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The MIDI Editor

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: The MIDI Editor

The MIDI Editor area in Live is like a small application, or world, unto itself. So let's take a look at the different components that make up the MIDI Editor, and learn how to configure and navigate the MIDI Editor. So the MIDI Editor window is part of Details view, which is located at the bottom of Session view. Now, I can open a clip in MIDI Editor by simply clicking on it, and I'm looking at the Note Editor area here. And there's a second thing I can see down here by clicking on this other tab, and that opens the device that's actually playing that MIDI clip. Let's go back to the MIDI Editor.

The MIDI Editor

The MIDI Editor area in Live is like a small application, or world, unto itself. So let's take a look at the different components that make up the MIDI Editor, and learn how to configure and navigate the MIDI Editor. So the MIDI Editor window is part of Details view, which is located at the bottom of Session view. Now, I can open a clip in MIDI Editor by simply clicking on it, and I'm looking at the Note Editor area here. And there's a second thing I can see down here by clicking on this other tab, and that opens the device that's actually playing that MIDI clip. Let's go back to the MIDI Editor.

So the Note Editor provides a graphic display of the MIDI events that makeup a MIDI clip, so I've got note events and velocity information. If you point at a note, over here in the piano role it displays the note number. So I know that these note right here A1. If I click on the MIDI note block in the MIDI Editor, I should hear the assigned sound. Right now, that's not working because I need to turn on the Preview button. Let's give that another try. (Music playing.) Now in some cases you may want to reduce what you were seeing in the MIDI Editor area, by clicking the Fold button. This will actually eliminate any notes that don't have any MIDI notes on them. Now, that's particularly useful when you're looking at a drum clip.

Let's go over here and take a look at this Onna Groove clip. So in this case, if I undo the Fold button, we can see all the notes that are there. And if I re-enable it, we can see that I'm just seeing the notes that are actually part of this clip. And the other part, when I have Impulse preset up here, I can actually see the names of the samples that are assigned to those notes, so that I know which ones are available. So I've got a kick down here and a snare and so on and so forth, and I should be able to hear that if I enable the Preview button. So I can simply click on the piano role to hear what notes are there.

Now located at the bottom of the Note Editor area is the MIDI Velocity Editor. Here I can click one of these markers to edit the velocity of the associated note. So if I click on the note, we'll see the Velocity Editor light up, and I can click or drag to change the level of that note. Now there's a second one hiding in the back on because there's hi-hat hit that's up here. Now at the top of the Note Editor area, we have the beat time ruler, and that provides a time reference for the clip. So I've got a clip that's four bars long, and these numbers that I'm seeing at the beginning of each bar. I can zoom in and see more detail by simply clicking and dragging up and down in the beat time ruler. And you notice that as I go in I get to see more resolution, so I start to see not just the bar lines, but I see the bits as well.

Now I can also zoom in and out by moving my cursor down in here to the clip overview hotspot, and I can do the same thing: drag up to zoom back out drag down to zoom in. And I can do the same thing by clicking in the Note Editor itself and then using my Plus and Minus keys on my num pad. Plus will zoom you into more detail. Minus take you back out. Now this grid that we're seeing in the background can also be adjusted by right-clicking on the Note Editor background and choosing a value from either the Fixed Grid area or the Adaptive Grid area.

For example, if I choose 16th notes here, we'll see that the grid immediately gets finer. I'll right-click again, and let's try quarter note. If I got a triplet figure in the rhythm of the performance that I'm editing, I can turn that on by clicking on a Triplet Grid. You right-click again, and that's a toggle so I can toggle that off by clicking on Triplet Grid again. Now I can change the grid using shortcuts, and that would be, on a Mac, Command+ one through five--on a PC, Ctrl+one through five. So if I go Command+2, I can widen the grid--Ctrl+2 on a PC--or Command+1 or Ctrl+1 will narrow the grid.

Command+3 toggles on and off triplets, and Command+4 will show or hide the grid. That will toggle that on and off. Command+5 will toggle between fixed and adaptive grid. Now if I choose an Adaptive Grid setting, as I click and drag to zoom in and zoom out, that's when I'll see that grid change and get finer or wider, depending upon my zoom level. One last thing I'll point out in the MIDI Editor is the loop end and start points. There are times when you going to want to change these. There may be a four-bar clip or an eight-bar clip, and there are actually two bars inside that clip that you want to use.

Let me choose another clip here. And I can change those lengths by simply moving my cursor up in here to beat ruler and dragging the start time to the point where I want to start and the end time where I want that to end. And now I simply have a two-bar clip instead of having an eight-bar clip. So until you're familiar with the MIDI Editor, working here can be very awkward. Spend some time practicing the things we talked about, and you'll be much more comfortable when you start to edit your own MIDI performances.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

69 video lessons · 16982 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 8m 43s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      4m 30s
  3. 12m 59s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      3m 54s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      3m 31s
    3. Optimizing performance
      5m 34s
  4. 35m 42s
    1. Understanding Session view
      8m 7s
    2. Working with Live browsers
      5m 3s
    3. Working with Live clips
      7m 57s
    4. Understanding clip properties
      7m 52s
    5. Working with Live scenes
      6m 43s
  5. 28m 16s
    1. Building Live Sets and projects
      4m 25s
    2. Learning Live file management
      4m 2s
    3. Exporting content from Live
      7m 32s
    4. Importing and exporting Live Packs
      3m 17s
    5. Searching for and auditioning clips
      4m 58s
    6. Setting up frequently accessed folders
      4m 2s
  6. 23m 3s
    1. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 51s
    2. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 32s
    3. Working with alternate MIDI entry methods
      6m 49s
    4. Using multi-output virtual instruments
      5m 51s
  7. 24m 26s
    1. The MIDI Editor
      4m 49s
    2. Quantizing MIDI data
      6m 6s
    3. Advanced MIDI editing
      6m 49s
    4. Setting up groove in editing
      6m 42s
  8. 9m 18s
    1. Preparing to record
      5m 0s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 18s
  9. 22m 37s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      3m 41s
    2. Recording in Arrangement view
      3m 51s
    3. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 21s
    4. Reworking clips
      9m 44s
  10. 27m 57s
    1. Understanding Live's mixer
      12m 38s
    2. Using sends and returns
      3m 47s
    3. Building headphone cues
      3m 49s
    4. Grouping tracks
      7m 43s
  11. 43m 14s
    1. Working with effect devices
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 14s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      7m 28s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      8m 18s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 22s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      6m 56s
  12. 15m 37s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      8m 38s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      6m 59s
  13. 25m 24s
    1. Building automation patterns
      8m 44s
    2. Editing existing automation information
      5m 3s
    3. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 10s
    4. Understanding the power of clip envelopes
      7m 27s
  14. 20m 17s
    1. Understanding the basics of looping
      6m 54s
    2. Creating tracks that loop smoothly
      7m 50s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 33s
  15. 17m 47s
    1. Using the computer keyboard to control Live
      6m 39s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      4m 36s
    3. Using Live's instant mapping feature
      6m 32s
  16. 10m 44s
    1. Exporting audio
      5m 37s
    2. Freezing tracks
      5m 7s
  17. 20m 45s
    1. Building with the Impulse virtual instrument
      11m 35s
    2. Working with the Simpler virtual instrument
      9m 10s
  18. 36m 22s
    1. Overview of Live racks
      10m 13s
    2. Combining instruments and effects into a single device
      8m 22s
    3. Adding effects with Drum Rack
      11m 28s
    4. Assigning rack parameters to macros
      6m 19s
  19. 13m 53s
    1. Setting up ReWire with Pro Tools
      7m 3s
    2. Setting up ReWire with Logic
      6m 50s
  20. 33m 43s
    1. Preparing audio clips with the Warp tool
      14m 31s
    2. Triggering clips using follow actions
      8m 9s
    3. Using Live as a sound source
      11m 3s
  21. 7m 21s
    1. Working with video files
      7m 21s
  22. 37s
    1. Further Recommendations
      37s

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