Old 01-08-2019, 03:30 PM   #1
talustalus
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Default Unnatural behavior of Monitor Input modes

When you want to monitor an input without recording it, the logical choice would be to simply set the monitoring mode to 'Monitor Input' (without needing to record-arm the track).

What I've found in Reaper is that the track needs to be record-armed for the input to come through. Sure then you can select 'disable record' while the track is still monitored so it doesn't record - but where's the logic in still needing record-arm to be active?

Have I got this wrong? . . .


Thx.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:55 PM   #2
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All we need is a "i" button, and that would solve this.

When I want to record I want a record button.
When I want to monitor input, I want a monitor input button.

And I want to be able to glance over a project and see what tracks are on monitor input (hence the input buttons)
Currently I need to select the record button to know if I am monitoring input.

Drives me nuts when I have external midi and audio coming into Reaper that I am monitoring, but I do not want to record until later.

How are others dealing with this?
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:03 PM   #3
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Arm for record, then right-click the arm button, select,
"Record: disable (input monitoring only) or whatever it is.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:22 PM   #4
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Arm for record, then right-click the arm button, select,
"Record: disable (input monitoring only) or whatever it is.
You are right...but then the tracks are still 'record-armed' and it's confusing.

Plus, there is no indication of a track that's record-disabled (at least on the theme I'm using) so I can't visually determine which tracks will and won't record when I hit the Record button.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:26 PM   #5
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All we need is a "i" button, and that would solve this.

When I want to record I want a record button.
When I want to monitor input, I want a monitor input button.

And I want to be able to glance over a project and see what tracks are on monitor input (hence the input buttons)
Currently I need to select the record button to know if I am monitoring input.

Drives me nuts when I have external midi and audio coming into Reaper that I am monitoring, but I do not want to record until later.

How are others dealing with this?

My suggestion is: The monitoring mode options available are perfectly fine and no additional ones are needed - just their behavior needs to change.

MONITOR INPUT should perform the function that an 'I' button would. That is, inputs are monitored regardless of whether a track is record-armed.

MONITOR INPUT (AUTO TAPE STYLE) should remain exactly as is.

Currently, the tape style is only when you want to hear the input while the track is stopped OR while its recording. i.e. not while it's playing.

So the logic is, if someone wants to hear the input while playing along only - the track does not need to be record-armed, and therefore MONITOR INPUT alone could fulfill that function.


In summary... make 'monitor input' mode do its thing also when a track is not record-armed. Leave 'auto tape style' as is. That would solve it.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:28 PM   #6
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Edgemeal - But I still need the red record button on to monitor?

Meaning record light is on - but I am not recording...
Probably the most confusing record feature I have ever come across on a DAW

But I suppose I am used to every tape machine I have ever used has a monitor input switch/light - (the record button was for record)

Every other software I have ever used: the record button was for record
And decades on ProTools with a input switch (and red light record - means record).

Its been ages since I used Cubase - but from my recollection, the record RED light simple meant: Record

On big projects where I am constantly loading up different Reaper sessions, with lots of red light "record" buttons enabled (for monitoring inputs)
- it is a huge PITA to go through and check everything, so I can overdub without recording the tracks that are on monitor input.

sigh.... the red record means "maybe" it will record, maybe it is record disabled, maybe the red light is just on to monitor.

ALL of this silliness would be solved with a "i" monitor input button.

Last edited by ChristopherT; 01-09-2019 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:19 PM   #7
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I use default theme, shows IN and recording disabled on those buttons...

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Old 01-08-2019, 06:34 PM   #8
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1) Do you often play things that you don't want to record WHILE recording other things? Else it's a moot point. Don't hit Record unless you want to record.

B) Why not just record it anyway? MIDI recording is practically free and even audio is pretty cheap nowadays. Don't want to keep it? Delete it. If it just accidentally happens to be the best thing you've ever played, though, then you've got it and don't have to try to re-record it.

Like, this literally never comes up for me. I've never used "record disabled" and don't see any good reason I would.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:44 PM   #9
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1) Do you often play things that you don't want to record WHILE recording other things? Else it's a moot point. Don't hit Record unless you want to record.

B) Why not just record it anyway? MIDI recording is practically free and even audio is pretty cheap nowadays. Don't want to keep it? Delete it. If it just accidentally happens to be the best thing you've ever played, though, then you've got it and don't have to try to re-record it.

Like, this literally never comes up for me. I've never used "record disabled" and don't see any good reason I would.
Honestly, not bad points. Reaper has kind of forced me to move towards a mindset shift - namely, 'why not just record it anyway?' even when I'm just sketching things out. It's just a different way of thinking from other DAWs (I came from Cubase), which allow you to singularly monitor a track without arming it.

You're right, there's no concrete reason not to record any ideas you play - some people just prefer playing ideas without recording them because it's cleaner that way (until the idea is ready to be recorded)... which brings us to the 'disable record' function being the most moot function of this all - because the tracks are still in an 'armed' state even when disabled from recording.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:46 PM   #10
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Ya, just record everything, worst feeling is playing something great or new and realize you weren't recording it, or play some new riff then 5 minutes later I be like, how did that go, how did I do it.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:20 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure that every tape machine I've ever had needed a track to be armed in order to actually monitor through it. I know that's how my hard disk recorders have worked. Pretty sure the ADATs were the same, and the 4 tracks before that.

Course, those were usually connected to a mixer where I could choose to hear either the input or the tape output (or both) so it wasn't issue.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Edgemeal View Post
Ya, just record everything, worst feeling is playing something great or new and realize you weren't recording it, or play some new riff then 5 minutes later I be like, how did that go, how did I do it.
Yep, music should be captured in the moment, for in the moment is when it's felt.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:36 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure that every tape machine I've ever had needed a track to be armed in order to actually monitor through it. I know that's how my hard disk recorders have worked. Pretty sure the ADATs were the same, and the 4 tracks before that.

Course, those were usually connected to a mixer where I could choose to hear either the input or the tape output (or both) so it wasn't issue.
Thx for the insight, I've never owned a tape machine but I understand the philosophy. If you can hear your instrument in the studio then it's meant to be recorded.

Back in tape only days musicians were forced into recording final takes efficiently without dicking around. I believe this helps progress music projects along and will apply this way of working myself.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
I'm pretty sure that every tape machine I've ever had needed a track to be armed in order to actually monitor through it. I know that's how my hard disk recorders have worked. Pretty sure the ADATs were the same, and the 4 tracks before that.

Course, those were usually connected to a mixer where I could choose to hear either the input or the tape output (or both) so it wasn't issue.
Yep, my Teac A3440 and Adat XT worked exact the same way.
Besides, why would you want to monitor something when you are not going to record? That's the whole point of monitoring: checking the amount of signal so your recording is as hot as possible.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:14 AM   #15
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I have the same feeling as talustalus on this one, and recording everything is not a solution, would it only be because when we start playing doesn't mean that we are actually wanting the play to be in the project.

Worse : if the New recording trims existing items... option is engaged, we might loose previous record while just wanting to play few notes to test the sound. Sure, ctrl-Z is our friend in this case, but this leads to unnecessary moves and, to be honest, made me quickly become paranoid, using Reaper for any recording task. Overall, to hear what we are playing we have to check two buttons instead of one : not exactly a workflow helper...

And about recording everything, there is something in Cubase (at least, for MIDI) that solves the problem : the 'Retrospective record' feature (still waiting for this to be implemented in Reaper, by the way...). Two reasons why I carefully keep my Cubase 6.5 installation...
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:16 AM   #16
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Hi Peeps,

I'm still relatively new here and my opinion probably doesn't stand for much, but I thought I would express it anyway

I have two hard disk recorders and, yes, the tracks have to be armed, and show as red lights, just to monitor.

However, just because that is the case doesn't mean that DAW software has to be the same.

I have also used SONAR and Studio One and, from memory, you set a track for monitoring only with a separate button and the button to arm a track for record does just that.

So, that means I am with both talustalus and cubic13 on this one.

Would be great if we had the option, though I guess that having yet more options would make REAPER even more difficult for new users to pick up.

cheers

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Old 01-09-2019, 05:03 AM   #17
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Record = record - not record disabled, not monitor input.

Needing to arm record a track to monitor an input on a computer DAW in 2019?
Almost laughable...

I think Pro Tools had an monitor input button nearly 20 years ago


Reaper: Where the recording light is illuminated: ready to record ...but we are not recording, or maybe we are recording, or maybe only monitoring, or maybe disabled recording.

The red record arm light on a track can mean : nothing at all !!!
SO futuristic...

Last edited by ChristopherT; 01-09-2019 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:53 AM   #18
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It brings me back to the first question in my post. If you just want to "check sound" like to get a level, then you don't need to touch the transport at all, and if you just want to play along without recording then don't hit Record, hit Play instead. How often are you actually recording on other tracks while "just monitoring" some others? I guess maybe if you're running hardware background synths that you want to hear but not record for some reason?

Why anybody would ever use that "Trim content..." option completely baffles me and the fact that it is default for MIDI items confuses me even more.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:59 AM   #19
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If you set the track`s Audio Monitoring to "Auto" at all times like I and many others do, you will always be able to monitor your track input, regardless of whether or not the track is armed. Will this help?
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
I'm pretty sure that every tape machine I've ever had needed a track to be armed in order to actually monitor through it. I know that's how my hard disk recorders have worked. Pretty sure the ADATs were the same, and the 4 tracks before that.

Course, those were usually connected to a mixer where I could choose to hear either the input or the tape output (or both) so it wasn't issue.
It's the same relative case here, the key word is it is the "arming" of the input, aka turning it on - then one uses monitor if they want to hear it. I get the reason users want to just monitor (well vaguely) but we have to remember that the record button also opens the incoming audio stream aka "arm".

TLDR: It isn't just a record button it's the record arm button to open the audio input - it even say's arm in the tooltip.

Last edited by karbomusic; 01-09-2019 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:55 AM   #21
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It brings me back to the first question in my post. If you just want to "check sound" like to get a level, then you don't need to touch the transport at all, and if you just want to play along without recording then don't hit Record, hit Play instead. How often are you actually recording on other tracks while "just monitoring" some others? I guess maybe if you're running hardware background synths that you want to hear but not record for some reason?
If you are working with MIDI and you don't want to "print" to audio yet then you have to play the project to monitor it.

That said, it appears that REAPER isn't exactly optimised for MIDI...
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:41 PM   #22
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If you are working with MIDI and you don't want to "print" to audio yet then you have to play the project to monitor it.
Right. You said play, not record.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:13 PM   #23
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A way to solve this is have the record arm light change color.

Red is record
Green is monitor input
Blue is record disable

Then we can clearly understand visually what the state of all the tracks record status is.

I wonder if there is a under the hood way that I can change the color of record arm to indicate status?
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
Right. You said play, not record.
I might want to record one MIDI track while monitoring others. Or I might want to monitor some MIDI tracks and record guitar or some non-MIDI synth hardware.

cheers

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Old 01-09-2019, 01:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by synkrotron View Post
I might want to record one MIDI track while monitoring others. Or I might want to monitor some MIDI tracks and record guitar or some non-MIDI synth hardware.

cheers

andy
Exactly - this scenario is happening to me all the time
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:28 PM   #26
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I hope someone can help with this one simple requested change.

Change the color of the red record light to green when using - "Record: disable (input monitoring only)"

I hope this is possible
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread....16#post2080516

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Old 01-09-2019, 05:07 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synkrotron View Post
I might want to record one MIDI track while monitoring others. Or I might want to monitor some MIDI tracks and record guitar or some non-MIDI synth hardware.

cheers

andy
I'm slightly confused (sorry), what does "monitoring other midi tracks" mean? As in incoming MIDI from external devices? I only ask because there is no need to record-arm an existing MIDI track with a MIDI item on it. It would only be needed if the incoming MIDI is external.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:45 PM   #28
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I'm slightly confused (sorry), what does "monitoring other midi tracks" mean? As in incoming MIDI from external devices? I only ask because there is no need to record-arm an existing MIDI track with a MIDI item on it. It would only be needed if the incoming MIDI is external.
I think they're sending MIDI out of Reaper to hardware synths and want to hear the audio from those without recording them. Presumably while also recording something else. I can see where that could be a thing. I guess I haven't really been trying to argue with anybody. I don't need it to change, but it probably won't hurt me to have other options or whatever.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:14 PM   #29
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I think they're sending MIDI out of Reaper to hardware synths and want to hear the audio from those without recording them. Presumably while also recording something else. I can see where that could be a thing. I guess I haven't really been trying to argue with anybody. I don't need it to change, but it probably won't hurt me to have other options or whatever.
Was just trying to understand what monitoring MIDI means since that's technically monitoring audio. I totally get that need, it's just something I haven't really used or needed since the late 90's.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:11 PM   #30
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I can give a few examples that I am constantly up against.

Monitoring analog synth midi returns (whilst still composing)

The return of 4 channels of H8000FW, which gets tweaked all of the time in production, and only gets recorded when the mix FX is ready.

Tape delay return when tracking ideas, and only later wanting to record.

I have a second laptop with 8 outs returning into Reaper, where I may be sending multiple channels of midi, and returning back 4 instances of Kontakt.
Again - whilst a composition evolves, I don't want to record until later.
Then 2 iPads receiving midi from Reaper, returning audio or midi

So on a project with many ideas saved in multiple Reaper projects, I may for eg open up composition number 10 (with all of the various tracks looking like they are record armed - but most are record disabled, then upon listening I suddenly come up with a melody on vocal, guitar, or keys and want to instantly record the melody.

Depending on how the last saved state of the project I just opened - I cannot remember if 5 of my 150 tracks are record enabled / or not.
Meanwhile - I have 14 tracks returning from external stuff - that are red and could be record armed
I have to go and check the status of tracks before recording - in fear that I may record over something by mistake.

I find this way of working stressful.

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Old 01-10-2019, 02:11 AM   #31
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I'm slightly confused (sorry), what does "monitoring other midi tracks" mean? As in incoming MIDI from external devices? I only ask because there is no need to record-arm an existing MIDI track with a MIDI item on it. It would only be needed if the incoming MIDI is external.
Apologies, I didn't explain myself very well

I hasten to add that this is only a very recent thing for me, in fact, just in the last week or so, since endeavouring to bring back into play my MIDI hardware synths.

So, by "monitoring other MIDI tracks" I mean the audio from those devices, not the MIDI.

It's been a while since I have done this kind of stuff using SONAR but from memory I didn't have to "arm" a track for recording in order to hear the incoming audio signal. Instead, you simply activated the monitoring button. REAPER has a similar button but we have to ensure that is set to monitor AND arm the track for record at the same time. An extra step, if you like compared to other DAW.


This is not a deal breaker for me and REAPER will remain my main DAW now, having put in so much effort into it over the last couple of months.

cheers

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Old 01-11-2019, 08:50 AM   #32
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I'm pretty sure that every tape machine I've ever had needed a track to be armed in order to actually monitor through it. I know that's how my hard disk recorders have worked. Pretty sure the ADATs were the same, and the 4 tracks before that.

Course, those were usually connected to a mixer where I could choose to hear either the input or the tape output (or both) so it wasn't issue.
Yeah, that matches how most of my tape machines work. To monitor inputs, I had to hold pause while pressing record. An exception was my Teac 3340s 4 track machine, where it would monitor (to output and to VU meters) either input or tape; there was a source switch for each track.

You might be able to do some trickery with actions, like create a custom action that switches record-arm and input monitoring on selected track(s), then assign key strokes to them.

Such as:
Track: Set track record monitor to on
Xenakios/SWS: Set selected tracks record armed

and

Track: Set track record monitor to off
Xenakios/SWS: Set selected tracks record unarmed

(Requires the SWS extension to be installed)
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:11 PM   #33
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I made this a request:

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread....96#post2081296

Fingers crossed
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristopherT View Post
I made this a request:

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread....96#post2081296

Fingers crossed
I wonder if there is a way of "upvoting" this, short of replying to that topic?

It would certainly get my vote anyway
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:44 PM   #35
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Would it be possible to (ab)use ReaInsert to get around this? I don't think you need the track to be armed or monitoring in order to hear the "return" signal coming into that plugin. Stick it on all of your hardware synth tracks and set them to "Record: Output". You'll be able to monitor the inputs at all times, and only have to arm the track when you actually want to record. A bit of a workaround, and I've never tried it, but I think it will do about what you want.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:11 PM   #36
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Maybe ReaInsert may work - but this is sort of confusing.
I want to keep my inserts as inserts only.
Like recording a vocal mic through an insert is odd way to work.

Hopefully we can get some sort of response from the Reaper team as to what is possible or not.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:49 AM   #37
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Funny, that, I had briefly considered ReaInsert just yesterday. I use ReaInsert on two tracks for my two outboard effects and, as has been pointed out, you can monitor the incoming signal without arming the tracks.

I will have a think about that but I am also firmly in the camp of ChristoperT
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