Old 09-11-2017, 06:54 PM   #1
wilson schulbus
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Default XR-18 Multitrack Input Setup Help

OK fellow users, I need some guidance please. Who is successfully using the XR18 with Reaper to record live shows? I have a job in a couple weeks that I want to multi-track record to mix and edit at home later. I have Reaper downloaded on both the mobile laptop and my home PC so I'm ready to go. I need some 1st grade level walk through on what to do with the Reaper program once I have it USB connected to the XR. I think I get the XR side USB routing, (but a little fuzzy on using 17-18 for the FX sends though). But, I was hoping it would be more plug and play than I think its going to be. What do I have to do once I open up the Reaper program on the recording laptop? Obviously create and save a new 'project' for each recorded set but do I have to create 16 or 18 new tracks in Reaper every time? Or will the program recognize the recognize the input as the 18 channels and do that automatically? Once I have this sorted I can move on to the next couple questions. I have a long way to go and a short time to get there...
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:49 PM   #2
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Who is successfully using the XR18 with Reaper to record live shows?
I do use an XR18 for recording with Reaper.

Works perfectly without any issues or needing any tricks. E.g. Recording 18 audio tracks and a Midi Track with just a single USB cable.

Regarding the Reaper setup, you can re-use a working project by saving it with another name and/or in another directory (this does not copy the recorded data: new audio files will be created in the new directory, by default), or (more "professional") creating a project template from it that holds all setting.

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Old 09-12-2017, 03:08 AM   #3
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I regularly record live multitrack via XR18 into Reaper using a core i5 laptop without issues so far. I did have a few clicks and pops at first with an old HP laptop but that was the laptop resources at fault - the newer laptop is fine.

I only record channels 1-16 (we use 17/18 for intermission music) and record DRY (which is the default for XR18 USB sends) to 48KHz/24bit FLAC files. You can change the tap points for the USB sends if you want wet recordings.

I have (or create in advance) XR18 scenes/snapshots for each band plus a Reaper project template and life is simple.

Adjust the XR18 channel gains to peak around -15dB (this is standard gain staging practice, not just for recording) and set your Reaper XR18 ASIO buffer to 2048 for 'safe' recording.
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mschnell View Post
I do use an XR18 for recording with Reaper.

Works perfectly without any issues or needing any tricks. E.g. Recording 18 audio tracks and a Midi Track with just a single USB cable.

Regarding the Reaper setup, you can re-use a working project by saving it with another name and/or in another directory (this does not copy the recorded data: new audio files will be created in the new directory, by default), or (more "professional") creating a project template from it that holds all setting.

-Michael
So, if I am understanding correctly, I have to set up a 16 track template first. That means creating a new project and individually generating the 16 tracks? This will not happen automatically via the XR USB connection where the Reaper program recognizes it as a multitrack format input?
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:45 AM   #5
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I regularly record live multitrack via XR18 into Reaper using a core i5 laptop without issues so far. I did have a few clicks and pops at first with an old HP laptop but that was the laptop resources at fault - the newer laptop is fine.

I only record channels 1-16 (we use 17/18 for intermission music) and record DRY (which is the default for XR18 USB sends) to 48KHz/24bit FLAC files. You can change the tap points for the USB sends if you want wet recordings.

I have (or create in advance) XR18 scenes/snapshots for each band plus a Reaper project template and life is simple.

Adjust the XR18 channel gains to peak around -15dB (this is standard gain staging practice, not just for recording) and set your Reaper XR18 ASIO buffer to 2048 for 'safe' recording.
I won't be changing any of the routing defaults unless I am told I need to. Is the FLAC file and option in the Reaper or XR setup? Where does one find the ASIO buffer and do you leave it set that way all the time, recording or not?

Is there anything special you do with the recorded project files before moving them to another device? Do you do that with a USB drive? And, what's an estimated or average file size for say an hours set of recorded live music? I know that will change with the amount of input programming but I am just curious if I am looking at 1GB, 5GB, 10GB, more, etc. to insure I have sufficient hard drive space available on this older XP machine to record at least the full set. I can move that off to a secondary storage card between sets as needed to free up hard disk space for the next set.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:15 AM   #6
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I won't be changing any of the routing defaults unless I am told I need to. Is the FLAC file and option in the Reaper or XR setup?
Set FLAC in Reaper Project Settings

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Where does one find the ASIO buffer and do you leave it set that way all the time, recording or not?
Install the latest XR18 ASIO driver and set as your input choice in Reaper, Preferences, Audio, Device and then you can set the ASIO buffer size in the ASIO Configuration button on the same screen. I leave it at 2048 as I only record to the XR18, never playback from it (not quite true) as I copy recorded projects to my main studio PC which uses a low latency RME audio interface.

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Is there anything special you do with the recorded project files before moving them to another device? Do you do that with a USB drive?
Before the gig, I create the Reaper project, specify and audio subfolder AND SAVE IT immediately. This ensures that the recorded audio files will be stored in the project folder. It also means that you can Save the project as many times as you like during the recording, without disturbing it. At the end, I copy the project folder to at least one, sometimes two, fast USB sticks then load them onto the studio drives later

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And, what's an estimated or average file size for say an hours set of recorded live music? I know that will change with the amount of input programming but I am just curious if I am looking at 1GB, 5GB, 10GB, more, etc. to insure I have sufficient hard drive space available on this older XP machine to record at least the full set. I can move that off to a secondary storage card between sets as needed to free up hard disk space for the next set.
Recording all 16 channels at 48Khz/24bit FLAC for an hour is about 4GB, double that for WAV. The last project I did was 16 channels, 3 hours (12GB)
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:22 AM   #7
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This will not happen automatically via the XR USB connection where the Reaper program recognizes it as a multitrack format input?
Nope. You need to add e.g. 16 tracks and connect each of them to an audio channel, and supposedly name them accordingly. Then save as a project template to easily reuse this configuration.

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Old 09-12-2017, 07:19 PM   #8
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This is exactly the type of thing I was looking for, thank you both for taking the time. I'll do some testing over the next few days and I am sure I'll have a few more questions from those efforts. Steep front-side learning curve for me.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:42 AM   #9
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This is exactly the type of thing I was looking for, thank you both for taking the time. I'll do some testing over the next few days and I am sure I'll have a few more questions from those efforts. Steep front-side learning curve for me.
You're welcome
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:52 PM   #10
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Set FLAC in Reaper Project Settings
I meant to ask, why FLAC?
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:04 PM   #11
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I meant to ask, why FLAC?
Purely because it's a lossless format requiring half the storage of WAV. TBH, with disk space as fast and cheap as is it now, it's not really necessary. Bit quicker for backups :-)
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:40 PM   #12
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Purely because it's a lossless format requiring half the storage of WAV. TBH, with disk space as fast and cheap as is it now, it's not really necessary. Bit quicker for backups :-)
Perfectly sensible. And, after doing a quick search I see it's value. Happy to try. Thank you.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:47 PM   #13
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Well. First couple hour in and getting nowhere. The XP Dell Mini laptop I'm hoping to use is not seeing the XR18 as a device yet. It did its new device thing when first plugged in but that's all the action I've seen. I'm assuming I need to install a driver of some sort but the one I downloaded from the Behringer site and moved via a thumb drive is apparently incompatible. When trying from the XP device I am not finding a driver or pages are blocked for some reason, assuming a default security setting I've not yet located. Not enjoying work on that particular machine right now... Thinking replacement or using another device that I already own. Like my 12.9" iPad Pro!

Does anyone know if a project captured on an Apple product, like said Ipad Pro for instance, is compatible if transferred to a Win 10 desktop to edit and work on?
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:31 PM   #14
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Does anyone know if a project captured on an Apple product, like said Ipad Pro for instance, is compatible if transferred to a Win 10 desktop to edit and work on?
WAV files of multitrack are supported by the Windows version of Reaper just like the Mac version. Apple is still disabling FLAC support to push their Apple Lossless version of the same thing (ALAC). If you record to ALAC files you might have to convert them to FLAC or WAV for Reaper which still doesn't recognize ALAC files. (In protest?)
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:09 PM   #15
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You do need drivers indeed, and I'm afraid they're not available for XP. Maybe you can install windows 7 on the Dell laptop, or find a cheap used one with windows 7 already installed. I'm using a W7 Dell laptop every week together with the XR18 to multitrack our bandrehearsals. No problems at all.

For recording to your iPad you could use Auria. It will record multitrack straight out of the XR18 and export Reaper compatible files according to this thread: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=183592

Good Luck!
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:48 PM   #16
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Apple is still disabling FLAC support to push their Apple Lossless version of the same thing (ALAC). If you record to ALAC files you might have to convert them to FLAC or WAV for Reaper which still doesn't recognize ALAC files. (In protest?)
Apple has FLAC support in High Sierra. Hallelujah! They have seen the light
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:07 PM   #17
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You do need drivers indeed, and I'm afraid they're not available for XP. Maybe you can install windows 7 on the Dell laptop, or find a cheap used one with windows 7 already installed. I'm using a W7 Dell laptop every week together with the XR18 to multitrack our bandrehearsals. No problems at all.

For recording to your iPad you could use Auria. It will record multitrack straight out of the XR18 and export Reaper compatible files according to this thread: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=183592

Good Luck!
Interesting that WIN 7 is supported but not newer and probably more widely used, XP. But it is what it is. What driver is available for WIN 7? But, I think before I go backwards to WIN 7 I'd just find some relatively inexpensive WIN 10 laptop, 2-in-1 or some such thing. I could find a couple applications for such a tool so at least in my head I can justify it. Lord knows I need yet another device...
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:24 PM   #18
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Are we talking about the same XP here? Going backwards from XP to Win 7?? In my opinion you're going forwards :-)
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:25 PM   #19
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Apple has FLAC support in High Sierra. Hallelujah! They have seen the light
Wow, the stubbornness finally breaks! Only after 15 years or so of failing to start selling lossless music in ALAC in their Itunes store...

Progress!
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:40 PM   #20
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Are we talking about the same XP here? Going backwards from XP to Win 7?? In my opinion you're going forwards :-)
HA! I understand the sentiment. I guess I was thinking chronologically. And I grew to like XP I guess. I see some units out there with 8.1 as well
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:06 PM   #21
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Does apple support wavepack then? I settled on that as a lossless format many years ago, as it was free while flac was still encumbered.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:00 AM   #22
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HA! I understand the sentiment. I guess I was thinking chronologically. And I grew to like XP I guess. I see some units out there with 8.1 as well
Haha!! Yeah I still like XP also, but you have to let her go! 😉
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:43 PM   #23
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Happy day! I picked up a like new Acer 2-in-1/convertible tablet/laptop running WIN 10 today from a nice old couple on Craigslist. Downloaded the necessary bits like Reaper, X-Air and the XR18 ASIO driver and in my first attempt to set up a new 18 channel record master project I had input! Looks like it was recording whatever signal I sent in as well. The recording monitor section did not look like that which I have seen in the tutorial videos but I'll sort that out soon. I'll go back and make sure all rates match across all platforms. and play some more as the week progresses. But it's a big step forward in hitting my goal to record this Saturday night's show.
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Old Yesterday, 07:21 AM   #24
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But it's a big step forward in hitting my goal to record this Saturday night's show.
When you set up at the show, adjust each channel's gain so it is peaking about -18dBfs (just going into the yellow on the gain meters) at typical performance volume. This will leave plenty of headroom for the live mix but will also deliver a safe volume into the DAW, again with some headroom.

Don't make the rookie mistake I did on my first gig/live recording with the XR18 and have the XR18 gains too hot... The DAW recorded tracks for the first half were just about OK but in the second half, where the backline always "mysteriously" gets louder, there was lots of gain clipping on the resultant DAW tracks which made them unusable
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Old Yesterday, 08:14 AM   #25
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Those must have been clipped pretty hard to be "unusable"! You weren't hearing that at the show?

It sucks to be an idiot but I have to admit to bringing home singed tracks a few times that I just didn't hear during the live mix. Nothing that crossed the line into unusable though. Try iZotope clip restoration. This has saved the day a few times.
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Old Yesterday, 10:00 AM   #26
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Those must have been clipped pretty hard to be "unusable"! You weren't hearing that at the show?

It sucks to be an idiot but I have to admit to bringing home singed tracks a few times that I just didn't hear during the live mix. Nothing that crossed the line into unusable though. Try iZotope clip restoration. This has saved the day a few times.
It was because the tap point to the DAW is directly after the pre-amp (pre-fader, pre-EQ, pre-everything!) and the gain was HOT. For the FOH sound, of course, everything was post-FX/Fader so got away with it. Mind you the monitor mix must have been shit :-)

Anyway, lesson learned and every recording fine, with plenty of headroom, since then
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