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Using MIDI Learn

From: Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

Video: Using MIDI Learn

MIDI Learn is a function that enables you to map the knobs and sliders of your MIDI controller to the parameter knobs and sliders in a virtual instrument. All of the instruments included with Pro Tools have this feature, as do all other Avid virtual instruments and some third-party products. Let me show you how it works. I am going to go and open this Vacuum plug-in and play a note. (Music Playing) So now I'm going to set up MIDI Learn so my MIDI controller can control the knobs within this virtual instrument. To do that, I can just go and right-click on any of the parameters, and you'll see the MIDI Learn menu.

Using MIDI Learn

MIDI Learn is a function that enables you to map the knobs and sliders of your MIDI controller to the parameter knobs and sliders in a virtual instrument. All of the instruments included with Pro Tools have this feature, as do all other Avid virtual instruments and some third-party products. Let me show you how it works. I am going to go and open this Vacuum plug-in and play a note. (Music Playing) So now I'm going to set up MIDI Learn so my MIDI controller can control the knobs within this virtual instrument. To do that, I can just go and right-click on any of the parameters, and you'll see the MIDI Learn menu.

We can choose Learn MIDI CC, and the CC stands for Continuous Controller, which is a knob or a slider on your MIDI controller. After choosing that, I can move one of the knobs on my MIDI controller and it'll control that parameter within the virtual instrument. So if I a play a note on my MIDI controller and then twist that knob as well on the controller, you'll see how it affects the Vacuum plug-in. (Music Playing) Let's go and set up another one.

I'm going to choose this Cutoff frequency. So I'll right-click it and I'll Learn MIDI CC. Now I'm going to twist the knob, and now I have control over this Cutoff frequency. I'll play another note. (Music Playing) If you happen to notice, there's another parameter within this plug-in that is mapped to that same knob that I was twisting, and that's the Drift parameter.

So whenever I twist the knob, both the Cutoff and the Drift move at the same time. Usually you don't want this to happen, so I'm going to forget my MIDI Learn. So I'll choose this, and now the Drift is not connected to that knob; only the Cutoff is, as you can see over here. There are some other options in this MIDI Learn menu. Let's take a look. We have Set Min and Set Max, as well as Invert range.

Set Min stands for Set Minimum, and Set Max stands for Set Maximum, and these enable you to scale the incoming MIDI controller data so that the control doesn't go below or above a certain value. For example, in this case if we don't want the Cutoff frequency control to go above a certain frequency, we can set the range and then create a smaller spectrum of frequencies for the cutoff filter. So let's go ahead and do that. If I set the minimum right here, it'll actually choose the value that I've got right here, so that will actually be the minimum. So what I want to do is twist this up, and now I'll choose that as the minimum, and then I can choose a different value for the maximum.

Now if I twist that knob, you'll see that it only goes between those two values, the minimum and the maximum. And let's hear what that sounds like. (Music Playing) There's also one more control in this list, and it's Invert Range. This enables you to invert the MIDI controller data so that the chosen controller reacts in the opposite way as you might think it would. So if I hit Invert Range and then I twist this knob, now as I'm turning the knob up, the value goes down, so I've inverted that range.

A great example of this feature is actually if you want to assign the drawbars on the DB-33 Organ so that the MIDI fader controls act in reverse like the drawbars on a real B3 Organ. So what I'm going to do here is mouse up to this drawbar, right-click it, and choose Learn MIDI CC. Then I'm going to grab a fader on my MIDI controller and move it up and down, but the problem is is that it's moving in reverse for me. When I pull the fader down, the drawbar goes up, and vice versa.

So what I want to do now is choose Invert Range, and now when I pull the fader down, the drawbar comes down as well. And when I push the fader up, the drawbar goes up. So Pro Tools will remember everything that MIDI learned, until you take the virtual instrument off the track or close the session without saving. If you save the session, Pro Tools will remember the controller parameters for the next time that you open the session. Another way to ensure that your settings are saved, if you go up to the Map Options menu and choose Save Map As, and here you can save your MIDI-learned settings and create your own map file for this.

So as you can see here, MIDI Learn is a super-useful feature that can make working with virtual instruments in Pro Tools much easier and more interactive.

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This video is part of

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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

108 video lessons · 15753 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 13m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      3m 22s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 18s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 19s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 25s
  2. 36m 55s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 49s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 31s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      5m 55s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools' performance
      6m 26s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      3m 36s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      4m 31s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 36s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 58s
  3. 42m 5s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 44s
    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 35s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 22s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
      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 15s
  4. 21m 11s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 14s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 0s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 48s
    4. Importing session data
      5m 34s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 51s
    6. Importing video
      2m 44s
  5. 56m 46s
    1. Recording audio
      6m 13s
    2. Playing back audio and Edit window scrolling
      4m 52s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 24s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 52s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 14s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      6m 5s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 16s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 28m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 19s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 37s
    3. Using the Trim and Scrubber tools
      7m 5s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and zoom presets
      5m 51s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 10s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 27s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 51s
    8. Arranging clips
      6m 40s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 44s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      9m 41s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 17s
    12. Locking and muting clips
      2m 48s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      7m 15s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 19s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      9m 41s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      9m 12s
  7. 17m 21s
    1. Working with clip groups
      4m 33s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 33m 10s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 17s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 14s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 44s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 14s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 21s
    7. Using Step Input
      4m 35s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 52s
  9. 57m 1s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      10m 0s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      7m 31s
    3. Working with the MIDI Event List
      2m 12s
    4. Editing MIDI data with Event Operations
      8m 33s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using Groove Templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      5m 50s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      5m 4s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 49s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 5s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 48s
  11. 25m 39s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 40s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 2s
    3. Editing automation with the Trim and Grabber tools
      2m 58s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 12s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      3m 52s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 55s
  12. 1h 49m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 50s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 8s
    5. Applying EQ
      12m 43s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      14m 25s
    7. Using delay effects
      6m 52s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      6m 24s
    9. Adding reverb to your mix
      6m 50s
    10. Bouncing down a mix
      4m 15s
    11. Making an MP3 for iTunes and SoundCloud
      2m 53s
    12. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 58s
    13. Mastering a session
      10m 37s
    14. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      7m 24s
  13. 9m 59s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 38s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 29s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 0s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 0s
  15. 58s
    1. Further recommendations
      58s

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