I cannot transfer rhythm from my hands to Cubase drum editor or guitar pro.

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by BillMurray, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. BillMurray

    BillMurray SS.org Regular

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    This has been the bane of my writing existence for ten years.

    Simply put, I have a riff in mind that I can play on guitar, let's say it opens with two palm-muted open notes. Now, I change my Cubase drum editor to 1/16 notes (or guitar pro as I sometimes like to output the midi notes into cubase's drum map to write drum beats) and I put the two open notes on 1/16 and 2/16, it's too slow. So I change Cubase editor to 1/32 and guitar pro I change the notes to 1/32, and now it's way to quick. Then I try putting the first note on 1/31 and the second on 3/32 then timing becomes odd and doesn't sound right.

    I'm stuck, the amount of riffs I have thrown away because of this is criminal. Where am I going wrong here?

    Another way to put it is I cannot seem to transfer the rhythm I've come up with in my hands to the drum editor or guitar pro editor. I often have to sacrifice this rhythm for something more uniform and not quite as interesting.

    I hope this makes sense, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    That's the moment of truth, taking a riff that you've played by yourself a million times and either transcribing it into notation or putting it into an arrangement.

    If one division is too slow and the other is too fast, perhaps the note value is in-between. Maybe the hits are dotted 32nds?

    Can you play the rhythm on a MIDI keyboard into the DAW and see how it transcribes the note values?
     
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  3. BillMurray

    BillMurray SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I did get the midi keyboard out. And that has led me to simply up the tempo to 140 BPM from 120 and hey presto, it's perfect, with nice and 1/16th notes. HOWEVER, now the rest of the song that I was writing at 120 BPM simply doesn't suit this particular riff anymore!

    Another typical problem I have.
     
  4. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    There is an eastern counting system called Ta Ka Di Mi which applies various single syllable sounds to each beat. I was interested to learn about this as I realised it's a system I've always used - just in an unknown improvised way - to count. I suggest trying it. When I need to notate something I slow it down in my head and in a very basic way sing and mark the accents and weak beats - even counting them on my fingers or tapping them in a grid on my desk

    Regarding your last post - tempo changes are a thing! It will take a while to gain experience to know whether you are making a mistake in making a tempo change and should perhaps just be notating a different rhythm like triplets - but you'll get there
     
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  5. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Dotted notes.

    Tuplets.

    Tempo changes.

    Don't throw away riffs over this, that makes no sense. If it's hard, you need to practice. If you don't have a good sense for how these things work and sound, do some research about them and then find good ways to practice, like transcribe interesting rhythms you hear. Count things and focus on feeling the rhythm. If there are larger spaces between the notes, you can imagine a pulse of quicker notes like 16ths and get a feel for how many 16ths are between the notes in question. Be curious and analytical when you listen.

    If you're serious about learning this stuff: Maybe pick up a drum pad and some sticks and learn some snare drum music? I started drumming when I was pretty young and now I can notate most rhythmic stuff pretty quickly.
     
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  6. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    This is brilliant.
     
  7. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    If you want to make it slave to you and your riff, and you not adjust or slave to it, then turn all quantizing off for the highest resolution and use tempo map editing to make it slave to you. It's a lot harder and takes a lot longer to do it this way but it will conform to what you want and you can get it absolutley perfect. Humans don't play like a perfect grid system, they fluctuate.
     
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  8. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I would not chuck the song because other parts don’t work at 140BPM. You can change tempo and meter of all kinds of things in DAW’s. I have verses in 5/4 at 125bpm and choruses at 135 bpm in the same song, you can make the technology work for you and your song.
     
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  9. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    In addition, I might add, that as I am arranging in the DAW, I arrange drums & bass in the midi editor first, and as I get the drums down for the basic patterns, then I rehearse with it to determine the best feel for what the tempo should be. I measure that against the riff itself, but also how my vocals sit in the tempo, looking for the sweet spot. Sometimes I find that the tempo is too fast for the vocal delivery, so I back up on the tempo for that section so that I can enunciate the words with clarity and it doesn't sound rushed. In doing so, I often find that the riff has more of a powerful impact at a slower tempo as precision is tightened up in the process. Once I have the song mapped out in tempo/meter section by section, then I'll start getting more meticulous with the drum patterns/fills, and incorporating the bass in there & tidying that up in how the bass & drums play together. Now that I have the drums & bass locked in, now I can lay down my guitar tracks without having to concentrate on things that I'll need to repair later. My bass player likes this approach as well because the midi bass that I lay down gives him a production idea of the vibe that I am going for, and he knows that I do not want him to play what I layed down note for note. It shines best when he applies his instincts and takes it further.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
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  10. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    I mean base case I would assume that you’ve just changed tempo. So yeah dotted notes and quarter note to half note or “eight eight quarter half” or whatever the pattern is could also be the issue. I’ve run into that with AFI rhythms where I’m looking at two bars the exact same length but one has way more notes than the other. In that case they’re just faster, but a full on tempo shift just makes your music “progressive” and it’s perfectly ok to shift back after the verse or chorus or whatever.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that from a music “rules” perspective is that there are no rules. But from a “log it in the tool” yeah I’d have a migraine like you for sure.
     
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