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Quick Tip: The Art of Selection in Logic
Rounik Sethi on Sat, November 20th 3 comments
Logic has always been very strong in the MIDI department. Despite the introduction of advanced audio editing features in Logic 9, such as Flex Time, MIDI is still king of the hill and the easiest and

Logic has always been very strong in the MIDI department. Despite the introduction of advanced audio editing features in Logic 9, such as Flex Time, MIDI is still king of the hill and the easiest and most effective of the two to edit and manipulate.

There are plenty of MIDI Editors to choose from in Logic - and what you use will depend on the type of editing you wish to apply as well as your preferred work flow. Most Logicians stick to the Piano Roll (which is great), but getting to grips with actually selecting the notes you wish to manipulate in this editor can seem like a chore!

Here are some handy tips for the beginner and advanced user alike that can dramatically speed up your editing work flow!

01 - Go Selecta

It's common to want to select all notes of the same pitch regardless of the MIDI Editor you're using. In this case, though, let's start in the Piano Roll as it has an extra handy feature to select note events, but all the following menu selection commands are common in all of Logic's MIDI Editors.

Click on the keyboard on the left of the Piano Roll to select all note events on that pitch. So, if I wanted to select all the Kick notes on C1, simply clicking on the C1 key will select all the kick events, which I could now move, copy, resize, etc.

You can drag up/down on the keys of the keyboard to select all note events on all the pitches dragged over. This can save a lot of time when selecting all notes on multiple pitches.

02 - Select by Pitch, Velocity, Channel

The Edit menu in any of Logic's MIDI Editor's is the first port of call when you have some note event selection headache. You may be surprised at just how many options are available! Briefly, you can select a note event manually and then choose to select all following notes, all that follow of the same pitch, all note events that are overlapping, muted, or share the same velocity color!

If you simply want to select all note events of the same pitch, but you don't have the first note selected, Shift+S (or Edit > Select Similar Events) will do the trick.

03 - Select by Equal Subpositions

Select Equal Subpositions is one of my most used selection commands used when manually adjusting the feel or groove of a MIDI performance. In this example, I've selected the Kick on C1 on the 2nd Beat of the Bar. Choosing Edit > Select Equal Subpositions selects all note events on Beat 2 in every Bar of the MIDI region. What a time-saver!

04 - Transform's 'Select Only'

The Transform window like it's name suggests can be used to manipulate and even randomly manipulate MIDI events. In my humble opinion, it's one of the more awesome places to edit MIDI in Logic. But rather than edit MIDI events, the Transform window can be used like a mini-Spotlight for MIDI.

In the Piano Roll (or any MIDI Editor), choose Functions > Transform > Fixed Length.
From the Preset drop-down menu choose ** Create Initialized User Set ** and click on Create in the dialog warning.

Exploring the in's and out's of the Transform window is way out of the scope of this Quick Tip. I'd recommend checking out Steve H's Logic Masterclass #1 here for more MIDI Mayhem!

The top row of the Transform area (Conditions) is where you can set the position, status, channel, etc of what MIDI data you want to be transformed or in our case, Selected!

In this example, let's select all note events which are below a certain velocity. Set the top Status drop-down to display Note and then from the Velocity drop-down choose <= (less than or equal to) a velocity value. In my case I'm choosing 124. As we don't want to apply any transformation to all note events with a velocity less than 124 we don't need to change any of the Operations values.

The Transform window should look something like this:

Choose Select Only and only those MIDI note events will be selected.

Now, imagine using the Velocity Condition in association with Pitch or Length or Subposition to select highly specific note events... The mind boggles!

05 - Get on the Event List

Using two MIDI Editors simultaneously instead of one might sound like overkill for your eyes... but using the Event List in conjunction with the graphical MIDI editor of your choice can speed up your Edits.

The Event List can be found in the Lists area (top right of the Arrange area) or opened as a floating window from the Window menu. I find it incredibly useful to keep track of numerical values, like velocity and position of notes.

With the correct link mode selected, the Event List will update to display the contents of the Piano Roll or other MIDI Editor which can make the Event List an essential mine of quick to reference info about each Note event.

For more MIDI Editing power tips, tricks and techniques, check out the recent Logic TNT tutorial series and the Logic Master Class #1. Enjoy!

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Comments (3)

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  • Hamish H
    Hey Rounik this is great! I have one question: in 01 Go Selecta you say "You can drag up/down on the keys of the keyboard to select all note events on all the pitches dragged over." Is it possible to selectively choose the pitches you want to highlight? By using Command or Shift or something like that? Thanks! I'm looking forward to manually adding swing to my regions Hamish
    • 10 years ago
    • By: Hamish H
  • Rounik Admin
    Thanks Hamish! Yes, it is!! I should have included that in the main article... but I guess if I include all the lil' tricks it wouldn't be a Quick Tip anymore ;-) Click on the key that corresponds to the pitch some notes are on. Then holding down shift repeat this on another pitch. All notes for both pitch values (or more than 2 if you wish) will be selected. It's strange thing about Logic. Since the early days it's conventions haven't matched the OSX conventions for shift to select all in between and CMD - to select non-consecutive items. In Logic Shift selecting will simply add that item to the selection regardless of it's position (and will not select items in between). Hope that makes sense, and enjoy, er... manually swinging ;-)
    • 10 years ago
    • By: Rounik Admin
  • Hamish H
    Cheers Rounik!
    • 10 years ago
    • By: Hamish H
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