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Navigating and zooming in the MIDI Editor

From: Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

Video: Navigating and zooming in the MIDI Editor

The MIDI Editor in Live is like a small application unto itself. So, let's take a look at the components that make up the Editor and learn how to configure and navigate the MIDI Editor. I can see a clip down here in MIDI Editor by just simply selecting one. And I'm going to choose the bass clip, because I know that's a MIDI clip. And so, I'm seeing the clip view here. Just remember that you can also see the devices that are playing this clip. And I can do that a couple of different ways. I can click on the Device View button here. I can move back to the clip by clicking on that button. I can also switch between them using the key command, Shift+Tab.

Navigating and zooming in the MIDI Editor

The MIDI Editor in Live is like a small application unto itself. So, let's take a look at the components that make up the Editor and learn how to configure and navigate the MIDI Editor. I can see a clip down here in MIDI Editor by just simply selecting one. And I'm going to choose the bass clip, because I know that's a MIDI clip. And so, I'm seeing the clip view here. Just remember that you can also see the devices that are playing this clip. And I can do that a couple of different ways. I can click on the Device View button here. I can move back to the clip by clicking on that button. I can also switch between them using the key command, Shift+Tab.

And just to remind you, I'm going to Open and Close the Details View by clicking on this button in the lower right-hand corner. Okay, so the MIDI Editor, and that's this area that I'm circling with my mouse, has several components. So, across the top we have a Ruler. Over here on the left-hand side, we've got the Note Ruler. And then in between, we have the Piano Roll. Across the bottom we have the Velocity Editor area. If you want to hear a note, we can do that a couple of different ways. If the Preview button is enabled, which it is right now, you can click on a note (audio playing) and you'll hear it played. Or you can also click on another note over in the Piano Roll (audio playing). Now you'll notice, as I move my mouse around, you're actually seeing a read out of what note that it's above over in the Note Ruler. So, across the top, we have this Beat Time Ruler which offers us a time reference to the clip.

So I can see that it's actually 8 bars long and if I want to Zoom In and Zoom Out on that I can click in the Ruler and Drag up or down. There's a couple of other ways to do that. So, let me show you that. So, if you move your cursor down here over the clip overview area, I can click and Drag there. I can also move my cursor over to the edge and click and Drag on either the front or the back edge. But the one I like is to actually click into the MIDI Editor and then press the Plus and Minus keys on the Num Pad area of your computer keyboard. Now, if the notes that you're looking at are too tall or too short I can actually move my cursor over into the Note Ruler Editor and then click and Drag right or left to make those taller, or shorter.

Now, sometimes you'll be working with devices where you're only using very, very few notes and you don't need to see the whole keyboard. And let me show you the percussion clip I've got over here. This uses Impulse to play these particular MIDI notes. And Impulse, as you remember, only has eight slots for eight different samples. So we don't need to see the entire 88 Key Keyboard. So we can actually hide most of those keys by enabling the Fold button which is currently enabled. So let me disable that and notice that we go back to the more conventional view with the Note Ruler and the Piano Roll.

But as soon as I re-enable the Fold button. I'm looking at just the eight slots and the notes that are related to what's being used in that drum instrument. So, let me go back to this bass clip. Now, sometimes you'll click in here and you won't actually see the notes because they're actually out of view. They're either too low or too high. So, if that happens to you, just note that you can click and Drag over here in the Note Ruler. Click and Drag and then go up or down or you can also scroll over here with your mouse in the MIDI Editor area.

Or if your cursor is actually clicked into that area, you can use the page up and page down buttons on your keyboard. So if you're zoomed in, and I'll just Zoom In a little bit so I can demonstrate this, so I'm going to use the Plus key, and the note that you want to look at is actually now out of view. You can pan right and left two different ways. First of all, you can move your cursor back up into the Ruler and click and Drag right and left. Or you can move your cursor down into the Editor area and if you hold down the keys Option+Cmd on a Mac, or Alt+Ctrl on a PC, you'll see that your cursor turns into the Hand, and you can Drag right or left that way as well. Let me zoom back out so I can see the entire clip. Now let's play this.

Right now the clip that we're looking at doesn't have focus. That means that the Play button or the Launch button on the clip is not green. So let me start that by clicking on that, and then I'll stop it using my spacebar. (audio playing) Once I've actually played the clip and it's still in focus, I can actually start and stop the clip using the spacebar. (audio playing) Now, when I stop it, if I want to start playback from where my cursor is located I can do that by holding down Shift and pressing spacebar (audio playing).

You can also start playback from a different point than the beginning of the clip by moving your cursor into the Ruler, and holding your Shift key down, and you notice that it turns into a speaker icon. And now when I click, it'll start playing (audio playing) and if you noticed, it didn't start playing exactly where my cursor was. It moved to the nearest bar start and that's because the global quantization is currently set at one bar. So, anywhere you click it's going to start playback from the current bar. So, if I move a little bit closer than half to where bar two starts, hold down my Shift key and click, it should start at bar two. Which we see it did.

(audio playing). Now we didn't hear that MIDI note play because the start of that MIDI note must have been slightly before bar two. So, until you're familiar with the MIDI Editor, working in there can be a bit awkward. Spend some time practicing the things that we just talked about, and you'll be much more comfortable when you start to edit your MIDI performances.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 9 Essential Training
Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 11577 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      43s
    3. What you need to know
      47s
  2. 7m 44s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      3m 31s
  3. 11m 8s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      4m 0s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      2m 44s
    3. Optimizing performance
      4m 24s
  4. 38m 55s
    1. Nonlinear sequencing with Session view
      3m 42s
    2. Understanding the Session view window
      5m 8s
    3. Exploring the Live browser
      5m 49s
    4. Loading and playing clips
      4m 35s
    5. Moving and copying clips
      2m 55s
    6. Working with clip properties
      8m 17s
    7. Working with scenes
      8m 29s
  5. 24m 15s
    1. Using the browser
      4m 56s
    2. Searching for and auditioning clips and devices
      4m 19s
    3. Working with Live sets and projects
      4m 16s
    4. Managing files in Live
      3m 12s
    5. Exporting clips and devices
      7m 32s
  6. 33m 0s
    1. What is a software instrument?
      6m 29s
    2. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 0s
    3. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 47s
    4. Using a computer keyboard to enter MIDI
      5m 26s
    5. Utilizing the pencil to enter MIDI notes
      5m 45s
    6. Taking advantage of third-party and multi-output MIDI devices
      5m 33s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Navigating and zooming in the MIDI Editor
      5m 29s
    2. Configuring the MIDI Editor grid
      5m 2s
    3. Selecting and quantizing MIDI
      5m 3s
    4. Quantizing with grooves
      7m 23s
    5. Editing pitch and note duration
      6m 1s
    6. Editing MIDI velocities
      4m 24s
  8. 10m 10s
    1. Preparing to record audio
      5m 43s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 27s
  9. 34m 22s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      4m 10s
    2. Zooming in and out and playing in Arrangement view
      4m 46s
    3. Recording in Arrangement view
      4m 4s
    4. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 22s
    5. Adding and using locators
      3m 32s
    6. Copying, duplicating, and editing clips in Arrangement view
      5m 53s
    7. Reworking clips
      6m 35s
  10. 25m 35s
    1. Understanding the mixer
      7m 36s
    2. Using sends and returns
      6m 52s
    3. Building headphone cues
      4m 58s
    4. Grouping tracks
      6m 9s
  11. 41m 7s
    1. Working with effect devices
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 30s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      6m 26s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      7m 20s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 5s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      5m 47s
  12. 11m 15s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      6m 3s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      5m 12s
  13. 11m 44s
    1. Mapping keys with Keymap mode
      4m 12s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      3m 16s
    3. Using the instant mapping feature
      4m 16s
  14. 31m 51s
    1. Recording real-time automation
      6m 24s
    2. Drawing automation manually
      7m 48s
    3. Automating clips in Session view
      8m 36s
    4. Editing existing automation information
      4m 57s
    5. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 6s
  15. 20m 59s
    1. Understanding the basics of warping
      8m 43s
    2. Creating clips that loop smoothly
      6m 37s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 39s
  16. 10m 12s
    1. Exporting audio from Live
      6m 29s
    2. Freezing tracks
      3m 43s
  17. 42m 22s
    1. Exploring Impulse
      5m 5s
    2. Using Impulse as a multi-output instrument
      9m 15s
    3. Getting the most out of Impulse instrument parameters
      6m 23s
    4. Exploring Simpler
      7m 50s
    5. Smoothing sample start and end points in Simpler
      6m 32s
    6. Tweaking the parameters of Simpler
      7m 17s
  18. 36m 55s
    1. Unlocking the power of FX racks
      10m 48s
    2. Utilizing instrument racks
      10m 13s
    3. Creating drum racks
      9m 50s
    4. Working with rack macros
      6m 4s
  19. 10m 22s
    1. Introducing Max for Live
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mono Sequencer in Max for Live
      5m 30s
  20. 5m 54s
    1. Working with video files
      5m 54s
  21. 24s
    1. Next steps
      24s

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