EzDrummer and Reaper: a basic tutorial

Summary

This is about how to use EzDrummer in Reaper – it may be the same for other DAWs, but I can only be certain for Reaper.

A key point is that in order to drag bars from EzDrummer into the DAW Reaper,  you need to run Reaper in Administrator mode. If you don’t do that, then the drag just fails silently.

Beyond that point, this is largely about getting EzDrummer to do some of the “hard work” (quotes because nothing here is what a drummer would call hard work).

Prep

I’m using EZDrummer 2, the Cocktail drum set (which I think is a free add-on with EzDrummer), and the latest version of Reaper, all on Windows 10 pre-release. The goal is to get a few bars working, and save that to SoundCloud so you can hear how my version sounds.

Steps

Start a Reaper project as Administrator, then…

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There follows an assumption that you have told Reaper where to look for your VSTs – email me if questions on that…

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I have then answered No to this question:

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EzDrummer then comes up – I’ve picked these options for my example – you of course don’t have to, but it makes it simpler if you are following along:

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Then click on the Browser tab and the menu options as I have done here:

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Click on Song Creator, and drag the highlighted midi into the MIDI drop zone:Then select [Verse 4], unselect [Follow Host] and set Tempo to 104 (that’s my taste, anyway):

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Drag 4 copies of [Verse 4] into Bars 1 through 4 (I’ll explain why in a moment):

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You will now add basic Claps, Shakers and Tambourines to bars 2 to 4 respectively (leaving Bar 1 as-is). Right-click on Bar 2 and select [Edit Play Style]:

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In the [Edit Play Style] screen, for each of bars 2 to 4 (but not bar 1, we’ll leave that as-is), you will select the Claps etc as shown by the orange, maroon, and white lines, so for bar 2, you only select (by clicking the On-Button symbol) the Claps, but for bar 4 you are selecting all 3 options:

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For example, this is how Bar 4 looks, with all options selected:

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Now, drag Bar 1 into the Reaper track, and then extend the bar in Reaper to make 2 bars, which repeat the loop, Press the Reaper Play button, and you will hear 2 bars, at 104 BPM, with no added effects:

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After checking that works for you, drag Bar 2 up from EzDrummer, into bar 3, and extend into bar 4. Then Bar 3 in EZD into bar 5 and 6, and finally Bar 4 in EZD into bar 7 and 8, giving you something that looks like this…

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… and sounds like this (there is a download link in this if you want to save for offline playing):

You can clearly do more complex stuff – it would be nice to get the claps on an off-beat. Some other time.

Damn Payroll sites

April 2014

Credit to this person for preventing me going mad when trying to understand why I couldn’t log into my employer’s payroll site. Completely misleading error messages.

July 2015

Pretty much as bad as it was. It actually does now support Chrome… if you discover the right URL, which for UK victims is

https://myfreedom.adp.com/ukWelcome.asp

But if you go to the old URL, you still get you a great dreadful error message in Chrome:

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And then once you get through, you get this dreadful message / UI:

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Really?

I looked at their Twitter feed (self-congratulatory), and googled ADP Freedom (self-promoting), and looked for easy contact details, but you know what… if they make it so hard for me to say that for a punter this is just too hard, well I can’t be bothered.

I mean, this is just nasty (the only thing blanked out is my id under “Welcome to”, everything else is as-is):

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Anyway, after all that I managed to get to my payslips. Right now, that’s the main thing.

 

 

Bulk shrinking of photos

My Canon EOS M SLR is lovely… but obviously takes huge pictures. Not in itself a problem, but you need to be careful when uploading to your free WordPress account that you don’t go over the total 3GB limit.

I took some photos of Jan’s work on shabby-chic’ing furniture, and these were around 3MB each. Using this online resizer shrank them all back to 750MB or so.

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Resizer

Tottenham – July 2015

Last weekend, Jan and I went to visit my Mum in Tottenham, where I mostly grew up. I am always keen to show Tottenham in a good light, hence these pictures, which were taken using the camera below (Canon Eos M Red 22mm). We had a nice meal in the San Marco Italian restaurant (this is not a photo taken by me), next to Bruce Grove station.

(Click each of the photos for the full-size image)

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Ebay: selling costs

Selling costs

Jan is looking to sell some furniture that she is shabby-chic’ing, and we need to know the costs of that. This ebay post is useful.

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So basically they take 10% plus any PayPal fee.

Selling options

You can do auction, Buy it now, Buy it now within auction, and you and set a minimum price.

Help page on Buy It now. Help page on reserve price.

PayPal fees

Useful table from here (Click the “See Pricing” button):

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The fact you are selling on Ebay doesn’t influence the PayPal costs (Ebay own PayPal).

So basically you are charged 3.4% for the average transaction, let’s say.

That means the combined cost of Ebay and PayPal is about 13.5% of the sold value of your item. So if you sell something for £100 including postage, then they take £13.50 of that, leaving you with £86.50 (but bear in mind you have also lost out further because they took a cut of the postage).