[Ardour-Dev] let's talk about MIDI regions

Ed Ward edwsaintesprit at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 6 10:53:26 PST 2017

Hi Tim, all,

If you are constantly switching perhaps you do need a separate MIDI editing interface...

That looks (to me) to be the main point of incomprehension for the begginer and the most cumbersome task when editing. YMMV, as some other points can prove to be difficult:
- copying/pasting from one region to another
- editing velocities for chords notes
- prevent "illegal" MIDI notes
BTW, listing those difficulties and aims could be a good starting point to think about a solution that encompasses most of them.

I'd be surprised if switching tools automatically ends up working well.

I don't get why. Switching from "sequencer mode" (i.e. grab mode tool) to "editor mode" (i.e. edit mode, with the region selected) would be quite time-saving, and made obvious by switching from grab to edit mode (with the region changing its background color). That would just be a way to switch mode and tool together, on canvas.

With that said, I get that you (and probably the dev team) thinks about more deep, structural modifications, and I'm pretty sure someone will propose something better, in the sense that it solves more problems at once. IMHO, editing midi in a floating window would be a step backwards, but that's only my 2 cts as a user.

Best regards,


De : Tim Mayberry <mojofunk at gmail.com>
Envoyé : lundi 6 mars 2017 16:01
À : Ed Ward
Cc : ardour-dev at lists.ardour.org
Objet : Re: [Ardour-Dev] let's talk about MIDI regions

On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 9:03 AM, Ed Ward <edwsaintesprit at hotmail.com<mailto:edwsaintesprit at hotmail.com>> wrote:


I (respectfully !) disagree with using a separate context for MIDI editing for numerous reasons :

- it disrupts the workflow and decontextualizes the editing (i.e. how to align with an audio segment ?)

I would agree that In-place editing is a good method in many instances but there are some cases where a dedicated MIDI Editor window is appropriate. There are other methods of editing MIDI data that may not be ideal in the context of the Editor, we currently only really support the equivalent of a key editor and the percussive note mode supports some features of a "Drum" style editor but there could also be a score editor, list/tracker editor/etc.

Overall I would say that the In-place editing is starting to work a lot better in recent releases and there are still improvements being made.

If there was going to be some other entirely different kind of MIDI Track and editing it should probably be implemented as separately as possible and in parallel to the existing system IMO until there is some consensus that it is superior.

- the space has to be found in Ardour's window, replacing something (obviously) probably useful

A Separate context could refer to a separate window and not compete for space in the Editor window, although some DAW's can place the editor in a separate pane in the Editor itself (that is often also used for other things).

As is, the midi system is a sequencer that can turn into an editor at the click of a button, which is particularly powerfull. I agree there are some oddities, but a disruptive modification would (imho, again) simply dumb down the system to achieve an uncertain result, based on what's done in other editors.

I think the main oddity is the constant switch between the editor and sequencer modes with the edit tool. Maybe that could be solved as:

If you are constantly switching perhaps you do need a separate MIDI editing interface...

- clicking on an empty zone of the canvas creates a region

With which tool/mode are you suggesting this occurs? As the Draw mode/tool does this already.

- double clicking on a region allows to edit it (instead of showing the region properties)

This is already possible with the Editor -> "Double click zooms to selection" preference enabled. Then Shift+Z to toggle/revert zoom state. It does not change tool/mode though atm.

- clicking anywhere outside the region (be it on the same track or not) switches back to grab mode.

I'd be surprised if switching tools automatically ends up working well.

This workflow is close to what's used in e.g. graphic design programs (vector or raster), see text in Inkscape as an exemple. It would retain what we love in Ardour (linked regions) but make inputung MIDI feel more natural.

As a side note, maybe each region in a track could have a different color if they are not linked, so that we could immediately see which regions are linked and which are not. Or if it's too much color, maybe a floating "chain" icon in the top left near the name of the region, that could be clicked to unlink it ?

There are a number of reports regarding this issue in the tracker. I'm sure similar functionality will get implemented eventually.


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