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Irish Tuning story LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by jmacke, Nov 11, 2002.

  1. jmacke


    Oct 7, 2002
    Many years ago, we formed a new band, with an amazing Irish Bass player. At our first rehearsal, we noticed something wasn't quite right . I suggested that the bass was tuned "sharp "in relation to everything else. The bassplayer said , in reply

    "To be sure, It is tuned sharp. I always tune like that now, because I was told that I sing a bit flat.
    So , if I sing along with the bass, I will be singin in tune "
    The band didn't last very long.

  2. haha

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

  3. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    That actually happened? LMAO
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've noticed that most people do sing slightly flat - when I have done home recording using a 4 track I always sped up the tape for mastering and it sounded hugely better! The singing sounded more "in-tune" and the whole track benefited from being a bit faster.

    This did mean that the whole track was up to a semi-tone sharp - but I find often now that with "manufactured" groups, the record sounds a bit sharper than you would expect when playing along to it - for example, when you try to play bass along to something that just happens to be on TV! ;)
  5. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    It's funny, some people's voices just tend to sing sharp, some just tend to be flat. IME, sharp is better (unless it's really sharp). Solo instruments/voices can sound good when they're *slightly* (I mean slightly) sharper than the band.

    Generally, though, most singers if unaccompanied tend to drift flat. Some drift sharp though!

    As for what you observed Bruce, I've noticed that too. I've found when recording my own songs in the past, my own voice becomes much more bearable when sped up. I'm not sure if this is because it was flat to being with - because the accompaniment is being sped up, and therefore raised in pitch, along with the vocal. I think that if you were someone who sings sharp, speeding up the recording would still help. I think it's because speeding it up sorta 'compresses' the error margin, if you know what I mean. When the whole recording is sped up, the pitch differences are reduced I think. I could be wrong. I'll look into that one, actually...
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I'm not sure why it works - just that it does and in all the cases I've done it, I knew that the people were singing flat. I've never worked with anybody who sang sharp (unintentioanally!!) ;)

    It may well be that you are just making the pitch differences (between instruments and voice) less and less, to the point where you don't notice them?
  7. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yeah, I think singing flat is possibly more common. Though, have you ever noticed that it's harder to tell when something is sharp than when it is flat? I've found this when I'm tuning up - if the two notes sound a bit out of tune but I'm not sure which way it is, that always seems to mean it's sharp. I find that when the note is flat, it's more glaringly obvious.

    I suppose it's because as pitch gets higher, the gaps get bigger, if you know what I mean. For example, take A=440hz. The A an octave above that is 880hz. But the one below is 220hz. So the difference between the low A and the middle A is 220hz, whereas the difference between the middle A and the high A is 440hz. As such, the actual relative frequency of a semitone, is bigger, the higher you go. E.g. the difference in frequencies between C1 and C#1 is smaller than the difference between C2 and C#2. As such, for any given consecutive B, C and C#, the gap between the B and C is smaller than the gap between C and C#. Therefore, a C that is slightly flat sounds nearer to B than a C that is the same amount sharp does to C#. If that made any sense at all. That's just an idea I had, I could just be speaking out of my arse :)

    Yes, I think that's the case.

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