Tuning bass kick to key of song?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Post by ethios4 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:03 am

For some genres it's critical...like psytrance, where the kick and bass merge to form one continuous rolling sound....the kick and bass have to be in tune with each other for it to work right.

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Post by djsynchro » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:07 am

Most kickdrums don't have a set pitch, the pitch drops down.
This is true for acoustic drums (the skin streches when it's hit) but also for example a 909 kick you can clearly hear the pitch falling. This is the reason that you can hear a 909 kick on really small speakers, at the same being a great kick for big PAs too.

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Post by Saxer » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:19 am

i would tune the bassdrum only, if the sound has a long tonal tail like a tr808 with the sinus end which is not bending down. this sinus-tail can be heared as a bass function.
if you want to have this effect, i would divide the bassdrum into short kick-sound only and make the release-phase out of a seperate sinus-sample in simpler. so it can be played over the keyboard in all the right keys.

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Post by jlgrimes » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:33 pm

infiniteB wrote: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?

Simplers or Sampler can do it pretty easily by tuning your kick up an octave. The pitch will be more easier to identify this way. You can then tune down by an octave to get back into the bass range.

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Post by glamourboy » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:53 pm

the base of my kicks are usually done with a synth, so it's quite easy to tune. sometimes it's a bad idea sometimes it's crucial. it's usually a good idea when making crunk, oldschool jungle, trancy stuff etc. BOOM! :-)

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Post by Pickle Sprocket » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:59 pm

It is very easy to tune your bass drums, in fact, it is quite simple to tune all of your drums using these 2 easy-to-use tools:

Pitch Pipe:


Drum Key:


Once you have tuned your drums you can record them into a sampler as people have been recommending for further manipulation, but for the highest sound quality use these analog tools first.
I taste nice.

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