Tuning samples

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lem
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Tuning samples

Post by lem » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:57 pm

Hi peeps,

In preperation for a liveset I was making synth sounds in Simpler using recordings I had made of stuff around my room. I mentioned in another thread that my favorite sounds have come from twanging a hacksaw blade. I was spending a lot of time tweaking around these sounds and making rompler style 'synths'. Thing is I spent so much time tweaking around with these sounds I left myself very little time to actually jam with them. Only to find that when I did and several 'synths' are playing together, that it sounds bad like they are out of tune.
The thing is I spent a lot of time with a tuner plugin and melodyne getting the 'synths' in tune. I thought they were in tune. But it was only after repeatedly playing the 'synths' I noticed that they are out of tune. Then I found that melodyne and the tuner plugin define completely different notes.

I'm wondering if there are any better ways to tune the samples in my rompler? I know a while back AK mentioned something about if a sample is so many samples in length then that is a 'C'. Although i can't really do this inside Simpler, it would at least be something to go on. But I also wonder if it would strip too much character or movement from the sounds..
(Btw, I do know from my tweaking that changing the length alters the pitch. The length stays static when I am playing back my patches)


I'm kinda fussing about it because the rompler sounds really good when notes are played in isolation, and I know I could make a good track out of them. But I want to use the sounds live and if they arn't in tune, jamming just sounds awful.

I would appreciate any help or relevant experience you guys have on things like this.
Thanks in advance! :)

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Re: Tuning samples

Post by tone-def » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:41 pm

You just have to do it by ear and piano. These sounds might also not have a consistent pitch which would make them hard to tune.

lem
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Re: Tuning samples

Post by lem » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:06 am

Well the samples are about 3-5 cycles long, and I decreased the loop length until it seems to hold a steady pitch.

I think the sound are out of tune by cent's, rather than semitones, which I find quite difficult to hear properly. especially sounds with a lot of harmonic content.

Its not really a problem I first picked up on. Initially it all sounded fine, but the more time I spent with it the more it seemed to sound wrong. Then I changed to plugin synth sounds and everything fit much better.

I'm wondering if the fact these are organic sounds mean they have lots of odd harmonics that are interfering with the tuner plugins (and my hearing!)

lem
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Re: Tuning samples

Post by lem » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:22 pm

I just found this website that seems to have loads of tips and mentions tuning quite a bit.

http://www.tweakheadz.com/Sampling_Tips.html

I will have a play and see what happens.

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Re: Tuning samples

Post by oblioblioblio » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:51 pm

if it's just cents I wouldn't stress about it. The Western Tuning system causes some intervals to be out by as much as 35 cents anyway from the mathematical ratios that they are trying to get to.

It's probably true that your tuner isn't going to work with samples, as tuners are designed to work with things like guitars where a single note contains a very predicatable harmonic content. Whereas found sounds are going to have lots of harmonics which are confusing to a tuner.

Sounds a bit like the kind of thing that you would stress about constantly, and then when someone else listens they think you're being fussy for worrying about it so much.

It's definitely worth paying attention to, becuase it's a well known musical phenomenon that something that sounds perfect on it's own might not work so well in harmony with other things, but I would just try to get it right by ear.

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Re: Tuning samples

Post by NoAffiliation » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:27 pm

melodyne

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Re: Tuning samples

Post by mehta » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:56 pm

I think it's possible to be a bit flexible with your tuning and important to do it by ear, but that sounds kinda like a vinyl purist sort of mentality now that I write it

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Re: Tuning samples

Post by lem » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:42 am

oblioblioblio wrote:if it's just cents I wouldn't stress about it. The Western Tuning system causes some intervals to be out by as much as 35 cents anyway from the mathematical ratios that they are trying to get to.

It's probably true that your tuner isn't going to work with samples, as tuners are designed to work with things like guitars where a single note contains a very predicatable harmonic content. Whereas found sounds are going to have lots of harmonics which are confusing to a tuner.

Sounds a bit like the kind of thing that you would stress about constantly, and then when someone else listens they think you're being fussy for worrying about it so much.

It's definitely worth paying attention to, becuase it's a well known musical phenomenon that something that sounds perfect on it's own might not work so well in harmony with other things, but I would just try to get it right by ear.
Haha, yes I know what u mean about stressing about nothing. But it kinda makes jams really unenjoyable. It would be a lot easier to deal with if I was making a 'track' like I used to. But now its all about not having to worry about things like tuning because its already been sorted. With the controls I have it will always sound good. With the synth sounds in there current state I have to worry about what the sequence is doing and the synths sound really seperate. When I switch back to my old plugin variant of the set everything sounds really together like different synth lines dancing around each other. Whereas in current form it sounds like one can dance but the other can't.
Maybe, like you said, its the harmonic content that is making it difficult to comprehend the synth parts.

Its a shame because the synths sound wicked in isolation :(

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