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Old 06-11-2016, 03:34 PM   #1
helgoboss
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Default Announcing ReaLearn: Sophisticated MIDI/MCU/OSC learn for REAPER

A lot has happened since the initial release of ReaLearn. Since v1.10.0, the latest version can always be found on GitHub.

---

Dear REAPER users,

lately I've been working on another little REAPER plug-in called ReaLearn. Its purpose is to improve REAPER's MIDI learn capabilities. It's free. You can download it here: http://www.helgoboss.org/projects/realearn/

Right now it's still in beta stage. Any crash or bug report is appreciated.


Background:

As silent film accompanist working with keyboards and VST instruments mainly, I want to be able to quickly map MIDI controls to FX parameters. REAPER has this capability but I've always found it too limited for my use cases. Even with the new MIDI link feature added to the mix, I found there were many things left to be desired (I think MIDI link is tailored to other purposes).

Of course, in REAPER there's always a way: With a little bit of JS preprocessing and MidiToReaControlPath, most things turn out to be possible at the end. But it's fiddly to set up.

That's why I wrote ReaLearn. It's a REAPER-only VSTi plug-in (like Playtime). You load it exactly like other VSTi's - although I recommend to load it into the input FX chain instead of the normal one.

Here's a screenshot:



Some basic wording before I introduce the features:
  • Source = MIDI controller element (fader, encoder, note velocity, etc.)
  • Target = Controlled parameter (FX parameter, action etc.)
  • Mode = Absolute, relative or toggle mode (along with its settings)
  • Mapping = Source + Target + Mode

Features:
  • You can use REAPER's built-in MIDI routing capabilities to route MIDI events to ReaLearn. That's for example useful if you want different mappings depending on the song you are currently playing.
  • You can preprocess incoming MIDI events before they are routed to the target.
  • If you put ReaLearn into the normal FX chain (not the input FX chain), you can also route MIDI items on the track itself to ReaLearn. (I prefer not to do that and instead write automation in latch mode while recording already - track envelopes are much easier to edit and have a higher resolution than MIDI CC.)
  • You can group mappings and activate/deactivate them group-wise simply by instantiating multiple ReaLearn instances and enabling/disabling them as desired in the FX chain window.
  • You can save a bunch of commonly used mappings as preset and reuse it.
  • You can map to actions on a per-project basis (vs. only globally). So you don't need to pollute your global action mappings just for the needs of one project.
  • You can map to track volume
  • You can map to track send volume
  • You can "squeeze" the target values into a specific range
  • You can use buttons for increasing/decreasing values (use a switch-like source combined with a relative mode)
  • You can map multiple controllers to one parameter (e.g. necessary for the previous feature)
  • You can react to just a sub range of a control. For example, you can use one knob for multiple parameters depending on the knob position
  • In relative mode, you can let the parameter values rotate
  • You can reverse the direction
  • ReaLearn tries to guess the character of MIDI CCs when learning them (character = rotary encoder, switch or fader etc.)
  • ReaLearn automatically detects and chooses useful modes (if enabled)

Technically, some of those things were possible already before by using a mix of Jeffos' MidiToReaControlPath and (JS) MIDI plugins. But it's a workflow killer because you would need to map one MIDI message to another one before actually mapping it to a parameter. Plus, MidiToReaControlPath forwards to the global control path which can lead to unintended side effects with existing global action mappings (I had that quite often already ... it's messy).

Following features are not part of ReaLearn yet:
  • 14bit CCs (except pitch wheel)
  • Soft takeover

For the developers among you: I'm planning to release the source code of ReaLearn later this year.

Cheers
Benjamin

Last edited by helgoboss; 01-04-2022 at 05:40 AM. Reason: Change title to point out that ReaLearn also does MCU
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:56 PM   #2
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HI !

I think your screenshot is on a private FTP cause a Login Popup is displayed when displaying the thread.

A part from that, thanks for sharing this tool for free

I will take a look.
but a video demo will surely help :P

Cheers !
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:35 PM   #3
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Looks interesting. I've also felt Reaper's MIDI learn is pretty cumbersome (especially compared to Ableton Live) so I never actually use it.

I'll have to play around with this to really understand what it does, but thanks in advance.

I'm not sure if this is within the scope of the plugin, but one things I've always wished for is a generic version of Novation's Automap.

I'm wondering if user's could create presets mapping MIDI controls to the most important parameters of third-party plugins and then share them to create something like a crowd-sourced Automap? Just load the preset for the effect you want to control and with one-click you're ready to start tweaking. It could be a huge workflow enhancement.

(I could be totally out to lunch here, but thought the idea was worth sharing )
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Raym View Post
I think your screenshot is on a private FTP cause a Login Popup is displayed when displaying the thread.
Thanks for the hint. Fixed
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:22 AM   #5
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MIDI devices need to be enabled for both notes and control for this to work, just control doesn't work.

I find this too fiddly to replace MIDI learn (a one key click operation), but for editing static mappings in a studio setup situation it offers some features that could be useful.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:20 AM   #6
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Very interesting idea. Will certainly check it out when I am back in the studio.

Thank you for sharing this.
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Old 06-12-2016, 05:02 AM   #7
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Nice work! I love the pass through options - I'll never understand why there isn't an option to automatically filter learned CCs in hosts.

There's an issue at the moment with controlling JS parameters where the parameters jumps from min to max, either immediately or within a small range.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helgoboss View Post
Dear REAPER users,

lately I've been working on another little REAPER plug-in called ReaLearn. Its purpose is to improve REAPER's MIDI learn capabilities. It's free. You can download it here: http://www.helgoboss.org/projects/realearn/

Right now it's still in beta stage. Any crash or bug report is appreciated.


Background:

As silent film accompanist working with keyboards and VST instruments mainly, I want to be able to quickly map MIDI controls to FX parameters. REAPER has this capability but I've always found it too limited for my use cases. Even with the new MIDI link feature added to the mix, I found there were many things left to be desired (I think MIDI link is tailored to other purposes).

Of course, in REAPER there's always a way: With a little bit of JS preprocessing and MidiToReaControlPath, most things turn out to be possible at the end. But it's fiddly to set up.

That's why I wrote ReaLearn. It's a REAPER-only VSTi plug-in (like Playtime). You load it exactly like other VSTi's - although I recommend to load it into the input FX chain instead of the normal one.

Here's a screenshot:



Some basic wording before I introduce the features:
  • Source = MIDI controller element (fader, encoder, note velocity, etc.)
  • Target = Controlled parameter (FX parameter, action etc.)
  • Mode = Absolute, relative or toggle mode (along with its settings)
  • Mapping = Source + Target + Mode

Features:
  • You can use REAPER's built-in MIDI routing capabilities to route MIDI events to ReaLearn. That's for example useful if you want different mappings depending on the song you are currently playing.
  • You can preprocess incoming MIDI events before they are routed to the target.
  • If you put ReaLearn into the normal FX chain (not the input FX chain), you can also route MIDI items on the track itself to ReaLearn. (I prefer not to do that and instead write automation in latch mode while recording already - track envelopes are much easier to edit and have a higher resolution than MIDI CC.)
  • You can group mappings and activate/deactivate them group-wise simply by instantiating multiple ReaLearn instances and enabling/disabling them as desired in the FX chain window.
  • You can save a bunch of commonly used mappings as preset and reuse it.
  • You can map to actions on a per-project basis (vs. only globally). So you don't need to pollute your global action mappings just for the needs of one project.
  • You can map to track volume
  • You can map to track send volume
  • You can "squeeze" the target values into a specific range
  • You can use buttons for increasing/decreasing values (use a switch-like source combined with a relative mode)
  • You can map multiple controllers to one parameter (e.g. necessary for the previous feature)
  • You can react to just a sub range of a control. For example, you can use one knob for multiple parameters depending on the knob position
  • In relative mode, you can let the parameter values rotate
  • You can reverse the direction
  • ReaLearn tries to guess the character of MIDI CCs when learning them (character = rotary encoder, switch or fader etc.)
  • ReaLearn automatically detects and chooses useful modes (if enabled)

Technically, some of those things were possible already before by using a mix of Jeffos' MidiToReaControlPath and (JS) MIDI plugins. But it's a workflow killer because you would need to map one MIDI message to another one before actually mapping it to a parameter. Plus, MidiToReaControlPath forwards to the global control path which can lead to unintended side effects with existing global action mappings (I had that quite often already ... it's messy).

Following features are not part of ReaLearn yet:
  • 14bit CCs (except pitch wheel)
  • Soft takeover

For the developers among you: I'm planning to release the source code of ReaLearn later this year.

Cheers
Benjamin
Amazing job! Good to see another project from you excellent
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:12 AM   #9
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is this something which would link plugin parameters en masse to enable mirrored presets for the same plugin?
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memyselfandus View Post
Amazing job! Good to see another project from you excellent
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Brian Merrill View Post
is this something which would link plugin parameters en masse to enable mirrored presets for the same plugin?
Can you please explain in more detail? What are mirrored presets?
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:09 PM   #11
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I think I've totally misunderstood what this does.

What I'm looking for is something to link ALL parameters from one plugin to another to automatically copy plugin parameters -

for instance, if you want the same exact eq or guitar/cab combination or something.

after reading a bit more, I don't think this is what your plugin does, I'm sorry.
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:44 PM   #12
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Thank you, that is looking interesting. Will check it when I have my AKAI Advance back from repair.
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:53 PM   #13
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Released ReaLearn 1.0.0-beta3

Changes:
#9 Added new target 'Track pan'
#8 Added option 'Ignore out-of-range source values' and disable it by default (this only has an effect if you restrict the source range using the min/max sliders)
#5 Fixed bug that caused ReaLearn to misinterpret parameter modulation and automation as 'touch' events
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:40 PM   #14
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Good grief! This needs to be rolled into Reaper! Amazing work!

** Do you see any issues or performance hits if I just add this as a default input FX? In other words, if I have 100 instances of this, do you think it's gonna cause problems?

Last edited by DruMunkey; 07-11-2016 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:09 PM   #15
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I think I've found an issue...

My controller is an APC40 MkI
I have it set up as midi in, but NOT a controller in Reaper's MIDI settings.
However, I have a dedicated "input" track where the APC is the input device, in the FX chain I do a metric crap ton of remappings, etc., then use MidiToReaControlPath at end of chain to send all the CC's out into Reaper Control Land

This works 100% fine for learning using reaper's built in learn, but it doesn't seem to work with ReaLearn. If I have reaLearn on another track (input FX or regular FX) it doesn't pick up any knob twiddling... However, if I explicitly have the APC as an input on the track ReaLearn is on, it works...

So why is ReaLearn not picking up the control signals from another track even though I have verified that the APC is sending control messages?
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:08 PM   #16
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Track volume also seems to have a weirdly non-linear behavior. I map a knob in relative mode, and when the volume slider is around 0dB, it's linear, but below like -20 dB, it makes really big jumps...

I have step size as low as it will go @ .01
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:56 PM   #17
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FR's:
  • Please get rid of all that white space between the mappings in the list.
  • If possible, make the VST window resizable so you can see more. I've got 64 mappings and scrolling through them as-is is kind of painful.
  • Make it possible to sort mappings based on source or destination.
  • Build in more powerful mapping/translations. Kind of like Hubi's Midi CC Map.. The ability to have response curves etc within this plugin would be killer.

The more I'm using this little beast, the more I'm LOVING it.

I REALLY recommend you all throw a little money Benjamin's way for this. It REALLY has potential to change the way Reaper can be used.

An AMAZING feature is the ability to map midi notes to inc/dec a VST param or CC. I've had to cobble multiple JS's etc. to do the same thing that is done with this plugin
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:57 AM   #18
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Default CRITICAL BUG: Crashes Reaper on load

Bummer... I just tried reloading a project that had reLearn on it... Crashes Reaper on load. Verified 100%. Event Viewer points out it's ReaLearn...

Faulting application name: reaper.exe, version: 5.2.1.1, time stamp: 0x57675257
Faulting module name: ReaLearn.dll, version: 1.0.0.0, time stamp: 0x577965b9
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x000000000011916a
Faulting process id: 0x1718
Faulting application start time: 0x01d1e4408d970056
Faulting application path: D:\Programs\Reaper\reaper.exe
Faulting module path: D:\VSTs\Utility\ReaLearn\ReaLearn.dll
Report Id: c5aa8fd1-969a-4cc0-a5f6-04dfe19bb4d3
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID

Damn...
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:06 AM   #19
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Very cool.
Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:11 AM   #20
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Is this similar to this concept?

http://www.bluecataudio.com/Products...RemoteControl/
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:26 PM   #21
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Hi,

I installed the bêta 3 version and I can't find the vst on Reaper. Not in my vst folder. I found it everywhere on the Mac but there is nothing.

OSX Yosemite.

Thx for this good project.

Tcho .
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:39 AM   #22
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I installed realearn is there any any instructions. I goto the reaper learn and see no difference than before I installed Realearn.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:39 AM   #23
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Thanks for the AMAZING tool!
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:41 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sickamorz View Post
I installed realearn is there any any instructions. I goto the reaper learn and see no difference than before I installed Realearn.
It doesn't replace or add to Reaper's own learn feature. It's a VST plugin that you have to put on some track in Reaper.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:34 AM   #25
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Released ReaLearn 1.1.0

Changes:
#41 Added experimental support for MIDI feedback (supported sources: CC value, note velocity, pitch wheel, channel after touch, program change, polyphonic after touch ... (N)RPN currently not; supported modes: absolute, toggle; supported targets: all, limited support for actions)
#56 Added possibility to enable/disable each mapping (control and feedback can be enabled/disabled separately - this feature makes it possible to correctly handle devices that expect different kinds of MIDI messages for feedback than they send when moving a control)
#68 Added possibility to go to target (e.g. scroll to track, open FX, ...) via 'Go there' button in mapping window
#53 Added target 'Track arm'
#57 Added source 'Polyphonic after touch'
#64 Added possibility to learn action target (so you don't have to choose the action in the long dropdown menu; just invoke the action while having 'Learn target' enabled and it will be selected)
#65 Added target visualisation for on/off actions
#58 Fixed bug that caused control surfaces to not be notified when volume and pan was changed through ReaLearn
#62 Fixed REAPER UI lags when using target value visualisation in mapping dialog
#63 Fixed serious audio and UI lags when having many targets under load
#60 Fixed audio crackling when opening ReaLearn UI
#66 Fixed non-working send volume target learning and visualisation
#59 Fixed some possible crashes (e.g. when loading ReaLearn in inactive project tab, when deleting tracks used in ReaLearn, when removing FX used in ReaLearn)

... yes, you read correctly. MIDI feedback It's still in an experimental state and might slow some things down if you use many feedback mappings at once and have lots of feedback to send, but I used it already live for visual on/off feedback of the pads on Novation Launchpad and Akai APC Key 25 and it worked quite well.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:51 AM   #26
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Any youtube videos for the feedback? Thanks for all your great tools.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:51 AM   #27
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Sorry, I'm mostly too lazy to create videos. I hope it's self-explanatory: Create some mappings as usual, choose a MIDI feedback device and there you go. Of course works only with devices that can be controlled via MIDI (e.g. visual feedback on controllers like the Novation Launchpad, controllers with motorized faders etc.).
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helgoboss View Post
Superb, thanks for continuing to support this @helgoboss.

I don't think I have anything that supports feedback right now, but this will come in super-handy eventually. And the CPU usage reductions might solve some problems I had recently on a live gig, I'll update when I've had time to try it out properly.
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:28 PM   #29
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Looks interesting helgoboss. Is this something like Control Link in Studio One? I map my X-Touch Compact knobs etc, and then I can use Realearn to control my EQs , Comps, reverbs etc?
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Old 12-11-2017, 03:14 PM   #30
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Thank you so much for the update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by helgoboss View Post
Released ReaLearn 1.1.0
#64 Added possibility to learn action target (so you don't have to choose the action in the long dropdown menu; just invoke the action while having 'Learn target' enabled and it will be selected)
This doesn't work for custom actions and scripts.. Is it possible to make it work with them too?
If not, then you could do it the SWS Cycle Actions way: "Insert selected action (in the Actions window)"
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:36 PM   #31
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Brilliant! Thank you so much, this was the only thing missing in Reaper for me to make it the ultimate DAW. Midi feedback, finally, Hurray! :-D

One small thing, if I have a controller mapped to a knob in a VSTi it all works perfectly. However if I change preset the feedback doesn't update until I click the GUI I think there is current state sent here that could be captured to reflect the current positions.

Last edited by mindbeet; 01-26-2018 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:04 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helgoboss View Post
Hey, I've taught myself some pretty neat tricks using this VST to get LED feedback (mostly) mappable. It's very useful as is, and has potential (I think) to open up an already highly-customizable DAW as Reaper.

Which leads me to ask - and I do understand you are likely most focused on Playtime, but - what is the current status and/or future dev for ReaLearn? Can we expect any updates in the relative short-term (few months maybe)?

Great work helgoboss, and thank you
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:07 AM   #33
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This is pretty great!

I was surprised however that in one respect I have less options than the native Reaper midi learn. That is to have the target be a plugin parameter on a selected track and not have to have focus.

(Correct me if I'm wrong please)

How I have things set up natively is each track has a custom channel strip of a few plugins. I select the track and use the LB FX Positioner to pop them all up neatly on my screen and then they are all mapped to my midi twister. They do not have to have focus since I can just have it work when the track is selected.

If this can happen with ReaLearn I would definitely dig into it more because there are some really cool features. I.e. the flexibility and midi feedback
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:07 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helgoboss View Post
For the developers among you: I'm planning to release the source code of ReaLearn later this year.
Great !
I think I one day will want to do a Reaper extension, and this seems to be a great example.
Any plans where and when you will release the source code ?
Thanks,
-Michael
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:09 AM   #35
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Default Mappings File?

This plugin is really great
Duplicating mappings and editing them later really helps a lot.
Right now I need to map more than 70 parameters in one synth plugin to sliders in touchosc (android midi controller app) and it gets quite a huge task.
Does ReaLearn have a File for the configured mappings? If so I could do repetitive tasks and slight changes even faster.

Cheers
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:03 PM   #36
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Default Crash

Hi Helgoboss,

I found a reproductible crash in v1.1.0



If you have a track send ID as target, but you switch Track to Master (instead of Current) it will crash (as master don't have send track). Switching to master should reset the track send.

Thanks !
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:21 AM   #37
Kaitain
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Hello

One quick question: have you plans to add SysEx copatibility?

Take care!

Alvaro
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:31 AM   #38
ChristopherT
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This is amazing work helgoboss.
Donated.
Thank you for the continual development
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:20 PM   #39
Steviebone
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Default Thank you and a question

Many many thanks. Took me about 10 minutes of using this to decide to donate! Solved some major headaches for me being able to map nrpns!

One observation and a couple of questions...

1. I noticed when I selected "Track selection" from the drop down the mixer would auto select as expected but not the track list. On the other hand when I mapped to the track select action both items scrolled into view.

With regards to the action list item, I saw somewhere on this thread or maybe it was another one about finding something in the long list of actions but when I went back to look for I could not locate it (I'm cross-eyed from reading posts). Are there any options to make it easier to find the action I'm looking for?

2. What is the difference between trigger and absolute? (I guess I don't understand what invoke means)

Thank you again... This is absolutely a tremendous help!
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:29 AM   #40
helgoboss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
1. I noticed when I selected "Track selection" from the drop down the mixer would auto select as expected but not the track list. On the other hand when I mapped to the track select action both items scrolled into view.
I suppose it makes sense to add this automatic mixer scrolling to the "Track selection" target. If noone objects, I will add it (without making it configurable).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
With regards to the action list item, I saw somewhere on this thread or maybe it was another one about finding something in the long list of actions but when I went back to look for I could not locate it (I'm cross-eyed from reading posts). Are there any options to make it easier to find the action I'm looking for?
The only alternative right now is to "learn" the action by executing it. Doesn't work with all actions though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
2. What is the difference between trigger and absolute? (I guess I don't understand what invoke means)
"Invoke" means something like "execute". The actual difference between "trigger" and "absolute" is that with "trigger", incoming zero values (like for example when you release a button or a key) are ignored.

Here's what this means in practice: The reason for having two different invocation types (in addition to "relative") is that there are different kinds of actions in REAPER. Most of them are trigger-type actions like for example "Reset all MIDI devices": You just execute them and done. For this kind of actions you usually would choose invocation type "trigger". If you would choose "absolute", releasing the button would execute the action again - which is probably not what you want.

But there are also on/off actions and most importantly "MIDI CC/OSC" actions. They are more like an automation parameter in that they have a value range. Just take "View: Zoom horizontally" as an example. Sending a zero to this action probably means zooming out very much. Sending the maximum value to this action would zoom in very much. And then there are many values inbetween. You would usually choose a knob or fader to control this kind of actions ... and you should choose invocation type "absolute" because zero-values do matter.

I hope that makes it clear.
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