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Using step input

From: Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

Video: Using step input

Another useful tool for getting MIDI notes into Pro Tools is Step Input. This feature enables you to enter MIDI notes individually from the 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. Click the Enable button to make sure that Step Input is enabled and then choose the Destination track.

Using step input

Another useful tool for getting MIDI notes into Pro Tools is Step Input. This feature enables you to enter MIDI notes individually from the 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. Click the Enable button to make sure that Step Input is enabled and then choose the Destination track.

In this particular case, I want to use the Step track. In the Step Increment section, you can choose the note value for the steps. I'm going to keep this at 16th notes, and I'm not going to choose the Tuplet. I'm also going to keep the note length equal to exactly 100% of the 16th note value. 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 slider to choose the value.

You can also enable numeric keypad shortcuts, and I'm going to show you how to use that later in this video. So let's get this going on. I'm going to move this window out of the way. Now note, you don't have to record-enable this track to actually import the notes. So I'm not going to record-enable it, and I'm going to have the cursor where I want it to start with the steps, which is right at the beginning. As soon as I play my first note on the MIDI controller, it will create a note on the track, and then I'll play the rest of the notes for the pattern that I want to create.

(Music playing.) You can see here on this track that Pro Tools automatically created all the notes to go into that section. And I was able to play it very slowly, but now you'll hear, at a tempo, of 140 what this sounds like. I hit Return, back to the beginning of the song and Play. (Music playing.) In that part that I just made, all the notes were 16th notes, but you're 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 a few ways to do it. Let me open back up the Step Input dialog. I'm going to place the cursor at bar 3 and create some new notes. So now if I hit a note and I hold it down, I can choose a new length for that note. To really exaggerate this, I'm going to hit the whole note, and then I'm going to hit the Increment button, and you'll see that the note is actually created for that full length, plus our 16th note, and there it is.

You can also add rests in the same way. If I hit Next Step, then that moves the cursor ahead by the same amount of time as our previous step, and you can see where the cursor is at now. It's at 5, 1, 240. So it moved ahead a whole note from where it finished on this previous note, and so that added a whole note rest. Undo Step removes the last note entered. I'm going to do that for both of those. It takes us back two steps. And the Redo Step 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 other commands in the Step Input page. Step input is a handy feature for inputting MIDI parts that might be hard to play, or are very repetitive and rhythmic. Although I 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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This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

106 video lessons · 11411 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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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
      58s
    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
      52s

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