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Finding the pitch of a sample

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?

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lawrencejk
KVRer
 
12 posts since 20 Feb, 2013

Postby lawrencejk; Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:37 am Finding the pitch of a sample

Hi all,

I recently watched a video where this guy used a sort of bell sample as a sort of synth stab bit before he started manipulating the sound, he found out what key the sample was in.

I can't quite remember fully how he did it which is why I need your help but basically he added and Operator to the Simpler and made an Instrument Rack in Ableton then he pressed a key on his keyboard and either pitched the sample up and down till it matched the tone of the sine wive in Operator or her kept playing up and down the keyboard until he found the note of the sine wave that matched the bell sample. Is anyone familiar with this technique and could explain it to me better? I can't find the video!! Or does anyone know any other good techniques of finding the key of samples etc?

Also, I need a bit of help understanding something... If I made a bassline in say E minor then I had a sampled chord stab in the say A minor, is it possible to get that chord stab to fit with the bassline by changing the pitch of the sample? If so, how?

I know how to change the root note of a sample in a sampler but I don't quite understand if it is possible to turn the key of a sample into a different key. Hope that makes sense!

Thanks for your help!
Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
 
6663 posts since 6 Sep, 2008

Postby Mushy Mushy; Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:43 am Re: Finding the pitch of a sample

Play bell
Play pad in different keys until it sounds good.
That's your key
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BertKoor
KVRAF
 
8327 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:32 am Re: Finding the pitch of a sample

What that guy did is equivalent to walking to the piano and try keys until he found the right one. But he didn't use a piano but Ableton Live.

First you guess a key, determine the interval with the sample by ear (is it too low or high, by how many semitones) then rinse & repeat. It helps tremendously if you can identify intervals such as minor/major third, fourth & fifths by ear.
And if the sample is not exactly in tune, you can correct that.

lawrencejk wrote:If I made a bassline in say E minor then I had a sampled chord stab in the say A minor, is it possible to get that chord stab to fit with the bassline by changing the pitch of the sample? If so, how?
You assign the sample to the A key. Then you play the E key. Presto... That's how a sampler with one sample loaded should function.
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DJ Warmonger
KVRian
 
540 posts since 7 Jun, 2012, from Warsaw

Postby DJ Warmonger; Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:27 am Re: Finding the pitch of a sample

1. Use spectrum analyzer
2. Find peak frequency
3. That's your pitch
4. Shift your pitch to key (for that you need to know frequency-note relation, of course)

Not to mention all the samplers allow to change pitch of sound. If you know actual pitch and desired key, you can tune it easily.
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chadjohnson
KVRer
 
12 posts since 19 Dec, 2013, from Los Angeles, CA

Postby chadjohnson; Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:20 pm Re: Finding the pitch of a sample

You can use a VST called Spiral. Very useful and you can see all the harmonics. It is really just a spectrum analyzer but a bit more intuitive to use.
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Rah
KVRist
 
382 posts since 30 May, 2013, from Space is the Place

Postby Rah; Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:00 pm Re: Finding the pitch of a sample

Spiral is a bit of a gem, a unique plugin

It does work very well for visually finding a pitch. I find it useful for retuning slightly off pitches in samplesets and the like

It's a good idea to train your ear as well though
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drinkthecoolaid
KVRist
 
68 posts since 7 Dec, 2012

Postby drinkthecoolaid; Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:00 am Re: Finding the pitch of a sample

DJ Warmonger wrote:1. Use spectrum analyzer
2. Find peak frequency
3. That's your pitch
4. Shift your pitch to key (for that you need to know frequency-note relation, of course)

Not to mention all the samplers allow to change pitch of sound. If you know actual pitch and desired key, you can tune it easily.


Ideally, you should try and find the loudest peak with the most harmonic components. Most of the time this is the loudest peak, but make sure it is the actual pitch by looking at the side band components to see if they match up with the main peak.

The 1st harmonic would be the peak frequency multiplied or divided by 2, and the 2nd would be by 3, and so on...This way you are not just choosing the loudest peak while ignoring the entire spectrum -- which could potentially fail to provide you with the sample's actual pitch.
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synthsoundz
KVRer
 
16 posts since 5 Apr, 2014

Postby synthsoundz; Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:12 am Re: Finding the pitch of a sample

Simply find it out by listening and comparing to a reference. At least in the end it has to sound right for the human ear and not for a technical analyzer.
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drinkthecoolaid
KVRist
 
68 posts since 7 Dec, 2012

Postby drinkthecoolaid; Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:01 am Re: Finding the pitch of a sample

synthsoundz wrote:Simply find it out by listening and comparing to a reference. At least in the end it has to sound right for the human ear and not for a technical analyzer.


Agreed. Plus technically analyzing the harmonics could prove some what difficult, depending on spectral density, unless you are looking at the output of a Spectrogram, which a lot of spectral analyzers do not come equipped with. However, understanding the harmonics will definitely help you pin point the pitch by providing you with a general idea of what to listen for. *shrug*
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