[ntp:questions] Using NTP to calibrate sound app

unruh unruh at invalid.ca
Wed Jan 30 06:44:53 UTC 2013

On 2013-01-29, Jeroen Mostert <jmostert at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> On 2013-01-29 21:04, unruh wrote:
>> On 2013-01-28, Jeroen Mostert<jmostert at xs4all.nl>  wrote:
>>> On 2013-01-28 23:04, unruh wrote:
>>>> And who "should you still like to able to tell that you didn't"? A piano
>>>> tuner is there to make the piano sound good, not to engage in
>>>> unwarrented mathematical games.
>>> Well, then, why measure at all? As long as it sounds good.
>> And many great tuner do exactly that and have a very large disdain for
>> tuners that rely on instruments.
>>> Surely to make it sound *as good as possible*, you need to be able to accurately
>>> measure how close you got to your goal. If you are able to tune a piano to
>> But the goal is not "measureable" by a simple thing like a frequency
>> tuner.
> This I don't get. If you want a note to have a base frequency that's as close to 
> 440 Hz as possible, you're saying that's not measurable? Or you're saying that 

Sure it is measurable. And set it to +-1Hz or even .5Hz if you want. 

> that's a silly goal? I thought the whole idea of tuning was to make sure the 
> instrument produces notes with frequencies as close as possible to the 
> temperament you're using, but I could be mistaken.

Nope. The whole idea of tuning is that the instruments produce notes
that sound as good as possible with the rest of the notes the instrument
produces, or with other instruments yours is going to play with. 

> I'm sure having more than one string complicates matters a bit, but even so it 
> seems an objective measure is possible. If the instrument has to play with 
> others I shouldn't think that 445 Hz is acceptable because you think it sounds 

See above. It will hardly "sound better".

As an example, if you have a piano that is going to primarily be played
solo ( and even with other instruments at other times) you tune the higher octaves a bit sharp
and lower ones a bit flat, because the strings on a piano have stiffness
and thus the higher modes are too sharp to be in a good harmonic
sequence. Thus for octaves to sound good together, they are not tuned to
a 2-1 ratio, but slightly sharper esp in the higher octaves.
This is NOT the "objective" "frequencies as close as possible to the
 temperament" tuning but one that makes the piano sound good within itself. 
(reduced beating in chords)
Note that pianos, being tuned to equal temperament, beat in all chords
anyway. Another of piano's special features.

Piano tuning equipment is useful, no doubt about it. It is not however
the be-all and end-all of tuning and accuracy of frequency is not the
most important feature. 

> better.

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