MUS 514A / CSC 514A

Quantization Chart

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Whether you quantize or not, rhythmic alignment problems will invariably occur at some point.  For editing purposes, the chart below indicates the correct digital value for the rhythmic subdivision indicated (using the default 120 ticks).  To correct individual alignment problems (a note here and there), go to Event List view, or another view or your choice and correct the digital entries.

Default Tick = 120 PPQN (pulses per quarter note)

Full durational value is the distance between each of the numbers above.  For example, full value for a quarter note is 1:00.  Full value for an eighth note is :60, etc.  Durational value for a staccato eighth note, for example, may be 20-30 (whatever sounds stylistically correct within the given context).

Quantize resolution should be set to match the smallest rhythmic subdivision in the music, i.e., for the "fastest" rhythmic value in the portion of music being quantized.  The value will have to be changed whenever there is a change in the basic subdivision pattern.

For example, if one section of music contains 1/4 notes, dotted 1/8th notes and 1/16th notes, the resolution should be set at Sixteenth.  If another section has 1/4 notes and 1/8th note triplets, you will need to set the resolution value to 1/8th note triplets--the smallest rhythmic subdivision for the new measure(s).  Otherwise, if you do not change the value to match the appropriate subdivision, the quantizer will incorrectly align notes, creating rhythmic errors.

**Always save your work (to disk) before attempting to quantize or make any other significant changes.  (If a problem occurs, you can simply close without saving and re-open the file.)

In that quantizing creates precise rhythmic values, it may not be desirable in every situation.  For example, you may wish to quantize only certain data, such as ostinato patterns, including percussion tracks.  Quantizing a solo instrument on top of a quantized rhythm track tends to produce a very mechanical-sounding product.  To produce a more realistic solo performance, do not quantize the solo track so that its slight rhythmic flexes will sound more natural.

Preset:  (ignore)

Strength:  This option selects the "degree" of quantization.  A setting of 100% moves rhythmic values completely to the nearest location perceived as being correct by the computer.  A setting of 75% would move notes only 75% of the way toward the correct spot, etc.  (If your recorded note was too far away from the correct location, the computer may end up moving it in the wrong direction!)

Swing:  This option lets you distort the timing grid, creating various degrees of "swing" feel (p. 368).  If you want to create "swing 1/8th notes," you may select a swing quantize setting of 66%.  A better option may be to simply swing the 1/8th notes yourself, and later quantize at a resolution setting of 1/8th-note triplets.

Window:  This option lets you choose how close to the resolution grid point (correct beat) a note must be for Quantize to move it.  A Window of 100% includes all notes.  At 100%, the window extends half of the resolution distance before and after the quantization point.  A window of 50% would be half as wide, extending a quarter of the way toward either adjacent quantization point.

Tip:  If you want to touch up the timing of all notes that fall on specific beats but don't want to affect other notes, use a smaller Window.

Offset:  The resolution grid is normally aligned with the start of measures and beats.  You may shift the grid by a number of ticks, either earlier or later.  If the resolution is a 1/4 note, and you've set the Offset to +3 ticks, then a note near 1:1:0 would actually be moved to 1:1:003 (three ticks later).  Probably the only reason for using this feature would be to make a track sound "laid back," or behind the beat.  Using a negative value will position events "ahead" of the beat.

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