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The TrackList is a powerful part management system unique to OOM, and integral to great workflow in the Performer.
We've compressed and reduced the window size of these images to fit in the wiki, as we're presenting function. If you have a widescreen monitor, for example, you'll have plenty of canvas to work in, and as the saying goes, it's a joy to behold.....
This page contains the following sections:
- Adding and Removing Parts
- Special Mention Epic Toolbar
The Tracklist is one of the most powerful features in OOM, and was specifically created to present and display not only currently loaded parts in your project, but all tracks, even if no parts are present in those tracks.
With the Tracklist feature it's entirely feasible to add a single part to a single track in the Composer, then do the rest of your midi work in the Performer window, including creating new parts for tracks on the fly. Tracklist makes that possible. Those experienced in working with MIDI will know that midi/audio applications tend towards a generic workflow approach to all components of working in DAWs towards the Main window, rather than specialize in project and part management workflow for all components, especially those as important as Midi Editing windows.
Tracklist removes that limitation.
Here at the OpenOctaveProject, we usually have the Composer open in one workspace, and the Performer open in another, all fullscreen. From experience, more time is spent in the Performer, and if, like a couple of us at least, you can read MIDI pianoroll style canvas as easily as reading notation, then it's a natural thing to do, and great workflow, in our humble opinions.
Multiple parts can be viewed in the Performer by clicking on the multipart icon in the Epic Toolbar. This action is global for the Performer, so it regulates the display of a part or multiple parts selected from the Tracklist.
The Tracklist is composed, at it's basic level, of a list of tracks.
Working View At the bottom of the list is a checkbox, called Working View. Like the working view in the Composer, when this box is checked, it will only show tracks in the Tracklist that contain parts. When the Working View box is unchecked, it will show all tracks in your project, including those with no parts, as this simple gif shows.
Snap to Part
Next to the Working View checkbox is another checkbox called Snap to Part. When this box is checked, the playback cursor will "snap" to either the first note in a selected part, or if the part has no notes yet, the beginning of the selected part.
Refresh Next to Snap to Part is a small loop icon. This action can be used when you add a track to the project, but want to keep the Performance instance open. Once the track is added to the project, press the Refresh icon and the Tracklist will update to include the new track.
Search In the tracklist, you can click on the track you want, and navigate the list with up and down arrows. There's a search function as well. With the focus in the tracklist type in the first letter of the name of a track you might be looking for, the first track with that name will be selected. Type in more letters to refine your search further. This also works for Tracks beginning with a number.
Those tracks with multiple parts will show the parts in a list under the track name. You can select any one of them using the checkbox in the left column next to the part entry, and that part will appear and take the focus in the main canvas.
The last part that is checked and selected has the focus.
Note: When you select a part, or perform an action in the tracklist, it takes the focus. To return the focus automatically to the Main Canvas so you can continue inputting and editing, either click in the canvas, or press the shortcut *CTRL + Enter*.
In the gif below, we have 5 parts selected as appearing in the Performer canvas, being 1st Violins, 2nd Violins, Violas, Cellos, and Basses. The gif shows what happens, when 4 of these are clicked in turn in the Tracklist. As each entry is clicked, it becomes the focus, and any editing can be done in the canvas, safe in the knowledge you will only edit the active part. Not only does the colour icon in the Tracklist part entry change highlight to show it's the active part, but the notes, part indicators, and any controller lane data will change as well, to the colour scheme set for the part. As well as the colour cues, at the top right of the Performer window is a text display, showing the current patch loaded for the selected part.
It's a clear and visually instant recognition of where you are, and what you're editing. When parts are not selected, they move to the background as shaded, as the gif shows.
Note that the 1st violin Volume controller lane has not been drawn in yet, but as the lane data for other parts remain shaded but visible in the background, you already have a guide to more quickly and accurately put in a comparative volume curve or curves, if that's your intent.
In the vertical piano keyboard you may notice grey areas appearing and disappearing. These are "out of instrument range areas" for the selected instrument patch currently used in the part. This information is read from gig and SFZ files when instrument midimaps are imported into OOM from Linuxsampler, using the Import Engine in the Edit Instrument window, which can be opened from the Composer Midi menu. These settings are included in your Instrument Set .idf files.
For more information about using the Import Engine, go to the wiki page:
Parts can be added to, or removed from your project, right in the Tracklist.
Select a trackname, or part in the track you want add a part to, or remove a part , and rightclick. A menu will popup given you following options:
The first entry is a lead into the colour scheme directories, where you can set a colour scheme for a part. The default is the colour scheme set for the track.
Add Part This action when clicked will add a part to the currently selected track at the current position of the playback cursor. The focus will remain with the current selected part.
Add Part and Select This action will add a part to the selected track, and select it as the new focused part, at the current position of the playback cursor.
Delete Part This action will delete a part, including any midi data it contains.
In the explanation described in the Tracklist section, we stated that only a focused part is editable, and all other non-focused parts cannot be edited. There is a deliberate exception to this, using our Epic toolbar at the bottom of the Performer window.
The 4 icon actions from left to right are:
Global pointer This action, when selected, enables the pointer to act on all parts currently visible in the Performer canvas. If you select a group of notes, as an example, that are included in multiple parts, no mater which part has the focus, then all of them can be moved, edited and removed with the one Global Pointer action.
Global Pencil This action, when selected, enables the Pencil Tool actions to apply to all parts currently visible in the Performer canvas, including drawing in the Controller lanes.
Global Record This action, when selected, enables Record Arm for all visible parts in the Performer Canvas. When playback is commenced, any notes recorded will appear in all visible parts. When playback is stopped, the Global Record is disarmed, and any tracks that have been armed using the Global Record action are disarmed as well.
Multiple Parts This action, when selected, shows all checked parts in the Tracklist as visible. To view just one part, toggle this icon off, and select the part you want to see, and edit.
We built the Epic toolbar actions to serve a particular workflow purpose, and it's become an important part of the OpenOctaveProject workflow. When adding harmonies, lines and phrases to multiple parts, where the orchestration calls for it, we save a lot of time and effort, and importantly, the creative flow is not halted by the process of having to perform similar input tasks one at a time, slowing down the workflow process.