How to humanize midi?

I know that Cubase has some humanization functions, but I don’t know to use them. Is there a decent guide I can read to teach me how to use the humanization functions that are bundled in Cubase?

Iterative quantize is your friend:) I have it as i key command.

Internal midi timing in cubase is Solid enough.

But, MIDI to ext.Instruments is very humanized, so humanized that it emulates drunk musicians, the more tracks you add the more out of time it gets.

Good job Steinberg on monopolizing cubase to use only internal “Instruments”.

I’m new on this forum, Hello every one! :slight_smile:

I usually humanize drum tracks.
I have always two tracks of drums in project. Both of them are connected to one instrument.
I “draw” drums on “first” track.
During drawinng first track is active, second is muted.

When I want to make mixdown with ‘humanized’ drums: I have to:

  • copy events from first track to second
  • glue all events on second track to one big event
  • Aply Logical editor with following preset:

_Condition (upper part of logical editor window):
Filter Target: Type Is, Condition = equal, Parameter1 = note

Actions (lower part of logical editor window):

  1. Action target = Position, Operation = Set relative random values between, Parametet1 = -8, Parametet2 = 8
  2. Action target = Value2, Operation = Set relative random values between, Parametet1 = -25, Parametet2 = 25
  3. Action target = Length, Operation = Divide by, Parametet1 = 2
    • Value2 in Action 2 is velocity
      ** - Third action is done to avoid overlapping of notes after randomizing position_
  • mute first track and unmute second
  • make mixdown with humanized drums.

I think, that result is good.
Parameters should be adjusted with your taste and type of music.

I think the best way to humanize MIDI is to not use MIDI.

Correct, az!

…or use the Input Transformer, it´s comparably to the Logic Editor (see tip of “az65535” above!)
(with handy values, humanize the start point, e.g. see old forum among other things)

Alternative 1:
Use the Inspector!! for humanize midi notes:
Inspector > Midi Modifiers = "Random > “Position”> “+/-” !
Very good results to humanize, I use this a lot.
(than “MIDI” > “Freeze Midi-Modifiers”, all settings of the inspector rendered in midi regions!)

Alternative 2:
Make your own “Quantize Preset”!
open the Midi Key Editor.
Open the cubase “Quantize Setup” window:
Set “auto” - now, midi-quantize is in real time with undo (!)
edit the quantize parameters directly, try different settings, the “Magnetic Area” and “Random Quantize” is most important.
With “apply” - the midi notes are fixed now.
You can save own presets!
After this, the famous “Q”-button is your friend, as ever…

I use a rather primitive humanize function: myself.

instead of quantizing I play the part as good as possible by hand,

  • complicated melodies with rhythmic patterns I play the rhythmics with as less notes as possible and thenmove the notes into the correct height.
  • For more simple issues I play by hand and then correct the notes without the magnetic bars so that the notes are never 100% stucked to the bars.

May be primitive as mentioned but for me that works great.

You know why music was much funkier back in the day? They did it “by hand” and didn’t mess up the natural timing by using MIDI. Today, everything sounds so tight and mechanical and robotic

You’ve been offered some methods of making random changes to MIDI parameters. But don’t confuse “human feel” with “random wrongness”. The best players put notes EXACTLY where they want them, with EXACTLY the velocity required. But that place may not be dead on a quantised beat, that velocity may not be identical to that of the previous note.

I suggest you should be looking for MORE control, not just asking the machine to add “slop”.

Humanisiation is rarely achieved by quantisisng, well overquantising anyway. You get a much better effect if you play with the dynamics. That also can be subtler than you might think.
Record some acoustic drums or find some solo drums on the net, You Tube’s got plenty, and look at the audio graph of the hats or a snare roll and you’ll soon get an idea of the level of dynamic programming needed.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is.
And any rock tunes can have excitement added by ramping the tempo 2 to 10% beginning to end or a lot less % but harder to judge ramping two bars before each chorus if the chorus is “up”.
Quantising is much better at correcting bad timing on electronically generated midi than for making bad timing sound real.

The best players put notes EXACTLY where they want them, with EXACTLY the velocity required. But that place may not be dead on a quantised beat, that velocity may not be identical to that of the previous note.

I suggest you should be looking for MORE control, not just asking the machine to add “slop”.

Yes, you are right.

But, is there any tool or technique that can be used by a composer with absolutely no ability to play whatsoever?

I am a hobbyist. I enjoy composing music. (some musicians have actually told me that I am good at it)

I have absolutely no ability to play an instrument. I spent many hours trying to play the piano, but never accomplished anything.

Adjusting each note’s position and velocity individually feels like editing a photograph one pixel at a time.

Anybody have an idea?

No, and yes. Just work with what you have to write the song in your head. Every song that is sung should be as valid with vox + piano or guitar as it would be with a big arrangement. So if you have minimal skills you best tool is to keep your demo simple and hire or cajole someone with the skills (those musicians that told you you’re good at it?) to beef it up later. Learning to play an instrument properly is almost as hard as learning how to use Cubase. :laughing:
Don’t edit one pixel at a time. Just take a good simple picture and keep aunties head in the frame. To get what you want at the end you need to know what you want at the beginning.

You DO have ability to play an instrument - a sequencer.

If you were a pianist, you could practice the technique of playing each note with carefully controlled timing and velocity - or you could mechanise the process by punching out a piano-roll.

As a computer musician, you can precisely specify the parameters of every note. Or you can get lazy and try to get the computer to do it for you.

Of course, you might come to the conclusion that a VERY effecient way of specifing these parameters is through real-time input from a MIDI keyboard or other MIDI controller. And that developing the skill required to do this would be a good idea.