Cubase 3.0 (part 10)
Conventional editing means finding individual notes which are incorrect in some way and adjusting their pitch, velocity, duration or timing as necessary. If there are a lot of notes you would like to change then you could be spending some time in the editing pages. Perhaps you would be better off just playing the phrase again? But often there are times when what you have recorded is almost right, but theres something about it you would like to alter, such as reducing or increasing the duration of each note, removing unwanted short notes, putting an accent on the first beat of the bar etc. There are many situations where you need to change a lot of items of data, but each in the same way, and the Logical Edit page in Cubase is the ideal place to do it. Figure 4 shows the page in question. It looks a bit difficult but dont be put off because you can achieve an amazing amount with just a few mouse clicks. The key to logical editing is that first you have to select the data you want to process, and then define what you want done to it. The first row of boxes is the Filter therefore, and the second row the Processor. I could tell you how to operate the Logical Editor, but that would spoil your pleasure in reading the manual, so instead let me give you three examples of what this type of editing can do for you:
Fix durations. This is something I do all the time. If you can fix or scale the durations of notes you have just recorded youll find that there is nearly always an improvement that can be made. It really is worth experimenting with this technique. The way you would do it in Logical Editing is to add or subtract, multiply or divide, or simply fix the durations of note events. It takes about thirty seconds. And if you want to shorten notes generally but not change notes of less than a certain duration, then just instruct the Logical Editor not to process them. That will take another thirty seconds.
Add accents. Adding accents to drum parts can be a very rewarding thing to do. Adding a slight lift to the third of a group of four sixteenth-note hihats will usually work wonders for an otherwise mechanical tick. There are countless other examples of how accents can be used, but unless you are content to repeat the same one or two bar pattern over and over again, which we really shouldnt be doing these days, then its a matter of playing very precisely or undertaking a lengthy editing process. With Logical Edit however, all you have to do is to filter out the third hihat pulse and then process it by adding to or multiplying the velocity. Repeat as necessary to process just one bars worth of hihats by hand and Cubase will do the job on the whole track.
Partial quantise. I have occasionally found myself in the situation where part of a repeated rhythmic pattern needs quantising but the rest doesnt. For example a strong note at the beginning of the bar followed by an arty flourish. With Logical Edit, filter the first beat of the bar and quantise it. The rest will remain unchanged.
This concludes my review of Cubase 3.0 and I can say Yes, buy it with total conviction. Cubases best features are its main sequencing functions as described in last months review. The bonus features described here are less intuitive and will benefit from further development of the user interface to make them more accessible, especially to those of us with SMD syndrome - software manual dyslexia. But if you are that little bit more adventurous than the average sequencist, and have time to invest in learning the Interactive Phrase Synthesiser, the MIDI Mixer and Logical Editing, then your time will be rewarded. The best of this trio is definitely Logical Editing but the other two potentially have much to offer.