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Old 09-19-2017, 12:48 PM   #1
inarisound
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Default Reaper Midi Editor: Visual & Functional Improvements

Hello the best community in music industry!
After I started using 5.50 I was shocked how badass our devs are for implementing some of the great concepts that don't exist in any other DAWs

Now if our guys can improve Midi Editor behavior then I can die peacefully !
_____________

More specifically I am talking about small but really crucial things that could possibly help us, composers, to save our time and invest it in creativity.

I've been using lots of DAWs before I settled with Reaper and in my opinion one of the best Midi Editors that I saw was in Ableton.

Why? Because of the smart Zooming in/out feature.

In a lot of instances when we work with Midi editor we switch between bars/grids and in Reaper it's simply not "smart" enough... feels clumsy.


So let me state some possible improvements and return to Zoom in/out later.


1) I would really love to see a good "supported" version of "collapse notes" aka hide unused notes.

While we do have action named "Hide unused Note rows (off)" it is not perfect or what you would expect.

Even if you have show note name turned on it will not show note names while using that action/view. Same goes with piano Roll.... it will just disappear.
So all you can do is guess what note it is (unless you hover) or memorize what colors what notes are. (witch I think is not very practical)


Example: BEFORE/AFTER
Before:



After:




2) It would be a really nice touch to separate two bars with a slightly darker coloring. (So even bars would be a bit darker then odd bars) // it could be also implemented in arrangement view //

It really dose help to know where you are in the song/composition, even though it sounds funny =P


Example: BEFORE/AFTER




3) When you stretch a note without using "Snap to grid" it is hard to tell if you got it on the grid or not....
It would be nice touch if end or beginning of the note (depending in witch direction it is starched) would change the color once it lines up with the grid
// by that I mean just the very end or beginning of the note will change color, not the entire note changing color!//

Example with beginning of the note lining up with the grid and end of the note:



/// you can't see my mouse starching the note because when you take screenshots with mouse action it just removes mouse cursor ////


4) It's is really hard to draw pitchbend if you try using it without extra plugins or tricks in Midi Editor.
This is how it looks to draw automation for any parameters now:


This is how I would love to see it:




To be fair this request has been going around in different forms and shapes for a log time...(ref: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=38227
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=25368 )
but unfortunately it never got fulfilled due to not active posts.... but I would really love to see it being implemented in future because it would make pitchband and other parameter automation much more intuitive.



5) And potentially the most powerful improvement should be in the Zoom in/out aria aka notes alignment/display.

Before stating my suggestions I want to say...It is REALLY hard to do it right, but if you will do it, it would be the most rewarding thing in the universe. So if someone who used other DAWs or just have good ideas and can chip in on it....it would be much appreciated.

/////////////////////////

Unfortunately placement of notes is really hard to get right but it needs to be addressed because in a lot of cases when I zoom out and change the grid from 16 to 32 it would simply stay on 16.... and it would cause a lot of confusion (not anymore... cuz I got used to that.... but it still is frustrating)


Same goes with notes and how they are displayed it is really hard to find this balance.... they are ether too small to see/adjust or too big and take too much space on the screen.


The way Ableton solved that problem by making a "fixed vertical and horizontal placement"

So you can change vertical and horizontal view but withing the limit.



Maybe we can make something like that? where you can't change view too much but it would be optimized and every time you change grid and zoom out you will still see correct grid lines?


It is defiantly not a one day job.... and really hard topic. I am sure there would be lots of people who got used to the workflow and would criticize my suggestion but I just wanted to throw the ideas out there.


As I've mentioned 5.50 just blew my mind with great features.... so I hope Reaper team/devs may look into one of my worst nightmares here "Midi Editor"

Last edited by inarisound; 09-21-2017 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:55 PM   #2
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Midi editor needs a lot of work. Better ui ( that transport bar should be on top, not bottom), cc tools. I was referring devs to look in to cubase midi editor, because hands down it is best out there, and I still think they should just copy it while adding some of their own improvements. As for your suggestions, why not. Colored grid is definitely a must, same for better zooming and snapping.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:42 PM   #3
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#3 is interesting to me. It makes me think about the "editing guidelines" in arrange view. I think they could be improved in this respect as well as others too. I can't tell if the line is just a little brighter because there is a grid line directly under it, but I think that is the case. An extra something might be nice. I also think they should always stop at whichever item they are currently going to snap to.

Quote:
Unfortunately placement of notes is really hard to get right but it needs to be addressed because in a lot of cases when I zoom out and change the grid from 16 to 32 it would simply stay on 16.... and it would cause a lot of confusion (not anymore... cuz I got used to that.... but it still is frustrating)
I've been using REAPER for several years now and still have trouble getting a note to land in the right place. I think it is because, IMO, the minimum grid line spacing is too wide. It changes too early when zooming out. Even on 17" laptop, which is not my main machine.

------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a list of my own pet peeves in this department:

#1. (<<<by far). I have not been able to find a way to guarantee a "visible" only workflow. I have it close, but not quite when double clicking items in arrange (If I try to add an item which is not already open in the editor, the currently active item becomes (is left as) "editable"). So Control A + Do Something is out of the question. With Double Clicking (edit - notes in the background) to switch items, this is invariable. So I close the editor, Every. Single. Time. That I want to switch. It ends up being faster than fumbling with the track list.

#2. Minimum grid spacing too wide. Mentioned above.

#3. Auto-zoom. I use Project Sync. It zooms arrange as well as the editor. SWS undo zoom thankfully catches it and makes it undo-able. Could the nice developers please add - If not project sync then auto zoom else pass?

#4. Scrolling bug here: (this is not undoable)
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=193808

#5. I would get more use of a toolbar or place to dock a script window than the piano keys which eat so much space.

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

Well, good luck with yours...

Last edited by FnA; 09-19-2017 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FnA View Post
#3 is interesting to me. It makes me think about the "editing guidelines" in arrange view. I think they could be improved in this respect as well as others too. I can't tell if the line is just a little brighter because there is a grid line directly under it, but I think that is the case. An extra something might be nice. I also think they should always stop at whichever item they are currently going to snap to.



I've been using REAPER for several years now and still have trouble getting a note to land in the right place. I think it is because, IMO, the minimum grid line spacing is too wide. It changes too early when zooming out. Even on 17" laptop, which is not my main machine.

------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a list of my own pet peeves in this department:

#1. (<<<by far). I have not been able to find a way to guarantee a "visible" only workflow. I have it close, but not quite when double clicking items in arrange (If I try to add an item which is not already open in the editor, the currently active item becomes (is left as) "editable"). So Control A + Do Something is out of the question. With Double Clicking to switch items, this is invariable. So I close the editor, Every. Single. Time. That I want to switch. It ends up being faster than fumbling with the track list.

#2. Minimum grid spacing too wide. Mentioned above.

#3. Auto-zoom. I use Project Sync. It zooms arrange as well as the editor. SWS undo zoom thankfully catches it and makes it undo-able. Could the nice developers please add - If not project sync then auto zoom else pass?

#4. Scrolling bug here: (this is not undoable)
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=193808

#5. I would get more use of a toolbar or place to dock a script window than the piano keys which eat so much space.

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

Well, good luck with yours...
I agree with you. Also been posting about it for years. In cubase it is working perfectly, that's why I've been asking devs to check it out.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:14 PM   #5
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Which one

There are a number of threads about things not snapping perfectly to grid. Maybe something which confirms a little more firmly would help.

Don't know if editing guidelines would be popular in the editor...
there is a snap to notes feature now that is cool, but maybe something, guideline or other, could help you tell what it's going to. But inarisound said "when snap off." That seems difficult, unless "if less than pixel, snap to grid" or something was in place.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FnA View Post
Which one

There are a number of threads about things not snapping perfectly to grid. Maybe something which confirms a little more firmly would help.

Don't know if editing guidelines would be popular in the editor...
there is a snap to notes feature now that is cool, but maybe something, guideline or other, could help you tell what it's going to. But inarisound said "when snap off." That seems difficult, unless "if less than pixel, snap to grid" or something was in place.
Posts here and there, basically calling for midi editor overhaul, giving loads of explanation on to how it should work to not to be cumbersome to work in. I'm not gonna write all that again thought.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FnA View Post
#1. (<<<by far). I have not been able to find a way to guarantee a "visible" only workflow. I have it close, but not quite when double clicking items in arrange (If I try to add an item which is not already open in the editor, the currently active item becomes (is left as) "editable"). So Control A + Do Something is out of the question. With Double Clicking (edit - notes in the background) to switch items, this is invariable. So I close the editor, Every. Single. Time. That I want to switch. It ends up being faster than fumbling with the track list.
https://i.imgur.com/un5qIcz.png

https://i.imgur.com/8XZUkeJ.png

https://i.imgur.com/ysdcZet.png

These are the settings I use, and it always works exactly as it should (and if I understood correctly, exactly as you would like to work, too). Also, the Media Item Lane is one of those features that I first didn't pay attention to, but quickly afterwards became a great way to navigate/edit when working with MIDI (I sometimes even maximize the MIDI editor and navigate the MIDI items in the project using that lane for an extended period of time, instead of visiting the arrangement at all). Routinely editing quite a bit of MIDI in Reaper these days.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:19 PM   #8
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Hi guys! I updated my "vision" with some screenshots... if you don't mind to brainstorm the zoom in/out option (proper alignment) it would be really great!


It's one of the most impotent concerns that I have but still can't imagine how to explain it better without just referencing "check out this DAW"


I really hope our devs can hear us and will do something with midi editor.....

While yes, it's possible to work with it in the state that it is right now, it is really uncomfortable and makes the process of writing music using midi editor somewhat miserable experience.


Also please let me know if presented concept(s) something that you would be interested in

I don't want to be "that guy" that try to push things that would be useful only to him and his ego.


sincerely yours,
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:10 PM   #9
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#2 has got me somewhat interested. I guess I would at least try it, although I know I would want it to be far more subtle than that. So I bet it would have to be at least two colors, maybe more, in the theme tweaker. I have my gridlines a bit more differentiated than you but still I think I run into a mistaken identity at certain zoom levels so...

Not really sure what you are getting at with the last part after #5 now.


================================================== ==========

@ Lunar Ladder: Kind of you to post that. It appears you are right that that is a way to keep only one item editable at a time. I wish it could happen without being linked to item selection. But it might be worth the trade off. I'll have to try some things under pressure to be sure. I don't think "Open clicked item only" is going to work for me however. (I use "Open all selected items.") I currently am used to having "Active item follows selection changes" and the two "link to" visibility/editability actions disabled. I experimented in the past with these and found that I like to keep item selection separate. But again, after all it might be worth the trade off. I was kind of ignorant of "only items on the same track are editable." It didn't sound appealing because I thought it referred to a general operating paradigm of the editor, but it looks like it means more when opening items.

The double click background notes feature seems unchanged under your choice of settings. It still leaves two items Editable, including the new Active one. Unfinished, I would say. Maybe two mouse modifiers would be good for that. One to leave current Active Item as Visible. One as Editable. Also, I think I could use a toggle action to override multi item editing entirely. Or at least one to set all Editable to Visible. Something. Maybe they will finally make some API for this stuff some day.

Thanks again for the reply. Might be able to get something out of revisiting those options.

Last edited by FnA; 09-21-2017 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:00 PM   #10
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Nice ideas, but I think throwing more than one idea into a single post is confusing. With a single ideas folks can have their "yea" and be done with it and the devs can see easily how many users want them.

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Old 09-22-2017, 02:16 PM   #11
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https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=181729

might get your ideas noticed better than in here. Lots of us midiots check that thread out regularly.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:55 PM   #12
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I've been asking for bezier curves in midi ed, or automation bezier curves for midi, without need for plugin for a long time now. When using plugin there are some glitches and there is some delay.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:06 AM   #13
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+ for 2
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:54 AM   #14
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Does anyone willing to share their midi editor config? I'm tired and frustrated to work with my config...
Double click item, zoom in > wrong place of the song > scroll to editing area > select item to edit = fckn hell. Its still lightyears ahead ableton because of one simple feature - layered editing.

My ideal is to approximate QY 700 hardware sequencer / music 2000 controller and use mouse only for micro-edits. Ideally it should feel as if I play some kind of strategy game or something on oldschool console, not like working with excel. Photoshop style wouldn't cut it too (scrolling with mouse, marque etc.), discreete button presses should be sufficient for grid based editing (i.e. arrange/ ME / Notation (basic).
My workflow is hit record, play keys, stop, redo, overdub, change instrument, repeat. Stopping playback is not a problem for me, I've worked around abort recording actions/ save recording continue playback etc. I am very satisfied with arrange view - I have buttons for up/down track, mute, solo, arm, track templates. Basically I dont think anymore when in arrange view. On the other hand ME is a fkn headscratcher. Sometimes I have to work with notation, like writing lyrics - fkn frustrating hell to set loop points in notation, I hate it so much, yet I HAVE to use it, arrrghhhh!!!

FR for devs would be: add waveform overlay ala bitwig, so we could work with samples just as easily as with midi (further enhancement would be spectrogram overlay - this one has potential to change the way we see music). Basically, I want to use midi editor / notator as self-contained program, where I can record parts, navigate etc.
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