Tuning into 432 with Live

To play music in 432 you must retune all your synths and presets. This might seem overwhelming idea at first, but it actually takes very little time at the beginning of your tracks. Once you get a library of instruments tuned, then it will also be that much easier.

The simplest way to tune to 432hz is to just detune each of your instruments. By detuning you lower the first note, from 440-432 for example.  since A=432 Live will then base every note from that point forward. You can not just lower the pitch at the end because that will not retune it, it will just lower the overall pitch.

This image shows the different tuning you could use for notes found in the Equal Temperament. As you can see when you move from 440 to 432 you are lowering the pitch by -8hz. You can also see that just 2 notes down 440hz Equal Temperament are 494. If you -8hz to that we do not get 484.90.  The reason why is equal temperament is a ratio that moved up from the root of A. A ratio of “2 11/12” from 440 is very different than a ratio of “2 11/12” at 432. Because of this, you can not return the finished song. You must tune the instruments correctly to start with.

If we detune a synth or sample though in Live by -32cents then we are in fact detuning the root note to 432 and it will take the ratio from there to form the rest of the scales/octaves. Now let’s look at a list of synths/samplers that can be retuned to 432.

List of Ableton Devices:

Collision: For collision look under the Resonator Parameter. Here change the Fine Tune to -32ct

Analog: For analog change the Detune Setting to -0.32 for the Oscillator. If you are using 2 Oscillator’s remember to change both of them.

Electric: For Electric look in the Global Section. Here change the Detune to -0.32

Sampler: For sampler look for the Detune Parameter. Change this to -32ct

Simpler: For sampler look for the Detune Parameter. Change this to -32ct

Tension: For Tension look in the Keyboard Section. Here change the Detune Parameter to -0.32

Operator: Operator is a little different from the others. The fine knob for the oscillators only raises the pitch, but does not go into the negatives. To lower the pitch you must lower the Course Knob first and then raise the Fine Tune Parameter to bring it back up just below the original octave.

That is a list of all the Instruments in Ableton Live. If you are using Drum Racks you will have a bunch of Samplers or Simplers in a Drum Rack. Just change the Detune on each of those instruments.

One tip that can save you a lot of time is Copy to Siblings. To do this you should first edit the Detune to -32. Then Right Click, or 2 finger click, the Detune Parameter, or any parameter will work but in this case the Detune. Now you will see an option Copy Value to Siblings (#).  This means it will copy whatever this value is to all other instruments within the rack.


Worlds to Inspire:

Now that we have looked at how to tune in Ableton Live we have opened the world of possibilities. I have created a huge collection of pre-made instruments in 432 as well as templates to help you in your musical path.  Check out the 432 Essentials Live Pack for a huge collection of instruments created in 432.

Check out this video walk through on the 432 Essentials Live Pack:


Check out the other articles in this series: