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Iron Keys

How to swing the piano roll grid???

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Hi Cakey people,

Anyone know how to have swung gridlines in the piano roll???

Also if anyone has any additional info on how to add swing to your tracks in Cakewalk it would be appreciated. The more straight forward and universal the method the better!

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For swung gridlines in the piano roll view you have to set the snap to triplets (1/8 , 1/16, 1/32). For triplet eighth notes, set eighth note and the ‘3’ next to the note values in the snap module.  If you enable the piano roll view Snap resolution (independent of global snap, then you must set thePiano Roll view snap resolution (top right of the piano roll view) to 1/8 triplets or 1/16 triplets etc.  That menu actually says triplet after the note value as opposed to having to tick the 3 in the main global snap.

The triplet gridlines only show a ‘perfect’ 66% swing (as well as the notes that land at 33%).  I was just thinking about asking for the ability to vary the gridlines based on different Swing values other than the perfect swing.

To add ANY  percentage of swing to midi you can use the Midi Fx Quantize or pressing Q will allow you to process the quantize instantly.  I like to use the Midi FX Quantize inserted into the clip so I can slice the clip say during drum fills to quantize to a different resolution, swing or strength values. You can bounce to clip when you’re done if ya want.

You can also quantize audio in a similar way using audio snap and quantize or even Groove quantize (useful for locking things like tambourines to a loose drummer or what have you.  Or even grooves that evolve organically.

In the context of the Quantize plugin or processing Quantize you can either use triplets for a perfect 66% swing OR you can set the value to 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 etc. snd then set the Swing Value manually (50% is straight, 66% is perfect Swing, 75% 1/8 note swing sounds like a dotted 1/8 followed by a 1/16 note, 68%-70% sounds like jazz swing. 58% sounds like loose rock like ‘Run Run Rudolph’ or Jerry Lee. 😀

I personally like to FIRST set the strength to 100% percent (temporarily just to know I’m applying the proper setting) and set the swing and Offset next. Once I’ve set those knowing it’s correcting in all the right directions, I’l adjust the strength back to where it sounds good for the track and where it was played.  Good players may need 0-50% strength whereas a bad player may need 50-100% Strength and anywhere in between. Maybe for EDM you might need to set  the Strength to 100% and then to the appropriate Swing value like 68% just as an example.  I’ve heard just about every swing value used at one time or another.  (No rules in EDM)

Offset is good when the whole song has been played on top of or behind the click (still sounding good with the click turned off) and you need to tighten up your stuff but stay on top of or behind. Or for things like strings that you want tight, but need the notes to start early for the sake of the samples slower attack or pre-samples.  Or if you just played ahead of the beat but need it on the beat you might need to use Offset for the quantize to correct notes in the right direction then use nudge to put it back on the beat. (Or nudge a little first then quantize) 

Hope my thoughts give you enough insight to help!

😃✌️ 

 

Edited by Blogospherianman
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@Blogospherianman

Massive thanks for such an indepth response. 

At the moment im currently using the quantize "effect" when you right click on the clip... i was using 30% swing as it sounded close to what i was playing (originally didn't realise i was swinging, until i drew my midi in and it sounded off).

A bit annoying not being able ti have the grid swung, as when viewing my recorded midi it's harder to visually tell how off or on you are. (I make dance based music, but like some elements to stay a little "loose" to give it a bit more natural sound)

I'll defijitely come back to your reply a few times as was a lot to take in (that i havent used yet, but sound like a few useful methods in there)

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17 hours ago, Iron Keys said:

@Blogospherianman

Massive thanks for such an indepth response. 

At the moment im currently using the quantize "effect" when you right click on the clip... i was using 30% swing as it sounded close to what i was playing (originally didn't realise i was swinging, until i drew my midi in and it sounded off).

 

You are totally welcome!  Glad to help!

Also a Swing value of 30% isn’t a typical swing as you’re actually moving the ‘ands’ of eighth notes or the ‘ees’ and ‘ughs’ of sixteenth notes forward in time instead of later.  (Remember 50% Eighth note Swing is actually Straight Eighths.)  So for example, with eighth note swing if you set the swing to 25%, the result will sound like a sixteenth note followed by a dotted eighth.  So with note swing, the percentage will let you know the placement of the Even numbered note values (2nd, 4th,6th,8th etc) So 50% puts the even numbered (ands or ughs etc) exactly 50% between the Odd values notes, or perfectly straight.   66% puts them 2/3 of the way to the next notes like a triplet feel or a gallop.  75% is like dotted eighth followed by a sixteenth note. Beyond 66% makes for nice over swung EDM.  Again try it out with Quantize Strength at 100% and adjusting the Swing % till you find the right swing percentage and then adjust your strength to taste.

Cakewalk has the MOST flexible swing as it allows the swung notes to swing all the way out to the note after OR all the way up to the note before.  Most swing starts at straight and goes towards swing.  Cubase stops at 66% unless you import a midi file into their quantize with Over or under swung values.  Cakewalk is king of SWING!

Ni Machine can swing and over swing but no Anti Swing (values under Cakewalk’s 50%.

Anti Swing can be useful for Un-Swinging a track that was swung to make it straight while maintaining the random timing fluctuations of a performance.  As opposed to re-quantizing to straight, which would remove that. 

A lot to absorb I know!  Hopefully it makes sense.  If not I can make a GIF or some audio examples if ya need to hear what I’m saying. 

✌️😀

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FWIW, I often run into the situation where I've played both straight and triplet 8ths, and want to quantize both toward their respective grids. In this case, you have to quantize to 16th triplets (the greatest common devisor of both durations), but if your playing is loose (or just plain 'bad'), some notes may move the wrong way. In that case what I do is create a clip  in another track that has notes exactly on the matching 8ths and 8th triplets, and Groove Quantize to that reference clip.

I also discovered a while ago that I'm in the habit of playing a figure of 3 in the time of 5/16ths. I have to watch out (listen out?) for that, and avoid quantizing those bits, and then separately Groove Quantize them to a reference clip with notes at 400-tick intervals.

I often wish Cakewalk could really 'understand' rhythm, and take care of all of this for me. ;^)

Kudos to Michael for taking the time  to explain the ins and outs of swing quantizing. I wanted to help when I first saw the question, but felt it it would take to much typing to explain!

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@Blogospherianman

I think they need to add a dizzy react for posts 😩💫

Top notch info, brother! Tho my theory knowledge doesnt stretch so far as to immediatwly understand.

So are you saying that swinging ⬅️ that way is wrong ¿!? Cause it sounds right, if i swang in the opposite direction it doesnt souns as intended. But i didn't feel my backwards swing sounded wrong or anything out of the ordinary ?

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5 hours ago, David Baay said:

FWIW, I often run into the situation where I've played both straight and triplet 8ths, and want to quantize both toward their respective grids. In this case, you have to quantize to 16th triplets (the greatest common devisor of both durations), but if your playing is loose (or just plain 'bad'), some notes may move the wrong way. 

Another option is to highlight just the straight notes or the triplet notes in the PRV and either separate to another clip for processing or process them in place separately.

I love polyrhythms and polymeters! (Dad’s a Conga/bongo/percussionist) 😀

The straight and triplet 8ths together make the interesting pattern which became the ‘Carol of the Bells’.  “Ring Christmas tree Merrily ring...” Very cool!

The  meter of the song can have an interesting effect on how it needs to be quantized. Now ‘Carol of the Bells’ achieves the straight 8ths and triplet 8ths feel in a 6/8 time signature, therefore it requires only 16th note grid to work.  Whereas if you have a song in 4/4 with straight 8ths and triplet 8ths it would require a Triplet 16th note grid like you said. 

5 hours ago, David Baay said:

I also discovered a while ago that I'm in the habit of playing a figure of 3 in the time of 5/16ths. I have to watch out (listen out?) for that, and avoid quantizing those bits, and then separately Groove Quantize them to a reference clip with notes at 400-tick intervals.

When I tested a 5/16 time signature with notes spaced at 400 ticks it created a very Interesting pattern of 3 against 5.  With a time signature of 5/16 you get 240 ticks per beat (16th note), so 1200 ticks per bar divides into 3 at 400 ticks between.

 If you set the inserted midi Quantize to 16th notes and Tick the box that says Tuplet and set that to 3:5 you will find it to quantize at perfect spaces of 400 ticks! 😄

Very Cool!!

 

 

 

Edited by Blogospherianman

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14 minutes ago, Blogospherianman said:

The  meter of the song can have an interesting effect on how it needs to be quantized. Now ‘Carol of the Bells’ achieves the straight 8ths and triplet 8ths feel in a 6/8 time signature, therefore it requires only 16th note grid to work.  Whereas if you have a song in 4/4 with straight 8ths and triplet 8ths it would require a Triplet 16th note grid like you said. 

I have a song that was originally recorded without a click into a 4/4 project. After I set the timeline to it so I could tighten up some timing, I experimented with changing it to 6/4, because it was more like the way I felt it while playing, but it works either way, and I ultimately ended up leaving it as 4/4. 

https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/player.cfm?songID=8229694

There's also an example of the 3 in 5/16s thing I was talking about. Since I found it in this piece, I've discovered I do it all the time! Usually just a triplet here and there so I have to treat it separately when quantizing.

https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/player.cfm?songID=13249262

I have a lot of fun analyzing my own timing after the fact since I write by improvising, and am not really thinking analytically about what I'm doing at the moment of inspiration. I may not even know I'm playing in 7/8 or 10/4 or whatever it is until I go to record it.

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