Old 03-26-2017, 02:28 PM   #1
JeffreyET
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Default Helping an old dog with new tech

I have a question for the gurus:
My dad (88 yo, ex-pro musician / arranger, now hobbyist) wants to expand his keyboard sonic palette with as little computer use as possible.(LOL). So I downloaded Serenity Free & REAPER on his computer, only so he can use them together as a MIDI 'voice patch box' like one he used to have, and record onto his old outboard 8-channel Korg didital recorder. I used REAPER because I have no working familiarity with any other MIDI host program, but if anyone can suggest a simple one I'm open to that.
The question: Will we need to change settings in REAPER to allow MIDI pass-through? If so, which & how? (I haven't even tried yet because I still need a cable for the setup). I'm hoping its just a simple matter of arming record for the track, and the signal will automatically pass to the outboard recorder. I know the best solution is "DuH. Just record on REAPER!" but he's not gonna do that.
Thanks for heads up / advice on this.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:57 PM   #2
haervo
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Totally OT, sorry. But, man, that are crazy beautiful guitars! I think, I cant afford one... :-(
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:48 PM   #3
levets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyET View Post
The question: Will we need to change settings in REAPER to allow MIDI pass-through? If so, which & how? (I haven't even tried yet because I still need a cable for the setup). I'm hoping its just a simple matter of arming record for the track, and the signal will automatically pass to the outboard recorder. I know the best solution is "DuH. Just record on REAPER!" but he's not gonna do that.
Yes, and no.

No in that, you'll just have to make sure that for each MIDI track, the inputs and outputs are set correctly (i.e. coming in from the interface and going out to the interface).

But yes, after that, you can set it so arming the track passes MIDI through Reaper (in from a Keyboard I assume, and out to a MIDI synth/module).

You could set up a template of 16 MIDI tracks, each set to its own MIDI Channel, with the ins and outs correctly set, and then just as he picks a track, it automatically sends to that part.

Now, the question I have to ask is, will he want to change the sounds from Reaper?

If not, he can pick sounds on the synth, sound module, and he'll be fine.

If he does want to pick sounds from within Reaper, that gets a little tricky and I would hands down say it's not the best program for that (I'd go Cubase LE in a heartbeat for that, which is a free version that comes with hardware you buy, so unless you find a version online it might be hard to come by).

Picking sounds in reaper involves finding or creating a reascript file that will work (same as a Patch Script file in Cubase, which you'd have to do with that program as well) unless he's just using General MIDI sounds (probably not).

But it also involves putting a plug in on every channel and setting it up to call to that script. Once this is done it's not hard to do, but unlike Cubase, you always have to open an FX window. My fear would be since you'd have to do this on every track, it would mean a number of the same windows could be open simultaneously making things confusing.

Conversely, just one track could be used in this method, assuming he would want to work that way, but then you're really talking overkill for using a computer at all.

So whether Reaper will work well for him depends on exactly what he's going to be doing regarding selecting sounds.
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Old 03-26-2017, 09:37 PM   #4
viscofisy
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There's (at least!) 2 answers here :

1) Yes, you can send MIDI from any Reaper track using the tracks I/O (in Reaper 5 it's the small button on the top left of each track's control panel).

First you have to go to OPTIONS>> Preferences>> MIDI Devices and "enable" any hardware devices connected to the PC.
Any recognised MIDI devices will show up in that dialogue box, and you need to hit "enable" (and maybe OK or whatever, I'm not at my PC at the moment).


Any enabled MIDI devices will now show up in the track's I/O (as above).
_

2) When you say "MIDI voice box" - maybe you mean you want to record Audio from Reaper?
Incoming/Outgoing MIDI signals have no actual sounds - it's a protocol for sending information about notes and sounds (for example which note has been played, when, for how long etc etc). MIDI is used to trigger sounds, but has no sound of its own.

If it's Audio from Reaper you want to record (and you can send both Audio and MIDI from Reaper to external hardware) then you'll need to install one or more VSTi (virtual instruments) which Reaper hosts, and which are triggered by your MIDI keyboard. There are lots of good free VSTi ... and in this case it might sound daunting, but it's easier done than said! So if you need advice on installing VSTi then just ask around here.

Once you have it set up you can save the whole thing as a Template in Reaper - so you just need to click on that Template to load all instruments and connections etc ... and you don't need to do it all again.

So yes, you can pass MIDI through Reaper to hardware (answer 1 above) - but if you want to record sounds from Reaper you have to make audio connections from the PC's sound-card outputs (or from a dedicated Audio Interface if available) to the Korg recorder's Audio Inputs.

Sorry if you know this already - it's impossible to know what level of knowledge people have, and sometimes threads go round in circles before someone gets back to basics

_

A further answer is that there's a variety of MIDI dealing with the actual syncing of MIDI devices ... MIDI clock, time code, machine code etc ... that's another department. That's purely for syncing (keeping time between devices, start/stop etc). I've never used that myself, but from what I read it can be a bit problematic to say the least. That comes under "syncing external MIDI devices to Reaper".
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:33 AM   #5
JeffreyET
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Thanks for the comments & advice. I'll comb through it next opportunity (he is in another city).
Just to clarify, I DID mean he wants to use his KB to control MIDI in REAPER, using Serenity Free VST, then record the audio out to his 8-channel Korg. Just multitracking one track at a time.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:06 PM   #6
levets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyET View Post
Thanks for the comments & advice. I'll comb through it next opportunity (he is in another city).
Just to clarify, I DID mean he wants to use his KB to control MIDI in REAPER, using Serenity Free VST, then record the audio out to his 8-channel Korg. Just multitracking one track at a time.
Then yes, definitely.
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