Piano buzzing w/ bass

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by carbon64, May 26, 2020.


  1. carbon64

    carbon64

    May 18, 2020
    Hello all,
    When I practice my bass the nearby piano will buzz with certain pitches. I reckon the sound is resonating with the piano strings. Any common solution to that?
    I am new to bass. My son plays the piano and he's decent so the piano stays :)
    Small house so cannot really practice elsewhere.
    Thanks for any tips. My first post.
    Cheers.
    PS I would ask the piano turner but that is always a 45 conversation :-l
     
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  2. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Where is your amp positioned relative to the piano? I'm wondering if they are on the same wood floor, or if the amp points towards the piano. You could try picking the amp up if it's on the floor. I doubt piano strings are resonating much, they should be dampened unless you play or step on the pedal. I'd suspect the case of the piano.
     
  3. carbon64

    carbon64

    May 18, 2020
    Indeed, the piano and amp share the wooden floor AND the amp/cab face the piano. I will try raising it with some foam and report back.
     
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  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    0000_1.jpg
     
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  5. carbon64

    carbon64

    May 18, 2020
    Hah, ok, its the cab that I will try and get some Styrofoam blocks under. Certainly not foam under the piano :)
     
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  6. mikewalker

    mikewalker

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    34bPVak.gif
     
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  7. adje

    adje

    Feb 3, 2004
    An acoustic piano has all kinds of pieces of felt in place to mute each (set of) string(s) when the corresponding key is in rest, which get moved out of the way when the key is depressed. It's all mechanical, and over time the mutes will sit looser, and the dampening will be less effective. The undampened strings will vibrate when exposed to sounds at sympathetic frequencies, especially lower frequency notes and their lower harmonics.

    So get a professional to do some maintenance on the piano.
     
  8. carbon64

    carbon64

    May 18, 2020
    Thank you, adje. The piano tuner rescheduled due to the pandemic, so when he returns in a couple months I will definitely let him know.
     
    adje likes this.
  9. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Being a piano tuner/tech, I can name that symptom in one note!....:D

    If you want to wait on your piano tech, that’s fine. Otherwise, I could walk you through the easiest thing to try via PMs, if you like.
     
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  10. adje

    adje

    Feb 3, 2004
    I wouldn't mind to know the easiest thing to try, I'm having the same issue here with the piano that I've been playing for on and off half a century.:facepalm:
     
  11. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Will do!

    Quick public question as I’m waiting at a stop light...

    Ate your pianos grands or vertical/uprights?
     
  12. Nothing a little duct tape won't fix!

    KIDDING, Geri, I'm kidding.... :)

    I'm VERY interested in reading about the hopefully quick fix for this piano thing too!
     
  13. bassinflorida

    bassinflorida turn that dang thing down

    Jan 27, 2014
    Tampa, FL
     
  14. I have the same problem with drums in my music room. I have to cover them with blankets and towels to stop them resonating.
     
  15. bassinflorida

    bassinflorida turn that dang thing down

    Jan 27, 2014
    Tampa, FL
    PS I would ask the piano turner but that is always a 45 conversation :-l[/QUOTE]

    Please post the link when you locate your "piano turner". I have been trying to find one.
     
  16. diegom

    diegom Supporting Member

    Please post the link when you locate your "piano turner". I have been trying to find one.[/QUOTE]
    Conversations with Piano Turners usually turn out 180 or 360!;):roflmao:
     
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  17. adje

    adje

    Feb 3, 2004
    Upright for me. Or should I specify URP, as opposed to URB? :D
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  18. adje

    adje

    Feb 3, 2004
    You missed the "oops upside your head" option. :cool:
     
    diegom likes this.
  19. carbon64

    carbon64

    May 18, 2020
    Yes, mine is also an upright piano.
     
  20. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Hey, ya'll, I didn't forget, just trying to finish up some rehearsing and some mixes on recordings for my country music artist...

    Regarding the problem of sympathetic vibration setting off some errant note(s) in a piano, there's an easy thing to check first...It's possible that the sustain pedal mechanism, for whatever reason, has gotten out of adjustment. If things swell a little bit from humidity (doesn't have to be excessive), the sustain pedal mechanism could be slightly lifting the dampers away from the strings. Some dampers could be lifting a little more than others. Here's how to check that.

    First, identify the note(s) that's resonating as you play. Play the bass, get those notes going and make a, well, a note (sorry) of the note(s) that are resonating. On the piano, play those same note(s) and see if they are still sustaining even when you release the key. If so....

    1. Underneath the keybed (the part where the keys are), look underneath, then look up and at the bottom of the keybed and you'll see one spring latch in the center, or maybe 2 spring latches up in each corner holding the fall-board in place (the upright board that covers the lower part of the piano innards). Push up on those latches and the board will "fall" toward you from the top. Remove it out of the way. (This would be a good time to vacuum out the dust inside, if you are so inclined. There's nothing down there that can be damaged if you use common sense as you vacuum)

    2. Look at the three pedals (might be 2 if it's really old and/or really cheap) down there. They extend from the outside of the piano to the inside. The pedal on the right is the sustain pedal. Press it down as you look inside the piano and identify the trapwork that extends from the pedal to either side of the piano. You'll notice a small screw that holds the little rod that goes from the pedal to the top of the trapwork lever. Loosen (counter-clockwise) that screw a turn or two. Now check those resonating notes and see if they are still sustaining uncontrollably. Keep in mind, when you loosen that screw, you are adding slack, or "lost motion", as we call it. You don't want much of that. If two turns counter-clockwise don't do it, then that's not the problem.

    3. If backing off that adjustment nut doesn't stop the offending notes from sustaining uncontrollably, you have other issues with those notes that your tuner-technician needs to address. A damper lever could need regulating, the damper felt could be out of position, or missing altogether.

    To replace that big fallboard, there will be either a long groove or two pins that stick up and hold the bottom of the fallboard in place. Set the fallboard down in the groove or on the pins, then simply push it closed.

    Good luck! Hope this helps....

    (I hope that I didn't make this too simple or condescending. You wouldn't believe what I go through when a piano teacher drops a bunch of pencils down behind the key cover of her grand piano and she starts teaching in 10 minutes and some keys won't work properly. And he/she calls me. And I'm an hour away.....:banghead::D
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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