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Author Topic: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box  (Read 986 times)

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Theo

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2019, 01:33:19 PM »

I don’t use the suspended bellows for checking valves, dealing with stuck reeds, adjusting reed set, and general troubleshooting of misbehaving reeds, or for rough tuning - for example when repitching from 435 to 440.

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2019, 02:46:09 PM »

"or for rough tuning - for example when repitching from 435 to 440."

Do you do that off the block, so to speak? Or after valving and waxing, with a "big hole" bellows, like Steve's?
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Theo

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2019, 03:35:02 PM »

If the reeds are already off the block (they usually are) then I take the pitch up before mounting them on the block.  Only if the wax and valves were all done recently would I do it on the block.
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Ken McAlack

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2019, 05:45:34 PM »

I'm curious. I'm a novice to Melodeon and Melodeon tuning so bear with me.
On a 2 voice box the reeds are generally M/M+ I presume. The "+" being the second reed which is tuned sharp to give a "wet" sound. This is done from "dry" tuning to very "wet" tuning.

I understand that reeds tuned in various stages,( ie  reeds alone, reeds in block, reeds in situ) , will have slightly different pitches. When reeds are out of the box the 2 reeds can be isolated to check their pitch, M being @440 and M+ being higher by whatever cents you chose.  So when the box is completely together and both reeds are sounding, how can you check the pitch of a particular note? Won't a tuner read it as sharp because of the M+ reed? I understand the human ear may perceive it as in tune but how do you actually check it with a tuner?

I hope this question makes sense to you tuning experts 8-)...

Ken
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2019, 06:18:28 PM »

So when the box is completely together and both reeds are sounding, how can you check the pitch of a particular note? Won't a tuner read it as sharp because of the M+ reed? I understand the human ear may perceive it as in tune but how do you actually check it with a tuner?
Yes, you are correct. An electronic tuner will usually pick up that the perceived pitch of the two reeds is sharp when they are sounding together. (I say usually, because some electronic tuners get confused by different pitches sounding together).

To actually measure the true pitch of each set of reeds you need to block off one set of reeds. This is mostly done by inserting a strip of paper underneath the appropriate reedblock vents and then reassembling the instrument. It will then only play the un-blocked reeds and you can then measure accurately the actual pitches produced by those reeds.

Some instruments have stops which allow you to isolate individual banks of reeds, so in that case there is no need to disassemble and place strips of paper under the reedblocks.
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Lester

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2019, 06:20:09 PM »

So when the box is completely together and both reeds are sounding, how can you check the pitch of a particular note? Won't a tuner read it as sharp because of the M+ reed? I understand the human ear may perceive it as in tune but how do you actually check it with a tuner?
Yes, you are correct. An electronic tuner will usually pick up that the perceived sound of the two reeds is sharp when they are sounding together. (I say usually, because some electronic tuners get confused by different pitches sounding together).

To actually measure the true pitch of each set of reeds you need to block off one set of reeds. This is mostly done by inserting a strip of paper underneath the appropriate reedblock vents and then reassembling the instrument. It will then only play the un-blocked reeds and you can then measure accurately the actual pitches produced by those reeds.

Some instruments have stops which allow you to isolate individual banks of reeds, so in that case there is no need to disassemble and place strips of paper under the reedblocks.
Or use Dirk's Tuner which can identify up to three reeds at the same time.

Steve_freereeder

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2019, 06:27:52 PM »

Or use Dirk's Tuner which can identify up to three reeds at the same time.
Yes - it's undoubtedly clever stuff, relying on Fourier analysis of the frequencies. But my strips of paper are cheaper than forking out €198  :o  and ultimately work just as well.
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Lester

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2019, 06:31:32 PM »

Or use Dirk's Tuner which can identify up to three reeds at the same time.
Yes - it's undoubtedly clever stuff, relying on Fourier analysis of the frequencies. But my strips of paper are cheaper than forking out €198  :o  and ultimately work just as well.
But much slower, and I'm not convinced that blocking off half the reeds doesn't affect how the remaining reeds sound.

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2019, 06:47:56 PM »

Or use Dirk's Tuner which can identify up to three reeds at the same time.
Yes - it's undoubtedly clever stuff, relying on Fourier analysis of the frequencies. But my strips of paper are cheaper than forking out €198  :o  and ultimately work just as well.
But much slower, and I'm not convinced that blocking off half the reeds doesn't affect how the remaining reeds sound.
Yes, it's slower. It must take me all of five minutes to change the strip of paper from one reed bank to another. I've never noticed any difference which inserting the strip makes to the remaining reeds. If there is any pitch difference, it must be minimal, a fraction of a cent or so, and hence well within the normal tolerance for tuning and setting up even a light tremolo.
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Ken McAlack

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2019, 08:18:12 PM »

Ok, so I take it that you need to block off one read at a time, tune the other reed and then reassemble to test. A lot of work isn't it?

The Dirk's tuner seems to be a good choice if it will read both reeds at the same time and tell you the value of each. Although a bit costly. But if you do this for a living  maybe well worth it.

Another question. Does it matter which reed (of a 2 voice box) is tuned to 440 and which is tuned sharp? In other words, does the position of a reed in the block determine it's tuning?

Ken
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Lester

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2019, 08:38:54 PM »

Ok, so I take it that you need to block off one read at a time, tune the other reed and then reassemble to test. A lot of work isn't it?

The Dirk's tuner seems to be a good choice if it will read both reeds at the same time and tell you the value of each. Although a bit costly. But if you do this for a living  maybe well worth it.

Another question. Does it matter which reed (of a 2 voice box) is tuned to 440 and which is tuned sharp? In other words, does the position of a reed in the block determine it's tuning?

Ken
No. But on a standard 2 row 2 voice Hohner with the block in front of you with low reeds to the left and high to the right you will almost always be looking at the pitch reeds. Need to be more careful on boxes with more voices and with stops as this may drive which reed set is on which side of the block.

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2019, 08:55:03 PM »

Thanks Lester & Steve. That answers a few of my questions. These melodeons are mysterious little boxes.
I'm really enjoying learning about them. Have a good evening.

Ken

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2019, 09:32:30 PM »

Quote
Ok, so I take it that you need to block off one read at a time, tune the other reed and then reassemble to test. A lot of work isn't it?

It doesn't have to be one reed at a time, you can block a whole set of reeds with a long strip of paper to solo/tune the other set.
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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2019, 11:09:59 PM »

Quote
Ok, so I take it that you need to block off one read at a time, tune the other reed and then reassemble to test. A lot of work isn't it?

It doesn't have to be one reed at a time, you can block a whole set of reeds with a long strip of paper to solo/tune the other set.

You can also ( at least you can on a 1 row) block off reeds from the front by lifting 3 or 4 keys all at once and slipping a piece of paper under them. the clogs either sde of the reed you are testing hold the paper firmly enough that the air takes the path of least resistance- past the other reed.
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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2019, 12:07:52 AM »

Quote
Ok, so I take it that you need to block off one read at a time, tune the other reed and then reassemble to test. A lot of work isn't it?

It doesn't have to be one reed at a time, you can block a whole set of reeds with a long strip of paper to solo/tune the other set.
Yes - that's what I meant and is general standard practice (unless you are using Dirk's tuner).
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RogerT

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2019, 07:55:37 AM »

Um..when tuning a wettiish (let’s say a Hohner) instrument, the thing you hear apart from the perceived pitch is the tremolo..the beats. Factory turned Hohner tend to be a bit hit and miss on the pitch but generally get the tremolo right. My theory is that once the reeds are closeish in pitch the tuner just gets the tremolo as it should be and doesn’t bother tweaking the pitch...because... differences of a few cents (up to 3 or 4) on a wet tuned instrument are very hard to detect, so why bother spending more time on it? This is my theory.
And...I just tuned a new £12k accordion and the factory tuning wasn’t 100% accurate!!

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2019, 08:05:13 AM »

Roger - I think you are right about the factory tuning for wettish Hohners. The other aspect is that the tuners probably have a big workload of instruments to get through and they do not have much time to spend working on each one.
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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2019, 08:24:21 AM »

Exactly.  Now, on my tuning table it sounds reeds a bit # of where they are in the box. Around the middle of the range 4 or 5 cents. The upside, when MM+ are put back in the box, is that the perceived pitch is shifted flatter and therefore closer to the target pitch, so, left uncorrected the result is a semi-Viennese tuning, which sounds sweeter than if I get the M reed bang on concert (which you need to do for LMM etc voices). Wet tuned two voice boxes with the M reed bang on concert sound a bit harsh to my ear, but that's just me.

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2019, 08:36:04 AM »

I just tuned a new £12k accordion and the factory tuning wasn’t 100% accurate!!
I have an older 20-button concertina from GDR (in octave tuning). At first I thought it to be badly out of tune, because many chords sounded horrible. But on closer inspection I had to admitt, that the octave sound of every note sound perfect, no beating at all. Even the buttons of the different octaves sound perfectly together. Than I looked even closer: The tuning of the instrument is in reality very near perfect – but perfect to an approximation to just intonation (a bit like diatonic harmonicas). But as fine as this may be for playing on the row, it produces some clashes when cross rowing.

What I want to say is: If you look at the tuning, don’t just look at the cents of your (willfully de-tuned) tuning devise and dismiss the fine tuners as »not 100 % accurate«, but search a possible pattern and a reason behind it.

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Re: Tuning Methodology- In the box or outside the box
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2019, 08:37:56 AM »

And...I just tuned a new £12k accordion and the factory tuning wasn’t 100% accurate!!

I visited a factory in Castelfidardo a while ago.  There was one guy working at tuning finished boxes.  One of the few things I managed to learn, hampered by our lack of a common language, was that the factory did not allow him enough time to do the tuning as well as he wanted to.
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