Zplane’s Tonic is a “music theory plugin” that detects the key and scale of any recording

Zplane’s Tonic is the latest in an increasingly long line of plugins that can detect the key of any audio you present it with. In fact, it’ll show you ‘compatible’ notes and chords in the relevant scale.

Tonic will actually display up to three potential keys, with a graph showing the probability of each one being accurate. A preview tool enables you to try out notes and chords to ensure you’ve got it right.

Offset in root tuning is also taken into account; recordings of acoustic instruments or those that were captured by analogue equipment may not be perfectly tuned to A=440Hz, so Tonic can detect and show the base tuning for the recording, and suggest keys based on that tuning offset.

“Many music-makers may have immense talents for creating unique and artistic music, while at the same time also struggle with some fundamental music theory such as determining the key of a piece of music”, reckons Chad Carrier, Product Manager at zplane development. 

“We created TONIC as a super easy-to-use tool that will help producers, remixers, beatmakers and performers by letting them know the keys for their music and audio, and show them the notes and chords that work within that key.”

Tonic runs in VST/AU/AAX formats on PC and Mac and is currently available for the introductory price of €29 (regular price €39). Find out more on the Zplane website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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