LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST Archives

ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST@LISTSERV.LOC.GOV


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST  May 2017

ARSCLIST May 2017

Subject:

Re: How many half-tones from 78 rpm to 80 rpm - how bad is my hearing

From:

John Gledhill <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 May 2017 09:46:38 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (569 lines)

Images of the piano waveform are here 
http://www.pbase.com/filmworks4ever/0p44percent_and_0p88_percent


Well, I wanted to find out how truly poor my sense of hearing was. I had 
been keenly following some posts on [ARSCLIST] and I was positive that 
my sense of hearing was not even remotely close to detect things that 
should have been obvious. So I decided to test myself.

O Would a pitch shift of 0.44% make a singer sound like a canary?

O Would a pitch shift of 0.44% be obvious?

O Is it easier to detect a pitch shift with a real instrument as opposed 
to a sine wave test tone?

Step 1 – I took 3 seconds of piano, pitch shifted it 0.88% just to be 
generous and glued it on the back. Then I played the material in an 
endless loop.

http://www.bitworksfilm.com/AudioSamples/0p88PercentPianoLoop.wav

Step 2 - I repeated step 1 using a 400 hz tone and a 0.5% shift

http://www.bitworksfilm.com/AudioSamples/0p5Percent400hzLoop.wav

Step 3 - I repeated step 1 using a 1000 hz tone and a 0.5% shift

http://www.bitworksfilm.com/AudioSamples/0p5Percent1000hzLoop.wav

Observations and testing hints

· I used Audacity Transport-Loop after selecting the extent of the test 
waveform so that it would loop smoothly.

· Use enclosed headphones.

· If you think you can hear the change in pitch, close your eyes for 30 
seconds while listening so you can not tell when you cross the boundary 
from one tone to the next. And see if you are still sure you can hear 
the difference.

How bad is my hearing?

· On the 3 seconds of piano shifted by 0.44% times two (0.88%) I could 
not reliably hear the difference. I found the fact there was a richer 
timbre made it much more difficult to hear a pitch shift

· I experienced absolutely nothing that would make any vocalist sing 
like a canary.

· With the 1000 Hz 1005 hz tones I could hear what I would describe as a 
slide or bump as the second tone started, but once into the second tone 
I was not really aware of a new frequency.

· With the 400 Hz 402 hz tones hearing the shift from one to the other 
was much less obvious.

· I thought I could hear the frequency shift in the test tones if I 
listened really intently, but then when I closed my eyes so that I was 
unaware of where the playback was, I was less certain. Hearing the 
transition between the 1000 1005 was somewhat apparent.

· In fact, after sitting calmly for a long time I could experience a 
tiny wavering in frequency that did not exist in the source, but 
probably had more to do with my pulse. Enclosed headsets required and 
keep it looping.

· If I clenched and unclenched my jaw while listening to the 0.5% 
shifted test tones I could cause a subjective pitch shift much greater 
than I could detect while sitting relaxed.

· I also felt my pulse on my wrist and could, if I was in a suggestive 
mode, convince myself that my heart-beat could be detected as a 
pitch-shift in my hearing. I should do some heavy exercises and retest 
this. And we won’t even bring yawning into this. Also, try standing on 
an old mechanical un-dampened weigh scale and watch the needle move with 
your pulse (nothing to do with this test or audio – or does it?)

Conclusions on my own sense of hearing

1) An absolute pitch shift of 0.44% is all but undetectable to me in any 
reliable way, especially at 400 hz and this is when the tones are played 
back to back.

Re-entering a room would make any possible difference absolutely 
un-detectable to me.

2) Conducting the test with material with richer timbre made it much 
harder, not easier to detect a pitch shift.

3) None of the things that were described as obvious were obvious to me 
at all.

If your hearing is as poor as mine then a recording could be off many 
times 0.44% and you would not have a blessed clue.

I could never depend on my own hearing to know the playback speed to a 
0.44% tolerance.

The suggested piano test (see below) seems like a great way to check a 
recording.

Regarding the quote “Any musician must be able to discern such a 
difference. Otherwise, they'd never be able to tune their instruments 
(or voices) to their fellow performers. An orchestra with half its 
members that far out of tune would be painful to hear.”

How is this known?

Has this ever been tested after an orchestra has tuned?

0.44% is a very small amount.

Painful to hear?

Has anyone measure whether the tuning of a SAX, trumpet, or clarinet 
varies with sound intensity or stays constant even? I strongly suspect 
piano string change their tuning with the intensity of the note, as real 
life is not linear.

Furthermore, tuning an orchestra to a reference note, or hitting piano 
keys to detect the correct playback frequency of a recording (again a 
great suggestion) has nothing to do with being able to detect an 
absolute pitch error. What we humans detect when we do this is a 
difference between the reference subject sound and the reference tone. 
This difference can vary an order of magnitude while you tune while 
subject tone itself changes by less that a percent.

Quotes from the posts [ARSCLIST] than intrigued me

Start of Quote –

Any musician must be able to discern such a difference. Otherwise, 
they'd never be able to tune their instruments (or voices) to their 
fellow performers. An orchestra with half its members that far out of 
tune would be painful to hear.

And, any experienced listener, especially those who have spent a lot of 
time finding the correct playback speeds for historical recordings, will 
be able to tell the difference. Easily. It's not just a matter of pitch, 
but of timbre, as well. A 0.44% error in speed causes a significant 
change in the timbre of a singer's voice. Pitch Geraldine Farrar 0.44% 
high and she turns into a canary. Ditto Nelly Melba.

And, the difference is much easier to discern with real musical program 
material than it would be with test tones.

End of Quote

Start of Quote –

My comment on the change in timbre does, indeed, relate to a record 
played at a 0.44% shifted speed. And, yes, a change of that magnitude 
will distort a singer's timbre and that change will be easily heard by a 
trained ear. I pretty sure Jyyy Hyyyy will agree with this, but I'll let 
him weigh in for himself.

Like I said, the difference on test tones may be difficult to detect, 
but on program material it will be audible. On test tones, there's no 
change in timbre, and a change in timbre is an important part of what 
this is about.

-End of Quote

Start of Quote –

It depends on what it is that is playing. I don't have absolute perfect 
pitch, so for a test tone, no, I wouldn't know that. But with most 
recordings of singers,especially singers you are somewhat familiar with, 
the difference would be readily apparent upon walking into a room. 
Orchestral string tone is another fairly good telltale sign. Thin 
screechy strings are often sharp, and fat dull sounding ones can 
indicate flat. It is harder to hear initially with something like a 
piano, where tones don't have much vibrato and behave about the same at 
correct pitch and close-but-erroneous pitch.

-End of Quote

Start of Quote –

And yes, I agree with Gxxx's posts. After pitching things for many 
years, you develop some kind of "sixth sense" where you hear something 
and say to yourself, oops, I better check the pitch of that. This is not 
a reliable test, of course, just a hunch that hits you involuntarily. 
Most of the time, the hunch is correct. But of course I check everything 
anyway, to be sure.

Because I am "piano keyboard friendly," I have found that playing along 
with something, just by ear, on my electronic keyboard (that unlike me, 
does have true perfect pitch), the adjustment that needs to be made 
becomes very obvious, even where it is really subtle. When I do this, I 
am startled by how often my hand just lands on the right pitch for 
something, unconsciously, even though I do not have perfect pitch. I 
often wonder if I would have developed perfect pitch if I had seriously 
studied the violin as a child, as so many string players have it. It is 
definitely something that can be learned, probably starting at the right 
age, as too many string players have it. However, most people with 
perfect pitch can be fooled by near but not exact pitch. So even they 
would still have to check things, just as I do.

I would encourage anyone who is responsible for pitching recordings to 
try to electronic keyboard approach. You really don't need any kind of 
well developed piano ability to do this. I think almost anyone could do 
it well enough to pitch things.

-End of Quote



On 5/1/2017 1:42 PM, Gary A. Galo wrote:
> My comment on the change in timbre does, indeed, relate to a record played at a 0.44% shifted speed. And, yes, a change of that magnitude will distort a singer's timbre and that change will be easily heard by a trained ear. I pretty sure John Haley will agree with this, but I'll let him weigh in for himself.
>
> Like I said, the difference on test tones may be difficult to detect, but on program material it will be audible. On test tones, there's no change in timbre, and a change in timbre is an important part of what this is about.
>
> Gary
>
> ____________________________
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Gledhill
> Sent: Monday, May 01, 2017 1:29 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] How many half-tones from 78 rpm to 80 rpm - really
>
> Fascinating, however your example does not relate to a record playing at a 0.44% shifted speed.
>
> When you tune an instrument, your can compare a reference note to your note and listen for the beat frequency. This is entirely a different matter. I can certainly hear the beat frequency between 1000 hz and 1004 hz being 4 hz.
>
> My point is that if I stop either the 1000 hz or the 1004 hz tone, I find it hard to tell which has stopped. And this is without  leaving the room and coming back or dealing with a non test tone (live material).
>
> Regarding "Pitch Geraldine Farrar 0.44% high and she turns into a canary. Ditto Nelly Melba."  Are you saying that shifting less than 1 /13th of a semi-tome is not only detectable but renders a normal voice like a canary?
>
>
>
>
> On 5/1/2017 12:58 PM, Gary A. Galo wrote:
>    
>> Any musician must be able to discern such a difference. Otherwise, they'd never be able to tune their instruments (or voices) to their fellow performers. An orchestra with half its members that far out of tune would be painful to hear.
>>
>> And, any experienced listener, especially those who have spent a lot of time finding the correct playback speeds for historical recordings, will be able to tell the difference. Easily. It's not just a matter of pitch, but of timbre, as well. A 0.44% error in speed causes a significant change in the timbre of a singer's voice. Pitch Geraldine Farrar 0.44% high and she turns into a canary. Ditto Nelly Melba.
>>
>> And, the difference is much easier to discern with real musical program material than it would be with test tones.
>>
>> Gary
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Gledhill
>> Sent: Monday, May 01, 2017 12:28 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] How many half-tones from 78 rpm to 80 rpm -
>> really
>>
>> Are you saying that you could walk in and out of a room with material playing and tell the differences between something that had been shifted by 0.44%. Such as music or a  1000 hz versus a 1004 hz  tone?
>> And, describe the difference as dramatic?
>> I find this absolutely  fascinating, being somewhat tone deaf myself.
>>
>> I assume we are not talking about wow or flutter but absolute pitch.
>>
>> On 5/1/2017 10:56 AM, John Haley wrote:
>>
>>      
>>> Thanks, Michael.  The .44 pitch speed/pitch error is a quite
>>> significant one, even a dramatic one, in terms of its effect on music.
>>>
>>> This brings me back to the position I stated earlier in this string,
>>> that while all the science is dandy, you should be checking pitch
>>> individually for every 78 record, at least for dubbing work.  Without
>>> research you sometimes can't tell where a record was recorded (which
>>> can be different from the place of manufacture, as Michael pointed
>>> out), whereas the pitch is manifest from the record itself and easily
>>> ascertained.  Using all the scientific aids is helpful but doing that
>>> without actually checking the pitch is ultimately going to lead to errors.
>>>
>>> And just checking the pitch is way faster than researching where a
>>> record was recorded and then doing all the involved math.
>>>
>>> While this is off-topic, checking the pitch when dubbing LPs is also
>>> a great idea.  LP pitch is much more standard than 78 pitch, but
>>> still not totally reliable.  So many different companies, employing
>>> so many human beings, created records, over a long period of time.
>>> Nothing is truly "standard."
>>>
>>> E.g., in past decades, Decca/London Records deliberately released
>>> some opera recordings way off pitch, just to save record space and
>>> jam an opera onto two records instead of three.  Of course that
>>> should never have happened at a reputable, big company, but human
>>> beings running the company made recognizable human decisions.
>>> Completely erroneous and misguided, but there we are.
>>>
>>> Best,
>>> John
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 10:13 AM, Michael Shoshani<
>>> [log in to unmask]>    wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>        
>>>> Hi John
>>>>
>>>> Not so much manufactured as recorded. Strobe discs are dependent on
>>>> a specific number of lines, which vary according to the frequency of
>>>> the blinking of the light source. American 60Hz strobe discs require
>>>> 92 bars, which gives a speed of 78.26 RPM, but in countries where
>>>> 50Hz is the power frequency, the strobe discs require 77 bars, which
>>>> gives a speed of 77.92 RPM. These are thus the speeds at which
>>>> electrically driven record players were factory calibrated, and thus
>>>> the speeds at which the record companies in their respective areas recorded their material.
>>>>
>>>> Record companies on both sides of the Atlantic regularly exchanged
>>>> material; Jack Hylton's HMV records were issued on Victor here, for
>>>> example, and Duke Ellington's Victor records were issued on HMV
>>>> there. But these were master pressings, not dubbed and
>>>> speed-adjusted. Presumably the 0.44% difference in speed is either
>>>> unnoticed or tolerated by most listeners, since the playing
>>>> equipment for each would be slightly incorrect for the other country.
>>>>
>>>> Michael Shoshani
>>>> Chicago
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 8:58 AM, John Haley<[log in to unmask]>    wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>          
>>>>> Michael, are you saying that 78s manufactured in Europe play at a
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>> different
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>          
>>>>> correct speed than 78's manufactured in the US?  I have never heard
>>>>> anything like that before.
>>>>>
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> John
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 9:48 AM, Michael Shoshani<
>>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> Hi Gary,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> While the KAB Speed Strobe works independently of the power line
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>> frequency,
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> and thus works equally well in 60 Hz and 50 Hz countries in
>>>>>> theory, I
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>> would
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> submit that in practice it is still geared to the speeds provided
>>>>>> on 60
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>> Hz
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> turntables, which means that electrically recorded 78s from Europe
>>>>>> will
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>> be
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> off.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Its specs indicate 78.26 for 78rpm, which is the 60Hz standard;
>>>>>> Electrically recorded 78s from countries where 50Hz is the power
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>> frequency
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> are recorded at 77.92 RPM.  Anyone in the UK or Europe, for
>>>>>> example,
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>> who
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>          
>>>>>> uses the SpeedStrobe to set their turntables at 78, will be
>>>>>> playing
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>> their
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>          
>>>>>> locally manufactured records at a speed 0.44% faster than they
>>>>>> should
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>> be
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>          
>>>>> -
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> a slightly greater pitching error than the 0.42% Caruso one.  (The
>>>>>> SpeedStrobe does not offer 77.92, which seems an amazing oversight
>>>>>> for
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>> a
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>          
>>>>>> product intended for worldwide use.)
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Michael Shoshani
>>>>>> Chicago
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 2:40 PM, Gary A. Galo<[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>>>> Hi George,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Following Aida Favia-Artsay, the difference between 76.60 (60Hz)
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>                
>>>>>> 76.92
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>>>> (50Hz) is 0.42%. This is an unacceptable pitching error. Are you
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>                
>>>>> telling
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> me
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>>>> that every 76.6-rpm Caruso record pitched using her 50 Hz strobe
>>>>>>> will
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>                
>>>>> be
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>>> 0.42% off?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It would seem that, for turntables lacking a digital readout, a
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>                
>>>>> sensible
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>>> solution is KAB's Speed Strobe:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> http://www.kabusa.com/strobe.htm
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The Speed Strobe comes with its own LED lamp, which is
>>>>>>> illuminated
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>                
>>>>> with a
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>>> quartz-locked AC signal. Therefore, it is not dependent on the
>>>>>>> power
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>                
>>>>> line
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>>> frequency, and will work equally well in 60 Hz and 50 Hz countries.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Gary
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>                
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>
>>>>          
>>>
>>>        
>> --
>> John Gledhill
>> BIT WORKS Inc.
>> 905 881 2733
>> [log in to unmask]
>> www.bitworks.org
>>
>>      
> --
> John Gledhill
> BIT WORKS Inc.
> 905 881 2733
> [log in to unmask]
> www.bitworks.org
>    

-- 
John Gledhill
BIT WORKS Inc.
905 881 2733
[log in to unmask]
www.bitworks.org

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.LOC.GOV

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager