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Cubase 7 Hit Point Detection Tips?

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Cubase 7 Hit Point Detection Tips?

Postby Suntower » Fri May 17, 2013 11:16 pm

I don't wanna sound like a grouser but I just have never been able to use the whole audio quantize thing. Perhaps someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong.

My understanding is that (more or less) you
1. Open the Sample Editor
2. Hit the Hit Point 'flying arrow'
3. It 'detects' the hit points
4. You tell it to slice into 'Events'

and then... you hit 'Q' and presto... proper alignment.

My issues/challenges are:
1. The 'detection' isn't always reliable... and I can't figure out -why-. Sometimes, it gets the transients spot on (mostly). But often? It doesn't. Some transients are properly detected and some... not. Or, they are there but not 'activated'. Or, they are there but the detected hitpoint misses the transient. And when it misses the mark, I can't see why... it will get one transient fine, but the next one... which is the same amplitude... isn't caught. And again, when it gets the position wrong, I can't figure out -why-?
SO: How does one make the detection
a) so that all detected hitpoints are 'activated'?
b) minimize the incorrectly placed hits

2. After it detects the hits, I thought it would auto-magically apply some sort of x-fading but it doesn't. Is that correct? Are you supposed to just grab all the events and then x-fade them en masse?

Any help would be most appreciated. I don't use this too often, but when I need it (a whole track that is poorly played... I NEED IT! )

TIA,

---JC
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Re: Cubase 7 Hit Point Detection Tips?

Postby The Elf » Sat May 18, 2013 9:06 am

Hit detection isn't perfect in any DAW, though, thankfully, it seems much improved in recent times. Cubase 6 was far better than C5, and C7 seems have improved yet again. I think it's actually very good indeed now, but a magic wand it isn't. Usually you're going to have to make some manual tweaks - that's just the nature of the game, unfortunately.

Generally with quantizing there's a lot you can do to help yourself...

Use the *minimum* hit points required to get the job done. The fewer hit points you create, the easier your job is and the more of the original performance you can preserve. Use the 'Beats' filter to narrow down the hits detected. Filtering to quarter notes, then quantizing to eighth notes often produces more accurate results than quantizing to quarters.

Use the quantize panel, rather than selecting the quantize option, and cross-fading manually. Adding offsets and cross-fades is handled elegantly in that panel, rather than tackling each task separately.

I use Audiowarp quantizing much more than slicing these days. Audiowarp can produce a stealthier result in many cases, and it avoids any need for cross-fading. For something like a rhythm acoustic guitar part, for instance, I'll ask Audiowarp to pull in the timing every bar/half bar to get the timing tighter, but without losing the overall feel of the performance. Often I'll quantize at quarters and go through removing anything that sounds odd or seems superfluous.

You can help yourself with the way you record too. For electric guitar a DI makes a better reference for quantizing (using Cubase's multi-track quantize) than an amp-ed sound, so record one if possible. This can be a life-saver. A pickup from an acoustic guitar can be put to use similarly.
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Re: Cubase 7 Hit Point Detection Tips?

Postby Zukan » Sat May 18, 2013 10:35 am

I have covered Hitpoints extensively in my latest book and can tell you it is good. You can adjust the threshold for more accurate detection, create crossfades on the audio parts both in and out, quantise the Hitpoints placement, use Warping and realtime stretching etc..

Quite thorough IMO and very useful.
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Re: Cubase 7 Hit Point Detection Tips?

Postby Suntower » Mon May 20, 2013 7:19 am

Thanks for the detailed reply.

1. I'm not following you on 'filter' beats vs. 'quantizing'. Can you elaborate a bit?

2. Where you wrote: "Use the quantize panel, rather than selecting the quantize option, and cross-fading manually." I don't follow. How are they different?

Sorry for being so thick. I've used Cubase for 13 years now and I -rarely- messed with any of the Sample Editor functions until recently. They always seemed to change with every version. Still seems overly complicated... at least when compared with Beat Detective or 'Live'. What am I missing?

TIA,

---JC




The Elf wrote:Hit detection isn't perfect in any DAW, though, thankfully, it seems much improved in recent times. Cubase 6 was far better than C5, and C7 seems have improved yet again. I think it's actually very good indeed now, but a magic wand it isn't. Usually you're going to have to make some manual tweaks - that's just the nature of the game, unfortunately.

Generally with quantizing there's a lot you can do to help yourself...

Use the *minimum* hit points required to get the job done. The fewer hit points you create, the easier your job is and the more of the original performance you can preserve. Use the 'Beats' filter to narrow down the hits detected. Filtering to quarter notes, then quantizing to eighth notes often produces more accurate results than quantizing to quarters.

Use the quantize panel, rather than selecting the quantize option, and cross-fading manually. Adding offsets and cross-fades is handled elegantly in that panel, rather than tackling each task separately.

I use Audiowarp quantizing much more than slicing these days. Audiowarp can produce a stealthier result in many cases, and it avoids any need for cross-fading. For something like a rhythm acoustic guitar part, for instance, I'll ask Audiowarp to pull in the timing every bar/half bar to get the timing tighter, but without losing the overall feel of the performance. Often I'll quantize at quarters and go through removing anything that sounds odd or seems superfluous.

You can help yourself with the way you record too. For electric guitar a DI makes a better reference for quantizing (using Cubase's multi-track quantize) than an amp-ed sound, so record one if possible. This can be a life-saver. A pickup from an acoustic guitar can be put to use similarly.
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Re: Cubase 7 Hit Point Detection Tips?

Postby The Elf » Mon May 20, 2013 8:16 am

Suntower wrote:I've used Cubase for 13 years now and I -rarely- messed with any of the Sample Editor functions until recently. They always seemed to change with every version.
Well, the functions have increased and improved. If they didn't I'm sure there would be a lot more complaints from the mobs with torches and pitchforks!

It sounds like you just need to practice and become more familiar with the functions in there. You can't expect to just leap in and be proficient in moments.

Suntower wrote:Still seems overly complicated... at least when compared with Beat Detective or 'Live'.
Nah! It's just about familiarity.

Assuming you are on Cubase 7...

Most of what you need is covered in the manual from page 133.

Quantize Panel - page 136.

Detecting and filtering Hit points - page 348
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