Discussion in 'Converters & Interfaces' started by multoc, May 20, 2008.
Because I'd like to know
Uh...no problem. You gotta get that Pauly Shore exorcised man. He's pure evil. :lol:
Here's one with more decimals and MIDI note numbers too!
Years ago, I owned a Mini-Moog with that now-famous "Tune" switch - an A-440 oscillator. After using it as a tuning reference point for years in studios, bands, etc., it's stuck with me ever since. I don't have perfect pitch, but if you give me a second to think about it, I can call that sound up (even with my own voice) in a few seconds with fairly close results. The sound of an orchestra tuning up is the same pitch; "concert A" as its called. (That's modern tuning, of course...it wasn't always 440.)
An octave below that is roughly 220; 880 (just under 1k) is an octave up and so on. Get good at hearing what a 1k test tone sounds like, it's very helpful. Old analog alignment tapes had a bunch of great tones from 20hz all the way up to 20k, and it was a great way to learn too.
So, I can always at least visualize A-440 in my head, and quickly work up or down from there as a reference point. If a keyboard is handy, you can work it that way, esp if you're trying to locate "Ringing" or feedback or just bad resonance in a sound system. Another good example is Haydn's Creation starts with a big huge major "C" chord, and if you know that sound too, you can work your way around pitches and frequencies, too.
Open guitar tunings are usually started on an open E string. (E above middle C) Give yourself a moment to think about the sound of a guitarist tuning up with the highest and lowest string, and there's your low and middle E's sound.
It's also good practice to hear examples of what's REALLY high frequency, vs. mid-range stuff, and so on, perhaps playing around with a freq generator. (Hearing a 6-7k tone versus a 12k tone, for example. Big difference in sound and texture.) Most good edting/mastering software can give you tone generation as well, to play around with.
I always play with a frequency generator from time to time. In this case I wanted to pitch a 'bass drop' to the key of the song it was in to drop from one octave to the lowest octave
Thanks for all the replies
I have what JoeH is describing.
It's somewhere between perfect pitch and strong relative pitch.
If you give me enough songs that I know as a reference, I can sing any note.
(It is a drawback for me, because I get in a rut and don't like to transpose!)
This guy is a great tool:
NCH Tone generator
Or use the similar feature in many DAWs.
IMHO there is NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT PITCH. There are people who have incredible pitch memory, however. Why do I think this?
If "perfect pitch" was something a person was born with, what would that person have done if they were born in Northern Germany or Saxony in the 18th century when A=415? Or Southern Germany where it was 460? Or in the US around 1900 when it was closer to 430? Or if they are in Boston or Chicago where the symphony tunes to 442 or 443? (I forget which). Or when they are around a temperament other than "equal" such as Quarter Comma Meantone, or Werkmeister, or one of the dozens of other historic temperaments?
Debate aside, I feel genuinely sorry for such a person at a piano concerto where an equal tempered piano is playing with an ensemble that plays with "just intonation" (and often sharp at that).
If you don't have it, be thankful!
This might be easier to use for some:
I think perfect pitch was created in an ad lab last Century to move product. Other then that I agree (not that anyone made reference).
But almost perfect pitch...that I can buy
I kind've agree with you Rich; although I think the concept of what's "in tune" certainly would be relative (pardon the pun) to the time-frame the person is living in. Back then, A-415 WOULD be the standard, and so on. It's not likely that poor person would have to make the leap to A-440 overnight. And if they DID truly have "perfect pitch", they'd be able to (instantly?) hear the difference between the two anyway.
Still, people with truly "perfect pitch" (If it does exist) must just go crazy in any kind of a world that's certainly imperfect. Do they have to leave the room when a piece of music is playing on the radio that's being played on a cassette deck or turntable that's below or above speed? Does it drive them nuts?
I know I have fairly good strong "relative" Pitch, but that's about it. I'm sure 90% of the population has it as well, to one degree or another. I simply have been paying attention to what I hear because of my profesion. It's no big deal. I can be fooled as much as the next guy, certainly. If I walk in cold to a performance of a work I don't know, in a key that's somewhere between B natural and C major, it doesn't mean a thing to me, pitch wise. Everyone can be completely in tune with each other relative to whatever tuning reference they used. I wouldn't know any difference until I compared the score to a tuned keyboard playing in the "Correct" pitch or key.
There ARE some things I know by heart, certain recordings, sounds, etc. that are forever burned into my brain, and a little alarm goes off whenever i hear something that's deliberately off-pitch.
DJs' at parties and weddings are the WORST offenders, for example. I once went to a wedding where the DJ played all the "Classic" party/dance tunes, (songs I've known for decades) frequently at the wrong speed going in or coming out of a song (He had a vari-speed CD player, actually.) I finally went up to him and said: "Dude, WHY are you messing with the pitch of these great classic songs!?!?! (Wait for it....)
He explained that this was how he matched one song into another, beat-wise. His idea of "Entertainment" was to keep the music going for one longggggggg 40 minute set, with no breaks in sound, no change in tempo, just one long 120bpm mindless paaaarty, so he sped up or slowed things down to match each other. Good thing I wasn't drunk, or I might have knocked over his DJ table and strangled the MF'r. (Maybe this is a good example of being tortured by good pitch perception, since few noticed it or were bothered by it, buy I was actually unable to enjoy the party when this stuff was going on....)
I know a choral director who dreads getting perfect pitch kids in his choir, because they often won't (or can't?) change pitch to suit the blend of the ensemble, and so THEY are often the ones that sound strange. Reminds me of the old joke: A proud mom watched the band marching out on the football field and remarked: "Everyone is out of step except for MY kid!"
I thought pitch had something to do with the size and shape of our eardrum and what harmonics are fitting in there and such...
I can whistle in such a way that I describe as whistling with my tongue and then making it's pitch fit in my mouth to create a harmonic which lets me whistle through my lips at the same time. I do this and shift the pitch up and down until I hit the note which is like a saw inside my eardrum. This generally pisses everyone off equally. Though not always.
I can also whistle in tune and I know I'm in tune and so do others... Though not always.
I can't sing for $*^t. (Maybe country where missing the note seems to be the point). Always.
Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that tune and pitch are relative to everything and nothing.
Is your ear normal sized?
/Please do not stick things in your ear.
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