straightening up a strummed acoustic guitar

I’ ve recorded a musician strumming an acoustic guitar along to a set of midi VST instruments. The playing isn’t as tight as I would like, so I need to do some editing to smarten things up a bit.

One approach might be to do “Events to Part”, and then in the Part Editor cut up the strums and move them closer to the musically significant beats. Then, when finished do Audio/Advanced Timestretch or Audio/Advanced Crossfade to clean up the places where the cut points have produced gaps or overlaps.

But I was wondering if there was a less labour-intensive way of producing the same quality result.

Thanks for any ideas.

Best Regards
Graham in Chezzy

Best way to do is always by hand and using your ears.
Otherwise you could try to use the quantization. First set the hitpoint threshold for the track and then go on by using the quantization menu:

As Tj99 says, the best results are almost always obtained by doing this manually, chopping up the file and moving the segments until it sounds right. Nevertheless sometimes a “good enough” result can be obtained from using the hitpoints and Quantizing…it’s worth trying this approach and learning what it can and can’t do if you have the time.

Hi Graham,

What I always try first (before messing around with Hitpoints) is to find one of your midi events that contains a lot of information like a drum rhythm with fast hi hat playing for example, and then simply right click on that event and go to Advanced Quantize and create a Groove Quantize Preset which will then appear in the first Quantise Presets List.

Make sure to turn on AudioWarp Quantize, which is the little squiggly symbol to the left of the Quantize presets List and then highlight your strumming audio and simply hit Q

It will then automatically quantize that strumming to the timing of your drum rhythm, etc!

If you don’t like the results then you could create hitpoints and edit them to taste but it’s worth a try first! :wink:

Hope this helps?

Kind regards

James Colah

Thanks for the suggestions. I checked out Quantize a few cubase versions ago, but I hadn’t tried it recently, so I just gave it a try. Sad to say, it’s not really much good quality-wise on what is (or will be ) a predominantly acoustic track. Similarly Audiowarp doesn’t seem to work that well in this case either.
So, back to plan A. It’s been a case of just applying myself to what essentially is a quite repetitive task cutting up the track and moving clips around. You get into the zone after a while. I just listened back to it and it’s quite a convincing result, so I’m happy.

Thanks anyway for your thoughts.

Best Regards
Graham in Chezzy

Quantise works best when the transients represent that start of the beat/note you want to quantise.

The problem with acoustic guitars is that you get little spikes all over the place because guitarist move their fingers and they squeek, sometimes the strum is slower, sometimes the strum is faster etc etc.

You’re asking a of the program to ignore the transients you want it to ignore and to pick the ones you want to quantise. Thats why you have to do it manually.

Audiowarp works well, but because of the nature of the sound of the acoustic guitar, as soon as you stretch to too much it literally does sound warped.

Acoustic guitars are some thing you just have to spend time over if you need to edit them.