Reaper tutorial for transcribing MIDI source file for the BeatBuddy

UPDATE 9/1/19: I removed the video tutorials as discussed in my original post but I’m leaving the written notes as a general guide.
Reaper tutorial notes (5.0 KB)

Is this a text book solution? Probably not because it’s based on my experience and preferences using the BeatBuddy and as I completed each part of the tutorial, I thought of ways to improve what I was doing. Keep in mind that although I like Reaper, it’s not my digital audio workstation (DAW) of choice and since I use a Mac, Logic Pro X (LPX) is a better fit for my workflow. Accordingly, I chose not to pay for Reaper on top of LPX. If you decide that you like Reaper, it’s worth the amount that Cockos is asking for it.

You can print the Reaper Tutorial Notes to help get you started; it may be good enough to use as a standalone).
Part 1. Finding MIDI source files for your BeatBuddy song
Part 2 Use Reaper to transcribe the drums for a BeatBuddy song; the folder includes several files to accompany this video
Part 3 Use Reaper to transcribe the bass for the BeatBuddy
Part 4 Export Drums & Bass to a Single MIDI track
Part 5 Create a song in the BBM; the folder includes a file that accompanies this video
Part 6 tbd (since the George Strait song I used has a piano part, I might show you how to reuse and modify parts 1-5 to incorporate the piano track).


Always find your thinking invaluable. Thanks for taking the time to lay this out for us.

Added note: Just finished viewing all 5 parts. Brief, logical and perfectly paced voice over. I’ve been teaching myself REAPER until I build up my MAC capability from my meager MacBook of today and go for LPX. This connected so many dots for me.

1 Like

Where can we find GM_Drums_NP StdPBass 63-91.txt ? It did not appear to be included in the .zip file.

Since NP StdPBass 63-91 is available from the forum, it was never my intent to post it.
BTW, similar (but not exactly the same) kits are NP Standard Pro Bass or SUB-Std Pro SWN Bass 62-91

This is a screen shot of how to find drum sets:
63-91 is a fairly unique search string
You narrow it down further in the Categorized field by selecting a category from the dropdown menu as in the screen shot I provided
Press the magnifying glass icon or Submit

This link provides some more detail on how to search: How to find songs & drum sets on this forum

That makes sense. I wasn’t looking for the specific drum kit, I was just trying to follow along with your instructions. I might suggest including that .txt file in your .zip posted above, as it is referenced inside your documentation, or even better including one for a standard kit.

1 Like

I referenced this thread today, taking the leap and trying to wrap my head around Reaper (I’ve never used a DAW and have only used BBM’s MIDI editor to this point.) I downloaded the tutorial, found the 63-91 drum kit (and made a copy with a .txt extension). I dragged one of my MIDI files from a song I made with BBM into Reaper, and followed the tutorial to load the drum’s .txt file into the MIDI editor. I can see a single bar at line 36, with beats at the bottom, and when I hit play it moves the EQ, but no sound is heard. I know my computer is funcitoning properly, as I created a track with one of Reaper’s built in synths and it played properly (I could hear it). Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

Some very quick thoughts and off the top of my head:

  • Depending on the version of the BeatBuddy Manager (BBM) software, the Export MIDI File… might corrupt a file during the export process. This affects some but not all users. Might be best to try learning Reaper by using a MIDI source file that has the instruments as separate tracks.
  • The playback of drums in Reaper should sound but the bass may not since it’s been transposed up several octaves from where Reaper normally expects to find them; also, the file exported to MIDI from the BBM is now a single track instead of a track for the drums and another for the bass.
  • The file to be dragged to the Reaper folder for the drums is attached. It’s a mapping for the drums and should only work for kits where the bass is in the 63-91 range. Recommend you delete the one you copied to the Reaper midinotenames folder
  • GM_Drums_NP StdPBass (1.8 KB)
1 Like

In Reaper ( and other DAWS)_
Unless i missed it…you MUST add a VST instrument to the track you are using…in this case, some Drum VST. Thats the way to get sound feedback. Further, this is the process for any…kind of instrument…guitar, bass, strings, sex…etc.

I don’t believe that this is a requirement as I don’t have VSTs in either Reaper or Logic Pro X. It is more than likely a matter of configuration of the MIDI output in the DAW.

This thread may or not help Reaper output volume problem

I took my postion, based on this…which is how I understand it works

MIDI only transmits data and makes no sound on it own? It needs a sound source (a VSTi, for example).

Again…perhaps i’m mis-understanding the issue

I use a Mac and so won’t pretend to be an expert on other platforms. The Mac OS has the ability to natively play audio from MIDI files. I use Logic Pro X and I didn’t have to do anything to get audio out of MIDI files.

Reaper was a bit more of a challenge to get audio from MIDI files and after getting help from some of the forum Reaper experts, I finally got it to use the Mac OS’s native MIDI capability. That was several years ago and even after many Reaper updates, it continues to reliably play the audio from MIDI files. Here’s a screen shot of my Reaper MIDI configuration

Several Windows users have chimed in with how they got audio from their MIDI files working in Reaper.

Think i understand it now, bit better. Window ( as Mac) does play MIDI unassisted. But far as i knew…within Reaper, you needed a VST. But…whatever…glad this worked out.

1 Like

This is spot on. Reaper will ‘play’ the MIDI file which really means it will send the midi data to wherever you want it to go.

You need one of 2 things to get sound out of a Reaper midi track

  • A VST plugin to play the drums
  • MIDI out back to the BeatBuddy, which will then play it

Both are viable solutions and you can mix and match depending on your workflow. The only real issue with switching back and forth between the two (which I have brought up before) is that there are quite a lot of steps to configure the BeatBuddy to work as a midi master or midi slave. If SS could give us the ability to configure a midi master and a midi slave profile, and then switch between the two of them, this would be a great solution.

Another great solution (as I have also brought up before) would be for SS just to make VST plugins for the beatbuddy. Then any DAW would be able to very easily play and configure everything that was needed to.

The Beatbuddy has the potential to be such a great piece of studio gear, but SS doesn’t want it to be used this way and so they don’t enable it.