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Thread: How Do I Convert Drums to MIDI in Reaper?

  1. #1
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    How Do I Convert Drums to MIDI in Reaper?

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    Hi,
    I just bought some drum .WAV files ('Ringo Goes Indie'), and would like to convert them to MIDI for editing.

    I am not, at this point, looking to replace the existing drums with other drums.

    I understand that Reatune can convert audio to MIDI, but from reading another thread here on the Reaper forums, which says that Reatunes is not velocity sensitive, do not think that this would work for me.

    I have also watched the following video (and some others) in which the procedure is described for converting WAV files to MIDI in Reaper, but when I try this, there is no MIDI file generated on the empty (the 'destination' for the generated MIDI file) track in Reaper.



    I am pretty new to this - in fact, it only occurred to me yesterday to try to convert my .WAV files to MIDI - so I would appreciate any help that I can get, and please do not assume that I know anything about how to do this!

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
    www.CollaborativeTherapy.com
    "If the The Beatles or the '60s had a message it was 'Learn to Swim'. And once you've learned - Swim".
    John Lennon

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    I'm not sure why you want to try to convert this to MIDI for editing. Like, what does that actually mean. Once you get the thing to spit out MIDI notes, what are those notes supposed to trigger? You said you don't want to replace the sounds. Do you actually intend to split each individual bit out of the audio to a sample, map it across the keyboard and play them back from the MIDI track? I'm pretty sure there are user scripts that will do that for you, but you're not going to get what you need out of ReaTune. And unless you plan to actually play it from a keyboard or other controller, it's more messing around than it's worth. Just edit the audio items themselves and be done with it.

    All that said, ReaTune is pretty good when you actually have a tuned instrument that plays multiple different notes during a passage. It will figure out what note is played when and spit out the appropriate MIDI note. It's not velocity sensitive, but you can use the JS MIDI velocity adjust plugin with Parameter Modulation to kind of get around that.

    But a single drum isn't really tuned. It might sound something like a note, but it's mostly noise (difficult to decide what note is playing til too late) and it definitely isn't going to be playing different notes at a different time. So all you really need is something spits out one specific note every time anything happens on the track. For that you can use ReaGate but IDK if it's really velocity sensitive. There is a JS Drum Trigger plugin that works a bit better. It is velocity sensitive, but the translation - the slope and range - is a little weird. A user on the Reaper Forum posted a different one a while back which allowed more control of how the actual output velocities. I really liked that one, but I'd have to look it up.

    None of that really helps you in this specific case unless I've completely misunderstood what you want to do. More specific details on your project might help, but I really think you need to just edit the audio itself.

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    Hi ashcat,
    Many thanks for the very helpful and detailed reply.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to respond so thoughtfully.

    To answer your question, I find editing MIDI to be much simpler than editing audio files, so I was looking for a way to convert the audio files to MIDI, and then to probably convert them back to audio; or, to have a MIDI version of some of the audio files' intros., fills, and so on, because those can sound much more natural.

    You have certainly given me a lot to think about, and I will follow up on some of the things that you have said.

    If you get a chance to look up the trigger that you read about that works better than the JS Drum Trigger, I would appreciate that, but please do not go out of your way to do this.

    Thanks again for your reply.
    www.CollaborativeTherapy.com
    "If the The Beatles or the '60s had a message it was 'Learn to Swim'. And once you've learned - Swim".
    John Lennon

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