By Jeff Strong

The editing capabilities for MIDI recording tracks are quite extensive. Not only can you perform the typical cut, copy, and paste functions, but you can also quantize (adjust the timing of a note) and transpose (adjust the pitch of a note). Heck, you can even fix a single bad note if you want to.

In most newer sequencer programs, you have the following three ways of performing edits:

  • Piano-roll graphic window: This is the most common way to edit MIDI performances. Look at the following illustration.

    In this window, the horizontal bars in the center are the MIDI notes recorded on the track. Each of these notes can be lengthened, shortened, and moved. The top of this window contains navigation tools, editing options, and quantization values (the note value used to adjust the timing of a performance). Just select the note, and you can use any of these editing functions.

    You can also view detailed note data including the note’s start time and length, pitch, velocity (volume — both on and off), and MIDI channel by double-clicking a note in the grid.

    The piano-roll window lets you do a variety of editing functions.

    The piano-roll window lets you do a variety of editing functions.
  • Score window: If you read music, the score window may be your choice for editing. This window looks just like a piece of sheet music (as shown in the following illustration). Within this window, you can move notes around in much the same way as the piano-roll window.

    The only difference is that you can see the musical score as you edit your performance. Some sequencers allow you to print the score as well. This can be handy if you’re composing music that you want other people to play.

    The Score menu shows you your MIDI data in musical score form and allows you to edit them.

    The Score menu shows you your MIDI data in musical score form and allows you to edit them.