Quick Tip: The Unintended Benefits of Collapse Mode
Today’s tip is so simple and obvious that I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t thought of it on my own before it was pointed out to me recently by fellow groove3 / logic-pro-expert colleague Doug Zangar.
It’s got to do with a nice fringe benefit of the Piano Roll Window’s Collapse Mode function.
Using Collapse Mode With Drums
When this feature was first introduced to Logic Pro X, its intended purpose was to eliminate wasted space in the Piano Roll Editor when working on drum parts.
Usually, when editing drum parts, we are working with a small subset of notes (tom, hi-hat, snare, kick, cymbal, etc.). Depending on the instrument being used and its mapping, these sounds might be spread out over large ranges of the MIDI note range, resulting in the need to scroll vertically when zoomed in.
By invoking this function, only the used notes are displayed, the unused notes are hidden from view. We can work at a zoomed in view and look at only the notes we need. It makes for a very elegant drum editing interface.
Key Switching & Collapse Mode
Collapse Mode also makes for a great way of working with third-party orchestral or brass libraries that utilize key switching to change playing articulations. The key switch notes, by design, need to be located several octaves away from an instrument’s normal playing range. The result is a lot of vertical scrolling when creating or editing the actual key switch notes.
Collapse mode to the rescue!
By invoking this view mode, the empty octaves are hidden from the display, and the key switch notes are easily accessible either above or below the actual notes the instrument is playing. So again, we can eliminate scrolling, and work at a comfortable zoom level while still viewing all the elements in the region. It makes working with key switch based libraries all the more inviting.
Great tip Doug; thanks!