The Sound of old TV and Radio

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by audiokid, Jan 8, 2014.

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  1. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
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    Why do voices from old radio and Television sound out of pitch, tuned a few cents high? Did they purposely detune? I'm certain you could set the speed so I've always wondered this.

    Was it a fashionable trend? An effect the industry felt gave a "radio" sound?
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
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    my guess is that they needed to save time. so, the pitch was an artifact, of speeding up an add, or whatever. if you can shave even an 1/8 of a second, off each add/segement then you will accumulate time. and money works off of time. just my guess. other than that, my guess would be in perception of sound, where upper mids may grab more attention?
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
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    What you may be hearing is shortcomings on the medium on which those old recordings were stored. Tape didn't even come in until the late 40;s early 50's, and up to that time wire recorders were used, there was no pitch control on those machines - but that doesn't mean that they didn't play back faster than the speed they were originally recorded at.... and before that, sound was cut directly to disc, none of which had any speed control other than the set amount of turns (78rpm)... so the pitch/speed would have been caused by playback on an older machine at a later date and recorded as such... and if the older machine playing it back wasn't calibrated or working correctly speed wise, then it would explain the pitch differential.

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