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Old 02-26-2014, 02:18 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
Posts: 21

I posted a thread on how our band used it for live performances - might be useful for you.

While I still use Reaper to write our songs, I've abandoned it *for now* in favor of Apple Mainstage 3 for live performance. However, Reaper's great timecode features may bring me back as we look to sync visuals down the line.

What scared me away was the linear nature and the methods for moving between markers/songs just didn't seem right for what we needed to do.

Reaper wasn't designed to be a live performance tool, although *you can* do a great job with it if you are able to work within the confines or write your own scripts/code. We played about 4 shows with it - it can be done - and it was solid. Very much depends on what kind of show you are putting on.

But - keep in mind that Mainstage (if you have a Mac) is 30 bucks and really designed for live use.

Here are a few issues I had with Reaper for live use. I'm sure there are ways around, I really just couldn't justify the time/effort in hacking a DAW to become a live tool, when an excellent purpose-built live tool (used by Nine Inch Nails, The Dreaming, tons more) was 30 bucks. You don't need to buy Logic to get it - I think it used to be a bundle but its since been de-coupled from Logic.

* Looping regions with SWS extensions seemed to introduce delay. I could only get a perfect loop using the transport, giving us only one place we could play games to extend a solo or improv.

* Moving between songs and knowing which song you are on on was a bit tricky. I guess you could put a giant Text track banner - but I didn't look into it.

* Loading/Unloading VST's completely per song to save system resources seems to be quite a workaround/hack to get working. I'm aware of the live extensions for Reaper, but they just seemed a little kludgy to me.

* Being able to adapt quickly for what happens in a live environment, when things go wrong or change. Example: We were promised a 40 minute set several times, even up to the day before. We got to the show and I was told we had only 30 mins now because the national headliner wanted to go on earlier. This freaked me out as I had to boot up everything and slide things around to make our set fit the timeline. Hoping that now our click track was still lined up (yes it was all grouped, but it's a live show we are talking about - in front of a lot of people.) We had practiced the set many times and I had to carve it up in 30 mins to make things fit. Very stressful. Ended up leaving in a voice cue for the wrong song and then the correct cue came on soon after it. It's things like this you don't want to deal with. Each show you learn something new - just think of what you would do in these cases and have an answer.

Don't get me wrong - you can overcome a lot (if not all) of these issues if you are willing dig deep and invest the time. (I would continue to if I didn't already have an itch to buy a Mac.)

Mainstage definitely has it's own way of thinking and there are some issues if you want to start sending out Timecode. I'm currently trying to work around them and think I've found a solution. Overall I've been happy with MS. We just played our 3rd show with it last night. So far so good.

Now...back to writing songs. On Reaper.
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