Category: Audio Archaeology

17 April 2019

Please Please Me (Album) Pitch Analysis For Accompaniment

If you’ve ever tried to accompany Beatles songs with an instrument tuned to standard ‘concert’ pitch (long defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation as A above middle C=440 Hz) you’ll soon find that many don’t conform to this convention. ‘Ticket to Ride’, for example, is almost half a semitone flat of concert pitch while ‘Here Comes the Sun’ is about a third of a semitone sharp: accom­pani­ment of either with an instrument tuned to standard pitch will sound awful, as will many other Beatles tracks. In this article I look at some of the reasons why nearly all the songs on the the Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me, fall noticeably flat of concert pitch (as well as identifying their approximate mastered pitches). You can use this information to retune the songs to concert pitch in software or, alternatively, set your tuner’s master pitch to match each song.

16 April 2019

A Hard Day’s Night (Album) Pitch Analysis For Accompaniment

This article is a companion piece to the one above on Please Please Me, identifying the mastered pitch of songs on the Beatles’ third album A Hard Day’s Night. Unlike the first two Beatles albums, a number of songs on A Hard Day’s Night end up mastered slightly sharp of concert pitch. While the divergences are less noticeable than the first album, you will still often need to retune your instrument or the song to achieve good accompaniment consonance.
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