Adding New Notes

MIDI notes can be added a few different way in Ardour:

Using the mouse

Drawing notes with the mouse requires that a MIDI track exists, and a blank MIDI region has been created in this track.

In either Draw or Internal Edit Mode new notes can be added with a click or drag: a mouse click creates a note at the pointer location (or the nearest grid anchor if grid is enabled), and its duration is one Grid unit. A mouse drag creates the note like a click does, but allows continuously setting the duration of the note until the mouse button is released.

The toolbar available in the Draw mode helps drawing notes of exact length, in a certain MIDI channel, with predefined velocity:

MIDI draw toolbar
MIDI draw toolbar

While the Velocity drop-down list only displays presets, you can hover it and use mouse wheel scrolling to increment the current value by 1. Scrolling above the other two drop-down lists will cycle through the presets.

The Auto option in three drop-down lists works differently in all three cases:

Length The length will be defined by the grid snapping setting
Channel This value will be inherited from the closest note
Velocity The value will be an interpolation between two closest notes, the position of the newly added note relative to either of the two notes will also be taken into consideration

Using Step Entry

The Step Entry editor allows to enter a melody in sequence along time, using a virtual keyboard and specific controls. It can be a very handy and fast way to create MIDI lines, in a kind of typewriter way, all the more when using its different keyboard shortcuts.

The Step Entry window is shown by right clicking the record button in the MIDI track header and selecting Step Entry. This will automatically create a MIDI region to type into at the playhead position, which will automatically expand at each step.

Using the Virtual Keyboard

The Virtual MIDI Keyboard — or a real MIDI keyboard plugged in as the tracks input — can be used to record MIDI, as a microphone would record audio.

It can be started by choosing the Window > Virtual Keyboard menu. Exactly like for audio recording, the track(s) must be armed for recording, the main record engaged, then the transport started. As for the Step Entry, a MIDI region will be auto-generated at the playhead position, and expanded as long as the recording lasts.

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