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Thread: Piano Scale System Diagnostic - closed (now piano video clips)

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    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor garylkoh's Avatar
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    Piano Scale System Diagnostic - closed (now piano video clips)

    Here's a track that I've found to be extremely useful in diagnosis of room/speaker interaction and speaker design. It is a recording of every key of a Fazioli grand piano done by Steve McCormack. The piano player is also Steve, and he said that he tried his best to hit each key equally hard.

    From Steve - "It was recorded at Soka University (where Jim Merod teaches and runs the "Jazz Monsters" concert series) several years ago. A Fazioli grand piano (a truly magnificent instrument) had been loaned for one of the concerts with Mike Garson. I recorded it to a MOTU 826HD via Firewire to my then Windows laptop. When the concert was over I waited until most of the people had left, then sat down at the piano and made this recording before teardown. Yes, it was 24/96 native, and done in stereo. The conversion to 16/44.1 was done in Wavelab, my standard at the time (these days I have superior tools from Izotope for doing up-or-down sampling)."

    Just in case anyone questions Steve's recording "chops" - he was one of the recording engineers behind some of the fabulous M&K Realtime direct-to-disc albums done in the 1970's.

    With a pair of well-designed loudspeakers, in a properly set-up room, each note should sound subjectively equally loud. If there is a big difference, especially from one note to the next, you have more work still to do (either in your loudspeaker design or your room set-up).
    Last edited by garylkoh; 10-21-2010 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Deleted useless links
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    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Thanks Gary
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    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    With all due respect Gary, this is far from a good diagnostic tool. As you can see from the 3 images that I've inserted. His "chops" must have not been in piano performance.
    As you can see in the first image that the RMS and peak values of each note being played is all over the map, with no consistency at all!
    The note being played at 41.7 seconds into the file is actually clipped as opposed to the note played at 2:45 is 6dB down!
    I really hope you don't set up Genesis speakers to this file.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Bruce A. Brown
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    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor garylkoh's Avatar
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    Hi Bruce,

    It's not the only tool I use. I found it extremely useful and decided to share it after a discussion at another thread.

    Steve said that he tried his best to hit each key equally hard, but may not have been entirely successful.

    Since you have a grand piano in your living room, could you do a better job and post it here?

    Cheers
    Gary
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    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    Hi Bruce,Since you have a grand piano in your living room, could you do a better job and post it here?

    Cheers
    Gary
    I'm sorry, but I don't see how the file could be useful to anyone.

    The only way I'd be able to do it is to take each individual note and adjust it up/down digitally in the workstation. The best thing would be to use a Yamaha Disclavier via midi.
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
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    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

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    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor garylkoh's Avatar
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    The most useful thing I find about this track is that each note from one to the next is subjectively equally loud. Each note should have the same character and timbre like they are from the same piano in the same acoustic. If there are obvious discontinuities, then coherence and integration between drivers is lacking, or the room may be emphasizing some one aspect or harmonics more than another. Further, listening to each note on a piano is instructive.

    It also reminds me that measurements aren't everything, and the ear is as important as all my instruments in measurement. Just getting a flat frequency response does not guarantee that a pair of loudspeakers will sound correct.

    Since you don't see how the file could be useful to anyone but me, I'll delete it. It was one of Steve's and my "secret tools". We'll continue to keep it secret.
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    Addicted to Best! naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Hi Gary,

    Thanks. I was able to download the CD version onto my laptop before you deleted the file. I may burn it to CD so that I can check my own spekaer placement in my room.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge

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    WBF Founding Member and Super Moderator RBFC's Avatar
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    Bruce,

    Perhaps a Midi-derived file with equal amplitudes could be one track of the WBF test/demo CD?????

    Lee
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    WBF Founding Member and Super Moderator JackD201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    I'm sorry, but I don't see how the file could be useful to anyone.

    The only way I'd be able to do it is to take each individual note and adjust it up/down digitally in the workstation. The best thing would be to use a Yamaha Disclavier via midi.
    In the spirit of WBF, Skip the disclavier and use this



    Someday, someday, someday.................

  10. #10
    WBF Technical Expert (Pro Audio Production)/Member Sponsor Bruce B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBFC View Post
    Bruce,

    Perhaps a Midi-derived file with equal amplitudes could be one track of the WBF test/demo CD?????

    Lee
    Sounds like a plan!

    Quote Originally Posted by JackD201 View Post
    In the spirit of WBF, Skip the disclavier and use this Someday, someday, someday.................
    Now that's what I'm talking about!
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
    Stereomojo reviewer
    Seattle, WA


    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

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