Old 09-14-2021, 12:17 AM   #1
sockmonkey72
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Default Preventing MIDI thru feedback when record-monitoring

This may just be a wish or feature request, but here goes: is there any way for REAPER to detect the incoming MIDI port/channel and suppress record monitoring (in AUTO mode) when the MIDI input and output match?

Let me unpack that:
- I have a synth, it has a keyboard and a sound engine. Sometimes I play the synth directly, sometimes I control it from another keyboard.
- When recording in REAPER from the other keyboard, REAPER's current behavior is fine: enable record monitoring (or AUTO) routes the MIDI data from the keyboard to the synth.
- When recording in REAPER from the built-in keyboard, half of my polyphony is used up, I get stuck notes and things sound weird. In some cases, a MIDI feedback loop can cause additional problems.
- I want REAPER to know that I am playing the same instrument as I'm monitoring on, and in AUTO mode, suppress the monitoring. It would work the same way for explicit on and off modes.

I know that I can turn Local on/off on the synths in question, but that's a pain when switching back and forth between different applications and locations in the studio. And I know that I can manually change the record monitoring mode, but again, it's easy to forget and "an extra step" which I'd prefer to let a computer handle for me.

Maybe there's already some way to set this up in REAPER?

If not, one possible idea would be to add a checkbox to the MIDI input dialog (Smart Thru or something like that) for instruments where this can cause problems, if a global switch for the AUTO behavior is too heavy-handed.

But given REAPER's configurability, maybe someone has already found a solution (I couldn't find one after a fair amount of searching). Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:21 AM   #2
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Why don't you just use track templates for each instrument and each mode? E.g. "DX7 keyboard", "DX7 ext. Midi in" etc., with pre-set monitoring modes?
You also could use different send and receive channels, if possible (dunno which synths you are talking about).
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:30 AM   #3
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Thanks, that's a good suggestion. I have many (many) external MIDI hardware instruments, I'm looking for a more generic solution (and one which doesn't involve a bunch of menuing). But in a pinch, that'd work.

Along those lines: is it possible to assign a keycmd to a specific Track template? I couldn't figure it out. I guess there's always "SWS/S&M: Resources - Import tracks from track template" with 5 slots.

Maybe it's possible to ReaScript myself a "new external MIDI track" action, though, with a dialog to select the output and to set the record-monitor mode appropriately. I am pretty new to REAPER, but I already have one script under my belt, not sure if file-based track loading is supported by the API.
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:49 AM   #4
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Just found Quick Adder 2: this, plus a bunch of templates, will do approximately what I need. Problem solved, until it's not! Thanks.

EDIT: well not exactly. The basic problem of needing to switch record monitoring on/off depending on what I'm doing elsewhere in the studio remains. However, Quick Adder 2 does speed up the initial creation to the point where fine-tuning the setting (and making a reasonable default) isn't horrible. Still, REAPER has all of this IO information and could intelligently manage record-monitoring wrt MIDI Thru. If motivated to do so...

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Old 09-14-2021, 08:48 AM   #5
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What synths are we actually talking about here?

As I just realised that ‒ also having a ton of outboard instruments ‒ I only have, and use, three synths that also double as a controller: the Ensoniq VFX, the Roland JX3-P (Organix mod) and the Yamaha VL-1. The latter one, due to its breath-controller CC conversion *could be* complicated, but it offers separate send and receive channels. The former two feature physical out and thru ports, so they won't feedback either. The rest of the lot is expanders or tabletops.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sockmonkey72 View Post
Maybe it's possible to ReaScript myself a "new external MIDI track" action, though, with a dialog to select the output and to set the record-monitor mode appropriately. I am pretty new to REAPER, but I already have one script under my belt, not sure if file-based track loading is supported by the API.
Unfortunately I'm an idiot when it comes to coding, so if you have something in the pipeline and want me to beta test it, hit me up. I'm happy to help, as any shortcut on Reaper's Midi side is more than welcome (I guess I'm not alone here).
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
What synths are we actually talking about here?

As I just realised that ‒ also having a ton of outboard instruments ‒ I only have, and use, three synths that also double as a controller: the Ensoniq VFX, the Roland JX3-P (Organix mod) and the Yamaha VL-1. The latter one, due to its breath-controller CC conversion *could be* complicated, but it offers separate send and receive channels. The former two feature physical out and thru ports, so they won't feedback either. The rest of the lot is expanders or tabletops.
I've got a Yamaha DX7IID, a couple of Ensoniq keyboards (TS-10, SQ-80), a Yamaha SY99, a Pro 3, a Hydrasynth, an Akai Miniak and a Nord Modular G2. I mostly use the Hydrasynth as my controller, since it's on my desk and has a ribbon and Poly AT/MPE options, but I use any of the keys occasionally as the controller if I'm working on the instrument.

I wonder if I could write an input "FX" plug which would detect the device port/channel and shut off/enable record-monitoring in response to that. Might be a lot of trouble for what's essentially a luxury problem.
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Old 09-14-2021, 01:25 PM   #8
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You can setup a keyboard shortcut to toggle Record Monitoring On/Off. That would be pretty quick.

There are 4 actions in the Actions List (search for "record monitor"):
- Cycle track record monitor
- set track record monitor to auto/tape
- set track record monitor to off
- set track record monitor to on

If you do a shortcut to cycle (the 1st option), you have to hit the shortcut twice to go from monitor on to monitor off - it has to go through monitor auto/tape to get there. Still, it only uses on shortcut, and you can switch modes in a couple of seconds - fast enough to not interfere with your workflow.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sockmonkey72 View Post
Yamaha DX7IID, a couple of Ensoniq keyboards (TS-10, SQ-80), a Yamaha SY99, a Pro 3, a Hydrasynth, an Akai Miniak and a Nord Modular G2.
But how are they connected to the interface? Why does their "out" port merge the input signals? Honestly, I don't understand the issue.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
But how are they connected to the interface? Why does their "out" port merge the input signals? Honestly, I don't understand the issue.
No, every MIDI instrument is on its own interface port. The issue is that, if I'm recording MIDI from the SQ-80, with track output set to SQ-80, I will have MIDI feedback with record-monitor=auto (half the polyphony, weird UI behavior). Most of the time, I use the Hydra as my master keyboard, so record-monitor=on/auto is what I want. But if I walk across the room to adjust something on the instrument and record some notes, the feedback becomes an issue.

Like I said, sure I could disable local on the synth (but I don't only use REAPER, and local=off isn't generally what I want). Sure I could be more careful about switching the monitor mode depending on what I am doing.

My point is that REAPER knows that I am sending MIDI in on the same port/channel as my MIDI hardware out and could manage this for me and prevent me from being annoyed regularly. At myself, for the most part, of course.

I have other software which does this as an option (MidiQuest, for instance), it saves time, aggravation and mental energy. But like I said, I am aware that this is a luxury problem.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:54 AM   #11
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Sorry, it's too early, I got it wrong. Just ignore my mumbling
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