Old 03-13-2017, 08:33 AM   #41
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1) I understand sending .rpp project file, but what are "reverb impulses"?
Impulse Responces (IR) are processed audio files that can be used in ReaVerb and can sound quite good. They are primarily used to simulate reverb, but there are also IR files for other things, like guitar cabinets.

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2) The JSFX plugins that are included in reaper are ok to use? But I should also send the actual plugin in a subfolder with the project file? Or is this ONLY if they are "custom" ones. I havent customized anything, other than saving some custom presets, but the stock plugs are as-is.. So does this not apply to me? Sorry if it's a dumb question.
Most of the JS plugins come with Reaper, but there are a few are created by some individual(s), and they need to be included with your projects submission.

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3) I went to the url to hear submissions and there's nothing there, is it simply because none have submitted any yet?
Yes, the individual mp3s will not be posted until voting starts.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:07 AM   #42
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I simply moved down (or up, I don't remember) the fader
Definitely down. Iguess you re-rendered into flac after? That's interesting because it seemed to me like there was something a bit different sounding about it that I didn't get over here.

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Old 03-13-2017, 11:00 AM   #43
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Well that was fun for a couple minutes... There's really almost nothing to do with the instruments, but the vocalist is not as good as the rest of the band (which isn't really saying all that much). I was hoping this would be a break from the tedious editing work that I'm doing on this other project, but it's going to take too much work to hack together anything useful from these two tracks. She tends to fail in the same place on both takes... Maybe I'll come back in a bit. Maybe I'll just ruin it.

Anyway, I wonder about the "mastering" instructions up there. If you peak limit first and then normalize for loudness, it is at least possible that the peaks will end up going over the original limit, no? Like, if I've got an 18db crest factor after the limiter, the LUFS normalizer is going to push it up 4.2db, and my peaks are going to hit +4. Am I missing something here?
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:13 AM   #44
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Am I missing something here?
Not sure how it would matter, if you use something like YouLean or Orban which accounts for ISP's you can't go over (and not know about it which means you can correct for it). At least I don't remember ever having any issues during the few contests I have participated in; other than my initial self study of LUFs which took a good afternoon of reading before it all sunk in.
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:11 PM   #45
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Anyway, I wonder about the "mastering" instructions up there. If you peak limit first and then normalize for loudness, it is at least possible that the peaks will end up going over the original limit, no? Like, if I've got an 18db crest factor after the limiter, the LUFS normalizer is going to push it up 4.2db, and my peaks are going to hit +4. Am I missing something here?
Do not pay too much attention at the normalization thing, I wrote ALTERNATIVELY. Anyway, if you prefer normalizing it, then don't lower the threshold on your limiter.
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:17 PM   #46
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There's really almost nothing to do with the instruments, but the vocalist is not as good as the rest of the band (which isn't really saying all that much).
Humm, I don't think her vocal is that bad, I think her performance is pretty good. I did find a few things with her first track so I'm using the second one. For this style, I think she nailed it.

As far as the horns go, there's some pretty glaring "out of tune places", especially the Bone.

I think this was all recorded in the same room and was done with one take. They might have done several takes but then settled on one. At any rate, there is a lot of Bleeeeed.
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Old 03-13-2017, 01:04 PM   #47
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Yeah I like the song too! But I've completely thrown away the "scratch" vocals

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Old 03-13-2017, 01:49 PM   #48
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Well that was fun for a couple minutes... There's really almost nothing to do with the instruments, but the vocalist is not as good as the rest of the band (which isn't really saying all that much). I was hoping this would be a break from the tedious editing work that I'm doing on this other project, but it's going to take too much work to hack together anything useful from these two tracks. She tends to fail in the same place on both takes... Maybe I'll come back in a bit. Maybe I'll just ruin it.

Anyway, I wonder about the "mastering" instructions up there. If you peak limit first and then normalize for loudness, it is at least possible that the peaks will end up going over the original limit, no? Like, if I've got an 18db crest factor after the limiter, the LUFS normalizer is going to push it up 4.2db, and my peaks are going to hit +4. Am I missing something here?
I totally gave up on her vocals aside from one spot. It's a weird spot where the mic picks up something somehow differently. Other than that, I just.. scratched the scratch track. The others mess up as well, and we can't re-track it, so I'm leaving it all cringy-like. I'm not going to spend forever trying to get it all on pitch, screw that. The first part is the most brutal I find, where it's just her and the rhythm section.

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I think this was all recorded in the same room and was done with one take. They might have done several takes but then settled on one. At any rate, there is a lot of Bleeeeed.
Ya, I've never tried mixing anything with so much bleed before. What's annoying, is that you can't really remove a mistake with all that bleed, because you'll still hear it through the other instruments and all that.
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:58 PM   #49
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Impulse Responces (IR) are processed audio files that can be used in ReaVerb and can sound quite good. They are primarily used to simulate reverb, but there are also IR files for other things, like guitar cabinets.



Most of the JS plugins come with Reaper, but there are a few are created by some individual(s), and they need to be included with your projects submission.



Yes, the individual mp3s will not be posted until voting starts.
Thanks Tod!! Once more question, regarding "glued" files.. Does this apply to an instance where I took a bass note and copied it and pasted it where another bass-note was lacking...Right around 37.1.97 for instance.. And another spot. I hope I didn't compromise my submission. I also did it in one spot with one of the vox tracks where she was off beat a tad.. please advise. thanks.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:22 PM   #50
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Thanks Tod!! Once more question, regarding "glued" files.. Does this apply to an instance where I took a bass note and copied it and pasted it where another bass-note was lacking...Right around 37.1.97 for instance.. And another spot. I hope I didn't compromise my submission. I also did it in one spot with one of the vox tracks where she was off beat a tad.. please advise. thanks.
As long as you don't glue it, it won't matter.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:27 PM   #51
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But I've completely thrown away the "scratch" vocals
Yeah, that's the one.

I finally had some time to get into this today and I think I've about got it. A couple of hours with the high energy of this song, blows what little's left of my hearing right out the door.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:44 PM   #52
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Yeah Tod I think the file was renamed "scratch" for some reason

By the way, from next month -13 LUFS (YouTube Standard) and -1 dB for the limiter ceiling. Sounds good?
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:19 PM   #53
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Maybe I've listen to the song to many times, but I DON'T TRUST HER!!!

- "I've given up on flirting". Pffff... O_o

Her flirting is under control only because she loves him "much too much". What will happen when she starts loving him just a little bit less than too much?

That's right!

Her obsessive love disorder/obsession makes her high risk and I suspect this flirting thing is a coping mechanism for a lack of self-esteem.

She's aware that she loves him "much to much"; she knows.

Oh yeah, we all know!
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:25 PM   #54
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Default Loudness Extension

So I just submitted my mix, and I must say, the loudness extension posted to 'normalize' to -14 really made my mix sound "flabby". I decided to forego it, as the difference in loudness when A/B-ing was indiscernible.. But what was readily recognizable to me, was my low-end losing punch, and an overall flabby unglued sound to the whole thing. Am I crazy? Am I hearing things?
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:43 PM   #55
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Actually like the technical specs of the contest, whatever they are. Seems like part of the point is that if the delivery format calls for -.2 peaks and 14 LUFS, the goal is to make the mix work for that (or whatever else), no matter what the material.

Found that hard in the Dec contest, as it felt more natural to have that one around 18 LUFS, but getting it to 14 LUFS was a good part of the challenge and the fun. I'm not at all sure what normalizing could have to do with this kind of requirement or how it could help.

The conventional wisdom that mixing with plenty of headroom and then bringing it up to specs (with a limiter or comp or combination or whatever) seems easy and efficient and also shows you where you've botched the mix. This part has nothing to do with the pitch of the tracks, though one could of course try to correct "off" notes, but that's a totally different story, one that (for me at least) probably involves getting a better take and whatever it takes to get there.

I wasn't particularly bothered by the pitch stuff, as a mixer (because again, get another take), but I'm probably much more interested in rhythm, which worked for me here
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:10 PM   #56
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Gotta love that Kick Drum!!!

Well, if you like the sound of someone beating the dust out from a dirty carpet with a broom stick.

No bleed in that microphone... No sir, not one bit.

I almost hit the DELETE TRACK button a few times. Still considering it...
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:08 AM   #57
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I almost hit the DELETE TRACK button a few times. Still considering it...
Haha be careful, you can't use samples
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:39 AM   #58
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I personally muted all of the close brass tracks and was overall just leaning on the room mic for most of the mix.

The vox of course have no bleed whatsoever, and that to me really is the biggest challenge: finding a way to make that dry in-your-face vocal fit into the same space as the rest of the group. I thought about maybe trying to deconvolve the room track to get an impulse. There's stick clicks at the beginning that would be good for that, except they're a little too close together and there's a dude counting...

I didn't really have a problem with her pitch. I question some of her note choices and phrasing, but for the most part she gets close enough to the notes she's trying to sing for my ears. But it's pretty obvious that she has to reach pretty hard to hit those higher notes - especially when she sings "love him", so she drops her intensity at those points and is almost whispering. Overall, she lacks confidence and attitude, and it's just not good. If it was good, it wouldn't stick out so much for being dry, but it's so not good that verbing it up won't help.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:43 AM   #59
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So I just submitted my mix, and I must say, the loudness extension posted to 'normalize' to -14 really made my mix sound "flabby". I decided to forego it, as the difference in loudness when A/B-ing was indiscernible.. But what was readily recognizable to me, was my low-end losing punch, and an overall flabby unglued sound to the whole thing. Am I crazy? Am I hearing things?
Are you're actually normalizing your mix? If you are, there is a better way. I explained in the post below how I do it. It requires the Orban Loudness Meter that Karbo introduced to us, back in November I think.

At any rate the Orban meter is free and has an analyzer that works great. I explain how I use it in this post.

http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php...&postcount=232
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:58 AM   #60
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By the way, from next month -13 LUFS (YouTube Standard) and -1 dB for the limiter ceiling. Sounds good?
-16 LUFS is a better target level, as advocated by Bob Katz and Ian Shepherd. Some of Katz's reasoning can be heard here, from 46:00: https://urm.academy/ep12-interview-w-bob-katz/ Although, I'm not completely comfortable with his explanation, but that's irrelevant.

Since this is a friendly competition, we can use whatever aims we want, so I'd stick to what tends to sound best.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:28 PM   #61
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-16 LUFS is a better target level, as advocated by Bob Katz and Ian Shepherd. Some of Katz's reasoning can be heard here, from 46:00: https://urm.academy/ep12-interview-w-bob-katz/ Although, I'm not completely comfortable with his explanation, but that's irrelevant.

Since this is a friendly competition, we can use whatever aims we want, so I'd stick to what tends to sound best.
Yeah it really doesn't matter in the end :/
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:27 PM   #62
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I like the idea of -13 LUFS. I find -14 is not really loud enough, not just in a "turn up your volume knob" kind of way, but in the way that multiple instruments sound nice and loud relative to each other. -14 is not too bad, but -13 I think will be a bit more to my liking. That's usually around where I think I would usually naturally put it, if I wasn't metering it.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:31 PM   #63
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Three quick questions, since this is my first contest:

1) when we vote do we get to see the Reaper projects, or only have the audio file?

2) Are the songs numbered randomly (blind) or do we see the name/nick of the person you mixed? *** Seems to me it would be best not to know, because we could be influenced/intimidated if we know that "someone good" (e.g. previous month winners) did the mixing, vis-a-vis, someone we know is rather new/amateur. Just saying... Why not take this out of the equation?

3) I'm done mixing and got Youlean Loudness Meter reading output and got:

-13.9 Integrated LUFS
- 2.7 True peak max.
(setting @ EBU R128)

I put JS - Event/Horizon Limiter/Clipper set at -0.2, with a threshold of -1.0. I won't get to exactly -0.2, and last time I messed around with a lowering part of a track to get the 0.01 LUFS down I got to -14.1 LUFS...

Any suggestions? Or is this good enough?

Thanks
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:34 AM   #64
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1) The projects will be accessible on the 31st of March, the day the results come out.

2) Exactly, it's a blind vote. The submissions are shuffled and named "ID: number".

3) Well, if the limiter is on the master track as the last plugin in the chain, it has to its job :/ But don't worry too much... as long as you limit your mix to -0.2 and you get more or less -14 LUFS you'll be fine.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:09 AM   #65
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Default Level hell

Can someone help me out here please?
I'm having real trouble getting the levels right in this track. Because of all the spill in the tracks, I'm pushing a few of them (mainly sax and trombone tracks) quite hard to get a decent level against the other tracks. This does result in a few points in the song popping into the red, but I'm not getting any audible clipping.
I've got JS Event Horizon limiters on these tracks set to around -2.5, with another on the master track set to -0.2, but when I run the song through, my master track meters are peaking at +1.5.
Then when I run a render (flac, 44.1/24) and put it through Orban, I'm getting -18.2 LKFS and a peak of +0.2 dBFS.
I clearly have a fundamental misunderstanding of limiters somehow - in my naivete I'd assumed that setting a limiter at -0.2 would prevent the song from overrunning that level. Wrong
Any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong? This is driving me batty!
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:10 AM   #66
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Can someone help me out here please?
I'm having real trouble getting the levels right in this track. Because of all the spill in the tracks, I'm pushing a few of them (mainly sax and trombone tracks) quite hard to get a decent level against the other tracks. This does result in a few points in the song popping into the red, but I'm not getting any audible clipping.
I've got JS Event Horizon limiters on these tracks set to around -2.5, with another on the master track set to -0.2, but when I run the song through, my master track meters are peaking at +1.5.
Then when I run a render (flac, 44.1/24) and put it through Orban, I'm getting -18.2 LKFS and a peak of +0.2 dBFS.
I clearly have a fundamental misunderstanding of limiters somehow - in my naivete I'd assumed that setting a limiter at -0.2 would prevent the song from overrunning that level. Wrong
Any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong? This is driving me batty!
Is the fader of those tracks above zero? I might be wrong, but the values in the limiter (but in every plugin actually) are relative to unity gain, so if you have the fader above zero but want the track to peak at -0.2 dB you have to do a bit of math. Something like: -0.2 - (dB of added gain).

I had the same problem some time ago. I had set the ceiling at like -0.2 dB and couldn't understand why it was not working. I soon discovered the fader was pushed above zero, and as soon as I double clicked it to reset it, it all worked as expected.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:02 AM   #67
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Is the fader of those tracks above zero? I might be wrong, but the values in the limiter (but in every plugin actually) are relative to unity gain, so if you have the fader above zero but want the track to peak at -0.2 dB you have to do a bit of math. Something like: -0.2 - (dB of added gain).

I had the same problem some time ago. I had set the ceiling at like -0.2 dB and couldn't understand why it was not working. I soon discovered the fader was pushed above zero, and as soon as I double clicked it to reset it, it all worked as expected.
Mmm, nope, that's not it. Master fader is set at unity, all other track faders are below unity, some quite a way below (average about -6dB).

I've been through all the tracks and reduced the volume of obviously high peaks in ones like the snare, room etc, and now I'm getting -0.1 dBFS but -18.3 LKFS. I'm mighty confused!
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:51 AM   #68
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Can someone help me out here please?
I'm having real trouble getting the levels right in this track. Because of all the spill in the tracks, I'm pushing a few of them (mainly sax and trombone tracks) quite hard to get a decent level against the other tracks.
Yeah, those saxes are buried in bleed, so keep in mind, as you push them you're also raising everything else. It took some doing, but I think I got an okay level on them.

Regarding the limiter, try the "JS Master Limiter", That's what I use and I've not had any problems with peaks getting above my settings.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:23 AM   #69
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The brass is a tough one - I found getting control of the room mic first to be of help. It did require quite a bit of automation, but they all sound fairly decent in there. Ended up limiting all the individual instruments trying to blend them in though..
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:14 AM   #70
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Default My thoughts on the song

I thought this was fun to mix. Not suggesting I'll win of course lol... But it was a fun challenge, trying to carve out a "space" for each horn. Due to the bleed, I decided I'd try 1 of 2 things: Either
1: Try to achieve the sound of a jazz-club type of room... Or
2: Try to achieve the mid-rangey sound of an old peggy lee record..(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeHWqMKdDs0)

I decided #1 was a better fit for the tune and referenced it with a group called the "post modern jukebox". Unfortunately, I really struggled with her vocals. I take the blame for that, as I muted them while mixing the rest, then I had a difficult time getting them to sit in the mix right.. I did dial in a little mid-rangey tone, but in hindsight, I'm not sure that was the right decision. Anyway, fun contest. I look fwd to hearing all the great mixes from the resident reaper pros.. I've already learned a few things in the short time I've been on the forum.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:09 AM   #71
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Now I have a headache.....
Went back to basics, stripped out most of the fx & just left basic eq's and compression on a couple of tracks.
Re-balanced all the tracks - nothing is now hitting the red, all tracks peaking between -12 & -6, and the master track meter is showing a maximum peak of -1.1 - Orban is now showing me -0.5 dBFS and -15.2 LKFS, but to get it there I've had to mess with the master limiter on the master track numerous times which is now set with a limit of -2.8 and a threshold of -10.0. WTF?
So Reaper is telling me the peak is -1.1, Orban says -0.5, but I'm telling the limiter -2.8. I just don't get it. I'll have to submit what I've got now as I've run out of available time for any more mucking about, but I can see I'm going to have to research this a lot more in the future, cos either I'm missing something critical or the world of metering is totally up the pictures.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:40 AM   #72
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Haha be careful, you can't use samples
Did you not notice I used kick replacement in the last contest?

I didn't realize we could not.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:41 AM   #73
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Is this Orban thing telling you "true peak" values? Those often will be different from the peak meters in Reaper. Reaper tells you how loud the loudest sample actually is. "True Peak" tries to tell you how loud the converter will try to go between samples. "Intersample peaks" and all that.

I have never had very good luck with anything labeled "limiter". The reason it's called a limiter and not a clipper or saturator is that it does not really respond on a sample-to-sample basis. The gain reduction happening now is based on the average level over some short period of the recent past. This can and will let some really fast transients get beyond the limit before it starts turning down. Some of the smarter ones "look ahead" so that the gain reduction happening now follows the average of some time in the past and some time in the future. This can help, but still can't ever promise that you'll never go past the limit. I do some pretty extreme stuff sometimes with feedback and/or insane amounts of gain, and none of the limiters that come with Reaper can promise me their output level.

The only real way to be sure where your loudest sample is going to hit is to just plain not let any individual sample get louder than the limit. Clipping is the rude way to do it. Saturation - some sort of "curvy" sample by sample transfer curve with a hard limit - can be a little nicer sounding.

ReaComp will do this a couple ways. Set all time constants to 0 and ratio to inf and it'll hard clip wherever the threshold is set and no sample will ever come out higher than that limit. But then, just ticking "limit output" will clip it off right at 0dbfs, and you can adjust the wet output level down to -0.2 or whatever margin you want to leave. If you prefer a bit of "curvy" saturation, you dial up the knee parameter, but you have to remember that the knee kind of spreads "around" the threshold point so that basically your actual limit might end up a little higher than where the threshold is set. There's no good way to predict where that might be, so you kind of have to just slam it and see where it falls and adjust either threshold or set output to compensate. There are a few JS plugins that will do clipping and saturation also.

But don't turn on the oversampling (AA in ReaComp)! Oversampling is filtering and filtering - especially lowpass filtering - undoes limiting/clipping. If you really want to be completely sure of where your highest sample is going to hit, you have to just clip it off and let it distort and alias and whatever else it's going to do. It should be the absolute last stage in the process.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:43 AM   #74
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Did you not notice I used kick replacement in the last contest?

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Old 03-15-2017, 10:48 AM   #75
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Is this Orban thing telling you "true peak" values? Those often will be different from the peak meters in Reaper. Reaper tells you how loud the loudest sample actually is. "True Peak" tries to tell you how loud the converter will try to go between samples. "Intersample peaks" and all that.

Yes, it will and it will work properly. The value of Orban is it will process offline, (drag and drop) which is much faster than a VST in Reaper because LUFs requires measuring the entire length of the song to arrive a the correct "Integrated" loudness value. So if you are using a VST you have to play the whole song in real time.


In orban's "Analysis" tab you want to observe the following:


Integrated Loudness (which is LUFS or LKFS which are the same thing) - this is the one you want target to -14


Highest reconstructed peak level - This is your True Peak/ISP calculation that you want target to -0.2.


So all you need to do is get close ITB with something like YouLean, then render and drag the render into orban. You should be able to pretty much nail it within a few renders and however much you are off by you need to use a brick wall limiter to adjust with because that last little bit of DR reduction is what you need.


There should however be a JS that will measure LUFs offline, just search for LUFs or loudness. I just happen to like Orban because it measures the actual rendered result removing any other chances to miss something.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:03 AM   #76
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Okay, just finished mixing and I've got one to go. However, I just noticed it's supposed to be a flac file, I did mine 24-wav.

When did that change and does it make any difference?
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:37 AM   #77
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Integrated Loudness (which is LUFS or LKFS which are the same thing) - this is the one you want target to -14


Highest reconstructed peak level - This is your True Peak/ISP calculation that you want target to -0.2.
Yeah, I'm getting -14 LUFS but I don't think I've ever been able get Orban's dBFS down below 0.0dBFS. At least not with any of the mixes with this tune. However, Reaper faithfully shows -0.2dB, both on the project and also on the track when I drag it back into Reaper. Span also shows -0.2dB, so I tend to trust that.

I've always wondered about Orban's dBFS, it's never seemed to correspond to other readings?
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:44 AM   #78
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Yeah, I'm getting -14 LUFS but I don't think I've ever been able get Orban's dBFS down below 0.0dBFS. At least not with any of the mixes with this tune. However, Reaper faithfully shows -0.2dB, both on the project and also on the track when I drag it back into Reaper. Span also shows -0.2dB, so I tend to trust that.

I've always wondered about Orban's dBFS, it's never seemed to correspond to other readings?
Because "True Peak" or "Highest 'reconstructed' peak' is a calculation of intersample peaks, Reaper nor span, calculates those on the fly as far as I know.


Based on how sampling works we can show -0.2 in reaper but when the wave file is reconstructed back into audio we can end up with something higher like this when the samples are reconstructed back into actual audio...





So forgetting the numbers in that graph for a moment, the red samples are what reaper is showing, the blue is what orban is showing which is what the resulting audio actually becomes.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:49 AM   #79
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I've always wondered about Orban's dBFS, it's never seemed to correspond to other readings?
That's because it's essentially making it up.

Converters usually can't just plain stop swinging all of a sudden. Clipping and limiting sometimes makes really sharp corners that "create" harmonic content above Nyquist. The filters in the converter "remove" that high frequency information, but since they can't look ahead in time, they end up overshooting. It's very much like driving a pickup 50mph and somebody says "Turn now!" and by the time you slow down enough to make the turn without rolling the truck, you're past the intersection. True Peak meters try to estimate how far past that intersection your converter will have to go before it turns around.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:42 PM   #80
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Thanks guys, and yeah, I'm aware of inter sample over thingy, that's why I mix most of my normal everyday mixes between -1.0dB and -0.5dB, depending on what it is. Heh heh, actually the only times I've ever mixed above -0.5dB is for these contest mixes.

So I guess, now the question is, how is Dave measuring all this?

I'm thinking I'm just going to leave mine as it is, by the time I get down to -0.2dB on the Orban scale, my mix will be down to -0.8dB or less. Actually I don't guess it matters that much, we're kind of splitting hairs.

On the other hand, I think it does matter. I personally take the voting very seriously, and by that I mean how I select my choices, I put a big effort into it to try get it right. What's happened is I've gone through and selected the ones that I thought sounded best. However, after I get to looking, most of my choices have been louder than the others. So by the time I get them all down to where I think they should be, my choices completely change.

One more thing I have to say that I wish I didn't. Shame on anybody that votes for themselves.
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