Free tool: ThaLoops BPM Tempo to KEY Converter

What is good sounding music? The answer to this question will be always more or less subjective, and the sound being impalpable adds to the mystique. Various cultures and civilizations have tried to understand and use it as a tool. For example, using sound as the main “ingredient” in creating an eerie atmosphere during rituals. Or, nowadays, having music play in the hotel lobbies for people to relax. Another example would be using music for the military purposes – heavy metal songs used for torture.

Aside of impalpable effects on people, another cool thing about music is that it can be mathematically explained (thank you Pythagoras (569-475 BC)) Pythagoras analysed the ugly sounding intervals and nice sounding ones. Those pleasing sounding interval combinations turned into the whole harmonic system that we are using today. Of course, from the artistic standpoint, it’s a fine subjective line between what’s a pleasing sound and what’s not. But from a mathematical standpoint, it’s clear what resonates well and sounds good on speakers. It’s measurable.

All this mathematical music sorcery raise many questions and ideas on how we can make music sound better with the help of numbers. In order for your mix to sound good, sound engineers make sure that all song’s elements are in harmony with each other. They should take their own space in the frequency spectrum and resonate with each other – pleasantly. That’s why we tune our kicks to the key of the song, cut the low-end to give bass more space, tune the vocals, etc. And the tools we’re using, we control them with numbers. +3 dB at 5200hz, pitch the snare – 2 semitones down, hi-pass that synth at 315hz.

And what about tempo and key of the song? Should we make a beat “mathematically tuned” to the tempo of the song? Theoretically, with mathematically correct tempo and key you are much closer to make your song sound and resonate better – especially in electronic music production. That doesn’t mean this is an ultimate rule, but it helps, especially if you are not a pro sound engineer.

That’s why we created this tempo to key converter tool that recommends a key for a tempo. This tool is based on the following formula:

BPM x Quantize/60 = frequency in hz.

Here’s an example for tempo of 130bpm:

130bpm x 16/60 = 34,66hz. 34,65hz is C#.

Based on the formula above, C# (minor or major) is a mathematically matching key for music produced at 130bpm. Besides that, we’ve noticed that a fifth interval down also works well. That means, you could try producing in keys C# or G#. Or you can produce in C# and tune your kick sample down to G#.

This tool is especially helpful for those who are starting out in music production. It helps to avoid low end mixing mistakes, especially in the sub frequencies. Side-chaining the kick with bass becomes more precise and easier to control. Also, it helps to find out which 808 sub notes to strike on the downbeats for the maximum impact on your speakers!

There are many songs that don’t match the BPM to KEY criteria, but here’s the list of songs that do:

Lil Was X – Old Town Road (C#, 136bpm)
Beyonce – Halo (B, 80bpm)
Beyonce – Run the world (C, 127bpm)
Beyonce – If I Were a Boy (F#, 90bpm)
Rihanna – Umbrella (C#, 174bpm)
Rihanna – Live Your Life (B, 160bpm)
The Weeknd – Blinding Lights (C#, 171bpm)
Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling (C, 128bpm)
Avicii – Hey Brother (G, 125bpm)
Nelly Furtado, Timbaland – Promiscuous (A#, 114bpm)
Timbaland, Drake – Say Something (B, 80bpm)
Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You (F#, 115bpm)
Backstreet Boys – Everybody (A#, 108bpm)
Katy Perry – California Gurls (C, 125bpm)
Justin Bieber – Beauty and the Beat (C, 128bpm)
Fergie – Fergalicious (G#, 129bpm)
Queen – Another One Bites The Dust (F, 110bpm)
The Chainsmokers – Don’t Let Me Down (B, 160bpm)

Go to the tempo to key converter tool and find the perfect key for your songs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *