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Help with Quantising making simple drum tracks - midi events don't budge


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I have been trying to work this out without having to post here for help, but it really is eluding me. I've read through many other posts on this topic but for various reasons they haven't helped. The area we are working in is as follows; We start with a software instrument track, and choose a drum kit. We create a midi region, open it in the editor and then bar by bar we use the pen tool to draw the midi events in. One strange thing I have noticed is that sometimes the events will land off the grid and I cannot drag it TO the grid. I read something yesterday that seemed to suggest it has something to do with the regions starting in different places but that makes no sense to me. All our regions (midi) start on bars. That is more of a side issue...


The main problem we have is that I want to use the quantise strength bar to loosen up our drum track, but I cannot get consistent results. Lets say we have a 1 bar midi region, and a simple kick, snare, kick-kick snare with hats on the 8ths. Lets say all the events land cleanly on the grid but I want to loosen the hats up a bit. I assumed that lassoing the hat events would then allow me to drag the Time Quantise Strength slider to adjust them, but they don't budge. This is the main issue.


I am a little confused about where to make settings. I know there is the Region settings in the inspector. I have that set to; Smart Quantise 1/8 Note.


Within the Editor, does the Snap To setting have any effect on this?


If I can get this working, can I effect quantise strength to individual events within a midi region, or does it have to be to all them?


All tips and advice are greatly appreciated,


Thank you

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It sounds like you need to re-understand what quantize is and does. Quantizing means 'bring the note-starts to the defined grid'. If the notes are already 'on the grid' there's nothing for the function to do. And since you're penning the notes on the grid, unless you set a q-value which is bigger than the smallest gap between notes, nothing will happen. I normally use Quantize to 'tighten up' MIDI sequences which were played live.


All your notes are on 8ths right? Set the Q value to 1/4 note and you'll see the notes change position. Then undo that.


You could use the Shuffle function to add 'swing' to the hats. Set Q to 8ths and increase the Shuffle slider.

Or you could use the MIDI Transform in the Functions drop-down, and select Humanise. This will add controllable amounts of randomisation to the velocity and start positions of each note, so keep the amount (defaults to 10 for each value) low to start. And maybe try only selecting the hats and humanising those and leaving the kick and snare in place.


I hope that helps!

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Thanks for your reply and help. I do understand what quantising means, perhaps I just worded my post badly. Yes, really I was looking to ‘humanise’ what I had programmed, but thought I could do so with the strength slider, sort of reverse quantising or un-quantising. I do most of my work on an MPC so I’m used to the way that works. I’m trying to help my Dad here and he uses Logic, which is great, but quantising always trips me up on Logic. I’ll get over it….


Thanks for your help though, I appreciate it. I will investigate the Functions drop-down menu and try out the humanise feature.

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