Playtime was created for Reaper users, to get an Ableton Live-style Session View. And it works great, for sure. Since the Launchpad X and Launchpad Mini MK3 now offer “legacy mode” as a firmware update, you can easily get them to work with Playtime, as a plugin inside Reaper. Sadly, Playtime has been abandoned in 2018, and it doesn’t look like it will be updated, further.
Here’s a way to have some Ableton-style Scene launching, without Playtime. Let’s say you have a Launchpad Mini MK3, Launchpad X, or Launchpad Pro MK3…. you know those custom MIDI maps? Yeah. Pretty damn useful!
Let’s use the Launchpad X for this example…
You can set all 64 pads to any custom MIDI CC #. Let’s say we use the top two rows as “Play/Loop Region 1……… 16”. (each of those is basically an action, easily found inside Reaper’s Action List).
So, assuming you have made a few song sections (Regions). And eventually, you’ve got 16 Regions created (such as an INTRO / VERSE / VERSE VARIATION / CHORUS / CHORUS VARIATION / etc…. ) you basically can have the Ableton-style Scene launching, with Reaper!
If you go to your Preferences, and the Seeking section, there’s an option you can check, that says “Do not change playback position immediately…” and then set it to 1 bar. This functions exactly like the default Ableton Live Session View, and launching Scenes, since the default Global quantization is already set to 1 Bar.
What about triggering single clips (drumloop, bass loop, etc)? This isn’t as easily achieved (requires a LOT of track soloing and 48 additional Regions), but certainly, Regions can act exactly as Scenes…. AND… you still have 48 pads do whatever you want, with… how about a 4×4 drum grid in the bottom left corner? Finger-drum live while triggering your Regions.
This is just an easy, quick way to “jam” on parts of your track… without needing Ableton Live. All you have to do is set a time selection, make a Region from that very time selection, and number them in order. And then set the Reaper Actions accordingly. I think the default Reaper Actions only allow mapping up to 10 Regions, but… you can edit the Reaper.INI file (or something similar, I don’t remember exactly what) with Notepad, and add more actions that go higher than the default numbers.
Really handy, and fun. Not everything needs to be Ableton, when it comes to using a Novation Launchpad! Sure, you get a LOT of awesome functionality, using a Launchpad with Ableton, but….. Reaper can do a lot of great stuff, with its actions, and setting them to custom MIDI CC# assignments. Awesome functionality.
Another option you can consider is the DrivenByMoss (version 8.94 as of March 27th, 2020) plugin that I have raved about… it’s a little confusing to use, but it’s pretty dope. Supports: Launchpad Pro, Launchpad X, Launchpad Mini MK3, Push 2, etc. etc. etc.
But I think my way is easy and simple… and if you just need to trigger parts freely (and loop them indefinitely, until you’re ready to loop another), Reaper’s Regions are totally the way to go.
Hope this helps some people out there!