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Quintuplets and other funnies !

You're here : Cubase >Fiat Lux !

How to record some group of notes which are not foreseen in the quantizing presets ? By configuring the quantizing ! When you open the Key Editor, you can see this :

You are at bar 5, and you can see that there are 4 squares between each beat. You will be able to put 4 notes by beat, that is to say some semiquavers. It's normal : when looking at "Quantize" on the right, you see that the actual adjustment is "1/16 Note". Reminder : 1/1=semibreve, 1/2=minim, 1/4=crotchet, 1/8=quaver, 1/16= semiquaver, etc.

You have surely noticed that quintuplets don't appear in the proposed quantizing choices ? We will remedy it. MIDI menu and Setup from the Quantize pop-up menu.

Here's what's appearing in front of your flabbergasted eyes :

Do you see this grid display in the middle, with the 4 beats of a bar ? Each blue bar stands for a sixteenth note (the actual adjustment). The primary idea, which is used by us as an example but which is in any case limitless, is to build a quintuplet preset. Let's have a look at the upper part of this pop-up window, evrything can be done here :

  • The "grid" box, it is the length on which we will unroll our particular rythm
  • A quintuplet of semiquavers, it's 5 ones instead of 4, that is to say it lasts one quarter note. Let's set "grid" on quarter note : 1/4.
  • The "type" box, it's simply the root note value type : straight (whole note), triplet or dotted. In our case, these are straight notes
  • The "Tuplet" box, it's here that you indicate the number of notes to be played during the shown time in the grid display. For 5 notes in a beat, common sense is telling us to set this square on 5.

The small blue bars confirm to us that we made the good choice...

In the "Presets" box, you can see now the "1/4 5-uplet" value, it's the name of your new preset. With a well-felt double-click, rename it in Quintuplet, then validate. Close the quantizing Setup window, and observe the grid : you've got now 5 squares per beat :

Besides, if you looked around during the handlings, you would have noticed that the grid was changing at the same time when you were doing the adjustments... As we are talking about this, please note also that the "Quantize" box from the Key editor displays proudly the name of your new preset.

To be sure to write a quintuplet which notes will be in place, but much better which will have the length of a quintuplet, let's meet on the box "Length Quant." and choose "Linked to Quantize".

We are ready to writing. At random, the following notes :

Well, we wrote two beats of quintuplets. We could continue, but it will be enough for the example... Let's see what's the result in the Score Editor : MIDI menu and "Open Scores". The notes are right, but not the rythm. Anyway, select the notes of the first beat, then Menu Scores / Staff Functions / Build N-Tuplet...

You are here :

The adjustments :

  • "Type" : 5 because it's a quintuplet !
  • "Over" : 2/8, so a beat (Cubase considers that you will add 5 semiquavers instead of 4)
  • "Text" : on your choice, depending of your musicians : "5" for the quick guys, "5:4" for the tormented ones ;o)

Click on "Quantize", it is done ! The result :

Here we are about quintuplets. Obviously, with the same method you will be able to build your own strangest quantizing presets.

We will conclude with some more or less current examples : In the "Quantizing Setup" window, if you want to make :

  • Some quintuplets ("Tuples" settings on 5) :
    • Of crotchets : grid 1/1 (5 crotchets instead of 4, therefore taking the space of a semibrieve)
    • Of quavers : grid 1/2  (on a minim)
  • Some groups of seven notes ( "Tuples" settings on 7):
    • Of semiquavers : grid 1/4
  • Some quaver triplets in a crotchet triplets (it exists !)
    • Grid : 1/4, type : triplet, tuples : 3

It could have been named a fivulet, a fifthulet or a 3²-u-let, but we enter here in linguistic considerations which are not the aim of our studies today. Let's stop here if you want, and see you again for some new and thrilling adventures deep inside SX... Good music !

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Régis LAMORA, on the 21-12-2002

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