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Old 25th October 2020
Gear Maniac
There is a difference, and if you are unsure, then some people having a perfect pitch would be enough for me to accept song's key matters even if I couldn't hear it myself.

On that note, I do not have a perfect pitch, but am able to tell the note by the timbre of the instrument if I know it well enough. Strangely, it's easier to confuse the note by a perfect 4th/5th, but never by a halftone or semitone. Also, doesn't work on transposed sounds or synths.

As for a practical things one can do to experince the difference, take a piano and play just a basic major chord and start shifting it down by half steps. At some point it will sound too clustered and muddy. Depending on the piano, the difference between "still ok" and "definetely muddy" can be very small.