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what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

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what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby robbie the music » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Hi

Im recording acoustic guitar for my music
i strum my guitar to the rhythme

but i want the rhythm of the guitar tight to the rhythm

is there any best way to quantize my guitar track?

i'm using cubase 5 and sonar 8.5

any people quantizing acoustic guitar ?

any good idea?

:headbang:
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Soundseed » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:39 pm

Acoustic guitar is a real hassle. I've been replacing all mine with pipe organ sounds recently.

Have you seen this guy? I think he's using a 1/16th quantise but I'm not sure it works without autotune.

http://youtu.be/2MPX5NNyeEU

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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby desmond » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:26 pm

The best way is to play it better :)

Seriously, quantising strummed acoustic guitars can be quite tricky, depending on the parts and playing style - for a start, strums are spaced out in time, and stretching artifacts get really obvious on something as harmonically complex as an acoustic guitar.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:46 pm

You can try nudging and crossfading or timestretching certain bits. Automatic quantising doesn't tend to work well on acoustic guitar.

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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby The Elf » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:09 pm

If I *have* to do this (and re-recording is my preferred option too!) then I use Cubase's Audiowarp. Sometimes it's as simple as aligning the start of a few bars across the track, but sometimes I find myself re-aligning almost every strum. You have to take care to allow strums ahead of the beat to keep their relative timing.

The automated processes rarely do a satisfatory job, but it could be worth a try. More likely you're into a world of careful manual editing.

How successful Audiowarp is partly down to how cleanly you can find hitpoints. If you're lucky you can use these to create a good set of warp tabs as your starting point. Than it's about how much time you're prepared to spend in editing the warp tabs and shifting the timing around. You need to begin editing at the start of the track and work forward one tab at a time, since any change you make affects timing up to the next warp tab.

Although this process sounds painstaking (and it is) you can get some very good results.

But re-recording the guitar will likely be a considerably quicker option!
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Daniel Davis » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:38 pm

Try practice :blush:
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Soundseed » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:24 pm

Am I just a twisted old cynic... or ... ?

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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Steve Hill » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:47 pm

Look, I don't want to seem patronising, but...

If you are playing a live part, it is what it is. If it's not good enough, it's not usable. Sure I'll tune the odd random note on a vocal take (which is otherwise excellent), but I won't "programme the performance", because then it's not a performance.

Just because you can doesn't mean you should. There's far (far!) too much rubbish founded on neglecting that principle.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Mike Senior » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:32 am

I rarely ever bother with time-stretching when dealing with acoustic-guitar timing issues, just straight audio editing with crossfades where necessary. But that wouldn't suit anything really exposed, because the edits would be too audible.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Mixedup » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:02 am

The Elf wrote:If I *have* to do this (and re-recording is my preferred option too!) then I use Cubase's Audiowarp. Sometimes it's as simple as aligning the start of a few bars across the track, but sometimes I find myself re-aligning almost every strum. You have to take care to allow strums ahead of the beat to keep their relative timing.

The automated processes rarely do a satisfatory job, but it could be worth a try. More likely you're into a world of careful manual editing.

How successful Audiowarp is partly down to how cleanly you can find hitpoints. If you're lucky you can use these to create a good set of warp tabs as your starting point. Than it's about how much time you're prepared to spend in editing the warp tabs and shifting the timing around. You need to begin editing at the start of the track and work forward one tab at a time, since any change you make affects timing up to the next warp tab.

Although this process sounds painstaking (and it is) you can get some very good results.

But re-recording the guitar will likely be a considerably quicker option!

+1. Audiowarp is great for this, but it's only really worth doing for the odd problem note, and to get the starts of bars right. Any more than that and it'll start sounding weird.

Also, if the guitar is in a busy section, compression and high-pass filtering can help, if what is giving the impression of bad timing is flabby lower notes getting hit hard and ringing through the strummed pattern. Boost a bit of the pick sound and you'll make the guitar rhythm stronger. If that doesn't work then it's definitely time to rehearse and re-record. Or get a more competent player in.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Soundseed » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:40 am

... hmm ... I thought the OP was a troll, so I'm obviously a twisted old cynic, but in an attempt at redemption, here is my take on it.

Provided the song consists of reasonably regular, repetitive sections, try recording it a good number of times. Doing it this way will act as practice and generate a spread of takes... Go through the takes selecting and separating out sections which are rhythmically locked in. You should end up with enough to form a complete take of the song. Its not difficult to edit together, and crossfades can ensure smooth transitions. This has the advantage that it can produce a tight performance but one that retains sufficient variety not to sound mechanical.

When you're playing, pay attention to the levels of your rhythm track - try experimenting louder/quieter to see if there's a sweet spot which helps you zone in rhythmically. Also, consider dispensing with headphones and play against the track through your monitors. Once you've finished, do a silent take where you sit in exactly the same position, but don't play the guitar - reverse the phase of the take and adjust its level to achieve cancellation of rhythm track - quite a common trick for singers who don't like headphones. It is definitely easier to play when you can hear and feel the beat.

Also, be careful that your latency related settings aren't messing with timing. I use Logic, and there are parameter combinations that can result in audio being late when played back. I'm sure a Sonar or Cubase expert can point out the relevant settings if the same is true.

And yes practice is the best way to get round this - if you add up all the time you could spend tweaking and fixing, it can quickly become a false economy with a seriously negative effect on how you make music. If you stop to fix things, the music making process loses fluency and dilutes creativity. If you leave fixing till later, you're working with an inaccurate rendition of your work and can end up with a domino effect - everything that is added subsequently has a relationship to the unfixed material, and fixing it may then force you to fix other things. More administration than art.

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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Mike C4miles » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:59 pm

I'd say we need a bit more info from the OP. What tempo is the track you are recording? Are you playing ahead, behind or all around the beat? Quantizing can't solve all of these. Have you thought about gating to tighten the acoustic recording (ie. stop it ringing on beyond the beat you are playing)? What about getting a mate who is a better guitarist to play the part? Or using a Virtual Instrument?

Having said all that, I have used the cut and paste technique on an electric rhythm part at very high tempo. Played all the way through the track and chopped out the most accurate sections and duplicated them throughout. I'm not sure I'd attempt that on acoustic unless it was a fairly staccato part. I'd worry about cutting off the tails and making it sound artificial (not such a problem on electric).

I think the previous posters' advice is pretty sound. You should be recording a number of takes, and selecting the best bits from each if you are not happy with any single take. Practice makes perfect, but that's no use on a punk number! ;)

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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby JamesSimpson » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:45 pm

There must be something i'm missing here but surely tab to transient to slice all the strums and then quantise to whatever note value should do it just fine?

I do this sometimes and never really notice and big problems so long as the part is reasonably close.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:21 pm

I have a specially trained parrott in my studio that takes care of this type of thing.

If it sees me doing any comping it says, "cut'n'paste cut'n'paste, wanker! Do it again with feeling whaaark!" and this reminds me that i'm cheating and so i do it again, with feeling.

It also watches very closely when i'm mixing the drums to see if i quantize them, if it catches me it says "Quanti" (it can't say quantize) "Quanti bollocks, quanti bollocks, do it again twat, whaaark!" And this reminds me that i've lost the plot and need to get real.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby uphillbothways » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:51 pm

A metronome, a woodshed and ten thousand cups of tea.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:03 pm

1) Get artist to play it properly....

2) Play it properly Myself (uncredited usually)

3) Logic is actually quite good at gentle nudging these days, as is Protools, but it's very much an art to nudge it in to BETTER timing, without making it obvious.... typically i'll do this for layered electric guitar sounds where the timing isn't quite tight enough, and i know the player isn't going to get it any better.... and i have on one or two occasions spent an entire day dicking about with an acoustic part to tidy it up , without ruining it.... but it's time consuming and boring... and therefore comparatively expensive , thus answers 1 or 2 get far more use. I'd never go for a fully quantized part... it's too robotic and unnatural sounding.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Mike Senior » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:55 am

ow wrote:I have a specially trained parrott in my studio that takes care of this type of thing.

A specially trained Perrett would be even better.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby The Elf » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:29 am

ow wrote:I have a specially trained parrott in my studio that takes care of this type of thing.

If it sees me doing any comping it says, "cut'n'paste cut'n'paste, wanker! Do it again with feeling whaaark!" and this reminds me that i'm cheating and so i do it again, with feeling.

It also watches very closely when i'm mixing the drums to see if i quantize them, if it catches me it says "Quanti" (it can't say quantize) "Quanti bollocks, quanti bollocks, do it again twat, whaaark!" And this reminds me that i've lost the plot and need to get real.
You've obviously not worked with some of the metal bands that I have. They book an hour for tracking, turn up late, rehearse the piece as they play, then ask me to make them sound like Opeth... "and can we take the mix with us tonight?"

You become very keen on quantise on those occasions! :D
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby OneWorld » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:37 am

uphillbothways wrote:A metronome, a woodshed and ten thousand cups of tea.


That's what I ended up doing, and it works quite convincingly, I even surprised myself how good the playing could get.

I suppose if you're an engineer/mixer and someone else has played the part and you're trying to tighten it up, then you're in the lap of the gods. I never found a satisfactory way of getting the track in time. The beauty of a 'performance' is the timing dynamic, sometimes before the beat, sometimes after. Very hard to fix a performance using quantize. The nearest I got was chopping the part up into slices and nudging them back and forth, which is ok if you intend to make that track your life's work, as it seems to take that to get it right.

When I first started using DAW software I went quantize crazy, everything was on the beat, and consequently sounded wooden, and no I was playing in the shed!

I listened back to other stuff that sounded 'sweeter' and on examination that to my horror - some of the notes were not on the beat. That was one of those turning points in life - if it sounds right, it is right
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Daniel Davis » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:55 am

@TheElf - aren't you just tempted to leave their playing as it is - and say, but that IS how you sound!
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:06 am

The great pillar of british rock, and a benchmark for so many - Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon - would never make it out of a modern studio. It would be tweaked to hell and back like so many others. The beauty of music is in it's human foibles, not it's machined perfection.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby tomafd » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:53 am

desmond wrote:The best way is to play it better :)

Seriously, quantising strummed acoustic guitars can be quite tricky, depending on the parts and playing style - for a start, strums are spaced out in time, and stretching artifacts get really obvious on something as harmonically complex as an acoustic guitar.

Yep. You can sometimes get away with picked notes, but strums ... it would take ages, and still sound [ ****** ]. The best way is to play it better. Just sit down and practice. There is, more and more, a belief out there that technology can fix everything, and that it will always sound better.

No, it [ ****** ] can't.

Sorry to swear, but really ... the laziness of the modern musician seems to know no bounds. The assumption that anyone can now make music without really doing any real work or putting any real effort, it really pisses me off.

Listen - If you really want to make something good, it's not going to happen in five minutes. You have to learn how to write, how to play, how to express yourself with your instrument, and when you go out live (and you'll have to, at some stage, if you want to take it any further than a hobby) there'll be no quantize function to help you out.

If there's anything that's a certainty in music, these days, it's that only those who are really, really, really, GOOD, will get out above all the noise of all the mediocre, run of the mill, music makers out there all using the tech to make some kind of noise that is at least, vaguely 'professional' sounding.

... but just getting your parts in time using the tech will NOT be good enough. Everyone has the tech, anyone can do that, and pretty soon, on their phone. Faking it will not be enough.

So if you're really serious about what you do, put the 10,000 hours in, practice your instrument, learn how to play tight, find something that's really good and above all, does NOT depend on the tech.

Everyone has the tech, these days, there's no advantage there. The future winners in this game will be those who can blow an audience away without any tech at all....

Learn how to play, or forget it.

Rant over ....
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby onesecondglance » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:42 am

Daniel Davis wrote:@TheElf - aren't you just tempted to leave their playing as it is - and say, but that IS how you sound!

i'm guessing he'd prefer getting paid...
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Stan » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:36 pm

ow wrote: . The beauty of music is in it's human foibles, not it's machined perfection.
Machine perfection? :D
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby The Elf » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:58 pm

onesecondglance wrote:
Daniel Davis wrote:@TheElf - aren't you just tempted to leave their playing as it is - and say, but that IS how you sound!

i'm guessing he'd prefer getting paid...
Man speaks truth! :D
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Spare Dougal » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:14 pm

Use elastic audio in pro tools. It will automatically analyse the transients and then using the quantise function you can quantise it to whatever division you want. It's the best thing for time stretching.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby The Elf » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:23 pm

Spare Dougal wrote:Use elastic audio in pro tools. It will automatically analyse the transients and then using the quantise function you can quantise it to whatever division you want. It's the best thing for time stretching.

Not in my experience. Cubase's AudioWarp does all of the above, and I find it slicker, quicker and more transparent.

But I still don't think it's really the best answer for strummed guitar.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Spare Dougal » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:43 pm

Depends how much you're needing to move each note. If it's a matter of a few milliseconds on each beat then I'd say elastic audio (or the equivalent process) would be the quickest... time is money, after all.
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Tui » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:37 pm

My guitar strumming is always spot on, thanks to RealGuitar. :D

For analogue guitarists, there are some useful tips here (WARNING: Sie muessen Deutsch verstehen):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhfXW8MGqzw&feature=related
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Re: what is the best audio quantize for acoustic guitar

Postby Mixedup » Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:39 am

Spare Dougal wrote:Depends how much you're needing to move each note. If it's a matter of a few milliseconds on each beat then I'd say elastic audio (or the equivalent process) would be the quickest... time is money, after all.

Yeah... but that's what the Elf was saying about Audio Warp. It's the same thing as Elastic Audio, just in a different host ;)
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