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Should I quantize my piano track?

Discussion in 'Music Creation' started by beaker, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. beaker

    beaker New Member

    I've just recorded an electric piano track for a composition, using a plugin piano. It's a very repetitive part, based entirely on broken chords. When I played it back (while watching the piano roll) I found that most of it was ever so slightly behind the drum beat. I then quantized it to 1/32, and everything slotted perfectly in to place with the drums. However, it's meant to sound like somebody's played it (which I did), and perhaps quantizing a piano part in this way will take that quality away to a degree. Anyone got an opinion on this?
  3. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    If you like it unquantised, I say go with it!

    This can be totally subjective though, why not link to an audiofile so we can hear it and give you some opinions based on the actual music?
  4. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    And don't forget - you can also quantize by percentage. So you can preserve some of the original feel while still moving the notes a bit closer to the grid.
  5. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    I have a tutorial in my new book on techniques for quantizing while retaining musicality.
  6. wilmot

    wilmot Member

    It's a matter of taste, isn't it? I have friends who quantize everything religiously, while I usually try to leave at least something (an instrument or part) un-quantized since I think a bit of inperfection adds life to most songs. A piano would be a prime candidate for this, for me. Of course, a lot depends on what type of music you're making.
    I'd say, listen to the result - If it sounds good, why tamper with it?
    Or maybe you just have to quantize a few chords, or even individual notes, on the odd key beats? - That can be made into an effect in itself.
  7. michaelo

    michaelo LUG Emeritus

    One way to deal with this issue is to go through the part manually and individually quantize notes that bother you leaving most of the part un-quantized. Or, look at the notes in piano roll and shift some or groups of notes closer to the beat. It is a bit of a travesty that we are so used to hearing piano parts heavily quantized.
    Piano playing does not sound like that naturally. When you look at the notes of a chord in the event or piano roll editors they are usually spread around each other separated by a few clicks (or many clicks). Globally quantizing even a bit can sometimes make the piano part sound sterile and mechanical.
  8. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    Once again, Logic has a number of controls and transformers that allow you to quantize a part to tighten it up a little without it sounding sterile or mechanical if you know them and simply put it in the effort.
  9. wilmot

    wilmot Member

    On the other hand, when you use a sound you get to know it and play a part that fits it (hopefully). For a lot of sounds, like pianos, most string-like sounds, a lot of pads, etc, this means that they will look less than tight in the piano roll (especially chords) - But I don't think you should that worry you too much, as long the thing sounds good.
  10. djstkora

    djstkora New Member

    since it's an electric piano, it will probably sound too "technoish" if quantized. but as other people said, Extended Sequence Parameters (default key [P]) are always the answer. the other trap is, that, just because it's NOT quantized, it is supposed to be OK? Not. Maybe just re-record it. Like in the good ol' days. Punch in, punch out, that kinda thing. For extra control, you could also use the transform window, that is, if you learned how to use it. Then again, not many people quantize the piano parts. Maybe you should just be original ;)
  11. samplehood

    samplehood New Member

    first of all you can leave it un-quantize however In logic you can "Humanize" the notes
    search in the matrix window to Humanaize open it and press it a few times it customize the length, velocity, and quantize, i think it is one of the best features in Logic.

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