Immediate advice needed on effects of all instrument quantising in song editing!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by sdd, Sep 17, 2010.

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  1. sdd

    sdd Guest

    While recording our first demo my band have hit a difficult point, our sound engineer (who normally just mixes dance tunes) thinks it would be best if we quantise everything in our tracks, drums, bass, guitar and keyboard but we play indy/rock and are worried that this will give our songs, which also have a slight funk feel, a very dance tune or chart pop feel and take away the natural groove of the music. We are aware that quantising will give us perfect timing on each beat but we are not sure if we will lose too much of the natural swing. I badly need advice as we need to decide soon wheter or not to quantise the tracks so we can continue recording. please help!!!
  2. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    How could we know that?
    Some of the best tunes on earth are quite shaky and off timing...but they groove and don't when quantized.
    I have done some fun tests quantizing old titles of Led Zep and other stuff. It took away a big chunk of the vibes.
    But if your timing is off, too far, quantizing (which does not need to be 100% accuracy ) is a good tool to improve the music.
    Also, in a DAW the procedure should be reversable quite easily....
    So, try and listen... With good software ( e.g. Melodyne ) adjusting the timing and pitch can be a blessing...
    It safed me a lot of work and for the bands it was less stressful (depressing) to fix it this way.
    But, when you don't feel comfortable with the will most probably be wrong to keep it.
    Otoh, if your engineer is experienced, he'll find the right amount of tweaking to obtain the best result for you.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Welcome to RO.

    My initial thoughts on your situation:

    1) Natural groove is way more important to the song than perfect timing.

    2) If he has the technology to do this with non-electronic instruments, he also has the ability to A/B a 'before' and 'after' mix, so you can hear the difference to decide if you like where it's going. The single greatest thing about recording into a computer is you can "Save As" and take the mix another (quantized) direction - while you still have another unadulterated copy saved as a separate file.

    3) It might be his way of telling you there are timing/tempo issues.

    Best of luck.

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