Old 08-18-2019, 10:20 AM   #1
HowYouDAWin
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Default How to Quantize 2 guitars?

I'm looking on youtube and it seems that Dynamic Split is the way to go but I'm a bit confused by the whole process, in that several videos show seemingly different methods to achieve different results.

I'm curious on opinions for quantizing 2 rhythm guitars, both playing the same same part and panned left and right. I have a whole lot of 'chunk chunk chunk' in this song so trying to find the most efficient method.

Anyone experience at this and willing to offer any tips?
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:45 PM   #2
SoundGuyDave
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A lot will depend on how you record the guitars...
DI track with software amps? DI track PLUS mic'd amp? Strictly live amp?

First point: Unless you're doing "math rock," I think that quantizing may wind up sounding very artificial. "Slip editing" winds up sounding a LOT more natural, as you can make the choice to have certain notes/chords slightly out of time, and thus sounding "human."

Assuming you have DI tracks, dynamic split is the way to go. It's VERY easy to see the differentiation between notes and how the split points lay up against them. I would advise slicing the track up into smaller chunks to process, to make finding and fixing false-triggers easier. Select one of your chunks, hit the "D" key (dynamic split shortcut) and adjust the two slider controls until you get best tracking of the split points against the audio. Note that it's better to have too many splits, rather than too few! Then scan over the audio and see if there are any splits applied in mid-chord. If so, just highlight both segments and then right-click, "Heal splits in items." Once that's done, right-click, "Item Processing," then "Quantize Item Positions To Grid." Done.

If you have mic'd amp tracks, particularly with heavy distortion, you'll want to manually enter the split points. As a tip, right-click, "Spectral Edits," "Show Spectrogram" will really help with finding the initial transient of the note/chord. Then you can quantize the splits.

I would suggest making a safety copy or two of the track first, and maybe try a couple different approaches to see what sounds best to you.

I personally prefer to do slip-edits. Set a split point slightly before the desired note location, then Alt-click on the audio and drag it around until the transient lines up with the grid. Repeat for the next note, etc. IF NECESSARY you can adjust the note length by double-clicking on the audio item and adjusting the playback rate, but make sure you check the "preserve pitch when changing rate" box. If you don't get too crazy with making every single note absolutely perfect, it'll sound pretty natural this way. Quantized heavy guitars to my ear sound artificial somehow, just a little too perfect.

Either way of editing is, to be honest, tedious. Much better to capture a cleaner performance. If it's some wildly complicated or technically challenging passage, though, and you think you got the best take you possibly could, then yes, edit away!
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:18 PM   #3
HowYouDAWin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundGuyDave View Post
A lot will depend on how you record the guitars...
DI track with software amps? DI track PLUS mic'd amp? Strictly live amp?

First point: Unless you're doing "math rock," I think that quantizing may wind up sounding very artificial. "Slip editing" winds up sounding a LOT more natural, as you can make the choice to have certain notes/chords slightly out of time, and thus sounding "human."

Assuming you have DI tracks, dynamic split is the way to go. It's VERY easy to see the differentiation between notes and how the split points lay up against them. I would advise slicing the track up into smaller chunks to process, to make finding and fixing false-triggers easier. Select one of your chunks, hit the "D" key (dynamic split shortcut) and adjust the two slider controls until you get best tracking of the split points against the audio. Note that it's better to have too many splits, rather than too few! Then scan over the audio and see if there are any splits applied in mid-chord. If so, just highlight both segments and then right-click, "Heal splits in items." Once that's done, right-click, "Item Processing," then "Quantize Item Positions To Grid." Done.

If you have mic'd amp tracks, particularly with heavy distortion, you'll want to manually enter the split points. As a tip, right-click, "Spectral Edits," "Show Spectrogram" will really help with finding the initial transient of the note/chord. Then you can quantize the splits.

I would suggest making a safety copy or two of the track first, and maybe try a couple different approaches to see what sounds best to you.

I personally prefer to do slip-edits. Set a split point slightly before the desired note location, then Alt-click on the audio and drag it around until the transient lines up with the grid. Repeat for the next note, etc. IF NECESSARY you can adjust the note length by double-clicking on the audio item and adjusting the playback rate, but make sure you check the "preserve pitch when changing rate" box. If you don't get too crazy with making every single note absolutely perfect, it'll sound pretty natural this way. Quantized heavy guitars to my ear sound artificial somehow, just a little too perfect.

Either way of editing is, to be honest, tedious. Much better to capture a cleaner performance. If it's some wildly complicated or technically challenging passage, though, and you think you got the best take you possibly could, then yes, edit away!
I think you just saved me. I had been trying to use Dynamic Split and was not having great success because I just can't see where half the transients start and end. On reading your reply, I decided to redo a guitar track and I ran a DI into it's own track (I record with an Axe FX 3) and another out with the sound I want. There it is! The transients look nice and clean now! I'll just group the 2 tracks and now I think I'm actually able to pull this off. Thanks a ton, Dave!

EDIT: This slip-editing is great too! Wow!
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