Marc JB once again returns with more essential musical terms without the jargon; from learning how quantisation can transform your rhythm to the power reverb…
(Click the titles for the best of each definition)
A process used to correct timing errors by bringing notes in line with specific divisions of a bar or sequence of music. A 1/16 quantise will bring notes into the nearest 1/16th time slot of a 4/4 bar.
A swing quantise will groove the notes slightly forward or back from each particular division. A 1/16T quantise is a triplet quantise, used for music with a shuffle or swing feel. Iterative quantise will bring notes a certain percentage towards the underlying quantise positions.
A length of musical note. In 4/4, there are eight quavers in a bar. Also a tasty snack.
This is the process of taking a mix – often belonging to a different artist – and altering it to make it sound more or less like a new tune. The original audio for a remix project could be complete project stems, an a cappella, or even one short noise. Remixes are a great way for record companies to get their tunes onto specialist radio and into underground clubs.
Reverb refers to the echoes in a space. Walls, floors and ceilings reflect sound; these first reflections are called ‘early reflections’. The sound then bounces around; these are called ‘late reflections’.
Digital reverbs use algorithms to simulate spaces: this is a time-based delay effect. Convolution reverbs sample the space and recreate it in software. Here are some different types of reverb:
- Room reverb: short and bright, great for drums and fast, transient instruments
- Hall reverb: long, lush, great for instruments and vocals
- Plate reverb: a mechanical reverb generator which uses metal plates
- Non-linear reverb: it’s the sound of reverb on 80s drums.
Sound bounces around your room after coming out of the monitors. If you have parallel walls, standing waves can build up and create a muddy sound. Room-correction software (eg, ARC 2 or Reference 3) analyses your room to find problems and uses software to compensate for room modes and speaker coloration.