Reaper: customisation

…aka macros, scripting, automation.

I upload my Reaper projects to GitHub, including any wav files. Reaper imposes a certain maximum file size, quite reasonably. So if I am doing a 20 minute recording session, and I want to make sure the resulting wav file is saved to the cloud, I need to split it.

So far, I have only learnt how to assign keystrokes to simple actions. Ultimately, this is what I want to do with a single key stroke:

  • As a Reaper user
  • I want to split an audio file into a number of smaller audio files
  • So that I can save my song to the cloud

Splitting an audio file into a number of smaller audio files breaks down to:

  1. Select a track/wav file in the Reaper UI
  2. Split the wav file at each 2 minute offset (which assumes that a 2 minute wav file will always be small enough to upload)
  3. For each time section before the next split (and the last section is included, even though strictly it has no split at the end), save (or “glue” in Reaper terms, for this context at least) the file to a unique file name
  4. Save the project so that it understands these smaller files replace the previous single file

Right now, all I have is the ability to split the file with a single keystroke. I lack the knowledge to, in any automated way, to a) land on the (assumed single) track, b) identify 2 minute sections (can I parameterize the size?), c) iterate over each of those sections and save the smaller file.

But that’s enough for now.

To demonstrate, first thing is to get a sample single wav file loaded into a Reaper project, something like this:

We then define our custom action, whose goal is to execute the 3 actions under the [Split under mouse] custom action name. More details of this part are in the Reaper manual. Although not detailed here, lower-case [c] is being used as the HotKey for this action.

With the custom action now implemented in our Reaper environment, if we move the mouse cursor to wherever we want the track to split, and then press [c], a split will happen, as shown in the next two shots.

Moving the mouse (note you do not need to click the mouse after moving), and repeating the [c] keystroke a further 4 times will give you this shape:

That ends the customisation so far. Right now, we have to do the rest manually, that is, in each of the sections, right-click, and select [Glue items] 6 times, one for each section, in order to create a set of 6 wav files to replace the single larger one. I will cover customisation of that another time.


Reaper: creating and editing loops

The pictures should cover it all, apart from removing the selection, which is done by pressing the Esc button while you are in Reaper.  Please comment if you think it needs more.


Kontakt and Reaper: Drum and bass (not drum’n’bass)

Well, actually DNB has hijacked all the alternative spellings I think, so for the sake of clarity (current fave caveat-phrase), this is drums… (pause) and bass on separate tracks, pop, rock, whatever, but not DNB. Oooff, as John Shuttleworth might say. In fact, gratuitous plug for him.


All the files are here.


Kontakt: saving midi drum files

I want to be able to record a drum pattern from Kontakt, and to know that when I play it back through e.g. Media Player as a MIDI file, it is rendered as GM drums, and not as a discordant piano.

The key to everything is Channel 10, and making sure that Kontakt is set to play back on Channel 10. As usual, I’m using Reaper as my DAW, so I need to set that to Record/Output/MIDI. I have proven to myself that the Reaper end of things does not need to specify Channel 10.

This is a sequence that works for me (I am not covering how to set up a VST (specifically Kontakt, in this case) to work with Reaper):

  • Reaper/New Project/SaveProjectAs[DrumTest01]
  • Track/Insert virtual instrument on new track/OK
  • My Kontakt portal opens, and includes Factory Library.
  • In there I double-click on Studio Break Kit.nki
  • In the MIDI channel setting, from the dropdown, I choose Port A / Channel 10
  • Back in Reaper, I set Record Output to midi. Note that I am not setting Channel 10 explicitly here:
  • I then arm/record, and back in Kontakt, I hold down the pattern at the highlighted B (I just like that pattern – the fact it is on B is not significant.
  • Stop the recording, do any tidying up that you want:

Now for the export. There is more than one way to do this, but for the example, in the midi editor, follow the highlights I show below, and save to your chosen name and place:

And finally the big test: in Windows Explorer (I’m on Windows, apologies if you are not), open the midi file with Media Player, QuickTime, or somesuch. If you hear something like , (SoundCloud1), then you have saved your midi data and metadata correctly. If you hear something like this… , then back to the drawing board, I fear.

Finally, keep in mind that what you hear in your DAW from your expensive Drum VST will likely be different from how the drum pattern renders the data when going through the default player for midi. I might therefore ask… “What then is the point of going to MIDI, if the quality will be better in the original DAW/VST?”. Because I effectively have the source code. If I only have the rendered output, then I have no chance (well, little chance), of tinkering with the input, or applying different drum kits to my lovingly created drum patterns. The midi file is your music score, which can go through different versions, and with the right editing tools (haven’t found out what those are yet, but they must surely exist, given that MIDI is a standard specification), you can confirm exactly what changed between 2 versions.

Komplete 10: Session Strings

To get to Session Strings, you go via Kontakt. I found that to record a (midi) session, I had to go into Reaper (that is, my DAW). Even then it was not enough just to have a hack using the on-screen keyboard – I had to hook up the (piano) keyboard. Only then would it record. And this is some real simple rendered output on SoundCloud, around C and G.

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


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: