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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz illuminates the process of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Avid Pro Tools, the industry-standard software for music and postproduction. The course covers recording live audio and adding effects on the fly, creating music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, editing for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing and mastering a track.
Another useful tool for getting MIDI notes into Pro Tools is Step Input. This feature enables you to enter MIDI notes individually from a MIDI controller one step at a time. This is particularly useful for creating parts that are difficult to play like cool and complex arpeggiated parts. To use Step Input, choose Event > Event Operations > Step Input. That opens up the Step Input window. And to enable it, click this Enable check box. And then we have to choose the destination track.
And in this particular case, I actually want to use the step track, so I will choose that. In the Step Increments section, you can choose the note value for your steps. We have 16th notes here. We can go all the way up to whole notes, but I actually want to use 16th notes for this example. You can also create triplets by checking this Tuplet check box, I don't want to do that here. And we can change the note length and extend it all the way up to 200% or down to 1% of the initial value.
But I am going to keep this at 100% so we get our full 16th note value. Down below in the Options section, you can choose how you want the velocity to be recorded. That is, Pro Tools will use the velocity that you input yourself on your keyboard controller if you choose Use input velocity, or you can set the velocity of each note to a particular value, and you can use this Set velocity to and choose it with the slider what you want that to be. I'll just set mine to 92.
You can also Enable Numeric Keypad Shortcuts, and I am going to show you how to use this later in the video. So let's get going with the Step Input. We move this out of the way just a little bit. Now you should note, you don't have to record-enable the track to actually create notes with Step Input. So I'm not going to record-enable this track here. I am simply going to put the cursor where I want it to start with the steps, which is right at the beginning, and I've got that set here. So as soon as I play my first note on the MIDI controller, it will create a note on the track.
And then I will play the rest of the notes for the pattern that I want to create. (Music Playing) So there is our first note on the first 16th note of that track. (Music Playing) So now I have created sixteen notes for one whole bar on this track. And as you can tell, I played it very slowly, but now when I play it back at a tempo of 140, you are going to hear what it sounds like very quickly, and why I wouldn't be able to actually play it in at this tempo.
So I am going to play, and you will hear what it sounds like. (Music Playing) Now in this part that I just created, all the notes are 16th notes. But you are not limited to only putting notes of the same length on the track with Step Input. You can create multiple different notes of different note lengths, and let me show you how to do that. So I am going to open up the Step Input window again. We can choose whatever step increment we want.
So if I drop the cursor in here at bar 2, and hit a note-- (Music Playing) --it's going to create one whole note. But we can change these and add different note lengths just like that. Very simple. You can also add rests in the same way. And if I hit the Next Step button down here, you'll see that the cursor is going to go ahead by one quarter note, as it just happened right there, because our current step increment is a quarter note. The Undo Step button removes the last note or rest that was entered.
So if I click this, it's going to move the cursor back by a quarter note, getting rid of that rest. If I do it again, it will get rid of that full quarter note there. And the Redo Step button will actually put the note back. So it's like undoing and redoing all within the Step Input dialog. If you want to get really fancy, you can use the numeric keypad on your computer keyboard to enter note values and control almost all of the commands in the Step Input dialog. Step Input is a handy feature for inputting MIDI parts that might be hard to play or are very repetitive and rhythmic.
Although I honestly don't use it that often, I definitely can see the advantages of utilizing this feature, not to mention that it's kind of fun to use as well.
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