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Question about tuning to a piano.


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Alright, so I have a small but nonetheless important question about the Dark Fire. A few days ago, I went to a neighbor's house for a practice session with some friends. My neighbor had a choice of playing either guitar or piano. Everyone requested for him to play piano, as we already had two guitarists. So, I tuned up the Dark Fire in standard tuning, but when we checked its tuning against the piano's, the Dark Fire was slightly sharp. Do you think my onboard tuner may be off of 440, or do you think the piano is out of tune? My neighbor is positive that it is tuned to 440, so does anyone have a solution? By the way, our practice session went fine because we just tuned the other guitars to the Dark Fire and all played guitar.

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Due to temperature changes over time, or simply moving the instrument a few feet, Acoustic Pianos will naturally deviate from A 440 Pitch -

I have a friend who tunes Burt Bacharach's piano - every month.


You can test this yourself with a cheap guitar, - strum the strings and point a hair dryer at the strings - hear them go flat.

Ive seen perfectly tuned floyd rose string locked guitars go out of tune after 15 minutes exposure to the heat of intense stage lights. Pianos are stringed instruments and subject to identical laws of physics.

I've been at concerts where the on stage grand piano was professionally tuned at 9:00am - but after sitting on stage in the sun, it was totally out of tune by the 3 pm concert - most pros wrap a thermal insulation blanket over the instrument until showtime.


its also important to note that Pianos are tuned several ways - one is using a tempered tuning, another is stretched octave.


In other words, Mathematically if 'A" in the same octave as middle "C" is tuned to A=440Hz, you might believe that all other "A" notes are a multiple of "A" 440Hz. (110, 220, 440, 880, 1760, 3530)

However due to stretched octave tuning and the particular instrument - this is very often not the case.

more details here




The Dark Fire may be changed on the fly to reference non A 440 tuning - see the manual.




Chapter 4


Tuning to Pitch References Other Than A=440Hz

Although the most common tuning reference is A=440Hz, some orchestras tune to A=442 or

A=445Hz; Baroque ensembles often tune to A=435Hz. You may also be at a session where a piano

is in tune with itself, but not turned exactly to A=440Hz. For these and similar situations, Dark Fire

allows tuning to any arbitrary reference, within reason; here's how.

1. Select the desired Preset to hold the custom tuning, and tune to standard pitch by strumming

the strings.

2. Select one string and manually tune it to the desired reference pitch.

3. Pull the MCK out and turn it counter-clockwise until the b# symbol shines blue. The Display

Matrix dots will also shine blue, because you are in the Blue Bank.

4. Press the MCK's Display Matrix momentarily and the Display Matrix dot's will shine green. Now

Dark Fire is in the Green Bank.

5. Turn the MCK to the Peg position.

6. Press the MCK's Display Matrix, and hold it in the pressed state until the LED symbols E, A, D,

G, B and e shine red. At this point the Peg LED will be shining magenta.

7. Strum the string which will serve as the basis for your Reference Tuning until its LED turns

green, which confirms that your reference frequency has been measured and registered.

8. Now strum all strings, and the remaining LED symbols will behave as during a normal tuning

operation. Dark Fire will tune to the selected tuning with respect to your new reference pitch.

9. When tuning is complete, the string LEDs will turn off.

You can store your changed reference tuning as a custom alternate tuning preset. Push the MCK all

the way in, and perform the procedure described in Creating Custom Alternate Tuning Presets,

including the procedure for storing the tuning in a preset position.

Note: An alternative method to use a reference other than A=440Hz is to change Dark Fire's

calibration, as described in Setup Mode.

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Elantric, I really must say that you are a pro advice-giver. This troubleshoot will help so much in future sessions, as the piano is an important part of our music. I really appreciate everything that you are doing for the Dark Fire community, as well as the Gibson community as a whole. Keep rockin'!

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