Old 03-02-2014, 06:29 AM   #1
matthewjumpsoffbuildings
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Default Non-Destructive Glue

One of the key things that would make Reaper much more friendly for more electronic/loop based music is a non-destructive way to glue a group of sliced up audio items (or sliced up takes) into a single item that can then be 'repeated' or looped by dragging the edges as per normally glued items/single wav files. Something halfway between a group and a glued item. A glue group, if you will, perhaps with its own little icon (similar to the 'group' or 'midi pool' icon that appears on items).

Say you have an audio item of an analogue synth performance that lasts 2 bars, and forms the main loop of your track. It may be comprised of a bunch of slices of different takes. Currently if you want to 'drag it out' and tile it across the track, you have to either destructively glue it into a single wav which means you lose all ability to edit the slices later, or perhaps group the slices and copy paste them. Which, since there is still no way to 'pool' or 'ghost' audio items, or groups of audio items, means if you need to make an edit later, you will have to do it for each 2 bar chunk.

If you had some kind of non-destructive 'glue group' that could be tiled like a single wav file, but then you could go into edit/expanded mode and modify the slices/takes within it, and have all the tiled copies update, that would be perfect.

Of course if you could also add the ghosting/pooled option to audio items, groups of audio items, and obviously the 'glue groups' too, that would be even more perfect. I cant stress enough how essential the ability to pool audio items (especially groups of them) as well as midi items is to my workflow. Can anyone explain why the decision was made to apply this vital feature only to MIDI items, and not audio items? I would assume at the programmatic level the ability to have pooled/ghosted copies should apply to the basic item class, not the sub-classes for MIDI or Audio items.

I really like a lot of things about Reaper, but these particular issues are constant bottlenecks and make me regularly consider switching to other DAWs.

Edit:
UPDATED: new scripts that work much better - uses native glue function but stores original items for recall. check out the info and src on bitbucket

https://bitbucket.org/matthewjumpsof...reaper-scripts


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Old 03-02-2014, 07:12 AM   #2
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I propose to modify this idea of glue groups into nested or multilevel groups. Basically, 1) grouped items should be displayed within their own frame, and 2) you could group groups. All frame related operations like tiling, fading or moving contents would apply on any level. Pooling groups should also work.
It could look something like this:
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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sweet, the nesting makes it even better.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:30 AM   #4
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heres an example with your image, showing the ability to 'drag-to-tile' glued groups, as well as pooling...

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Old 03-02-2014, 08:43 AM   #5
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What you are asking for is almost already there...

(I think this is the default modifier)
CTRL + ALT + L ="Copy loop of selected area of audio items"

this does not give you a new file, it's just sort of an in project reference that is loop able...

this loop is not re-editable, however. but this might help out with what you need to do.

Also, as far as grouping different loops, and copying them out... you can actually do this with Nudge - Duplicate (by item lengths)

I'll see if I can figure out a script / action that can make this a bit easier. and maybe make a lice cap a bit later.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:35 AM   #6
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That doesnt work at all it seems.

If I have a 1 bar audio item with a bunch of splits in it, and create a time selection that encompasses them, then hit Ctrl-Alt-L I get an error message: "Could not make loops of any items".

And as you said, the loop, even if it did work, is not re-editable, so that doesnt really help at all.

As for grouping loops, the nudge/duplicate idea still doesnt create tiled looped items, like dragging a single audio item (or a MIDI item) does, and again its not re-editable, so that doesnt help either.

I have looked into Reapers functionality quite extensively, the feature is not even remotely implemented in any workable way. I have even considered trying to make my own custom ReaScript that somehow stores "Pool IDs" and has a shortcut to update items in the pool based on the state of the currently selected pool item. However there is no way to store/save this data in the Reaper project file on a per-item basis. I dont think its even possible by writing a C++ extension.

It seems the only way this could happen is if Reaper devs implemented it.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:07 AM   #7
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ONE OF MY MOST WANTED FUNCTIONS!

coming from Nuendo/Cubase and using this there, I do miss it for the type of work I do.

Reaper can fake it with an empty item that spans all the other items and then grouping them together but this doesn't allow for proper editing.

Reaper does have an awesome feature that's in an alpha testing stage called "PIPs" (Project In Project) that allows you to have sub projects within reaper that can act like a combined stereo item and edited as such but if double clicked will open up the "sub-project" in a new project tab for editing. This makes it hard to work with though for say drum edits as even though you can make it so reaper plays both projects at once it's still not completely real time and renders to RAM (which isn't great for everyone.)

If we could have this work in way that mirrors say the folder system in cubase than it would be more useful. I'm hoping for this in reaper 5

See below



and protools can do this (which if I recall can include gaps between the items which is the key thing!)

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Old 03-02-2014, 10:28 AM   #8
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Ive seen the PiP feature, it seems like a pretty cool idea, but honestly its still not a replacement for some kind of loopable non-destructive glue/group feature, which is much more immediate and intuitive. Coupled with proper pooling/ghosting for audio items/groups, it would make a whole bunch of styles of music infitely easier to produce in Reaper. I still cant get my head around why non-destructive glue/grouping and audio item pools/ghosting wasnt in early versions, it seems like such a typical and logical feature to add.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicbynumbers View Post
ONE OF MY MOST WANTED FUNCTIONS!

coming from Nuendo/Cubase and using this there, I do miss it for the type of work I do.

...

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Old 03-02-2014, 12:36 PM   #10
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Thats Presonus Studio One isnt it? Does that technique allow you to revert, edit the subclips, and then re-apply it, updating all instances?

Anyway I recently demoed Studio One, it actually has ghosted/pooled MIDI and Audio item groups, not just MIDI like Reaper.

Though, for the life of me I cant work out how to drag out an audio item so it 'tiles' like in Reaper. I dont think Studio One has that, or am I just missing something?

After playing with it though, Im seriously considering switching to it for the ghosted/pooled Audio item groups, such a basic no-brainer feature to have.

Only problem is Im not exactly keen on shelling out more money when I already bought Reaper :/ That and I am used to a lot of other Reaper features... Its really frustrating.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:23 PM   #11
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I imagine the presonus one is like the cubase one where it allows you to quickly open up the compacted tracks in realtime and edit it in situ with the rest of the tracks showing before compacting it down again.

The protools one works well too over multiple tracks which is what would be the added benefit there.

What I'm saying with PIPs is that if it could be made to also "open" within the same project, just below the actual "folder" than it would allow you to edit inline and then collapse again.

The neat thing about PIPs which I preferred over the traditional method was the ability to copy the PIP multiple times and only have to edit the first one for all changes to be updated.

The other thing about PIPs is that for media work like games and films and really any type of collaborative work, they are amazing!

Of course, I'd like the version you've suggested too as these could also work within PIPs, I'm just saying PIPs are closer to being a reality since you can enable them now and they work well (if you have the RAM free).

I totally love editing audio in reaper for drums etc but hate having all the bits not be contained like MIDI parts can be. I'd love things like hats to be in a container from start of bar to the end to make it all nice and neat.

Let's try and make this a reality. I'm sure there is a votable feature request for it already.. have to find it!
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:32 PM   #12
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If they just added a proper ghost copy/pooling feature for the glued groups of audio items, just like they currently have for MIDI clips, then the PiP wouldnt even be necessary.

Im not saying I dont like PiP, but I really think that its overkill for what Im talking about.

If we could just turn a bunch of audio slices/takes into a self contained clip of some sort, then have the option to ghost copy that clip, so if you expand and edit any one instance of the clip all other instances update, that would be the simplest, most intuitive way in my opinion.

Its just like a MIDI item then. you make a 1 bar MIDI item, ghost copy it all over your track, then edit any one of the copies and they all update. Its really inconsistent to not offer this behaviour for audio clips too.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:00 PM   #13
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I'd be happy with that for a start absolutely it's way overdue too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewjumpsoffbuildings View Post
If they just added a proper ghost copy/pooling feature for the glued groups of audio items, just like they currently have for MIDI clips, then the PiP wouldnt even be necessary.

Im not saying I dont like PiP, but I really think that its overkill for what Im talking about.

If we could just turn a bunch of audio slices/takes into a self contained clip of some sort, then have the option to ghost copy that clip, so if you expand and edit any one instance of the clip all other instances update, that would be the simplest, most intuitive way in my opinion.

Its just like a MIDI item then. you make a 1 bar MIDI item, ghost copy it all over your track, then edit any one of the copies and they all update. Its really inconsistent to not offer this behaviour for audio clips too.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:16 PM   #14
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I actually don't really get the PIP thing for audio. I do get it for video but not really audio. I tend to tweak my audio plugs right up until final mixdown and (for audio) I've never encountered a situation where I needed to premix audio to a stereo file to save ram or anything.

For what I do (mmv) it seems to be more of a novelty. I watched the Tracktion 5 video and tried to imagine what I might use that for personally and I couldn't come up with anything except maybe mastering, being able to revert while mastering.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:23 PM   #15
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Ye Im not so sold on the PiP thing either, the ability to ghost audio groups on the other hand is essential to me, especially for more 'loop-based' styles of music. Figures that PiP is being developed but it seems no attention is being paid to what seems to be a much more fundamental feature.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:41 PM   #16
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I think the first step is to add support for non-destructive looping, like this:


That would already solve many problems. (I think using PiPs for something like this is too complicated.)

Non-destructive glue is a bit more complex thing. And I agree, it would be very useful to have also. But lets get the basics right first.

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Old 03-02-2014, 03:04 PM   #17
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That would also be nice. Thats Abletone Live ye?

However it is quite a different feature, with significantly different applications, and doesnt really cover the bases that ghost copy of non-destructively glued audio groups would, which deals with tiling out sliced up comps/takes or groups of separate slices of audio, anywhere in a track, with all instances updating when any individual instance is edited.

I wouldnt consider this 'the basics' of what Im talking about. It may be a basic feature, but its a different basic feature.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:20 PM   #18
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^^^^

agreed
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:16 PM   #19
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I actually came up with an idea as to how I could hack something like this together in ReaScript a while back.

Its pretty involved though. The trick is you use a script create an empty item the duration of the selected items, with the audio slices/takes etc sitting on top. You use the empty item to keep track of which 'pool' this particular instance belongs in, and which audio items belong in it etc. The only way I could think to store this info so it would be saved in a project was to use the notes property of the empty item.

However I couldnt seem to find a way in ReaScript to edit the notes property of items without having to resort to that huge state chunk file, which is a real nightmare. That and I was still getting used to ReaScript etc...

I ended up giving up... I hope the devs dont do the same, surely its gotta be easier for them to implement it than it is for me to kludge it together with the limited API access of ReaScript, especially considering I started trying to do it not that long after I bought Reaper and discovered this basic feature was missing.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:45 PM   #20
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These "containers" can be looped (incl. ghosted/pooled copy) and also dissolved again.

edit:
updated with pooled editing, when you double click a part/container you can access the single items, and edits to one item apply to all pooled copies.
The "S" indicates "shared copy".


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Old 03-02-2014, 05:50 PM   #21
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Which DAW is that? Cubase? Looks pretty much like the kind of think Im on about, looks like it puts them in a container of some sort, plus the looping and ghosted copies...

If you ghost/pooled copy them, then edit one of the copies, do they all update?

If so, that is 100% exactly what we need
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:56 PM   #22
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Yes it's Cubase/Nuendo.
And yes, you can also do pooled editing, looping and dissolve back to single items if wanted (was too lazy to show it all )
(edit: see update above)

I posted this because I also think that's the basic "non-destructive glue" we're talking about here.

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:01 PM   #23
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Ye thats perfect then. Seems like a pretty standard audio editing feature in most DAWs
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofish View Post
Yes it's Cubase/Nuendo.
And yes, you can also do pooled editing, looping and dissolve back to single items if wanted (was too lazy to show it all )

I posted this because I also think that's the basic "non-destructive glue" we're talking about here.
Add the ability to also make these "containers" work over multiple tracks and that makes me happy too!
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicbynumbers View Post
Add the ability to also make these "containers" work over multiple tracks and that makes me happy too!
Sure, even better, unfortunately it's not me adding anything to Reaper.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:52 PM   #26
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The containers/glued items should definitely be track independant.

Whats the best way to bring this to the devs attention? Is there a voting thread for this exact thing? Or should we make one? Or is this the best we can do?
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:04 PM   #27
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I think there is a voting thread but it's somewhere in here..

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?...id=elevatedFRs

or here..

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?...typeid=feature

Would need to search through it. My bedtime now though.. will try and look tomorrow. If I recall, I was one of the people who asked for this when I first came from Nuendo to Reaper and we got PIPs instead but I'm hoping that now is a good time for this to come back!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:11 PM   #28
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Actually.. this was one of them you can vote for but there is another one I'm sure..

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=79

Also, This below is "reaparts" which is kind of it but also includes some PIP like elements.

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=17664
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:49 AM   #29
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Well, I have just done it...

I finally got my ReaScript version of this working, and it actually works pretty well.

Using the scripts, you can now use a shortcut key to create a special 'pool' using any number of slices of audio items, takes, even midi clips can be included. Just select them and hit the key you assign.

It groups them as per usual, but it also adds a |pool:ID to each items notes. I figured the notes property is the only place I can add metadata like this that will be stored properly in Reaper project files.

Once this is done, any time you tweak any instance of the group, you can hit another shortcut key to "update all instances". It seems reasonably speedy, though I only tested it with around 20 copies.

You can also add new items to any one instance, hit the update shortcut, and all instances will now have the new item included. And you can use another shortcut to unpool an instance so you can edit it uniquely.

Im still ironing out a few things, and it may need some bugfixing, but it works! Obviously its nowhere near as good as the devs doing it properly, but its a start... Also theres no way to make these pooled groups tile like a single wav file, you have to ctrl-drag copies out as you need them. Also the start point of each instance stays fixed when updating, so even if you edit an instance and drag the left edge of the first item to the right a bit, all the new updated instances will still be anchored to their original left positions, so they will end up being shorter on the right... not ideal but i can figure out a way to sort that currently.

Ill post the scripts as soon as i polish a few things. It does make me think that if I can cobble something workable together in a day, especially having never used Python before, it cant be that hard for the devs to make ghosted/pooled groups work like MIDI items currently do...

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Old 03-03-2014, 09:46 AM   #30
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Excellent work dude!

Meanwhile, I made a shameless request for it in the pre release section of the forum in the latest build. Feel free comment there but I would only comment to say "I'd like this too" and then no more unless Justin and Schwa actually add anything as it's a bit cheeky me asking in there anyway

It's worth you asking though as a relatively new guy to reaper as sometimes new guys get lucky with a request!
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:22 AM   #31
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Would be very good for the old "stretch-marker" splits as well
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:15 AM   #32
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the script i have going handles stretch markers, takes, slices (with all their own pitch/playback settings etc) and midi, all mixed together in groups.

I have 3 scripts, keyed it to 3 shortcuts.

Ctrl-Shift-P: Create Pool.py - takes the currently selected items, groups them and adds them to a new pool. If any items selected are already in a pool, the unpooled items (or group/s) is added to the existing pool group

Ctrl-Alt-P: Unpool Selected Items.py - frees the currently selected group from its pool, leaves it grouped, but now its not going to be updated when you hit...

Ctrl-P: Update Pooled Items.py - using whatever group instance is currently selected/active, looks for all other instances with a matching pool ID, then replaces them with copies of the currently selected instance.

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Old 03-03-2014, 12:00 PM   #33
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heres the scripts, let me know if theres any bugs... or feel free to improve them...
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:07 PM   #34
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Quote:
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heres the scripts, let me know if theres any bugs... or feel free to improve them...
Great! will try these out when I can. Might be a day or so but will install them and try for a real world use
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:34 PM   #35
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I added one more script - Select All Items in Pool, which I mapped to Ctrl-Shift-Alt-P. As the name suggests, if you click on any pooled instance and run it, it will select all other instances with the same pool ID.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:03 PM   #36
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Had a quick go and I kept getting a situation where a midi item would be created upon trying to update the items? It would actually create an updated version of the group I had changed but it would pasted it after the set I had just changed and then before all of these, it would create a midi item with a midi note in it?

Still, Probably just something my side! Will try again when I have time. The main thing for me though is true containers that can truly treat items as if they are one piece of audio that can be stretched, cut, reversed and have takes changed within them so the devs are probably the best bet for this.

I still think it's worth you saying how much you'd love this feature in the current pre test thread!
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:20 PM   #37
matthewjumpsoffbuildings
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Can you attach a demo project and a step by step of what youre doing to reproduce this?
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:49 AM   #38
VVV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnif View Post
I think the first step is to add support for non-destructive looping, like this:


That would already solve many problems. (I think using PiPs for something like this is too complicated.)

Non-destructive glue is a bit more complex thing. And I agree, it would be very useful to have also. But lets get the basics right first.

jnif
For sample based production, this is great.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:56 PM   #39
musicbynumbers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewjumpsoffbuildings View Post
Can you attach a demo project and a step by step of what youre doing to reproduce this?

Will try to reproduce when I get time. It was probably a one off
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:20 AM   #40
VVV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnif View Post
I think the first step is to add support for non-destructive looping, like this:


That would already solve many problems. (I think using PiPs for something like this is too complicated.)

Non-destructive glue is a bit more complex thing. And I agree, it would be very useful to have also. But lets get the basics right first.

jnif
BTW is there an FR for this?
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