using pitch on 808 kicks

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:40 am
Location: California, United States

using pitch on 808 kicks

Post by hitechsoul15 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:28 am

So i just purchased the gold baby 808 tape collection and this may be a total noob question but how do i change the pitch of an 808 kick so that it blends in with the melodie of the song, such as playing the kick on a keyboard. I've notice this method has been used extensively typically in hip hop songs where there is no bass but just a boomy 808 kick playing in different notes to fit the song perfectly. How do i do this? I've tried using the transpose feature in ableton but it comes nothing close. Or are there other samples libraries or emulators out there that can do this?

Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:25 pm
Location: Nevada, USA

Post by channelite » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:07 am

I think you'll need a boomy 808 sample to begin with. If you find the right sample, you could use the pitch bend on your controller to tweak it.

I have a Novation Drumstation which has knobs for all the drums. It's has the big boom bass you're talking about and it's tweakable. Plus the 909's too. They're about $300 used, but maybe worth it if you use it alot.

Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:22 pm

Post by DJDJ » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:14 am

channelite wrote:I think you'll need a boomy 808 sample to begin with. If you find the right sample, you could use the pitch bend on your controller to tweak it.
No disrespect intended, but this is poor advice.

hitechsoul15, --

take the sample you want to use. create a MIDI track and put a simpler on it. Load the sample into the simpler, and play a pattern on your keyboard with the notes you'd like for your 808 bassline. Voila! 808 bass. Alternately, if you do not have a midi keyboard, you can draw in your bass notes with the pencil tool.

Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:27 pm
Location: Colorado

Post by 5rings » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:17 pm

This is a technique I struggled with a few years ago...

Droppin it into simpler or sampler obviously works, but I really don't like the way the samples sound. It sounds too obviously transposed to me. iDrum sounds really nice when you change the pitch on samples, and is fun to program, too. That is my preferred method for this technique. You may not mind the simpler/sampler sound, though. I would give impulse a try, and manually tune up a kit in that. Then compare how that sounds compared to simpler/sampler. The simpler/sampler method has really got efficiency going for it, though. It can be a pain manually tuning. Although, I remember someone (I think it was actually Goldbaby) suggesting using a guitar tuner to get it in tune. I prefer to do it by ear, though.

Good luck

Undercover Soul
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:53 am
Location: Ingeerland

Post by Undercover Soul » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:00 pm

I don't know much so I am having a go for ya.

You don't want to transpose things too far as it will change the length of the wave and start to sound wobbly or elastic band like. I would find the sound which is closest to the sound you like then just get out the old faithfull eq to make some cuts and a few boosts (Careful with the boosts mind you). If I were looking for boomy I would bring it up around 60 hz and mayber get a limiter on it with a quick attack to lose a bit of the transients.

Hope this is of some help.

Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:22 pm

Post by DJDJ » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:53 pm

As far as tuning goes, if you have it, melodyne works a treat for finding exactly how much the tuning is off, and then you're able to get it completely in tune.

As far as the way the pitching is reproduced in simpler/sampler-- it may just be the aliasing from those particular sampler. I had never considered iDrum as an option-- sounds intersting but a pain in the butt. :D

personally, between kontakt & sampler, I'm pretty happy with how my 808's sound. Of course, EQ, compression, & processing are also needed to get it to sound how I want, but at the end of the day, it's all good...

I did a test with all the samplers in ableton, and found their repitching to sound exactly the same, whether it was simpler, sampler, transposing the audio, or using impulse, so in this case I wouldn't necessarily recommend impulse over simpler.


5rings has a point: if you want to be really picky about how your 808's sound (like I am), it may be worth your while to explore various samplers to see which repitches in a way that is pleasing to your ear.

personally, simpler does the trick just fine. but then again, I don't mixdown in live.
I mix in logic, and to my ear the tracks always different once they're imported there. Never had much problems with my 808's sounding right once I start mixing.

Post Reply