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Editing MIDI data with event operations

From: Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

Video: Editing MIDI data with event operations

While the Edit tools and MIDI event list enables you to edit specific notes or groups of notes, the editing possibilities found in the Event Operations window can have even more impact on your MIDI and instrument tracks. Let's go up to Event > Event Operations. The operations in the Event Operations window enable you to enter and alter the pitch, dynamics, timing, and phrasing of any MIDI performance. Now we have covered Input Quantize and Step Input here, but now I'll give explanations of the others, and then I'll dedicate a separate video to the most enigmatic of these operations--quantization.

Editing MIDI data with event operations

While the Edit tools and MIDI event list enables you to edit specific notes or groups of notes, the editing possibilities found in the Event Operations window can have even more impact on your MIDI and instrument tracks. Let's go up to Event > Event Operations. The operations in the Event Operations window enable you to enter and alter the pitch, dynamics, timing, and phrasing of any MIDI performance. Now we have covered Input Quantize and Step Input here, but now I'll give explanations of the others, and then I'll dedicate a separate video to the most enigmatic of these operations--quantization.

Let's start with Change Velocity. The Change Velocity function adjusts the attack and release velocities for selected MIDI Notes. It's useful for creating dynamic changes that weren't recorded with the original MIDI data. So if I were to select these notes right here on the trumpet track, I can choose to change the velocity of the Note On, or the Note Off. I can set them all to a particular value. I could use the slider, or I can type in a value.

Now I just hit Return, and that changed all of these to 100. Let's open that back up and look at some of the other options. We can add an amount or subtract an amount from the velocity. We can scale it, and we can change the velocity smoothly by percentages or from certain values. We can also randomize. If I hit Randomize, and hit Apply, you will see that the velocities are kind of all over the place now. Let's undo that.

Let's move on to the Change Duration window. The Change Duration function is good for making a MIDI or instrument track more staccato, for shorter notes, or more legato for longer, smoother phrasing. You can also use it to remove overlapping notes and transform sustain pedal data into duration data, which can be helpful if a piano player is too heavy on the sustain pedal while recording MIDI Data. In this case, I am going to change this short staccato trumpet part into a more legato performance.

First, let's listen to it once as it is. (Trumpet playing.) Now I am going to change this to legato, and keep all of this the same and hit Apply. Now you see that these notes have become much longer, and let's listen to this. (Trumpet playing.) Changing the durations here can affect the whole feel of this track. Next, let's move on to Transpose.

The Transpose function moves selected notes up and down in pitch. This is what you want to use if you want to change the key of a part without rerecording a part, or to move the MIDI part up or down an octave to make it sound in a better range, or to change a triggered sample on a repeated note. So we could use this to change the sound of a hi-hat to a ride cymbal. Let's take a listen to this track before we transpose anything. So I am going to close this window first, and un-solo that track, and then hit Return to go back to the beginning of the song.

(Music playing.) So that's the original key. If we go up here to Transpose, Open that up, you'll see that we've got the transposition set here at three semitones, and I am going to apply that to all of these notes here in the bass, trumpets and piano. And you saw all the notes move here, and now let's press Play and hear this.

(Music playing.) That's an easy way to try out a different key for your song. I am going to undo that now. Now you note that I did not transpose the drumbeat, because if you transpose the drum tracks, they'll move the pitches away from the actual drums that you wanted. They won't actually change the pitch of the drums; they'll change the samples, and we don't want that here.

Let's move on to the Select and Split Notes. The Select/Split Notes function allows you to select notes based on pitch, velocity, duration and position, whether you're selecting a single note or a range. And this is particularly useful for altering a single note for the entire length of a region or track. Let's go back down to the trumpet here, and in this example we are going to change an A major chord to an a minor by selecting this C# note, and moving it down to C, which would create a minor third instead of a major third.

So first, I am going to select this note area that I want, and I and going to say notes between C#3 and C#3 is that only selects this one particular note, and the action is going to be Select notes. If I hit Apply, then Pro Tools selects only the notes that are chosen in here in the Pitch criteria. Now if I triple-click in this track to select all the notes, and then hit Apply again, you'll see that it will select all of the notes on this track just for the C#3.

Now I can take the Grabber tool and move all of these notes down by a half step. (Music playing.) Now I have just changed this chord from an A major to an a minor, by changing this pitch from C# to C. More advanced than the Select Notes function, the Split Notes function helps you to divide notes into ranges, and this is very useful for splitting up parts that were played on a single track into multiple tracks. Some examples include splitting chords into individual notes for horn charts, or for splitting up a full drum kit into individual tracks, and let me show you how to do that.

I am going to scroll up to the Drum track here, and triple-click in here to select all the notes. And then I am going over to the Action in the Split Select Notes function and choose Split notes. I'm also going to choose all notes in the Pitch Criteria. Then I am going to choose Copy, and a new track per pitch. When I hit Apply, you'll see that Pro Tools automatically splits this track into three new tracks, with one pitch per track.

So now I have the kick, snare, and cymbal separated onto three separate tracks. Let's move on to the Restore Performance function. The restore performance function enables you to undo any timing, pitch, duration, and velocity edits that you made using the MIDI editing functions in the Event Operations window, even after this session has been saved. It can also be used to remove quantization that was applied, using Input Quantize. However, when you manually move a MIDI note, the Restore Performance function does not undo the move, and this includes cutting, copy, and pasting, and trimming.

Also note that the Restore Performance command cannot be undone. In this window here we can choose what attributes to restore: timing, duration velocity and pitch. Hit the Apply button to restore the original performance data. Let's move onto Flatten Performance. Once you've finalized some or all of the edits on a MIDI or instrument track, you can choose Flatten Performance and save the edits permanently. I recommend making a duplicate playlist of the edited track before flattening it, and I personally don't really see the need for doing this operation, so I don't really use it, I guess because I always like to have the option to go back to previous edits if necessary.

However, some people might like to lock in their edits with this function. Here in this video, you've seen many powerful editing features that are part of the Event Operations window, and we haven't even touched Quantization yet. Get to know these features; they can make potentially cumbersome data manipulation into quick and easy edits.

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This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

106 video lessons · 11333 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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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
      58s
    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
      52s

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