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Pitch on 70s lp's Pitch & Harmony Plugins
Old 22nd December 2010
  #1
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Pitch on 70s lp's

I'm purely a listener so apologies if it's something everybody knows!

There's a specific era on a lot of my collection (68-72) where certain songs seem a 1/2 pitch or less out of tune. You wouldn't tell otherwise, but sitting down with a guitar or piano it's quite noticable!

Some albums it's a serious culprit on: CSN&Y - Deja Vu, Derek & The Dominoes, and Van Morrison's His Band & the Street Choir. Obviously out of the time period, but Jellyfish's Spilt Milk seems to have it too.

Were the masters sped up during any of the processes or were they simply recording out of tune!?
Old 22nd December 2010
  #2
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Hi Buddy,

I've often wanted to know the same, two great tracks, very famous tracks, both produced by perfecionist 'Mutt Lange' have the pitch issue.

AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell' and Def Leppard's 'Photograph'.

Will certainly be sticking around to find out!

Old 22nd December 2010
  #3
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Sigma's Avatar
probably vari sped because cut at the wrong tempo..we did that all the time
Old 23rd December 2010
  #4
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vernier's Avatar
We played with the pitch to enhance a song. Beatles did it in the 60's with Magical Mystery Tour.

I'm glad that trend is over.
.
.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blusos View Post

Were the masters sped up during any of the processes or were they simply recording out of tune!?
But out of tune with what? A=440 hertz?

My point is that A=440, though extremely common is not universally "right" or correct. It is very common for pianos to be tuned at 442 or even 446 by choice in many orchestral settings.

On top of that - looking back to the 70's and with guitar bands in particular - remember that electronic tuners were nearly as available or widespread in usage (nothing like they are today). So getting "in tune" was as much more a relative thing than a standard to match. I remember many times having to varispeed the tape in order to get a guitar-based basic track to line up pitch-wise with the piano being used as an overdub.

Plus then you had all the non-quartz-locked tape recorders - this one a bit fast, this a bit slow - adding to the ups and downs of it all. Basically back then anybody with any smarts always recorded a nice lengthy "A" for the piano/guitar used on the basic track at the head of the reel - so folks downstream could tune easier - because without it, every overdub session had to start with the obligatory run through the song a few times while the person overdub works to get in tune with the track.

And all of that is before you get adjust the speed/pitch on purpose - to make it faster, brighter, etc. - usually at mastering, but sometimes when mixing.

David
Old 23rd December 2010
  #6
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
We played with the pitch to enhance a song. Beatles did it in the 60's with Magical Mystery Tour.

I'm glad that trend is over.
.
.
Not to be so bold but I don't see a issue with it, I guess I don't sit around and notice things as such, maybe a good or bad thing...
Old 23rd December 2010
  #7
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
We played with the pitch to enhance a song. Beatles did it in the 60's with Magical Mystery Tour.

I'm glad that trend is over.
Good GOD did I hate that when I was growing up. Every freakin' song you'd have to retune your guitar just to play along. You could never tell if a song was really in A or Bb because it would be somewhere in between. Sometimes they'd do it in the middle of a song. It was just insanity.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #8
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Sonofabitch. I thought it was me. I never had any training or anything, I thought I couldn't hear the pitch. 55 years I thought I was tone deaf.
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