Logic Pro X Quick Tip: Note Labels & Velocity Editing
It goes without saying that Logic is so deep a program, that there are always new things to learn and workflows to discover. Here I want to share with you a nice little workflow I picked up in a discussion group. It involves MIDI editing, specifically velocity editing.
For those who may not already know, we can hold down the Control + Command key in either the Piano Roll Editor or Score Editor and edit a note’s velocity, without having to switch to a dedicated tool.
I love this feature and use it all the time.
In the Piano Roll Editor, we get an info tag that pops up as long as the mouse is held down, showing us the note pitch and current velocity as the value is being edited.
The info tag pop up in the Score Editor is slightly different. Here we get a read out of the current velocity value, plus the amount it is being offset from its original value.
These are both useful ways to work, but that’s not today’s tip.
I recently became aware of the Note Labels view available in the Piano Roll Editor. Enable this from under the local View menu, and each note now displays it’s pitch and velocity value.
Having this available all the time is great.
We can see at a glance what the velocities are numerically. This is particularly useful if the Set Note Color view option is set to anything other than “By Velocity.”
One thing to be aware of, however, is that the note and velocity info will not be displayed if the note is not beyond a certain required minimum length. So, it is to be expected that some shorter notes may not display this info.
Now the tip:
Enable the Note Labels view feature and use the Control+Command keyboard shortcut to edit velocity. You can now see the velocity value scrolling in the note’s display as you are editing it.
I think this is fantastic for several reasons.
First of all, having Note Labels enabled gives you an overview of multiple note velocities at a glance.
Secondly, it frees up the color to be used for other identification purposes. Like for example, if you are viewing multiple regions simultaneously and have note color set to display by region, you can now identify which region notes belong to at the same time as seeing their velocities.
Third reason: numerical display is much more accurate than viewing shades of color to identify velocity.
Fourth: you can select multiple notes and edit their velocities together while clearly seeing each of the individual values.
And lastly, I just like it!
I think it’s nice to not have to be distracted by an info tag and instead be able to keep my eyes directly on the notes. And having the note names is a nice bonus, I don’t have to keep shifting my gaze to the keyboard on the left to determine the pitch.
Try it, and I think you will find it a useful enhancement to your workflow.