finding the key of sounds
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:04 AM   #1
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finding the key of sounds

hey guys,
just wanting to know how you guys find the keys of certain samples, having trouble getting all my sounds to sound in key. also is it crucial to make sure all the drums are in key? espcally the kick.

cheers

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:38 AM   #2
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Re: finding the key of sounds

lol at this point all i hope is to complete a track before i get too bored
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:00 AM   #3
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Re: finding the key of sounds

Some sample packs have the key of the sample/loop in the title, Most DAWs have plugins that will tell you Live has spectrum analyser for example it tells you, youtube or google it to find out how also most sounds that are quite low, such as a kick dont really need to be pitched as they have no harmonics

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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Re: finding the key of sounds

are you working with percussion or drum samples mainly? Sometimes, depending on where you get them, the sample will say in the name, otherwise I normally don't fiddle with pitch, but may tweak it if I feel it's necessary to fit into the mix

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Old 11-08-2012, 10:14 AM   #5
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Re: finding the key of sounds

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Originally Posted by Sikmode View Post
lol at this point all i hope is to complete a track before i get too bored
As for finding the key to certain sounds, it's always handy to have a mic-based guitar tuning device.
Something like this:
It also seems that there are a lot of online services for just such a task if you google Guitar Tuner, not sure how accurate those can be though.

EDIT: I'm also positive there is some sort of VST intermediary device you can use out there.

Last edited by PROton42; 11-08-2012 at 02:24 PM..

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Old 12-08-2012, 12:31 AM   #6
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Re: finding the key of sounds

cool thanks guys, recently ive been using the nerve plugin and most of the drum sounds in that.

Yeah would be good to know hpw to do it by ear, hoping there is a vst plugin. i think i have an old guitar tuner somehwere and also i can back it up with the the ableton spectrum anaylser.

cheers guys
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:56 AM   #7
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Re: finding the key of sounds

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Originally Posted by I<3HouseMusic View Post
Some sample packs have the key of the sample/loop in the title, Most DAWs have plugins that will tell you Live has spectrum analyser for example it tells you, youtube or google it to find out how also most sounds that are quite low, such as a kick dont really need to be pitched as they have no harmonics
i thought all sounds have some sort of harmonics, would a kick just have less, i mean cause you see on a spectrum anyalser a kick can have a full frequancy range. might be a stupid question.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:12 AM   #8
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Re: finding the key of sounds

You could try pumping a range in the kick (or any percussion sample) where you can hear the tone of the sub, that'll be an indication of the note you'll be aiming for. Then maybe have a sine wave playing, and then tune the sub to that sine wave, then remove the eq and then eq like you normally would artistically. Definitely experiment with it, good luck!

Yes, it could be said that every sound has a note of it's own, you can always shape a sound into a different thing with effects and enhance musical qualities of the sample.

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Old 15-08-2012, 12:02 AM   #9
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Re: finding the key of sounds

i just hear it

as for the percussion not really, but if its something like toms most likely, unless you want it to have that "off key" sound. as for the kicks, if it has a sub attached to it sometimes its pitched and you might have to change it; some pitch correction plugins tell you the note of the input, but don't pick up super low bass that well

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Old 17-08-2012, 04:19 PM   #10
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Re: finding the key of sounds

Might sound too much of a hassle but when I'm not too sure, I just throw in an instance of Melodyne and check it out that way. I can even change the notes on the fly to experiment. If I like it I will throw Melodyne away and do the transpose with other means.
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Old 18-08-2012, 12:57 PM   #11
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Re: finding the key of sounds

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Originally Posted by genaro_81 View Post
Might sound too much of a hassle but when I'm not too sure, I just throw in an instance of Melodyne and check it out that way. I can even change the notes on the fly to experiment. If I like it I will throw Melodyne away and do the transpose with other means.
This^^^^
(but I transpose in Melodyne....)
It's a bit of a pain in the a$$ but it's worth doing.

Every time my tune doesn't quite sound right and I can't work out why...drums out of key.
Harmonies not working? Check the drums!

People may tell you not to bother (some already have in fact), but IMO it makes the tune sound tighter.
Even little things like making sure the ring of your cymbals is in key can make a difference!
While you may want some dissonance to help build tension in places, in the wrong places it really messes with the composition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crookid Sight View Post
i thought all sounds have some sort of harmonics, would a kick just have less, i mean cause you see on a spectrum anyalser a kick can have a full frequancy range. might be a stupid question.
A kick will have harmonics like any other sound. What a lot of producers using drum samples forget is that the Drumkit is the instrument! Each drum is like a note on a piano and the whole instrument resonates when you play each note! This is why it is important for drummers to tune their kits, and producers to tune their drum samples!
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Old 21-08-2012, 05:53 PM   #12
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Re: finding the key of sounds

I say use your ears.

You can waste a lot of time mucking about with tuners and spectral analyzers if you like, my method goes a little more like this:

listen to your track elements (i usually loop a 8 to 16 measure chunk of the track) and subtly adjust your drum kit elements and samples until it sounds good to your ears.

I do this once i have a large part of the composition done, makes it easier (for me anyways) to detect how to tune something up.

Based on how many times this has come up recently, I feel like a lot of people getting into production make this harder than it needs to be and hope for some kind of magic to happen when he or she finally gets everything tuned "correctly".

Just use your ears, they'll tell you when you have it right. A few people here have already mentioned that they can hear when its correct.

When using samples that have complex harmonic content/overtones I think you can easily get away with having a "looser" tune than a sound that is more simple. For example it would be more critical to tune an 808 type sine wave-y kick (few harmonics, easier to determine root note) than it would be for a sample of a china cymbal.

my 2 cents anyways.

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Old 21-08-2012, 09:21 PM   #13
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Re: finding the key of sounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by chasedestroy View Post
Just use your ears.
As much as this is the obvious response, after reading:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crookid Sight View Post
having trouble getting all my sounds to sound in key
I simply assumed that in this particular case, using their ears definitely wasn't working out.

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