[Ardour-Users] MIDI velocity editing facilities

Nando nandinga at gmail.com
Tue Sep 20 07:15:58 PDT 2011

Hi people!

I was writing a feature request in Mantis, but after filling it, thought
that it should come here first for discussion. Copy&paste follows :)

*0004324: A3 should have MIDI velocity editing facilities*

Not sure if it is the time now (on alpha10) but I think this is important:

It is crucial for a MIDI editor to be flexible about velocity values, in
order to produce more close-to-reality results.

MIDI velocity values normally vary not individually but in relation to its
neighbors e.g. build-ups, accents, rolls, etc. This is why a velocity editor
should offer the possibility to edit values of groups, as opposed to
note-by-note editing.

This is what regular "bar graph velocity editors" allow, when e.g. drawing
an ascending line to create a build-up, or "humanizing" velocities (randomly
increasing/decreasing the values for selected notes).

Several changes are needed for implementing one such editor in A3, but there
might be other alternatives. I can think of one, and that is working with
dialogs over selected notes.

With this approach we could select a bunch of notes, right-click and select
from the menu:

- Randomize velocities: Dialog asks the velocity range.
- Build-up: Dialog asks min and max velocities, and maybe shape of the

Changing channels (current right-click assignment) is also important for
expressiveness, so we could leave it as is but with a key modifier.

Also in the menu we could offer other non velocity related options like the

- Humanize (randomizing the position in time of the notes)
- Transpose
- Quantize
- even copy&paste?

I understand that every one of this options is a feature itself, but they
don't need to be implemented at once. This approach can give us functional
flexibility while reducing the development effort. If the need or the will
to develop a graphical velocity editor of any sort arises later, the
algorithms could be reused, so only the dialogs would be thrown away.

This is probably a feature to take into account for the release of A3, that
will be offering MIDI sequencing capabilities as one of its main

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