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#1977172 - 10/22/12 04:09 PM Temperament questions to Kawai James  
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Hi, James,

as a writer of manuals for Kawai DPs You could be the right person to ask these questions from.
You could have even possibly written the section about temperaments which is common to a series of KAWAIs DPs.

As my nick suggests I am especially interested in investigating temperaments. I found KAWAIs scale tuning concept and its implementation very good, practical and precise.(I have done some measurements on my CA51 with SW-Tuners, among them with high-quality stroboscopic ones and the pitches were very precise - this is perhaps a general advantage of looped keys over fully sampled ones, a small benefit while investigating temperaments.)

Still there remain - as always - some potential for improvements.

1. Please explain, what is the difference between the temperaments Equal(P.Only) and Equal (Equal stretch) - Equal flat is clear (no stretch table applied).
I guess the difference lies in the applied different stretch tables. It would be of interest to know the applied stretch tables. (It is somewhat confusing to be able to select "P.Only" with other instruments as well - even Strings or Organs).

2. I can't see why is it not possible to apply stretch tables to any chosen temperaments (factory or user).
Stretching is for compensating the instrument physical characteristics and it should be able to combine stretch table and scale tuning independently. Some explanation?

3. Tuning capabilities would be just more complete with user definable stretch tables - could it be possible to consider?.

4. "Meantone" can refer to a lot of flavor of historically interesting temperaments). Could the tuning table of the historical temperaments be published (included in the manual)?

5. Beyond Tuning: String resonance is only selectable for "acoustic piano sounds only". At least on my 5ys.old CA51, this feature is actually not effective with harpsichords, but real acoustic harpsichords actually have string resonance (in the case of harpsichord it would even be more simple to simulate it because there is no damper pedal, all the strings are individually damped/plucked, in this regard clavichords behave similarly). Is this feature active with Harpsi on the new CA95/CA65?

Thank You for answering, Attila


Acoustic: own clavichord!, Burger&Jacoby,Biel (nice vintage vertical)
Digital: CA65; Pianoteq; Sampled:Galaxy VintageD+Vienna(Bösendorfer)
Sampletekk Black,PMI, etc...
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#1977217 - 10/22/12 05:54 PM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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Hello Attila,

I will have to consult with my colleagues in order to answer your questions.

Please wait a little while. wink

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1977399 - 10/23/12 02:47 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Kawai James]  
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Thx. James, in the meantime I'll try to survey how this feature is implemented in other DP brands...Attila

Last edited by temperament; 10/23/12 03:22 AM.
#1977437 - 10/23/12 06:26 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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The results of quick reading through of the manuals:

YAMAHA: You can chose from a very few predefined historical temperaments only - very limited option.

ROLAND: 2 types of settings: the first one (on Supernatural Pianos) similar to YAMAHA,
the second one (stretch tuning; on both SN and V-PIANO) lets You edit all individual pitches. While the latter one is the most flexible feature, it is not a very practical one for a digital instrument if not combinable with a scale tuning options.

CASIO: like YAMAHA (very limited)

KURZWEIL: I didn't see any temperament or scale tuning options

KORG: (Kronos) It is like Rolands stretch tuning features - in thery very flexible but not very practical.

Some SW Pianos:

PIANOTEQ & IVORY II:
pre-defined temperaments + you can use (import) scala temperament definition files. While most flexible, not very handy either.

SAMPLETEKK Black: No temperament options at all.

GALAXY (VintageD, Vienna Grand, Bluethner, Steinway): You can chose from a number of pre-defined historical temperaments (a good selection of them), no user defined temperaments.

If you own the KONTAKT player and a SW Instrument (but not one with an integrated Kontakt-license), You can use the standard KONTAKT script to define own temperaments.

For me seems KAWAIs approach tho most practicable - especially when the limitations mentioned in my initial post could be overcome. (Lacking if stretch tuning with freely definable stretch tables, combinable with scale tuning).

Please correct me If I were missing something.

Attila

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#1977444 - 10/23/12 07:02 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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Attila, may I ask if you have also checked the owner's manual of the current CA95/CA65? There are a number of new tuning/temperament functions not found on the previous generation instruments.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1977458 - 10/23/12 07:29 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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I'm intrigued here - I haven't heard of all the temperaments on my Casio, so what other ones are there out there?

#1977500 - 10/23/12 09:34 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Kawai James]  
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Yes, James, I surely did before posting and since I could see at first no relevant changes in this regard to the older versions, I have seen the reference to the CA51 (which I currently own) as justified. (With CA51 there were just 2 explicit stretch options normal/wide to be chosen from, perhaps a third or fourth one with "equal"/"equal P.Only")

Now that I have double-checked the actual documentation for the CA95/65 (both English an German) I can summarise the actual differences in the text to previous versions as follows:

Fist of all, there is a new "User Tuning function - allows each of the 88-keys to be tuned individually" - actually a real improvement, this feature is comparable to what I have seen with Rolands stretch tuning! It reads further:
"The Stretch Tuning setting allows the degree of stretch tuning to be adjusted when Equal (piano) or Equal
temperament are selected
. It is also possible to create custom tuning methods using one of the four User types"

So while this improvement could be a partial answer to my 3.Question regarding user definable stretch tables (but restricted to equal temperament only), my basic question remains: why this (now refined) stretch tuning feature cannot be combined with scale tuning, with other words, scale tuning should independently be set and the offsets from both scale tuning and stretch (user) tuning should be calculated additively?

Secondly, it is now explicitly stated in the Manual CA95/65, that

1. stretching and temperament settings are both affecting all of the instruments
2. string resonance affects acoustic piano sounds only
3. there is a table summarising virtual technician settings scope.

It is not clear whether harpsichords are falling in the category of "acoustic pianos" (as it probably should be) or not.

I see that scale tuning is a special area and a complex feature set. It is not easy to implement it correctly to be consistent with transposing and global tuning features (I have found KAWAIs implementation correct - after seeing some others with flaws).

It is not an easy task to give a complete and at the same time comprehensive description of the concept and implementation in a short section of a user's manual either.

So the questions posted here remain basically open ...
Thx. Attila


Acoustic: own clavichord!, Burger&Jacoby,Biel (nice vintage vertical)
Digital: CA65; Pianoteq; Sampled:Galaxy VintageD+Vienna(Bösendorfer)
Sampletekk Black,PMI, etc...
Harpsi: Beurmann Dutch+Sampletekk, Clavichord:PMI+Wavelore+organs
#1977511 - 10/23/12 09:55 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Vectistim]  
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Hi, Vectistim, temperament options are often implemented as advanced options available only with higher-end instruments in the product line, if You have some simpler Casio model it is not necessarily an integrated feature.
But if You have the PX-330 You should be able to try out the effect of some important historical temperaments (Werckmeister/Kirnsberger/Meantone). Check Your manual...

#1977524 - 10/23/12 10:20 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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What I mean is, here is the list of temperaments on the PX-330:

Equal, Pure Major, Pure Minor, Phythagorean, Kimgerger 3, Werckmeister, Mean-Tone

Rast, Bayati, Hijaz, Saba, Dashti, Chahargah, Sega, Gurjari, Todi, Chandrakauns, Charukeshi

So the first batch I've heard of - fairly conventional Western temperaments, although equal and mean are the only ones I've really played with.

The second batch I've not heard of but based on their names guess they're various Arabic/Indian tunings.

So my question is - in your list of manufacturers you described this as a very limited set, so what other ones are out there that you feel are missing? (And what do they provide that the well known ones above don't?)


#1977531 - 10/23/12 10:50 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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2 reasonably relevant points on this. Stemming from my harpsichord owning phase, I would argue that string resonance is far more important for digital harpsichord than digital piano and maybe the main reason why DP harpsichord sound is so rubbishy that a VST is essential to get anywhere near an acoustic harpsichord sound out of a DP. Secondly, on temperaments, it's a shame that Valotti (or Vallotti, can never remember the spelling) is not readily available as it is useable across most keys and suitable for late-baroque music. I got to know it because it was (relatively) easy to use for tuning my harpsichord. Tuning 3 lots of strings at least every 3 weeks - it had to be easy!

#1977542 - 10/23/12 11:17 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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Are there people who can actually identify the type of temperament being used?

I know I can't.




website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#1977548 - 10/23/12 11:31 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Vectistim]  
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There are some more then 1000 different temperaments with names to be sure.

Some interesting European temperatures of historical value:

Some of the Neidhardts (some 31)
at least two from Sorge (from 1744 and 1758)
Valotti
Young (the one from 1799 and the one from 1800)
Silbermann: 1/6 meantone (the most typical Silberman), interesting one of him is the Freiberg Petrikirche reconstruction;
Ordinair (a whole class of temperaments, the most important ones of them are perhaps Rameau Bb, Werckmeister for Harpsichord instruments, the original Tuning of the Jakobikirche in Hamburg, etc.)
Bendeler (for historical value)
Mercadier 1771

Some Modern ones proposed especially for J.S.Bachs Music :
Barnes
Kellner
Barbour-Murray
Lehman

(I have made tool for the graphical representation to analyse, to classify and construct temperaments to experiment with, and I myself now have my preferred temperament from this work.)

#1977555 - 10/23/12 11:57 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Dave Horne]  
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Hallo, Dave, as I began to investigate temperaments, it was because I felt something is missing to be able to enjoy baroque music. Some fragments were grandiose, but at the next moment the music felt into nirvana, the polyphonic threads couldn't be followed consistently, the intention of the composer was unclear.

Then I tried out the hidden potential of not equal temperament: I gave them just the chance - and it worked. Simple sequences in a scale get direction, the music has more internal orientation. But You have to chose a authentic temperament, not just a historical one. Otherwise it can be worse then equal.

After some 2 months of working with different temperaments I made a blind tests with my son. I let him play a peace for me while randomly switching between temperaments (between 5 preferred ones). It was over 80 percent I could it name correctly. Even if you cannot do this consciously, it can affect your perception of the music a lot.

The effect of some characteristic temperaments are even acoustically measurable. In meantone temperament eg. through the more consonant thirds the interferences make the appropriate pieces simply more resonant and louder! Attila

#1977581 - 10/23/12 01:13 PM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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You missed out acoustic pianos. smile

There are occasionally discussion on different temperaments, their tuning, and the result with older music, over on the piano tuners forum. Also some I think on the pianist forum. Starting point perhaps search on 'ebvt'.

#1977588 - 10/23/12 01:42 PM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: spanishbuddha]  
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I did quite not. I tuned my acoustic vintage myself to some non-equal temperaments, but comfortable re-tuning, quick changing temperament and tuning key, etc. is a big advantage of digital instruments. (At last I was hardly able to complete the tuning work on the acoustic with my herniated disc in the neck sick ).

#1977685 - 10/23/12 06:57 PM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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temperament, I'm on your side here. To allow for easy and quick changes of temperaments could be one of the major assets of digital pianos if implemented flexibly and practically. With an old Kurzweil K2500 I once did my own scale tuning (no stretch) and I miss, since then, the flexibility to choose a temperament suitable to a particular piece or style of music.

Dave Horne: Hearing temperaments is something that comes with practice. Believe me, if you get acquainted with some of the temperaments with different fifths or thirds (such as meantone temperaments or somewhat more well-tempered variations) you will return to equal temperament only with some pain (listening to thirds) or relief (fifths). And modulating becomes a whole new experience...

To add to your survey above: No Nord keyboard does allow any variation of termperament (which is a pity since they have very nice sounds).


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
#1978291 - 10/25/12 12:56 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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Hello Attila, I asked my colleagues about your queries, and have received the following responses.

Originally Posted by temperament
1. Please explain, what is the difference between the temperaments Equal(P.Only) and Equal (Equal stretch) - Equal flat is clear (no stretch table applied).
I guess the difference lies in the applied different stretch tables. It would be of interest to know the applied stretch tables. (It is somewhat confusing to be able to select "P.Only" with other instruments as well - even Strings or Organs).


Equal P.Only: The stretch tuning is only applied to the piano sounds. Other sounds remain Equal Flat. If a piano sound is layered with a non-piano sound then both sounds are stretched to make sure the tuning is the same for both sounds.

Equal Stretch: The stretch tuning is applied to all sounds.

Originally Posted by temperament
2. I can't see why is it not possible to apply stretch tables to any chosen temperaments (factory or user).
Stretching is for compensating the instrument physical characteristics and it should be able to combine stretch table and scale tuning independently. Some explanation?


This is a good point. It's perhaps something that our R&D chaps can consider for the future.

Originally Posted by temperament
3. Tuning capabilities would be just more complete with user definable stretch tables - could it be possible to consider?


As you have correctly noted, the new CA95/CA65 allows User Temperaments to be created, in addition to User stretch Tuning which allows for each key to be individually tuned. However, it is not currently possible to combine this functionality with scale tuning.

Originally Posted by temperament
4. "Meantone" can refer to a lot of flavor of historically interesting temperaments). Could the tuning table of the historical temperaments be published (included in the manual)?


I will try to confirm the exact Meantone tuning table for you.
Currently this information is not included within the CA95/CA65 owner's manual, however I am always looking for ways to improve the digital piano documentation, so will submit your suggestion to the product development team.

Originally Posted by temperament
5. Beyond Tuning: String resonance... is this feature active with Harpsi on the new CA95/CA65?


No, I'm afraid not. As explained in the owner's manual, String Resonance affects acoustic piano sounds (i.e. the sounds in categories PIANO1 and PIANO2) only.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1978321 - 10/25/12 02:54 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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Originally Posted by temperament
There are some more then 1000 different temperaments with names to be sure.

(I have made tool for the graphical representation to analyse, to classify and construct temperaments to experiment with, and I myself now have my preferred temperament from this work.)


Temperament: So what is your preferred temperament?

Also, I wonder if there is a different best temperament for each individual piano piece. I imagine constructing a 'metric' which measures how much each interval deviates from Pythagorean perfection. One might then come up with a system of extracting from a section of music all of the most important intervals (for example, notes sounding at the same time, consecutive notes, etc.) and then averaging the metric to give a single number for any pairing of temperament and section of music. The lowest number wins mathematically, but perhaps not so in the ear!


Kawai CS-9
#1978322 - 10/25/12 03:07 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Virgo Cluster]  
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Originally Posted by Virgo Cluster
I imagine constructing a 'metric' which measures how much each interval deviates from Pythagorean perfection.


There is no such thing as Pythagorean perfection in a diatonic scale. In fact the 'Pythagorean' comma is *one of* the reasons for the endless variety of temperaments. But there are many others: The want for life in intervals (nothing more boring than a pure fifth, fourth, or third, except for an effect), the wish for variety in harmonies, .... If there is an art of free improvisation, the improvisation of micro-tunings belongs into it - and the human voice, all scale-free instruments such as strings, and even scaled instruments such as guitars, oboes etc. with which sounds can be micro-tuned by technique always do it, even in the most rule-based classical music.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
#1978387 - 10/25/12 07:59 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Kawai James]  
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Thank You James for Your (and KAWAIs) kindly and correct answers.

Now I can understand the phrase equal "P.only" is the same on Pianos, while flat for the other instrument, if one such chosen. Is is a logical arrangement too, because the need for stretching is primarily for pianos, partly due to the wired strings in the lower compartment.

I see, that for setting scale tuning with stretched CA95 PIANO sounds I have the possibility of tuning each 88 keys by defining a User stretch table (after calculating the combination of pitch offsets from the stretch table+Scale tuning e.g. in Excel.) While being not very convenient, this would be at least a workaround (although by far not as difficult and slow as tuning an acoustic which is a nuisance).

For this method it would be important to now the exact values for the built in (normal; wide) stretch tables - please consider to publish it as well (in the manual online).

In the manual I see the possibilities of "4 User stretch tables".
Q: It was not clear, whether this pool of 4 user stretch tables is global for the whole CA95/65 (as I guess) or will they be separately stored along with the 2*8 User Registrations? (Then I would have 64 of them...)

To the string Resonance (SR) of Harpsichords:
I think SR is more relevant with harpsichords as stretch tuning.
Until not having SR in the harpsichord, I have to continue to live with the "workaround": using high quality sampled harpsichords (I use Beurmanns Dutch with scripting enhancements for SR!).
One possible problem with old MIDI compromising the 3 sensor capabilities of GF, but with harpsichords it is not a big issue either because precise keyboard velocity and dynamics are not much of relevance.

Regards: Attila

Last edited by temperament; 10/26/12 02:33 PM. Reason: Answer completed

Acoustic: own clavichord!, Burger&Jacoby,Biel (nice vintage vertical)
Digital: CA65; Pianoteq; Sampled:Galaxy VintageD+Vienna(Bösendorfer)
Sampletekk Black,PMI, etc...
Harpsi: Beurmann Dutch+Sampletekk, Clavichord:PMI+Wavelore+organs
#1979363 - 10/27/12 05:32 PM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Virgo Cluster]  
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Maurus, Virgo Cluster: I have sent my temperament and answers as PM.

#1979426 - 10/27/12 07:48 PM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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Good morning Attila,

To answer your query:

Originally Posted by temperament
In the manual I see the possibilities of "4 User stretch tables".
Q: It was not clear, whether this pool of 4 user stretch tables is global for the whole CA95/65 (as I guess) or will they be separately stored along with the 2*8 User Registrations? (Then I would have 64 of them...)


I believe the four 'User Tuning' memories are global, rather than being individually allocated to each of the eight registrations. The same is true of other 'User' settings such as EQ, Touch Curve, and Temperament.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1979577 - 10/28/12 07:12 AM Re: Temperament questions to Kawai James [Re: Temperament]  
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Thank You James, on my CA51 there was just one, so it is an improvement of 4:1 - important for comparing temperaments (or perhaps other settings as well) by quick switching between them.

(By the way, I've tried to cc You to the abovementioned PM with some background info yesterday, but Your quota for PM allotment was reported back as exhausted). Attila


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