Who’s Right Slap-Fight

Girls, Girls, You’re Both Pretty

I wrote that VH’s keyboards and not Eddie Van Halen or his guitar tech were the culprit in this clip. For the sake of argument, let’s hear and evaluate the technically possible reasons the keys and guitar are clashing.

Reasons AGAINST the 44/48 explanation:

1) The keys aren’t wrong, Eddie’s guitar was “knocked” out of tune before the song started. Untrue: this doesn’t make any sense because in the clip, Eddie’s whole guitar, all the strings – are in tune with themselves. Therefore, a bonked headstock or a broken string can’t be the reason, it has to be systemic. I received many comments insisting that this was the case. I maintain it isn’t – not even with a Floyd Rose bridge, as many have sworn.

2) Eddie’s guitar tech gave him a guitar tuned incorrectly for the song. If this is true, then it’s the biggest coincidence in the world that (i) the guitar’s tuning is correct for the album’s tuning of “Jump” and (ii) the tech tuned the guitar to a pitch that somehow couldn’t be transposed with the allegedly in-tune keyboards. Highly unlikely.

3) Many posters have claimed that VH has a keyboard player onstage (which we don’t see in the clip), so why use a recording? Even if there were a live keyboardist, if he was playing the part live through an improperly-set digital audio interface, he would still experience the sharpened, non-western-scale pitch. See (Reason FOR #5 below).

4) VH are intentionally playing the song in C# as opposed to the C it was originally recorded in on the 1984 album. The problem there: as far as I can perceive, that keyboard pitch is not C#, it’s north of C# but south of D.

5) “Wolfy is in tune.” This is pretty funny since I can’t, and I challenge anyone to hear – any bass in this cellphone recording. Nor would I expect to – it’s a cellphone recording. I sure can’t hear any Michael Anthony. Oof!

Reasons FOR the 44/48 explanation:

1) The difference in pitch between the keys in the clip and the keys in the original 1984 recording is the same.

2) Eddie never gets back to in tune. If the pitch difference were just a semitone instead of about 1.5 semitones off, he certainly could, but he can’t – the difference in pitch does not lie in the western scale, it lies between the notes of C# and D. He can’t get in tune (without twisting all the tuning pegs of his guitar) because there’s no fret between C# and D.

3) The tempo of the song as compared to the original LP recording is also sped up to just about the degree that a 44.1 recording would be at if it were played at 48K.

4) If, as many have said, Eddies guitar was out and the keys were on, and their difference was just a semitone apart, why in the world wouldn’t one of the most virtuosic guitarists in the world not be able to transpose after a few bars? I say he didn’t because he couldn’t. (see reason FOR #2)

5) This video below demonstrates the principle at play with the difference between 44.1Khz and 48Khz, it actually shows the button, the clips and the match between EVH’s tuning in the clip and the tuning on the 1984 record.

Add these together and then show respect for the simplest explanation and you come up with screwed-up keyboards.

Since it’s not obvious, I should make it clear: I was not there, I was not backstage, and I did not witness the problem’s specific cause. I used my ears and experience and came up with the best explanation.

114 Responses to “Who’s Right Slap-Fight”

  1. 1 Dresden Black
    October 19, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Just so you know:
    I am a stagehand in Charlotte, NC where they spent the week before the Greensboro show rehearsing and preparing for the tour.
    I am, by no means, a Van Halen fan. I would like little more than to find fault, but I find myself in the position of defending them here.
    I happen to know for a fact that there is a live keyboard player just offstage where he cannot be seen. As strange as that sounds, it is done from time to time by guitar-driven bands that do not want to let people see something so inhuman as a synthesizer. (Or for some random other reason, there is just no telling.)
    I will say again that I was not at the Greensboro show, but I heard the full set at least 6 times in the week before it. Each and every time, they tore through numbers with remarkable skill which impressed me, despite my lack of fondness for their music.
    If you wish to attack Dave and his giant inflatable microphone or anything else of the sort, have at it, but trying to do a critical analysis of the tonal qualities of a band based on a cellphone video is pointless.

  2. 2 anon
    October 19, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Possibly the keyboard players’ earbud monitor came out? Maybe there was some confusion around the key they were going to play it in (god, I’m just listening to it in the background and it really hurts) and he just couldn’t hear EVH playing it in a different key?

  3. 3 Bob
    October 20, 2007 at 12:38 am

    I can’t believe you are wasting so much time on this. In years past, VH has used a live keyboard player off the stage, although Eddie has even gone so far as to *claim* it was he himself playing it on tape. On this tour, I’ve assumed that they were using taped keyboards. Who cares? It’s not like we are being fooled. It’s not as if Eddie was faking playing a keyboard and a tape of a keyboard was coming through the PA. There is clearly no keyboard player, so it’s not like the part was being mimed on stage because someone was incapable of playing it. I saw the very next show on this tour and Eddie played a different guitar during “Jump,” so one can assume that he simply had the wrong guitar in his hand.

    In the Who’s Who’s Next Classic Albums documentary, they mention that their tape machines in the 70s would occasionally malfunction much to the dismay of their sound man who had more than one machine thrown at him because of it. Was anyone complaining about this then? I doubt it and the Who went on to the next city and did it right the next night.

  4. 4 A non
    October 20, 2007 at 1:54 am

    Conclusive, and the simplest explanation.

    Though why they keep playing once Eddie goes through a few fifths intervals trying to detect the right scale is beyond me.

    A true Spinal Tap moment. Where’s the dwarf? Oh, that’s David Lee Roth. Why they planned to have him humping a giant penis is beyond understanding.

  5. 5 Dr. Nguyen Van Faulk
    October 20, 2007 at 2:22 am

    I think you’re definitely right on. In fact, on some sustained notes, especially at the end, you can hear Eddy bending his string up slightly to get on tune.

  6. October 20, 2007 at 5:56 am

    This IS what happened. You’re absolutely right. I have tickets for VH at Sacramento this November. I hope the tech boys have figured out where they went wrong by then – or better yet just get Brett Tuggle in again.

  7. 7 assdfas
    October 20, 2007 at 8:07 am

    who cares

  8. 8 Dave
    October 20, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Check it out: Eddie’s in tune in this clip AND the keyboard is in the higher key:

    And it’s a semi-tone higher. Not a 1 1/2 semi-tones.

  9. 9 Jeff
    October 20, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Just FYI, one of my close friends works as a tech for the band. They do use a live keyboard player behind the curtain stage right for all their keyboard parts. They made the decision not to use any recorded keyboards or sampled vocals for this tour. Interesting theories about what happened at this show. Wish I knew. I haven’t spoken to my friend since he went on the Just FYI, one of my close friends works as a tech for the band. They do use a live keyboard player behind the curtain stage right for all their keyboard parts. They made the decision not to use any recorded keyboards or sampled vocals for this tour. Interesting theories about what happened at this show. Wish I knew. I haven’t spoken to my friend since he went on the road.

  10. 10 Engineer
    October 20, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Fire the techs……they weren’t using the energizer bunny battereies in their flashlights…..hahahahaha

    It wasn’t so bad a performance, give EVH the credit for trying to make it work.

    Prolly the techs were vomitting those deep fried batter pickles (eek) NC is so famous for.


  11. 11 JW
    October 20, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    All you have to do to disprove the sampling rate theory is to open two windows simultaneously and play the Greensboro YouTube vid next to ANY “Jump” vid from andy show; Charlotte, Philly, Chicago, whatever. They keyboards are in the SAME KEY. I was at Greensboro and all the happened was that Ed beat his headstock on the floor during the solo and knocked it out of tune. That’s all. Compare the videos head-to-head. The Keyboards are in the same key in every show.

  12. 12 Mike Kesterson
    October 20, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    As a seasoned kayboardist, I can tell you exactly what happened on stage with the sound….the keyboard gat a electronic spike, or midi malfunction, and temporarily went in to a altered key, or semikey in this case. Keyboards are strange electronic beasts, and are subject to lots of abuse…although I’m sure VH’s techs have surge protectors on all their stuff(LOL). I’ve had people brush by my boards on stage live, and put my stuff out of key, hitting the transpose button! It’s boring and techinical, but that’s what happens. The easiest way to fix that is to reboot the board, or turn it off, and turn it back on….I wonder why the techs, of the live keyboard player didn’t figure that out after a few bars…..which makes me think it wasn’t a live player, but an out of control sequenence on a computer,which is harder to fix live in front of 17000 people!!!

  13. October 20, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    Maybe it’s really just due to David Lee Roth being a world class cheeseball…

  14. 14 dugpet
    October 20, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Listen to a better recording of this show than off a cell (check a torrent site). Listen to other shows/rehearsals. Revisit your theory.

  15. 15 Wag
    October 20, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    This is not a cellphone recording. You can see the focus shifting in and out as the autofocus looks to lock onto something. Cellphone cameras have fixed-focus lenses.

  16. 16 Erik
    October 21, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Here’s an argument that Ed’s guitar was not tuned to the correct pitch.

    Opening night, Charlotte, NC audio clip:

    Dress Rehearsal mix:

    (Jump part is at 00:30)

    Listen to the synth in that audio clip and the rehearsal video and then in the video from Greensboro. It’s the same pitch. The difference? Ed’s guitar was in tune opening night and the rehearsal video.

    Yes, it’s almost but not quite 1/2 step higher than the recorded version but this is a live situation. Bands change pitch from the studio versions all the time.

    At first I was believing the synth being the problem but after listening to the audio from Charlotte, and even the rehearsal video from early September, I don’t think so.

  17. 17 Dave
    October 21, 2007 at 11:58 am

    Yep. The keyboard is in this same key in every show. All this talk of differing sampling rates, power spikes, midi malfunctions etc are dead wrong. The only thing that happened here is Eddie played the song on an out of tune guitar.

    Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one.

  18. October 21, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Wow. I wouldn’t expect this to be such a big issue. I did enjoy your clip.

  19. October 21, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Interesting discussion!

    One thing that no-one has thought of yet is that in order to play along (in time) to a backing track, the drummer must have in-ear monitors. There’s no other way – he needs to hear a click track to stay in time. If the drummer wasn’t using in-ear monitors, then at least it proves that they had a live keyboardist.

    However the opposite isn’t true – if he had in ear monitors then it doesn’t prove that they used a backing track.

    One theory was that he was handed the “wrong guitar for the song” – I think that this is unlikely because there’s absolutely no reason at all why you would want to have a guitar (and presumably bass) that is 1/2 a pitch out. If you’re going to do that you have a guitar that’s de-tuned to E flat or maybe even D.

    So our possibilities are:

    1 – The keyboard backing track was being played at the wrong speed (48 khz, DAT speed). I think that this is extremely unlikely for 2 reasons – A) it’s the same speed at other concerts (still doesn’t prove anything if this was the first concert of the tour) and B) they would have figured this out in rehearsal.

    2 – The live keyboardists keyboard was accidently de-tuned up a couple of cents due to a spike or an accidental button press (Mike Kesterson’s theory). Extremely unlikely considering it’s the same speed at other concerts, and also the option to de-tune your keyboard by a few cents is normally pretty hidden away. Plus the keyboardist could (SHOULD HAVE) fixed it up on the fly. Unlikely.

    3 – Eddie was handed the “wrong guitar” for the song. As a I mentioned before, also unlikely.

    4 – Other potential options – maybe he was playing through a digitech whammy pedal (I don’t think he uses a pitch shifter though) and it was accidently slightly moved. Possible but also unlikely.

    5 – Maybe Eddie was actually miming and his guitar track was out of tune – also unlikely considering his solo 🙂

    6 – Eddies guitar just went out of tune (possibly all 6 strings together). Given Eddie’s love of tremolo abuse and the possibility of dropping or banging the neck, I reckon this is the most likely option. It’s the simpliest, it fits and it works!

    BTW, I love Van Halen and especially love Eddie and Dave. Rock on.

  20. 20 Stefano
    October 21, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    True, the guitar is always in tune, and when the original 1984 recording kicks in again, the root is one step above with respect to the solo as expected. The concert keys are almost 1.5 steps. Still, Eddie did not even attempt to transpose any closer: it would have been a lot more tolerable if he went up half a step.

    However, there actually is a guitar bridge that can be knocked up or down with all the strings in synch, and it’s the Steinberger. The guitar that Eddie’s using is not a Steinberger, but he used one for a while. For the sake of the argument, one could imagine that he had one guitar fitted with a Steinberger bridge and that it got knocked off, but the compared tracks are a breakthrough.

  21. October 22, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Of course, the more interesting question here is why the keyboardist is using sample-based technology to generate such a simple synthesizer patch. I mean, even the most rudimentary synth programmer can reproduce the “Jump Patch” in about 10 minutes with a couple of square waves… why bother sampling it?

  22. 22 NFX
    October 22, 2007 at 10:46 am

    If it was a 48Khz recording played at 44.1, the song would also be faster and Dave’s vocals would be out of tune. And while you couldn’t really hear Woflies bass, the dissonance would like be much greater and he could probably not recover as well as his dad.

  23. October 22, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Although I don’t like Van Halen either, I still found this little debate interesting. I think the sample rate mismatch is the most likely explanation. It certainly doesn’t sound like any normal interval, has to be sample rate or pitch bend offset or error.

    An argument AGAINST there being a keyboardist live at this particular concert is that a professional keyboard player, most likely, would not have let this happen. Whether or not Van Halen’s music is stupid, they probably aren’t going to hire some novice keyboard player, they are going to hire a professional. Any experienced musician knows right away whether or not his instrument is out of tune, especially with a note as common and as easy to identify as a C (C is usually a common reference note like an A because a lot of instruments are naturally tuned to it). A good musician who starts the song on an intro like that would stop and retune rather than continue. Any respectable musician playing those notes knows that the crowd would rather they stop for a short time to fix it than to continue out of tune. Not only does it sound bad but it makes everyone else on stage uncomfortable and it ruins the entire performance. Also, keyboardists don’t really have an adjustable sample rate that they would change throughout the show without their hardware automatically compensating for it(Any keyboardists out there can confirm this?). Usually, either a sound tech or the drummer will start a sample and just let it play, and neither of these guys have the same sense for pitch that a guitar or keyboard player would.

  24. 24 vf
    October 22, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Even out of tune It’s still better than having Michael Anthony in the band.

  25. October 22, 2007 at 11:18 am

    I’ve had the exact same thing happen to me on a gig; luckily I realized my tremolo had somehow got jammed 1/2 a semitone flat (or thereabouts) & was able to grab my spare stratocaster, which overall took less than 30 seconds – which was still bad enough, believe me! I can’t imagine carrying on for a whole song out of tune with the rest of the band! …Why EVH didn’t swap the guitar for another one is beyond me…

  26. 26 Tronna
    October 22, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Wow what a trainwreck.
    Of course, had to do my own quick experimentation and research.

    The keyboards in this track ARE in concert pitch – not 50 cents out. Sorry.

    The keyboards are also consistent with other VH concert recordings on youtube – as others have pointed out – which are all a semitone sharper than the original 1984 video, but within concert pitch. So I would rule out the keyboards/recording/whatever as the source of the problem.

    The guitar, however, is NOT in concert pitch. It does seem to be in tune with itself during the solo. I think this rules out the “whacking the headstock” explanation as this would result in some strings being more out than others. This seems not to be the case.

    Regarding sampling rates: If you record this clip at 48 kHz and slow it down to 44.1 the guitar seems to line up more favourably with concert pitch – but this is not conclusive evidence of a sample-rate mismatch somewhere. But if so, it would be in the guitar processing.

    Conclusions: Eddy’s digital guitar tuner was not set to A440.
    (Of course you can rule this out if the same guitar was used for the previous number. The “Steinberger bridge theory” is a possibility. Also, how about a renegade harmonizer?)

    Recommendations: Might as well jump.

  27. October 22, 2007 at 11:41 am

    I think Lachlan makes the best case covering all possibilities but I’m not convinced that his #6 is the answer.

    My 2 cents:
    The first thing I did was try to hear the bass. That would have demonstrated the most obvious dissonance. But as many have noted, it’s really difficult to hear the bass in this recording.

    Second, I thought, if the synth was played at a faster-than-normal rate then the song would have been faster and Alex would have immediately noticed he was playing faster. Perhaps he would have shouted to a techie in the back that something was wrong? Or, as someone else wrote, it’s very likely that on songs that VH plays to a backing track (such as Jump) there would have been a click-track in the drummer’s ear-bud-monitors. I haven’t A-B’d different versions, but a good way to check if the backing track was off would be forget about listening for the pitch, but listen for the TEMPO. What was the BPM for the screwed-up Jump versus the BPM for other versions of Jump? If the BPM is different, then it’s likely that the synth was in fact the problem. If the BPM is the same then we know that the synth track is NOT the problem, rather it was Eddie’s guitar. BUT(!) this seems very unlikely because:

    Eddie would have very quickly noticed that his pitch was off and corrected the tuning on his guitar. We’re talking about an expert guitar player, certainly someone who can tune his guitar on the fly, especially during a song like Jump which is not based on his guitar and gives ample opportunity for him to stop playing for a moment and tune up while the synth and the rest of the band keep going. Or, if tuning in an arena-rock environment is too difficult, then mid-song, he would handed the guitar he was playing to his guitar tech, no doubt standing just off-stage, and the tech would have given him one of several tuned-up guitars that wait in the wings for all guitar players on major tours. I’ve seen guitar players switch guitars mid-song/on the fly many times over the years when they break a string or something else has gone wrong. I can’t believe Eddie wouldn’t have either tuned-up or switched guitars if it was simply out of tune.

    The mystery continues! Great thread!

  28. 28 philmccarty
    October 22, 2007 at 11:54 am


    The guitarist was out of tune.

    The first three notes of the riff are D#,F then C#.

    Pick up any instrument, load up any night of the show (including this one) and play along.

    He should’ve stopped to check his tuning, or a roadie should’ve handed him another guitar.


  29. 29 Michael
    October 22, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    “If it was a 48Khz recording played at 44.1, the song would also be faster and Dave’s vocals would be out of tune.”

    As far as the vocals being in tune, he has no choice but sing to the keyboard’s pitch…Ain’t no way you could sing along to the guitar part!!!…I really can’t believe you even said that

  30. 30 Ludwig
    October 22, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Keyboards are sharp. I have perfect pitch and I can hear it plain as day.

  31. 31 Michael
    October 22, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    dave said that Eddie would have tuned his guitar if it was out of tune
    Because he can have a tuned guitar handed to him on command,
    he probably doesn’t have a tuner on stage. I think he realized that the track was off and tried to tune to it by ear, got lost and realized that the keyboard track was the problem and just waited for the nightmare to end

  32. 32 Sacky
    October 22, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    First things first, I don’t care much for Van Halen, but I got a kick out of seeing DLR with them again. (that is, once I went and found a version of Jump which was in tune…)

    As for all your various guitar theories, EVH plays his own signature guitars – and he’s clearly playing one of them in this video.

    A few things for you non-guitar players regarding said guitar:

    1. It has a Floyd Rose tremolo.
    2. The tremolo CANNOT be pulled up. The base sits flat on the guitar top. This is how EVH gets away with his “D-TUNA” device for dropped D tuning. You can’t use one of those on a full-floating bridge. Since this is the case, breaking a string has no effect on the tuning of the remaining strings.
    3. The Floyd Rose is a LOCKING tremolo system. Knocking the headstock against anything would have NO EFFECT on the tuning. In fact, if the guitar is tuned and the nut is locked, you could even break the headstock off just past the nut and the guitar would still be in tune.
    4. Also with the locking system – In order for EVH to retune during the song he would require a small allen wrench and he would have to loosen THREE BOLTS on the locking nut. Not gonna happen during a stage show – especially one where 90% of the audience will never even know anything was wrong.

    For my money, the keys sound too fast and too sharp… that points to a DAC running at the wrong clock rate. Whether that DAC is in a synth, a CD player or a ProTools rig, nobody can say.


  33. 33 Substace P
    October 22, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Really, it’s easy to solve this problem. Play C# on a midi keyboard through your PC and cue up this YouTube clip. You’ll find that the live synth is playing the song in a perfect C#. Now grab a guitar, and tune it about a 1/4th of a step down. That’s where Eddie is playing. Trust me, I tried it.

    It’s pretty clear that EVH’s guitar is simply a few dimes flat. I played the original riff along with the recording, and clearly EVH isn’t playing this song in C either. He’s just stuck somewhere in between. Do you know the best and easiest explanation for a guitar being stuck between normal tuning and tuning a half-step down? A guitarist who has overused his tremolo bar and pulled the strings out of tune. Or a negligent roadie. Having guitars in tune with themselves and out of tune with the rest of the world is indeed QUITE common.

  34. October 22, 2007 at 5:56 pm


    I think I’ve worked it out, as Sacky said:

    4. In order for EVH to retune during the song he would require a small allen wrench and
    he would have to loosen THREE BOLTS on the locking nut. Not gonna happen during a stage
    show – especially one where 90% of the audience will never even know anything was wrong.

    That explains perfectly why he didn’t re-tune, if he was playing a guitar with a double locking system. I don’t have a double locking trem so I forgot about this option. Except I disagree with:

    3. The Floyd Rose is a LOCKING tremolo system. Knocking the headstock against anything would
    have NO EFFECT on the tuning. In fact, if the guitar is tuned and the nut is locked, you
    could even break the headstock off just past the nut and the guitar would still be in tune.

    In theory this is correct – except for if knocking the headstock makes the nut come slightly unlocked 🙂 But as any guitarist will know ANY guitar can very easily go out of tune for a hundred reasons. Maybe the neck was warped, maybe the tremolo was knackered, maybe the truss rud was stuffed, etc etc etc.

    It still all points to his guitar (for whatever reason), just going out of tune. He didn’t retune because he couldn’t do it quickly and easily, and decided to just tough it out as it was the last song in the set. The “keyboard track is too sharp” theory just doesn’t hold water.

  35. 35 trebizzare
    October 22, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Sacky wrote:
    2. The tremolo CANNOT be pulled up. The base sits flat on the guitar top. This is how EVH gets away with his “D-TUNA” device for dropped D tuning. You can’t use one of those on a full-floating bridge. Since this is the case, breaking a string has no effect on the tuning of the remaining strings.

    I’m not much of a guitarist but I’ve been involved with the Floyd Rose company for a number of years and I can assure you that it is a full floating tremolo system.

    For non-guitarists this means that tremolo bar can be used to change the tension of strings, pushed towards the springs to lower the pitch or pulled away from the strings to raise pitch.
    Essentially the bridge is balanced on a fulcrum with the pull of the springs in the back guitar matching the tension of the guitar strings.

    If you break a string the springs of tremolo system pull the rest of the strings tighter causing them to go out of tune, the bridge would not simply rest on the body of the guitar as Sacky said. However, since the strings each have different tension (EVH’s high E would have 5.69 kg of pull and the low would have 6.85 kg of pull, he uses really light gauge strings) the change in the overall balance would affect each string differently and the guitar would NOT stay in tune with itself, which it seemed to be.

    I agree that if that had happened EVH would have swapped guitars pretty quickly.

    Oops, on further review I see that Eddie “blocks” his floyd so that it would indeed perform as Sacky describes.

    In “blocking” a floating tremolo you put a piece of wood in the spring cavity between an internal part of the trem and the guitar body. The springs can’t pull the trem any further back than the normal, balanced position since it rests against this block of wood. By doing this you can’t raise the strings pitch with the tremolo bar but it does make some alternate guitar tunings (dropped D) a heck of a lot simpler.

  36. 36 Tronna
    October 22, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Well – the synth may be a little sharp – I think its ok – I can play along (shudder). It may not conform to A440 – but it’s not transgressing standards to the same degree as the guitar. Ludwig, maybe your perfect pitch can determine where the guitar is relative to standard tuning? Just playing along – as Substace P suggests – the synth is “ok”, the guitar is “not ok” (IMHO).

    Now I have to go take a shower.

  37. October 22, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    I play the guitar. I’ve been out of tune on stage and it sucks. I also love this song and the licks EVH pulls off in it.

    It seems pretty plain to me from listening that the keyboard is incredibly sharp (it sends a chill up my spine just thinking about it.)

    If you look at EVH in the beginning you can see him kick or rip at his set up in disgust. Not sure what’s happening there.

    With a locking Floyd Rose he should not go out of tune. Also, I would have to agree that as awesome as he is at playing the guitar, he could easily have transposed, but he does not.

    One can also see the bass player stop playing in disgust.

    One can alse see and hear Dave straining to sing in pitch.

    All this points to a keyboard glitch. I doubt they all go tone deaf at the same time.

  38. October 22, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Sorry folks, it’s not the keys. I happen to be in a band that does all of the above, click track, synced and live keys, floyd Rose, extra guitars in my tunings, and I sing… the whole bit. The keys are dead on in every video I can find and torrents of different shows – all keys – same key. The whole argument about BPM VS Pitch and 41/48 is void because depending on what keyboard/sampler/computer program you use, you can control all of these functions without a change in any one of the others. You can raise or drop the pitch without BPM change and vis versa. ALL of my hardware/software has these functions and I have all mid to top line stuff. (meaning it isn’t just an option on pricier stuff)
    Eddie is an inspiration of mine but I’m sorry… this is on him. Why it happened? There are several things it could be. The digital tuner getting knocked off 440 mode and the tech tuning thinking he is in 440 mode is a possibility among others. Locking nuts are great but to break off the head stock and it still be in tune… yeah… what ever. You CAN knock a guitar out of tune with a locking nut system… I do it all of the time. One thing I do often is jump around like an idiot and get my whammy bar trapped under the guitar cord, holding it down and out of tune until I free it.(theory – not my solution) A floyd rose can be fine tuned but not to the degree this thing is out of tune. It could very well be a malfunctioning D-Tuna device! So its a guitar tech who dunnit and a rock star who didn’t fix it. But no matter what… it isn’t the keys!

    Just for laughs…. someone is using DLR as an example of what is right and what isn’t? LOL! Ok, DLR can change his tune easier than anyone up there… its a human voice so I thought that remark was… well…. funny. But speaking of the human voice. As I stated I sing as well and I (and most others I know) lock on to the base for my key while singing…. because of this, it leaves me to believe that wolfy was in tune along with the keys because DLR was most definitely not in key with the guitar which isn’t what he should be getting his key from in the first place. Eddie is the only one out of tune in the video.

    None of this would have happened if Michael Anthony was there! LOL!

  39. 39 The Ear Doctor
    October 22, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    plain and simple, he was drunk

  40. 40 John
    October 23, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Edward sounds awful in this. I listened to other recordings in Greensboro that night on YouTube and on many of them the guitar sounded pretty bad. It really appears to me that Edward was just playing really sloppy that particular night. I love Edward as a guitarist, but he sounds quite bad in this concert.

    If you listen to recordings from Charlotte and Philadelphia, Eddie sounds great.

    Unfortunately, I think the “he was drunk” explanation was probably the primary problem – which is really sad. It was probably an awful night for the whole band, especially his son.

    From the YouTube comments about the show, I don’t think most of the concert goers were turned off by the guitar slop. Many people who are not musicians are not going to catch the tone issues.

  41. 42 joe
    October 23, 2007 at 9:38 am

    [b]”He should’ve stopped to check his tuning, or a roadie should’ve handed him another guitar.”[/b]

    I have closeup video of the whole song and the guitar tech was ready and waiting with another guitar, but for whatever reason, Ed never looked back at him to give the sign to bring it out. And you could tell by the look on the tech’s face, he wanted to swap out the guitar.

  42. 43 Elvis
    October 23, 2007 at 9:53 am

    The Keys are off pitch and so is the guitar.
    You can hear the bass in this clip and the vocals are horrible.
    You get what you pay for. In this case, all who attended were all ripped off.

  43. 44 andaloudog
    October 23, 2007 at 10:11 am

    I’ve got to go w/ tronna and philmccarty on this — guitar out of tune, simple as that. Tronna mentioned a tuner not being trued at 440 — this is easy to do, I’ll save the boring explanation. I play synth and bass and seem to have some form of tuning [or transposition] problem most every night [damn guitar players!]

    Just my two cents, but it looks like the egg is on the head guitar tech’s face. Might’ve been a new guy, but whatever lead tech is in charge has had some mildly unpleasant conversations.

    Good times…

  44. October 23, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Ok, here is the deal. I have every show from this tour so far, and the keyboards are the exact same pitch as this Greensboro clip. And on the bootleg of this show, you can clearly hear Wolfie’s bass.. and it’s in tune with the keyboard.

    I didn’t read every post on this page, so maybe this has been covered already…but I have a guitar in hand as we speak, tuned to Eb. The prior songs that were performed by the band leading up to Jump are in Eb and Ed’s guitar is right on the money tuning wise.

    The original recording for Jump is in C, and back in the day, VH sometimes tuned to E and sometimes tuned to Eb as I personally verified from two different bootleg sources. Van Halen Hot For New Your (1984) – E, Van Halen Rapes Stockholm (1984) – Eb. However, on this tour, they have chosen to do it in D, which is bizarre because it makes it even harder for Dave to sing! But he does a fine job… so who cares.

    Anyway, what I have discovered (as I have sat here with guitar and tunder in hand analyzing this for the last HOUR) is that Eddie’s guitar is in Eb the whole night. When they come out to do Jump, the keyboards are still in Eb, but for some odd reason, Eddie’s guitar is out of tune from Eb a few semi-tones or so. Somewhere in-between E and Eb. But Wolfie is in tune with the keyboards as he should be.

    You can hear Eddie fumbling around trying to figure out WTF is going on because he keeps trying to check his tuning via harmonics throughout the song. And by looking at the video, he’s baffled because his entire guitar is in tune with itself, so he just keeps playing. He’s probably thinking “My guitar isn’t out of tune, but something isn’t right… oh well” He’s expecting his guitar to be perfectly in tune… in Eb, but it’s all consistently a few semi tones lower than Eb.

    I can’t see that he’s playing a Floyd Rose equipped guitar in the video clip, but I’m pretty sure he is.

    The bottom line? I don’t have an explanation really. HA! But I am ruling out sample rate problems and broken strings. My final conclusion is that for some crazy reason, the tech didn’t tune the guitar right. It was IN tune, just not to Eb or E! That is the only logical conclusion I can make based off of everything I have tried and heard so far.

    And rumor has it, Eddie had gotten irate at his tech on one of the earlier shows of the tour, but for what reason I do not know. Nor do I know if he fired the tech or what.

    Also, I can’t find the link, but I know that I read they were using a live keyboard player for this tour. They even named him and showed his picture I think. Either that, or I dreamed it. lol!


  45. October 23, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Correction… Ed’s guitar isn’t tuned “somewhere between E and Eb” as I stated in my previous post. His guitar is perfectly flat from Eb. Almost perfectly between Eb and D actually.


  46. 47 Harry Overviper
    October 23, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    You people are wrong…all of you. You truly don’t get it. The REAL explaination is very simple. Eddie has decided to leave the world of Rock n Roll behind because he is so good he has transcended it. He is always looking for new ways to challenge himself, and here we find a perfect example of Eddie trying to bring a taste of Modern Music to the masses. Here we see him channeling the ghost of Sun Ra and giving out with some absolutely SHREDDING polytonality. Does it work? Is it musical? Does he reach new depths of feeling and emotion in this exploration? These are questions of taste, of art, of personal appreciation…and as such must be answered by the individual in his or her own way. For myself, I find it invigorating, but as yet a bit undeveloped…but I hope he will continue to explore this path as he insists upon following his muse to try to reach new heights as an artist. And the baton twirling was a nice touch.


  47. 48 acydl
    October 23, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    You guys are all confused. That riff is from VH song “It’s Right Now”.

  48. 49 Eddie Van Halen
    October 23, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Hello everyone it’s me, Eddy Van Halen, guitarist for Van Halen. A friend told me about this heated online debate so I thought I’d set the score straight once and for all!

    Turns out, everyone’s right! The keys were out of tune AND my guitar was also out of tune. I know, I was in as much disbelief then as you are now. I tried to get back in tune but couldn’t manage it for reasons I can no longer recall.

  49. 50 Paul
    October 23, 2007 at 4:30 pm


    After plugging in a synth and playing along with the clip… the synth IS in tune.
    The guitar is not (for whatever reason)

    Hope this helps.


  50. 51 Scott
    October 23, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    The synth prelude was in tune – and I think was pre-recorded. When the synth for JUMP starts, you can hear it is higher than it should have been. Eddie was playing correct, the keyboard was high. The 44.1/48 KHz argument is ridiculous, it’s technically impossible. Here’s what happened:

    The keyboard had a mod wheel that was configured to mod pitch. Someone bumped the wheel. Mod wheels are infinite – they can be set a tone up, an octave up, or anywhere in between. As a result, the keyboard played high.

    End of story.

  51. 52 RCL
    October 23, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Keyboards were right on, guitar was off!

    Van Halen has been playing JUMP in this key since the Hagar days, check out LIVE: RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.

  52. October 23, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    We screwed up….it happens…. random pills, and booze will do that to you…

  53. 54 Silas
    October 24, 2007 at 2:14 am

    If something is sampled at 44.1 kHz and then attempted to be played back at 48 kHz, then you get pops and tics caused by clocking issues, not pitch differences.

    Has anyone thought that maybe Van Halen got bored of playing the same song for over 20 years and just really wanted to mess with the audience…including all of us so that we may write endless comments debating said issue?

  54. 55 smylex
    October 24, 2007 at 3:08 am

    You’re wrong. First of all, the keyboard is playing the song a half pitch higher than the original recording. Eddie’s guitar would have to be tuned in standard tuning at 440 hz (concert pitch), which, according to the sound on this recording, it’s not. At best, the guitar sounds like it’s tuned a half step lower than standard tuning. Obviously, the guitar tech handed him the wrong guitar for the song…why Eddie didn’t get the correct guitar after the song started (he carries around a small arsenal for the tour) is beyond me, though. As for retuning the guitar, that would take about5 minutes MINIMUM to do as several of his guitars have Floyd Rose double locking vibrato systems that have a locking clamp at the nut of the guitar to keep it from going out of tune when doing “dive bomb” effects on the guitar. The locking nut would have to be loosened with a hex (Allen) wrench, retuned, and then re-tightened. Further, even if it’s a pre-recorded synthesizer part, you’re dealing with pitch transposition, not digital audio sampling rates (44.1kHz vs 48kHz).

  55. 56 Andreas
    October 24, 2007 at 8:21 am

    funny little thread, that you got going on here..!

    Okay – let’s gather some FACTS first:

    1) synth prelude #1 is “1984” NOT “right now”! It is
    a) badly out of tune
    b) a playback

    a) play along with any tuned instrument
    b) same old awful sounds, that any modern device will insistantly regret to reproduce
    a) + b) compare it to the track on CD – same tempo, same sounds, same TUNING!

    2) synth prelude #2 (jump theme) is
    a) absolutely in tune
    b) undoubtably playing “jump” in C#
    c) a playback or played by an invisible extraterrestrial keyboard-being

    a) + b) play along with any tuned instrument
    c) what difference does it make? It’s correct.

    3) EVH’s git is out of tune – as mentioned by others before
    a) lowest string is somewhere north of Eb and east of E
    b) it is indeed in tune with itself

    a) + b) play along with any exactly DEtuned instrument

    So far the facts – now my hypothesis:
    EVH notices, that prelude #1 has another tuning than his guitar.
    But he thinks “phew – my axe is out of tune! gotta adjust it to the playback…”
    He uses the fine tuners of his whammy bar (takes about a second per string) and perfectly f…s up his tuning by himself.

    This explanation saves the job for the guit- and keyb.techs plus the invisible keyboardplayer!
    It leaves us with two questions:
    1) Why the f… did’nt EVH change guitars?
    2) Why did EVH forget about the “wrong” tuning of “1984” on his own album?

  56. 57 Lynn N. Clausette
    October 24, 2007 at 8:53 am

    It’s actually a tribute to some of the greatest “out-of-tune” rockstars of all time.

    Listen to how the pitch mimics Neil Young’s vocal and guitar playing. Isn’t it obvious that they are paying tribute to him? (They missed the mark with the “underachiever’s mentality” though I must admit.)

    Perhaps they were thinking of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as well. (Remember, “it’s only rock and roll but I like it”!)

    And we all know that it was a live keyboard player. The risk is too great – no professional wants to go down in history alongside “Milli Vanilli”!!

    Now, on a humorous note: I must admit to a somewhat perverse admiration for the fact that they carried on to the end with (assumedly!) some notion of professionalism in making the best of an awful situation. (Oh wait, not if it was a tribute, in which case it was intentional. Oops!)

  57. October 24, 2007 at 10:09 am

    I don’t know why I’m interested in this discussion, but I am. I would actually like to know what happened because it is interesting, I don’t care who is right. *Sigh*, its the curse of internet forums, people would rather sound smart and be ‘right’ than actually discover the answer…

    The D Tuna only drops the Low E String to D, a full step. That WOULD explain the lowest string on the guitar being 1.5 steps off E, but not the whole guitar.

    There are people swearing that the guitar is flat and people swearing that the synth is sharp, this is confusing. Microphones can have non-linear effects that cause recorded pitches to be shifted when recording very loud noises, a VH concert is a good candidate for this. It can also happen from room dynamics.

    The guitar was either tuned wrong, or it was the wrong guitar for the song and/or he didn’t bother to switch OR it was the synth line that was out of tune. An incorrect sample rate would also change the pitch.

    We’ve had a lot of people with guitar experience explain the possible guitar tuning problem. Would anyone with experience working synths or samplers care to give a real world example of accidental sample rate change? No one has talked about this at all. How easy is it to make this mistake, really?

  58. October 24, 2007 at 10:41 am

    A lot of bands play songs live at different tunings than their album recordings, so it doesn’t prove anything to compare it to the album. Comparing it to the other shows on the tour is probably the way to go. The band Megadeth recorded their album “Peace Sells but who’s buying” at a quarter step down, its not uncommon for semitonal changes to happen.

    Extremely loud volumes, like those produced at a Van Halen concert, can drive microphones into a non-linear state where pitches are no longer accurate, especially cheap small ones on a video camera. Room dynamics can do this too along with air pressure changes (Large door opening, AC units turned on suddenly).

    For these two reasons its difficult to state for certain which main pitch they were SUPPOSED to be playing at.

    The vocals, bass guitar, and synth are in tune with each other, or at least close. This doesn’t rule out the synth being out of tune because its easy for the singer and bass to transpose, but if that is the case its more likely the guitar is out of tune.

    To play the main solo out of tune either means he couldn’t hear, was wasted, or chose to do it not to break form. I think he couldn’t hear that well or he was wasted or both because butchering that song doesn’t seem like something he would do if he knew what was going on. It is also conceivable that he can’t hear very well anymore.

    So if there is evidence showing that Eddie isn’t aware of his relatively out of tune guitar/playing, hes probably the one at fault. Come on, he plays the whole main solo out of tune and it’s painful, no pro would do that, he would’ve switched out guitars or started transposing long before that. If I hadn’t done either come solo time, I would have rather not played at all, I think most guitar players here would agree, right?

  59. 60 Andreas
    October 24, 2007 at 11:18 am

    @ dudemar:

    I feel qualified to answer to this (being a guitarplayer, keyboarder & owning a state-of-the-art recording studio)

    > Microphones can have non-linear effects that cause recorded pitches to be shifted when recording very loud noises, a VH concert is a good candidate for this. It can also happen from room dynamics.

    No. Nope.
    Reason #1: if it would, it would equally affect ALL AUDIO – not the guitar only!
    Reason #2: mics don’t change the pitch of any signal due to it’s volume (and I’ve been working with veeeery loud signals for almost 25 years). The so called “Doppler”-effect does only appear, when either the signal source or the listener (microphone) is moving (e.g. police siren).
    If this would have been the case, then EVH’s wall of amps must have been constantly moving towards or away from the recording cellphone (a great show effect, though…)

    > Would anyone with experience working synths or samplers care to give a real world example of accidental sample rate change? No one has talked about this at all. How easy is it to make this mistake, really?

    This question is obsolete. Because it is a fact, that
    (the “Jump” theme is – NOT the “1984” Prelude from CD)

    But nevertheless – to answer it:
    A keyboard, transposing pitch due to wrong samplerate during playback?
    … come on – of course not!
    Some older versions of production software like ProTools did that, when you had a 44.1 session and previewed or imported 48k audio files.

    But again: the synth (no matter how the sound was generated) is in perfect 440 Hz tuning – while the guitar is not.

  60. October 24, 2007 at 12:04 pm


    You are quite right, it must have been the guitar and, I believe Eddie couldn’t hear, or wasn’t paying attention. The goal was to present other possibilities as unlikely, but possible, in order to reach the correct answer.

    Indeed keyboards won’t be played back with the wrong sample rate, but if it was some kind of live sample software played on a computer backstage somewhere and the sample rate had gotten changed unexpectedly, it would be more likely than a keyboard changing sampling rate, which is very unlikely considering I’ve never seen a keyboard that can do that. I’ve known my Delta 1010 sound card to do this on occasion and play things at different pitches, so its possible that computer interface could do this.

    The nonlinearity of microphone argument was only to invalidate the argument that “the live pitch didn’t match the 1973 or whatever recording” because that could be right or wrong, but it doesn’t matter because what matters is that the relative pitch, which is obviously off.

    If you hear the live recording of a band called Death from their “Live in LA”, the guitars have moments when playing certain very loud high pitched notes of being out of tune, but then the next moment they are not. I believe this is either some speaker or microphone nonlinearity because it is almost certain that there is some clipping involved at the same time.

    Additionally it can be very difficult to discern pitch accurately with clipping and distortion on the recording side when there are a lot of different sounds being played at the same time.

  61. 62 rockit99
    October 24, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve never seen so much bollocks about sampling rates, ‘loud sounds affecting microphones’ or a lot of the other, frankly, stupid responses I’ve seen here OTHER THAN those who appear to know what they’re talking about i.e. Sacky, Andreas, Jason Sheroan.

    A serious error in tuning the guitar looks like the answer. Easily possible if you have a tuner that allows you to change the base pitch (like all Roland tuners) from 440 or one of those dreadful Peterson spinning wheel jobbies which can be physically knocked out of tune. If the tech didn’t check it acoustically before handing it over he would be unaware of the problem because according to the dial, it’s in tune.

    Yes, most guitarists like EVH use nut lock systems to hold the strings in tune, especially when hitting a whammy bar. These systems have micro tuners to allow fine tuning only. And the whammy bar can be blocked off to only allow de-tuning.

    Why didn’t he change guitars? $64k question. No idea. If the guitar tech was waiting as one poster says I can only imagine that EVH was a bit ‘tired and emotional’ and forgot…

    I was a keyboard/guitar tech for 25 years and I’ve seen/heard all this stuff before, some of it’s even happened to me (and no I’m not telling). One thing I CAN tell you is how bad it feels if it’s your fault…

  62. October 24, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I’m a musician and recordist (credits availbale on my web page), plus a digital audio geek who works with Digidesign and Apple.

    It certainly SOUNDS like a 44.1kHz vs. 48kHz error. I fact, I gleefully forwarded the clip to several friends alleging just that explanation. But in pint of fact, the playback tracks are perfectly in tune (key of Db, a = 440). Which means Ed really IS that far out of tune. Yikes.

  63. 64 Jawja Rocka
    October 24, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    I play guitar, mandolin, violin , and keys in a band that, like Van Halen , tunes the stringed instruments down a half a step. Sometimes I will play the keyboard parts in standard tuning ( I will be playing in, say, C sharp while the guitar and bass are playing, at least fret wise, in D ), other times I play in the same key as the other guys , but DE TUNE the keyboards a half a step. I haven’t compared various videos, but I do know, that, having ( unfortunately ) played
    JUMP in cover bands, that the song is in C major keyboardwise, which means B major for
    a guy with a guitar tuned to E flat. If the keyboard in the video is , indeed , in C sharp,
    then it is a half step too high…..personally, I think that what happened is that we have now found the thirty five pounds that Valerie Bertinelli lost on the Jenny Craig diet – it somehow got inside the tuning parameter of Eddie’s synth… ” One Day at A Time ” ED !
    That’s what they get for re-hiring that dickhead David Lee Sloth.

  64. October 24, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Hey Folks

    The keys are fine .. the guitar is out. Why Eddie didn’t switch to another guitar I have no idea.



  65. 66 arpafarpagon
    October 24, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    Any idiot with an electronic keyboard (or any tuned instrument) can easily deduce in like TEN SECONDS that the keyboard in the video is in tune.

    What the hell is wrong with you people?

  66. October 24, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Original Jump is in C, this Jump is in C#.

    On all concert videos of this tour Jump is in C#, but Eddie IS in tune on those. As someone else pointed out, VH has been playing Jump in the “new” key for many years.

    Must be the wrong guitar, messed up whammy lock, or a drunk guitar tech. Why did he keep playing? God only knows.

    BTW if you play a 44.1 file at 48 or vice versa, it transposes to an interval that is not a perfect half/whole step (no longer in concert picth). In this clip, the keyboard part is in concert pitch, just in a different key than the original recording.

    What is strange is that if the guitar was drop tuned by a half step, Ed should have been able to transpose on the fly, but he can’t seem find the key of the song. My guess is that the guitar wasn’t even in tune with itself, so Eddie was unable to adjust.


  67. 68 P.
    October 24, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Everyone’s getting thrown off because it’s so weird that the song is being played in C-sharp (D-flat) — “Jump” was originally in C major. Besides the fact that C-sharp is a trickier key to play in, it’s also unusual for an aging band to play a song in a key *higher* than the studio recording — usually they have to drop the key to accommodate a vocalist who can’t reach those high notes anymore. To his credit, DLR does a fine job of singing in the higher key.

    So assuming that people are telling the truth, and other performances of “Jump” from this tour are also in C-sharp or D-flat major, it’s gotta be Eddie. Andreas’s explanation — that he retuned for a different song, and didn’t compensate when “Jump” came around.

    It’s kind of a shame, because the 44.1/48kHz explanation would’ve been perfect!

    Here’s another semitone disaster, this one caused by the transpose button on a digital organ:

  68. 69 Andreas
    October 25, 2007 at 5:27 am

    @ P:
    shiver..! Sounds just like a late Schostakovic/Schoenberg/Berg/Webern or so

    and you’re right: you might like him or not – for an over-the-hill-rockstar DLR did a good job, even in C sharp. Bobby Kimball e. g. did not, on the recent Toto tour…

    by the way #1: we did not yet discuss, how the different ALTITUDE of the cities might have affected the exact intonation! Remember: a C# in Greensboro is completely different from a C# in… let’s say Katmandu. But not enough: does that affect digital and analog tuning in the same way?

    by the way #2: are we talking about precise intonation of instruments with completely different tuning? According to e. g. Donald Fagen, EVERY combination of instruments with tempered tuning, stretched tuning, natural tuning a.s.o. is a torture for a “sensual” hearing.

  69. 70 ...duh...
    October 25, 2007 at 6:33 am

    Ed surely CAN hear on stage… if not, he wouldn’t have been fumbling with his tuning throughout the whole song. He obviously can hear how jacked up the situation is.

    Thus far in the discussion, I’ve read stuff about every member of the band, the guitar, the keys, the tech(s), computers, etc. etc… let’s talk about the soundman!

    The soundman could have made this whole trainwreck a little less painful to discerning ears by riding Eddie’s fader more actively. Regardless of what actually happened, the soundman could have saved the day by being more proactive in the process. The guitar solo is only 10-15 seconds long and not as pitch-critical/noticeable to the joeshmoe listener so I’d have bumped the solo up enough to fill in that relatively short span of time, but I’d have kept him buried throughout the rest of the song… or at least until someone corrected the situation, which unfortunately never happened.

    Imagine how bad it must feel to leave that audience with that finale… That crowd will always remember that performance on that sour note, and the soundman had the opportunity to cover it up a little better, but didn’t.

  70. 71 Rafek Gulamany
    October 25, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    I didn’t hear anything wrong. THe microphone-humping was a but mutch, though.

  71. October 26, 2007 at 8:40 am

    After years of experience as both a touring musician, and a stage hand to many major acts, I have determined it is a combination of both major theories, Eddie’s guitar was indeed flat, and the keys were indeed sharp, the Gremlins were working overtime this night. many keyboardists think their instruments do no have to be tuned with a strobe tuner, wrong, and Eddie’s Floyd Rose is an invitation to a tuning disaster. I play both guitars and keys, some night, if the power supply was inadequate, the guitarists had to tune to my keyboard to make sure everything was in the same pitch, whether or not it was in 440 pitch was doubtful. Murphy’s law VH, no one is immune, Good Luck on the next leg of the tour.

  72. 73 gedman
    October 26, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Maybe the synth was tuned out of key on purpose to match Roth’s intonation issue? Listen to early VH songs. They are played out of tune on purpose so that Roth could sing to them.

  73. 74 EJ
    October 26, 2007 at 10:05 am

    I don’t know what some of you are listening to but the original
    premise of the recording being played back at the wrong sampling
    rate is easily the best explanation for this. If you compare the NC
    recording with any of the other many vids/audio from the tour,
    there is absolutely no doubt that:

    1. The pitch of the keyboard is sharper than the others.
    If you’re hearing the “same key” on both, then you’re like
    the fans who cheered this performance who couldn’t tell the
    difference. It’s less than a semi-tone sharp — less than
    a 1/4 tone sharp in fact.

    2. Even if you’re tone deaf, the TEMPO of the track at the NC show is
    slightly faster than all other shows.

    3. I don’t wish to call anyone a liar, but those who say that the band
    is using an actual keyboardist off-stage are off base. They have to be,
    because that rate of the tempo AND the key change are exactly in line
    mathematically with what the original person’s premise is: That a 44.1
    sample was played back at 48. If you had a keyboardist off stage who
    was playing an out-of-tune synth, there’s no rational reason he’d also
    be playing at a slightly faster tempo than every other show on the tour.
    Not only that, but if there’s a keyboardist back stage, then the guy/gal
    plays… well, like a machine AND exactly like the record every single
    time, & plays it exactly the same way note-for-note, detail-for-detail,
    every single time, including the long synth intro. Just not possible,
    people. And why would he play slightly fast & out of tune for 1 show?
    That stretches any/all credibility. It’s a recording, no doubt about it.

    4. Eddie’s & Wolfie’s guitars are in tune with each other & with themselves,
    AND their tuning matches exactly all the other audio examples given from
    this tour — except for the NC show.

    Use your ears, people.
    What the original dude said is undeniable & his explanation is spot on.
    The guitars weren’t out of tune & there ain’t no keyboardist back stage.

  74. October 26, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    The audience didn’t seem to mind.

  75. October 26, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    I concur with all of the above. The idea that a ‘guitar driven’ band such as VH wouldn’t want a keyboardist onstage ruining their image is absurd. Eddie played keys back in ’86 when Hagar doubled up on guitar (see Live Without A Net). There is no keyboardist backstage, it’s a recording, lot’s of bands do it & the reasoning in this case is quite simple- Eddie only has one pair of f^&*ing hands.

    The strangest part about this clip is that Dave is actually in tune with the keys right from the get go, I don’t know wether that makes things better or worse.

    You can clearly see Wolfie giving his dad a few uneasy glances during the cacophony & that tells me they both had pitch problems.

  76. 77 Nik
    October 26, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Sorry EJ, but in the show up at Youtube for Oct. 7th 2007 Live at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the keyboard is in exactly the same key as it is in this trainwreck recording. Not sure if you’re a singer, but try pulling both that one and this one up in different browser windows and then toggling back and forth quickly, while singing along; right on the money, exactly the same pitch. No offense at all, this is just the fact about the Toronto show vs. this one.

    I’ve never posted anything like what follows on any website, ever, but with regard to my ears, I can assure you that they’re good. Really good. As in exempted first year ear-training at University good. So if you’ve heard recordings from this tour where the keyboards are in a different key than this train wreck recording, the only explanation for that particular fact is that they are asking Dave how his voice is on a week to week or day to day basis and then adjusting the keys up or down.

    In fact… isn’t that an explanation that no one has mentioned? Dave isn’t a youngster anymore. Maybe he sometimes needs a bit of help, and something got messed up with the crew in terms of what key he wanted the tune in on that night?

    Just a wild guess, but the Toronto show and this one have the keyboards in the identical key.

    Disclaimer: I did NOT check out the host’s demo of the 44.1/48k thing posted on the main page for this topic.

  77. October 27, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Has anyone considered the fact that on some keyboards if you make a program change while the pitch bend wheel is engaged (maybe hasn’t sprung back to zero from a full step bend and is at a point +1.5)the new patch will be at that pitch until the wheel is reengaged and allowed to return to zero? No matter how many patch changes were made to correct this (on some synths – particularly old ones of “Jump” vintage) it would continue to be at that pitch until corrected with the wheel. Still doesn’t explain why the player would continue, but may offer an explanation of the pitch.

  78. 79 Macon A Stink
    October 27, 2007 at 9:39 am

    After spending what seems like hours reading all of the messages on this page and listening to two different youtube videos (Greensboro, Toronto) it is my professional opinion that:

    A. It was NOT a keyboard sampling glitch. The pitch of the keyboards/vocals is the same in both clips but in the Toronto clip the guitar is in tune with said clip.

    B. It appears as though the guitar is just plain out of tune with everyone else. I can’t hear the guitar clearly enough to know whether the entire guitar is in tune with itself or if it is only certain strings. I don’t think that it was only one string and I think it was probably either the Floyd Rose tremolo system hanging on something or the guitar was tuned to something other than Eb exactly.

    C. As far as the pitch of the song. It may have been transposed to C# as a matter of convenience for Sammy way back when and it’s easier to play in a # key when you’re already tuning your guitar down to Eb… dots=good.

    At any rate, I’m a professional guitar player and I have had nightmarish instances where I have had a guitar that has been tuned incorrectly and sometimes I’ve had time to switch guitars and other times I’ve attempted to “fight it out”.

    It’s often just quick judgment decision and it’s not always the right decision. Out of respect for Eddie’s judgment, my best guess would be that the guitar was in tune with itself and the whole thing was off by almost a half step. I think he would’ve heard a string or two out of tune and known it was the guitar and switched instruments. If his whole guitar was in tune with itself, he probably made the mistaken assumption (as have many others here) that *he* was in tune and that it was something/someone else that was out, which was why he probably thought that switching guitars wouldn’t have helped. I don’t know who his tech is or what tuner he’s using so it’d be fruitless to speculate, but it was probably just an untimely mistake.

    I would assume that the a/c power to guitar world was sufficient so that low voltage fluctuations wouldn’t adversely effect the strobe tuners, but you never know. I’ve had instances where I get new guitar techs and it takes a while to work out simple bugs. I’ve read somewhere that his long-time guitar tech left VH just before this tour, so I’m not sure how long his has been with him. And not to throw his tech under the bus, either. You couldn’t pay me enough money to try to tune and change strings on guitars with locking trem systems.

    I didn’t see the show so I don’t know how many guitars he’s using or how he tunes all of them or when he does his changes, but judging by the long intro, I would assume that he got a “fresh” guitar before that song and it was probably not tuned to pitch. Judging by the other clips I’ve seen, I don’t think it’s fair to blast Eddie or the whole band for a bad performance of one song. It happens to the best of ’em.

    ~concerned guitarist/citizen

  79. October 27, 2007 at 10:13 am

    um, i just want to pont out that ed uses a specially designed tremeolo system that actually cannot be raised in pitch, the tremelo itself sits snuggly to the body only allowing the ‘diving’ of a pitch, so knocking the guitar out of tune is out of question, if there is a live keyboard player in what way would the sampling rate even matter, aside from synch issues there is no need for one. could it be entirely 440 is a reference to the whole instrument, a bench mark of sorts, making the assumption would vary from standard western tuning is a leap of faith. two things remain, his guitar was at thw wrong pitch or the little knob on the back of most high end midi controllers was bumped, knocking the keys out of tune, but eben that is unlikely because it’s fucking impossible to rapidly adjust one of little fuckers back to pitch. so whatever

  80. 81 Derek
    October 27, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Wow, the internet is amazing for the way it brings a lot of people with stupid, complicated, and ultimately useless theories out of the woodworks. I’m just sitting here shaking my head at all these worthless technical explanations for why it is this or why it isn’t that. This is part of the reason I hate playing live shows with “techies” as sound guys, instead of just good musicians doing the sound. They’re always using long, circuitous, supposedly “technical” routes to getting things done, instead of just using their ears and common sense.

    The simplest explanation, already noted by a few, is the right one: The keys are playing in C#, the keys are in tune, and the problem is something with EVH’s guitar. Just WHAT is wrong with his guitar is the only thing open for speculation, until (and if) he or someone from the tour actually comes out and answers that question.

  81. 82 Bear
    October 28, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    I doubt the synthesizer is off – electronics just don’t make mistakes like that. Your mostly likely failure always is something mechanical. It sounds as though one of the Tremolo Bar tension springs broke, stretched, or came loose.

  82. 83 phk
    October 28, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    I read a lot of explanations for the fact in question. And sorry, but the only right explanation for this is the easiest and simplest one:

    Eddie’s guitar got problems, cause your guitar is going out of tune after some “tremolo abuse”.

    Yesterday, I curiously checked all the songs on the setlist to see if has a possibilty of Eddie used a wrong guitar for “Jump”. And just 2 of all songs needs a guitar in a different pitch. All the others songs are played with the guitar tuned in Eb, as the same way Eddie used to tune in the most of the records.

    Even “Hot For Teacher” is played in a different pitch from the original recording, no needing a guitar tuned in another way. The same for “Jump”.

    Only “I’ll Wait” and “And The Craddle Will Rock” needs a different tuning for a more comfortable playing. Ahh, “Unchained” too has a little change(D-tune).

    All the rest of the show are played in same pitch.

    The conclusions:

    1) [i]”The keyboards are recorded in 44.1Khz, but played in 48Khz”[/i]. FALSE. This happens, but not in this case. The pitch and the speed of “Jump” in Greensboro are exactly the same of the others shows.

    2) [i]”The keyboard had a mod wheel that was configured to mod pitch. Someone bumped the wheel. As a result, the keyboard played high”[/i]. TOTALLY FALSE. Or I will suppose that “someone” has bumped the wheel at every show, cause the keys are always in same pitch:P

    3) [i]”Eddie forgot to switch to a guitar in a different pitch for “Jump””.[/i] FALSE. The guitar pitch for “Jump” is the same used in the basic set list. And is the same used in the previous song (Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love”)

    4) Blablablas…

    The Final Verdict:

    Eddie’s guitar, just Eddie’s guitar was out of pitch. resulting from the “tremolo abuse” on solo. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the keyboards, or the bass, or the vocals, or the drums, or the audience, or the lighting, or the blablabla… Just Eddie’s guitar got problems!

    I don’t know why, but is very strange… The bass and the guitar are in different pitch since “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love”, and they didn’t noticed this?

    Eddie got a lot of chances to switch to a backup guitar to avoid the fact. But, maybe he thought that Wolfie’s bass was out. And when the “Jump” keyboards came… woooow

    But, this happens in the best families 😀

    PS: Sorry about my english.

  83. 84 Bubba
    October 29, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    If any of you folks think that the keyboard is the problem, and you folks are in the music biz, you SERIOUSLY need to rethink your future options. Or at least, step out of the music field, because with ears like yours, no doubt you are subjecting your audiences to sheer musical terror. And because your audience members dont know quite how to confront you nicely about your “music”, you believe you are doing a good job of it. Guess what? YOU’RE NOT! Now get over it and most of all… don’t quit your day jobs.

  84. 85 Dark Lord of Metal
    October 29, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    The live off stage keybord player had his beer on the pitch roller on the left side of the keyboard. The Guitar tech gave Eddy the wrong guitar. Dave was not there that nite, it was Sammy in drag. Wolfie and Uncle drummer were just jammin. Is it live or is it memorex… Ask Britney Spears. We never get live shows no more…. electronics took over and they are just stand-ins to sell tickets. Showbizz went down the drain. Ever heard of: “GUITAR – JACK – AMP”?

  85. 86 Carlo
    October 29, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    I read this whole thing and i’ll share my thoughts.

    Background: I play guitars with floyd rose including a Peavey Wolfgang (eddies guitar)
    i am my own guitar tech from assembly and construction to setup. play keyboard for fun.

    Definitely guitar problems, keys are in tune.

    a Floyd rose guitar can go out of tune with all strings tuned to each other for a few reasons. Some people say eddie bangs the guitar before the song.. a screwed on neck hit hard enough can move the neck enough to go out of tune across the board.
    I once had a spring slip out of the tremolo and the guitar was out of tune but way more than 1/4 step. a badly setup tuner could be to blame also, a distracted tech can be to blame, tuned one guitar and gave a different one to eddie as he might have more than 1 tobacco sunburst guitar in his stash. floyd roses can jam also leaving all the strings in tune with each other.
    new strings on a locking tremolo can also cause it to slowly go out of tune thru a couple of songs even if properly stretched. anyway, nobody will know.

    i also have a theory as to why eddie did not swap guitars. i once was in the front row on a VH concert and noticed that eddie strap system also has a clamp like thing that hooks on his guitar cord. when i saw him it took a good 10-15 seconds for a guitar swap as he has to change that clamp with the cord. he might have thought he could battle it but certainly lost this one.

    i have seen more than one guitarrist being handed an out of tune guitar and go back in the same song for a different one.

  86. 87 Enjoy Prog
    October 30, 2007 at 1:35 am

    Actually, this discussion is way more interesting than anything VH has done since the first album.

  87. 88 ScotlandP
    October 30, 2007 at 6:23 am

    Somebody call MythBusters! It’d be a great feature!!

  88. October 30, 2007 at 10:46 am

    I found this thread morbidly engrossing.

    Anyone who subscribes to the “banging theory” of why EVH’s guitar was out of tune must be crazy.

    Perhaps I don’t quite understand the locking trem system. But I don’t think it’s possible to ACCIDENTALLY knock all 6 strings out of their absolute tuning, yet still keep them tuned perfectly relative to each other.

    If you listen closely to the guitar, Eddie’s playing and solo on this song is TECHNICALLY excellent, and his strings are all in tune with each other. They’re just clearly out of tune with the keyboards. As enough people have already mentioned, the keys are NOT out of tune when compared to other live versions of the song on YouTube.

    Why the guitar and keys don’t match up is anyone’s guess, but I like the theory of the guitar tech tuning out of A440.

  89. October 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Drew made some points I was going to make as well.

    I listened to the studio version along with this live version. Here’s my take:

    1. The synths are tuned to a higher pitched key than the studio version. Exactly what key, I could not tell, but I have no reason to doubt the author.
    2. The live guitar is in tune with itself, and as far as I can tell, it is in the same key as the studio version.

    Which lead me to initially conclude that the author was spot on. Then someone pointed out that there are other live versions of this song with the synths in this key. I disbelieved. I was wrong. There are. Why they would do that, I cannot fathom. Like someone pointed out, older singers tend to want to tune down, not up. Go figure. And while the guitar in these other versions don’t sound perfect, I think it’s because this song really doesn’t sound very well in this key, not that the guitar was out of key with the synths in these other versions.

    Conclusion: Perhaps a new tech didn’t know about the key change for this song and assumed it was played in the studio-version key, thus tuning the guitars to the wrong key.

    The real question that perplexes is why on earth is Van Halen playing this song in this horrific key that clearly should not be used??? Why not use the studio version key? I don’t know.

    BTW, I could hear no bass in this recording. Clearly junior gave up early on as you can see his face at one point in the video displaying the, “God this sucks” look.

  90. October 30, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    Uh, as a recording engineer & a person who WAS an offstage keyboardist/sequencer/sample player/etc for many major touring acts in the mid ’80s,I’ve seen every train wreck happen that CAN happen. This one is simple: everything is in tune with itself & the band, except EVH’s GTR. Perfect pitch is unimportant, only relative, and in live performances, tempo can fluctuate wildly, unless you’re playing to tape/sequencers/etc. I’ve listened to this & other clips of VH, and the only thing that isn’t within reason is EVH’s tuning. Why? A myriad of reasons, but suffice it to say, the band is in tune w/itself, and as much as he may try, EVH cannot find the “key”. 2 questions need to be answered first: did he fire his GTR tech after this show? And 2, why did he continue to play so obviously & painfully out of tune for the whole song? A possible issue could be: 1) he didn’t have his monitors in/on, so he couldn’t hear it 2) he heard it, but was too lit to care, 3)someone played a REALLY good prank by running his GTR feed thru a pitch changer AFTER the splitter that routes his signal to the house & monitors, so EVH was hearing himself playing in tune, while the house was getting the dreck we hear now (and forever) on Youtube. Either way, shame on EVH for letting that go on, and shame on the rest of the world for caring, because it’s LIVE, it was never meant to be recorded.

    Next earth-shattering catastrophe, James…

  91. 92 E.v.Daeniken
    October 31, 2007 at 1:11 am

    Well, this will remain one of the big mysteries of mankind. Just like the urging question why my favourite cheeseball brand was out-of-stock in the mart a few days ago and there seems to be a true cosmic connection between those two. It’s all a big conspiracy and one day we will learn that the culprit sits in hangar 18 at the Nellis testing site and J.F.K. was sitting there eating my cheeseballs while an alien (the one Joe Satriani surfed with) detuned the band in a multidimensional way that confuses you all. They were laughing hysterically, having a big time. Just like me, reading through this site. 🙂

  92. 93 Kevin L.
    October 31, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    All this technical stuff is admittedly fascinating to hear, but as one who plays guitar just for hobby, I can detect a guitar that is out of tune from a 1/2 a mile away! Eddie’s guitar is definitely out of tune! At -1:40 of this clip his guitar is so out of tune it’s not even funny! I have also played the Toronto clip on top of the North Carolina clip and the keyboards are at the same pitch. For what it is worth Eddie is also using a different guitar in the Toronto clip, don’t guitarist usually use the same guitars for the same songs??

    Whatever it was, hopefully they have it fixed because I’ll be at the Jersey show on Saturday. 🙂


  93. 94 The real Eddie Van Halen
    October 31, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Hey guys! THis time it really is me. That other Eddie is an imposter. Good thing no one belived him and kept the discussion going….

    The guitar was out plain and simple. I thought I could fix it by identifying the bunk string, but it turned out to be a big mess. It’s live, and we do it without a net. S*&t can happen. I should’ve grabbed the fresh guitar…

    Sorry folks; that’s the truth.

    BTW, keyboardist off stage is correct. No tapes. No samples.

  94. 95 STUDIO4
    November 1, 2007 at 6:48 am

    Listen….None of anybodys explaination makes any sense. Ill tell you why. Ive been playing about as long as eddie and ANYONE knowing there out of tune from the very beginning of the song would just simplay tune there six strings in seconds. Especially with a tuner right there too. If the keys are the same pitch in all the other concerts then FORGET anything to do with the keyboards. they were fine. the only thing up there out of tune was the guitar. Eddie must have been high on something because all he had to do was tune in maybe thirty seconds BUT HE DIDNT. THATS IT GUYS! Very simple….that is the only mystery. Why he didnt just tune the damn thing. Now…the only reason i know of for not tuning is….DRUNK or HIGH. OK?? This is what happened . its simple to me.

    HOLY SHIT!!! I SWEAR! I just wrote this before seeing EDDIES explaination above here. really. well if that IS eddie….Looks like i was right. Of course nobody will believe that i didnt see that post first. i really didnt and its a simple conclusion anyway. big deal. Yo Eddie…i forgive you no doubt. A legend like yourself can afford to do that whenever you want without all these critics out there. Not all here. The good musicians know who i mean..lol.
    PS…..Ill bet i was right on the other part too. why i said he didnt tune. eddie up to admit that too? doubt it. just deny everything. everyone else does! Sadowsky man

  95. November 1, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Also, have any of you heard the Chicago Allstate Arena bootleg from 10/16/07? On Little Guitars, Ed’s guitar is so badly out of tune that it’s embarrassing. Does he stop? Hell no. And even worse is that at the end of the song, when it’s just him playing…. he stands center stage and proceeds to suck right thru it. It’s awful! HA!!

  96. November 2, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Chalk it all up to crap happens! Tours are smaller now, budgets are less,…I saw no guitar tech offer EVH an another guitar? Someone ran out and did something near his floor board, not much help. I guess someone back stage should have immediately tuned a guitar and ran it out to him! Can’t stop the song at a show this size, they did what they could by distracting the audience with their large blow up toy:) The audience loved them, only goes to prove just how much the audience really knows about sound!

  97. 99 Tim
    November 2, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    My earlier posting is full of typos, so I am reposting…

    Earlier someone mentioned that they do not hear bass in this recording, and therefore cannot speak to the accuracy of the tonal quality of Wolfgang’s bassline. Despite the poor quality, I can hear bass distinctly in this recording (try listening with headphones.) Wolf is perfectly in tune. The only explination for this mystery is that the bass line is coming from the same sequence as the keys. evidently lil’ Wolfgagng is along for the ride, but not playing on this tour.

  98. November 3, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    I am a keyboardist in a rock band in Las Vegas and the same thing happened to me with my digital keyboards.. in the middle of a song! I wont say which keyboard it is, but it is a relatively nice keyboard that was priced at around 1,900.

    I was in the middle of playing Chicago 25 or 6 to 4 and the damn thing just transposed itself up. And it too was some weird semi tones.. it wasnt even in another key to where I could maybe transpose my part. Just an awful key that didnt even exist! At least in my world.

    I had to go in and detune the keyboards using the master tuning.. in order to play the rest of the show!

    It was horrible and it CAN happen.

    Elisa Furr

  99. 101 Jim
    November 5, 2007 at 9:44 am

    I saw VH in DC the other night. Aside from a general all around bad sound (how hard can it be to mix a guitar, a bass, a voice and drums?)I definitely noticed the keyboards changing pitch during the intro of I’ll Wait. Really strange! It was like some soundman realized they were wrong and was trying to correct them. Jump was all over the place, too. The whole band sounded off during the song. Jump sounded terrible when I saw them with Sammy on the last tour, too.

    Otherwise, it was great to see the boys (including Wolfie)!

  100. 102 Phil
    November 8, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Wait, I’ve got it … oh yeah, Van Halen sucks. That’s the ticket. I can’t believe I just wasted an hour of my life wondering about the cause of this debacle. I’m calling youtube and asking for my money back.

  101. 104 Michael Anthony
    November 9, 2007 at 11:22 am

    wow, what a trainwreck… i’m so glad i blew my money on Rush tix instead.

  102. 105 Dino
    November 16, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Analog Keyboards drift out of tune when they are left on too long. The Oberheim OB8 I believe is what he used on the original recording. It’s possible that the board was left on all concert and began to drift. There is a tuning dial on the front of the keyboard to correct this issue but in this case the keyboard player didn’t check the tuning drift before the song began.

  103. 106 john mallison
    November 29, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    This is NOT a live keyboard player on this track, it is a sequencer. That is not to say that they don’t have a live keyboard player on stage, he just isn’t playing that part.

    The guitar is NOT out of tune / banged – the guitar is totally intune with itself.

    The sequncer/keyboard (whatever it is) IS running at the wrong sample rate, that is why the song is playing faster than in should and ‘diamond’ dave is having a harder time than usual hitting the high notes.

    The fact that it is a mobile phone recording does not disguise in anyway the tuning and to those of us that have experience working with digital recording it is totally obvious that a) there is a fault and b) where it lies.

    If the guitar was out of tune, Eddies roadie would have a new one round his neck before the 1st verse had started.

    Why is the bass player having a fit aswell? If he was in tune with the keyboard and it was just eddie that was out he would have just got on with it. Maybe he banged his bass on the same bit of ‘magic’ floor that eddie did……

    They couldn’t have tuned up a guitar by that amount and run it out to eddie as with such a serious tuning up across all the strings it would have played hell with the guitars set up, strings may have snapped and it would surely have slipped out of tune very quickly.

  104. 107 Volfie
    January 10, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    People this isn’t alien autopsie. It’s not that mysterious.

    I play keyboards for a living and I have the exact model of keyboard (Oberheim Matrix 6) that was originally used for Jump on the record. Oberheims of that era used SEM digitally controlled oscillator chips that didn’t detune because of voltage fluctuations. They didn’t have tuning knobs on them. It’s all controlled via digital parameters. They have no digital outputs so kiss the 44.1/48 theory goodbye. They had no SPDIF outputs.

    Further, I can’t imagine ANYONE n tour would use an old Peterson tuner or any bulky analog tuner when a pocket sized digital one can be had for next to nothing.

    The solo shows that the guitar is in tune with itself. It isn’t in tune with the tracks and you really can’t tell if the bass is in or out by the NC video. So Wolfgang could have been giving his old man looks because he was out and not necessarily the bass.

    This is a clear cut case of the guitar tech not tuning EVH’s guitar to the proper key for the key the song was being played in. Further, I know the guy who designed the whammy that has been installed on all of EVH’s guitars for this tour. They are not Floyd Rose. They are custom. He’ll be at the NAMM show this year selling them.

    Correct answer is….. It’s the guitar that’s out.

  105. 108 Orlando
    January 15, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    If the song was being played at the proper pitch and only eddie’s guitar was the culprit then why the hell is the singer struggling to reach a couple of the high notes? I seriously doubt a professional band of this magnitude would allow their singer to night after night desperately attempt to hit a couple unreachable notes. Maybe it’s fine for your lame band but not for van halen.

    peace bitches.

  106. 109 Chainsaw
    February 12, 2008 at 12:40 am

    If they weren’t afraid of looking like Rush, Wolfie could play the bass part on bass pedals, and play the keyboard part live. It’s an idiot-simple pop song, and the bass goes duh-duh-duh-duh – it doesn’t need a rock-n-roll bass player. And they should use a cheesy old keyboard with a tuning knob on the front, so if something like this happens, they can fix it fast.

    Or Dave could get one of those suits where you slap yourself in different places to play the keyboard chords. Then if they got out of tune, Eddie could come over and whale on him.

  107. 110 Dagga Land
    February 12, 2008 at 8:13 am

    So I’m interested to know where all these clips are showing the keyboard intro in the same key on every other night ‘cos I’ve scoured youtube and all of the ones I’ve found are noticeably flatter than this performance.

    It’s blatantly the keyboard at fault (though probably not sample rate as the song would have been notieable faster if that was the issue) and anyone who thinks differently is wrong.

  108. 111 Maistrow
    March 5, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Wow, I am really impressed!! In this day and age of people listing to shitty audio on mp3, I didn’t think anybody had any ears left to notice anything wrong at the show in Greensbourgh.

  109. 112 mdrs
    March 23, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    None other than Ed’s guitar tech told me that they simply handed Ed a guitar that was tuned improperly.

    Mystery solved. No conspiracies. Case closed.

    BTW….no one was fired.

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rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on twitter

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende

Rob at Huffington Post

October 2007

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