Old 08-20-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
PitchSlap
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Default New idea: 'Action Markers'

This is an idea I had while at an open mic the other night, brainstorming how to perform live with Reaper.

Basically 'Action Markers' look the same as regular markers, but when they are reached by the play cursor user defined actions are executed.

Note this is different from automation as it would allow ANY actions in the action list to be executed. Also, as the 'Action Markers' are set in the timeline before they are reached by the playback cursor, this gives the audio engine time to anticipate what it needs to do to ensure everything happens smoothly.

This would allow some very complex arrangements to be recorded/performed on the fly, without having to concentrate on controlling Reaper or shoegazing.


A Crude Example:

-Start playback at the beginning of the timeline

Action Marker at bar 4
-record on selected track

Action Marker at bar 8
-stop recording
-loop the item for 28 more bars
-next track
-record

Action Marker at bar 16
-stop recording
-loop the item for 16 bars
-previous track
-item:reverse
-bypass FX slot 2
-solo track
-next track
-next track
-record

Action Marker at bar 32
-stop recording
-loop item for 16 bars
-previous track
-previous track
-unsolo track


Action Marker at bar 48
-smooth seek to bar 4
etc.


One potential issue I see is that actions need to be able to run in parallel not just sequentially and I'm not sure if that's currently the case. Another improvement to the original concept would be the ability to set not only the timeline position for the action(s) but also the specific track on which each action list is run, which would prevent a lot of convoluted 'next track/previous track' nonsense.

As far as I'm concerned, I think most people are more impressed seeing people actually play instruments than twiddle virtual knobs with a mouse and play tape-op. A feature like this (along with Global Quantization) would immediately take Reaper from being unsuitable for live performance/stage use (for me anyway), to a viable option in a DAW category that currently has no real competition (Ableton Live).

Before submitting this to the feature tracker, I'd like to get some input from other users to help flesh out the idea...

Any thoughts??
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:13 PM   #2
BenK-msx
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oh i agree should be native and expanded - but you may want to check here first....

http://www.standingwaterstudios.com/markeractions.php
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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Nice one!

This might be exactly what I need!

Another advantage is that I won't have to lug my FCB1010/MIDI interface to gigs, if I can get this working right.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:46 PM   #4
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it is pretty powerful... and do intend to use them live when i get some decent material together..
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:50 PM   #5
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Yep, SWS has this already. Pretty cool stuff.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:45 PM   #6
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Hmm... I'm starting to think it might be a good idea to mirror any action related FRs on the SWS page.

Maybe I can even bribe someone over there for a 'dynamic wait time' action.

Who knows, something like that may already be possible with Marker Actions?

i.e.
Create custom actions assigned to my FCB1010 to create specific 'Marker Actions' at the start of the next measure.

I could have different custom actions for the functions I want to be able to have 'quantized'.

For example trigger a 'quantized record' action on bar 2 that automatically inserts a Marker Action for record at bar 4 to start/stop recording. Maybe I could even make an action that places a record marker action at the start of the next measure, and another 8 bars later so only one button press is needed.

It might still need some custom C++ coding to determine the next measure, but that should be a heck of a lot easier then trying to make the main thread wait a specified time and hope to maintain timing accuracy.

Some progress is definitely being made here...
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