Electronic Composition
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What is piano roll and how does it work?

Piano roll is a way to input notes directly into a DAW using the standard piano layout as a model. Here’s a picture of the piano roll editor in Bandlab:

The notes are displayed vertically and time is displayed horizontally. This is typical of piano roll editors. Notice that Bandlab labels this simply as “MIDI Editor.”

Now let’s add some notes

Here’s one measure of a popular melody in piano roll.
This is what it looks like in standard notation.

So many sounds, so little time…

One major benefit of working with electronic music is your virtually unlimited pallet of sounds to choose from. We’ll talk more about some options later on in this module, but for now enjoy the same melody with a completely different sound.

This sound was created by changing the instrument to “Hyper Pop Synth” and adding the “Double Delay” FX preset.