Old 27th October 2007
Gear nut

Thread Starter
Talking Piano action noises

I'm using an old Steinway M. It sounds very beautiful but the action is a little worn and there is some noise from the hammer mechanism on a few of the bass notes. You can only hear it from the player's position but it would be picked up by a close mic. Can this type of sound be removed later with Sonic No-Noise or a similar program without too much degradation of tone quality? And if I position the mic so that the "deaf" side is facing the noise source would that possibly result in minimizing those noises sufficiently?

Thanks for any comments.

Old 27th October 2007
Lives for gear
big country's Avatar

grand or upright?

maybe just maybe you could block the sound of the action with a
jeckline disk type absorber

then point the Mic's away from the mechanical sound
using a Cardiod Mic

good luck with the acoustic coupling

this is all speculation

that or hire a piano tec.
Old 27th October 2007
Lives for gear

if your very careful... you could pull the action and blow it out with canned air to make sure it's not a debris issue... then try some graphite powder to lube it...
Old 28th October 2007
Yeah... some actual repair that stopped the noise from happening would seem like the best solution, even some improvisation that buffered the noisy bits from hitting each other... trying to "filter" that kind of thing after the fact, who knows....
Old 28th October 2007
Lives for gear

You're in NYC . . . if it's for a big recording why not get a Steinway/other good piano tech to come have a look? Better to cure the problem than the symptoms!

I'm fortunate that we get Steinway guys in a couple times a year to service the innards of the two Steinway Ds in the hall - as well as a tuner coming down every couple of weeks. At the Bridgewater Hall (concert hall down the road, 4000 seats) they have a choice of pianos (3 or 4 I think), and for big concerts they get a tech in to set the action as the soloist requires.

If it's for a record that's going to make money, why not spend some money and get it right? Nothing worse than regretting skimping on the 'perfect' recording!

No wonder people use electric stage pianos eh?!

Old 28th October 2007
Lives for gear

Hi tone,

As has been said - better to solve the problem acoustically but if its on the recording already a Spectral Editor like ReNovator or Retouch can work wonders. You'd have to work on each instance individually but it has the capacity to remove the noise without any artifacts.

There are versions built into some inexpensive programs like Adobe Audition but I haven't used them and don't know how flexible the parameters are for noises like that.

Old 29th October 2007
Gear addict

Get a piano tech in... it won't cost too much (in the scheme of things) to have this looked at.
Old 30th October 2007
Gear maniac

dementedchord - you suggested using some graphite powder to lube the action. Do you have a death wish? Some might find that justifiable homicide.
Old 30th October 2007
Lives for gear

granted my personal expertise runs more towards the electronic... but i've used it before on wooden actions on keyboards before with no ill effects... also when i rebuilt an old starck grand (30 yrs ago) i used it then at the suggestion of a tuner... so rather than rip me either enlighten or FO...
Old 1st November 2007
Gear maniac

dementedchord - not meant as a personal attack, rather just a heads up that people are very sensitive about their instruments, and before you start fiddling with someone else's piano, be darn sure to let them know what you're doing and of course, have their permission. My studio grand cost me $65,000 and no one, but no one, except for my personal technician, touches it. For many owners, it can be an ultra-sensitive issue.

Last edited by John Brook; 1st November 2007 at 07:25 PM.. Reason: typo
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