How to pitch a Bass Drum?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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ethios4
Posts: 5377
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:28 am

How to pitch a Bass Drum?

Post by ethios4 » Wed Dec 03, 2003 11:30 pm

This isn't directly related to Live, but...what's the best way to determine the pitch of a bass drum? it's super important to tune the kick, but i haven't been able to do it successfully. I tried loading a kick drum sample into the NN-XT in Reason and "Set Root Note from Pitch Detection" and tuning it that way. But using that method to tune to C2, say, i load the pitched drum into the NN-XT and "Set Root Note from Pitch Detection" and it comes up with something different, F#3, say. So how to tune a bass drum...?

monolake.

bassdrum pitch

Post by monolake. » Thu Dec 04, 2003 9:47 am

There is no such thing as pitch detection in Live.
You can transpose the Bassdrum with the transpose control and finetune it with the detune control. If it sounds right in the mix it *is* right. Trust your ears. Most Bassdrums do not have a clear defined pitch and this is why pitch detection will not give you usefull results.

robert

kitchen
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2002 3:31 pm
Location: Berlin

Post by kitchen » Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:07 pm

I think this is interesting, because pitching bassdrums seldomly works out. You can pitch hihats and snare quite a lot and they sound differently, but you can still very well use them. Is this due to reduced "frequency" space in the lower areas of the spectrum? I mean for an a1 you have 440 Hz room for one octave up, whereas for an a-1 you only have 110 Hz. So changing the pitch ratio for lower tones cuts in harder. Is this right?

kitchen

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Re: How to pitch a Bass Drum?

Post by Guest » Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:14 pm

ethios4 wrote:This isn't directly related to Live, but...what's the best way to determine the pitch of a bass drum? it's super important to tune the kick, but i haven't been able to do it successfully. I tried loading a kick drum sample into the NN-XT in Reason and "Set Root Note from Pitch Detection" and tuning it that way. But using that method to tune to C2, say, i load the pitched drum into the NN-XT and "Set Root Note from Pitch Detection" and it comes up with something different, F#3, say. So how to tune a bass drum...?
There was an article with tips and tricks for Reason in Electronic Musican back in July. You can find the whole thing on their website, but here's the relevant part. Hope this helps a little.

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Tuning drums and percussion loops to match a bass line can accomplish a couple of goals. First, it gives your track a supertight feel. It can also help minimize the amount of EQ that your tracks will need at mixdown by focusing the low end of the track and giving it clarity.

Tuning Redrum drums to a Subtractor bass line is simple. Start with the kick because it is most noticeable when out of tune with the bass. Solo the kick and the Subtractor bass line. Adjust the Pitch knob on the Redrum kick track so that the pitch of the kick is in unison with the root of your bass line. You'll have a simpler time doing this if you flatten the pitch of the kick, and then dial it up to match the bass. That's because you can hear a flat pitch more easily than a sharp one relative to the note you are tuning to. Slowing down the overall tempo of the track can also aid in hitting the mark.

Although less crucial than with tuning the kick, the snare and other percussion elements can also benefit from that process. To get even more sophisticated with this technique, tune the snare and hi-hat to complementary intervals (like thirds and sixths) of the bass.

This trick is only slightly more involved when applied to a Dr:rex drum loop. Solo the bass line and the Dr:rex loop. Use the Octave and Fine Tune knobs on Dr:rex to find the root note of the bass line. If the loop requires tuning that is so extreme that the loop slices start sounding aliased or exhibit other artifacts, use the transposition keyboard on Dr:rex to transpose the loop to a complementary interval of the bass line's root note. As with the previous example, using intervals like thirds and fifths is a safe bet for working with the entire track, whereas sevenths and ninths can sometimes give a jazzy, “outside” vibe to the loop.

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