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For tape speed correction I use the RX5 spectrum analyzer and find points where the piano or oboe is playing an A4 or a D2 or D3 (which produce a strong A harmonic). If it's a guitar it's much tougher - even if the tuning is exact neck-bend will create small deviations (2Hz at 440 is not uncommon) but these are almost invariably going sharp. Spot checking at various points will yield a good sense of what the trend line is. We have the bias to look at as well to get a sense of the general direction and percentage of the curve, but video sync is sometimes visible, as is hum. 
A small deviation like 1Hz at 440 might seem small but hearing a unison on a piano where one of three strings is off by that amount is obviously wrong, in fact one beat in 4 seconds on a unison is "wet" and that's roughly 0.25 Hz. 

The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" drops from A440 to A438 over 8 minutes and the difference at the "meet the new boss" is clearly audible as a change in energy, even a slight shift away from exuberant toward ironic in the vocal. The identical percentage change can be seen in the bias trace played on a servo machine, so it's in the recording, and there's no way it's intentional. Roughly the 0.5% referred to here. 
In anecdotal testing it's possible for some drummers to hear slow wow of a little over 0.1% as a groove disruption, Jim Keltner nailed that on "Mississippi Queen". 

By ear against a keyboard is pretty coarse compared to a long window FFT.

Jamie Howarth





Please pardon the mispellings and occassional insane word substitution I'm on an iPhone

> On Apr 25, 2017, at 07:43, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Sliding pitch is very easily fixed now on Izotope RX5.  It's a snap.
> 
> While I appreciate all the research and discussion, the essential method is
> still your ears.  I have no difficulty distinguishing pitch errors as small
> as half a percent (.5) and have done my own presets on Izotope down to that
> amount, and even .2 (point two) where more fine tuning is needed.  If you
> can play along with something on the electronic keyboard, even with one
> finger, the direction that the pitch needs to be adjusted becomes really
> obvious.  It becomes quite objective, not subjective.  I think being able
> to do this easily is just a matter of listening and practice.
> 
> The gadgets and guidelines should all be used as an aid, not as the final
> word.
> 
> Best,
> John
> 
> 
>> On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 9:22 AM, Bailey, Mark <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Dear All,
>> 
>> 
>> I also want to offer my thanks, mostly as an observer, for this important
>> and interesting conversation. Just yesterday in the Yale Historical Sound
>> Recordings studio I was having to adjust the speed of two Vladimir de
>> Pachmann 12" 78s -- one higher and the other lower (two different recording
>> companies). And there are times, working with early 7" or 10" recordings of
>> singers, that playing something at 78rpms is almost overwhelmingly the
>> exception, rather than the rule.
>> 
>> 
>> In the Yale HSR studio we use several factors to determine pitch, which in
>> some cases -- as has been acknowledged in this thread -- involves degrees
>> of instinct and guesswork. Since I'm also a professional conductor and
>> performer, I rely heavily on my own ears and knowledge of performance
>> practice, but also with the help of an in-studio keyboard that is usually
>> fixed at A=440, but can be adjusted to any pitch level as needed (and also
>> has the option of several temperaments, which comes in handy for
>> baroque-period instrument listening instruction). It is incredibly helpful
>> to remember, of course, as others will point out, that A=440 wasn't
>> standard everywhere at the turn of the century (even though many who do
>> digital transfers default to it) -- Nellie Melba being a case and point --
>> and also, at least when it comes to singers, a fair number would transpose
>> up or down a step or even a half step depending on the aria and vocal
>> circumstances.
>> 
>> 
>> As best we can in the Yale studio, we also try to take these factors into
>> account. As for recordings that change pitch during the course of a side,
>> some of the newer technical information offered here has also been quite
>> interesting.
>> 
>> 
>> All best wishes
>> 
>> 
>> Mark Bailey, head
>> Historical Sound Recordings
>> Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
>> Yale University
>> [log in to unmask]
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ________________________________
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <
>> [log in to unmask]> on behalf of Corey Bailey <
>> [log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Monday, April 24, 2017 8:45 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] How many half-tones from 78 rpm to 80 rpm
>> 
>> The original question was posted from someone in the US. So yes, all of
>> the (very interesting) answers were based on "US-centered" speeds.
>> 
>> Corey
>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>> www.baileyzone.net<http://www.baileyzone.net>
>> Family Audio Preservation - Audio Engineering<http://www.baileyzone.net/>
>> www.baileyzone.net
>> The purpose of this site is to raise awareness about the need to archive
>> audio and video recordings which contain your family history. Of prime
>> importance is ...
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On 4/24/2017 3:42 PM, George Brock-Nannestad wrote:
>>> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Hello,
>>> 
>>> all very US-centered, isn't it? The 78.26 comes from a certain number of
>> poles
>>> in a synchronous motor combined with simple ratios in the gearbox that
>> changes
>>> the rpm from the motor to the target rpm for the turntable. But it is
>> only this
>>> figure at 60 Hz mains frequency. If you had a slow-speed synchronous
>> motor run
>>> off 60 Hz the closest to 78.00 is 78.26 rpm. If you use a stroboscope
>> for 60 Hz
>>> under a 120 Hz light (goes for fluorescent or low-power incandescent
>> lamps off
>>> the mains), you can only get a stationary ring at 78.26.
>>> 
>>> In the not insignificant parts of the world where they use 50 Hz as the
>> mains
>>> frequency, the corresponding figure would be 77.92 rpm. You need a
>> different
>>> stroboscope for this and also the slow-speed synchronous motor would
>> have a
>>> different number of poles. Aida Favia-Artsay knew, and her Caruso
>> stroboscopes
>>> came in both varieties.
>>> 
>>> The Victor Talking Machine Company is on record in the acoustic period as
>>> specifying 76 rpm for recording and 78 rpm for reproduction of the
>> recording
>>> obtained. Some of their customers obviously did not have absolute pitch.
>> In the
>>> acoustic period of the Gramophone Company, the speed was checked every
>> morning
>>> by means of a piece of cigarette paper under the wax while cutting and
>> counting
>>> the revolutions for a minute. They preferred 78 rpm!
>>> 
>>> In the United Kingdom, the Old Philharmonic Pitch (which corresponded to
>> an a4
>>> of 452 Hz (give or take a few) survived in the military bands until ca.
>> 1926,
>>> when they also changed to the New Philharmonic Pitch at 439 Hz. If you
>> hear
>>> Nellie Melba sing accompanied by the Band of the Coldstream Guards in
>> 1905 with
>>> the key indicated, you can pitch it absolutely correctly when you play
>> it: they
>>> used the Old Philharmonic Pitch. Columbia recorded a lot of military
>> bands, and
>>> they abandoned the 80 rpm speed for 78 rpm at around the same time the
>> bands
>>> changed tuning. The interesting thing is that the fraction 78/80 is very
>> nearly
>>> the same as the fraction 439/452, in other words if you played a
>> Columbia band
>>> record in 1932 you would not know whether it was an early recording
>> slowed down
>>> to 78 or whether it was actually a new recording with the new pitch and
>> the new
>>> speed. This is what I habitually in my workshops call "the dialectic
>> triangle:
>>> speed, key, and standard pitch".
>>> 
>>> I rarely comment these days, but this issue is very important.
>>> 
>>> Best wishes,
>>> 
>>> 
>>> George
>>> 
>>> ---------------------------------------------
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> 78.26 did not become a standard speed until electric motors were used in
>>>> cutter and playback turntables. In the acoustic era, 78 usually meant
>> 78.00.
>>>> But, if you´re using a modern turntable like, say, a Technics SP-15, 78
>>>> actually is 78.26, and the percentage of change must be calculated from
>>>> that.
>>>> 
>>>> Gary
>>>> 
>>>> ____________________________
>>>> 
>>>> Gary Galo
>>>> Audio Engineer Emeritus
>>>> The Crane School of Music
>>>> SUNY at Potsdam, NY 13676
>>>> 
>>>> "Great art presupposes the alert mind of the educated listener."
>>>> Arnold Schoenberg
>>>> 
>>>> "A true artist doesn't want to be admired, he wants to be believed."
>>>> Igor Markevitch
>>>> 
>>>> From: DAVID BURNHAM [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>>>> Sent: Monday, April 24, 2017 6:05 PM
>>>> To: Gary A. Galo
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] How many half-tones from 78 rpm to 80 rpm
>>>> 
>>>> That's fine, but the standard speed for 78s IS 78.26; I don't know if
>> 80RPM
>>>> records included a fraction.  LPs, of course are always based on 33 1/3
>> RPM,
>>>> so there would be no reason to relate anything to 33.00 RPM.  I'm sure
>> the
>>>> original question was searching for a corrective adjustment to adapt
>> from
>>>> standard 78 to Columbia's 80 RPM, but that's only a guess.
>>>> 
>>>> db
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On Monday, April 24, 2017 5:56 PM, Gary A. Galo
>>>> <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>  wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> I specifically said 78.00 in my reply. I assumed that if you meant
>> 78.26, you
>>>> would have said so.
>>>> 
>>>> Gary
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>]
>> On Behalf
>>>> Of DAVID BURNHAM
>>>> Sent: Monday, April 24, 2017 4:44 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] How many half-tones from 78 rpm to 80 rpm
>>>> 
>>>> Are you basing that on 78.00 RPM or 78.26 RPM?
>>>> Not challenging you just a question.
>>>> db
>>>> 
>>>>     On Monday, April 24, 2017 4:18 PM, Gary A. Galo
>>>> <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>  wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> A quarter tone is 3%, a half tone is 6%, and a whole tone is 12%. So,
>> the
>>>> difference between 78.00 and 80 is just a hair under a quarter tone. A
>> quarter
>>>> tone would be 80.34; a half tone is 82.68..
>>>> 
>>>> Gary
>>>> 
>>>> ____________________________
>>>> 
>>>> Gary Galo
>>>> Audio Engineer Emeritus
>>>> The Crane School of Music
>>>> SUNY at Potsdam, NY 13676
>>>> 
>>>> "Great art presupposes the alert mind of the educated listener."
>>>> Arnold Schoenberg
>>>> 
>>>> "A true artist doesn't want to be admired, he wants to be believed."
>>>> Igor Markevitch
>>>> 
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>]
>> On Behalf
>>>> Of James Roth
>>>> Sent: Monday, April 24, 2017 3:31 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] How many half-tones from 78 rpm to 80 rpm
>>>> 
>>>> Hello everybody,
>>>> 
>>>> Can anyone tell me how many half-tones up from 78 rpm to 80 rpm?
>>>> 
>>>> Thanks.
>>>> Ben Roth
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>