Tuning bass kick to key of song?

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infiniteB
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Tuning bass kick to key of song?

Post by infiniteB » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:08 pm

1) What's the best way to analyze/find the precise tuning of an .wav/.aiff bass kick
2) What's the best way to change/tune this tuning in Live?
3) Since two different keys (A minor, etc) can have some of the same notes in them, would the "key" I would tune the bass kick to simply be any key that has all/some of the notes in my melody and bass line?
4) Besides "by ear", any one have any specific methods of analysis and implementation?

Thanks...
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thesmallisbeautiful
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Post by thesmallisbeautiful » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:46 pm

I hate to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but is it so hard to use your ears to make music? I think it's great that we have all these new tools to make music with, but you're asking for a program to pick your notes for you?

Anyways:

1) your ears are still the *best way to do this, otherwise I guess something like melodyne might work. Drum sounds are usually more complex than other pitched sounds, so the chances are that a software pitch detector might have trouble figuring it out. Your ears are actually way more sophisticated than you give them credit for.

2) it's pretty easy to change the pitch of a sample. Load it in simpler, sampler, impulse, or even just a clip slot and there will be a knob to change the pitch.

3) this makes no sense to me. You don't tune something to a key, you tune it to a specific pitch. If you want the bass kick to be the root note of the key of your music, you tune it to the note the key is named after, if you want it to be another note in the scale you make it that note. To do this by algorithm is going to be way more of a chore than just figuring out what note you want by ear.

I know you said "not by ear" but where are you going to draw the line? At what point do you step up and say "ok, if I want to be a musician, even an amateur one there are a few minimum things I need to be able to do". one of these should be picking which notes to use yourself. I don't care if you know the note names or any theory behind it, but come on, please don't ask the computer to pick your notes for you.

infiniteB
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Post by infiniteB » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:05 pm

thesmallisbeautiful wrote:I hate to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but is it so hard to use your ears to make music? I think it's great that we have all these new tools to make music with, but you're asking for a program to pick your notes for you?

Anyways:

1) your ears are still the *best way to do this, otherwise I guess something like melodyne might work. Drum sounds are usually more complex than other pitched sounds, so the chances are that a software pitch detector might have trouble figuring it out. Your ears are actually way more sophisticated than you give them credit for.

2) it's pretty easy to change the pitch of a sample. Load it in simpler, sampler, impulse, or even just a clip slot and there will be a knob to change the pitch.

3) this makes no sense to me. You don't tune something to a key, you tune it to a specific pitch. If you want the bass kick to be the root note of the key of your music, you tune it to the note the key is named after, if you want it to be another note in the scale you make it that note. To do this by algorithm is going to be way more of a chore than just figuring out what note you want by ear.

I know you said "not by ear" but where are you going to draw the line? At what point do you step up and say "ok, if I want to be a musician, even an amateur one there are a few minimum things I need to be able to do". one of these should be picking which notes to use yourself. I don't care if you know the note names or any theory behind it, but come on, please don't ask the computer to pick your notes for you.

Hey, thanks for the answer... Let me clarify a few things, though:

I am not looking for a program or computer to pick my notes for me... I am looking for some peoples' methods, based upon a suggestion that I have seen many times in many places... so that I can see for myself if anything within such a process makes sense to me / my projects, and how I can use such a method, if at all... I have been making music and performing live for well over a decade, and most of my compositions are done, in very large part, by ear. I tune/adjust the pitches of my drums/percussion/bass/synth/brass/etc by ear... I was looking for the best way to analyze the PRECISE tuning of an audio .wav file, which just happens to be a bass kick... Drummers tune their bass kick, I want to do the same...In my opinion, there is no difference whatsoever in consideration as to whether or not a bass kick or a synth note can be tuned/adjusted into a specific key (notes/pitches are parts of KEYS)
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ethios4
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Post by ethios4 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:15 pm

Of course it really does come down to what sounds best. Drummers tune their kit relative to itself, which is always a good idea. I don't know of any drummers that get out their frequency analyzers to measure the tuning on their kick drums though...you'd have to change it every song.

That being said, I usually try to tune the lowest frequency of the kick, which is usually a sustained tone after the attack, which is usually some variation on a sine wave being rapidly pitched down several octaves to the final pitch. I usually find that tuning the kick to the root of the key works best, or sometimes a 4th down or a 5th up works to produce a nice dynamic with the bassline if it's playing root notes.

If I'm working with a kick I did not produce, I might run it through a sonogram plugin so I can visually see what the frequency is. Sometimes you can pitch shift the kick up until the sustain sits in a frequency range that is easier to identify pitch in. Other times you can run the kick through distortion until it's pitch becomes more pronounced.

Sometimes, though, the kick is just weird and trying to make it play by the rules only makes it sound worse. In the end the ears are always the final judge, so I usually just end up using my ears.

Neutrality
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Post by Neutrality » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:24 pm

hate to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but...
Yes you DO sound like a fuddy-duddy!

First rule: there are no rules. Blah blah blah...

It's good to have rules though, I just make my own up.
Voluntry limitations if you will.

I digress.

1) Trim and loop your kick so it is a drone.

2) pitch it up by a few octaves because its tons easier to tell the pitch of a high note.

3) play a simple synth sound (like a triangle wave) with it. Play up and down the keyboard till you work out the approximate pitch of the kick drone.
You may need to adjust the kick by cents to get it perfectly in tune.

4)put your kick back to normal, adjust it by the exact number of cents you used to get it to a true note.

5)pitch it by whole notes to a note that works with your song.
Pick a note that would not sound horrible if you played it on a bass guitar.

6)It's OK to adjust the kick for every chord in your song. I won't yell at you. And neither will thesmallisbeautiful

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:27 pm

pitch it up a couple of octaves.
figure out what key it is in by wibbling the fine tuning about
if that fails put a saturator on to bring out the dominant harmonic
pitch it back down again
Last edited by Angstrom on Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Neutrality
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Post by Neutrality » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:28 pm

Hey, I just said that!

but in more words....

Neutrality
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Post by Neutrality » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:29 pm

But nicely summarised :wink:

thesmallisbeautiful
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Post by thesmallisbeautiful » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:30 pm

infiniteB wrote:
thesmallisbeautiful wrote:In my opinion, there is no difference whatsoever in consideration as to whether or not a bass kick or a synth note can be tuned/adjusted into a specific key (notes/pitches are parts of KEYS)
This is true, keys are made out of a collection' of notes. but you can't tune one note to a key, that's simply not possible. You can tune it to one or another note within a specific key, but not to the key itself.

I wasn't trying to sound like a jerk, I think I was confused by the wording of your original post. I still don't understand why you don't just go with what sounds right, but you do you.

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:30 pm

I had to edit it to put more words in ;)
I forgot that I use a saturator driven hard to make the kick ring out at its dominant frequency.

thesmallisbeautiful
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Post by thesmallisbeautiful » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:32 pm

Neutrality wrote:
hate to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but...
Yes you DO sound like a fuddy-duddy!

First rule: there are no rules. Blah blah blah...

It's good to have rules though, I just make my own up.
Voluntry limitations if you will.

I digress.

1) Trim and loop your kick so it is a drone.

2) pitch it up by a few octaves because its tons easier to tell the pitch of a high note.

3) play a simple synth sound (like a triangle wave) with it. Play up and down the keyboard till you work out the approximate pitch of the kick drone.
You may need to adjust the kick by cents to get it perfectly in tune.

4)put your kick back to normal, adjust it by the exact number of cents you used to get it to a true note.

5)pitch it by whole notes to a note that works with your song.
Pick a note that would not sound horrible if you played it on a bass guitar.

6)It's OK to adjust the kick for every chord in your song. I won't yell at you. And neither will thesmallisbeautiful

You basically told him to use his ears, which is the same thing I said.

UKRuss
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Post by UKRuss » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:35 pm

You can also add your own tone tuned however you wish by using the old gated tone trick.

Just set up a sine wave on a synth looped endlessly. Wack a gate on the track and sidechain the gate from your kick, the gate will open when the kick hits letting the sine wave come through.

Then just set the note on the gated track to the key of your song in whichever octave works for you.

j2j
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Post by j2j » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:06 pm

I used to worry, about making sure, my kick drums were in the exact key of the track.......

Finally, I decided that really doesn't matter all that much, to me.

Nowadays,

I like to make my kicks out of sine wave, that has 0% key follow, and is tuned down, 3600 cents.






( edit )


Don't forget to pitch it back up with the envelope, etc, etc...
too many lasers...

infiniteB
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Post by infiniteB » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:42 am

thanks for the responses... this helps alot
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Jekblad
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Post by Jekblad » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:13 am

i've really thought about this, but it makes sense.

it does seem like one of things that is cool but is pretty un noticeable if you're not looking for it.

i love the ideas though
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