How to Record MIDI with the Step Input Keyboard - dummies

How to Record MIDI with the Step Input Keyboard

By Graham English

The step input keyboard allows you to enter notes one at a time. It’s great for non-keyboard players or keyboard players who need a little help inputting technical passages or those impossible to play with only two hands. The step input keyboard is also great for inputting scores from sheet music without having to learn how to play the part.

A MIDI region must be open in a MIDI editor to input notes with the step input keyboard. To use the step input keyboard, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the MIDI region you want to edit.

    The piano roll editor opens at the bottom of the tracks area.

  2. Choose Window→Show Step Input Keyboard (or press Option-Command-K).

    The step input keyboard appears.


  3. Place the playhead where you want to begin inputting notes.

  4. Click the note length and note velocity icons, and then click the key you want to input.

    A MIDI note event is added to the piano roll editor at the playhead position.

The step input keyboard has the following advanced features:

  • To input notes sequentially on the same beat, select the chord icon on the left side of the step input keyboard.

  • To make the first note you click a length and a half of the currently selected note length, select the dot icon. The second note you click will be half the length of the currently selected note length.

  • To make the next three notes you play part of a triplet, select the triplet icon.

  • Select the sustain icon to lengthen the selected note in the editor by the length selected in the Step Input Keyboard.

  • To snap the next note you input to the nearest division on the grid, select the quantize icon.

  • To define the MIDI channel of the next selected note, choose a value in the MIDI channel drop-down menu.

The step input keyboard uses traditional notation for velocity values: ppp (16) pp (32), p (48), mp (64), mf (80), f (96), ff (112), and fff (127).