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Old 12-16-2014, 05:32 PM   #1
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Default Reatraction - a Reaper skin/menu/preference set put together for beginners

So, it's that time of year - christmas time, to be exact, and here's my present for reaper noobs, something I've been gradually molding over the past year:
it is a config/theme set designed specifically for newbies to Reaper and for people coming from Tracktion.
Because that's what I am, and that's what I needed when I made it.


Features:
=========

* Simplified skin
* Simplified menus
* Better default options
* Better mouse behaviour


Firstly, the UI Skin is a modification of the brilliant and inimitable Reaction skin.
I edited it and removed the double-up's in the interface and simplified it. ie. there is only one volume knob. There is only one pan knob. There is not duplicated functionality all over the place. It's less complex. Also did a bunch of color-editing so it was clearer and more pretty. There is also per-track clip-colouration by default courtesy of SWS extensions.



Secondly I modded the menu set from a combination of the original set and Reamenu's. It's less complex, I stroked out a lot of the more 'advanced' behaviour and options. So, right-click menus are greatly simplified and hopefully more intuitive for first-timers. I haven't really altered the top-bar menus (File, Edit, etc) at all, so all the advanced behaviour should be there if you need it, it's just the context-click behaviour that's modified.



Thirdly I option-tweaked, and option-tweaked. Hopefully everything is a bit easier/simpler now.
Fourthly I edited the shortcut keys and mouse-click modifiers so they're all quite similar to tracktion, and a bit less braindead than the standard defaults.

The overall effect is something that's a bit easier to use, a bit dumbed-down for n00bs like me, and simplified. Also looks good.



Installation:
=============

Requirements:
Reaper, installed.
SWS extensions, installed.


0. If you are already a reaper user, you need to backup your configuration files, because you are going to lose your settings. You probably already know how to do this. An easy way is to go to the options menu->preferences->general and click on "export configuration".

1. Open Reaper. Download the Reatraction ConfigZip.

2. Drag Reatraction.ReaperConfigZip onto the reaper window. Reaper will restart. Import all settings (do not tick "Remove local data that is not in imported file"). Don't worry if it says it couldn't import some settings. Close the import window.

3. Go to the Options Menu->Themes and select "Reatraction v1.00". Done.

4. This is personal preference but integral to my approach: right-click the master mixer panel->Controls->Untick "Show Sends when size permits". This appears to be a per-project setting. This just stops Reaper from inexplicably filling up half of the mixer panel's effect slots with 'send' slots, which makes no frikkin' sense as sends are no-way near utilised as much as effects, in any project. Sends are still very easily accessible (and more usable) via the sends button. I also recommend hitting alt-L and changing the minimum grid to 16 pixels (also a per-project setting) for clarity.





Usage:
======

The main difference from default Reaper UI, along with the simplification of settings and options, and prettifying of the interface, is the reduction of buttons. No longer are there two or three places to access things.
Volume, pan and FX are now only on the mixer panel.
All recording options are on the track panel.
The exceptions to this are mute/solo.

The second main difference is the mouse modifiers. I've tried to make these make sense a little less confusing for noobs but honestly just more straight-forward in general. For example, left-click-and-drag on the main edit window no longer does a time selection - it only does this if you click-and-drag on the timing panel at the top of the edit window. So changing position in the edit window can now be done simply by left-clicking without the danger of changing the time selection if you slip up. This is one of many mouse-access modifications I've done, I don't have time for them all but here's an overview of the basics (some of these are the same as regular reaper, this is an outline for n00bs):
* Left-click edit window: change mouse position
* Right-click anywhere: context menu
* Alt+left-click-and-drag edit window (or just right-click-and-drag): select clips
* Left double-click edit window: Start playing from this position
* Middle-mouse-button click edit window: Start playing from this position (position is affected by snap settings)
* Middle-mouse-button click-and-drag edit window: Equivalent to 'hand tool' in Adobe Reader, drag/scroll the edit window around.


Some basic shortcut keys:
* Alt-G - Toggle snap grid display on/off
* L - Toggle looping (repeat) on/off
* / or S - Slice a clip/selection of clips. Unlike the default settings, with this setup reaper only slices selected clips.
* Alt-S - Solo
* Alt-M - Mute


Here's how to do some very basic things in Reaper (for n00bs like me):

* Quickly add an effect from your VST folder tree: right-click the Fx button in the track's mixer panel. Go to VST-folders.


* Quickly add a frequently-used effect: right-click the effect button in the track's mixer panel. Go to Favourites.


* Turn on track input pass-through: Click on the little speaker icon in the track panel.

* Mute an effect: shift-click on it in the mixer panel.


* Remove an effect: alt-click on it in the mixer panel.

* Copy an effect to another track: click and drag it in the mixer panel.

* Copy a bunch of effects to another track: left-click the Fx button in the mixer panel, select the relevant effects, right-click and copy. Do the same and paste for the destination track.

* Select your recording input device: left-click the track panel item highlighted.


* Insert an edit marker: right-click the marker area as shown in topmost image, or press Shift-M

* Quickly select a send: right-click the outputs button (the left-click window is a bit more useful in this regard).
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Last edited by metamorphosis; 11-27-2016 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Updated SWS website URL
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:07 PM   #2
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fantastically great piece of work! There have been more than a few people who teach asking for something like this... saw one request just last week for 8-11 year olds...

while most of us love the detail and complexity, your direction to the other end of the scale is just great.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:42 AM   #3
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Old 12-17-2014, 03:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the effort .

One remark:
Reaction theme has a serious downfall which you should fix before giving it to noobs (or anyone, imo):

In Reaction (and some themes that copied the same "hack"), when you fully collapse folder children they get invisible in main (arrange) view. That is done by setting the collapsed tracks to a height of zero pixels, so that you can't see them and their items anymore. Nice idea, but those tracks and their items are still available for selection and editing!
EG say you have 5 tracks, where track 2 is a folder with tracks 3 and 4 as children and you collapse the folder, so tracks 3 and 4 are invisible. Now drag a marquee across some items on track 1 and 5. Uncollapse tracks 3 and 4. The items on these tracks are now selected and if you had done any edit they would have been edited too.

Tldr:
Items on invisible (collapsed) child tracks are still subject to edits and you can seriously hose your project without seeing what you do.

IMO, themes using this hack should be taken from the stash or at least come with a serious warning in big bold letters. They are for sure not good for noobs.

My recommendation: Change rtconfig.txt of the theme in the line
tcp_heights 0 22 49 73 ;supercollapsed, collapsed, small(norecarm), recarm size

Do not use 0 for supercollapsed to avoid the issue. Make it at least big enough so that selected items can be clearly distinguished from unselected ones.
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:18 AM   #5
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Excellent! And as & when the reaction bug is sorted out, this should become the very first sticky in the Newbie area.

we have been taking about doing something like this for at least a couple of years - finally someone DID something constructive.

Gold star & ten house points!

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Old 12-17-2014, 09:35 PM   #6
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Wow guys, thanks for the support! Gofer, have now fixed the zero-size bug (replaced with 1 - I tested a variety of different heights, but 1 is the least intrusive visually, and also still shows selection clearly), thank you, wasn't aware.

Also fixed a couple of minor skin bugs and edited it slightly - ever so slightly brighter in the edit window, plus a few other things like grid z-layering.

I would be highly delighted if this became a sticky!
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:30 AM   #7
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Give the man a sticky!

Hang on - that sounds a bit pervy.....



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Old 12-21-2014, 10:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Give the man a sticky!

Hang on - that sounds a bit pervy.....



let it be sticky, that doesnt matter. Reaper, the sticky version. the Stones made a whole album sticky ...

now THAT Reaper is for newbies and kids. and its still more than in Cubase Essential (I think, dont know, but seems so ...).

so I will try this one, and see if I can go along with it. (in fact, for doing not so sophisticated things like recording and mixing I think I use this for myself. lots of the tricky stuff I dont need ... coming from Cubase, where everything is that simple ... har har har :-))

whats for sure is, that this will make the kiddies stay away from pirating any other software, because if the stay with recording, 45€ is the price they all (or their parents) can pay for a license. and then they are set, no limitations in recording. I doubt that would work with Cubase ...
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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BUMP for a genuinely useful "flavour" of reaper.

So many have talked about "there ought to be" for a long time and now there IS one.
I had a play with this earlier today and as a learning tool for newbies I love it.
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:11 PM   #10
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One small note:
the option "Inform plugins of offline rendering state" doesn't appear to be carried through in the .ini files, so if anyone knows where that option is stored and how to get it into an .ini/reaperconfig, please let me know.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:51 AM   #11
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Default ANOTHER BUMP

Am I alone in thinking this really should be stickied somewhere ALL newbies are likely to see it?

I have shown it to a couple of adult friends who were struggling to get past all the initial screeds of menu options and every one of them has said it helped immensely.

STICKY, please.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:18 AM   #12
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This sounds like a great idea. For Newbies? Sounds like a solid way to generally smooth workflow for me! (But then again - I may be the eternal newbie).

So far I've only been reading - not actually tried it. Before I get all hands on with this thing - Before I try this: How exactly do I "protect" my current personalized Reaper Prefs, etc.
(In simple terms, please).
Do I just COPY the Reaper ini file, paste it / hold it somewhere else on my PC, then proceed w/ the install of this as outlined above? And more importantly, when/if I want to go back to my personalized Reaper as it exists right at thus moment, do I just need to put my copied & saved ini file back where I originally got it? And will there be in it's place a new ini for this simplified version that I'll need to remove? If so, do I do the same with that - copy and save it somewhere else? And to revert back to this simplified version once again, do I just then simply swap out these ini files?
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:23 AM   #13
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I made a second portable install beside my first portable install. simple. then xou can have your .ini or whatever copy to new folder or not. the 2 installs dont affect one another.

but be aware that you can have only 1 install start if you double-click a .rpp file.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:46 AM   #14
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Default STICKY

stickystickysticky


Not that I am nagging, or anything.....
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperMadness View Post
Before I try this: How exactly do I "protect" my current personalized Reaper Prefs, etc.
(In simple terms, please).
Prefs>General>Export configuration
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanofoz View Post
Prefs>General>Export configuration
That's it!?! Done.

Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
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That's it!?! Done.

Thanks.
My pleasure
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:24 AM   #18
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I tried to try it, but my reamenus are still showing and they are still making everything over-complicated for kids. I want to try reaper in a workshop for kids in digital audio, and this rings like a good thing, but i can make it work. It´s like change a theme for me, only the visuals changes.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:26 AM   #19
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If your reamenus are still showing, it sounds like you didn`t follow the setup instructions further up this thread to the letter.
I tried it and wound up with the same setup as shown in the example screenshots.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:12 PM   #20
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Ok, fair enough. I think i follow the instructions, but who knows, maybe i miss something. Tomorrow i try again step by step and report in case.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:27 PM   #21
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Hey,

Wanted to try this great looking Theme.
So i tried to import the config file in prefs/general but i get error, saying 18 items couldn't get imported.
I am on Reaper 5.00pre22, 64bit mac version.
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Old 04-05-2015, 01:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanhaze View Post
Hey,

Wanted to try this great looking Theme.
So i tried to import the config file in prefs/general but i get error, saying 18 items couldn't get imported.
I am on Reaper 5.00pre22, 64bit mac version.
That theme may not be totally compatible with version 5 pre.


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Old 06-07-2015, 07:10 AM   #23
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Does it affect the VST folder in any way? I just downloaded a plug-in and intended to put in in the VST folder, but it's not there!?
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
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...not there!?
It's not a plugin, it's a theme(with configuration). Please, read the instruction above. You can just open it and Reaper will automatically recognize it.
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:15 AM   #25
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I know it's not a plug-in, that's not what I meant. It's just that last time I used Reaper (I just moved and re-installed Reaper a week ago), there was a VST folder as default as far as I can remember. I'm just surprised it's not there. I don't know if it was there before I added the theme since I downloaded the plug-in afterwards. But can I just make a VSTfolder myself?
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:51 PM   #26
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Quote:
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But can I just make a VSTfolder myself?
Yes, you can change it in Preferences->Plugins->VST
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:35 PM   #27
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OK I give up. But I STILL think this should be STICKY!!!!
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:28 PM   #28
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tried that, didn't work, when I right-hand click on the fx button, it looks like there's an extra folder : plugin-cockos-vst... ?

Turned out I only had to rescan

Last edited by Mali; 06-08-2015 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Fixed it :)
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:09 AM   #29
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HOORAY!!!!! Well done, mods!
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:29 PM   #30
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Just popped in randomly for the first time in many moons, W00T sticky! Thanks Ivan and your persistence-

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanofoz View Post
Prefs>General>Export configuration
Ah, that's where it is without reamenus -thank you, have updated the installation instructions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vanhaze View Post
Hey,

Wanted to try this great looking Theme.
So i tried to import the config file in prefs/general but i get error, saying 18 items couldn't get imported.
I am on Reaper 5.00pre22, 64bit mac version.
As per the installation instructions, "Don't worry if it says it couldn't import some settings." - I am not smart enough to figure out how to remove that warning


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluzkat View Post
That theme may not be totally compatible with version 5 pre.
I've just been playing around with 5 rc2 today, seems to work fine...

Thanks guys, hope this gets some good usage-
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:58 PM   #31
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Thanks the Theme is very cool!

With an FX button on the track panels next to the mute and solo button it would be perfect
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:12 AM   #32
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Quote:
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Thanks the Theme is very cool!

With an FX button on the track panels next to the mute and solo button it would be perfect
Actually that something I purposefully removed. Duplicate functionality. If you want duplicate functionality back, you can either edit the skin, or you can download the Reaction skin, which has that.
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:14 PM   #33
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that fx context-menu vst-folder addition looks like a godsend!

I've put off using the reamenus "until I learnt the basics". that was over a year ago and I've just started gazing with wonder at the successful arrival of midi messages being monitored (thanks piz!!!) trying to understand all this cc learn midi magic...

do the reamenus add that upon installation, or is that a custom addition of your own?

gonna have to check this out
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:19 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspiringSynthesisingAlch View Post
that fx context-menu vst-folder addition looks like a godsend!

I've put off using the reamenus "until I learnt the basics". that was over a year ago and I've just started gazing with wonder at the successful arrival of midi messages being monitored (thanks piz!!!) trying to understand all this cc learn midi magic...

do the reamenus add that upon installation, or is that a custom addition of your own?
VST folders are an option you can turn on in reaper, nothing new from myself or reamenus
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Old 11-09-2016, 03:31 AM   #35
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Default Update?/Outdated?

I am noticing that the files in your zip are time-stamped 2014... will there be a need for a update soon?

This sticky thread indicating popularity maked me wonder why there was no updates to reatraction. I use it with latest reaper and sws and felt that its a pity to get used to this workflow only to find out that it is too outdated and then having to re-learn using vanilla-reaper from the beginning anyway...

But it looks wonderful right now at first sight!
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Old 11-09-2016, 05:30 AM   #36
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FWIW it is intended as a sort of set of training wheels, to simplify the initial learning curve.
Use it (or not) till you find yourself needing to do stuff that doesn't show in its menus.
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Old 11-09-2016, 06:00 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
FWIW it is intended as a sort of set of training wheels, to simplify the initial learning curve.
Use it (or not) till you find yourself needing to do stuff that doesn't show in its menus.
Thank you, but the main topic i'm most interested in is if there will be any updates or useful tweaks since 2014 was quite some time ago. ReaMenu have been updated a lot after that. (Just like reaper and sws).
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Old 11-09-2016, 02:50 PM   #38
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FWIW you wont need to un-learn anything, which is kinda what the setup is all about.

It offers a slightly restricted version of the full-on Raper, but all the options are still there, just not all hanging out on the front doorstep so to speak.
The idea is to offer easy and uncomplicated access to the run-of-the-mill stuff a new user would need without forcing them to wade through all the more esoteric options available.

There really isnt going to be any point in updating Reatraction at present, since it doesn't really affect the normal reaper installation permanently.
Change to a different theme and you will see....

Hopefully metamorphosis will chime in shortly and reassure you....
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Old 11-27-2016, 02:31 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
FWIW you wont need to un-learn anything, which is kinda what the setup is all about.

It offers a slightly restricted version of the full-on Raper, but all the options are still there, just not all hanging out on the front doorstep so to speak.
The idea is to offer easy and uncomplicated access to the run-of-the-mill stuff a new user would need without forcing them to wade through all the more esoteric options available.

There really isnt going to be any point in updating Reatraction at present, since it doesn't really affect the normal reaper installation permanently.
Change to a different theme and you will see....

Hopefully metamorphosis will chime in shortly and reassure you....

Ivan's pretty much said everything that needs to be said, but as was confirmed earlier in the thread, this ConfigSet works with Reaper 5, there are no incompatibilities with newer versions of SWS, and hungering for "new, up to date features" is the opposite of the point. The set is designed to simplify things, not extrapolate into new areas. If, however, there is some new feature that happens to be useful in particular to newbies, then let me know - it may be worthy of inclusion.

What a strange world we live in, where something not being released 1 month ago is considered 'out of date'... if that were the case, 90% of reaper skins would no longer function...
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:54 PM   #40
Tapehead
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I had high hopes and thanks for your considerable work, I find Reaper hopelessly complex.

To my eyes the colour scheme and buttons lack distinction, If this were to be combined with the default 4.0 look I'd certainly give it a go, but not as is.
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