|What is Time?
In a MIDI song, time is measured in measures, beats, and ticks. In MIDI Maestro, you can "select" time, and even insert, delete, and cut and paste it, just as you can anything else. This can be an extremely useful method for creating repeated sections within a song, and for copying phrases between songs.
How is Time selected?
The easiest way to select time is to click and drag within the measure ruler found at the top of the Clips View and others. With the grid toolbar function enabled, it's easy to select whole beats of time. The grid button is the one furthest to the right in the toolbar at the top of the MIDI Maestro window. A quarter note or larger selected in the toolbar will give you a grid size of a quarter note. Instead of dragging, you may click once to set the starting point, then while holding down the Shift key, click again to set the ending point.
You can select an entire measure by double-clicking within the measure on the ruler. To select a range of measures, first double-click to select the starting measure. Then, hold down the Shift key, and double-click the ending measure.
If you'd prefer to manually enter the starting and ending times, use the Edit/Select Time command.
There's one extremely handy-to-know side effect in the clips view that results from selecting time. Clips are automatically "split" at the time selection's "from" and "thru" times. Normally, clips only break where there is a measure or more of rest. However, by selecting time, you can temporarily force splits at arbitrary locations. These clips may then be selected and manipulated apart from other surrounding clips.
Here's what a time selection of measures 93-96 looks like. Notice the splits in the clips that would not normally be there:
The lower-right corner of MIDI Maestro's window always display the time selection's beginning (from) and ending (thru) times, like this:
How is Time deleted?
Once you've selected time, you then can delete it by pressing the Delete key. These options are presented:
To actually "delete time" the first box should be checked. If you've selected whole beats and measures, you'll probably also want to check the "beats and measure" box to move measure boundaries (key and meter changes) as appropriate. The "preserve measure numbers" option will cause measure numbers to be deleted as well. If you delete measure 11, for example, the "preserve measure numbers" option will cause measure number 12 to follow number 10--there will no longer be a measure number 11.
Without the "all within time range" box checked, the Delete Time function reduces to a quick, alternate way to delete cues, tempo changes, events (notes and controllers), and measure boundaries within any given range of time. For example, if you select a range of time, then use this function to delete only "events in tracks," you will clear a "hole" in the music.
TIP: to empty out a particular track, select the track, then select all time (Ctrl+A), then delete by pressing the Del key. Select to delete only "events in tracks" and "selected tracks only."
Why would I want to "offset event selection"?
In recorded music, notes do not always line up perfectly on beat boundaries--sometimes notes "lead" the beat by a small amount of time. To account for this, there's an "offset event selection" setting. If you specify 0 here, only those notes and other events beginning precisely within the time range will be deleted. If you specify 25 here, notes beginning as much as 25% of a quarter note (that is, a sixteenth note) before the start of the time range will also be deleted.
The "delete time" function will automatically shorten notes which span the time range to be deleted (notes that begin before the range, and end after the range). Notes that begin before the time range, but end during the time range are by default truncated to end at the beginning of the time range. However, in recorded music, notes sometimes play beyond their notated durations, and some notes may overlap by a (desirable) tiny amount into the time range. To account for this, there's a "shorten events which encroach" option. If you specify 0 here, all notes beginning before the time range and ending during the time range will be truncated to the beginning of the deleted time range. If you specify 10 ticks here, notes ending as much as 10 ticks into the time range will retain their original durations.
How is Time copied?
Once you've selected time, you then may copy it to the "clipboard" by using the Edit/Copy command (Ctrl+C). By default, all events within the time range are copied. Once copied, you then may move to another position within the song, or to another song altogether, and use the Edit/Paste command (Ctrl+V).
To really "copy time," the "All within time range" option should be selected. Other options exist to allow you to copy only tempo changes or events that occur within the selected time. As with the Delete Time function, there is the option here that allows you to "offset event selection."
How is Time pasted?
If you've successfully "copied time," you're now ready to "paste" the contents of the clipboard to a new location in any song. Use the Edit/Paste command (Ctrl+V) to see these options:
You may specify one or more copies. You may specify only the first copy's location--additional copies of time are always placed contiguously in the song.
By default, pasting time first performs an insertion--existing notes and other events are moved to make room for the pasted time. However, you instead may choose to "blend" or "replace." The replace option does not insert time, but it does "clear" existing events before pasting. The blend option only adds events to the song--nothing is moved or deleted.
If you've chosen to Insert or Replace, the two options "offset event selection" and "stretch/shorten events" will be available. The "offset event selection" option allows you to specially handle events which "lead" (begin slightly before) the time selection. If you are performing an Insert, these events will be moved along with others in the destination time range. If you are performing a Replace, these events will be deleted along with the others in the destination time range.
The "stretch/shorten events" option allows you to specially handle notes which begin before the destination time, but end during the destination time range. If you are performing an Insert, notes which cross the destination time by more than the specific percentage of a quarter note will be elongated by the size of the pasted time. If you are performing a Replace, notes beginning before the destination time, but ending during or after the destination time range will be truncated so that they will end at the destination time.
How is Time inserted?
The Insert/Time command provides a quick way to insert blank space into a song.
If you're on a measure or beat boundary, you can insert whole measures, beats, or ticks. If you insert whole measures into the middle of an existing measure, the existing measure will be split into two measures. Inserting ticks only moves events--measure and beat boundaries are unaffected.
Like other time functions, there are "offset event selection" and "stretch event" options here as well. The "offset event selection" option allows you to specially handle events which "lead" (begin slightly before) the insert position--these events will be moved along with the others that follow the insert point. The "stretch/shorten events" option allows you to specially handle notes which begin before the destination time, but overlap it--these notes will be elongated by the size of the inserted time.