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Old 11-20-2012, 09:44 PM   #1
medicine tactic
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Default "It looks like you're trying to compose music. Would you like help with that?"

These are my thoughts on track-based MIDI. I'm posting them here so I can link
to it if it comes up later. It's not intended as flame-bait, but it's a
contentious subject by nature.

The essence of the feature that's been called "track-based MIDI", or "multi-item
editing" is that all the items currently visible in the MIDI editor belonging to
a certain track are focused at once. It's an abstraction layer that lets you
treat a track's items as one big item, freely adding, deleting, and dragging
events around without having to first focus an item to operate on. Really, it's
the track that has focus, not any of its items.

This seems like a nice way to edit; like it would allow you to focus on
composing rather than item administration; like it would encourage a flow state.
And as long as you stick to the garden path, it probably would.

But it comes with a heavy price: Removing focus implies letting the software
decide how to manipulate the underlying items. You are no longer in charge,
*it* is. There is no way around this. It is the definition of what is being
asked for. Any attempt to add some way to specify which item you're operating
on, and all you've done is re-add focus. [1]

I have issues with this, both philosophically and concretely. And you should
think hard about whether you do too.

While I love REAPER to death, I'm unwilling to give it that control over my
creations. I'd be unwilling to give *any* piece of creative software that kind
of power. My editor should do what I tell it, not try to do my thinking for me.
I do not want to fight with my editor over how the underlying items are being
manipulated. Nothing kills flow faster than literally fighting with your tools.

You may think you'd never run into situations where you want to do one thing and
it wants to do another, but you'd almost certainly be wrong. The complicated
interactions between adding and dragging events around, stacked items and
multiple takes, item extension vs. item creation and who knows what else, almost
guarantee that sooner or later it'd do something you don't want it to do, at
which point you'd either bend over, or try to figure out which incantation would
align its goals with yours.

Fundamentally though, track-based MIDI is completely at odds with REAPER's
philosophy. REAPER is about empowering its users. Routing, actions and macros,
JS, WALTER, text config files, ReaScript, the SDK, and so on all have this in
common. REAPER is like a toolkit for building your own DAW. Track-based MIDI
is a monolithic abstraction intended to shield you from the reality of composing
MIDI, like a lie we tell children.


[1] It may be possible to have both item-based and track-based editing modes
available, but the development burden would be enormous. The former is not a
subset of the latter. They imply different architectures, enable different
workflows and different feature sets, and would continue to diverge as
development progressed incrementally. You just can't do everything.

Last edited by medicine tactic; 11-20-2012 at 10:59 PM. Reason: missing word
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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I'll be happy if I can simply work through time without having to worry about manually extending items. That would basically be like track midi for me, with the exception of having to create an item first.

Right now we can add a note outside of an item and it will be extended, but it seems you cannot use the normal actions you would use, like click and drag to create a note and determine it's length, and various other things like pasting with ctrl+v at the border of the item don't work.

We would also need a visible, but possibly dimmed grid so that we can actually see where notes we want to add are landing.

There also need to be some more tools for manipulating midi that may have been passed over with the assumption that the function would be done to items. For example, there doesn't even seem to be a duplicate selected notes function. Select some notes and hit ctrl+d and the item in the arrange view will be duplicated! Really weird, considering that lots of windows in Reaper prevent basic key commands from going through, but this one passes through.

Last edited by run, megalodon; 11-21-2012 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:33 PM   #3
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I don't think you understand how multi-item editing can be a very powerful way of working. And I don't think you understand that you CAN still focus on just one item in this paradigm of work. Nothing is lost for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vXcjlxK4DQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ontgRtCeyvo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNPUr8h5CZc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjDqHhJOp9Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_x79LCdecc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZgZjHS2eOo

The guy is constantly in piano roll. And he did not need to create ANY items to do all this stuff. He just selected the tracks he wanted to edit, and items were created where he was inputting notes. This is eliberating and FAST way to work. Also notice that he still sometimes goes outside of piano roll to select different items which changes what is shown in piano roll, this is changing focus to items you really want to see. So nothing is lost with Reaper's current workflow paradigm. It's pretty obvious what benefits of multi-item/track-based editing offer.

Reaper is not there yet. We don't have the MIDI editor control panel ("Filter" window currently) dockable to the MIDI editor itself. This is an unnecessary hurdle. Also, this Filter window is a mess. It unnecessarily lists all the damn items under each track of all selected items+tracks you've sent to piano roll. This is not a healthy way of work. I just want to see the tracks, please. I don't want to focus on whatever the damn item I'm going to input the notes to. I am interested in the TRACK, because one track = one sound in this philosophy. Also notice the speed the guy is working with here. Reaper can't touch this kind of smoothness yet, at all. The reasons are pretty obvious.

I really can't see how you can think that this work paradigm removes you from being "in charge". It really doesn't, as you can see in the videos above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by medicine tactic View Post
Track-based MIDI is a monolithic abstraction intended to shield you from the reality of composing MIDI, like a lie we tell children.
This is completely false. And I don't like your tone of this statement. It's like you're belittling the importance of this very important feature request for quite a lot of Reaper users. And if you ruin this for us who see the benefit you obviously can't (as in, the devs never implement this because of YOUR negative stance on this feature)... well that is just plain rude and unforgivable.

Last edited by EvilDragon; 11-20-2012 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by run, megalodon View Post
I'll be happy if I can simply work through time without having to worry about manually extending items. That would basically be like track midi for me, with the exception of having to create an item first.

Right now we can add a note outside of an item and it will be extended, but it seems you cannot use the normal actions you would use, like click and drag to create a note and determine it's length, and various other things like pasting with ctrl+v at the border of the item don't work.

We would also need a visible, but possibly dimmed grid so that we can actually see where notes we want to add are landing.
I'm mostly in agreement with you, although I'd prefer something like Cubase's
MIDI editor's behavior with respect to event display and the interaction between
events and item bounds:

All an item's events would be visible, not just in-bounds events. Events that
begin before the beginning or after the end of an item might appear dimmed or
somesuch, but should be visible nonetheless. I don't understand why almost all
DAWs allow out-of-bounds events, but then completely hide them. It makes for a
mess of invisible data.

Item bounds would be transparent with respect to event operations. That is,
they wouldn't obstruct event operations in any way. Creating notes, stretching
notes, dragging, pasting, actions, etc. all work as normal. Item bounds would
just be permeable delineations defining the portion of the item that gets
played, and that's visible in the arrangement window.

This would mean event operations wouldn't move item bounds, which is where you
and I differ. I don't think event operations and bounds movement should be
conflated. As long as there are actions like "Extend bounds to enclose all
events" and so on, we can all define our own bounds-movement behavior.

I'm working on a proposal that basically states the above, and includes some
stuff to make it super easy to move focus around between items in the ME.

Quote:
There also need to be some more tools for manipulating midi that may have been passed over with the assumption that the function would be done to items.
Absolutely! I'm all for tons of tiny, atomic, composable MIDI actions.

Quote:
For example, there doesn't even seem to be a duplicate selected notes function. Select some notes and hit ctrl+d and the item in the arrange view will be duplicated! Really weird, considering that lots of windows in Reaper prevent basic key commands from going through, but this one passes through.
That *is* bizarre

Last edited by medicine tactic; 11-21-2012 at 03:59 PM. Reason: corrected misspelling
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicine tactic View Post
I'm working on a proposal that basically states the above, and includes some stuff to make it super easy to move focus around between items in the ME.
As I'm saying. I am NOT interested in moving focus between different items in ME. I am interested in editing all items on a particular track AT ONCE. With no bounds between them. Because it's faster.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
As I'm saying. I am NOT interested in moving focus between different items in ME. I am interested in editing all items on a particular track AT ONCE. With no bounds between them. Because it's faster.
How can you do that without moving the focus between different items in a track? If you have multiple items, how does the program know which one to edit? For example if you add a note, which item is it added in?
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:20 AM   #7
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How can Sonar create and/or extend items on its own no matter where on the track you input the note? It doesn't seem to create any issues, does it?
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
How can Sonar create and/or extend items on its own no matter where on the track you input the note? It doesn't seem to create any issues, does it?
Well in those Theoder what's his face videos, the guy is working with one track-long item in each track. As medicine tactic says, in Reaper, when you are working with multiple items, some of which may even be stacked on top of each other, there is going to be confusion. What if you have two items that occupy the same 4 bars and you add a note? How does Reaper determine which one it goes in? What if you have two midi items apart from each other, and you add a note in the middle? Which item does it go in.

I think it's possible to make that stuff work, but if you are not manually choosing item focus, the program is making some choices for you, hence the title of the thread.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:37 AM   #9
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Nope, it's not one track-long item. Sonar creates items only where notes are found. In 5th and 6th video he goes back to TCP/arrange and you can see he's not having track-long items there.


But I see the possible problems when some Reaper-specific functionality is used (takes, FIPM). Thing is, I don't see FIPM as being very useful in MIDI production at all. It's good for stacking kick samples, for example, but not really for MIDI from my experience. Why would you stack several MIDI items on top of each other in the SAME track is beyond me. There's no need to, because even a single MIDI item is "internally" stacked with 16 MIDI channels. So use MIDI channels then!

Takes are a bit different. There could be a way to notify the user that a section of the timeline contains takes, in the ME. Then you could click that dropdown and select the take to work on. Or something like that.

Two MIDI items apart and you stick a note between them? Easy - a new item gets created that's one bar long.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:37 AM   #10
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I'm mostly in agreement with you... event operations wouldn't move item bounds

So you agree with everything but my main point, heh.

My desire to have item boundaries automatically extend comes from the idea that one could just set up some sounds, and then open Reaper's midi editor and start composing a song, kind of like someone just sitting down to start writing, like the guy in ED's video, and I think that needs to be catered to. If you are constantly moving item borders, that is a lot of unnecessary extra work. Even if it's just an action, you would have to run it almost every single time you played. What is the argument against automatic extension? If the midi data is outside the active area, you don't really need to be editing it, do you? But maybe there is a way to accommodation both. Reaper is about options.

Maybe dealing with multiple items would be easy if you simply used the filter to select the item you were working on? You would just select an item in the filter and every action you made in the midi editor would relate to that item. If you added a note beyond the borders, it would extend that item, even if there happened to be another item occupying the time that you added the note in. In order to create a new item, you could just select none of the items (maybe by just clicking on the track in the filter), and then start writing midi data and a new item will be created for you to work in. That way if you wanted to just start creating, all you would have to do is open the midi editor and select your track and start writing.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:38 AM   #11
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Evil Dragon: I know you feel very strongly about this. And my "lie we tell
children" comment was probably an unfair dig. I apologize.

I think we can all agree that our ultimate goal is what's best for REAPER, and
that having all viewpoints stated to the best of their adherents' abilities makes
for a healthy idea ecosystem.

As far as specifics, I can see now we'll end up talking past each other. Most
of the things you cite as benefits I would view as drawbacks.

I have seen the videos, and I understand there are roundabout ways to force
Sonar to target specific items. But within Sonar's philosophy that feels more
like a bug or a leak in the abstraction to me.

Last edited by medicine tactic; 11-21-2012 at 04:00 PM. Reason: adherents -> adherents'
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Why would you stack several MIDI items on top of each other in the SAME track is beyond me. There's no need to, because even a single MIDI item is "internally" stacked with 16 MIDI channels. So use MIDI channels then!
That's exactly the sort of assumption that should be avoided like the plague.
Who are we to decide what future use the software is put to? It's often the
edge cases where interesting stuff happens.

Besides, I've used stacked MIDI items as portable envelopes and parameter
reseters plenty.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post


But I see the possible problems when some Reaper-specific functionality is used (takes, FIPM). Thing is, I don't see FIPM as being very useful in MIDI production at all. It's good for stacking kick samples, for example, but not really for MIDI from my experience. Why would you stack several MIDI items on top of each other in the SAME track is beyond me. There's no need to, because even a single MIDI item is "internally" stacked with 16 MIDI channels. So use MIDI channels then!

Takes are a bit different. There could be a way to notify the user that a section of the timeline contains takes, in the ME. Then you could click that dropdown and select the take to work on. Or something like that.

Two MIDI items apart and you stick a note between them? Easy - a new item gets created that's one bar long.
Well one reason you might stack items is that you have written two parts in two separate items and later on you decide that there is a portion of the song that you want them both to play on. It might not be very common, no, but Reaper does support this and I don't think people are going to want the functionality bypassed in the midi editor. Especially not when it's easy avoided by selecting the item you want to work in. As a bit of an amendment to my what I said earlier, you could select the track in the filter to get track behavior similar to sonar, or you could select any particular item to work on it. Maybe you could even hide all the items in a track in the filter like collapsing a tree. That would sort of be the best of both world's wouldn't it?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:06 AM   #14
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Maybe you could even hide all the items in a track in the filter like collapsing a tree. That would sort of be the best of both world's wouldn't it?
Yes, this is correct, and is something I'd like to use in Reaper ASAP. I would like to be able to collapse all items and just see tracks in the filter window. This could also be considered as a toggle between regular Reaper's workflow and track-based workflow. The behavior of ME could (possibly) change between two work paradigms upon this tree collapsing operation.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by run, megalodon View Post
So you agree with everything but my main point, heh.

My desire to have item boundaries automatically extend comes from the idea that one could just set up some sounds, and then open Reaper's midi editor and start composing a song, kind of like someone just sitting down to start writing, like the guy in ED's video, and I think that needs to be catered to. If you are constantly moving item borders, that is a lot of unnecessary extra work. Even if it's just an action, you would have to run it almost every single time you played. What is the argument against automatic extension? If the midi data is outside the active area, you don't really need to be editing it, do you? But maybe there is a way to accommodation both. Reaper is about options.
My issue with automatically moving item bounds to accomodate events is mostly
that they're two separate things, which should be available a la carte. I
think we should be able to define our own bounds-movement behavior from small
composable actions. Maybe the defaults could actually be macros.


Quote:
Maybe dealing with multiple items would be easy if you simply used the filter to select the item you were working on? You would just select an item in the filter and every action you made in the midi editor would relate to that item. If you added a note beyond the borders, it would extend that item, even if there happened to be another item occupying the time that you added the note in. In order to create a new item, you could just select none of the items (maybe by just clicking on the track in the filter), and then start writing midi data and a new item will be created for you to work in. That way if you wanted to just start creating, all you would have to do is open the midi editor and select your track and start writing.
I agree with just about everything here, and am excited that we're on the same
page. The one issue though, is dragging. We need a way to grab some notes,
then efficiently switch focus, then drop the notes somewhere else. But REAPER
doesn't accept keyboard input in the middle of a drag. So that's one of my
upcoming feature requests. Along with actions for intuitive, directional
focus-shifting.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:13 AM   #16
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I
think we should be able to define our own bounds-movement behavior from small
composable actions. Maybe the defaults could actually be macros.
Or maybe just a pref for "adding notes outside bounds automatically extends items?"
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:19 AM   #17
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But REAPER doesn't accept keyboard input in the middle of a drag. So that's one of my upcoming feature requests. Along with actions for intuitive, directional focus-shifting.
It supports this. Preferences->General->Advanced UI/system tweaks, [x] Allow keyboard commands even when mouse-editing.


Can I please ask you one thing? Can you PLEASE not break in newlines when posting, it makes quoting your posts a bitch removing all your newlines to make a concatenated line of text. People use different screen resolutions, this forum adjusts the width of the posts according to this resolution. Your posts look too condensed and actually waste the screen space here. Thanks and sorry for annoying.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by run, megalodon View Post
Or maybe just a pref for "adding notes outside bounds automatically extends items?"
Yeah!
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
It supports this. Preferences->General->Advanced UI/system tweaks, [x] Allow keyboard commands even when mouse-editing.
Nice!

Quote:
Can I please ask you one thing? Can you PLEASE not break in newlines when posting, it makes quoting your posts a bitch removing all your newlines to make a concatenated line of text. People use different screen resolutions, this forum adjusts the width of the posts according to this resolution. Your posts look too condensed and actually waste the screen space here. Thanks and sorry for annoying.
Is it really that annoying? If so, I'll stop. It's how it comes out of my editor. And I find shorter lines make for easier reading.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:50 AM   #20
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Perhaps I'm alone in this. It's not THAT annoying, it's just that I'm used to just typing things without newlines within one paragraph. Hope it doesn't offend you, because it's not my intention.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by run, megalodon View Post
As a bit of an amendment to my what I said earlier, you could select the track in the filter to get track behavior similar to sonar, or you could select any particular item to work on it. Maybe you could even hide all the items in a track in the filter like collapsing a tree. That would sort of be the best of both world's wouldn't it?
This sounds great, but is an enormous request. You'd be fully implementing both paradigms, as in [1]. I'd rather they drill down on one paradigm and really nail it, even if it's not my preferred one, than try to please everyone. But I guess you never know...
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:12 AM   #22
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Can you PLEASE not break in newlines when posting, it makes quoting your posts a bitch removing all your newlines to make a concatenated line of text.
lol, I must be reaaally annoying you than,
I soo prefer the shorter lines as it's much
easier to find the next line at the end,
same reason why newspapers prefer narrow
columns.

e
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:26 AM   #23
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It's not annoying reading it. It's annoying quoting it. Why even do it when we have variable width forum space... These are not newspapers.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:27 AM   #24
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This sounds great, but is an enormous request. You'd be fully implementing both paradigms
I don't think so. When you collapse to just tracks in the filter window, only the focus would change (to all items on a particular track being selected). Notice that in Sonar you also only work at ONE track at a time. You can't input notes to several tracks at once.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by run, megalodon View Post
Or maybe just a pref for "adding notes outside bounds automatically extends items?"
Such an option helps item centric editing over some of the hurdles, but stays firmly inside that paradigm. It's when you want to get out of it where things get complicated.

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How can Sonar create and/or extend items on its own no matter where on the track you input the note? It doesn't seem to create any issues, does it?
It does (or did, at least).
Sonar (7 is all I know) indeed often created exactly the "I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave" situation described in the OP for me. As long as you worked strictly linear or didn't care much whether events end up in the left or right of two subsequent clips (item) (when you created events in a gap between the two) it was ok. But as soon as you expected an event you created ending up in a specific clip, you could be massively disappointed by the decision Sonar made for you and find yourself fighting the machine. And when you started to use "track layers" (which was Sonar's way to have multiple clips in parallel) you could be sure things will go haywire (events ending up in wrong layers - even in muted layers and such stuff).

Don't forget that Mr Kruger knew his Sonar (4) inside out as far as his style of working was concerned and the workflow he performs in the vids is created around how Sonar worked back then and what it was good at.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:32 AM   #26
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Sonar (7 is all I know) indeed often created exactly the "I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave" situation described in the OP for me. As long as you worked strictly linear or didn't care much whether events end up in the left or right of two subsequent clips (item) (when you created events in a gap between the two) it was ok. But as soon as you expected an event you created ending up in a specific clip, you could be massively disappointed by the decision Sonar made for you and find yourself fighting the machine. And when you started to use "track layers" (which was Sonar's way to have multiple clips in parallel) you could be sure things will go haywire.
Ah, yes. ED, I forgot to acknowledge that you were right that it wasn't one track long clip like I thought, but in a way it's the same because you still have to act as if you are using one one track long clip, since some things are going to get complicated otherwise.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:06 AM   #27
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I wasn't going to bother commenting, but in the interests of objectivity....

I am a long term user of a track based MIDI sequencer that also has the option to be item based.

From my own personal standpoint, there is no better way to work in terms of the speed and flexibility of workflow.

Making a MIDI drum base pattern and extending it, then switching to track based edit and adding fills is SO fast.

If there were no other benefit than this it would be worth implementing in Reaper.
Sorry, but all the workarounds and split and glue operations will never ever replace this for me in my workflow.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:10 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofer View Post
Such an option helps item centric editing over some of the hurdles, but stays firmly inside that paradigm. It's when you want to get out of it where things get complicated.


It does (or did, at least).
Sonar (7 is all I know) indeed often created exactly the "I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave" situation described in the OP for me. As long as you worked strictly linear or didn't care much whether events end up in the left or right of two subsequent clips (item) (when you created events in a gap between the two) it was ok. But as soon as you expected an event you created ending up in a specific clip, you could be massively disappointed by the decision Sonar made for you and find yourself fighting the machine. And when you started to use "track layers" (which was Sonar's way to have multiple clips in parallel) you could be sure things will go haywire (events ending up in wrong layers - even in muted layers and such stuff).

Don't forget that Mr Kruger knew his Sonar (4) inside out as far as his style of working was concerned and the workflow he performs in the vids is created around how Sonar worked back then and what it was good at.
Been a while so excuse the rust, but I thought I recalled Sonar giving you the option as to how you inserted new stuff? Certainly in BPP I can choose whether I am pasting inserting or w.h.y. on the fly at the point of insertion.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:31 AM   #29
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It might well have been just me. I mentioned that in the other thread, but forgot to say it here, sorry. I just know that I did encounter these annoying situations and couldn't find out how to deal with them (and I like to think I am pretty good at finding solutions, even when hidden).

Maybe the point is that watching Mr Krugers vids don't tell us how Sonar deals with ambiguous situations, because he doesn't get into them.
(I hope) The goal of this thread is to find workable solutions to the problem, not to say track-based is off the radar because it's complicated. Personally, I'd even put up with confirmation dialogs in ambiguous situations just to make editing across items possible, if it turned out that's the only way to get there (shudder).
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:19 AM   #30
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I still keep getting very tempted to make the ultimate sacrifice and mail my Amiga 1200 (with BPP) to Justin and the gang... we all know that all this stuff IS possible, what we don't know is how easily it is do-able in Reaper and whether or not the devs really "get" what us sad MIDI-ites keep banging on about.

Incidentally, I didn't see any mention in DarkStar's big MIDI roundup of item based editing per se. I am sure we DO have a FR in for it, but cannot lay my hands on it right now to add to his thread.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:32 AM   #31
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A while ago, I tried to create some macros that would temporarily glue a number of items while in the ME to allow an easier workflow between items on a track, and then basically unglue and keep the notes where they were placed. It fell apart due to problems with focus, and was generally messy anyway. Truth is, I've only ever used acid and REAPER for MIDI, so i really have no idea how more powerful editors could work.

I think, perhaps, we could switch between item and track based editing by creating something similar to comps. i.e. you would define a 'comp' and it would allow you to do track based editing - basically treating the 'comp' like it was a track long item. I'm not sure how exactly creating events outside of normal item bounds would be treated in this case, but just throwing out an idea. I guess it would create new take lanes which get added to that 'comp'. And could be added to other comps.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:13 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James HE View Post
A while ago, I tried to create some macros that would temporarily glue a number of items while in the ME to allow an easier workflow between items on a track, and then basically unglue and keep the notes where they were placed. It fell apart due to problems with focus, and was generally messy anyway. Truth is, I've only ever used acid and REAPER for MIDI, so i really have no idea how more powerful editors could work.

I think, perhaps, we could switch between item and track based editing by creating something similar to comps. i.e. you would define a 'comp' and it would allow you to do track based editing - basically treating the 'comp' like it was a track long item. I'm not sure how exactly creating events outside of normal item bounds would be treated in this case, but just throwing out an idea. I guess it would create new take lanes which get added to that 'comp'. And could be added to other comps.

That is why I said "Sorry, but all the workarounds and split and glue operations will never ever replace this for me in my workflow." earlier in the thread.
But if it is possible for us the everyday users to bodge something together, surely it cant be THAT difficult for the devs to do it properly?
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:28 AM   #33
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My better judgement told me not to reply to the original post when I saw it yesterday as it seemed to be a train wreck waiting for a train to show up.

See? Old dogs actually can learn new tricks.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:02 AM   #34
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Why would you stack several MIDI items on top of each other in the SAME track is beyond me. There's no need to, because even a single MIDI item is "internally" stacked with 16 MIDI channels.
We will agree to disagree here.

One reason I stack clips is to keep my key switches separate from my performance clips, I drop my previously setup small key switch midi clips right on top of the performance clips. Why? Mostly so I can freely transpose and otherwise edit my performance data, and edit the key switch pitch to get another switch, right in arrange without one thing ever affecting the other and without opening a key editor.

The clip layering doesn't cause a problem in the ME at all, the notes, all the notes from the performance clip and the key switch clips, just show up.

It - for me - makes editing key switches from arrange really easy... having them on separate midi clips. And I know where they all are because I can see the small overlaying clips... not to mention that you can actually see the key switch name on the clip.

I pre-setup all my Kontakt and Mach5 switches that way, as small one bar midi clips in the media browser. I just drop them right on top of any clip to put in a switch.

P.S... Also, in something like Cubase where you can split midi pitches to lanes on the same track (and I think Reaper may actually do the same) there is a - huge - benefit to doing that with midi drums. It allows you to have direct independent edit control over all the drum pitches directly in arrange, without continuously opening the key editor to edit and without using 12 tracks. Select the hi-hat clips, run the relative velocity up/down without affecting the other drum parts. Much faster basic drum editing, quantizing individual pitches a little here and there, nudging the timing of certain parts, all from the arrange track without ever even opening a midi key editor.

Last edited by Lawrence; 11-21-2012 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:18 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicine tactic View Post
These are my thoughts on track-based MIDI. I'm posting them here so I can link
to it if it comes up later. It's not intended as flame-bait, but it's a
contentious subject by nature.

The essence of the feature that's been called "track-based MIDI", or "multi-item
editing" is that all the items currently visible in the MIDI editor belonging to
a certain track are focused at once. It's an abstraction layer that lets you
treat a track's items as one big item, freely adding, deleting, and dragging
events around without having to first focus an item to operate on. Really, it's
the track that has focus, not any of its items.

This seems like a nice way to edit; like it would allow you to focus on
composing rather than item administration; like it would encourage a flow state.
And as long as you stick to the garden path, it probably would.

But it comes with a heavy price: Removing focus implies letting the software
decide how to manipulate the underlying items. You are no longer in charge,
*it* is. There is no way around this. It is the definition of what is being
asked for. Any attempt to add some way to specify which item you're operating
on, and all you've done is re-add focus. [1]

I have issues with this, both philosophically and concretely. And you should
think hard about whether you do too.

While I love REAPER to death, I'm unwilling to give it that control over my
creations. I'd be unwilling to give *any* piece of creative software that kind
of power. My editor should do what I tell it, not try to do my thinking for me.
I do not want to fight with my editor over how the underlying items are being
manipulated. Nothing kills flow faster than literally fighting with your tools.

You may think you'd never run into situations where you want to do one thing and
it wants to do another, but you'd almost certainly be wrong. The complicated
interactions between adding and dragging events around, stacked items and
multiple takes, item extension vs. item creation and who knows what else, almost
guarantee that sooner or later it'd do something you don't want it to do, at
which point you'd either bend over, or try to figure out which incantation would
align its goals with yours.

Fundamentally though, track-based MIDI is completely at odds with REAPER's
philosophy. REAPER is about empowering its users. Routing, actions and macros,
JS, WALTER, text config files, ReaScript, the SDK, and so on all have this in
common. REAPER is like a toolkit for building your own DAW. Track-based MIDI
is a monolithic abstraction intended to shield you from the reality of composing
MIDI, like a lie we tell children.


[1] It may be possible to have both item-based and track-based editing modes
available, but the development burden would be enormous. The former is not a
subset of the latter. They imply different architectures, enable different
workflows and different feature sets, and would continue to diverge as
development progressed incrementally. You just can't do everything.
I think this guy probably thinks people look at him through the T.V.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:35 AM   #36
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I don't get it. You mean the newlines?


Back to you, Alice.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:18 AM   #37
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There has been many comments about how Multi-item MIDI editing in Reaper would be very difficult to implement or "incompatible with Reaper's philosophy".

Please read these FRs.

MIDI editor control panel (MECP)
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.p...923#post767923

Multi-item MIDI editing (detailed description with pseudo-code)
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.p...614#post684614

In those FRs I have tried to explain in detail how Multi-item MIDI editing and track-based MIDI editing can be added to Reaper without breaking or removing any existing functionality or workflow.

Feel free to point out any problems in those FRs and discuss about possible improvements.

In my opinion support for track-based MIDI workflow and Multi-item MIDI editing can be and should be added to Reaper.

jnif
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:44 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
[…] Thing is, I don't see FIPM as being very useful in MIDI production at all. It's good for stacking kick samples, for example, but not really for MIDI from my experience. Why would you stack several MIDI items on top of each other in the SAME track is beyond me. There's no need to, because even a single MIDI item is "internally" stacked with 16 MIDI channels. So use MIDI channels then! […]
Polyrhythmic loops (i.e. looped items with different loop lengths).
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:55 AM   #39
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I'd use multiple tracks for that. That's just me, though.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #40
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Thanks, jnif! Digesting that info. I'll get back with you.
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