Jump to content

imput and quantization


Recommended Posts

Yeah I've been asking a lot of questions lately >_>

So I'm trying to get better at composition, I've been using a midi keyboard to play in the tracks I want, rather than dealing with my DAWs midi input interface. I'm assuming people do this, yes? Considering they make midi keyboards lol, but is there are more efficient to do this. I mean I literally enjoy playing the parts I want to add, and it gives me to freedom to experiment, considering more times than not I have no definitive arrangement for anything I write, I literally play it on the spot. But yeah, is there something more efficient.

Second, I know about quantization, but I usually don't know the time signature of what I'm making. I familiar with note types and such, but my theory and rhythm aren't that great, so quantization can't be used unless I know what time signature I'm playing right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's nothing more or less efficient than MIDI Keyboard input. It's really just what you're used to. I can't play keyboard, and as a result of making music for 5 years, I've gotten really fast drawing things in by mouse.

Quantization is more for making sure your notes don't sound sloppily performed (takes your notes and aligns them to a grid to make the timing not n00bish). It doesn't really have much to do with time signature, but I can say that if you don't know much about time signature or rhythm, that's a very bad thing you need to fix. It's very important to the structural integrity of your music. So google away, the internet has valuable music theory guides.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's nothing more or less efficient than MIDI Keyboard input. It's really just what you're used to. I can't play keyboard, and as a result of making music for 5 years, I've gotten really fast drawing things in by mouse.

Quantization is more for making sure your notes don't sound sloppily performed (takes your notes and aligns them to a grid to make the timing not n00bish). It doesn't really have much to do with time signature, but I can say that if you don't know much about time signature or rhythm, that's a very bad thing you need to fix. It's very important to the structural integrity of your music. So google away, the internet has valuable music theory guides.

Well I do know about time and rhythm in theory, but when I play that goes out the window... I can't keep time in my head that well. It's also like, when I compose it's hard for me to determine the time sig of a passage I just wrote. Yeah I guess I could google some books with practical theory or playing. Also, to quantize you have to do so by nearest beat right? So you would have to know the time signature of the passage you want to quantize in right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well all a time signature does is to tell you how many beats there are in a bar, and what notes they are. The top number tells you how many beats in a bar, and the bottom number tells you what those beats are worth.

For example... 4/4 is 4 quarter notes per bar (crotchets), thats the most commonly used time signature.

This is a track in 3/4 (3 quarter notes in a bar), the blue danube waltz

- listen to it from 1:51, because the bottom notes are all quarter notes, you can count along with them 1 2 3 1 2 3. Thats an example of a 3/4 time signature anyway.

Quantizing, like neblix says tho, is just lining up the notes to the nearest note value you specify. Like say you have 8th notes value selected in the edit window of your DAW, quantizing will lock all the notes you've played slightly off the beat to their nearest 8th note.

Hope this helps you in some way :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For quantising to work, you've really got to be playing along with a click track, or anything that is definately on the beat of what you're playing.

Playing in time is a crucial (i would say THE most crucial) musical skill. From your point of view quantising will only work if you played something close to the beat, if you were playing something way off beat and out of time quantising will never work as it only snaps each note to the nearest beat division, it won't magically put things in time for you.

So if you haven't been doing so already make sure you're playing along to a click track or otherwise a steady beat, this will not only help your timing, but also help you understand time signatures too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For quantising to work, you've really got to be playing along with a click track, or anything that is definately on the beat of what you're playing.

Playing in time is a crucial (i would say THE most crucial) musical skill. From your point of view quantising will only work if you played something close to the beat, if you were playing something way off beat and out of time quantising will never work as it only snaps each note to the nearest beat division, it won't magically put things in time for you.

So if you haven't been doing so already make sure you're playing along to a click track or otherwise a steady beat, this will not only help your timing, but also help you understand time signatures too

Makes sense. Though I've attempted to rectify my timing issues and genuinely in my recent recordings got better, but I guess the problem is identifying how to set the beat. Like for instance if I have song ideas in my head, when I record them I honestly have no idea what I should set the metronome to. Even if I did, for some reason I have trouble playing unless I'm playing something in 4/4.

This for example I wrote it but I have no idea what time signature it was, consequently I had no idea how to create a beat to play it to. I also realize I could create the drum track before I do anything else, but usually melodies come to me and I record them before I forget. Drums are usually very hard for me to create, I guess as a result of having a weak sense of rhythm The one time I tried recording drums first, very recently, it didn't go as well as I planned >_>

I'm assuming though that rhythm will just come with practice. At least I'm hoping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time signature doesn't matter as far as click track tempo and quantization are concerned. Time signature and tempo are completely different things.

To intuitively figure out what tempo you should set the click track to, hum your melody and tap your hand on the table at a steady pace along with the melody. Set the tempo to the speed at which you're tapping the desk.

For your (first) example, the tempo will be the same speed as choir notes at the start, or possibly twice that fast -- probably either around 70 bpm or around 140 bpm (it simply depends on how frequently you want the clicks to occur -- the important thing is that the music line up with the clicks). Note that if you haven't been taking tempo settings into account already on this piece, trying to change the tempo now will just speed things up or slow them down but won't actually match things to the tempo. You really need to set the correct tempo when you begin a project. To see if your current project has a proper tempo set, turn the metronome on for playback. If it clicks in time to the music, you're good to go. If it doesn't, it's going to be an enormous pain to fix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chiming in on time sigs... you learn lots from studying certain vgm songs, like the windmill hut (zelda oot) and kraid (metroid 1) and 3/4, half the tracks on the halo OST and 6/8, etc.. Play along with those to get a feel for them, then write a basic drum track in one of those sigs, loop it, play along with it. DOn't worry about recording it or anything, just play for the sake of getting a feel for the time sig.

As for quantization, most DAWs with quantization let you set the time sig it quantizes to, and whether or not there's any swing in the notes. This is all, as already covered in neblix' reply, to keep your recorded performances from sounding sloppy, tho relying too heavily on full* quantization will make them sound mechanical instead. I quantize pads, bass and drums if I record them, and sometimes do some manual edits on those. Leads I edit manually to make sure to keep as much of the human performance as possible and still making it sound less sloppy. I haven't finished a lot of music lately, so you have no idea if it sounds any good. :P

* apparently, Cubase let you set how quantized the notes get. Logic apparently doesn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a DAW has a quantization option, does that mean that when you record in real-time, it automatically "snaps" your note attacks to a certain fraction of the beat?

I ask because I think it may save me a ton of time, haha. I always record myself playing a part naturally first, because I get the most realistic velocities that way, but when I check out the piano roll (I use REAPER, for what it's worth), there are these teeny, minute differences in the attacks of the notes. Generally not an issue for a single part, but it's a real hassle when I'm trying to line up a bunch of tracks and have to manually drag hundreds of notes around. Is that what quantization fixes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a DAW has a quantization option, does that mean that when you record in real-time, it automatically "snaps" your note attacks to a certain fraction of the beat?

I ask because I think it may save me a ton of time, haha. I always record myself playing a part naturally first, because I get the most realistic velocities that way, but when I check out the piano roll (I use REAPER, for what it's worth), there are these teeny, minute differences in the attacks of the notes. Generally not an issue for a single part, but it's a real hassle when I'm trying to line up a bunch of tracks and have to manually drag hundreds of notes around. Is that what quantization fixes?

Yes.

tenchar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you record, no. Once you've recorded, you have to set it to quantize the notes... and then it quantizes -which means it then automatically aligns the notes with the grid.

Attack differences probably come form the instrument itself, if the attack reacts to note velocity. Timing differences are indeed solved with quantization, tho it can take out a lot of the human qualities of the recording, too. Use with caution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you record, no. Once you've recorded, you have to set it to quantize the notes... and then it quantizes -which means it then automatically aligns the notes with the grid.

Attack differences probably come form the instrument itself, if the attack reacts to note velocity. Timing differences are indeed solved with quantization, tho it can take out a lot of the human qualities of the recording, too. Use with caution.

So if I want a human-sounding orchestral piece, and I record all the parts, what's the best way to get everything to be pretty close to matching up? Just hours of manual editing?

A big part of the problem right now is the delay from keyboard to speakers. Makes it really hard to, say, play a violin part on top of a piano part, especially if they're complicated. I've heard Firewire can help (I'm using USB right now), but does the delay ever get small enough to be perceived as instantaneous?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So if I want a human-sounding orchestral piece, and I record all the parts, what's the best way to get everything to be pretty close to matching up? Just hours of manual editing?

A big part of the problem right now is the delay from keyboard to speakers. Makes it really hard to, say, play a violin part on top of a piano part, especially if they're complicated. I've heard Firewire can help (I'm using USB right now), but does the delay ever get small enough to be perceived as instantaneous?

Hours, probably. When you quantize, the note are moved but remain the same length, so while the attacks are lined up, there might be overlap or gap between notes. There's a force legato mode in Logic (the DAW I use) which might rectify the gaps/overlaps, but it completely depends on the instrument how well it'd sound. Dunno what's available in your DAW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard Firewire can help (I'm using USB right now), but does the delay ever get small enough to be perceived as instantaneous?

You should use ASIO drivers if you aren't already and if they're available for your soundcard/interface. They might help the input latency.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You should use ASIO drivers if you aren't already and if they're available for your soundcard/interface. They might help the input latency.

I'm such an idiot: I thought I'd been using ASIO, but it turns out that wasn't the default device in REAPER. When I switched to ASIO and reduced the buffer time to 5ms (1ms was glitching, for whatever reason), it became perfect. So I don't need to mute tracks and record them deaf against a metronome anymore (yay)!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...