What Is Piano Voicing?
Voicing or tone regulation is the process of changing the character and timbre of the piano tone to make it more pleasing and even from note to note throughout the range of the piano. Voicing includes preliminary repair and regulation of the action, string leveling and other fine adjustments. Hammer shaping and felt regulation follow.
Voicing can change the character of a pianos sound to match individual tastes and increase or decrease the brightness of the instrument. Our goal in voicing is to produce a full, rich, clean and even sound with excellent carry and sustain. We avoid bright or harsh over voicing and strive for a smooth bell like tonal quality with even progression of tone throughout the scale.
All pianos benefit from voicing regulation at various time. Hammer felt is highly compressed. Over time distortions including string cuts in the surface and throughout the hammer felt will cause changes to the sound of the piano. Wear is also a factor.
Among the techniques used in voicing:
- Needling of hammer felt
- Liquid infusion to the hammer felt for hardening purposes (sometimes called lacquering)
- Filing and shaping of the hammer head
- Ironing of hammer felt
- Gentle steam exposure to surface felt of hammers
- Action regulation adjustments
- Hammer tail and cove shaping to reduce mass