Questions & Answers

Custom Colors for Midi notes and Zones!

+6 votes
asked Nov 22, 2022 in MIDI Editing by viccapota (640 points)

Hello, i am looking to buy a second DAW for preproduction sessions and.or production sessions before importing stems to pro tools for mixing sessions. But i still cannot find a DAW with any intuitive color assigning for midi drum entering and editing.  It seems that not a single company understands this need except for maybe Avid coming close if you just custom color seperate midi tracks and stretch either the tracks or notes to be any height. But iut all should be on the same midi track.  Here is a sample of how I have my avid pro tools session but the only way to do this in Pro tools is by assigning different midi tracks.  But as you can see here, I have my kicks in blue, my group of 4-5 snare hits in red and my hats and cymbals on top of that in gold (although i plan to later make a different color for only the high hats to place below the crashes and chinas.). But this should all be available on the same midi track or instrument track and i dont know why even in Avid i have to make seperate tracks to be able to accomplish this.


Therefore my request is, - Can your company please make it so that on the same piano midi track (and also the drum grid editor as well) but especially just regular midi tracks - for one to be able to assign colors customized to the type of drum hit note as either single notes colored custom any color OR to the drum type group or articulation group as colors 'zones?  In other words for either the note or zone of notes to be custom color assigned for whatever number of notes we assign?  And going along with that naturally-  to subtly make the empty background for that grid on the piano roll to be based on a very light saturation of that color note line or group of lines to be a slight backlight shading of a subtle version for matching that color for the keyboard "zone" assigned but still matching somewhat as a slighty darker black key of the same ue but darker? But as you can see from the Screen Shot Avid only made it so that the black piano keys have the subtle backround of the hue but it would be nice if the lighter part also had a very subtle background color shade too. 

That way it would be very easy to select from hits without guessing that it is all the time or having to remember the row which is so tedious and non-intuitive as is now in nearly all DAWs except for Avid somewhat recifying this but not really resolved for a one-track need for this.    I really hope i can find the assurance and peace of mind that something of this sort will be forthcoming someday.  I am not the only person requesting this there are others who have started forum threads about it if you search.  

7 Answers

0 votes
answered Nov 27, 2022 by wcookjr (2,030 points)
selected Nov 30, 2022 by viccapota
Best answer

But also, would be very nice to be able to collapse/expand row groups for lets say a group of high hat variations where you only have one representative variation showing for the group at any particular time so as to simplify drum creation on the fly sometimes.

I'm totally with you on this... I was actually just thinking about this yesterday. If you could just notate everything under general midi mapping it would be easier since all drum samplers like SSD5, SD3, Drumforge, etc have a GM mapping option. Then you could expand, for example, the hi hat and it would open up all the articulations available within the sampler like all the levels of opening with the tip or shank. That way, if you're wanting to condense everything you can collapse that folder and it will still show all the notes, but condensed onto one line as opposed to the 10-20 different lines of articulations of which some might have only one instance throughout the whole song

0 votes
answered Nov 22, 2022 by viccapota (640 points)
oh and i forgot to say the purple hits are the three rack toms and two floor toms.
+1 vote
answered Nov 22, 2022 by princeagrawal (13,500 points)

You can do that in Studio One. 

In the piano roll, you can select the option to color notes by pitch and have S1 auto-assign color to notes on each of the pitches like below : 

Also, you can do that in the pattern editor, and manually select a color for each lane. When using Impact XT, each lane automatically inherits the color of the Impact XT pad color. like so : 

0 votes
answered Nov 24, 2022 by viccapota (640 points)
edited Nov 24, 2022 by viccapota
Ok but you have not fully understood hat I have written.  And I dont use Impact XT. I use Toontrack EZ drummer.

While the grid editor is ok,  Im not sure if this is fully it..

 Also with regards to the piano roll, this is incorrect... one is currently not able to change rows of two or more adjacent notes to a grouped color on the piano roll.   All you have demonstrated is the ability to change notes by pitch in ascending color with every note.  That is not what I have requested. And the subtle background shading there is not present nor the grouping visual cues which would be nice (all this i just for people who dont prefer working in the grid editor. But I will try the grid editor as well.

In addition,  versatility in being able to change some rows to triplets or dotted on the grid editor would be nice while leaving some rows to regular divisions.   And the ability to put the kick on the bottom and reverse the other stuff higher up.
+1 vote
answered Nov 24, 2022 by viccapota (640 points)
edited Nov 24, 2022 by viccapota
Oops nevermind on the triplet/dotted thing. I can see its adjustable per row on some youtube tutorials.   

But also, would be very nice to be able to collapse/expand row groups for lets say a group of high hat variations where you only have one representative variation showing for the group at any particular time so as to simplify drum creation on the fly sometimes.

But also complex stuff with shortcuts is so necessary honestly... on the fly shortcuts for even specific rows   the kind of versatility is needed because i dont know if you have seen the level of drumming in deathcore or aliencore music but to be able to do drums like that programmed on the fly is hard to find intuitive workflow for it and still sound natural on the fly like that.

also anyone know if a subscription or purchase will give you multiple installs?  I only purchase software that allows at lease three installs.
0 votes
answered Nov 25, 2022 by princeagrawal (13,500 points)

The ability to apply a custom chosen color to any row in the pattern editor is a general functionality of studio one that works with every instrument (VSTi), not just Impact XT. 

For having different variations of say hithats, though you cannot group rows. But you can create different pattern variations where you can not only make subtle or drastic variations to say your hihats, but also kicks or anything else for that matter and group them into separate variations. 

0 votes
answered Nov 30, 2022 by viccapota (640 points)
edited Nov 30, 2022 by viccapota

princeagrawal:  thats the point of making the request... to be able to color and grour.. but also to have the background back fill be a subtle shade to indicate the row or group color (the backlight of a subtle shade) and to help do that where the row is for a black piano key to suubtly shade it ina similar hue but a different opacity so that you know its a black key and not a white one but same hue of the color you custom select (but that part is secondary importance).  .

  Also below in this screenshot im changing the color here but it is not changing the hit color!!  Same it is not doing it on the piano roll.  And again thats the whole point of requesting it. Dude whats with your question?  I already know you can't do it. Tha'ts why i'm making the request.

But at the end of the day, one just needs to be able to work in the standard piano midi roll but with some intuitive ways of marking in drum hits if we prefer not being in the pattern section as some of us do not work that way.