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 Post subject: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:28 pm 
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Smore
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i know theres a thread about this and i read it, but this is a more specific question about scales.

When you tune your percussion to the rest of the track, which note in the scale do you choose?
I tried to make it all in the root key for example E.
so when you have your kick and bass in E and tune your drums to E too it sounds nice definitely, but i thought there might be some special note in the scale that makes it really stand out?
Found some by accident yesterday, but then again it was not sounding nice together with some other element.

I guess this has to do with music theory which iam a complete ignorant of.
how do you tune your drums and other elements in the track?
all in one key?
In some special scale like way?
you dont give a fuck and just use your ears because your a cool bastard?

Would also be interesting to hear different styles on how to approach the drum tuning.
I do it like this:
Select a root note for the track.
On the individual channel i use a spectrum analyser (SPAN is free & nice) with slow settings to find the root note of the sound.
Then i use the detune to bring it on the semitone scala if needed
then transpose to the desired key.
to find the root note of one sound i go for the highest peak in the sound and check what freq/note it is. Is this even correct? i remember to have read it somewhere and it works ok that way, but iam also not quite sure how accurate the SPAN is.

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:24 pm 
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IMO it's better to tune drums by ear. A) it tends to sound more interesting harmonically and B) if you tune everything to the same note you can get nasty frequency/resonance buildups around the fundamental. Especially kick and bass I wouldn't really tune to the same note, it can get muddy real quick. If anything I would try and tune the kick and bass away from each a bit so the fundamentals don't clash.


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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:27 pm 
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This is exactly what i do. Tuning by ear combined with my analyzer plugin does a good job for me. I've got it on my 2nd bus and solo the channel i want to analyze. Then yes, we're making music, everything, even your drums, plays a role in hamonics. There is no special note, that always does the perfect job. It depends on your whole tune, on the mood in your track, like what chords and progressions are you using, what scale are you playing with them, what other elements fill what notes. Every element in your track is dependend on the other. It's for sure helpful to care about music theory on the one hand. On the other it can block your intuition making you overthink everything. That's what happend first to me, when learning music theory. After a lot of practice it got more naturally, now i don't use my head that much anymore. No one ever said it's gonna be easy ;D

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:52 pm 
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I find having the kick on the 7th and bass on the 5th of any given key tends to sound quite nice. Also free's up space between them both.

A little off topic but does anyone know of any software that would scan a sample folder and then tag individual files with the key of the sample?

There used to be something by Iced Audio (I think that's what they were called) but I could never really get it to work.

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:24 pm 
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thx for the replies! have to look into the resonance thing, makes sense.
To analyze files there is mixed in key. its 60 dollar afaik, but it does the job right.
i use it for djing, thats what its made for too, analyze the root note or the note played most in a track.
But i guess it works on shorter /simpler sounds too, if not even better.

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Catch be arsed nowadays as it doesn't make a difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:16 pm 
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hm i think it does, especially for drums. when they are out of key they just sound shit.
i guess you do it in some subconcious way by ear. or just pick sounds that are more or less in key

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:13 pm 
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I like my snare a fifth above the kick. IMHO this works really well for DnB, which I do a lot of, and general purpose too as it gives a kind of call-response to the kick and snare. Maybe not so much if both hit at the same time, which is more common in techno, but it isn't gonna sound wrong either. On an acoustic kit I'll tighten the shit out of the snares rezo head and tune up the batter to taste. It may often land a fifth above the kick but that's not the first thing I'd be looking for. I will actually play the kick a few times when tuning the snare too, to make sure they work ok together. I tune my toms in thirds. Not religiously or very accurately either, but I can usually hear when they're way off and I don't like it. Sometimes you just get a decent tone and I'll stop tuning right there, doesn't matter what the intervals are. This applies less to samples, of course, but if you find a sample that sits well, don't mess with it. If it's not sitting well, try a little pitching, you'll be surprised. It only takes a small tune to get it in key.

I've not used any software or tools to calculate drum pitch, but I've been playing for years and use my ears. It definitely makes a major difference. If you're using samples, you'll find that many are tuned to common keys already. For example, many rock and funk kits will be tuned to the keys that are most common on guitar, like E, A, C, D and G. So if you pick samples from different tunes that are in these common keys, and the samples sound fine together, it's not that tuning doesn't make a difference, it's that some studio engineer already spent hours tuning those drums and your sample collection is already in key.


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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:51 pm 
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I do it all by ear but as mentioned above not all the same note or the mix gets clumpy.
Percussion works best when it interplays harmonically with your main melody\hook.
Becomes more noticeable on a big rig.
That's why you can get away with a very stripped back track, providing the elements are all in tune.

It's the difference between an amateur production and a pro production.

But yeah, always by ear.

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:36 am 
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innovine wrote:
it's that some studio engineer already spent hours tuning those drums and your sample collection is already in key.


Yeah, I was being flippant while posting late at night but happy to accept this and and the ears perhaps drawing naturally to tuned sounds as an explanation.

Some of you might find this chart useful.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:07 am 
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I use my ears and move within the key I decided to go. A lot of percussion is trial and error, playing around

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:43 pm 
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some say by having the kick on the 7th it gives more push to the track, more energy


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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:35 pm 
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Always by ear. Use things like spectrum analysers to give you a little visual help if you are struggling with using your ears. Your natural pitch can take time to improve but doing things such as tuning by ear will help a lot in that improvement progress.

Might be off topic to what you want to learn but learning your way around an instrument like the piano or guitar will help improve your natural pitch a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:25 pm 
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Almost always pitch by ear. But recently, I find it easier to go up an octave, especially on kicks. Maybe it´s an age thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:54 pm 
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First time i'm hearing having the kick on 7th and bass on 5th, doesn't it glue a bit more together if they're both in the same key? Along with that, something like toms or more lower end percussions, wouldn't it be best for them to be in key? Agreed with what most said, use your ears, or if anything detect the pitch in your daw, no harm in doing that.


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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:08 pm 
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Squill wrote:
First time i'm hearing having the kick on 7th and bass on 5th, doesn't it glue a bit more together if they're both in the same key? Along with that, something like toms or more lower end percussions, wouldn't it be best for them to be in key? Agreed with what most said, use your ears, or if anything detect the pitch in your daw, no harm in doing that.


DOn`t get too stuck in musical modes.
Kick on 7th bass on the 5th.... sure but not on every tune, that`s how you end up with generic slop like bumcode puts out

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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:12 pm 
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Squill wrote:
First time i'm hearing having the kick on 7th and bass on 5th, doesn't it glue a bit more together if they're both in the same key? Along with that, something like toms or more lower end percussions, wouldn't it be best for them to be in key? Agreed with what most said, use your ears, or if anything detect the pitch in your daw, no harm in doing that.


Of course, its better to have very tonal elements of a track mostly in key. However, this is techno, dont get too caught up on mixing in key. Sometimes dissonance brings its own charm to a track.

But thats why i always tune by ear. That way what im tuning probably isnt going to be perfectly in key and might be off by a few cents, but thats what makes things interesting. My pitch is good enough to tell when something is in tune enough so i can trust myself.

Just dont strive to make music perfect imo - Strive to give it character.


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 Post subject: Re: Tune Drums with scales?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:51 pm 
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Squill wrote:
First time i'm hearing having the kick on 7th and bass on 5th, doesn't it glue a bit more together if they're both in the same key? Along with that, something like toms or more lower end percussions, wouldn't it be best for them to be in key? Agreed with what most said, use your ears, or if anything detect the pitch in your daw, no harm in doing that.


kick on the 7th and bass on the 5th means that they are in the same key. i think the idea is that you are using notes which have a strong harmonic relationship, which sound good together. if you were to have a kick on the 7th, bass on the 5th and let's say the first note of a melody playing the 1, then you have a major 7th chord, which you might end up with by accident, but there's plenty of folk who would do this consciously. this might only be a short stab of a chord, but it would sound pleasant to any listener.

almost everyone has the ability to know whether a sound has a good harmonic relationship with another sound, but there are plenty of people who will think about what sounds are in a track and what note the next sound could be in order to create a more harmonic or dissonant sounding relationship. for example, it is common to tune a tom, as you say, so that it works with, or against, the other sounds.


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