1

Topic: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

I have no idea how to adjust the Spectrum Profile.  is the profile on a note by note basis or on the instrument voice as a whole?  How do you go about adjusting it?  I'm extremely confused to to its function and use.  However, I believe it may be one of the most important characteristics of the voice of a given piano.  Is there a guide book or videos that go into detail on how to properly make adjustments?

Pianoteq Pro 6.x - Linux Mint 18.2 - Mate Desktop

2

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

Read the manual section 14.2. It's rather brief but there is no trick other than using your ears and having a goal in mind.

See also this video: https://www.pianoteq.com/tutorials?play=tutorial4

Last edited by Gilles (21-10-2017 20:35)

3

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

If you adjust the spectrum profile on the first page of the Standard- or Pro version, you affect the entire piano globally.  If you have PRO, then you can adjust each harmonic individually, on a note-per-note basis.

A little primer on harmonics:
If you are familiar at all with Hammond organs' drawbars, the first of the two white drawbars represents the fundamental frequency or first harmonic of a given note.  Interestingly, and intentionally, all of the octave harmonic'd drawbars are white in Hammond organs.  These represent the first, second, fourth and eighth harmonic, and each represent the next-higher octave overtones of a given note. 

(It turns out that the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 16th and 32nd harmonic of Pianoteq also corresponds to overtones that sound at a given octave away from the fundamental tone.)  Try this little experiment, yourself, with Pianoteq:  In Standard or Pro versions, on the opening screen, proceed to minimize all eight harmonics, by sliding them down to their minimum values, one-at-a-time, with your mouse or touch pad.  Then raise ONLY the first harmonic to its maximum value (leaving all of the rest at their minimum values), and play Middle C or arpeggiate a C major chord.  You will hear essentially a sine wave of the given not being played.

Now, reducing the first harmonic slider to its normal (+0dB) level, proceed to raise the second harmonic slider to its +15dB maximum level and play some single notes.  You will hear the original note, plus a second note sounding an octave higher.

Now, re-set the 2nd Harmonic slider to -15dB, and raise the FOURTH harmonic to its maximum +15dB level (keeping the very first harmonic slider at its normal 0dB position).  You will hear the original note, plus a second note sounding TWO OCTAVES higher.   If you repeat this exercise by maximizing the 8th harmonic slider, you will hear the original note plus a second  note THREE OCTAVES higher.

* * * * * *

So much for the even harmonics, 2, 4 and 8, which give rise to harmonics sounding one, two and three octaves higher than the original note.

Let's play with the ODD harmonics:
Keeping the first harmonic slider at 0dB, proceed to maximize ONLY the 3rd harmonic slider.  Now if you are playing middle C on your keyboard, you should hear that same middle C, in conjunction with a G sounding 1-1/2 octaves higher than the original C.  If you continue and play with the 5th, 6th and 7th harmonic sliders individually, you will hear the other harmonics that correspond to these particular sliders.

* * * * * *

Here's the clincher with brittle sounding high notes:  You only need to adjust (reduce) the 2nd, 3rd or 4th slider, only about -2 or -3 dB to effect the brittleness of very high notes.  Why?  That's because these are about the only harmonics you are going to hear anyway in the highest octave of a piano.  Restated, the highest C on a normal piano has a fundamental frequency only about 4000Hz, so anything beyond the third or fourth harmonic isn't going to be heard (or reproduced) anyway.

Enough of my rambling; you get the picture of what to do.

Hope this helps explain the spectrum profiles.

Cheers,

Joe

Last edited by jcfelice88keys (21-10-2017 21:04)

4

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

Gilles wrote:

Read the manual section 14.2. It's rather brief but there is no trick other than using your ears and having a goal in mind.

See also this video: https://www.pianoteq.com/tutorials?play=tutorial4

I looked at the video previously but it really isn't adequate other than to say it's a feature that's available.  Where can I find the manual online?  I only saw it on Scribus, and I'm not a member.  Whatever it does it is more complex than just adjusting a single note's value up or down.  Honestly, I need a proper explanation, right now it's just mystery meat.  But thanks for your effort to help.

Last edited by GRB (21-10-2017 21:44)
Pianoteq Pro 6.x - Linux Mint 18.2 - Mate Desktop

5

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

jcfelice88keys wrote:

If you adjust the spectrum profile on the first page of the Standard- or Pro version, you affect the entire piano globally.  If you have PRO, then you can adjust each harmonic individually, on a note-per-note basis.

A little primer on harmonics:
If you are familiar at all with Hammond organs' drawbars, the first of the two white drawbars represents the fundamental frequency or first harmonic of a given note.  Interestingly, and intentionally, all of the octave harmonic'd drawbars are white in Hammond organs.  These represent the first, second, fourth and eighth harmonic, and each represent the next-higher octave overtones of a given note. 

(It turns out that the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 16th and 32nd harmonic of Pianoteq also corresponds to overtones that sound at a given octave away from the fundamental tone.)  Try this little experiment, yourself, with Pianoteq:  In Standard or Pro versions, on the opening screen, proceed to minimize all eight harmonics, by sliding them down to their minimum values, one-at-a-time, with your mouse or touch pad.  Then raise ONLY the first harmonic to its maximum value (leaving all of the rest at their minimum values), and play Middle C or arpeggiate a C major chord.  You will hear essentially a sine wave of the given not being played.

Now, reducing the first harmonic slider to its normal (+0dB) level, proceed to raise the second harmonic slider to its +15dB maximum level and play some single notes.  You will hear the original note, plus a second note sounding an octave higher.

Now, re-set the 2nd Harmonic slider to -15dB, and raise the FOURTH harmonic to its maximum +15dB level (keeping the very first harmonic slider at its normal 0dB position).  You will hear the original note, plus a second note sounding TWO OCTAVES higher.   If you repeat this exercise by maximizing the 8th harmonic slider, you will hear the original note plus a second  note THREE OCTAVES higher.

* * * * * *

So much for the even harmonics, 2, 4 and 8, which give rise to harmonics sounding one, two and three octaves higher than the original note.

Let's play with the ODD harmonics:
Keeping the first harmonic slider at 0dB, proceed to maximize ONLY the 3rd harmonic slider.  Now if you are playing middle C on your keyboard, you should hear that same middle C, in conjunction with a G sounding 1-1/2 octaves higher than the original C.  If you continue and play with the 5th, 6th and 7th harmonic sliders individually, you will hear the other harmonics that correspond to these particular sliders.

* * * * * *

Here's the clincher with brittle sounding high notes:  You only need to adjust (reduce) the 2nd, 3rd or 4th slider, only about -2 or -3 dB to effect the brittleness of very high notes.  Why?  That's because these are about the only harmonics you are going to hear anyway in the highest octave of a piano.  Restated, the highest C on a normal piano has a fundamental frequency only about 4000Hz, so anything beyond the third or fourth harmonic isn't going to be heard (or reproduced) anyway.

Enough of my rambling; you get the picture of what to do.

Hope this helps explain the spectrum profiles.

Cheers,

Joe

Okay, I have the pro version, so there are two sliders on each note?  What about the various modes like Octave and Haircut?  I noticed that with haircut you can only trim it seems.  It was annoying for someone who doesn't know what is happening or what it is supposed to to.  I'll experiment a bit and come back probably with more questions.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I understand it a bit better, but it's really hard to know what you are doing as related to the preset.  I think I need to learn how to set up a folder with just the original preset and the modified preset to do an A / B comparison.  Perhaps there is that feature already and I don't know about it.  But you need to be able to compare what you are doing to the original easily to see if you are making improvements or making things worse.  Also the spectrum profile seems to deal with a huge number of harmonics.  But the way I see it now, you select a note, then edit a specific harmonic which in turn affects every other harmonic on up the scale.  In my case I was just working with the fundamental itself.  which you can either add or subtract decibels from what I suppose is considered neutral.  But it's hard to figure out what you are doing to the sound unless you can toggle back to the original.

Here's the deal:  I'm more familiar with working on actual acoustic pianos.  As far as I know the primary ways you can change the harmonic balance on a genuine strung instrument is to change the wire gauge of the core and or the winding in the case of bass strings.  Certain pianos are strung with what they refer to as "scaling" or "the scale" which is sometimes expressed in tons of pressure which relates to the wire gauge at a given points on the piano.  Next and probably more easily achieved than changing strings is either to harden the hammers with a mixture of liquefied polystyrene or needle them in a way that makes the shoulders of the hammer softer.   This is simulated on Pianoteq instruments and I presume the mathematical formulas of the sound generation are modified by decimal fractions.  It's hard to know what you are actually doing.  So until I can figure out how to do an immediate A / B comparison between the change and the original there isn't too much point in talking about it any more.  The entire problem is compounded by the fact that there are so many parameters to adjust. Each one affects the others, so it's imperative that changes can be compared to a known baseline which would be the preset, or a user created preset that is already reasonably close to what you want in terms of sound quality.  Reading over your explanation again, I see I need to do more experimentation with the various upper harmonics.

Last edited by GRB (22-10-2017 01:40)
Pianoteq Pro 6.x - Linux Mint 18.2 - Mate Desktop

6

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

GRB wrote:

Where can I find the manual online?

https://www.pianoteq.com/support

7

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

GRB,
Load your preset that you want to adjust in the “A” slot, click on the “B” and load it again, click back to A and adjust as desired or wanted to compare just click B and there is the preset unedited for you to compare.

8

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

You might be interested in this Java software I wrote a couple of years ago: http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=1634

9

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

Philippe Guillaume wrote:
GRB wrote:

Where can I find the manual online?

https://www.pianoteq.com/support

Thanks, I'll study it.  FWIW, I improved my Model B considerably by reducing the hammer hardness on the lower end.  Also "stretching" the tuning of the bass helped a lot.  The lowest A is now 14 cents flat and decreases upward linearly.  It sounds way better.  I'm surprised so much re-tuning is required.  Seems weird that small speakers could require that.

Pianoteq Pro 6.x - Linux Mint 18.2 - Mate Desktop

10

Re: How do you adjust the Spectrum Profile Pro Version 6

Gilles wrote:

You might be interested in this Java software I wrote a couple of years ago: http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=1634

WOW! I'll try to look into this.  I didn't realize you are such an expert on the subject.  See my post on how I corrected my Model B which is now a very lovely expressive instrument.

Pianoteq Pro 6.x - Linux Mint 18.2 - Mate Desktop