I have a vocal that is in Eb minor, I wanted to pitch it to F major. Can anybody help me on how to do it? I have Little Alterboy but it does not help me much. I tried changing the cents from the pitch knob available in the sample as well but increasing 200 cents takes me up only 2 semitones and that makes the key of the sample F minor and I need the sample in F major.

  • 4
    You could do it as a musician would - by changing basically the 3rds and 6ths from the original minor key to become major diatonic notes. Then move everything up by one tone.
    – Tim
    May 28 '21 at 7:56
  • 1
    Maybe you could try to pitch the vocals one semitone down. That would get you D minor, which would be the relativ minor to F major (same notes in the scale, but different order).
    – Olli
    May 28 '21 at 8:04
  • This is firmly within the purview of Melodyne & probably little else.
    – Tetsujin
    May 28 '21 at 8:36
  • Maybe Autotune or Waves Tune it to a different scale, if an F minor --> F major mutation is really wanted. :) May 28 '21 at 11:02

The quick answer is that it won't work because you can't transpose between major and minor tonalities. You'll need a different kind of program to get that kind of thing done, or it can be done manually with experience (more on this later).

That said, it is possible to exploit the phenomenon of relative keys to get something pretty close to what the question asks for: By shifting the pitch of the Eb minor sample down a semitone, it will be in D minor, which is the relative minor key of F major. Thus the sample could be placed quite convincingly in F major after that modification.

However, this is slightly different from what would occur when shifting normally between major keys. Suppose the first note of the original sample is Eb. The note Eb happens to be the tonic of Eb minor, also known as scale degree 1. Now, apply the shift to get to D minor and the first note is now D. Since D minor is the relative key of F major, let's suppose we've placed our D minor sample in F major. This should work pretty well, and all the notes will align with the key. Now the first note of our pitch-shifted sample is D, and the note D is the tonic of D minor as well. However, that note D is the submediant of F major rather than the tonic - in other words, we successfully put the sample into F major by using the relative minor, but this relative movement also changed what positions in the scale the notes of the sample occupy (our original scale degree 1 of Eb is now scale degree 6 for F).

This kind of change may or may not be desirable, depending on the musician/composer/producer's subjective vision of what the music should sound like. I mention relative keys because relative shifts are a very simple task for a computer program, since it just corresponds to a multiplication of the frequency of all notes by the same constant ratio. No matter how complex the music is, transposition is an objective and algorithmic process.

The other way to go between tonalities is via parallel keys, which is not as easy for a computer to accomplish (or human, although musicians can get very good at it). This transformation edits specific pitch classes of the music to essentially force the music into a major key; think of it like rounding numbers to the nearest integer in math, but rounding notes into the major scale instead. Not only is this a more difficult programming exercise, it is also subjective when music gets more complicated than simple diatonic notes. For example, how would you convert Rimsy-Korsakov's *Flight of the Bumblebee" into a major key? Or the Legend of Zelda title theme into a minor key? Or any blues music, which will almost always blend major and minor key elements?

It's possible to have a program simply map every possible note onto a note of the major scale, but often times that can lead to a less-musical result when non-diatonic notes and chords appear. Melodic contours might change, and carefully-planned harmonies can stop making sense - the intent of the piece starts to get lost without some subjective guidance. As a result, this parallel process can have varying rates of success if done via software and it may or may not be desirable for the sample in question.

So if the sample needs to go from Eb minor to F major, then this can be achieved with a transposition in conjunction with either a relative transformation or a parallel transformation (same pitch classes vs. same tonic). But there's no way to bump a piece of music from a major key to a minor key or vice versa by using transposition alone!

  • 1
    I agree with most of this, and transposition isn't the appropriate word, as you say. I used to change from minor to major and vice versa with choirs - sometimes on the hoof - without much problem. Mainly (as in comment) changing notes 3 and 6. And sometimes harmonies. But it worked. Not saying technology is the answer though.
    – Tim
    May 28 '21 at 11:09

If you use FL Studio, you can use the plugin New Tone to change the pitch of the sample on a note-by-note basis. There are a few other programs that can do this as well, including Melodyne.

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Alternatively, you can also re-pitch the audio with an autotune plugin like Pitcher.

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