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Ask Justin Frankel
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Note: please do not ask questions about REAPER features, bugs or scheduling, use the forums instead.

Name: Ask: Human (enter yes):
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Question: Hello Justin, it's the interview person again. After much procrastination, I have returned with 4 short questions: 1. What non-coding-related skills do you think are most important to your job (e.g. time management)? 2. Any common misconceptions about your job? 3. If you could go back in time, would you have any advice for your 20 year old self? 4. What was the most difficult part of writing REAPER?
Asked by Ethan (71.143.72.x) on December 11 2020, 1:22am
Reply on December 11 2020, 3:01am:
    1. I'm unsure if this counts, but being a user first is probably the biggest thing -- even if I were to stop programming, I'd still want to shape the software as a user. Other important skills (which I don't always do but have been important along the way): digesting feedback from users, both for QA purposes and for improvements. Bookkeeping. Deciding what tools are needed in order to increase productivity (things to help manage our build processes, customer interactions, etc). Finding people who you can delegate things to -- I'm pretty bad at this, but I've lucked into the relationships that we have that have been essential!
    2. Hard to answer this, I try not to read what people say on the internet...
    3. I'd try to get my 20 year old self to exercise more and take better care of its teeth. The prime 15 years of running ability instead were spent in front of computers and driving around in cars, doh! When I moved to SF I would often drive the ~2.5 miles from my apartment to the office each day (and then usually spend time looking for parking). That seems completely absurd to me now.
    4. Difficulty -- it's less about how hard things are and more about how much work they are. It's come a long way in these 15 years, and while there has definitely been code that was difficult to write, difficult to maintain, it usually was less difficult to eventually rewrite. Probably the hardest part with something like this is getting to the point where you feel like it's something that's worth continuing work on. Early on in projects you're making something and it's interesting, you get to some challenging bit that's going to take many hours of contemplation and experimentation, and you lose interest because you're not sure if it will be worth it. That still happens now, with particular subprojects and branches, but early on in a project it is more difficult. As an example -- I recently (due to Apple releasing M1 macs) started working on VST3 bridging for REAPER (it has never been supported, but now there's a real case where people will want to run REAPER/arm64 with their x86_64 plug-ins emulated). VST2 bridging is done by marshalling about 30 calls in each direction between the plug-in and the host. VST3 will require another 30 or so. I started work on it, started organizing things to make it more easily done, and it seems like it will work. But there's so much work ahead of it before I can even come close to testing a limping version. I'll get back to it soon, but in the mean time I can go work on other aspects of REAPER... Whereas if it were a brand new project, I might completely forget about it.
1 Comment...
Question: Do you have any thoughts on MOSIP, India’s new open-source identity project?
Asked by Justin (68.160.228.x) on December 9 2020, 12:14am
Reply on December 9 2020, 6:05pm:
    I haven't heard of that
Question: REAPER setup (and installed folder) file size is getting larger and larger. What will you do if it goes to 1 GB size?
Asked by Meme is life (27.58.104.x) on December 8 2020, 12:58pm
Reply on December 8 2020, 4:23pm:
    Maybe take a look to see what's using all that space?
Question: Hello Justin. I am trying to automatically import audio to Reaper application with a different program, but I could not find a document about it. `reaper.exe filename.wav` has such a use, but it did not quite see my work. Can you inform me? Thank you.
Asked by Musa Kurt (88.238.10.x) on December 5 2020, 1:07pm
Reply on December 5 2020, 6:52pm:
    On windows, WM_DROPFILES is probably a more effective way of doing this...
Question: Do you like F1 cars & racing ?
Asked by Lewis (27.58.119.x) on December 5 2020, 6:21am
Reply on December 5 2020, 6:52pm:
    I used to be more interested in such things but now I am less so
Question: Sony VS. JBL! Which is better (according to your opinion) in sound quality? Some people love heavy bass, some people love sweetness more than bass. What about you??
Asked by Audiophile? Maybe! (117.234.79.x) on December 5 2020, 3:32am
Reply on December 5 2020, 6:52pm:
    No idea, I just use whatever I have around
Question: Do you know Carly Rae Jepsen? If yes, what's your favourite song of hers? If no, then you can start listening her from this LOVELY uplifting song. Also if you love cats, you will love the video of this music as well :D youtu.be/CnGjfxJqf6I
Asked by Kitty Kit-Kats 🐈 (27.58.99.x) on December 4 2020, 6:28am
Reply on December 4 2020, 1:39pm:
    I approve of cats, yes!
Question: What are some of your ideas if Reaper 7.0 comes to your mind?
Asked by David (74.108.16.x) on December 4 2020, 3:45am
Reply on December 4 2020, 1:40pm:
    We'll see but that's a long ways off
1 Comment...
Question: I want to learn to code for pleasure, but I want to learn something other than that "Hello World" crap. Any suggestions?
Asked by Mike (73.91.212.x) on December 4 2020, 1:29am
Reply on December 4 2020, 1:41pm:
    Hmm I think you need to find something that interests you. Hello World crap is how you learn the mechanics of it, but coding is the means to make things happen, so what are those things? :)
Question: Do you still actively use IRC?
Asked by Will (104.254.90.x) on December 2 2020, 9:17pm
Reply on December 3 2020, 3:22pm:
Question: I read you response to a linear algebra question from 2013 and was wondering if you had come across geometric algebra, which has received increased attention as a unifying approach for a range of different problem types. A good website on the topic is bivector.net/
Asked by John McG (14.201.52.x) on December 2 2020, 1:34pm
Reply on December 3 2020, 3:22pm:
    Ah hadn't seen that.
Question: I looked at it right now and its shape and I wondered: When will you have a plectrum in the shape of the Reaper-logo available as official merch? :D
Asked by Mespotine (2.247.251.x) on December 2 2020, 1:46am
Reply on December 3 2020, 3:22pm:
    We're so bad about merch, looking for someone to do a high quality merch store for us, anybody want that job? :)
Question: Thank you! A video of that would be really cool.
Asked by Michael Dean (98.127.48.x) on December 1 2020, 5:59pm
Reply on December 1 2020, 6:27pm:
    I'll put that on my todo list
Question: hey- so how do you set your daily moral compass? is it by a 'religous belief' system,or some other 'teaching' you learned along the way? ((personally, i took notes from the 10 commandments+7sins,but try to remain 'faithless' over 1 diety or another)) what say you?
Asked by 2020 (95.145.189.x) on December 1 2020, 5:44pm
Reply on December 1 2020, 6:32pm:
    You have to set those things daily, shiiit?! Some of those commandments seem a bit harsh and self-serving, e.g. the first? Anyway perhaps I am shaped by various philosophers and secular humanists, I'm look at you Vonnegut, applying the golden rule and just trying to be generally decent?
1 Comment...
Question: "Also available: Windows 32-bit - 12MB" SINCE WHEN? Are you soon getting rid of 32 bit reaper??
Asked by Human (27.58.21.x) on December 1 2020, 3:42pm
Reply on December 1 2020, 6:27pm:
    No, we'll keep making it for a long long time, but it does represent a small percentage of the downloads
Question: On your Super8 videos, can you explain how you're looping things? Is there a foot pedal? To what? What are you doing in Reaper? I really enjoy those videos and am curious.
Asked by Michael Dean (98.127.48.x) on December 1 2020, 9:17am
Reply on December 1 2020, 3:31pm (edited at December 1 2020, 3:32pm):
    I should make a video with screen capture showing it, but this is the general setup:
    • Reaper with Super8 on a track
    • Audio inputs from two sources (a mic and a guitar DI). Input 1 of super8 always gets the mic. Inputs 2-8 get the output of some FX which select the input, and whether there is distortion and delay on it (I can toggle these via MIDI controller buttons on both the Zoom R24 and the foot controller).
    • Super8 also gets a foot controller MIDI routed to it, and a foot controller button mapped to its "Play/record current" action.
    • The first 6 outputs of super8 all go to 6 tracks, the volume of which I can adjust via the (Zoom R24 MIDI controller) faders.
    • Outputs 7/8 of super8 go a pair of tracks which are setup in feedback (having a compressor, EQ, etc on it). One fader controls the output level, the other the feedback gain. The project has feedback routing enabled.
    • There is also a complex setup involving spectral hold, which I don't always use (to be documented later)
Question: What's the downsides of having long hair?
Asked by Will (23.125.224.x) on November 30 2020, 4:08pm
Reply on November 30 2020, 5:27pm:
    Society judges you differently, it takes longer to wash and more importantly dry, it's bulky and hotter in the summer, you run the risk of getting it caught in your tools, spokes, belay devices, etc?
Question: I notice you've useed the term "feature latch". Can you tell what the analogy exactly means?
Asked by fujimoto (150.95.210.x) on November 29 2020, 3:14am
Reply on November 29 2020, 3:48am:
    It refers to the fact that once you add a feature to a released version of software, you are stuck with supporting it for eternity (or at least, if you stop supporting it, you will piss off some percentage of your users). AKA feature-ratchet
1 Comment...
Question: You are obviously a skilled coder. Did you ever work for a company as a coder, or were you just completely an entrepreneur when you created Winamp?
Asked by Mike (73.91.212.x) on November 29 2020, 3:07am
Reply on November 29 2020, 3:47am:
    When writing Winamp it was really a project for fun and enjoyment! Then it turned into a business...
Question: What do you think of coding bootcamps? I completed one months ago but my natural curiosity is only beginning to take shape.
Asked by Andy (108.84.189.x) on November 28 2020, 11:59pm
Reply on November 29 2020, 1:38am:
    I have no experience with them so it's really hard for me to say! Perhaps any askjf readers who have can post in the comments here?
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