[SOLVED] Quantizing DYNAMIC tempo drums into CONSTANT tempo

Hi all.

Just checked out that Webinar video about the Drum Replacement and it looks very cool. Just one thing I’d like to know how to maneuver;

I have this drummer who just CAN’T or won’t even try to play along the click track. He still insists the click being played in the studio to his headphones while recording the drums - even if it really has no significance at all on the final result.

OK, I would like to use the Tempo Detection tool for his drums and slice up the whole drums and that can be done, no problem. But what you get, is a fluctuating or dynamic tempo track and I’d like the drums be quantized so that the tempo would remain CONSTANT throughout the corresponding project. So that the drums would be re-aligned to the constant tempo instead of any “groove map”.

That would make the overall editing so much easier when you finally get to record the guitars, basses etc. AND I wouldn’t get this VERY ANNOYING speeding-up of the tempo as the recording goes along; Tony (my drummer) always plays drums in a way that the song starts with a lower tempo and at the end the tempo will always be much higher, and I hate that.

So how can I do that??? Making the drums’ tempo constant by quantizing them.

The video ends where the drums are quantized among the dynamic tempo and I would have loved to see also how to “flatten” the tempo to a constant value with the drums playing along with it.

Can you help?

Another drummer? :smiling_imp:

While he apparently plays to the click track I presume someone or all the band play along with him (as guide tracks). If that is the case is he the only one with the click track in his phones?
If so put the click thru everyone’s phones that plays with him. I have found that playing to click and having a guitarist that’s not listening to the drummer can pull the timing around something awful and the drummer can’t do anything about it. I have seen drummers who work with one unit and keep perfect time can be thrown into a completely different feel with another member (or band) who doesn’t play the timing ball too well. Especially if the drummer is the only one who is using the click.
Also I find recording a vox / guitar guide track to a click or no is much better than just a click for the drummer though I presume you do all this.

This is, however, one of those jobs best done by hand. Slicing and pulling the slices into line using Audiowarp*. Best to use small slices or splits to avoid too many artifacts on the cymballed parts if you have to pull things into line any more than a “normal” acceleration is happening.
We all like to save time but sometimes a little care, attention and time at the moment saves doing it all again later.
I like doing it like that as it seems more like “art” than just pushing buttons and I find it engrossing. But that’s just me.

Sometimes it’s quicker to record the “bad” drummer then sneak a good one in there to learn his part and tell the “bad” one that it was him. It’s been done, so the stories say, to not a few well known players.

*Audiowarp: Go into the audio editor (press enter) for your drum part, select Audiowarp, grab & and pull your drum beats into line with the timeline. Just been into C6 to see if anything new has been added. Haven’t found it yet. As said before it may be best to cut your drum part up into manageable slices to do this if you hear distortions. You may want to set your standard Algorithm to drums (top right defaults to Elastique which may be ok but it’s new so I’m not sure).

*Audiowarp: Go into the audio editor (press enter) for your drum part, select Audiowarp, grab & and pull your drum beats into line with the timeline.

Unfortunately not possible with a multitrack drum recording…you can only warp one track at a time so your phase would go all over the place.

I think there are 2 workable options.

The setting of a good tempo map &/or hitpoints is the most important thing for these…don’t assume the automatic methods will be good enough & expect some head scratching with any gaps or tempo changes…As you’ve seen there is the detect tempo, but you may not want to use a map with every beat given a tempo change which is what this creates.

Method 1. Set tempo track, correct time signature to 4/4 from the 1/4 cubase inserted & play through with metronome click to check.
Then in the editor set hitpoints for the tracks…kick & snare may be enough. Go through the editor from start to end deleting/adding/moving as required. If you have break with no kick or snare but toms, then also hitpoint those just in that section…basically ensure there are hitpoints everywhere in the song.
Then from the arrange page open quantise panel, , slice the audio, quantise & crossfade.
Back in the arrange page, switch off your tempo map & set the tempo you want…or create a new map with a fixed tempo for verse…another for chorus, breakdown etc & check & redo any crossfading as necessary .

Have to be honest & say I haven’t tried resetting the tempo after slicing, but it should work!

Method 2. Create your tempo map, correct the time signature, play with the metronome & confirm its ok.
select the audio events & "set definition from tempo " (Audio/Advanced).
Now turn off the tempo map & set the tempo you want. There’s quite a lot of stretching/warping going on here so I wouldn’t recommend playing around with tempos while the song is playing.

Oh & it’s easiest to work with complete events certainly for method 2…all identical in length…move so the first beat is on a bar before trying tempo detect…if manually mapping set tempo approx correct first.

They seem complex time consuming processes at first but once you’ve done a few it speeds right up. Method 1 is good if quantise is required & you have full control as you can move any slice if it’s not right. Method 2 i haven’t tried yet for drums but I fixed tempo of a full mixdown with great results using a manual tempo map with tabs every couple of bars.

Maybe this helps:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEq7SlNzsrI

Thanks! That explained it a little bit and the guy talked about “fitting the song to constant tempo map”, but he never actually showed how to do that… :confused: To me, he only explained how to do the tempo detection but how about fitting those hitpoints to a constant tempo map? That’s what I’d like to learn.

Still once more: My drummer plays out of tempo and I only play the guitar to his headphones and NOT RECORDING the guitar yet. So that it’s only a cue for the drummer, but before actually starting to record any further material (guitars, bass, etc.) I’d like to quantize the drums to a constant tempo.

I know that Tempo Detection tool has to be used first and it will render a “tempo map” there, but I want to “flatten” the tempo so that the drums be quantized to the constant tempo.

I know the solution is probably right in front of my eyes and I just can’t see it. Hope some one could help :slight_smile:

->Tommy<-

Thank You, Grim!

That’s probably how I want that to work and how to do it! At least it seems like it to me. Of course it’s difficult to understand the whole maneuver just by reading this, but I’ll give it a try later - when I’ll actually have some drums recorded :slight_smile: It will take until next summer at least… :wink:

By yes, I basically need the time-stretching of course, since the tempo probably will have to be slowed down (because Tony speeds up the tempo while playing), so that seems like a solution to me. Of course the most important thing is to just get the hitpoints quantized correctly and then I could even go through one hell of a job of manually streching the audio where needed. But that’s no problem. Like I said, the quantizing itself is the most important.

But one question still: Can I choose the time-streching method to be used for drums only? I remember vaguely there was an algorithm especially for the drums, named “drums”, for a surprise. Was there? And do I do it from the Preferences changing just the Time-Stretching Algorithm? Or can it be changed on the per-operation-basis somehow so that I will not forget to change the Preferences back to Poly Complex (Formant)?

Any further help would be appreciated. Thanks for the help so far. I’m starting to get this bit by bit:)


Don’t detect tempo. Do hit point detection and slice. Then quantize.

Did you see this demo?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hqa4-nABkn0

But one question still: Can I choose the time-streching method to be used for drums only? I remember vaguely there was an algorithm especially for the drums, named “drums”, for a surprise. Was there? And do I do it from the Preferences changing just the Time-Stretching Algorithm? Or can it be changed on the per-operation-basis somehow so that I will not forget to change the Preferences back to Poly Complex (Formant)?

Any further help would be appreciated. Thanks for the help so far. I’m starting to get this bit by bit:)

The warping algo using the method 2 outlined above will by default use elastic pro…my experience so far is that this is greatly superior to any of the old Poly Complex etc options.

You should probably try out method 2 on a stereo mix before a multitrack to get the hang of it. You could try with a fixed tempo track & change it to different tempos if you don’t have any live takes available yet.
I’m sure my explanation isn’t great & you’ll find the information isn’t all in one place in the manual so it will take a bit of searching & trying but you’ll get there in the end using the method outlined.

Cheers
Grim.

Even though that is replacing drums with midi, you need to slice where he has extract MIDI. Then quantize the sliced results. This video sort of highlights that process a little. Hopefully the combination will get you there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMz9nnqGHTk&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Sorry but this is not good advice!

The video is showing quantisation of tracks played correctly to a click so their tempo is fixed already.
If you read the first post you will see that Mindastray is trying to fix tempo of a track that speeds up as it progresses.

If you don’t do tempo detection or create a tempo map then there is no useful grid for the drums to quantise to.

That’s probably close one too, like the one that Grim explained. I get all confused here, since I’m sure that you people are talking about the same things here, but that’s ok! It’s good that you know what I mean… :sunglasses:

Yep, like Grim said, it would be better to try out with some “demo material”, only if I had one… But I’ll try to make one “Tony-played-version” with Groove Agent 3 :laughing: and go on from there.

It’s always the very same thing when trying out something new; first you just don’t have a slightest clue, and then afterwards, when you have realized the whole thing, you think that “how the hell didn’t I understand this to begin with”?!?!?! :smiley:

You’re right, Grim. Thanks JMCecil anyway thou. When I’m all learned and professional with this issue, I’ll post a thread explaining all this to those as dumb as myself for not understanding it just yet. Well, my first time for the grid quantizing anyway and starting from the hardest part of it. Not quite easy… :wink:

Ok, maybe I’m missing the point… but this is what I think he has.

Input= One free time drum track
Output = Drum track aligned to the project fixed tempo

If that is the desired result, you do NOT extract a tempo map from the drums. You simply detect transients then slice them. Then you quantize them to the project tempo.

If I misunderstand what you are trying to do, I apologize.

OK, Mr. Grim and the rest reading this, here’s what I tried and the pictures/audio that resulted:

PHASE 1: First I made a drum audio tracks (one for bassdrum, one for snare, etc.) - 5 of them exactly - and so that the Tempo is speeding up gradually. You can listen for the audio here (and this is the original, non-quantized audio that sounds like it should, for this example):

http://www.pc-professor.fi/Cubase6/drums-original.mp3


PHASE 2: I “Tempo Detected” the bassdrum track and what I got out was a Tempo Track looking like this (like it should):

And from closer::

So no any gaps here, so this is ok for now…


PHASE 3: I did HITPOINT DETECTION and then sliced the original drum track events with the Quantizing Tool and result is also there in the picture above.

PHASE 4: I changed all the drum tracks to MUSICAL MODE (seen also in the picture above) so that the events would follow the tempo changes.

PHASE 5: I changed the Tempo to a constant value by removing all the tempo edit points on the Tempo track after the first one, and here’s the resulting Tempo Track and the rest:

And the zoomed-in one:

So now there are GAPS between the events thou they do follow the tempo. This is how it sound like (HORRIBLE!!!):

http://www.pc-professor.fi/Cubase6/drums-quantized.mp3


So Cubase 6, for starters, doesn’t make any time-stretching on those drum events like I wanted. Why? And second, I didn’t even have to use that iQ or any kind of Quantizing at all. And I’m quite sure that there’s a reason that I went wrong…

So do I have to change my drum tracks into Musical Mode at all? How to apply time-streching? How to use that quantizing? Etc. etc.

I hate feeling this stupid, but this is HARD!! Again, I know the solution must be very easy but I just can’t see it and that makes me angry… Please help further! I don’t want to make a Service Request at this point yet…

Howdy,

I have several drum tracks simultaneously (meaning, Snare, Bassdrum, Hi-Hat etc.) and I’d like them all to be quantized since they are played out of tempo during recording. Of course that’s not the issue right now, since we haven’t been in the studio yet, but it will be :wink:

Check that earlier post of mine with the pics and audio!


Did you close gaps?
And I still don’t think you should do the tempo bit. Just detect, slice, quantize and close gaps.

I Just Tempo map, Cut at bars, Set fixed tempo and close gaps

Hippo

THAT IS the issue here!! Finally got it. Thanks Grim !! I never EVER would have figured this out by myself… However I find it strange that now that there is this new, fancy quantizing feature, it doesn’t support the time-stretching directly from that interface at all. Or does it??

Also even if the algorithm is Elastiqe Pro, when lowering (like I tried) the tempo made quite some artifacts to the output, so does it get any better when downmixed? I mean, is that only a “real-time playback” issue?

Anyhow, that’s not important since for what I need is just some minor changes to that tempo, since it will not vary too much. Still there are gaps on my understanding of that quantizing feature… Don’t even know what the heck is iQ. Well, I haven’t even read the manual yet, so no complaints, but I would have liked to see the time-streching and -compressing automatically by choice. Now you have to go through to Audio > Advanced > Set definition by tempo… option.

It’s good if you know that, but for the quantizing itself I guess I’ll have to wait for the live drummer material for a need to utilize that properly.

SOLUTION:

  1. Detect Tempo
  2. Detect Hitpoints
  3. Slice (as drum tracks under same folder -> group editing enabled)
    4. Select all drum events. Then go --> AUDIO -> ADVANCED -> SET DEFINITION FROM TEMPO
  4. “Flatten” the tempo, ie. make it CONSTANT, however you want (remove additional tempo points, or disable the tempo track altogether…)

Result: http://www.pc-professor.fi/Cubase6/drums-definition.mp3

However, when you DON’T use that 4th step and INSTEAD just use “CLOSE GAPS”-function (MPEX Poly Complex), this is what I got:

Result: http://www.pc-professor.fi/Cubase6/drums-closegaps.mp3

Any difference?? I think that this CLOSE GAPS-function SUCKS when done on drums!! Or then I’m doing something wrong, again.

Anyway, to do it like Grim suggested to, the outcome is waaaaaay better. STILL not good enough thou; you can hear some minor artifacts by the streching especially on the Snare drum (at the end side of the audio file, since that’s where the original tempo was higher and there’s much more of that time-stretching appied).

Any comments?

However I find it strange that now that there is this new, fancy quantizing feature, it doesn’t support the time-stretching directly from that interface at all. Or does it??

No the quantise has no stretching involved…gaps can be closed & crossfaded easily enough (they should never be that large) & the result has zero stretch artifacts. People have corrected drum timing this way for many years in all DAWS. Cubase 6 just simplifies/speeds the process.

Also even if the algorithm is Elastiqe Pro, when lowering (like I tried) the tempo made quite some artifacts to the output, so does it get any better when downmixed? I mean, is that only a “real-time playback” issue?

Was this from a tempo map with a tempo change on every beat? Try creating a manual map with a change only on first beat of the bar or maybe every couple of bars…this should stretch smoothly up to a point…but you will only ever want to change things by a few bpm hopefully.

Don’t even know what the heck is iQ.

IQ is iterative quantise…instead of shifting 100% on the beat, it shifts a percentage towards the beat…can tighten up without losing all feel.

Well, I haven’t even read the manual yet,

Well why waste your time when you can waste mine :unamused:

I would have liked to see the time-streching and -compressing automatically by choice. Now you have to go through to Audio > Advanced > Set definition by tempo… option.

Isn’t “automatically by choice” an oxymoron?