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Dirk's piano tuner software #2200352
12/19/13 06:32 PM
12/19/13 06:32 PM
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Hamburg-D Offline OP
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Hi everyone.
First of all, I'm not associated with or getting kickbacks or have any relationship with Dirk's Piano Tuner software.

I'm writing this as a review of someone who risked $400 on this software and here is what I found out.
Hopefully it can help out someone looking to save some money on stunning...

My piano is new, so in regards to the tech that tuned my piano 2 weeks ago, I will not hold it against him, but within 1 week my piano was out of tune. Actually, a day after he left a few unisons started getting out of tune. (I have constant temp and whole house humidifier set to 50%)

The past couple of days, the piano is getting so badly out of tune it's difficult for me to enjoy playing.

About 1 week ago, I thought to myself, I should get a tuning hammer so I can fix some out of whack unisons between professional tunings.

Without wanting to learn to tune and hear oscilations and vibrations between unisons or worst - 2 notes, I figured I may need some digital assistance in the matter.

I looked at professional ACCUTUNE systems but then I found this software that claims the following.

You record each note into the software, and the software analyzes the sound and overtones and the natural characteristics of your individual piano and it runs some algorithm that takes a few minutes to process on a modern laptop to figure out the ideal tempered tuning for that individual piano.

Being a software guy myself, this made alot of sense.

So I bought the software and this morning I got my tuning hammer in the mail with a few mutes etc...

I recorded the entire piano and hit the "analyze" button.
The whole piano was a hair flat, with alot of the notes obviously being really out of tune in relationship with the neighboring notes.

One thing to notice, was that low down the keyboard and high up, the stretch recommended by the software was much different than the stretch executed by the tuner 2 weeks ago who also used a device. But this device did not record all notes of the piano and if I had to guess was calibrated for a 1 size fits all stretches.

So I tuned my piano which took about 1.5 hour and the results were amazing. Everything sounded perfect.

Then I recorded the whole piano again and hit analyze and the software pretty much was happy with the current piano! So it's not bogus. It seemed to "like" the stretches.

Here is a video demonstration I found on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ZMzfk7hOA


Before I bought the software, I was very nervous because I couldn't find any neutral reviews on it. I never take the reviews written on the actual website of dirk's piano tuner seriously, because who knows, maybe he made them up himself smile hahaha

But yeah - turns out to be very legit and I wouldn't say it's the best tuning I've ever had, but it's just as good as any of the ones I've ever had in my lifetime.

hope this helps,
Professional tuners - don't hate!
Noam


PS - anyone finding this thread on a google search in the future read the following:

Well just in case anyone cares on this thread:

http://www.henselt.org/mp3/dirkspianotuner.mp3


Also a few bars from brahms rhapsodie Gm. This piece never sounds good unless the piano is in perfect tune, and it seems to sound pretty darn good to me after tuning with Dirk's.

http://www.henselt.org/mp3/brahms.mp3

here is a video example of me tuning A4

[video:youtube]wWhmruJUN2Y[/video]

PS - I sent him an email shortly after I bought this software. No response, so don't expect any sort of customer service smile FYI.

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Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200357
12/19/13 06:48 PM
12/19/13 06:48 PM
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Hopefully your hammer technique was good enough that you won't be retuning your piano in another day or two. There is far more to getting a good stable tuning than watching a dial. Hope it works for you.


Andrew Remillard
http://www.ANRPiano.com
http://www.AndrewRemillard.com
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200359
12/19/13 06:51 PM
12/19/13 06:51 PM
Joined: May 2006
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Georgia, USA
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New pianos drift in tuning rather quickly - I doubt your tuner did anything wrong.

For example:

When my Steinway was delivered to my office, it had been tuned prior to delivery, tuned immediately upon delivery, and desperately needing tuning about 12 days later. By about the 4th tuning or so, things settled down pretty nicely.

The tuning was pretty stable on my Bechstein after delivery (it had been on the dealer's floor for a while and been tuned at least a few times), and I had it tuned maybe 6 weeks after delivery and it has settled into needing roughly 3 tunings a year before I feel like it needs to be done again.

Although I would love to tune these fine pianos at my whim (and have considered learning the craft of doing so, both electronically and by ear), and took a college class in piano technology, and did a little work-study work for the piano technician where I did my undergrad, I would never take a tuning hammer to my own new piano. I feel my ability to set the pins properly is not adequate to seriously improve a slightly wayward unison in the long run!

...just another non-tech's opinion.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: anrpiano] #2200370
12/19/13 07:08 PM
12/19/13 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by anrpiano
Hopefully your hammer technique was good enough that you won't be retuning your piano in another day or two. There is far more to getting a good stable tuning than watching a dial. Hope it works for you.


Hahaha, no funny.

Why don't you tell us exactly how one can ruin a piano by tuning it poorly?

It's clear you have your own agenda and you don't like my post because you don't want people to know how easy it is to tune a piano with an electronic device.

By ear, a whole different story.

You make it seem as if you don't have proper tuning hammer technique you could permanently damage the piano?

I don't think so.
You can tune a piano sharp to 460 is flat to 420 if you wanted it.
The worst that couldn't have happened if I was a total idiot it break a string. But turning that hammer is not rocket science as many tuners would want you to believe.

Is my tune going to be as stable as a professional tune using proper technique and year of experience? Probably not. But will it hold good tune for a few weeks on a stable piano? Probably.

The cool thing, is that I can "touch up" anytime I want and now that I have all the equipment, it's free.

I'll probably touch up every 2 weeks just for kicks. Always have a freshly tuned piano.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: terminaldegree] #2200373
12/19/13 07:13 PM
12/19/13 07:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
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For me, it was a necessary craft to try to learn due to the 2 player systems. On my newly rebuilt M&H BB, I dove right in...still learning to set those pins, and much better at it I must say.

Learning how to tune also made me aware of how I don't like even a slightly out of tune unison now, not to mention the whole piano...LOL. However, I would rather have that ability than not, now that I know what it supposed to sound like. smile

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200421
12/19/13 08:37 PM
12/19/13 08:37 PM
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Posts: 208
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Quote


Hahaha, no funny.

Why don't you tell us exactly how one can ruin a piano by tuning it poorly?

It's clear you have your own agenda and you don't like my post because you don't want people to know how easy it is to tune a piano with an electronic device.

By ear, a whole different story.

You make it seem as if you don't have proper tuning hammer technique you could permanently damage the piano?



Well, I can see my communication skills are very poor. I never said you would "ruin" your piano. "instability" is not the same as "ruin". However, how you handle the tuning pin and string can greatly impact the stability of your piano. And as I said the first time, I hope it works for you.


Andrew Remillard
http://www.ANRPiano.com
http://www.AndrewRemillard.com
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200430
12/19/13 08:51 PM
12/19/13 08:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 5,552
Melbourne, Australia
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ando Offline
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou
Originally Posted by anrpiano
Hopefully your hammer technique was good enough that you won't be retuning your piano in another day or two. There is far more to getting a good stable tuning than watching a dial. Hope it works for you.


Hahaha, no funny.

Why don't you tell us exactly how one can ruin a piano by tuning it poorly?

It's clear you have your own agenda and you don't like my post because you don't want people to know how easy it is to tune a piano with an electronic device.

By ear, a whole different story.

You make it seem as if you don't have proper tuning hammer technique you could permanently damage the piano?

I don't think so.
You can tune a piano sharp to 460 is flat to 420 if you wanted it.
The worst that couldn't have happened if I was a total idiot it break a string. But turning that hammer is not rocket science as many tuners would want you to believe.

Is my tune going to be as stable as a professional tune using proper technique and year of experience? Probably not. But will it hold good tune for a few weeks on a stable piano? Probably.

The cool thing, is that I can "touch up" anytime I want and now that I have all the equipment, it's free.

I'll probably touch up every 2 weeks just for kicks. Always have a freshly tuned piano.


That's a huge overreaction to what was said, Noam. Don't be so defensive. As somebody who has gone through the process of learning how to tune over the past 3 years, ANR is right in suggesting the results may not be very stable - in fact they almost certainly won't. The thing the electronic tuner can't do is execute proper pin-setting and equalising of tensions in speaking and non-speaking segments of the string. That takes knowledge, time and practice. Also if you use a poor technique with the tuning lever, you can prematurely age your pinblock, so given the very high value of your piano, you might want to continue to look into the technique of tuning - especially if you plan to retune as often as you say.

I hope you don't take this badly, it's just the reality of tuning pianos - it's not as simple as it first seems. But the rewards for becoming successful at it are enormous, of course.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: anrpiano] #2200432
12/19/13 08:52 PM
12/19/13 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by anrpiano
[/quote]

Hahaha, no funny.

Why don't you tell us exactly how one can ruin a piano by tuning it poorly?

It's clear you have your own agenda and you don't like my post because you don't want people to know how easy it is to tune a piano with an electronic device.

By ear, a whole different story.

You make it seem as if you don't have proper tuning hammer technique you could permanently damage the piano?



Well, I can see my communication skills are very poor. I never said you would "ruin" your piano. "instability" is not the same as "ruin". However, how you handle the tuning pin and string can greatly impact the stability of your piano. And as I said the first time, I hope it works for you. [/quote]

My bad. I think I read your post as "returning your piano" like returning it to the store where I bought it etc etc because I ruined it.

MY BAD! I'm a jerk.

Yes - we will see. It's a definite possibility because I can tell by tuning my piano how it's so easy to go flat and so difficult to go sharp.

I can sense the tension of the string trying to pull the pins clockwise.

Towards the end of the tuning I felt like I was finding equilibrium much better than at the begining. I was starting to get a "feel" for it.

I can tell when I was stretching the pin and when it doesn't move inside the pin block.

My method for now was simple:

1) always tune down. So if have to go up, I go up a bit more than I need, and slowly tune down. If I go too far down by accident, go back up and start again.

2) tuning down should have resistance. If I cat tap the hammer to tune down and it easily goes flat, I felt like it wouldn't be stable, so I went back up and started over.

I WAS VERY CAREFUL. I NEVER WENT SHARP EVEN CLOSE TO THE NEXT 1/2 STEP NOTE. i heard a "creek" maybe 4 times and it was a bit scary.

I love the results so far in regards to the stretch. I will go back on what I said before - it's actually THE BEST tuning I've ever had.

I will most likely try to get a good tuner to teach me 1 on 1 more in depth on stable tuning.

sorry again for reading tuning and returning. I'm lisdexic.


Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: ando] #2200437
12/19/13 08:54 PM
12/19/13 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by noambenhamou
Originally Posted by anrpiano
Hopefully your hammer technique was good enough that you won't be retuning your piano in another day or two. There is far more to getting a good stable tuning than watching a dial. Hope it works for you.


Hahaha, no funny.

Why don't you tell us exactly how one can ruin a piano by tuning it poorly?

It's clear you have your own agenda and you don't like my post because you don't want people to know how easy it is to tune a piano with an electronic device.

By ear, a whole different story.

You make it seem as if you don't have proper tuning hammer technique you could permanently damage the piano?

I don't think so.
You can tune a piano sharp to 460 is flat to 420 if you wanted it.
The worst that couldn't have happened if I was a total idiot it break a string. But turning that hammer is not rocket science as many tuners would want you to believe.

Is my tune going to be as stable as a professional tune using proper technique and year of experience? Probably not. But will it hold good tune for a few weeks on a stable piano? Probably.

The cool thing, is that I can "touch up" anytime I want and now that I have all the equipment, it's free.

I'll probably touch up every 2 weeks just for kicks. Always have a freshly tuned piano.


That's a huge overreaction to what was said, Noam. Don't be so defensive. As somebody who has gone through the process of learning how to tune over the past 3 years, ANR is right in suggesting the results may not be very stable - in fact they almost certainly won't. The thing the electronic tuner can't do is execute proper pin-setting and equalising of tensions in speaking and non-speaking segments of the string. That takes knowledge, time and practice. Also if you use a poor technique with the tuning lever, you can prematurely age your pinblock, so given the very high value of your piano, you might want to continue to look into the technique of tuning - especially if you plan to retune as often as you say.

I hope you don't take this badly, it's just the reality of tuning pianos - it's not as simple as it first seems. But the rewards for becoming successful at it are enormous, of course.


I just apologized to anrpiano I misread retuning with returning my piano.
I thought it was a cheap jab at a thread from a year ago when I didn't like my NY D and wanted to return it. (how would he remember?)

Anyway - from the bottom of my heart, I apologize.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200532
12/20/13 03:25 AM
12/20/13 03:25 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,624
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou
(how would he remember?)

Don't be surprised. I've seen spats pop up frequently and repeatedly that could only have started in other threads.


if you're content with A V E R A G E . . . then just do what everyone else does
Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200638
12/20/13 11:53 AM
12/20/13 11:53 AM
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Hakki Offline
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Noam,

Would you mind posting a recording of your Dirk's tuning on the Tuner Technicians forum?

That would be chromatic major thirds, major sixths, fourths, fifths, octaves and single notes from F3-A3 to F4-A4.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hakki] #2200643
12/20/13 12:04 PM
12/20/13 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Noam,

Would you mind posting a recording of your Dirk's tuning on the Tuner Technicians forum?

That would be chromatic major thirds, major sixths, fourths, fifths, octaves and single notes from F3-A3 to F4-A4.


I would love to but I have no idea what you just said. Can you do a recording on your piano? I can mimick it very easily smile

I may have to touch up again today and concentrate harder on setting the pins. Last night 1 unison came undone!!!

anrpiano was more correct than I anticipated. I thought I'd be able to hold tune for 2 weeks. Maybe a few days is more like it. I'll hire a tech to teach me how to do it very soon here.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200646
12/20/13 12:10 PM
12/20/13 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou
Originally Posted by Hakki
Noam,

Would you mind posting a recording of your Dirk's tuning on the Tuner Technicians forum?

That would be chromatic major thirds, major sixths, fourths, fifths, octaves and single notes from F3-A3 to F4-A4.


I would love to but I have no idea what you just said. Can you do a recording on your piano? I can mimick it very easily smile

I may have to touch up again today and concentrate harder on setting the pins. Last night 1 unison came undone!!!

anrpiano was more correct than I anticipated. I thought I'd be able to hold tune for 2 weeks. Maybe a few days is more like it. I'll hire a tech to teach me how to do it very soon here.


Sure. See this thread:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...iano_tuned_with_Ultratu.html#Post2163049

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hakki] #2200664
12/20/13 01:16 PM
12/20/13 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Originally Posted by noambenhamou
Originally Posted by Hakki
Noam,

Would you mind posting a recording of your Dirk's tuning on the Tuner Technicians forum?

That would be chromatic major thirds, major sixths, fourths, fifths, octaves and single notes from F3-A3 to F4-A4.


I would love to but I have no idea what you just said. Can you do a recording on your piano? I can mimick it very easily smile

I may have to touch up again today and concentrate harder on setting the pins. Last night 1 unison came undone!!!

anrpiano was more correct than I anticipated. I thought I'd be able to hold tune for 2 weeks. Maybe a few days is more like it. I'll hire a tech to teach me how to do it very soon here.


Sure. See this thread:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...iano_tuned_with_Ultratu.html#Post2163049


Sure, give me about a few hours. I'm rechecking my piano (which so far seems to have stayed in tune)

Where do you want me to post this? new topic in tuner's forum?

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200671
12/20/13 01:31 PM
12/20/13 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou

Where do you want me to post this? new topic in tuner's forum?


Yes, new topic in tuner's forum please.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hakki] #2200682
12/20/13 02:22 PM
12/20/13 02:22 PM
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Rio Grande Valley of Texas
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Yes, new topic in tuner's forum please.


Tuners know about the software, players do not. Thanks for the info Noam.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Guapo Gabacho] #2200692
12/20/13 08:09 PM
12/20/13 08:09 PM
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Well just in case anyone cares on this thread:

http://www.henselt.org/mp3/dirkspianotuner.mp3


Also a few bars from brahms rhapsodie Gm. This piece never sounds good unless the piano is in perfect tune, and it seems to sound pretty darn good to me after tuning with Dirk's.

http://www.henselt.org/mp3/brahms.mp3


PS - I sent him an email shortly after I bought this software. No response, so don't expect any sort of customer service smile FYI.


Oh yeah - also made a short video of tuning a4 note with dirk's piano tuner

[video:youtube]wWhmruJUN2Y[/video]

Last edited by noambenhamou; 12/20/13 08:49 PM.
Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200727
12/20/13 10:02 PM
12/20/13 10:02 PM
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USA
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Quote
PS - I sent him an email shortly after I bought this software. No response, so don't expect any sort of customer service smile FYI.


Interesting, I have swapped several emails with Dirk, and have always found him to be responsive. Taking into account the time difference of course. You may want to try him again.








Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200782
12/21/13 02:18 AM
12/21/13 02:18 AM
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Wait, you're the guy with the billion dollar Hamburg Steinway D, and you're jacking with the tuning pins yourself?

I did read somewhere that tuning pins can loose their "grip" if they've been tuned too much or mistreated. Is this "safe?"

I know us proud, invincible software guys, who think we can solve the world's problems with a python script like to do everything ourselves and through Youtube, but sometimes, especially these crafty or physical things, might benefit from an actual teacher.

My new piano also goes out of tune fast. I've had it tuned every 2 months this year, but the good thing is the entire piano goes out of tune together. Of course there are unisons, but I can still play it just fine. Just that C becomes B or A.

Anyway, it costs like $140 in my area to get it tuned and I've watched my tuner take 1.5 - 2 hrs to do it. Basically it's cheaper for him to do it and then I risk thrashing my pin block, I assumed that's a risk.


Last edited by michaelh; 12/21/13 02:24 AM.
Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: BornInTheUSA] #2200789
12/21/13 02:38 AM
12/21/13 02:38 AM
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Plenty of people here who will change the pin block so no problem. Dirk's software produced a better tuning profile and Noam is going to take lessons on pin setting from a pro. People tune their harpsichords so why not their pianos if they want to acquire the skill?


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200790
12/21/13 02:41 AM
12/21/13 02:41 AM
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Noam,

OT, but could you also elaborate on the recording setup you used for the Brahms recording?

How was the mics placed? What was the pickup pattern of the mics? Omni, cardioid?


Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: BornInTheUSA] #2200791
12/21/13 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by michaelh
Wait, you're the guy with the billion dollar Hamburg Steinway D, and you're jacking with the tuning pins yourself?

I did read somewhere that tuning pins can loose their "grip" if they've been tuned too much or mistreated. Is this "safe?"

I know us proud, invincible software guys, who think we can solve the world's problems with a python script like to do everything ourselves and through Youtube, but sometimes, especially these crafty or physical things, might benefit from an actual teacher.

My new piano also goes out of tune fast. I've had it tuned every 2 months this year, but the good thing is the entire piano goes out of tune together. Of course there are unisons, but I can still play it just fine. Just that C becomes B or A.

Anyway, it costs like $140 in my area to get it tuned and I've watched my tuner take 1.5 - 2 hrs to do it. Basically it's cheaper for him to do it and then I risk thrashing my pin block, I assumed that's a risk.



Yes, absolutely but I doubt I can ruin the piano by using bad technique a few times. Perhaps over years and years I can do some damage but 1st, I'm very careful and I've seen it done a million times. And within 1 month I'm going to have someone professional give me a crash course.

Python solves everything smile together with cron, you got yourself an automation GOD!

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hakki] #2200794
12/21/13 02:50 AM
12/21/13 02:50 AM
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Hamburg-D Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Noam,

OT, but could you also elaborate on the recording setup you used for the Brahms recording?

How was the mics placed? What was the pickup pattern of the mics? Omni, cardioid?



absolutely my friend.

Rather than explaining mic position I just took a couple of photos.

Those are Neumann KM184 pair mics
Zoom H4n digital recorder. I'm only using the mics, not the onboard microphones on the Zoom.

So what did you think of the tuning? Acceptable?


[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200796
12/21/13 03:03 AM
12/21/13 03:03 AM
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Hakki Offline
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou
So what did you think of the tuning? Acceptable?





The piano sounds wonderful. The tuning is very acceptable. Just the way I would prefer a tuning to be.

Although the KM184's are cardioid, the spaced pair setup made your recording sound very good too.
I believe if you try the same mic placement with an Omni pair, that might even further improve the sound.
But currently it is already at a very pleasing level.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hakki] #2200798
12/21/13 03:08 AM
12/21/13 03:08 AM
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Hamburg-D Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Originally Posted by noambenhamou
So what did you think of the tuning? Acceptable?





The piano sounds wonderful. The tuning is very acceptable. Just the way I would prefer a tuning to be.

Although the KM184's are cardioid, the spaced pair setup made your recording sound very good too.
I believe if you try the same mic placement with an Omni pair, that might even further improve the sound.
But currently it is already at a very pleasing level.



what does omni pair mean? is it a type of microphone?

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2200811
12/21/13 04:19 AM
12/21/13 04:19 AM
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Hakki Offline
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou


what does omni pair mean? is it a type of microphone?


Yes, Omni pics sound in all directions and the cardioid from the front of the microphone.

Look at polar patterns in the following article for a full description.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2201130
12/21/13 07:58 PM
12/21/13 07:58 PM
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Hi noambenhamou,

I think you tuned your piano quite decently. Of course, an important aspect of tuning is how long will it remain stable, so you will see in the coming weeks if you set the pins correctly. Since your piano is new (and thus less stable), I would think if your tuning is still reasonably OK after two months, you will have done a decent job. Keep us posted.

Re: Dirk's piano tuner software [Re: Hamburg-D] #2201246
12/21/13 11:55 PM
12/21/13 11:55 PM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Noam,
From the pictures I see the tuning hammer resting on the plate surface. Try to avoid that, it will mar the plate finish.

I also see you have a temperament strip-before you insert that into the strings-step on the damper pedal all the way and clear the dampers from the strings so you don't ruin the felts. Also as you remove it to tune unisons raise the dampers of the notes involved. The idea is to keep from crushing the tri-chord dampers when the strings are pushed sideways by the felt.

Good luck!


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

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