MIDI editing

h2. Introduction

Google summer of code 2006 is giving us a framework to use midi in Ardour. But what to do with it?

The goal of this design project is to specify all relevant user visible aspects of MIDI in Ardour, aiming for optimal usability.

Usability should be understood as the combination of effectivity, efficiency and user satisfaction, where each point builds on the previous.

h2. User Tasks

Tasks as seen from the point of view of the user can point as to expectations, needs and wants.

  • Recording a take in realtime
  • Step recording
  • Programming patterns in relationship to each other
  • Editing recorded MIDI
  • Arranging

h2. Event flow

Recording and playback
Processing (effects, LV2)

h2. Manual editing

Mouse control
Alphanumeric Keyboard control

h2. Special uses of MIDI

Lighting control
Controling Ardour

h2. Notes / Todo

Timing relative to bars:beats / absolute
Editor window linking and following playhead
Send notes on edit (sound on adding notes)

How about Score editing? Isn´t that important for Midi, too? At least a score view…

I think score view/edit falls outside the scope of what ardour can and should do. Ardour is a professional studio application, not composer/arranger tool. Also, score-[anything] doesn’t nicely fit in with the strict timeline-based view that most professional audio workstations implement. It should be obvious where a certain event starts and stops in the context of frames/seconds (a continuous timeline), not in the context of the idea of bars and beats.

That said, I could sure make use of some score printing from time to time (as i am kind of a composer). My mind is wandering here, but maybe in the future it could be possible to “export” midi tracks through jack midi using jack freewheeling, or some other technique, into a score typesetting application.

I agree that score view/edit is probably outside of scope. However, for MIDI implementation to work properly (IMO), ardour will need to understand how to convert midi clock to BPM’s and adjust the bar/beats scale accordingly. This is exactly what would be required for score work…

Personally this is one of the current annoyances of using Ardour synced with a MIDI sequencer at the moment, as I have to ignore the bar/beats scale within ardour and need to display the transport controller from MusE to see where I am (especially when synced with external MIDI gear).

Back to score viewing and printing it would be enough for ardour to export the MIDI to a standard type 1 MIDI file. This could be imported by Lilypond or musescore or any other specialised score app.

When I was at uni, it was considered standard practice to write/record in a sequencer but create the published version in a specialised scoring application (Finale I believe).


There is open source Score Editing software, some quite developed. Why not integrate it, or even just tack it on?


Having basic midi functionality (record, piano-roll edit, list edit, quantize, quantize percentage, groove quantize, swing quantize & hopefully advanced swing quantize, various midi operations like scale velocities, edit controllers, etc) is a must, along with soft-synth (hopefully VST and AU on the Mac) plugin support, far more important than Score Editing IMHO.

Score editing would be nice for those who are used to working that way, although I would bet that is the minority.


MPL is a tool to make changes to MIDI files in batch and to process (send and receive) MIDI messages in real time. You can use it to automate your MIDI file editing work. Or build your own real time MIDI tools, like sequencers or arpeggiators.


Ardour is a digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio.
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Ardour 2.0 is now available for download. This version is a significant improvement over the 0.99 series (1.0 was never released), with many new features and enhancements to performance and stability.
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n midi editing, you can change single notes or even the specific instrument that plays those notes.
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One of the advantages of using a MIDI sequencer to produce music is that you can edit any aspect of a musical performance or arrangement.
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Congrats, this is great news! I’m looking forward to not needing to use X11. I’ll bet that this will be a boon to other GTK apps as well, S/A GINP, Inkscape, and the host of other portable linux audio apps. Buy Research Papers.

This editing tool is straight forward type one.

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Congratulations for this efficient work. Keep up the good job! Adour will get financed, I pray for it

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Well, everything can be fixed. What you need is a simple and user-friendly MIDI editor that would allow you to accomplish your task without wasting time on getting used to the interface.

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Ardour 2.0 is now available for download.You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio.One of the advantages of using a MIDI sequencer to produce music is that you can edit any aspect of a musical performance…
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Anvil Studio is a program for editing MIDI files using digital music and percussions. You can apply lots of music effects, change tones and various filters. …

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