Monthly Archives: April 2012

RECORDING: Using a Korg Nanokontrol 2 with Reaper

Just picked up a Korg nanoKONTORL2 for portable transport and track control (mouseless) when I’m recording on the go with my lappy. I saw that the nanoKONTROL 2 manual had templates for various well-known DAWs (Cubase, Live, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Logic/Garageband, and Sonar…) but of course, not one for Reaper.

Fear not, Reaper fans!

All you have to do before connecting the nanoKONTROL 2 to your computer is hold down the SET MARKER button along with the main RECORD button, and then plug in your USB cable. This will load the template for Cakewalk Sonar. You’ll notice the record button blinks a few times after it’s connected, to let you know you’re in Sonar mode. Although that template is designed for Cakewalk Sonar, it works perfectly for Reaper, if you set Reaper correctly:

1. Start Reaper of course… and then go to Reaper’s PREFERENCES (CTRL-P), go into Control Surfaces (left menu, near the bottom).

2. Click ADD and Reaper will ask you what kind of Control Surface Mode…. choose “Mackie Control Universal.”

3. Then choose your MIDI input and output to be “nanoKONTROL2”. Done.

Now, once you’ve exited Preferences, you’ll see that the nanoKONTROL2’s buttons respond perfectly in Reaper… all mute/solo/arm record buttons work for every track, the faders work for the track volumes, and the knobs work for the track panning. You’ll also notice the transport controls (RECORD, PLAY, STOP, REWIND, FF) all work in Reaper as well, and of course.. the SET MARKER and marker left/marker right buttons all work, too.

If you have more than 8 tracks loaded (say, 16, or 24), you can use the TRACK < > buttons to navigate your track groups.

Yay, Korg.. you scored again. First with the PadKONTROL, and now with the new Nano series. Love ya.

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RECORDING: Producing beats or entire hip-hop tracks on the CHEAP using the POISE VST by OneSmallClue

I have to praise the hell out of this awesome $49 VST called Poise. I bought it a few days ago. It is hands-down the best “virtual MPC”, EVER. For those of you out there who love programming your own drum beats OR producing hip-hop tracks, MPC-style (the oldschool 1988-2000 way, and a lot of good underground hip-hop of today)…. look no further than Poise.

First, without me writing a ton about it that you probably won’t read (let’s face it, we’re the video-watching generation…. but don’t forget… READING IS FUNDAMENTAL……. anyway…..), I’m going to let Saintjoe from Soundsandgear.com (and Maschinetutorials.com) explain it all in his video. He really broke down why Poise is so damn amazing and impressive.

 

 

Let me add… since Saintjoe did this video about two years ago… Poise has been VASTLY improved… you can midi-map the start/end points of every active sample (SO extremely useful), you can midi-map the sample waveform zoom AND scrolling too…. AND, you can even import REX/RX2 (“Recycle”) file types. Needless to say, this is the best drum sampler VST ever. The small, but extremely awesome developer Shannon (and his crew at OneSmallClue down in Australia) even have plans to create sample banks in Poise, just like an MPCs “Bank A, B, C, and D”… so one instance of Poise can have 64 pads (16 pads x 4 banks). Unreal.

Worth every penny. Don’t buy into the hype of other more expensive drum sampler VSTs…. if you like making hip-hop, all you need is a good pad controller (I highly recommend the Korg PadKontrol – the best, most responsive pads, plus two midi-mappable knobs, plus the XY controller)… and 16 presets), and this VST… (total price $219)…. instead of dropping $1000+ on an MPC or other programs… if you use this in Reaper 4 (www.reaper.fm) and have a good stash of sample loops and one-shot drum samples/kits… you can really make some incredibly awesome tracks… ON THE CHEAP.

GET THE POISE DEMO… and BUY IT. You won’t regret it.