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  1. #1

    Default The 432 Hz Project

    It's been suggested that we're tuning our instruments incorrectly, and as a result recording music that doesn't sound as good. The standard tuning for the note A is 440 Hz. 432 Hz is less than a semitone below, but there is a noticeable difference. Last night I took some songs I'd been working on, pasted them into Audacity, and experimented with changing the pitch accordingly. It was a slight difference but I found it sounded more pleasant. I'm not sure if there's actually anything to this or if it's some sort of audio placebo effect, but I think I am going to start converting all of my completed tracks accordingly, just as an experiment. In the meantime, I have been comparing music on youtube that people have converted. In many cases there seems to be a slight warmth in the 432 versions, as opposed to something off and "tinny" in a lot of the 440 versions. Of course this could also be due to the overall quality of the audio files people have uploaded (for instance, if your source was 128 kbps as opposed to AIFF, the 128 MP3 audio is going to sound noticeably shittier and more degraded).

    It also occurred to me that I always used to prefer slightly downtuning the strings on my guitar and bass, approximately at the halfway point between standard EADGBE and a half-step lower than standard. I've heard other guitarists say they tend to slightly down tune as well--perhaps it's part of some desire to get closer to some supposed "magic tuning" or frequency of the Earth. Some bands prefer to tune their instruments a half-step lower (Weezer is a good example). The Velvet Underground even tuned their instruments a whole step lower for many of their songs, hence the slightly rounder, albeit "dronier" tone of a lot of their songs.

    Examples to follow:








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  3. #3

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    With pretty good quality headphones on, I think there is a noticeable difference. Overall I felt the 440 Hz was a bit fluffier and of lower quality that you would hear in a 128 kbps sound file while the 432 Hz was sharper and warmer with maybe even a more thunderous bass. Although I don't think I'd be able to tell if I was listening to a song purely by itself, as I'm not an audiophile. I didn't feel that vibrational difference some people speak of though lol. Nothing running through my veins or making me feel one with the Earth specifically. Maybe I'm just not spiritual enough...
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
    With pretty good quality headphones on, I think there is a noticeable difference. Overall I felt the 440 Hz was a bit fluffier and of lower quality that you would hear in a 128 kbps sound file while the 432 Hz was sharper and warmer with maybe even a more thunderous bass. Although I don't think I'd be able to tell if I was listening to a song purely by itself, as I'm not an audiophile. I didn't feel that vibrational difference some people speak of though lol. Nothing running through my veins or making me feel one with the Earth specifically. Maybe I'm just not spiritual enough...
    It seems like the difference is marginal and ultimately it's subjective and a matter of preference. I prefer the 432 Hz tuning the guy used in the second video of the second post; the overall timbre was nice and I found the 440 Hz tuning he used to sound slightly more abrasive. I'm not sure there's some magical, universal perfect frequency or tuning, although there might be some "sweet spot" range that is more appealing to the ears humans have evolved. I'm still going to experiment with altering my own music to see if the result is more aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately there's no way I know of to alter my recording software or midi keyboard in accordance with A=432 Hz tuning, so I'll have to do all of this alteration post-recording. But perhaps this will serve the purpose of making me finish a lot of works-in progress I've been sitting on for months and years, as once I've altered the pitch it will prove more difficult to go back in and edit or revise these pieces.

    The problem also with the altered versions of popular songs is that it's slightly lowering the pitch, so for instance on the Tupac song, his voice sounded a little lower and it was a bit off-putting.

    I would like to hear a live string orchestra with their instruments tuned in accordance with A=432 Hz.
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  5. #5
    surgical penis klinik Typh0n's Avatar
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    I can definitely hear the difference but I can't put my finger on what it is.

    The 432 hz songs sound more like they've been reworked in a studio, as opposed to 440 which sounds more raw.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    I can definitely hear the difference but I can't put my finger on what it is.

    The 432 hz songs sound more like they've been reworked in a studio, as opposed to 440 which sounds more raw.
    Understandable, as these are the results of people altering these songs in a program. What did you think of the comparison in the second video in post #2? That is a comparison in a more "natural" setting.

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    surgical penis klinik Typh0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asynartetic View Post
    Understandable, as these are the results of people altering these songs in a program. What did you think of the comparison in the second video in post #2? That is a comparison in a more "natural" setting.
    OK, so I listened to the comparison in that video.

    The 432 is much more of a "natural" sound, whereas the 440 hz seems "artificial" or man made. I guess I prefer the 440hz because in industrial music which is what I'm mainly into making, you want your music to sound more "man-made". Or at least I do. I usually prefer man-made things to natural ones. I realize for many people its the opposite though.

    So yeah, I certainly, certainly, hear a difference I really don't think it is any kind of auditory placebo effect.

    Which one should you use? It depends on the "effect" you want to create. Like I said I favor the 440hz sound, but some people might prefer the 432hz sound for the same reason I don't.
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    This would be an interesting experiment. Haven't tried it out for myself yet, but I could see certain sounds coming across more pleasing to the ear on a more..."basic" level, like certain pitches, chords, rhythms, etc. I could see, would leave our bodies and minds more insync and in tune.

    I've heard before that songs played at a tempo similar to the human heartbeat come across as more relaxing and calming. Is it because obviously, a quickened song would give higher energy therefore a slower, more relaxed tempo would do the opposite? But...hmm, WHY is that obvious to infer? Why does a quick tempo equate to high energy? (I know many with ADHD may state the opposite) I have no doubt music taps into our souls in ways other means cannot, but why? What is the science behind it?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    OK, so I listened to the comparison in that video.

    The 432 is much more of a "natural" sound, whereas the 440 hz seems "artificial" or man made. I guess I prefer the 440hz because in industrial music which is what I'm mainly into making, you want your music to sound more "man-made". Or at least I do. I usually prefer man-made things to natural ones. I realize for many people its the opposite though.

    So yeah, I certainly, certainly, hear a difference I really don't think it is any kind of auditory placebo effect.

    Which one should you use? It depends on the "effect" you want to create. Like I said I favor the 440hz sound, but some people might prefer the 432hz sound for the same reason I don't.
    A lot of my music is electronic so I'm wondering if it's worth the trouble of trying to convert it. I can see though why acoustic instruments would sound better.

  10. #10

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    I've heard of people converting their entire music libraries. Seems a bit extreme though. It would take me ages to convert every single track in my library and I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

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