In this video you’ll learn how to find the pitch of a kick in FL Studio. Kicks are always made on a certain key (or note). Sometimes you need to know this key to keep your song or kick-layering musically correct.
How to find the key of a kick
To find the pitch of your kick, just add your kick sample to the Channel Rack. The kick will be added via the Sampler. On the Sampler, click on the waveform of your kick with your right mouse button. Then select “Edit”. The kick sample gets “transferred” to the Edison plugin in FL Studio. With Edison you can find pitches of samples.
In Edison, just follow these steps:
- Right click on the waveform.
- Select “Regions”.
- Click “Detect pitch regions”.
Edison will now show you these orange marks. In the video example, the orange mark says “G2”. This means your kick’s pitch is at a G note. You’ve now successfully found your kick pitch.
How to find the RIGHT kick pitch
Sometimes Edison shows multiple marks with multiple different pitches or keys. This especially happens with EDM type of kicks. So, how do we know what the right kick pitch is if Edison shows different marks with different pitches?
In the last kick example in the video, there are 2 marks. The first says “F3”, the second says “F#2”. So, what is it? An F or F# kick?
When you get something like that, it’s typically the last mark. But why? Because the last mark detects the tail part of the kick. The tail part contains the fundamental frequency. The attack part has a pitch down “sweep”. This can result in different pitches being detected by Edison.
So, it depends on the kick sample. Sometimes Edison recognizes a bunch of pitches. The tail part is almost always the correct key. In this case F#.
Test your kick pitch
There’s a way to test if the kick plays at the pitch you think, but you have to use your ears a little bit. It’s a different but more subjective way of finding the right kick pitch.
To test your kick pitch, just make a simple sound with any synth you want and draw a few “off beat” notes on the Piano Roll. If you think your kick is at a G note, simply draw a few G notes with your synth. It’s best to pick lower notes to create a heavier sound. Lower notes contain more lower harmonics. This makes your test easier.
Don’t forget to also draw a few kick notes, so both the kick and synth play together. You might want to remove some lower frequencies of the synth sound. Else the kick and sound are colliding in that region, making it harder to hear.
Now listen if the G sound goes well with the G kick by using your ears… Put your synth on different notes and play with it. What happens when you change the notes of the sound? Does it still sound musically correct? You can clearly hear when it sounds false if you put the notes on the wrong key.
With this method you can check to see if you got the right pitch for your kick. You could also just use this method to find the pitch of a kick. But that works best with long-tail kicks.
Use Edison to detect pitches
TIP: You can also use Edison’s pitch detection for other types of samples. But it works best for samples with lower frequencies, like kicks and basses.
So, use Edison to detect pitches objectively. Use a calibrated sound and your ears to detect pitches subjectively.
For this lesson, the following FL Studio stock plugins were used:
- 3x Osc
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