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MIDI Editing In Pro Tools

Avid Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
By Julian Rodgers

Pro Tools' MIDI implementation still has a bad reputation, but the reality is now very different.

I've often heard it said that "Pro Tools is no good for MIDI." It's one of those statements that used to be repeated so often that it became a shibboleth, and even when the MIDI functionality of Pro Tools was improved, people still subscribed to this so-called 'fact'.

I'm very aware that there are some MIDI features which Pro Tools doesn't have, and there are some advanced users who will be frustrated at their omission — but I'm equally sure that for an awful lot of people, the MIDI functions available in Pro Tools are more than adequate. Things have changed a lot since I started using Pro Tools back in version 5!

For me there has only ever been one missing MIDI feature serious enough to make me use something else rather than adapt my workflow, and that was a dedicated MIDI editor — which was added in Pro Tools 8, over 10 years ago. It's been possible to edit MIDI from within the Edit window for as long as MIDI has been supported, and it is extremely useful to be able to edit MIDI and audio together on the timeline. However, until the introduction of the MIDI editor it wasn't possible to view multiple MIDI tracks together on the same piano-roll, which could make arranging strings or brass challenging.

The release of Pro Tools 8, back in 2008, not only added new virtual instruments to what had been a very meagre offering of stock instruments (Click? That will show the Logic users what they are missing!) but also introduced a raft of new MIDI features. These have been further refined over the years, and in its current incarnation I find I can do everything I need to do, particularly since the new arrow-based transposition...

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Published May 2019