I'd like to record some MIDI melodies using my MIDI keyboard, but I'm still very much a beginner in all areas of music, so my timing/rhythm tends to be slightly off. As a result, when I record in Reaper, for example, I always have a few notes sustained a little too long or a little too short compared to how I hear the melody in my head, which is really distracting.

Of course, I hope that will be less of an issue as my skill improves, but in the meantime, I'm imagining a possible solution and wondering whether any DAW or composition software supports this:

Is it possible to specify a note length, such as a quarter note, and have the recording software automatically snap the MIDI's notes to that nearest note? For example, when snapping to the nearest quarter note, if I play a note that's 1/5/th the length of a beat, it would record it as a quarter note, and if I play a note that's 3/7ths of a beat, it would record as a half note.

1 Answer 1


Most DAWs have a function for this. It is called quantization. You can choose to quantize your performance to the nearest quarter note, the nearest eighth note, or the nearest sixteenth note. Consult your owners manual for instructions.

Here are the choices in the Time Quantize function in Apple GarageBand for example:

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    Some sequencers offer Input Quantize. This is rarely a good idea. It's easy to play nearer to the "wrong" quantize point than the one you wanted! Better to play freely and quantize selectively afterwards.
    – Laurence
    Feb 20, 2016 at 13:27

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