Nerdish question about "humanizing" timing

The article linked below explains how “The delays that humans produce when playing music are not purely random but are correlated and can be described by colored noise (for example 1/f noise, also called pink noise).”
It also links to a plugin for Ableton that humanizes tempo through this method.

Anybody has any idea or suggestion how to implement this in Cubase for MIDI tracks? I am thinking of something with Logical Editor, but I have not been able to come up with a formula that would do it.
Or would it be possible to automate the timing delay throughout the track, to make changes with a sine curve, not abrupt ones? :ugeek:

Interesting article.

I don’t think it can be done via the transformer since there is no logic in it to figure out where you are within the project.

But automating by the delay is pretty easy. In the attached I’m ramping from 50ms before the beat to 50ms after it. This is of course more than you’d want to really do but I wanted the timing change to be real obvious compared to the click. The automation is just a straight line so it is smooth enough over 12 bars (although abrupt when the loop cycles back to the start). I also randomized the position of the midi notes between -11 and +11 ticks (120 ticks = 16th note by default) to add additional and probably unnecessary variation.

I initially tried doing this using the MIDI Modifiers in the inspector and automating the min/max values to randomize Position. But oddly the max parameter disappeared after I automated the min. So I switched to the insert plug for MIDI Modifiers which was better anyway since it had an actual delay parameter in ms.

that’s really clever, never thought to automate things like that !

Generally i find that halving the tempo and playing in all notes (overdubs/chord changes) helps to give a played in feel.

I never really use quantise on anything other than drums to be honest

For guys like me who use a drum VST instrument like EZDrummer 2 to keep timing it is easy as EZD2 has an option preference to “Humanize” them. Works/sounds nice. You can definitely hear the difference with that option turned “On” or “Off”. It sounds mucho better with it set to “On”.

Regards :sunglasses:

I look forward to reading this article - this is a subject of great interest to me.

You might be interested in something I wrote a couple of years ago regarding humanizing MIDI performance. You can find the article here:

If you read the article in the OP (which indeed is quite nerdish) you’ll see that they are describing something a bit different than what most “humanize” functions do which is to randomly vary timing and velocity by small amounts. The article explains how that is only one component of what happens when people play. There is an additional timing variation which slowly changes over time. It is this second element that the OP is trying to replicate.

I guess I didn’t get that point. Thanks. :slight_smile:

Regards :sunglasses:

Excellent tip. Thank you!

Do you then create a groove quantise from the drums and quantise things like the bass to that? Just thinking you dont just want the druims humanised

Here is how I typically record the music I like.
I (or another artist) records a guitar track using the CB click for timing. I then add a fairly rudimentary VST-Instrument drum track using humanized EZD2. All remaining recorded tracks are sung or played by artists using actual instruments or a keyboard to play VST-instruments using the aforementioned guitar and drum tracks for timing. I then go back to the EZD2 drum track and revise it as necessary with beats that are as close as possible to how I would play it on a real drum set. Again the EZD2 track is humanized. My typical projects are 12 to 18 tracks.

The result is music that is as real as I can get without recording an actual drum set (which I would if I had a better audio interface with more inputs (one of these days).

Very rarely do I create techno music but when I do I use Groove Agent. They sound very robotic. I never tried it but maybe this midi can be switched to play through EZD2 with in humanizing function?

Regards. :sunglasses:

Cool thanks for describing that