BPM Pitch Calculator

This online BPM Pitch Calculator is a tool used in music production and DJ-ing to determine the relationship between tempo (measured in Beats Per Minute or BPM) and pitch.

The primary function of a BPM Pitch Calculator is to help users understand how changing the tempo of a song affects its pitch, and conversely, how altering the pitch impacts the tempo.

This relationship is crucial in various scenarios, such as:

  1. Beatmatching: DJs use this tool to seamlessly transition between tracks with different tempos.
  2. Remixing: Producers can adjust a sample’s tempo to fit their new composition without changing its key.
  3. Film scoring: Composers can sync music to specific scenes by altering tempo while keeping the emotional impact of the original key.

BPM Pitch Calculator

Calculate the new BPM and pitch change when the tempo of a song is altered.

Original BPMNew BPMPitch Change FactorPitch Change %Semitone Shift
1001101.0595+5.95%+1.00
1001201.1225+12.25%+2.04
100900.9439-5.61%-0.97
100800.8909-10.91%-1.93
1201301.0413+4.13%+0.71
1201401.0842+8.42%+1.39
80851.0414+4.14%+0.71
80750.9598-4.02%-0.70
1401501.0353+3.53%+0.61
1401300.9663-3.37%-0.59

Let’s break down a few of these examples:

  1. 100 BPM to 110 BPM:
    • Pitch change factor: 1.0595
    • This means the pitch increases by 5.95%
    • The semitone shift is exactly 1, which corresponds to one semitone up
  2. 100 BPM to 90 BPM:
    • Pitch change factor: 0.9439
    • This means the pitch decreases by 5.61%
    • The semitone shift is -0.97, which is very close to one semitone down
  3. 120 BPM to 140 BPM:
    • Pitch change factor: 1.0842
    • This increases the pitch by 8.42%
    • The semitone shift is 1.39, which is between one and one-and-a-half semitones up
  4. 80 BPM to 75 BPM:
    • Pitch change factor: 0.9598
    • This decreases the pitch by 4.02%
    • The semitone shift is -0.70, which is about two-thirds of a semitone down

These calculations demonstrate several important points:

  • A 10% change in BPM results in approximately a 1 semitone shift in pitch.
  • Increasing the BPM always raises the pitch, while decreasing the BPM lowers it.
  • The relationship is logarithmic, so equal BPM changes don’t always result in equal pitch changes. For example, going from 100 to 110 BPM (+10) shifts the pitch more than going from 140 to 150 BPM (+10).

BPM Pitch Calculation Formula

BPM Pitch Calculation Formula
BPM Pitch Calculation Formula

The relationship between BPM and pitch is logarithmic, which means that a linear change in BPM results in an exponential change in pitch.

The basic formula for calculating the pitch change based on a tempo change is:

Pitch change = 2^(log2(new_bpm / original_bpm))

This formula can be broken down into steps:

  1. Calculate the ratio of the new BPM to the original BPM.
  2. Take the logarithm (base 2) of this ratio.
  3. Raise 2 to the power of the result from step 2.

For example, if you increase the tempo from 100 BPM to 110 BPM, the pitch change would be:

Pitch change = 2^(log2(110 / 100)) ≈ 1.0595

This means the pitch would increase by approximately 5.95%.

Conversely, to calculate the new BPM based on a desired pitch change, you can use the following formula:

New BPM = Original BPM * (2^(semitones / 12))

Where “semitones” is the number of semitones you want to shift the pitch.

How much does pitch change per BPM?

The amount of pitch change per BPM is not linear, as mentioned earlier. The relationship between BPM and pitch is logarithmic, which means that the pitch change per BPM varies depending on the starting tempo and the magnitude of the change.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • A 1% increase in tempo results in approximately a 0.17 semitone increase in pitch.
  • A 6% increase in tempo results in approximately a 1 semitone increase in pitch.

Let’s consider a few examples:

  1. Increasing from 100 BPM to 101 BPM (1% increase):
    • Pitch change ≈ 0.17 semitones
  2. Increasing from 100 BPM to 106 BPM (6% increase):
    • Pitch change ≈ 1 semitone
  3. Increasing from 100 BPM to 112 BPM (12% increase):
    • Pitch change ≈ 2 semitones

What is the difference between BPM and pitch?

While BPM and pitch are related, they are distinct musical concepts:

BPM (Beats Per Minute):

  • Measures the tempo or speed of a piece of music.
  • Refers to the number of regular pulses or beats that occur in one minute.
  • Is a linear measurement.
  • Affects the overall pace and energy of a track.

Pitch:

  • Relates to the frequency of a sound.
  • Determines how high or low a note sounds.
  • Is measured logarithmically, often in semitones or cents.
  • Affects the perceived key and harmony of a piece of music.

The main differences between BPM and pitch can be summarized as follows:

  1. Measurement: BPM is measured linearly in beats per minute, while pitch is measured logarithmically in frequency (Hz) or musical intervals (semitones).
  2. Perception: Changes in BPM are perceived as changes in speed, while changes in pitch are perceived as changes in the highness or lowness of a sound.
  3. Musical function: BPM primarily affects the rhythmic feel of a piece, while pitch affects the melodic and harmonic elements.
  4. Notation: In sheet music, BPM is typically indicated at the beginning of a piece or section, while pitch is represented by the vertical position of notes on the staff.
  5. Adjustment: Changing BPM without pitch correction will alter both the speed and pitch of a track, while changing pitch without time correction will affect both the pitch and duration of a sound.

What is the pitch percentage of a semitone?

A semitone is the smallest interval between two notes in Western music. It represents the distance between two adjacent keys on a piano (including black keys). In terms of pitch percentage, a semitone corresponds to approximately a 5.946% change in frequency.

To understand this concept better, let’s break it down:

  1. Frequency ratio: The frequency ratio between two notes separated by a semitone is the twelfth root of 2 (2^(1/12)), which is approximately 1.05946.
  2. Percentage change: To convert this ratio to a percentage, we subtract 1 and multiply by 100: (1.05946 – 1) * 100 ≈ 5.946%

This means that:

  • Increasing the pitch by one semitone is equivalent to multiplying the frequency by 1.05946 (a 5.946% increase).
  • Decreasing the pitch by one semitone is equivalent to dividing the frequency by 1.05946 (a 5.618% decrease).

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