MIDI for dummies (within Pro Tools)

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by frostyclump, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. frostyclump macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi all,

    I use Pro Tools 8 LE on my Snow Leopard Mac (quaint, isn't it? :)), and up until now have dealt purely with audio files. But I'm interested in discovering the MIDI potential Pro Tools offers, and so, have watched a few instructional Youtube videos - but I think I'm missing something pretty basic - hopefully someone can answer these questions?

    When I create a MIDI instrument track, there don't seem to be any devices / virtual instruments to point it to. I don't currently have a MIDI keyboard or anything, but doesn't Pro Tools come with a few basic virtual instruments? Therefore shouldn't it be possible to draw in notes / enter in dynamic, etc, information, as opposed to keying all that info in from a separate controller? Does Pro Tools need to see a device before it unleashes its stash of virtual instruments?

    I'm more than happy to get hold of a MIDI keyboard if necessary, but I'm just not sure I need to (I'm not about the performance experience; just the subsequent production).

    Many thanks for any help you can give.
  2. wesk702 macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2007
    The hood
    Not sure if I'm understanding you correctly, but yes, there are virtual midi keyboards you can use. A real midi keyboard/controller would be more productive and fun. You can find basic ones really cheap on ebay or craigslist. The line6 brand is one of the cheapest and simplest solution if you just wanted some physical keys.

    Once you create a midi track you won't hear any sound. You'll have to insert a vst/au/aax plugin into the track to activate it.

    Was that what you were asking?
  3. frostyclump thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2014
    Thanks for your feedback wesk702.

    When I create a MIDI track there doesn't seem to be anything I can do with it, whereas at least if I create an Instrument track, I can insert Melodyne Essential (there are a few other 'instruments' in my drop-down list but they don't seem to do anything / or (in the case of free download SynthMaster) they crash Pro Tools).

    But even with Melodyne Essential I can't click anywhere to make notes or give any MIDI information, or direct it to the MIDI track or anything. It has its own window in the form of a graph that looks like I should be able to enter in information, but I can't.

    Do you think I just have a bunch of useless virtual instruments? Or is Pro Tools actually looking for a MIDI keyboard/controller? The Instrument track does say 'no input'...

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