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Tuning Drums To Key Of Song

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Studdy, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Is anyone tuning here tuning there kick drum to the key of the song? (Or any drums for that matter) Or are most of you tuning the drums to where they simply just sound good? I have a tunebot and was wondering if people were using it to tune to the song, but the i guess the drum sound would change on a song to song basis, so i guess im not really sure what im asking... Maybe one of our drum experts can chime in.... uh emmm, Dave Piatek, JeffTD ;)


    Also a touch on topic, are any of you mixing signals under drums. Example using metric halo Thump or alike to put the proper keyed frequency tucked under the drum.

    Cheers guys
     
  2. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    No. Tune them so they sound good in context. That's way too much to fuckin worry about. What do you do if there's a key change in the song? Fuck that.
     
  3. He's Dead, Jim

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    Never understood this idea. If everything is theoretically in tune, it would seem empirically that the drums would get buried in the mix by clashing directly with the guitar and bass.
     
  4. rapucore

    rapucore i really hate spiders

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  5. MoTang

    MoTang Member

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    I think this comes down to the ever famous line of "use your ears, not your eyes".
     
  6. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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  7. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    Doesn't make much sense to me. It would either imply that all your songs are in the same key with no modulation whatsoever or that you need to tune the drums each time the key changes. It's one of those ideas that look great in theory but are pretty retarded in practice.
     
  8. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    I think my question related more so to the kick drum and the root note of the song, this really came up when playing with metric halo plugin Thump. You pick a frequency to play when the kick drum hits (or anything) when playing with it I noticed I really wished my kick had been recorded to the same note I was using in thump.

    Side note, so is it safe to say when most of guys are tracking drums you pay little attention to notes and numbers, you just try to make the drums sound the best they can, regardless if in theory they are "out of tune". Because currently that what I do, they might be in tune but it's an all ear thing, my biggest problem is there is more than one way to tune a drum set, example would be listening to bands like rage against the machine the snare drums on some of those tracks were super tight and poppy when I personally thought the songs were thick and beefy enough to support and more thick normal snare sound, but still years later the tracks sound good with that poppy snare. So I guess my starting point is the most difficult when dealing with drummers who don't have their sound yet and not a ton of time to just play around when you need to track.

    Cheers guys.
     
  9. SocialNumb

    SocialNumb Damn Christians!

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    For what it's worth, if it's worth anything, in a lot of electronic music some people take to the practice of tuning the kick to the key of the song if it has a lot of tonal character (Tonality) to it. If not they tend not worry about it.
     
  10. metaldiecast

    metaldiecast Metal Manager

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    I also have a TuneBot, and usually only use it on toms with notes. But for snare and kickdrum I usually tune them according of the context. If it's for metal recording I use high tuning in both and adding a trigger to the kick. If it's for jazz, low tuning.
     
  11. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Can you elaborate on this a touch? Cheers.
     
  12. smy1

    smy1 Member

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    SocialNumb is right. In musical styles where the kick actually rings out, it usually influences the tonality and bass/kick clash when the kick is tuned "off".

    In electro I always tune my kicks to the song or the song to the kick, depending on what is the important element. It makes A LOT of difference. Same goes for hiphop where superlong 808s regularly are used instead of bass to anchor the key of the song.

    In rock the kick is mainly a click with some small amount of bass and due to the very short duration of the sound and the usually large scoop in the midrange, you can get away with not tuning the kick.

    Try this: take a non processed kickdrum sample and boost the 400-800hz area a lot with a wide Q. Then program a midi bass to play just one long note on loop while the kickdrum is programmed to play 4/4 straight. While bass and kick play, tune the kick sample up and down and due to the low-mid boost you should be able to clearly hear a tonality in the kickdrum in relation to the bass.
     
  13. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    This was definitely a popular practice among rock producers in the 80's and 90's. It's not an accident that the toms on "In the Air Tonight" are a melodic instrument. The problem is you'd need the time to do it, the money to have extra heads and drum sizes to make it work and a song where it was really worth it.
     
  14. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    This is more or less my idea on it. Tune the drums so they sound good together and ring out like they're supposed to, or how you want them to, first and foremost. If you have the time+budget and/or are tracking music that'd benefit it enough (ie not metal), then it could be something cool to try.
     
  15. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Are those real drums in that song? For some reason I always thought it was drum machine.
     
  16. Plendakor

    Plendakor Member

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    Tune those drums to the key, period. Why would you want to have a dissonance coming from a tom that's half a step up/down ??? Same thing for the kick, where it doesn't have to be tuned to the ROOT. You're "always" half a step away from a note that will fit. As I can see, opinions differ. If you have the means and the time to bother, why not :)
     
  17. jeid

    jeid Terribad

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    I tried it, it made little to no difference to my ears. I think I tuned the kick and floor to the root and then the snare and rack tom to the 4th and 5th note. The snare ended up sounding like shit and the toms were awful. The kick sounded good.

    Tuned them up higher and it sounded much better. It's not a bad idea in theory as it might get you close to what you like, but get the kit in tune and sounding good with the other drums.
     
  18. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    it's a drum machine loop for most of the song but at the end it's a kit. There was a mix article about that song that's actually pretty great. I think some guys are missing a key component which is that lots of pop/rock songs are one key with no accidentals a so if you have 3 drum kits to choose from and a drum tech it's totally doable. For our style and budgets it's silly but it has its place.
     
  19. Machinated

    Machinated Member

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    its best to try it and see for yourself. I'll usually do it if it gets annoying that its not in tune with the song. anything with long held sustained notes that are a key component in the song are more likely to need tuning.
     

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