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View Poll Results: Should we have an Enhanced for Midi Track Type?
Yes!!! 46 45.10%
Noooooo 52 50.98%
I dont know and/or I don't care 4 3.92%
Voters: 102. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-04-2010, 11:16 PM   #1
DarthFader
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Default Should we have an "Enhanced for Midi" Track type/Inspector

Which would:

1) Make volume and pan send midi
2) On the selected "Track Channel" (or None to not rechannelize the track data)
3) Show transpose and patch name on the TCP (enhanced "Inspector")
4) Be an option that users would never have to use if they didnt want to

NOTE: If you "just want an inspector" that is still a YES vote, since that "inspector" presumably would only be on "enhanced midi tracks"

DF

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Old 07-05-2010, 12:16 AM   #2
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Yep. There are some things I miss from the Sonar MIDI tracks that could integrate well with Reaper universal track type. It would be nice that in the future we also have some fancy stuff like an Arpeggiator. ;-}
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:38 AM   #3
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I would vote for more customization of tracks, so Reaper's unified tracks can mimic MIDI track type. I declare abstention from this poll
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:05 AM   #4
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It's not just that reaper needs a midi track type, it needs many midi enhancements. Both cubase & sonar have unique midi stuff. Just take the best of both and reproduce that and then go a step further and put in things that neither of them have.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:18 AM   #5
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Why not just have a menu option similar to the "insert virtual instrument on new track"? Just make it chock full of MIDI goodness.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.g.: View Post
Why not just have a menu option similar to the "insert virtual instrument on new track"? Just make it chock full of MIDI goodness.
Define chock full of goodness as it relates to the features and UI.

And note -- not every midi track is a "Virtual Instrument"! There are hardware midi devices too.

It's for these non VSTi devices that this track type would help out so much more so than just a VSTi track.

For people that only use VSTi's they probably don't see half of what's clunky in this area.

DF

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Old 07-05-2010, 02:27 AM   #7
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As a previous poster said, add the features that would allow the universal track type to mimic a MIDI track, just offer an "insert MIDI track" option similar to the "insert vst" option. It's still the same ole universal track, just preloaded for MIDI.

No?

Or is that exactly what you're saying? It's late (well here comes the sun), and I've been up all night.

Yes, I've just seen your edit. I understand that this is hardware inspired. I've got a nice juicy rack full myself.

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Old 07-05-2010, 02:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.g.: View Post
As a previous poster said, add the features that would allow the universal track type to mimic a MIDI track, just offer an "insert MIDI track" option similar to the "insert vst" option. It's still the same ole universal track, just preloaded for MIDI.

No?
No. Because that doesn't solve the massive amount of clickyness involved in setting patches or whatever, doesn't solve redundant and useless volume control, etc, for hardware synths, etc, etc.

That's the whole point of this track type, to better expose that stuff farther up in the UI.

Building your own UI for this with knobs wastes vast amount of space and Reaper could and should handle it natively and better (well at least we'll see what the polls says).

Internally it could be a plain old universal track, but it acts like a track set up for midi, not a universal track with preloaded plugins and a standard plugin UI.


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Old 07-05-2010, 02:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthFader View Post
Internally it could be a plain old universal track, but it acts like a track set up for midi, not a universal track with preloaded plugins and a standard plugin UI.
This is what I'm saying. We are on the same page. Your mention of a new "track type" clouded the issue.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:53 AM   #10
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Ok, voted no. I think the plugin method is the way to go, apart from volume and pan faders being hopefully switchable to send MIDI data (of any kind I choose).

Knobs don't necessarily need to waste space. They could be any size, form, place or function if they just are improved in that direction.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.g.: View Post
This is what I'm saying. We are on the same page. Your mention of a new "track type" clouded the issue.
No because what I'm talking about is how it's EXPOSED AT THE UI.

I expect that to be handled "intelligently" and not like generic plugins.

Either you get that or you don't. If you don't that's fine. Just vote No.

You seem to think that the customization could be done with some fancy knob layout tool, which, does not exist.

They could potentially go that route instead, but how is that easy for the user? Perhaps they can go in both directions - a pimped out midi track and customizable knobs in general.

I see a lot of problems with just going the "customization" route -- in the sense that it would still be fiddly. How would pan and volume know where to go? What about rechannelizing via ReaControlMidi or whatever?

Now when you change the track channel, you have to change it in 3 (or more!) different places via "customization". I really don't think that's going to be "progress".

Hence my suggestion.

DF

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Old 07-05-2010, 03:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofer View Post
I would vote for more customization of tracks, so Reaper's unified tracks can mimic MIDI track type. I declare abstention from this poll
Yup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gofer View Post
Ok, voted no. I think the plugin method is the way to go, apart from volume and pan faders being hopefully switchable to send MIDI data (of any kind I choose).

Knobs don't necessarily need to waste space. They could be any size, form, place or function if they just are improved in that direction.
Word!
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:27 AM   #13
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I'm on the same page as Gofer and EvilDragon - Voted no.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:54 AM   #14
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Me too.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:29 AM   #15
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Since a reaper track is a full fledged audio and midi track, I want it to remain that way. But with the aforementioned MIDI features (midi volume, pan, transpose by semitones, transpose by octave, velocity range/compress, key range filtering, midi channel routing and so on).

I just want these easily accessible through a 'cubase inspector' type panel for example. That and improved TCP UI widgets and customization capabilities. Can't think of better solutions than these.

Doing the above exclusively via plugins (like ReaControlMIDI) is not optimal. But I do like the plugins method because I sometimes do stuff in arbitrary points in the FX chain.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthFader View Post
You seem to think that the customization could be done with some fancy knob layout tool, which, does not exist.
Not at all. Never said such a thing. I'm not sure how you came to such a conclusion. I guess I'm not communicating well enough, and you're filling in blanks.

Oh well...good luck.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by e.g.: View Post
Not at all. Never said such a thing. I'm not sure how you came to such a conclusion. I guess I'm not communicating well enough, and you're filling in blanks.

Oh well...good luck.
That part wasn't directed at you (specifically).

It was gofer that said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gofer View Post
Knobs don't necessarily need to waste space. They could be any size, form, place or function if they just are improved in that direction.

I think at the end of the day what I'm looking for is something that is INTEGRATED (which can mean many different things to many people) and streamlines process.

The alternative is to just throw features at it without necessarily integrating it into any process or paradigm (knobs that can send whatever you want wherever you want) but wouldn't even coordinate amongst themselves on what channel the track is, etc.

Although I think better track customization would be a good thing in general, I think it will create a fancier hodge podge midi if it's not integrated into some type of paradigm where the controls coordinate amongst themselves and if the customization is at quite an extreme level in terms of drawing and layout.

DF

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Old 07-05-2010, 08:30 AM   #18
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I don't know the answer yet, so I will not vote yet.

There are benefits to the current "vision" of tracks being able to contain audio and/or MIDI data. If nothing else, it sounds appealing.

There are also benefits to having a track's menus, buttons, controls, and options be optimized for what is actually there (MIDI, audio, or both). That also means that you wouldn't need to look at options that are not applicable.

I suspect that things like not having a prominent option labeled "Transpose" for MIDI, are the result of the current vision. The logic being (maybe) "You can't transpose audio, why have a transpose control for MIDI? It would clutter the GUI, and eventually lead to debauchery, perversion, and anarchy."
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:24 AM   #19
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I voted yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
If I had Justin's ear over a shot of Jack Daniels I would honestly ask why there isn't an *optional* real midi track class aside from the universal track class.

I'm not really sure why being able to say that one thing "Only one track class for everything!" is so important to so many people, since it would still be there afterward, the universal track, anyway.

This would be more, not less. A midi track with cc fader, pan, meter and all the standard stuff on the TCP. Don't need it? Ignore it.
Sums up my feelings on this. Most of the other solutions seem a bit like 'hacks'.

What I would prefer is more flexibility in saving default tracks with the ability to hide plugins in the chain and better ability to dock their controls in the actual track UI itself. This would not only allow users to setup their own "MIDI track" but also other things like a built in high-pass on audio tracks etc.

A content-aware inspector would also do the trick.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:47 AM   #20
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I obviously voted yes but I'm also of the opinion that an inspector would probably solve the majority of the root issues driving these kinds of requests.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:05 AM   #21
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I voted no. I like to stay with the 'one track for all' paradigm but it should get some options to set it to midi-control mode
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:07 AM   #22
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voted "no" and i strongly echo technogremlin's sentiments, strikes me as much easier to implement.
i still don't understand why it's better for a fader to send midi volume instead of just control the volume of the outgoing audio.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:20 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nym View Post
i still don't understand why it's better for a fader to send midi volume instead of just control the volume of the outgoing audio.
Not that it's a big deal (it's not at all Nym) but this has been covered over and over, the reason or circumstance why. Try mixing a very large R&B or dance track on a Proteus 2000 or similar without a midi mixer. It can be done but like cutting your toenails with scissors, it's better to use nail clippers.

If you guys want I can record the audio of one of it's demo tracks, which uses only it's internal sounds and effects. I think you might be a little surprised at the result given that there won't be a single audio plugin (eq, comp, etc.) on it anywhere.

On the higher end, do you honestly think anyone using this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MotifXS8/ would spend that kind of money only to replace it's sounds with VSTI's? Or might they have some stereo stems from there and be doing a good bit of submixing in midi?

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Old 07-05-2010, 10:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nym View Post
i still don't understand why it's better for a fader to send midi volume instead of just control the volume of the outgoing audio.
Here's why:

If you're sending MIDI to a VSTi on another track, the fader is currently useless and a complete waste of space.

Also MIDI volume in any multisampled VSTi is going to change the texture of the sound (different sample layers being triggered) whereas the audio volume only changes the output volume.

Also it seems like many of the people who are voting no, want the same thing as those voting yes and much of this argument is semantic.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:56 AM   #25
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Quote:
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I'm on the same page as Gofer and EvilDragon - Voted no.
ditto

.t
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:11 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PitchSlap View Post
If you're sending MIDI to a VSTi on another track...
... then just STOP DOING THAT





Just kidding of course. I've been an outboard hardware guy for decades so I do understand the need for some people to get better midi-control on a track. Although I don't really need that myself (gone totally software years ago), that's why I made the statement about an option to set a track to midi-control (should go nice with the 'one track paradigm'), because I actually do know what it can do for outboard synths and such

However, I still have a Kawai K1rII lying around that I haven't use for years and when I get my fasttrack ultra I might hook it up again (as I will have a few inputs spare then).
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:12 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallisman View Post
ditto

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Them's fighting words. Put 'em up! Bare knuckles. No testicle kicking allowed...

Seriously though, this is really just friendly chatter. I have good tools for those things so it's really not all that important.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:31 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PitchSlap View Post
Here's why:

If you're sending MIDI to a VSTi on another track, the fader is currently useless and a complete waste of space.

Also MIDI volume in any multisampled VSTi is going to change the texture of the sound (different sample layers being triggered) whereas the audio volume only changes the output volume.

Also it seems like many of the people who are voting no, want the same thing as those voting yes and much of this argument is semantic.
Well. Volume shouldn't change the timbre. Velocity should.

I agree that a lot of people voting no should be voting yes....

If you "just want an inspector" ... that would be a YES vote, because, presumably that inspector wouldn't be on every track, it would just be on "enhanced" midi tracks...(and the primary thing "enhanced" about them could easily be that they have an inspector).

DF
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:40 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
On the higher end, do you honestly think anyone using this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MotifXS8/ would spend that kind of money only to replace it's sounds with VSTI's? Or might they have some stereo stems from there and be doing a good bit of submixing in midi?
Funny you should mention that. I have an XS7

DF
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:50 AM   #30
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How about...

an unobtrusive grey icon, just like the folder icon, on each horizontal mixer field? This won't clash with the other icons or overload the area visually.

A capital M or DIN plug icon which opens a dropdown box with all the midi stuff for that track.

The same thing could be available on a per item basis within each track with both being effective. eg:

Click grey MIDI icon, apply a +12 pitch shift for the track - on one iem on the track click the grey MIDI icon and select -12....

The whole track, except that one item, is shifted up an octave.

Just the basics are needed to speed up workflow; pitch, patch, velocity scale........
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:46 PM   #31
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Quote:
Also MIDI volume in any multisampled VSTi is going to change the texture of the sound (different sample layers being triggered) whereas the audio volume only changes the output volume.
you're talking about midi velocity, not volume...2 completely different things. cc7 is one thing, i would puke my pants if suddenly my track's volume fader suddenly started effing with my midi velocity. velocity, more than anything, is something that should be controlled via dedicated user-created TCP control - this functionality is native already with the included velocity control js fx.

lawrence, i have zero proteus experience, but i believe i can see your point. i'm envisioning a scenario where multiple midi channels control multiple instruments on a multitimbral synth/sampler/workstation outputting to a stereo track. incoming midi from your controller show up in individual tracks by channel perhaps in reaper, and then are exported to the proteus. here, i would definitely want cc7 volume control over the proteus easily accessible, as the stereo track prohibits a user from just using the volume fader to control different elements individually.

multi-out hardware ftw in this case...but in the meantime there's always this: (and TCP controls)



someday i reckon all TCP controls (including buttons and vol faders) will be more flexibly assigned
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:50 PM   #32
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Quote:
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Well. Volume shouldn't change the timbre. Velocity should.

DF
Yes you guys are correct. It's been so long since I've used a working MIDI fader I forget what it does, lol
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:42 PM   #33
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Default voted "No"

Since my last project, I used Reaper's tracks not only as "one for all", but as "both on one", via "feedback in routing".

This is something I really don't wanna miss anymore!
I can mix my VSTi's different channels on the same track where I recorded midi. Awesome!

But I'd definetely be happy about sort of an "Inspector" thing, with all kind of controls in it... Pitch would work on both midi and audio, Velocity just for midi of course... not quite sure what would make sense here, to meet anyone's needs...

I'd see it like the SWS track list,maybe.
Something "floating", so I could place it wherever I wanted to, maybe even totally customizable...?
I could use it then, but I wouldn't have to.

Just some thoughts....
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:04 PM   #34
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i don't want to keep sticking my head in here but this is a good time to say this:

i'd love all the features that would go on this "midi track" but i don't want a new track type specifically for vst/vsti. what i'd rather have is enhanced TCP control options for the dynamic track type we have now:

* hideable existing TCP controls (volume fader, pan, mute, solo, etc)
* reassignable existing TCP controls (volume, pan) to aliasable CC
* option to treat TCP volume fader as a TCP fx control (ie add multiple freely configurable horizontal faders - as it is now, all TCP fx control are knobs)

this, coupled with existing js fx for velocity control, transpose, etc offer an enormous amount of midi track control that is already there, just a little less handle-able

the trouble comes in when you say that this is a "midi track." such TCP/MCP control flexibility would be equally as important for tracks with just audio items and VST fx.

it's my opinion that the current "omnitrack" concept is definitely the way to go - TCP controls simply need to get opened up a little bit. and, again in my opinion, with TCP fx controls we're more than halfway there.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #35
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Nym:

It's a good thought but take the thinking a little further.

If you did it that way, and then you changed the midi output channel of the track (using ReaControlMidi, say)...then what would you have to do to change all your TCP controls? Change them by hand too? For each and every one?

Otherwise without built in support, how would they all know what midi channel to use?

Answer me that hrrm.

I don't think a JS can look up the settings of another JS to base it's settings off of. So without that capability, "rolling your own" as described is going to be quite painful when it comes to actually using it, especially if you change the midi channel.


DF
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:16 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthFader View Post
Nym:

It's a good thought but take the thinking a little further.

If you did it that way, and then you changed the midi output channel of the track (using ReaControlMidi, say)...then what would you have to do to change all your TCP controls? Change them by hand too? For each and every one?

Otherwise without built in support, how would they all know what midi channel to use?

Answer me that hrrm.

I don't think a JS can look up the settings of another JS to base it's settings off of. So without that capability, "rolling your own" as described is going to be quite painful when it comes to actually using it, especially if you change the midi channel.


DF
I change the output channel after all other controls. As all controls stream through the output channel transformation they get their channel changed as well. It's magic .
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:29 PM   #37
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I change the output channel after all other controls. As all controls stream through the output channel transformation they get their channel changed as well. It's magic .
It's magic and now it's dependent on:

A) The ordering of the plugins
B) That you have a rechannelize plugin at the end

If it wasn't dependent on those two things, it may not be necessary to "rechannelize" it at all.

I really think as I said this will be "more fiddliness" and not very user friendly. It's just a better hack, not an integrated midi solution.

Additionally when it comes to filtering it gets more complex. If a track has PC and you want to filter PC, but you DO want to set the PC initially, then it gets clunky. Does the filter eat up the initial PC you wanted to set?

I think a collection of hacks does not an integrated solution make. I'm all for a decent hack now and again but I'm all for an engineered solution geared to the task at hand too, not just more spaghetti.

I think this is all about saving the universal track which has a lot of problems in my book. When would you want to put a VSTi AND a waveform on the same track, compared to one or the other? It's a niche need but it's the defacto standard.

And what volume affects both the waveform and the vsti? I fail to see the use case for this scenario versus midi and audio tracks being essentially different except they both have an audio path; one generates audio and the other plays it back, both with or without fx.

Additionally as I pointed out on the top post, it's an OPTIONAL track type. Noone has to give up their "beloved" universal track to have this option. I think this is completely lost in the discussion as people think it's either/or.

As I've said before, not every game is zero-sum and this isn't either.


DF

Last edited by DarthFader; 07-05-2010 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:45 PM   #38
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The "Universal Track" is perfect for me. Voted no.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:18 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthFader View Post
It's magic and now it's dependent on:

A) The ordering of the plugins
B) That you have a rechannelize plugin at the end

If it wasn't dependent on those two things, it may not be necessary to "rechannelize" it at all.

I really think as I said this will be "more fiddliness" and not very user friendly. It's just a better hack, not an integrated midi solution.

Additionally when it comes to filtering it gets more complex. If a track has PC and you want to filter PC, but you DO want to set the PC initially, then it gets clunky. Does the filter eat up the initial PC you wanted to set?

I think a collection of hacks does not an integrated solution make. I'm all for a decent hack now and again but I'm all for an engineered solution geared to the task at hand too, not just more spaghetti.

I think this is all about saving the universal track which has a lot of problems in my book. When would you want to put a VSTi AND a waveform on the same track, compared to one or the other? It's a niche need but it's the defacto standard.

And what volume affects both the waveform and the vsti? I fail to see the use case for this scenario versus midi and audio tracks being essentially different except they both have an audio path; one generates audio and the other plays it back, both with or without fx.

Additionally as I pointed out on the top post, it's an OPTIONAL track type. Noone has to give up their "beloved" universal track to have this option. I think this is completely lost in the discussion as people think it's either/or.

As I've said before, not every game is zero-sum and this isn't either.


DF
Well, depends on the plugin . It could be easily all coded into one single plug in the order you need, maybe even freely reorder-able.
An inbuilt solution would do (hopefully) exactly the same.

I happen to like the modular approach. I don't agree on calling it hacks. It is using the system at hand like it is supposed to be used.

As of filter events, that as well is just a question of order. Filter before the set control - done.

I constantly have MIDI and audio on one track. For example I tend to render my VSTi as take and love how I can edit audio and still have the MIDI in the back hand and be able to add more MIDI anytime and both just work together, using the same audio FX without any ado. Niche or not, it's frigging cool. My volume fader will drag down the audio output of the VSTi and the audiofile just fine.

Also the routing strinxx mentioned is absolutely awesome. Your multitimbral synth can be driven from MIDI on a track and the corresponding audio output is delivered on the same track. I love it, although one has to take care not to use plugs that introduce latency on those tracks, there is a problem.


I understand that your request wouldn't take anything away. Thing is, I still can't see any problem that would dictate spending precious time on track types, while all improvements that would be (necessarily) made to make the current method better will benefit the whole picture.

Last edited by gofer; 07-05-2010 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:24 PM   #40
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OK -- nevertheless your solution still depends on as yet uncreated flexibility in knobs, both in terms of functionality as well as presentation and positioning.

As well further the ability to show or hide them.

Can we at least agree on the need for a better midi track "inspector" regardless of what the actual implementation looks like?
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