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Old 07-17-2014, 12:37 PM   #1
NecroPolo
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Default Playthrough video recorded with Zoom Q2HD, edited with Reaper

I started a short test project a couple of days ago where I wanted to test the capabilities of my recent loot, a Zoom Q2HD recorder as well as the video editing capabilities of my fav DAW. I heard some urban myths that said it can do some decent work on video too but I haven't tried it yet. I installed the FFMPEG library that Fran Guidry of Homebrewed Music blog suggested (kudos man) and hit the start button. I did not want to burn much time on mistakes and takes in general so I picked a rather simple yet aggressive track from our recent "Bleep and Destroy" chip rock album, shot 4 straight playthroughs from different camera positions, got them into synch with the simultaneously recorded audio tracks and started editing in 20 minutes. From recording the very first take to exporting the final cut required 3 hours and I'm total green for video (...okay okay I admit that I'm fast with Reaper audio ). There is no filtering / colour correction on the export and it is the raw 720p file that left Reaper, no post production. I wanted to see what this setup can do by itself.

Here you go:



These are the audio tracks that I recorded along with the separate video takes. Accidentally I locked all project tracks and cut it around 2 minutes but don't be fooled, these are solid one-takes. The last 2 tracks were recorded only to drive the VU meter of the TLAudio compressor / preamp that I used only in a couple of frames finally.



32 - what? - video tracks are here. Active takes enabled, all others are muted, just like they were audio tracks. Reaper displays the audio part of the video and it is very useful for synching. The upper 6 tracks are the total synch tracks, the rest are cutscenes and other stuff. I used this matrix method because this way you just take a single look on the track header and you always know the relation of the active video track to the rest. If you compile all the videos to one track (as the majority of simple video editor proggies do), later changes may be a little complicated.



Here are the playthrough synch tracks with the master audio file. I used the click track for synch, started the song with 4 clicks before that was recorded by the Q2HD then matched the tracks.




As for a final verdict, I can make a statement that Reaper is absolutely capable of editing a video. Well, unless you can't live with the fact that it is restricted for frame correct editing and sample correct syncing with separately recorded audio only. There are no fancy effects, colour correction and bells & whistles that all video editors advertise themselves with. But if you think about it, what else do you really need than frame correct editing and synchron with separate audio tracks at the end of the day?

In my opinion Reaper was immensely more effective and precise than all of the affordable or free video editors around I've tried. On the consumer level you have to score a full version of Vegas or Premiere Pro to get a comfortable flexible unrestricted workflow but these proggies are not cheap. With the footnote that Reaper's super flexible editing workflow is second to none. Okay it's subjective, everyone tastes puss different way but to me Reaper put ProTools hell into the coffin for a reason.

The only issue was occassional video playback frame drops. My machine is fine tuned for audio production so it's capable of making an album from zero to master in-da-box but it doesn't have any decent video supporting hardware just a normal video card. So playback for editing occassionally dropped frames, in dense cut parts it was like flying blind but frame grid and accurate audio peak files helped me a lot so finally the exported video was as intended. I guess, with a special video editing card or a faster machine Reaper would be pretty much capable of making precise jobs e.g. voice overdub for film. As usual, it was stabile even when the performance meter reported constant 95%+ processor use near to the RAM limit. I started adding random plug-ins and imported dummy tracks to reach the top but apart from the usual nice warning of running out of system resources there was no problem. It was a start / stop project without interruption.

As for a hi-def mid-side audio recorder with high resolution video recording capabilities, the Q2HD did quite a decent job I think. Of course it's as distant from a Panasonic movie-grade cam or a good DSLR as it can be but if you keep an eye on lights it performs much better than any classy trendy mobile phone that advertises itself with high-def video capabilities. Besides, its minimalistic OS never freezes. No apps.

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Old 08-01-2014, 04:33 AM   #2
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An another video with less complicated editing in 1080p resolution. The recorder said it has 30FPS NTSC so I set it for the session without analysing it and started editing. That was a mistake because it turned out that it's 29.97 instead as the first file export skipped frames. It seemed to be okay during the session playback. Conclusion: always analyse the source material before setting the frame grid, nothing can be taken for granted. I re-synched everything and it was fine then.



Apart from that little glitch it was a problem-free project. Reaper performed quite well again.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:31 AM   #3
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The 3rd video I edited was a little problematic. For better transitions I used the speed up - speed down playback bar a lot during editing. After that all the exports had a delayed audio, even a simple video file with its own sound track from a fresh session. I checked exporting from a previous finished session, the same phenomenon happened. I checked all the system and audio interface attributes. There I realised that the session I made before this video project was a mixdown session with heavy plug-in load so I had to set the interface to a long latency mode around 40ms for smooth playback. I re-set it to live mode (6ms) restarted the system and everything worked fine after that.

So I don't know if it was a Reaper bug, a W7-64x system glitch or an interface problem. Maybe all, maybe none.

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Old 01-21-2016, 01:27 PM   #4
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Last weekend I've upgraded to 5.11 (I wasn't on the moon since that, I just had different type of tasks to be done than recording in the last few months) and I applaud the enhanced video support and all the little enhancements. All of the following videos was edited with Reaper. Without unnecessary details, they include mixed framerate / resolution videos, old problematic / bugged video files, some basic correction, different export formats and so on - the 5.11 version seems to handle it all nicely.

I must confess that I am really impressed with the latest Reaper upgrade.








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Old 01-21-2016, 03:14 PM   #5
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Cool! I've only barely tested video editing in reaper, but it seems quite nice. I saw your latest video on remix64. Pretty nice!
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:23 AM   #6
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Mordi, mate Reaper forum seems to be a great place to pop up great familiar folks out of the blue.

Thanks for the feedback!

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Old 02-07-2016, 01:52 AM   #7
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My latest video projects would be some serious overkill for most consumer video editors I guess. I pushed the Reaper 5,1 video processor until meltdown but as it seems it handled everything fine without any hiccup.

#1 is a short 50FPS project using a dosen or so stills. I wanted to test the precision of the basic image position tools so everything that moves is the automated video processor:




#2 is an intended horror project where I wanted to see how far Reaper can go. I wanted to make this Apollo 11 tribute video for ages but various consumer grade video editors died instantly right even during video import and were unable to handle the chunky 50GB source material of different video formats, lo-res material mixed with HD, different FPS, PAL / NTSC timing, interlaced video files, old problematic videos. Real suckful plan, everything in the pot. On top, there is heavy load on the video processor for fading, filtering, re-positioning and fixing an ample of issues.



Hours of editing+fixing+exporting: approx. 3/project
Freezing: zero
Export Glitches: zero


The only advice I'd like to add to fellow video beginners like me: if your destination is Youtube, the best is to export into its most desired parameters. For a quick run-through:

- MP4 / MOV container (no further work is needed)
- AAC audio, 48/96KHz (highest bitrate as it decimates quality quite effectively)
- H.264 codec (100%. Or higher )

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en


First I suspected that for the best result I should max everything, use my most fav video container, export uncompressed .wav for audio etc etc. Well, wrong. Youtube made some terrible online streaming conversions, both audio and video (frame skipping, out-of-sync, desolated audio, false resolution detection etc). I don't recommend it. Use the parameters above and the output won't be different from the input.

(much)

For a final thought: despite its virtues and stability, don't suspect movie-grade smoothness from the video processor. It is a little rough around the edges and at the 5,1 Reaper version it is pretty basic yet - some more user presets and a little better interface would be welcome as not all of us audio guys are coders - but it functions pretty fine. And really really fast as the workflow is the same as with an audio project and Reaper's efficiency is still second to none.

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Old 02-07-2016, 03:52 AM   #8
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Just listened to your first song.

Verdict: awesome !

I'm gonna listen to the others.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:37 AM   #9
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Hey thanks, I'm glad that you like it.
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:02 PM   #10
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It's been a while. Job, college and touring doesn't help hobby video projects during the school season. But now, it's summer break.



It was a simple and smooth video session with trouble-free editing, processing and exporting. I was sure that this DAW won't have any problem with this pack of good source files (this time I used three Nokia 808 Pureview mobile phones, not the Q2HD), especially after it passed my previous Moon landing video extreme crash test horror session a couple of months ago.

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Old 07-04-2016, 11:39 AM   #11
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Missed this the first time through.

I've been playing with a Zoom Q2HD as well - wonderful results for the $100 it cost. At the time I was recording my son's jazz combos and I found a few workarounds that may help some folks.

The best thing I stumbled on was using an external battery to power the recorder - simply plugged into the usb port and got up to 4 hours with everything maxed out.

Using a 32 gb SD card I found out there is a 4 gb file size limit in fat32; just have to stop recording and start again to make a new file ... 4 Gb is about 30 minutes of recording.

I never zoomed the zoom since the video quality suffered. Instead, I chose the best recording seat I could find, used a camera tripod and never touched anything while recording since the mics were sensitive.

I'd been using Shotcut for editing video ... first stripping out the audio and messing with it in Reaper and putting it back. When video editing came out in Reaper I tried it but I had learned how to do everything I wanted in Shotcut it wasn't the most satisfactory experience.

Your videos are showing me I should really revisit how I do things in Reaper... thanks!

Peter
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:56 PM   #12
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Thanks for the rechargeable USB battery idea! I'll be checking it.

The Q2HD is a pretty nice tool for the price, I'm quite happy with it. Not movie quality but what the hell, the simple music videos that I intend to shot just don't need to be that. It also does an amazing job on recording my live shows just for analysis. If someone said 10 years ago that this sound clarity will be possible with a compact recorder without using an external mic and the unit will be under $100, I would tell him that it will never happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kulich View Post
Your videos are showing me I should really revisit how I do things in Reaper... thanks!
I'm really glad if I could inspire you to check the video editing feature of Reaper. It was the purpose of this thread anyway.

For normal projects Shotcut is really nice I think. But some of the sessions above is anything but normal. For example, the Moon landing video was brewtal. It included a chunk of 50GB source files (over a hundred of files with different formats), 60 video tracks and heavy video processing through the whole session. That is the load range of some big business video editor system and the range of a short movie and Reaper handled it with ease, without any sweat.

I'm not saying I could not imagine more precise colour, brightness/contrast and filter tools and better interface for the video processor but it's still super great for what it is as everything works fine, stable and functional.

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Old 07-08-2016, 05:12 PM   #13
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Instead of some big plan, now I was curious of what I can do in a couple of minutes in video edit mode.






There is a slight frame skipping but now it's intentional. The session uses a mismatched frame offset synch as proper synch ended up to be too sterile somehow, like an old TV show. I wanted something that feels a little older and more rough on the edges.

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Old 08-01-2016, 04:15 PM   #14
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I had a tricky project lately. A fellow of mine playing in my old underground rock band popped up the idea of doing something with the old videos (10-15 years old, low budget). With that band, we did not care much about youtube presence. These were uploaded to Youtube many years ago by different guys we don't even know. All the videos were kind of trashy, uploaded by fans: bad video and low sound quality most of the time, recorded from TV or I don't know. The high resolution source materials are not available anymore, all I had some rather low resolution (640x480 the most, some even lower and some higher) video files provided by my friend from his archive CDs (yes it was that long ago). He said the goal is having a collection of these videos on the official site with good sound quality and he doesn't mind the video content at all.

Well, I stripped the videos down to the core, trying to fix / compensate the huge amount of issues that were included even in the sources, too. I know it's sort of butchery as I'm not a video pro but you can't imagine the low visual quality of the source material. I just couldn't leave them that way.

So, after some gentle video processing, re-editing, re-synching, resizing and re-re-re-re-whatsoever-needed, they look like that:









They still won't win a beauty contest at all but considering the low grade source material I guess no one wins a beauty contest after waking up from the dead. They sound okay at least.

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Old 09-28-2016, 03:02 PM   #15
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Lately (a month ago or so) I finished an old plan that is a kind of of short tribute video to an old '80s sci-fi cartoon movie:



I used Reaper 5.22 for complete processing and editing. From start to end it needed about 2.5 hours.

Issues: zero.

That was fun.
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:25 AM   #16
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Lately, I learned some things that may be useful to some while I made some really simple chiptune tracker demo videos like these ones:





The videocard needed to be changed as an another machine needed the previous ASUS GT730 card, now my main machine has a Sapphire Radeon HD5450 as a quick solution. Both are budget GPUs with just a little price difference (around $10-15 I guess). I do audio most of the time and video just for fun so I never pushed the price tag of the video cards in my audio machines above $50.

The RAM: 1GB DDR3 both, it clocks faster in the Radeon. The GPU clocks around 900MHz in the GT730 and around 650MHz in the Radeon. Both have passive cooling, I prefer them noiseless. Even if the Radeon is slower, for gaming (they are not around the top just work) and everyday use (why go higher for audio projects, really?) the difference is smaller than you'd think. On the paper its performance and the amount of video RAM should take any video project I do up to 1080p with ease in the same computer (Asus M5A91evo2 MB, FX-6300 CPU, 8GB Corsair RAM, SSD OS, WD VelociRaptor workdisk).

Well, it doesn't. It works but it struggles much during video editing, from playback response to latency (that is quite an issue when zooming in a 50FPS project to the frame). I can get in-synch playback only when the project is completely zoomed out. I never had this phenomenon with the GT730, it had instant response whatever I threw at it. I made a quick research and found that the more advanced multicore technology of the GT730 is decisive in the case of audio / video editing applications.

Simple budget video cards can do video job just fine, these days you don't need anything arbitery to function well. It is just useful to pop the hood before buying a new card or if you're having issues with your present one during editing. Slight price difference can mean huge technology advantages.

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Old 07-09-2017, 06:24 AM   #17
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I had to postpone my video adventures due to college. During the summer I'm about creating some band videos.

After installing Reaper 5.4 around early April I noticed frame drops in the exported test video files that never happened before, only when I intentionally mismatched the output frame rate from the source material. Something causes frame synchron problems there. The source material that I usually have 25FPS PAL or 30FPS (some are exactly 30 and some are 29,97 NTSC, depending on camera) and even with old videos that worked fine before, the exported file became laggy.

I'm absolutely not sure if the reason behind this issue is Reaper or the machine where some components became upgraded. FFMPEG library was updated, too. I haven't tried re-installing older library or an earlier version of Reaper, or putting back the old Asus video card that I was using with no issues.

Still, I found some sort of workaround solution. I edit the actual video with the source frame rate setting (the video playback inside Reaper works fine and completely in frame synch) and export it with double frame rate: 25FPS source as 50FPS output, 30FPS as 60FPS output. That way all the stuck scenes, lags and frame drops disappear. As long as your target is Youtube it is not an issue as it accepts high frame rates just fine.

This tutorial video was a lagfest initially. After 50FPS export it works fine:


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Old 08-19-2017, 06:50 PM   #18
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A coupe of weeks ago I finished an another horror project that was acutally rejected by a pro film / video guy:



This simple band video is based on a concept that all the different actors should shoot their short takes with their mobile phones or small cams, to create a community site-ish feel. 30FPS 1080p MP4 landscape videos were requested from everyone. 170 short videos were received.

As it happened, the files were some mess beyond imagination, from 4K 30 FPS movie-grade to 320x200 15FPS portrait and video formats that I've never even heard of. The source of the mess is that many phones just have a HD video option without settings but HD is a really loose term as it turned out.

Format conversion did not really work due to the heavy quality loss. Also, the expensive video editing software system the film guy who was originally assigned to the job failed to read the sources.

Guess what, Reaper ate up 95% of the videos, only a couple of the files needed to be transformed to an another format. From start to finish it required 2 days of production: all the overlay creating, testing, syncing, automation, whatever. It was very important to complete this one as soon as possible as the project had a really tight deadline, a couple of days only.

The only issue was the same frame drops in the exported videos that I noticed around Reaper 5.4. For example, a 25FPS source material after 25FPS rendering becomes rather laggy.

I am not sure at all that the DAW is the source of the problem. I have no idea what is as old video projects that worked fine before export laggy files now'days.

The same solution worked here as before: I export everything with double frame rate and all the frame drops disappear.

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Old 10-22-2017, 10:08 AM   #19
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Recently I tried to create something like the 50FPS pic-pan-zoom promo video for my previous chiptune-rock album, just meaner and shorter for the new one. This is the result:



This Reaper project was completely problem-free, I have nothing bad to report. Usually I have glitches during video playback in any session (even for 720p / 25FPS videos), automation FX skipping and the like. Not now. Everything was displayed perfectly in-sync.

I did not have to push the time as there was no deadline but as far as it goes, something like that is possible to complete under 30 minutes due to Reaper's fluent editing and automation capabilities.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:53 PM   #20
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An another high frame rate video with automation and some in-sync FX:



To provide smooth transitions the frame rate has been doubled here right in the base session so I have no idea about frame drops this time that seems to affect my 25 and 30 FPS Reaper 5 videos for some reason I don't know. So, it was a completely issue-free project where collecting and figuring out the sequence of clips / scenes was longer than actually editing it.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:03 AM   #21
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Long time no see. Various other projects scooped time off my Reaper video making hobby during the past year.

Connecting to the previous video, I made an example / sample session that you can load into Reaper and can see / test how the internals work.



See the download link below the video.

Okay it is here, too:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oK5...BnFnVdB-X/view
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