In this Logic Pro quantization quick tip we’ll have a look at two more advanced settings Q-Range and Q-Flam. Both of these are probably not your go to parameters. But on closer inspection you’ll find these tools can be very useful indeed.
Q-Range enables you to choose a boundary for which notes you wish to quantize. You do this by setting a timing threshold with the Q-Range value. Anything that falls inside (or outside) this threshold is quantized leaving the other notes untouched by the quantize engine.
Here’s a basic MIDI part we'll use:
Setting Q-Range to a positive value will quantize anything within that range. Here my base quantize is 1/8th. If I set a Q-Range of 1/32nd anything inside that value is quantized (the last two notes).
Now you may notice that the second note has moved even though it was outside the threshold. Well this is the odd thing about positive Q-Range values. What Logic will try to do is re-center the timing of ‘unaffected’ notes, creating an average correction (timing relationship) across the whole part. Which may not be what you're after!!
I’m not a fan of positive values as the results are highly unpredictable to say the least!
Negative values are much more useful when it comes to natural quantization. This time anything outside the threshold is quantized leaving notes that were almost in time untouched. In this case only the second note is quantized.
This is great for retaining a human feel to your performances while only correcting really duff timing on certain notes. Use the lowest value you can get away with or set a slightly higher value and use Q-Strength to adjust the amount of quantization.
Q-Flam is useful for separating events that fall on the same timing value. It essentially creates... flams! It does this in quite a particular way. Let’s have a look. I have a simple chord in the Piano Roll. All of the note are quantized to 8th notes on the same beat.
Setting a positive Q-Flam value will offset the notes in the chord by the set value from bottom to top. Here you can see the value is 1/32nd. Each note is pushed a 32nd note from the note below it. Useful for quick arpeggiator type effects.
Setting a negative value will offset each note by the set value from top to bottom.
You can use the Q-Flam to simulate some reasonable strumming effects. I have some basic guitar chord voicings here played with an acoustic guitar sample.
Setting the Q-Flam to a lower positive setting (just over a 1/48th note) produces an effect not unlike a guitarist strumming.
Without a doubt Q-Range is the most useful of these two. And when used in conjuction with Q-Strength can produce some very natural timing correction. Definitely worth experimenting with!
Check out Steve H's Logic 201 - Logic Masterclass #1 to get deeper into MIDI and Audio Quantization.