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#1174192 - 04/04/09 06:10 AM Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 383
eightyeight_keys Offline
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eightyeight_keys  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 383
Melbourne, Australia
I downloaded the Tunelab 4.00 trial. I am unable to calabarate it to A440. I have tried to set it with my piano, an A440 tuning fork and it is still flat. WHen I play A440 on my piano, (which is perfectly in tune to A440), the tunelab software tells me my note is sharp. WHen I sound the tone of A440 in the computer it is FLAT.
Can someone help me to work out how to set it up to the correct pitch of A440?

After this then I can at least evaluated the software and decide whether it is worth paying the money to buy it.

On a second thought - is the Reyburn Cyber Tuner a better deal? It certainly seems to be more user friendly with a nice interface and graphics!


Kawai RX6G Grand
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Roland HP-335 Digital Piano
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#1174246 - 04/04/09 08:42 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: eightyeight_keys]  
Joined: May 2007
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Dave Stahl Offline
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Dave Stahl  Offline
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Call the National Institute of Science and Technology at 303-499-7111 (US). They will give you a series of tones over a span of time. They do it every hour, and it is intermingled with other scientific information, so it can by kind of a PITA. But it is accurate.


Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net
#1174281 - 04/04/09 09:49 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Dave Stahl]  
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rysowers Offline
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rysowers  Offline
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Olympia, WA
I remember having trouble calibrating the pitch on Tunelab. I had to read the directions several times before I figured it out. You can always try contacting Bob Scott the owner of the software. He's usually very responsive to emails.

Cybertuner is flashier and has more bells & whistles but I think they are pretty comparable. How well either of them works depends largely on the skill of the user.

Last edited by rysowers; 04/04/09 09:51 AM.

Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#1174341 - 04/04/09 11:27 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: rysowers]  
Joined: Jun 2003
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Ron Alexander Offline
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Ron Alexander  Offline
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North Carolina
Download the online manual for Tunelab. It's near the link where you download the program. Ryan is right, read the instructions very carefully. Tunelab 4 is kind of a pain to get the caliberation set. But do it by calling the number for NIST, that Ryan provided and is also in the manual. The manual also contains a chart that will tell you the exact times on the hour that various frequencies are sounded. Use 500 for C5 or 600 for D5 as the manual says.

As with any ETD, a pair of trained, experienced ears are necessary to get the best of tunings.

I usually use Tunelab for pitch raises and fine tune by ear. But I recently purchased a netbook. This is a very small version of a laptop. Previously I have been using Tunelab on a smartphone. I like the screen of the netbook much much better.


-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician
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#1174423 - 04/04/09 01:39 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Ron Alexander]  
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Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Niagara Region, On. Canada
If you call NIST, do it just before 2 minutes after the hour, from the 2nd to 3rd minute the tone is 440 Hz. Many new laptops are coming in at -11.71 cents because of the settings on sound card chips/crystal. I too just got a netbook for RCT and love it. Only 2 lbs, solid state hard drive with no fan, noise and takes a beating. Fits nicely in the tool case.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#1174424 - 04/04/09 01:41 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Emmery]  
Joined: Nov 2007
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Do you guys find that the notebook is difficult to find somewhere to place it verses a PDA?


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1174490 - 04/04/09 03:20 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
Joined: Jun 2003
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Ron Alexander Offline
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Ron Alexander  Offline
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North Carolina
One point of clarification. Not sure why, but the manual says NOT to use the 440 frequency to caliberate Tunelab. Use 500 and set the screen to C5 or 600 and note D5. I used the 500 frequency, and Tunelab is within .5 cents of A440 by testing with my caliberated A440 fork. But it took me three tries to finally caliberate Tunelab by calling NIST.

Jerry, I've only used my netbook on a couple of pianos. It sits nicely on the frame of a grand, and I simply put it on either end of a vertical keyboard. Love it!!!!


-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician
#1174526 - 04/04/09 04:47 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Ron Alexander]  
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 338
Robert Scott Offline
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Robert Scott  Offline
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Minnesota
Originally Posted by Ron Alexander
...the manual says NOT to use the 440 frequency to caliberate Tunelab. Use 500 and set the screen to C5 or 600 and note D5....


You can use the 440 from NIST or from anywhere else to calibrate. The only reason the 440 from NIST is not recommended is that it is only available for 45 seconds each hour. If you mess up, you have to wait for another hour before you can try it again. The 500 and 600 Hz tones, on the other hand, are available almost all the time.


Last edited by Robert Scott; 04/04/09 04:48 PM.

Robert Scott
Hopkins, Minnesota
http://www.tunelab-world.com
#1174554 - 04/04/09 06:06 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Robert Scott]  
Joined: Jun 2003
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Ron Alexander Offline
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Ron Alexander  Offline
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North Carolina
Sorry I do stand corrected. The manual does not say NOT to use 440, but to use 500 and 600 Hz for the reasons Mr. Scott stated.


-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician
#1175457 - 04/06/09 09:51 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Ron Alexander]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Jerry, the smaller netbooks will nicely fit on the top of uprights and grands. I modified a collapsible music stand I carry in the car that I also use occasionally. Most of the time I will set mine off to the side on my tool box since the mike cord is long enough to put up into the piano. I use a wireless mouse with tape over the optics and the curser set on the up/down field. I click using my foot. Helpful on big pitch raises where the software starts jumping around not knowing which note it's on in auto switch mode.
Once a unit is calibrated, you can cross check to a standard dial tone for your area. The generated tone may not be A440 and may contain harmonics but it is stable. In the Niagara area the tone comes out at -.30 cents for A440.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#1181403 - 04/16/09 07:54 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Emmery]  
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Posts: 383
eightyeight_keys Offline
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Posts: 383
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks guys. Interesting information. I finally got the calibration right. I think. Now I am trying it all out. The laptop IS a bit cumbersome to use. But is is great to see visually what is going on. I think one of those small notebook PC's would be ideal for us tuners!


Kawai RX6G Grand
Bernstien/Hailun Europa BH - 1EP Upright
Roland HP-335 Digital Piano
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Roland E09W Interactive Arranger
#1181460 - 04/16/09 09:13 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: eightyeight_keys]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 654
Hop Offline
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Hop  Offline
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Posts: 654
Hudson, FL
I also had trouble calibrating my Tunelab Pro trial. I started by trying my A440 tuning fork, which the Tunelab declared to be flat! I would have thought that the tuning fork would have been the best reference source.

I did calibrate it to NIST (after reading the instructions several times, and making 5-6 calls for the tones). Dial-tone A440 seems to be right on the mark, but the fork is still flat!

Is it common for tuning forks to be off pitch? I'm still wondering whether I'm on the right pitch!

Hop


HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130
#1181490 - 04/16/09 10:12 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Hop]  
Joined: Jun 2003
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
Aluminum forks are not very accurate. Steel forks are better.


Semipro Tech
#1181516 - 04/16/09 11:07 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: BDB]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 386
Erus Offline
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Erus  Offline
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Mexico
Yes, steel is better.

Temperature (slightly) changes the pitch produced by all tuning forks. You need to calibrate your fork to the temperature that you will use it at.

Precision is a very cruel mistress...


Last edited by Erus; 04/16/09 11:12 AM.
#1181909 - 04/16/09 09:35 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Erus]  
Joined: Jan 2008
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Hop Offline
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Hop  Offline
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Hudson, FL
Well, the tuning fork feels like steel to me. And the temperature was about 77 degrees F, which is normal in my house. The fork had been in the house for days, so there was ample time for it to be at temp.

That said, is it normal for a fork to be flat (by 1-2 cents)?

Hop


HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130
#1181915 - 04/16/09 09:46 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: BDB]  
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Hop Offline
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Hop  Offline
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Hudson, FL
It just occurred to me to try a second tuning fork. I forget how or why, but I have a C4 tuning fork in addition to an A4 fork. The are both flat! This makes me question my tuning calibration. (The C4 is slightly more flat than the A4). Also, after I strike the fork and watch the screen, the peak wavers between flat and more flat, then stays flat. The C4 wavers more than the A4.

Dial tone is dead on (A4) after calibration to NIST (500).

It's Ok with me if the forks are "off", I just want to be sure that my reference is correctly calibrated.

Thanks.

Hop



HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130
#1181937 - 04/16/09 10:29 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Hop]  
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Posts: 338
Robert Scott Offline
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Robert Scott  Offline
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Minnesota
Originally Posted by Hop
...Dial tone is dead on (A4) after calibration to NIST (500).

It's Ok with me if the forks are "off", I just want to be sure that my reference is correctly calibrated...

Forks can be off by 1-2 cents just because they were not carefully calibrated when they were manufactured, or because they suffered some deterioration through time, such as nicks or rust. If the NIST 500 Hz and 600 Hz tones show no movement of the phase display, then you can be assured your calibration is right. If you would like to use TuneLab to trim your fork, then see:

www.tunelab-world.com/calforks.html






Robert Scott
Hopkins, Minnesota
http://www.tunelab-world.com
#1182133 - 04/17/09 09:12 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Robert Scott]  
Joined: Jan 2008
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Hop Offline
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Hop  Offline
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Hudson, FL
Thanks for the confirmation of calibration accuracy.

FWIW, the tuning forks are bright, shiny, and have been stored well for the last thirty years. They are in no way damaged. Also, I noticed the cents display on the tunelab screen, and realize that the display on the bottom was logarithmic. Which is to say that I have overstated the degree of flatness. One tuning fork is off by less than one cent, and the other tuning fork is actually off only by about 1+ cent.

I'll be aware that I can "adjust" the tuning forks, but honestly I think that they are unnecessary if the ETD works as well as I hope.

Hop


HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130
#1182187 - 04/17/09 10:43 AM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: Hop]  
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
One of the worst things about electronic tuning devices is that they claim unreasonable degrees of accuracy. It makes people obsess about accuracy far more than the ear can detect, usually to the detriment of other things, like whether the piano sounds good or whether it stays in tune.


Semipro Tech
#1182247 - 04/17/09 12:22 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: BDB]  
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John Dutton Offline
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John Dutton  Offline
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Billings, MT
This is probably true for a beginner. In my opinion whether one tunes by device or 100% aurally, the accuracy is determined completely by hammer technique rendering the tuned notes stable.

After all, what good is it to tune G5 or C6 (pick a note) even close to theoretical if the whole temperament has fallen/shifted.


Piano Technician
Pro horn player
Recording Engineer
#1182288 - 04/17/09 01:17 PM Re: Tunelab 4.0 calibration issue [Re: BDB]  
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Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member
Hop  Offline
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Posts: 654
Hudson, FL
BDB,

I agree completely about unecessary obsession with accuracy. I also agree that setting the pin and the string is important to have the tuning stable and enduring. And "internal consistency" verification is certainly important for pleasing sound (e.g., adjacent or consecutive intervals, such as thirds, gradually increasing in beat frequency as the tuner progresses up the keyboard).

Still, it's kind of nice to be as close to A440 as a person can reasonably get. I guess within about 1 cent is good enough.

Hop


HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

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