Neither. Playback speed.
The process idea is ridiculous. The recording companies during the acoustic era were as obsessed with quality as their successors. There simply was no official playback speed before 1925 and actually later.
Those using original instruments tune to a different A when recording. My Hogwood Haydn symphonies state A=415. I suspect it is true for the "authentic" Beethoven performances in this file as well.
More time should have been given between examples to allow the ear to avoid hearing a group of 4 chords.
What this file clearly shows for most recordings is the variety of ambiences. A couple are from fugitive broadcast recordings and have their resonant sound constricted by the original or umpteenth dub of it.
Thanks for the post.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 12:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] LP playing speeds
Hi, Doug and Steve,
This raises the issue: are these variations in orchestra tuning,
recording process, or both?
On 2019-04-12 10:00 p.m., Steve Smolian wrote:
> Hi, Doug,
> It's not that I have perfect pitch- I don't. I do hear differences in tone, however. Maybe I only think I do, in some cases, but I'm certain of it in others. But I've worked with enough professional musicians to know that it matters to them, especially string players.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Douglas Pomeroy
> Sent: Friday, April 12, 2019 9:13 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] LP playing speeds
> Hi Steve,
> Years ago I started checking the pitch of every single recording which came my way.The tape recorders without servo circuitry, like the Ampex 350 and most non-pro decks are especially difficult to fix. There is some software available for making gradual corrections over time, but these programs are not a panacea.
> I would add that a range of 15 to 20 cents is close the the limit of human hearing acuity, at least for those of us without perfect pitch. But I totally agree we should correct alldetectable errors.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.