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Reaper - DAW - Recording Software

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Busses. In other DAWs, like Cubase, there are busses and when you have a track, you have to assign it to a bus for output.

But you can do a bus a few different ways in Reaper. And the designers of it wanted to make it user-friendly and flexible and it is. You don't have to come from a background of analog boards, though that might certainly help and some of the best tidbits I got were from guys my age and older that started out with nothing but a 24 track board and a pile of cables. There were no plug-ins back then. You wanted a certain sound? You had to make it. There was no "singing saw" patch. You had to go find a flexible saw and twang on it.

In Reaper, the default for any track is in 1/2 out 1/2 to master fader (bus.) You can change output to something else besides master. For example, sends.

So, here is a way that you can make a bus. While you can choose a lead instrument as the bus, you could also create a new track just above the other tracks you want bussed. Name that instrument buss, just for clarity. (by the way, you can make all the tracks different colors and I will get to that, later.) At the bottom right corner of a track's control panel (TCP) is a little icon. That is where you can make a track the beginning of a folder. So, do that to instrument bus track. Then go down to the last track you want to be in this folder. Click on that icon until it says "last track in folder." That's it.

If you change volume on instrument bus track, it changes volume for all the tracks in its folder. Just like if these tracks were physically cabled to an actual bus that had a volume knob. You put effects on the bus track and all the tracks in the folder are going through the effects. This saves on cpu usage and is simpler, if the actual desire is to have this submix balanced with each other and going through the same effects. And you can still adjust the volumes of the individual tracks in the folder relative to each other. This often is preferred on drums. Selective volumes on each of the drum pieces and then the whole drum ensemble is lowered and raised in volume and whatever fx you want.

The other option is to create a track called instruments buss and then send the separate tracks to this. It depends on what you prefer as a workflow, a model in your mind of how signals are being routed.

I have seen the same thing done with channel splitting and mixing in a track.

Whatever track you have sent to then goes out to master by default. Same with folders. The lead or beginning track in a folder goes to master. So, at this juncture, you don't have to worry about assigning an output buss.

Conversely, if you have no sound in playback, check to see if some track has been assigned to another output besides master.

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You can do submixes with channel routing with separate channels going to one fx, other channels going to another effect and then being balanced with the JS 8M mixer plug-in as the last effect on a separate track you have labeled instrument bus, only this track, you would go to the IO button and choose however many channels you needed whether 8, 12, or the maximum 64 channels in any one track. And I will be dealing with that a little more in depth. The vid I linked is very basic and is using channel routing to create more tracks.

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Ron,

Try sending out a few emails to the guys at Reaper... let them know that you have this discussion going on regarding Reaper. Invite them to come in and add comment about there product and features and things... Im sure they will appreciate all your posts and would send someone over to engage here with you!

:moomin:

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There is not any email links at Cockos where I can just ask the authors to join and contribute to this forum.

However, I did finally figure out how to mix channels in one track with effects on different channels. You can use this to run parallel effects on a track, or mirrored effects, which is the same effects plug-in with different settings. I am going to explain it with parallel fx.

So, take your vocal track, for instance. Go to the IO button and choose to create 8 channels. You may not use all 8 but it hurts nothing to do this.

Next, click on fx and choose reaEQ, the eq plug-in. Choose for that effect to have output to channels 3/4. 

Next, click on fx and add reverb. Or you can stay in the window you brought up to choose eq and simply click on the add button and then choose reverb. In the reverb fx window, choose output 5/6. After these two fx choices, choose the JS IO 8 channel mixer. With that channel mixer, you can adjust pan and volume of each channel. The default out is 1/2 to master.

Way cool.

Mirror processing would simply be the same process but using two instances of eq, for example.

Now, after the channel mixer in that track, you could add more effects. Essentially, could be treating the channel mixer in that track as a buss and maybe do a compressor.

What would be a reason for mixing channels in one track? You could fatten the voice. You could have 3 instances of eq plug-in going with each one receiving two channels and eq'd differently. Take the vocal track. 3/4 could be low pass, 5/6 high pass, 7/8 bandpass. Then, you could have the high pass panned at center. The bandpass panned left, the low pass panned right. This could give a really neat effect that does not require delay or chorus. This also saves on CPU cycles.

edited to add:

Just realized I forgot to mention something with the effects on channels in one track. In each instance of an fx, you will see a button that says 4in2. Click on that and choose 3/4 out and 5/6 out, depending on which channels you want that effect on.

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Even though there are JS plug-in included in the Reaper download, you can find more at the reaperstash and at the reaper forum and here is a quick vid on how to load them into your Reaper.

 

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Another quick one with tips of shortcuts while mixing to move, copy, delete fx and chains. A monitoring tip for the master fade to check mix balance in mono and outputted left, right, subract the middle from left and right. Really cool.

 

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One more. A demonstration of the JS Stilwell plug-ins included with Reaper. Cool song, too.

 

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As for inviting the developers of Reaper, I settled for sending an email to Cockos Support with a link to this thread. Whether they join or not, maybe they will know of the presence of this thread. And, of course, I told them how much I am enjoying this product.

update 07-04-2015. No reply back from Cockos support or any reply in this thread for the authors of Reaper to join in this discussion.

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Here is a really good and simple video on using Reaper to create drum tracks with MIDI editor, which is another super strong advantage of using Reaper. Granted, the sample is simple but you start out simple and get as crazy as you want to later. And this is awesome whether you are writing originals or doing your own instrumentation of a cover.

And there is also a part 2, that you can click on or wait for youtube autoplay, which has it next in the queu.

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The newest version came out. Funny thing, I started Reaper to continue working on a cover that started out as a lark and the pop-up came up for update. And then I found a submission to the Reaper blog channel on youtube. So, I thought I would link it here for other Reaper users.

 

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Anyway, back to some more cool stuff. You can master in Reaper. Aside from eq adjustments, how do you take updated files from someone or yourself and load them into an existing album project that you are mastering? Really easy, watch this short video.

 

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Just got the 5.01 update. And the user guide, a free download at reaper.fm is also updated and even more user-friendly. A bit more in-depth about how to set your buffer.

The new version offers more video editing capabilities, which I have not yet gotten to.

I have a polaroid tablet with a Kindle app. So, I download the guide, which is a pdf and then send it to the email of my "kindle" device and there it is, easy to use as a reference or to just read. Although, if you want, you can pay for a hardcopy at Lulu.

Some cool things you can do, both in 4 and 5.01. You can start a track, arm, and record on the fly.

Let us say that your guitar is still plugged in and you are recording on another mic. So, start a new track, and arm and it will start recording your new input.

Another cool thing. In the new track control panel, what used to be I/O is now called routing. Anyway, if you want to send a track to another one while listening in playback, you don't have to stop. Left click and hold on the routing button of the track you want to send and drag it to anywhere in the track control panel of the track to receive it.

For example, you created a track as a buss and called it "compressor." And you already sent drums there. While listening, you think the bass track might sound better going through the same compressor. Well, drag the routing button from the bass track to the TCP of the "compressor buss" track and you will immediately hear the difference. How cool is that? This also saves on cpu cycles if the settings of the compressor produce the sound that you want to hear.

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Another thing you can do, either on the fly or while stopped is copy fx from one track to another.

Maybe you have a compressor set up on the guitar track and you have it adjusted just right. And then, you wonder, how would that compressor sound with your flute track, assuming you have a flute track. Go to the fx button on your guitar track and left click and hold and drag it to anywhere in the TCP for your flute track. Not only does it copy the fx, but also the settings you are using. Maybe you will like it, maybe you won't but it is a quick and easy to experiment with stuff without having to stop. It will copy all fx on that track. If you want just one fx copied, you need to open the fx window of the source track and then click and hold on just the one fx you want to copy. If guitar had compressor and eq and you want to copy just compressor, then click and hold on compressor in the list and drag it to the TCP for flute.

You can also rename an fx name. Let's say it was title js eq 12.4 mq. And you think that "massive eq" is easier to remember and figure out. You can change it to that. And when you get updates from Cockos, that name will remain, as you retain all preferences and settings, though appearances can change with updates.

You can also name an instance of fx in a track. Let's say that you have heavy compressor on drum tracks. You can name that instance or use in that track to "stomping to bits" if that is what it means to you.

And basically, to see what you can do in any area of the DAW, hover your mouse over whatever section and right click and you get a menu of what is possible.

And maybe that is too much info. You can also customize right click windows. And after a bunch of mods you want it all back? Click on restore or reset to default.

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Another clarification that I did not catch until the updated user guide.

When you put an effect on a track, the output is a mix of dry and wet going to master.

When you send a track to another track, whether pre or post fader, it is sending signal to the receiving track AND it is also sending to the master.

What if you don't want to send to master? You want to send stuff to a buss that affects stuff and then send all that changed stuff to master? You could fiddle with outputs in the routing matrix but there is a far easier way and this easier way is defaulted in Reaper. And that is folders, which I have talked about before. The first track in a "folder" is the parent folder and the other tracks in it are child tracks. The child tracks output is defaulted to the parent folder, not the master buss and fader.

Go ahead and ask if you can have a folder within a larger folder. Yes, you can and it is a nested folder. 

For example, drums, especially live mic drums, but midi samples with separate tracks, are often sub-mixed to a buss. So, you could have a drums folder with the separate kick, snare, toms, etc., all part of a folder that says "drums." Then, that folder can be a child of a larger folder that says "instruments.

So, it depends on what you want. You could have a track that outs to master and sends to another track that is within a folder. That is also possible. Do you have to do that for any reason? No. Whatever sounds right is the deciding factor. But you might want to write down what you did for a few reasons. You might want to do that again on another song. Or some guy, like me, might ask, "How did you do that? I want to do that on my project." So, then you could share your mixing hints.

Fellow member Snax, a few years ago, would share tips, like side-chained compressor and various stages of eq and compression, as well as double or layered tracking.

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At the Reaper Stash page, click on videos. There are several on how to use various features. You have the option of seeing them at youtube, which plays them better without so much buffering. They are done by Kenny (Joya, not sure about spelling) and his youtube channel is Kenny Mania. An absolutely awesome resource. So good that they are linked, of course, to the Reaper resources page.

 

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And I can now answer Jabroni's question a bit better about Reaper plug-ins with a favorable review from a recording professional. From an old-school guy who will accept nothing less than mic'ing guitar cabs and real drum kits, not drum sample triggers.

Glen Fricker of Spectre Sound Studio, part of Spectre Media Group. Unapologetically, he records and mixes metal music. Everything is geared to that, though he can record more pop stuff, also.

He does use some colorful language sometimes so keep children who have not yet made it to 6th grade out of the room, if worried about cursive language. Not so much on this video but on others,

The top five free plug ins for metal production. You can use them for other styles but they are well suited for what Glen needs in the production of metal recordings. Notice that the plug-in bundle for Reaper, which comes with the Reaper download, but that you can get separately if you use another DAW, is number one, with a glowing report from Glen. By his own admission, Glen has been pro, as in paid, recording and mixing for 16 years, and certainly with education and internship before that. He has mixed for Queensrcyhe and a few other big names.

So, this is at least one case of a pro engineer recommending Reaper plug ins being as good as anything you would pay a bunch more money to get.

 

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In the Kenny Mania youtube channel, you will see that he often recommends duplicating a track or sending to a track and that second track will have the effects on it. For that second track, you will have the effect screen up and move the "dry" slider all the way down and the "wet" slider all the way up. This is old school. There is a good reason for doing that I will explain later. Anyway, so you raise or lower the fader for the effects track to vary the amount of influence on the original sound.

In Reaper, you don't have to do that. The effect has dry and wet and you can do that on just that track. The old school method was to have a dry track and send that to another track for effects and mix it back in. So, having that on just one track saves a step.

But there is a good reason for duping to a different track and effecting it. 

Because of automation. Let us say that you like the effects setting but you want to vary the amount of presence of it throughout the song. By having it on a separate track, you only have to write automation for the fader on that effects track. As opposed to having to write automation for each effect you might have on just one track.

However, if you wanted automation on each separate effect then you would not need the effects track but instead write automation tracks on just the original track for each effect that you choose.

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Another cool thing about Reaper. Once you adjust an fx and you like it, you can save it as a preset. The thing I did with the delay? I saved it as a preset named "Ron's Blister." It made my vocal sound blistering hot, or, to quote Jim Dandy from Black Oak Arkansas, "hot - and - nasty !....."

I could have named it hot-n-nasty, now that I think about it.

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Hey Ron,

I was "pouring" through the Administrator's Control Panel yesterday and noticed that you deleted a lot of content related to "Reaper".

You seem to be very knowledgeable with "Reaper" and I'm wondering WHY you deleted said posts (?)

May I suggest that when you have the time, you re-post in the "Articles" section.

P.S. Could you 'lose' your dog as your avatar and post YOUR photo. For instance, have your wife (or someone else) take a new photo of YOURSELF working with "Reaper". Just my opinion..... :cool:

 

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Hey Ron,

I was "pouring" through the Administrator's Control Panel yesterday and noticed that you deleted a lot of content related to "Reaper".

You seem to be very knowledgeable with "Reaper" and I'm wondering WHY you deleted said posts (?)

May I suggest that when you have the time, you re-post in the "Articles" section.

P.S. Could you 'lose' your dog as your avatar and post YOUR photo. For instance, have your wife (or someone else) take a new photo of YOURSELF working with "Reaper". Just my opinion..... :cool:

 

Thanks, Adolph.

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I have not added to this thread in a while, trying to re-think the whole thing in a more organized manner, based on some really good advice.

In the mean time, I thought of something else, then consulted the user guide, which said exactly what I was thinking of. A head phone monitor mix for singing.

If you have a multi output interface and one of those outputs is headphones or an output number, you can start a new track and choose it's output as your interface and that particular output. In the case of most of us, like me, you have limited outputs. Such as the m-audio m-track (mine) or the Scarlett 2in2 or the Presonus. Then, name this new track as monitor or headphones. Then click on the routing button and choose as add a new receive, the track you are actively recording vocals from. Choose pre-fader.

This allows you to raise the fader on the headphone track and it will raise the predominance of your voice over the rest of the music track. Or lower it, as you need. The advantage of this is that it will not affect the levels on the recording track, which you want to leave where it is, or the levels of the karaoke track, which you want to leave where it is.

After done recording, you can delete the headphone track.

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