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Regulation & voicing

Voicing is a procedure which ensures that the tone quality heard across the range of the piano keyboard is uniform and that each key produces a sound that is sympathetic to those of its neighbours. It is also possible to adjust the overall tone of the piano, in terms of the brilliance of the resulting sound - mellow, bright, warm, clear etc.

At the beginning of the voicing process, Chamberlain Music ensures that everything within the piano action is performing and responding as expected. The action is checked, and the regulation adjusted as required so that the hammers are moving freely and that they strike the strings ‘square on’. The notes in the upper bass end of the piano keyboard have 2 strings per note, and the notes in the middle and upper ends of the keyboard have 3 strings per note. Part of the voicing process ensures that the hammer strikes all the strings of its note evenly – this helps the note sound clearly and uniformly.

Technicians use voicing needles to prick the felt head of a hammer. This softens the tone produced, as they are effectively making the contact point between hammer and string less hard. It is usual for the hammers to harden over time, as the felt head becomes compressed and compacted by repeated playing. It is possible that a new piano may need a note ‘voiced’ in order to bring it uniformly in line with those notes around it.

Damper pedal regulation is checked to make sure that the piano’s pedals operate and cut off as expected.