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Old 12-09-2019, 03:26 AM   #1
Martin777
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Default Reaper keyboard rig with Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol

Hi,

I've been using Reaper for many years for recording and mastering and I love it. It's probably the best software I've ever seen: Lightweight, flexible and stable.

After beeing a guitarist for the last years, I've been playing keyboard more and more live now. I've chosen a MIDI keyboard with VST instruments on a PC for my keyboard rack. I have a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 MK2 together with Komplete Ultimate VSTs, as an audio interface I use a Behringer UMC1820.

I've been looking for the right VST host on windows, I don't want to buy a Mac in order to be able to use MainStage. I've tried GigPerformer, Cantabile and Camelot Pro now, but I'm not really happy with all of them.

The Komplete Kontrol Keyboard works very nice with reaper, as there is a great Extension called ReaKontrol that enables the cool features of the keyboard to work seamlessly with reaper (channel switching, transport buttons, mixer control, ...) besides the nice browsing and sound editing options within the NI plugins. So for DAW use this keyboard is a great choice to work with Reaper.

Now I've tried to use Reaper as a live VST host together with LiveConfigs. In the MIDI input tracks I send the MIDI input to several other channels with MIDI Note Filter to create some standard key split ranges, and I added a MIDI Note Transpose on this channel for a global transpose option after the key splits, so that transposing doesn't change the split points.

So far I don't have a good solution for preset switching so far - maybe I will try a MIDI pedalboard for this.

I also use Reaper to send the metronome click to our drummer via seperate output channels. So far I have to manually enter the song tempo each time in reaper, the same goes for the global transpose setting that I sometimes use to avoid ugly keys.

Is there a nice way to have song presets with tempo and transpose settings? This would make my setup much more comfortable.

If anyone has suggestions for other improvements in my setup I would also be very happy.

Kind regards
Martin
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:32 AM   #2
mschnell
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I econ that Reaper is perfect for your endeavor, if you take on the task of configuring the project appropriately. This forum will help a lot.

The Behringer UMC series is rumored not to provide the low latency needed to use it for Live playing. When I did my setup I bought an NI Auduio 6 as it's dedicatedly done with Live usage in mind.

ReaContrl:
Same obviously is done do be an out of the box usable Surface Control adapter. Supposedly it supports a dedicated way of workflow in a very good way, but it seems it is not intended for any flexibility. Hence it is neither suitable to work together with the "CSI" Reaper extension to provide a flexible configuration of mixing workflow nor does it seem to help with a versatile live setup.

I posted a comment regarding this issue in a thread dealing with ReaContrl -> https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=222331#39
Maybe the expert might see it.

For a versatile Live setup you are going to need a lot of buttons / knobs / faders. I don't know if the control element provided by the keyboard will suffice. I first used a standard masterkeyboard for this, but later added an XTouch compact to the setup. Of course a pedal board is another great addition, especially if you want up/down buttons e.g. for song switching. Here I suppose a state display is mandatory, Having same on the keyboard would be perfect, as IMHO it's not a good idea to use a computer screen on stage, but a decent rack_mounted (or similar) PC is a better choice.

-Michael

Last edited by mschnell; 12-09-2019 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:08 AM   #3
Regisfofo
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Maybe you already know about it but TJA midi Performer is really nice and powerfull for controling key split and transpose :
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=216034


Does live config feets your switching needs otherwise ? If so, you could control tempo changes with live config actions. Just put a marker or region for each song on your arrangement view, with dedicated tempo set for the song for each one. Then use Live config to go there accordingly.
Hope it helps...
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:15 AM   #4
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Using a LiveConfigs plane to switch songs (Pointers/Marker ... ???) instead of tracks / routing / patches seems like a nice idea I did not yet think about.

Need to try this ASAP...

-Michael
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:51 AM   #5
Martin777
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Hi Regisfofo,

no, I haven't used TJA Midi Performer yet... looks like a great tool for me!
Also the idea with tempo markers and jumping to them via live config action is very good. Thank you!

Regards
Martin


Quote:
Originally Posted by Regisfofo View Post
Maybe you already know about it but TJA midi Performer is really nice and powerfull for controling key split and transpose :
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=216034


Does live config feets your switching needs otherwise ? If so, you could control tempo changes with live config actions. Just put a marker or region for each song on your arrangement view, with dedicated tempo set for the song for each one. Then use Live config to go there accordingly.
Hope it helps...
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:20 AM   #6
Martin777
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Update:

I'm now using the following configuration:

I created a MIDI input track that receives the MIDI information from my keyboard. On this track I added the following FX:

- ReaLearn to control various FX setting switching
- MIDI convert to CC to use (for now) the lowest keys on the keyboard to do LiveConfigs Track Switching
- MIDItoReaControlPath to send these CCs to the Control Path, so that LiveConfigs receives it
- MIDI transpose notes for global transpose

For each sound preset I created a separate track that contains the required VSTs. I selected my MIDI Input as "Input Track" in LiveConfigs and I added the different preset tracks as separate rows.

On each preset tracks there is an MIDI performer instance in order to assign key ranges to the VSTs on that track. In order to send the right notes to the different plugins I set each row in MIDI performer to output the notes on different MIDI buses, each on channel 1. I chose buses and not channels, because not every VST instrument allows to choose its MIDI input channel. In Reaper's track FX routing window (x/y out), followed by the I/O button, I can assign each VST to a different MIDI bus that it's listening to.

For now this seems to be a very clear and easy setup!

The only thing that I'm missing is that the global transpose occurs before splitting the keyboard, so that the split points move when transposing. Putting the transpose plugins after MIDI performer would need some synchronisation between them and I don't know if it works on MIDI buses other than 1.

Regards,
Martin
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:25 AM   #7
mschnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin777 View Post
I selected my MIDI Input as "Input Track" in LiveConfigs
Hence LiveConfis will change the routing appropriately.

In my setup I disabled the "Input Track" feature and did a permanent midi routing for all tracks manually, and having Reaper mute the not-to-be-played tracks. Did you find pout pros and cons for these alternatives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin777 View Post
On each preset tracks there is an MIDI performer instance ...
This seems like a huge waste or resources.

I use Kontakt on a single of the many tracks that are selectable by LiveConfigs (for each of the three keyboards). I use "Slider To Midi PS" do send a program change message to Kontakt controlled by LiveConfigs in order to switch to the appropriate Kontakt-based patch. I suppose MIDI Performer (whatever plugin this might be) also understands program change messages, but I might be wrong.

-Michael

Last edited by mschnell; 12-12-2019 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:06 AM   #8
Martin777
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I agree that this is a waste of ressources!

I don't only use Kontakt but also other NI Synths and instruments, in various combinations. All instruments are loaded in the Komplete Kontrol VST to enable support for the NI S88 keyboard. So I accept a waste of RAM for more ease of use at the moment.

Besides this, I want the patches to be active immediately after switching without delay for loading samples, which can be a problem with Kontakt.

So far I have no performance issues on my Laptop (I7 with 16G RAM). If any problems occur, I will try to find an optimized solution.
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Old 12-13-2019, 03:52 AM   #9
Regisfofo
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My 2 cents, but couldn't you use the same Live config CC to switch presets in Midi performer ?
So you could keep only one midi performer instance and place it where you want within your midi input track FX chain.

(use that CC to switch Progam Change in ReacontrolMidi with a dedicated reabank Before the midi performer. Then in Midi Performer click the '+' button > 'link to program change').
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin777 View Post
Besides this, I want the patches to be active immediately after switching without delay for loading samples, which can be a problem with Kontakt.
This is exactly what i avoid by using Program Change.

With a single Track with Kontakt:
- Using a Reaper preset to change the patch takes quite a long time when switching,
- but doing an Instrument Collection in Kontakt ans selecting an instrument by program change works immediately without wasting CPU and RAM resources.

Did you understand how Slider To Midi PS can be used to send a Program Change by means of LiveConfigs (without needing Reabank, which might or might not be advantageous) ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin777 View Post
All instruments are loaded in the Komplete Kontrol VST to enable support for the NI S88 keyboard.
Which kind of support ?
Is same versatile enough so that additional support by Reaper (e.g. managing additional hardware devices) is not necessary ?

-Michael

Last edited by mschnell; 12-13-2019 at 06:33 AM.
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