Piano Tuning to Robert Scott's TuneLab 97- 2.0:

Before you try to tune a piano with this program, you need to understand the basics of tone, beats, and tuning techniques.

The best plan would be for you to read ALL of the sections of study.  They are really not very hard to understand, and they will give you a grasp of what is happening as TuneLab works for you.  If you know what is happening in theory, you will do a better job using TuneLab.

Minimum, please read the section on Tools, and the section on Hearing Beats.  You need a grasp of the theory.  While you need not master the whole tuning process, NO machine or tuning program like TuneLab can replace the basic knowledge needed for tuning a piano 

So, please go to Getting Started, and read all of that lesson.

Next, read the section on Tuning Octaves.  This will tell you how to tune the octaves after you set a middle string with TuneLab. 

You do not need to study Equal Temperament since TuneLab will do those things for you IF you load the "average.tun" tuning format as instructed later.

Now, load TuneLab, and see if you can get your piano tuned.

Load the Program--  
This page will give you detailed instructions how to load the program from the CD Rom.



Just thought I'd send a trick that I did with the copy of tunelab I purchased on your CD. I went into the installation folder for the program and renamed the DEFAULT tuning file to another name such as 1DEFAULT and then renamed the Average tuning file to DEFAULT. In this way the program automatically opens the file with the stretch settings, for those of us who forget to do things like that.
Glenn Bergthols

Set up For Tuning

First, as a novice at tuning a piano, you need to understand that TuneLab is a very sophisticated tuning program.  It is simple to use if you don't try to get into its advanced features.  If you try to dig to the depths of it, you will probably get lost.  Robert Scott, the developer of TuneLab, is NOT a piano tuner by trade.  He is a programer, and a whiz kid of a programer at that.  Believe it or not, Robert did TuneLab as a diversion.  If he had done it on contract for a company, he might have gotten $20,000 for the item.

So, if you send him E-Mail asking questions, he will not have time to answer you.  Send ME the E-Mail inquiries please.

Also, stick to the mic or listening aspect of the program.  Do not try to tune with the tone generator by using the beat method.  Do not try to set the program to your quartz crystal in your PC.  Whatever you do, DO NOT change anything in the "EDIT" area of the tuning unless you are a professional piano tuner.  Stick to the basics of the program please.

You who are professional piano tuners, dive on in please.  This program is fantastic, and I am amazed that Robert is satisfied to register it for only $34.  Professionals, please poke and tinker with the program BEFORE asking questions.

Before going on, you MUST have a sound card, and the microphone must be connected to the mic jack on the back of the sound card, and it must be working already.

1.  Once the program is up on the screen, press the "AUTO" button.  This will make certain that TuneLab will hear the note you play and automatically tell you what note that is.  

The boxes will move to tell you if each note is sharp of flat.  Move the tuning hammer up and down until you have the boxes stopped or drifting only very slightly.

2. Next, hit "FILE" in the upper left corner of the TuneLab screen. At the drop down box, hit "OPEN TUNING FILE."  Look for "average.tun", highlight it, and hit "OPEN".  This will load an Average Tuning file which will control your tuning.  The temperament and treble "stretch" is built into this file.  This really makes it easy for the novice to do a very close tuning.

I want you to check to see if you have the "Average Tuning."  First, hit "EDIT" on the top bar of TuneLab.  In the drop down box, hit "Graphically Edit Tuning."  If the "Average Tuning" file is properly loaded, the screen should look like the picture at the left.

DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING ON THAT SCREEN WITH YOUR MOUSE.    If it is the right graphic, close the screen, and go on to tune your piano.  If not, close it and start over with step 2, and keep trying until Average Tuning is right.

The TuneLab program will find the note you play as you tune, and it will display it and custom tune it to the Average Tuning..

3.  Play a note you want to tune.  I suggest you start at middle "C".  [ You should have already read the section, Getting Started. ]  TuneLab will show by the moving boxes if the note is flat or sharp.  The boxes move to the right if it is flat, and to the left if the note is sharp.  Move the center wire you are tuning until the boxes stop.

Before tuning the note, check-- IS THE NOTE DISPLAYED ON THE SCREEN THE ONE YOU ARE ABOUT TO TUNE?  If the note displayed is a note below the one you are about to tune, your piano is WAY DOWN and below standard pitch.  I suggest you go ahead and tune it where it is.  If your piano is way off, you will have to tune twice since it will go out as you tune the piano the first time.

Professional tuners will be able to read the HELP files and set TuneLab off for such a situation.  I do not want to help you to try this.  It could be disastrous.  So, just plan to double tune please.  Drop the notes on down to the one on the display until the boxes stop.  If the display changes the note displayed and it drops another note, you went too far.  Really, you ought to stop.  You probably didn't read my lessons on piano tuning, and you are about to really mess up your piano.  Go back and read the lessons.

4. Go on down the piano, note by note, doing the middle strings as you mute the outside strings.  After a middle string is tuned in a particular note and the boxes on the screen stop moving to the left or right, tune the outside strings to the middle one be using the rubber mutes as described in the lesson, Getting Started, where you learned to tune unisons.

5.  TuneLab may not hear every note to the top of the treble.  If this is the case, you will have to go to Tuning the Treble, and you will have to read how to get the last octave or two right.  This is not too hard for the average person, but if it is too difficult for you, just leave the treble, and play the middle and bass, which is common for most folks anyway.

6.  Check your work.  Play all the notes on the piano, top to bottom.  If you hear any notes with beats, you at least missed getting a unison clean.  Go fix it.  Now, play up the keyboard from the middle to the top by octaves, "C" and "C", C# and C#, and so on.  If an octave has a beat, mute it again for tuning, and see which middle string is not right by using TuneLab.  Correct the octaves by tuning the incorrect one to the other until there are no beats.

Once all the octaves, from the top of the treble to the bottom of the bass, are clear and beatless, you are done.

If you are a committed computer geek, you will not be able to resist puttering through TuneLab.  You are on your own friend.  If you psych it out though, you will be amazed at the work Robert Scott did on this program.  He seemed to think of everything.  Read the HELP files to learn how to use the whole program.  It is all here.  If you mess the copy up which is on your hard drive, simply delete it and re-load from the CD.

Stay Humble

If you read all of the lessons in this section, then if you tune carefully with TuneLab, using the "average.tun" tuning file, you could have a tuning which is VERY close to perfection.  This is because of the built in characteristics found in TuneLab.

Please be careful how you brag up your skills.  Your piano may sound great compared to some friend who visits you.  You could get a reputation for knowing all about piano tuning, and later, someone will start blabbering about tuning-- someone who does know the trade-- and what will you do.  Stay humble please  :-)

So, use TuneLab, save a bunch of cash, and rejoice.

Load Robert Scott's TuneLab 97- 2.0--  Shareware--  $34
This is the best deal in professional tuning PC software.
The complete program is here.

PLEASE register this program with Robert Scott.  He has done a fantastic job with this program.

Send your $34 check or money order to:

Robert Scott
Real-Time Specialties
121 Blake Rd South
Hopkins MN 55343

Again, please send all E-Mail questions to ME, not Robert.