Comments: Blurry

If you can't play along with a recording, blame the engineer/producer before you blame the musicians...Too often in the studio the producer will want to tighten and sharpen and "uptempo" the sound, so in the days of tape they would actually adjust the tape playback speed slightly faster, which, surprise, meant you went north of A=440 hz.
Some folks used to say you could make an aging artist sound younger that way.
These days they can even change tempo digitally without sharpening the pitch, but who knows, maybe they had a retro studio with real acetate and iron oxide!

Posted by doug in colorado at May 17, 2007 02:52 PM

I usually assume it's a tempo issue when it's sharp of A-440, but when it's a bit flat of A-440 I assume the band tuned down, as many bands (especially in the metal years) were apt to do.

I used to hate listening to Top 40 radio stations, simply because they'd speed up the tracks in order to squeeze in more tunes per hour. That's fine when you're going for quantity of song but it's a pain when you have to sharpen up by a little over a quarter step just to get your groove on. Such was life though - before the dark times; before the empire...

Posted by Publicola at May 17, 2007 03:02 PM