Pitch within keyboards ...

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Pitch within keyboards ...

Postby PeterA » 07 Mar 2018 16:47

We all realise that in an orchestra, for example, all the violins will be fractionally out of tune with each other. This is true for all groups of similar instruments. We probably can't tell, until we hear them play together. But that is precisely why live bands/groups have “colour”.

The AR organs have various parts tuned slightly differently to each other, to help this enrichment.
(This is not true of all organs - the AR's are special! I admit that I am biased, of course.)

The Pitch of the Yamaha AR .. (taken from the Owner's Manual)

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We can further adjust the Lead, to make it “stand out” even more.
(This is a common trick of Jazz musicians.)

By the way, this is why the AR manual will advise you, when tuning the AR to match the pitch of another instrument, you should use the Clarinet on the Lower Keyboard, with effects like Tremolo and Symphonic turned off.

My question is simply this, and purely because I am curious ……

Do Keyboards, like the Tyros, have something similar within them to enrich their sound?

Can anyone satisfy my curiosity, please?

Warmly as usual,

Peter
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Re: Pitch within keyboards ...

Postby andyg » 17 May 2018 22:55

To answer your query, albeit belatedly. No, keyboards like the bigger Yamahas have their sections perfectly in tune, but you can detune the right hand and left hand voices as you wish. IIRC the style voices are fixed in tune, but I'd have to check the mixer screen to be 100% sure on that.

Deliberate detuning that's fixed, as found in the AR100, is something I'm personally not really keen on. Yes, in theory it should add to the ensemble effect, but it's not the same effect as the multiple, constantly varying pitch differences in a natural ensemble. What I find is that it often creates unwanted phasing artefacts between voices likes strings and choir, and unwanted beats between the non-ensemble type voices. If you're playing drawbar organ sounds, for example, and hold down a static chord, melody note(s) and pedal, you'll hear the beats clearly, and there really shouldn't be any on a Hammond. Much though I love the AR100, this aspect of it niggles me!

It's something we tried at Kawai in the early 1980s and ditched because of the issues above.
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Re: Pitch within keyboards ...

Postby PeterA » 18 May 2018 15:37

As everybody must realise, in an orchestra no two instruments are tuned to precisely identical pitches. So all the violins will be very slightly adrift from each other, but that is what generates a richness in orchestral tone, because if they were all exactly the same I understand that the final sound would be bland. In addition, once the violinists begin to bow their strings, there will be a slackening of the string (hardly noticeable to most people) and the strings would go very slightly out of tune.

The Yamaha engineers, boffins and professional players who were involved in the design of the Yamaha AR80 and AR100, chose to make the different key(pedal)boards slightly different to each other, for very good reason.

Personally, I think the range of voices and combined sounds available on the Yamaha AR organs really do take some beating. I have recordings made by my cousin's husband of the well known Toccatas, played on my Yamaha AR80, and you could easily think that you were in the Albert Hall. Some of these are available as MP3's, but are best listened to played in a Yamaha AR organ to do them full justice. YouTube also has some fine examples of professionals playing the Theatre Organ variations on the Yamaha AR's that are very impressive.

But, I digress, so back to my original query which was, "Do other keyboard manufacturers engineer such a variation in pitch within their electronics?" Or does such a thing happen 'by accident'?

If not how do they generate a rich sound, rather than a bland one?
Buy a cheap keyboard and you will know what I mean by bland.

Peter
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Re: Pitch within keyboards ...

Postby Hugh-AR » 18 May 2018 16:46

Andy,

I'm afraid I cannot disagree with you more. There is nothing worse than listening to a piece where everything is 'automated' to the correct pitch. (Actually, there is something worse. Listening to an orchestra where none the violin players get quite the right note and everything sounds 'scratchy' and 'out of tune'!)

The pieces Peter was referring to above are these. And these were played on an AR 80, not on a 'real' pipe organ.

Toccata and Fugue in D minor - J.S. Bach
https://app.box.com/s/cqhnh28qdh3l06lw0i4bsm6xro89twnm

Trumpet Voluntary - Jeremiah Clarke
https://app.box.com/s/odw99cmgqtvwjhzkcu90hq50r33mqefl

Widor's Toccata - or - Widor's 5th Symphony in F - Movement V - Toccata
https://app.box.com/s/ntj2k29jt9mnrdxn62oz0oowd4ihf14s

Hugh
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Re: Pitch within keyboards ...

Postby dentyr » 21 Jul 2019 12:40

Hello Peter, To answer your question about kbds being able to change the pitch-- YES. To get the Musette sound of the french accordion, one set of reeds is tuned up 30 clicks one in the middle and the other 30 clicks down. I sometimes change the pitch of a voice for effect when playing the same voice in the R1 and R2. Example, R1 up and R2 slightly down. Works wonders, especially on the organ voices. Regards, Den.
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