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Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
#3016615 08/22/20 11:04 AM
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I am just imagining.

If the piano has motorized tunnig pins atached to some battery, capable of stretching with high precision every individual string. Plus a microphone, or several, that captures the sound and transfers it to a oscilloscope, so it can determine the rate at wich every string is vibrating, and compares it to the rate at wich it should vibrate, and then orders to the motorized pins to strectch the string as much as necesary. It also should have some device that mutes all the strings except the one being tunned. And maybe a device on the keys, so they can hit the strings without human help, so the owner just presses the Auto tunning button, goes out playing golf, and when is back home, the automatic tunning is done.

What do you think?

Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
Ubu #3016624 08/22/20 11:14 AM
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You missed this thread?

Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
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There are computers that can correct spelling. They work reasonably well, but they make a lot of mistakes. Tuning pianos is a lot more difficult, and involves moving things which do not want to move all that much compared to moving a few electrons to change spelling. At least with spelling, there are only a few choices to make, although somehow, computers still manage to choose the wrong one. With tuning, there is a continuous range of choices, so an infinite number. So not only do you need a computer that can choose from that range of choices, you need mechanical systems that can make those choices a reality. Even if someone could overcome those obstacles (and Don Gilmore never did), the system could easily cost more than having someone tune the piano for its entire lifetime.


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Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
BDB #3016670 08/22/20 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
There are computers that can correct spelling. They work reasonably well, but they make a lot of mistakes. Tuning pianos is a lot more difficult, and involves moving things which do not want to move all that much compared to moving a few electrons to change spelling. At least with spelling, there are only a few choices to make, although somehow, computers still manage to choose the wrong one. With tuning, there is a continuous range of choices, so an infinite number. So not only do you need a computer that can choose from that range of choices, you need mechanical systems that can make those choices a reality. Even if someone could overcome those obstacles (and Don Gilmore never did), the system could easily cost more than having someone tune the piano for its entire lifetime.

Don't listen to this guy, I believe he is a piano technician. Of course self-tuning piano's would be bad for business. 😛

Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
U3piano #3016675 08/22/20 12:54 PM
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If you want to try it, knock yourself out. I make more money from semiconductor sales than I do from tuning pianos.


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Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
spanishbuddha #3016687 08/22/20 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
You missed this thread?

Thanks!

So it was already invented. But it seems the website is a little bit abandoned. Maybe the system has not had commercial succes? Although it seems the guy has put a lot of effort and intelligence on it. Maybe too much expensive device?

As for automatic tunning vs hand made, i think there's enough technological development in the modern world for creating a very accurate and complete device. About wether it makes commercial sense or not, that's the question.

Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
Ubu #3016692 08/22/20 01:33 PM
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It's certainly theoretically possible to build a self tuning piano, but there are a couple challenges that comes to my mind right off the bat.

First thing is servo strength and durability. The strings are under quite a bit of tension so having the appropriate compact precision actuators may be an issue. It's certainly not cheap.

Second is how all of that equipment sitting in the cabinet might affect the tone or touch.

Lastly, any auto tuner would still have to be a mechanical system on an acoustic piano, which means it would then itself need to be calibrated and maintained. You would then still need a technician for the tuning system and also a piano technician for things like voicing, reshaping hammers, and regulation.

This seems like it would be a fun graduate project (i remember a team actually made a auto guitar tuner when I was in grad school) but for actual practical applications, the business cases might be limited. For similar prices, between an auto tuning acoustic and a acoustic with a silent system, I would pick latter.

Last edited by rkzhao; 08/22/20 01:34 PM.
Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
Ubu #3016723 08/22/20 03:03 PM
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Among the other things that have appeared on this board in the past was someone who had made a web application to test one's ability to hear beats. I tried it out and found that there were discrete areas where although he said that the frequency was changing, the beats were not. I did the math, and realized that he was using MIDI sound, and that the changes in frequency that he was calling for were less than the increments that MIDI was capable of generating, and that the areas that the beats did not change exactly corresponded to the MIDI increments. So without coming up with new ways dealing with frequency, the accuracy will be limited. (This is beside the fact that frequency matching is not the same as tuning.)


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Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
Ubu #3016868 08/22/20 11:06 PM
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Servo mechanisms powerful enough to turn the tight tuning pins are likely to give off considerable heat. You can easily change the pitch of a piano string just by the heat generated from rubbing your finger up and down it a few times.

(Only experiment with this on the plain strings and only push down not sideways. Wash and dry your hands first and once finished experimenting use a cloth to remove finger residue.)

If you properly assemble an prepare a fine piano, house it in a humidity controlled environment, and have it tuned by a highly skilled professional: after five years of age and regular tunings; the tuning will become remarkably stable.

I just tuned our piano today and it had been over a year since last tuned. It was very close to begin with, with only two obviously, (to me), beating unisons. Most pianists would have thought it was in very good tune and didn't need tuning.


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Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
Ubu #3016880 08/23/20 12:27 AM
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Don Gilmore heated the strings to tune his self-tuning piano. The only video that I saw that demonstrated it was not impressive.


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Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
BDB #3016923 08/23/20 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
If you want to try it, knock yourself out. I make more money from semiconductor sales than I do from tuning pianos.

Just kidding.

I have to agree with your explanation, and can't see self tuning piano's being financially attractive, but I'm sure it would be technically possible.

What are semiconductor sales? My knowledge of the English language seems to let me down here.

Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
U3piano #3016979 08/23/20 10:23 AM
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Semiconductors are the components of computers and other modern electronics: transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits.


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Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
U3piano #3017737 08/25/20 04:33 PM
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>>Don't listen to this guy, I believe he is a piano technician. Of course self-tuning piano's would be bad for business. 😛[/quote]

Because player pianos made Horowitz obsolete!

Last edited by randymerk; 08/25/20 04:34 PM.
Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
randymerk #3017745 08/25/20 05:01 PM
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Does anybody, maybe in the the Kansas City area, know what ever became of Don Gilmore and his tuning system? He hasn't been seen around here since November 2016. His company, Don Gilmore Devices, LLC, still has an active website, but it doesn't look like it's been updated recently. The Missouri Secretary of State shows that the company is still active and still located on Wyandotte Street.

Larry.

Last edited by iLaw; 08/25/20 05:04 PM.
Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
Ubu #3017755 08/25/20 05:34 PM
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They already exist. They are called digital pianos.


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My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Would be possible to build a piano that tunnes itself?
Ubu #3018050 08/26/20 05:15 PM
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These methods for making a self-tuning piano (e.g., servo motors, heated piano wires,...) seem too complicated to me and are more likely to end up in the long run being much more trouble and expense than the trouble and expense of occasionally calling in a piano tuner. Doesn't seem like there should be much of a market for these self-tuning piano gizmos except for those of us who really, really, really hate our piano tuners.

Agree with patH. If you don't want to deal with piano tuning, get a digital piano.


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