Friday, October 19, 2007

Fun with audio sample rates

When you play back audio of someone talking or singing at the wrong speed, they sound like a chipmunk or James Earl Jones. But what happens when you play back music at the wrong speed?

At a recent Van Halen concert, someone played the prerecorded keyboard part for "Jump" at 48KHz instead of 44.1. Most people probably wouldn't notice the difference. The pitch gets a little higher or lower and the audio plays a little faster or slower, but it's still pretty recognizable.

But the other musicians on stage found their instruments were completely out of tune with the keyboard part. Eddie Van Halen, being the trooper that he is, tries to transpose on the spot. But he'd have to retune his guitar entirely to match the tape, since the notes it's playing don't exist in the traditional music scale.

[via Boing Boing]

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