Win The God Particle
Enter your email for a chance to win The God Particle plugin — the secret sauce powering mixes for some of today’s biggest artists.
Awesome! We sent you an email to confirm your submission.
Something went wrong. Try again.
The god particle image
Unlock the Power of MIDI Editing: A Comprehensive Guide to Better Music Production
Learn to master MIDI editing with our definitive guide, covering everything from navigating the piano roll editor, correcting wrong notes, improving timing to adjusting note velocities.


Welcome to your crash course on MIDI editing! We're going to take a closer look at the piano roll editor, exploring various functionalities and editing techniques. By the end of this guide, you'll have a firm grasp on everything from correcting wrong notes, improving timing and adjusting note velocities, to mastering navigation within the editor, and even adding new notes into your sequences.

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a powerful tool that allows devices to communicate musical data. The information exchanged may include note-On/note-Off events, pitch, velocity, and a lot more. MIDI Editing is the process of manipulating this data to create a desired output.

Overview of MIDI Editing

MIDI editing essentially takes place in the piano roll editor. It's a grid-like interface, which represents time from left to right, and pitch from bottom to top. Every single block that you see here signifies a separate MIDI event or a note. The length of the block corresponds to the duration of the note.

The editor also allows you to control parameters such as velocity, modulation, pitch bend, and many more. In essence, the piano roll editor offers a birds-eye view of your MIDI data, enabling you to make precise edits to your musical sequences.

Common Problems in MIDI Editing

Anyone who has dived into the pool of MIDI editing can tell you it isn't always smooth sailing. You might encounter wrong notes, timing issues or complications with note velocities. It can be anything from a note wildly off-key, to subtly late timings or velocity discrepancies – all culprits that can throw your harmony and musical feel off balance.

The secret to resolving these problems lies in understanding how to navigate through the piano roll editor, and how to use the different tools at your disposal to edit your MIDI data. And that's exactly what we're about to delve into.

Navigating the Piano Roll Editor

Navigating the piano roll editor efficiently is fundamental to MIDI editing. You can zoom in and out of the editor to focus on specific regions of your MIDI data. This will help you spot errors more easily, and it also allows you to execute more precise edits on smaller elements of your data.

You can focus on specific parts for editing, such as the bass, the melody, or the rhythm. It can act as a guide, for you to decide on the correct pitch, duration, and velocity of your notes and to ensure that they align with the overall rhythm and melody of your piece.

Editing Wrong Notes

In MIDI editing, wrong notes are notes that are off-tune. You can use the piano roll display in collapsed mode to get a narrowed down view of your notes. If you find notes that are off-key, you can simply click and drag them to the correct pitch. The beauty of MIDI editing is that you can also adjust the notes’ pitch after they’ve been recorded.

Remember that accuracy is key – every single semitone can significantly impact the overall harmony of your composition. Never overlook a note just because it's slightly off, even if it's a relatively small element of your piece. The devil is in the detail!

Fixing Timing Issues

A well-structured song depends not just on pitch, but also on accurate timing. MIDI editing makes it easy for you to modify note durations and address timing issues for individual notes. This could imply rectifying the late timing of a note that hampers the musical feel or aligning a note’s end with the start of the next note in a melody line to ensure smooth transitions.

Address timing issues with patience – sometimes, a subtle rearrangement can drastically improve the feel and flow of your musical piece. It's also worth mentioning that this step is crucial for genres like EDM and house, where timing and rhythm form the backbone of the entire track.

Editing Note Velocities

The velocity of a note determines its volume – higher velocities result in louder notes, and lower velocities result in softer notes. In Logic, the color of the notes and the white lines inside them indicate their velocity – the higher the line, the greater the velocity. MIDI Editing allows you to adjust these velocities to achieve the desired sound.

In order to make these adjustments, you can simply click and drag the line up or down. Note velocity is a dynamic way to express musical intent, and mastering its use can be a total game-changer in terms of the originality and emotion in your songs.

Adding Notes

Adding notes using the pencil tool in the piano roll editor is a handy feature of MIDI editing. With the pencil tool, you can draw out new notes in any part of the MIDI data. This provides a great deal of versatility, allowing you to add new musical elements to your piece or enhance existing parts.

However, it's crucial to take into account note velocity and timing whilst adding notes. The newly added notes must blend in perfectly with the existing MIDI data in terms of pitch, duration, and velocity, instead of standing out as a distracting element.


MIDI editing is an essential skill for any music producer. By now, you have a solid foundation on how MIDI works, how to navigate the piano roll editor, how to edit wrong notes, fix timing issues, adjust note velocities, and add new notes to your sequences. The key to mastering these skills is practice and a patient, meticulous approach.

Take the time to experiment and explore with different cursor tools in the piano roll editor. Address note pitches, timing, and velocity issues with a careful ear and a precise hand. Remember, MIDI editing isn't just a technical process but a creative outlet too. So go ahead, dive in, and let MIDI editing become your new secret weapon in producing top-tier music.

What you should do now
Store your music with cloud storage for music creators,, and spend more time making music than moving music.

If you’re already with us, here are more production tutorials to give you the edge:
What is Crate?
Crate is the easiest way to store, organize, and share unreleased music. With Crate, your unreleased music syncs across your devices. Available for iOS and desktop.
Rylan Talerico
October 24, 2023
Before founding Crate, Rylan Talerico was signed to Warner Records as a recording artist, producer, and songwriter. These days, Rylan enjoys spending time with his family and working on Crate building tools to empower musicians to be more creative and connected.
This tutorial was inspired by a video posted by:
Berklee Online
Watch more
Support them by watching the original video here or checking out other videos on their channel.
Learn from our tutorial library
Crate music productivity tool displayed on a phone and laptop.
Create your Crate in seconds
It only takes a few clicks to put all of your unreleased music in your pocket. Whether you're just getting started or seasoned pro, Crate is the ultimate home for your tracks.
Get started for free
Ready to spend more time making music?
Upload for free today
Spend more time making music
Free forever
Start streaming in minutes

Ella B.

Songwriter, producer, artist

I keep finding songs in my library I forgot about with

Read more from Crate