Reaper: adding notes to a track

I would have thought that any decent DAW would have the means to save notes/comments against a track out-of-the-box. Well, Reaper certainly is decent, but does not have this ability natively. Happily someone has written a DLL (TrackNotepad.dll) to do that as a plug-in. As it is not well-publicised, I’ve saved it away in case one day that link is no longer there.

In order to use it…

  • download the zip file
  • expand it
  • save the expanded file to one of the DLL folders that Reaper scans
  • Do a rescan in Reaper
  • On a new or existing track, click the FX button, as you would if you were adding a music-type DLL
  • Locate the plug-in, and add it to your track
  • The notepad is then available using the ellipsis control in the TRHC of the track/plugin editor – there is no dedicated save button in the track



Making music: better instruments

I mean specifically computer-based instruments and sounds, here. I had been coveting the fantastic bundle that Native Instruments in Komplete 10. I know not everyone shares the view, but I think the quality of the sounds is fantastic. But at about £340, that is going to have to wait until I see if it figures in a Black Friday promotion, as it is a bit hard to justify.

So I started listening to the additional sounds I had bought with Dimension Pro… and this one makes a really nice sound – check out what I did with this snippet that includes some drums just to fill it out a bit.



There is a free version of the Komplete bundle,  but understandably it doesn’t have the best bits.

And just working my way through them, I also found this nice sound


, which sounds like this on SoundCloud:

HTML5 and JavaScript: the absolute basics

<!doctype html>
 <title>The basic stuff page</title>
 <meta charset="utf-8">
 var test = "This stuff"



<!doctype html>
 <title>The basic stuff page</title>
 <meta charset="utf-8">
(sorry blame WP - see the screenshot below)

BasicHtml03 BasicHtml04 BasicHtml05

Updating an element in the DOM

You have to ensure that the DOM is fully loaded before trying to address any of its elements. An example of what happens if you don’t do that:


Run that, and in the browser you see this (that is, the JavaScript has not updated the page)…


, and in Chrome F12/dev tools you see this:

BasicHtml09 BasicHtml10

The variable roxyMusic is null because the JS tried to get the Paragraph01 element… but it wasn’t yet loaded.

If we now fix that up, by creating our first function, which contains the code to update the element, but which is not invoked until the page has completely loaded…


, then the browser now displays what we intended…


, and Chrome dev tools looks healthier:


By the way, the editing here was all done in Visual Studio Code, and I’m getting to like that. But I will soon be getting Visual Studio 2015 which I hear has a lot of stuff around JavaScript, HTML, Angular, etc.

Editors: Visual Studio Code

One day, without recalling I had installed it, I saw I had Visual Studio Code on my box. It strikes me as a bit like Brackets, mentioned elsewhere in this blog.


and they also support Emmet:


My interest right now is in JavaScript, and while I’m at it snippets/templates to avoid typing more than I need to.

Some docs around this herehere and here.

Actually on snippets, it starts to get quite interesting – in Code, if you go File/Preferences/User Snippets, and then select HTML as the language, you get this:


So fairly self-documented. If I now remove the comments…


If in a piece of HTML, I now do ctrl-space to bring up the suggestions, this is what I see…


, and if I hit return I see this…


Hm, but in fact that is obviously JavaScript, so that is not a fat lot of help. But in fact it turns out that ALL the template files (e.g. for Docker as well, just as a random punt) have the same starting content.

So those templates anyway give us the principle, so let’s have a punt at that. I’ve hacked up this, which is the simplest possible HTML, but with a few variables thrown in, which get replaced at the point you use them (using ctrl-space to bring up the set):


If we now start out with a blank html page, thus…


, then do ctrl-space to get this…


, hit return to get this, with the cursor resting on ‘Title goes here’,


, start typing to replace that text, then hit tab to get to the next replacement (based on the $ variable you put in template), then you end up with this (but bear in mind because Emmet seems to be on by default, you can’t just press tab willy nilly)


These are the edits I used:


In Chrome with F12, you see this…


, which is fine in that a) the files don’t exist, but b) it has replaced the title with what I wanted. Also note that I have AutoSave on in Code, so upsides and downsides I guess, but it suits me.

And maybe finally, it is easy enough to escape double quotes:


Making Music: worth the wait…

Last year I paid a tiny amount for some very good sounds. Trouble was… Dimension Pro seemed incapable of telling me what they were called, where it had saved them, how I load them up. But that was because in the absence of a manual (which, in common with most men, I anyway only consult in extremis), I had not looked very hard.

Bingo: a) I have found where they have been saved, b) I can load them through Dimension Pro and the staring-me-in-the-face open folder button, c) they sound OK. In fact some of the Cakewalk files with the .prog extension don’t load. I won’t worry about that unless I am very, very bored.



And for easy reference, this is the path in text: C:\Cakewalk Content\Rapture Pro\Programs. Apologies to others who read this: this is primarily a dumping ground for my thoughts and reminders, but it is nice when I know people take the trouble to read it – thanks!

I’ve just taken a listen to their samples – they are tremendous – this is the main page, and this and this are the samples I’ve bought.

Pop songs: the bridge

A good Sunday’s work, defined as an initial frustrating few hours doing a bridge that was just too far away from the verse and chorus to make sense, followed by something more organic. It’s a full eight bars, with the last bar hopefully building the tension in the right way. “Hopefully” because I’ve not yet merged it with the rest of the song:


The Bridge:TheBridge01 TheBridge03





EzDrummer: getting claps on the up-beat

I know what I mean. Take a look back at this entry about the Cocktail drums and using claps (and other percussion), as this is our starting point.

Get to a point where you have this in the Edit Play Style bottom section…


, this in Reaper (and notice the 8 beats to the bar)


, and which sounds like this:

So that is all dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum. Now open up the Midi Editor for that track, and you see this:


That second note from the left, above? Drag that to the right to give this:


Which now changes the rhythm to this: