Old 07-18-2019, 05:36 AM   #1
Dr. Who
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I am looking at purchasing a new keyboard controller to work with reaper to replace my Keystation 49 and ageing Evolution Controller.

I am looking at the M-Audio Code 49 as reviews indicate that the keyboard has a nice action and crucially for me, it has a number of sliders and knobs for controlling VST synths. In addition, it has an XY pad which I could potentially use with my XILS 3 to manipulate the XY controller.

The alternative I have considered is the Oxygen 49 - similar but without the XY pad.

Does anybody have any experience with setting these up in Reaper and well the controller sections integrate?
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:20 AM   #2
Philbo King
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It's pretty much the same with any midi controller - use the action list to assign buttons/knobs/faders/keys to actions you want them to do.

I spent almost a year in 'analysis paralysis' trying to sort out how to do it painlessly. It turned out, once I decided on the control layout, assigning actions to controls on my MAudio Radium 61 (61 keys, 9 faders, 8 knobs) took like a half hour.

You can also have effects controls mapped to midi controls from within each effect window. Recent Reaper versions will only affect the TCP/mixer when an effect isn't the focus, so you can use the same fader, for example, to set ReaEQ band gain or Track volume, depending on whether the effect window is open

As for integration:
Make sure you set up the device in Reaper Preferences->Midi Devices as Control first.
Once you assign actions, using your controller works even when another program has focus. No more Alt-Tab to get back to Reaper before doing stuff...
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:51 AM   #3
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Thank you for that Philbo. I have managed to set up various controllers in the past to work with Reaper so thought that it should work OK.

I was interested if anybody had any kind of issues that I should be aware of with these specific models and was also interested in any comments on the playability of the keyboards themselves. Also whether the extra cost of the Code 49 is justified over that of the Oxygen 49.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:22 AM   #4
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Frustrated I cannot help with your specific choices. Long-term Reaper User and Axiom Pro61 was first controller chosen many years back. Works as well today as initially and very pleased.

I am lifetime trained pianist and have played several top 'controller' models. None ever come close to earlier true grands, or current (aging) Roland KR 577. Axiom Pro61 plays as well as any other 'controllers' experienced.

Also added early NI_Komplete Kontrol S49 and would not hesitate to go 61 or 88.

Good luck !

Last edited by sostenuto; 07-18-2019 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
Thank you for that Philbo. I have managed to set up various controllers in the past to work with Reaper so thought that it should work OK.

I was interested if anybody had any kind of issues that I should be aware of with these specific models and was also interested in any comments on the playability of the keyboards themselves. Also whether the extra cost of the Code 49 is justified over that of the Oxygen 49.
The playability is an entirely different thing than whether it's a good control surface. Haven't tried it as an instrument, but the undrrsized keys and cheap feel on mine would be a deal killer. I have a separate keyboard for capturing performances, a Korg 88 key '80s synth that I plug into an Alesis QSR rack mount sound generator.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philbo King View Post
The playability is an entirely different thing than whether it's a good control surface. Haven't tried it as an instrument, but the undrrsized keys and cheap feel on mine would be a deal killer. I have a separate keyboard for capturing performances, a Korg 88 key '80s synth that I plug into an Alesis QSR rack mount sound generator.
I understand that, what I am trying to decide is two fold I guess:

a) What issues (if any) users have had using these models as control surfaces and ease of integrating with Reaper. I want something that will give that tactile element when control soft synth parameters that I miss when using a mouse to change various controls on a soft synth

b) Given that both are the same manufacturer and therefore 'should' be euqally easy (or difficult) to integrate with Reaper, what issues users may have experienced with playability. I am not a classically trained pianist so I dont expect or even need the feel associated with a fully weighted piano. As per my original post, I am using an M-Audio keystation 49 currently which to me feels fine.

What I want I guess is a keyboard controller with various control functions (sliders/knobs etc) integrated that I can use to control my soft synths in one unit so I can play the synth and at the same time control various functions (eg envelope, cut off etc).

By the way - neither keyboard have minikeys as you stated - they both have full size keys.

Many thanks
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:10 AM   #7
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I have oxygen 49. I have a problem with reaper hanging when powered on before starting reaper. I only have to power off/on and then it's ok, but annoying.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
I understand that, what I am trying to decide is two fold I guess:

a) What issues (if any) users have had using these models as control surfaces and ease of integrating with Reaper. I want something that will give that tactile element when control soft synth parameters that I miss when using a mouse to change various controls on a soft synth

b) Given that both are the same manufacturer and therefore 'should' be euqally easy (or difficult) to integrate with Reaper, what issues users may have experienced with playability. I am not a classically trained pianist so I dont expect or even need the feel associated with a fully weighted piano. As per my original post, I am using an M-Audio keystation 49 currently which to me feels fine.

What I want I guess is a keyboard controller with various control functions (sliders/knobs etc) integrated that I can use to control my soft synths in one unit so I can play the synth and at the same time control various functions (eg envelope, cut off etc).

By the way - neither keyboard have minikeys as you stated - they both have full size keys.

Many thanks
That should be do-able. In that case you'd enable it in Midi Devices both for Control and for Input. If you'd also like to assign keys to actions, it'd be a good idea to do that with your controller set on a different midi channel (i.e., Ch1 for recording notes, Ch.2 for Actions, or something similar).

You might search the forum for something like "midi latency" and see if you can find a procedure for correcting midi latency issues before getting too far along.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:12 AM   #9
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Nektar Panorama - it has a Reaper aware extension that maps to the keyboard which takes some of the manual config out of the picture and can show track/plugin params on the keyboard display. I've owned multiple controllers in the past, Panorama has thus far been my favorite.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:14 AM   #10
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Thanks for the all of the replies - it is most helpful. Philbo - I hadnt considered setting keys to actions but may consider this, for now I would use the various faders and knobs on the controller for control of synth parameters etc.

Karbomusic - I did look at the Nektar Panorama but it is out of my budget range.
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