Changing root note of sample?

Is it possible to change the root note of a sample? I know you can change the note that the T# pad triggers and you can shift the trig keys up and down in chromatic mode -24 to +24 but can you shift the actual root note of the sample?

In the sequence I’m working on I need to go lower than -24 on the sample but I do not need to go above the root so if I could shift the root lower (an octave) I would be able to get everything down.

Workaround would be to shift it down an octave before importing it but that could get tedious.

Up & down on the pitch knob are semitones aren’t they? So -24 is two octaves down. If your source sample is C3 then -24 is C1. So anywhere in between would be changing the root note. Though you only have one note I’d imagine in a monophonic track unless you are sampling chords then ignore the above.

Yeah I get that but pitch and keyboard are tied. So if you drop pitch by -24, yes your root will be C3 when you play C5 but you won’t be able to play lower than C5.

I’ve spoken to tech support and they confirmed that what I was looking for isn’t possible at the time.

From a technical point of view, of course it is not possible, because there is nothing like a “root note” to start with in the first place. All there is, is an unaltered snippet of audio (which can be anything from a “real note” up to just random noise) and this snippet can be transposed up and down a given number of steps.

How far it can be transposed up and down is limited by the software mainly for sound quality reasons. The Octatrack, for example, supports only ±12, so you can call yourself already lucky with ±24 … :wink:

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Yeah I’m understanding that now because sounds are handled at the track level, not the sample level. What is frustrating is that pitch is tied to the keyboard and they are assuming that everything is sampled at C5 (which it’s not). If you loaded in a few different samples at varying pitches (C2, G4, D6) - everything is assumed to be C-5 because that’s where the sample engine sticks the samples. If you try to adjust the samples to fit in the proper location they were sampled in by modifying Pitch, you have to do it in the opposite direction (eg C2 to fit at C2 would need to be pitched up +24) - at this point playing C2 on M:S would trigger the note at it’s intended pitch at the correct note.

If you’re playing chromatically using an external MIDI keyboard to trigger the internal samples, again, everything is played from C4-C6. But the problem lies in that if you use Pitch to adjust the sample to fit in the proper spot on the keyboard, you’re cutting off your range that it can be played. (Pitch a sample up +24, the highest you could play on the keyboard would be C5)

This makes the task of doing something like using sample locks to trigger a multi sampled instrument difficult. Yeah I get that the product isn’t designed to be doing that in the first place but still.

I think I was under the impression the device could do much more than it’s capable of doing. The more I use it the more shortcomings I’m finding (outside of the already mentioned requests).

The best practice across elektron devices has been to throw sample of different octaves of C into the device. This way the sample will always function appropriately when used chromatically and it gives you the necessary extended ranges on the pitch.

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Thanks for this. It’s my first Elektron device and it’s not really apparent to be used by this. I need to remember that it’s not a sampler, it’s a sequencer with sample playback.

Still on the fence whether I’m going to hang onto it though.

You need to think differently here. They are not assuming any absolute position from a chromatic point of view, but they provide a relative pitch range for the given sample of ±24 halfsteps. This range is midi-wise mapped around C5, because this way even on small keyboards you can play this range without shifting octaves up and down. But that doesn’t mean that a MIDI C5 is really a C5 note. It’s just the unaltered sample and the MIDI mapping is nothing more than a control scheme for relative pitch changes.

But, yeah, keyboard play wasn’t a main design goal of this machine. Otherwise they would support to move at least the MIDI mapping around.


Yes it’s the thinking differently part that’s difficult when you’ve worked in a different method your entire music making time…lol…

Changing the MIDI mapping is more or less what I was looking for when I said change root note. This effectively changes where the sample is mapped to on the keyboard.

Thanks for your replies!

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