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Thread: Eternal Newbie question

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    Eternal Newbie question

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    I'm new to my Tascam 38 and would like to know:
    What is the pitch control used for?
    I used (on my 4 track) to try to do like backing harmony vocals with the pitch, but for some reason I never wondered what it was REALLY for. I have a misguided (Likely funny) notion that it's used to maybe fine tune ever so slight variations from a tracked guitar to one being tracked, but I don't know.

    Ok, let me have it!

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    The pitch control has a few uses. The one you mentioned is definitely one of them.

    I use it for creative purposes like singing in a much higher or lower key them I could naturally. If you want to sound like Bowzer from Sha Na Na, record your beds at normal speed then when doing the vocal track, pitch it up and sing your part. Then on playback, return the pitch to normal and voilą! instant Booming Bowzer!

    The reverse scenario works for hitting the high notes.

    It can be used also to play a really fast guitar solo that you couldn't do at normal speed.

    Just make sure you tune the instrument in question to the pitched settings and then on normal playback, it will be in tune.

    Get the picture?

    Cheers!
    Last edited by The Ghost of FM; 08-19-2003 at 20:24.

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    For tuning purposes also, I have found it best to let the 38 play in its pitched position for a few minutes first so that the speed stays steady. The vari-speed is not as stable as the normal 15ips default so give it time to settle in first on any serious tuning work.

    Cheers!

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    I never thought of soloing with it!

    Cool Thanks

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    Arrow Well, yeah, there's the creative use of pitch shifting, font,...

    like to do a higher harmony than you're actually capable of, etc.

    Also, a biggie is to enable you to shift the pitch for basic pitch matching of instruments. F/I, you may use a guitar tuner on all your tracks, bass too, and your keyboard even may verify as a perfect pitch instrument. Then, when you go to do the ACOUSTIC piano track, all of the sudden there may be 1/4- or 1/2-step difference in pitch between ALL of your previously recorded tracks, and the PRESENT pitch of your piano. Sure, the best solution really would be to tune the piano with the same tuner reference as the other instruments, but realistically, that's not always feasible. The solution is then to pitch shift the tape speed, and basically match pitch to the live instrument's tuning.

    You know, everyone wants their acoustic piano in perfect pitch, but often times that's not the case. Any other instrument with a more fixed pitch may have to be pitch matched when recording, such as live acoustic brass horns, clarinet, woodwind, etc.

    You'll use pitch [shift] knob for matching purposes, as a matter of practicality in the studio.

    And, like font said, it's fun for stretching your range, or fun effects.

    FAME,... FAMe,... FAme,... Fame,... fame,... fame,...

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    Yeah I've done the harmony thing here and there on my four track, but I didn't realize I was actually right (For once!) in my notion of pitch matching. Seems logical now.

    How about drums? Can you (as an effect) raise it and get a lower pitched snare? Pitch match a tom track?
    Or is it more practical to EQ some low into a snare and/or just tune the tom by hand?

    Now that I think of it, there's a song, "Lights" from Journey that going into the guitar solo ( at 2:04) sounds like they did something with the pitch while maybe tracking a low Hammond or guitar note. (Could just be the instrument alone though)

    If one of you guys are familar with this tune and part can you tell me what I'm hearing there please???

    (Man, Neal Schon's guitar tone gives me a "Thank God for analog!" moment everytime... The drum sounds from Infinity are dubiously "Plain" , but in tunes like "Feeling that way" they fit the song so incredibly well, especially the snare!! I Love it)
    Last edited by BillyFurnett; 08-20-2003 at 01:30.

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    Arrow That deep, resonant Ringo sound on Strawberry Fields Forever,...

    was done with pitch shifting. Likewise, Lennon's voice was pitch shifted down.

    It's a real life saver on odd instruments that are difficult to tune.

    It could save the track, if necessary, maybe save a remote session, where you're playing someone else's piano.

    Of course, our own studio pianos should be tuned to standard pitch, and mine is, but that's another thread. However, I think the average household piano is not in perfect pitch or tune.

    Pitch shift can be used out of necessity or creativity.

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    I'm gonna try to keep my foolish inexperienced Tascam questions in this one thread, so if one of you could please take on my next one I'd appreciate it greatly.

    (Ok this one hurts, so get ready to laugh)
    I've threaded a few reel machinces no problem, but on my 38 I can't tell by the manual pic if the tape goes over or under the two post that are just under the center head.
    Do tell wise ones.

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    The tape goes below all the heads and lifters. Make sure the cue lifters are disengaged when you thread the tape.


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    Arrow Under.


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