Quantizing MIDI Recordings
If you are not happy with the timing of your MIDI performance, you can correct the timing of the notes. The time-correction process is called quantization. To quantize a MIDI region, you choose a grid resolution from the Quantize menu in the Region Parameter box. Each note inside the region will snap to the nearest position on the chosen grid.
Quantizing MIDI Regions
In the following exercise, you will quantize the recording you made in the previous exercise to correct its timing, so that the piano notes are in sync with the drums.
- Select the new #default MIDI region.
First, rename the region so you can easily identify it later.
- In the Inspector’s Region Parameter box, click the name of the region and enter Piano.
The region is renamed Piano.
Now choose the Quantize value, which determines the resolution of the grid used to quantize the notes.
- Set the Quantize parameter to 1/8-Note while looking at the notes in the Piano Roll Editor.
All the MIDI notes snap to the nearest eighth note.
- Go to the beginning and start playback.
You can hear your performance, perfectly in time with the drums. Unless of course the performance timing was really poor, in which case some of the notes may not snap to the desired 1/8 note.
In Logic, quantizing is a nondestructive operation. You can always go back to the way the performance was originally recorded.
- With the Piano region selected, open the Quantize parameter menu and choose “off (3840).”
The MIDI notes return to their original recording positions.
- Choose Edit > Undo Parameter Change (or press Command-Z).
The region’s Quantize parameter is reset to 1/8-Note, and the notes snap to the grid.
Setting a Default Quantization Grid
You can set a default quantization value so that any new recording will automatically be quantized to that grid resolution. This is very useful if you are not confident of your timing chops. Since the Quantize setting is nondestructive, you can always adjust it or turn it off for that region after the recording is done.
- Click in the background of the Arrange area.
All regions are deselected, and the Region Parameter Box now displays the MIDI Thru settings. The MIDI Thru parameter settings are automatically applied to any new MIDI region that you record.
- Set the Quantize parameter to 1/16-Note.
- Select the Piano region.
The Region Parameter Box displays the region’s name and settings. You can see the Quantize setting you applied to that region in the previous exercise: 1/8-Note.
- Press Delete.
The region is deleted.
- Go to the beginning of the track and click the Record button (or press * (asterisk) on the numeric keypad, or press R on a
Record a new simple bass line as you did previously.
- Stop recording.
In the Piano Roll Editor, the notes immediately snap to the nearest sixteenth note. The new MIDI region is selected, and the Region Parameter box now displays its parameters: Quantize is automatically set to 1/16-Note, the MIDI Thru Quantize setting you set in step 2.
- Set the Quantize parameter to “off (3840).”
The notes return to their original recorded positions.
- Set the Quantize parameter back to 1/16-Note.