After establishing a pulse, whether in an orchestral setting or in a groove. I often like to make a line lay back against that pulse, but I can\'t find an effective offset quantize range to rely upon (forced to use trial and error -- effective but slow).
Anyone have a sense of a range of offset (in ticks)that effectively makes a melodic line lay back in the groove? For example, what I\'m looking for is something like: delaying a line 1-4 ticks has a basically an undetectable effect, 5-10 ticks sounds laid back in the groove and 11+ sounds like the \"virtual player\" has bad time. You get the idea. Any thoughts? Thanks.
I will \'rehearse\' the part enough to where I get it real close to the groove I want (on top or behind the beat.) Once I have it there I sometimes use \"iterative Q\" - which is to say: you select the percentage of Q that is applied to the part. I have it set at 20%. It works like a charm - tightens it up \'however\' much I want. Lately, it has been less and less. I find the more I iterative Q it - the less real it sounds and FEELS. As far as I am concerned Orchestral or otherwise - the groove IS the Holy Grail. This is just my way of working. Others?
Like Sean and Donnie I am a percussionist also. I studied with Anthony Cirone at San Jose State several years ago.
Where you play on the beat is dependant upon many things. What is the idiom, what is the mood of the music, and even who the composer is! Ultimately though you have to rely on your own musical ideas. Midiwise though, a good place to start is to \"humanize\" your parts first to get rid of the mechanical aspect of the part. Then I will usually tweak from there. There are all kinds of rules when doing this such as how the phrase builds up and styles of the music as mentioned above.
As a percussionist, I am sure this issue is something you have addressed extensively in your development as a player. I have also spent a great deal of time on this issue as a player/composer. My question really relates to programming note placement within a line to acheive the \"feel\" in the context of music with a consistent underlying pulse/groove (e.g., lay back or push the melodic line).
In composing commercial music, I usually program midi in one of two ways: (1) input the line idiomatically with the desired feel (or as close as I can get) using a keyboard controller. Then tighten up the performance with percentage quantize using trial and error or (2) use Input Quantize and Humanize from there, again, using trial and error.
What sort of humanize settings (involving percentage settings) do you (or others you know) use as a starting point to achieve various results?
I\'d agree that playing the part just as closely as you can to the desired performance, then using a \"percentage\" quantize is a great way to work. I do that pretty often myself.
A couple of tips:
Personally, I avoid the \"humanize\" feature found in most sequencers. In general, those are actually just randomizers. While they will make a part feel \"less quantized\" they generally don\'t make it \"more human.\" So rather than quantize too tightly and depend on the humanize function to loosen it back up, I\'d quantize very selectively instead. You want every aspect of your work to speak musical intention, and randomizing a part is rather unintentional by nature.
Another thought: Live with the UN-quantized version for a while before even tightening a part 10-20%.
Also, you don\'t have to quantize a whole line. Just select and quantize parts that are bothering you, and then only by the percentage amount that is required to tighten them up to your liking.
You know, really great ensembles play VERY tightly. Sometimes (especially in the earlier days of sample based production) people loosened up the time as a method of \"removing the curse\" of perceived inhuman perfection found in sampled music. But it\'s very easy to go to the other extreme, where suddenly you\'re getting the imprecision of a college group as opposed to the seasoned tightness of sections that play together year in and year out.
So, in many cases, you might want to look past timing as a source of \"unreality\" and look to other aspects. Phrasing, line shape, INTONATION, and other aspects of baseline musicality on a part-by-part basis are often larger contributors to the problems in sampled arrangements than timing.