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Old 11-08-2019, 06:27 PM   #1
dasein64
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Default Help: MIDI Keyboard Arrangements in Reaper by a Non-Keyboardist

I have a rudimentary knowledge of Reaper (up to Ch. 3/4 of the manual). I'm recording an album in the studio with a producer/engineer who uses Logic. It's a guitar-centric album, but it's time to lay down backing keyboards. I have very definite keyboard arrangements that I want to record at home as MIDI tracks in Reaper and then import to Logic in the studio. I plan to track against rough mp3 studio mixes in Reaper.

Now, I'm a singer-songwriter-guitarist who can write for keyboards, but I'm a weak keyboard player. Before diving into videos or the manual, can someone tell me if I can 1) play the keyboard parts at half-speed to MIDI tracks, and/or 2) manually add or edit those 'performances' in a MIDI screen in Reaper?

Any input is much appreciated.

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Old 11-08-2019, 06:57 PM   #2
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Yup, you can play your track at whatever BPM you feel your fingers can keep up to and record your keyboard MIDI. On top of that, you can do things like turn quantization on (which may or may not kill the humanization of your keyboard track, however), or add some humanization after. You can snap notes to scale, in case you fat finger the wrong note (although maybe you do have some notes outside your scale, so it may be something you want to toggle on/off). You can edit the MIDI notes manually in the MIDI editor (ex. piano roll) to fix things up too, or replay small parts in "takes", for example. Really, if you've got the notes in your head (or on paper), and your fingers can half-assed play those notes, you should be able to make this work.

Maybe check out some Reaper tutorial videos on the home page too about doing some of the stuff I mentioned. I am not a good keyboardist either, but I've done what you are asking once or twice.
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Last edited by nait; 11-08-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:24 PM   #3
dasein64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nait View Post
Yup, you can play your track at whatever BPM you feel your fingers can keep up to and record your keyboard MIDI. On top of that, you can do things like turn quantization on (which may or may not kill the humanization of your keyboard track, however), or add some humanization after. You can snap notes to scale, in case you fat finger the wrong note (although maybe you do have some notes outside your scale, so it may be something you want to toggle on/off). You can edit the MIDI notes manually in the MIDI editor (ex. piano roll) to fix things up too, or replay small parts in "takes", for example. Really, if you've got the notes in your head (or on paper), and your fingers can half-assed play those notes, you should be able to make this work.

Maybe check out some Reaper tutorial videos on the home page too about doing some of the stuff I mentioned. I am not a good keyboardist either, but I've done what you are asking once or twice.
Thank you very much! Yes, I just saw Kenny's video on MIDI. It's like magic. Thanks again.

https://www.reaper.fm/videos.php#ILpYFIgtQls
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:25 AM   #4
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Really, if you've got the notes in your head (or on paper), and your fingers can half-assed play those notes, you should be able to make this work.
)
I really love this comment - it seems to sum up my entire musical experience with REAPER!
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:56 PM   #5
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I really love this comment - it seems to sum up my entire musical experience with REAPER!
I'm hoping it's the same for me!
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:00 AM   #6
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Well IMHO the real problem is knowing what you want to play in the first place (or in my case due to advancing years, remembering them!)
Dasein, I'm sure you will be fine.
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