Go Back   Cockos Incorporated Forums > REAPER Forums > REAPER Q&A, Tips, Tricks and Howto

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-08-2019, 09:41 PM   #1
themixtape
Human being with feelings
 
themixtape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 508
Default Food for thought: Hardware sequencers vs. Megababy + MIDI controllers

So, always... my head spins. "How can I do THAT... without spending EXTRA?"

Let's think.

Novation SL MKIII (The "Game Changer")
8-track sequencer (16-step)
MIDI out (2 separate ports)
Step-sequence, or enter a sequence in real-time with the keyboard
scale modes, the whole nine
nice screens showing you what's routed where

BEATSTEP PRO
3-track sequencer (64-step)
two monophonic sequencers, and a polyphonic (or drum) sequencer
scale modes, the whole nine

Now let's talk.... MEGABABY (and/or MEGABABY Nandy's Mod)

I'm just brainstorming a bit here.. but check it out......


- Megababy is always polyphonic (if the synth plugin it's routed to also is)

- 128 steps!!!

- you can constrain the midi note input to scales using the ReaMIDIControl plugin....

- how can a grid-based controller (APC40, APC40 mini, Maschine Jam) let me input (via the pads) a 64-step sequence? Without inputting the notes manually from a keyboard or mousing them in (not super-important but would LOVE to be able to do this... I think NI's Controller Editor / Maschine Jam could work great, but only like the grid vertically stacked in major or minor scale notes (up to 8 roots)

- an instance of Megababy on 16 Reaper tracks, routed to 16 different synth plugins (or a drum machine plugin)... on 16 different MIDI channels

- all Reaper tracks set to "automatically arm when track selected" and a midi controller (16-button, such as Behringer X-Touch Mini) set to select each of those tracks, on the fly, when needed.

- Reaper set to loop/repeat a couple measures or 4 measures (for a 64-step sequence, on 16th notes)

- An easily MIDI-channel-changeable midi controller (such as Keystep)... it's VERY handy to change MIDI channels on the fly... (which other midi keyboard controllers allow this, easily?)

- another MIDI controller set to jump to different REGIONS in Reaper... up to say, 8... this is 8 separate 64-step sequences, with 16 synths. Jump to the new parts with ease, loop them indefinitely... jump to another Region, when needing a change...

- any way to change the MIDI channel that Megababy or Megababy NM responds to, for PATTERN CHANGING? I would also love the ability to change the RANGE of the pattern octaves... (say SHORTEN it?) It's too large... I don't need more than 16 patterns per Megababy instance... I just want to manually shorten that range (this is only applicable to Megababy Nandy's Mod). 16 patterns is perfect, with the Megababy version 3.

------------------------------------------

Now, everyone always loves to make hardware-controlled sequence jams (on YouTube, etc)... and don't get me wrong, that's dope. But....

MEGABABY....

Ya know?

I'm working on a YouTube video plot/outline... I'd love to demonstrate this, and show just how powerful... it's INSANELY powerful.

Much more powerful than the SL MKIII, I think... Beatstep Pro is fun and easy... but that flaky USB port always seems to break for EVERYONE.

How about that new 6-track Elektron Sample (the $400 white one)? Looks cool... but... MEGABABY....


Last edited by themixtape; 02-08-2019 at 09:50 PM.
themixtape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2019, 03:11 AM   #2
ChristopherT
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: South
Posts: 469
Default

....iPad
ChristopherT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2019, 09:55 AM   #3
themixtape
Human being with feelings
 
themixtape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 508
Default

Sure, ipad... but... yeah. The POWER of Megababy seems to be completely underrated and understated.... let's have some die-hard fans chime in, here!
themixtape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2019, 03:28 PM   #4
Bri1
Human being with feelings
 
Bri1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,197
Default

gets a +1.1 here for js efforts- powerfull appearance,but have yet to explore all it's potentials tbh.. seems capable for most needs..
fairly easy,but also a little confusing on 1st inspection-- not totally logical on 1st view imo..good stuff for reaper.
Bri1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2019, 03:55 PM   #5
TonE
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Reaper HAS send control via midi !!!
Posts: 1,692
Default

But hackey trackey and hackey patterns destroy them all, including megababy, making it microbaby.
TonE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 10:28 PM   #6
themixtape
Human being with feelings
 
themixtape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 508
Default

That may be so.. but let's focus on MEGABABY and Reaper, yeah?
themixtape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 10:39 PM   #7
Fergler
Human being with feelings
 
Fergler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,837
Default

I'd like to see it too, because I find megababy so confusing.
__________________
Check out my hip-hop, funk-rock band Theatre Crisp
Fergler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 09:17 AM   #8
mccrabney
Human being with feelings
 
mccrabney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Brood, Kentucky
Posts: 1,713
Default

Quote:
- how can a grid-based controller (APC40, APC40 mini, Maschine Jam) let me input (via the pads) a 64-step sequence? Without inputting the notes manually from a keyboard or mousing them in (not super-important but would LOVE to be able to do this... I think NI's Controller Editor / Maschine Jam could work great, but only like the grid vertically stacked in major or minor scale notes (up to 8 roots)
there's a mod for megababy that purports to allow an APC40 to do what you're talking about. since it was only for the APC40, i didn't try it with my launchpad.

but yeah, this is why i haven't been impressed with megababy. step-sequencing with a mouse isn't much better than just mousing in midi notes in my opinion, which limits my interest in megababs
__________________
FR: select MIDI recorded in most recent record/overdub.
read an important discussion on track MIDI editing
REAPER makes me happy to be a musician in 20xx
mccrabney is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 11:03 AM   #9
themixtape
Human being with feelings
 
themixtape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 508
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mccrabney View Post
there's a mod for megababy that purports to allow an APC40 to do what you're talking about. since it was only for the APC40, i didn't try it with my launchpad.

but yeah, this is why i haven't been impressed with megababy. step-sequencing with a mouse isn't much better than just mousing in midi notes in my opinion, which limits my interest in megababs
Yeah, step-sequencing (true, with buttons) would be very helpful with Megababy especially with multiple devices. However, this is entirely possible to record sequences in real-time from a keyboard, as long as the transport is running. So it can be used without a mouse. I just would love to do something with actual buttons, so I can experiment with stuff and have fun with it.

So much potential, lots of power. Let's continue to discuss!
themixtape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 05:36 PM   #10
poetnprophet
Human being with feelings
 
poetnprophet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 527
Default

Would love to see a demonstration of this, I'm lost from the description. I don't use MB because it was too clunky for me when I can just use something like MPC, but perhaps you're onto something. Sounds powerful, but I don't quite understand it all.
poetnprophet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2019, 05:58 AM   #11
jamesd256
Human being with feelings
 
jamesd256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 160
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by themixtape View Post
So, always... my head spins. "How can I do THAT... without spending EXTRA?"

Let's think.
Count me in all the way on this. I have a BCR and Zaquencer, but have been dreaming of having a configurable way of controlling MB from the BCR, or other controllers. Since I have the BCR I am focused on this, but also have a Padkontrol, BCF and x-touch mini, which could all be involved.

The CSI project has much promise for this type of stuff, but ultimately we'll need to get into the MB code and make changes to make it twiddle-able.

I am more than happy to get into the code and put the hours in to making something happen. Where I would seek collaboration is in designing the solution, and I would look to people more experienced than me using step sequencers.
jamesd256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2019, 05:42 PM   #12
LowlyOP
Human being with feelings
 
LowlyOP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 108
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by themixtape View Post
So[...]
I've only read OP (not yet read responses) but i'm left feeling a mix of inspired, intrigu, and perplexed. To the latter;

(1) are you asking for help with getting this all developed and/or implimented via various round-about means, or
(2) are you forecasting this as something you have already had success with and plan on sharing?

Thank you. And regardless of which - i'm definitely looking forward to learning more about it.
LowlyOP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2019, 06:05 PM   #13
LowlyOP
Human being with feelings
 
LowlyOP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 108
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mccrabney View Post
there's a mod for megababy that purports to allow an APC40 to do what you're talking about. since it was only for the APC40, i didn't try it with my launchpad.

Fwiw, I've had success with this and LP. It's relatively simple but requires having Plogue Bidule (or some other hosting environment that allows for intricate routings and control over audio/midi i/o), and a few simple edits in the JS "adapter" plugs that then tell the megababy-mod that your device is actually an APC40.

Rather than messing about with the remaining changes which require much more coding knowledge (above my head completely), i route my device inside bidule so that it's outputting a range of latch-based CC's rather than it's default midi note messages. On the same routing map I control the color of LED toggles, as well as the LED follow. It seemed quite doable and almost suffice to serve as a "go-to workflow" if not for some limitations, likely (hopefully) all due to my lack of some necessary coding knowledge.

I stopped using it all together about a month ago, because.. Maschine Jam but it's all still of interest to me.

Not meant to derail; i think it's very much in the same discussion as this. This could be done on any device with the grid-style midi/led setup.

Last edited by LowlyOP; 02-19-2019 at 07:28 PM.
LowlyOP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 06:22 AM   #14
mccrabney
Human being with feelings
 
mccrabney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Brood, Kentucky
Posts: 1,713
Default

oh good, another bidule user. so you actually went through and remapped it, eh? nice work. you should post the bidule project, if it doesn't use a lot of 3rd party vsts.

i almost pursued that approach with bidule, but i have never been that into step sequencers, and other projects/writing music took precedence. as far as i'm concerned, the best drum workflow for hip hop/downtemp music is to play the drums via pads and then selectively edit/delete/select/quantize different notes via Snooks' impyc js plugin (which imitates the MPC's ability to edit/delete/etc different notes with the pads while the sequence is playing.
__________________
FR: select MIDI recorded in most recent record/overdub.
read an important discussion on track MIDI editing
REAPER makes me happy to be a musician in 20xx
mccrabney is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 08:33 AM   #15
jamesd256
Human being with feelings
 
jamesd256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 160
Default

I have taken a look the code diffs between original MB, Nandy's mod and the Akai adaptation.

Looks fairly simple to merge the APC stuff with Nandy's version, which I think is worthwhile because it contains lots of power ups and enhancements.

I can see some opportunities to expose more functions to midi input, either notes or controllers

The APC mod is an excellent starting point. I think I could just about use the BCF and the padKontrol together to get a pretty good interface.

@LowlyOP, anything you can share about your research / findings mapping your Launchpad would be great. I have installed a demo of Bidule standalone, no clue if I can use this with your .bidule patch, but if you're willing to share
jamesd256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 08:46 AM   #16
mccrabney
Human being with feelings
 
mccrabney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Brood, Kentucky
Posts: 1,713
Default

even though i use and recommend bidule, it'd be great to make this hypothetical system natively compatible with more than just the APC -- a dropbox with different controller layouts would be the most slick, but unique prefix/suffix JS remappers would work in a pinch

i never got into doing much with midi in JS because i'm a big baby who needs his midi expressed in a more readable library-based format than status bytes and/or hexadecimal.
__________________
FR: select MIDI recorded in most recent record/overdub.
read an important discussion on track MIDI editing
REAPER makes me happy to be a musician in 20xx
mccrabney is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 10:10 AM   #17
jamesd256
Human being with feelings
 
jamesd256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 160
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mccrabney View Post
even though i use and recommend bidule, it'd be great to make this hypothetical system natively compatible with more than just the APC -- a dropbox with different controller layouts would be the most slick, but unique prefix/suffix JS remappers would work in a pinch

i never got into doing much with midi in JS because i'm a big baby who needs his midi expressed in a more readable library-based format than status bytes and/or hexadecimal.
Have you seen the CSI project? Agree externalising the mapping to config driven is the way to go. Not that CSI is necessarily the answer, but that is exactly what the project is about.

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=183143

Exposing more of the mouse only actions as midi inputs in the code will be a start, so there is actually something to map controllers to. Also worth looking into registering Reaper actions from the JSFX code. Anyone know how to do that?
jamesd256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 10:12 AM   #18
jamesd256
Human being with feelings
 
jamesd256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 160
Default

Slightly off topic but related fun:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nz0bxwoqQE
jamesd256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2019, 10:40 AM   #19
themixtape
Human being with feelings
 
themixtape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 508
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LowlyOP View Post
I've only read OP (not yet read responses) but i'm left feeling a mix of inspired, intrigu, and perplexed. To the latter;

(1) are you asking for help with getting this all developed and/or implimented via various round-about means, or
(2) are you forecasting this as something you have already had success with and plan on sharing?

Thank you. And regardless of which - i'm definitely looking forward to learning more about it.
Both #1 and #2, really! To some extent.
themixtape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2019, 01:25 PM   #20
Bri1
Human being with feelings
 
Bri1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,197
Default

megababy needs more notes..?
Bri1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2019, 01:25 AM   #21
LowlyOP
Human being with feelings
 
LowlyOP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 108
Default

Sorry, I just saw your guys' responses now.

I don't know that it would really help much but i can see about uploading some of the presets i had in bidule next i get time.

As far as sharing what i've had success with on the launchpad, if you have any questions feel free to ask. I can't claim to be some MIDI guru but chances are I or someone else can help steer you in a more clear direction.
LowlyOP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2019, 04:24 PM   #22
jamesd256
Human being with feelings
 
jamesd256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 160
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri1 View Post
megababy needs more notes..?
I have no clue what this question is about. Something in said in the thread? Or is it the same question I've been thinking?

One difference in composing workflow between MB and say Zaquencer, is the notion of being able to sequence different instruments in one session. This has always involved firing up multiple MB's for me.

If you add in the fact that under normal conditions, using the keyboard attached to MB for transposing and pattern changes will also trigger a note on the instrument, this leads me to an idea.

Has anyone here seen Helgoboss' Playtime? That session view with many patterns available across multiple instruments... And the scenes functionality (a scene equating to a concurrent set of pattern selections across instruments. To make MB work as a multi instrument performance tool, isn't this what's needed?

See this vid for a very Akai APC like Lemur screen controlling patterns and scenes in Playtime:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwy0kPwCPX0

An obvious step forward for me is to update MB so that the control midi notes (transpose, pattern change) should have their source externally mappable.
jamesd256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2019, 04:57 PM   #23
Bri1
Human being with feelings
 
Bri1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,197
Default

Quote:
I have no clue what this question is about.

heh- well if you use mbaby a little while- maybe you will also find the limitation to the amount of notes available?
idk how to expand the amount of keys allowed any further,unless,1 modifies the jsfx itself.. am i missing something? dunno..
megababy (nm) is limiting the amount of notes available; is it not?
also only 4cc.. this could all be expanded__riiight?
even 4x probability> would be ace_r! no?
Bri1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2019, 05:06 PM   #24
jamesd256
Human being with feelings
 
jamesd256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 160
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri1 View Post
heh- well if you use mbaby a little while- maybe you will also find the limitation to the amount of notes available?
idk how to expand the amount of keys allowed any further,unless,1 modifies the jsfx itself.. am i missing something? dunno..
megababy (nm) is limiting the amount of notes available; is it not?
also only 4cc.. this could all be expanded__riiight?
even 4x probability> would be ace_r! no?
I see now, you mean the range of green notes mapped to the step editor. Is it the range limiting you or the note count? Are you doing drums? Are you using the feature where you can transpose each note on the roll individually?

Yes things like the note range are changeable, but if you're running out of notes, does this mean you're trying to do more than one instrument inside one MB?

What I'm referring to is related, because the red range, for controlling the patterns, transpose, etc, is already competing with the green range for space.

Yes the number of controllers is expandable, although I'm not clear why you'd need 4x probability.
jamesd256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2019, 05:23 PM   #25
Bri1
Human being with feelings
 
Bri1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,197
Default

Quote:
I see now, you mean the range of green notes mapped to the step editor.



Yes the number of controllers is expandable, although I'm not clear why you'd need 4x probability.

yep-the green bars allow like about 4 octaves i thunk-- and some drumming romblers go most the full range of keys.. so offsetting the notes is not really helpfull --as this also carries over to any other preset patterns eh..
also-if you really want a lot of steps per pattern-- the editing becomes insanely --tricky_to say the least-- having to shift workflow views is --frustrating..
so in them cases^,more than 1 instance is needed,and reaper does not always pass thru information so well from experiences to date.
i like this sequencer-but as always,i can see improvements tbh from user point of view.
the probabilty is really nice for pattern blocks that are mainly full across the board-- x4,or more would be dope.
have not actually hit any 'controller' limitations- as i'm not using like that.. it's notes am actually interested with this jsfx..

cheerz.
Bri1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2019, 04:00 PM   #26
jamesd256
Human being with feelings
 
jamesd256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 160
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri1 View Post
yep-the green bars allow like about 4 octaves i thunk-- and some drumming romblers go most the full range of keys.. so offsetting the notes is not really helpfull --as this also carries over to any other preset patterns eh..
also-if you really want a lot of steps per pattern-- the editing becomes insanely --tricky_to say the least-- having to shift workflow views is --frustrating..
so in them cases^,more than 1 instance is needed,and reaper does not always pass thru information so well from experiences to date.
i like this sequencer-but as always,i can see improvements tbh from user point of view.
the probabilty is really nice for pattern blocks that are mainly full across the board-- x4,or more would be dope.
have not actually hit any 'controller' limitations- as i'm not using like that.. it's notes am actually interested with this jsfx..

cheerz.
I think I understand. You're chaining MB's when you exceed the number of steps per pattern allowed by a single one? And relying on data being passed through correctly?

And the note limitation, you want to have all your drum sounds available even if you don't use them all, so more keys needed?

I have been studying the code, and understand it pretty well now. I could try to make changes to some of these limits, but there may be other practical concerns like memory.

As I said, I would like to get the red region (pattern selection) off the note range, so you don't trigger notes when switching patterns, but this also may be a limiting factor in how many notes were given to the green range.

I am working on something at the moment, which I will post about separately, but more than happy to try things out in the code and share with you if you want to try stuff and come up with more feature requests.
jamesd256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2019, 04:19 PM   #27
jamesd256
Human being with feelings
 
jamesd256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Folkestone
Posts: 160
Default

I have been building a virtual Akai APC in Open Stage Control - it's a great tool, but the midi support requires you to install a huge MS Visual Studio package, so it's not elegant (it's designed for OSC)

I'm studying the midi output of the Akai enabled MB, and don't see how the setting of a button is implemented if on in the sequence. Here is a reference for the APC implementation:

https://d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.ne...jpg?1421447412

For instance, if I switch to a pattern or transpose the buttons on the APC, MB should update the state of the buttons, showing that the note represented is on. I don't see evidence of this in the output, and haven't got an APC to test. Can anyone who used it ( I think the author is gone...) confirm whether this was implemented?

@LowlyOP did you get grid buttons to reflect the note on/off status with your Bidule remap

@mccrabney It will be quite easy at this point to adapt the Akai MB code to work with other controllers. Initial thoughts are rewrite all the references to Akai from the code and externalise the mapping into a JSON config file.

I would be happy to start with adding Launchpad support, and even explore the MPC approach you describe.

There are many ways you can use an ableton style, or any style controller to do step sequencing, so I'm keen to explore and benefit from people's experience here as to what works. I find the APC method a bit limiting. At a given time, the controller is 'in' the 8 step section of your pattern, so you can only edit that section for say half the time if your pattern is 16 notes.

As I have the BCR and Zaquencer, I can learn from how that's doing things, but also interested in trying out stuff with my padKontrol, X-Touch mini, BCF, nanopad2, Akai LPK etc.

Again, a big difference for me between Zaquencer and MB is Zaq has multiple tracks, where as MB requires a new instance per instrument, meaning unless you craft actions and inputs, it's back to the mouse/KB to achieve a workflow that would let you work across tracks, with say scenes and patterns (Live style)

Perhaps the only way to get a satisfactory workflow in this respect would be using the Reaper extension API, like Helgoboss' Playtime. His one uses a VST wrapper but accesses the extension API to write to tracks.
jamesd256 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2019, 07:04 AM   #28
Bri1
Human being with feelings
 
Bri1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,197
Default

Quote:
I think I understand. You're chaining MB's when you exceed the number of steps per pattern allowed by a single one? And relying on data being passed through correctly?

And the note limitation, you want to have all your drum sounds available even if you don't use them all, so more keys needed?

aye.why not.
also,when using longer notenames-- this can lose a lot of screen estate..maybe some smarter text scaling also..?
per note probability seems a common option for some other plugs these days..and play directions per lane-+speed options.per lane.. (checkout newer drum sequencer player device by ph)

Last edited by Bri1; 03-05-2019 at 07:10 AM. Reason: 1xtra
Bri1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.