Question on Nudge function versus Delay

I like to write some parts in a piano roll and then turn off quantize and slide them just a hair off beat until I get them grooving. I also like to push my snares forward a few ticks as well…same type of thing.

Is Nudge the best way to do this? And if so, what is a good value to set? I know 100 is the top, but when I use the mouse to lower the value, it goes to AA, BB…etc. Not sure how to set it up for real small nudges that would probably equate to 2 or 3ms.

I have not used delay at all yet…have not wrapped my head around that.

This is exactly what note delay is for.

Damn.ok, what is nudge for then? I don’t get the difference.

Nudge is for editing an entire section of delay column instead of typing the numbers in one note at a time. It will only effect what you’ve selected.

When I want a whole track adjusted I prefer to use the track delay in the mixer instead, because it is potentially more precise.

Note delay (ie. the delay column) divides each pattern line into 256 sub-lines. A delay column value of 80 hex (128 decimal) will position the note exactly half-way between the current pattern line and the next, while a delay value of 40 (64) is one quarter, C0 (192) is three quarters, and so on.

The Nudge function is simply a handy way of quickly setting the delay column values if you need to operate on many notes at once. A Nudge of 100 hex (256 decimal) will shift by an entire pattern line, while a Nudge of 80 (128) will shift by half a pattern line, and so on.

The time in milliseconds that a particular delay value will equate to is obviously entirely dependent upon the BPM and LPB (Lines Per Beat) values that you choose for your song. So it’s not always easy to know off-hand what the correct delay value will be for 2ms or 3ms as in your example, but it’s definitely possible (and relatively easy) to calculate the values if you really desire such exact delay timings.

Let’s assume that you’re working at 120 BPM and 4 LPB.

First, we calculate the number of milliseconds per pattern line:

  • seconds per beat = 60 / 120 = 0.5 seconds
  • ms per beat = 0.5 * 1000 = 500 ms
  • ms per line = 500 / 4 = 125 ms

Next, we calculate the number of delay steps per millisecond:

  • delay steps per ms = 256 / 125 = 2.048

Finally, let’s say we want to delay a note by 3ms:

  • delay = 2.048 * 3 = 6.144
  • Round that to the nearest whole integer value and we get a delay column value of 6

If you desire more precision/resolution in your delay column values, simply increase your LPB setting and adjust the calculations accordingly.

Obviously, calculating all this crap is a pain in the ass. The moral of the story here is to simply experiment and have fun. If you just want to add a bit of variety to your notes, then simply play around with some note delay values and see how it sounds. Start low and work your way up until it sounds right. There’s no need to get all scientific with it, unless that’s actually what you’re aiming for :)

Can’t thank you enough for that. I was screwing up using nudge so I will use note delay now that it makes sense.