Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor


Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

with David Franz

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Video: Editing MIDI data in 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 shares 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. You can access the docked version by going down to this button down here, right at the bottom, near the left side, clicking on that, and it expands this whole window.
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  1. 13m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 6s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 18s
    5. Using the exercise files
      3m 3s
  2. 31m 3s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 50s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 1s
    3. Powering up and powering down
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      4m 13s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      5m 52s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      1m 38s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 43s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 33s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 40s
  3. 42m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      3m 11s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 36s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 13s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and buses
      3m 58s
    9. Selecting an I/O Settings file
      4m 12s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 46s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and keyboard focus
      3m 19s
  4. 19m 31s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 22s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 1s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 46s
    4. Importing session data
      3m 44s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 44s
    6. Importing video
      2m 54s
  5. 1h 0m
    1. Recording audio
      6m 14s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 0s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 25s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 29s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 3s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 17s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 52s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 17s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 19m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 3s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      8m 16s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 41s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      2m 46s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 28s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 9s
    8. Arranging regions
      5m 33s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 8s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      7m 22s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      4m 50s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      2m 52s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      6m 47s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      4m 13s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      8m 37s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      7m 38s
  7. 19m 27s
    1. Working with region groups
      6m 39s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 30m 47s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 7s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 13s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 37s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 7s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      5m 44s
    7. Using step input
      4m 14s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      2m 52s
  9. 54m 25s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      9m 47s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      8m 17s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 13s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 35s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      3m 49s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      3m 53s
  10. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 56s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 11s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 49s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      7m 21s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      3m 58s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 26s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 2s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 0s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 58s
  12. 1h 33m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      7m 53s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 11s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 25s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      13m 27s
    7. Adding depth effects: Delay and reverb
      12m 45s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      4m 14s
    9. Bouncing down a mix and making an MP3
      5m 44s
    10. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 36s
    11. Mastering a session
      7m 35s
    12. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      4m 52s
  13. 10m 6s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 42s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 32s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 22s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 22s
  15. 52s
    1. Further Recommendations

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Watch the Online Video Course Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
8h 23m Beginner Nov 05, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Pro Tools 9 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz demonstrates concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in the industry-standard software for music and post-production. The course covers creating music with virtual instruments and plugins, editing with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing with effects loops. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Pro Tools interface
  • Choosing a playback engine and other settings
  • Setting up Pro Tools hardware and software properly
  • Importing audio
  • Recording and editing audio and MIDI
  • Arranging a session
  • Writing and editing automation
  • Mixing and mastering a session
  • Using automatic delay compensation
  • Bouncing down a mix as an MP3
  • Importing and displaying video
  • Archiving a session
Audio + Music
Pro Tools
David Franz

Editing MIDI data in 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 shares 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. You can access the docked version by going down to this button down here, right at the bottom, near the left side, clicking on that, and it expands this whole window.

This is the docked version of the MIDI Editor. To close it, you can go back to this downward arrow and click it. However, I want to open up a separate window for this. We can go to Window > MIDI Editor. This opens up the entire MIDI Editor window, and you'll see we have the fullscreen version here. Before I show you more about it, I want to talk to you about some other ways that we can open up the MIDI Editor. If we go to Setup > Preferences, and on the MIDI page, we can say Double-Clicking a MIDI Region Opens: the MIDI Editor.

So, if we were to double-click a MIDI region anywhere in Pro Tools, this MIDI Editor window will open up. You can also right-click a MIDI region to access the MIDI Editor. So let's talk about what's going on here in the toolbar. So we've got our Solo button, Mute button. We've got the Notation display enable, which if I click this you'll see instead of the piano roll, you'll see notes. So now you can see the actual music notation for this part.

Next, we have the Edit tools: the zoomer, trimmer, selector, grabber, scrubber, and pencil. We've selected the Smart tool right here. Next, we have the track that's showing, Piano. We've got the note duration, which we could change to any size that we want. That indicates, if we add a note, that's the size that it'll be. So if we say quarter note, we can go down here and add a quarter note.

This is the default MIDI note velocity. If we had a new note, the velocity will be 80. This button is the Play MIDI Notes When Editing. If we want to hear the notes when we're inserting them or editing them, we'll keep this active. If we don't, click on it to turn it off. Next is the Mirrored MIDI Editing button. We use this button if we want to edit one MIDI region and have all the same edits applied to every other instance of that same MIDI region in our session.

Next, we have the Link Timeline and Edit Selection button, and this functions exactly the same way as it does in the Edit window where the timeline and the editing selections that you make are linked. We can unlink this if we want to have separated timeline and edit selections. Usually, we will just keep this linked. Now we have the edit modes: Shuffle, Spot, Slip and Grid. This area indicates the location of where we are.

So if I put the cursor down into this track, you see exactly where I am with the time, that is the Bars and Beats in this particular case, and also the pitch. So I am in E5 right now, and you see that indicated on the keyboard over here, as well as up here in this box. Next, we have the Grid value, and the gridlines are showing. If I click that, I'll turn off the gridlines. This shows the Grid value, and we can choose whatever we want for that.

Just like in the Edit window, we can use the Command key on a Mac, or the Ctrl key on Windows, and move these parts around. So if I click and drag, I can adjust these Edit toolbars to appear the way that I want them to. Over to the right, we can access the MIDI Editor Toolbar menu. If we need to change anything here, we can do that. Now, you'll see that we've got the Tracks list checked off. Let's go, check out the Tracks list. Tracks list is over here.

Right now, we are viewing just one track, the Piano track. You can see that by this circle that's active. We can add additional tracks to show by clicking on these circles. Now the trumpets are showing up on here. You'll see that the notes are superimposed in a different color. So now we've got the trumpet and the piano showing up on this same track. The pencil icon indicates which track that we would actually add notes on to with the Pencil tool.

So if I were to go in with the Pencil tool now and add a note, it will go onto the Piano track. If I switch this over to the trumpet track, it creates a trumpet note. Let's take a look at these two buttons right here. This is the Color Coding by Track button. If we activate that, the tracks in the MIDI Editor are temporarily assigned one of 16 fixed colors, in the order that they appear in the Tracks List.

They are indicated by these colors shown right here. Now why would we need to do that if the tracks are already colored the way that we have them here? Well, we don't really have to. It's just a matter of how you set up your color coding for Pro Tools in general. If the tracks and notes are not already colored, then using this button would be helpful. But since my tracks are already colored here, I don't need to do that. The next button down here is the Color by Velocity.

If I click that, you'll see that the MIDI notes are all the same color, red, on all the tracks displayed here, and the notes with the lowest velocities are lighter in color, and the notes with the higher velocities are darker. So if I end up taking this note and making it very quiet, you'll see that it's very light in color; however, these other ones are darker. Now personally, I don't really see the point of using this, especially if we have our preference set to show velocity.

So if we go to Setup > Preferences > Display, and we have this set: MIDI Note Color Shows Velocity. And if I turn this off, you'll see that the velocity is already showing because this is lighter in color. If I end up dragging this velocity up, you'll see this note become darker. So personally, I don't really use these two buttons at all.

Let's go back to the Pencil tool. If I want to add notes to a track, we can simply click on them. The Pencil icon here shows us which track that we're going to add to. Now if I want to add notes to multiple tracks, I can Shift+Click. Now, I have got the pencil icon showing on both of these tracks. If I add a note, it'll be added to both the piano and the trumpets. If I want to also add to the drums, but not to the bass, I actually have to hit the Command key in Mac or the Ctrl key in Windows and then click here, and now I can add notes for all three of these tracks.

So as you can see here, the MIDI Editor offers a ton of MIDI editing features. I personally find all the right-click options to be incredibly helpful, as well as the ability to add notes within any MIDI or instrument track all within this one window. If you write MIDI-based music, I'm sure you'll enjoy using the MIDI Editor.

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