MIDI region parameters

The following parameters are available for MIDI regions (and software instrument Apple Loops) in the Region inspector.

The MIDI region parameters also apply to folders, and globally affect all MIDI regions within the folder.

  • Transposition: All note events contained in the MIDI region are transposed up or down by the selected amount during playback. Even complete folders can be instantly transposed in this way. If several individual MIDI regions within the folder have already been transposed, the relative differences between them are retained.

    If you want to transpose by octaves, click the arrows to the right of the Transposition parameter. A pop-up menu opens that allows direct octave transpositions.

    To guard against drum notes and so on being transposed, an instrument channel’s inspector contains a No Transpose checkbox. If you select this option, the Transpose parameter is ignored in all MIDI regions played by this channel strip (including instrument Apple Loops added to tracks routed to instrument channels).

  • Velocity: All notes in the relevant MIDI region are offset by the selected value. Positive values add to the originally recorded velocity, and negative ones subtract from it, although naturally it is impossible to go outside the limits defined by the MIDI Standard (0–127). If you select a velocity offset that exceeds the maximum or minimum possible value for a particular note, that note will play at the extreme possible range. For example, a setting of +20 will cause a note with a velocity of 120 to play at 127.

  • Dynamics: This parameter also affects the velocity values of notes, but instead of adding or subtracting a fixed amount, the differences between soft and loud notes (the dynamics) are increased or decreased. This works in a similar way to a compressor or expander. Values above 100% expand the dynamics, thereby increasing the difference between loud and soft, while values below 100% compress the dynamics, reducing the differences between loud and soft.

    The Fixed setting causes all notes to be transmitted at a velocity value of 64. When used in conjunction with the Velocity parameter (see above), it’s possible to set any fixed velocity value.

  • Gate Time: The term gate time stems from analog synthesizers, and refers to the time between pressing and releasing a key. This parameter affects the absolute note duration or length, which can be different from the musical note value. The practical effect is to make notes in the region more staccato or legato. The parameter range is related to the original note lengths. Fix produces extreme staccato. Values below 100% shorten the notes. Values above 100% lengthen the notes. The “legato” setting produces a completely legato effect for all notes, no matter what their original lengths, eliminating all space between notes in the affected region.

  • Clip Length: This function lets you alter the length of the last notes in a region directly from the Tracks area, by adjusting the length of the MIDI region. When turned on, any notes sounding when the region ends are abruptly cut off. When turned off, notes are played to their normal end point, regardless of where the region ends.

  • Score: The point of this function is mainly to prevent the score display of particular regions—namely those that only contain MIDI events that can’t be displayed in the score, such as controller or SysEx data. When turned off, the MIDI region is not displayed in the score at all.

  • Advanced Quantization: Q-Flam: Notes with the same time position (chords) are spread out by this parameter. Positive values produce an ascending (upward) arpeggio; negative values a descending (downward) arpeggio. The position of the first note (either the bottom or top note, assuming all notes start at the same position) in the arpeggio is unaltered.

  • Advanced Quantization: Q-Velocity: This parameter (expressed as a percentage) determines the amount that the velocity values of quantized notes are affected by the velocity values of a template MIDI region. At a value of 0%, the notes retain their original velocity. At 100%, they adopt the velocity values of the template. Negative values alter the velocity, making the deviation from the template even greater.

  • Advanced Quantization: Q-Length: This parameter (also expressed as a percentage value) determines how the lengths of quantized notes are affected by the equivalent note lengths (notes at the same position) of a template MIDI region. A value of 0% has no effect, while at 100%, the notes adopt the exact note lengths of the template region. Negative values alter note lengths further, resulting in a more significant deviation from the template.

Normalize MIDI region parameters

You can normalize the MIDI region parameter settings of all selected MIDI regions and folders with the MIDI > Region Parameters > Normalize Region Parameters command.

This means that all settings are actually written as data, and playback parameters revert to normal values. The audible result remains the same. The Loop parameter and extended MIDI region parameters are not affected. Use of this function is effectively like saying “make these MIDI region/instrument parameter values permanent.” In most circumstances, it’s better not to do this, as leaving the original data untouched provides more flexibility. This includes unlimited opportunities to change your mind about MIDI region edits.

Normalize and MIDI channels

Like the Merge function and the Glue tool, the Normalize function is intelligent in the way it handles stored MIDI channel numbers. If all stored events have the same MIDI channel number, the channel is changed to that of the instrument assigned to the current track. If the events are on different channels, Logic Pro asks whether or not you want to convert the event channels.

The following Normalize options are also available in the MIDI > Region Parameters menu:

  • Normalize without Channel: Leaves the stored channel number untouched.

  • Normalize without Channel & Delay: Leaves the stored channel number and Delay parameters untouched.

If the playback instrument has a channel setting of All, or you’re dealing with a completely different type of Environment object (a channel splitter used as A-Playback, for example), the stored MIDI channel numbers are also unaffected by the usual Normalize function.

Note: If you’re editing MIDI regions that appear as notation on a polyphonic staff style, it’s recommended that you use the Normalize without Channel function, as the event channel is used to assign notes to individual polyphonic voices in the Score Editor.