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In Logic Pro 9 Essential Training, Scott Hirsch explains how to harness the power and flexibility of Logic Pro, Apple’s popular songwriting software, to record, edit, and mix music. The course includes instruction on how to compose in Logic Pro, and spend more time being creative and less time dealing with technical uncertainties. Scott focuses on setting up a workspace, recording with both live performers and digital instruments, editing and arranging, and mixing and mastering a composition. Exercise files accompany the course.
The Piano Roll window is one of Logic Pro's best assets. It offers an easy and intuitive way to create and edit MIDI note events and their velocities, all while viewing them in a timeline fashion. Let's see how to use this powerful tool. The Piano Roll must be open from a MIDI region. Let's double-click on the first Lead synth 1 region. That opens the Piano Roll pane, which is cool for quick updating, but let's open the full window for this lesson. You can hit Command+6 to do that. Now we get the full Piano Roll window. This window is just like the Arrange window in that you can resize it from pulling on the bottom right-hand corner.
You can also use the Zoomer tools in the bottom right to zoom in and out vertically and horizontally. On the top of the window, we have the little blue guy. This is the Catch button. When this is on, the screen will update as the Playhead moves off the screen. Let's see how this works. (Music playing.) As you can see, the screen updated. Next to the Catch button, we have the Link button.
When the Link button is yellow, it's in content mode. This means that the Piano Roll window will update its content if another region is selected in the Arrange window. If the button is off, it means it'll stay with this content no matter what other regions are selected in the Arrange window. The In button is used for Step Inputting, as we saw in the Step Inputting video. The Out button is important. It must be on if you want to hear the notes you're working on in the window. Let's keep it on for this video. Then we have some local menus. Those offer us some different options for editing in the Piano Roll window. Next to that, we have our Quantize features.
Quantize pulldown menu, Quantize Selected Events button. Next to that, we have two important displays. The first one shows the name of the region we are working in. We're currently working in Lead synth 1. The one to the right of that is a helpful display of what bar and beat and note our cursor is at, at all times in the window. It's very useful when you're drawing in MIDI events. As you can see, it updates in real time depending on where our cursor is in the window. On the left of the window, we have a representation of a piano keyboard showing what notes correspond to the horizontal lanes in the window.
You can play this keyboard by clicking on these notes to audition sounds. (Music playing.) You can also use these keys to select notes. If I click on the E key, every E MIDI event in the whole region is selected. All the little rectangles we see out in main area are the MIDI note events of varying lengths, and they're color- coded according to note velocity. To create a note, you can right click and choose Create Note. (Music playing.) I find a better way to create a note is to use the Pencil tool.
The best way I found to use this is to have the Pencil tool as your secondary tool. As we see up in the top window, our primary tool is the Pointer. Our secondary tool is the Pencil tool. That way, any time we hit Command we get the Pencil tool. So to create a Note, you can easily just Command+Click. As you click to create a note, you can drag and change the note length before you release the mouse. (Music playing.) To make it a bigger or smaller, then you release the mouse. To edit a note, the Pointer tool is your master.
It does a few functions depending on where it is on the note event. A single-click on a note selects that note. (Music playing.) As you notice, Logic plays the note when you select it. If we take the Pointer to the edge, it turns into a Trimmer tool. This way you can trim the note length. (Music playing.) It also does this in the left edge. (Music playing.) If you want to move the note, click directly in the center of the note and hold the mouse. (Music playing.) You Pointer tool will turn into a Hand tool and you can move the note up or down, left or right.
(Music playing.) You can select groups of notes by dragging a cursor selection around the notes you want to select. This way, you can move all the notes together as a group. (Music playing.) You can also trim all of them together as a group here as well. (Music playing.) Notice I'm trimming all notes at one time because they're all currently selected. (Music playing.) To deselect notes, click anywhere in the gray area where there aren't any notes.
Velocity editing requires the V tool, which allows you to pull up or down on a note to change its velocity. You can get to the V tool by hitting Escape and popping up your toolbox. Let's choose the Velocity tool here. Notice the V next to the cursor. To change the velocity, click directly on a note and pull up or down on the mouse. (Music playing.) Pulling up increases the velocity, pulling down lowers the velocity. (Music playing.) Velocity is the color-coded with purple being our lowest velocity and red being our highest velocity.
Also, if you can't see color, you can use the length of the line inside a note to see what your velocity is. Notice as it gets higher, line increases in size. (Music playing.) There is an array of special tools in the local Edit menu. Some notable ones are Select All Following of Same Pitch. Also, Select Equal Colored Events. Of course, all standard editing functions work. You have Cut, Copy, Paste, etcetera. Now you know how to use the Piano Roll window and the editing features inside of it.
I suggest practicing and getting good and fast at this window. You're going to use it a lot.
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