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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.
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. The Step Input window will open up and make sure that this is checked off, the Enable button. Also, check which Destination track you are on and I actually want to be on the Step track. Then move down into the Step Increment section and choose the Note value that you want. In this case, I actually do want the 16th note and I don't want it to be Tuplet. So I'll keep that unchecked. I'll also keep the Note length at 100%.
Below that, we'll go into the Options section and you can choose to use the input velocity. That is, Pro Tools will use the velocity that you input yourself on your keyboard controller. Or you can set the velocity to one particular value. In this case, I'm going to keep it at 66. There is also the option of enabling the Numeric Keypad Shortcuts, which I'm going to talk about later in this video, but I'm not going to use right now. So once we have set everything in the Step Input window, it's time to actually record the part. Now note that we are not going to Record Enable this track.
It's already ready to go. So now I'm just going to play the notes and you will see and hear what happens. (Music playing.) So there is our part. Let's hear how it sounds. When I hit the Return key, it bounces back to the very beginning of the session, and then I'll hit play. (Music playing.) That worked out well. Now in that part that I just made, it was all 16th notes but you are not limited to only putting notes of the same length on a track with Step Input. If you want to change the length of a note while using Step Input, there are ways to do that. Let's open up the Step Input window again. So let's add some more notes. I'm going to go out to this measure right here and let's start with quarter notes. (Music playing.) Now on this third note, I'm actually holding down the key on the keyboard that's why you haven't seen the note appear yet. And I'm going to hit this Increment button right here and it's going to add a quarter note onto the length of the note that's already there. So it's going to be twice a quarter note, or become a half note. Now if I let go off the key, we are going to see that it just created a half note.
Now it's easy enough just to make a rest as well. We don't have to put notes in all the time, if we just hit Next Step, we'll see that it has bounced a half note. In the Step Input window, we can also use the Undo Step, which removes the last note or last rest that was entered. So if we want to undo that rest that we just made, we can just do Undo Step and it will take us back a quarter note. And then again, if we hit the Next Step, it's going to add more rests like we did previously.
The Redo Step will work in reverse of the Undo Step command, and we'll put a note back in or rest back in if we actually undid that step. And you can actually trigger the next undo and redo step commands from the MIDI controller if you want. And 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 other commands in the Step Input page. Step Input is a handy feature for inputting MIDI parts that might be hard to play or very repetitive and rhythmic. Honestly, I don't use it that often but it is very fun to use, and I think you will enjoy it once you get to use it too.
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