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GPO4 in Reaper with Finale MIDI: A 10-Step Guide

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GPO4 in Reaper with Finale MIDI: A 10-Step Guide

Postby kastra » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:38 am

Hi All :) ,

Apologies, first of all, to anyone who feels that I may be "teaching my grandmother to suck eggs" (apologies also for the use of parenthetic asides - oh! and for the hyphenated sentences!).

This thread was "inspired" by a thread started by Kingfreeze a while back regarding setup of GPO4 as a "multi" in Reaper. I also use Reaper and it occurred to me that Kingfreeze is not the first (nor probably the last) "newbie" to experience difficulty with the setup. I've noticed several queries on the subject, both here and on the Reaper forums (with some threads taking longer to read than it actually takes to build a small symphony orchestra :? ) so I decided to put together a 10-step animated guide to the process. Sadly, I'm a total noob with the graphics tools I was using, so it took me quite a while to get it done and I suspect I "missed the boat" on the original thread - hence the reason for starting this thread, both in case Steve is still having problems and for other users who may be confused (or just interested).

I'd just like to say in the preamble that I'm by no means an expert on Reaper, Aria or Finale although I've been using them for a few years now. I'm not a sound engineer either and I'm definitely not saying that this is the "only correct way to do it" (Reaper actually has several different approaches for practically anything!) - it's just the way my workflow has developed, it works, and I'm comfortable with it.

Image

I feel some of the steps may need explaining, in the context of other VSTI setups, so I'll elaborate a little more:
Step 3 is flagged as "important" since it's often overlooked when setting up the player. The Aria Player, whether its the standalone, "single channel" plugin or the "multi channel", defaults to stereo, so all preset slots are routed as default to outputs 1/2 rather than their corresponding outputs as might be expected.
Step 4 is just something I'd regard as "good housekeeping" although the effects sends are actually at minimum by default.
Step 7 highlights a potential confusion caused by Finale's unfortunate track titling policy. When saving to MIDI, Finale titles each track from the currently selected virtual instrument on that track (in this case "Aria Player") :? .
Note to newbies: Yup! Those are just MIDI TRACKS! They don't contain new instances of the Aria Player created through some "magical intervention" by Reaper!
Step 8 - more "housekeeping" I'm afraid! I prefer to keep the tracks where their content is relevant (no point having empty audio tracks in the TCP and no point trying to control MIDI tracks in the mixer, so why clutter the desktop unnecessarily?) Iirc, MichaelB also highlighted this feature - albeit in Sonar of course - during one of his responses to the Kingfreeze thread.

I should also mention here that Finale has some other quirks when creating MIDI files:
The first of these is historical - Finale adheres to the "General MIDI" tradition of reserving MIDI channel 10 exclusively for the "percussion kit" (regardless of staff position) and therefore skips that channel if no kit is present. It's always good housekeeping anyway to check that the MIDI channel assignments in the Aria Player line up with their counterparts within the respective tracks.
The second quirk relates to keyswitches in GPO4 files. Unfortunately someone forgot to include the necessary code to mask in the channel assignment when inserting keyswitches into MIDI files - net result of this is that all keyswitches are assigned to channel 1 :o ! Just check in the "Event Mode" in Reaper's MIDI Editor for events in each track that have the wrong channel number and correct accordingly! It almost goes without saying, of course, that you'll also need to ensure that the instrument presets loaded into Aria are identical to the ones used in Finale - at least until you've established which presets are interchangeable from HP's perspective.
There are other, more minor, issues relating to the use of MIDI files in this context, but I think I've covered the main issues relating to Finale specifically. If I continue any further in this post, it'll have to be moved to the "Thesis Forum" - but that doesn't exist yet! :oops: (afaik?)

Hope you survived reading that lot and that it's provided some enlightenment! Feedback, comments and questions are of course welcome but please don't ask me to recreate the animation as refusals and/or raspberries can often offend :mrgreen: (GIMP and animation layers - Arrrgh! :x )


Regards,

Keith
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Re: GPO4 in Reaper with Finale MIDI: A 10-Step Guide

Postby Michael.B » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:10 am

Hello Keith,

Thank you so much for posting that detailed and highly informative tutorial on Aria in Reaper. I thought there had to be a Reaper user in our forums. ;)

I don't use Reaper (I use Sonar) but am interested in how other people work and did try to find a way for Steve's query using the trial version of Reaper.

I haven't had a chance yet to try your tutorial but have read it through and watched your video. It's great. I'll bookmark this as I expect this question is sure to come up again.

Thanks for posting it.

Michael
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Re: GPO4 in Reaper with Finale MIDI: A 10-Step Guide

Postby kingfreeze » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:42 am

Keith: This is fabulous, thank you for the considerable time it took you to assemble this. I had put this issue on the backburner after 2 days of active trying to use a "single instance", and have been plotting my approach to a new composition instead, however, this has inspired me to try again, and do a remix to see if I can get the issue behind me. I will repost after giving this information some time and effort.
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Re: GPO4 in Reaper with Finale MIDI: A 10-Step Guide

Postby kingfreeze » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:00 pm

I made a video of your animation, Keith. It is recorded on a 7 inch tablet, and is not the best quality, but one could pause the animation as they go along. again thanks !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F2yMO_ ... hFtwhh4zKw
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Re: GPO4 in Reaper with Finale MIDI: A 10-Step Guide

Postby kingfreeze » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:02 pm

Keith, I studied your tut and finally had success today using it, many thanks. Here's the first composition experiment I did last Dec, I chose it because it only uses 8 tracks, their are several that utilize 19 tracks, so I want to figure out how to use 2 instances of the aria player. You are awesome, thanks. By the way, there are several people over in the reaper forum with the same issue, and utilizing your animation.
https://soundcloud.com/steve-wisnoski/l ... tance-aria
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Re: GPO4 in Reaper with Finale MIDI: A 10-Step Guide

Postby kingfreeze » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:58 pm

I did create 2 instances of the player, and need to tinker with it some to make sure I did it correctly. I do see activity on all tracks, and activity on tracks that shouldn't have anything at certain times. Once I got the first instance to work, I tried for two, and compared the routing matrix diagram of the successful attempt, to the matrix utilizing the 2 instances, at first, no dice, until looking at the successful matrix, got both instances to work.
Before I tried to use a single instance, I was able to use reaeq on each instrument, then discovered I can't do that now, but only on the aria player. I liked the results more on multiple instances, it seemed a very clear and cleaner sound.
As I am wanting to create compositions with up to 20 tracks, would it be possible to go back to the old method, and use an instance per track ? I know this sounds crazy after all that was posted, but it seems I am getting a higher quality sound using multiple instances. My new computer has 8gb ram, and a terabyte hard drive. Would it be OK to go back to the old method of an instance per track ?
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