Today I’m going to talk about a common problem when working with MIDI Data and Audio Samples or Synths. Often a triggered sample features a build-up-phase, a time also refered to as attack. One doesn’t work the completly cut out this attack, because it adds important flavour to the sound.
But if you want to keep it, you run into this problem: Usually what you do is more or less align a sample to the grid, like shown here:
But when you do that, the sample doesn’t start at the beginning. The usual way to deal with this is to manually offset the position, like in this picture:
Sure, now the audio lines up, but I always found it to be a lot of unnessecary editing-work; furthermore, if you want to copy a MIDI track from a instrument with a sharp, bell like attack (like a Piano, Xylophone, ect.) you always have to mess with the position again. If you are dealing with instruments with different attack times, you have to individually offset the positions. The last point why this is kinda bad is that it also offsets the score editor. All in all, it would be nice to just program an offset time and then don’t have to worry about the attack timings.
Fear not, the solution is quite simple, but nevertheless I didn’t find any tutorial about this, so I thought I might share my knowledge.
Cool thing is: You have to do this just one time, save it as a preset, and then use it, just if you need it. Do this one time for all your attack-depending instruments and you’re done. Nice also: Use it for Legato/Portamento Instruments. If the time is a fixed value, go with the method I just described.
Just a short note to the end: You can also reverse this process (if you’re recording MIDI for example, manually dealing with the attack time, but then having it all on the grid). First way to do it is via the logical editor (rather easy) or via MIDI Modifiers, setting +value on min/max and then rendering the MIDI Track. (MIDI > Fixate MIDI Parameters [sorry, I don’t know the exact term, since my Cubase is german).
And we’re not done yet. In the next episode of this tutorial I will demonstrate a method using the logical editor and quick controls to offer a flexible attack, such as managing an instrument with both legato and portamento times (for example found in LASS).
I hope that this tutorial did help a bit