MUS 514A / CSC 514A

Quantization Sequencing Assignment

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To illustrate the value of rhythmic quantization, record the example at the end of the handout, making every attempt to be accurate.

Then, go to Event List view (or PianoRoll View) to examine the degree of accuracy, or more aptly, inaccuracy, with which you performed the example:  right-click in either Track or Clips pane, then, select the desired view from the Inspector menu. (It is virtually impossible to be "absolutely" perfect, so no need to have a complete cow ...)

Quantization will need to be done in several stages since the rhythmic subdivision changes throughout the example.  (Unfortunately, the present version of Cakewalk does not allow quantization in realtime as you are recording.  It must be done after recording as an edit.)

First, select measures 1-4 since the smallest subdivision for all four measures is the 1/16th note.

In Track & other views, for example, you may variously:

  • Position the mouse pointer so that it is not over any clip, then, drag a selection rectangle, or "lasso," around the clip(s) you wish to select.  The rectangle must completely enclose the clip in order to select it.
  • (Note:  When lassoing clips in Track view, because the clips are often edge-to-edge, you do not have to start your lasso outside the clip.  Rather, start and end your lasso near the edges of the clip, and Cakewalk will automatically extend the lasso to the edges.)
  • Select an entire clip by moving the pointer to the middle of the clip, so that it changes to an arrow with a rectangle, then click the clip.  Press Shift before clicking to continue adding items to the selection.
  • To select small pieces of a clip, hold down the Alt key, then, click on any part of a clip and move the mouse.  You can select any portion of one or more tracks this way.
  • Select events in a time range and set the From and Thru times by clicking the time ruler at the start of the time span and dragging the pointer to the end of the time span.

Once the desired region (bars 1-4) is selected, from the menu bar, select Edit, then, Quantize.  The Quantize dialog box will pop up.  Set the Resolution for Sixteenth, then, click OK.  The notes of measures 1-4 should now be corrected to their closest 1/16th-note position.  Assuming you were "in the ballpark" when recording, the notes should now be rhythmically correct.  If you were too far off the mark, the notes may have been moved to an incorrect position.  In such cases, the notes will need to be individually adjusted via one of several means.  The most accurate method is to go to Event List view and correct the numerical start times, durations, etc., according to the MIDI Quantization Chart (handout, also posted on the walls).

Because the subdivision of measure five is an eighth-note triplet, this measure will have to be quantized separately.  Select measure 5, then, bring up the Quantize dialog box again.  This time set the quantization for 1/8th note triplets, then, click OK.

In measure six, the rhythmic subdivision is 1/16th triplets.  Select this measure and quantize at this value.  Click OK.

If all went well, the entire exercise should now be rhythmically accurate.  If not, make individual note adjustments in one of the various views (Event List view is recommended).

You will not need to quantize everything you record, but it is certainly a valuable tool when the need arises.

REMINDER:  When working on a "real" project, always save your file (song) to disk before quantizing or making any other serious edits.  You can simply reload pre-existing data if you are not pleased with the result.

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