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Chapter 4. Getting Started > Copying and Moving Notes

Copying and Moving Notes

Let's assume that you want a longer track than the one you've made. You can save time by copying an existing phrase and altering it to make a new one.

To double the size of a phrase

1.
Zoom out in the Sequencer so that you can see more of the track, by clicking the horizontal zoom out button.

2.
Using the Select tool, click and drag over the notes you want to copy. The cursor will draw a rectangular selection zone. Release the mouse button (Figure 4.39).

Figure 4.39. Drag-selecting creates a rectangular select zone around a group of notes. Selected notes are darker in color.


3.
Hold down the Ctrl (Win) or Opt (Mac) key and click one of the selected notes. Notice that the cursor changes to a box with a plus (+) sign, and a selection zone appears (Figure 4.40).

Figure 4.40. Ctrl-click (Win) or Opt-click (Mac) to drag-copy selected notes.


4.
Still holding the mouse button, drag to the right until the zone is where you want the copied notes to be (Figure 4.41).

Figure 4.41. When drag-copying a series of selected notes, a new selection zone appears at the target location.


5.
Release the mouse button, and the copied notes appear in your track (Figure 4.42).

Figure 4.42. This four-bar phrase was created by cloning (drag-copying) a two-bar section to measure 3.


✓ Tip

  • Be sure to hold down the Ctrl (Win) / Opt (Mac) key until after you have released the mouse button, or you will disable the drag-copy feature and the notes will be moved instead of copied.


Repeated series of notes become bland quickly. If you use them throughout your song, they can squash your own creativity and keep your song from developing. You can add some variety by changing the velocity or adding some fills.

To add small variations to a phrase

1.
Adjust the end loop marker to the end of the new section.

2.
Create variations by adding or moving some notes to differentiate your new section from the preceding one.

3.
Adjust velocity to intensify the new section (Figure 4.43). This example simply adds some subtle, low-velocity snare hits. We also shift one snare hit to the left one grid space from the fill in measure 4. And we add some boosted velocities in the middle of the measures.

Figure 4.43. Variations don't have to be extreme to help build a little interest. Notice the low-velocity “ghost notes” on the upbeats, and the fill note moved just one grid space.


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