Questions & Answers

After laying an acoustic guitar track, the recording sounds out of key/sharp, but I tuned up prior. What's up?

0 votes
asked Apr 10, 2020 in Studio One 4 by dexterrrichards (260 points)
Presonus 1824C I/O
MacBook Pro running Windows 10
Studio One 4
Acoustic Guitar with Internal Pickup fed directly to input 2 on I/O

5 Answers

+1 vote
answered Apr 10, 2020 by antonydarvill (830 points)
selected Apr 11, 2020 by Bbd
Best answer
Has the sample rate changed?
commented Apr 10, 2020 by Bbd (14,370 points)
Good question.

If you simply record your guitar and then play it back, there will be no pitch shift to the recorded material. You must have changed the sample rate or some other option to make it shift in pitch.
+1 vote
answered Apr 10, 2020 by matthewritenburg (14,910 points)
Another possibility is that the intonation of your guitar is off.  You could tune all the strings to a tuner and it would all seem in tune, but as you voice chords up and down the neck they could sound sharp or flat against other instruments if the guitars’ intonation is off.

You can use Melodyne to view each note to see how far they are sharp or flat relative to pitch center for each note. If they are not too far off, you can use Melodyne to move each note closer to pitch center without making it sound unnatural.
+1 vote
answered Apr 10, 2020 by aka_busker (25,560 points)

To echo what Matthew said, you could have bad intonation on your guitar.  The easiest check for guitar intonation would be to play it connected to a simple guitar tuner.  All you need to do to check your intonation is to play the 12th fret harmonic followed by the string fretted at twelfth. The harmonic and the fretted note should sound identical but check the readout on the tuner.  If there is a discrepancy i.e. the fretted note is sharper than/ flatter than the harmonic, your intonation is out.  Don't check your intonation with melodyne.  You only need a tuner or tuner app.  As for fixing it - that depends on your guitar.  Is it electric or acoustic?  You may be able to fix it yourself if it is an electric guitar but I wouldn't recommend sorting the intonation on an acoustic guitar.  If it's an acoustic get it to a luthier.  As for an electric - there are a few good videos on YouTube and I would recommend Stew Mac.  Some guitar manufacturers have videos on how to set up "their" electrics.  I am happy setting my own intonation on an electric.  But before reaching to adjust the bridge - check the neck for warps or bows. If you set the intonation and find your neck is not set right you have to reset the neck and then adjust your intonation again.  Check intonation, check the neck.  If both need adjusting and you have neither tools nor confidence, get friendly with your local luthier.  If you have never had your guitar set up by a luthier before, then just get it done.  It's not expensive.  Just appreciate that these set-ups need checking occasionally.  Also, new strings that are played in (holding tune) are better than the ones you have may be using for months.
0 votes
answered Apr 10, 2020 by dexterrrichards (260 points)
Not sure how to respond to your individual answers other than clicking "answer" in this post..
Thanks Anthony - no the sample rate hasn't changed.
Thanks aka_Busker (nice name btw), and to Matthew - Sounds likes an intonation problem. I have an old-school tuner (not a clamp on version) so I'll do as you say Busker and report back. It is an acoustic guitar, a Taylor that has had some good luthiers do some work on it, so as soon as this virus things lets up, I'll get to to a good luthier again. Menawhile, I'll do my tests..
 It's good to know what Bbd says that there will be no pitch shift in recorded material
Good answers! Thanks,
Randall (mtnspirit) in New Zealand
0 votes
answered Apr 11, 2020 by dexterrrichards (260 points)
Update: Checked intonation with two different tuners and all seems good there. I was going to lay down a test track by plucking the individual strings and put a tuner on those to compare, but after tonight's attempt that was the least of my worries - had wicked hum in the line, no matter what I did, (changing cables, changing inputs, introducing DI box), plus..couldn't get a strong signal input, (no results/waveforms). So I quit, and just played the **** guitar..
Guess I should start a new thread on the above......