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Author Topic: Opinions on Voicing? (Mellow, Smooth, Bright, Aggressive, etc)  (Read 468 times)
malcolmdominique
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« on: August 18, 2017, 02:32:38 PM »

I always found this an interesting topic. How does everyone like a piano to be voiced? Very mellow and subdued so that the piano has a very smooth non-abrasive sound? very bright to where the piano has a very aggressive sound and the base has a lot of overtones? somewhere in between? Maybe from recordings you've heard over the years. This probably applies to larger grand pianos as I don't know if there is as large of a range of possibility/flexibility when voicing uprights and smaller pianos
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irrational
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 05:29:12 PM »

I have voiced my upright Bosey when moving to new houses.
It depends on tiles vs carpet and space, but I always strive to harmonise with the Bosey's innate warm nature.
Mine's treble range was a bit glass like when I bought it unplayed, but it is finally mellowing out now.  I have voiced it 3 times in 2 years for a consistently even smooth and warm sound.
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iansinclair
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 07:56:44 PM »

That, my friend, is a totally personal preference.  For myself, I prefer a brilliant sound (but not really bright or aggressive), but with enough fundamental to the tone (particularly in the bass) to give real centring to the notes.

Ask six pianists and you will get seven answers...  for that matter, it depends somewhat on what I am playing at the time.
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Ian
malcolmdominique
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 01:14:59 AM »

That, my friend, is a totally personal preference.  For myself, I prefer a brilliant sound (but not really bright or aggressive), but with enough fundamental to the tone (particularly in the bass) to give real centring to the notes.

Ask six pianists and you will get seven answers...  for that matter, it depends somewhat on what I am playing at the time.

Yea I agree. If I am playing a baroque piece or something of that nature, its kind of nice when the piano has a very mellow subdued tone. But then again for something like maybe Prokofiev, Liszt, or Rachmaninov, its nice when the piano has the aggressive crashing sound in the bass.

Then again I remember playing a hamburg steinway at my school conservatory that was voiced very sweetly and mellow and it sounded great during solo recitals but then whenever the piano was used with an orchestra, the pianist would have to kill themselves in order to be heard over the orchestra haha
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indianajo
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 11:42:41 AM »

I like a lot of energy in the ping, the initial transient.
I like a lot of overtones.  
My favorite piano when young was a Baldwin Acrosonic located in a school cafeteria with hard tile walls and floor.  It was backed 6" from the hard wall, and the sound was very commanding.  
If I want mellow and non-invasive, I'll play the electric organ which in most of the venues I play in is right across the aisle.  Usually there is no start transient unless a very premium model.  The mellow sound is so pervasive in funeral parlors that the experience has given the electric organ a bad reputation.  People aren't buying them anymore.  
If your home music room has a harsh reflection surfaces, usually it is lot cheaper to get a crew to add carpet to the floor, soft panels on the ceiling, wall hangings or sound batting, than getting the piano tech to voice the piano.   Your hammers will last longer too not being prodded, poked, or sprayed.  
Oddly I have a piano I bought for $50 for my summer camp trailer. which I find too mellow and dull.  The reason is the thick bargain soundboard and thick cherry kick panel and top. When the top and panels are off, it is quite standardly bright.  
So If you have a $80000 grand you find too bright, buying a padded cover and putting batting under the premium thinly shaved sound board would be a lot less invasive than having the tech voice the piano.  
The main call for voicing IMHO is when the top, middle and bass strings do not match in tone and volume.  I've played pianos where there was a bad mismatch between the two string notes stopping F3 and the three string notes starting F#3.  My late Mother's 1948 Everett was like that.  I'm imagine she got a special price for that one.  When my brother brought up a load of the parent's furniture for me, I specifically asked him sell off that relic.  
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j_tour
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 06:33:38 PM »

Very mellow and dark.  Not muted or muffled, but I find when playing, say, jazz, the middle octaves can be some of the warmest, most pleasant places to play, even if it isn't always the crowd-pleasing register.

However, it would be frustrating if, by changing the style of attack, the tone remained constant.  It's nice to be able to have a range of sounds, even if it can be a somewhat small range.

It could be that my technique is just plain not good enough to really make a brilliant-sounding piano really shimmer, but also the more brilliant the sound, the more it irritates my ears, especially after spending hours playing on it.
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msikma
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2017, 11:35:34 AM »

I don't really know for sure. I think mellow and smooth, deep bass. But I don't feel like I know enough about pianos to say. I've always really enjoyed the sound of Arrau. That's also why I like to play slow.
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