improving harmony (and intonation).

Other instruments have also been experimenting in these regards. On guitar a novel technique has been created and has been very popular with professionals: http://www.buzzfeiten.com/.

Most notably, some very good electronic instruments have employed a technique of dynamic tuning called Hermode tuning: http://www.hermode.com/index_en.html

I think those of us who understand the problems of the chromatic/diatonic scale are very welcome to these experiments (whether or not they represent a "fad").

Regards,
Ryan
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 10:24 AM

Emmery, I think it's a sad thing that more pianos aren't tuned with the "life" that EBVT III can bring them.

--Andy
Posted by: Ralph

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 10:33 AM

I think very few tuners actually tune to equal temperament. That might be their goal, but in reality when they set the temperament, many are not right on equal temperament but rather some variation that sounds good to them.

Unless a tuner uses an electronic tuner and sets each note to equal temperament then I'll stick my neck out and say that ALL aural tuners do NOT tune in equal temperament.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 10:35 AM

Well, it's a pity that Bill already knows the answers, but perhaps a few more of the EBVT-III proponents (or enthusiasts) can chime in? For my part, I'm off this weekend to a brass band festival of our church. I'll pop back into this thread next week.

Peace to all.
Posted by: Emmery

Re: My Piano in EBVT III - 05/07/10 10:35 AM

I love experimental and alternative things and welcome them with open hands, but I do understand the reasons why some things persevere and respect that also as do most people. A piano begins to slip out of tune the moment the tuner pulls his hammer off the last pin. Sometimes its quite a while before they get tuned again. One reason that tuners pick ET to tune in is that it is a theoretical perfection, a bullseye to aim for but one we always miss by a bit because of the nature of how piano strings do not produce perfect partials.

Everybody knows that to get near a bullseye in shooting...you have to aim at it. How can a temperament that deviates from true ET in the initial process of "aiming" be expected to sound as decent as one that doesn't, especially once things begin to slip out of their original settings? I doubt it does. If there are certain intervals that require more precise alignment because they border on unacceptability, these same intervals will sound much worse as the tuning fades than ones that have an adequate buffer zone which ET by nature provides equall