Piano Roll Editor

Piano Roll Editor

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The piano roll editor allows you to edit the MIDI data for a Virtual Instrument Clip.  The name "piano roll" is based on the resemblance to piano rolls used in old player pianos.  Just double click a Virtual Instrument Clip or right click on a Virtual Instrument Clip and select "Edit" to bring up the Piano Roll Editor.




Each blue box represents a note.  The note is determined by how it lines up with the vertical piano, hence, the name 'piano roll'.  Click on a piano note to audition how it will sound.


hmtoggle_arrow1 Toolbar


There are three main editing tools on the piano roll editor.


Note selection tool.


Add new notes with the pencil.


Remove notes with the eraser.


Duration Buttons - Choose a default duration when adding a new note with the pencil tool.  Choose from whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth note and thirty-secondth note.  In addition, you can choose from the two modifiers: "Dotted Note Modifier" and "Triplet Note Modifier".


Default Velocity - Specifies the velocity for new notes.


Snap Level - Determines the minimum editing size.


hmtoggle_arrow1 Adding Notes


Pencil tool

Make sure that the pencil tool is selected.


Now move the mouse to the piano roll and click to add.  The note created will be determined based off the toolbar's duration and velocity settings.


Use Pencil Tool



hmtoggle_arrow1 Selecting Notes


Click on a note to select it.  Alternatively, select the Arrow tool and drag a selection.  All notes that fall within the selection rectangle will become selected.  Hold down the SHIFT or CTRL key to multi-select notes.


Double click a note on the piano roll keyboard and all notes of that value will become selected.  Click anywhere besides a note to deselect it or press the ESC key.


Selected notes will appear dark blue.


You can also select by duration and velocity.  Click the "MIDI Editing" button on the piano roll toolbar and choose "Select By Duration..." or "Select By Velocity..."


These functions allow you to do some very useful things such as weeding out unwanted short notes or very lightly played error notes.


[Tab] and [SHIFT]+[Tab] selects the next note and the previous note, respectively.


Note: After selecting a note, if you add new notes they will take on the length, duration and velocity of the previously clicked on note.


Use Arrow Tool



hmtoggle_arrow1 Moving Notes


Select a note or notes and drag it.  You can be in either arrow or pencil mode.


Move the note or notes by dragging up, down, left or right.  The piano roll will auto scroll if you go beyond the extents of the window.  Movement will be aligned based on the Piano Roll's snap level.


(Before moving.)

(After moving.)





To maintain the note's time offset, just drag up or down, hold the shift key down while dragging.


Move Note But Keep Offset

SHIFT + Drag


hmtoggle_arrow1 Editing Notes


Move your mouse to the left or right side until it turns to a left-right arrow cursor.  You can re-size a note by drag and drop.  Resizing will be aligned based on the Piano Roll's snap level.


(Before resizing)

(After resizing)




Resizing multiple notes at a time

If you select more than one note, you can then re-size them all at the same time.  This could be convenient if you wanted all the notes to be staccato.


Editing notes in detail

You can also edit a note or group of notes by right clicking and selecting "Edit..."  The note edit dialog will pop up and allow you to edit the specifics, which include:


Start time (Measure, beat and fractional beat)

Duration (Measures, beats and fractional beats)

Note value (A0-G10)

Velocity ON (1-127)

MIDI Channel (1-16)

Velocity OFF ( 0-127)


hmtoggle_arrow1 Erasing/Deleting Notes



Make sure that the eraser tool is selected.

Now click down and draw over any unwanted notes.


Alternatively, select the notes you wish to delete.  Press the [Delete] key to delete them.


Use Eraser Tool



hmtoggle_arrow1 Snapping


The piano roll has its own snap level which allows you to edit and move notes to exact measure and beat positions.  If you find that you cannot move or re-size a note, try turning off the piano roll snap.  Click on the snap button and select a new snap setting.




All editing will be based off the piano roll snap level.


hmtoggle_arrow1 Copy, Cut, Paste And Clipboard Operations


You can select a group of notes to copy, cut or paste in the expected manner.  You can use the keyboard shortcuts or simply right click on the Piano Roll Editor and select the appropriate operation.  Once you copy or cut some notes or partial notes, the notes reside in the clipboard.  You can paste them at the position of the playback indicator.


Operations that apply:








hmtoggle_arrow1 Alt+Drag Quick Copy


Hold down the ALT key and click drag the selected sounds.  This will make a copy of the selected sounds and move them to the new position.  This can be very useful.


Drag Copy