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Larry Jones

Editing Audio With Audiosnap to Fix Timing Errors

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I've got a bass guitar track that is not rhythmically solid. He is playing eight to the bar at 155bpm. A very high percentage of the notes are off by a tiny amount, but the MIDI drums are, of course, bang on, so the incorrect timing on the bass is noticeable.

I've never used Audiosnap, but this is a long-distance collaboration and I don't know if I can get the guy to play his part again. I have tried many settings -- threshold, resolution, stretch method, manual editing, quantize (note durations, audio snap beats, etc) different amounts of "swing" and  have come pretty close to "fixing" this track, but something always goes wrong, Like there is an extra transient detected that I can't get rid of, or a transient is missing. When I play back sections where these things occur it sounds worse than when I started. Note that if I could get this working I wouldn't mind editing the whole three minutes manually, nor would I mind if the track ends up "perfect," i.e. mechanical sounding. The song won't suffer.

Is there a clear tutorial somewhere on how to do this? It seems to me that anyone who's tried to edit a track for timing must have run into the same glitches. I have been at this for a few hours now, and I would welcome any tips or ideas.

Edited by Larry Jones
clarity

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There are several methods you can use to correct timing issues;  Audio Snap, Melodyne or audio editing.  Since a bass guitar, depending on how it's played, often may not have distinct transients and Audio Snap may have trouble accurately locating them, you would have to manually move and delete/disable transient markers to line up properly. Once this is done you can stretch the the offending notes to the proper timing.  Once you are happy with the track, perform a bounce to clips to finalize.  A smart tip is to duplicate the track and archive before you start as a safety precaution.

The other method, which I find easier,  is to insert Melodyne as a region effect, and simply use the time tool to move the blobs (notes) to the correct timing.  There is  a 'Quantize Time Macro' where you can select the offending notes or all notes and quantize them,  however unless there are a lot of timing issues I would do it manually, just remember to either disable the snap to time grid icon within Melodyne  (a small note in the upper right hand corner), or if you prefer you can set the time grid resolution to a specific value if you want the notes to snap 100% to the grid, at the cost of losing some human feel.

The other method I use, if there are only a few timing errors, is audio editing.  Split and trim the offending note, drag move to the correct time, and perform crossfades. To be honest this is the method I use most of the time. Cheers.

  

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@tonemangler: Thanks for that. I had high hopes for Audiosnap, and I completely forgot about Melodyne. I feel like Audiosnap would have worked for me if I could occasionally add my own transient marker. But when I came to a spot where the timing was off and there was no marker, it seemed there was nothing I could do.

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1 hour ago, Larry Jones said:

. But when I came to a spot where the timing was off and there was no marker, it seemed there was nothing I could do.

By holding Alt while clicking you can insert a marker.

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4 hours ago, razor7music said:

+1 Melodyne

I found some anomalies in Melodyne's behavior, too, but it definitely works better for this that Audiosnap. Thanks!

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On 9/27/2020 at 3:02 PM, Larry Jones said:

@tonemangler: Thanks for that. I had high hopes for Audiosnap, and I completely forgot about Melodyne. I feel like Audiosnap would have worked for me if I could occasionally add my own transient marker. But when I came to a spot where the timing was off and there was no marker, it seemed there was nothing I could do.

You can add your own audio snap markers and delete markers as well.  (Control (or alt) click when in audio snap transient view I THINK) This is key for Audio snap editing.

Me personally, for Bass guitar (or any guitar for that matter) I usually just manually slice and dice (and fade) because time stretching tends to not be kind to Bass.  Manual editing is more laborious, but results in a cleaner sound.  

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12 hours ago, Blogospherianman said:

Me personally ... I usually just manually slice and dice (and fade) ...  Manual editing is more laborious, but results in a cleaner sound.  

+1 ^This.

Edited by twelvetone

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13 hours ago, Blogospherianman said:

Me personally, for Bass guitar (or any guitar for that matter) I usually just manually slice and dice (and fade) because time stretching tends to not be kind to Bass.  Manual editing is more laborious, but results in a cleaner sound.  

+1 - Me too

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@Blogospherianman @twelvetone; @reginaldStjohn @tonemangler

Thanks guys. I'm still struggling with this bass track. Every time I listen I hear another timing problem. I used Melodyne to quantize the whole track (in bite-size sections), and that worked OK in a general way, but it left some sloppiness. So I went back to transient-stretching with Audiosnap and I'm in the process of manually tightening it up. If it weren't for Covid we'd just get together and do it over until we got it right, and in the end it would be better than what we're gonna end up with this way. But that's life and death in the new millennium.

Edited by Larry Jones
clarity

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Hi🙂

I can play a bassline for you if you give me a playback and the chords. It's a part of my profession to play bass😉

Bassman.

 

 

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On 10/2/2020 at 11:05 AM, Heinz Hupfer said:

Hi🙂

I can play a bassline for you if you give me a playback and the chords. It's a part of my profession to play bass😉

Bassman.

@Heinz Hupfer - Thank you for your kind offer! Your playing is truly impressive, but I've resolved my issues for now.

Larry

 

 

 

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