Tips on quantising

This article shows a neat way to quantise a track, where different parts of the track require different quantisation parameters.

Many thanks to Andre Louis for this tip.

Let's assume you have a track in QWS which needs quantising, for example a drum track. The trouble is, some of it is in straight fours, some is in sixteenths, but some of it is in triplets.

You could try using a quantising factor of the smallest note division in the entire drum track, which is likely to be pretty small, but the chances are, this won't work very well because the number is so fine you will end up with bits that should be in fours, not on the beat.

QWS does not have a quantise analyse function, so you need to quantise the track in stages. Here's how to do this quickly.

  1. First, make sure that the Apply to All Tracks command on the Tools menu is not selected. This will prevent quantising the drum track messing up anything else. If Apply to All Tracks is selected, simply choose the command again and it will switch off.
  2. Press CURSOR UP or CURSOR DOWN to select the track you want to quantise. By the way, you should name your tracks in the Track Properties so you can find them easily.
  3. Press HOME to move to the beginning of the track. As you are going to quantise the whole track, this is a good point to start from.
  4. Press SHIFT L. This sets the left marker.
  5. Press SPACE to play the song up until the drum track changes. For example, if it starts in fours for instance, play until it changes into something else. You may find it helpful to solo the track to hear it better. Take note of how the drum track needs quantising.
  6. When you hear a change, press SPACE to stop playback.
  7. Press SHIFT R to set the right marker. Now you how a marked region that you want to quantise.
  8. Press CTRL M to select the marked region. Most of the tools in the Tools menu will work on the entire track, unless a region is selected.
  9. Now press Q for quantise and enter your settings as necessary. For drum tracks, mostly you will want to set the % strictness parameter to 100.
  10. Once you have quantised this section, press R to move back to where you set the right marker.
  11. Repeat steps 4-10 until you've finished the whole track.

Actually, all this takes longer to explain than to do!


Return to QWS articles