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Old 01-03-2015, 07:07 PM   #1
PianoDude
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Default Live Use of REAPER - Will It Do This?

I am looking for a DAW. In particular, I am mostly interested in a MIDI sequencer and the ability to send MIDI commands to my Casio PX-350 digital piano in a live performance setting. While audio mixing and editing is a nice-to-have feature, it's not mandatory that I have those capabilities.

Can you tell me if REAPER will do what I will describe below? Is there another product that would be a better fit?

I apologize in advance for this long post. Here is what I'm looking for.

1. Use in a live performance setting
2. Use sequencer to play accompaniment instruments using sounds on my keyboard
3. While performing live, I want to play different sections of the song on-demand without a predetermined script. For example, for Performance A, I might want to play the verse section 3 times but in Performance B I might only want to play the verse section two times. While performing the song, I may choose to repeat the chorus at the end 2 times or 5 times. But I won't know how many repeats of each section (verse, chorus, etc.) I will do until I am actually performing.
4. When I create the midi song on the sequencer, I would like to create the following sections: Intro, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Ending. I would like to have a button for each section of the song that I can push live. These buttons could be "software buttons" that show on the DAW. Even better, would be if these button could be the user configurable hardware buttons on my Casio PX-350 keyboard. I would love to push a button on my PX-350 that plays the verse using the DAW sequencer. I would then push a different button on the PX-350 that plays the chorus using the sequencer.
5. When I push the Verse button, the verse will continuously loop/repeat until I push a different button like the Chorus button. The chorus will continuously loop until I push a different section button or stop the song. When I push the button for the Ending section, the ending of the song will play but will not loop/repeat. The sequencer playback will stop when the Ending section finishes.
6. While performing live, I'd like to be able to push a button that will cause the sequencer to play the desired section of the song after the current section of the song finishes. For example, while the verse is currently playing, I will push the Chorus button. When the verse finishes playing, then the chorus will play. The chorus will continue to repeat/loop until I choose another section of the song to play or stop the sequencer playback.
7. I would like to push a software button that sets my keyboard (Casio PX-350) up for a specific song. For example, the desired piano or synth sound for live playing of the keyboard will be set. That sound might automatically be changed by the sequencer during different places in the song.
8. I would like the DAW to send MIDI data to the keyboard in order to configure the user configurable hardware buttons on my keyboard.

I used to be able to the above using the built-in sequencer on my Ensoniq ESQ-1 synth 25 years ago. I would love to have that functionality again today. I am just getting back into the electronic music world.

Thanks for your responses.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
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As much as I love Reaper there are a lot of issues with live MIDI because of bugs with note-offs, resulting in notes ringing on forever until pressed again, under a variety of circumstances. Especially under the circumstances you mention, such as looping, seeking during playback.

You can configure it to play sections at a button press, and you can also set it to not seek until it reaches the end of a bar, for smooth skipping (so just hit it slightly before the bar is done for a smooth transition).

At least for now, I would look towards a more live oriented tool. Although I've never used it, Ableton Live seems to be the world leader here.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:42 PM   #3
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yes you can do all of that. but it might take you some hours to set up just right. like he said, Live is set up for that type of thing out of the box.

but if you like reaper and want to try it, there are actions to smooth seek by region. try those out and see if it's close to what you need.

be sure to install sws extensions.

check the manual for info on MIDI hardware output and "custom actions."
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergler View Post
As much as I love Reaper there are a lot of issues with live MIDI because of bugs with note-offs, resulting in notes ringing on forever until pressed again, under a variety of circumstances. Especially under the circumstances you mention, such as looping, seeking during playback.

You can configure it to play sections at a button press, and you can also set it to not seek until it reaches the end of a bar, for smooth skipping (so just hit it slightly before the bar is done for a smooth transition).

At least for now, I would look towards a more live oriented tool. Although I've never used it, Ableton Live seems to be the world leader here.
Notes that don't turn off would be a problem. How prevalent is it?

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Originally Posted by PooFox View Post
yes you can do all of that. but it might take you some hours to set up just right. like he said, Live is set up for that type of thing out of the box.

but if you like reaper and want to try it, there are actions to smooth seek by region. try those out and see if it's close to what you need.

be sure to install sws extensions.

check the manual for info on MIDI hardware output and "custom actions."
Last night I looked at the licensing for Ableton Live and am a bit turned off by the licensing. The REAPER licensing model is much more attractive. The Intro version of Live is around $70. The next higher version was around $600. The problem is the Live Intro version limits you to 8 "Scenes". In my song scenario, the Introduction, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, and Ending would each be "Scenes". That simple scenario already requires 5 scenes. If each verse needs to be a little different, then you need additional scenes for Verse1, Verse2, Verse3, etc. You can run up against the 8 scene really quickly. So the Ableton Live Intro version seems to really be a $70 demo.
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:05 PM   #5
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Notes that don't turn off would be a problem. How prevalent is it?
i don't have too much trouble, but if you run into it, you can make a custom action for each region seek action to first send midi note offs. yes, live is overpriced. just realize that with reaper, you have to do more work to set things up. it's a trade off. but totally worth it, imo.
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:08 PM   #6
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What about this?

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=149712
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by PooFox View Post
i don't have too much trouble, but if you run into it, you can make a custom action for each region seek action to first send midi note offs. yes, live is overpriced. just realize that with reaper, you have to do more work to set things up. it's a trade off. but totally worth it, imo.
From reading people's comments about Live, they seem to really like the full expensive version. However, it appears that many people are not satisfied with the Intro version, feeling that it is too severely crippled for a version that you bought.

I like REAPER's licensing model. If you are a steady professional musician, you need to buy the professional license. For amateurs like myself, pay a lower priced non-professional license on the honor system but still get full functionality. Even REAPER's professional license seems to be very reasonable.

I'm still considering my options. I have watched a couple REAPER tutorial videos. I'd love to see one that shows how it could be used in non-scripted live setting.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:54 PM   #8
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That certainly looks interesting. Thanks.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:18 PM   #9
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That certainly looks interesting. Thanks.
No problemo. Follow that thread. It's still in its infancy, but looks promising, and seems to be reasonably priced as well.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:37 PM   #10
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Just wanted to propose one more alternative for you. About half as pricey as Live (or as pricey with the bigger versions), but NI Maschine will do what you want and very easily as it's a hardware/software package. You can run it standalone or as a plugin inside Reaper. It can host and sequence your VST plugins as well. You can even drag patterns right out of Maschine into Reaper as MIDI or Audio.

http://www.native-instruments.com/en...aschine-mikro/

I'd recommend that if you don't have a good MIDI controller already. It's very solid and built to do what you're talking about. It's also got some nice built in Fx. I like it as a sketch tool and it's perfect for live use.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PooFox View Post
Just wanted to propose one more alternative for you. About half as pricey as Live (or as pricey with the bigger versions), but NI Maschine will do what you want and very easily as it's a hardware/software package. You can run it standalone or as a plugin inside Reaper. It can host and sequence your VST plugins as well. You can even drag patterns right out of Maschine into Reaper as MIDI or Audio.

http://www.native-instruments.com/en...aschine-mikro/

I'd recommend that if you don't have a good MIDI controller already. It's very solid and built to do what you're talking about. It's also got some nice built in Fx. I like it as a sketch tool and it's perfect for live use.
Great suggestion, probably the best way to combine using Reaper with a more reliable MIDI/performance system.
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