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Old 05-17-2014, 11:14 PM   #1
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Default Best way to switch between presets or vst for live use?

Hi, let's say I'm using a guitar or a microphone input to play live with some effects applied from reaper. What is the best way to change the effect that is applied to the input?

For example, I have a track with a input from a dry guitar, I want to apply a delay effect during the verse and switch to distortion during the chorus. It's for live use on stage so stability and cpu load are the important parameters.

I checked the forum and first tried this great midi program change technique explained by darkstar:
but with the amp sim vst I'm using there is a crack when switching from a sound to another.

Then I used bypass automation thanks to darkstar again!
I create two tracks with the guitar input, one with the delay vst and the other with the disto vst and then switch with the bypass automation.
There is no crackling sound and the cpu doesn't see bypassed tracks so this sound like the ideal solution to me.

However you may have another technique to suggest? Or is that the best way to do?
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:43 AM   #2
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i would not recommend switching presets live since in some cases that may crash your plugin or have some delay between. often that will cut off effect trails as well, which sounds shitty.

switching tracks is much better, especially for switching between compex fx chains. but if all you want to do is turn an effect on and off do this:

open the plugin and hit the bypass with your mouse, either on the plugin or up in the top right checkbox. then click the param button, click learn and hit a button or pedal on your controller. now your controller can just turn that effect on and off.

i use separate tracks for different synth sounds and just change the armed track with a macro i made. they all have the same input and nothing gets muted so it's seamless and instant.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:24 AM   #3
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So bypass is the right way! Now i don't need 2 armed tracks for clean and distorded guitar sound. Just 1 track that contains all the effects that will be switched on and off it's great. Thank you Poo Fox!
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:24 AM   #4
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What I use is one track per sound and all of them are set to auto-arm on selection. I navigate them using arrow keys. They are arranged before the song is played or before entire set. You can also use multiple tracks at once that's what I love for big fat distortion sounds.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:31 AM   #5
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You're on the right path to determine your 'correct' approach.

You have the parameter set from any plugin itself that you can assign to midi controllers. You also have the fallback plan to dial up multiple tracks and selectively mute.

Now just test your various options and shake out any show stoppers.

Rule of thumb stuff:
If a plugin you want to use gives you buggy behavior (especially actual crashing from certain adjustments), don't even use it at all. It's fired! If you can't achieve perfect operation in testing at home, I guarantee it will be embarrassing trouble live!

If you are selectively muting tracks, you will actually want to set the preference for 'muted tracks do not use cpu' to off. Counter-intuitive at first but it's actually more work for Reaper to turn processing an/off for tracks as PDC gets changed for the entire board every time this happens. You'll get lots of clicks and pops.

In your testing, set up various trouble situations so you can learn how to recover quickly. For example, pull the usb plug on one of your midi controllers and then plug it back in. Does it just come back? Maybe you have to go to Preferences and select it and/or click 'edit' to start it talking again. You'll want to know these things so you can troubleshoot under fire quickly. Think about scenarios where certain pieces of gear go down and make backup plans.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:49 AM   #6
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+1 on serr's tips.

(Fwiw: it still annoys me that REAPER, unlike many other hosts (and even OSCII-bot!), does not automatically re-enable devices with intermittent connectivity. We shouldn't have to go to Preferences or anything - devices should just come back online automatically.)

For live use, I prefer to link the dry/wet parameters of two effects (or effect chains, if you will - the basic idea remains the same) using Parameter Modulation, with the value of the second (group) inverted. That way you can also make smooth transitions at any speed you want, without ever hearing pops or clicks.

Of course, this presumes that you have enough CPU to also run the effects that you don't hear. So a slightly more complicated technique I also use in case of CPU-heavy plug-ins, is to first un-bypass the second (group), then crossfade dry/wet, then bypass the first (group) (or vice versa, of course).
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:01 AM   #7
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Awesome tips everyone, thanks!
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