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Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1991560
11/27/12 04:32 PM
11/27/12 04:32 PM
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Does your tech tune the pianos in the store?

If not, you're hearing the differences in particular tunings. Quite often the tunings in stores are 'functional' and adequate for testing/selling purposes. A lot of shops don't spend money on highly experienced technicians getting the best possible tuning on every piano in the store. A domestic tuning is a different game however, and an experienced tech can hear the instrument in it's home environment, and try to get the best out of the instrument.

It sounds like you're in safe hands with your tech, so I'd relax and enjoy playing.


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Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1991579
11/27/12 05:06 PM
11/27/12 05:06 PM
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Greetings,
Different techs tune differently, but it is a rare customer that can tell the difference between two top-flight tuners. Assuming they are both tuning the same temperament with the same amount of stretch, it all comes down to clarity of the unison, and the evenness of this clarity. I was once told by a Steinway artist, after many years of tuning for her, that she thought my tunings sounded better the day after I tuned them. This has to be due to a micro drift of the unisons, because when I checked it once, everything was still within the limits that a SAT could discern. Unisons are about the only interval that an ETD cannot measure well enough to satisfy the ear. There is an increase in sustain with unisons that are slightly out of phase,(see Weinrich effect), but for practical tuning, I leave them as close to dead nut on as possible, since they take longer to crash when they start out in the middle of the road.

"In tune" octaves in a recording studio are not the same as in tune octaves on a concert stage, home, or practice room. If you want information about your octave width, it would be helpful to use some recognized measurement, i.e. 3rd/10th, or m3rd/6th tests to tell us what you are hearing.

All in all, if you want to better communicate with your tech, the education should begin on your part, as the more you know about the instrument, the spectra it produces, and the techniques we employ, the better able you will be able to identify what you want. This is a far more plausible route to understanding than expecting the tech to learn how to play with your hands...
Regards,

Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: dancarney] #1991661
11/27/12 08:24 PM
11/27/12 08:24 PM
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California
4evrBeginR Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dancarney
Does your tech tune the pianos in the store?


My tech does not work for stores. I have no idea who tuned the store's pianos.

Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: Ed Foote] #1991675
11/27/12 08:57 PM
11/27/12 08:57 PM
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California
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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
All in all, if you want to better communicate with your tech, the education should begin on your part, as the more you know about the instrument, the spectra it produces, and the techniques we employ, the better able you will be able to identify what you want. This is a far more plausible route to understanding than expecting the tech to learn how to play with your hands...


I should learn more about my instrument; would you say Reblitz's book is a good place to start, or is there something more elementary I should try? Remember, I've no interest in actually becoming my tech.




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Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1991815
11/28/12 05:03 AM
11/28/12 05:03 AM
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i guess you heard machine yuned pianos ETD, may be done with a Yamaha Pt something or using a standard stretch without taking in acvount yhe piano itself. I have let much of those tunings myself, the tuning is stronger than the piano and room accoustics.
A good tuner tunes what he hear. so it make the instrument more central in the tuning.
it is also possible to use a very even progression of fast beating intervals without attention to the octaves and doubles etc, and when played the piano sound "in tune"

to have a warmer tone on a Yamaha C 3 the octaves are tuned more tight the notes that are then resonating strong by sympathy are not far from the note played , octave, twelve , double octave. the triple can sound a little out of focus then that is why higher octaves are more enlarged in that case probably.

Again the trade between playing in close harmony or larger one is not always well balanced. Congratulations to notice that , only some tuners can hear that and often only with tests , not when music is played.

Last edited by Kamin; 11/29/12 06:03 AM.

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Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: Olek] #1992226
11/29/12 01:18 AM
11/29/12 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Kamin
to have a warmer tone on a Yamaha C 3 the octaves are tuned more tight the notes that are then resonating strong by sympathy are not far from the note played , octave, twelve , double octave. the triple can sound a little out of focus then that is why higher octaves are more enlarged in that case probably.

Again the trade between playing in close harmony or larger one is not always well balanced. Congratulations to notice that , only some tuners can hear that and often only with tests , not when music is played.


I think this describes what I am hearing. My tech tells me I have very good hearing. I assume he is being kind. He said I am one of very few customers who complains about a 3-cent drift. Even though the humidity in SF in almost constantly at 45% year round, I still cannot tolerate any less than 3 tunings per year. For some reason, I do also think my piano sounds best about one week after a tuning.

This is a very helpful discussion. Thanks!

Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1992375
11/29/12 12:33 PM
11/29/12 12:33 PM
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Chicagoland
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Using your example, it IS possible on better pianos to get the triple octave C to work "just as well" as the single and double octave combinations... There is a little wiggle room in each octave combination where it still sounds "in tune" without being clinical. It sounds like when setting up the tuning on your piano, the triple octave width was set a little outside of the range - usually because of setting the singles and doubles a little "too" narrow.

It really takes tiny adjustments - Virgil Smith did it all aurally, but I find it much easier to do this with the Verituner before starting the job of tuning the whole piano - similar to your example, find the "best" location of all of the A's to set up a framework for the stretch of the piano, with the goal of any combination of A's sounding "in tune". It is a fundamentally different way of approaching the tuning stretch...
(and of course, the better the scale, the more successful the result!)

Ron Koval

Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1992410
11/29/12 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted by Kamin
to have a warmer tone on a Yamaha C 3 the octaves are tuned more tight the notes that are then resonating strong by sympathy are not far from the note played , octave, twelve , double octave. the triple can sound a little out of focus then that is why higher octaves are more enlarged in that case probably.

Again the trade between playing in close harmony or larger one is not always well balanced. Congratulations to notice that , only some tuners can hear that and often only with tests , not when music is played.


I think this describes what I am hearing. My tech tells me I have very good hearing. I assume he is being kind. He said I am one of very few customers who complains about a 3-cent drift. Even though the humidity in SF in almost constantly at 45% year round, I still cannot tolerate any less than 3 tunings per year. For some reason, I do also think my piano sounds best about one week after a tuning.

This is a very helpful discussion. Thanks!


Good for your piano, but honestly a 3 cts drift is a large one almost 1 Hz) it can be heard a little, the tone quality change (less tension) at large, but if it is only on a limited zone of the piano as it is usually the case when the drift is due to drying of the soundboard - you have 4 octaves in the centre that move a lot, the difference between the centre and the extremes is very audible (extremes almost does not move usually once the piano is set)

If you feel the need for 3 tunings that mean 2 possible things to me :
the moisture content of the air varies enough to make you hear the tuning movement
The tuner use some extreme stretch (very low or very high) that is then less resistive against the seasonal changes.
The tuner does not set the tuning firmly enough (that takes time, most of us have a good number of pianos to tune a day and to be honest I prefer to see a piano twice a year, then I have less tuning time and I can make a little maintenance.

That said, I have a good number of professional pianists, teatchers and jazz players, in my customers.

Some pianos I tune once a year, some customers wait until the tuning is really gone and that takes really at 2 years or more despite a strong use.

Something I finally understood is that the piano change only with temperature and humidity once you have set it well. a string will move if banged strong, but not if you play quietly enough.
There is an "unison shape" that is very resistive to mistuning (the "smiley shape") I certainly wish to understand where this stability comes from, but it is easy to verify on any nicely sounding unison after some time , you will have the 2 outer strings coupling strong, and the central one a little low, it is just a "natural shape" where the energy circulates well.

To get there (stability) the tuner may "tune the tuning pin" as much as the wire, as the control on the tuning pin tension is what allows it.

it cannot be done without making "concert tuning (that mean to me more attention to firmness of tuning pins than usual.

Apparently most of us are not tuning the last tenths of cts, but expect the piano to settle there, some with a strong test blow, others by leaving the 3 strings exactly the same.

Leaving the wire and the pin exactly where we want and knowing it is the final position is a luxury that many of us dont use.

As the whole piano is moving while tension is added to be confident of the final pitch is usually out of question. we come very very near but there is a grey zone left to the instrument itself.
Working with an ETD allow to learn to apprehend that drift well, but in the end, once the unisons are tuned, the ETD is closed and anyway cannot provide useful information, so a grey zone is still there.

The final perceived pitch is near what the ETD have proposed, but depending of the moment the justness is apprehended the numbers may vary more than expected. 2 strings coupling most often are pitched a little lower than one. 3 strings and every variation is possible, a tendency to raise as the opposite (in the range of a few 10ths of cts).


Just my personal cts ...

Best regards






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Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1995717
12/07/12 01:37 AM
12/07/12 01:37 AM
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I wanted to add a new technique I have stumbled across (new for me anyway), in direct relation to this post.

I kept thinking about this problem (getting in-tune single, double and triple octaves) and trying to understand how it relates to the way I tune. Specifically, my tuning process has matured from tuning clean octaves, to tuning pure 12ths, then clean double octaves, but always compromising. e.g. slightly wide (beatless) octaves, slightly narrow (originally pure) 12ths, slightly wide double octaves.

Now, using the aural checks below, I am able to tune consistently wide (beatless) octaves, consistently narrow 12ths, consistently wide double octaves, but pure triple octaves. Note that the wide and narrow qualities are confirmed only with checks. I.e. the octave, 12th, double octave all sound clean (beatless) and in tune. The shock for me was to stumble upon this way to tune the triple octave pure and have all these other intervals clean and in tune. Which means, our OP should be expecting single, double, and triple octaves all sounding in tune from a good tuning.

Here is how I do it: When tuning a note that has a triple octave below that has already been tuned, I look for these confirmations.

Let's use F6 as the tuning note, F3 as the triple
octave below. (I am not proving these relationships as that would just make the post too long. Email me if you want me to.)

Listen for these relationships when checking the beat speeds.
(1)Db4F4 slow
(2)Db4F6 medium
(3)Db4Bb4 fast
(4)Bb3Db4 faster
(5)F3Db4 medium

Notes:
(1)(2) confirms a wide 4:1 double octave
(1)(3) confirms a wide fourth
(2)(3) confirms a narrow 3:1 12th
(3)(4) confirms a narrow 6:3 octave
(2)(5) confirms a pure 8:1 triple octave

Tuning the triple octave pure and confirming all these sizes makes a nice upper temperament, but I start tuning the qualities as soon as possible, in anticipation of matching up all these intervals when they are all available to be checked. I.e. at C5, I start confirming the narrow 3:1 12th. By now I have a good idea by how much.

I tried to make this post as concise and clear as possible. I hope some techs find this interesting and can use this technique to really make the upper section sing in tune if you are not already doing so. Please respond if you have any questions.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1995747
12/07/12 03:55 AM
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My own testing method is to check octaves and double octaves (sometimes more), fifths and fifths plus one and two octaves, fourths and fourths plus one and two octaves, all of which should be close to beatless. There is, of course, a slight beat expected on the fourths and fifths. However, if one of them stands out, I adjust in the direction of the other. I also test major thirds and major thirds plus one and two octaves, which should all beat as close to the same rate as possible.


Semipro Tech
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1995815
12/07/12 08:40 AM
12/07/12 08:40 AM
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Mark:

Our experiences differ. I have found in all cases that when pure 12ths are tuned (except with wacko wound strings...) wide double octaves and narrow triple octaves are the result. The single octaves progress from 6:3 (or wider) in the bass to 4:2 in the middle and between 4:2 and 2:1 higher up. Where these changes occur depends on the scaling. Generally a studio upright will have 4:2 octaves in the temperment, a spinet between 2:1 and 4:2 in the temperment and a decent sized grand between 4:2 and 6:3 in the temperment. I have also analyzed these relationship mathematically and it confirms what I hear. OK, so you hear something different.


Jeff Deutschle
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Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1995917
12/07/12 12:32 PM
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Hi Jeff,

You are right. In general, higher octaves are taught to be tuned less narrow, 2:1 for example in the treble, because the higher coincidental partial, 4:2 and 6:3, are so faint that their beating is not heard, hence the 2:1 sounds good by itself.

However, it is not just the quality of the octave we should concern ourselves with. These higher notes must be in tune with the lower intervals. I concentrate on those intervals so the undamped treble strings ring sympathetically with the lower intervals. So the actual size of the octaves does not concern me. The byproduct of my approach is not just less narrow octaves on top, but consistently less narrow by the same amount, each one.

My checks use M3, M6, M17, m3, m6. So when comparing to lower interval beats which were all set even, all the higher ones beat even as well. See? I don't try for even M17 for example, they just happen. Trying for even M17 is putting the cart before the horse. You can get even M17 and bad compound octaves for example.

As for pure 12ths creating wide double octaves and narrow triple octaves, that is not what I've found. The pure 12th creates wide double octaves and slightly wide triple octaves. Tempering the 12th creates less wide double octaves (beatless) and pure triple octaves. I am working on a proof for that and will post it if I figure it out.

You said you have already figured this out mathematically. Can you post your proof?


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: Mark Cerisano] #1995927
12/07/12 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Hi Jeff,

You are right. In general, higher octaves are taught to be tuned less narrow, 2:1 for example in the treble, because the higher coincidental partial, 4:2 and 6:3, are so faint that their beating is not heard, hence the 2:1 sounds good by itself.

However, it is not just the quality of the octave we should concern ourselves with. These higher notes must be in tune with the lower intervals. I concentrate on those intervals so the undamped treble strings ring sympathetically with the lower intervals. So the actual size of the octaves does not concern me. The byproduct of my approach is not just less narrow octaves on top, but consistently less narrow by the same amount, each one.
.....


If you want the undamped treble strings to ring sympathetically with the lower interals, how about pure twelfths? wink

Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
.....

As for pure 12ths creating wide double octaves and narrow triple octaves, that is not what I've found. The pure 12th creates wide double octaves and slightly wide triple octaves. Tempering the 12th creates less wide double octaves (beatless) and pure triple octaves. I am working on a proof for that and will post it if I figure it out.

You said you have already figured this out mathematically. Can you post your proof?


Since you show true interest, give me a week or three to work something up. What I have is a little out of date and not really clean. I'll start a new Topic when the time comes.

To give a preview, it has to do with the partial number, the semitone span of intervals, and the iH slope. Just like the theoretical pitches do not double each octave because of iH, neither do the beatrates of intervals. The wide RBIs less than double each octave while the narrow RBIs more than double. (Ever wonder why you can use 10th and 17th so high into the treble?) The SBIs act differently depending on the iH slope and also on the stretch scheme. The 12ths are a powerful tool however they might used.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1995950
12/07/12 01:36 PM
12/07/12 01:36 PM
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Re: pure 12ths. I used to tune pure 12ths for that reason, but recently have experimented with tempering the 12ths in favour of a cleaner double octave. Pure 12ths really do sacrifice the double octave. Also, the 12th is not the only interval that will set up sympathetic vibration. The compound octaves do as well so that is why I favour the tempered 12th; so the double octave is cleaner and rings as well.

May I suggest that we post videos or recordings to prove our thesis as opposed to mathematical treatese? It may be more palatable to the larger audience and also more convincing. I'll see what I can do.

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 12/07/12 01:40 PM. Reason: Added text

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1995974
12/07/12 02:27 PM
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Mark:

Sorry, I have no AV equipment.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1995982
12/07/12 02:47 PM
12/07/12 02:47 PM
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Ah, I found the 2-1/2 year old Topic that has what I need to get this started:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1445359/1.html

Like I said, give me some time and I will start a new Topic. I am tempted to create an executable program for this and make it available (with a text file of the vb code). We'll see...


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1996161
12/07/12 10:31 PM
12/07/12 10:31 PM
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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for taking the time to find your old posts.

I read through some of them. I have to be honest. As a mechanical engineer and professional musician and piano tuner, I have delved deeply into mathematics and also holistic practical performance. I have always found mathematical analysis to come up short of high level practical performance execution.

For example, your analysis uses 4:2 octaves as assumptions. Regardless of what the graphs show, 4:2 octaves are just not good enough.

Also, your assertion of always beating partials somewhere in the octave is argued by many experienced tuners, including myself, claiming that octaves can be tuned beatless. How do you explain that? Remember, I'm an engineer, I know the math, and I know the math says it isn't possible. However, as a human piano tuner, I do it every day.

My claim of being able to create in tune single, double, and triple octaves can only be proven in practice; I have to post a video proving my technique. I think then you will hear what I am talking about. Until then...


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: Mark Cerisano] #1996188
12/08/12 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT




....As a mechanical engineer and professional musician and piano tuner, I have delved deeply into mathematics and also holistic practical performance. I have always found mathematical analysis to come up short of high level practical performance execution ...


+1


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: rXd] #1996194
12/08/12 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rxd
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT




....As a mechanical engineer and professional musician and piano tuner, I have delved deeply into mathematics and also holistic practical performance. I have always found mathematical analysis to come up short of high level practical performance execution ...


+1



+1


Keith Akins, RPT
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Re: How many octaves do you choose to be in tune? [Re: 4evrBeginR] #1996206
12/08/12 01:53 AM
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Mathematics is more than numbers, so math can be used in tuning. However, there is a lot of the physics that is not very clear. I talk about it a bit with a friend from my college days who went on to work at Lawrence Berkeley Lab as a mathematician, and he agrees that we both use a lot of math, but in different ways, and it is not certain who does the most useful work.

I pointed out once before that we do not even have a real accurate definition of the pitch number of a piano tone because the vibrations are not strictly periodic. That is why I said that "in tune" is a vague term.


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