Mastering MIDI Editing and Quantization on Logic Pro X

Mastering MIDI Editing and Quantization on Logic Pro X
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Slide 1: Tekstslide
Music ProductionHigher Education (non-degree)

In deze les zitten 23 slides, met interactieve quizzen en tekstslides.

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Mastering MIDI Editing and Quantization on Logic Pro X

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Learning Objective
Understanding MIDI editing and quanitisation.

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Introduce the main goal of the lesson and what students can expect to achieve by the end.
Slide 1: Introduction to MIDI Editing
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. MIDI is a communication standard that allows digital music gear to speak the same language. It allows you to record, edit, and playback musical performances.

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Explain the basics of MIDI and its purpose in music production. Highlight its advantages.
Activity (5 mins)
1. Start a new project
2. Add a software instrument track
3. Using your software instrument, record an 8-bar loop.

Remember to play in time with the metronome click! If your timing isn't the best FEAR NOT. I'll be taking you through how to correct this manually.

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MIDI Editing Tools
Logic Pro X provides various tools for editing MIDI, such as the Piano Roll, Event List, and Score Editor.

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Introduce the different tools available in Logic Pro X for MIDI editing. Mention their purposes briefly.
How to access the piano roll
You can access the piano roll by double-clicking the midi region that you have recorded. 

Alternatively you can click, view and then piano roll.

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The Piano Roll
The Piano Roll Editor shows notes in MIDI regions as rectangles on a time grid. The position of each note on the grid shows the time position where it starts playing, its duration (length), and pitch. 

You can edit individual notes by moving them, resizing them, dragging them vertically to change their pitch, and in a variety of other ways.

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Logic Pointer Tools
Within the piano roll we can access a number of tools which can be used for different purposes.

We can only use one of these tools at a time and can change the tool we are using by clicking here. This will produce a drop down menu of the different tools you can use.

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Pointer Tools
Pencil Tool - Can be used to pencil in (add) notes rather than playing and recording.

Eraser Tool - Can be used to remove/delete notes.

Scissor Tool - Can be used to cut notes.

Glue Tool - Can be used to glue notes together.

Velocity Tool - Can be used to edit the velocity of each notes

Velocity = How hard/soft is the note being played?

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Computer VS "Real" drums
There has been a long debate around "real" recorded drums and whether electronic drums can ever replicate the authentic drum sound that we've grown to love. 

What is it about "real" drums that sound so much better than electronic?

How can we make electronic drums sound life-like?

What makes a drum recording life-like?

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What makes drums sound life-like?
"Real" drums sound the way they do because of human imperfection. When a human plays a drum kit, it's impossible for them to hit each component of the drums with the same strength. 
This creates a sense of rhythm and a "humanised" sound.
We can humanise electronic drum by changing "velocity"

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Velocity refers to the force with which a note is played.

In the piano roll, the velocity of a note is indicated by the colour of a note.

When programming electric drums, our aim is to make our drum tracks appear life-like. This means creating inconsistent velocities where drums don’t sound robotic. We call this, humanizing drums.

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Using the velocity tool
Using the velocity tool, humanize the drum track that you created earlier on in the lesson. Remember that the colour of a MIDI note will change as the velocity changes.

To change the velocity of a note, click the note and drag up or down.

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Slide 5: Quantization Overview
Quantization is the process of aligning MIDI notes to a rhythmic grid. It helps tighten up performances and removes any timing issues. 
Before Quantisation
After Quantisation

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Introduce the concept of quantization and its purpose. Explain its benefits in creating a more precise rhythm.
How to quantise midi data
You can quantise your midi data by opening the piano roll for a midi region, highlighting the midi note or midi notes you would like to quantise and hitting the ‘Q’ button, to the left of the piano roll.

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Quantisation Strength
Here you can select the strength of the quantisation. At 100 Logics algorithm will work at 100%, meaning that the quantisation of the notes will be very rigid. 

At 0, there will be no quantisation. At 50, the quantisation will be 50% whatever you’ve played in and 50% quantisation. Selecting 50 will give your quantisation a more “human” feel.

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Quantisation Note Values
These note values are to do with the quantisation algorithm. This is where you tell the quantiser where to push the notes too. 

Do you want your quantizer to push your midi-data to the nearest full note or the nearest ½ note? ¼ notes? ⅛ note?

We’ll talk more about this in another DAW workshop but you can experiment in the meantime.

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Is quantisation always the best approach?
In the music production community, quantising has sometimes been criticized for dehumanizing music. 

There are some genres where the practice of quantisation is a bit of a dirty word. 
Some genres such as trap music with its consistent hi-hat patterns rely on quantisation, whereas other such as rock music require drum tracks to sound like they were played in by a human. 
Whether or not and how you choose to quantise your midi data, depends entirely on your artistic vision as a producer. 

Remember - There is no right or wrong way to create music.

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Activity (10 minutes)
1. Return to your Logic Projects
2. Double-click your midi region to access the piano role
3. Using quantisation and the velocity tool, attempt humanise your 8-bar loop.

Getting good at this takes practice!

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Write down 3 things you learned in this lesson.

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Have students enter three things they learned in this lesson. With this they can indicate their own learning efficiency of this lesson.
Write down 2 things you want to know more about.

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Here, students enter two things they would like to know more about. This not only increases involvement, but also gives them more ownership.
Ask 1 question about something you haven't quite understood yet.

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The students indicate here (in question form) with which part of the material they still have difficulty. For the teacher, this not only provides insight into the extent to which the students understand/master the material, but also a good starting point for the next lesson.