How to match timing of midi track to changing audio track?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Diogenes, Jul 15, 2017 at 1:40 PM.

  1. Diogenes

    Diogenes Newbie

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    Hi,
    I'm new here so please let me know if I'm posting in the wrong place or breaking established protocols.
    I was hoping somebody here might be able to point me in the right direction. I have quite a few mix projects with live recorded drums as a stereo stem, not recorded to a click, and with lots of tempo and timing variation, and midi bass tracks with really bad timing. I want to find a simple (ish) way to make the bass midi notes match the timing of the drums to effectively quantise the bass midi to the drums audio.
    I don't want to quantise the drums audio in any way.
    I'm aware that I could go through the midi note by note and manually place the notes in the right place but I have lots of these things and was hoping to find a time saving method similar to
    what Revoice Pro does with almost identical tracks. i.e. using audio drums as tempo and timing master to be applied to midi notes. I'm probably using the wrong search terms but my internet searches have been fruitless so far.
    Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017 at 1:45 PM
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  3. diazz100

    diazz100 Newbie

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    Hi Diogenes, Melodyne does a good job, you can load your mix and save as a tempo Midi file.
     
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  4. almightyshux

    almightyshux Ultrasonic

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    in Cubase there's two ways you can do this:
    1. The time warp tool.
    2. Extracting a groove template from audio

    With the time warp tool, it's a little tedious but the results are pretty cool. You go from beat to beat in your stereo drum stem shifting the bar lines, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16th notes etc of the actual grid in the arrange window (the ruler at the top) TO THE hits of the drum, hence warping the timing of the DAW to the drums.

    after that you can make a groove template from the audio, to then further quantize the midi notes to the feel of the drums, you don't have to hard quantize either you can just apply a small percentage to help the midi sit in the pocket of the drum groove.

    I'm sure you're not using Cubase as nobody does, but since all daws pretty much do the same things these days, i'm sure this might help you figure it out in your own DAW. good luck!
     
  5. Matt777

    Matt777 Producer

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    @Diogenes
    Your post is very clear. It would be helpful though, if you specified the DAW you are working with.
    +1 for Melodyne, especially with S1 integration.
     
  6. Diogenes

    Diogenes Newbie

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    Thanks! I'm using Studio One on PC. I tried extracting the groove from the drums but it only seemed to use half of the three minute file and the results when applied to the bass midi were dreadful. The fact that I've got loads of them to do is why I was hoping there might be a less time consuming way of doing it than going from beat to beat as I might as well just move each bass note one at a time. I'll check out some Youtube videos about Melodyne and then try that. diazz, what do I do with the tempo midi file once it is saved?
    I'm fairly new to Studio One and have never got my head round warping and quantising audio before.
     
  7. almightyshux

    almightyshux Ultrasonic

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    these things actually take some attention to detail. not everything is handed to you with the push of a button.
     
  8. Diogenes

    Diogenes Newbie

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    I'm aware of that thanks. I did say as much in my first post. I was wondering if anybody knew of a program or plugin similar to Revoice Pro, a program that does indeed hand the desired result to you with the push of a button, that works with differing sound sources.
     
  9. Matt777

    Matt777 Producer

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    If you are using S1.. I quickly found this video (maybe there are better ones). But it is really a push of 3 buttons.. ;)
    Use (install) Melodyne full version if you can. Edit: you don't even have to leave S1

     
  10. Diogenes

    Diogenes Newbie

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    Thanks Matt! I've got that done in Studio One with the tempo map determined by Melodyne (which is rather amazing!), but I still can't work out how to force the midi bass motes to conform to the timing of the drums.
    Edit: When I dragged the Melodyne tempo map to the tempo line in Studio One it looked right but it caused the drums to play all over the place like a demented horse with no sense of rhythm is playing them.
    Looks like I've either got a long week of watching Melodyne and Studio One tutorials ahead of me or I'll just abandon the idea and stick with what I understand while I wait for Synchro Arts to invent a new version of Revoice :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017 at 7:04 PM
  11. C7

    C7 Member

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    I am not a Studio One user but a quick Google search says that if you have your timebase set to seconds instead of beats your midi won't follow the tempo track. Try opening your inspector for the track (F4) and set the timebase to beats.

    Likewise to get your drums not to sync to the tempo track set the timebase on that track to seconds.

    The silence at the beginning of the song could have been detected by Melodyne as a couple beats and thrown everything off also. You might want to try trimming that silence off then having Melodyne create the tempo track.

    You midi file could be bad as well and synced to a different version of the song.
     
  12. Matt777

    Matt777 Producer

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    Leave the drums alone as your "base" groove (grid) - don't quantize them. Then press the Q on the S1 upper bar. This will open another double bar under that one. On the far left chose Groove (instead of Grid). You will see a box with vertical blue lines. Drag the drums audio file in to that box - the blue lines will change, reflecting the drum groove. Now select your midi bass and on the far right click Apply.

    The drum "groove" should now be applied to the bass. Tip: try with smaller parts first.

    For examples or advanced use of this search for Studio one "groove extraction" on YouTube. Don't give up! :wink:
     
  13. Diogenes

    Diogenes Newbie

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    Cheers Matt, I did already try that but it made things worse. Thanks to everyone but I'm going to do the midi notes by hand or do new bass myself on a couple of the songs when I can find the time. An old friend died a while back and his wife asked me to save what I could off his hard drives and do rough mixdowns for her to listen to. I found dozens of songs recorded in Cubase 5, with live drums and guitar, and midi parts where he had sketched out his rough ideas for bass parts on a keyboard afterwards. I exported a couple of stereo audio files and the midi part for each song to a portable drive and took it home to import into Studio One. I was just hoping there might be something relatively simple that would quickly knock the bass parts into usable shape, without too much work.
    The bass isn't absolutely necessary for the intended purpose so the drums and guitar jams will suffice.
     
  14. fraifikmushi

    fraifikmushi Audiosexual

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    I'm not sure that there's a way around this if you want best results :drummer:
     
  15. krakenfart

    krakenfart Ultrasonic

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    I sync a *lot* of audio to MIDI and I use Cubase. I understand you use a different DAW but maybe you may be able to adapt my methodology and process to suit your needs.

    I do it this way because, I have to admit, I'm not a lover of 'auto' anything and by using this process you can tweak until it's perfect.

    So, what I do is this...

    1) Load an audio track so that the music starts at beginning of bar two and ensure Mastertrack (tempo) is off.
    2) Open a Tempo track and roughly set the tempo to be close to the audio (It doesn't need to be exact).
    3) Create a MIDI track, set to channel 10 and I use C#1 (stick across) for a nice crisp sound.
    4) Start Cubase (in record) and tap C#1 on every beat. Best to do this on cans. Be aware this will *not* line up with bars and beats ... yet
    5) When finished, ensure the range of the locators capture all off the song (belt and braces).
    6) Goto MIDI > Functions > Merge Tempo from Tapping (left click)
    7) Select 1/4 and press OK
    [​IMG] Activate tempo track.
    9) You should now see lots of different tempo values for each beat appear in the tempo track.
    10) You should now find that the transport/audio is now in sync.

    I really hope this helps you in some way. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  16. Matt777

    Matt777 Producer

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    Wow, this is really a nice gesture on your part... Sometimes the material is just too messed up. So maybe it's really the best to do it like you said. If you can, try to play the bass part along - from my experience, it will sound more "natural" than moving MIDI around. :yes:
     
  17. dbmuzik

    dbmuzik Platinum Record

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    The drums, whether recorded to a click or not, should be clocked well enough for other live instrument playing to follow. If it's to the point you can't follow the drum groove when playing/recording another instrument un-quantized.. the problem is the drums. If you can't follow the groove, your audiences heads, hands, and feet wouldn't either.

    The drums are live throughout. The bass and everything else should be recorded the same.. un-quantized. Do multiple takes on the bass recording if you insist on those drums staying as a difficult clock to follow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017 at 7:27 PM
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