Old 01-10-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
Primitivity
Human being with feelings
 
Primitivity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 51
Default What are we automating?

I just finished reading the manual for 4.14, took me about a month to get through the whole thing.

One thing that the manual doesn't talk about so much is real world applications of the automation. It tends to give one example and then say "the possibilities are endless."

I'm mixing cello metal (like Apocalyptica) Basically it's like your typical metal song, except played by cellos with the lead cello doing the 'vocal' part.

Ducking was a nice technique that "squeezes" the instrumental parts for the melody/vocal line to sit above the instruments.

What else can one 'automate' to improve a mix? Are there other ducking/automating techniques that can be applied to your typical drums/guitar/bass/vocal mix?

I know there are a million possiblities; give me a few more, spelled out so i can try them in my mix.

Thanks in advance.

Loren
Primitivity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
Jedi
Human being with feelings
 
Jedi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,598
Default

Think of any automation in REAPER as "recording the turning
of knobs that I don't have to do by hand later".

In other words, you can automate ANYTHING that has a knob
in REAPER. I'm no big advanced user, but here's some of
the things I automate:

1. Volume levels of the various tracks over the course of the song
2. EQ changes at certain parts
3. Effects (reverb, etc.) changes ate certain points
4. Guitar effect changes (PodFarm, Gearbox, VST, etc.)
5. Drum "intensity" changes in EZ Drummer
6. Pan control changes
7. Mutes at certain points on a track

On and on and on.... if you "record" these automations,
it makes it so that every time you open the project to work
on it, subtle little changes you made before will "play back"
(like a boost in reverb, or a change in EQ) without you
having to cause them with your mouse or control surface if
you use one.

"real world" examples - say you wanted to add a flanger to
a guitar point in a track that you didn't track initially.
You'd use a flanger VST and then using the "write automation"
dialog, point to the "knobs" in the VST and make the flange
changes "on the fly" while listening to the track. This
would then record those changes so that when you change the
automation dialog back to "read" mode will play them back - in
other words, a virtual mouse will turn the flange knob just
the way you did while listening.

Does that make sense? Think of it as a "recording system
for ACTIONS in a project"

Jedi
__________________
I'm simply no longer here

Last edited by Jedi; 01-10-2012 at 09:05 PM.
Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
cricket
Human being with feelings
 
cricket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 600
Default

Everything can and often gets automated, man.

All it is, is you open a little lane for say, the VOLUME - then you draw a little line for places the volume needs to either come up or go down etc.

Same thing for big reverb hits or delay hits - you simply open an automation lane and draw a line however you want the thing to behave.

Want a part of the song that the guitar ping pongs from left to right? Open a Pan Automation lane and go nuts.

Is there a part in the song where the drums do a rol and youd like it to go from left to right? Automation lane.

Super ez
cricket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
Primitivity
Human being with feelings
 
Primitivity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
Think of any automation in REAPER as "recording the turning
of knobs that I don't have to do by hand later".

In other words, you can automate ANYTHING that has a knob
in REAPER. I'm no big advanced user, but here's some of
the things I automate:

1. Volume levels of the various tracks over the course of the song
2. EQ changes at certain parts
3. Effects (reverb, etc.) changes ate certain points
4. Guitar effect changes
5. Drum "intensity" changes in EZ Drummer
6. Pan control changes

On and on and on.... if you "record" these automations,
it makes it so that every time you open the project to work
on it, subtle little changes you made before will "play back"
(like a boost in reverb, or a change in EQ) without you
having to cause them with your mouse or control surface if
you use one.

Does that make sense? Think of it as a "recording system
for ACTIONS in a project"

Jedi
Thank you. I understand what it does, I just wanted to know some specific examples, really anything, to help clarify the "infinite" possibilities the manual keeps reminding me about.

For example, is there a special technique for double tracked distorted guitar as it interacts with say, the ezdrummer kit? Or perhaps as it interacts with the bass? What are some of the "tricks" of automation that go into 90% of your mixes by default? I guess there's no wrong answer to the question, I'm just interested in what others do.
Primitivity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 09:05 PM   #5
nicholas
Moderator
 
nicholas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Van Diemen's Land
Posts: 9,163
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Primitivity View Post
I just finished reading the manual for 4.14, took me about a month to get through the whole thing.

One thing that the manual doesn't talk about so much is real world applications of the automation. It tends to give one example and then say "the possibilities are endless."
... and indeed they are! It's your chance to be creative!

Rule of thumb: apply automation to any track or FX parameter whose value you might wish to change at some time during a song. As much as anything, this depends on the style of music.

Examples:

Pan an instrument closer to the center for a lead break then back again after.

Got a duet? use envelopes to pan the voices further apart for harmonies, more central for solos.

Want to make an instrument more present or warm for part of a song? Automate gain on EQ at selected frequencies.

Want a slow, long, haunting, sustained fade on an instrument? Automate delay parameters.

Now it's your turn!

What you're asking for, I think, isn't help with automation as such (which is the function of the User Guide) but with the creative issues of arrangement and production ... which takes us into different territory altogether! Perfectly valid questions to ask of course, but beyond the scope of a guide which focusses more on "how to" rather than on "when and why."
__________________
Learning Manuals and Reaper Books
REAPER Unleashed - ReaMix - REAPER User Guide
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/glazfolk

Last edited by nicholas; 01-10-2012 at 09:45 PM.
nicholas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 10:01 PM   #6
tls11823
Human being with feelings
 
tls11823's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Harrisburg, PA USA
Posts: 1,408
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholas View Post
What you're asking for, I think, isn't help with automation as such (which is the function of the User Guide) but with the creative issues of arrangement and production ... which takes us into different territory altogether! Perfectly valid questions to ask of course, but beyond the scope of a guide which focusses more on "how to" rather than on "when and why."
Do you mean something like ReaMix: Breaking the Barriers with Reaper? I agree - it's a tremendous resource for helping to learn better ways to use the tools at your disposal.

There you go, Geoff - you set 'em up and I tap 'em in.

Seriously, though, it is a great book for taking you past the technical "what" of Reaper. I highly recommend it. I've been through it twice and learned some great stuff each time. Some day I'll go through it again, and I'm sure I'll have a few more AHA moments.
__________________
We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
--Charles Kingsley... or maybe Albert Einstein... definitely somebody wiser than myself--
tls11823 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 10:31 PM   #7
airon
Human being with feelings
 
airon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Berlin
Posts: 10,441
Default

A good tutorial that includes use of autoamtion is Kenny Goias "Mixing Rock" on Groove3.com . Check out the free video and see for yourself.

If you have no idea what automation can do for you, then training is a good thing to get.
__________________
Dialogue/FX Editor & Re-Recording Mixer
(Video)Using Latch Preview
"My ego comes pre-shrunk" - Randy Thom
airon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2012, 11:46 PM   #8
Fex
Human being with feelings
 
Fex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Posts: 3,370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Primitivity View Post
I'm mixing cello metal (like Apocalyptica) Basically it's like your typical metal song, except played by cellos with the lead cello doing the 'vocal' part.
I'd love to hear some. I like Apocalyptica a lot more than I ever liked Metallica.

It can be quite fun, if a bit laborious, to find two presets on a synth, note the settings of every parameter in Reapers generic User Interface, and then automate the lot so that one slowly morphs into the other. You might want to try something like that with distortion settings, for example.

Another thing you might want to try is applying some really extreme modulation to a familiar sound, turning it into something utterly bizarre, and then use the automation to slowly back off the modulation parameters, so the listener has the experience of a twisted, distorted thing, presumed to be a synth patch, slowly revealing itself to be, for example, a cello.

There's an effect used in some prog rock where a note is sung, held, and gradually morphs into a guitar. It's kinda neat, and obviously a lot easier to do with a vocoder, and automation.
Fex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2012, 01:04 AM   #9
mixer
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 409
Default

Thanks for the above explanations and examples. Quite helpful.
mixer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2012, 02:11 AM   #10
digitalskyfire
Human being with feelings
 
digitalskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixer View Post
Thanks for the above explanations and examples. Quite helpful.
__________________
My band:www.sinfinis.com
Here's the forum thread where you tell me that we rock/suck: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?p=1260425
digitalskyfire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2012, 03:04 PM   #11
Primitivity
Human being with feelings
 
Primitivity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tls11823 View Post
Do you mean something like ReaMix: Breaking the Barriers with Reaper? I agree - it's a tremendous resource for helping to learn better ways to use the tools at your disposal.

There you go, Geoff - you set 'em up and I tap 'em in.

Seriously, though, it is a great book for taking you past the technical "what" of Reaper. I highly recommend it. I've been through it twice and learned some great stuff each time. Some day I'll go through it again, and I'm sure I'll have a few more AHA moments.
Cool I think I'll grab it, looks like I have some more reading to do.
Primitivity is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.