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d.elliott

Tuning Precision & Accuracy

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Is it to be assumed that the human ear is, in normal circumstances, no longer to be given any credit for being a perfectly adequate arbiter when it comes to establishing acceptable tuning ?

 

Anyone had a go at this?

 

http://jakemandell.com/adaptivepitch/

 

Fun for all the family,

 

Adrian

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Anyone had a go at this?

 

http://jakemandell.com/adaptivepitch/

 

Fun for all the family,

 

Adrian

Wow, excellent fun, this!

 

I could reliably hear differences of .5625 Hz from 500 Hz (87th percentile) ... about 1.9 cents off at this range. So one eighth of test-takers could reliably hear differences of 1 cent, or even 0.5 cents, at 500 Hz!

 

I'd say an experienced concertina player could well have a legitimate desire for better than 1.5 cents tuning accuracy. But with real free reeds (instead of computer tone generators), there may well be a whole cent of variability in a given reed depending on how it's played ... so the question of precision in tuning is not necessarily reducible to a single number. Dave's 1.5 cent standard appears, by this, to be pretty good, for balancing idealism with reality. Not perfect, but in this case "pretty good" may be a perfectly fine goal ... for 500 Hz! I'd love to take this test in other octaves and see how the results compare.

 

The other thing this test doesn't get at is how well my ear can tell if a pitch is off when played simultaneously with another pitch - judging intervals such as octaves or fifths. I'd guess (from years of experience tuning reeds, though not from scientific testing) that I'm much better at this than at judging two consecutive pitches. Is there a test out there for this?...

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If you wish to tune by ear against a tuning fork and work by beats etc. be my guest. I tune a lot of 'tinas, but I don't do enough to get anywhere near the levels of skill that used to exist. I use the technology that is around to get the consistency and the economy that people expect. The same way that I use a car to fetch instruments from the Post Office, too far to walk and I am too busy. The standard that I put forward was originally based upon a paper a read when I was looking up what pitch differences the human ear could reasonably be expected to discriminate. So I Guess that the human element s not totally removed.

 

Dave

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Anyone had a go at this?

http://jakemandell.com/adaptivepitch/

 

Fun for all the family,

 

Adrian

Wow, excellent fun, this!

I could reliably hear differences of .5625 Hz from 500 Hz (87th percentile) ... about 1.9 cents off at this range. So one eighth of test-takers could reliably hear differences of 1 cent, or even 0.5 cents, at 500 Hz!

I'd say an experienced concertina player could well have a legitimate desire for better than 1.5 cents tuning accuracy. But with real free reeds (instead of computer tone generators), there may well be a whole cent of variability in a given reed depending on how it's played ... so the question of precision in tuning is not necessarily reducible to a single number. Dave's 1.5 cent standard appears, by this, to be pretty good, for balancing idealism with reality. Not perfect, but in this case "pretty good" may be a perfectly fine goal ... for 500 Hz! I'd love to take this test in other octaves and see how the results compare.

The other thing this test doesn't get at is how well my ear can tell if a pitch is off when played simultaneously with another pitch - judging intervals such as octaves or fifths. I'd guess (from years of experience tuning reeds, though not from scientific testing) that I'm much better at this than at judging two consecutive pitches. Is there a test out there for this?...

 

 

 

I found I got better as I did it more and had adjusted the volume etc. So I'm not sure how good a guide it is, but it was fun to try!

 

I remember doing a similar test of perfect octaves once, but I've not been able to find it. That was a lot tougher!

 

Adrian

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