Audio Warp confusion (Cubase 11 Pro)

What am I doing wrong or misunderstanding about audio warp?

I have a piece in 3/8 time. I have an audio sample with six syllables (“You never talk to me”). I want each syllable to land every 3 eighth notes, which is handy because that’s on the measure boundaries.

So I set my hitpoint threshold so that it identified the six hitpoints. I clicked on Create Warp Markers, and in AudioWarp confirmed it got the right markers. I enabled AudioWarp Quantize. I set Quantize to 1/1 so the syllables will land on measure boundaries. And I hit “Q”. And nothing happened. I expected it would warp the sample so the hitpoints align with measure boundaries. Just to make sure I didn’t misunderstand the “1/1” I tried setting Quantize to 1/8, and it stretched the sample a little but not so the hitpoints aligned with anything.

So what’s going on, or what am I misunderstanding?

Thanks in advance.

Hi, there we meet again !

Quantizing 1/1 will simply not work at all with those settings because all of your 6 markers are within one single measure… In order to do so, you would need to set the tempo to a very high value (or alternatively stretch the audio) so each marker are close to one measure, I don’t think that’s what you want to do, or is it really ?

If your time signature is 3/8 and you want to quantize the six markers, you need to select the 1/4 triplet quantize value, not 1/8… that is the exact reason why your markers cannot align properly, because you select a different quantize time signature than the actual project.

And also, you may need to adjust the markers manually if they are too close from the wrong quantize increment, which seems to be the case on your screenshot.

1/1 = Whole note (Semibreve)
It is a note value, not representing a measure. If your time signature is 3/8, then one measure is equal to 3 eighth notes (quavers) and as 3 eighth notes is equal in duration to a dotted quarter note, that is how long your measures are.

No, OP should select dotted 1/4 notes, not triplet, if they want one syllable every 3 eighth note.

Thank you for the suggestions.

So I set the time-signature to 6/8 and did a time stretch of the audio sample to take up one measure and the set the quantize value to 1/8. I then did the whole hitpoint threshold/warp-markers/audio-warp quantize/Q thing again from scratch. Since there are 6 hitpoints in a measure and 6 beats in a measure, I expected the audio warp to align the hitpoints with the 1/8 beats. It did for 4 of them (shown in green) but not the other two, (shown in purple). So it’s closer, but no cigar. What am I still not understanding here?

I don’t think you can do what you want with quantize alone.
When you quantize, events will more to the closest note length value as defined by the quantize preset. It is pretty straight forward when it comes to MIDI, but quantizing audio has some differences.

The problem child in this example is the hit point between 1.3 and 1.4. If these were MIDI notes, this one would be moved to 1.4 and overlapped with the other one.
But this is audio and if you compressed the segment shown just before 1.4and moved to 1.4 that segment would be zero in length! So quantizing audio doesn’t allow overlaps (since it doesn’t make sense) and in this case, that hitpoint is ignored.

So I have to set them manually?

I don’t see any other way. At least move them close to the intended destination, then you should be able to use the quantize to perfectly align the hit points.

It shouldn’t take you more than a few seconds. :wink:
(But I’m guessing this was in part an exercise in audio quantize?)

I agree that this is confusing when it comes to quantize time signatures that are not in 4 because the quantize panel will always show a measure of 4 beats.
I think the solution is to select 1/4, which corresponds to the beats. So if the time signature is 3/4, 5/4, 6/8 or whatever, then quantizing 1/4 will do it on the native beats of the measure.
Here @art1 is using a time signature of 6/8, so there is 6 beats, and the right quantize for the six syllables is 1/4 (not dotted nor triplet).

Anyways if the markers are too far away from the quantize grid as I said earlier, it may be better to do it manually with the Time Warp/Free Warp tool, after placing the markers on each syllables.

(But I’m guessing this was in part an exercise in audio quantize?)

Exactly. I’m just trying to learn how this feature works.

Would a good generalization be that algorithmic audio-warp is better for instruments that play a steady pattern like a bass guitar doing a rhythm line, and manually setting the hitpoints is better for vocals or instruments playing a complex melody?

@Louis_R I strongly believe you are wrong on this one. It’s not as confusing as you might think.

No, the panel will show note duration. A quarter note is a quarter note no matter what time signature.
If the time signature is 4/4 (reads four quarter notes per measure) then one 1/4 note (one quarter note) represents 25% the length of a measure. If the time signature is 2/4 then that same quarter note represents 50% of a measure. The note duration is not in relation to the time signature.

Here I think you are mixing up your terminology. “Beat” refers to the time signature fraction. In 4/4 time, the beat is 4 quarter notes per measure. In 6/8, it is 6 beats of 1/8 notes per measure.

There are exactly 3 quarter notes to a full measure in the time signature 6/8.
In OP’s original post, they were using a 3/8 signature. There is 1.5 quarter notes to a full measure in 3/8, which is the same as a dotted quarter note.
Try it.

I think a better generalization would be: Quantize only works well if small adjustments are needed.
That would be true for both audio and MIDI.


@mlindeb Please explain this. You can’t say that it is not based on the actual time signature. Don’t get me wrong.

If you want we can take this discussion via PM.
I fail to see what the video is trying to prove. I must be missing something.
Everything I wrote in the previous posts can easily be verified by any book written about music theory.