Basic MIDI | Midi Items | Piano Roll | Loop and Copy | Time Selection Loop

Category: Tutorials


Here is a basic starter for Midi functionality in Reaper.

What you will need: Reaper, VSTi drums or other instrument, semi-creative mind

What you will learn: How to insert a new virtual instrument track, Insert a New Midi Item, edit the midi item, Loop Midi, Copy Midi, Time Select, Loop play.

17 comments to Basic MIDI | Midi Items | Piano Roll | Loop and Copy | Time Selection Loop

  • Daniel Lyons  says:

    Very great video. Here I thought I knew all the basics about Midi editting and you just showed me a ton of things that are super useful.

    My question is this: I’ve dragged out the end of midi items before to make them loop before but for some reason when I do it now it only makes the item longer (not by stretching it but by adding blank space to the end). So is there some kind of option that I need to set up or maybe a certain key I need to press to toggle when I want it to drag loop and when I want it to add empty space and simply make the item longer.

    Also when I tried the 3 cursors in the midi editting window I actually could only find 2 of the cursors. The pencil and the grate one but not the vertical bar. Not really sure why that is.

    Reaper 4 looks pretty cool btw.

    • JonnyGinese JonnyGinese  says:

      Hmm… are you trying to loop in the TCP or the MIDI editor? If you are recording the midi track and then trimming it back to a certain amount of bars you will need to either “Glue” the section or “Create loop from time selection” which are both in the right click menus.

      As far as only seeing 2 cursors.. I’m not sure why this is.. the area where the cursor will change is pretty mall.. maybe you either aren’t seeing it.. OR the issue above is part of the problem.

      And yes.. R4 is looking great! I can’t wait for it to fully launch.

  • Daniel Lyons  says:

    Sorry one more question: is there a way to set up the instrument track so that I can use one of the volume faders as a master fader to bring up or down the entire drum mix. Normally I’d jsut set all the other tracks into the master drum track as a folder but for some reason when i do that I don’t get any sound. What am I doing wrong?

    • JonnyGinese JonnyGinese  says:

      The behavior you are experiencing is normal. when the drum track is setup with all of its multi-outs the master parent of the “HOST” track is disabled so you don’t have any doubling sound. in addition to that routing sound out and then back into the same track would normally cause feedback which is also auto disabled(blanket setting for AUDIO whre it matters).

      With all that said… Just make a new track called “Drum Mix” and put everything in it including the “Host” track.

      “HOST” track means the track with the VSTi.

      • Daniel Lyons  says:

        Thanks for the help.

  • warmingtone  says:

    Great vid and interesting to see reaper v4 in action, waiting till official to upgrade from 3.76

    Like to see more on midi and interested in the new dvd on midi as it can be a bit tricky to work it in reaper (perhaps v4 is an improvement)

    Percussion stuff is generally important but might be interesting for a change to see something orchestral or even something more ‘beat’ oriented as this seems to be the way a lot of people use midi composition.

    Be sure to include some aspects on humanizing midi at some point, cheers

    • JonnyGinese JonnyGinese  says:

      Hey, Good to hear from you!

      I will have a DVD on making “Beats” in Reaper which will be for Rap/Hip-Hop. But the first MIDI DVD will be on more of an orchestral arrangement.

  • Sam  says:

    Wow, thanks so much for this video! I’ve been struggling trying to get MIDI sorted out in REAPER for a while now, this has been really, really helpful to me, thanks again!

  • Frank Doblekar  says:

    Hello Red
    I vote for an orchestral set up or make it instrumental, but not another rock scene on the Midi DVD.

  • Ben  says:

    Excellent video!

    How did you get that piano roll to dock next to the main track window, so you could see both?? That’s awesome! Every time I dock it, the PRV goes down on the bottom where my mixer usually goes.



  • Charles  says:

    Good video as always. For your DVD I’d recommend doing the orchestral scoring as opposed to a rock song. Using something like SampleTank or Miroslav or a similar package to add strings and that to a song, or a full-on score would probably be really interesting to a lot of us!

  • Dario  says:

    Really good video, I think this will help me a lot.
    But one question:
    When you went on insert virtual instrument, you had more things than me at my computer.. you clicked on Dfh Sampler, but this doesn’t exist at my computer.. so how can I get instruments, like you had? and then how do I have to put them into REAPER ??

    • JonnyGinese JonnyGinese  says:

      You need to acquire them by finding free VSTi’s or purchasing VSTi’s (Virtual Instruments).

      There is a great post on the forums about a bunch of free ones you should look for.

  • Curtis  says:

    question: how do you disable the MIDI note playback upon note selection in the MIDI Edit window? I can’t seem to find a preference or option to disable it.


    • JonnyGinese JonnyGinese  says:

      Hey there,

      Right Click the grey area above or below the Piano in the editing window
      Left Click Options
      Un-Check “Preview note on Add/Edit”

      • Curtis  says:

        perfect, got it. thank you!

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