Published on October 16th, 2013 | by Dylan Lott

Quick Tip: Create An Auto-Quantization Macro in Cubase

This tutorial will run you through how to create an auto-quantization macro in Cubase. This will make it much faster and easier to quantize your audio segments, which in turn speeds up your entire productive process. Quantization

According to Wikipedia, Quantization is “ the process of transforming performed musical notes, which may have some imprecision due to expressive performance, to an underlying musical representation that eliminates this imprecision.” [1] Basically, it smooths out what you’ve recorded and snaps it to a grid automatically.

It’s used to “tighten up” phrases or audio bits that you’ve recorded if they have imperfections so that you don’t have to re-record them. Some people love quantizing, some people hate it. It’s producer preference. However, if you like quantization or want to use it more, here’s a quick way to create a macro in Cubase to make the process even faster.

1. Go up to Key Commands > Show Macros

2. Create a new macro. Call it ”Quantization”, and Add the Following 3 Commands:

  1. Create Warp Tabs From Hit Points
  2. Audio Warp Quantize
  3. Audio Warp Quantize (Yes, we mean to add it twice)

3. Add a key command to your macro

4. Go back up to the Macro list, and put in Alt + 1 as the keyboard shortcut for it.

Your macro is now created!

What This Does

The macro quantizes a highlighted audio event based off what your quantize/snap is set to in Cubase.

I’d recommend setting up some hotkeys to switch between the various quantization lengths to make your overall process faster.

What this means is don’t use this macro on audio events that are played on 16th note triplets while your snap / quantize is set to standard 16th notes. It won’t work properly.

Also, this function only works with audio that has well-defined hit points, played relatively accurately to the grid. Not enough sharp transients or sloppy playing won’t work very well with this method.

In the case that you don’t like what the quantize macro did, you can remove the quantize process by hitting the Unstretch Audio key command.

Be warned, the Unstretch Audio command won’t unsnap your audio event that you snapped to in the first place. You’ll need to do that yourself.

 

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Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantization_(music)

 

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