The groove engine can do two things: change the timing and dynamics of your clips. The more familiar you are with manually playing with timing and volume variations, the more sense the groove engine will make to you.

In this tip, we’ll look at using the groove engine to do the simplest timing change: quantization.

Notice that in the groove browser, there’s a Quantize folder:

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Big deal, you say. Why should quantize using the groove engine when I’ve already got the Quantize command? Why Jon, WHY?

Because it quantizes in real time, and that is awesome.

Load up a clip, MIDI or audio, that has either sloppy timing or a heavy shuffle – something that’s clearly not lined up to the grid. Now, apply 16 Quantize to it as seen above. You should immediately hear it take effect. (If you don’t hear it right away, you might need to try 8 Quantize or one of the other ones).

Now, open up the Groove Pool :

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In it, you’ll see some settings for the groove you selected:

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Focus your attention on the Quantize setting. This works just like the Amount percentage that we looked at in the last tip. However, since the quantization is occuring on the fly, as the clip plays back, you can adjust the quantization while listening to the clip and decide on the proper percentage intuitively, using your ear.

See, told you it was awesome.

Even if you don’t use this exact technique a ton, this gets to the very essence of what’s cool about the pool.