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Garritan CFX out of tune key? #2960535 03/26/20 04:43 AM
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Beowulf Offline OP
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Hey guys, so I had my teacher play on my DP with Garritan CFX on and she made a feedback that the E5 note sounds out of tune. After making a comparison with the internal CFX of my Clavinova on default settings, I have to agree with her that it sounds pretty off. Anyone else had this feeling too?

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Re: Garritan CFX out of tune key? [Re: Beowulf] #2960539 03/26/20 05:29 AM
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CyberGene Offline
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Acoustic pianos are not tuned to the fixed mathematical frequencies of the equal temperament. Due to the inharmonicity of the strings they are tuned so that the entire piano sounds good by itself but some keys may go out of the standard frequencies, compared to say wind instruments. Even two different pianos will sound different. You tune only A440 and then the rest is tuned in a way that makes the piano having smooth dispersion of the partials which is the reason why lower and higher regions are stretched and why pianos are tuned aurally (or with specialized software that calculates the stretch for the particular piano).

If your teacher has perfect pitch, that could lead to her expecting a fixed frequency.

I’m not saying that’s the case and I’ll check it but usually you should listen if the key sounds out of tune with the rest of the piano and not compared to another piano or instrument. With that in mind, I haven’t noticed notes in Garritan CFX that sound out of tune when played together with the rest.

Last edited by CyberGene; 03/26/20 05:31 AM.

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Re: Garritan CFX out of tune key? [Re: Beowulf] #2960549 03/26/20 06:02 AM
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pianistje Offline
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Great summary CyberGene. Since i am a pianotuner i have checked the E5 on the Garritan CFX and by ear it’s just a tiny bit flat. But it is really small. If you play an octave ( that’s what most teachers do to ‘check’ proper tuning) with the E5 on top you can hear it’s a tiny bit flat compared to surrounding octaves.

But like CyberGene correctly mentioned only a real piano can be tuned in itself in a way that fits the acoustic needs of a specific instrument. The streching between a small upright and concert grand is obvious in the upper end and bass when both instruments are tuned the best way possible honoring their individual needs.

The moment you are going to sample a piano you CAN’T put back the recordings in a well temperament tuning sequence like it was present in the REAL piano you recorded.
You have to use a mathematical equal temperament tuning model afterwards. Why that is the case has to do with lots of construction variables in a real grand that influence the perception of tone and pitch. By ear we tune what sounds best objectively.

I encountered some really small uprights.
Pianotuners that use devices to tune such a small upright ALWAYS screw up the bass completely. Because the very short strings don’t produce a sold fundamental and the upper harmonics are all over the place. Only by ear we choose what is the best compromise ...any device is off by a considerable margin in such cases.

Bottom line....you can sample any grand piano..but you CAN’T sample the overal tuning like it was in the real piano, because you loose many elements present in a real piano, but absent after we put back the samples in a tuning sequence....

It was a very thick book from Philips that explained what happens in a piano at certain points that influence our perception of pitch....but i won’t even try since English isn’t my native language and i could barely wrap my head around it myself....let alone attempt to try to explain it properly.

Last edited by pianistje; 03/26/20 06:06 AM.
Re: Garritan CFX out of tune key? [Re: Beowulf] #2960771 03/26/20 05:03 PM
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CyberGene Offline
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pianistje, you’re right, indeed the E5 is slightly flat but that’s so subtle I wouldn’t have noticed it unless I concentrated on it. It certainly won’t bother me. Comes to show how the piano teacher apparently has a very sensitive hearing.

Thanks for sharing your tuning experience!


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Re: Garritan CFX out of tune key? [Re: CyberGene] #2960835 03/26/20 08:45 PM
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MooganDavid Offline
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Try some high F's on Vienna Imperial with pedal down if you want to hear some notes out of tune! I think it's middle D in Garritan cfx that clearly has a C# harmonic (partial I think it's called) added that's kind of annoying but as a whole it's my best VST better than Vienna Imperial especially playability.

Re: Garritan CFX out of tune key? [Re: MooganDavid] #2960909 Yesterday at 05:46 AM
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pianistje Offline
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Originally Posted by MooganDavid
Try some high F's on Vienna Imperial with pedal down if you want to hear some notes out of tune! I think it's middle D in Garritan cfx that clearly has a C# harmonic (partial I think it's called) added that's kind of annoying but as a whole it's my best VST better than Vienna Imperial especially playability.

The Garritan CFX is very well tuned. Remember that a concert pianists detunes a piano rapidly if he/she is really digging in. During the pause , by default, the piano tuner enters the stage behind the curtain to adjust the tuning. I have tuned during several solo piano recordings and people have no idea how frequently notes go out of tune in such processes if you want each and every passage anything less than perfect. Funny thing is that many ‘good piano recordings’ in our perception are less perfect when you are standing next to the real instrument. I also have tango recordings with terribly tuned piano’s but somehow they add to the overall vibe in a positive manner.

Having said that ...i can clearly hear the awful detuning in the upper register of the VSL Bösendorfer in the online sound examples. Means that it probably is worse when using it in real time.
But i really dig my Embertone Walker 1955 , but they did a sloppy tuning in that library too. Less obvious in some keys....way to obvious in other keys. And some bad individual notes too.
But i thoroughly enjoy the Embertone despite it’s loose tuning and dislike all my internal Kawai MP11SE piano’s despite properly tuned......there you go.


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