If I want to change the octave, I can hold down shift and go up or down with my arrows.
Hi everyone, Sam Smyers here.
I’m an artist and a music producer in Los Angeles, California.
Today I’m gonna talk about how to use the piano roll or the MIDI editor in Ableton Live 10.
Let’s first go ahead and create a new MIDI track.
I was going to insert a MIDI track.
I right-clicked and hit insert MIDI track.
Now I’m going to go to the grand piano.
I will do grand piano equal production.
I’m going to double click.
Let’s go ahead and activate the grand piano.
So record it and make sure it’s working.
The piano roll is going to be found here in this bottom section.
There are no MIDI clips selected.
So we’re going to go ahead and create a MIDI clip.
I’m going to highlight this section.
And I’m going to insert a MIDI clip.
So now we can see we have a MIDI clip.
I’m going to make this a little bigger, we have a medic clip, and we have the piano roll.
Here, I’m going to make this piano roll larger.
When you go to the top of your piano roll, this magnifying glass pops up.
And what you do is you click and hold your mouse, and if you drag up and down, it zooms in and out.
If you go to the side of your piano roll, you click and hold your mouse and you drag left and right, then expands and contracts the piano.
Let’s go ahead and insert a note.
So to insert a note, we can either right-click, go to draw mode.
And then this pencil pops up, and we can click, and it will insert a note.
I could also just turn off the draw mode.
And I did that by just hitting B.
And I can just double click and that inserts a note.
So, as you can hear, whenever I’m clicking the note, you can hear the note.
And that’s because we have this little headphone button turned on.
When it’s turned off, and I click the note, you can’t hear it.
So if you want to hear the notice whenever you’re inserting them into your piano roll, then activate this little button.
So what I’m going to do is I’m going to click and insert a note.
I’m inserting a C.
If I right-click, we can see some options for the grid.
So adaptive grid means that the grid changes depending on how zoomed in or zoomed out it is.
A fixed grid means that it’s always going to stay the same no matter how zoomed in or zoomed out you are.
So I’m going to choose 1/16.
And we can see that the grid changes to 1/16.
So if I insert a note, check that out.
If I insert a note, whenever the grid is at 1/16, then I’m going to get a 1/16 note.
So in order to change the length, this note, if I put my cursor on the right hand side of the note, then this bracket pops up and I can click and drag it out.
And notice that it snaps with the grid.
If I don’t want it to snap with the grid, I can hit command, hold it down, and drag it.
And now the grid is turned off, and it doesn’t have to be exactly snap to the grid.
Let me go ahead and make this note longer.
And let’s make it a little bit bigger.
I can also change the length of the note by highlighting it like this.
And now we see these markers here.
And if I click and drag the markers, now the note is being extended.
We can see it being extended here.
And we can also see it being extended in our mini clip.
Take it back down, we can also change the length of our MIDI clip of how long a loop is.
So that is going to be changed by this range selector at the top here.
If I bring it down and shorten this MIDI clip, I have the loop turned on.
Now if I drag it out, it creates a loop.
It is only one note length, because I shortened this range.
Let me go ahead and turn off the loop, extend this MIDI clip.
If I want to move this note up and down, I can go to my keyboard and I can hit up or down on the keyboard.
If I want to change the octave, then I can hold down shift and go up or down with my upper down arrows.
If I want to create a new note, I could just go to E double click standard out.
Or I could just get my C note, hold down Option, drag it up to the key, and say I want to make a chord.
So I’m going to go to G and now I have a chord.
If I want to select all the notes, then all I have to do is click and drag my cursor up to highlight all the notes.
And now if I change the length, all the lengths of these notes are changing.
Now that I have all the notes highlighted, if I hit option and hold that down, and I drag it over, I can create a new chord.
So this is going to be E minor.
Now I can do this again.
And I can create D minor.
Let me make this last chord a little bit longer.
So I’m gonna drag it out.
And let’s go ahead and loop this to loop a clip.
I do command L, and now I’m looking at.
So let me go ahead and delete these two chords here.
I can also just select each of these notes, and hit Command D, and then it duplicates these notes.
I’m gonna delete that if I want to select this whole range here.
So now we have these three notes.
And then we have a rest or a blank space and I hit duplicate.
Then it’s basically going to duplicate this whole range that I had selected before.
So now you see there’s a gap in between these two chords.
So another thing that I can do is if I have the Draw tool on, so I just hit B on my keyboard, and now the pencil tool comes up, I can just click and now drag it over.
And now I’m creating notes, I tend to not use the draw tool too much.
I just like to double click and insert my notes.
So what if you don’t want to draw in your notes and you’re actually playing a MIDI controller?
Then we can delete this MIDI clip, make sure that our track is record enabled here.
Make sure our metronome is on.
So we’re playing a time and I’ll hit the record.
So I just played four chords there.
So, as you can see, I didn’t play exactly perfectly in time.
So I’m going to want to quantize my notes.
I’m going to go to quantize settings.
I do that by right-clicking going here to quantize settings.
And I have it set at 1/8.
Note, you can select a quarter note.
The 1/16 note depends on the rhythm and melody that you’re playing.
The amount is going to be 100%.
I want it to be 100% in time and adjust the note to the start.
So let’s hit OK.
And now we can see that my notes have been adjusted perfectly in time.
If I have my quantize settings set how I liked them, I could also just go to quantize, and it will automatically quantize according to whatever my quantize settings were set previously.
If I take a look at these notes, now I can see that some of these notes are not the exact length.
So I am going to select the longest note, Hold COMMAND, shorten them all the way release, and then lengthen them do the same for this last chord.
Now everything is perfectly on time and the perfect length.
Let me go ahead and chop off this beginning.
So now we can see I have a four-chord progression in my mini clip.
I can also adjust the velocities.
So if I want to adjust the velocities of my notes, this little arrow, if you click it, shows or hides the velocities.
So if I hover my mouse over this top velocity, we can see it’s that middle note.
I drag it up and down, it’ll make it louder or softer.
Or I can just put my cursor over the note, hold down Command and drag it up and down.
Or I can select all the notes and drag them all the way up to 1.
7 which is going to be the loudest.
Now they are all 127.
They’re all the same velocity.
And I can do that for all of the other notes as well.
So another way to zoom out, if you don’t want to use this magnifying glass at the top, you can also just hold down shift and hit the negative or the plus sign on your keyboard, just like that.
So I’m going to go to this next chord and raise the velocities go to the first chord.
Raise the velocities.
So when I recorded these notes at the beginning, I had to add a four-count in.
So we can get rid of this section of our mini clip because we’re not using it by clicking on our mini clip up here and hitting consolidate.
And now that removes the section that is blank, I can also use this little box here to fold our piano roll.
And fold means that we only show the notes that are being played.
So when I hit this, the piano will essentially fold like that, and it’s only showing the keys that we are playing in our chord progression.
So that is useful just to make your piano roll a little bit more compact.
Let me go ahead and check this fold.
There are some other options for changing your sound in this piano roll.
This little button opens up the envelopes.
A common envelope is the pitch bend, which will be MIDI control and a pitch bend.
And this is useful if you want to pitch bend your notes.
So this is the line for the pitch bend.
I can click on the line to insert these nodes.
I’m going to click here and raise it now.
My first chord is going to pitch bend up.
Not exactly useful for a grand piano sound.
This would be useful for possibly some 808 bends or some synth bends.
I could also highlight this section shift and create a band like this by dragging my mouse up.
So in our MIDI control envelopes, we can pitch bend, change the volume, and pan.
These are various options for affecting your MIDI.
Now that I have my MIDI that I either drew in or played, I have this MIDI clip that I can hold down Option and duplicate it throughout the track.
There you have it.
That is how I use the piano roll or the MIDI editor in Ableton Live.
I hope that that was helpful if you are a beginner.
I hope that showed you how to begin using it or if you are an advanced user.
Maybe I showed you some new things that you didn’t know before.
If you like this video, please like and subscribe.
Thank you so much.