Mapping a MIDI Controller to Reaper’s Transport Controls

Reaper constantly impresses me with how flexible and customisable it is. A simple example is its support for Actions. Pretty much every command you can invoke in the GUI (and a bunch more that you can’t) are defined as Actions. One of the nice things you can do with Actions is easily map them to hardware buttons on a MIDI controller (and on your computer keyboard as well).

As an example, my Axiom 25 has hardware Transport Controls, like this:

To map these to the Reaper Transport Controls is pretty straight-forward: (more…)

Gil Norton, The Pixies and Song Length

Great Sound On Sound article about  The Pixies recording “Monkey Gone To Heaven”. I especially loved the bit about how Gil Norton (Producer) was trying to convince them to lengthen the songs:

“I remember the second afternoon I spent with Charles, after we’d gone through this process of me constantly trying to lengthen the songs from a minute and a half and provide them with more complex arrangements, he said ‘Let’s go for a walk,’ so that’s what we did, and we went into a big music store where he picked up a copy of Buddy Holly’s Greatest Hits and handed it to me. He said ‘Gil, look at the times on these songs.’ And when I looked at them, they were nearly all under two minutes.”

There’s a good lesson in that, I think.

Peter Koppes : Theory, Songwriting and Guitar

I’ve long been a fan of Australian band The Church. Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper are two of a handful of guitarists who made me want to pick up the instrument decades ago. Their beautiful, interweaving guitar lines served as both a source of inspiration and also frustration for me over the years.

Yeah, frustration. See, I’ve sat down many times to work out their songs, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. Ironically, the unsuccessful attempts are not the frustrating part. I’m used to not always being able to work out what’s going on, and very often shooting for something and missing still lands you somewhere interesting. No, the frustration comes when I’ve been successful. On more than one occasion when I have worked out a section of their interplay, I’m left scratching my head thinking “How the hell would anyone know that THAT would work?”


Configuring Reaper with the BCF2000

As part of my change from using Ableton Live to Reaper, last night it was time to tackle the MIDI configuration. The basic setup is:

  1. Axiom 25 connected via USB.
  2. BCF2000 connected via USB.
  3. FCB1010 and various bits of outboard gear (Midiverbs, SPX90’s, etc) connected via the MIDI Out/Thru and MIDI In of the BCF2000.

After a bit of time crawling around on the floor under my desk, I got all the above physically hooked up.

The Axiom 25 and the FCB1010/Outboard gear were very straightforward to setup in Reaper. Go to Options | Preferences | Audio | MIDI Devices and enable the Axiom for Input and the FCB1010/Outboard for Input and Output. Done.

The BCF2000 though was proving tricky to use in MIDI mode. I spent a bunch of time reading the mega-thread here and to be honest most options were sounding like they involved too much gaffer tape and fencing wire. (more…)

1 2