Note sequences contain note events. The properties of each note event are: start time, duration, note number, attack and release velocities. Note properties are defined according to the MIDI specification, so note number and velocities are values in the range of 0 to 127.
Note sequences are placed as sequence events on tracks in an arrangement. The instrument that is active on the track will be used for playback of the note sequence and for auditioning edited notes in the note editor.
A note sequence can be phantom copied to multiple tracks and thus you can control different instruments with the same note sequence.
Note sequences are edited with the note editor.
The note editor will be shown in the embedded editor when a note sequence event is selected. Double-clicking a note sequence event will open the editor in a separate window.
The note editor is used for editing note events as well as for editing the note map. The note map can be configured to work in either piano roll or drum map mode.
The appearance and editing behaviour can be customized in the Notes Region dialog, which can be opened with the menu: View > Customize Region > Notes.
Each track contains a customizable note map where individual notes can be disabled, soloed, muted, colored and renamed. Solo and mute are only available in drum map mode. By disabling notes you can hide unused note ranges from the editor. Disabled notes are muted during playback. This makes it possible to phantom copy a single note sequence to multiple tracks, and set up each track to play different note ranges with different instruments.
The note map properties are stored for the track where the note sequence is placed. Thus editing the note map will affect all note sequences that are placed on that track. The note map editing is integrated in the note editor for convenience, as the note map is only useful in relation to the note editor. Edits to the note map are stored in the note sequence undo history, and not the arrangement undo history.
At the left side of the note editor is a button panel for setting various editor options. At the top of the panel is the Note map options menu button which have the following menu items:
The remaining buttons in the side panel are:
The primary difference between piano roll mode and drum map mode is the layout of the note lines. In piano roll mode the area to the left of the timeline shows a picture of a piano keyboard that is resized to align with the zoomed note line height. In drum map mode the piano keyboard is replaced with drum line headers that show the name of the note along with buttons for soloing and muting individual notes.
By default the drum map headers will show the drum names defined by the standard GM format, which is the primary format supported by most drum capable instrument plugins. If note names have been customized in the note map, then these names are shown instead of the GM names. This also applies to the piano keyboard, provided that the vertical zoom is large enough to show the names overlaid on the black and white keys.
If a VST instrument plugin supports custom note names, the plugin supplied note names will be displayed on the drum map headers and on the piano keyboard, unless the note map already has a customized note name.
The actions that occur when you click the piano keyboard or drum map headers can be customized in the Notes Region dialog. The following describes the default actions:
Clicking on the piano keyboard or the drum map headers will audition the note. The note will sound until the mouse is released. The mouse can be dragged up and down to play other notes. Clicking towards the left edge will audition at low velocity and clicking towards the right edge will audition at high velocity.
Click with the select tool on a note to select all events on that note and deselect all other events. Shift+click to select all events on the note and keep the selection state of other events. Ctrl+click to toggle the selection of the events on the note. Alt+click to audition the note without affecting event selection.
Click with the pencil tool on a note to add an event at the edit cursor and advance the edit cursor to the next grid line. Shift+click to advance the edit cursor without adding an event. Ctrl+click to add an event without advancing the edit cursor. Alt+click to audition the note without adding an event. If loop is enabled then the edit cursor will move back to the loop start if it is advanced to the loop end.
If you add events while playback is in progress, then the Link Edit Cursor to Play Cursor mode affects how events are added. This mode can be toggled with the timeline ruler right-click menu or with the Ctrl+E key shortcut. If the mode is disabled then edit cursor behaves as described above. If the mode is enabled then clicking a note works as realtime recording of events at the play cursor position. The event duration will be set according to how long you keep the mouse button pressed.
Note events are displayed and edited almost identically in piano roll mode and drum map mode.
Note events are displayed on the timeline as blocks that are colored according to the note attack velocity. The color gradation can be defined in the Colors setup dialog. The Notes Region dialog also has an option for whether the track color should be applied to the note events. In drum map mode the height of the events are furthermore scaled according to the attack velocity. This makes it easier to see the velocity progression of a single drum line.
The vertical zoom resolution can be adjusted with the zoom slider in the right side panel, as well as with the standard zoom shortcuts. The note editor remembers the zoom setting separately for piano roll mode and drum map mode.
With the select tool you can double-click an empty spot to create a new note event. The new event will have a default velocity and a duration set to the editor grid value. When you single-click an empty spot with the pencil tool, the new event will take on the velocity and duration properties of any currently selected event. The note start time will be snapped if Snap is enabled. You can adjust the note duration by dragging the mouse before releasing the button.
With the select and pencil tools you can double-click an event to delete it. With the eraser tool you can delete an event with a single click, or by holding the shift key to drag a marquee deletion.
When you click and drag events, the default action is to move the events. Hold the Ctrl key to create copies instead. Hold the Alt key after starting the drag action to lock either the x or y position of the events depending on the drag direction. Hold the Shift key after starting the drag action to override snap.
Note events can be added by dragging MIDI files directly onto the note editor timeline. This will merge the notes from the MIDI file into the current sequence, in contrast to dropping the MIDI file on a track, which will create a new sequence object. Dropping MIDI files onto the note editor timeline enables you to build a sequence using simple elements, such as chords, arpeggios, single drum patterns, and so on. You can create your library of MIDI file elements by using the Export to MIDI File command in the note editor File menu. When you move a MIDI file over the timeline, you’ll notice that the drop highlight is cut at the note under the mouse cursor. This indicates that all the notes in the MIDI file will be offset to this root note. For example, if you have a MIDI file containing a C major chord, dropping the file on a D note will create a D major chord. Holding the Alt key will override the root note offset. Holding Shift will override snap mode.
The Insert key can be used as a quick shortcut to append duplicates of selected events. The duplicates will be placed starting at the end of the last selected event. The original events will be deselected and the duplicated events will be selected, so that pressing the Insert key repeatedly will continue to append duplicates. A duplicate event will not be created if an existing event is already positioned at the place where the duplicate should be placed. If snap mode is enabled, pressing Insert will snap the duplicates relative to the next editor grid line. Press Shift+Insert to override snap. Press Ctrl+Insert to snap to the next bar, no matter what the editor snap settings are.
Press Ctrl+Left/Right to move the selected events in steps of the editor grid value. Press Ctrl+Plus/Minus to adjust note durations. Press Ctrl+Up/Down to transpose semitones. Press Shift+Up/Down to transpose octaves when using the piano roll mode. If notes in the note map are disabled/hidden in the editor then the transpose will skip past the hidden notes. Press Plus/Minus keys to adjust the attack velocities of selected events in steps of 1/16.
If multiple events are selected, any edit action will be applied to all selected events.
You can edit note events with both the select tool and pencil tool. The select tool is convenient for quickly selecting and moving events by dragging, while the pencil tool provides more ways to edit note event properties with single click and dragging.
When the pencil tool is selected, each event has up to four drag hotspots depending on the size of the event: move, resize start, resize end, and velocity.
The layout of the hotspot areas are utilizing the full available note line height. The visual frame of the events may be smaller depending on the zoom setting. The velocity dependent height of events in drum map mode will also not affect the layout of the hotspot areas. The event will be highlighted when the mouse cursor is over the clickable area of the event, and the mouse cursor will change to a resize cursor when it is over the resize or velocity hotspots.
The width of the resize hotspots are 4 pixels, and the height of the velocity hotspot is 4 pixels. When the event width is less than 16 pixels the resize hotspots are cut off at the middle, and when the event height is less than 12 pixels, the velocity hotspot is not available. This is to ensure that the move hotspot does not become too small. If you are trying to edit short duration events then you can use the Wide event mode to have a wider clickable hotspot layout.
In addition to the pencil tool hotspots, the event can also be resized or velocity adjusted by holding the Alt key when clicking and dragging. This will work with the select tool as well. The configuration of the Alt key behaviour can be customized in the Notes Region dialog. By default, the Alt key will start a resize start/end action, depending on which half of the event you click. Double-clicking with the Alt key pressed will start a proportional resize action, where all selected events will resize proportional to their original size.
At the bottom of the editor is a horizontal bar that you can drag to resize the note velocity region. Using the right-click menu or the three buttons in the left side panel you can select between editing attack or release velocities and whether only selected events should be affected when drawing on the timeline.
When the Edit Only Selected Events option is enabled any deselected events are drawn as dimmed bars. This option is useful for editing a single selected note event that overlaps with other events in a chord, or when editing the events on a single drum line selected by clicking a drum line header. The velocity of each note is shown as a bar where the height is the velocity and the width is the note duration. Click and drag to set the velocity of the events under the mouse cursor. Use the eraser tool or hold the Ctrl key while dragging to set the default velocity.
The Note Map dialog is opened with the Customize Note Map... command in the note editor note map options menu. The dialog can also be opened by right-clicking the piano keyboard or the drum map headers, in which case the dialog is opened with focus set to the clicked note number.