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Editing MIDI data with the MIDI Editor

From: Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

Video: Editing MIDI data with the MIDI Editor

Pro Tools has a dedicated MIDI and instrument track editing window called the MIDI Editor Window. It's great for fine-tuning MIDI performance data. Fortunately, it shows a lot of common functionality with the regular Edit window. However, the MIDI Editor also offers up some unique features that you'll probably learn to love. Let's take a look at it. Down at the bottom-left here of the Edit window, we can see the docked version of the MIDI Editor. If we click this little button here, it will open this up, and click this button to close it.

Editing MIDI data with the MIDI Editor

Pro Tools has a dedicated MIDI and instrument track editing window called the MIDI Editor Window. It's great for fine-tuning MIDI performance data. Fortunately, it shows a lot of common functionality with the regular Edit window. However, the MIDI Editor also offers up some unique features that you'll probably learn to love. Let's take a look at it. Down at the bottom-left here of the Edit window, we can see the docked version of the MIDI Editor. If we click this little button here, it will open this up, and click this button to close it.

We can also view the non-docked version, which is the one I want to look at here in this video, and there it is. We are looking at just the bass track here, all the notes, and we can see any of the automation lanes down below. Just to let you know there is a couple of other ways to open the MIDI Editor. We choose Setup > Preferences > MIDI page, double-clicking a MIDI region opens the MIDI Editor. We can choose that if we'd like, or you can simply right-click on a MIDI region and open this up.

Let's take a look at the Toolbar at the top of the MIDI Editor window. First, let's take a look at the menu over here on the right. This is where we can show all the different displays for the Toolbar, and I'm going to check off everything. So head over here to the left side and go left to right. So this track that we have shown right here, just the bass track, we can solo it. We can mute it. We can actually show the notation by clicking that or back to the Piano Roll.

Then we have our Edit tools, Standard Zoomer, Trimmer, Selector, and Grabber, and we can make this the smart tool by clicking above any of these three, the Scrubber and the Pencil tool. Here we have got the selected track for this MIDI Editor, and we have got the MIDI Note Duration, Velocity, and whether we want to play the MIDI notes while we are editing. We have got mirrored MIDI editing and the Link Timeline and Edit Selection as well as the Edit modes here. Also our standard Grid and Nudge values, our Cursor Position, and way over here, we have got our selection area. So if I were to make a selection, it would show up right here.

The Edit tools over here act just like you'd imagine they would, doing just the same things as they did in the Edit window for any MIDI operations. If you like to learn more about that, then you should check out the video about using the Edit tools for MIDI. Let's talk about the Tracks list over here. As you can see, right now, we have one track in here. However, if we click these little round buttons here, we can add tracks and you can see that they get superimposed here in this area. We will add all four tracks right here. Now, we can see that the piano, the trumpet, the bass, and the drums are all in this track area right here.

What's really great about this is that you can actually add notes to each individual instrument depending on where this little Pencil icon is. So right now if I use the Pencil to add notes, it will add into the bass line. (Music playing.) But if I switch this down to the trumpets, I can add some trumpet notes. (Music playing.) You will notice that each track is color coded. Scroll up here and you can see the piano part up here in red. If we go to this button right here, this is called the Color Coding by Track button, and if I click that, the tracks in the MIDI Editor are temporarily assigned 1 of 16 fixed colors in the order that they appear in the tracks list.

Now, why would we need to do that if we have already got these colored this way? Well, we don't really have to, and that's just a matter of how you setup your color coding for Pro Tools in general. If these are not colored, then using this button would be helpful. Below that, we have the Color by Velocity, and we can click that and it turns everything into this kind of pink color. Darker notes have higher velocities whereas lighter notes have lower velocities.

Personally, I don't really like this option because I have already got a preference active that shows me whether these notes have higher velocities or lower velocities. And that is right here, I'll show you that. In the Setup > Preferences > Display Page, we have MIDI Note Color Shows velocity. So if we have already got that checked off, then we don't really need to use this option. Let me just show you an example of using the velocity to show the color here. Let me grab this. (Music playing.) See how it gets lighter, this particular note? And it will get darker as I increase the velocity. (Music playing.) If we want to add multiple notes on multiple tracks, we can Shift-click here to add the Pencil to multiple tracks. So now I'll be able to add notes at the same time to both the trumpets and the piano if I want. Get the Pencil tool. (Music playing.) So you can hear that there is notes from both the trumpet and the piano in there when I'm adding these notes. If I want to add notes from two tracks that are discontiguous here, I have to press the Command key on a Mac or the Ctrl key on a PC, and I can get those two different tracks right there.

If I want to put notes on all the tracks all at the same time, I can hit the Option key in Mac or the Alt key in Windows, and click and add it to all the tracks there. (Music playing.) The MIDI Editor window also allows you to right-click notes, and has a huge menu offering of things that you can do. Check it out. We can change the tool. We can insert Key Signatures, Meters, Chord Symbols, Cut, and Paste. We can mute particular notes, we can switch over to some of these other options. We can open these particular tracks. In the Score Editor, we can look at them in the MIDI Event List, and we can change to show the notation.

Now, although we can see the notation here in the MIDI Editor, really, the best place to look at it is in the Score Editor. There is a number of videos on the Score Editor in this course. So check out the features of the scoring in those videos. The MIDI Editor in Notation View like this or in the Piano Roll View offers up a ton of MIDI editing features. I personally find that all the right-click options can be incredibly helpful, as well as the ability to add notes to any MIDI or instrument track all within this one window. If you write MIDI based music, I'm sure you are going to enjoy using the MIDI Editor.

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This video is part of

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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

120 video lessons · 10662 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 12m 54s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      3m 51s
    4. Troubleshooting
      3m 1s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 16s
  2. 23m 41s
    1. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      5m 8s
    2. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    3. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      6m 55s
    4. Setting essential preferences
      3m 42s
    5. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 56s
    6. Identifying elements in a session folder
      3m 2s
  3. 47m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      4m 50s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      2m 21s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 55s
    5. Investigating Pro Tools menus
      4m 37s
    6. Creating new tracks
      4m 10s
    7. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 36s
    8. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      5m 54s
    9. Adjusting the I/O setup
      7m 7s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 50s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and keyboard focus
      3m 49s
  4. 30m 43s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      5m 6s
    2. Importing audio
      5m 13s
    3. Importing MIDI
      3m 55s
    4. Importing session data
      6m 17s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      4m 18s
    6. Importing video
      2m 57s
    7. Unmounting a hard drive
      2m 57s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Recording audio
      5m 6s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 31s
    3. Creating a Click track
      4m 53s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      9m 25s
    5. Recording with playlists and the Loop Record mode
      3m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      5m 28s
    7. Dealing with latency
      4m 17s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 33s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      7m 41s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      5m 34s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 13s
  6. 1h 26m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 31s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      6m 57s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 14s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 27s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 26s
    7. Understanding the edit modes
      7m 54s
    8. Arranging regions
      8m 38s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 3s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      10m 29s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 28s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      3m 36s
    13. Special buttons in the Editing window
      8m 16s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 11s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      10m 59s
  7. 18m 43s
    1. Working with region groups
      5m 47s
    2. Setting time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 46s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 10s
  8. 35m 30s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 25s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 50s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 46s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      5m 24s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 15s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 27s
    7. Using step input
      4m 45s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      2m 51s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 47s
  9. 48m 41s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      8m 23s
    2. Editing MIDI data with the MIDI Editor
      7m 20s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 41s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 25s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      11m 31s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 59s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      4m 22s
  10. 18m 51s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 22s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      6m 33s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 30s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      2m 26s
  11. 19m 0s
    1. Utilizing the Time Shift plug-in
      7m 41s
    2. Editing with Elastic Time
      8m 30s
    3. Editing with Elastic Pitch
      2m 49s
  12. 48m 20s
    1. Working with Boom
      11m 23s
    2. Working with Xpand2
      7m 21s
    3. Working with DB-33
      6m 58s
    4. Working with Vacuum
      7m 55s
    5. Working with Structure Free
      7m 12s
    6. Working with Mini Grand
      3m 57s
    7. Using Midi Learn
      3m 34s
  13. 25m 55s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 4s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 56s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 9s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 5s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 25s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      4m 16s
  14. 1h 40m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 0s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 18s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      3m 53s
    4. Dealing with delay compensation
      6m 51s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 19s
    6. Adding compression
      11m 17s
    7. Applying limiters
      2m 57s
    8. Using Gates and Expanders
      4m 40s
    9. Working with Side Chains
      3m 35s
    10. Working with De-Essers
      3m 4s
    11. Adding delay
      7m 34s
    12. Utilizing modulation effects
      4m 43s
    13. Adding reverb
      7m 5s
    14. Adding harmonic effects
      5m 7s
    15. Renting and purchasing plug-ins
      2m 2s
    16. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      5m 19s
    17. Bouncing down a mix
      5m 50s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Setting up a session for mastering
      8m 56s
    2. Using plug-ins for mastering
      8m 47s
    3. Applying Dither and Noise shaping
      4m 5s
    4. Bouncing down master recordings
      3m 56s
  16. 19m 52s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      4m 20s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      12m 28s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      3m 4s
  17. 4m 50s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 50s
  18. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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