What is an acceptable level of action noise on a piano? You might not have ever thought about this before, but the action indeed with almost a hundred parts to each note can have some noise to it, particularly older actions. There is a way I like to test pianos. First of all, having the lid opened or closed is going to make a dramatic difference in the amount of action noise you hear. When a piano is open on a grand piano or in an upright that has the possibility of lifting up the lid or some other way of getting the sound out, you’re going to hear the mechanical noise of the action.
One way you can test how much noise your action has is to push down on a bunch of keys with the palms of your hands and then let up very quickly. Pianos that are older and are located in dry environments can have dried out leather and felt parts. This can cause extraneous noise. There can be a lot of reasons for that. So, what do you do about such a thing? Well, if the parts are not too far gone, sometimes they can be treated with chemicals to soften them up or even brushed with metal brushes to get these parts to soften up to lessen the action noise. Other times, the parts are too far gone and parts do have to be replaced in order to get a high level of performance and to minimize the level of noise.
So what is an acceptable level of noise depends upon the kind of music you play as well as the situation. For example, if you like to play aggressive pop music or rock, action noise is really not going to be much of a problem because the sound of your music is always going to be above the level of the action noise. Perhaps for a new age pianist or anyone who plays delicate music, the noise could be more distracting. As I mentioned earlier, if the piano is opened or closed, it is going to determine how much noise you hear from the action.
In recording situations, it can be vital to have a dead quiet action, particularly if you use close miking techniques for certain types of sonorities. The miking of a piano has a dramatic effect upon its tone. A close microphone can capture a very intimate kind of compressed sound that can be very appealing for certain styles of music, but you must have a really quiet action or it can be very distracting to your recordings. So, you can determine if action noise is a problem for you on your piano. I hope this has been helpful for you – info@LivingPianos.com