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Editing MIDI in the Piano Roll | Logic Pro X Basics

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[MUSIC] In this movie, we’re going to have a look at doing some simple MIDI editing in the piano roll editor with the cursor tools. So I’ve got a project here I’ve gotten started on and just a couple of bars so far, a couple parts, and it sounds like this. We’ll play it from bar 6. [MUSIC] It’s coming along pretty well. But of course, you can hear there are some problems, there’s some wrong notes, there’s some timing issues, and so forth. So I got to get in here and do some editing. I’m going to start with the bass part here. I’ll solo the bass track and then I can open up the editors, and I want the piano roll editor, and I see the notes laid out horizontally by time and vertically by note pitch. I can zoom in and out using the zoom tools here, although I also have key commands for zooming both horizontally and vertically. Remember, I can also hold down control and option, and I get the zoom tool so that if I want, I can go ahead and zoom in a bit with the zoom tool. If I hold down control and option, and just click, it zooms me out again. So this is the bass part. Let’s give it a listen one more time just by itself. [MUSIC] There’s definitely some wrong notes here, some timing issues, and some note velocity issues. So there’s a lot of things here I could fix with a little bit of editing. I’m going to start with some wrong notes. I’m pretty sure this note and this note were not right notes, [MUSIC] those two. They sounded half-step sharp to me. Now, remember, I could do my editing here with a chromatic piano roll display, or I can go to collapse mode and only see in the grid the notes that are used in this MIDI region. That might simplify things a little bit here. I can see, for example, I use the note C a lot for this bass part. This note all by itself is a D flat, and that’s probably not the right note. So I’m just going to click it, pull it down, and the same is through here. I have one B natural, and obviously, lots of B flat, and that’s a half-step sharp once again. So I’ve just simplified the editing with collapsed mode, so I could see what some of the issues are and fix them. Now, let’s give it a listen. [MUSIC] I can hear there’s some timing issues. For example, this note is late, so I’m going to zoom in on it. I can hold down control and option and just drag it across, and it’s a little bit late. It’s tempting to say, “I’m just going to put it right to the downbeat of the bar [NOISE] and maybe that’s a good place for it.” But remember, I can play with the musical feel of this part by moving it around a little bit. For example, [NOISE] maybe I make it just a little early and it’s pushing the feel of the music a little bit, or [NOISE] I just get it to be a little bit behind that downbeat and it just lays back a little bit and it has this little different feel to it. Let’s give this a listen. [MUSIC] I like that. It’s just a little bit late and it just feels like it’s laying back a little bit. Now, in addition, I think I hear some issues with note durations and that manifests itself in little ticks in the sound of this bass instrument. If I go looking in a couple places, I heard something here, and you can see that this note is actually extending over the attack of this note. So I think I want to shorten this note. It’s very easy to do. If you move the cursor around, you wind up with trimming tools for trimming the duration of the note. I heard another one here between these two notes, and it’s the same issue. So I’ll just click on this one and then just shorten it a little bit. Now, in addition, keep in mind that all of the different colors indicate the different note velocities of these notes. Also, Logic shows you the note velocity values with these relative white lines. So the white line length relative to the duration of the note indicates also the strength of the note velocities. So this note here has a lower note velocity compared to this one, not only by virtue of the fact that it’s a different color, but also because that line is shorter. So if I zoom out a bit, I can see that the red notes [NOISE] have the high-note velocities, and it’s the blue into the purple notes that have low note velocities. There’s a lots of ways I can go ahead and edit those note velocities, and one of the ways is I can choose, as my either main or my command click cursor tool, the velocity tool. Then I can click on a note here, and I can hold down command, and then I can pull up with the command click tool, and I can bring up the note velocity of that note. This one here which is quite low, I can bring this one up as well. [NOISE] I think some of these, maybe these two, they probably both a little too low. I can select multiple notes and do the same thing, just raise their note velocities. This one definitely wants to come up. I would do some listening and also comparing with the color of the note, what not to make some decisions. I think this note was too strong, [NOISE] and this note was too strong. So I’ll select them both, [NOISE] hold down command, and just even things out a bit. It’s a pretty quick way to work with a combination of listening, of course, and then also just looking at the colors and those little lines that indicate note velocities. With the velocity tool, you can go ahead and even things out. Now, you can also add notes of course and you do that with the pencil tool, for example. So I’ll change to the pencil tool. I was thinking this note here in bar 7 maybe would appreciate like a little grace note, just a little bling before the actual note. So I’m just going to say, “All right, I’m going to add a note here.” Here’s my pencil tool, and there it is, a 16th note ahead. So let’s see what this feels like. I can just play it from bar 7 if I want. [MUSIC] It doesn’t feel right. There’s a couple of things about it that are little funny. One of them is the note velocity is pretty high compared to this note. So one of the things I might do is get my velocity tool [NOISE] and just pull it down a bit, a good bit in fact. Let’s just see what that feels like. I’ll actually play it from the beginning of this phrase. [MUSIC] That works, but I heard a little glitch and it’s because now this note overlaps this note. So I’m going to go ahead and shorten this one as well. [MUSIC] That’s the basic idea here. You can dig in with your mouse and your cursor tools and really listen to the notes and fix note issues with the wrong pitches and timing issues and note velocity and so forth, just by working with the cursor tools in the piano roll editor. [MUSIC]

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