Step by Step: The New MIDI Import Feature in TRAX and TRAX Pro 2.5
Part I: Preparation
The majority of the work you’ll have during this process consists of creating or editing the MIDI file in order to have it work as a successful pitch guide in TRAX. This means you’ll be working from the comfort of your favorite DAW for the first few steps. While every DAW has its own specific workflow, we’ll show you briefly how we tackled these steps in Pro Tools 12.
You’ll need two files before you can begin working in TRAX:
- Your audio source file (whatever mix you would like separated) – .wav, .aiff, .aif, mp3, mp4, m4a, etc.
- The MIDI file of the melody you would like to isolate – .mid format
Pro Tip: It’s best to edit your source file to only the specific area you’d like to target. This will speed up the separation process and decrease your wait time!
- You may be able to find this MIDI file, or you may need to create one from scratch.
There are countless MIDI files available for download online, or create your own using your favorite DAW. Here’s a snapshot of our MIDI recording process in Pro Tools 12.
- If you’re using a multitrack MIDI file, you’ll need to be able to identify which track refers to the specific melody you’d like to separate.
- Most importantly, you’ll need to ensure that the MIDI file you have aligns with the specific source file you have, as with every song there are multiple performances and arrangements available.
- All MIDI editing and aligning should occur prior to importing your MIDI file into TRAX. This is because the MIDI information will be converted into marquee-style pitch guides as soon as it’s imported, which means you won’t be able to nudge, trim or stretch the guide if it’s not already in sync with your source.
Part II: Importing MIDI into TRAX / TRAX Pro
- Once you have your edited MIDI file and your corresponding audio source file, it’s time to launch TRAX.
- Since we’ll be importing our pitch guide, we can speed up the separation process by heading to the General Tab of the Preferences Dialog and then deselecting the Automatic Separation. You can quickly access your Preferences through the keyboard shortcut Command+Comma (⌘,).
The General tab of the Preferences window with the Automatic Separation turned off.
3. Next let’s create a New Project (⌘N) and Import our source file (⌘I or drag-and-drop from the Finder). Notice that TRAX will immediately load the file without running a separation. Herein lies the benefit of cancelling the automatic separation.
The TRAX Interface after importing a source file with the Automatic Separation turned off.
ow it’s time to Import our MIDI file. To do so, click on the MIDI Import button to the left of the Pitchogram, or head to File > Import a MIDI file. Navigate to and select your edited .mid file.
Optional: If you selected a multitrack MIDI file, choose the track that is associated with your target melody.
Selecting a specific track from the Multi track MIDI file import dialog.
A MIDI file after import into TRAX. Each MIDI note is converted into a red marquee selection that highlights the melody line.
5. Now that your MIDI file is imported and converted into marquee selections, take a moment to make sure that there aren’t any gaps between notes, as these will leave gaps in the separation as well. You can use the Marquee tool (3) to extend your notes, or use the Pencil tool (1) to draw in any areas that you may have missed in your MIDI file.
6. Now that you’ve edited your pitch guide, click the Separate button and the process is complete! You may now proceed with applying advanced separation options, or export your separation files from the File menu.