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Old 09-30-2019, 10:14 AM   #1
clengman
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Default Looking for Suggestions for a Live setup

I posted earlier in the newb forum: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=225486 but I think most of what I'm interested in doing with Reaper is relevant to live performance so I wanted to post here as well and see if I can get any advice.

I have only just begun to play around with Reaper and I really have no experience with any other DAWs whatsoever so I'm starting from the ground up here. I'd like to put together a setup in Reaper that will allow me to:

1) Input from two audio sources (guitar and vocals) and one MIDI source (I don't have a keyboard yet, but am leaning towards Novation SL MkII) to play VSTi synths AND for track/patch switching, and tweaking effects parameters.

2) Store synth, guitar effects, and vocal effects presets and switch amongst them using MIDI controls

3) Output any of these sources to a looper like Mobius or Super8 and then apply effects to the outputs from the looper and control starts, stops and effects parameters with hardware MIDI controls.

I've read some in this forum and seen some limited information in youtube videos and I'm trying my best to absorb and apply the information I've seen, but it's a difficult learning curve from where I'm starting. It looks like Live Configs and/or LBX Stripper might help me to achieve some of what I want to do.

I have downloaded and installed the SWS extensions and LBX Stripper and I have played around a little bit with LBX stripper. I was hoping that I'd be able to, for example, create a MIDI track for a particular VSTi such as TAL Noisemaker, then add controls to a custom control panel in LBX stripper that would allow me to switch between presets and control a subset of parameters, then map the controls in the custom panel to physical controls on a MIDI device. Then I might make another track just for (for instance) DEXED and another custom panel in LBX Stripper for patch switching and parameter tweaking that was specific to that VSTi.

I can see how to click and drag most synth parameters into a custom panel to create a set of controls. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's possible to add a control for preset switching to an LBX stripper control panel. Is that the case? or am I overlooking something?

Is there a better way that I should be thinking about this?

Any advice, whether it be resources to read or watch for more general information, or specific advice/instruction to begin setting everything up would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Best Regards,

Carl
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:37 AM   #2
foxAsteria
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For simply mapping controls to your MIDI controller you don't need any of that. There are native options to learn the controls and store them as default for a plugin all the time, only when the track is selected, only when the plugin is focused/visible etc.

How you set it up depends on how you want to work and what your needs are. For synths I use the same controls on my Remote SL for the synth on the selected track. They always control the same things on each synth so I just change track selection to control different synths.

For switching presets, it's a PITA. But to avoid that hassle, you can create separate tracks with new instances using different presets. Live Configs will allow you to mute all the unused tracks so that they are not consuming resources (depends on the preference for not processing muted tracks). Or if you really want custom panel layouts with SmartKnobs, it can store it's own snapshots (like a preset).
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:14 AM   #3
clengman
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Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
For simply mapping controls to your MIDI controller you don't need any of that. There are native options to learn the controls and store them as default for a plugin all the time, only when the track is selected, only when the plugin is focused/visible etc.

How you set it up depends on how you want to work and what your needs are. For synths I use the same controls on my Remote SL for the synth on the selected track. They always control the same things on each synth so I just change track selection to control different synths.

For switching presets, it's a PITA. But to avoid that hassle, you can create separate tracks with new instances using different presets. Live Configs will allow you to mute all the unused tracks so that they are not consuming resources (depends on the preference for not processing muted tracks). Or if you really want custom panel layouts with SmartKnobs, it can store it's own snapshots (like a preset).
Thanks so much. That sounds like a good start. So I can assign a control on the keyboard, the only function of which will be to switch between tracks? Then I'll have knobs/faders set up to change parameters of whichever synth is currently active...

Now, what if I want to add additional effects VSTs to the synth track, or add multiple effects VSTs to a guitar track? Do I have to have a way to switch the VST that is "focused" in order to change its parameters? Would that be a reason to use LBX stripper? i.e. if I want to be able to change parameters from more than one VST on the fly?
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:43 PM   #4
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I think LBX stripper can do all that,. but it is not that easy to learn, so I''d say try first to achieve what you want with live configs.
As FoxAsteria said forget about switching presets, just duplicate the damn vst on another track and mute the first one.


Then If you need to midi control reaper's tracks parameters along several vst parameters/ mute... Or need "macro" control over several of these, I'd go LBX...


LBX Stripper's thread would be a good place to ask too...
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:08 PM   #5
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So I can assign a control on the keyboard, the only function of which will be to switch between tracks? Then I'll have knobs/faders set up to change parameters of whichever synth is currently active...
Yes, if you have an encoder, set it to APOT or increment or whatever it might called, but not absolute or relative and assign it to the "go to track cc" action rel2 or rel3 (whichever gives the desired behavior). When you start using the Learn action, you'll see the options. Basically I set it up so I have control of everything from pan to EQ to sends on any selected track, just like a console, but one track at a time. It's fast and convenient and keeps me from staring at the screen doing everything with my right hand and the mouse.
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Now, what if I want to add additional effects VSTs to the synth track, or add multiple effects VSTs to a guitar track? Do I have to have a way to switch the VST that is "focused" in order to change its parameters? Would that be a reason to use LBX stripper? i.e. if I want to be able to change parameters from more than one VST on the fly?
Smart knobs does some of the same things that the native learn function does, but it makes it possible to get feedback to the controller if it has led indicators or motor faders etc. I use it to light up buttons on my controllers indicating mute, solo etc for the selected track. Took a solid two weeks to set up though, so think about whether you actually need it.

You can set up all your controls natively based on track selection or whether the plugin is visible or actually focused. It's flexible but no feedback possible. Use Smart Knobs if you want feedback or FaderBox can do it as well. The documentation is pretty spread out over that massive thread, so it can be very time consuming to learn.

A good way to keep your fx chain visible so you can float fx easily is to dock the mixer one track wide on the side of your screen and activate the mixer option "scroll view when track selected.

Start with native functions, keep it simple and expand from there. If you need custom layouts of parameters from multiple plugins, Smart Knobs is good for that and then gives you a way to store snapshots of the chains. Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:05 AM   #6
clengman
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Thanks again! I think I'm following what you're saying. I'll have to just get a keyboard and try some of this stuff out to really understand though. I really appreciate the input.
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