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Old 02-16-2020, 09:15 AM   #1037
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 106

I may have found part of the reason for my "recording into a clip is harder than peeling a marble" woes a couple of posts up. Due to a series of previous projects recorded off the grid, I had changed my default project time base to "time" instead of "beats, measures, etc" which I'm thinking may have been keeping Playtime from rounding recorded clip lengths up to the nearest measure. Haven't had sufficient time to test this theory yet.

Either way, it occurs to me that Reaper's MIDI editing window, while it may ultimately offer more finesse than DAW's like Ableton, is not as well-suited to a loop-recording workflow. Reaper loops are much easier edited on the timeline, and Playtime somewhat complicates this.

In Ableton's session view, you go into record on a slot while your other clips are looping, and you can then, for example, keep rolling while you make, say, three sequential passes at recording your riff. When you're finished, the MIDI editing window pops up, you drag a couple of snap markers to the beginning and end of your best attempt at the riff. If you accidentally started your riff on beat 3 instead of 1, no problem, drag it over a couple notches. Boom, you've got a loop, and you're now quickly on to create the next one.

Without Playtime, Reaper can also function pretty much like this, as you can drag the beginning and end of your midi item on the timeline to just your successful attempt, and then glue it to make a loopable item. But in the context of Playtime's recording function, you get Reaper's midi editing window, which isn't really designed to excel with loops. Your only tool to set a beginning marker (unless I'm missing something) is to find the exact beat where your successful attempt begins, and then use some math and pull-down menus to tell Playtime to "only use the part of this item that starts at at beat X and continues for Y measures."

The alternative is just to chop the recorded event on the timeline, normal Reaper style, but then your clip slot disappears from Playtime and you have to re-import the midi event back in. (In my case, it seems to sometimes pop back in on a different track, too, even when I've specified the slot column is dedicated to a specific track). This seems a little fiddly and non-conducive to a composing workflow. My hands spend far more time on the mouse than on the midi keyboard.

From reading this thread and watching three vids of Playtime in use, it looks like most are quite successfully using it primarily as a triggering device for loops recorded and tweaked outside of PT and then imported into it. It's definitely a valuable tool for arranging, but I'd argue that without a simpler way to record and edit items in place, it's missing half of what makes Ableton's session view such a quick and intuitive way to compose.

Last edited by billybuck; 02-16-2020 at 09:34 AM.
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