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MIDI controller editing

Hi Rui!

I was happy to read in the 'Coming from 90's Cubase to qtractor' thread that you're going to add the ability to draw lines to edit the controllers any time now. I think your idea of it only effecting selected controllers is a good one and I would presume that adding this in necessitates a new 'line draw' icon because otherwise how is qtractor to know if you are selecting controllers, adding new ones or drawing a line when you click-drag in the controllers section? We can't use the existing draw icon for this because that is used to add addition controller bars of course.

I've never been entirely comfortable that you can move selected notes by click-dragging their controllers - to me it just seems a bit wrong that this is possible as IMO that should only be possible from within the piano roll.

Also, I think I've spotted a regression in latest svn. I'm sure you used to be able select multiple controllers then click-drag the top edge of one then all of the selected controllers would get adjusted by the same amount? Please fix that or if I'm imagining it then please could you add it in?



rncbc's picture

yes there was a regression, but it predates last release though.

for you to change values of the whole selection you'll have to SHIFT/CTRL-click-and-drag the edge of the so called anchor event.

regression was all about the role of the SHIFT/CTRL modifier keys. you must use the key modifier to tell exactly that you want a multiple/group change, and keep the whole selected still.


OK - thanks for that. I forgot you needed to hold SHIFT when you are adjusting more than one.

In my latest feature request I asked for the ability to draw lines to modify multiple MIDI controllers. The status of that request has now been changed to pending but the Changelog says something about a freehand controller draw mode being available. I could see this being a useful improvement although I'm not sure how it is supposed to work and I really wanted the ability to draw straight lines so that we can quickly produce smooth, even fades which are a bit tricky to achieve with freehand drawing and often require tweaking afterwards.

I don't see how this freehand MIDI controller editing is supposed to work whilst click-dragging a controller still causes the controller and its associated note to get moved? Say I have 16 notes all at a velocity of 64 and I wanted to fade in from 0 to 127. I'd need to select the controllers then click drag out a (freehand) line from the first note at 0 then move my mouse up to 127 where the last note is but I can't do that because I just end up dragging the first note onto the last. With this latest svn commit it only works if the new values you are drawing are greater than the previous else you just move the selected controllers/notes.

rncbc's picture

how this freehand MIDI controller editing is supposed to work ?

a. it works with Edit/Select Mode/Edit On and Edit Draw both set (both pencil buttons are on) aka. free-hand editing mode.
b. it applies only to the velocities/controllers view pane of the midi clip editor (the pane below the main piano-roll, showing like a bar chart).
c. when no event is currently selected, click+drag works as before: creates new events, like in free-hand drawing new events.
d. when there are events selected, click+drag works to change the existing selected events values only, following the free-hand gestures of the mouse pointer.

having it follow a straight line has been thought but i like this free-hand mode best :) note that this way you can always retouch and correct the drawing while in the same gesture, no need for several click+drag interactions although undo/redo and esc may be your friends as always :)


ps. svn trunk rev.3035 (v0.5.6.7) now behaving on a mix of straight-line and free-hand drawing, all depending on click+drag direction. hope you like it :)

OK - thanks for explaining that. I'll try the new revision in a minute!


Cool stuff Rui!

I likey lovely liney!

Thank you v. much for that!


OK, so I think you can work around the controllers/notes getting moved to a degree by always starting drawing from the top end of a curve/slope but I would certainly still prefer proper, straight line drawing/modification of controllers and I'd love to see the back of notes getting moved by controllers. Can we put this out to vote (should controllers be able to move notes?) or is it a design decision you are set on?

rncbc's picture

I'd love to see the back of notes getting moved by controllers...
what do you mean? notes won't ever get moved by controllers.

afaict. the topic is about changing controllers values (which includes note velocities). their position in time is not moved.


ps. aha. as a matter of fact, it's true (and legal) that moving note velocity bars do actually change corresponding note event location over the time axis. how could it be any other way? :)

I don't think you should be allowed to move controllers - only edit (as in increase or decrease their value), create and delete them. You can't actually move controllers per se as doing that moves its associated note(s) and no-one is going to use the controller area to move notes because you can only move them along the time axis as you note so I'd recommend totally disabling the ability to move controllers.

I'm sure it goes without saying that if I move notes in the piano roll (which is the only way I will ever want to move notes) I expect the associated controllers to move with it of course, as they do.

Dunno if you've noticed but I raised this issue on the LM forums this morning and the only person who has replied to my post so far has agreed with me that moving controllers in the controller editing window is "pointless".

Hi Rui!

I've had another go with the new line draw feature and its potentially a killer new feature but either I don't understand how to use it properly yet or it needs to be implemented differently for me to be comfortable using it.

The problem stems for my and the users inevitable desire to use this new feature to draw a line going from left to right that starts at a lower controller value than what is currently present. New manually (by mouse click) entered notes default to having a velocity of 64 so its 50/50 that the line being drawn is going to want to start from below this threshold. So, the user (Dan) goes to draw out a line but finds he can't coz when he does the controller sat under the mouse pointer gets moved instead of a modifying line being created.

Unless I'm missing something here it seems the workaround for this controllers moving notes vs the new controller editor line draw feature is that if you want to edit controllers by drawing a left to right line then at least half of the time you must minimize at least 1 controller value to create an area of blank space to click within (so as to not end up moving a controller(s) and hence its note(s)), draw your line then manually reset the minimized controllers.

rncbc's picture

hi Dan,

there are some change on svn trunk already (rev.3038+, v0.5.6.9+) which disables the drag-moving of events when there are a selection up and ready for drawing some line-wise changes.



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