Correcting timing issues?

As I’m working on fixing timing issues in the bass track of Unknown, I’m thinking there has to be a different way that is less cumbersome.

Currently I use Melodyne since it’s easy for me to shorten and lengthen blobs on the screen. I’ve never used warp points, but I suspect this is what they are made for. Am I correct?

How do you fix timing issues? I don’t mean anything obnoxious. I’m talking about notes that were played slightly ahead or behind the beat.

this is a tricky topic for Cubase. In some ways it has some killer tools for this. In other ways (and probably what you want) it is cumbersome … and that is being nice.

In general if you have well articulated transients, the tools will work well. If not (which is my usual situation) they suck monkey nuts.

If you have your project tempo is the one you want, then open the bass file into the sample editor and detect hitpoints. You might get lucky and get a 99% match and just have drag a couple of points.

There are certain transition points within the song’s structure where the bass came in as much as 1/32rd of a beat early and that was annoying the hell out of me.

If I have to go through the trouble of using Vari-Audio I’ll stick with Melodyne since I’m used to the interface.

no need for crazy in that scenario, just cut at transient, turn off snap, size applies stretch on both sides of the slice, x-fade if necessary

EDIT: You may have to slice again before and after the transient slice to stop the size/stretch from ruining earlier/later parts.

Or to avoid time stretching bass parts I quite often just cut before and after, then slide (Ctrl/Alt) into time and adjust cut points, Xfade and done…

That’s what I used to do. But sometimes you do want a little bit of playing ahead of the beat, e.g. during the chorus for example, so if I don’t get it right the first, second, …, tenth time then it gets frustrating. This is especially true when there are more than a few instances. It’s easier to transfer the entire thing into Melodyne and simply adjust the blobs.

Either way, blob adjusting by hand seems to yield better results than any automatic blob adjuster :laughing:

I’m not sure how many notes you want to move, Larry. If it’s just a few, then give melodyne a try and see if you
get a quick and satisfactory result.
I’ve found, and especially when using a midi drum track but the other tracks are imperfect guitar/vocal tracks,
that I get a better result by simply retracking the offending section. Be sure to warm up on bass, then punch in enough of the part to ‘get your groove on’, then try to fix it naturally. I can understand that an engineer, once the band has left the studio, would have no choice but to fix the part using an editor - but since you’re doing all the playing - why not simply try to get it right at the source?

I’m basing this on the frustrating results I got playing around with vocal phrasings/timing in variaudio. Quantizing to note values mostly didn’t work, and trying to stretch the notes and tweak the melodies by ear rarely yielded a good result.

Besides, playing it again is always more fun than poking around in an editor, isn’t it? :slight_smile:

I agree normally, but there is one problem: I’m really not that good of a musician from a timing perspective. I tend to get so caught up about worrying what my next phrase is supposed to be (or going to be if I’m soloing) that I forget things like timing. :laughing:

As a result, my tracks will always have a fair number of timing issues regardless of how many times I track it. I can’t help it - I am an ADD guitarist. (Now if that isn’t a song title I don’t know what is. Paging Mr. Yankovic!)

This is one of the use cases for the project window feewarp feature we have been begging for.

Ahhh…BS! :laughing:

If you’re anything like me, on these one man band projects(unlike a band which comes in well rehearsed and has had plenty of time to develop the song both at rehearsal and on stage), after coming up with the chord structure
and doing some drum programming, I’ll lay down a bass track without really taking the time to develop the part
and truly “own it”. It’s not 'til after the song gets closer to being done that I realize where I overplayed, where I can improve it, and I’ll retrack it. At that point I’ll jam with the song and try a few different things and get really comfortable with the bass part and with the arrangement. that’s when you begin to really own the part, and you’re ready to lay down the keeper.
If you’re still " so caught up about worrying what my next phrase is supposed to be", then you haven’t spent enough time playing the part. Once you’ve put in the work, you won’t need to think about it anymore, it’ll just flow. Now get to work!

My workflow is a bit different.

I tend to mentally compose the song in its entirety (at least for a first pass) before I’ll start tracking. But even then I’ll record a few tracks that I’m dead set on from a playability standpoint and then will jam with it on each of the other instruments. The problem is that I actually construct the way I want to play each track from a sum of the various takes but not by using comping. Instead, it’s from a “yeah I liked the way that felt” standpoint.

So when I’m tracking for real on these instruments, I have to mentally remember what I played where. In fact, if you see some of my older Cubase projects, I used to create a MIDI track that contained no data in it but simply had the various parts of the song in different colors, e.g. all verses would be red, choruses would be green, etc. That would allow me to at least know where I was in the song at a glance so as song transitions came up I was ready for it.

That’s what I meant by that statement.

There sure is a less cumbersome way. It’s called ‘playing in time’ :laughing:

Unless you’re 'Flea" or “Victor Wooten” … both of which are very talented ‘lead’ bassists… both of which have seemingly have overlooked the obvious clue inherent in the name of their instrument of choice i.e. “bass” :wink:

Except… Bass Players, then they only listen to Bass :laughing:


I hate you. :stuck_out_tongue:

Vic hasn’t overlooked the obvious clue you speak of, and he explains it very succinctly right here:

When I said “If you’re anything like me”, I didn’t mean that I thought our workflows or process would be the same.
What I meant was that our first attempts at playing a new part, even if played well, are often not the most interesting result we’re capable of. You’ve played in bands, Larry. Haven’t you played songs enough times with your band over a period of several months or years that you get to a point where playing a song is something you don’t have to think about anymore - it just seems to flow effortlessly? That’s when you’re part has ripened. That’s when you ‘own it’.
I think in this digital age it’s easy to get a part only to where we think it’s adequate, because we’re impatient. We want to move on to the vocal part and the solo - then get it mixed so we can post it and have our friends hear it.

I’m not suggesting that you play the part repeatedly for 6 months before doing your final take. I’m suggesting you play the song through ten or more times today, then do that again tomorrow,etc…and before long you’ll realize that not only are you playing it much more fluently, but that you’ve also probably made some adjustments to the part. this is the difference between an adequate track and truly solid track.

I find that when I use this approach, not only do I end up with better recordings, but I feel like I’m becoming a better player.

That’s a fair criticism of how my impatience affects my…LOOK THERE’S A SQUIRREL!


Good luck with Melodyne! :mrgreen: