Old 07-21-2019, 02:00 PM   #1
LoganAtSea
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Default Does REAPER include a way to program drums?

I was this close to purchasing Studio One 4.5 Professional, but was made aware of REAPER. Does REAPER include a way to easily program drums?
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:27 PM   #2
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lots of ways to program drums - in the grid editor (with named notes - templates are available for GM kits etc. if needed), or step time, or drum machine style (MIDI overdub)-(i think Kenny has done a video on this) or in Mega sequencer baby (an included VST with a drum grid / pattern selector)

edit - actually, sequencer megababy is a JS plugin, not VST

Last edited by domzy; 07-21-2019 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domzy View Post
lots of ways to program drums - in the grid editor (with named notes - templates are available for GM kits etc. if needed), or step time, or drum machine style (MIDI overdub)-(i think Kenny has done a video on this) or in Mega sequencer baby (an included VST with a drum grid / pattern selector)
The grid editor sounds promising. Once I add a blank track, how do I go about finding the grid editor?
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:54 PM   #4
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1. Insert a new MIDI item - the easiest way is to Ctrl+drag on a track.
2. Double-click it.

Note that you'll have to find a drum VST to play the notes for you, or set up a hardware output to send the MIDI to an external device.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:15 PM   #5
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In Studio One, there's a way to program drums without a MIDI device. Is there such a way in REAPER?
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:18 PM   #6
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Check out the official Reaper tutorials. Kenny Gioia has a whole bunch on drum sequencing.

Here's one, but there are quite a few more on the Videos section of http://Reaper.fm:
http://reaper.fm/videos.php#nJFcRF-D9Sk

I am not very good with a keyboard or MIDI device, so I always program my drums in. All you'll need is either a drum VSTi of some sort (Drum Pro is free, iirc: https://www.studiolinked.com/drum-pro/), or just some samples and use something like ReaSamplOmatic5000 (the sampler built into Reaper). There's actually some really good samples out there too for free. I saw a whole package of free drum samples somewhere.. it was either in the Reaper stash (https://stash.reaper.fm/) or mentioned in one of Gioia's files.

Gioia also has some more intermediate tutorials that are great, like showing you how to set up your editor so that it shows what each note is for (like ex. C3 might be your kick drum, but you can label it in the editor as "Kick" instead of C3 so you don't have to hunt around to figure out note does what).
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganAtSea View Post
In Studio One, there's a way to program drums without a MIDI device. Is there such a way in REAPER?
Programming isn't the problem - you need either a MIDI device or a software instrument (typically a VST plugin) to play the drum sounds from your pattern.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:32 PM   #8
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MT PowerDrums v2 is a cracker and its free. So is Drum Pro, as previously mentiond. And then there is Slate Drums5, also free. These three are pretty dern good, so at least you have a decent place to start.

By way of further explanation, Cocks` ethos has always been to provide you with the tools to do excellent recording and mixing, plus a selection of the "essential" plugins, but little in the way of virtual instruments.

If you have used other DAWs you will know they generally provide some instruments, but in reality I and many many others tend to prefer picking our own virtual instruments, especially since there ARE so many good free or very inexpensive ones out there today.

Can I recommend you have a look at the "Going all freeware, well almost" thread in these forums? Super helpful.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstooch View Post
Check out the official Reaper tutorials. Kenny Gioia has a whole bunch on drum sequencing.

Here's one, but there are quite a few more on the Videos section of http://Reaper.fm:
http://reaper.fm/videos.php#nJFcRF-D9Sk

I am not very good with a keyboard or MIDI device, so I always program my drums in. All you'll need is either a drum VSTi of some sort (Drum Pro is free, iirc: https://www.studiolinked.com/drum-pro/), or just some samples and use something like ReaSamplOmatic5000 (the sampler built into Reaper). There's actually some really good samples out there too for free. I saw a whole package of free drum samples somewhere.. it was either in the Reaper stash (https://stash.reaper.fm/) or mentioned in one of Gioia's files.

Gioia also has some more intermediate tutorials that are great, like showing you how to set up your editor so that it shows what each note is for (like ex. C3 might be your kick drum, but you can label it in the editor as "Kick" instead of C3 so you don't have to hunt around to figure out note does what).
That was super helpful. Thanks.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
Programming isn't the problem - you need either a MIDI device or a software instrument (typically a VST plugin) to play the drum sounds from your pattern.
Can you explain? I need the ability to record me playing guitars and keyboards, but need to program drums.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
1. Insert a new MIDI item - the easiest way is to Ctrl+drag on a track.
2. Double-click it.

Note that you'll have to find a drum VST to play the notes for you, or set up a hardware output to send the MIDI to an external device.
This ^^^

In the midi editor you can draw drum hits with your mouse, and loop sections if you only need a straight beat for a number of measures.

As for the drum VSTi, without spending any money you could download Tod's free drumkit for the native sampler that comes with REAPER. His samples are pretty decent for a real sounding set of drums at the right price.

Free samples here. https://smmdrums.wordpress.com/for-reaper/
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganAtSea View Post
Can you explain? I need the ability to record me playing guitars and keyboards, but need to program drums.
He means that once you have got the drums programmed in the MIDI Editor, then you'll need something (e,g an external hardware device or a software drum plug-in) to hear the audio.

And here's the sort of drum note programming that you can do:
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganAtSea View Post
Can you explain? I need the ability to record me playing guitars and keyboards, but need to program drums.
That was in response to:
Quote:
In Studio One, there's a way to program drums without a MIDI device. Is there such a way in REAPER?
I may have misunderstood the question. At any rate, you can program your drums in Reaper just fine with the MIDI editor - no external devices needed. To play back your drum patterns and hear a drum kit playing, you'll need either a software drum machine (MTPowerDrumKit or EZDrummer, for instance), or an hardware drum machine that you can send Reaper's MIDI out to.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
He means that once you have got the drums programmed in the MIDI Editor, then you'll need something (e,g an external hardware device or a software drum plug-in) to hear the audio.

And here's the sort of drum note programming that you can do:
Is that screenshot from REAPER?

Last edited by LoganAtSea; 07-22-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:27 AM   #15
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I don't own EZdrummer, but here's a quote from Recording Magazine that I've posted before:
Quote:
For nearly 20 years now, I've followed the submissions to our Reader's Tapes column looking for relationships between the gear used and the end results. I'm particularly interested the fact that many of our readers don't play drums themselves, or have a live drummer...
Some use drum machines, some drag and drop drum loops... and arrange them in their DAWs, some use rhythm box plug-ins, and the results are all over the map... Whether it's bad samples, unrealistic mixing, sloppy effects, or a groove no real drummer would play, these less-than-stellar drum tracks can drag an entire song down...
Comparing gear lists to critique results, a small handful of products could be traced consistently to excellent drum tracks. [EZdrummer] was not only among the most consistent of the virtual drummers but also among the most affordable.
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:17 PM   #16
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When I made the switch from Ableton to Reaper I found it annoyingly difficult to program drums. I still miss the Drumrack from Ableton most of all with that DAW. I'm not much of a sequencer guy(I want to program from scratch with MIDI notes) so can't comment on that.

What I'm doing these days are using these drums for non-edm music mostly with some blending of samples aswell:

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=150924

I would recommend you to configure the midi editor to get rid of all the annoying keys that don't contain any drums and name the keys accordingly to get a good workflow with it. Reapers humanize functions for timing & note velocity are cool!

Download the demo of Reaper and try it out
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:56 PM   #17
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alternatively,

write the drums in another sheet music editor such as muse score (or what i use is guitar pro)
then export as midi file
then drop the midi into a reaper track

then assign a plugin to synthesize audio from the midi (mt powerdrums or steven slate drums)
and set the preferences to make the right sounds from the right midi note.

then tweak the midi notes a bit in reaper.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganAtSea View Post
Is that screenshot from REAPER?
Yep, it sure is.

I changed the note shape to "triangles", selected "Hide unused and unnamed notes" and load a Note Names file.
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:20 AM   #19
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Reaper does include ReaSynDrum which isn’t anything exciting, but doesn’t sound worse than any other analog style drum machine. If you’re just trying to hear something rtfn or are looking for that kind of sound, it works fine.
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