Trouble moving MIDI notes in time

I’m learning how to work with MIDI in Ardour (7.2 on MacOS 12.6.1), and I’m having trouble using the mouse to move MIDI notes in time as (for example) Unfa does here in his Ardour/MIDI masterclass. Specifically, when I select a note in Edit mode, I can move it vertically (pitch) with the mouse, but I can find no way to move it horizontally (time). I’ve tried every button/modifier combination to no avail. What might I be missing?

A related question/suggestion about keyboard shortcuts. The manual says that the keyboard left/right arrow keys move selected MIDI notes in time, but it doesn’t specify by how much time, nor how that is controlled. The Keyboard Shortcuts window suggests that unmodified arrows nudge by “grid” distance and Ctrl-arrows by “1/4 grid” distance. But it doesn’t seem that this “grid” is related to the grid/snap settings? Trial-and-error suggests–is this determined instead by the period designated in the “nudge clock”? (So maybe the Keyboard Shortcuts could say “nudge” and “1/4 nudge” and the manual entry on “Nudge Controls” could clarify to which kinds of selectable objects this is applied?)

Thank you!

Regarding ‘can’t move the MIDI note’, the most likely answer is that you’ve enabled ‘Lock’ mode for the editor. You’ll find a pulldown menu near the top-left of the editor canvas. Lock mode is intended to allow you to trim and delete regions without accidentally nudging their timing off.

It is debatable whether Lock should apply to midi note edits. But I just tried it, and it does behave exactly as you’ve described.

Regarding nudge: the behavior around arrow keys, grid, nudge clock, selection/no-selection, etc , has changed many times over the years.

In my opinion, these rules should be

  • If there is a selection (notes, regions, or control points) then clicking an arrow key should nudge the selected items in time.
  • If there is no selection, then clicking the arrow should nudge the playhead position
  • If a Grid is selected, the value of a nudge should be “the granularity of the visible grid, on the edit window”.
  • If “No Grid” is selected, the value of a nudge should be defined by the nudge clock. side note: we should add a right-click menu that gives you an easier selection of nudge values like 1/16, without having to type them in as ticks.

I don’t guarantee that any of this is true right now, but that’s how I think it should work.

Yes! This solved it. Definitely non-obvious–the manual says the edit mode “affects how regions are moved or copied” with no mention of how this interacts with midi editing. Thank you!

That all sounds sensible to me… but as far as I can tell, the grid (or “No Grid”) selection has no effect on the value of a nudge, whether the selection is a MIDI note or anything else. At the moment…

(FWIW, the relationship between the selection and the effect of the arrow keys indeed does not seem to be as you think it should be. In particular, when a region is selected, the arrow keys still nudge the playhead, though the “nudge clock arrow” buttons do nudge the region.)

Thanks again for the help and clarity!

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