Questions & Answers

closed [Completed 4.0] Note color intensity by velocity

+194 votes
asked Dec 12, 2015 in Completed Feature Requests by niles (52,500 points)
closed May 22, 2018 by niles

I would like to suggest a feature to change the intensity of the Note and Velocity bar color, based on the actual velocity of the note.
This is especially useful for a quick overview of short notes (e.g. drum triggers) at higher zoom levels.

This image below is the current visualization (horizontal velocity bar in note). As you can see, when zoomed out it's hard to see on the Notes itself what velocity they are. You always have to check the velocity bars below. This is tricky however when you have several Notes at the exact same position in time, so you are forced to zoom in to show the horizontal bar within the note, or select the note and check in the inspector, or hover the note. 

Current velocity visualization

A solution (the request) is to change the intensity of the note color instead of using the horizontal bar within the note. In the mock-up I did choose low intensity for low velocity and high intensity for high velocity (it's just an example, it's the change in intensity what matters). Now you can see the velocity of each note at a glance, without the need to zoom, check the inspector or hover.

Suggested velocity visualization

I know color saturation looks like a minor adjustment, but in busy parts this can be really quite helpful.

closed with the note: Completed in 4.0, thank you for voting and PreSonus thanks for listening!

10 Answers

+1 vote
answered Dec 12, 2015 by AlexTinsley (775,480 points)
Now that's how a feature request is written! Thank you for the suggestion Niles. The Studio One Development team is watching this Feature Request thread. If anyone else reading this likes what Niles is suggesting, please vote it up.
+2 votes
answered Dec 13, 2015 by niles (52,500 points)

Zirrex comment good question. I think the low intensity colors (low velocity) still need some distinct coloring to be able to distinguish them. I would personally think the best way to keep them apart is using color saturation. Maybe in steps of three starting from 30%. So the lowest velocity note is 30% saturation and the highest velocity note is 100% saturation. You will end up with something like this (left notes are lowest):

+7 votes
answered Dec 15, 2015 by niles (52,500 points)

Addition: Alternative solution (combination between current and suggested behavior)
An alternative solution would be to saturate only the bar and keep the base (background) of the note a constant value (like the image below). The downside is, the bar in shorts notes isn't drawn at every zoom level and longer notes with very low velocity are darker.

+1 vote
answered Dec 15, 2015 by niles (52,500 points)

Zirrex comment that doesn't work for exactly aligned notes. As mentioned in the request you need to zoom, hover, or click them to know their velocity. 

I can't illustrate it more clearly than this:


+1 vote
answered Feb 16, 2016 by Artem Reverse (1,250 points)
edited Feb 16, 2016 by Artem Reverse
Great feature request! + 1 That would be perfect if have it! (But as an option that can be enabled or disabled in the program settings )
–1 vote
answered Nov 29, 2016 by Michael1985 (7,970 points)
you have a bar inside the midi note which show the velocity, this bar could be a pop-up bar if hover over it if pressing a keyboard button.
+3 votes
answered Aug 15, 2017 by jazzundso (1,590 points)

Just a side note regarding the horizontal bar. This one is really useless if you have multiple notes with different lengths and you want to make them have the same velocity. Since the horiontal bar of course is relative to each note you can't really compare the horizontal bars of both notes and have to look at the velocity lanes at the bottom... so we really need a more sophisticated way of visualising note velocities.

Here's a typical piano recording that shows what I mean (screenshots are still V2 because my notes for this FR are from 2013):

Here's how MIDI editing of a similar part looks in my old Cubase 4:

For me that's quite handy... I immediately see which of the notes have the same velocity and which one I have to change to make the chord sound well-balanced.

Now you may ask how this plays together with multi part editing where every track / event has its own color. I think in this case Cubase has implemented it in a great way: You have a dropdown list in the editor where I can select how you want notes to be coloured (Velocity, Pitch, Channel, Part, PPQ grid, voice, chord track) ... sorry for the German captions ;-)

The standard coloring is blue for lowest velocity and red for the highest:

In my opinion that's nearly the perfect solution. In the settings you can adjust the color for lowest and for highest velocity. A nice enhancement for a S1 implementation would be to also have controls for setting opacities or color intensities. This way we could have both multi part editing with part colors and differently looking notes depending on the velocity (darker / brighter)..... or just two colors like in the Cubase screenshots :-)

+1 vote
answered Mar 21, 2018 by alexandergleich (4,460 points)
I’m really missing this feature from other DAWs to see the MIDI velocity. I actually didn’t understand the method of SO with the full/empty bars to indicate on a MIDI note until explained in a video tutorial ...
0 votes
answered Mar 25, 2018 by DrummaMan (2,480 points)
Cakewalk's Sonar Platinum had Velocity Shading for MIDI notes, which really made it easy to spot a "soft" note and adjust it.

You could also zoom in a LOT more for better/more accurate adjusting of each MIDI note with a Smart Tool.

Also - you could select ALL of the same MIDI note by clicking on the note on the keyboard to the left, which was a VERY handy feature for adjusting the velocity of the same note through the entire song!

Seeing that Cakewalk started off life as a MIDI-only editor, it's taking the rest of the DAW world to catch up, but from what I've seen, SOP will get there.
0 votes
answered Apr 2, 2018 by danielbayer (2,700 points)
I agree. It would also be a significant workflow improvement to be able to change the velocity with something like CMD+Scroll while hovering over a note or a selection of notes.