A complete overhaul of the key editor

The basic design of the key editor is quite old. As far as I know it didn’t change substancially since Atari times. Here is my suggestion for a complete revision:

  1. A freely definable division of the key editor into 3 vertical zones:
    a) A central zone for entering and editing the notes to be played (as already).
    b) One zone below and one above for key switches and other special MIDI events. The pitches of these zones should not be symbolized by keyboard keys on the left, but should be freely labeled, e.g. with the names of the key switches. The zone layout should be saved as a map (similar to drum maps). The upper and lower zone should be excluded from note transposition. And if the objection comes up that all this could be realized with expression maps: No, expression maps are unfortunately not suitable for every virtual instrument.
    Edit: The key editor allways shows all 127 notes. Most instruments use a much smaller range (e.g. the piano 88 keys). So most of the vertikal space is unused. Nowerdays, there are a lot of virtual instruments who have key switches below and above the playable note range to change articulations or switch special functions (e.g.pick ups in a virtual electric guitar). If you record or program the key switches, they are shown as notes in the editor which isn’t quite usefull.

  2. Editing velocity data: If notes lay close together on the time grid, their velocity bars overlap, making it difficult to impossible to change the velocity of a single note with the mouse without influencing the other. Unfortunately, selecting the note beforehand is of no use. You only can change them individually in the status bar by entering a numerical value. This is very cumbersome. I suggest that when notes are selected, only their velocity bars should be effected by dragging with the mouse.

  3. If you click on a “key” in the the vertikal keyboard zone on the left, the corresponding note is played back with the highest velocity, which can be very irritating especially for instruments with velocity switching. It would be better if the velocity depends on where you click on the keyboard (far left: quiet, far right: loud).

  4. As desired many times: Bezier curves for MIDI controllers.

Edit: I forgot this:

  1. An option to have the editor window always in front (all editors).

  2. If you open a MIDI-Part in the editor, sometimes the part is not fully visible, sometimes it fills only a small portion of the window - depending on the last zoom factor setting. There should be an option to show the part in full width within the editor window.

Did I express myself clearly? English is not my native language.

+1

also:

  • it would be great if you could have two linked key editor panes for editing two parts in unison.
  • there’s a bug where a note sometimes plays a semitone out when you adjust pitch with the up/down arrows it, been there at least 10 years
  • it would be good if the zoom setting in key edit could be a fixed relation to Arrange window zoom; not the same, but say 4x/8x closer in, and preserve that relationship as you zoom in and out.
  1. Editing velocity data: If notes lay close together on the time grid, their velocity bars overlap, making it difficult to impossible to change the velocity of a single note with the mouse without influencing the other. Unfortunately, selecting the note beforehand is of no use. You only can change them individually in the status bar by entering a numerical value. This is very cumbersome. I suggest that when notes are selected, only their velocity bars should be effected by dragging with the mouse.

You can press CTRL+SHIFT over the note and drag the mouse up or down to chang the velocity value , but 1+ .

  • Having the key editor always opened so if you click in a MIDI chunk, it shows in the key editor (like now) but if you delete the midi chunk, the editor doesn’t close.

  • Having the ability to navigate the different Midi parts inside the Key Editor (like Reaper does).

  • Show the time signatures, the tempo track and the markers INSIDE the Key editor (like all the other DAWS do ¬¬).

+1

I want to be able to split and glue events INSIDE the editor.

The Key Editor is overdue for an overhaul.

Articulation list in the Inspector like the one on the Info Line.

Fast:

  1. Select notes
  2. Click on the list
  3. Audition

Not Fast:

  1. Select notes
  2. Draw Tool
  3. Squint
  4. Draw articulation
  5. Audition

I edited my first post and added two more suggestions. Furthermore, I clarified suggestion 1.

I’ll add that all keys should have same vertical height in the grid, as suggested here:

Annual Request: Equal height vertical spacing in Key Editor

Comparison picture (Ableton vs Cubase)