Setting Region Parameters

The parameters displayed in the Inspector’s Region Parameter box depend on the region type selected in the Arrange area. Some parameters are:

Note: The MIDI region parameters also apply to folders, and globally affect all MIDI regions within them.

Common Audio and MIDI Region Parameters

The following common parameters are available when either audio or MIDI regions are selected.

  • Quantize: All note events contained in the MIDI region are time-corrected to the (quantize) grid format chosen in the menu. Full details on all quantization functions available in Logic Express are found in Quantizing Audio and MIDI.
  • Q-Swing: This percentage value alters the position of every second point in the current quantization grid. Values over 50% delay the beats. Values under 50% pre-delay them. The most practical settings fall between 50% and 75%, imparting a swing feel to strictly quantized (or tightly played) audio or MIDI regions.
  • Loop: The playback of all region types can be continuously repeated by selecting the Loop checkbox, or through use of the Loop tool. (See Creating Region Loops.)
  • Delay: The playback of all region types can be delayed or advanced (this can be a positive or negative value) by ticks, or a musical format variable; for example, 1/96, 1/16, 1/192, and so on. (For more information, see Shifting the Playback Position of Regions.)
  • Advanced Quantization:  Q-Strength: This percentage value determines how far a note is shifted toward the nearest grid position. 100% results in full quantization; 0% leaves the note at its recorded position.
  • Advanced Quantization:  Q-Range: Q-Range is a very musical quantization strategy that requires a certain amount of technical musical prowess. It is ideal for recordings that already have the right groove, but are too hurried or laid-back in places. It allows you to retain the original feel, but positions the rhythmic center precisely in the groove. A value of 0 means that every note is quantized. If you enter negative Q-Range values, only notes that fall outside the set range are moved to ideal quantization grid positions, while notes closer to an ideal position remain unquantized. This moves the most poorly played notes (those outside the range) to perfect timing positions on the quantization grid, or at least towards these positions, depending on the Q-Strength setting.

MIDI Thru:  MIDI Region Defaults

If no region is selected, the upper line of the Region Parameter box displays MIDI Thru. Any live MIDI input (in Stop mode, as well as during recording or playback) is played with the settings chosen here. When you record a new MIDI region, the settings in the MIDI Thru Parameter box are carried across to the new MIDI region’s Parameter box. The MIDI Thru Parameter box can be viewed as an adjustable default Parameter box.

The MIDI Thru parameters can be adjusted when no regions are selected. Click the Arrange window background to deselect all regions.

Note: The Set Track and MIDI Thru Parameters by Region/Folder key command allows you to set the MIDI Thru parameters to match those of a selected MIDI region. This action also selects the region’s track.

Editing Several Regions Simultaneously

If several regions are selected, the number of selected regions is displayed, in place of a region name. If you alter any region parameter, all selected regions are affected. If a given parameter is set differently in the individual regions, an asterisk (*) appears in the Parameter field. You can alter this parameter for all selected regions, and the value differential will be retained (relative alteration). If you want to set all selected regions to the same value, hold down the Option key while changing the value (absolute alteration).

Audio Region Parameters

Audio region parameters vary, depending on the type of audio region selected:  basically, this is broken down into standard audio regions and Apple Loops.

The Fade and Gain parameters are only available when standard audio regions are selected.

  • Gain: This parameter adjusts the volume of individual audio regions by the chosen amount.
  • Fade In/Speed Up: This parameter allows you to switch between Fade In and Speed Up parameters, where you apply fade values for volume and playback, respectively.
  • Curve: This parameters adjusts the fade-in curve shape.
  • Fade/Slow Down: This parameter allows you to switch between Fade Out and Slow Down parameters, where you apply fade values for volume and playback, respectively.
  • Curve: This parameters adjusts the fade-out curve shape.

When Apple Loops (either green or blue) are added to audio tracks, the Transposition and Follow Tempo parameters are shown.

  • Transposition: This parameter adjusts the pitch of the Apple Loops audio region up or down by the chosen amount.
  • Follow Tempo: This parameter (on by default) allows Apple Loops to follow the project tempo.

MIDI Region Parameters

If you select a MIDI region (on a software or external MIDI track), the Region Parameter box displays the following MIDI region–specific parameters.

These parameters are also shown when a green Software Instrument Apple Loops file is added to a track routed to an instrument channel. (The Apple Loops instrument is loaded into the Instrument slot of the channel strip.)

  • Transposition: All note events contained in the MIDI region are transposed up or down by the selected amount during playback. Even complete folders can be instantly transposed in this way. If several individual MIDI regions within the folder have already been transposed, the relative differences between them are retained.

    If you want to transpose by octaves, click the arrows to the right of the Transposition parameter. A pop-up menu opens that allows direct octave transpositions.

    To guard against drum notes and so on being transposed, an instrument channel’s Parameter box contains a No Transpose checkbox. If you select this option, the Transpose parameter is ignored in all MIDI regions played by this instrument channel strip (including green Apple Loops added to tracks routed to instrument channels).

  • Velocity: All notes in the relevant MIDI region are offset by the selected value. Positive values add to the originally recorded velocity, and negative ones subtract from it, although naturally it is impossible to go outside the limits defined by the MIDI Standard (0–127). If you select a velocity offset that exceeds the maximum or minimum possible value for a particular note, that note will play at the extreme possible range. For example, a setting of +20 will cause a note with a velocity of 120 to play at 127.
  • Dynamics: This parameter also affects the velocity values of notes, but instead of adding or subtracting a fixed amount, the differences between soft and loud notes (the dynamics) are increased or decreased. This works in a similar way to a compressor or expander. Values above 100% expand the dynamics, thereby increasing the difference between loud and soft, while values below 100% compress the dynamics, reducing the differences between loud and soft.

    The Fixed setting causes all notes to be transmitted at a velocity value of 64. When used in conjunction with the Velocity parameter (see above), it is possible to set any fixed velocity value.

  • Gate Time: The term gate time stems from the technology used in analog synthesizers, and refers to the time between pressing and releasing a key. This parameter affects the absolute note duration or length. This should not be confused with the musical note value, which normally refers to the amount of time until the next note. The practical effect is to make the notes in the region more staccato or legato. The parameter range is related to the original note lengths. Fix produces extreme staccato. Values below 100% shorten the note lengths. Values above 100% lengthen the notes. The “legato” setting produces a completely legato effect for all notes, no matter what their original lengths, eliminating all space between notes in the affected region. If this is used on a folder, all notes in all MIDI regions in the folder are affected.
  • Clip Length: The point of this function is to allow you to alter the length of the last notes in a region directly from the Arrange area, by adjusting the length of the MIDI region. When turned on, any notes sounding when the region ends are abruptly cut off. When turned off, notes are played to their normal end point, regardless of where the region ends.
  • Score: The point of this function is mainly to prevent the score display of particular regions—namely those that only contain MIDI events that can’t be displayed in the score, such as controller or SysEx data. When turned off, the MIDI region is not displayed in the score at all.
  • Advanced Quantization:  Q-Flam: Notes with the same time position (chords) are spread out by this parameter. Positive values produce an ascending (upward) arpeggio; negative values a descending (downward) arpeggio. The position of the first note (either the bottom or top note, assuming all notes start at the same position) in the arpeggio is unaltered.
  • Advanced Quantization:  Q-Velocity: This parameter (expressed as a percentage) determines the amount that the velocity values of quantized notes are affected by the velocity values of a template MIDI region. At a value of 0%, the notes retain their original velocity. At 100%, they adopt the velocity values of the template. Negative values alter the velocity, making the deviation from the template even greater.
  • Advanced Quantization:  Q-Length: This parameter (also expressed as a percentage value) determines how the lengths of quantized notes are affected by the equivalent note lengths (notes at the same position) of a template MIDI region. A value of 0% has no effect, while at 100%, the notes adopt the exact note lengths of the template region. Negative values alter note lengths further, resulting in a more significant deviation from the template.

Fixing MIDI Region Parameters

You can normalize the MIDI region parameter settings of all selected MIDI regions and folders with the MIDI > Region Parameters > Normalize Region Parameters command.

This means that all settings are actually written as data, and playback parameters revert to normal values. The audible result remains the same. The Loop parameter and extended MIDI region parameters are not affected. Use of this function is effectively like saying “make these MIDI region/instrument parameter values permanent.” In most circumstances, it is better not to do this, as leaving the original data untouched provides more flexibility. This includes unlimited opportunities to change your mind about MIDI region edits.

Normalize and MIDI Channels

Like the Merge function and the Glue tool, the Normalize function is intelligent in the way it handles stored MIDI channel numbers. If all stored events have the same MIDI channel number, the channel is changed to that of the instrument assigned to the current track. If the events are on different channels, Logic Express asks whether or not you want to convert the event channels.

The following Normalize options are also available in the MIDI > Region Parameters menu:

  • Normalize without Channel: Leaves the stored channel number untouched.
  • Normalize without Channel & Delay: Leaves the stored channel number and Delay parameters untouched.

If the playback instrument has a channel setting of All, or you’re dealing with a completely different type of Environment object (a channel splitter used as A-Playback, for example), the stored MIDI channel numbers are also unaffected by the usual Normalize function.

Note: If you’re editing MIDI regions that appear as notation on a polyphonic staff style, it is recommended to use the Normalize without Channel function, as the event channel is used to assign notes to individual polyphonic voices in the Score Editor.