Kick drum tuning

Hello I’ve just watched the Mix Fundamentals course by Marc Mozart and I discovered a thing I didn’t know. I’m pretty new to mixing and music production. My question/doubt is the following: is it really necessary to tune the kick drum to the key of the song I’m producing?

Unless it a long sustained kick,not really. Most kicks don’t have a consistent pitch. I guess if it’s noticeably out of tune then do it.


If you are looking to tune Kicks or any type of percussion, I strongly recommend trying out Waves Torque.
I personally use it even when not requiring tuning if I want to emphasize some low end i.e.

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It seems to be genre specific, even then it’s not always necessary. There’s plenty of atonal percussion in music, the kick doesn’t have to be an exception.

If it is a longer kick and does create more of a sustained tone you can begin to argue that its role is no longer as a “percussion instrument” but as a bass. In any case, you may need to still tune it.

If you don’t have access to the actual instrument, real, or virtual, you can always opt to do as Adi says and use Torque.

You don’t always have to tune to the root note either. Tuning to the fifth, the third or a note common to all chords are other options consider. If the music modulates key, tuning a kick will most likely be a problem and you’re better off sticking to short kicks as you won’t be able to reliably tune it to a note that will work.

Personally I’ll choose the option closest to the original tone and if that doesnt work out, try the “next closest” note.

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