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Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: pianokeys135] #1545314
10/28/10 09:41 AM
10/28/10 09:41 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Mark R.  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Ah, OK, hadn't thought of it that way. I wouldn't have thought that sympathetic vibrations can actually be so strong as to stand out over the note while it's being played, but only become really audible after it's released. Learned something new - thanks!


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
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Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: pianokeys135] #1545440
10/28/10 01:32 PM
10/28/10 01:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 252
Billings, MT
J
John Dutton Offline
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John Dutton  Offline
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J

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 252
Billings, MT
Well, think of a guitar. When you play a harmonic you are only very lightly touching the string in a particular location and that note is plenty loud. In fact was used very effectively on a song from the 70's called Roundabout. This same phenomenon can occur on a piano as well.


Piano Technician
Pro horn player
Recording Engineer
Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: John Dutton] #1545484
10/28/10 02:56 PM
10/28/10 02:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Silverwood Pianos  Offline
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Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted by John Dutton
Well, think of a guitar. When you play a harmonic you are only very lightly touching the string in a particular location and that note is plenty loud. In fact was used very effectively on a song from the 70's called Roundabout. This same phenomenon can occur on a piano as well.


I knew there would be some Steve Howe fans around here……….
Here is the intro John is referring to……

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u5_7yg8O_g


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: pianokeys135] #1545707
10/28/10 10:36 PM
10/28/10 10:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 303
VA USA
S
SM Boone Offline
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SM Boone  Offline
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S

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 303
VA USA
very nice Dan! Thanks for sharing. SM

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Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: pianokeys135] #1545842
10/29/10 02:14 AM
10/29/10 02:14 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,220
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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rysowers  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,220
Olympia, WA
I finally got around to checking out this thread, and I'm surprised that nobody has suggested a longitudinal wave as being the culprit. They stand out as a gong like tone that no amount of needling or tuning will have an effect on - in fact one way to isolate it is to tune the string flat and sharp: you will hear the pitch of the string change but the pitch of the longitudinal wave will not.

I had a client with a new Yamaha C-1 that had a strong longitudinal wave coming off D2 bichord, and it was driving him crazy. We replaced the strings and the replacement strings had more wrap on it - it came scarily close to the agraff, but the client is much happier with the sound.

I had a client with a Bosendorfer that had a similar problem. I had one of Seattle's top technicians consult with me on it and he's who clued me into this phenomenon. Once you become aware of it you start noticing it on a lot of pianos, but sometimes it can really stand out. My understanding is that its pitch is defined by the length of the string not the tension, and that the vibration travels lengthwise along the string, not transversely.

If tuning and voicing doesn't fix your problem, you'll have to try replacing the strings. If the new strings have the same problem it may be a scaling problem that will require a different wrap/core wire configuration.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: John Dutton] #1545866
10/29/10 02:46 AM
10/29/10 02:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Mark R.  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted by John Dutton
Well, think of a guitar. When you play a harmonic you are only very lightly touching the string in a particular location and that note is plenty loud.


Being a string player, I know about flageolet tones, and use them myself (amongst others, for cross-checking tuning).

Now coming back to this thread: if the damper of the OP's piano were touching the string while it vibrates, causing a quasi-flageolet, would that not be a damper lift problem, rather than a damper seating problem? That's where my original question to SM originated from.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: pianokeys135] #1546492
10/29/10 07:09 PM
10/29/10 07:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 252
Billings, MT
J
John Dutton Offline
Full Member
John Dutton  Offline
Full Member
J

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 252
Billings, MT
That depends. Sometimes the damper felt itself needs replacing and so "leaks." Or sometimes the damper gets bent and so doesn't hit both (or all three) strings correctly. In either case this could cause harmonic tones. Sometimes the dampers were not adjusted correctly in the piano's initial setup from either the manufacturer or original dealer.

Eventually damper felt needs to be replaced as it stops being effective. This would not be the case on a new piano I shouldn't think unless someone had got in there and started spraying chemicals/oils/wd40 around.


Piano Technician
Pro horn player
Recording Engineer
Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: pianokeys135] #1550176
11/03/10 03:56 PM
11/03/10 03:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 199
Greater NYC Area
pianokeys135 Offline OP
Full Member
pianokeys135  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 199
Greater NYC Area
Hey everyone. Thanks so much for your responses. I am still in the process of trying to figure out what my problem is. I just had the piano tuned. The notes sound much better, but the problem is still there. I guess the next step is to have a voicing specialist (or a tech who is good at voicing) out to look at the hammers, dampers, and how the strings are sitting (whether they are level, etc).

Electron Blue, the problem that I have sounds similar to the recording that you posted in that my notes and your recording sound to me like there is extra ringing / beating in one or more overtones above the fundamental. Your recording sounds a little bit different than mine though. If I can, I will make a recording of my own notes and post it. I wonder if I would need a high quality mic to capture the sound sufficiently for people to really hear it...


pianokeys135
amateur piano player
Re: Weird overtone ringing on a few notes [Re: pianokeys135] #1551173
11/04/10 10:29 PM
11/04/10 10:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 303
VA USA
S
SM Boone Offline
Full Member
SM Boone  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 303
VA USA
simple test to demonstrate harmonics: Hit any note while silently depressing the octave above note, the octave above will ring. You can repeat this test by depressing the harmonic sequence that follows for that note, add octaves, 5ths, 3rds, etc.

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