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PPQN (Pulses Per Quarter Note, sometimes Parts Per Quarter Note)

The timing resolution of a MIDI sequencer. PPQN indicates the number of divisions a quarter note has been split into, and directly relates to the ability of the sequencer to accurately represent fine rhythmic variations in a performance, or to recreate the “feel” of a performance. Older sequencers were capable of 96 PPQN (sometimes even less), which often resulted in a stiff “quantized” feel to the music (even if it hadn’t actually been quantized). Current versions can reach 768 PPQN or even higher resolutions, which is more than adequate for most musical applications. Note that the resolution of the sequencer is especially important at slower tempos. If your sequencer is limited to a lower resolution, one trick is the double the tempo of the song, then perform the parts in half time. This effectively results in a doubling of resolution.

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