If you’re a vinyl enthusiast or a DJ, you’re probably familiar with the concept of pitch control on a turntable.
But have you ever wondered what the tempo range function does?
It’s displayed in percentages beside the key lock and can be adjusted to various %s.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of tempo range on a turntable, including how it affects your ability to adjust the tempo and pitch of your music.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, understanding tempo range is essential for getting the most out of your turntable.
So let’s dive in and explore this important feature in more detail!
What Does Tempo Range Do On A Turntable
Tempo range is a function on a turntable that allows you to adjust the speed of the platter rotation, which in turn affects the pitch of the music being played.
The tempo range function is displayed in percentages beside the key lock and can be adjusted to various %s. This means that you can slow down or speed up the track by a certain number of beats per minute (BPM) depending on the percentage you choose.
For example, if you are playing a track that is 100 BPM at a pitch range of 6%, it means you can slow down or speed up the track by 6 BPM either way. If you change the range to 12%, you can then move the pitch by 12 BPM either way.
It’s important to note that if you increase the pitch range, you decrease the sensitivity of the slider. This means that if you have the range at 6%, you will get around 0.01 BPM increments, but if you double the range to 12%, the increments will be 0.02 BPM.
The original BPM of a track is also a factor in how much it will slow down or speed up at a particular range. For example, a 128 BPM track at 6% will slow and speed up by 7.68 BPM, which is 6% of 128. To work this out, use this simple formula: original BPM / range X 100 = BPM.
It’s important to understand how tempo range works because it allows you to beatmatch tracks and create seamless transitions between songs. By adjusting the tempo and pitch of your music, you can create unique mixes that keep your audience engaged and dancing all night long.
Understanding Pitch Control
Pitch control is a feature on turntables that allows the listener to adjust the playback speed of records, which in turn affects the pitch of the music being played. The pitch control actually adjusts the speed of the platter rotation rather than the pitch itself. Lowering the frequency will also lower the pitch, and this is what pitch control does – it slows down (or speeds up) the platter rotation by a certain amount. This reduces (or increases) the number of times the record will spin past the needle in one second (i.e. the frequency), and therefore, the pitch will drop (or rise).
It’s important to note that when using pitch control to reduce the pitch of a track, it also causes the tempo (beats per minute, BPM) of the track to drop. Conversely, if you want to increase the BPM count of your track, you can do so by giving the pitch control a bit of a boost in the positive direction.
Pitch adjustment is crucial because it determines how your records are going to sound. Too fast, and everything will sound rushed and higher in frequency. Having a pitch adjustment on your record player is essential because it allows you to correct any speed problems that may occur, resulting in better audio quality produced by your record player.
Many modern record players have digital pitch controls that allow for more precise adjustments, while older style players usually had a knob on the side of the unit that would allow you to change the pitch a limited number of times. If you want to set the pitch on a turntable, you must look at the kind of turntable you are working with. Some are equipped with pitch adjustment controls and a strobe that can allow you to fine-tune the speed at which the record spins, thus affecting its eventual pitch. Some are less well-endowed and require screwing or unscrewing the potentiometer at the bottom of the turntable.
What Is Tempo Range?
Tempo range is a function on a turntable that allows you to adjust the speed of the platter rotation, which in turn affects the pitch of the music being played. This function is displayed in percentages beside the key lock and can be adjusted to various %s.
The purpose of tempo range is to allow you to adjust the speed of a track to match the tempo of another track being played. This is an essential tool for DJs who want to create seamless transitions between songs and keep the energy of the dancefloor high.
By adjusting the tempo range, you can slow down or speed up the track by a certain number of BPM, depending on the percentage you choose. The higher the percentage, the greater the range of adjustment you have.
It’s important to note that increasing the tempo range will decrease the sensitivity of the slider. This means that smaller adjustments will have a bigger impact on the overall tempo of the track. However, this can be useful when you need to make larger adjustments quickly.
How Does Tempo Range Affect Your Music?
The tempo range on a turntable can have a significant impact on the music you are playing. By adjusting the tempo range, you can change the speed and pitch of the music, which can alter the overall feel and emotion of the track.
A wider tempo range allows for greater flexibility in mixing and allows you to create more dynamic transitions between songs. For example, if you have a track that is slightly faster or slower than the one you are currently playing, you can adjust the tempo range to match the two tracks and create a seamless transition.
On the other hand, a narrower tempo range can be useful for maintaining a consistent tempo throughout your set. This can be especially important if you are playing a genre of music that relies heavily on a specific tempo, such as techno or house music.
It’s important to note that while adjusting the tempo range can be a powerful tool for DJs, it should be used with care. Drastically altering the tempo or pitch of a track can result in an unpleasant listening experience for your audience. It’s essential to use your ears and judgment to determine when and how much to adjust the tempo range.
Adjusting Tempo Range For Different Genres
Adjusting the tempo range is particularly important when mixing tracks from different genres. Different genres have different typical tempo ranges, and adjusting the tempo range can help you smoothly transition between tracks with different BPMs.
For example, if you are mixing a dub track at 80 BPM with a house track at 125 BPM, you will need to adjust the tempo range accordingly. A typical tempo range for house music is 115-130 BPM, so you may need to increase the range to accommodate the house track. Similarly, if you are mixing a drum and bass track at 170 BPM with a hip-hop track at 90 BPM, you may need to decrease the range to ensure a smooth transition.
It’s important to note that adjusting the tempo range can affect the quality of the sound. Pitching a track up or down too much can make it sound distorted or unnatural. To avoid this, it’s best to use other techniques such as cutting in on the break, bringing in over the ambient intro, or using built-in tempo changes.
Tips For Using Tempo Range Effectively
Here are some tips for using the tempo range function effectively on a turntable:
1. Understand the original BPM of your tracks: Knowing the original BPM of your tracks can help you choose the right tempo range for your mix. As mentioned earlier, the original BPM of a track is a factor in how much it will slow down or speed up at a particular range. So, make sure to calculate the original BPM of your tracks before adjusting the tempo range.
2. Choose the right tempo range: Choosing the right tempo range is crucial for creating seamless transitions between tracks. If you choose a range that is too high, it can make your transitions sound abrupt and jarring. On the other hand, if you choose a range that is too low, it can make your transitions sound sluggish and unenergetic. So, experiment with different ranges and find the one that works best for your mix.
3. Use small increments: When adjusting the tempo range, it’s important to use small increments to avoid making drastic changes to the pitch of your music. Small adjustments will allow you to fine-tune your mix and create smooth transitions between tracks.
4. Practice manual beatmatching: While computers and CDJs/media players have made beatmatching easier, it’s still important to know how to manually beatmatch. Practice using the pitch riding technique with the tempo range function to create seamless transitions between tracks.
By following these tips, you can use the tempo range function effectively and create unique mixes that keep your audience engaged and dancing all night long.