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songwriter



Joined: 13/11/05
Posts: 20
Why would you record a chart song out of tune?
      #1108828 - 21/06/14 09:09 AM
I realised yesterday looking at the official YouTube video for the new song 'Paloma Faith - Only love can hurt like this' that it has been recorded out of tune by about 50cents up. This means that unless you have a keyboard that can be tuned by cents you cannot play along! I found this out when teaching it to a singing pupil and I've never come across it before.
What would be the reason for doing this?


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The Elf
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 9387
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Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: songwriter]
      #1108831 - 21/06/14 09:14 AM
Many reasons, from cock-up to preferring it that way. I've trodden those paths and all between!

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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Sam Inglis
SOS Features Editor


Joined: 15/12/00
Posts: 1714
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: songwriter]
      #1108841 - 21/06/14 09:53 AM
It used to be fairly common for tape masters to be sped up a little bit if the producer or label felt the song needed more urgency and excitement. That would raise the pitch slightly. Perhaps something similar was done here.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5661
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: Sam Inglis]
      #1108848 - 21/06/14 10:44 AM
The producer got bored with the song. The engineer turned up the "excitement" knob. It got a bit faster, a bit higher. "That's it!"

Chorographers do this too. They feel their dance steps look too "easy". So they want the music faster...and faster... False excitement.

You don't have to look very far for a media player with a pitch control. I use Transcribe! Perhaps someone can suggest a free one?


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5661
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1108849 - 21/06/14 10:44 AM
The producer got bored with the song. The engineer turned up the "excitement" knob. It got a bit faster, a bit higher. "That's it!"

Chorographers do this too. They feel their dance steps look too "easy". So they want the music faster...and faster... False excitement.

You don't have to look very far for a media player with a real-time pitch control. I use Transcribe! Perhaps someone can suggest a free one?


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Huge Longjohns
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Joined: 10/04/03
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Loc: Where the black rocks stand gu...
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: songwriter]
      #1108970 - 22/06/14 12:09 PM
Two wombats for the price of one!

--------------------
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5661
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: Huge Longjohns]
      #1108973 - 22/06/14 01:01 PM
Quote Huge Longjohns:

Two wombats for the price of one!




Yeah. If the two-for-one offer doesn't take off, I'm considering a poster campaign featuring my bare backside.


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djangodeadman
member


Joined: 18/02/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Brighton
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: songwriter]
      #1109059 - 23/06/14 06:58 AM
In this day and age, of course, speeding up a recording (or indeed slowing it down) needn't necessarily involve changing its pitch. So perhaps a more likely reason is to make it easier for the singer to sing, if the key is slightly uncomfortable for them.


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Billum



Joined: 02/05/08
Posts: 333
Loc: London
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: songwriter]
      #1109095 - 23/06/14 11:15 AM
Maybe it was recorded intentionally at a different reference to A=440Hz, e.g. see this Ra Natural Tuning approach.

I wouldn't put it past Paloma to try some weird and wacky stuff like this.


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damoore



Joined: 05/07/09
Posts: 579
Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: Billum]
      #1109123 - 23/06/14 02:07 PM
You will hear some 50's R&B songs be around 50 cents sharp (A number of Fat's Domino records, for example, if memory serves). I think have read those were sped up to make them punchier though I don't remember where and can't find a reference quickly on the net. You know they are sharp rather than flat because the piano is clearly being played in Eb (and anyway the chart is in that key)

On the other hand, metal bands, in particular, sometimes like to tune down for tonal reasons, and don't always do so by full (whole or half) steps.

In general, pitch has been getting steadily sharper since at least the time of Mozart.

So recordings not at A=440Hz are not uncommon.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5661
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: damoore]
      #1109125 - 23/06/14 02:10 PM
Quote damoore:

In general, pitch has been getting steadily sharper since at least the time of Mozart.

So recordings not at A=440Hz are not uncommon.




Yes, a lot of my original Mozart pressings are quite sharp :-)


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alexis



Joined: 10/01/03
Posts: 1774
Loc: San Antonio, TX USA
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: damoore]
      #1109128 - 23/06/14 02:20 PM
Quote damoore:

You will hear some 50's R&B songs be around 50 cents sharp (A number of Fat's Domino records, for example, if memory serves). I think have read those were sped up to make them punchier though I don't remember where and can't find a reference quickly on the net. You know they are sharp rather than flat because the piano is clearly being played in Eb (and anyway the chart is in that key)

On the other hand, metal bands, in particular, sometimes like to tune down for tonal reasons, and don't always do so by full (whole or half) steps.

In general, pitch has been getting steadily sharper since at least the time of Mozart.

So recordings not at A=440Hz are not uncommon.




I'm old enough to have had to replay vinyl records over and over to learn the songs on the piano ... then years later when I play the songs with others, find that I am playing 1/2 step sharper than they are. Lady Madonna in Bb, for example. Not being that great a pianist, my muscle memory was much stronger than my transposing skills at those times, leading to a lot of frustration!

I just figured all those 60s engineers were sucking on laughing gas while mixing or something ...

--------------------
Alexis -Cubase7.5.20 64bit;i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W7SP1 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro2.5


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alexis



Joined: 10/01/03
Posts: 1774
Loc: San Antonio, TX USA
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1109129 - 23/06/14 02:21 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:

Quote Huge Longjohns:

Two wombats for the price of one!




Yeah. If the two-for-one offer doesn't take off, I'm considering a poster campaign featuring my bare backside.




That wasn't you??

--------------------
Alexis -Cubase7.5.20 64bit;i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W7SP1 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro2.5


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damoore



Joined: 05/07/09
Posts: 579
Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1109132 - 23/06/14 02:47 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:



Yes, a lot of my original Mozart pressings are quite sharp :-)




In those days getting the Ox to walk round at the right speed was a constant problem.


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Emmet
member


Joined: 26/07/02
Posts: 342
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: songwriter]
      #1109576 - 26/06/14 09:33 AM
Del Shannon's runaway was sped up a semitone or so to give it a bit of whoomp. Give it a google


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permanent_daylight



Joined: 25/06/06
Posts: 78
Re: Why would you record a chart song out of tune? new [Re: songwriter]
      #1111555 - 13/07/14 01:25 AM
A few Radiohead songs are tuned down, on OK Computer, the most prominent is No Surprises, which they did because, given its slow pace, wanted even slower. This was a while ago so changing speed without pitch would sound worse than today, and is easy on a reel to reel which i think they used. But why not change the pitch nowadays if its under a cent, the result on a whole track is surely preferable to the artifacts of just speed, if not objectively surely sometimes it just sounds more natural, (or less natural sometimes).


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