Efficient MIDI Note Editing Tutorial In Ableton Live

Here are 6 tips to work more efficiently when editing MIDI Notes in Ableton Live’s Piano Roll view.



1. Double Click To Draw And Erase Notes

A few people overlook this one (including myself for awhile). In Live’s MIDI Editor instead of entering “Draw Mode”, double click to draw in notes in a desired area. Double click the note to erase it.

Double click to add and erase notes in Ableton’s MIDI editor.

2. Hold Shift+Up Or Down Arrow To Change Octaves

While your note(s) are selected, hold down the shift button and press the up or down arrow key will automatically shift an octave up (up arrow) or down (down arrow).

3. Select All Notes With Ctrl+A

Sometimes it can be hard to see note values if they are an octave or two higher. Rather than hunting every single down down, just hit Ctrl+A to select all the notes in Live’s MIDI editor. Use the above octave shifting tip in conjunction with this to change the octave of whole sequences.

Notes that aren’t even seen in the higher register are selected with Ctrl+A.

4. Use Ctrl+1 And Ctrl+2 For Grid Changes

If you’re set to a fixed grid, Ctrl+1 can shrink your Grid Snap all the way to the point of it being turned off. Live has the unbelievable ability to shrink the grid all the way to 16,384 notes per measure!

Use Ctrl+1 to shrink Your Grid lines. Check out the bottom right of the screen. 1/16,384 means 16,384 grid lines per measure.

Ctrl+2 will enlarge the Grid Snap to 512/1. Which is essentially one grid line every 512 measures. Once again, a ridiculous amount of grid control.

Ctrl+2 enlarges the amount of space between grid lines. The lowest it will go is 512/1 or 1 Grid Line every 512 measures.

5. Change Velocity By Holding Alt

Change the velocity of notes quickly by holding Alt while clicking on the note and either drag up or down with your mouse. This is a great way to quickly add a human feel to programmed MIDI notes.

Change MIDI Velocity data quickly by holding Alt, clicking and holding on the note and dragging up or down.

6. Quick Change To Triplet Mode With Ctrl+3

Great for changing your grid quickly back and forth between triplet and and standard grids. I like to program drums in fixed 1/16 or 1/8 grid mode, and mess with triplet options for some pretty interesting rhythmic patterns.


Have any tips you use to edit MIDI notes more efficiently in Ableton Live? Share them by leaving a comment below!

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