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#73 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:43 AM

Rossing, the colleague of my musical acoustics guru Prof Neville Fletcher, puts 8 cents as a just noticeable difference, but that's in pure tones. 

 

Yes, it was Rossing's 8 cent figure I was quoting above, though I've also seen 10 cents cited for the just-noticeable difference (or "jnd") of a sine wave.



#74 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:10 AM

I believe Geoff Crabb once mentioned to me that Crabbs had a convention to adjust their concertina tuning to account for octave drift.

 

Perhaps Geoff will comment.

 

Greg



#75 Terry McGee

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:03 PM

I've just tried out Flutini on a concertina, running up and down the C row a few times, probably less than 40 seconds in all.  This is the output from Flutini: (Click to enlarge)

 

Flutini on concertina.GIF

 

On the left is a table of notes detected, the number of measurements taken and their deviation.  On the right we see the deviations in graphical form.  The graph is compressed horizontally as it has to leave room for the meanderings of flutes.  I could imagine a version specifically aimed at concertina might have two scales - one for rough work, similar to Flutini, and one for fine work, with maybe +/- 5 cents shown, and resolution down to 0.1 cents.  But even as it is, Flutini should be capable of providing a quick map of work needed.  Certainly good for people at home to see if their instrument needs a touch up. 

 

The great thing is how quick and easy it is.  As I said, that only took about 40 seconds, no writing down and typing in needed, just play and watch the tragedy unfold....

 

Terry


Edited by Terry McGee, 18 March 2014 - 05:04 PM.


#76 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:13 PM

... and none is sharp - is this significant data?

Edited by blue eyed sailor, 18 March 2014 - 05:13 PM.


#77 Terry McGee

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:20 PM

You'll notice in the Flutini results above, this concertina certainly doesn't meet Dave's +/-1.5 cents standard.  C4 is -7, E4 -3, G4 -2 and C5 is 0.  So you might expect C4 and C5 played together to sound a little sour, but not really.  I'm aware of some gentle beating.  

 

Adding G4 to the pair of Cs doesn't make it any worse.  Adding the E4 makes it noticeably dodgy, not because it deviates too far - at -3 it's at about the mean of the others.  But just because it would like to be -14.  So my concertina, even though not perfectly tuned, is still better than Equal Temperament.

 

Playing the E4 with either C4 or G4 (it's nearest neighbours) produces the worst audible result, as more of the partials find colleagues to argue with.

 

Terry



#78 Terry McGee

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 06:07 PM

... and none is sharp - is this significant data?

 

I don't know.  Probably not, unless any of our experienced tuners feel that it follows a pattern they've seen before.  This instrument is one of five built by an occasional maker in Australia's Snowy Mountains region, so we wouldn't want to extrapolate from that to the broader concertina world.  I have spoken to the maker about the instrument (I swapped a flute for it with its previous owner), but we didn't go into detail about matters such as tuning.

 

I've just performed the same test on a Crabbe Lachenal rebuild that hasn't seen any significant use since I bought it from Neville in 1974 (too busy scratching a living as a flute maker!). (Crabbe on the left, Simpson on the right)

 

Flutini on Crabbe-Lachenal.GIF  Flutini on concertina.GIF

 

Also most tending flat, but not the same ones.  I wonder if Geoffrey remembers what Neville would have been using for tuning back then?

 

Terry


Edited by Terry McGee, 18 March 2014 - 06:15 PM.


#79 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 06:34 PM

I wonder if Geoffrey remembers what Neville would have been using for tuning back then?

 

If I remember rightly, Crabb's had a Conn Strobotuner.



#80 Terry McGee

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:16 AM

Incidentally, for those who use a vacuum table for tuning - what difference in pitch do you notice with the reed in and out of the instrument?  Is it a fixed difference, or does it follow a trend (say, size of reed), or is it complicated by matters like which way it faces, or other facts of life?

 

Terry



#81 Jody Kruskal

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:54 AM

Hi Terry,

 

I would love to try out Flutini. It does not seem to be available following the Mac link on your site. "Page not found" was all I got. Can you help?



#82 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:28 AM

... and none is sharp - is this significant data?

Wolf,

there are sharp notes on the chart, look again.



#83 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:35 AM

Geoff, thank you - how could I have missed them...!? But however, in the example given (in fact, in both of them, as mentioned above by Terry) the average still is significantly flat, which might fit with the advice of aiming at 0.0 to 1.0 cents...

What do you make of it (if anything)?

 

P.S.: My apologies for the further thread drift, Dave... :)


Edited by blue eyed sailor, 19 March 2014 - 06:47 AM.


#84 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:42 AM

Incidentally, for those who use a vacuum table for tuning - what difference in pitch do you notice with the reed in and out of the instrument?  Is it a fixed difference, or does it follow a trend (say, size of reed), or is it complicated by matters like which way it faces, or other facts of life?

 

Terry

The differences in pitch of reeds blown inside or outside the box  depends more on the type of box and relates to the shape of the sound chamber and its materials, as well as  if it is a suck or a blow reed. Also the actual tuning table (bellows or vaccuum) could add its own effect.This does not appear to be a constant, although I guess  one could make a study of it, it is just an amount of difference that  can be ignored by setting the tuner to zero-in on the pitch of the reed  on the tuning jig and then using the tuner as a comparator by adding or subtracting the amount 'out of tune' and adjusting the reed to zero in on the tuner... or do this bit in your head if you are using a meter type device.



#85 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:54 AM

Geoff, thank you - how could I have missed them...!? But however, in the example given the average still is significantly flat, which might fit with the advice of aiming at 0.0 to 1.0 cents...

As air that is going in and out of a concertina is not always CLEAN  , and could at times be STICKY . Over time dust and greasy deposits can build up on the reeds making them heavier and slowing them down.  Concertinas that are old and were played in rooms that were heated by Coal or Turf fires, smoky bars being big culprits, as well as the filthy air in our Cities up untill the 1960's  , usually dark deposits can be seen on the wood and chamois gaskets. Most 'restored' instruments will have had their reeds cleaned though.  Playing around camp fires or houses heated by wood fires or in very sweaty atmospheres will again gradually cause muck to  adhere to the reeds.

 

In server cases a gentle cleaning of the reeds is all that is needed to restore fine tuning. I recall the significantly 'out of tune' concertina of Tommy MacCarthy that I  'tuned' just by carefully scraping the thick layer of greasy deposits on his reeds... must have taken years to build up, I would have thought.  After the cleaning job there were no reeds that needed further work.

 

Another factor that can flatten reeds is Rust  caused by condensation or salty air.


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 19 March 2014 - 02:10 AM.


#86 Terry McGee

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 02:51 AM

Hi Terry,

 

I would love to try out Flutini. It does not seem to be available following the Mac link on your site. "Page not found" was all I got. Can you help?

 

Sorry for that, Jody.  Looks like the page has been moved or deleted.  I've contacted Dan Gordon who compiled the Mac version to see if he can help us out.  

 

The Windows version appears to be there, but if anyone runs into trouble with that, please let me know.

 

P.S.  I've also contacted Scott to see if he has a copy of the files.


Edited by Terry McGee, 19 March 2014 - 04:42 AM.


#87 Chris Ghent

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:16 AM

Warning, long post, got carried away...

 

This is more a reply to Dave's original post than to the more recent interesting but off topic drift. 

An anecdote; a good Irish player was touring this side of the world and she had a button which was up too high and occasionally catching on the action board. She asked me to look and though I seldom do repairs she needed help and I agreed. High buttons can be simple, sometimes the lever needs a tweak and it is done, or a post is coming out. However on a Jeffries it can be a worn pivot hole in the lever and it needs a new lever assembly. So it transpired and I asked her to leave it with me for a day. As an afterthought I asked her if she would like me to tune a low note which I had heard to be out of tune at the concert.  She agreed and when she came back I was expecting a lot of satisfaction. Instead all I got was bewilderment. It was like she couldn't get a good rhythm going. This was a note she used a lot in a two note chord and it was the slightly distorted interval that had alerted me to it. The chord was now as sweet as a 4th can be. Trouble is she was using the slight discord as a rhythm marker in her playing, it gave the chord a boost in presence she did not have to strive for with pressure. I reversed the procedure and gave it back. Harmony was restored.

 

I am on the side of thinking the player is right. Failing direction from them as close to 0 as you can do is best. A difference of 2 is too much for me.  When tuning I aim for 0 on the meter but rarely open an instrument to change a + or - 1. If I had opened it already to do a reed nearby I might attempt to shift a 1 to a 0. I would definitely retune if the octave was 1 out the other way. A 2 always gets a tune. Do I hear you say, what about a 1.5? That would get a tune too. I have no issue with Greg's 5 or 6 passes. Because I am predominantly making for the Irish market I presume higher playing pressure and set the reed height and tune accordingly.

 

I think, though I suppose I would, new reeds have additional problems to reeds only retuned. They shift further according to little understood (by me) patterns. Stress relief in the metal?  Could be. Valves changing as well? Could be.

 

When a tongue is first made I tune it a little sharp, perhaps 15 cents, and then when it is in a frame I like it still a little sharp, at least 5 cents. This because I find higher reeds easier to lower than raise, lower ones are less fussy. This is idealised, some days it does not happen like that. Once in the concertina they will have shifted. I then do a rough tune, (I play the note, put the right hand side of the concertina down, mark the value, pick up the concertina again) aiming for zero, hoping to be within 2 or 3. Any reeds with more than a 5 or 6 cent difference in and out of the concertina get a valve change before a tune. If it is all inside 2 or 3 difference (doesn't happen first time) I play it a lot, sometimes just a bunch of keys held down, in and out, if doing that I will wear earmuffs. There will be differences now and the set will need to be inspected and perhaps adjusted again. I then play the instrument a lot looking for reeds that are missing the last 1% of performance.  I have a chart with the concertina and I make markings such as VB, VO (valve beside, valve opposite) S (slow) Q (quiet) and sometimes just ? or F! I play all of the common chords looking for strange sounding intervals. And octaves looking for beating. This procedure is always a challenge and is different every time, sometimes it is quicker, sometimes longer and I am never sure the difference is not me. The rule of thumb is, "it is probably the valve". I replace a few reed tongues in most concertinas, often just to remove the tongue from suspicion. It is a mistake for me to let a concertina go too soon, the tune can change in the first few weeks in a new owners hands and sometimes it will stay that way because people don't realise or have no access to a tuner. It can be a mistake to keep one too long, sometimes I fall in love with a new one and prefer it to my own. Hard to let it go!

I use a vacuum sucker, nothing too fancy, it is a tight clearance duct fan sitting under a plenum chamber. Sorry Terry, I can perceive no difference attributable to this.  It gets me 1.6" water column of vacuum on the magnahelic, I would prefer slightly more, one of these days I am going to put a spigot into a bellows and measure typical playing pressures. When measuring tune I try to maintain even pressure on the bellows but I often think this is the reason the tuning process is less precise than I would like. Because I am predominantly making for the Irish market I presume higher playing pressure and set the reed accordingly.

I am very aware of out of tune notes but increasingly lack confidence in my ear as I get older. I did the online test a minute ago that offers two notes with increasingly narrow intervals. I got .9 hertz, mind you that was on the 4th try. I certainly can't do that hearing the notes on the run without the careful comparison, I doubt I could pick 5 cents. I don't like sitting in a nest of flutes (a chord of flutes) as I always blame myself for the out of tune notes. Last night I sat next to a great flute player who didn't play an out of tune note all night but it was disconcerting when he tuned as his low D always sounded very out of tune. He told me once he has to give it more volume to get it in tune while playing and he builds that into the phrasing. Nothing easy about flute playing.

Every time I have delved into the world of temperaments I have backed out again, trying not to knock anything off the shelves, thinking, I'll do this when I have more time.



#88 spindizzy

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:24 AM

 

Hi Terry,

 

I would love to try out Flutini. It does not seem to be available following the Mac link on your site. "Page not found" was all I got. Can you help?

 

Sorry for that, Jody.  Looks like the page has been moved or deleted.  I've contacted Dan Gordon who compiled the Mac version to see if he can help us out.  

 

The Windows version appears to be there, but if anyone runs into trouble with that, please let me know.

 

P.S.  I've also contacted Scott to see if he has a copy of the files.

 

 

Just tried it on WIn8 - needs to run through compatability mode checks but worked fine. 

I see the code uses fftw (I use that library in my astronomy :-) - I've picked up the source code as well - maybe I can get it to run under linux, so that I can try it on the laptop.

 

Thanks for mentioning the program.

 

Chris



#89 Chris Ghent

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:33 AM

 
 I've contacted Dan Gordon who compiled the Mac version to see if he can help us out.  
 
The Windows version appears to be there, but if anyone runs into trouble with that, please let me know.
 
P.S.  I've also contacted Scott to see if he has a copy of the files.

Ask him if he has any ideas of an iPhone/iPad app..?

Edited by Chris Ghent, 19 March 2014 - 07:44 AM.


#90 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:11 AM

Hi Terry,

 

I would love to try out Flutini. It does not seem to be available following the Mac link on your site. "Page not found" was all I got. Can you help?

 

Jody, you can run Windows version on a Mac through Wine http://winebottler.kronenberg.org - it works "out of the box", without any tweaking necessary.







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