For those of us whose keyboard skills are not as complete as Rick Wakeman’s, recording MIDI from a keyboard can be a humbling experience when you open the resulting part for editing. What felt like a good performance can often be revealed to be a shambolic approximation of the desired recording, (or is that just me?). All too often, the temptation is to quantise the notes to within an inch of their life, leaving the part in time, but robbed of that human ebb and flow that separates man-made music from machine music. However, Cubase offers a halfway house between a performance that’s just go too much swing and sterile perfection – iterative quantising. This takes your ragged timing and smooths out the edges, leaving something close to the beat, but not welded to it.
Another issue with recording MIDI bass lines is that a bass guitar is (mostly) a monophonic instrument, but keyboard recording can leave you sounding adjacent notes that you could never play on a bass. This registers with the listener and detracts from the overall effect you’re trying to achieve. Cubase offers the facility to eliminate overlaps between notes, ensuring that your bassline is a one note wonder and doesn’t sound like you stumbled your way through. The video below looks at the application of both Iterative Quantise and Delete Overlaps to editing a less-than-perfect MIDI bass part.