What's on the Edit menu?
The Edit menu contains basic editing commands like cut and paste as well as such advanced features as Quantize and Randomize:
||MIDI Maestro maintains an unlimited "undo" list for each song that is open. No matter how much editing you do, pressing Ctrl+Z enough times should return the song to the way it was when you opened it. If you change your mind after using undo, just use the "redo" (Ctrl+Y) command.
You will find the standard "clipboard" commands here: Copy (Ctrl+C), Paste (Ctrl+V), and Cut (Ctrl+X), a combination of Copy and Delete.
The Find commands, Time commands, and Audio commands have their own articles.
The Properties command is used to edit a number of different objects, including events, cues, and tracks.
Before using one of the Edit commands Move, Duration, Quantize, Velocities, Transpose, Randomize, or Thin, you first must select events, select one or more tracks, or select a range a time. You may also select tracks and then a range of time.
What does the Move command do?
The Move command offers several variations in one command:
Cues, Tempo changes, Events in tracks. If you've selected a range of time, you may select which object within the time range are to be moved.
An offset with specified units. This type of move simply shifts the events left (enter a negative number) or right (enter a positive number) by a specific number of units.
An absolute time for the first event. This type of move is similar to the offset method, but it allows you to enter a specific song position.
A percentage of distance from the first event. This type of move "compresses" events (enter a number less than 100) or "expands" events (enter a number greater than 100). You may choose whether or not you want note durations to expand by the same proportion as well.
Change tracks. This type of move will move events up or down in the track list. If you have selected events from more than one track, you may choose to "mix-down" events to the target track. The target tracks must exist. If you have selected events on tracks 5 and 6, and choose to move to track 7, the events from track 5 will be moved to track 7, while the events from track 6 will be moved to track 8--both tracks 7 and 8 must already exist.
Offset event selection. This option allows you to catch events which occur slightly before the beginning of the time selection. See the complete discussion of this offset in the time article.
Selected tracks only. If you selected tracks before selecting a range of time, the default is to edit only events that fall into the "cross section" of the track selection and time selection. Un-check this box to ignore the track selection.
What does the Duration command do?
This tool allows you to alter the duration or "length" of notes--the time that begins when a note is pressed or turned on until it is released or turned off:
Like the Edit/Velocities tool, this one also allows you to enter a value and then to specify how that number is to be interpreted:
An offset (+/- ticks). Select this option to lengthen or shorten notes by a specific number of ticks. When using ticks, it's helpful to know how many "ticks per quarter notes" your song has been configured for--this information is available by selecting the song's title in the Set View and then using the Edit/Properties command.
A percentage (100=no change). Each note's duration is multiplied by this percentage ) to obtain the new duration.
An "auto-legato break time. This feature automatically adjusts note durations such that each note will end a specific number of ticks before the next begins. This feature can handle chords in polyphonic music, as long as each note in the chord begins at approximately the same time.
An absolute value with units. When you choose this last option, you must also specify the "units" to use--you may choose ticks, or any standard note size.
What does the Quantize command do?
When you record music using a MIDI keyboard or other MIDI controller, the notes that you play may be placed close-to or not-so-close to their intended beat boundaries, either for reasons of playing style or skill level. The Edit/Quantize tool places a "grid" over your music, and attempts to "reign-in" or "tighten" the undesirable attributes of your timing by moving notes toward the "grid lines."
Resolution. This setting represents the distance between grid lines. You may select any standard note duration. If you select "eighth," for example, the tool will cause sixteenth notes and smaller to "choose a side"--they will be moved closer to (or exactly to) the nearest eighth note.
What to change. You may choose to just "move" notes, and/or you may choose to align notes' end times. There's also the option of including controller changes (expression, pitch, etc.) or not.
Strength. This setting acts as a multiplier when determining how much to change a value. The distance from the note to the grid line is calculated, then multiplied by the strength multiplier to determine the actual distance that the note will be moved. This option allows you to apply "some" quantization without forcing notes to precise beat boundaries, which might have the undesirable affect of making your music too "mechanical" sounding. At 0%, no quantization actually occurs.
Window. This setting allows you to exclude notes if they are sufficiently far from a "grid line." At 100%, all notes are included. At 50%, only 50% of possible note positions are included--those notes 25% of a grid size before each grid line, and those notes 25% of a grid size after each grid line. At 0%, no notes are included, and no quantization will occur.
Swing. This setting causes every other grid line to be shifted to the left (negative swing values) or to the right (positive swing values). At 0, with eighth note resolution, the quantize tool will produce even eighth note rhythm. At 50, the rhythm becomes a dotted eighth followed by sixteenth note. At -50, the rhythm becomes a sixteenth followed by a dotted eighth. A perfect "shuffle" (triplet-like) rhythm may be obtained with a swing setting ranging of 33.
Grid offset. This setting allows you to move the entire grid left or right in time to cause quantized notes to lead or follow the beat.
HINT: Immediately after recording, the notes that you just recorded will be selected. It's handy to use the Edit/Quantize command while they're still selected--just hit the Control-Q shortcut!
What does the Velocities command do?
This tool allows you to alter the velocity (note intensity) with which notes are played. In MIDI, velocity is a number ranging from 0 to 127, where 127 is the fastest or hardest, and 1 is the slowest or softest. The special case 0 means that the note is not played at all. Be aware that your MIDI keyboards may have a range of velocities that it sends, such as 10-110.
The two numbers at the top of window may be interpreted in one of three ways:
Offsets (+ or -). This means that they are added to the existing velocity values.
Percentages (100=no change). This means that they are multiplied with the existing velocity values (where 100 is a multiplier of 1.0) to obtain new velocity values.
Absolute values. This means that existing velocity values are simply replaced by the new ones.
If you specify only the first value and not the "through" value, all velocities will be handled using that value. If however you also specify a "through" value, notes at the beginning of your time or event selection will be handled using the first value, notes at the end of your selection will be handled using the "through" value, and the notes in between will be handled using a linear interpolation of the two values (the value will change in a straight line between the two times). This feature provides one way to create crescendos and diminuendos. The advantage of using the expression controller over this method, however, is that the expression controller changes the volume of notes while they are playing, which may be more desirable for legato passages.
If you specify "absolute values," the "strength" slider is activated. The "strength" setting may be used to "tighten up" velocities without setting them all to one value. A strength of 100 will change velocities to precisely the new absolute values and a strength of 0 will make no change at all.
What does the Transpose command do?
This tool allows you to alter pitch by moving notes up or down the scale. Movement is measured in half steps (also called semitones, the distance between keys on a piano). To "go up a major 3rd" for example, you want to specify 4 half steps.
Several transposition options are available when transposing a time selection (as opposed to whole tracks or individual notes).
Offset event selection. This allows you to include notes near (but before) the beginning of the time selection, and exclude notes near (but before) the end of the time selection.
Change the key signature of whole measures. For example, a measure in the key of C transposed by 2 half steps will now be a measure in the key of D.
Skip drum tracks. You typically do not want to transpose notes on non-melodic rhythm tracks, as this would change the instrument played by those notes. A "drum track" is a track that is using a channel designated as a "dedicated drum channel" in the synthesizer database, or a track that is using a drum patch as determined by the synthesizer database.
What does the Randomize command do?
The Randomize command adds the "human" element of randomness to either note velocities or begin times.
Events. You may choose to alter the timing of only, or all events.
Note velocities by up to. This allows you to specify a maximum change in velocity that you desire. The actual change may be between 0 and this number, in either a positive or a negative direction.
Begin times by up to. This allows you to specify a maximum distance from the original position. The actual change may be between 0 and this value, in either a positive or a negative direction.
What does the Thin Controllers command do?
This command was designed to removed unneeded control changes, either because they are redundant or insignificantly small. Typically this is done to reduce the amount of information that is being sent to a MIDI device, which may only be capable of processing MIDI events at a certain rate.
Controller. You may select a specific controller, or select "all controllers." If you choose "all controllers" the results will be equivalent to you having used this feature for each controller independently.
Its value changes by. If you select the number "1" all controller changes are kept except for the redundant ones.
Its time changes by. If a controller change appears too closely to another, the earlier one is eliminated.