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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training unveils the inner workings of the industry-standard software for music and post-production. Musician, producer, and educator David Franz demonstrates all the concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Pro Tools 8. He teaches how to create music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, edit with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, create a musical score, and mix with effects loops. This course can help any music producer, sound engineer, or hobbyist become proficient in Pro Tools 8. Exercise files accompany the course.
When editing MIDI data each Edit tool assists in different functions. Let's look at what each tool can do. First, we'll go with the Grabber. The Grabber is used to select notes by clicking on them. You can Shift-click to select multiple notes. (Music playing.) Or you can click-and-drag to create a rectangular shape that will select all the notes inside of the rectangle. (Music playing.) Once they're selected, if you click-and-drag on one of the notes you can move them forward or back in time.
Or you can move them vertically to change the pitch. (Music playing.) I'll undo that. To transpose a copy of the note, leaving the original note where it is, press the Option key on a Mac or the Alt key on Windows, then drag the notes. (Music playing.) This is an easy way to make one note riffs into core progressions, or to add harmonies to a melody line. I'm going to undo that.
Note that any selection you make with the Grabber does not include any underlying controller or automation data that's on that MIDI track. Now what I'm talking about here is you've got some mod wheel data down here. If I move this, the mod wheel data does not move. (Music playing.) The Grabber's also great for adjusting the velocity of notes. Now the velocity is actually how hard or how soft a MIDI note is played. The possible values are 0, softest, to 127, hardest. And those are indicated here with these velocity stalks.
So 0 is down here at the bottom; 127 is all the way at the top. With the Grabber we can go in and click. (Music playing.) While we click-and-drag we can go through various velocity values and we can hear the differences in sound as we increase or decrease the velocity. (Music playing.) Click and edit these velocity stocks to edit the dynamics of your recorded performance.
Let's move on to the Pencil tool. The Pencil tool is best used for adding notes. (Music playing.) All you got to do is drop the pencil in where you want the new note and click and you'll have the new note. And the new note follows what you've got up here in the Grid value. So if I want to actually create a whole note, I can just change the Grid value and the new note will be added. And you'll see that new notes are being added in these other regions too and that's because I've got the Mirrored MIDI Editing on, so these regions are actually copies of each other. And so each time that I add a new note in one region it will be added to the other ones.
So when you go to add a new note, the Pencil tool actually looks like a pencil but when you mouse over a note you can actually trim it because the Pencil turns into the Trimmer tool once you are over top a note. When you get into the middle of the note, the pencil turns into a pointer where you can click on the note and grab it and move it somewhere else. (Music playing.) So the Pencil tool is pretty handy, going from being able to add notes, to being able to trim them, to being able to move them. And on top of that if you press the Option key on a Mac or the Alt key on a PC, the Pencil turns into an Eraser and you can erase the note.
Now in these examples here you've been able to hear every note that I've been trimming or adding and the reason for that is because this button is active right here. This is the Play MIDI Notes When Editing. If we don't want to actually hear the notes while we're editing then we can turn this off. Now we can add notes in silence if we really want to, but I don't see the point in that. So let's turn it back on. The Pencil tool is also good for drawing and editing velocity values so if I click-and-drag I can create a pencil line depending on what the pencil shape is.
Here I've chosen the Free Hand Pencil tool so I'll be able to draw in freely in the velocity automation line here. So not only can we use the Pencil tool to alter the velocities, you can use it to change continuous controller data like the mod wheel here. If I click-and-drag I can draw in right on that controller line. Let's move over to the Zoomer tool. Obviously we can zoom in and out on a track if we click-and-drag. And we can use the single click to zoom in closer.
If we press Option on a Mac or Alt on Windows, we can change to zooming out. And one of my favorite buttons is actually the Zoom Toggle which will zoom in just on this track because it's highlighted and it shows everything that's showing for that track expanded out. And as you may know from another movie in this course, we've got the Commands Focus on, so if I press the E key, it will toggle between using the Zoom Toggle or back to the regular view. So E is the hot key for the Zoom Toggle.
One of my other favorites zooming tools to use when editing MIDI data is the continuous zoom function. With the Zoomer tool, if you hold the Ctrl key on a Mac or the Start key on Windows and drag, you can get this accordion effect but it's the continuous zoom. Now you can do this both vertically and horizontally. But you can't zoom horizontally and vertically at the same time. And then probably one of the most useful uses of the Zoomer tool is to double-click it and you'll zoom all the way out, so you can see everything in the session. So you'll note that here is actually the edge of the session. If I scroll over there's nothing else over there.
Let's go to the Trimmer. When editing MIDI notes the Trimmer tool is mostly used for changing the start and ending point of the notes. And I'm going to go over to the Slip Mode so we can see this in action. So I'm going to click-and-drag. The Trimmer is also very useful for trimming MIDI regions, region groups, or looped regions. Let's take a look at that. If I switch over to Regions view then I can use the Trimmer to click-and-drag and alter the region length. I'm going to undo that.
And we also have the Loop trimmer. So if I take the Loop trimmer and I keep it near the top half of this region, click- and-drag, it will create copies of this region, looped copies that is. And you see the little loop symbol down here at the bottom of each region. If we use the Selector, the Selector will select notes. Let's go over to the Notes view so we can see this. And you can see here that when you make a selection only the notes where the beginning of the note is part of the selection will be selected. So I've started this selection here and these notes are not actually part of the selection even though I have selected in the middle of them. I don't have the beginning of them here.
Finally, we have the Scrubber, which actually works on MIDI tracks as well as audio. And let's check that out. (Music playing.) So that can be helpful in finding notes that might be stray or notes that might be missing. We can scrub over a section and check out how the part sounds. So now we've gone through all the Edit tools and you can see that they each have their own ways of helping you edit MIDI data. What's great is that they function very similarly to how they function when editing audio. So most editing techniques that you learn from audio can be applied to MIDI and vice versa.
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