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Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
#3046547 11/16/20 10:04 AM
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Hi all,

I didn't want to distract from the thread, so I thought I would share an example of a piano that was designed using CAD, inside and out. The real savings was the fact that we did not have to build any prototypes, as was the normal way to get the most out of any design before bringing a particular model of piano to market.

If Del sees this, I remember a conversation with him about a number of prototypes at Baldwin and the changes that were made before bringing the model out. Anyway, this IS the prototype. (although we tweaked the original design about 5 years ago):




Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Rich Galassini #3046554 11/16/20 10:33 AM
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Can you give a few examples of the kinds of things that were done with CAD designing the piano? What kinds of things can CAD predict about the piano's sound and touch? Was the tweaking to this piano also done using computers? Thanks.

Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Rich Galassini #3046557 11/16/20 10:40 AM
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+1 I'd like to hear about the details of the CAD design process.
Especially how you design a specific sound, harmonics, etc



Nice playing.

Maybe you can also post something that shows the bass and tenor. A brief staccato punch on the bass does not give a good impression of that area and that's probably the most difficult part for a smaller piano. Preferably without pedal but with more prolonged notes.


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Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Rich Galassini #3046576 11/16/20 11:12 AM
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Rich - thank you so much for sharing.
smile


J & J
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Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Rich Galassini #3047028 11/17/20 09:03 PM
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I love that arrangement of the "Turkish Rondo" , never thought I could say that ! But yes very entertaining and really nice playing.
That piano sounds really good for such a small instrument.
Thank you for sharing !

Last edited by Lady Bird; 11/17/20 09:05 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Rich Galassini #3047428 11/19/20 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Hi all,

I didn't want to distract from the thread, so I thought I would share an example of a piano that was designed using CAD, inside and out. The real savings was the fact that we did not have to build any prototypes, as was the normal way to get the most out of any design before bringing a particular model of piano to market.

Dear Rich :

Here is a question that has been haunting me for a while : What is the link between CAD (Computer Assisted Design) and the actual sound produced by an acoustic piano?

CAD programs at their most basic are just a computerised form of Three Dimensional - 3-D - blueprints. The most famous is CATIA, used by Boeing and Airbus. These blueprints perfectly describe the physical parts that constitute a piano, and can drive machines that will carve these parts without human interference out of wood or other materials, or make 3-D prints using raw materials that can be aggregated like plastic, some metals and glass. The young man currently building for me a copy of a Anton Walter 1805 piano has computer-designed an absolutely complete virtual 3-D mock-up down to every screw and pin.

These Virtual Blueprints, being three-dimentional, can also fit with one another, and make sure that all parts have their proper location and connect properly with others.

So far however the model is static. Some CAD programs add the notion of movement, and therefore of time. You can check that the hammers can hit the strings properly as they move, where wanted, and after triggering the proper escapement mechanism. You can check that the wing of the airplane, and therefore all the assembled parts that compose it, will flex properly and within given safety parameters in turbulence.

But what about the sound produced by the strings and chanelled to the soundboard? What about the airplane's wing being properly shaped to actually produce lift? My understanding is that requires different Computer Programs, akin to modeling, but not directly connected to CAD.

At the other end, people like Pianoteq will computer-calculate perfect modelisation of sound imitated from different live instruments and taking into account thousands of parameters like lid or mike position, thickness of strings, etc, etc... Of course they have perfectly modelised the sound made by each of 88 hammer hitting each string, and the interferences within them, and with any physical objects within the piano (and often within the whole room) capable of resonance. But this prodigious output is only a digital stream and ultimately will only produce sound in an analog-amplified speaker (or headphone).

My question is : Can this be reverse engineered? And do computer programs exist that can do so?

In other words, starting from the sound you wish, can a program be designed that will backtrack all the way to the CAD blueprints you will need to build an acoustic piano?

Regards.



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Vikendios #3047461 11/19/20 09:45 AM
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I don't think qualitative modeling of tone or action feel can yet be reduced to algorithms.

I do have a qualitative model that would start to allow this. It is called: Musically Intelligible Sound.


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.
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Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Rich Galassini #3047619 11/20/20 08:43 AM
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I would love to see a 5' butterfly design, may well be a sales hit smile


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
My teacher is 'domisol' because he plays chords shocked
Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Ed McMorrow, RPT #3047923 11/21/20 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I don't think qualitative modeling of tone or action feel can yet be reduced to algorithms.

I do have a qualitative model that would start to allow this. It is called: Musically Intelligible Sound.

Hi Ed,

The only hit the Google has about that is your own post from a while back: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2585646/piano-tone-regulation-standards.html

Is MIS a product that you have developed and you share/sell to other technicians? Or is it just a prototype/experiment that you use yourself?

Like everyone here (and as Vikendios clearly stated) I would be interested in what exactly Rich Galassini designed on the computer (not the secret sauce, of course, just the general idea...)

Cheers,
Davide

Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Rich Galassini #3047960 11/21/20 10:42 AM
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I was going to introduce Musically Intelligible Sound, (MIS) in my second book which was titled: Grand DeLight.

I have 13 chapters very roughly written up. Other developments took over my time.


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: toneman1@me.com
Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Ed McMorrow, RPT #3048003 11/21/20 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I was going to introduce Musically Intelligible Sound, (MIS) in my second book which was titled: Grand DeLight.

I have 13 chapters very roughly written up. Other developments took over my time.

Looking forward to it. Let us know when done!!

Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Vikendios #3048017 11/21/20 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Vikendios
Dear Rich :

Here is a question that has been haunting me for a while : What is the link between CAD (Computer Assisted Design) and the actual sound produced by an acoustic piano?

CAD programs at their most basic are just a computerised form of Three Dimensional - 3-D - blueprints. The most famous is CATIA, used by Boeing and Airbus. These blueprints perfectly describe the physical parts that constitute a piano, and can drive machines that will carve these parts without human interference out of wood or other materials, or make 3-D prints using raw materials that can be aggregated like plastic, some metals and glass. The young man currently building for me a copy of a Anton Walter 1805 piano has computer-designed an absolutely complete virtual 3-D mock-up down to every screw and pin.

These Virtual Blueprints, being three-dimentional, can also fit with one another, and make sure that all parts have their proper location and connect properly with others.

So far however the model is static. Some CAD programs add the notion of movement, and therefore of time. You can check that the hammers can hit the strings properly as they move, where wanted, and after triggering the proper escapement mechanism. You can check that the wing of the airplane, and therefore all the assembled parts that compose it, will flex properly and within given safety parameters in turbulence.

But what about the sound produced by the strings and chanelled to the soundboard? What about the airplane's wing being properly shaped to actually produce lift? My understanding is that requires different Computer Programs, akin to modeling, but not directly connected to CAD.

At the other end, people like Pianoteq will computer-calculate perfect modelisation of sound imitated from different live instruments and taking into account thousands of parameters like lid or mike position, thickness of strings, etc, etc... Of course they have perfectly modelised the sound made by each of 88 hammer hitting each string, and the interferences within them, and with any physical objects within the piano (and often within the whole room) capable of resonance. But this prodigious output is only a digital stream and ultimately will only produce sound in an analog-amplified speaker (or headphone).

My question is : Can this be reverse engineered? And do computer programs exist that can do so?

In other words, starting from the sound you wish, can a program be designed that will backtrack all the way to the CAD blueprints you will need to build an acoustic piano?

Regards.

Good question Vikendios,

Let me first start by saying that I am a pianoman who has been involved in the design of a line of pianos, for which CAD was used. I can only describe the way that we used CAD, or rather the way I watched an experienced engineer (Frank Emerson) use CAD.

In our case, It had no determination of the tone itself, but was able to "virtually" demonstrate that the cast iron frame had the proper material and structure and was able to give the extra stability that we were looking for in this piano.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Rich Galassini #3048470 11/23/20 06:13 AM
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I was delighted by your answer because it is a very honest answer : I would buy a piano from you.

It is also a modest answer, you are not trying to imply any miracle from "piano designed by computers". Of course my question was naïve and fantastic, on purpose. But maybe we could assign some more realistic and limited objectives to CAD/Sound Modeling research. Here are three topics, inspired by so-called breakthrough patents in the history of piano technology that have been promoted by three of our most respected high-end brands, Steinway, Mason & Hamlin and Blüthner.

The Steinway "Bell". The M&H "Resonator". The Blüthner "Aliquot".

All look to me as dubious devices, precisely because they have not been endorsed by all the industry, but they are still alive and kicking. Not really as marketing tools (Steinway practically never mentions its Bell, which seems to me to have palliative origins, although Bechstein apparently also uses it on some models) but certainly adding to the cost of manufacture. The M&H Resonator looks to me like nothing more than additional truss bracing as found on bridges. The Aliquot reminds me of additional free strings on a theorbo.

My guess is a CAD blueprint of these devices could be modelised to find out, for a start, if and what effect they really have on resonance, at which frequencies.



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: Inspired by: How are computers used in piano design?
Vikendios #3048496 11/23/20 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikendios
The Steinway "Bell". The M&H "Resonator". The Blüthner "Aliquot".
As far as I understand it, the M&H "resonator" has nothing to do with resonance or improving the tone per se at the time when the instrument is built. It is instead useful to preserve the carefully built shape for longer than wood alone (which will eventually "give") could.

Originally Posted by Vikendios
My guess is a CAD blueprint of these devices could be modelised to find out, for a start, if and what effect they really have on resonance, at which frequencies.

Being just "shape" (and not really "sound") the M&H resonator could be relatively easy modeled by the approach we are discussing here, provided one has a good model of wood ageing and losing its mechanical characteristics (and thus potentially shape). The complication is that one would need to have similar ageing model for glued and bolted joints, which I do not know if they exist to the desired accuracy. I am sure something exists because it's important for example in constructions (e.g. roofs), but it might not be accurate enough the the fraction of inch I suspect we will need for pianos.

Very interesting to know, though.


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