Exploring the Matrix Editor

With a drum kit assigned to the Audio Instrument track, you're ready to program some beats. Let's open the Matrix Editor and take a look at how this interface works. First things first, however. Before you can edit a MIDI Region, you need a MIDI Region to edit.


Grab the Pencil tool and click the Audio Instrument track at the same bar as your one-bar cycle.

An empty MIDI Region is created.


Double-click the new MIDI Region.

The Matrix Editor opens.


You can customize the color of the Matrix Editor. From the Matrix Editor's local menus, choose View > Matrix Colors to open Display Preferences. There you can set which colors will be used to represent both black and white keys, and even adjust the color of the grid to make it stand out from the background.

Along the left edge of the Matrix Editor there is a keyboard, and clicking its keys with the Arrow tool triggers playback of the Drum Kits instrument just as if you were playing a controller keyboard.


Along the Matrix Editor's left edge, click the keyboard's keys.

The Drum Kits instrument plays.


Logic's Global Preferences pane's Editing tab has a pop-up menu labeled "Double-clicking a MIDI Region opens." You can set this preference so that double-clicking a MIDI region opens any of Logic's MIDI editors. By default, this preference is set to open the Matrix Editor.

Adding Notes with the Pencil Tool

The Pencil tool provides the primary way to add notes to the Matrix Editor. Using the Pencil tool, you can simply click in the Matrix Editor to add a note.


From the Matrix Editor's toolbox, grab the Pencil tool.


On the Matrix Editor's keyboard, click keys until you find the note you want to add.


Paying particular attention to the time grid, click with the Pencil tool in the Matrix Editor to create a note.

New notes are always created at the same duration and velocity as the last note selected in the Matrix Editor (velocity is covered a bit later in this lesson). Consequently, your note may be of a different duration than the one pictured above. However, that is easy to change.


Position the Pencil tool over the right edge of the new note and drag until the note is of the correct duration.


Logic's Arrow tool can be a bit finicky, so dragging the lower corner of the note sometimes moves it instead of resizing it. If this happens, force Logic to obey your wishes by grabbing the Finger tool. This tool's only function is to resize notes, so the note is sure not to move.

You probably noticed that the note's edge snaps along to certain timing values as you drag to resize it. The values the note snaps to are defined by the Matrix Editor's current zoom value. To temporarily deactivate snapping, begin resizing the note and then press the Ctrl key. To "gear down" while resizing a note, hold down Ctrl-Shift as you dragthe note will resize slowly, letting you set its duration very accurately..


Add another note to the Matrix Editor.

The new note is of exactly the same duration as the last one selected.


If you have several notes of different durations in the Matrix editor, select a note of the duration you want your new note to be before creating the new note. The new note will be created using the same duration as the last note selected.

Adding Notes with a MIDI Controller

Adding notes with the Pencil tool works fine, but it is often easier to play notes into the Matrix Editor using a MIDI controller. Here's how it's done.


Use your MIDI controller to find the note you want to add.


In the top left corner of the Matrix Editor, click the Toggle MIDI In button to turn it on.

As you'll see in a second, when you add notes using a MIDI controller, the new note is always added at the SPL's position. Consequently, you must move the SPL to the place where you want the new note before adding the note.


Click the Bar Ruler to position the SPL where you want the new note to be added.

The SPL moves to the clicked position. When you input notes using a MIDI controller, the new notes are added to the Matrix Editor using duration settings from Logic's Step Input Keyboard. Let's open it up and take a look.


Choose Windows > Step Input Keyboard. The Step Input Keyboard opens with several note duration values in the top left corner.


On the Step Input Keyboard, choose a note duration.


On your MIDI controller, play the key for the note you wish to add.

The note is added to the Matrix Editor, and the SPL jumps to the end of the new note.


Click the Toggle MIDI In button to turn it off so that you don't accidentally add any new notes by pressing keys on your MIDI controller.


Close the Step Input Keyboard.

Repositioning Notes

From time to time you might drop a note on the wrong keyit happens! Fortunately, it's easy to reposition notes in the Matrix Editor. In fact, you can do so using either the Arrow tool or a MIDI controller. The following steps show you both methods.


From the Matrix Editor's toolbox, grab the Arrow tool.


Grab a note and drag it to a new position in the Matrix Editor.

Notice that Logic triggers the sound of the keys you drag the note over. This lets you audition keys to ensure that you drop the note on the correct one. However, you can disable this feature.


In the top left corner of the Matrix Editor, click the Toggle MIDI Out button to turn it off.


Once again, grab the note and drag it to a new position.

You no longer hear the keys as you drag the note past them.


Click the Toggle MIDI Out button to turn it on again.

In general, it's best to have this button on as you edit.

So, dragging notes is a good way to reposition them, but you can do the same thing a bit quicker using a MIDI controller.


In the top left corner of the Matrix Editor, double-click the Toggle MIDI In button.

Take a close look at the Toggle MIDI In button. Notice that double-clicking the button causes a Lock icon to appear on the left side of it.


In the Matrix Editor, select the note you wish to reposition.


Press a key on your MIDI controller.

The note jumps to the played key.


If you have multiple notes selected in the Matrix Editor, this trick moves them all to the pressed key.


Click the Toggle MIDI In button to turn it off so that you don't accidentally reposition other selected notes.

Setting Note Velocity

The notes in the Matrix Editor can be several different colors, with the colors representing their velocity values. Each note also has a horizontal line that stretches backward from its front edge, and the length of this line in relation to the length of the note is also an indicator of its velocity.

Note Color vs. Velocity Value


Velocity Value



Dark blue


Light blue


Light green











Grab the bottom right corner of any note in the Matrix Editor and drag right to increase the note's duration.

When experimenting with velocity, it helps to use a note with a long duration so that you can see how velocity affects the thin horizontal line stretching back from the front of the note.


From the Matrix Editor's toolbox, grab the Velocity tool.

The Velocity tool has a V on it, and as you may have guessed, it's used to change a note's velocity.


With the Velocity tool, click and hold the long note, then drag up and down.

The note's color changes and the thin line grows longer or shorter to indicate the changing velocity. As you drag, the note plays at each new velocity so that you can hear the results of your edit.

You can also adjust the velocity of multiple notes at one time:


With the Velocity tool, rubber-band select several notes.


With the Velocity tool, click and hold any selected note, then drag up and down.

All the selected notes change velocity together, but in a very smart wayeach note keeps its velocity relative to the others. Consequently, notes with higher velocities will retain their higher velocities.


When you're adjusting the velocities of multiple selected notes, once any note reaches a velocity of either 0 or 127, it is no longer possible to edit any of the selected notes further.

Quantizing Notes

Quantization corrects the rhythm of notes so that they conform to a specific time grid. Logic actually records two positions for each note in a sequence. The first is the note's original position, and the second is its playback, or quantized, position (for sequences that are not quantized, both positions are exactly the same). This fact means that quantization settings are nondestructiveonly the playback position (not the original note position) is changed. If you quantize a sequence but later decide you want to revert to the nonquantized version, just turn quantization off and your notes will revert to their original positions inside the sequence.

While quantization is typically used to "clean up" the recording of a loose performance, it is equally effective at "humanizing" the timing of a sequence programmed using the Matrix Editor. For example, the notes you've entered are strictly quantized to Logic's time grid. This is great if you're producing techno or machine music à la Kraftwerk, but often such a rigid timing structure does not produce natural-sounding music. Logic has several swing quantization settings that can reverse the effect of rigidly quantized notes to make them sound as if a personnot a computeris playing them.

Swing-quantizing works exactly the same way as other methods of quantizing, so let's experiment a bit with swing-quantizing the notes in your sequence.


From the Matrix Editor's toolbox, grab the Quantize tool (the one with the Q on top).


With the Quantize tool, rubber-band select the notes in the Matrix Editor.


Click and hold any of the selected notes.

A menu of quantization values appears.

To help you put a bit more of an organic gloss on your MIDI Regions, the top of the quantization menu holds several swing settings. Let's choose one now.


In the middle of the quantization menu there's an Off setting that turns quantization off and returns the notes to their nonquantized position in the sequence.


From the quantization menu, select a swing quantization option.

Some notes shift off the standard time grid. Not all the notes shiftonly enough shift to give the sequence more of a human feel.


Swing quantization is more noticeable if you have many notes in the Matrix Editor. In the next figure there are only three notes, but even still you can see how the second and third notes have shifted off the time grid. For this example, an eighth-note swing quantization was used.


Press the spacebar to play the song.


Choose a quantization setting you like.


Press the spacebar to stop playback.

    Apple Pro Training Series Logic Pro 7 and Logic Express 7
    Apple Pro Training Series: Logic Pro 7 and Logic Express 7
    ISBN: 032125614X
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 197
    Authors: Martin Sitter

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