Old 03-18-2017, 06:18 PM   #1
Dehenry
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Default Some noob questions re Midi items, looping etc.

I hope you can help me with a couple of noob questions - sorry if I have missed this in the manual and tutorials, but Reaper's wealth of features is really overwhelming...

1. What is the best way to do the following: I have recorded a MIDI item that is two bars long that I want to loop. After recording I decide that I only want to keep a 1 bar section of that item that starts at the third quarter. I would normally drag the left and the right edge so that the item becomes 1 bar long. But when I check "loop item source" in the item properties and drag the right corner to loop the item, the part on the right that I just removed appears again. How can I tell Reaper to only loop the item as I have trimmed it by moving the left and right edge? There does not seem to be an equivalent of "Loop section of audio item source" for Midi items. "Glue" consolidates the item which would be a solution, but glueing also extends the item to the length of the time selection, which I don't want.

2. When recording in a loop, notes that are held at the end of the loop (i.e., when the cycle jumps back to the start) are cut off and Reaper creates the same note again at the start of the item. But that is not what I played. Example: I set a 1 bar loop in the timeline and at the fourth beat I play a note that I hold for two beats. Reaper cuts this into two notes of 1 beat. In the Midi editor, it is not possible to draw, extend or move a note beyond the end of the item (after some playing around in the Midi editor this was suddenly possible - not sure what I did - but in playback Reaper still cut off the note). You may ask: Why should a note be longer than the item? One answer is: Because that is how I played the note. The other is: This is needed for creating loops where the last note works as an upbeat for the next repetition of the loop. How can I get Reaper to record these notes the way I played them?

3. I created a drum pattern based on individual samples like this:



Is there a way to loop this whole pattern without glueing all items on all tracks? Ideal would be to have a representation of all child tracks in the parent folder track and loop that representation.

4. I added a "loop item source" button to my toolbar, but it does not show if looping for the selected item is on or off. So when I drag the right edge of an item, I don't know if this will loop the item or just make it longer. Is there no way to see the loop status without having to open the item properties?

5. The item properties show all sorts of exotic parameters, but one obvious thing seems to be missing: length of item source. It only shows the overall length of the original item together with the loops. The Take media source properties show the source length, but it cannot be edited. It looks like the only way to change the source length of a looped item is to move the grey bar in the Midi editor or in the inline editor. This is quite ok, but it requires an additional step to open the Midi or the inline editor. Is there a way to change the item source length independently from the loops directly in the arrange view?

6. I cannot find a way to switch on record monitoring or input quantize as a default for new tracks?

7. How is the song position in the timeline to be read? From other DAWs I am used to a format like 1.2.4 which means: Bar one, quarter two, fourth 16th. Depending on the zoom level, Reaper shows things like "2.2.50" or "2.1.8125". What does the rightmost value mean - is it "percent of a quarter note" (which would be a bit unmusical imho)? Is there a way to show 16th (and optionally ticks) instead of the Percentages (or whatever that is)? Btw, what is the internal time resolution of Reaper?

8. When using the mouse wheel to zoom in and out in the arrange view, I have not yet figured out how to the focus on one particular position/item in the arrange. It seems like Reaper zooms in to the position of the edit cursor and at the same time moves the edit cursor to the middle of the screen while scrolling, and that makes it difficult to keep track of where the zoom is moving.

9. In Logic, there is a global solo which allows to only hear the selected items. The global solo stays active when other items are selected, which is a quick way to listen to individual items. In Reaper, it seems like solo is an item property that has to be switched on and off each time, so it does not seem possible to quickly listen to individual items simply by selecting them?

10. Is there no way to change numeric parameters by dragging the mouse, e.g. the tempo? Do you really have to type in the value?

11. Reaper allows to switch the metronome on and off independently for playback and record, which makes much sense. However, the metronome button and toggle metronome key command switch the metronome on and off globally and override the playback/record settings. E.g., if Reaper is in playback and I switch the metronome off, it will remain off also in record mode even though "run metronome during recording" is enabled. Is there a way to toggle the metronome on/off independently for playback and record?

Thanks!

Last edited by Dehenry; 03-18-2017 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:40 AM   #2
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1 When you have got the MIDI clip to the part that you want, 'glue' it all by itself. That will drop those invisible notes to the left or right.

2 Well. you did tell Reaper that you wanted a 1-bar loop so that is what it tries to do. To get any note to play beyond the end of the loop, you would need to extend the clip and the note accordingly.

Can you describe how do do that in another DAW? I can't think of a way.

3 Copy all those clips and paste them repeatedly as needed. But I think I would load them into a sample-player, program a MIDI clip and loop that.

4 Not that I know of (that could be a candidate for another Media Item button).

5 There is an action "Set item's length" in the SWS Extensions; you could add that to the Media Item context menu.

6 Click this to set the preferred options;


And right-click the RecArm button for the settings for Input Quantize (used whenever a track is RecArmed?).

7 Yes, what you have there in the Arranger is 'centibeats' (hundredths of a beat). Measures:Beats:Ticks has been requested many times. We do have those in the MIDI Editor ('Time format', in the [Options] menu).

8 Zooming horizontally here uses the mouse point position as the centre point. Expanding / contracting each side (until the start or end of project is displayed, then the behaviour changes accordingly). I have have configured some Actions for that but it was so long ago I forget.

9 Don't know

10 You can mousewheel-scroll over some of them, otherwise type.

11 Not that I know of.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:43 AM   #3
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1. Use the action "Glue items, ignoring time selection".

4. Toolbar button can't show the status because it is possible to select several items with different loop states. Like DarkStar said, this could be solved with a new Media Item button.

9. Some talk and suggestions for a Logic style solo:
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?p=1766409

11. First you'll need the SWS extensions installed. There are some SWS/AW metronome actions for Disable/Enable metronome during playback/recording. Note that you still need to also toggle metronome on. For the most flexible usage you could set up two SWS cycle actions with conditionals. So one cycle action for toggling the playback metronome and another one for the recording metronome. Both would check if the metronome is already on and toggle as needed.
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:21 PM   #4
Dehenry
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Many thanks! Sorry I was away for a few days. All my questions relate to functions that I am used to in Logic, and I mean the ancient Logic 5.5.1 from the year 2002!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
2 Well. you did tell Reaper that you wanted a 1-bar loop so that is what it tries to do. To get any note to play beyond the end of the loop, you would need to extend the clip and the note accordingly.
Can you describe how do do that in another DAW? I can't think of a way.

Yes, the loop should be 1 bar long, and that is correct because all notes are triggered within that one bar loop. It is just that some of them should be played longer than the end of the item. Musically this makes much sense because it is necessary to record loops with an upbeat. And it is natural because the release time of an instrument could also cause notes to sound longer than the end of the item. Increasing the release time is not a feasible workaround because that would mean that I cannot play short notes anymore. In Logic, the note-off is independent from the item length. The item mostly works as a container for note-ons, and Logic keeps track of when the note-off for each note that was triggered within that container has to be sent. So you could have a 1 bar item with a note that is 4 bars long if you want. I think that is how it should be: The DAW should not set any limits to musical ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
3 Copy all those clips and paste them repeatedly as needed. But I think I would load them into a sample-player, program a MIDI clip and loop that.
Having to copy all the items is quite awkward compared to looping. And there doesn't seem to be an equivalent to pooled Midi items for audio items, so if I edit the first hit of the BD, I have to erase all following copies and then insert new copies of the edited BD? Having to set up a sample player is what I wanted to avoid. I find it much more intuitive and flexible to just drag and drop samples on a track and be able to edit each of them individually (e.g. add FX only to individual snare hits). In Logic, I could simply select all items, pack them in a folder and loop that folder with one click.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
6 Click this to set the preferred options;


And right-click the RecArm button for the settings for Input Quantize (used whenever a track is RecArmed?).
That's the setting I use, but I still have to switch on input monitoring and input quantize for each track that I add.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
7 Yes, what you have there in the Arranger is 'centibeats' (hundredths of a beat). Measures:Beats:Ticks has been requested many times. We do have those in the MIDI Editor ('Time format', in the [Options] menu).
I have never heard of "centibeats" before. That's not a musical metric and it doesn't tell me anything as I have to think in bars, beats, 16th etc. Is there any particular reason why this is not used in Reaper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
8 Zooming horizontally here uses the mouse point position as the centre point.
Yes, that's how it should be, but my Reaper uses the edit cursor as the center point. Maybe there is a setting that I have overloooked...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
10 You can mousewheel-scroll over some of them, otherwise type.
That's a bit strange. It's 2017! In Logic 5 of 2002, all values can be changed by dragging the mouse, and of course you can also type them if you want.
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:40 PM   #5
Dehenry
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I have another question regarding my initial point 3: I think I saw a tutorial video somewhere that showed a quick way (a single command) to automatically convert a drum pattern that is based on audio items like in my example into a midi item by loading all the used samples into a VSTi (maybe Reasamplomatic5000, but I am not sure). What is that command?

In Bitwig, several samples can be arranged in one item that can be looped as a whole. That would be a great feature for Reaper, too!
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