Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
Forum Statistics

181,878 users have contributed to 42,190 threads and 254,622 posts.

In the past 24 hours, we have 3 new thread(s), 17 new post(s) and 59 new user(s).

  • 432 Hz

    Is it possible on Vienna Imperial, to set tuning precisely at A = 432 Hz?

  • I don't have Vienna Imperial, but I think you can set the tuning on any instrument that uses VI. Open the advanced window in VI and click on the options tab. There should be a field to change the Master Tuning there.

  • Problem is, that I don't have software VI yet and because I am asking about it. Strictly A=432Hz.

  • Just download VI from the MyVSL downloads section. It comes with all VSL's instruments. You don't need the pro version to do this.

  • last edited
    last edited

    Hi rychubil,

    It´s good that you´re asking, as tuning in Vienna Imperial is only possible between 436 and 444.99 Hz, as documented in the Vienna Imperial Manual, page 14.



    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • Thank you for this information.

  • Which one master keyboard with hammer action is the most recommended for VSL?
    I think about Kawai VPC1 or MP11 (longer key).

  • last edited
    last edited

    Hello rychubil,

    That really depends on your preferences as a player, you will hear many different answers... The best idea is to try different pianos in music store.

    Personally, I love using the Lachnit keyboard, made in Austria.


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • My preferences is playing classical music and related, focused on differences in dynamic and articulation. Referring to the MK22, there is mounted Fatar TP40WOOD keyboard system, same hammer action like in my Nord piano 2 - TP40 (plastic version) which doesn't have an escapement at all. I think this is very important in touch. How are your impressions in playing on MK22? Which kind of music usually you play on the MK22? Did you compare MK22 with other master keyboards like Kawai VPC1 for example?

  • Hi, 

    I´m afraid I´m one of those guys who are having a hard time when it comes to describe their experience in detail.... But I´m sure that other users will join in with their opinions. 


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • last edited
    last edited

    @rychubil said:

    Which one master keyboard with hammer action is the most recommended for VSL?
    I think about Kawai VPC1 or MP11 (longer key).

    I don't think you can go wrong with the MP11. The Kawai keyboards with the long keys are the closest to a real grand without having a modified grand action (Yamaha AvantGrand). The models in the wooden cabinet such as the CA67 have a newer action design.

  • Would it be possible for the Imperial to be tunable down to A432 with an update? I keep hearing about the magic of this tuning, and I'm skeptical, but I'd like to try it. 432 is a thing. And more than any instrument I want to hear the piano at this tuning, because it's the biggest machine, has the most buttons, and makes the most sound. I'm surprised, actually that the Imperial isn't able to be tuned to quarter tones, because that would be useful too.  --432-Curious

  • Hi misterclare, 

    432 is not very likely, and this is also the very first request. Not sure if it is a thing. 


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • last edited
    last edited

    @misterclare said:

    Would it be possible for the Imperial to be tunable down to A432 with an update?

    If you want to check it out, just pitch shift a mixdown of a track. Then you can hear it at any pitch you like.


  • Now you have a second request. I would like very much an Imperial update offering a possibility for A432.

  • 432 is only a thing because people make it a thing. It is nothing more than a slightly lower pitch, barely noticeable to most people.

    What might be really interesting however is to have avaliable different tunings: equal temperament, meantone, well temperament (standard tuning used today), young's, or pythagorean, to name a few...

    There is nothing magical about 432, just hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo, and a whole lot of coincidences (which actually turn out not to be a coincidence at all but factually incorrect statements made up from thin air).

    Do not buy into the notion that 432 is the number of the universe, nor is it a particular frequency that the universe resonates to, water doesnt particularly resonate at 432 hz any more than it resonates to virtually any audio frequency. A very well sourced article on this very subject is here, and, you can look on Youtube for 432 vs 440 comparison videos.

    There are other reasons one may want to change pitches, as I understand it, different base tunings are based on era and style of music, I do recall reading somewhere that Baroque music was played at something like 415 hz and in the article above, many choral arrangements are lowered in order to allow singers to hit higher notes.

    432 doesnt cure cancer and it wont help you wake up in the morning.

  • A432 is also knowned as Verdi tuning. Feel free to think anything you want, it's not about magic or cure cancer, I just like the mathematical fact that every note of the scale gets a round number C256, D288, E324, F342, G384, A432, B484.

  • last edited
    last edited

    @pydrapeau said:

    A432 is also knowned as Verdi tuning. Feel free to think anything you want, it's not about magic or cure cancer, I just like the mathematical fact that every note of the scale gets a round number C256, D288, E324, F342, G384, A432, B484.

    How does this matter? So, mathematically speaking, the scientific pitch, philosophical pitch, or whatever you want to call it (it goes by several different names) makes it easy to descrive what a C should be tuned to and that constitutes a reason to change the current standard we use today?

    I think we need to keep a level head about this. Be logical about WHY we are looking to change what is considered a widely used standard in the world today, even tho many articles proclaiming 432 is the answer to saving the world from war and curing cancer also continue to claim that 440 middle A tuning is not a standard when in fact, it is. Every tuner, by default, out of the box defaults to 440 tuning. Unless specifically requested by the composer, instruments are tuned to the 440 tuning as a default.

    'I just like even numbers' is also bizarre because in reality, what you are asking for is to move the 'whole numbers' from A to C, which will result in music being just shy of half a step in pitch lower than what it is today but otherwise, has no noticeable difference in sound..

    If we are going to be technical about it, Verdi tuning doesnt even use a middle A at 432, its actually closer to 430.5 Hz.

    Is it an interesting exercise from an academic perspective? Perhaps. My paper that Ill be turning in early December deals with tuning methods and this entire 432 hz phoenominon.

    What I have come to realize as Ive begun outlining and sourcing my paper is two things.

    1. You will never please everyone. There are people pushing for Verdi / scientific tuning, there are people pushing for 432 hz tuning, and several others that dont come to the top of my head at the moment. Most of the reasons, are hocus pocus or that it 'feels good' - in that, not that the music is better but that it 'feels good' to say everything has an even number, or odd number, or no decimal points, or whatever. Actually, I havent come across a reason yet that would suggest to me a good logical reason as to why we should change except choral arrangements would be easier to sing, and even then, I would argue the composer should transpose down half a step if he is concerned about straining his singers voices.

    2. Music will never be 100% mathematically perfect with nice round numbers. Why? Because our hearing is not 100% mathematically perfect. Tune a piano to be mathematically pitch perfect and what youll get is sharp sounding notes in the high end and flat sounding notes in the low end. It is why we use the system we use today, it is a compromise, probably as close a compromise as we can get to avoid things sounding out of tune. Yes, the system we use today isnt perfect. Listen to a note and its third (a C and an E for example) and you'll hear 'beats' in the sound because the C and E are slightly out of tune such that we can play a note and its fifth (a C and a G for example) and have a near perfect harmony. We can play a note an octave apart and have no 'beats'. Our tuning system we use today emphasizes the same priorities that Bach described. Octaves, then fifths, then thirds, that should be the priority. Bach was annoyed about the tuning methods that were used and yelled at his organ engineer every time he played a note and its fifth, it was even worse when he played a triad that included a fifth and he would yell at his organist and complain constantly about it, thats why we have what we have today.

    I will even go so far as to say that music will never be 100% mathematically perfect because math is not 100% perfect. There are numerous examples I can give to prove this, but Ill give you two to ponder on.

    What happens when you multiply 1/3 times 3? You should get 1. (1/3 * 3 = 1 OR 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3 = 1). Now convert 1/3 to a decimal and multiply by 3. You get .9 repeating (.3 repeating * 3 = .9 repeating OR 3 repeating + .3 repeating + .3 repeating = .9 repeating), not 1, as you would get if multiplying the fraction.

    Can anyone give me the square root of a negative number? Any negative number? It doesnt exist! In math, we had to make something up and call it an imaginary number (normally assigned to the variable 'i', although in engineering, they use 'j' for reasons I cant get into here).

    The square root of a number, that is, a number when multiplied by itself equals the number we are looking for the square root of. The easiest way to demonstrate this is -1. The square root cant be -1 since two negatives when multiplied equal a postive and two positives equal a positive, so, we define the square root of -1 as -1i or 1i, depending on which mathemitician you ask (the i meaning, 1 times a number we cant define).

    As another interesting side note to think about, if looking for the even root of a number, it actually is 2 numbers, positive and negative. The square root of 4 is actually 2 and -2 (2*2=4 and -2*-2=4). The root of 16 with an index of 4 is 2 and -2. Anyway, just mentioning this as food for thought since most people probably never thought about it before 😊. But I digress...

    Few things in life are perfect, music is no exception. Technically, sound to be more precise, is not perfect.

  • All tuning standards are arbitrary. Even numbers, odd numbers, whole numbers, decimals, fractions, etc make no difference because they are all based on an entirely unnatural unit of time based loosely on the (non-fixed) length of time the earth takes to revolve around the sun and later standard-locked to the more precise decay of a cesium atom. Seconds do not exist in nature. They are an agreed-upon standard, just as A=440 is an agreed-upon standard. Hertz is not a natural thing. It is a man-made reference based on a man-made unit of time. Fractions of a hertz unit are no more or less correct or natural than whole-numbered units. It's just a way for us to communicate in a standard way. In terms of sound, an individual instrument or singer may sound more or less pleasing at a particular tuning due to resonance or range. It may get even be true of a particular piece of music in a particular room. (Although what is more pleasing to one person may be less pleasing to another, as this is a matter of subjective tastes.) When it comes to pre-recorded audio samples, I can't imagine digitally manipulating the pitch after would yield the same acoustic properties in terms of resonance. I also don't think it would produce the same qualities as "straining" an instrument with slightly more tension, or relaxing it by reducing the tension. The only place I can imagine digital pitch manipulation changing the sound in a tangible way would be hermode or, in the case of a piano changing the temperament, where the relationships between notes are altered.

  • My personal mumbo jumbo is that recording in different tuning standards is someone analgous to shifting the key: the color of the sound can change.

    I've done a LOT of 432hz recording, and even released an album of original solo piano music done in this standard.

    I see different benifits to experimenting with tuning standards, and admittedly the many of them are commercial benifits.

    For anyone interested in their own perceptive ability feel free to take this test I made for Youtube: 

    Another video of a piano in 432hz is here.  I legitimately believe it adds a bit more weight in this standard, without putting it in the heroic key of E-flat: