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Editing MIDI data with event operations

From: Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

Video: Editing MIDI data with event operations

Where the Edit tools and MIDI Event List enable you to do edit specific notes or groups of notes, the editing possibilities found in the Event Operations window can have even more of an impact on your MIDI and instrument tracks. Go to Event > Event Operations > Event Operations Window. Now we've got the Event Operations window open. The operations here enable you to enter and alter the pitch, dynamics, timing and phrasing of any MIDI performance. Now we've already covered Input Quantize and Step Input, so I'll give explanations of the others in this video, and then I'll dedicate a separate video to the most enigmatic of these operations, the Quantization function.

Editing MIDI data with event operations

Where the Edit tools and MIDI Event List enable you to do edit specific notes or groups of notes, the editing possibilities found in the Event Operations window can have even more of an impact on your MIDI and instrument tracks. Go to Event > Event Operations > Event Operations Window. Now we've got the Event Operations window open. The operations here enable you to enter and alter the pitch, dynamics, timing and phrasing of any MIDI performance. Now we've already covered Input Quantize and Step Input, so I'll give explanations of the others in this video, and then I'll dedicate a separate video to the most enigmatic of these operations, the Quantization function.

So let's start here at the top with Change Velocity. The Change Velocity function adjusts the attack and release velocities for selected notes. It's useful for creating dynamic changes that weren't recorded with the original MIDI data. So let's take a look at this trumpet track, where we've got the velocity showing, and I'm going to highlight this area. So I'm going to change the velocity of the Note On, and if we choose Set all to this value 64 and hit Apply, it moves all of the velocity to 64. I'm going to undo that.

You can also scale it by a percentage or just simply subtract by a number, let's try subtracting by 31, hit Apply. It keeps everything at the same relative value, but it is dropped down by 31. I'll undo that. What if we try the Randomize, and this is maxed out at 100, so we hit Apply, you can see that their velocities go all over the place. I'm not sure when that would be a good thing to do, but hey! Why not? Let's go to the Change Duration. The Change Duration function is good for making a MIDI or instrument track more staccato. That is for shorter notes, or legato for smoothing out a phrase. You can use it to remove overlapping notes and transform sustain pedal data into duration data, which is actually quite useful for piano players who are too heavy on the sustain pedal while recording MIDI data.

But let's hear what it sounds like on this trumpet part. You can see that these notes are pretty short here. I'm just going to play this real quick, so you can hear how short they actually are. (Music playing.) So what if we take these notes and make them more legato, so that they're actually one beat in length? Let's apply this and see what happens. Press Play. (Music playing.) It's kind of a cool effect. I'm going to undo that. So there is a lot of opportunities to change the durations and the whole feel of the track by using this Change Duration function. Let's go down to Transpose.

The Transpose function moves selected notes up or down and pitch. This is what you use if you want to change the key of a part without rerecording the part, or if you want to move a MIDI part up or down an octave to make it sound in a better range, or you can even change a triggered sample on a repeated note, like changing the sound of a high- hat track from one sample to another. What I'm going to do now is play this track with all the instruments in it, in its original pitch, and then I'm going to transpose it all up. (Music playing.) So if I highlight all of these regions and let's bring it up, let's try 6 semitones, hit Apply, and that's moved everything up. Let's listen. (Music playing.) While that's a good test, I actually like the original key better than this one.

And you'll note that I did not apply it to the drums, because if you transpose the drums, then that's going to really mess things up. In fact, let's try it just for a second and we'll hear what happens. (Music playing.) It changes the samples that you're triggering away from the original sample, so we don't want to do that. Let's move on to the Select/Split Notes window. This function allows you to select notes based on pitch, velocity, duration and position, whether you're selecting a single note or a range. It's particularly useful for altering a single note for the entire length of a region or a track.

For example, if you had a percussion track that had a whole bunch of percussion instruments in it, and you wanted to change just the Congo sound to a Bongo, all you need to do is go in with this function and select the one pitch and then change it up or down to a different pitch to trigger a different sample. And that's using the Select Notes part. More advanced than the Select Notes function is the Split Notes function, and that helps you divide notes into ranges. That's very useful for splitting up parts that were played on a single track into multiple tracks.

For example, you could split up a chord into individual notes for a horn chart or you could split up a full drum kit track into individual tracks. I'm going to actually show you how to do that here. So I'm going to choose the pitch criteria. It's going to be all the notes, so that each note gets split. I'll keep the other criteria as is and then I'll choose Split Notes. I'll copy to a new track per pitch. Since we've got this beat already selected, I'm going to hit Apply, and you'll see that it created three new tracks. I'll expand these out. We've got notes on each track. This is the kick track, these are the snares and this is the high-hat. Let's move over to Restore Performance.

The Restore Performance function enables you to undo any timing, pitch, duration or velocity edits that you made, using the MIDI editing functions in the Event Operations window, even after the session has been saved. It can even be used to remove quantization that was applied using the Input Quantize function. However, when you manually move a MIDI note, the Restore Performance function does not undo that move. This includes cutting, copying, pasting and trimming. Also note that the Restore Performance command cannot be undone. And as you can see here in this window, we can choose which things that we want to restore.

Finally, we have the Flatten Performance. Once you've finalized some or all the edits on your MIDI or instrument track, you can choose the Flatten Performance option, and save the edits permanently. Now before you do this, I recommend making a duplicate play list of the edited track before flattening it. If you remember how to do that, you can go over here to the Play List menu, and choose Duplicate. Now I personally don't really see the need for this operation. So I don't really use it, because I always like to be able to go back to previous edits if necessary. But some might want to do this to kind of lock in their edits.

So here you've seen many powerful editing features that are part of the Event Operations window, and we haven't even yet touched the quantization. Get to know these features. They can make potentially cumbersome data manipulation into quick and easy edits.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 8 Essential Training
Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

120 video lessons · 10660 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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