Thursday, July 28, 2011

ENHANCE TIMING HINT 2, DianaDee GarageBand

"ENHANCE TIMING" is the wording GarageBand uses; other programs call it "QUANTIZING" ---- ensuring that the spacing of a note fits with the timing rather than sliding a bit sooner or later.

Why do you want to enhance timing? So you can add drumkit tracks and they'll fit right in.
Why do you sometimes NOT? Sometimes you have a song with "loose" timing, especially jazz and blues.
But if you do: Hint 1 gave a super-quick "draft" enhancing. Hint 2 is also an easy trick I learned but haven't seen elsewhere, if you want to go a step further without literally touching every note. HINT 3 will provide another easy hint for Detailed Enhancing of every note.

Hint 2:
Even in jazz & blues, if you have a note on count 1, you'll most likely want it to start on "001". Example while in a GarageBand track: Select Control > Show Measures in LCD; then hit the keyboard's home key. Your marker will move to 1.1.001. For any measure with straight timing, you'll want count 1 to be at .001.

But if you followed my HINT 1 in the previous blog, 
doing a quick enhance-timing to 1/8th notes, 
count 1 of a measure might actually be 1.1.086 even though you look at the score and your note is sitting right beside the measure bar looking like count 1. That means your drum hits a fraction before your note. Most people won't notice. But if you care:

Unlike for Hint 1, it is not any easier to first join regions.
And sometimes you may NOT want to join regions.... a future hint!

1. Select your MIDI track (notice it is always green in GarageBand; audio tracks are blue).
2. Select Score (not Piano Roll; it's harder to see measure marking and whether your note is 1/4 or 1/8).
3. Individually -- even for 1/8th and 1/16th notes -- select the first note in each measure ("note" including chord set of notes; choose together)
and hit "Enhance Timing" > "Align to" > "1/4 Note". 

This will NOT change the length of your note; it will still be a 1/8th note, or 1/16th, or whatever. But it does ensure that the note hits exactly with the drum kit.
OPTIONAL: For even more precise sound in 4/4 time, do the same for Count 3. But it doesn't usually matter for counts 2 and 4 -- our ears don't hear each slight off-ness of those counts. But we instinctively listen for the first note to be exactly on count 1....

Quantize: to restrict something to discrete values --not a continuous set of values. That is, to put the note exactly in its place instead of one of the set of {almost-good-enough} places.

Much Joy in Music to you! ©2011 DianaDee Osborne