Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data


Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

with David Franz

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Video: Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data

When editing MIDI data, each edit tool assists in different functions. Let's look at what each edit tool can do. I'm going to choose grabber first. And just like with audio regions, the Grabber tool can select and move entire MIDI regions. So I can click on this and slide it over. I'm going to undo that. You can also press Option on a Mac or Alt in Windows and then click and drag copies of a region, like this.
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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
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
8h 23m Beginner Nov 05, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Pro Tools 9 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz demonstrates concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in the industry-standard software for music and post-production. The course covers creating music with virtual instruments and plugins, editing with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing with effects loops. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Pro Tools interface
  • Choosing a playback engine and other settings
  • Setting up Pro Tools hardware and software properly
  • Importing audio
  • Recording and editing audio and MIDI
  • Arranging a session
  • Writing and editing automation
  • Mixing and mastering a session
  • Using automatic delay compensation
  • Bouncing down a mix as an MP3
  • Importing and displaying video
  • Archiving a session
Audio + Music
Pro Tools
David Franz

Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data

When editing MIDI data, each edit tool assists in different functions. Let's look at what each edit tool can do. I'm going to choose grabber first. And just like with audio regions, the Grabber tool can select and move entire MIDI regions. So I can click on this and slide it over. I'm going to undo that. You can also press Option on a Mac or Alt in Windows and then click and drag copies of a region, like this.

If I go over to Notes view, I can click a note to select it. I can also Shift+Click multiple notes. I can also can also click and drag and create a marquee. So I'm going to click and drag here. That selects just those notes. Once some notes are selected, I can click and drag them to move them forward or backward in time.

I can also change the pitch up or down by dragging up or down. (Piano playing.) Now you'll notice that when I am moving these notes, the notes over in this region are also moving, and that's because I have this button activated, the Mirrored MIDI Editing. If you have multiple copies of a MIDI region in your session, each version of that region will be edited in the same way automatically if you have MIDI Mirrored Editing enabled.

This is a great way to make global edits to loops, but you should turn it off if you only want to affect the current region that you're working on. So I'm going to disable that right now. To transpose a copy of a note, or multiple notes, leaving the original notes where they are, you can press Option on a Mac or Alt on Windows and then click and drag the notes. This is an easy way to make one-note riffs into chord progressions or to add harmonies to melody lines.

(Piano playing.) So you see that all these notes are now harmonies to the original notes down here. You should note that any selection of notes that you make with the grabber does not include underlying controller and automation data on the MIDI track. For example, we've got modulation data down here, and if I select this note over here and bring it over somewhere else, you're not going to see the modulation data travel with it. So I'm going to click on this and drag it to a different location.

The Modulation data does not change. However, if you move a region, the controller and automation data do come along. Now let's talk about velocity. Velocity is how soft or how hard a MIDI note is played. The possible values are zero to 127. Zero is the softest, and 127 is the hardest. When you view the velocity on the track, Pro Tools displays each MIDI note's velocity value as a stock. You can see those right here.

The taller the stock, the higher the value. With the Grabber tool, we can click and drag a stock to edit the dynamics of the recorded MIDI performance. The notes will play how those sound at the velocity level. Let's listen. (Piano playing.) Let's move on to the Pencil tool. If I choose Pencil tool (Free Hand), I can insert new notes onto the track.

(Piano playing.) The notes that I am adding here are conforming to what I've got in the grid. So I am adding quarter notes. I could add a half note if choose a different grid value. If you move the Pencil tool towards the edge of a note, it becomes the trimmer. I can click and drag to adjust the length of this note. If you move the Pencil tool into the middle of the note, it becomes a pointer, or a grabber, where I can click and drag and move this note wherever I want.

If you press Option on a Mac or Alt in Windows, the Pencil tool becomes an eraser, and you can erase any note just by clicking on it. Now you'll notice that we're hearing these notes as I'm adding them. This is because I've got this checked off right here. This is the Play MIDI Notes When Editing. If for some reason we don't want to hear the notes when we're adding them or editing them, we can simply turn it off by clicking the button. With the Pencil tool, we can also edit velocity values.

So if I come down here and click and drag, I can draw in velocity values. I can also adjust automation data and controller data, like this mod wheel data down here. If I click and drag, I can draw in new data. Let's move on to the Zoomer tool. With the Zoomer, we can click and drag and select a certain area to zoom in on. We can also simply just click and zoom in one level.

If we press Option on a Mac or Alt in Windows, the Plus sign inside of the Zoomer tool will turn into a Negative sign, and then we can zoom out. We can also use this Zoom Toggle button. This is great for editing MIDI notes, in Notes view. I'm going to hit the Zoom Toggle button. That blows up the size of this track because I've set the Zoom toggle to a large track size. You can do that here: Setup > Preferences and down here on the Editing page, the Zoom toggle, I've got Track Height set to Extreme.

I'm going to undo the Zoom toggle. One of my favorite zooming tools to use when editing MIDI data is the continuous zoom function. With the Zoomer tool active, if you press Start in Windows or Ctrl on Mac and then drag in the track, you can zoom vertically or horizontally. Check this out. I'm going to press Ctrl, and I am clicking and dragging.

So we can do that horizontally, or if I mouse up and down while holding Ctrl on a Mac or Start in Windows, then you'll see the notes get bigger or smaller. Note that you can't zoom horizontally and vertically at the same time. One last thing with the Zoomer: if we double-click on the Zoomer tool, we can zoom all the way out and see all the data in our session. Let's move on to the trimmer.

When editing MIDI notes, the Trimmer tool is mostly used for changing the start and end points of notes. The trimmer is also very useful for trimming MIDI regions, region groups, and looped regions. So if we go into Regions view with the trimmer, you can just click and drag and trim that region right up. Another option is the loop trimmer. We could easily create a bunch of loops that are copies of this particular region simply by clicking and dragging.

You'll notice the trimmer icon has the loop arrow on it when I'm up here in the top-half of the region. If I go down to the bottom half, it turns into the standard Trimmer tool. Now I'm going to click and drag and pull this all the way out, and you'll see that I've created multiple looped regions of this particular MIDI 4-01 region. Now let's go to the Selector tool. I'm going to zoom in just a little bit here and switch over to Notes view.

With the Selector tool, you can select a bunch of notes. I'm going to click and drag here. I'm in Grid mode, so it's selecting everything within this region because everything is tight with the grid, but let me switch over to Slip mode, and you'll see something slightly different here. If I clicked right here and drag, you'll note that the notes that I started with in here are not highlighted. This is because the selector only selects notes that include the beginning of the note.

So that's why here at the end, even though I haven't selected the entire note, the beginning is selected, so this entire note is selected. Let's go to the scrubber. You can actually scrub MIDI notes with the Scrubber tool. Basically, you just click and drag, and you'll hear what these notes sound like. (Piano playing.) So as you can see, you can go forward and backwards with the acrubber.

The acrubber is helpful for finding notes that might be stray notes or the notes that are actually missing from the performance. 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 you learn for audio can be applied to MIDI, and vice versa.

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