Which pitch pipe do I need?

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crieth
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Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby crieth » 08 Oct 2007 18:10

I have a small SATB a capella vocal group (8 singers) and need to get a pitch pipe. I am looking at the Kratt Master Key...and I do think I will prefer this to an electronic one. There are F-F pipes and C-C pipes. The searches I've done say that the F-F is good for male voices, C-C for female. Which one should I go with? I read in one review that the low F/Fsharp are very muddy. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you!

Colleen

cHoRuSgEeK52
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Postby cHoRuSgEeK52 » 09 Oct 2007 13:08

Well, in my personal opinion, the C-C pitch pipe is better, just because I think of it as a more basic key then F. Yes, the low F can get somewhat muddy. The first pitch pipe given to me as a gift was an electronic one, and I absolutely hated it. But, with the regular pitch pipes, it is more "real", to me at least. This is the pitch pipe (the C-C) I use with my SATB choir, and if you can't quite represent the bass or tenor notes on the pipe, just send it down the octave!! Best of Luck with your choir!!
"...a taper in a rushing wind..."

crieth
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Thanks...I answered my own question.

Postby crieth » 10 Oct 2007 23:46

Thanks for the feedback! I went and checked one out at a music shop. The Kratt low F (which is f above middle c) did not seem muddy to me but I was careful to play it correctly. I was glad I got the F to F because I need a B flat for one of my songs, and it is already 2 octaves higher than my basses, who are not very experienced. I love the instrument, perfect.

Colleen

nolinesbarred
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby nolinesbarred » 14 Feb 2009 20:54

Like 'crieth' in the first post our a cappella SATB ensemble of 9-12 is in need of an instrument (pitch pipe?) for when a keyboard is unavailable. Have there been any advances in the devices available since the above messages were posted in 2007? Does anyone have recommendations? What have been your experiences with these gadgets? All help will be much appreciated.

Perhaps a small (cheap) portable electronic keyboard would be suitable as all we need it for is to get our starting notes, and most of us are more familiar with a keyboard than with pitch pipes.

What do you think?

Thanks.

Robert Urmann
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby Robert Urmann » 15 Feb 2009 00:35

I think the best "instrument" is still a tuning fork. No other gadgets.

My recommendation: it's not difficult to learn finding any note with the help of a tuning fork. There are intervals; at least that's what you're singing ...

Robert

nolinesbarred
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby nolinesbarred » 15 Feb 2009 02:21

Thanks Robert.

choralia
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby choralia » 15 Feb 2009 08:47

I'm probably too technological, but, as an alternative, I may suggest using mp3 files on a mobile phone... :roll:

BTW, a tuning fork is slightly sensitive to temperature due to dilatation of metal, while mp3 files are not.

Max

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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby nolinesbarred » 15 Feb 2009 11:20

That's an interesting idea, Max. A few of our singers are technologically adept and sometimes appear at rehearsals with mysterious small objects the function of which has never been revealed to me (at least not in language that I understand). I'm sure they'll be delighted by the MP3 idea. Can't wait!

Thanks,

K

vaarky
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby vaarky » 15 Feb 2009 18:39

I've been in settings where people have tried a lot of different instruments for pitch. My favorite for me to use is the tuning fork, but I also quite like using the Pocket Tones device. People seem fond of their iphone applications. For receiving pitch in rehearsal, I find tuning fork transmitted by voice to be less clear sometimes (for volume or other reasons). I prefer pitch pipe or the electronic tools. However, I would find it distracting if someone used an electronic device to give pitch in a concert--best to stick to tuning fork or pitch pipe for concerts, and use in rehearsal the same thing you'll use in concert so singers get used to it.

Tuning fork (I prefer A440)
Pitch pipe, non electric (I prefer C to C versus F to F)
Pocket Tones nifty keychain electronic pitch instrument: e.g. http://www.musick8.com/store/alphadetai ... group=1100 (about $15)
Roll away piano keyboard (e.g. http://gifts-and-gadgets-online.amazonw ... ce=froogle -- about $80) -- more compact than one of the little Casio or similar keyboards
Cellphone apps: for the iphone, for example, there are two versions of a piano for pitch--one has smaller keys but 2 octaves if you want to play songs, the other is just one octave with bigger keys

nolinesbarred
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby nolinesbarred » 15 Feb 2009 20:41

Thanks vaarky for your detailed suggestions. Much food for thought there.

K

vaarky
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby vaarky » 16 Feb 2009 19:45

I should add that I think the Roll Away piano can play only one note at a time. so not good for chords unless you're going to roll them. It's useful primarily as a pitch-giving device or to play a series of difficult intervals, and not for accompaniment.

cHoRuSgEeK52
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby cHoRuSgEeK52 » 24 Feb 2009 04:32

A tuning fork is a very good instrument for honing one's aural skills. It is a great tool that is always in tune, but I really only think it benefits the user. The director gets to hear the A 440 (and even if the singers were completely quiet, they probably still wouldn't be able to hear it) and then they are able to find the interval for the appropriate pitch. If I were to ever use a tuning fork for pitches, I would have every member of the choir have one. It will give you a better trained choir as far as aural skills is concerned, and they will be more 'on the spot' when they have to find the note/interval themselves, instead of the director finding it and then humming the tone.

I like just a pitch pipe. It doesn't waste time and you don't have to worry whether the interval you chose yourself is correctly in tune with the fork- it just plays the note you request. That's just me.

KAS
"...a taper in a rushing wind..."

Claude_T
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby Claude_T » 15 May 2018 06:10

I'm sorry, I've rejected the following post, then saw there was no reason to do that.
I also sing pre-baroque, so I need to have a frequency-adjust for things like A-339 on top. What also drives me towards an electronic pipe is purity of tone, the usual buzz is wrong in so many ways, all over the shop in frequency, harmonics, and tone. The oboe's used because it's fairly stable, and it's not got serious overtomes, but a sine-wave is the simplest.
The question is, where to find such a beast? Yes, I could use oscilloscope software to create MP3 files, but that's a lot of files, and they'd have to loop.
Rahere.

CHGiffen
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby CHGiffen » 15 May 2018 18:57

Rather than a pitch pipe, consider an electronic tuner, such as one from Korg. The CA-1, CA-40, CA-50, and the OT-120 chromatic tuners from Korg are all worthy devices. Even the OT-120 can be had for about US$ 40.00 (currently, from reverb.com).
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Rahere
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Re: Which pitch pipe do I need?

Postby Rahere » 15 May 2018 21:29

I also sing pre-baroque, so I need to have a frequency-adjust for things like A-339 on top. What also drives me towards an electronic pipe is purity of tone, the usual buzz is wrong in so many ways, all over the shop in frequency, harmonics, and tone. The oboe's used because it's fairly stable, and it's not got serious overtomes, but a sine-wave is the simplest.
The question is, where to find such a beast? Yes, I could use oscilloscope software to create MP3 files, but that's a lot of files, and they'd have to loop.

Don't forget, for that matter, that we should avoid perfect pitch, because it's too perfect - I wrote up the guide for harp players a long time ago, because we use the circle-of-fifths on the second harmonic to get a complete enharmonic tuning as stage one of a complete tune-up, but the last stage is perhaps the most essential, we then tune off just a little, to keep harmonics within the note, but not in the fifths. Someone will doubtless rightly remind me that there is a known set of generally-accepted frequencies for each scale, and they would be right to do so, indeed if they know where, it would be a useful contribution: however in the real world, once tuned, the orchestra gently drifts off-tune at quie an alarming rate, at times, as instruments and the venue warm up abnd humidity from players and audience has is effect, so in reality we rarely if ever play in any kind of theoretically-perfect way.

Rahere


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