Old 08-12-2008, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default Reaper for live use

A sequencer feature I would love to see implemented is a way to define loopable regions in Reaper and jump from one to another smoothly.
People usually use Ableton Live to do this.

I imagine a kind-of-markers floating menu with slots you can store regions in.
Then we should be able to trigger them via a midi note and tell Reaper "when you receive this midi note message, finish your (definable) cycle and go to this region".

Goal : you split your song in parts (intro, verse 1, verse 2, chorus, break, etc.) and can freely loop a part and then jump to another on the fly when you want.

Does this make sense ?

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Old 08-12-2008, 09:34 PM   #2
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Yes - it makes sense - and you can almost do it in REAPER.

There is a feature request out there to have a meta action that is wait until the end of x before continuing.

Such an action will allow you to set up a macro (as I have) that will select a loop region between two markers and set the play cursor to the start of that region.

Having the playback set to repeat will mean that you can jump from loop region to loop region quite happily. However, without some nice delay meta actions, you can only jump realtime rather than in sync with the end of the loop/marker whatever.

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Old 08-13-2008, 02:47 AM   #3
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Default Good start

OK.
Good to know.
The thing is you can't have Reaper finish its first cycle and jump smoothly to another one, right ?

thanx for your input,

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Old 08-13-2008, 04:44 AM   #4
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The thing is you can't have Reaper finish its first cycle and jump smoothly to another one, right ?
Nah not yet - but that's why I mentioned the other feature request. If that were implemented there would be a way of doing it.

As long as you don't mind using keyboard shortcuts to do the jumping around of course.

I'm just jumping into the thread because I'm interested in doing this with REAPER as well.

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Old 08-15-2008, 02:46 AM   #5
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This is a very good idea.

Reaper is poised to be the world's best live-performance DAW for several key reasons (see below) and should be able to stomp on Ableton, once the remote-control (midi controller) implementation is re-vamped. Until then, no frigging way, but I will be pushing the boys hard to fix this, since I use reaper for my live rig right now.

(I officially switched about a week ago. Bye Bye Ableton. Though the remote-control thing in Reaper is REALLY bad, everything else is remarkably better.)

Anyway, the point being that Reaper development should go after Ableton Live in a big way. What are the advantages right now?

1: Efficiency. You just can't have enough.


2: Low latency. With plugins installed, Reaper decimates Ableton, Cubendo, etc. (this is absolute. I did extensive testing.)


3: ReaRoute! It's still a hair finicky, but basically stable. (Thanks, Justin!)

- I wonder how many DJ's out there, using Traktor and cursing Native Insts every day for not implementing ReWire, know that they can port Traktor digitally into Reaper right now?

So yeah, add some real-time, advanced looping functions, as in Ableton, and mimic Ableton's remote-control assignment matrix, and I predict a DAW migration to Reaper en masse.
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:26 AM   #6
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... and it is maybe even time for additional features.

I just have the feeling that there is a lot more to do in the transport dpt of a sequencer.

Back in the days, I used a Yamaha RM1x live and - man - it was great to just click on a section button and have my song going to the next part right on time.

I had so much fun with it that I even recorded my firts electro-dub album like this ... improvising around a sequence and recording the sound to tape (I mean consumer cassette ;-).

I wish Reaper could go in this direction as well and offer some sort of extra enhenced transport panel or something like that.
All I can suggest now is this "slots" approach. That would ask for midi to be pre-read a bit (I am nothing of a technician so don't ask me more ;-) to ensure a smooth transition between sections.

...
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:38 AM   #7
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Default I want to leave DP for real

Another reason I use DP for live sequencing now, is you can load your songs in so-called "sequences" that are nested in the same project or session or file.

So, you prepare a session per show, with all your songs in it.
Similar to multiple takes on a track but with whole songs in the same session. Then you tell which sequence is supposed to come on top and be played.

Then, what you can do is chain them, either automatically (you tell DP to go to the next sequence at this marker), manually (your can scroll in a sub-menu showing all your sequences) or via midi (midi note X triggers sequence 1, midi note Y triggers sequence 2, etc.).

It is so practical in a live situation.
The only aspect I miss is the ability to blend 2 sequences together. For the time being, it is like closing a song and opening the next one quickly, but no way to overlap them ...
This was great when using Reason live : you can have many different song open at the same time !
So you can chain your songs in a DJ-style, without a gap and asking your singer to say something ;-)

So, what about the ability to have multiple Reaper sessions open at the same time ?
Then, what about having a "supra file" manager ? A small window that lets you see the open Reaper sessions and lets you make them active/visible or not, sync them or not, trigger them starting on definable markers, etc. ?

Or a supra-sequencer, showing entire songs as we have tracks now ?
Then you could solo/mute/play etc. the song(s) you want ...

That sounds crazy but Reaper is also here to let us dream, right ?
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:40 AM   #8
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Ah, you're talking about midi sequences.

I was talking about audio files.

-But both would be great.
-------------------------------------------------

BTW, take a look at this thread:

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=24925

Not exactly the same, but it looks like a pretty cool device for aproximating what you want to do. I have to give it a closer look when I get a chance.

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Old 08-19-2008, 02:30 AM   #9
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Default Audio + midi

I am talking basically audio and a couple of midi tracks as well.

In DP, you can have multiple whole songs (audio, midi, FX, routing etc.) in a single file.
Then, you can select which one is active and even chain them etc.

very handy.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:40 AM   #10
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Yeah, Ableton Live does something like that, with very cool live-looping functions.



I'm pretty sure that's what the IX Looper (above link) does. Have you given it a good look yet? I haven't had the time.
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mio*star View Post
A sequencer feature I would love to see implemented is a way to define loopable regions in Reaper and jump from one to another smoothly.
People usually use Ableton Live to do this.
Actually you can do this with the mouse, I've been doing it ever since smoothseeking was introduced (I promoted that FR and tested it out for Justin while he coded it in a night.)

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=4323

You just double-click on the next region to smoothseek to, within a bar or 2 of the current region ending. You can also double-click items the same way, IF you have the prefs set right. I also have a keyboard shortcut set for setting a time selection to an item.

You can just quickly drag a time selection area and it'll jump to that too.

Another way is to set up a track of empty items to the divisions you need, the advantage of this being you can navigate through them with keystrokes (under item navigation), and you can also enlarge the track to make it real easy to double-click accurately

The KEY THING is to set your playback prefs to go to the start of the loop on a loop selection change, and enable options-smoothseeking.






It would be great to have a playlist operation so you could set a few up ahead of time, at present you have to hover until the region or item is nearly to the end (1 bar or so depending what you set in the smoothseek options.) I'll try and dig up the old FR for this.

I was going to do a video for smoothseek at one stage, but there wasn't much interest so...

edit: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=5190

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Old 08-20-2008, 04:29 AM   #12
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Default We need more !

Good point.

Now, what if you want to jump from part to part in your song without any dropped beat ?

Thus the idea to have slots containing region loops you can trigger, loop, chain, etc.

It has to be straighforward : midi note XY = intro, midi note YZ = verse 1, etc.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:47 PM   #13
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Hey Bevosss, nice settings display.
That simplifies a couple of macros I created recently.

I agree with mio*star though that we need to be able to jump to different areas in a synchronised way. Actually I already know you agree with that as well because you not only mentioned the playlist idea in your post but also created the thread about the "wait until...." meta action.

Both of these would enable more planned and synchronised jumping around on the timeline.

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Old 08-21-2008, 04:38 PM   #14
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We also "need" to be able to define loops, on the fly, with foot-pedals, and then switch between them also with footpedals.

That's Abelton's live-performance trump card.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mio*star View Post

Now, what if you want to jump from part to part in your song without any dropped beat ?
Options-smoothseek changes when the bar or 2 is finished, depending on how you set it:




Downside is you have to be waiting until the last measure or so before you can change to the other part, and you can't set them up ahead of time like you can with a playlist...but they do change smoothly without dropping beats...that's why it's called smoothseek.
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cableaddict View Post
We also "need" to be able to define loops, on the fly, with foot-pedals, and then switch between them also with footpedals.

That's Abelton's live-performance trump card.

You should be already able to do that mostly, by setting your footpedals to item navigation, and a macro to loop select the item in question and move the edit cursor to the start of it. Then you can just stack 2-3 dummy tracks with empty items of varying loop lengths, even name them, and whizz through and select them via foot pedals.

Still no planning ahead more than the next change though, and not possible at all to use loops from a browser Live-style.

Which is why we need a playlist of some kind, so we can specify chorus x3 or loop indefinitely etc.

*Just pointing out what's possible now already in Reaper, in case you want to use it now rather than waiting for a perfect implementation, which may or may not be under way.
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:06 PM   #17
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I agree with mio*star though that we need to be able to jump to different areas in a synchronised way.
Not exactly sure what you mean by 'in a synchronised way'...

if it's not dropping beats while changing, that's options-smoothseek enabled, which is no different to Live really

if it's a playlist order, well yes, I put an FR in for that long ago: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=5190
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:07 PM   #18
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You should be already able to do that mostly, by setting your footpedals to item navigation, and a macro to loop select the item in question and move the edit cursor to the start of it. Then you can just stack 2-3 dummy tracks with empty items of varying loop lengths, even name them, and whizz through and select them via foot pedals.

Still no planning ahead more than the next change though, and not possible at all to use loops from a browser Live-style.
Thanks, that's pretty cool. Not quite Ableton, as you say, but very useful.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:18 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cableaddict View Post
We also "need" to be able to define loops, on the fly, with foot-pedals, and then switch between them also with footpedals.

That's Abelton's live-performance trump card.
Yes !
Let's have midi notes trigerring the insertion of a loop marker, at the nearest bar when hit.
Do this for the beginning of the loop, do that for the end of the loop.
Reaper loops.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevosss View Post
Options-smoothseek changes when the bar or 2 is finished, depending on how you set it:




Downside is you have to be waiting until the last measure or so before you can change to the other part, and you can't set them up ahead of time like you can with a playlist...but they do change smoothly without dropping beats...that's why it's called smoothseek.
Oh - this is righteous dude! Now I understand what "smoothseek" actually means. That's very fine.

If I set up regions and select the seek at next marker/region edge option I can get almost what I'm looking for. This is what I meant by synchronised by the way - very cool.

Why are there no actions for selecting a region like there is with selecting a marker? It seems odd to have one and not the other. The advantage with region selection is that it creates a loop selection on either edge of the region.

I was making some custom macros for selecting the region between two markers as an alternative, but that doesn't work once I enable smoothseek unfortunately - probably because I'm moving the edit cursor multiple times in the macro.

Still want the "Wait until...." meta action though as I might also want to "synchronise" the muting/soloing of tracks etc..

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Old 08-22-2008, 06:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevosss View Post
You should be already able to do that mostly, by setting your footpedals to item navigation, and a macro to loop select the item in question and move the edit cursor to the start of it. Then you can just stack 2-3 dummy tracks with empty items of varying loop lengths, even name them, and whizz through and select them via foot pedals.

Still no planning ahead more than the next change though, and not possible at all to use loops from a browser Live-style.

Which is why we need a playlist of some kind, so we can specify chorus x3 or loop indefinitely etc.

*Just pointing out what's possible now already in Reaper, in case you want to use it now rather than waiting for a perfect implementation, which may or may not be under way.
Oh - that is even better. I can macro that up. They're kind of funny macros but they seem promising for the moment.

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Old 08-22-2008, 08:32 AM   #22
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Default yes ...

... it sounds like we are pretty close to something quite usable but we would need these slots to go to the next level !

let's keep posting great concepts that would make it rock for real !
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:22 AM   #23
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I'm such a dick - I didn't even notice that you could map midi notes/CC to actions and macros until tonight. That makes things even easier.

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Old 08-26-2008, 12:46 AM   #24
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Personally I feel that one of the major advantages of Ableton is the strange unbreakability of the output. I don't have to try THAT hard to make Reaper stutter (mass unsolo-ing, piling on effects etc) but with Ableton it's superhard. IT JUST KEEPS GOING. Maybe it's psychological, but it definitely does something right as I've made Reaper fall over more often (which simply stopping and starting often solves). If there's an option I've missed, let me know.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:33 AM   #25
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Default right

You're right.

Reaper still feels a bit weak stability-wise on my side.
I get cracks here and there when mixing, sometimes it quits and gives me a blue screen (frightening !) ... I may need to tweak the playback preferences as well.

But a rock-solid Reaper with the features discussed in this thread would be great !
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:00 AM   #26
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How different would this by from Cubase's part editor? It lets you create parts and then try them out in different orders and repetitions. You can then change your creation into to a linear song. I used it a couple of times to try different arrangements.

edit: "part editor" was a misnomer that actually refers to a different feature. It should be "play order track." I've explained below.

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Old 08-27-2008, 10:08 AM   #27
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Default ...

I don't know this feature in Cubase but it sounds useful as well. Does it also apply to audio material ?

I was more thinking of a linear arrangement (audio+midi+FX etc. everything) with markers and the ability to jump from a section to another.
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:42 AM   #28
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Quote:
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Personally I feel that one of the major advantages of Ableton is the strange unbreakability of the output. I don't have to try THAT hard to make Reaper stutter (mass unsolo-ing, piling on effects etc) but with Ableton it's superhard. IT JUST KEEPS GOING. Maybe it's psychological, but it definitely does something right as I've made Reaper fall over more often (which simply stopping and starting often solves). If there's an option I've missed, let me know.
Absolutely not, if you get your settings correct. Well, at least on my system (a 6600 quad) it is exactly the opposite. You have to play with the audio settings until you get reasonably even cpu-activity on all four cores. This requires a bit of a dance with Reaper, whereas Ableton somehow gets perfect allocation without the user having to think about it.


Once you do get Reaper allocating well, it is faster AND more stable than Ableton. Believe me, I have done an insane amount of testing on this and am 100,000,000 % sure.

If you're not using a quad, then perhaps things would be different. Then again, if you're not using a quad, you should just get one.

FWIW: My current live-performance set-up has something like twelve VSTi's all running concurrently, plus another 16 tracks of audio with fairly heavy plugins, plus three good reverbs & other aux-return effects. I'm running at 3.5 Ghz (water cooled) with a Lynx PCIe card, and my total throughput is 2.8 ms. That's from mic in to speaker output!

2.8 ms, and not a hiccup.

Ableton's best, with the same rig, was over 5ms. 5.6, I think, but I'd have to check my notes & I'm too tired right now.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:53 PM   #29
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Default Let's bring Reaper on stage ...

Great news cableaddict !

Thanx for sharing your experience.

I used Ableton Live, then Reason for live applications and now I am running DP but it is not midi-learn ... at least not everything is, which is very limitating.

So, I am considering buying a PC laptop and using my new friend Reaper.
I don't think there is any quad laptop around, right ?

Cableaddict : what would you suggest for a laptop live solution ?
How do you manage mixing 2 songs (in 2 separate Reaper sessions) ?
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:39 PM   #30
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Great news cableaddict !
So, I am considering buying a PC laptop and using my new friend Reaper.
I don't think there is any quad laptop around, right ?

Cableaddict : what would you suggest for a laptop live solution ?
How do you manage mixing 2 songs (in 2 separate Reaper sessions) ?
I can't help you there.

I don't use laptops for a bunch of reasons:

1: You can't really overclock them.

2: Very few will take even 4 gig of physical ram.

3: Start drive is too slow.

4: Outside on a sunny day, you can't see the LCD

5: You need an external audio drive anyway.

6: You need an external audio interface anyway, and probably some rack gear. Where is the advantage in a laptop? Certainly not portability.
.

A 3 rack-space mATA rig is a MUCH better way to go, believe me. If you need a jump start, I can give you a list the main components I'd use if building one today. Building an air-cooled Penryn quad that runs at 3, maybe 3,2 gig is child's play.
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:20 AM   #31
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Default Play order track in cubase

Quote:
Originally Posted by mio*star View Post
I don't know this feature in Cubase but it sounds useful as well. Does it also apply to audio material ?

I was more thinking of a linear arrangement (audio+midi+FX etc. everything) with markers and the ability to jump from a section to another.
Maybe you hadn't heard of it because I used the wrong name. Whoops. It's called the "play order track." Basically, cubase lets you add markers like you can in reaper, but the play order track is separate from the markers. You specify specific parts and can then mess around with the order (this is within a normal linear song). Then you can save the new play order pattern as a new linear project based on that arrangement.

here's a tutorial:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlPfXp730m4

and another example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APkim...eature=related

I'm interested to see how your ideas would differ from this.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:01 AM   #32
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Default I see.

This is the typical situation I'd like to use Reaper for :

I am on stage with my pop-electro band (www.fuse-factory.com) and use a laptop to play sequences containing both audio-rendered and midi parts (to VIs).
On top of that, I use a controller to pilot parameters of VIs (pitch, sustain, vibrato, filters ... whatever), FXs (delay time or feedback, filters frequ, etc.), or any aspect of the virtual mixer (tracks levels, send levels, etc.).

There are a couple of challenges doing that :
- I need to switch songs quickly (ideally 3-5 seconds max) and even mix them together for smooth transitions
- I need to control every single parameter of a song (mixer, plugs, VIs) - full midi learn
- I'd like to have the possibility to re-arrange the songs live (playing each part when desired as many times as desired)
- I need to pre-organize my song list (or set)

Thus the idea to have a window containing Reaper projects (each project is a song). This would be your "build your live set" window. You would decide which song would be played when and could change the song position by dragging and dropping wherever you want.

Even better would be the possibilty to build your whole show using a projects sequencer.
You would have a timeline and organize songs the way we do with tracks and decide which song is played at what moment (including songs overlapping) and Reaper would open and close projects at the right time automatically.
That would ROCK !!

Let's also imagine the ability to trigger each song's start.
You would define a midi note for each song that says "song 1 starts when key XY is hit". With this, you could trigger the playing of songs anytime you want.
Now, a bit of time would be necessary for Reaper to open the next project.
To ensure that it is made in a musical way, we would have a feature to define how many bars after you hit your "start song" key Reaper would lauch the next song.
Another useful command would be "go to next song". Reaper would continue playing the current song and quickly launch the next one ...

Sorry, my english is a bit weak, I hope this makes sense. Basically, it would be a flexible seqencer at project level.

Now, at song level.
You have a full midi learn Reaper ready to play audio and midi in perfect sync.
You have markers defining parts in your song (intro, verse 1, chorus 1, break, etc.).
You hit play and Reaper reads it, rock solid, without a pop or a click.

Now, you want to skip a part, or loop it etc.
You would tell it "after this bar, go here" or "loop current part" or "stop looping and go to the next part" etc.
Allowing you to re-arrange your song live.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:23 AM   #33
mio*star
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Default live gear

Cableaddict :

A combination of (Mac) laptop + rack gear works great for me.

Being able to work on music while in the touring van is so great. I can't imagine doing this with a desktop...

Btw, I am considering building a 19" rack PC for my studio, so your advice are warwly welcome!
I would also greatly appreciate if you could include your tips on using Windows - and which version - to ensure a maximal stability.

Now, building 2 PCs (1 live - 1 studio) and using the live one with REamote in the studio would also rock :-)
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:48 AM   #34
boatclub
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bump!
+1

totally love all the sounds of these ideas
ideally looking for something in the vein of Cubase's Play Order Track function. something for us songwriters anyway!

many thanks.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:26 PM   #35
tweed
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moan - whimper
goes for another coffee

loading RfxChains via midi on the fly INTO an existing choose-able track. or better.

sob
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:26 AM   #36
jaimun
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Default Live freemode

Taking it to a higher level, what about a "freemode"?
You could jump in the timeline at different points in different tracks.
So, an independent play head for each track, and independent loops on the fly for each track.
That could get us real live tweaking...
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:32 AM   #37
tweed
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yeah, that would be cool for triggering audio and/or midi loops.
I'm hoping for a way to set up VSTs for playing them in real-time.

Both would be good.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:37 PM   #38
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Killer Thread!

I'm the drummer for my band, Sik Fiction ([link]http://www.myspace.com/sikfiction[/link]), I use reaper with my rack which contains a tascam us-1641, furman power conditioner, alesis dm4 drum module, and a pc laptop).

I basically use it as a drum trigger module with a vocal track containing effects. 1 ReaSamplomatic per sample, per track, that I trigger with my dm4. Check out the screenshot.


I propose to implement some kind of cell window or trigger box window into ripper, along with the ability to trigger sample playback. The "trigger box" window would work just as the name suggests, you could drag&drop any parameter of reaper into one of the cells and have midi-learn attached to that cell. The cell window could look something like this:


I dunno, just an idea!

Btw, if anybody has a better way to achieve my live setup, let me know!
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:53 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mio*star View Post
All I can suggest now is this "slots" approach. That would ask for midi to be pre-read a bit (I am nothing of a technician so don't ask me more ;-) to ensure a smooth transition between sections.
For any live oriented midi handling maybe following "trick" might help: Each midi clip/item has two layers/representations, one current or the playing item, and another background or "to be loaded item". We could imagine them maybe as takes, and while the current item is playing, another take is loaded in the background, without disturbing the playback of current timewise, then after finished loading of background we should be able to switch playback to this new background item, which will be then the new current, and so on. In short:

1. Background loading of new takes from external midi files
2. Smooth transitions among takes, without disturbing the playback

might be a nice solution idea.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:06 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mio*star View Post
Thus the idea to have slots containing region loops you can trigger, loop, chain, etc.

It has to be straighforward : midi note XY = intro, midi note YZ = verse 1, etc.
This would be exactly the same as a "scene" in Ableton Live.
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