What is REALIVE?

REALIVE is a custom configuration specifically made for the Digital Audio Workstation REAPER.  It has been designed to optimize the use of REAPER in a context of live playback of tracks. It’s made to bring forth all the useful features that will allow ultimate flexibility in a context of combining pre-recorded tracks within a live performance.  That means that the computer becomes another member of the band, ready to go wherever the rest of the band is going.  And all of that in a very easy and intuitive way.  Loop sections of songs indefinitely (while the guitar player is changing a broken string)… Slow-down the tempo and even Change the key of the song while the song is playing without never missing a beat.  All of this can be achieved with the computer keyboard, a midi controller, an iPad or any other way you can think of to control REAPER.

With that you can build setlists of up to 127 distinct songs all opened at the same time and ready to be fired up at any time.  Each song is a self-contained standard Reaper Project that can contain as many tracks as your computer will allow you to run.  (REAPER being so cpu friendly, that means A LOT of tracks!!!). You can obviously Mix, mute, solo track at will, like you would in any project.  Then, while a song is playing, you can precue any section of that current song and/or any other open song without ever missing a beat.

This allows for the ultimate intuitive playback solution for tour bands, worship bands, wedding bands, or even restaurant singers.  Whether it is for a huge venue with lightning and video controlling via timecode, or a simple karaoke stereo track in a club date, REALIVE will be simple and effective to deliver the goods.

Table of contents

1. Quick Start

1.1 Opening REAPER in REALIVE Mode

1.2 Concept

1.3 The main toolbar

1.4 About Saving

2. What’s new?

3. The views

3.1 Edit view ([TAB] Key)

3.2 Live Play view ([ESC] key)

3.3 Tempo view (SHIFT-T)

3.4 Pitch View (SHIFT-P)

3.5 Drone Pad View

3.6 Audio Routing View (CTRL-1)

3.7 Mixer View (=)

4. Project types

4.1 Audio Routing

4.2 Song

4.3 Separators

5. A tour of the GUI

5.1 Playlist (Setlist) Window

5.1.1 The top part: “Current list”
5.1.2 The middle part: “Songs”
5.1.3 The bottom part
5.1.4 The Length stats

5.2 Main Toolbar

5.2.1 Snap/Auto-Scroll
5.2.2 Auto-Stop Mode
5.2.3 Audio Device
5.2.4 Ctrl Device
5.2.5 Add Loop
5.2.6 Markers/Regions
5.2.7 Action Markers
5.2.8 Guide Cues
5.2.9 Conductor Track Build
5.2.10 Live play view
5.2.11 Import Audio

5.3 Project Title Window

5.4 Transport Bar

5.5 Transport Info Window

5.6 Clock Window (W)

5.7 SMPTE Timecode Window

5.8 Clicks and cues

6. Controlling REALIVE

6.1 MIDI/OSC Control

6.2 Control Surfaces

6.3 Keyboard control


7.1 REALIVE Preferences

7.2 Audio Routing

7.3 Realive Line Check

7.4 Realive Cues Language

7.5 Realive Click

7.6 Realive Control Surfaces

7.7 Realive Drone Pad

7.8 Show Realive Help File

7.9 Show Realive Version

7.10 Web Remote Control

7.10.1 Transport infos only
7.10.2 Full REALIVE control

8. Other functions

8.1 Rendering actions

8.2 Live looping functions

9. Acknowledgements

Quick Start


Opening REAPER in REALIVE Mode

When opening REAPER with REALIVE installed, you’ll be greeted with the “Recent playlist” menu.  You can select any recent playlist file to open or choose “Open Playlist” to browse to another playlist file.  Reaper uses the “RPL” format for playlist files. This type of file is simple text file that represent a list of REAPER projects (RPP files) in a particular order.  When you open an RPL file, it tells REAPER to “Open this project and this project and that other project, etc…”

While in this first menu, you can hit the [ESC] key or click away to close it if you don’t want to open an RPL right away.

Building a song:

A REALIVE song is simple:

  1. You import some audio in a REALIVE template
  2. You enter a tempo for that audio
  3. You make a marker list that matches the structure of your song
  4. You hit the button in the main toolbar “Conductor Track Build”
  5. Play and have fun looping and navigating as you wish in your song!!!
  • To navigate, you use:
    •  the ← → arrows for markers or 
    • the < > signs for measures.
  • The UP-DWN Arrows are used to change songs.  
  • While playing, you place your cursor somewhere in the song using the arrows and you hit:
    • [ENTER] to go there at the next measure.
    • [OPT-ENTER] to wait until the end of the current region instead.
    • [L] will loop the current region.


The main toolbar

The main toolbar contains most of the useful stuff. Remember the REAPER mentality for anything:  “When in doubt about something, right click on it!!!”

About Saving

  • Whenever you save (CMD-S), the whole list and all the opened projects are saved.  You can obviously save individual songs and/or the playlist using the “File” menu or right clicking in the playlist window.  
  • To consolidate everything that’s currently open: to a single location,  use the menu “File” / “Save playlist and all project tabs to a folder” function.

What’s new in REALIVE7?

Several under the hood improvements have been made.  Here are the big features:

  • The audio routing window has been redesigned with its own Toolbar.
  • The audio device availability is automatically refreshed and announced if un unavailable.
  • Click and cues can now be triggered globally from the audio routing.
  • New “Add cues” menu hitting the [Q] key. 
  • New “Add Action Marker” menu hitting the [K] key.
  • Section repetition has been enhanced.  You now know if a section is repeated several times and when the last time is coming.
  • A new solo click “freewheel” mode has been added.  Allowing the percs to keep playing while the click is soloed.
  • Ableton live sessions can now be directly imported in REALIVE (Still in a working but experimental state).
  • The transport bar buttons now supports REALIVE functionalities.
  • The transport bar now has a section to show times vs full setlist length.  Useful to know how long you have until the setlist ends.
  • A “click menu” button has been added to the transport bar.  Several click related functions are found there.
  • Seeking to a section start can now optionally trigger a cue and a count.
  • A “next section window” has been added to show the upcoming section when not visible.
  • Live looping mode can be activated to trigger several loops separated in project tabs and keep them in tempo.  They can be triggered with keyboard shortcuts or anything else.
  • A preference to keep the video opened while changing views.
  • On REALIVE startup a “recent RPLs” menu is shown.
  • Improve play button’s responsiveness.
  • REALIVE Render GUI window.
  • Some corner cases fixes in the tempo changing logic to keep everything in sync.
  • The division click can be reassigned to the same sound as the beat click.
  • The mouse wheel button will move the playhead to the mouse cursor, snapping to the bar while on live mode.
  • A few minor enhancements to Amalgama’s great renamer , (Named Realive_ReaNamer.lua in the action list).
  • Several new Realive preferences added in the "Options" menu.
  • Project playlist: You can right click on a song to toggle it to a “separator” type, that makes it a special type that will be ignored while switching from a song to the next one.
  • Project playlist: Copy playlist to clipboard to paste it anywhere as text.
  • "Consolidate everything" action to save the setlist and all currently opened projects to a folder.
  • In the Tempo View, a “Keep time position” button has been added to set the project timebase to ”time”.
  • Low latency playback trigger: Avoid long wait before playback is initiated.
  • The SMPTE Track can be offset in the menu of the routing tab.
  • Options to automatically send a MIDI Program Change of the song’s number on playback.  (Useful for for instruments patches or for a lyrics system).
  • Adding MIDI cues for lyrics functionality (Experimental) Use “Insert/REALIVE MIDI Prod Track” in the Timeline Right-Click Menu.

The views

There are two principal views in REALIVE, the Edit view which is the normal DAW view, and a special “play view” that puts every distraction aside and only brings the needed stuff during live playback.

1. Edit view ([TAB] Key)

Edit view

In this mode, all your tracks are laid out so you can have a birds eye view of your whole song.  All folders are automatically open and shown.  You can edit your project in this mode like you’ve always done.  In the options menu, you can disable the automatic showing/resizing of the tracks so you can setup a default view of your choice.  You can also change the “Realive: Show All Tracks Minimized” window set to your taste (SHFT-CTRL-F1).  Just make sure you don’t overwrite it while installing a new version of the config!!!

2. Live Play view ([ESC] key)

Live play view

A HUGE timeline where you see the current content playing, and where you can navigate through the song and loop section or precue different sections to change the structure of the song at will.  All of this obviously while you are playing your own instrument.

At the bottom left, you can optionally have a clock opened.  There’s also an indicator of the next section whenever it’s not in the view.

By right clicking the big sections text items and choosing “Item notes”, you can add Text to those items so that you can see them from afar. 

3. Tempo view (SHIFT-T)


This is the mode for everything related to a song’s tempo.  You can close it by hitting [ESC] or [TAB]

You can also go into that view by “VIEW” menu. In this mode, you can change the tempo of the song.  You can do so by  hovering on the tempo window and using the mouse scroll wheel or double clicking and entering a desired speed or +/- change amount.  You can also hit the “T” key to engage tap tempo mode  where you tap a speed and hit ENTER to confirm the change.  If you do any of these changes while the song is playing, hitting ENTER will make the tempo change to take effect at the next bar directly on the beat. The tempo Window and the tap tempo window will always blink at the tempo they currently display.  If your song has only one tempo, you can use the [Y] key as a tap tempo and reaper will change the master tempo and everything will follow very naturally.

About 6/8 measures:

In REALIVE, the tempos is always computed according to quarter notes.  That means that a 90BPM 6/8 will be read as 60BPM in dotted notes.  So in REALIVE you’ll have a 2/4 measure of 60BPM with a triplet feel in your click division.  Entering your normal tempo and choosing Menu/Timeline/Toggle Triplet Feel will do all the math for you and setup your 2/4 time signature and click division for you as well.

The main toolbar:

Change BPM: Dialog to change the tempo, you can use “+” or “-” to enter a tempo offset.

Keep time position: While changing tempo, everything will keep its absolute time position.

BPM (+/- 1): Changing the current tempo respecting the cursor position.  Only change the last tempo change or the changes that are in the current time selection (if any)

All tempos (+/- 1): Changing all tempos of the song proportionally  if there are several tempos in it.

Insert tempo marker at cursor: Add a new tempo change and stretch markers at the cursor position.

Reset all tempos: Reset tempo so that the majority of items have their playrate at 1

Tap tempo window: Tap [T] to engage tap tempo function.  Hitting the [ENTER] key will confirm the change.

Find Tempo: Make a time selection and hitting this button will show the time selection tempo.  You’ll be asked if you want to find the tempo according to a dotted note or a normal note.

Insert time signature: Add a new time signature change.

4. Pitch View (SHIFT-P)

This is the mode for everything related to a song’s pitch.  You can close it by hitting [ESC] or [TAB]

In this mode, you can set the original key of the song, change it by hoover on the key and using the mouse scroll wheel or double clicking and entering a desired key or transposition amount.  If some media items are selected, the changes will only apply to them.

Right clicking the window, will show some options.  There’s also a menu to play some guide tones to help you find a key.  These tones will always be played through the “QsBd” track so it will only be heard by those who have it in their monitors.

The toolbar:

Set song’s original key: This must be done manually.  Setting it will unlock these:

  • Allows REALIVE to trigger a drone pad in the key of the song.
  • The song’s key will be shown in the main Project title window
  • Key changes can be done by using note names rather the +/- numbers.
  • Clicking the Pitch window or the note on the project title window will play a tone through the “Cues” Bus

Transpose: Entering a note name or a +/- value to change the song’s key.

+/- Semitone: Changing the song’s key by +/- 1

Reset to original: Will reset everything to 0.

5. Drone Pad View

In Worship music, a drone pad is often used to provide an ambiance bed to the music.  Realive provides 10 variations of sound that will be automatically adjusted to the key of the song currently playing.  The main key of the song must be previously determined in the “pitch” mode beforehand.  Everything is managed using the Drone Window. You access it on the main toolbar.  There, you can trigger it, you can change the note and/or the sound.  You can also trigger it in a few other ways.

  • 1-Using the “Add Action” toolbar you can set an action marker to trigger it and set its sound (NEW IN REALIVE7) .
  • 2-Using the “LexaController_DronePad” action in the action list
  • 3-Using the actions in the action list “Realive_Drone_Toggle_SongKey/Enable_SongKey/Disable
  • 4-Using the Key shortcut “CTL-D” On mac
  • 5-You can set Realive to auto-trigger it while using the solo click function

6. Audio Routing View (CTRL-1)

All the songs in REALIVE send their audio to the main output through a master routing tab called “Audio  Routing”  We will talk about Audio Routing more in detail later on.  The routing view puts everything else aside and allows you to set all your bussing from the currently opened REAPER projects to the currently selected audio device.  The main view is a mixer but hitting the “=” sign will show the routing matrix where you can setup the outputs of the different tracks.  To delete an assignment, OPT-click it.


Some assignments, won’t be deletable in the routing matrix.  You must delete them in the mixer.  To do so, [OPT]-Click them on the mixer.

7. Mixer View  (=)

By hitting the “=” key you can show the mixer.  It is a 3 way toggle: 

  • Mixer docked in bottom
  • Mixer as a full page
  • Back to live play mode

Project types

1. Audio Routing

Like previously said, a routing project is a special reaper project that allows you to route the tracks from your songs to the outside world.  You must always have an opened audio routing for REALIVE to work.  If you try to playback without an Audio Routing, you’ll get a warning message reminding you to open one.  To be valid, an audio routing must have the word “routing” in its name.  Each track has a special internal REAPER bus called “Loopback” as its input, and outputs to either the master parent or a specific output. 

The audio routing can be disabled so that no audio will pass through.  Its name will become red on the playlist window.  You can do this by right clicking the audio routing on the playlist window or choosing it in the menu “OPTIONS/AUDIO RoutingTab/ Enable audio routing tab”.  The audio routing is like a song that always plays whenever audio is passed to the audio device:

  • While a song is playing
  • While a drone pad is playing
  • While the “‘linecheck” function is activated
  • While the “Offline audio routing when no project is playing” is disabled.  In that mode the Audio Routing becomes orange in the playlist

 The toolbar:  (Most of these can also be found in the “Options” Menu) NEW IN REALIVE7:

Back: Go back to the last focused song

Menu: The Click and Cues can be used in different ways.  But default, it is automatically routed to the main outputs if the audio device is stereo.  But you can set this preference in various ways:

  • Click/Cues on the right and the music on the left
  • Force everything together: Click/Cues sent to the master parent
  • Force Multi out: Click/Cues not sent to the master parent
  • You can also set the SMPTE track offset in here

Audio Device: Refresh and/or change the audio device.  If the play transport seems stuck but the audio device is present this will refresh and resume playback.  Else, it will open the audio device dialog to change it.

Mixer/Matrix: Show Mixer or Matrix

Linecheck (stems/click): Hitting this will start a line check saying each bus in its respective routing assignment to validate that everything is routed properly.  Hit it again or hit the spacebar to stop it.  You can only run this for the Click/Cues/Timecode as well.  The state will be reflected in the project playlist window.

2. Song


This is the main project type that you’ll likely use the most.  Whenever you double click the empty part of the playlist window,  you will open an empty project and this is the template that will open by default.  It is laid out and configured to work seamlessly with the Audio Routing. 

Track Types:

Structure Track: The first track is a “Structure track” Which contains all the text items that you see while in live play mode.  This track does not contain any audio.  You should never put any audio in it.

Original Track: The second track is the “Original Track” that is used to keep a reference full version of the song.  There is an option to automatically mute it while in live mode so that you don’t accidentally play it.

Guide Cues track: The third track is a “Guide Cues” track.  REALIVE has an internal cueing system that is built automatically when you set a song up.  All those ‘“Verse/Chorus/Bridge/Punch/Ending/etc…” cues should all go in this track.  You have a Cues band and Cues Vocals already set up.  If you want your singers to have different cues.  The cues tracks are automatically muted while looping sections to avoid confusion.  In the menu->Option->Realive Cues Language, you can set up your preferred language and voice type. NEW IN REALIVE7: Using the function in “Menu/Realive Preferences/Enable global click and cues”, the cues can now be used globally in the audio routing and only triggered by MIDI. Read on it here

Click Track. This track is automatically generated and adjusted while setting your song.  You should never use REAPER’s default metronome but use this click track instead.  In the Menu->Option->Realive Cick Type, You can choose between 10 different clicks.  Hopefully you’ll find one that fits your needs… NEW IN REALIVE7: Using the function in “Menu/Realive Preferences/Enable global click and cues”, the cues can now be used globally in the audio routing and only triggered by MIDI. Read on it here

SEQ folders. All the other folders tracks are there to accommodate the stems from your song.  It is important that you take the time to put everything in the appropriate folder as the Tempo and the pitch mode don’t react the same way depending on the track type.  To import your tracks, if you use the “Import audio” function, all the audio samples are automatically sent to their respective folders.  This is conditional to your stems having conventional labeling. (For example, all tracks named “shakers” will go in the perc folder)  There are hundreds of names already configured.  Feel free to send me some name that won’t be sorted automatically and I’ll see if it can be added to my ever growing list”

3. Separators

This is a dummy project type that’s only used as a separator in the playlist window.  Any project in the list with a name that starts with a “=” will automatically be considered a separator.  A separator project does not have anything in it and is automatically skipped while navigating the project playlist.  If trying to initiate playback in a separator project, playack will be started at the next song.

A tour of the GUI

Playlist Window (or Project tab list)

This window is the heart of Realive.  You can see all your currently opened projects in it.   There are 3 parts in it:

  • The top part: Which show the current playlist
  • The middle light part: Which shows the songs
  • The lower empty part:  Double click it to open a new template project or right click for more options.

The top part: “Current list”

Is the current loaded list (RPL file)  Double clicking it will allow saving under a new name.  When the list is modified from its last saved state, it will be shown in italics.  By right-clicking it you can do the usual New/Open/Save/Rename etc… You can also see your list duration and a few other durations.  You can also copy the current list to the clipboard to paste anywhere. NEW IN REALIVE7:

The middle part: “Songs”

Shows each open song.  The currently active song is highlighted and bold.  If it is not currently playing, the highlight will be blinking at the current song’s tempo.  No blinking on routing/separators/drone/line check project type.  

  • Dark “grayed” projects means the songs has never been saved,
  • A “ * ” at the end means the song has been modified, 
  • Green color text and highlighting means the song is currently playing.
  • There’s a small progress bar showing where you are on the song. 
  • Right clicking a song shows the usual New/Open/Save/Rename etc… But it also shows you the setlist length, song length and a few other things.

The bottom part

In the blank part under the opened songs, Double click will open a new song, right clicking will show you a few other options.  Loading recent lists, templates, etc…

The Length stats 

At the top of the right-click menu, you have access to some data: 

  1. The current highlighted song’s length
  2. Time elapsed since the start of your set
  3. Time remaining until the end of your set
  4. Full set duration

Main Toolbar

On the top left of the main window you have the main toolbar, 


(These are always managed automatically according to the current view and mode.)  But you can turn them on/off manually whenever you need.

Auto-Stop Mode: 

 In all projects, there is a Blue “!-->STOP<--” marker.  This always announces where the song will stop.  You can move it to where you want WHILE THE SONG IS STOPPED!!!. If you move it during playback, the new stop time will be effective on the next manual “SEEK/STOP/LOOP” unless you force refresh it by disabling and reenabling the Auto-Stop function 

Audio Device: 

If playback is interrupted because of a lost connection with the audio device, try hitting this button while playback is still on.  If possible, REAPER will resume playing automatically.  If not it will take you to the Audio device pref page.

Ctrl Device: 

Takes you to the Control Surface pref page

Add Loop: 

Enter a Loop Marker.  You can optionally add a number of desired loops

Toolbars (Add Cues, Add Action, Add Markers) different items that will be put at the cursor position.  Guide Cues, Change Songs, etc…


Markers are essential in REALIVE to be able to navigate through the song.  You can access the Marker toolbar from the main top toolbar.  Those markers will be entered at the edit cursor position or the play cursor position.  They will be snapped to the grid In order to be used by REALIVE, they must be transformed in regions.  This process is achieved with the Build Conductor track button.  The difference between the two: a marker represents only one spot in the timeline, whereas a region has a start and a stop point.  These toolbar buttons will enter a marker if they are entered in a spot that has no region.  If they are entered within a region, then that region will be split.

Action Markers

In REAPER, you can use several “Action markers” which are special markers that will execute actions when the playback reaches them.  REALIVE brings several of those actions that have been carefully designed to optimize the use of REAPER live.

  1. Add Loop: Available right from the top main toolbar.  Upon hitting that button, you will see a dialog asking you how many loop you want to have.  If you leave it blank, then it will make an indefinite loop.
  2. Next Song actions: You can preset several actions that will go to the next song.  For each action: (Stop/NoStop) will stop the currently playing song before changing. (Wait/Play) will wait or initiate playback in the the next song.  (Seek) Will wait the end of a bar to change without skipping a beat.  (Meas.) Will allow you to preset a target measure for the next song to start at.
  3. Go To actions: (Measure/Regions) target either a measure or a region number. (Seek/NoSeek) move playhead at the end of current bar. (Stop) stop playback before moving the cursor. (Run Click) stop, Go to destination and play a running click one beat before.
  4. Stop: Stop and do nothing else
  5. Edit cursor to play cursor: Brings the edit cursor to the play without doing anything else.

Guide Cues

REALIVE provides a very extensive list of custom cues that are available in English/French/Spanish.  Sections cues are automatically entered while building the conductor track.  But several other cues can be manually entered at will.  Some cues will only be entered for the band and others will only be entered for vocals.  This is all automatic as well. 

NEW IN REALIVE7:   Hitting de [Q] key will show a simpler and cleaner menu to enter cues.  Everything is easier to find in there.

Conductor Track Build:

To build a song you need to: Set the right Tempo, import your audio, Make markers that follow your audio.  After that, you hit the “Build conductor track” button and REALIVE does the rest.  With this button, REALIVE will: 

1- Change all markers to regions so they can be looped, navigated, etc…

2- Build the Structure track text Items according to the markers.

3- Rebuild the click track following the Time signature changes, cutting the click at the end of the song or at the “Fermata or end” markers

4- Generate a Guide Cues track that follows all your markers.

All of that in less than a second at the press of a button!!!  After that you are ready to go live.

NEW IN REALIVE7: The logic for building the cue tracks has been enhanced and easier to follow.  Try it out!

Live play view: 

Choose between the Live and Edit View

Import Audio:

This a menu of audio import/sort options.

NEW IN REALIVE7: You can now import Ableton Sessions directly to REALIVE using the function in this menu.  

Ableton Files: This function opens a dialog that lets you choose a QZip Ableton file.  It is then converted to the RPP format and imported in the current Project.  Use with caution as not everything is fully implemented but simple Audio/MIDI items and Vol/Pan information is supported.

Audio files: Same as the Menu->File->Import Audio…  Using this, REALIVE will try to detect if there are Tempo found in the file names or in the folder’s name of your audio file.  If it finds a tempo, it will offer to change your song to that tempo.  After that it will try to recognize the names of your audio files and sort them into the right folder.  If any track has not been sorted, it will be left at the end of the list waiting for you to place them wherever you want.

Sort imported: This is the only last part the import audio files process.  In case you need to sort files that were manually imported.  Note that files that are imported using the Media explorer will be automatically sorted.

Project Title Window

On the top right of the main window we have the Title Window.  You can double click this window to change the title of the song.  You won’t change the name of the actual REAPER file but just the title.  This is the same as double clicking the name in the Playlist window to change the title.  Leaving this blank will reset the title to the filename.  Right clicking on that window will also allow you to go to the Tempo/Pitch views.  If a key has been set in the Pitch View, it will be shown on this window.  You can click it to hear a tone in that key.  You can right-click it to change the key.

If a drone pad is playing, a green indicator will be shown on the window as well.  You can click it to fade it out.


If the solo click mode is engaged (By hitting any of the [~]/OPT-[~] or CTRL-OPT[~] key) it will be indicated here  Click it to exit solo-click mode, Right click on it to get some options.

Transport Bar


All the buttons from the transport bar are now fully supported.  Which means that when hitting the Looping button for example, it will trigger REALIVE’s looping functionalities.  Unfortunately no button will reflect the current state.  Note that while not in Live mode, the buttons don’t have enhanced functionalities.  If you want the REALIVE enhanced functionalities while in live mode, it is enabled in the Realive Preferences menu.

  Navigating the regions(markers)

  Navigating the bars


  Metronome Menu

Several options are available on the Metronome button which is the last button on the right.

  Times window

It is enabled in the Realive Preferences menu.

You can always optionally show the these times informations:

  1. The current song’s time left versus song’s full length
  2. The current song’s position versus the setlist full length
  3. The amount of time left in the current setlist

Transport Info Window

This window gives you feedback on a few different elements.  It is automatically opened and closed when needed.


In yellow are the current region the edit cursor is currently in.  The small number at the top right corner is the measure difference between the cursor and the current region’s starting measure.

In green means that REAPER is currently preparing to seek at the end of the current bar.  Moving the cursor or engaging looping will cancel the seeking.

In turquoise means that REAPER is currently preparing to seek at the end of the current region.  Moving the cursor or engaging looping will cancel the seeking.

In orange means that REAPER is currently preparing to seek to another song at the end of the current region.  Moving the cursor or engaging looping will cancel the seeking.  A number at the top right corner would show the target measure.

Clock Window (W)

As a convenience, there is a clock window on the bottom Right corner.  it is automatically moved out of the way when that space is needed for something else. It can enabled/disabled in Menu->View

SMPTE Timecode Window

A time code can be inserted by right-clicking on the timeline and choosing, (Insert -> SMPTE Track)  Once this is done, a Timecode will be displayed on the bottom left corner of the main window.  Right clicking it, will show a menu with the Frame rate and a few other options.

Clicks and cues 

NEW IN REALIVE7: Using the function in “Menu/Realive Preferences/Enable global click and cues”, the cues can now be used globally in the audio routing and only triggered by MIDI. This allows for: 

  • Smaller projects without having all the cues/click samples spamming your Audio Files folders
  • Easier and faster language changes 
  • Easier language packs updating.
  • Better level management: everything will always be the same volume.
  • Band and cues are now fully independents which means vocals can decides whether they want the counts or not
  • Easier cues types  identification: Cues are now color coded
  • Cues are now triggered dynamically.  When seeking to another region, a cue and count is now optionally triggered.

Project are automatically converted upon changing the mode.  Project can also be manually converted using: Menu/Timeline/Global click and cues: convert project

Controlling REALIVE

MIDI/OSC Control

REAPER is well known for its extensive action list that allows deep control of the application. REALIVE brings A LOT of different actions that were carefully designed to interact with one another so that your focus is always on the music.  The goal was to have an intuitive experience that doesn’t take your attention away from playing your instrument while controlling REALIVE.  For this reason, it is important that you use all the actions that start by “realive_”  in the action list.

These 12 actions can be found by searching for “Realive_LexaController” in the action list.  They cover all the principal needed stuff for a complete REALIVE experience with a MIDI/OSC controller.  You must use those commands to get the maximum of what Realive has to offer.

  1. Stop: First hit will always stop where you currently are, a second hit will go back to the point where you last started playback.  A third hit will go to the beginning and stop any other playing song at the same time.
  2. Play/seek: Initiate playback, or while the song is playing, go to the edit cursor position without skipping a beat.  You can even do this in another song and it will stop the currently playing song and start the new song without skipping a beat.
  3. Song BCK/FWD: Changing from one song to another stopping the currently playing song.
  4. Loop: Looping the current region you are in.  While looping, the region is zoomed in the ruler becomes orange and the guide cues are muted
  5. Measure and Region navigation: Move the edit cursor to precue sections.  the playback won’t switch unless you hit the “seek” action
  6. Solo click (Bar): You can solo and play the click in measure or in beats. The rest of the song is muted and only the click is heard.  It is useful to make count-ins or to recover from a major error.  Using the soloclick_beat function, you can even turn the song around in case the band inadvertently starts on the wrong beat.  As a double function: This action will trigger the tap tempo function
  7. Solo click (Measure): You can solo and play the click in measure or in beats. The rest of the song is muted and only the click is heard.  It is useful to make count-ins or to recover from a major error.
  8. Tempo_Pitch_LiveToggle: This allows to cycle between the Live/Tempo/Pitch view
  9. Measure Tempo (+/-): The measure change actions also change the tempo/pitch values while in respective modes.

Some additional useful actions are the “Realive_Control_” actions…

  1. Seek with offset: A seek function that will keep the position within the current region:  So if you’re in the third bar of verse 1, placing the cursor anywhere in verse 2 and triggering this function will seek to bar 4 of verse 2
  2. Seek at the end of the region: Will wait until the end of the region before seeking.  You can cancel it using the Repeat function of simply navigating elsewhere with the “Go to” commands.  Once the info window goes to red, you can’t cancel it anymore.

NEW IN REALIVE7: Seeking can optionally trigger a guide cue and count telling the section you’re going to.

Control Surfaces

Reaper user Geoff Waddington has created a great platform to integrate flexible MIDI control to REAPER.  CSI V3 is automatically installed with Realive. A few midi devices are already setup to work with REALIVE:

  1. Behringer XT Mini
  2. Line 6 FBV Shortboard MKII
  3. Akai MPD218
  4. Akai mpk mini mk3
  5. Any device that follows the Mackie Control (MCU) standard (Only the transport controls are supported).

To set it up:

  1. Hit the Ctrl Devices button
  2. Double click Control Surface Integrator  
  3. On the left, select your device and hit the “EDIT” button that’s right under it, if your device is not there, choose “Add MIDI” to add it
  4. Select you MIDI In_Out assignments
  5. On the Right in the “Assignements” section, Choose and edit (or add) your device                                     
  6. Select your device in the dropdown menu and select the according surface Template in the “surface” dropdown.
  7. The “zone” Folder should be selected automatically but you can add it manually.  It should have the same name as the surface template.
  8. Hit Ok everywhere and you should be good to go.

If you use the FBV Shortboard MKII unit, you should set it up with “LINE 6’s FBV Control” app.  Use the "Propllerhead" template. 


Always make sure your control devices are not assigned to more than one surface: Open the other surfaces and make sure nothing is assigned to it.  You can safely remove the unused surfaces and readd them later if you need them.

Always make sure your control devices are disabled in the midi devices preferences.  Go to:

  1. Menu -> Options -> Show preferences: MIDI Devices
  2. Choose your control surface in the “input” section
  3. Double click it and disable everything in the dialog
  4. Do the same for your device’s output


Keyboard control

  • [SPACE]: 
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_Play_Stop
    • Action: Play/Stop (Live Playback Mode)
    • Comments: You can also CMD - click a name in the Playlist Window
  • [CTL]-[SPACE]:
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_Play_Seek_ToOtherSong
    • Action: Seek to new song
  • [CTL]-[RETURN]:
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_StopTape_GoToPlayStart_GoToStart
    • Action: 
      • 1st hit -> Stops where you are
      • 2nd hit -> Goes back to where playback was last initiated
      • 3rd hit -> Stops all projects, goes back to start and resets the main view
  • [RETURN]: 
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_Seek_GoToPlayStart_GoToStart
    • Action:
      • While playing -> Seek to cursor (or to different song)
      • While stopped: Goes back to:
        • 1st Hit: where playback was last initiated
        • 2nd Hit: beginning and resets the main view
  • [LEFT]/[RIGHT]:
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_Regions_BCK/FWD
    • Action: Prev/Next Section Marker
  • [,]/[.] (That’s hitting the [<] & [>] keys but without hitting [SHIFT]): 
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_Measure_BCK/FWD
    • Action: Prev/Next Measure
  • [L]:
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_RepeatState_Toggle
    • Action: Enable/Disable Loop
  • [ ` ] (Key at the left or the [1] key):
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_SoloClick_Beat
    • Action: Solo click function: Mute everything besides the click and loop
      • While playing: last beat of current measure
      • While stopped: last beat of previous measure
  • [OPT]-[ ` ] (Key at the left or the [1] key):
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_SoloClick_Measure
    • Action:  Solo click function: Mute everything besides the click and loop 
      • While playing: current measure
      • While stopped: previous measure 
  • [CTL]-[OPT]-[ ` ] (Key at the left or the [1] key): NEW IN REALIVE7:
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_SoloClick_Percs
    • Action: Freewheel solo click leaving the percs unmuted.
  • [UP] / [DOWN]:
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_ProjectTabs_BCK/FWD_NoStop
    • Action: Prev/Next Song
  • [CMD]-[UP] / [CMD]-[DOWN]:
    • Name in action list: Realive_Control_ProjectTabs_BCK/FWD
    • Action: Prev/Next Song (With Stopping the current song first)


REALIVE Preferences

In Menu->Options->REALIVE preferences, you can set a few options for different behaviors:

Maximize screen on live view : Automatically maximize screen whenever the live view is engaged

Disarm all tracks on live view :  This is a precaution but if you need record armed track during live playback you can disable this.

Edit mode only: Disable the live view and use Realive like a normal DAW

Show and minimize all tracks on edit view: Always show all necessary tracks when going into edit mode.

Hide SMPTE clock on edit view: By default the SMPTE clock is only shown in live view.  If you want it shown at all times, there’s the option.

Show/Hide next section window on live view: Show what’s coming next when not visible on the screen NEW IN REALIVE7:

Hide clock on edit view: By default the clock is only shown in live view.  If you want it shown at all times, there’s the option.

Hide the project tab list on edit view:   You can enable this if you prefer not to see that window while doing editing.

Mute Original track in Live mode: Automatically mute the Original track so that you don’t inadvertently leave it unmuted in front of the crowd.

Reset repeat state when starting playback: Always disable repeat when you start playback.  You might leave this off if you like to preset loops before playback.

Auto change tempo on seek in live looping mode: In “Live looping mode” you can keep the tempo when changing tabs. NEW IN REALIVE7:

Reasampler mode enable:(Experimental)   Put Realive in a drum/sample machine mode to trigger stuff.

Show playlist’s (elpased/remaining) time on transport bar: Showing some time infos on the transport bar.

Show only measure in Live Mode:   Have a “measure” timeline display in live mode for less clutter.

Enable global click and cues:   Trigger the click and cues from the audio routing tab.  See the section earlier in the manual for more details. NEW IN REALIVE7:

Cursor guide line: This feature comes from Amagalma on the REAPER forum .  It shows a handy guide cursor on the timeline to help for editing alignment

Force seek moves the loop points:   When force seeking using CMD-LFT_RGHT keys, the loop point can be optionally moved as well.

Transport button special features: While in Live mode, you can enable these features from the Transport bar’s buttons:

  • Navigating with the transport bar REW-FWD or REGION REW-FWD while playing back will move the edit cursor only and not force seek the playhead.  This allows to trigger the seeking function afterward.
  • The stop button is a smart Stop-Tape button:
    • The first hit Stops where you are.
    • The second hit goes back from where you initiated playback
    • Then third hit goes back to the beginning and resets everything
  • The play button: is a smart Play/Seek button.
    • While the song is stopped and no other songs is playing, it initiate playback
    • If another song is playing, it seeks  from that song to the new one you’re trying to play
    • If the current song is playing, it seeks to the edit cursor in the current song.

Keep video window open on window changes: Do not close the video window while going from one view to another. NEW IN REALIVE7:

When seeking, play a guide cue and count: If seeking to a region start, REALIVE can announce it with a count.  NEW IN REALIVE7:

Solo click: Fade out song before initiating solo click: If the song is playing, fade out everything except the click before soloing the click track.  This adds a delay before soloing the click which gives the time to fade out.  Triggering the solo click function while fading out will force the action instantly. NEW IN REALIVE7:

Low latency playback response: This feature is experimental.  It attempts to minimize the media buffering when all songs are stopped and resetting it when playback is initiated.  This results in a quicker play button response at the expense of having a quick inaudible buffer underrun on while initiating playback (Transport blinking red). NEW IN REALIVE7:

Send Song ID as a Program Change on playback: While initiating playback, you can optionally send a MIDI program change NEW IN REALIVE7:

When inserting a marker, refresh thje cue track: Wthe cue track is automatically refreshed when inserting section markers. If you manually added some markers, this behavior might not be wanted so you may disable it.

Cycle seek modes on seek action: While using the ="play/seek" function from a controller, the transport button or using the shortcut [CTL-SPACEBAR] on mac, you can access all seek modes from a single button. (Seek on next bar, seek on next region, seek relative to the target region)

Audio Routing

Show audio routing tab: Show audio routing tab.  (Same as clicking it on the playlist window)

Enable audio routing tab: Enable audio routing tab.  If disabled, it becomes red and no audio will come out.

Offline audio routing tab when no project is playing (Saves CPU):

To allow the Audio Routing Tab to passthrough audio, it must be play enabled.  If this is enabled, the Audio Routing Tab becomes orange and it always stays play enabled.  If not then it is automatically off whenever no songs are playing.  This saves CPU.  If you need to use VSTs, auto-tune or anything else that should work independently of any song’s playing, then you should enable this.

Auto-mute master track on multi-outputs audio device: When using a multi-out audio interface, you can choose to automatically mute the master output.

Click/Cues Routing: Same menu as the menu tab in the audio routing tab.

Realive Line Check

Trigger the line check function

Realive Cues Language

A simple menu to change Cues Language.

Lock guide cues language: You can also Lock the language function if you want to have several songs in different languages.

Realive Click

A simple menu with click related functions.

Realive Control Surfaces

Stop before changing songs:   When changing songs with a control surface, you can optionally stop the current song.

Realive Drone Pad

A simple menu with Drone Pad related functions.  The drone pad is explained here

Show Realive Help File

A simple cheat sheet to get REALIVE key commands

Show Realive Version

This is a simple dialog that gives the current versions of 

  • REAPER: Must be at least version 7
  • SWS: Must be at least 
  • JS_API: Must be at least 1.31
  • The current opened project

Keep all of those up to date to make sure you have a smooth ride with REALIVE.

Web Remote Control (In the “Option” menu):

Web remote control pages are special web page that can be activated from any web browser that’s on the same network as REALIVE’s computer.  ”Simply copy the link from the “Copy web remote control link to clipboard” menu and paste it to any web browser from a laptop, desktop, iPhone, iPad, tablet, etc…

The “Transport infos” web remote page:

It is automatically activated on live view if the menu item “ On live view, activate web remote feedback playback infos is enabled

On this page, you’ll find:

  1. The currently playing song’s name
  2. The tempo and time signature
  3. The project key
  4. The current section playing and the next section coming up
  5. The transport time in Measure/Beat and in mm:ss
  6. The current playstate

The “REALIVE control” web remote page:

On this page, you’ll find everything for a full REALIVE control experience.  It comes in several versions depending on your needs.  You can choose them from the thumbnails at the top of the page.

Other functions

Rendering actions

In the “File” menu, a few actions have been set up to allow for a faster “exporting stems and/or mixdowns” workflow. You can choose a render preset or, choosing “Render Realive…”.  There you can select which item you want included in your bounce:

Wave or MP3 are supported.

Mixdown: Will render a mix of everything. What you actually hear. You can set the levels in percentage of what you can hear.

Main Busses: Will render a separate file for each “SEQ” Folder

Stems: Will render every non muted, non empty child track

Live Looping functions

You can switch from song to song while keeping the beat.  This allows you to set several loops as separate songs and trigger them at will.  If the option “Auto change tempo on seek…” is enabled, then any new song will play at the currently playing song tempo…  There are 127 tabs actions that are linkable to any key command to allow any tab to be fired at will.


I must give huge credits to all the following “REAPER forum” members without whom REALIVE would not be possible.  Some of their concepts are essential to this and they have all my respect and gratitude.  I encourage you to support them and donate on their PAYPAL accounts

Justin Frankel and John Schwartz : That created and maintain the fantastic REAPER platform

Michael “MPL” Pilyavskiy: For the original playlist window concept

Christian “cfillion” Fillion: For many coding concepts and explanation

Meo-Ada Mespotine: For the REAPER API documentation

Raymond “X-Raym” Radet: For the initial training and region window concept

Lokasenna: For many coding concepts

Blankfile: For the great “ILogic Next” theme that has become REALIVE main GUI

Amagalma: For the "cursor guide line" and the great Reanamer

Tack: For the great RTK library

SNJUK2: For the Ableton GUI Available in the “Options/Theme” Menu