How do you tune your drums?

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    • #21550
      ,Blackart
      Participant

      Hi all

      I’m interested to know what notes (frequencies) you aim for as fundamental transients when tuning your drum kits? (kick, snare, hh etc.)
      Also what method of transposition are you using. Frequency shifting (via plug ins) or basic transpose?

      subtle change make the big difference

    • #21552
      ,Sunken Forest
      Participant

      This video by Icicle had some wicked advice in regards to tuning electronic kicks to organic kicks. He goes into snares too along with some processing.

    • #21637
      ,RAGG1
      Participant
    • #21645
      ,Scartip
      Participant

      Yes RAGG1, those graphs are really handy.

      I sometimes get a completely pure sine wave in a simple synth with no harmonics (Logic es2 for instance) and check the exact frequency of in a spectrum analyzer, this is particularly useful if your dealing with specific notes and wanting to tune your drums to this note.

      Also getting a sampler such as kontakt/maschine/exs24 or any other software you can import samples into and tune your drums this way.

      A lot of drum machines (again, using maschine as a good example) allow you to very easily pitch drums to specific notes though kontakt is awesome for fine-tuning.

      hope this helps!

      Scartip.

    • #22425
      ,Blackart
      Participant

      Greets lads thank you for your comments!!

      i’m pretty familiar with the notes and their corresponding frequencies.
      Even without a chart i can recognize the notes behind the transient by just using Spectrum (Live9) or FabFilter2
      My question was more about what particular notes are you aiming for when you tune them?
      For example if you plan to wrote your tune in F major are you gonna tune your kick on F2(87.31Hz) and your snare on F4(349.23Hz)
      I feel that there is some kind of unwritten law where you need to make sure everything you add to your tune is root in key… and drums are no exceptions.

      Your thoughts?

      subtle change make the big difference

    • #22522
      ,Scartip
      Participant

      Blackart i completely misinterpreted your question, apologies.

      I would suppose thats open to interpretation in terms of what you think would sound appropriate, my complete honest opinion i dont think its massively important to go too deep (espeically beyond the decimal place!) Though i would see no harm in being intricate and tuning percussive parts to the exact frequency – what matters is that they have some relative harmonic relation and trust your ears!

      I’m not the most advanced with music theory so you may deem this ‘advise’ to be useless but go as deep in or vague as you see required man. If it sounds ok and looks fine on a spectrum, leave it! No need to fix what isn’t fucked

    • #22525
      ,Blackart
      Participant

      indeed!
      I’ve been trusting my ears since day one my production journey. But sometimes i get lost tuning drums because i get fatigue during the process of creating a break. Therefore i want to shorten the time and save my resources spent on tuning drums by just identify the root note of each hit and adjust it to the root key of my tune.

      subtle change make the big difference

    • #22593
      ,Collider
      Participant

      Hey Blackart, I think the problem with tuning to the root key is that you are so limited to certain frequencies. I was having this problem a long time ago where i was tuning them to the root like you but it was not the frequency that worked for that drum hit or the drums as a whole, So from some analysis i started seeing that producers were pitching there drums to other notes within the key signature for their song. I think most use either root or the perfect fifth and that generally gives you a enough options maybe a third too not exactly sure. But for me just having the root and the fifth is enough. I think maybe even doing it like this using different notes can thicken up your mix as playing one note on a piano then playing a chord on a piano. But as others say if it sounds good it is good 🙂

    • #22692
      ,Robert Kramer
      Participant

      For my kick, I almost always hit on the tonic of the track, but the “pressure point” (i.e. the area around 100-120 Hz where it punches, before hitting the sub-range) is typically the third of the scale of the track, or something close that hits around those frequencies. I use that Kick 2 plugin to make the bodies of my kicks, and layer them with various Slate Drums kicks, process, resample, etc. That’s usually it for kicks – creative processing, sure, but no re-pitching, at least not yet.

      Same method with snares, except I use that drum synth Mefjus shows in that masterclass (I forget the name), along with Slate Drums again. I usually tune them to the third of the scale, process, blend, resample, etc. Then, I pitch them up to the fifth of the scale with Ableton’s “Beat” warp mode (so from Ab to C in F minor, for example). I find the fifth hits in the “pocket” between jump-up and neuro style snares… not too much of either – just a clean punch. I rarely re-pitch stuff, mostly ’cause Ableton’s algorithm isn’t great… but for snares, if you don’t go too extreme, it usually preserves it well. I also have pitch-shifting plugins and software, but they usually mess with the transient too much to warrant it. And the reason I don’t do it in Slate is ’cause it tends to “break up” a bit when you push it too far, and most snares hit around F-Ab by default anyways (it’s very “rock” sounding – made to punch around 200Hz).

      Hi-hats, I usually “tune” via EQ tbh… I should experiment with re-pitching them though, cause they’re usually not transient-rich in my tunes, more of a wash of noise that moves in time with the beat. But changing them up with EQ can “re-pitch” them in a psycho-acoustic sort of way.

      As for transients, I’ve found this video helpful (and funny to boot):

      That’s one method of synthesizing transients to layer with snares. I used to do that… now I’m lazy and use the SPL Transient Designer+, which lets you select the frequency center where you want to boost the transient. I usually add it in around 1000-2500Hz for a snare… partly on recommendations by way of a MethLab article on “the perfect snare,” and then by listening to where it sounded good and limiting the range on the Ableton rack’s macro to that range. As for where to add it on kicks… that’s something I’m still trying to figure out. I find kicks are more varied than snares, at least when it comes to transient placement in the spectrum.

      Hope that helps!

      • #22803
        ,Ian
        Participant

        If you are pitching single drum hits in Ableton it’s best to turn the warp off, then they will pitch like a sampler, without timestretch artifacts. Or you could load them into a Simpler/Sampler and pitch inside there.

    • #22805
      ,Blackart
      Participant

      @Collider – I guess most of the time when tuning drums by ear i’m ending with the fifth of the scale i’m using.
      Large up for the GenieDub keep them coming!!

      @Robert Kramer – I don’t always layer drums and the reason is I’m aiming for more minimal sound rather than big splashy snares. When i do layer drums tho i pitch them to correspond each other. The method tires me a lot..

      Here is a video where transposing is done via Frequency Shifter therefore it reserves some of the higher frequency material on the actual hit and not sounding dull:

      subtle change make the big difference

    • #22891
      ,Collider
      Participant

      aeee! Thanks Blackart. That was a nice watch man very interesting. logic 9 doesnt really have a good pitch shifter :(. The dulling you get when pitching down was always just a thats what happens in my head so i would only ever pitch up. mind blown!!

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