Quantization of Your Home Recording MIDI Data - dummies

Quantization of Your Home Recording MIDI Data

By Jeff Strong

Quantization is simply allowing the sequencer to fix your rhythmic timing. Say you recorded a drum pattern, and because you played it on your keyboard, the timing kinda stinks. The bass drum missed the downbeat, and the snare drum is inconsistent.

Don’t worry — you don’t need to rerecord your part. You can just move all those notes into their proper places — and you don’t even have to touch each note to do it. Just choose the quantization value and click a button.

The quantization value determines the subdivision to which the quantization feature moves the notes. For example, if you choose a quantization value of 16, all your notes are moved to the nearest sixteenth note. With most sequencers, you can choose a number of quantization values, including eighth notes, sixteenth notes, and thirty-second notes.

Most new quantizers also allow you to assign a percentage to the quantization value. For example, a setting of 50 percent moves the note halfway between where you played it and the next quantization point designated by your quantization value. The higher the number, the closer to the actual quantization point your note will go. This feature is essential in keeping quantized music from sounding stiff.

Double-check your track after you’ve quantized it because it may have moved a misplaced note in the wrong direction. This happens if your note is farther away from where you want it to be and closer to another quantization point. If a note has moved in the wrong direction, select that note and move it to where you want it.