Digital Music and Pitch

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Porkloin, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie Subscriber

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    Back in the days before CD's saved me from the constant picking at my OCD from LP's, the pitch of music from a turntable, tape deck and radio stations was one of the major bains of my existence. Of course, I had a turntable with a pitch control on it, but no one else seemed to.
    CDs came along and I thought that pitch would no longer be an issue - that digital recording and copies of those recordings would be exactly as the recording engineer had intended. But with the internet streaming and the popularity of MP3's, is there a chance that pitch irregularities could be purposefully of inadvertently be inserted into the material?
     

     

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  2. doctor fuse

    doctor fuse AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I suppose there is that chance, but I have never noticed it. being digital, even if a producer wanted to speed up or elongate a track, they wouldn't necessarily have to alter pitch, unlike analog.

    Speaking of analog time shifts - can anyone explain how the machine the Beatles used to speed up and slow down their music without changing pitch worked exactly? I think they started using it on Strawberry Fields, even though there were some pitch changes as well (one take was a semi tone lower than another take, IIRC).
     
  3. duckrabbit

    duckrabbit New Member

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    If it's just a matter of copying a digital music file, I don't see how there could be changes in pitch. The duration of the track might change if the silence at the beginning or end is edited shorter. The quality, bitrate etc., may of course alter depending on the duplication method.

    Web streams are a different scenario however. One can change the tempo of a digital piece of music either by changing its pitch (like with vinyl or tape) or by time strech. The latter is done by specific software (e.g. Ableton Live or something included in a DJ CD player) and it is not supposed to alter the pitch but it will distort the sound more or less audibly. So if you hear your music through a webcast there is a chance the DJ prefers using pitch shift or time strech, in order to beat-match consecutive tracks or for other expressive purposes. Of course the webcast DJ might also be playing a pitch-shifted vinyl - especially if it's a good DJ. :smoke:

    Interesting info about Strawberry Fields here:

    https://www.aaronkrerowicz.com/beat...-strawberry-fields-forever-part-12-the-splice
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
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  4. doctor fuse

    doctor fuse AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Now I am recalling getting a CD of a recording I did at a studio, years ago. The engineer mistakenly gave me the CD set to 16, 48kHz (instead of 44.1). The pitch was off when I played it in my CD player. I think it was too low in pitch.
     
  5. Poinzy

    Poinzy Super Member

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    I've never heard of anyone complaining about pitch issues in a finished, professionally produced digital product, not once in almost 35 years. I've heard of amateur "producers", working in their bedrooms with GarageBand, experiencing pitch issues in their recordings because of their own clumsy conversion mistakes. I wouldn't worry about a professionally produced recording, WAV, FLAC, .mp3, or otherwise.
     

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