Time grid selection

In this tour, you will learn how to set and use the time grid in the editing area.

The grid serves to provide a clearer overview of the audio data by displaying in the editing background vertical lines representing either seconds or beats. If desired, notes can also be made to snap to the nearest grid line as you drop them, in which case they will sound precisely on the beat. 

The procedure

Click at the intersection between the time and pitch rulers to open a context menu of grid options. Alternatively, open the menu by right-clicking on the time ruler.

As you move the mouse pointer over the first entry in the list, Time Grid, a cascading menu opens with which you can activate or deactivate the grid. In Melodyne Stand-Alone, you can also toggle the grid on and off using the shortcut [Alt][Command][T].

When the grid is active, the calibration markers extend from the top to the bottom of the bar ruler. When the grid is inactive, these shrink to around a quarter the height of the ruler.

If you select the option Dynamic from the cascading Time Grid menu, the grid will adjust automatically to the current horizontal zoom level: in other words, the further in you zoom, the finer the mesh of the grid.

The entries below Dynamic allow you to base the coarseness or fineness of the grid on note values. The current setting at any given time is reflected in the spacing of the vertical lines in the background of the editing pane. Select Triplets if your material is in triple time.

If you select Seconds,  the ruler will display the elapsed time from the effective starting point. In this case, even if the option Activate Grid is selected, the ruler will have no influence on the position of any notes you choose to move.

You will notice that note values are also selectable if you have set the grid to Dynamic. This should make sensible working with triplets possible even when using the dynamic grid: Since there are not just “triplets in themselves” but eighth-note (quaver) triplets, quarter- note (crotchet) triplets etc. you can select the desired note value so that the dynamic grid is drawn and behaves correctly.

When the time grid is active and Seconds is not checked,  notes moved from one beat to another will end up the same distance from the new beat as they were from the old one. In other words, whilst the grid does influence their position, they don’t snap exactly to the nearest grid line unless they were on a grid line to begin with. The note depicted below, for example, sounds slightly after the first beat of the bar.

If, while the grid is active, this is moved to the second beat, there, too, it will sound slightly after the beat – the offset in the two cases being identical.

Even if the grid is active, you can still adjust the position of a note (or a selection of notes) independently of the grid by holding down the [Alt] key as you move them.