Tuning sounds in a pattern


I wanted to know how are you tunning your sounds on the Rytm (mk1 here) because I have been doing it just with my ears and now I’d like to have a more reliable and recise method…

On the “trigger” menu I have a “note” parameter with an integer value:

  1. Should I trust that the first (and usually default) value of 0 is a C note? If not, how should I know what’s the note without having to compare with some other instrument?

  2. I think this is changing by semi-tones (ex: 0=C, 1=C#, 2=D). Am I right?

(In the synth menu there is another Tuning function, I’m guessing that’s fine-tune).

  1. Similarly, I’d like to know what is the cut frequency of a Filter (Filter menu). Units are in integer values. Is it possible to know the exact freq?

Thanks in advance!!!

There’s a tuning table available here that you’ll find helpful. You could also load a single-cycle waveform into the sample slot and use that as a reference pitch to tune to.

The integer note values on the trigger page are supposed to be semitones but a) you’ll need to tune the voices first and b) many of the machines only have 1-2 octaves of useful pitch tracking before going out of tune.


Hi Estragon, thank you for the table and the idea for tunning with a sine wave, I’ll produce a set of samples and have them in the machine to do that.

I though there would be an easier way but I like the challenge, at the end I will need to tune my own ears hehe…

Thanks !

When I’m jamming on a new idea, I generally just tune roughly by ear. Then I’ll wait for a day that I’m not feeling very creative but still want to do something productive and fine tune each sound using a DAW tuner.

I’d like to get into the habit of building nicely tuned kits/sounds in advance but it’s still not part of my workflow

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This was a huge time saver once I did this as unfortunately not all drum voices can achieve every note. For example some can, for example hit A but will only get you 15 cents short or flat of Ab, then B in tune and C not able to be bang in tun etc.

So found that if I made a groove and went back to it to tune properly - it was pretty frustrating to not be able to actually get them all playing in tune notes.

So to get round this I made an autoload project for Overbridge (which opens automatically each time I start a new project in Ableton Live), in which patterns A01-8 are all kits in A, A09-16 are all A#, B01-16 are all in B, C01-08 are all in C, C09-16 are all in C# and so on.

That way I have 8 kits ready to go in any key - and can quickly copy sounds from other kits, and don’t have to find out at a later date that some machines (particularly the older ones) won’t actually tune correctly.

It’s my main gripe with AR that tuning can be frustrating, so doing this stopped it being an issue for me.

Obviously a day or so work making the kits in the first place, so may not suit everyone; but I love doing prep so that when it comes to making music you can remain creative without technical problems stopping you mid flow.

And as I always monitor through Live - whenever I make a new sound I always check the note it’s playing (tune it if required, if slightly off) and then save the sound with the note in the name - which helps when trying to do more stuff on the fly, as now in my AR I have lots of kicks, toms, snares all with the pitch of the sound in it’s name.


What’s about using one of the freely available tuning (phone/tablet) apps?

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I really like the idea of saving tuned sounds with note references!

I started experimenting a bit tunning kicks and found that using the Span plugin from Voxvengo (a free specteum analyzer) you can check for the highest peak and see the note that corresponds to that frequency. Then youn can tune and fine tune until you get the exact note you need.

Now I’d like to add a filter to the kick and set the freq, for example, one octave up so I can add resonance and see what happens, but still cant get the exact freq vale from the AR’s filter section…

Do you think this may be possible at all? Iff not I’ll end up doing it with a plugin over the audio…