Old 04-02-2017, 02:53 PM   #1
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Default REAPER Contest - April 2017 (VOTING)

REAPER CONTEST - MARCH 2017
(ONLY REAPER PLUGINS ALLOWED)




MIXING: 3-20 April
VOTING: 21-28 April
RESULTS: 30 April

March 2017 winners: REAmix and cnyk
Febrary 2017 winner: Fergler
January 2017 winner: Indiscipline
December 2016 winner: Fergler
November 2016 winner: zacki
October 2016 winner: Indiscipline

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Last month users REAmix and cnyk had the pleasure to win the contest, and therefore they had the privilege to choose a song for this month.
The song is Slow Down by Jessica Childress. It's the first R&B song (after 7 months ) so I think many users will enjoy mixing this bad boy!

Have fun everybody!

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CONDITIONS AND STEPS TO FOLLOW:

1) Download the source files from this link.

2) When you’ve mixed it send a zip file to reaper.contest@gmail.com with:
  • Your Reaper project
  • any reverb impulses you’ve used
  • any custom JSFX you’ve used (put them in an effect subfolder (project_path/Effects/))
  • a master mix (limited to -1 dB and at -14 LUFS): FLAC, 44.1 kHz, 24 bit
  • a note containing your username and your reaper profile URL
3) Click here to listen to the submissions. Pick your 3 favourite mixes and take note of their ID numbers (look the track titles). You can also download the zip file "SUBMISSIONS" with an RPP containing all the files.

4) Click here to vote your 3 favourite mixes.

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A few VERY important notes:
  • DON'T RENAME the source files and the source folder.
  • DON'T SEND ME the source files.
  • READ TWICE this post before sending me your zip file. If I ask for a FLAC don't send me an MP3 or a WAV. Please, it's not that difficult and it would make my life a lot easier!
  • DON'T GLUE ANY FILE
  • DON'T USE SAMPLES

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Old 04-02-2017, 04:10 PM   #2
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Woho!! I can dance! who knew? i'm shocked!
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:57 PM   #3
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Im in, for sure!
I suggest the dates between voting and results could be tracked to, for example, some days before so we could take a breath to listen the whole submissions and give a feedback, and won´t crush with the next month contest
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:00 AM   #4
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Im in, for sure!
I suggest the dates between voting and results could be tracked to, for example, some days before so we could take a breath to listen the whole submissions and give a feedback, and won´t crush with the next month contest
oh ok, so like how many days after mixing and before voting?
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:07 AM   #5
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Looks like the dynamics will be rough on this one. I couldn't tell that for the quick mix they had done for it. It sounds recorded live. The vocals sound to me like they went through an SM58 or similar.

What's cool though is the performance is good on this one. I think we should be able to get something pretty cool with it. The song is cool too, imo.

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Originally Posted by DaveKeehl View Post
oh ok, so like how many days after mixing and before voting?
I'm not sure, but I did find that the voting period was maybe a bit long. Idk how others feel about that. I was originally thinking that maybe giving some people more time for submissions would be better, but this is a good idea too.

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Old 04-03-2017, 02:01 PM   #6
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Looks like the dynamics will be rough on this one. I couldn't tell that for the quick mix they had done for it. It sounds recorded live. The vocals sound to me like they went through an SM58 or similar.
I'll definitely struggle with this one. Sounds completely live, can't hear any overdubs.
The rhythm section are great, singers a bit ropey (especially the BV's) and the engineering...well...the kick sounds like someone slapping a dumpster with a haddock. Or maybe a halibut. Sheesh.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:03 PM   #7
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I really dig the song, and everything for the most part is recorded well... But so far I'm having a hard time achieving the right "energy" in my mix...

Seems sapped. I know I just started working on it, but so far it lacks the excitement it should have... Sounds like a bunch of tracks, not a song. ugh.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:10 PM   #8
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...everything for the most part is recorded well...
I've never recorded drums before, but is this what 'live' drums normally sound like?

I'm not even sure how to mix this song: should I go for a live sound and keep the current sonic tones, or enhance them and try to get closer to what a studio recording would sound like?

I remember reading somewhere about a producer working on mixing a live album for a band and his mojo was to get a solid instrumental recording / sound, then blend the signal from microphones places in the crowd. That was his version of a live sound. We don't have crowd mics...

Anyway, I got some decisions to make...
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:29 AM   #9
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...the kick sounds like someone slapping a dumpster with a haddock. Or maybe a halibut. Sheesh.
I was thinking more along the lines of a mackerel hitting a muppet, but at least we both agree there is definitely some type of fish involved
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cnyk View Post
I really dig the song, and everything for the most part is recorded well... But so far I'm having a hard time achieving the right "energy" in my mix...

Seems sapped. I know I just started working on it, but so far it lacks the excitement it should have... Sounds like a bunch of tracks, not a song. ugh.
Ya the musicians are pretty on point as well. The backups are a little off key at times, but not so bad, since they are backups. For me, the hardest part is the amount of dynamics in the vocals.

I think what's a little bit difficult is that there aren't as many pieces as a production would have. When you produce you can add an effect here or there, or double track vocals and do all sorts of things. Add some brass in there as well. I think this song would really benefit from that.

On the other hand, I find all songs kind of start out that way for me, from a production standpoint. Really kind of flat and dull. And then every step brings it forward, and the last step of mastering really helps make it pop a lot.
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I've never recorded drums before, but is this what 'live' drums normally sound like?

I'm not even sure how to mix this song: should I go for a live sound and keep the current sonic tones, or enhance them and try to get closer to what a studio recording would sound like?

I remember reading somewhere about a producer working on mixing a live album for a band and his mojo was to get a solid instrumental recording / sound, then blend the signal from microphones places in the crowd. That was his version of a live sound. We don't have crowd mics...

Anyway, I got some decisions to make...
In my experience for drums so far, it's quite normal, though I guess it depends on who set them up, and what gear they had access to. Could be better and it could be worse.

How to mix it really depends on you, but I can say that I am actually doing something very similar to what you outlined above. I actually always do that. I mix all of the direct signals first and get a nice mix of everything dry like that, and then add the room mics later, and EQ them.

I'm not sure how "live" it will end up sounding. I don't generally make decisions like that in that way. I'll probably just get to that stage and see what I like. I'm not really sure what I will do with reverbs either. I kind of like the live sound from those mics. But maybe I will want something to be able to control my depth a bit better also. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Once I get further along, I'll have more of an idea how things sound, how much space it feels I have, how sparse or full it is etc, then I'll decide if I think it needs more salt. I guess we'll see how all of that works out.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:45 AM   #11
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I was thinking more along the lines of a mackerel hitting a muppet, but at least we both agree there is definitely some type of fish involved
Great! I already have "Mackerel hitting a Muppet" presets for ReaComp and ReaEq!
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:25 AM   #12
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Any tips for mixing tracks that have lots of microphone bleeding?

I tried, but can't get rid of most of it (e.g. vocals and snare drum are everywhere). I'm assuming that I should see the vocals on each track as part of the main vocal track; they all sum up to make the final product?

I'm also assuming some track, such as drum overhead and room mics are useful. I can imagine these mics being useful, but there is so much bleed on all the track that they collectively dub as 'room' ambiance. It's not like they are adding cymbals, which I was expecting. The room is everywhere, but yet we have a room mic. Or is it something else?

I tried using gates and even cutting out every single hi-hat hit from the rest of the drum bleed. I did the same to isolate cymbal hits, because they are nowhere loud, but everywhere quite. That seems unreasonable...?

I'm treating mixing this song as a learning opportunity. But for that I need to learn something, not just be doing random stuff. Which is what I feel I'm doing. Perhaps all my random stuff will amount to a good mix, but I doubt it beats knowing how to deal with microphone bleeding and mixing strategies.

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Old 04-08-2017, 09:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
Any tips for mixing tracks that have lots of microphone bleeding?
I haven't listened but chances are you are better off making it work for you instead of trying to eliminate it. You might do some light filtering here and there to calm it down in places, but if it is that prevalent and you try to start surgically removing it all, you'll end up with a sonic mess IMHO.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:41 AM   #14
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I'm treating mixing this song as a learning opportunity. But for that I need to learn something, not just be doing random stuff. Which is what I feel I'm doing. Perhaps all my random stuff will amount to a good mix, but I doubt it beats knowing how to deal with microphone bleeding and mixing strategies.
Here's a tip- try to not "worry `bout it"- bruv,some of the most amazing inventions and discoveries come from exploring the unknowns.
History is a mystery,today is a gift-so we call it the 'present'-- use this gift to guide your decisions and perfect your individual techniques like only you can master.

It's a bit like an examiner-giving people the answers before the test.
Why copy+duplicate pre-accepted and reconised answers,when you can educate,and then show how 'you' can be great.
Struggle was always a great teacher.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
Any tips for mixing tracks that have lots of microphone bleeding?

I tried, but can't get rid of most of it (e.g. vocals and snare drum are everywhere). I'm assuming that I should see the vocals on each track as part of the main vocal track; they all sum up to make the final product?

I'm also assuming some track, such as drum overhead and room mics are useful. I can imagine these mics being useful, but there is so much bleed on all the track that they collectively dub as 'room' ambiance. It's not like they are adding cymbals, which I was expecting. The room is everywhere, but yet we have a room mic. Or is it something else?

I tried using gates and even cutting out every single hi-hat hit from the rest of the drum bleed. I did the same to isolate cymbal hits, because they are nowhere loud, but everywhere quite. That seems unreasonable...?

I'm treating mixing this song as a learning opportunity. But for that I need to learn something, not just be doing random stuff. Which is what I feel I'm doing. Perhaps all my random stuff will amount to a good mix, but I doubt it beats knowing how to deal with microphone bleeding and mixing strategies.
For me it depends. I don't usually like gates, unless it's content that is really dependable for that.

For some things, I will definitely split around the parts I want, and mute the rest. In this example, I did that for the toms and background vocals. Sometimes I will use EQ to get rid of some parts I kind of don't want, like hihats and crashes that I might not want. But it's not that big of a deal to have some bleed, either.

For me, right now, without the room mics on, my project does have a very a dry sound. And all I worried about for bleed, was backup vocals and the toms.

On the last project, if you open it up, you can see what I chose to split, and what I chose to leave. There was a LOT of bleed on that one.

Sometimes trying to cut out too much of the bleed will make make it noticeable when an instrument comes in for a second, you hear everything else go loud, and that's bad, if you ask me. I prefer to just leave the bleed in at that point.

For bleed mixed into the signal you want, there's not much you can do, so just leave it in and work with it. You can maybe EQ some of it you don't want out, and keep the meat of the instrument you like, all while keeping it sounding nice with everything altogether, but other than that, if there is bleed, let it bleed.
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:53 PM   #16
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Thanks for sharing.

Yeah, the Gating is not working so well for me on most tracks. Only the snare track because of the sharp contrast.

"History is a mystery,today is a gift-so we call it the 'present'-- use this gift to guide your decisions and perfect your individual techniques like only you can master."

Clap clap clap... l like that response.


"I haven't listened but chances are you are better off making it work for you instead of trying to eliminate it."

I'm going to do just that. Well, minus cutting a few things out here and there.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:09 PM   #17
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Wow, this is a nice challenge. Let's see where I can come up with, and maybe even more important, where the rest comes up with. I'm curious.
That singer is hard to tame, anyone advice on that, I'm having more than one compressor already?
For the kick I'm using reasynth, gated by the real kick, but still not 100% happy with it.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:43 PM   #18
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Wow, this is a nice challenge. Let's see where I can come up with, and maybe even more important, where the rest comes up with. I'm curious.
That singer is hard to tame, anyone advice on that, I'm having more than one compressor already?
For the kick I'm using reasynth, gated by the real kick, but still not 100% happy with it.
welcome to the party for the singer I'm using EQ > EQ (sidechain for de-essing) > Compressor (sidechain for de-essing) > Compressor 1 > Compressor 2 > Saturation. I'm also using an aux track for parallel compression.

Yeah lot's of compression and automation! (This is my approach at least! )
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:02 PM   #19
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For the vocals I started by taming some peaks, PPPAA's, SSSS's, with the VOLUME (pre-FX) envelope. Then all I needed was very little compression.

TOD recommended I try doing this in another thread, I did, and there's no going back.

I'm not sure TOD recommended using the (pre-fx), but I prefer it, because I get to actually see the reductions/augmentations of the wav file as I change the envelop. Plus, I prefer adding the the compression after, as a sort of coloring effect, so to speak.

Here the image of what the track looks like with the volume toggled off and on:

OFF
ON

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Old 04-11-2017, 06:54 PM   #20
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For the vocals I started by taming some peaks, PPPAA's, SSSS's, with the VOLUME (pre-FX) envelope. Then all I needed was very little compression.

TOD recommended I try doing this in another thread, I did, and there's no going back.

I'm not sure TOD recommended using the (pre-fx), but I prefer it, because I get to actually see the reductions/augmentations of the wav file as I change the envelop. Plus, I prefer adding the the compression after, as a sort of coloring effect, so to speak.
Hi RDBOIS, it looks good. I did recommend using the Take Volume
envelope, because then that leaves the "Volume envelope" for the final
adjustments, but it will work either way. However, you might prefer
having the volume after the compressor, I find that the track usually
needs some adjustment after the fact.

One more little tip, if you notice your pictures are very big, even though the actual picture is not. It's best to crop the top and bottom and the sides so that it better fits in the post. Right now we have to scroll left and right in order to read everything, as you'll notice with this paragraph. Try cropping them, trimming them down to their actual size and repost them, you'll see what I mean.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:24 AM   #21
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One more little tip, if you notice your pictures are very big, even though the actual picture is not. It's best to crop the top and bottom and the sides so that it better fits in the post. Right now we have to scroll left and right in order to read everything, as you'll notice with this paragraph. Try cropping them, trimming them down to their actual size and repost them, you'll see what I mean.
Thanks Tod for mentioning this, I have my 2cts for this (I'm sure you personally know this already), but maybe it's useful for anybody else:
- Changing the style to Reaper5 (at the bottom of the page) resizes the images to fit the screen. This can be set as default in the User CP.
- @RDBOIS: make your images 750x600px large, that fits both forum-styles (3&5)
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:36 AM   #22
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Thanks Tod for mentioning this, I have my 2cts for this (I'm sure you personally know this already), but maybe it's useful for anybody else:
- Changing the style to Reaper5 (at the bottom of the page) resizes the images to fit the screen. This can be set as default in the User CP.
- @RDBOIS: make your images 750x600px large, that fits both forum-styles (3&5)
Ok. Crop and resize done!
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:42 AM   #23
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Ok. Crop and resize done!
Yeah, that's great RDBOIS.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:46 AM   #24
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you can educate,and then show how 'you' can be great.
@ RDBOIS ^ this is what you did,and have done.
I wonder how your mixes will come out now. =)
Having rea l fun doing it> is the tricky bit
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:30 AM   #25
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Well done, RDBOIS, looks good now!
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:17 PM   #26
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I'm finishing my mix tomorrow and you guys? How far have you gotten? (I hope the last sentence made sense because I had never translated it in English)
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:25 PM   #27
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I'm finishing my mix tomorrow and you guys? How far have you gotten? (I hope the last sentence made sense because I had never translated it in English)
I started an hour ago and I am already finished. I check my mix again tomorrow and then submit.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:29 PM   #28
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Mine was in 3 days ago. Great fun mixing
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:33 PM   #29
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Voila, send my first submission ever in a contest, hope it works . It took me a bit longer then an hour, but I don't mind, it's good exercise and I had a lot of fun with it.
Looking forward to may already.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:30 PM   #30
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Voila, send my first submission ever in a contest, hope it works . It took me a bit longer then an hour, but I don't mind, it's good exercise and I had a lot of fun with it.
Looking forward to may already.
Thank you for your entry! I'm glad you had fun mixing it and it means a lot to read such comments
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:04 PM   #31
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I've spent one week or more and not exxeeding the ruff mix included in the source.
Maybe I should sell my Reaper license and go fishing
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:11 PM   #32
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I've spent one week or more and not exxeeding the ruff mix included in the source.
Maybe I should sell my Reaper license and go fishing
Yeah I certainly spent more than an hour...

No no no, them fishies are way too gullible to be tricked. Plus, they have families and friends that depend on each other, not to mention schools to attend. LOL
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:02 PM   #33
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Yeah I certainly spent more than an hour...

No no no, them fishies are way too gullible to be tricked. Plus, they have families and friends that depend on each other, not to mention schools to attend. LOL
Ya, me too. I'm not finished yet either. I don't know how much time I've spent so far, but a little bit on a number of days. It's coming along now though.

The main vocalist doesn't have the best mic technique, which is rough, but she is quite nicely on pitch. The backups on the other hand.. they could stand to work on that a little more. It doesn't matter quite as much, but they do have some parts where they are doing that reply thing, and that puts them kind of front and center.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:19 AM   #34
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What non-reaper plugin would you guys use if you were allowed only one? I think I would try izotope rx on the lead vox I guess. I'm getting into melodyne recently, so maybe I'd try that out too and then choose.
Other than that, I would let her redo it until it sound more ok-ish.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:04 AM   #35
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probably a reverb first, and then a saturation plugin second, for me.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:38 AM   #36
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I would use my super advanced AI plugin. It is connected to my headphones and performs beautifully whatever I struggle with.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:08 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REAmix View Post
Ya, me too. I'm not finished yet either. I don't know how much time I've spent so far, but a little bit on a number of days. It's coming along now though.

The main vocalist doesn't have the best mic technique, which is rough, but she is quite nicely on pitch. The backups on the other hand.. they could stand to work on that a little more. It doesn't matter quite as much, but they do have some parts where they are doing that reply thing, and that puts them kind of front and center.
You can say that again. The plosives alone are killing me. The backing vox aren't much better - levels all over the place. One of them sounds like their right next to the drummer. Gonna be a challenge - but it does have that classic late 70s disco vibe so I'm thinking I'll approach it that way as much as I can.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:12 AM   #38
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This is a fun one! Really going back and forth on how much I use that room mic.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:17 AM   #39
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This is a fun one! Really going back and forth on how much I use that room mic.
I recently learned something new, and that got me to try something new on those room mics, and I think I'm liking it quite a lot. I won't say more than that until the contest is over, but I did do something I would normally have never thought of doing with them.
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:55 AM   #40
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The deadline is getting closer
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