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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 05:19 AM
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Hello,
I received my Stroboflip yesterday and started to use it straight away. I immediately made comparisons with other tuners and was surprised to see that they did not fully agree - the Stroboflip being between 2 to 3 cents lower in pitch for the same note. I recorded using the same "line in" sound source using my Waveterminal sound card - which has about the best Analogue to Digital Converters on the market - and the Frequency registered as 440 (A) on the Stroboflip was between 1 to 0.5 Hz lower than it should be when the recording was analyzed with the FFT (Fast Fourier transformation) in Wavelab.

I have also used three different stand-alone tuners and although they don't have high precision displays they all show agreement that the pitch is flat. At the moment I'm a little bit shocked that the Stroboflip appears to be calibrated so inaccurately - so I'm hoping that I will discover a solution other than putting in a fixed offset correction. The error appears to be the same at all frequencies but I have not experimented enough to be sure. For the meantime I'll have to add an offset though of 2 cents.
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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 06:01 AM
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Perhaps this will shed more light on the situation:

I'm in Pythagorean temperament. If I use root C then everything appears to be ok - with A actually being 440hz. If I select root G then A drops to 439hz (Measured) even though I have it selected on the screen at 440Hz as the base reference and it remains the base in the unit's setup.

I have another software tuner that permits me to use root G and peg A at 440. When I compare this with the Stroboflip the results match the Stroboflip when it is set at root C. Root G appears to adjust the value of A to around 2 cents lower with the Stroboflip. This doesn't happen with my software tuner and unless I'm mistaken (which I may well be) it shouldn't happen with the Stroboflip either.

Help will be appreciated!
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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 08:02 AM
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So far It appears that in Pythagorean temperament the "base note" follows the root selection no matter what is selected in "Setup". The manual says that there is a choice between Concert A or Root reference points - but in this case that's not happening. I'll try deliberately selecting "Root" in the "Temp Base" menu (it's currently set at A) and see if that perversely causes the opposite to happen!
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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 08:11 AM
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Nope! Only setting that gives A=440 is root C with Concert A base selected. Assuming that is intentional, what are you supposed to do if you are practicing in the key of G? All the open strings are correct but the infamous "Comma" must rear it's ugly head somewhere!
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John Norris
post Apr 17 2008, 11:36 AM
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Hi Ian,
The StroboFlip has to serve two masters when it comes to non-Equal temperaments.

1. There are those who view temperaments in a classical sense, with A as an immovable 440Hz (or 390Hz, 415Hz, 430Hz etc.) and the root at whatever cent value that implies. These people want to tune their instruments so that their C is the root and A is a fixed Concert A at XXXHz (whatever Concert pitch they choose). This is how all multi-temperament tuners work.

2. There are those (like you) who are not bound by the limitations of keyboard instruments and want to move the root around, but always have the root to be consonant with Equal temperament, thereby shifting every other note's cent value accordingly.
Such people are not concerned with having A always be Concert pitch, because in a multi-root situation, that is impossible, and indeed un-musical.
The people in this group are horn players, string players, vocalists, indeed anyone who plays an instrument that is "free" of the limitations of keyboard or fretted instruments.

Although both groups are largely ignorant of each others needs, we knew and foresaw this hitherto unadressed issue when we designed the StroboFlip, so we included a feature which is unique.
We call this the Base Note (or TMPR Base).

Out of the box, the StroboFlip's temperaments (the ones in the TMPR section, not the Sweeteners) are set so that A reflects what you set the concert A to be. That satisfies group 1.

For Group 2 people like yourself, who want to explore all of the temperaments in the StroboFlip in different root formations, you know that Concert A is now moot and the root should be the guv'nor, not concert A.
Proceed as follows.
Before you switch the StroboFlip on, press and hold the AUTO/MAN (Setup+On) button, then press the ON button.



You'll see this screen:



Ignore this and press SETUP again:



This screen appears:



Use one of the ARROW buttons to change the setting from A=00.0C to ROOT=00.0C (or C=00.0C on earlier versions)

Press the SAVE button twice to save this setting.

Now all you need to do when you want to use a non-Equal temperament in different roots is to change the ROOT to D for a D chord and A for an A chord and so on, the tuner will know which notes need to be flattened or sharpened automatically and the root will be consonant with Equal temperament.

How to change the ROOT:

Switch the StroboFlip on, press the DROP/KEY button twice, the ROOT screen appears:



Use the ARROW buttons to change the ROOT to A, D, F# or whichever one you want.

John N.
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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for the response. There's something still doesn't seem to fit here though - perhaps just my understanding.

A I have a Pythagorean scale
B The scale is in the key of C
C I want to play in the key of G
D I think that for this I need to select root G
E If I select root G then the open strings (including A) on my violin are no longer in tune.
F If I use a tuner that permits (Chromatia software) root G and the repositioning of A at 440 - then I can play in G and all the notes will be correct for the violin without retuning the open strings.
G I don't have this option with the stroboscope

I have already been told on this forum that I don't need to re-tune the violin to play in different keys. The "sweetened tuning" appears to set the violin to A at 440 and Just fifths - as it should be - as does the Pythagorean tuning in C. This is then used for playing in all keys - without retuning. To be able to monitor intonation it is necessary then to change the key and to maintain A at 440 simultaneously. Violinists - whether aware or not generally play in Pythagorean scales and only adapt to equal temperament on sustained notes with other musicians and to Just Intonation for certain harmonies (double stopping).

I'm worried that I can't actually use this device to track my intonation - which is what I bought it for - and I don't see the solution in your response - though perhaps it is there.
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John Norris
post Apr 17 2008, 02:53 PM
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Hi Ian,
Nailing A to 440Hz and changing roots can actually force you out of tune in a few cases. The overwhelming response from musicians who wanted this feature was to keep the root at 00.0 cents for that reason, it's musical.

If you want to stay on the traditional side of the tracks with A, just move the base note to A=00.0 and don't change roots, the Pythagorean perfect fifths that you want are all there except in one case, so changing keys isn't an issue.

The third option is to programme your own system, the StroboFlip has eight user programmable temperaments.
If you need help working them out, let me know the keys you want to play in Pythagorean with a static A and I will list the offsets for you.

John N.
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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 03:02 PM
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Something else doesn't fit:

I'm currently in PYT tuning with root G.
I can display on the bottom right hand corner of my screen "A440.0" - even though A is currently NOT 440. If I now use the arrows, I get on the second line top right of the display, a new value for A displayed in 0.5hz increments. Why is this all on the screen if it is not valid in this mode?
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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 03:20 PM
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Regardless of the answer to my last question (which is the same no matter what the "base" setup is) I think that you are trying to tell me that if I remain in C at A440 then the pythagorean scales will be correct in any key on the violin - without retuning the open strings. If you don't mind, what is the "one case" that isn't? I'm sure that I can work it out eventually and perhaps that's just part of a musician's work - but any time saved here is more time playing.

I'm wondering if there will be a problem if I try to use Just Intonation along with Pythagorean. How can I even measure this? If I know a note is say 33 cents different there is no figure to let me know if I'm there or not. Guess this is where I'll have to rely on my ear and beat frequencies.
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John Norris
post Apr 17 2008, 03:26 PM
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Hi Ian,
If you adjust the cent control it will also stay at 440Hz, even though that is not technically the case either.

Updating the 440Hz reference display with every other change of parameter is not useful and would result in confusion.
If you wander off the beaten track of C rooted, A based temperaments, the Concert A is musically no longer a factor.

(Converted Post)
if I remain in C at A440 then the pythagorean scales will be correct in any key on the violin - without retuning the open strings. If you don't mind, what is the "one case" that isn't?


The imperfect interval is Ab to Eb (or as seen on the screen G# to D#).

(Converted Post)
I'm wondering if there will be a problem if I try to use Just Intonation along with Pythagorean.


There is a chart with the Just scale degrees in the StroboFlip manual which gives the offsets for each degree.
These are also preset in the StroboFlip (JMA & JMI).


John N
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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 03:44 PM
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Hi John,

I find it confusing that there is information on the screen that does not actually apply - it has made it harder for me to know what I'm dealing with. If I hadn't made comparisons with other tuners and analyzed the frequencies I would not even have a clue that the information on the screen didn't apply. In addition the manual states:

"For temperaments, the StroboFlip offers a choice between Concert A or Root reference points. When Concert A is active, the tuner's reference point will be A4 at 440Hz. When Root is selected, the tuner's reference point is whatever temperament root is active at any given time."

I think the manual needs a re-write and a reference made to redundant information on the screen. Either that or I'm just getting too tired and not understanding anything anymore - it's almost 1am here in France. Signing off...
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Ian
post Apr 17 2008, 03:50 PM
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Sorry, we are jumping over each other in question and response. Do you recommend that I program scales that use offsets for just intonation - when required only to harmonize occasionally? Likewise, because I cannot have a "static A" I'd have to program for each different key?

Have to sleep! No wonder people just give up and rot in Equal Temperament hell.
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Ian
post Apr 18 2008, 01:35 AM
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(Converted Post)
The imperfect interval is Ab to Eb (or as seen on the screen G# to D#).


If I understand correctly this is the case for the key of C and it will be covered automatically when in PYT tuning in C.

For all the other keys I'll have to program a key specific tuning to get it right for the violin - which has a fixed open A.

I play traditional fiddle so I have to use the open strings (unlike some classical music.) It is impractical to re-tune for every key I play in even if it is perhaps "more musical". Using the tuning system of the Stroboflip implies that a violinist has to learn different finger positions for every single note in every different key! This just doesn't seem sensible or feasible.

It is now fairly clear that the Stroboflip does not give a choice of static A or root base (as suggested otherwise by the manual) - PYT temperament only works on a moving root base somehow related to root C being the only instance of A at 440Hz.(That "somehow" is not clear)

If I only use Just Intonation for 3rds and 6ths to harmonize, then is it possible to display those notes in addition to the basic Pythagorean scale? Currently I don't think there is a way of doing it (though I hope there is) and as there is no indication of cents on the Stroboflip screen there is no way to improvise.

At the moment I'm feeling disappointed in the Stroboflip and if I hadn't purchased it from across the Atlantic I'd probably return it. I have $13 software in my computer that simply does what I want and here I paid $330 (including shipping etc) for hardware that has so far confused me, misled me and left me struggling. I'm hoping that this will improve.
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Ian
post Apr 18 2008, 02:13 AM
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I just programmed my own scale (T-1 slot)
I set the Temperament Base at "A=0"

When I change root the A does not remain at 440 so A is NOT the Temperament Base at all.

Could you please give me the offsets required for Pythagorean scales in all keys as there is no way to keep a fixed base in this machine when changing the tonic. I will have to program every scale.
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Ian
post Apr 18 2008, 02:56 AM
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Scenario:

User programmed temperament.
Master tuning (Base) set at A = 0 (440)for the unit.

Select new tonic (root) (same as changing key on a piano etc)

Change A to 440.5 on the Screen

A measures 439Hz in reality.


If you don't think this is likely to seriously mislead people - then I think that you are mistaken.

I am only learning about intonation, but I used to be a full time computer programmer for real-time physical operations in heavy industry in the North Sea. Unless I'm seriously mistaken (which is always very possible) then you need to sack your programmers. I would have killed people in industry if my programming was so sloppy and misleading as this appears to be.
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Ian
post Apr 18 2008, 03:10 AM
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Here's a possible practical solution.

I observe that when using different roots the base note can be adjusted by adding or subtracting cents - but not by altering the frequency of A.

Could you please supply me with the precise corrections - in cents - to bring A back to 440Hz for each root for the PTY temperament. This way I can make up a sheet and manually "fix" A to 440Hz - entering a correction each time I change key.

I have not even started to look at Just Intonation but I imagine that the same will be required there as the master tuning (base) cannot be fixed at 440.

If I can have this for all the scales and combinations I'll compile a table and make it available for any others who have this issue. I suspect that more people do have this issue but are not aware because they have not made comparisons with another tuner in Just Intonation.
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Ian
post Apr 18 2008, 03:26 AM
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Also, I don't understand your first response (with diagrams) indicating that I should change the base to "root". From what I can make out it makes absolutely no difference - the moment I select a new root it changes the base no matter what is setup initially. If this is the case what was the purpose of that response? Am I missing something?
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Ian
post Apr 18 2008, 05:15 AM
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I'm slowly learning.

If I do re-tune the violin with the stroboflip - for each new key - then I get a sound that's more consonant with a guitar etc. (Equal Temperament).(Would this also be the case if the guitar used a sweetened tuning?) Also, I don't have to learn new fingering as the strings are always in perfect fifths - just the reference frequency (base) has changed effectively - to one that will give a better consonance in general even if the other instruments remain at 440 in EQ temperament.

Likewise, all I need is the offset for A in cents from 440 for each key to be able to set up corrections if I want A to be static and to change root.

I think that Just Intonation will be more complicated as it builds with just fifths and thirds combined. I'm not really worried about Just Intonation (of which Pythagorean is only a subset) as it is not so important here.

Still it's a shame that there is not a choice of making the A static and that it can lead to so much confusion the way it is presented. The "base" in the setup appears only to apply to Equal Temperament and not to historical temperaments.

Could I please just have the list of correction in cents for A so that I can access it when I need it?

Shifting the base with each key is perhaps more "musical", but I can't see myself constantly re-tuning the violin on stage. I only normally play in about 4 or 5 different keys. The Pythagorean Comma must move around depending on which key is being used - so I'd like the tuner to be able to warn me when I'm false or when it's the Comma - even when I have a static A.
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Ian
post Apr 18 2008, 08:09 AM
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I measured the offsets for keeping A at 440 in PYT temperament to be roughly:
A -6
Bflat +4
B -10
C 0
C# +10
D -4
Eflat +6
E -8
F +2
F# -12
G -2
Aflat +8

I still can't get over the fact that there is no option for fixing A at 440. I used a free shareware tuner to look at the difference. Every tuner I come across allows A to be fixed. I must have bought the only tuner on the planet that won't let me do it.
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John Norris
post Apr 18 2008, 10:06 AM
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Hi Ian,
(Converted Post)
I don't understand your first response (with diagrams) indicating that I should change the base to "root". From what I can make out it makes absolutely no difference


Actually, it makes a big difference, but I think you may realise this now.

(Converted Post)
I'm slowly learning.

If I do re-tune the violin with the stroboflip - for each new key - then I get a sound that's more consonant with a guitar etc. (Equal Temperament).(Would this also be the case if the guitar used a sweetened tuning?) Also, I don't have to learn new fingering as the strings are always in perfect fifths - just the reference frequency (base) has changed effectively - to one that will give a better consonance in general even if the other instruments remain at 440 in EQ temperament.

Correct.
(Converted Post)
The "base" in the setup appears only to apply to Equal Temperament and not to historical temperaments.

The base has absolutely no affect on Equal temperament, since ET is rootless.
(Converted Post)
I still can't get over the fact that there is no option for fixing A at 440
I must have bought the only tuner on the planet that won't let me do it.


You've actually bought the only tuner that will let you change roots - fixed A or no fixed A.
Once again to clarify, the StroboFlip allows A to be 440Hz unless you move away from the root of C in an unequal temperament.

No other tuner, and by tuner I mean a physical hardware tuner, will allow you anything but a menu of classic temperaments with a fixed A BUT also a fixed root of C.

As for software tuners, we do have the facility in our own software tuner, StroboSoft, to show the comparison.
Here are all 12 roots expressed in Pythagorean temperament, with two offsets side by side for each note.
The first offset reflects the respective root fixed at 00.0 cents and the second offset (in brackets) reflects a fixed A at 00.0 cents with the resultant affect on the root in each key.
There is no one offset which will keep A at 440Hz while moving roots.
When the note A is fixed at a constant value while changing roots, it produces temperaments with intervals which would fall off the scale - such as in Just Intonation - this would produce notes which would be almost 50 cents (1 quarter tone) away from ET, added to that, it produces a circle of roots/tonics which is very "ragged" and does not conform to any melodic scale.
This is why we decided the most useful option for the StroboFlip was to have even-tempered roots.





















[img]http://www.petersontuners.com/images/forum_images/ROOT%20Bb.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.petersontuners.com/images/forum_images/ROOT%20B.jpg[/img]

Nevertheless, if you are dissatisfied with the StroboFlip for whatever reason, I'm sure I can arrange for a refund, just let me know where you purchased it.
However, you will not find another hardware tuner which approaches its abilities in this price class.

John N.
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Ian
post Apr 21 2008, 11:58 AM
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Hello,

Satisfied or not I'll have to live with it because of prohibitive shipping and import charges that I'll never recover.

It is extremely disappointing that your hardware tuner cannot do what your software one does easily. However, lets accept that and move on.

I want some considerable confusion to be cleared up if possible.

Issue 1:
The manual implies that in tempered scales there is a choice between fixing A or using roots which change A. So far this does not appear to make any difference, with scales such as PYT only relating to the root. I would appreciate a CLEAR and uncomplicated account of the situation here. I mentioned before that selecting either A or Root as "base" appears to make no difference due to this - and this has not changed for me.

Issue 2:
The screen shows the frequency of A incorrectly. Even when A is selected as Base in the Setup, the value for A displayed on the screen does not apply when the root is changed from the default. Due to the fact that there is no other frequency indication on the screen and there is no apparent warning of this situation in the manual, the only way to be sure of the frequency engaged is to verify by an external source - unless you give us unambiguous information on the issue.

Issue 3:
The last response with screen shots omitted the F# scale by mistake. Once again there is an absence of clarity - with the "two" offsets not being clearly identified.

Issue 4: My own proposal for simply offsetting the "A" in cents, to compensate for the lack of the option of fixing A in the device needs verification. Will the other strings on the violin be correctly tuned for each key if the device is left in C and the A moved around correspondingly for each key - can I use the tuner this way?

Issue 5: What do I do for Just intonation if I want to remain with a fixed A - bearing in mind that Just Intonation also gives perfect fifths and so suits a violin but moving the A around with the root does not suit violins due to the impractical need for constant re-tuning.

Issue 6: Is there any way to upgrade the onboard firmware so that the A can be fixed (as implied by the manual)in tempered scales if required.

Issue 7: I have only heard of the term "root" before being used in terms of chords - not scales and it does not appear to be used as the basis for tuning an instrument anywhere else. Perhaps this gives an advantage - I don't know. Why remove the choice of fixing A when it seems that it was even intended and understood as such by the technical authors of the manual? Is it an error in the production of the device? This may be the only tuner that does adapt to roots, but it is also the only one that does not give a fixed A. Open strings are FIXED.

Issue 8: Say I'm working with another musician who is in Equal Temperament. I'm playing mainly pythagorean scales but I want to hit a few notes in just intonation. How can I set my tuner so as to simply verify those notes in any key - bearing in mind I'm NOT going to re-tune the violin? This would be utterly simple with a fixed A - but appears to be horrendously complicated and impractical with this device.

Issue 9: Are you considering permitting a fixed A in future models, plus a readout of actual frequency and perhaps cents (both of which are of great practical benefit). Using the strobe is fine, but it gives no indication how far off the tuning is during the tuning process. You cant tell if you are 1 cent or 10 cents off - all you get is the "strobe" - which although it is obviously accurate it is not extremely informative. You are either in tune or not - but you don't know how far off you really are.


I'm hoping that I will come to appreciate the virtues of this device in time and that I might learn from it. I would however have liked something that made my life more simple not more complicated and at the moment it appears - due to the scales being based exclusively on chord roots - to have seriously over complicated things - making it very easy for me to lose my bearings when using the device.Perhaps this is my lack of understanding or inexperience. If this is not so I would appreciate your honesty on the matter.
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John Norris
post Apr 21 2008, 01:37 PM
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Hi Ian,
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Satisfied or not I'll have to live with it because of prohibitive shipping and import charges that I'll never recover.[/QUOTE]
Did you not buy it in France?
[QUOTE=Converted Post]It is extremely disappointing that your hardware tuner cannot do what your software one does easily. However, lets accept that and move on.
[/QUOTE]
Thats unfortunate, but we are talking about a portable device which has a fraction of the screen area of a regular computer and no other hardware device comes close to it as it is.
Fixing A in a multi-root situation is, I repeat, not useful - or musical, nor requested by anyone so far.
You do not need to change the root, its that simple!
[QUOTE=Converted Post]The manual implies that in tempered scales there is a choice between fixing A or using roots which change A. So far this does not appear to make any difference.
[/QUOTE]
Out of the box (base note setting is A=0), temperaments are fixed at A, leaving the root at whatever cent value that implies.
In the case of Pythagorean temperament, when A is fixed at 440Hz, the root of the temperament, C, is at +5.9 cents.
That is classic Pythagorean temperament with a fixed root of C, forget about changing the root, it is simply not done in this situation.
NOW change the base note to Root=0, this time the root, C, is at 0.00 cents and the A is consequently lowered, when you proceed to Root C#, it will be at 00.0 cents too, but the A will be changing with each root change.
So, what I am trying to explain to you is that you have a choice of TEMPERAMENT which by its definition is a group of twelve notes with a fixed root of C at exactly the Concert A Hz you want.
OR
A choice of roots, all of which are at 0 cents while the other notes in the octave, including of course A, are rearranged in accordance with the pitch of the root.
Concert A is then irrelevant.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]The screen shows the frequency of A incorrectly. Even when A is selected as Base in the Setup, the value for A displayed on the screen does not apply when the root is changed from the default.[/QUOTE]
When temperament is selected and the base remains A (default), the A is relevant and correct.
It is when roots are selected, that A becomes irrelevant, which it should.
Changing the Concert A to accurately reflect changes in real time would require more than an incremental 0.5Hz resolution, given that the tuner's actual tuning resolution itself is 0.1 cent, it was decided to leave it be, screen space being at a premium.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]The last response with screen shots omitted the F# scale by mistake. Once again there is an absence of clarity[/QUOTE]
No, thats a simple URL error, now fixed.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]My own proposal for simply offsetting the "A" in cents, to compensate for the lack of the option of fixing A in the device needs verification. Will the other strings on the violin be correctly tuned for each key if the device is left in C and the A moved around correspondingly for each key - can I use the tuner this way?
[/QUOTE]
I have not checked your numbers, but to do as you wish to do, you would first make sure that the base is in Root=0, select Pythagorean and then when you change root, adjust the cents to artificially bring A to 0 cents.
These would be:
Root C - adjust by -5.9 cents
Root C# - adjust by -15.6
Root D - adjust by -2 cents
Root D# - adjust by -11.8
Root E - adjust by +1.8
Root F - adjust by -7.9
Root F# - adjust by +5.9
Root G - adjust by -3.9
Root G# - adjust by -13.6
Root A - do not adjust
Root A# - adjust by -9.8
Root B - adjust by +3.9
[QUOTE=Converted Post]What do I do for Just intonation if I want to remain with a fixed A - bearing in mind that Just Intonation also gives perfect fifths and so suits a violin but moving the A around with the root does not suit violins due to the impractical need for constant re-tuning.
[/QUOTE]
As I mentioned, fixing A at 440Hz and changing the root while using Just Intonation is not practical, the bigger cent offsets will send you spinning off the 12 tone scale.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Is there any way to upgrade the onboard firmware so that the A can be fixed (as implied by the manual)in tempered scales if required.
[/QUOTE]
There is no need, the tuner presents the classical temperaments as they have always been, with a fixed A at whatever Hz you choose.
Roots have never entered into it. The root comes into its own when used with Just and custom tunings which need to be transposed.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]I have only heard of the term "root" before being used in terms of chords - not scales and it does not appear to be used as the basis for tuning an instrument anywhere else. Perhaps this gives an advantage - I don't know.[/QUOTE]
Almost all diatonic instruments use some temperament, Just or self-programmed, apply the root and tune from there.
Reed instruments such as concertina, accordion, harmonica, all pay attention to the root.
All brass instruments intonate to the root of whatever chord they are playing off, this root is usually equally tempered, hence the way StroboFlip works and your own observances a few posts back while using it.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Why remove the choice of fixing A when it seems that it was even intended and understood as such by the technical authors of the manual?[/QUOTE]
No such inference of such an unnatural function was intended (or even ever requested).
The software contains a reference to a fixed A in different roots, I insisted upon it as we have the space on a computer screen to show everything, but as yet, I have heard from no-one who uses it.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Say I'm working with another musician who is in Equal Temperament. I'm playing mainly pythagorean scales but I want to hit a few notes in just intonation. How can I set my tuner so as to simply verify those notes in any key - bearing in mind I'm NOT going to re-tune the violin? This would be utterly simple with a fixed A - but appears to be horrendously complicated and impractical with this device.[/QUOTE]
No tuner can discern what key and root you are in and display the commensurate cent discrepancy when it comes to non-equal temperaments.
A fixed A makes matters worse, not better.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Are you considering permitting a fixed A in future models, plus a readout of actual frequency and perhaps cents[/QUOTE]
No, we already have everything anyone would need in terms of dancing numbers in StroboSoft, but at a resolution of 0.1 cents, all you would see is a rapidly scrolling bank of numbers.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]I'm hoping that I will come to appreciate the virtues of this device in time and that I might learn from it.[/QUOTE]
Yes, hopefully.

John N.
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Ian
post Apr 22 2008, 03:12 PM
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Thank you for your patience - I'll need some time to digest the responses - but here's a go at getting on top of it..

(Converted Post)
There is no need, the tuner presents the classical temperaments as they have always been, with a fixed A at whatever Hz you choose.


Which temperaments are the "classical temperaments" as opposed to "historical temperaments"?

From what I understand now the "base" will shift the PYT scale in C only.
(Converted Post)
In the case of Pythagorean temperament, when A is fixed at 440Hz, the root of the temperament, C, is at +5.9 cents
Do you mean here +5.9 cents from the Equal Temperament C? Is Root=0 relative to Equal Temperament starting from A=440?

When reading the strobe display is there a way of knowing roughly how many cents you are off? The strobe itself may give up to 0.1 cents accuracy, but how can I know the accuracy of my skill in interpreting the strobe - without recourse to another software tuner? The Stroboflip user has no "frequencies" or "cents" in sight to give a reference or check point. This means a very clear understanding of the setup and function is required to ensure the right frequency is used as well as skill in interpretation. I notice that not all the rotating blocks will stop at once. Is there a way to interpret those intermediate stages towards all the blocks stopping on the screen?

I understand that there is not much space on the screen, so why didn't the designers REMOVE irrelevant information (such as A=XXXX) when it is inactive and inappropriate? This would make the screen even less cluttered and less confusing. Once you know it is not active then it is not such an issue - but that returns us to my first question - which are the classical scales that make a fixed A relevant? Are there any that DO allow a root change whilst keeping A fixed? You said before that Equal Temperament is rootless so can I still change the root? It appears that I can so I imagine that is just equivalent to changing key. Trouble is that the display now reads KEY and ROOT values - so I assume that the KEY is a transposition and the ROOT is the actual Key? Is this not a bit confusing too?

Will I work this out or go mad first?

Next thing is how to figure out how to apply all this correctly to the violin. For the most part I think that moving around "A based" PYT will do fine. Perhaps when I record in a certain key with another musician I can re-tune the violin to that key in root=0. I just don't believe that any violinist will play a different 4th fingered A on the D string for every single scale (but perhaps they do in response to their ear!), with C being the only scale that permits the open A string! I know that tests have shown that violinists approximate to Pythagorean scales when they play - but not exactly - and this may be the reason why. It's often said that classical musicians don't play open strings but fiddlers do. Guess I want the best of both worlds here.

On the other hand, perhaps it is best to re-tune the violin to root=0 for each key where it is possible and just accept a certain dissonance where it is not and open strings are played. Most people probably wouldn't spot it anyway.
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Ian
post Apr 23 2008, 02:47 AM
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I think that I may have been misled by the relatively simplistic cheap software tuners on the market. None of them have an option of using the root as a base - so they are all permanently set with A as base. This is very seductive for a violinist just trying to get into natural temperaments as it means that there is no need to adapt the open tuning of the instrument - but I'm beginning to see that it is probably simplistic and misleading as well as wishful thinking.

Looks like the Stroboflip will turn out to be very educational.

Could you clarify some of my last questions please. Some of my questions my seem silly to you, but from the perspective of someone in my position they are nonetheless significant. I teach sport myself and know that it is all too easy to forget how big a gap there is between levels of awareness.
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Ian
post Apr 23 2008, 05:35 AM
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Most fiddle music uses scales and modes in A,C,D,E and G. It seems that in the centre of all of this is D. Form this it appears that if I want a compromise I'm best to tune to root D instead of A.

in addition - to quote W.A. Mathieu (Harmonic Experience)
(Converted Post)
During medieval times in Europe... The Dorian mode... occupied the centre of the harmonic aesthetic. D Dorian to be precise. The note D had become, roughly, the central reference pitch. This is still true: D, not C. The strings of our modern orchestra are still tuned as shown...


Perhaps your efforts have not been wasted on me completely!
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John Norris
post Apr 23 2008, 01:24 PM
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Hi Ian,
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Which temperaments are the "classical temperaments" as opposed to "historical temperaments"?[/QUOTE]
To me they are one and the same, I suppose if you were to make a distinction, Just and Pythagorean could be regarded as historical and Werckmeister, Kirnberger etc. classical.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]From what I understand now the "base" will shift the PYT scale in C only.[/QUOTE]
In C and A, when base note A=0 is chosen, in C root, A will be 440Hz (or whatever you adjust it to). Of course when A is the root, it will also be 440Hz, so there are two instances really.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]In the case of Pythagorean temperament, when A is fixed at 440Hz, the root of the temperament, C, is at +5.9 cents
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you mean here +5.9 cents from the Equal Temperament C?[/QUOTE]
Yes, all calculations are made by distance from Equal temperament.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Is Root=0 relative to Equal Temperament starting from A=440? [/QUOTE]
Yes, that's correct. When Root=0, all roots are relative to Equal temperament at whatever concert pitch you set the tuner to.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Is there a way to interpret those intermediate stages towards all the blocks stopping on the screen?[/QUOTE]
The biggest blocks (on the left) are indicative of the fundamental, but the behaviour of the other bands of blocks has more to do with harmonic content than with distance from desired pitch. Real-time "cent number" display was something we considered, but to do so we would have to dumb-down the accuracy, which was not something we wanted to do. We did add that feature and much more to StroboSoft though, for what its worth.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]why didn't the designers REMOVE irrelevant information (such as A=XXXX) when it is inactive and inappropriate?[/QUOTE]
Because the A reference still has some validity in that it affects the root, albeit indirectly. It only appears if you press the Hz button, disabling the button conditionally would be difficult.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]which are the classical scales that make a fixed A relevant?Are there any that DO allow a root change whilst keeping A fixed?[/QUOTE]
No, a few hundred years ago temperaments were conceived as a single set; C to C with A being the concert pitch reference, because they were originally developed chiefly for keyboard instruments such as organs and harpsichords.
I'm sure you've heard the term "Key Colour", referring to the different levels of consonance and dissonance when playing in various keys in an unequal temperament fixed in one key ©.
Here's something I dug up from Christian Schubart's "Ideen zu einer Ästhetik der Tonkunst" (1806):

C major Completely Pure. Its character is: innocence, simplicity, naïvety, children's talk.
C minor Declaration of love and at the same time the lament of unhappy love. All languishing, longing, sighing of the love-sick soul lies in this key.
Db major A leering key, degenerating into grief and rapture. It cannot laugh, but it can smile; it cannot howl, but it can at least grimace its crying.--Consequently only unusual characters and feelings can be brought out in this key.
D major The key of triumph, of Hallejuahs, of war-cries, of victory-rejoicing. Thus, the inviting symphonies, the marches, holiday songs and heaven-rejoicing choruses are set in this key.
D minor Melancholy womanliness, the spleen and humours brood.
D# minor Feelings of the anxiety of the soul's deepest distress, of brooding despair, of blackest depresssion, of the most gloomy condition of the soul. Every fear, every hesitation of the shuddering heart, breathes out of horrible D# minor. If ghosts could speak, their speech would approximate this key.
Eb major The key of love, of devotion, of intimate conversation with God.
E major Noisy shouts of joy, laughing pleasure and not yet complete, full delight lies in E Major.
F major Complaisance & calm.
F minor Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave.
F# major Triumph over difficulty, free sigh of relief uttered when hurdles are surmounted; echo of a soul which has fiercely struggled and finally conquered lies in all uses of this key.
F# minor A gloomy key: it tugs at passion as a dog biting a dress. Resentment and discontent are its language.
G major Everything rustic, idyllic and lyrical, every calm and satisfied passion, every tender gratitude for true friendship and faithful love,--in a word every gentle and peaceful emotion of the heart is correctly expressed by this key.
G minor Discontent, uneasiness, worry about a failed scheme; bad-tempered gnashing of teeth; in a word: resentment and dislike.
Ab major Key of the grave. Death, grave, putrefaction, judgment, eternity lie in its radius.
Ab minor Grumbler, heart squeezed until it suffocates; wailing lament, difficult struggle; in a word, the colour of this key is everything struggling with difficulty.
A major This key includes declarations of innocent love, satisfaction with one's state of affairs; hope of seeing one's beloved again when parting; youthful cheerfulness and trust in God.
A minor Pious womanliness and tenderness of character.
Bb major Cheerful love, clear conscience, hope aspiration for a better world.
Bb minor A quaint creature, often dressed in the garment of night. It is somewhat surly and very seldom takes on a pleasant countenance. Mocking God and the world; discontented with itself and with everything; preparation for suicide sounds in this key.
B major Strongly coloured, announcing wild passions, composed from the most glaring colours. Anger, rage, jealousy, fury, despair and every burden of the heart lies in its sphere.
B minor This is as it were the key of patience, of calm awaiting ones's fate and of submission to divine dispensation.

I suppose it's another argument against Equal temperament, since Equal T. removes much of the colour.

The StroboFlip adds a root function which can change all the above around, but then you have to forget about A being fixed at a certain Hz, its the root that takes over as the reference note. You'll notice that on the chart on page 36 of the manual, the offsets are expressed in scale degree and solfege terms, you can also see what happens to A when you transpose Just Intonation through all 12 keys.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Trouble is that the display now reads KEY and ROOT values - so I assume that the KEY is a transposition and the ROOT is the actual Key? Is this not a bit confusing too?
[/QUOTE]
Yes it is, unfortunately. It stems from the fact that in the tuning world, the term KEY refers to a control that transposes notes played on a non-C instrument, these are traditionally Eb saxophone, Bb trumpet & French Horn in F etc. Our earlier tuners were transposable in those "keys" only, we decided to change to all 12 keys on tuners made in the last 10 years or so.
It's there for those who need to transpose the note and root independantly for whatever reason.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Will I work this out or go mad first?
[/QUOTE]
You'll work it out, it is confusing at first though.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]It's often said that classical musicians don't play open strings but fiddlers do.[/QUOTE]
That's a very interesting observation, I'm reminded of Paddy Glackin's work with Jolyon Jackson on "Hidden Gound".
[QUOTE=Converted Post]perhaps it is best to re-tune the violin to root=0 for each key where it is possible and just accept a certain dissonance where it is not and open strings are played.[/QUOTE]
My experience is that tuning for the particular piece of music is certainly worth it, I know of ex-colleagues who would even consciously tune percussion relative to the key of the music being recorded, so I would have to agree with you there.
[QUOTE=Converted Post] I think that I may have been misled by the relatively simplistic cheap software tuners on the market. None of them have an option of using the root as a base - so they are all permanently set with A as base. This is very seductive for a violinist just trying to get into natural temperaments as it means that there is no need to adapt the open tuning of the instrument - but I'm beginning to see that it is probably simplistic and misleading as well as wishful thinking.
[/QUOTE]
Many software developers play with databases without thinking of the musical repercussions. Personally, I regard "free" tuning software as worthless, because the developers have neither the impetus nor the knowledge to produce anything worthwhile.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Most fiddle music uses scales and modes in A,C,D,E and G. It seems that in the centre of all of this is D. Form this it appears that if I want a compromise I'm best to tune to root D instead of A.

in addition - to quote W.A. Mathieu (Harmonic Experience)
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
During medieval times in Europe... The Dorian mode... occupied the centre of the harmonic aesthetic. D Dorian to be precise. The note D had become, roughly, the central reference pitch. This is still true: D, not C. The strings of our modern orchestra are still tuned as shown...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[/QUOTE]
Try it! I would be interested to know how you get on. D as a root is certainly present in some medieval instruments.
The only one I can think of that is relatively current would be the Irish Uilleann Pipes which are tuned to drone in D.
They are tuned to a D root (the root being Equally tempered relative to 440Hz) in a Just flavoured tuning as opposed to Scottish Great Highland Pipes which are tuned to an A root at 476Hz and also in Just intonation.
When Mathieu says that the D Dorian mode was the centre of the harmonic aesthetic, was he not forgetting that to have a Dorian mode in the first place, you must refer to C as the tonic?
Back in olden days, ancient organs were the only fixed form of reference for tuning and the keyboard does lend a certain weight to C as a note and a key, would you agree?
Especially since C is smack in the middle of the keyboard.
[QUOTE=Converted Post]Perhaps your efforts have not been wasted on me completely![/QUOTE]
Its always a pleasure for us when our tuners are used by knowledgeable musicians such as yourself, it's been a very interesting discussion!

John N.
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Ian
post Apr 24 2008, 01:46 PM
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Well my understanding of the Stroboflip changed enormously since the beginning of this post when I was panicking about "inaccuracies". Thank goodness for this forum because without it I would have been lost as I was so far off track - and thank goodness for your patience and clarity - which obviously come from knowing your subject extremely well.

You have succeeded in making a simple effective and practical device that deals with an immensely complicated issue.

The tough part though is in educating the rest of us!


(Converted Post)
Especially since C is smack in the middle of the keyboard

What Mathieu is pointing out is that when you take all of the string instruments in an orchestra, the Violin (Double Bass an octave lower)and the Viola (Cello an octave lower), the note (string) that you find in the middle of them all is D, with all the other strings 1 and 2 fifths above and 1 and 2 fifths below.

The D Dorian scale itself is also symmetrical. He points out that on the piano the arrangement of black and white keys around the D is symmetrical.

(Converted Post)
In the 1960s, when jazz had become extremely sophisticated harmonically, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and others began to simplify its chains of modulating keys and improvise for long stretches in a single, embellished mode. Interestingly, their improvisational mode of choice was Dorian. Dorian is also a worldwide mode of prayer. [Mathieu]
.

I notice that the word "tonic" is used to describe the key - in this case D Dorian being the mode constructed form the second scale degree with C the tonic. However I also find that the word "tonic" is then used to describe the D now as the starting note of this new scale. So in D Dorian what is the "tonic"? Historical nomenclature certainly doesn't lend itself to clarity!

Considering the common fiddle music keys are A,C,D,E and G with Dorian, Mixolydian and Aeolian modes - I noticed the following:

For A =0

E +1.8 cents
A 0
D -2.0
G -3.9
C -5.9

For Root D=0

E +3.8 cents
A +2.0
D 0
G -1.9
C -3.9

That's what made me consider that Root D might be the best compromise for playing open strings when the fiddle can't be re-tuned.
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Ian
post Apr 25 2008, 02:08 AM
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One last thing (hopefully!)

I notice on page 30 of the manual - the section on tuning bagpipes - that when Just Major is selected and A is the base, then the frequency CAN be changed. I'm a little bit surprised because Pythagorean scales are simply a subset of Just intonation - and for the reasons you explained it is pointless to base them on A.

It's still not clear which of the temperaments will function in this manner and which ones will not. I think that it needs to be clear because of the fact that you can make all of the same setups with all of the temperaments and have no visual indication if it is applied or not.

Could you please simply list the temperaments/sweeteners that permit direct control of the A when the root is changed - as does "JMA"?
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John Norris
post Apr 25 2008, 09:48 AM
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Hi Ian,
(Converted Post)
that when Just Major is selected and A is the base, then the frequency CAN be changed.

Only when A is the the root, it is placed at 0 cents and is therefore itself 440Hz (or whatever you adjust it to).
That's practical for bagpipes, as the drones sound is an A (though at 476Hz its rather sharper than Bb at 440Hz), and equally tempered notes would beat unbearably against it.
(Converted Post)
Could you please simply list the temperaments/sweeteners that permit direct control of the A when the root is changed - as does "JMA"?

All unequal temperaments will allow adjustment of the Concert A to directly affect the note A's actual Hertz number only when the base note is A=0 (with Root at C) or when the Base note is Root=0 with Root = A.
In other roots it has an indirect affect on the actual Hz number, think of it as a global control for lowering or raising the entire tuning.
Equal temperament allows adjusat it in all roots and in either base note selection.
Sweeteners do not allow the adjustment of root separately from key ("Key" and "Root" combine to form the "Drop Tune" function). For Sweeteners, adjustments of the Concert A pitch have an indirect affect on the the note A itself, again allowing the raising and lowering, that is unless A just happens to be 00.0 cents in that particular Sweetener.

John N.
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Ian
post Apr 25 2008, 12:40 PM
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(Converted Post)
All unequal temperaments will allow adjustment of the Concert A to directly affect the note A's actual Hertz number only when the base note is A=0 (with Root at C) or when the Base note is Root=0 with Root = A.


This makes things much clearer!

What probably threw me off is actually the next step in the manual...
(Converted Post)
For Uilleann... pipes, set the base note to A, the root to D, change the concert A reference to 440 and select the Just Major preset.


Would I be right in saying that it doesn't really matter what the A is set to in this case? That would seem to agree with your statement.
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John Norris
post Apr 25 2008, 01:35 PM
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(Converted Post)
What probably threw me off is actually the next step in the manual...

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For Uilleann... pipes, set the base note to A, the root to D, change the concert A reference to 440 and select the Just Major preset.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Would I be right in saying that it doesn't really matter what the A is set to in this case?

For Uilleann pipes its important in that the D root should be in tune with other (possibly accompanying) instruments, it being a continuously sustaining drone.
In order to do that, the concert A should be set to 440Hz which has the indirect effect of making the Root (D) match with the other instruments.

John N.
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Ian
post Apr 25 2008, 04:16 PM
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It's hard to see how "indirect" is really different from "direct" in the example given. If you change the overall tuning you also do change the A. Perhaps I need to take more time to study the examples. If I recall correctly I had the experience of changing the Hz and nothing happened at all in PYT (when another root was selected).

I remember when I first started using a mixing console. It took a while to be able to perceive how all the signals flow and mix inside the console - there was an initial tendency to make inappropriate assumptions that didn't correspond with the underlying design. The key to understanding was the electronics flow diagram. I get the feeling that a similar "flow diagram" could be useful here too.
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Ian
post Apr 27 2008, 03:00 AM
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Okay, I see what's going on.

When "A=0" is base then the scale is fixed on A at concert pitch. (Unless in an unequal temperament and you move away from root C)
In this case changing A in Hertz moves the scale directly.

When "Root=0" is base then the scale is fixed on the Equal Tempered Root. The root system is fixed on A at concert pitch but the scale A changes. (The A displayed (in Hertz) now is the A of the equal tempered instruments that you are playing along with.)
In this case changing A in Hertz moves the scale indirectly and would only be done if the concert pitch of the equal temperament instruments changes.

Basically, there are two A's when in non equal temperament and it is always the A relating to equal temperament that is displayed in Hertz. Those two A's coincide only in certain instances:
In PYT temperament A=0 puts A at 440 in root C (because it is standard)
In PYT temperament root=A selected puts A at 440 by default.

The situation where base is set at A=0 and root D is selected makes no sense in unequal temperaments, so the root D is automatically referenced to root=0 and the A remains at 440 as the equal tempered base of the root system.

This means that the displayed A in Hertz is in fact always correct and always relevant - but it must be understood that it refers to the underlying system and not necessarily the "A" that is being tuned and is showing on the strobe.
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John Norris
post Apr 28 2008, 11:45 AM
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Hi Ian,
(Converted Post)
Basically, there are two A's when in non equal temperament and it is always the A relating to equal temperament that is displayed in Hertz. Those two A's coincide only in certain instances:
In PYT temperament A=0 puts A at 440 in root C (because it is standard)
In PYT temperament root=A selected puts A at 440 by default.

Exactly.
(Converted Post)
The situation where base is set at A=0 and root D is selected makes no sense in unequal temperaments, so the root D is automatically referenced to root=0 and the A remains at 440 as the equal tempered base of the root system.

Precisely.
(Converted Post)
This means that the displayed A in Hertz is in fact always correct and always relevant - but it must be understood that it refers to the underlying system and not necessarily the "A" that is being tuned and is showing on the strobe.

Correct, very well put.

John N.
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Ian
post May 12 2008, 03:56 AM
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Hello again!

I've been studying the "Justonic Tuning" website as they have developed a system for playing through MIDI that automatically identifies the correct root etc. This is supposed to permit a keyboard to be played properly in just intonation without being re-tuned.

From what I can understand from the explanation cited on his web site (quoted below http://www.justonic.com/tuningcube.html) the roots are NOT equal tempered roots - they are just intonation roots and fascinatingly, the A remains constant at 440 with the root changes.

This makes me wonder if I was actually on the right track from the start and the system used by "Peterson" is just another compromise paying homage to equal temperament. Granted that we live in a musical universe dominated by equal temperament and I now understand the Peterson view and it is very useful - but what if we don't want to play that equal temperament game?

You state that it makes no sense to peg the A at 440 in Just intonation - but this entire system does that - apparently with success. If I played keyboards I'd get the Justonic software just to find out if it works or not.


(Converted Post)
Arranging the pure harmonic ratios of a musical scale into a cube organizes the data necessary for choosing the correct harmonic tuning. Each cell in the cube is equal to the multiple of the ratios for the Key, the Root and the Interval. That value multiplied by the base pitch A440, in the Key of C (a minor third of A - 6/5) would create the note C as 440 x 6/5 = 528. In the Key of C, the Root G (a fifth of C - 3/2) is 440 x 6/5 x 3/2 = 792. The tuning of the octave is based on the frequency of the Root note. In the Key of C, Root of G, the frequency of G# is 440 x 6/5 x 3/2 x 16/15 = 844.80. The contents of that cell simply that the bvalue of 16/15 may be inserted into the equation, becoming (6/5 x 3/2 x 16/15 = 1.92 x 440 = 844.80.

* K (1 to 12) -1 of 12 different Key notes, based on the ratios of the chosen scale.
* R (1 to 12) - 1 of 12 different Roots within each Key.
* I (1 to 12) - 1 of the 12 Intervals of the Scale, starting with the Root.

Of the 1,728 values created in a cube of 12 x 12 x 12 ratios, many of the values in the same octave are equal to others but about 100 of them are unique, depending on the scale.

You can see the many duplicates below in the small example, using the Harmonic Classic scale.
Interval
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Chromatic
1 1# 2 2# 3 4 4# 5 5# 6 6# 7
Ratio to Root
1:1 16:15 9:8 6:5 5:4 4:3 7:5 3:2 8:5 5:3 7:4 15:8

* Using the above ratios applied to a Base Pitch of 440.00 Hertz, where K = Key and R = Chordal Root, these are the frequencies in Hertz:

K1R1 440.00 469.33 495.00 528.00 550.00 586.67 616.00 660.00 704.00 733.00 782.00 825.00
K1R2 469.33 500.62 528.00 563.20 586.67 625.78 657.07 704.00 750.93 782.22 834.37 440.00
K2R3 495.00 528.00 556.875 594.00 618.75 660.00 693.00 742.50 792.00 825.00 440.00 464.06

In K1R1, Interval # 8 is the 5th chromatic note, so 3/2 x 440.00 = 660.00. From the Root of A, the 5th chromatic note is E.

In K1R2, the Root (A#) is 469.33 because 16/15 x 440 = 469.33. From the Root of A#, the 4# chromatic note is E so 469.33 x 7/5 = 657.07.


Ian
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gomuncy
post May 12 2008, 09:06 PM
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Hi Ian,

Might a "sonometer" help you in your quest.

I am impressed with your musical prowess.

With a sonometer you could map a data base of string physics and
answer all your questions.

We used a Peterson autostrobe model 490 for our study of fixed
pitch fret placement error on the guitar. We referenced the model 490 tuner in our study for the accuracy of pitch of each corrected fretted
note ( 24 fret, or Two Octave )in our U. S. Patent.

You can record the data and answer all your questions. I believe you will be very pleased in doing your own study, and then you will know what is actually happening. It is all Physics,at the base level, a string at tension, at a finite length.

Professor Gary
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Ian
post May 14 2008, 05:22 AM
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Hello Professor Gary,

I'm always open to new ideas. So far I can't find much useful information regarding sonometers. Considering there is an infinite number of potential Just intonation notes - I'm not sue that I want to spend the rest of my life building that database!

Earlier on in the forum I was advised that the imperfect interval on the C scale in Pythagorean tuning is G# to D# (A flat to E flat). Further searching has shown that this is actually only referring to the 7 tone scale. If we use the full chromatic 12 tone scale then there are three semitones where the Pythagorean comma also appears C to C#, D to D# and E to E#, the last being ambiguous as there is also a normal semitone from E to F. It is very well explained on the following page - http://www.classic-guitar.com/pythagor.html. I still haven't tested to see if the Stroboflip is correctly accounting for those commas or not in a full 12 note scale - but I don't actually see how it can do as it will probably not cope with the ambiguity of the E#!!!

eg. C to D = 9/8 = 1.1250 (standard whole PYT interval)
C to C# = 1.068 and D to D# = 1.053 - the second being the standard semitone the first having the comma. The two ratios multiplied together give the standard whole interval.


I will be playing along with Equal tempered instruments, so the Peterson approach to basing roots on Equal temperament appears to be fine for this purpose. I will need to take time to verify if the Pythagorean scale is correctly represented or not in it's full 12 tones.

On another issue, I was frustrated at first when trying to measure my intonation - due to the rapid flickering of the strobe. I do not think that I have become better at reading the strobe, but what has happened is that due to the strobe's precision I have improved my intonation and as a result there is now less trouble reading the strobe. In effect the strobe does it's job here.
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Ian
post May 17 2008, 12:38 AM
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Hello,

(Converted Post)
With a sonometer you could map a data base of string physics and
answer all your questions


I'm not sure that physics can help here much - nor that it can't be done more easily with mathematics. My need is for simplification and clarification - so that I can get on with improving the quality of my music.

The trouble is that it's not just about Physics. What "sounds good" is also subjective. Dissonance can sound good in the right context. There is also a large psychoacoustic element - like the way you "blank out" clicks and noise when listening to vinyl. One interesting article (http://www.jstor.org/pss/3680293) explains how Just intonation can actually sound less interesting that Equal Temperament in certain contexts. Physics would not have predicted that.

Personally, I suspect that there is something "missing" in our general approach to sound. Perhaps it is linked to sound propagating through fractal pathways - who knows? Perhaps Physics WILL eventually provide the answer.

Meantime what is required is relatively simple: A tuning device with the following...

1. Strobe for fine tuning.
2. Display of frequency.
3. Display of cents (relative to your own choice of reference, interval, root, fixed value etc.)
4. indication (bar or needle) for rough tuning
5. Two scales simultaneously ie. Just and Equal temperament
6. Freedom of choice between fixed A (or another frequency) or equal tempered root - in all cases.

I think that such a tool would be a good start. Perhaps as technology evolves, processors become much faster and less power hungry - then our friends at Peterson might do it.

Meanwhile, I still like the Stroboflip and believe that it is the best tuner currently available.
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Ian
post May 17 2008, 02:02 AM
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7. Ability to have as many notes as you want
8. ability to identify notes correctly as in E# etc.
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Ian
post Jul 17 2008, 08:22 AM
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Hello,

It's some time now since I started to use the Stroboflip and I must say that I really like it - especially if I can use a "line in". I have to try to stop my girlfriend stealing it for her guitar as it's the only tuner that comes close to giving a stable and precise reading, plus the guitar sweetners sound great. However I'm back for another reason...

The sweetner for Violin in the Stroboflip is simply pure Pythagorean fifths – the same as you would tune by ear by removing beat frequencies. Due to the difficulties that I have encountered with Pythagorean systems I have continued to pursue the issue to see if there is a better way to tune a violin. It turns out that there probably is.

My investigations first led me to the website of Bradley Lehman - the man who uncovered in 2004 the real tuning used by Bach, which people have mistakenly believed was Equal Temperament.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/larips/index.html

Bach’s WTC tuning (Well Tempered Clavier)
Deviations from equal temperament keeping a fixed A, in cents
A (0), Bb (+3.9), B (0), C (+5.9), C# (+3.9), D (+2), Eb (+3.9), E (-2), F (+7.8), F# (+2), G (+3.9), G# (+3.9).

Bradely Lehman directed me to a violinist friend who pointed me to another website www.Tuningmeister.com This is software that permits a display of intonation in real time showing your instrument sound against two different temperaments. Unfortunately the software demo encryption protection is unstable and I wasn’t really able to evaluate it. In addition I didn’t appear to be able to select any other root than C for a Pythagorean scale (as the Stroboflip taught me to do) - so I decided to leave it aside for the moment. However, the author kindly directed me to a book called “How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care)” by Ross W. Duffin 2007.
This book explains in detail the limitations of the Pythagorean/Just Intonation/Expressive Intonation approach to the violin and makes a seriously strong case for tunings similar to Bach – which narrow the 5ths twice as much as Equal temperament. The purity of the 5ths is sacrificed slightly to permit thirds that are more consonant than either Pythagorean or ET thirds and therefore give better harmony in general.

I have used the simplified version of tuning given above and must admit that it sounds different but it does appear to play more harmoniously without even adapting the playing. The only snag here is that ideally it is used with a system of major and minor semitones – so that G# is not the same as Ab – but I can’t do this with the Stroboflip – unless there is a way that I don’t know off! The idea is also to play the sharps a bit lower and the flats a bit higher to improve harmony without damaging the melodic properties. Duffin makes a very convincing case for this being a better and more polyvalent way to tune and play the violin.

Could Peterson suggest a way to set up the Stroboflip to be able to check such intonation?
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John Norris
post Jul 17 2008, 10:31 AM
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Hi Ian,
(Converted Post)
The only snag here is that ideally it is used with a system of major and minor semitones..........Could Peterson suggest a way to set up the Stroboflip to be able to check such intonation?

Because it involves more than twelve notes to the octave, it would only be possible by programming two temperaments, one for the major and one for the minor intervals.

John N.
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Ian
post Jul 19 2008, 11:38 AM
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Hi John,

Not ever having had to even consider the issue before I've not yet figured out when I need to play Ab instead of G# etc. I'll take your word for it just now that it is practical to generate two different scales for this purpose. When I have the correct offsets I'll post them.

I played a concert in Bach WTC tuning last night and it was an interesting experience. I don't think I managed to play a single note in tune - but nobody else seemed to notice any problem. It is VERY different from Pythagorean tuning and Just Intonation - as your violin sweetner is set up. I definitely find it easier to relate to Just Intonation for melodies, but there is no doubt that the Bach tuning makes double stopping with 3rds sound sweeter and smoother. It might just take a bit of practice to get used to it for other things(and perhaps an understanding of the smaller semitones.) On the violin the G string is 8 cents lower in Pythagorean tuning so it is significant change. If anyone thinks that you can't really tell the difference then they have not tried it - the difference is so great it's scary. It's great to experiment with this.

By the way I eventually understood why the Stroboflip doesn't display cents. "Cents" is only relevant to equal temperament and makes no sense in other tunings (it is 100th of an ET division) - so you can't say that you are "so many cents" out of tune when in Just Intonation. It's best to just get used to reading the strobe. The strobe even teaches a lot about the instrument. My girlfriend struggled to tune her classical guitar this morning so I tried and did it in minutes. With this guitar the note sounds different shortly after the initial attack from the sound that it makes as the sound is decaying. I simply moved the Stroboflip closer, adjusted so that the initial note stopped the strobe then moved on to the next. Off course it was the strobe that helped me to understand what the instrument was doing.
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Ian
post Jul 22 2008, 03:00 PM
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Ross Duffin in his book about temperament recommends playing the violin in 1/6 comma meantone, with different chromatic and diatonic semitones.
The Minor (Chromatic) semitone is 88.6 cents and the Major (Diatonic) semitone is 108.2 cents.

The Stroboflip doesn't make this distinction. I have read elsewhere that it is convention to make the semitones equal in regular meantone tunings - could you please confirm that is the case here?

The Bach WTC tuning is irregular so the semitones vary across a range so this can't be achieved as far as I can see by making two separate scales - and I'm not sure how much the player needs to know this and how much the tuning just gives you this automatically.

My own understanding bottoms out at this point. My finding with the basic Bach tuning (offsets given previously) is that it makes the music sound considerably more "fluid" overall. I play fiddle and as notes come fast one on top of the other there is an effect of harmony almost all the time. The Bach tuning sounds so much better than anything else I've tried that I'll be sticking with it for a while and hopefully will grow to understand and exploit it even better in future. Almost a year ago I changed from Equal Temperament to Pythagorean scales and found it helped me enormously with intonation - almost completely removing an enduring sense of confusion with pitch. I did not expect to experience the effect that Bach's WTC tuning is having - it just sounds better. I'm using the Stroboflip to help keep my bearings when playing - but it is not difficult.

The Bach WTC tuning is either based on C or A in all the examples I've seen. I'd like Peterson's opinion on whether - as with Pythagorean tuning - it might be better for a string player to base his tuning on an ET root when playing along with ET instruments. As there is an equally large divergence from ET as with the Pyt tuning (opposite directions) and goodness only knows what other effects - this might seem reasonable - but nobody seems to be doing this.
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Ian
post Jul 24 2008, 05:16 AM
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Ominous silence here !!!

The following response from Ross Duffin sheds some light:
"I think the issue of irregular temperaments on "melody" instruments is a red herring. I don't think you should be trying to place your accidentals according to the Bach-Lehman temperament -- or any other irregular temperament -- but, rather, using major and minor semitones and playing the sharps low and the flats high. I did create a website to practice this, so here is the link:

http://music.cwru.edu/duffin/BaroqueTemp/Default.html "

The information on Ross's website is excellent and clear. The results for me are also clear - it works. One melody that I've been stuck on for over a year has been solved by this tuning.

The trouble for Peterson here is that 1/6 comma meantone is not a 12 note octave it is a 22 note octave when all the accidentals are included. The practice examples given by Ross are simple but involve 15 note scales etc.

This tuning works better than Pythagorean for Violin - it sounds better and smoother in both melodies and harmonies but it needs awareness that there are two different semitones. I suspect that this is ultimately the best all round tuning method for a violin.

I will try to program my own scales within the limits of the stroboflip - but it is not a case of "one scale for minor semitones" etc - Frustrating...

C 0
C# 88.59
Db 108.15
D 196.74
D# 285.34
Eb 304.89
E 393.48
Fb 413.04
E# 482.08
F 501.63
F# 590.22
Gb 609.78
G 698.37
G# 786.96
Ab 806.52
A 895.11
A# 983.71
Bb 1003.26
B 1091.85
Cb 1111.41
B# 1180.45
C 1200
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Ian
post Jul 24 2008, 07:39 AM
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I have realized that the following two tunings will cover all of the normal situations that I come across in my own music – as I don’t really ever have more than 3 sharps or 2 flats to the key and in my case I never see the sharps and flats mixed (unlike in the exercises from Ross Duffin). The first scale covers all the sharps and the second all the flats.

A complete list is given below – which simply cannot be used by the Stroboflip as the B#,Cb,E# and Fb can’t be represented.

1/6 Comma Meantone relative to E.T. using A as base reference

Scale 1 (Sharps) reads correctly
C + 4.89, C# +13.04, D +1.63, D# +9.78, E -1.63, F +6.51, F# +14.67, G +3.26, G# +11.14, A 0, A# +8.15, B +3.25

Scale 2 (Flats)
the sharps are really all flats – but the Stroboflip requires them to be entered as “#” sharps The correct names for the flats are as follows: C# = Db, D#=Eb, F#=Gb, G#=Ab, A#=Bb
C + 4.89, C# -6.51, D +1.63, D# -9.77, E -1.63, F +6.51, F# -4.89, G +3.26, G# -8.5, A 0, A# -11.4, B +3.25

Complete list
(Cb is offset from B(E.T), B# is offset from C, Fb is offset from E,
E# is offset from F)

C + 4.89,
C# -6.51,
Db +13.04,
D +1.63,
D# -9.77,
Eb +9.78,
E -1.63,
Fb +17.93
E# -13.03
F +6.51,
F# -4.89,
Gb +14.67,
G +3.26,
G# -8.5,
Ab +11.14,
A 0,
A# -11.4,
Bb +8.15,
B +3.25
Cb +16.3
B# -14.66
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Ian
post Jul 24 2008, 08:03 AM
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Just a small question that might be easy to answer:

When programming a tuning, after all the offsets are entered, the manual shows that you are presented with the option to "save". However, before that happens the Stroboflip presents you with an E and an arrow pointing upwards with the option to alter the cents. This is not the same E as has already been entered. This does not appear to be in the manual. What is it about?
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Sue
post Jul 24 2008, 09:07 AM
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Hi Ian,
That indicates the Hi 'E', that would be E3 and above. Guitars have the 2 'E' strings that might need a different off set
Regards
Sue
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Ian
post Jul 26 2008, 03:49 AM
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Hi Sue,

What does this imply for tuning in general? - the situation here is ambiguous. Do I enter a value for the extra E the same as the E offset that already went in to the scale, or do I leave it at zero? I'm using the tuner to check my intonation at all frequencies so I assume that I must enter the same value and not leave it at zero. As there is no way of checking the Stroboflip (unless against another tuner) it must correctly set up. There is no room for ambiguity here. I have set the E in the scale to "-2 cents". What E's will I encounter at that offset and what E' will remain at Equal Temperament if I do nothing with the second E?
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Sue
post Jul 28 2008, 08:16 AM
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Hi Ian,
Yes, you would have to enter a value for the E3 and above.
Whenever the tuner detects an E that is at or above octave 3 (~330Hz or higher), the "up arrow" sign will appear at the "accidental" position after the "E" on the screen. Whenever thsi occurs the tuner will internally use the "second E" setting (i.e., the one that is programmed after "B"). Otherwise, the normal E will be notated (no triangular "up arrow"), and the tuner will use the "first E" setting (the one that is programmed after the "D#").

Sue
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Ian
post Jul 28 2008, 10:40 AM
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Hi Sue,

Thank you for clarifying that.

I've had some experience now using professor Diffin's "Extended 1/6 Comma Meantone" tuning and it is simply stunning. The "Extended" term means that the semitones are different giving both sharps and flats. The Meantone version built into the Stroboflip is not an extended one.

Professor Duffin's book really has to be read to see why this works so well - but it really does solve an awful lot of intonation problems for the violin - and it is easy to achieve. The book is very readable too.

Incidentally I discovered that Professor Duffin uses Peterson Strobosoft on his Mac and finds it very useful!

I highly recommend that you include a violin sweetener (or whole temperament) based on this tuning in future products. For very good reasons I believe that this may become very important in the future - as it turns out it was in the not so distant - but unfortunately forgotten past. It tunes the 5ths in exactly the opposite direction from the sweetener available at the moment. The trick is that this makes the 3rds very much better and the augmented 4ths and diminished 5th completely pure. The versatility of the separated sharps and flats completes the picture.

I'm using a pickup on my violin with a line in to the Stroboflip and it works very well for tacking intonation. I like working with the strobe image more and more - it really grows on you.
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Ian
post Jul 30 2008, 01:29 AM
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The correct name of the tuning I'm referring to is "Extended 1/6 syntonic comma meantone".

People might automatically think that this is an unnecessary complication - however the following brief article from which I have copied a paragraph - should help to dismiss that idea..

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node=meantone%20tuning

In music with a restricted range of keys -- Renaissance, early Classical, folk, rock-n-roll, R'n'B, country, gospel... -- there is no reason to accept the sub-optimal distribution of the syntonic comma which ET offers. On the guitar it is easy to experiment with tuning the fourths a couple of cents wider, and there are many recordings of harpsichords and organs with 1/4-comma, 1/5-comma, 1/6-comma (etc.) meantone tuning. You might wonder what happens musically when you meet the wolf note - a very flat Ab or a very sharp D#, for example. If the music was intended to be played in meantone, these notes will be used in such a way that they don't disrupt the piece and can actually add to its expressive range. I did read somewhere that the pianos in a famous Nashville studio were tuned in an unequal temperament, simply because they were always being used to play the same three chords. Now you know why.


The reference to guitar tuning here is interesting. I'm curious to know if this is similar to the process being used by the Peterson guitar sweetner. (though Peterson does not publish the details)

I have found out that in practise 1/6 comma meantone is used with a fixed A base, however when the opportunity arises it seems best to base it on the root. It's interesting discussing this with real music experts because outside of Peterson circles the idea of allowing the A to float according to the root seems to be very alien to them. Regardless of this I cannot fault the Peterson logic - though I'm not sure what base Peterson would choose with this particular form of scale.
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Ian
post Aug 1 2008, 01:05 AM
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My earlier comment about "cents" was wrong - but as usual on this extremely active forum there was NO response. I wrote that cents were only relevant to equal temperament - but that isn't correct. Cents are "logarithmic units". Logarithms are just a mathematical technique for reducing multiplication to addition. As you move up octaves the frequency doubles - so it increases exponentially - as many things in nature do. The exponential curve is a perfect fit for using logarithms - so it is the ideal way to split octaves into scalar parts. The problem is that the notes within the octave do not fit neatly - but any type of octave based scale can be fully represented this way. Accordingly perhaps Peterson should make more use of cents in displays and relate them to the octave and not to ET notes.
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John Norris
post Aug 1 2008, 09:04 AM
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Hi Ian,
(Converted Post)
My earlier comment about "cents" was wrong - but as usual on this extremely active forum there was NO response.

Thats hardly true, we try to answer any questions which get posted here as time allows. Right now we are in the middle of trade show season, so many of us are "on the road" and unable to reply immediately.
However, I think we do a better job than most.

John N.
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Ian
post Aug 5 2008, 05:35 AM
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Hi John,

Don't take it personally. Other than Peterson staff only one member of the public has entered into this entire thread. I get the impression that musicians are burying their heads in the sand regarding tuning issues. That is also what I see in the real world.

The Stroboflip has some limitations of course, but I've grown to love the thing as I can always find a way to get it to do what I need - and to do it very well indeed.

I have fought my way to an understanding of tuning that serves my development with the violin very well - but what is stunning is that there is so little guidance or even interest out there. People don't even know they have a problem. Professor Duffin and Bradley Lehman are without doubt at the forefront of "tuning" thinking, but they show a way ahead that is relatively simple. I can't blame Peterson for directing me towards the common wisdom of Pythagorean tuning for the violin - but I'm surprised that there seems to be no thinking beyond that when it turns out to be an extremely important issue. My own discomfort with Pythagorean tuning (although a vast improvement over ET)turns out to have been for valid reasons.

It took me a while to get my head around the operation of the Stroboflip and that taught me some really useful things - so I have no axe to grind here. Professor Duffin agrees that there is no issue using the ET root (or a fixed A) for Extended 1/6 Syntonic Comma Meantone tuning, because it is a relative scale with no wolf tone (there is a small one for a piano)- either way works so it is up to a decision of what might be most appropriate for the instruments you play along with.

I can't see this thread going any further as I think I've reached the end of what it was meant to achieve. Thanks for all of your help along the way.

Ian

PS if you develop new products that permit enharmonic notes to be recognised and any of the other things I might have discussed then put me on your list please.
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John Norris
post Aug 6 2008, 02:26 PM
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Hi Ian,
You're right, people don't know about tuning to such an extent that an aural colour blindness seems to have decended on the majority, is ET to blame? Who knows. It usually causes hot debates wherever it is raised as subject.
Just scroll through this thread on another forum where I am trying to point out that strings & horns in orchestras do not use Equal temperament, after someone had inferred that they did - but it was not accepted! Someone else knew better wink.gif.
But even Brad Lehman's findings are still being disputed as hotly as when he submitted them initially.
There are enough conflicting and plain inaccurate factoids out there to confuse most [B )], but I think many of our customers do have a better perception than most.
Making hardware products is always a challenge without input from musicians, at least those who know about tuning.
This forum was started 6 years ago for that purpose, and I hope we'll hear from you again, thanks for your input.


John N.
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Ian
post Aug 9 2008, 01:34 AM
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Hi John,

Well you got me back already! I looked through the thread and it is interesting. The guy who claims that ET tuning is easy and that you just count the beat frequencies seems pretty adamant. Personally I don't believe that counting beat frequencies is either all that easy or that accurate. I once bought my girlfriend an entire book on this subject for tuning a guitar. It was horrifically complicated and impossible to implement and so was abandoned. My own feeling - and after having read some history of tuning - is that people generally delude themselves to thinking that they are tuned in a certain way - and they are usually significantly off target. There is no way I could work efficiently at developing my skill in Extended 1/6 Syntonic Comma Meantone without a properly calibrated device giving accurate feedback. Pythagorean and Just intonation are perhaps easier unassisted due to the pure resonances - but they are not the best solution. Accurate feedback trains you to the fingering positions and accustoms you to the intervals of scale. You quickly notice that the tuner falls immediately on the note more and more often and less adjustments and hunting are needed.

The guys on that forum didn't recognise that perhaps the steel guitar was only tuned to an ET instrument ROOT. Regardless, they all seem pretty defensive and not open to discussion.
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