A sequence is built up with "events". The most known type of event is a Note event, which plays a note on the target sound module. Another event type is Pitch Bend, which changes the pitch while a note is playing.
The Sequence Editor consists of 2 sub-editors: the Note Editor where you can draw and edit the note events, and the Event Graph Editor below the Note Editor, where you can edit note velocities and controller and parameter curves.
There is a horizontal splitter between the two that you can drag up and down, so you can divide the workspace as you whish.
Below these 2 editors there also area 4 small horizontal panels, from left to right:
- Event Property Panel: Shows the Time, Key, Velocity, Length and MIDI channel of the first selected note event.
You can change these properties and this will also be relatively applied to any other selected events.
Only the MIDI channel is copied absolutely to other selected events.
- Grid Panel: Lets you select the current grid. It also has a switch to quickly turn on/off the current grid.
To rename, add, edit, remove or open/save preset grids, click the grids' options button.
You can even extract grids from audio eg. drum loops. Details on the Grids doc page.
- Tool Panel: Lets you select the arrow tool or the pencil tool.
- Cursor Display: Shows the musical values at the current mouse position.
Ok lets go more into detail about the Note Editor (upper section) and the Event Graph Editor (lower section):
The below picture demonstrates what you can do with the arrow and pencil mouse tools:
* Note that there is a preference "Right-Click = Deletes Notes" that also let you delete notes by right-clicking the start/end of a note. See the preference panel for more info.
Each sequence can have its own independent loop.
This means you can build up a composition with a sequence looping every 8 beats while another sequence is looping every 12 beats.
This also allows for nice poly-rhythmic music.
By default, when drawing a new sequence part, the sequence is looped over the part length, as you drew it.
You can change the sequence loop by dragging the loop markers or via a right-click the timebar and choose "Set Loop Start" and "Set Loop End".
You can also change the sequence loop length via right-click on the loop start/end marker -> "Change Loop Length".
The sequence part start marker defines where the part starts playing the sequence.
This start marker is also automatically used when splitting sequence parts.
If there is no explicit start marker then it starts playing at the sequence loop start.
If there is no explicit loop start then it starts playing at the start of the sequence.
Note that the sequence loop is a sequence property so all parts playing sequence X will play that same sequence loop.
However the start marker is a part property and can differ from part to part even when they play the same sequence, for example after splitting a shared sequence part.
- To pan/zoom the editor, use the standard editor navigation methods.
- You set the sequence loop markers via the timebar's context menu.
- Click the piano keyboard to play a key. This can also be recorded by clicking the main record button.
- Right-click the piano keyboard for extra options.
- A lot of operations can be done on multiple notes at once. Just select the notes you want to include in the operation.
- Pasting notes happens at the 'focused position', that is the position where you last clicked the mouse or pressed a key. (eg a 'Paste' shortcut key)
- When the target module of this sequence part is using key names, then the left side won't show a keyboard but will show these key names. Especialy handy when using drum sets with key names like "Kick", "Snare" etc.
- Drag-dropping a MIDI or MuSequence file onto the sequence editor will merge that file into the sequence.
- When changing the length of a note while there is a selection of notes you get the question how to change the lengths of the other notes: Absolute - Relative - Percentual - This 1 Only - Cancel.
Suppose there are 2 notes, the first note is 1 beat long, the second note is 2 beats long.
Now you select them both and increase the length of the first note to 2 beats, then:
- "Absolute" will make the second note also 2 beats long
- "Relative" will make the second note 3 beats long. (+ 1 beat)
- "Percentual" will make the second note 4 beats long (100% increase)
- "This 1 Only" will only change the note you changed
- [Alt]+double-clicking the length display in the event property panel allows editing the length by editing the event's end time. This also allows to see the exact end time of an event.
The Event Graph Editor can work in 2 different modes: Bar mode, e.g. to edit velocity bars, and curve mode, e.g. to edit a MIDI controller or parameter curve. MuLab automatically selects the proper mode.
Tip: If you want to automate MIDI controllers and plug-in module parameters, you can also use multi-point envelope parts, see the composer doc page.
By clicking on the left side of the Event Graph Editor, you can select what you want to edit.
The below picture demonstrates what you can do with the mouse in bar mode:
The below picture demonstrates what you can do with the mouse in curve mode:
|Using multiple MIDI channels|
MIDI channels come into play when you want to address the different sub-sections in a module, for example a multi-timbral synth.
A multi-timbral synth can generate different sounds at the same time, each controlled by its own MIDI channel. But there are more situations where the use of MIDI channels can be handy.
By default, tracks play on MIDI channel 1. You can change this via the track's context menu -> Choose MIDI Channel.
By default, sub-tracks use the same MIDI channel as their parent track, but you can change this too.
You can also set a track's MIDI channel to "Per Part" so you can define the MIDI channel per part via the part's context menu -> Choose MIDI Channel.
And if you set a part's MIDI channel to "Per Event", well then you can define the MIDI channel on event level.
In this case new drawn notes get the focused MIDI channel which can be changed via right-click on the sequence editor background -> Editor -> Choose Focused Channel.
You can also use the Sequence->Functions->Change MIDI Channel function or use the Event Property Panel (see above) to edit the MIDI channel of individual events.
Note about the sequence editor's context menu
When you popup the sequence editor's context menu, you'll see that there is a "Part" menu group, a "Sequence" menu group and an a "Editor" menu group.
A part is not a sequence, it are two different types of objects, and therefore they each have their own context functions, both accessible via the sequence editor's context menu.
So if you want to change the MIDI channel for a bunch of events, then don't use the Part->Choose MIDI Channel function as that will set the MIDI channel for the whole sequence part!
Instead use Editor->Choose Focused Channel to define the MIDI channel for new drawn notes, or use Sequence->Functions->Change MIDI Channel to change the MIDI channel of existing notes.