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njakrivos
KVRer
 
27 posts since 21 May, 2010

Postby njakrivos; Mon May 13, 2013 6:14 pm How to find the key of drum samples??

Hello everyone,

I always read from everybody, and i have to say that i understand that this has to be the right way, that you always have to tune your drum samples in the key of the track. The problem is, how to find the key of the sample??
For example i use Logic's tuner and it doesn't show me nothing??? Maybe if i use another tuner?? Any ideas???
Monib
KVRist
 
431 posts since 25 Sep, 2004

Postby Monib; Mon May 13, 2013 7:18 pm

Use a Spectrum Analyzer with notes, I know Ableton's EQ does this.

Find the loudest peak, at the lowest frequency. This should be the note, you can double check with a tuned note from a piano or guitar etc.

Monib
elnn
KVRist
 
286 posts since 4 Nov, 2011, from Tleat

Postby elnn; Tue May 14, 2013 12:53 am

most drums are inharmonic. i.e. they have no key, their harmonics aren't in the harmonic series. unless you're talking synthesized drums. but even then the pitch is often heavily modulated. only of the decay sounds like a 'note' can you find a 'key' of the synthesized drum using freq spectrum analyzer. if it's a live drum, then the harmonics are still complex and you have to trust your ears.
tl;dr tune by ear
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BertKoor
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10563 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Tue May 14, 2013 4:48 am

njakrivos wrote:I always read from everybody, and i have to say that i understand that this has to be the right way, that you always have to tune your drum samples in the key of the track.
This presumtion is false. Do you see any drummer playing in a band switching his kit because the next song is in a different key?

You only have to "fix" things if you can really hear it's wrong. Otherwise just don't bother. Just because you read others are doing it is not a valid argument to do it yourself.
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lfm
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4508 posts since 22 Jan, 2005, from Sweden

Postby lfm; Tue May 14, 2013 4:55 am

njakrivos wrote:Hello everyone,

I always read from everybody, and i have to say that i understand that this has to be the right way, that you always have to tune your drum samples in the key of the track. The problem is, how to find the key of the sample??
For example i use Logic's tuner and it doesn't show me nothing??? Maybe if i use another tuner?? Any ideas???


Have a look with an EQ that has spectrum presentation.

Lowest frequency that moves, is the fundamental frequency of that drum.

But read BertKoor's comment about usage.
stevesy
KVRer
 
13 posts since 14 Sep, 2011, from United States

Postby stevesy; Thu May 16, 2013 8:31 am

BertKoor wrote:
njakrivos wrote:I always read from everybody, and i have to say that i understand that this has to be the right way, that you always have to tune your drum samples in the key of the track.


This presumtion is false. Do you see any drummer playing in a band switching his kit because the next song is in a different key?

You only have to "fix" things if you can really hear it's wrong. Otherwise just don't bother. Just because you read others are doing it is not a valid argument to do it yourself.


I see your point, but I'm not sure I fully agree. It depends on the type of music you're producing, and it depends on how well trained your ear is. If you've never paid much attention to tuning drums, you may never figure out when you should and shouldn't.

Going back and looking at my old tracks, before I started tuning my drums, it's almost grating to hear some of the drums clashing. At the time I thought it sounded just fine...

Now a lot of this has to do with my ear just getting better, period, but I'm not sure if my ear would have improved if I hadn't started tuning my drums (just because I read about it, I may add).

So in my personal experience, it's been good for me to use this drum tuning as a rule, and then learn how to break it rather than start off with no rules and just use my ear.
Loki Fuego
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750 posts since 30 Aug, 2011, from somewhere in universe

Postby Loki Fuego; Fri May 17, 2013 12:54 pm

BertKoor wrote:Do you see any drummer playing in a band switching his kit because the next song is in a different key?

No. But I see engineers tuning drums the drummer plays when recording a band.
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manvanmars
KVRist
 
65 posts since 9 Jan, 2011

Postby manvanmars; Fri May 17, 2013 2:54 pm

Well I would not recommend tuning your drums like that.... Unless you want to make music without any key changes...... Because tuning drums to follow your note changes mid song will sound...well....just terrible (and unrealistic).

If you are working with drum samples you can try to retune them, if something isn't sounding right, but (as far as I know) there is no formula or program for that. Just use your ears.
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Sendy
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5230 posts since 20 Jul, 2010

Postby Sendy; Fri May 17, 2013 3:04 pm

Adjust the pitch until it sounds good.

Sometimes having the drums sound vaguely like they're playing on the fifth or seventh can be a cool effect. Bonus points if you have a key change and the drums tuning is relevant to both keys.

But, as has been said, in a lot of situations, the tuning isn't important, and obviously, the more towards "noise" a drum is on the continuum of pure tone to noise, the less important (or downright impossible) tuning becomes.
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PAzevedo
KVRer
 
5 posts since 17 May, 2013, from Portugal

Postby PAzevedo; Fri May 17, 2013 4:07 pm

You should be able to do it by ear, if you can't do by ear probably shouldn't be doing it. That's how i feel.
Some Pitch correction software show the key of what going through them.
aquar
KVRian
 
607 posts since 20 Oct, 2005

Postby aquar; Sun May 19, 2013 11:36 am

I am no expert but I think it very much depends on the genre and the type of Kick selected.

I tune the Kick to either the root or 5th of the Scale/Key which is pretty safe.
If a key change occurs I look for a common frequency/pitch between the two and use that as the default.

These days I create my own Kicks from a bass wave and change its dynamics as the track develops and use a variety of tools to get it to sound just right. I usually merge it with various other sound sources but I like to keep the bass wave and its fundamental frequency more or less intact.

If the Kick is pitch modulated (lets say by 36 st's) it'll smudge or hide the underlying fundamental from view but don't let that deceive you just because the analyzer makes it look like the Kick has a wide range of possible fundamentals.

If the Kick in question is quite bass heavy with little or no modulation its definitely worth tuning it away from the worst case scenario which is the Bass and Kick playing a minor 2nd. (16:15)
On big club systems that can sound quite dissonant even though it can sometimes work more often than not it sounds horrible, well at least to my ears.

I still can't think of a good reason not to spend the extra effort to tune a Kick to a track.
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Jbravo
KVRian
 
1306 posts since 19 May, 2002, from Cambridge, UK

Postby Jbravo; Sun May 19, 2013 11:45 am

when it comes to synthetic kicks I usually just play them several octaves higher, then you can hear quite clearly what the note actually is - and adjust the tuning accordingly to fit the rest of the track, though I usually don't find it necessary with any other kind of drum hits
Fusilade
KVRer
 
1 post since 5 Nov, 2017

Postby Fusilade; Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:10 pm Re: How to find the key of drum samples??

The way I get around tuning is just load a load of kicks or snares into a drum machine and switch between kicks and snares until you find a kick and snare that perfectly fit then even once the bassline is written you can switch them up and down until they sound spot on
ramseysounds
KVRist
 
138 posts since 9 Jul, 2014, from London

Postby ramseysounds; Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:01 am Re: How to find the key of drum samples??

I've never understood why people tune kick (bass) drums. A kick is a kick is a kick. Just choose one that sounds good, that fits the track. I'm more concerned with attack, release and boominess (or not).
Spend your time doing something more worthwhile. :tu:
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sjm
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1652 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:14 am Re: How to find the key of drum samples??

The kick may have a note. A key is a collection of notes. Drums therefore don't have a key. You may however want your kick tuned to the root of your key.

Personally I think the obsession over tuning drums is nonsense. If you think your kick has a problem fitting in with the other sounds, you will want to change it, and pitching is one option. So if you notice that the pitch is an issue, by all means fix it. You don't need to fix things that ain't broke though.
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