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Author Topic: It wasn't Eddie Van Halen's fault! (2007 Jump performance)  (Read 1690 times)

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Offline voltronic

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It wasn't Eddie Van Halen's fault! (2007 Jump performance)
« on: September 03, 2023, 08:05:05 PM »
Many of you will know about the infamous 2007 performance by Van Halen in Greensboro, NC where they closed the concert with Jump, and Eddie got ripped from here to kingdom come all over the 'net for being so massively out of tune. Me being a pianist, I remember listening to that video and thinking it was actually the synth that sounded off, not Eddie.

When I recently posted that video with my comments on Counter.Social (an awesome alternative to Twitter I've been on since 2017, highly recommend, btw), it led to an interesting discussion with another member who is a pro guitarist and had been at the show. I decided I needed to figure out what exactly was going on. Was Eddie's guitar really out of tune? Was there a sample-rate mismatch on the synth recording? See what I found out here, with evidence:

https://counter.social/@voltronic/110981609058535144

If you want to skip right to the listening tracks I made:
https://mega.nz/folder/empzBToY#9-R0wK_dzwseEZMlrrSulQ
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
- Gustav Mahler

Acoustic Recording Techniques
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: It wasn't Eddie Van Halen's fault! (2007 Jump performance)
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2023, 12:43:16 PM »
iirc it was pretty well documented to be the synth playing back at the wrong sample rate or something to that effect.

Edit:
Well I read through your discussion. The easiest way to tell if the synth is "out of tune" is just to find another version of the song from the same tour and compare. Tuning songs up/down by a matter of cents (not a full semi/half step) is pretty common practice to help singers reach notes they can't reach anymore in the original range, so it's entirely possible that they either played a wrong track, didn't remember the song was supposed to be tuned differently, etc...

second edit: did just that and listened to another version from '07. Synth is in the same key ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
« Last Edit: September 04, 2023, 12:52:16 PM by opsopcopolis »

Offline voltronic

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Re: It wasn't Eddie Van Halen's fault! (2007 Jump performance)
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2023, 01:52:21 PM »
iirc it was pretty well documented to be the synth playing back at the wrong sample rate or something to that effect.

Edit:
Well I read through your discussion. The easiest way to tell if the synth is "out of tune" is just to find another version of the song from the same tour and compare. Tuning songs up/down by a matter of cents (not a full semi/half step) is pretty common practice to help singers reach notes they can't reach anymore in the original range, so it's entirely possible that they either played a wrong track, didn't remember the song was supposed to be tuned differently, etc...

second edit: did just that and listened to another version from '07. Synth is in the same key ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The thing is, if there was a sample rate mismatch there would be a tempo increase along with higher pitch. That didn't happen here; the tempo is pretty much the same as the original at 130 bpm. In this performance, the synth is playing exactly in C-sharp major as my second isolated synth track shows.

I also documented in the thread that I tried purposely causing a 44.1 / 48 kHz sample rate mismatch in Audacity. This raised the pitch far beyond a half step, almost to D major, in addition to the aforementioned tempo increase. So because of the above two points, we can put the sample rate issue theory to bed.

You're correct that keys are often changed slightly to accommodate singers. I do this daily for my students. But to make it higher in this case for DLR when you can hear him straining in his upper register doesn't make any sense. I maintain that someone accidentally transposed the synth up a half step.

Would you please link the other version from '07 that is in the same key?
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
- Gustav Mahler

Acoustic Recording Techniques
Team Classical
Team Line Audio
Team DPA

 

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