Recording the piano at home – Part 2: Prepare the Piano

The first thing you have to attend to when preparing to record your piano at home is to make sure that the piano is itself in good shape. By that I mean that it has been:

  1. Tuned accurately to your temperament of choice;
  2. It’s action properly regulated; and
  3. Hammers voiced to your satisfaction.

In that order. But try to avoid Step #3 if you can. What I have read about hammers suggests that touching them should be the last resort in getting the piano voiced properly.

Many perceived voicing problems can in fact be resolved by having the piano tuned carefully. I had heard that mentioned before on the PW forums, and experienced it first-hand when I started tuning the K-8 myself. Many (I wish it was all!) of the twangy whangy sounds I heard disappeared. Some notes used to have timbres that were slightly different than adjacent notes. Those too are mostly gone. Yes, there are still about four or five unisons (all either bi-chords or tri-chords) where one of the strings in the unison has false beats, but you don’t really hear them during normal play.

About temperaments and tuning:

About regulation:

About voicing:

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