Tuning samples

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oblioblioblio
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Re: Tuning samples

Post by oblioblioblio » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:45 am

maybe you can try taking some harmonic content out of the synth parts? A single saw or square has a lot of harmonics, and maybe taking some of them out might leave a bit more room for the samples?

s.k.
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Re: Tuning samples

Post by s.k. » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:48 am

the reason is the (in)harmonic content of the material that you are looping! because of that additional content, richer samples could never be tuned precisely when looped. all you can tune is the fundamental, but if there's more on top of it - it will be looped and repeated too, which means it will give you a sense of another (its own) pitch. i think this is where your confusion comes from...

to check if this is the case - once looped, filter it down until only the fundamental is heard - you should be quite in tune now :)

lem
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Re: Tuning samples

Post by lem » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:58 pm

oblioblioblio wrote:maybe you can try taking some harmonic content out of the synth parts? A single saw or square has a lot of harmonics, and maybe taking some of them out might leave a bit more room for the samples?
The synth parts are looped samples. The only way to make the samples a single wave is to filter them down, then it kinda strips away the soul of it.
I used analog and operator in my intial liveset project because I had the idea of tweaking every parameter of them during a set, but after a while I realised that it was biting off more than I could chew when I am also trying to control beats and step sequences. Then I started using multiple instances of the plugins in racks, and it was doing odd things with my CPU and occassionally making my set drop out.

Then I was messing around with samples and making drum kits when I stumbled across some really nice 'synth' sound by looping field recordings. Then I sort of went crazy for a couple of days and then had a little rompler with 30 different 'synth' sounds that sounded tons better/different than any other synth I have. Although they still sounded very synthy (making up words now!) to me, almost like I could get Juno and 303 type sounds but I could also get pretty accurate acoustic sounds like choirs and guitars. All of which would seem familiar as synth sounds but with my own...roughness.
I then noticed how low the CPU usage was even when running a fair amount of polyphony, put several instances of the rompler-rack into my liveset and hey presto, no cpu spikes etc...
I was quite a while later that I actually noticed that it sounded a bit wrong when I was changing the sequences. Then the wrong got to annoying and I swapped back to Operator and Analog, the problem was gone and literally nothing could stop it form sounding right. I could do anything with the sequences, swap patches (and some of these patches are harmonically rich also) and it always sounded right.
s.k. wrote:the reason is the (in)harmonic content of the material that you are looping! because of that additional content, richer samples could never be tuned precisely when looped. all you can tune is the fundamental, but if there's more on top of it - it will be looped and repeated too, which means it will give you a sense of another (its own) pitch. i think this is where your confusion comes from...

to check if this is the case - once looped, filter it down until only the fundamental is heard - you should be quite in tune now :)
I don't think I had enough consideration for this when I was building my rompler sounds. If I filter the sounds right down I end up with all the life being sucked out and I get mostly just bass tones. I would like to be able to mix and match different sounds without much concideration for the upper harmonics although this is starting to look like bit of an impossibility. :(

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Re: Tuning samples

Post by AK » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:31 am

lem, I think sk just meant to check that the fundamental is correctly tuned when he talked about filtering. The trimming of samples *trick* would be pointless here, that thing was just for use with samplers with really short memory and involved reducing a sample to certain lengths/cycles and a file size of like 6kb. The waveform when looped would make a 'buzzing' noise, quite different from its original waveform sound and the 'buzzing' would resonate certain frequencies when trimmed to certain sample lengths, obviously then, some of these corresponded to chromatic notes. With yours though, it's obvious that the harmonic/inharmonic content is causing things to seem 'out of tune'. If that content is in the whole of the waveform, those intervals will remain regardless of how much trimming you do.

Some sounds, like percussive noises, are just more usable as static sounds and will never work across a keyboard range in a musical sense. Maybe some of your made samples are of this nature? ( just guessing as I havent heard them ) You could use an analyzer of some description and look out for the prominant frequencies produced and use an eq to make sharp reductions/and or boosts but it's anybodys guess as to how much this may affect the character of the original sound. At best though, at least you have some idea of the frequencies contained within the sample and can work your other sounds around it accordingly.

All the best.

lem
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Re: Tuning samples

Post by lem » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:57 pm

Thanks for the reply mate. I wasn't sure if this is the sorta thing was a common issue. Struggled to find that much info on it, although I wasn't really too sure what I had to search for!

Yes lots of the samples are percussive type sounds, some with no obvious pitch in there unlooped state. But looping so there is that buzzing type noise then filtering it a bit makes some really nice textures. Its just a shame that they don't tune together very well.
But even samples from my polysix don't tune too well, whereas when I 'write' a tune with it, it always sounds good.

To be honest with you, this is my first real foray into this kind of sampling. Rarely anything I do works first time! So I will just take what I have learnt from this to my next rompler project and hopefully have much more sucess. It helps just to vocalise the problems to be honest..

But thank you all for your help! 8)

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Re: Tuning samples

Post by hydrogen » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:03 pm

i don't really know what to say other than keep it real time. Maybe have the ability to tune your sampler in realtime so when it starts sounding out of tune you can tweak it a little bit.

Those upperharmonics will fuk you for sure. maybe write all your music in the same key?

i know I'm consistently tweak the tuning of my synths when writing a new track. for some reason this is just how i have to do it to keep the gear singing together.

Wish I had a better solution, may also be a good question on gearslutz or another forum?
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lem
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Re: Tuning samples

Post by lem » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:42 am

hydrogen wrote:i don't really know what to say other than keep it real time. Maybe have the ability to tune your sampler in realtime so when it starts sounding out of tune you can tweak it a little bit.

Those upperharmonics will fuk you for sure. maybe write all your music in the same key?

i know I'm consistently tweak the tuning of my synths when writing a new track. for some reason this is just how i have to do it to keep the gear singing together.

Wish I had a better solution, may also be a good question on gearslutz or another forum?
I'm fairly tone deaf tbh, I wouldn't reply on my tuning skills live. Thats why everything has to be bang on before I start.
I am writing all my music in the same key, the problem seems more pronounced on certain notes so I would probably be re-tuning every half bar! :lol:

I would ask on gearslutz but I get a bit sick of replies like "buy omnisphere"

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Re: Tuning samples

Post by AK » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:07 pm

You can try writing a track around a certain sample rather than having a sample afterwards which 'must' be fitted in. With 'found sounds' or self made samples of the kind you describe lem, there's no way of knowing beforehand what frequencies they might contain and whether they work in a musical capacity or not. I'm not sure how gearslutz can help either, there's nothing anyone can tell you what you don't already know and the the reason some of your homemade samples are difficult to work with is due to the harmonic/inharmonic content and obvious lack of raw music scale/temperament tuning to work in a given scale. That is, they are not 'instruments' and by their very nature, are not instantly going to be usable in any musical capacity without first making them so.

Ok, so you know all this but as to how you could possibly work with one of those sounds is a different matter. Lets say you had a certain sample you made, like the hacksaw twang or whatever and you want to use it. The first problem is trying to fit it into an already existing piece of music, without drastically altering the sample, it's potentially a very difficult thing immediately right there, liken it to trying to force a non diatonic chord to work in diatonic harmony - you can tune the root, but if the intervals create horrible dissonance with the existing music, you can't alter them without altering the chord shape. That is, repitching the root of that chord will never affect the music distance between each interval. ( I'm using this as an analogy to the harmonic/inharmonic content of a sample )

If it were me, I'd try this: Start with my sample, establish its fundamental pitch by using a low pass filter so as to hear it. ( I tune stuff like this against a sinewave ) And once you are happy the fundamental is pitched an mapped to a chromatic note you can move on to establish what other frequencies are prominant in the sample.

So then I'd remove the low pass filter and run the sample through a decent analyzer type tool to see what frequencies are most apparent. ( Steevio gave a link to a good one a while back but I don't have it any longer ) It shouldn't be too difficult to see what the main frequencies are and you can jot them down. I don't know if you have seen this page, but I find it indespensible for stuff like this - it's a note to frequency chart: here: http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html

By referencing there, you can see if any of the prominant frequencies fall on chromatic notes, you might find playing the sample on certain chromatic notes has some of those frequencies contained within it fall in quite nice. Might be a bit tedious though lol. And even if they don't, they are going to fall either sharp or flat of chromatic notes so if you are aware of them, nothing is stopping you tuning additional sounds accordingly. My point is though, it might be easier tuning and pitching things around the sample rather than trying to fit the sample into an existing bit of music.

Or maybe not. :lol: Just trying to help.

If you intend of using a sample as a percussive/static sound, that shouldn't cause much issue, most percussive sounds that are interesting contain lots of inharmonic content, by their very nature, that's what makes them percussive. Anyway, I'm intrigued. Any chance of hearing this hacksaw twang? I'm not gonna nick it, just really interested now.

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