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Very intriguing as to how you achieved that effect!
Thanks for the videos!
Unlike in those, the device that creates the effect in my videos is 100% mechanical, and actually rather simple. No electronics are involved.
When the left pedal is depressed, the 19 notes from C3 to F#4 play the octave fifth harmonic instead of the fundamental (as you hear). Let the pedal up and the notes play as normal. Left and right pedal functions can operate together or independently, as in any piano.
The device doing this is located in between the underside of the strings and above the soundboard, and hovers magnetically in between them, with close to zero clearance between soundboard and strings.
Getting this to work required drilling a hole through the keybed, getting a thin carbon rod to move up and down in between the keys in the action, and drilling a hole just big enough through the soundboard itself for the carbon rod, as well as building new wooden trapwork for the device.
The device is made out of: neodymium magnets, carbon fiber, West epoxy, a steel plate, brass spindles, basswood plywood, a ridiculous amount of superglue, and ecsaine fabric.
It took years and dozens of failed prototypes. The device is permanently installed, and because of the materials is essentially unbreakable, cannot go out of adjustment, and will work exactly as it does for many many hours of playing before having to replace the only part that could need replacing, the ecsaine.
Given the very very low level of force applied to the ecsaine and ecsaines incredible toughness, it could be decades or even generations before it needs any maintenance, which is very much by intentional design through choice of materials.
There is a tiny bit of additional refinement possible, but to make one note even slightly better at this point is incredibly tricky and time consuming. Still doing it when next in the mood, perfection is an ever receding horizon still worth marching towards.
The device can go in and out quite easily in seconds, I'll make a video of that soon. The device does have to be removed to take the action out, slight inconvenience.
I built it out of extreme boredom at the idea of rebuilding yet another boring square grand left pedal system as originally designed.
"What else can I make a left pedal on a square do?" I asked myself, and this was (eventually, years later) the answer, and here we are.
The compositional possibilities of a piano that can play the same 19 notes on two different keys an octave fifth apart, simultaneously, but have completely different timbres... I'm sure you follow.
I am hoping a real composer buys it, an adventurous and creative one.
Very cool invention! I supposed if you changed the location of the bar, you could play different harmonics instead? How hard does it have to press on the strings to not buzz and give a clean sound?
Unfortunately the geometry and dimension etc forced it to be there, cannot work elsewhere (without undoing redoing everything). Anyway, the notes from C3 to F#4 are the optimal ones anyway.
Tone is synergistically dependent on TWO things, not just one.
1. Pedal pressure; it's a couple pounds to lift it to starting position, but then only an ounce or two of additional pressure to create a pure harmonic. More pressure pushes and deflects the strings up, but not all 19 evenly, so it's... longer strings deflect more... complicated.
Generally, there's a curve: almost contact creates some interesting pre-effect sounds, then light pressure for a pure tone, additional pressure tone gets harsher.
2. Finger force; the quieter it's played, the purer the tone, the harder they're played the more wooden attack sounds and distortion.
So a light foot pressure and light (PP to PPPP) playing = purest tone, but there's dozens of other possible timbres and effects with both foot and finger factored in.
It's a new never before pedal thing, so of course there's a learning curve for any pianist figuring it out.
The action has a simple, not compound, escapement, so was able to set letoff at about 1/64th" - so PPPP isn't just hyperbole (last note of recording is what I call PPPP).
Original 1859 soundboard: zero cracks of any kind, 100% rim integrity, multiple hand brushed shellacs Original 1859 bridges and bridge pins: perhaps 10 hairline cracks at pins, 100% soundboard integrity, stripped shellaced graphited etc Original 1859 pinblock: went from original #1 pins to standard #2 pins, perfect feel till bass, fixed with CA, tunes easily and holds very well Original 1859 ivories and ebonies: numerous horrific chips fixed with MA, sanded to 12,000 grit polish Original 1859 keysticks, buttons, jacks and rockers: new bushings (M Kurta), new silks, new rocker screws, back felts etc Original 1859 reg buttons, screws etc Original 1859 action center pins, birdseye bushings: not ONE center pin needed anything other than Protek lubing - not one Original 1859 hammer cores, hammer shanks, hammer base, hammer felt
But here, I must say, once past the hammer flange center pin and moving towards the strings, it's all a Frankenstein monstrosity, designed only to make it create whatever I wanted to hear and perform how I wanted it to perform. Many are weighted with tungsten disks in the 100mg - 1.1gm range, Superglued, then epoxied. The shanks and bases are also coated in thick epoxy. The base of the hammer core also. Many have carbon splints, a few have steel trusses encased in epoxy. The original wooden hammer tails were removed, and featherweight steel tough carbon fiber wafers were glued and epoxied on as the new hammer tails, to catch at modern reg specs on the 100% genuine new Steinway grand backchecks that replaced the absurd - things - called a backcheck on the back of the key - that all crumbled to the touch, literally.
I completely disregarded the weight I was adding to the touch while crafting the tone and regulation. Many keys ended up as high as 75gm!!! Wanting a sub-50 touch when finished, I added tungsten disks to the underside of the front of the keysticks till I got a 50bass/40treble touch; the mod is visible only under the key.
The touch is very light, but there's a LOT of weight on both sides of the seesaw, and feels like a light spring breeze to play. Can get FF in the bass effortlessly.
The damper felts have been tripled from original design, and most of the 1859 damper system just went in the trash. I've used about 100 magnets in the damper system while re-engineering EVERYTHING. Beyond all else, square dampers SUCK, so I fixed it. Just this once.