Quantizing MIDI Events

Event‑based quantization can be applied to any individual MIDI event (not just note events) within a MIDI region. Individual event quantization is performed in the MIDI editors.

The menu bars of the Piano Roll Editor and the Event List include a Quantize pop-up menu and a Quantize button. This is a separate quantization function, which can be applied to selected events rather than entire regions.

Figure. Piano Roll Editor showing the Quantize pop-up menu and Quantize button.

The Piano Roll Editor also includes a Quantize tool.

Figure. Piano Roll Editor showing the Quantize tool.

Further quantize operations are also available in the Transform window. These can be applied to events in one or more selected regions that match very specific criteria. For details, see Editing MIDI Events in the Transform Window.

Note: Event-level quantization irreversibly alters the positions of all event types, with the exception of notes. Note events can be returned to their original record positions.

A Special Note About Quantization in the Score Editor

The primary purpose of the Score Editor is to produce readable—and printable—notation. Although you can certainly edit MIDI note data in the Score Editor, and quantize it with the Quantize tool (or the Functions > Quantization commands), it is best to perform individual note quantize operations in the Piano Roll Editor or the Event List.

The Quantize pop-up menu shown in the Inspector of the Score Editor serves a purely graphical function. It alters the way notes are displayed, but it does not affect note playback in any way.

To quantize events in a region using the Piano Roll Editor or the Event List
  1. Open the Quantize pop-up menu in the Inspector’s Region Parameter box, and choose a quantization value.

    This pop-up menu contains the same grid values that are in the Quantize pop-up menu of the Region Parameter box, shown in the Inspector.

  2. Do one of the following, depending on the options available in the window:

    • Choose Functions > Quantize Selected Events, or use the corresponding key command (Score Editor, Piano Roll Editor, and Event List).

    • Select the events that you want to quantize, then click the Quantize button (Piano Roll Editor and Event List). The most recently selected (or active) quantize value is used on all selected events.

    • Select the Quantize tool, then click all notes you want to quantize (Score and Piano Roll Editors). The most recently selected (or active) quantize value is used on all selected notes.

To set a quantize value with the Quantize tool
  1. Click-hold a single note (or a selected group of notes) with the Quantize tool to open the Quantize shortcut menu.

  2. Choose the desired quantization value for the events.

    Figure. Piano Roll Editor showing the Quantize shortcut menu.
To select, and quantize, several note events at once in the Score or Piano Roll Editor
  • Drag across the desired notes with the Quantize tool to select them.

    The most recently selected (or active) quantize value is used on all selected notes.

To return note events to their original positions
  1. Select all the notes you want to undo the quantization for.

  2. Do one of the following, depending on the options available in the editor:

    • Choose Functions > Undo Quantization, or use the corresponding key command (Score Editor, Piano Roll Editor, and Event List).

    • Choose the “off” setting in the Quantize pop-up menu, then click the Quantize button (Piano Roll Editor and Event List).

    • Option-click the Quantize button (Piano Roll Editor and Event List).

    • Option-click one of the selected notes with the Quantize tool (Score and Piano Roll Editors).

Important: Use of region-based quantization after you have individually quantized note events within a MIDI region will override your event-based quantizations, so take care. It may be worthwhile writing such changes into the region by following the instructions outlined in Quantizing MIDI Regions Permanently. Then all your hard work creating a number of individual event quantizations will not be lost by quantizing the wrong region.