Old 08-23-2019, 06:08 PM   #1
Thonex
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Default Major Session Orchestral Recording - Reaper solid?

Hi guys,

Looking for reassurance from experienced professionals about Reaper's dependability in long
and expensive sessions.

For the last 35 years I've been using Cubase/Nuendo for all my orchestral recording. Sometimes Protools. I will record hours upon hours of live orchestral music with about 16 microphones. For many days! I do routine Carbon Copy Cloner backups during the day and have never lost any sessions in all my years.

However, I'm really loving Reaper for my orchestral editing etc. So I'd like to use Reaper for the recordings as well. It will save me DAYS of importing and transferring stuff!! . I have a Reaper takes/layers workflow that works well for me and may be significantly faster (dare I say) than Nuendo for comping.

But I'm worried never having used Reaper for major and extended recording sessions. Any data or file corruption or BWF timestamp issues or crashing to be concerned about?

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

Andrew K
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:19 PM   #2
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I'm not worried about "REAPER" but I worry about "computers" and I worry about switching to something different.


So, I'd suggest you start with a rehearsal or if it's at all possible for you to use REAPER in parallel with Cubase/Nuendo that would be good too.



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I'm not an "experienced REAPER user".
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:57 PM   #3
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Thanks DVDdoug,

Thanks for chiming in.

Yeah... I'm with you on that. I've been using Reaper for over a year... some of the time extremely deeply, for major editing of 100s tons of tracks. So I'm confident with Reaper on as an editor and playback engine. Just never used it for weeks on end doing full days of recording.

Anyone else able to chime in?

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Old 08-23-2019, 07:12 PM   #4
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I just recorded a stereo stream of about 60 hours and didn't really have any problems.

I did notice it quit making backup .rpp files after the first 20 hours, so I started doing double saves periodically (save as projectname_bak, then save as projectname) while recording.

You sound pretty experienced with large recording projects, so I won't get into making sure you have adequate disk space.

The other thing (which I didn't do) is to set a backup record path on another physical drive, for the .wav files. It's somewhere in the preferences.

My system created a new .wav file at 1 GB chunks, but there were no audible artifacts at the split points. It did, however, stop drawing peaks for previously recorded chunks. No worry, everyyhing went back to normal after I stopped recording.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:53 PM   #5
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I just recorded a stereo stream of about 60 hours and didn't really have any problems.

I did notice it quit making backup .rpp files after the first 20 hours, so I started doing double saves periodically (save as projectname_bak, then save as projectname) while recording.

You sound pretty experienced with large recording projects, so I won't get into making sure you have adequate disk space.

The other thing (which I didn't do) is to set a backup record path on another physical drive, for the .wav files. It's somewhere in the preferences.

My system created a new .wav file at 1 GB chunks, but there were no audible artifacts at the split points. It did, however, stop drawing peaks for previously recorded chunks. No worry, everyyhing went back to normal after I stopped recording.
Thanks for all the great info. Interesting re: the backups. I do manual incremental backups (in addition to auto saves) more than I probably should. I'm a little OCD that way

I didn't even know about the mirrored drive thingy... that is actually really cool!! Also pretty impressive about gapless recording using multiple 1GB limit files.

Thanks again.

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Old 08-24-2019, 03:29 AM   #6
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Always worth hooking up your 16+ microphones. Set up a scratch project and record the passing road traffic or whatever, and just let it go for hours on hours (as per a live orchestral recording), and satisfy yourself that everything is OK. Mirrored drives etc as already noted looks a good idea too (never know when a drive will drop out on you!!).

Surely this has to be simple to set up, just needs your time. But by all experiences by users here (many doing orchestral work) with Reaper and long recordings, it does appear to be very stable and capable.

If there's a natural break in your recordings, you can always save that session and start a new one. Not easy if your system is just left to run and you are buried in the orchestra playing the oboe or whatever!

Do let us know how you get on. All this builds the knowledge base here, which so far has proved invaluable to probably most Reaper users.

My live recording experience only goes for solo performers (multitracking), small jazz ensembles and big band, so I cannot comment on large projects such as full orchestras.

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Old 08-24-2019, 03:34 AM   #7
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You may be reassured by this thread re the BBC's use of REAPER.
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=109550
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:47 AM   #8
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I've been using Reaper in a professional context (recording studio) since 2012 and I'm also using it for live event recording. I never had any issues. It's worth noting that I'm using it in an audio-over-IP audio-networking setup (Dante) and I can highly recommend doing this as it greatly simplifies the setup and allows for very easy backup recordings simultaneously onto a spare laptop just to be sure.

Recording 16 tracks should be nothing to even remotely tax neither the computer nor the hard drive. All my live recordings are multichannel recordings (on a simple i7 win7 laptop) where I record all tracks into a single interleaved multichannel file (up to 64 tracks!) and not into separate mono or stereo wave files. This helps avoiding write issues and file fragmentation on HDD's, however, it has probably no advantages to do this with SSD's. But it's still very convenient to have a multichannel file during editing as one has to manipulate only a single item instead of lots of separate items. All channels of the multichannel item are routed to their own dedicated track for processing and mixing while the multichannel item allows fast and easy editing without the need for track/item grouping.

Project media handling is also simplified a lot as one has to deal with just a single media file regardless the amount of tracks recorded.

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Old 08-24-2019, 10:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dr Bob View Post

Do let us know how you get on. All this builds the knowledge base here, which so far has proved invaluable to probably most Reaper users.

My live recording experience only goes for solo performers (multitracking), small jazz ensembles and big band, so I cannot comment on large projects such as full orchestras.

dB
Thanks for the advice... I'll keep everyone posted. This session should be happening in the next few months months. The longest recordings will be about 13 minutes, but there will be a lot of punch-ins and long 12 hour days.

I use Reaper with Metagrid on my iPad and have it should be great! Setting up markers on the fly, bar offsets and resets at a single touch. it should run smoothly :O

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Old 08-24-2019, 10:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by martifingers View Post
You may be reassured by this thread re the BBC's use of REAPER.
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=109550
Nice one! Thanks!

Yeah... Also a big appeal for a company like the BBC would be the portable installs that you can put onto any system with exactly the same prefs, shortcuts scripts etc.

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Old 08-24-2019, 10:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SonicAxiom View Post
I've been using Reaper in a professional context (recording studio) since 2012 and I'm also using it for live event recording. I never had any issues. It's worth noting that I'm using it in an audio-over-IP audio-networking setup (Dante) and I can highly recommend doing this as it greatly simplifies the setup and allows for very easy backup recordings simultaneously onto a spare laptop just to be sure.

Recording 16 tracks should be nothing to even remotely tax neither the computer nor the hard drive. All my live recordings are multichannel recordings (on a simple i7 win7 laptop) where I record all tracks into a single interleaved multichannel file (up to 64 tracks!) and not into separate mono or stereo wave files. This helps avoiding write issues and file fragmentation on HDD's, however, it has probably no advantages to do this with SSD's. But it's still very convenient to have a multichannel file during editing as one has to manipulate only a single item instead of lots of separate items. All channels of the multichannel item are routed to their own dedicated track for processing and mixing while the multichannel item allows fast and easy editing without the need for track/item grouping.

Project media handling is also simplified a lot as one has to deal with just a single media file regardless the amount of tracks recorded.

.
Great insight... thanks!

Wow.. a 64 channel audio file. I don't know why, that scares me LOL. I do 8 and 10 ch files when comping final mics, but record mono files originally. It's probably just an irrational fear that if I lose a file.. at least it's just 1 mic I'd lose.

I'll have to look into your Dante approach. What audio card are you using with the Dante system?

This thread is already making me feel better.

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Old 08-24-2019, 10:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thonex View Post
Hi guys,

Looking for reassurance from experienced professionals about Reaper's dependability in long
and expensive sessions.

For the last 35 years I've been using Cubase/Nuendo for all my orchestral recording. Sometimes Protools. I will record hours upon hours of live orchestral music with about 16 microphones. For many days! I do routine Carbon Copy Cloner backups during the day and have never lost any sessions in all my years.

However, I'm really loving Reaper for my orchestral editing etc. So I'd like to use Reaper for the recordings as well. It will save me DAYS of importing and transferring stuff!! . I have a Reaper takes/layers workflow that works well for me and may be significantly faster (dare I say) than Nuendo for comping.

But I'm worried never having used Reaper for major and extended recording sessions. Any data or file corruption or BWF timestamp issues or crashing to be concerned about?

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

Andrew K

I've been using Reaper for over a decade and the only time I ever have crashes is when there's an issue with the soundcard or when I'm upgrading VSTs with Reaper running, but that will crash any DAW.

If you're recording with AFM musicians, you're going to take breaks at least every 50 minutes so plenty of time to check all's recorded fine. Do you have an assistant who operates the computer and can monitor wave forms, peaks, etc.?

Is this for a film session, recording to picture? Reaper can handle video files fine but make sure you have the codecs installed to handle whatever video format you are going to be using (K Codecs is a good site, pls. make sure to only download the codecs). Good idea to test everything and see if it's working. As to the cues, Reaper has a 'big clock' which I'd turn on, and choose h:m:s:frames. And I'd label the sessions following the cues as labeled, 1M1 version whatever etc.

I haven't recorded or edited any large orchestral sessions but it's probably a good idea to group tracks for editing or use multi channel formats, see the other post above.

Reaper can easily handle this, only reason to use PT is if you are to be working a lot with external editors or other studios, for large orchestral recordings in LA and elsewhere PT is still pretty much the standard. But that said it's easy enough to convert Reaper sessions into PT sessions and vice versa using AA Translator.

Good luck!
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:09 PM   #13
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I've been using Reaper for over a decade and the only time I ever have crashes is when there's an issue with the soundcard or when I'm upgrading VSTs with Reaper running, but that will crash any DAW.

If you're recording with AFM musicians, you're going to take breaks at least every 50 minutes so plenty of time to check all's recorded fine. Do you have an assistant who operates the computer and can monitor wave forms, peaks, etc.?

Is this for a film session, recording to picture? Reaper can handle video files fine but make sure you have the codecs installed to handle whatever video format you are going to be using (K Codecs is a good site, pls. make sure to only download the codecs). Good idea to test everything and see if it's working. As to the cues, Reaper has a 'big clock' which I'd turn on, and choose h:m:s:frames. And I'd label the sessions following the cues as labeled, 1M1 version whatever etc.

I haven't recorded or edited any large orchestral sessions but it's probably a good idea to group tracks for editing or use multi channel formats, see the other post above.

Reaper can easily handle this, only reason to use PT is if you are to be working a lot with external editors or other studios, for large orchestral recordings in LA and elsewhere PT is still pretty much the standard. But that said it's easy enough to convert Reaper sessions into PT sessions and vice versa using AA Translator.

Good luck!
Thanks Peter... very reassuring!

Yeah there will be breaks every 50 minutes... that and eating breaks are when I run the CCC backups. I'll actually be manning the computer and everything. I'll have my cohort marking up the score where there are retakes.

Fortunately, this is not sync-to-pic so there will be no need for video. But the big bar counter is nice to have open

I'm almost done inputting all my Metagrid commands in for the session. My biggest wish-list for Reaper orchestral recording (or any recording in general) would be to have a absolute time pre-record during count-in... and not record the entire count in. I don't wan to have to labor with accurate punch-in LOL... so absolute time (like 2 seconds) of pre record would be great (that's what I do in Nuendo). Then at the end of he session you trim ALL of the files by about 1.5 seconds for nice clean tracks without the concern of having missed a punch-in. Anyway, my OCD is showing through.

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Old 08-24-2019, 03:34 PM   #14
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Thanks Peter... very reassuring!

Yeah there will be breaks every 50 minutes... that and eating breaks are when I run the CCC backups. I'll actually be manning the computer and everything. I'll have my cohort marking up the score where there are retakes.

Fortunately, this is not sync-to-pic so there will be no need for video. But the big bar counter is nice to have open

I'm almost done inputting all my Metagrid commands in for the session. My biggest wish-list for Reaper orchestral recording (or any recording in general) would be to have a absolute time pre-record during count-in... and not record the entire count in. I don't wan to have to labor with accurate punch-in LOL... so absolute time (like 2 seconds) of pre record would be great (that's what I do in Nuendo). Then at the end of he session you trim ALL of the files by about 1.5 seconds for nice clean tracks without the concern of having missed a punch-in. Anyway, my OCD is showing through.

Cheers,

Andrew K

Instead of pre-roll you could just record one or two bars free. If you using LA musicians they are totally comfortable with recording to click track, you may not need a click track but that's a method all the players are totally used to. In the score and parts indicate "4 clicks free" / "8 clicks free" or "4xx free" etc. (for score prep if you are using Sibelius make sure to use system text, that way it'll appears automatically in the score and all parts).

In project settings set the project start at 0 or -1, that'll give you a count in.

Easy to trim all the tracks after the recording.

If you are planning to do overdubs, make sure that the bars in your score are lined up with the bars in your Reaper project. Makes it so much easier for the conductor to say "Let's pick up at bar 59 with one bar count in", you punch at 58, record on clean tracks and off you go. Or do an overdub over existing tracks, though honestly I'm not wild about the takes system in Reaper. That's one area where frankly PT is better. I'm not the only who thinks this, lol. But with no tracks limit who cares really, just record up to high heaven, create subfolders for new takes, and so on. The sky is the limit.
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Old 08-24-2019, 04:44 PM   #15
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If you are planning to do overdubs, make sure that the bars in your score are lined up with the bars in your Reaper project. Makes it so much easier for the conductor to say "Let's pick up at bar 59 with one bar count in", you punch at 58, record on clean tracks and off you go. Or do an overdub over existing tracks, though honestly I'm not wild about the takes system in Reaper. That's one area where frankly PT is better. I'm not the only who thinks this, lol. But with no tracks limit who cares really, just record up to high heaven, create subfolders for new takes, and so on. The sky is the limit.
Thanks peter,

Yep... Bar numbering can be a big PITA.. so I wrote a script a long time ago to address this...

Bar Offset/Resets Scripts

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Old 08-24-2019, 07:02 PM   #16
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Thanks peter,

Yep... Bar numbering can be a big PITA.. so I wrote a script a long time ago to address this...

Bar Offset/Resets Scripts


You're much smarter at this program Reaper than I am ... you should be just fine.

But just one tip: I would not recommend recording everything in one giant Reaper session. If something gets fucked up, you're in a lot of trouble.

Just split it up in separate sessions.

Good luck!!!
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:59 PM   #17
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My system created a new .wav file at 1 GB chunks, but there were no audible artifacts at the split points. It did, however, stop drawing peaks for previously recorded chunks. No worry, everyyhing went back to normal after I stopped recording.
Yeah. I reported this as a bug although no one seemed very interested in it. The first time I saw this during a live recording I was terrified! Now I realize its harmless and the recording is fine.

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Old 09-02-2019, 08:30 AM   #18
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Great insight... thanks!

Wow.. a 64 channel audio file. I don't know why, that scares me LOL. I do 8 and 10 ch files when comping final mics, but record mono files originally. It's probably just an irrational fear that if I lose a file.. at least it's just 1 mic I'd lose.

I'll have to look into your Dante approach. What audio card are you using with the Dante system?

This thread is already making me feel better.

Cheers,

Andrew K
wave, wavpack and a few other audio formats are designed to be able to include up to 64 interleaved audio channels in a single file (5.1 surround probably being the most common use case). I never had any problems with multichannel files, regardless their channel count.

I'm using a Yamaha AIC 128-D Dante accelerator PCIe card which provides up to 128 uncompressed audio inputs and outputs to/from Reaper at a very low latency. Currently, I'm only making use of half of the card's input and output capacity but 64 I/O is quite a lot already

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Old 09-03-2019, 08:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Thonex View Post
Hi guys,

Looking for reassurance from experienced professionals about Reaper's dependability in long
and expensive sessions.

For the last 35 years I've been using Cubase/Nuendo for all my orchestral recording. Sometimes Protools. I will record hours upon hours of live orchestral music with about 16 microphones. For many days! I do routine Carbon Copy Cloner backups during the day and have never lost any sessions in all my years.

However, I'm really loving Reaper for my orchestral editing etc. So I'd like to use Reaper for the recordings as well. It will save me DAYS of importing and transferring stuff!! . I have a Reaper takes/layers workflow that works well for me and may be significantly faster (dare I say) than Nuendo for comping.

But I'm worried never having used Reaper for major and extended recording sessions. Any data or file corruption or BWF timestamp issues or crashing to be concerned about?

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

Andrew K
I believe Reaper on a Mac is the most stable, reliable DAW system in the world. I would trust it for important recordings over any other DAW.

I don't have experience with every DAW app... but that's what I think I know.

I used to use Protools HD before their big v9 crash and burn. That's actually partially responsible for leading me to upgrade to Reaper. Before that I thought Protools was happiness and light. Dabbled with Digital Performer, Studio One, and Logic Audio Hell. Reaper wins.

Fun fact about Reaper with recording:
Reaper writes an end of file mark with every buffer-full of audio data written to the hard drive. That means if the power suddenly cuts off during recording, the recording will be intact and in valid wav files right up to the point power cut. Just like a tape deck.
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:34 AM   #20
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I believe Reaper on a Mac is the most stable, reliable DAW system in the world. I would trust it for important recordings over any other DAW.

I don't have experience with every DAW app... but that's what I think I know.

I used to use Protools HD before their big v9 crash and burn. That's actually partially responsible for leading me to upgrade to Reaper. Before that I thought Protools was happiness and light. Dabbled with Digital Performer, Studio One, and Logic Audio Hell. Reaper wins.

Fun fact about Reaper with recording:
Reaper writes an end of file mark with every buffer-full of audio data written to the hard drive. That means if the power suddenly cuts off during recording, the recording will be intact and in valid wav files right up to the point power cut. Just like a tape deck.

Very reassuring!!

Also, that recording buffer tagging thing is very cool too! I made up my mind about a week ago that I’ll use Reaper for this big gig. Since making that decision I feel great!! I always record in BWF so if anything happened to the project file, I’d still be able to rebuild it. It would SUCK, but I’d be able to do it. I’m very good about track naming and will make sure the file increments system is rock solid.

Thanks everyone for your help.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:24 AM   #21
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Please let us know how it all goes - good, bad or ugly! It all adds to the knowledge base and will surely help the next person who comes along wanting to record large orchestral projects.

dB
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:04 AM   #22
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Please let us know how it all goes - good, bad or ugly! It all adds to the knowledge base and will surely help the next person who comes along wanting to record large orchestral projects.

dB
Will do dB!

This particular gig will be in January. It will be a doozy. Will install Carbon Copy Cloner on their system for quick backups during the day.
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