Join Matt Piper for an in-depth discussion in this video Quantizing audio, part of Learning Reason 7.
One of the most powerful new features added to version seven of reason is Audio Quantize. And the reason I say this is so powerful is because it really frees up a creative musician working in the studio to work quickly without worrying about completely nailing the timing of every take. So if you're a multi instrumentalist who, may be, can play a little bit of base and a little bit of guitar you can put down those parts. And if you are little sloppy, it's okay, because you actually can easily go back and fix any timing issue.
So I've prepared a little track here with some drums, some keyboards and a base part, that has not yet been edited in anyway, and that's what I want to look at here. So, let's first just hear what this little loop sounds like. So, that wasn't too horrible, actually, but let's take a closer look at the bass part. So I'll double click, and now I can see these slice markers. I can select my speaker tool, and click and hear these.
If I don't want to go all the way up to the toolbar to select the speaker tool, or use my quick key command, which happens to be i for that tool, while you're using your selector tool, you can hold down the Cmd key on Mac or the Alt key on Windows. So I'm on Mac and I'll press my Cmd key and you can see that momentarily my cursor turns into the speaker tool. So we can listen to these slices. And I may find that some of these slices are not necessary.
This one is just noise, so I'm going to select it. Just hit Delete. And this one too. I don't really want to worry about quantizing that little bit of noise. So, I'm just going to take a moment to clean this up. And by the way, you'll notice I'm having a little bit of trouble. Sometimes I'm clicking the slice next to the one that I'm meant to click. An easier way to do this is, once you have one of them selected, you can use the arrows on your computer keyboard to get around.
So, it's really hellpful if you have some that are really close together. This will take just a moment as I go through and clean up. These little slices that are not really necessary. That's another one there that I can just plainly see. You sort of get used to seeing the shape of the wave forms and you can use intuition a bit. Almost done here, and if you're not sure, you can always listen. Okay, that seems a little bit more reasonable. Now, I can select all, the same way you would on just about any computer program. Cmd+A on Mac, Ctrl+A on Windows.
So, now I've selected all these slices and I can quantize. And the quick key command for that is Cmd+K on Mac or Ctrl+K on Windows. And if we want to see what time value we'll be quantizing to, you can open your tool window and look at the sequencer tools. So it's set to quantize to the nearest 16th note. So let's try that, but before we try it, let's just listen to it one more time. Okay, and now I will quantize.
And you saw him move, so I wasn't right on. And who knows if you really want to be right on, you know, maybe you're just happy with the feel of what you played and you can leave it alone. Or maybe you just want to move a few individual slices that are bothering you. But I just went ahead and quanitized the whole thing. Let's hear what it sounds like. Okay, I'm willing to go with that for now. And, by the way. If you get really deep into editing your slices, and then you decide oh man, I've really destroyed the feel that I had before, worry not! All you have to do, is right click, and revert slices.
This will remove all slice edits. The recording will play back with its original timing. So, you can always go back to step one if you want to. Now let me show you another really cool trick you can do here. I go to my little Bounce menu. I right-clicked to bring that up. And I see bounce clip to REX loop. Okay, let's see what happens when we do that. Okay, now I see in my tool window I have a REX file called base. Now, look here at the bottom, 2 rack. Let's press that, and see what happens.
A Dr. Octorex appeared. Let's look in the rack. And it's already got our base rex file loaded up. I'll just press run. Okay. Now there's all sorts of interesting things you can do. A little later on, in this course, you're going to learn about the ReGroove mixer. So I could copy this loop to track, and now, I can control these slices via MIDI. And when you learn about groove templates later, you'll know that I could actually match these to a groove template, maybe something played by a drummer, a high pat pattern.
Okay, I'm going to close this and I'm going to mute this. Extra Dr. Octa REX that we made for now. And go back to our original bass track here. Another cool thing we can do. Just get my tool window out of the way. Is, we can actually change up this groove. So let's listen again to what some of these slices sound like. Okay. Okay. I'm going to try moving some of these around a little bit. And I'm going to shift click on several slices in order to select multiple at the same time.
On Windows, that would be Ctrl click. And let's see what kind of mayhem we cause here. because now I've got this little bar at the bottom, where I can move all of just the selected slices around. Let's hear what it sounds like before I mess with it. I'm going to select another. So we just sort of squeeze a second bass performance out of this. It's a completely different groove, so it lends itself to a lot of experimentation. Another cool trick you can do, is split at slices. So, go ahead and just select All and Split At Slices.
Now I've got individual audio clips for all of these slices. And once they're individual audio clips, I can do some other interesting things. Very easily. I'll select just this one, and look up in the Inspector, which is what we call this little area with all this information. And, I could transpose. Let's hear, what this note sounds like again. Okay. Let's go up a full step. So now I can change the melody if I want to as well, very easily.
I can also select as many of these slices as I want. Go back to Bounce. I right-clicked again, to bring up that menu, and Bounce clips to new samples. And so now, I've got all these base samples that I could import into the NNXT sampler, and map across my keyboard. This is also really great if you're dealing with slices of a drum recording. You might find a snare sound in a live drum recording that you really like, and you can bounce that as a sample. Or you could bounce several of the snare hits as samples and make a multi layered sample where each time you hit the key on your keyboard, it rotates through and plays a different one of your snare samples to make it more lifelike.
So I think that this audio slicing is just one more thing that frees us up as creative musicians and composers. It's one more thing that takes the pressure off, let's us work fast. Not worry too much about making mistakes. And just concentrate on making music.
- Setting up Reason's preferences
- Recording audio and software instrument tracks
- Creating drum beats with Redrum and the Kong Drum Designer
- Triggering REX loops
- Live sampling
- Recording automation
- Quantizing audio
- Pitch correcting vocals
- Using the ReGroove Mixer
- Time stretching and time compressing audio
- Working in the mixer and the rack
- Processing your tracks with compression, EQ, and effects
- Mastering a recording in Reason