Hi, I am doing a project that needs to be tuned to a real orchestra. They play in 442 hz.
How can I tune Cubase from 440 to 442?
Right now I do it in all instances of East West “Play”. But I have plenty of instruments open and for some reason Cubase or Play don´t save this setting, so I need to do it again everytime I open my project.
Advisory Notice: This post was written by someone other than myself and contains a “reasonably sensible” bit (at the beginning), a “not reasonably sensible” bit (at the end) and, in between these bits, the transitional “losing the plot” bit. All three bits have been identified (o1, o2 and o3) for your convenience and sanity.
o1. The “Reasonably Sensible” Bit
The author would suggest that you perform a search for this topic in all of the appropriate online Cubase resources e.g., knowledge base, forum threads, etc., as a simple Google search suggests that this issue has been addressed / discussed before.
Since you can set the tuning reference (e.g., A3 = 442Hz) at instrument level (as instrument specific parameters ~ which makes sense as orchestral / all collective tuning in the real world is a function of each and every physical instrument, right?), they seem like prime candidates for Cubase automation (which is a recognised solution, if your instruments support it).
Failing that, Cubase offers a “microtuning midi insert” (sorry, no idea, but apparently it helps, so best look at this too ~ allegedly) and, if you’re up for it, detailed tuning alterations can be scripted; again, not something most people use, but the syntax is quite simple ~ as long as it does what you require.
o2. The Losing The Plot Bit
TBH, the author doesn’t understand how bumping up the 142Hz frequency by 2.6dB in an EQ processor will sort any tuning issue, even a minor (although important) departure from A3 = 44oHz; but, you could still try it.
Please let the community know if it works, cos if it does, guitarists will never have to tune their guitars again ~ ever! In fact, singers will be able to sing out of tune and all other kinds of crazy stuff. All fixable using EQ. Impressive!
o3. The “Not Reasonably Sensible” Bit
Other than that:
Give your finished project to an orchestra that plays to the ISO standard of A3 = 44oHz; or,
Find some real musicians to play real instruments tuned to A3 = 442Hz and record them using Cubase (which is what the author’s circumstances would deem appropriate); or,
Present your project in manuscript form aka Beethoven / Mozart style e.g., clefs, crotchets, quavers, etc.; which completely eliminates the referential tuning problem allowing any orchestra to use the work; or,
Get your hands on a state-of-the-art, fully configurable, all dancing, all singing (NPI) auto-tuner; or,
At the risk of getting really desperate, record the piece using the standard 44oHz tuning, but at a tempo which is very slightly slower. If you put your “analogue tape” head on, you could use an audio editor to speed the recording up to its actual tempo AND also up the tuning (ALL instruments) to be based on 442Hz! (although digital editors typically modify tempos whilst retaining pitch, unless instructed otherwise ~ indeed if they can actually do this). Anyhow: For example, if your piece is a constant 12obpm, record it at circa. 119.457bpm (appears to be an irrational number) and then speed/tune up the rendered 44oHz project audio file by 1.oo4545 (reccurent) to 1oo.4545% (recurrent) of the original audio file; or,
Supply your project at 44oHz and hope nobody notices. I mean, personally, if you played me an A at 44oHz and then the next day, repeated this but at 442Hz, or vica versa, am I going to be able to tell which is which? [Rhetorical]: Unlikely; a bit like determining the pitch of notes below 2oHz, right? Not going to happen, is it?; or,
As 6, but instead of hoping that no-one notices, arrange for lots of noise to be made during all performances to ensure no-one can hear any difference.
o4. Concluding Comments
Does this help? Is it even possible in Cubase? Dunno, but here’s hoping. Anyhow, if not, it’ll certainly give you something to think about or, more likely, a damn good laugh.
You use the EQ as a quick calculator, in order to find how much the intended tuning deviates from A=440. For A=442, it happens to be 8 cents. For A=451, it would be a different number.
The tuning doesn’t take place until you enter the number in the relevant field of the Info Line.
But in @Mads_Granum’s case, seeing that he uses vst instruments, I think it would be better to explore if the plugin’s master tune parameter can read automation, in which case a single event corresponding to A=442 at the start of the project for each instrument’s tuning parameter would be worthwhile.
I’m afraid that, IMHO, using a DAW’s EQ functionality as a calculator - quick, rough or otherwise - in relation to orchestral tuning, is just nuts.
… Are you not agreeing with an earlier paragraph of my post?; which I didn’t elaborate upon because it’s already a recognised solution; which kinda brings me to the whole point of my original post; Quite often, prior to asking a direct question on a forum such as this, perhaps it would be better spending a little time searching for the answer as the solution might well be covered in a previous thread.
I don’t see why not. It does the job. (when you need to transpose an audio event from the info line by +x cents, depending on the destination master pitch) There’s nothing nuts about tuning, except tuning in itself. A futile endeavor if you ask me.
Of course I agree. I also believe that seeing more or less the same thing written twice, thrice or more times, is confirmation of said thing, that’s why I posted more or less the same thing as you, which is no secret knowledge, as you say.
Eh, does it really matter? The post has been posted. You assume the poster didn’t search, I assume he did search but didn’t find. Anyone who could and wanted to, posted answers. Maybe the OP found them helpful. That’s all there is to it, isn’t it?
No: There’s actually a lot more to addressing matters like this. Admittedly, there’s some material that you don’t need to know about; some you don’t want to know about; and some that hasn’t even been developed / invented / postulated yet.
However, there are certain fundamentals that musicians really have to know about, and tuning an instrument prior to (and during) playing it is one of them. I’m not saying it’s the most important but it’s definitely in the top one (with apologies to Brian Clough).
Clearly, this includes defining a common musical pitch to allow the performance of material by an ensemble. That said, it is also applicable to individual instruments e.g., piano, guitar, etc. Unfortunately, as basic as it appears, the matter is beyond the scope of a thread like this. Then again, music is an art, is it not?; which might help to explain the following.
Indeed, this has been considered sufficiently useful to substantiate its adoption on a global scale; which is a little strange though, don’t you think? I mean, that we’d be so accepting of the use of mathematics to describe a real world phenomenon, despite no underlying evidence or accepted truth that such an application was fit for purpose? Likewise, that we would even consider attempting to define a unique musical pitch using an integer? Simply put, this is all irrational, plain and simple. Whatever might they come up with next? Using binary computational machines in music, perhaps? Exactly; whatever.
Even so, unfounded mathematics and contemporary computing applications aside, if that’s all there was to it, you’d think that committing significant resources to develop, agree and implement an international standard which provides musicians around the globe with a single, referential tuning pitch (e.g., A4 = 44o Hz) would be sufficient; or, at least, greeted with unanimous approval, right?
I mean, without this concert pitch the design, manufacture and playing of musical instruments becomes distinctly problematic. In fact, it’s so important that every musician on the planet knows what this is all about and why it is a corner stone of everything that aspires to be music [sarc]. Indeed, it’s one of the many reasons for having an International Standards Organistion i.e.,
Yet, despite having an international standard and the technologies required to implement its guidance - technology that the classical composers did not have - there is still no pragmatic standard referential tuning pitch.
Debating the merits of A44o versus A432 is one thing (allegedly), but appears to mean little to most (myself included). Similarly, being aware that using musical equipment which can generate sub bass undertones or harmonics circa. 7 Hz might not be such a good idea, should be noted (this makes sense, but don’t ask me for a real world example). However, the reasoning why various ensembles of worldwide repute would depart from ISo 16’s A44o by, say, +2Hz is something else entirely; something which is very complicated, most likely complex and literally irrational, to such an exacting fault that it might be mistakenly considered:
Which is one of the reasons that forums like this are worth while i.e., I might not agree with what you say but I do respect it, think about it and learn from it. For that I am in your debt. Hopefully, my comments can help you in some way.
Oh, yeah; nearly forgot. It’s also because numerous people have made mention of the issue in the past and continue to do so to this very day. Indeed, at this rate, it’s only a matter of time until an individual from the vast army of rock guitarists summons up the courage to ask: What middle C is?; How it is defined as a frequency?;Where it is located on the guitar’s fretboard?; When will this become relevant?; Where this might happen?; and, Why this even matters?; cos, for the last 2o odd years…
… That said, until this actually happens, why worry? As long as they can tune their guitars, they’ll be fine. At least, as long as the batteries in their digital tuners don’t run dry, that is; cos when that happens…
… Which is as far as I can go cos at this point I get flashbacks of the guitarists who couldn’t change their tuning from E Standard to Drop D without a digital tuner… To this day, I still have nightmares!
It was a pleasure reading all that. I don’t disagree in the least with what you’ve written. Just two points for clarity.
“That’s all there is to it” was going to how forums work, not tuning.
When i say tuning is a futile endeavor, I don’t mean guitarists (of all people), get a green light from me to just pick up their instrument and fire away shooting blind from whatever pitch their instrument has settled.
Rather… no matter what the refererence pitch, there is a good chance that at the end of Petruchka, the two muted trumpets will be sharp as ■■■■. Tuning to A=x doesn’ t mean A will always be x during the performance, be it the first measures or half an hour later. That’s what I’m saying. And I refuse to judge the musicians, when this happens on the HIGHEST level.
440 is a standard most disregarded by orchestras. 442 to 445 is all fair play due to many factors. I have my ideas why this pitch inflation happens, but I’ll spare the reader. I have seen and played nstruments with the dreaded LP and HP stamps on them (Low Pitch being anywhere from 426-432, and High Pitch anywhere from 445-451). Mainly brass, but the odd clarinet has also made an appearance.
An interesting discussion, I admit, tuning, but nothing Cubasey to see here. For Cubase, A=440 and time measured in quarters. Personally, I make do. Would I like to set a project master tuning and have variaudio act accordingly? Would I ever! Would I like to see real numbers when defining a tempo? Of course I would. But it might take a while.