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A above middle C @ 432 hz instead of 440 for a warmer, transparant sound?
Old 9th December 2008
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
and i am not aware of any softsynth that allows note-by-note tuning. are there any or how could you do this?
I once posted in here, linking to a couple of thousands of micro-tuning scales and the software to use it with your own VSTis/hardware.

I guess it went over a lot of people's heads....................

smh@some of the responses
Old 9th December 2008
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusColeman View Post
I once posted in here, linking to a couple of thousands of micro-tuning scales and the software to use it with your own VSTis/hardware.

I guess it went over a lot of people's heads....................

smh@some of the responses
Not mine - but i think we should start a new thread about tuning systems because a lot of people are confusing the issue with tuning references...
Old 11th December 2008
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
i'm thinking about experimenting with different pitch standards for different songs. i wonder if putting a 420 next to a 450 next to a 440 next to a 432 on a cd would be too jarring.
Yes. It would be very jarring. Again, I'd argue that different temperaments generally make a much bigger audible difference (though it can be subtle) than different pitch levels. If you have programmable synths, try Werckmeister or meantone (with a reference pitch in the key of the song).
Old 11th December 2008
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
I haven't heard back from my violist yet, but hopefully I will be able to do a song at C256, A440, then again at C256 and A432.

There's a lot of variables here. A lot of instruments tune to E, rather than C or A. C is generally excepted as the fixed standard, not A. So the question is, is A the only note that changes in tune? I like the equal vs. unequal temperment example above. But still, it's different recordings on different pianos.
ALL pitch classes are tuned according to whatever the reference pitch is. The reference pitch is always given as A. A=440, A=415, A-465, A=430, A=392, etc. (These are levels commonly used by people playing early music on historical instruments.) If you need to figure out what frequency C is at A=432, you need to do some math. Don't go around throwing out references like C-256 because people won't know what you're talking about. Do the math to figure out where A is at C=256 and give people that as a reference. And guitarists and bass players sometimes tune to E, but they've got an open A string too, and they can just easily tune to A. Most good guitarists can take an A and tune the rest of the strings by ear. However, unless your violist is into historical performance, there's a pretty good chance he/she will not want to tune down to A=432. Bowed string instruments are VERY finnicky about being retuned, and since these instruments do not have frets, players must rely on their ears and their muscle memory to play in tune. Detuning, even by just a bit, messes with both. Trust me on this - I write microtonal music and have worked with many string players, 99% of whom will pretty much flat-out refuse to tune to anything other than A-440.
Old 11th December 2008
  #65
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Goes to show how much I know about tuning. I did do the math in a previous post though, A433.5 yields C256.

So if the original topic was A432 being a better reference tone than A440, then we are talking about within the same tuning system. Which would make pretty much everything I've said void, as well as the post with the equal vs. unequal temperment. I thought we were talking about changing the tuning system. This also makes BC's post correct, and mine incorrect. Although I would still say that slowing something down will have effects outside of simple pitch shifting.
Old 12th December 2008
  #66
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I think the OP's intent was in demonstrating an alternate ref. pitch for "A" (instead of A=440, reverting to 'old' standard of A=432)...

The various articles pose hypotheses re: the 'math' of A=432 to being a more 'universally accurate' ref. for pitch. Sonority and timbre are supposedly affected differently through using 432 as the ref. pitch.

All else is a variation of this theme: the various 'tuning' methods (pythagorean vs. just vs. equal temperament) are still referencing the 'absolute' pitch centre being A=432.

This is MY understanding of the orig. post's intent...
Old 12th December 2008
  #67
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ya but 432 is just as random a number as 440.

anything from 427 to 453 will give you +/- 0.5 notes from 440.

anything in that range should be more interesting than 440 imo.


"Modern "normal" pitch is a'=440 Hz. Many symphony orchestras use a'=442, even a'=445. Modern word "baroque pitch" means a'=415 Hz. For early classicism some use a'=430 Hz. In 17th century Venice the pitch might have been a'=460 Hz. Etc., etc..."
Arto's New String Calculator
Old 13th December 2008
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
ya but 432 is just as random a number as 440.
Not according to a few theorems, like the ones in the OP's first thread...
Old 13th December 2008
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
Not according to a few theorems, like the ones in the OP's first thread...
what theorem? there is no basis for 432 in those links except that one or two people tried 432 and liked it.
Old 13th December 2008
  #70
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Old 13th December 2008
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
Sorry, I didn't cross-ref. the OP's links - here's a few:

432 hz, the universal frequency.
432Hz
Universal Dances 432
432hz.net - 432hz Music Store - Natural Tuning Consciousness

Suffice to say - it's more than just a few people tuning down and liking it...

"In ancient times instruments were tuned to 432hz and the music played was in tune and harmony with nature, people and nature were much more closely connected, so what happened ?"

"It is very close to 432hz and infact many old musical instruments are found to be tuned to this frequency. Most of the classical music was originally concieved at 432hz and it is only in the last 100 years that the pitch has been re-standardised to 440hz."

the above sort of stuff is simply untrue. completely so (or at the least, it's very misleading). we've used all kinds of numbers through the centuries with little long-standing pref for any. see:
Pitch (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


"440hz is the recognized or 'concert pitch' frequency and is used as the standard for tuners, tuning forks, music making programs and musical instruments. But if you try dividing 440hz into all the notes then you get irrational numbers, infinite decimal places."

"By substituting 432 hz as the reference pitch for your instruments, it is then possible to divide the represented wavelengths accurately into notes. eg. using 432hz for 'A', the note 'D' becomes 144hz. At 440 'D' would be 146.66666 etc."

this would be a compelling argument if true as well. if 432 was mathematically superior for equal tempered tuning, that would make a case. but their d=144 at a=432 claim is a mathematical falsehood.

i was curious (and bored) enough to crunch the numbers, and the only mathematical advantage i could see for any a-based tuning system was that a=442 gives d at a whole number. that's the only system that gives a single whole number for any pitch. 432 gives just as much jibberish as all the rest (d=144.163...).

based on our completely unstable preferences through history, and the math as i've attached, i don't see any reason to believe any a-based even tuning system is inherently superior to the rest, except perhaps 442 in the keys of D/Bm/F/Dm.

and of course, this all goes out the window if you are using just intonation or any other tuning system.

anyway, this is a fascinating subject and it's opened my eyes to plenty of new musical possibilities, so thanks all around.
Attached Files
File Type: xls 12-tet-hz.xls (46.5 KB, 222 views)
Old 13th December 2008
  #72
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
"In ancient times instruments were tuned to 432hz and the music played was in tune and harmony with nature, people and nature were much more closely connected, so what happened ?"

"It is very close to 432hz and infact many old musical instruments are found to be tuned to this frequency. Most of the classical music was originally concieved at 432hz and it is only in the last 100 years that the pitch has been re-standardised to 440hz."

the above sort of stuff is simply untrue. completely. see:
Pitch (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


"440hz is the recognized or 'concert pitch' frequency and is used as the standard for tuners, tuning forks, music making programs and musical instruments. But if you try dividing 440hz into all the notes then you get irrational numbers, infinite decimal places."

"By substituting 432 hz as the reference pitch for your instruments, it is then possible to divide the represented wavelengths accurately into notes. eg. using 432hz for 'A', the note 'D' becomes 144hz. At 440 'D' would be 146.66666 etc."

this would be a compelling argument if true as well. if 432 was mathematically superior for equal tempered tuning, that would make a case. but their d=144 at a=432 claim is a mathematical falsehood.

i was curious (and bored) enough to crunch the numbers, and the only mathematical advantage i could see for any a-based tuning system was that a=442 gives d at a whole number. that's the only system that gives a single whole numbers for any pitch. 432 gives just as much jibberish as all the rest (d=144.163...).

based on our completely unstable preferences through history, and the math as i've attached, i don't see any reason to believe any a-based even tuning system is inherently superior to the rest, except perhaps 442 in the keys of D/Bm/F/Dm.

and of course, this all goes out the window if you are using just intonation or any other tuning system.

anyway, this is a fascinating subject and it's opened my eyes to plenty of new possibilities, so thanks all around.
Excellent post, thanks for crunching!
Old 13th December 2008
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
anyway, this is a fascinating subject and it's opened my eyes to plenty of new musical possibilities, so thanks all around.
Now THAT is what I hoped for on this topic...

When we stop learning and/or questioning what we THINK we know, consider yourself dead and gone.

cheers,
Old 13th December 2008
  #74
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Thanks for pointing this out. And, at risk of repeating myself yet again, I strongly encourage people who are interested in alternative tuning systems to check out non-equal-tempered tunings, rather than simply using equal-temperament at some slightly -lower pitch standard. If "harmony with nature" is what you're all about, meantone, Pythagorean, or just tunings approach acoustical ideals much more closely (as long as you don't modulate too far away from the home key) than equal temperament ever can. It's all about the ratios, not the constants!

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
"In ancient times instruments were tuned to 432hz and the music played was in tune and harmony with nature, people and nature were much more closely connected, so what happened ?"

"It is very close to 432hz and infact many old musical instruments are found to be tuned to this frequency. Most of the classical music was originally concieved at 432hz and it is only in the last 100 years that the pitch has been re-standardised to 440hz."

the above sort of stuff is simply untrue. completely so (or at the least, it's very misleading). we've used all kinds of numbers through the centuries with little long-standing pref for any. see:
Pitch (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


"440hz is the recognized or 'concert pitch' frequency and is used as the standard for tuners, tuning forks, music making programs and musical instruments. But if you try dividing 440hz into all the notes then you get irrational numbers, infinite decimal places."

"By substituting 432 hz as the reference pitch for your instruments, it is then possible to divide the represented wavelengths accurately into notes. eg. using 432hz for 'A', the note 'D' becomes 144hz. At 440 'D' would be 146.66666 etc."

this would be a compelling argument if true as well. if 432 was mathematically superior for equal tempered tuning, that would make a case. but their d=144 at a=432 claim is a mathematical falsehood.

i was curious (and bored) enough to crunch the numbers, and the only mathematical advantage i could see for any a-based tuning system was that a=442 gives d at a whole number. that's the only system that gives a single whole number for any pitch. 432 gives just as much jibberish as all the rest (d=144.163...).

based on our completely unstable preferences through history, and the math as i've attached, i don't see any reason to believe any a-based even tuning system is inherently superior to the rest, except perhaps 442 in the keys of D/Bm/F/Dm.

and of course, this all goes out the window if you are using just intonation or any other tuning system.

anyway, this is a fascinating subject and it's opened my eyes to plenty of new musical possibilities, so thanks all around.
Old 13th December 2008
  #75
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the other flaw i neglected to mention in their claims pertains to what frequency as hertz actually represents.

frequency is defined as hertz = cycles/second. a cycle as a natural and finite thing, but seconds are an arbitrary and imperfect time standard.

thus the precise number of hertz a sound makes is arbitrary as well, and whether a frequency is a certain number or not has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. the numbers themselves are irrelevant to nature - they're our computations alone. there's no actual evidence anywhere that nature has a 'prime frequency', and if it did, it would just as likely have infinite decimal places.

nature uses the entire sound spectrum, and so have great musicians and cultures through history.

so if you want something a little brighter, more energetic than the norm, why not try a=~445 or a=~450. for mellower try a=~435 or a=~430. or just use anything at all between 427 and 453 depending on what works. heck use 432.16208741843... if it makes you happy.

beyond that, as matyas said, it's all about ratios and relations. just intonation is most natural but allows no key changes. meantone allows more key changes, but is a bit less natural. pythagorean is relatively unmusical and mostly just mathematical. and equal, what we're already used to, allows the most key changes but the least perfection in any one.

at least, that's what i get out of it. whatever works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricey View Post
i think Mozart's tuning fork is A430. i know the Philadelphia Orchestra(with Eugene Ormandy as director) tuned to A438 and was known for their 'lush' sound. i also know that some European orchestras will tune as high as A445. i think it's natural for the reference tone to ascend over time if we want to keep the same music interesting.

Mayans and physics aside, i thought the explanation was simple: if we're going to perform Beethoven's Fifth Symphony for the godillionth time, how do we make it different? well, brighter is going to get the listener's attention.

darker is also a nice variation, especially when we're playing something 'everyone' has heard before. Stevie Ray Vaughn tuned low, as did Van Halen if i'm not mistaken, for the same result - a 'heavier' sound. it's not scientific, but it IS relative.
and ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by matyas View Post
If "harmony with nature" is what you're all about, meantone, Pythagorean, or just tunings approach acoustical ideals much more closely (as long as you don't modulate too far away from the home key) than equal temperament ever can. It's all about the ratios, not the constants!
and so on...
Old 14th December 2008
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
the other flaw i neglected to mention in their claims pertains to what frequency as hertz actually represents.
frequency is defined as hertz = cycles/second. a cycle as a natural and finite thing, but seconds are an arbitrary and imperfect time standard.
BINGO! I could come up with an arbitrary unit of time that corresponds to, say 1/415th of a second. I call this unit a blork. 1/100th is called a centiblork. 1/1000th is a milliblork. Now, using these units, A=415 has a waveform period lasting 1 blork. If we were to measure time in blorks instead of seconds, this would look like some primal cosmic constant!
Old 14th December 2008
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matyas View Post
BINGO! I could come up with an arbitrary unit of time that corresponds to, say 1/415th of a second. I call this unit a blork. 1/100th is called a centiblork. 1/1000th is a milliblork. Now, using these units, A=415 has a waveform period lasting 1 blork. If we were to measure time in blorks instead of seconds, this would look like some primal cosmic constant!
i like your system. from now on, i only tune to blorks. heh
Old 14th December 2008
  #78
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440 =






-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




432 =

Old 14th December 2008
  #79
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I get it, dude. You like the way A=432 sounds. That's fine. You're allowed. Just please don't try to pass it off as some inherent law of nature that this arbitrary note called "A" should be have a frequency of 432 cycles per second (or 1.04096385542 cycles per blork).
FWIW, I've played at A=415, A=392, A=430, A=442, and A=460 as well as some Indonesian gamelan tunings that have nothing to do with A or 12-tone equal temperament at all. I still maintain that while unequal temperaments are a completely valid and valuable realm of musical exploration, the only real reason to tune to something other than A=440/442 is to accommodate historical instruments that sound better at that pitch level. I tune my clavichord to A=415, not because I think A=415 is somehow superior, but because that the pitch level it's designed to work at. I tune it to Lehmann's "Bach" temperament because the sort of music I play on it does sound noticeably better in that temperament.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
440 =






-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




432 =

Old 14th December 2008
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
i like your system. from now on, i only tune to blorks. heh
You have my permission, and my blessing! To accompany the time unit "blork", we can reckon frequency in cycles per blork (cpb). How do you feel about A=0.94318181818 cpb?
Old 14th December 2008
  #81
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I thought Blork was a trippy singer from Iceland?

Matayas, what's your take on overtones? Way I've learned it, the reason the relationship between the tonic and the fifth works so nicely is that the third overtone of the tonic IS the fifth (+ an octave). But not all tuning systems rely on perfect harmonic equivalence. Do you find it best when there is harmonic equivalence, or does it work just as well or better when you go outside of the math?
Old 14th December 2008
  #82
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lmao
Old 16th December 2008
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
]
Matayas, what's your take on overtones? Way I've learned it, the reason the relationship between the tonic and the fifth works so nicely is that the third overtone of the tonic IS the fifth (+ an octave). But not all tuning systems rely on perfect harmonic equivalence. Do you find it best when there is harmonic equivalence, or does it work just as well or better when you go outside of the math?
That's a big can o' worms, and well beyond the scope of this thread. The capsule version: a true (just) perfect fifth would have a ratio of 3:2. This does correspond to the ratio of the fundamental to the third overtone (adjusted for octave equivalency). The problem is that in order to keep all of your fifths (and everything else) pure from an acoustical standpoint, you would need an infinite number of keys on a keyboard. If you listen to a good a capella vocal group, or an instrumental ensemble which doesn't contain fixed pitch (keyed or fretted instruments) - like a string quartet, for example - they will tune their intervals more or less purely. For example, a violinist will make a distinction between G# above an E in the bass and Ab over an F in the bass (they would be the same key on a keyboard or the same fret on a guitar). There have been various attempts to solve this problem - some have even tried 19-note keyboards, for example. With a standard 12-note keyboard, compromises are necessary. You either tune everything so that's equally flawed (which is what equal-temperament is), giving you the ability to play freely and modulate into any key, or you favor certain intervals. Depending upon what intervals you favor, you can get any number of temperaments, from Pythagorean (fifths tuned pure; thirds are basically useless) to temperaments which approach equal, but in which each key still retains a distinctive sonority (Werckmeister, Vallotti, Lehmann). The system which approaches the overtone series most closely is just intonation, but just intonation requires a large number of pitches per octave (technically, the number is infinite) or you lose the ability to modulate. Lately, I've been messing around with Logic's "Hermode" tuning, in which the computer basically analyzes the harmony created by your midi data and attempts to to retune everything in realtime to a more-or-less just scheme - kind of how orchestral players do automatically. It does work surprisingly well at making softsynth tracks sound less artificial.
Old 16th December 2008
  #84
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Wow great discussion on music and theory. I won't try to state and mathematical facts or theorems but as far as I'm concerned the point is that with A being tuned differently even slightly is enough to make your music sound different. IMHO, in today's world of over quantization, click tracks, and over compression .... any thing that is not cookie cutter is a welcome bit of info.

+1 for A=what ever you choose
Old 16th December 2008
  #85
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Thanks dude. I know what books I'll be requesting for Christmas.
Old 4th January 2009
  #86
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Things that I've heard (but not verified):

ACDC sometimes tunes to 430.

After a track was finished on 2" tape it wasn't uncommon for the mix engineer to give a minor pitch shift down or up a few cents to give it an edge. The sound of a tape machine slowing or speeding up a tiny bit is apparently much more pleasant than the sound of digital pitch shifting (although perhaps there are new better sounding digital algorithms that can compete now).

Things I know to be true:

The guy in the video posted from youtube is David Icke and he also believes the Royal Family and President Bush are really giant lizards. He's pretty much the definition of a nutjob.

David Icke Website - Home take this with a very, very small grain of salt, the guy needs some meds quick.

Quote:

In ancient times instruments were tuned to 432hz and the music played was in tune and harmony with nature, people and nature were much more closely connected, so what happened ?
Taken from the 432 hz universe site.

This is a very pervasive myth (the part about the world being a more harmonious, in tune place and now falling apart). For a reality check on this myth that the world is becoming nastier check this out:

YouTube - Steven Pinker: A brief history of violence

However, the actual footage of the sound design experiments (creating weblike structures) from the David Icke youtube view are real. This effect is now believed to be evident in the double hexagon on Saturn. YouTube - Hyperdimensional Hexagon Pt.1

The study of this is called Cymatics and you can read all about it on legit science websites.
And a how to do it yourself -
YouTube - Cymatics - Voice Coil Chladni Plate Driver
Old 27th January 2011
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matyas View Post
.....Trust me on this - I write microtonal music and have worked with many string players, 99% of whom will pretty much flat-out refuse to tune to anything other than A-440.
And I think this must be especially awkward for people with perfect pitch... but, and this is really important, the Berlin Philharmonic tune to A=443
They used to tune to A=445 but have come down.


You can see some comments form musicians on the implications of this here:
IDRS forum (TM) / High-pitched orchestras tuning with piano

I agree with other posters, surely what's important (and audible to most of us) is the relationship between the notes...and that is cultural habituation as to what sounds 'right'
Old 27th January 2011
  #88
Quote:
Originally Posted by irthwirm View Post
...Which i would think the metric system would be more in tune with "the universe"...
...or the frequencies of the local electrical system.
Old 18th February 2011
  #89
Gear addict
 

I like to tune my guitar down half a step, and sometimes a whole step. I've been told that tuning down half a step is no longer A=440, but A=415. I've looked up baroque music that used 415, and it is roughly half a step flat compared to 440.

But I am not using A=415 as a reference. As far as I am concerned, I am playing in 440. My "A" is still 440 - it simply is located on a different fret than standard tuning. To hit an "A", I go to the 6th fret of my low D# string, rather than the 5th fret of my low E string. An "A" is still a 440 "A" at any point on the fretboard (except when there are intonation issues due to set-up of course).

To me, playing outside of standard tuning is not the same as playing outside of standard pitch.

A bluegrass banjo is tuned to an open G chord, and it is still in 440.

If I tuned several strings of my guitar down a step to be in an open G chord, apparently (according to some folks on here) I would not be in 440 anymore. But I could be perfectly in tune with an open G banjo that is in 440.

Anyone care to explain?

I can understand a flute or other fixed-pitch instrument needing to be calibrated to a different reference pitch, as the pitch is fixed. But an open string on a stringed instrument can be adjusted to just about any note while still using A=440 as a reference. Now... if I was going to play guitar along with a flute in 442, I would probably recalibrate my tuner to 442 as in that case it would be more accurate than trying to tune to some odd cent on the tuner. But for regular downtuning in equal steps, I don't see how A would not still equal 440.
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