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----- Original Message ----
From: Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>

Absolute pitch is not necessary in order to obtain the correct playback
speed. Any device that will verify the pitches or key is enough, provided
you know what the original key was. 

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But you may need to know the frequency used for the tuning of the 
instruments...especially if it is an older recording.

I have encountered many transfers, of both privately made and commercial 
recordings from the 40s, which were pitched assuming  A=440 when, according to 
research, they were not playing at A=440. So you may know the pitch, but if you 
match it to A=440, you could be wrong. The range of tuning has been sufficiently 
wide that it could account for, in some instances, as much as a half tone 
difference.

For me, one of the funniest examples of an improperly pitched transfer was the 
Everest reissue of the Ferde Grofe Atlantic Crossing. The original release was 
on, as I recall, the London label. The Everest reissue was pitched way too 
high...and the narrator ended up sounding a bit like one of the chipmunks. Of 
course, if the person making the transfer had the score, they would not have 
made that error.

I remember one scholarly article being critical of a Seth Winner transfer (Seth 
being one of the more meticulous people in the business) as being a half tone 
off. 

Karl