The most common method for creating MIDI events is playing a melody sequence on a keyboard during MIDI recording. In this tutorial we want to introduce you to some other methods for entering MIDI note events into the Matrix Editor using the Mouse Tool or the computer keyboard.
Step 1: First we’ll create a MIDI object by going to “Object” > “New MIDI Object”. Select “empty 4 Bar” to create an empty four bar MIDI object.
Step 2: Double-clicking on the MIDI object opens the Matrix Editor in the Docker. If you want to remove the display from the Docker, simply double-click on the MIDI Editor tab or drag & drop it
The Matrix Editor is particularly good for displaying melody sequences.
Step 3: Now we can select the synthesizer that will play the MIDI notes. In the field for the MIDI output device we’ll choose the “Vita” synthesizer which is included with Samplitude. This will be our software instrument for the current track and we’ll use the preset piano sound.
Step 4: Now we can set the grid quantization value to 1/8 notes and draw our melody with the Pencil Tool.
Step 5: The event info line displays information for each of the selected MIDI notes (also known as “events”) such as MIDI channel, pitch, velocity and length.
You can change the values here by clicking on the corresponding field and moving the mouse pointer (now displayed as a double-arrow) up or down.
You can also use the mouse to move the event itself and adjust the pitch, note beginning and note ending according to the grid settings.
If you hold down the “Alt” key while making your changes, the grid is temporarily unlocked and you can adjust the note length any way you want.
Step 6: You can also create a new event using the event info line. In this case, make sure that no existing event is selected. Now you can enter the various parameters such as pitch, velocity, position and length. When you click on the “Insert” button, a new MIDI event will appear in the Matrix Editor at the corresponding playback marker position.
Note: You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to move selected MIDI events with the computer keyboard:
Event pitch higher Arrow up
Event pitch down Arrow down
Event to left (relative to grid setup) Ctrl + Alt + 1
Event to right (relative to grid setup) Ctrl + Alt + 2
Another method for inputting MIDI sequences note by note is “Step Recording” using the computer keyboard or the MIDI keyboard.
Step 1: Activate the “Step Recording” button in the Matrix Editor.
At the current playback position a marker indicates the scope of the octave where the following input will take place.
Using the keyboard shortcuts “Ctrl + Arrow up” and “Ctrl + Arrow down” you can move the input octave up or down.
Step 2: First we’ll move the playback marker to the beginning of the object. This can be done using the keyboard shortcut “Home” or by scrolling with the “Page up” key.
Step 3: In our example we want to enter quarter notes. To do this we’ll activate the grid and set the quantization value to 1/4 notes. For length quantization we’ll select “#”. This symbol means that the value for the note length corresponds to the grid quantization, in our case quarter notes.
Step 4: Now press the “C” key on your computer keyboard. As you can see, a quarter note in the pitch of “C1” is created and the step recording marker jumps to the next beat in the Matrix Editor.
Now you can enter more quarter notes using the D, E, F, G, A and B keys.
Step 5: Now we want to enter a “C2”. To do this we’ll use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Arrow up” as mentioned above.
Step 6: If you want to enter a different note length, you can adjust the grid quantization value accordingly which will also change the length quantization. We’ll choose 1/8 notes
and set a 1/8 pause after each 1/8 note using the Tab key.
Step 7: And now we’ll create some chords. Hold down the Shift key and enter the various notes that will make up the chord (in our example C minor). You’ll notice that the playback marker doesn’t jump ahead when the Shift key is held down. This is how you create chords.
In Step Recording Mode you can also enter the individual steps using your MIDI controller keyboard.
One last tip: Step recording can make entering drum notes in the Drum Editor much easier.
Have fun drawing your MIDI events and step recording in the Matrix Editor!
Your Samplitude Team