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Plate tuning


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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Many years ago, we invited a bunch of people to present at Oberlin, all with multiple VSA tone awards. Almost all of them incorporated some kind of tapping and listening into their making strategy. This isn't to say that I'm sold on it. Only that the evidence suggests that it should not be summarily pooh-poohed.

I keep garlic in the room and never a problem with vampires. Try, it works.

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51 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

I keep garlic in the room and never a problem with vampires. Try, it works.

Or, to translate that into high-church Real Science talk, "Correlation is not causation;" very nearly the first principle one learns in statistics class about evaluating evidence,

Pointing out here that only Carl spotted that AND commented. Thus, forum discussion value added.

See--all one needs to do is pay attention to Carl rather than always be fighting him as a default.

 

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40 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Or, to translate that into high-church Real Science talk, "Correlation is not causation;" very nearly the first principle one learns in statistics class about evaluating evidence,

Actually, correlation may or may not be indicative of causation. It depends. ;)

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27 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Or, to translate that into high-church Real Science talk, "Correlation is not causation;" very nearly the first principle one learns in statistics class about evaluating evidence,

Pointing out here that only Carl spotted that AND commented. Thus, forum discussion value added.

See--all one needs to do is pay attention to Carl rather than always be fighting him as a default.

 

I’m a little surprised by this ,  near as I can see Carl cherry picked the quote by underlining…  but taken in the whole context David was  very explicit about

“not necessarily being sold on it , but couldn’t dismiss it out of hand”  ….that is pretty much the definition of down the middle….  How much more explicit , that correlation and causation are not necessarily linked , can a guy possibly be be ? 
 Is it possible that Carl himself ,could be in some way responsible for the reaction people have to him? I mean I just got back from a long hiatus, when in the first page of this ….. mess… I made the statement about being able to move any plate to a wide variety of basic pitches, his only response at first , was that I was ABSOLUTELY wrong …. With Absolutely no reasoning as to why , and the only actually reason why he disagreed had to do with a subjective interpretation of wide and narrow…. And then , asking him about his making experience we are met with the idea that he doesn’t want to wear out his keyboard… and it was never acknowledged that one person’s “wide “can easily be another’s “ narrow” therefore there was no “ absolute “anything.In the medical field those communication patterns are enough to be let go from any position. Not only are they obtuse and ineffective, they also lead to bad blood between people , we’re all human . 

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Sometimes there appears to be way too much ego, or lack thereof in these discussions!

After 12 pages of reading, it seems to me about 40% light and 60% heat has been generated, including the heat about internal combustion engines !?

So, did I miss it, or does anyone bother plate tuning with the speakers and pepper to determine nodal lines (if you believe in plate tuning, which seems to be in the metaphysics arena for some).

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22 minutes ago, waldguy said:

So, did I miss it, or does anyone bother plate tuning with the speakers and pepper (if you believe in plate tuning, which seems to be in the metaphysics arena for some).

None of the multiple-tone-award-winner demonstrations at Oberlin that I mentioned involved speakers and sprinkles. The pro makers I know who pay some sort of attention to plate frequency mostly just seem to tap and listen.

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18 minutes ago, waldguy said:

So, did I miss it, or does anyone bother plate tuning with the speakers and pepper to determine nodal lines (if you believe in plate tuning, which seems to be in the metaphysics arena for some).

I deal with tapping (not tuning), and I will continue to do so, but I have abandoned the woofer and pepper (Christmas glitter in my case) to see nodal lines, except for the cellos, where it may be useful to understand which mode I'm listening to, because it may not always be straightforward with plates so big and hard to grab with fingers and with such low frequencies

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Just now, waldguy said:

Sometimes there appears to be way too much ego, or lack thereof in these discussions!

After 12 pages of reading, it seems to me about 40% light and 60% heat has been generated, including the heat about internal combustion engines !?

So, did I miss it, or does anyone bother plate tuning with the speakers and pepper (if you believe in plate tuning, which seems to be in the metaphysics arena for some).

I used to do a lot of plate tuning experiments with a speaker set up so I could see the Chladni patterns of node lines and antinode areas.  This helped me decide where to thin the plates to hit my mode 1, 2, 5 frequency targets.  I used Hercules Red Dot shotgun powder and at the time I didn't realize this was such an explosive practice.

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15 minutes ago, waldguy said:

Sometimes there appears to be way too much ego, or lack thereof in these discussions!

After 12 pages of reading, it seems to me about 40% light and 60% heat has been generated, including the heat about internal combustion engines !?

So, did I miss it, or does anyone bother plate tuning with the speakers and pepper to determine nodal lines (if you believe in plate tuning, which seems to be in the metaphysics arena for some).

Unfortunately, anatomy measuring contests are 90% of Maestronet (as determined with a Lucchi meter). There is some good stuff to be found here, but it requires a heavy filter.

The long and short of it is that there are makers at all levels who use chladni patterns and some form of mode tuning of free plates. There are also makers at all levels who do not use these methods. Using whatever methodology is no guarantee of a good instrument - for that there seems to be no substitute for diligent observation, study, experimentation, and constant striving to improve. Given the very small area at the top, both in terms of great makers of antiquity and today, the majority that try for the best will fall short regardless of what methods they employ. That's not to say we shouldn't all try our best, because we should. And even if you don't become the del Gesu of your day, you may find a place in some portion market for your work. 

Here's hoping we can put this one to bed soon.

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7 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

(Christmas glitter in my case) to see nodal lines

 

6 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

 I used Hercules Red Dot shotgun powder and at the time I didn't realize this was such an explosive practice.

Could that be why your violins are so powerful, while mine are only good when I play Jingle bells?:)

(Sorry, but I also wanted to put at least one post that would distract from the initial topic, what the heck)

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Just now, Davide Sora said:

 

Could that be why your violins are so powerful, while mine are only good when I play Jingle bells?:)

I started with classic Chistmas glitter and found static electric prevented the glitter from moving around easily especially in the winter.  FFF blackpowder worked well but it had some problems with static electric sparks.

The late Bob Spear claimed a long time ago that the "plate tuners" had it wrong--it wasn't the various mode frequencies that was important--it was the bouncing height of the particles being used.  A low bounce height meant that the plate was too stiff and heavy to move much and therefore could not produce much sound after it was assembled.

Nowdays researchers use impact hammers and  accelerometers to measure plate admittance (ability to move).

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I started with classic Chistmas glitter and found static electric prevented the glitter from moving around easily especially in the winter.  FFF blackpowder worked well but it had some problems with static electric sparks.

The late Bob Spear claimed a long time ago that the "plate tuners" had it wrong--it wasn't the various mode frequencies that was important--it was the bouncing height of the particles being used.  A low bounce height meant that the plate was too stiff and heavy to move much and therefore could not produce much sound after it was assembled.

Nowdays researchers use impact hammers and  accelerometers to measure plate admittance (ability to move).

Yep, or loudness and definition of the tone of all modes heard by tapping, i.e. ability to move of the plate.

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I started with classic Chistmas glitter and found static electric prevented the glitter from moving around easily especially in the winter.  FFF blackpowder worked well but it had some problems with static electric sparks.

Well, yes, I guess a budding luthier, capable of making good instruments would not want to become a flash in the pan. 

Might it be of some benefit for beginning luthiers to go by the numbers, and use some of the science until they get a feel for the instruments pruduced?  Many of us have touched violins only on the outside, and making the parts would be best in the shop under a master, but not always practical.

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55 minutes ago, waldguy said:

Well, yes, I guess a budding luthier, capable of making good instruments would not want to become a flash in the pan. 

Might it be of some benefit for beginning luthiers to go by the numbers, and use some of the science until they get a feel for the instruments pruduced?  Many of us have touched violins only on the outside, and making the parts would be best in the shop under a master, but not always practical.

If you make a bunch of instruments it's hard after a while to remember what you did to what.  So it's helpful to measure things with numbers and record them in a written notebook.  It also helps to put serial numbers on you instruments.  

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

If you make a bunch of instruments it's hard after a while to remember what you did to what.  So it's helpful to measure things with numbers and record them in a written notebook.  It also helps to put serial numbers on you instruments.  

Yea , decided I’m gonna try and build the stress o meter device a bit more professional, manageable and calibrated, I think you mentioned something about clamping the plate down vs suspended on pillars, any  thoughts as to what might provide a more reliable or relevant measures? 
   Also wanted to offer my sincere apologies to the community for getting side tracked . I know it wasn’t all productive. 
 I have done the Chandali plate tests , didn’t think It was particularly productive… fun ! Lots of fun … loud as well … But not something I found very helpful. 

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13 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

@James M. Jones

To declare the obvious, if there was absolutely no point to it, if the information meant nothing, why did David say it?

To (hopefully) reinforce the notion that in the fiddle business, not everything needs to be totally black or white, or totally wrong or right. Most things are varying shades of gray.

It's OK to be undecided or tentative about something, and wait for more information, and this isn't a signal of being any less-well-versed in a subject than one who is very dogmatic.

When I was in Russia, I ran into a number of older people who spoke in "absolutes", often very loudly and forcefully. Some of the younger people apologized for this behavior, explaining to me that these were people left over from the old Soviet era, when such behavior was used in an attempt to signal knowledge and authority.

I learned a lot about Russian culture and history when I was there, and some of the Russians were very curious about Americans. For instance, my interpreter wanted to know what "Thanksgiving" was. :) Neat cultural exchange. Great experience!

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10 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

   Also wanted to offer my sincere apologies to the community for getting side tracked . I know it wasn’t all productive. 

While reading through yesterday, laughing some, wondering some, dusting off clothes between reading/working breaks etc., allowed me to hog out four insides of plates while you guys were at it -so imo. not a bad day.

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12 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

If you make a bunch of instruments it's hard after a while to remember what you did to what.  So it's helpful to measure things with numbers and record them in a written notebook.

I have done all of this... taptones, weights, and absolute plate stiffness longitudinal and crossgrain.  The "helpful" part so far, after 30 instruments, is to see that there appears to be no decent correlation (very poor at best) of any of these measurements with the signature mode frequencies of the assembled instrument, and no way to even attempt to relate any measurement to "good" or "bad" result (unless you want to quantify "good" using Dunnwald parameters, which I don't).

3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Most things are varying shades of gray.

And, depending on who you ask, you will get different opinions about which shade of gray it is.  Some may even say it's black, or even white.

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12 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I have done all of this... taptones, weights, and absolute plate stiffness longitudinal and crossgrain.  The "helpful" part so far, after 30 instruments, is to see that there appears to be no decent correlation (very poor at best) of any of these measurements with the signature mode frequencies of the assembled instrument, and no way to even attempt to relate any measurement to "good" or "bad" result (unless you want to quantify "good" using Dunnwald parameters, which I don't).

And, depending on who you ask, you will get different opinions about which shade of gray it is.  Some may even say it's black, or even white.

Others have also shown there isn't much correlation between signature mode frequencies and "violin quality" whatever that is.  However the amplitudes of these signature modes is important--quiet violins don't project very well.

I believe Dunnwald made a mistake in normalizing all the violin frequency response curves in the 650 to 1120Hz range to the same 25dB level.  It's like saying the power of the violin is not important and only the shape of the response curve is.

I wish Strad, DG and others had used notebooks.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

 

 

Maybe related maybe not ,a few sort of big picture ideas I’ve been personally thinking about lately…

one could be thought of as the ten percent rule , that basically states that if something will give ten percent better results, such as quality longevity, sales … ect , that something is an idea worth persuit and development… less than ten percent and we could well fall behind the curve as all these things take time and learning, as uncle duke just pointed out he roughed out four plates yesterday…. It does seem like weights and stiffness perhaps frequency response of free plates all have some input, but like any recipe there is a wide … or narrow range of substitution and variance on the ingredients and procedures allowable and “we” are sort of in that 10% range where it really comes down to a cooks choice of sorts. as you say we’re still lacking a definition of good tone , how can we have a complete exact recipe without one . 
second ,  … is the nature of turbulence, that it’s an exceedingly hard problem to solve for mathematically and often seems best solved empirically through trial and error , it seems like the violin falls into this category , as soon as we begin to play the overlap of note and inputs from room itself all begin to act as turbulence on the system, at times very ugly and disturbing at other times it wonderfully encapsulates the very essence of music …. Seeming Impossibly hard to predict prevent or control … yet also sort of the whole goal in making…   
I’ve built 28 violin viola , ten of those involved same tree woods top and back , same model Plowden , … a few are used by professionals and others rated good by players … so I know they have tone … the biggest thing I noticed is that relatively consistent wood model method varnish and set up produces relatively consistent tone and playability… 

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Working on wood with scrapers and tools makes noise containing information from the plates or assembled instrument body, as well as the quality and sharpness of the tools. Visual and resistance clues also are feedback of course. Weighing the plates in the hands, looking at the lights going through the plates while holding them up in front of a lightsource, bending and twisting them all give information on the graduations, weights and stiffness. Much of this information may pass subcounsciously. Or the maker takes something into account and note graduations, weights or tap tones. 

All this information correlates, more or less. So a "graduater" will unevitably also tune the plates, a "bender" will too (I jhavent done the statistics on this one, so this is an intuition). I do not know what is better or worse if you want to go for one or two parameters to note or follow. I do not know if it matters what choice a maker does on this either. Mass and bending s fastest, tapping and listening is also fast. Mapping graduations is rather slow and tedious. 

Edited by Anders Buen
Corrected spelling errors
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My biggest quibble with tuning is the focus on specfic pitch.    The two major characteristics of a resonance are frequency and Q.     Focus on specific pitch leads to building higher Q resonances with a narrower respsonses.    To me, such narrowed responses are the opposite of what is desired.

For my liking, having the resonances broader and lower Q is more significant than the specific center frequencies of the resonances.

 

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