Tuning drums samples

Do you guys change the tuning of your drum sounds, so the tonal part of it will stay in key with the song? Its quite interesting and can change the sound of the whole song.

Sometimes when it fits the music, when certain hits have tonal characteristics and not changing pitch clashes with the other sounds. For example with ride cymbals, toms and other longer decaying sounds…have used the free gvst to determine the pitch and later also this tool with varying success;


Thx I’ll check this tool.

Yeah it can produce interesting effects to take care of the “percieved pitch” of percussion samples. Somehow almost all such samples can have some tonal charakter, even hihats, but sometimes it’s hard to auto-analyse this, I like going by ear & impression for such stuff. But not really in perfect key with the key of the song, I rather let myself inspire by tonal qualities of e.g. african drums, and try to emulate similliar effect with tuned bd/snr, and choose the key of melodies/bass to enhance the effect.

It’s just sad that in detail tuning every single drum hit gets hard with chopped up breakbeats. I found you seldom can tune the drum hits individually, because of the grit and hats and such in every sample you’ll notice the pitch differences too hard for it working perfect. But I’ve for example tuned 2 different breakbeats that would be layered so they somehow play together in tonal ways, which they wouldn’t do so well when both would be used at their default speed. Like this each break can bring tonal properties that can lead to other musical decisions like what key a “break” part of the song where a secondary breakbeat is dominant could be.

Other than that for breakbeats I like to play with the general sample playback speed of the break so it fits the idea of the tune in better ways. Like for Triphop you’d slow down a break a lot, or oldschool jungle and such you’d speed it up. It can change lots of the impression the breakbeat has when listening. I also like repitching drum machine samples and other onehit drum stuff for similliar purposes.

P.S.: Try experimenting with this: have a drum sample, listen closely for “ringing” type sounds in it, even if they’re very subtle. The more “uneven” those sounds are, the better. Then use EQ with high q high db narrow peaks at those frequencies. Maybe even a second peak, either one ovtave higher or lower that the first - experiment with making the hz value of the second peak slightly “out of tune”, or putting 2 peaks right next to each other and a third with lower q in the middle that compesates the gain boost of the first 2 amplifying each other. Filter out other stuff that lessens the experience. Voila, melodic snares, hats etc. You can even change the position of those peaks rhythmically to make it more melodic. If Q and Gain are high enough, you don’t even need the base ringing, the filter in the EQ will ring by itself - but very synthetic/anorganic, so I don’t like that too much. Can also be made with reso filters. You can change a “thud” style bassedrum with little tonal bass ringing a real tonal Hooomp one at a desired frequency with a hpf with low cutoff and high resonance. Tuning drums this way is even more fun than just playing with sample playback speed.