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Mastering quantization

From: Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

Video: Mastering quantization

One of my favorite definitions of music is by a French avant-garde composer Edgard Var?se, who said, "Music is organized sound." Logic software instruments and your awesome recording techniques have the sound part covered. Now we'll use quantization to deal with how those sounds are organized in time. Quantization is the rhythmic correction of audio or MIDI to a specific time grid. Here we'll learn how to use MIDI quantization. Let's listen to this song. (Music playing.) Okay, the drum sounds a little generic.

Mastering quantization

One of my favorite definitions of music is by a French avant-garde composer Edgard Var?se, who said, "Music is organized sound." Logic software instruments and your awesome recording techniques have the sound part covered. Now we'll use quantization to deal with how those sounds are organized in time. Quantization is the rhythmic correction of audio or MIDI to a specific time grid. Here we'll learn how to use MIDI quantization. Let's listen to this song. (Music playing.) Okay, the drum sounds a little generic.

Very straight and drum machine like and the bass is pretty off-rhythm. We'll use Region Quantize first to fix the bass part. Region Quantize can be done within the Region parameter box on the left-hand side of the screen in the Inspector pane. The Region parameter box will show you the contents of the region you have selected. In this case, the region is called Liverpool Bass and we're seeing the parameters for that region in this box. Quantizing is a nondestructive process and you can always get back to the original performance. Right now, the quantizing for a region is in the default or Quantize Off setting.

No quantizing is happening. Let's open this pulldown menu and we'll get to see all the quantizing options for that region. These are all the Quantize options we have. At the very top of this pulldown menu, we've got some quantizing options for mixed and odd meter quantization. Swing quantization, which impose some human feel grooves, are next. There are the ones with the letters after them. At the bottom of the menu, we've got our straight quantization, which is where we begin for this region. Let's try 1/8th notes first. You can already see the notes moved around in the region. Let's hear it. (Music playing.) Cool! That fixed our faulty performance.

Let's try quarter notes and see how that sounds. (Music playing.) As you can see, in this place the performance in a grid of quarter notes this time. Let's go back to Off and we'll see how it's nondestructive. We'll get back to the original performance and how it's played. (Music playing.) Okay, let's go back to the 1/8th notes. I think that sounded the best for now. In the Region Parameter list, let's also explore some of the Advanced Quantization techniques.

Open that disclosure triangle to see them. These allow even more control over the feel of the performance. As you can see, there are lots of controls in Logic to subtlety change quantization like Delay, Dynamics, Q-Range, Q-Strength. I'll make some advanced adjustments here, but feel free to try some of them out on your own. Go down to the Q-Length and double-click. Let's try a Q-Length of 100. Let's also adjust the Q-Velocity here to 50. These fine -uning quantize controls can be used to add a more human feel to the performance.

Let's see how they sound. (Music playing.) Pretty subtle, but it sounds a little less robotic and more human this way. Now we're going to check out the Swing options by quantizing the drums. So let's click on the Studio Brush Kit region. Let's also solo the tracks, so we can hear it just by itself. Swing values, which delay certain notes in the grid, become more extreme as the letter goes higher. They're up at the top of the menu. So 16F is going to have more swing than 16A.

Let's see if we can hear that. Let's try a 16A Swing first and listen to the drums. (Music playing.) It's pretty subtle but we'll really hear it if we choose 16F, the highest swing value for 16th notes. (Music playing.) You can hear how the hi-hat is really swinging. Now let's try putting the drums to 8D Swing value. 8D is another swing value, but this time it's based on eighth notes instead of 16th notes, and D is pretty high swing value.

Let's also put the bass into a swing value. Click on the Liverpool Bass and let's choose instead of the 1/8th note straight quantization, let's choose 8C Swing value for the bass. Okay, let's hear them together. I'm going to un-solo the Studio Brush Kit and we'll hear both together. (Music playing.) This really changes the feel of our song to kind of a more bluesy feel. You can really hear how you can change the feel of the whole performance just by adjusting the Quantize options.

So what we've done here is region qantization. All MIDI events in the region are quantized together. It's also possible to have more control by using the Quantize features in the MIDI Editor windows. Select the Studio Brush Kit and hit Command+6 to open the Piano Roll window. Now we're going to select only the specific events we want to quantize. To do this, drag a selection around just the hi-hats. This will allow us to only quantize the hi- hats and leave the other drumbeats alone. Remember, we can only do this from a MIDI Editor.

With those hi-hats selected, I'm going to go up to the Quantize pulldown menu that's in this window and choose 8C. You can see that only the hi- hats moved. Let's choose 16C. As you can see, we're just quantizing the hi- hats and leaving the other MIDI events alone. You can also quantize individual notes with the Quantize tool. To get the Quantize tool, hit Escape to get your toolbox and choose the Quantize tool. Now we can click on just a specific MIDI event to quantize it. Try this kick drum event here. Click once on it.

You can see it automatically quantize to a 16th note grid, because that's what's selected in our pulldown menu currently. Finally, if you ever want to permanently and destructively set the Quantize values in the region, you can do this from the Arrange window. Let's close the Piano Roll window. So to destructively and permanently set those values, make sure you have the region selected. Go to MIDI > Region Parameters and select Apply Quantization Settings Destructively. Remember, this won't allow you to go back to the original performance if you do it.

Quantization allows us to fix out of time parts, but there is so much more you can do with it. You can start exploring the subtle ways you can humanize or dehumanize a performance. The possibilities really are endless.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Logic Pro 9 Essential Training
Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 27850 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 17m 39s
    1. Installing the software
      3m 19s
    2. Launching Logic for the first time, using the templates
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding audio interfaces
      3m 35s
    4. Understanding MIDI interfaces
      5m 30s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. Getting to know the Arrange window
      5m 15s
    2. Using the many windows of Logic
      4m 13s
    3. Creating your own screensets
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Transport window and controlling playback
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Toolbox
      2m 37s
    6. Naming tracks and regions
      3m 27s
    7. Learning useful and custom key commands
      5m 18s
    8. Saving and going mobile with your project
      4m 8s
  4. 41m 41s
    1. Setting up for recording
      5m 43s
    2. Understanding Metronome settings or the click track
      4m 7s
    3. Understanding tempo
      4m 37s
    4. Recording live instruments and vocals using multitrack recording
      3m 56s
    5. Playing with guitar madness: Amp design
      5m 13s
    6. Playing with guitar madness: Pedal board
      4m 5s
    7. Working with takes recording and comping
      4m 51s
    8. Punching in to replace bad audio
      4m 51s
    9. Using Varispeed to create an old tape machine sound
      4m 18s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding MIDI
      4m 41s
    2. Using the Logic synth instruments
      7m 4s
    3. Working with the emulator instruments
      5m 23s
    4. Using the EXS24 sampler
      3m 7s
    5. Building tracks with Ultrabeat
      5m 31s
    6. Using channel strips to select a virtual sound
      5m 29s
    7. Understanding the basics of MIDI recording
      4m 38s
    8. Learning how to use MIDI with Cycle Record
      4m 9s
    9. Using Logic's step input
      4m 3s
    10. Mastering quantization
      6m 18s
    11. Working in the Piano Scroll window
      5m 33s
    12. Editing controller messages with Hyper View
      4m 8s
    13. Working with the Hyper Editor
      5m 29s
    14. Working with the Events List
      3m 20s
  6. 29m 49s
    1. Importing prerecorded audio into Logic
      4m 5s
    2. Exploring Apple Loops
      4m 40s
    3. Creating your own Apple Loop
      4m 21s
    4. Conforming tempo, region to session, or session to region
      3m 51s
    5. Using the new Flex Time feature
      5m 17s
    6. Beat mapping your project
      4m 41s
    7. Importing elements from project to project
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Understanding the basic editing techniques in the Arrange window
      7m 5s
    2. Tips for editing and arranging
      3m 21s
    3. Editing and merging regions in the Arrange window
      3m 45s
    4. Mastering fades for audio region arranging
      4m 58s
    5. Fixing and morphing sound with the Sample Editor
      5m 6s
  8. 11m 12s
    1. Working with notes and composing in the Score Editor
      4m 26s
    2. Editing notes, keys, and time signatures
      3m 35s
    3. Creating scores and lead sheets for musicians
      3m 11s
  9. 9m 8s
    1. Setting up for a sync video project
      4m 50s
    2. Scoring music to video
      4m 18s
  10. 56m 32s
    1. Mixing philosophies and five tools for mixing
      3m 37s
    2. Setting up for a mix
      5m 11s
    3. Directing audio traffic with fader levels
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring Logic's panning features
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool
      6m 51s
    6. Exploring inserts: Using compression as a mix tool
      5m 38s
    7. Using advanced signal flow with aux and send tracks
      3m 12s
    8. Using advanced signal flow with time-based FX to create space in your mix
      3m 44s
    9. Using automation to create dynamic mixes
      6m 22s
    10. Giving your mix life with automation
      2m 45s
    11. Optimizing performance with freeze tracks
      4m 42s
    12. Using channel strips for audio processing
      4m 46s
  11. 16m 7s
    1. Understanding surround hardware requirements
      4m 5s
    2. Building surround mixing workflows
      6m 17s
    3. Using the surround panner
      5m 45s
  12. 15m 48s
    1. Bouncing down your song
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring Logic's export options
      3m 37s
    4. Mastering your own Logic project
      4m 18s
  13. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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