Anyone making music in a different tuning instead of A440?


Dec 7, 2005
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St. Johnsbury, VT USA

Anyone making music in a different tuning instead of A440?​

So, I'm probably one of the most far-out guys on this board when it comes to tuning, but this, I don't get. When someone tunes to A=432 Hz or A=420.69 Hz or whatever, all it does is cause headaches for other band members.

Even in microtonal circles, it annoys the shit out of me when I agree to do a collab, and it's pre-determined that it'll be in some whacky-ass tuning, like 39ed3, which is cool with me, and then I find out later that the other person is using a weird reference pitch on top of that, like 426.799 Hz. It doesn't make anything any more interesting, because the listener perceives nothing; it just means that I now have to tune my guitar and bass to some dumb pitch standard and then remember to tune back to standard afterward and hope I don't ever have to do any more takes, or else I'll have to once again find my strobe tuner, tune down, and back up again.

Honestly, I've done this once before: my tracks were already recorded, and I recorded them in A=440 Hz, and then I found out the keyboard parts sent to me (after I already recorded my tracks for guitar and bass) were at some oddball pitch (I honestly don't even care which one), so I went into my DAW's intonation adjuster, and tweaked it until the tracks sounded close enough. I included a little note back to the organizer, not sure how it was taken, but I was pretty irritated. There were some artifacts in the final product, but, honestly, I was so pissed at the screwball reference pitch not being mentioned until after the fact, that I was just done with it. I don't think the song was ever publicly released anyway, so whatever. :shrug:

EDIT: A lot of these guys do record to a standard middle C instead of a standard A4. I've fought tooth and nail to try to make this not the case, since a lot of micro tunings don't even have anything that can be interpreted into standard notations. A is at least the first note on the list of pitches, so why not set to one of those. Anyway, the above case was not simply a case of C being used instead of A. I've had cases of that happening before, as well - since some people use A and some people use middle C as 261.625565 Hz. Maybe that alone makes it clear why I'm so strongly advocating for A4 = 440 Hz (I don't even own a tuner that will get precise enough to go with C = 261.625565 Hz).

Anyway, standard pitch for life!
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tedtan Regular
Dec 2, 2009
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Never Neverland
I think all those famous bands that tune differently had a device or ways to tune to 440, I’m assuming whatever tuning they used, they just like it and by sounding different in a way, creativity kicked in.
A lot of older music was tuned to standard A=440, but the tape was slowed down (or sometimes sped up) during mastering leaving the music lower (or higher) in pitch than 440.

Some bands did tune to odd reference pitches, though (e.g., Pantera).

Dayn Regular
Feb 4, 2011
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Brisbane, Australia
A=432 or anything else like that just makes me think everything just isn't in tune enough, and reminds me of being a young kid in afterschool daycare, getting sleepy in the afternoon with a headache watching old cartoons with music at a wonky pitch while waiting to be picked up to go home.

So no, I do not.