Inspecting Note Clips

As with audio events, the Inspector Panel is a critical way to both access the details of note events and edit them most effectively. To focus the Inspector Panel on notes, we must first select them within the Detail Editor Panel.

Selecting Notes

To select a single note: single-click it.

To select multiple notes: click a blank area and drag a rectangle around the desired notes.

Other ways to select multiple notes include:

  • After selecting one note, CTRL-click (CMD-click on Mac) additional notes to grow the selection.

  • Click a note on the piano keyboard to select all displayed notes of that pitch.

  • With the Time Selection tool, click and drag over the time area for which all displayed notes should be selected.

    (To normally click and drag the notes after they are selected in this way, you can switch back to the Pointer tool.)

To select the next note: press ALT+RIGHT ARROW .

To select the previous note: press ALT+LEFT ARROW .

If you have one note selected, you can similarly grow the selection by pressing SHIFT+ALT+RIGHT ARROW or SHIFT+ALT+LEFT ARROW .

Once a note selection is made, the Inspector Panel will display relevant settings and functions.

The Inspector Panel on Note Events

As with audio clips and events, selecting a note clip makes certain parameters and functions available in the NOTE section of the Inspector Panel, but by selecting a note event itself, the Inspector Panel provides all settings relevant for the selected event(s).

We will take these one section at a time and also examine the functions available in the Event menu when note events are selected.

Timing and Mute Section

These settings relate to the musical position of the selected note and whether it is muted:

  • Start sets the start position of the event within its parent clip or track. Adjusting this position will move the note event as it exists, the same as clicking and dragging the event within the Detail Editor Panel.

  • Length sets the duration of the event within its parent clip. Adjusting this duration will simply lengthen or shorten the note event, the same as using the bracket cursor to adjust the right edge of the note.

  • Muted toggles whether or not the event is disabled on playback.

Note Properties Section

These parameters relate to how each selected note is sounded:

  • Channel sets the internal channel that the note will play back on. This can act as a routing control within an Instrument Layer device, or when being sent directly to a VST plug-in or a hardware MIDI device that respects multiple channels.

  • Key sets the root pitch that the note is set to. This is shown as a MIDI note value, where C3 is roughly 261.262 Hertz ("middle C") and A4 is 440 Hertz. Adjusting this value is the same as moving the note higher or lower.

    Any Micro-Pitch expressions are applied relative to the note's Key setting.

  • Velocity sets the strength with which the note should be initially triggered. It is set on a scale from 0.00 % to 100 %, and this is just another representation of the note's velocity expression (see Velocity Expressions).

  • Vel Spread sets the bipolar spread range for the note (see Expression Spread). So if a note has a Velocity of 78.7 % and a Vel Spread of 10.0 %, the note will trigger with a velocity between 68.7 % and 88.7 % each time it plays.

  • R-Velocity stands for release velocity, and it sets the speed with which the note should be released. It is set on a scale from 0.00 % to 100 %. This parameter is implemented in whatever way the instrument device desires.

Operators Section

Unlike the other sections in the Inspector Panel, the section displaying Operators is only shown when notes (and not clips) are selected. Operators are covered extensively in their own chapter (see chapter 11: Operators, for Animating Musical Sequences).

Expressions Section

This section exposes five of the expressions we have covered: Gain (see Gain Expressions), Pan (see Pan Expressions), Pitch (also known as the Micro-Pitch expression; see Micro-Pitch Editing Mode), Timbre (see Timbre Expressions), and Pressure (see Pressure Expressions). While these expressions have completely different functions, they are programmed in the same fashion.

Most of these expressions have their units defined, with Gain set in decibels, and both Pan and Timbre set with bipolar percentages. The unlabeled Pitch is set in semitones, indicating the relative shift.

These are all automation-type expressions, so each is able to be defined by a curve made of several values. Because of this possibility, each value in this section of the Inspector Panel actually represents the average of points in that expression. We can see this in action with the Gain setting.

This note has a gain expression consisting of two points and a curve. The -6.81 dB listed for the Gain parameter is an average of these two points.

To adjust a note expression curve: change its listed average value.

This would work similarly if multiple note events were selected.

Event Menu Functions

These functions take the specified action on the selected note event(s):

  • Reverse flips the selected event around, causing it to play backwards.

    The following images demonstrate a group of selected events both before and after the Reverse function is applied:

    Notice that the expressions are also reversed.

  • Reverse Pattern flips the order of a group of selected events. This does not cause each event and its expressions to play backwards, but rather causes the last event to be played first, etc.

    [Note]Note

    This function will work only when multiple events are selected.

    The following images demonstrate a group of selected events both before and after the Reverse Pattern function is applied:

    Notice that the expressions are preserved.

  • Scale 50% halves the length of the selected event, effectively causing it to play back twice as fast. All expressions are also proportionally adjusted.

    The following images demonstrate selected note events both before and after the Scale 50% function is applied:

  • Scale Each 50% is similar to Scale 50%, except the start time of each selected note event is preserved.

  • Scale 200% doubles the length of the selected event, effectively causing it to play back half as fast. All expressions are also proportionally adjusted.

    The following images demonstrate selected note events both before and after the Scale 200% function is applied:

    [Note]Note

    Remember that events must fit within their parent clip.

  • Scale Each 200% is similar to Scale 200%, except the start time of each selected note event is preserved.

  • Scale… requires a set Amount of scaling to be typed in, along with an option to Scale each (keep position), which preserves the start time of each selected note event.

  • Slice In Place… divides the selected event into multiple events at a selected regular note interval (on Beat Grid).

  • Slice At Repeats splits any selected audio event using the Repeats Operator into individual events (see Slice At Repeats). When a selected event does not have Repeats enabled, no change is made.

  • Quantize is identical to the following Quantize… function except that the most recently set parameters are used for the function.

  • Quantize… moves the start and/or end times of the selected note in relation to a beat grid. The parameter pane for this function appears when the right-arrow button is clicked.

    • Grid Mode: Determines whether to adopt the grid settings from the current Editor or to allow Custom grid settings.

    • Custom Grid: Exclusive beat grid resolution and beat grid subdivision settings (see Beat Grid Settings) for the quantize function.

      [Note]Note

      This is available only when Grid Mode is set to Custom.

    • Shuffle: Amount of swing/groove (see Transport Section) applied to the beat grid for the quantization function.

    • Humanize: Amount of randomness added to the quantize function, with the intention of mimicking human imperfection.

    • Start Amount: Amount of quantization applied to each selected event's start position.

      For example, a setting of 50.0 % would move a selected event's start position halfway to the closest grid point. A setting of 100 % places the event exactly on the closest grid point.

    • End Amount: Amount of quantization applied to each selected event's end position.

    [Note]Note

    Humanize is the last factor applied in the quantize function. So a Start Amount of 100 % might not place events directly on the grid if Humanize is enabled.

    The quantize function can be executed by either clicking the Apply button at the bottom of the parameter pane, or by clicking the Quantize Time button itself.

  • Make Legato adjusts the length of each selected note event so that it ends immediately before the next event begins, creating a continuous series of events.

    The following images demonstrate a group of selected events both before and after the Legato function is applied:

  • Transpose a Semitone Up slides the selected event(s) up a semitone.

  • Transpose a Semitone Down slides the selected event(s) down a semitone.

  • Transpose an Octave Up slides the selected event up 12 semitones (in musical notation, 8va). This function is also available by pressing SHIFT+UP ARROW .

  • Transpose an Octave Down slides the selected event down 12 semitones (in musical notation, 8vb). This function is also available by pressing SHIFT+DOWN ARROW .

Working with Multiple Note Events

As it was with audio events, the Histogram becomes available when multiple note events are selected (see Using the Histogram).

In this example image, the Inspector Panel has labeled its bottom section as NOTES (18), indicating that 18 notes are currently selected. And with this selection of multiple note events, the Velocity, R-Velocity, Gain, Pan, Pitch, and Timbre parameters all can now use the Histogram interface for editing.

The Histogram works exactly the same as it did in the audio event context (again, see Using the Histogram). The Histogram can be useful in the note context, for example, when notes were programmed without much diversity in their velocities.

It doesn't take much to add subtle — or less subtle — variety with the Histogram. If you look, you will find places where it can aid your workflow.

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