Cakewalk Sonar 7: Simplify MIDI editing with the MIDI Microscope function

Objective: Integrate the MIDI Microscope function into your workflow by tying it to key commands in both the Track View and Piano Roll View. Background: Sonar 7’s MIDI Microscope function is exceptionally convenient when dealing with dense MIDI tracks in the Piano Roll view or the inline Piano Roll in Track View, as it minimizes the need to zoom in and zoom out. Normally, the Microscope becomes available when notes are less than a user-specified height in pixels; but by setting the note height to maximum, the MIDI Microscope is essentially available all the time, and you can then use key bindings (key commands) to enable or disable the Microscope.
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Steps:

  1. Go Options > PRV Tool Configuration.
  2. Enter 250 for “Diagonal Size” (the biggest possible magnifier size; you can always change it if you find it’s too big) and 20 for “Note Height less than.” Click on OK.
  3. Go Options > Key Bindings.
  4. For “Type of Keys,” choose Computer. From the “Bind Context” drop-down menu, choose Track View.
  5. Scroll down the Key column until you locate M, then click on “M” (assuming you want to use this as your keyboard shortcut). In the right-hand page, scroll down until “Microscope Mode” appears, and click on it. Then, click on “Bind.”
  6. Similarly, while still in the Key Bindings screen, choose Piano Roll View from the “Bind Context” drop-down menu, and bind the M computer key to Microscope Mode. Now the computer keyboard’s M key will toggle Microscope mode on and off both in the Piano Roll View and the Track View.
  7. When in Track View, don’t forget to click on the PRV Mode button if you want to use the MIDI Microscope function on a MIDI track.

Tips:

  • In step 1, if you check the “Magnifying Time” box, the Microscope will provide horizontal (time) magnification when the Piano Roll view is zoomed out so far that the notes become very narrow.
  • In step 2, 20 is the maximum value you can insert.
  • You can also customize the toolbars to add a MIDI Microscope button. This lets you toggle the Microscope function on and off at the toolbar in addition to, or instead of, using key commands.