Why is it that while driving a car you sometimes hear the radio at a wrong pitch?


This happens to me often, I hear the intro, prepare to sing along once the lead voice kicks in, and then it is a half tone or so different than the pitch I had expected.

In: Physics

If you’re talking about FM radio as opposed to playback from your phone, I think I can help. So if you have a good enough ear to realize that a song is a half step high, you’ll know that if you have two identical song files or tapes and one is played slightly faster/ pitched up higher than the other, it will be perceived as warmer, brighter, and more energetic. Radio stations exploit this effect. If there are two radio stations playing identical songs, one radio station could speed up playback to pitch the song up slightly. This would result in the station sounding more energetic and brighter to the listening population along with more inviting and maybe warmer depending on individual perception. This is in the same way that a song at A440 will sound less warm than a song with A tuned a little higher.