Region Editing using Hyper Draw Autodefine in Logic

We're already spoiled for choice regarding the number of methods Logic provides for viewing and editing MIDI data: the event list, score editor, piano roll, and hyper editor. If I were to then say t .  

We're already spoiled for choice regarding the number of methods Logic provides for viewing and editing MIDI data: the event list, score editor, piano roll, and hyper editor. If I were to then say that there's a fifth way, would anyone care? After all, we already have four editors, who needs another one? Well let's take a close look at how to do all the HyperDraw editing you want without using a specific MIDI editor... Yes! That's right, we're going to do this all inside of Logic's Arrange area.

Editing without an Editor?

Logic offers us a fifth way to view and edit various kinds of MIDI data right in the region itself without having to open any editors:  Hyperdraw. Normally this function is associated with editing controller information in the piano roll, but Hyperdraw editing can be done directly on a region too. You can even edit note velocities right in the region too! But more on that in a minute.

Introducing Hyper Draw Autodefine

The secret for easily accessing the Hyperdraw display for regions without having to deal with the tedium of navigating the View > Hyper Draw menu is to use the Hyper Draw:Autodefine key command!

Start by assigning this function to a key. Mine is "H", and I'll be referring to this assignment throughout the article. With a region selected, hitting "H" makes for very quick access to various editable data right in the region display. Here's how it works:

Velocity Editing in a Region

In figure 1 we see the normal way a MIDI region is presented in a track containing only notes:

Figure 1

Now hit "H" and we see the added view of orange lines representing the velocity for each note (see figure 2). If velocity editing was your goal, you can grab the orange lines and alter the velocity of the notes! Afterward, you can leave the display as is or you can make it revert to its normal appearance (as shown in Figure 1) by hitting "H" again.

Figure 2

Beyond Velocity Editing:  Autodefine at Work

Figure 3

If your region contains any non-note events (except for poly pressure, which can't be displayed in Hyper Draw), the Autodefine function takes on an added dimension. In figure 3 we see the normal view of a region which contains notes, multiple controller data (CC#1 and CC#2), and pitch bend.

By hitting "H" repeatedly, the region's Hyperdraw display will step through however many non-note types of information are contained in the region. And once a data type is displayed, it can be edited. In this example, hitting "H" changes the display to show just the pitch bend data in the region (figure 4). Note also that Logic displays the MIDI channel and data type right in the region window. Here we see "1" in the lower left-hand corner, an indication of the MIDI channel. To its right is the type of data we're looking at. In this case, Bender.

Figure 4

Again with the "H"?

When we hit "H" again we now see modulation wheel data (figure 5). As before, Hyperdraw shows us info about the data being displayed, but this time it appears in the upper left-hand corner. This is interpreted as "channel 1, CC#1".

Figure 5

Hitting "H" again now shows us info about CC#2 on channel 1 as seen in figure 6.

Figure 6

The End of the Road, Almost

After we've used "H" to step through all non-note information contained in a region, one more display remains:  the note velocity display, which we can see by hitting "H" one more time.

Back to the Beginning

To return to the original region display, one more tap on "H" will do just that, giving us the view we started with in Figure 3.

Note that the action of Autodefine is not global for all regions simultaneously, so each region's Hyperdraw display can be changed with Autodefine as needed to reflect the kind of data you want to see in each region.

Figure 7

Hyperdraw & Autodefine Tips for Other Editors

The Hyperdraw display -- as well as the Autodefine function -- is available in the Piano Roll and Score Editors. And even if you haven't manually enabled the Hyperdraw display in those editors, hitting "H" will automatically open it for you in those editors; and repeatedly hitting "H" while in those editors will step through displays of non-note data (and/or velocity) just as described above.

Are you looking for the Holy Grail of Logic Tips and Tricks? Or are you mystified by MIDI. Don't be a slave (sic) to it, check out MIDI 101 - MIDI Demystified by Peter Schwartz.

Peter Schwartz, composer, orchestrator, arranger, pianist, synthesist, and musical director, began piano studies at age 5 and went on to earn a degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music. It wasn't long afterward that he began working as a product specialist for New England Digital (Synclavier) and also as a sound progr... Read More


Barbara Eder
Hi Peter!

What a simply elegant little tutorial. Very useful. I can't wait to try it out. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this - much appreciated!

All the best,

Excellent tip Peter! I never realised you could step through data in HyperDraw so easily!
Peter Schwartz
Thanks for your kind comments Barbara and Rounik!
This is great! Much easier than going into the Hyper Draw window itself. Encourages me to do more with Hyper Draw!

Gary Hiebner
Great tutorial. Love Hyper Edit. Didn't realise either you could step through the data in the arrange windows. Hyper Edit is amazing to use as a drum editor as well. Can get all the way into 256th steps on the hits and velocites.
Hey Peter,
Really neat tutorial! I can see this coming in VERY handy.
Victor Mason
It makes perfect sense since we do our automation in the arrange window as well. Logic is amazingly versatile. Great tip!
Peter Schwartz
Victor, your comment jogged my memory...

One thing I've noticed is that sometimes Logic will have a hard time displaying hyperdraw in regions when automation is being displayed in the arrange page. So if anyone has trouble viewing hyperdraw as described in the article, temporarily turn off the automation display and all should work as described.

Regards to All,

Magic Fingers
What The H.!!!!! This is a major time-saver!!!!

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