Old 04-13-2019, 10:32 AM   #1
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default How are people using automation in REAPER

To me REAPER has the best automation BY FAR of any other DAW I've seen.

I have been really getting into doing a pass of the song selecting section by section and using Latch/preview + the action "Write current values for actively-writing envelopes to time selection" mapped to a hotkey. It's a total breakthrough for me!
Allows me to get a bunch of useful stuff done right when I'm starting, and react to the mix in a kind of emotional instinctual way.

For this workflow:
I currently use a guide track with empty items for each section, I select the empty item and use a hot key for setting the time selection to that item and then apply latch/preview automation to that section.



I've been thinking a few really useful additions to REAPER for that workflow would be:
"Write current values for actively-writing envelopes from previous marker to next marker"
"Write current values for actively-writing envelopes from previous marker end of session"
"Write current values for actively-writing envelopes from next marker to beginning of session"
Maybe would submit a FR if other people think its a good idea.

How are people using automation in REAPER that is amazing?
Any cool techniques we should all know about?

Last edited by J Riley Hill; 04-13-2019 at 10:42 AM. Reason: i posted too soon by accident
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2019, 11:05 AM   #2
EpicSounds
Human being with feelings
 
EpicSounds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,449
Default

I use markers or regions for each section. I have a cycle action to come in and out of global latch preview and write to selection in one button.
I love this workflow and it works equally well for music or video work.

The only thing I wish for is saving a few preset transition times (10ms, 500ms/15frames, 1s), and switching between transitions inside or outside the time selection.
__________________
REAPER Video Tutorials, Tips & Tricks and more at The REAPER Blog
EpicSounds is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2019, 11:14 AM   #3
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicSounds View Post
I use markers or regions for each section. I have a cycle action to come in and out of global latch preview and write to selection in one button.
I love this workflow and it works equally well for music or video work.
.
Oh awesome! BTW when the latch/preview thing came out, I was like, "oh yeah that's cool", but I didn't really use it until I saw one of your recent videos of your workflow and a light bulb really went off! so thanks for that!

Does your cycle action automatically create a time selection based on the nearest markers? That is the thing that I am missing in my workflow, I just don't like having to make a time selection. That's why i was saying it could be cool to have a an action for:
"Write current values for actively-writing envelopes from previous marker to next marker"
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2019, 01:07 PM   #4
EpicSounds
Human being with feelings
 
EpicSounds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,449
Default

I just double-click between markers to make a time selection usually.
__________________
REAPER Video Tutorials, Tips & Tricks and more at The REAPER Blog
EpicSounds is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2019, 01:21 PM   #5
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

oh yes that works well. It would be kinda nice if there was a mouseless workflow for people using control surfaces.

I was looking and as far as I can see, there is not an action to create a time selection between markers.... maybe that would be a better things to request, because then it could be used for lots of other things as well.

Something like:
"Create time selection from previous marker to next marker"
"Create time selection from previous marker end of session"
"Create time selection next marker to beginning of session"

could be pretty useful for lots of things I'm sure.
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2019, 01:49 PM   #6
EpicSounds
Human being with feelings
 
EpicSounds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,449
Default

something like this seems to work

Custom: go to next marker (creating time selection)
Time selection: Set start point
Markers: Go to next marker/project end
Time selection: Set end point

can't make it work in reverse though but I only spent a couple min on it
__________________
REAPER Video Tutorials, Tips & Tricks and more at The REAPER Blog
EpicSounds is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2019, 02:26 PM   #7
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

Ok yes that works well, I just made one that is:
Markers: Go to previous marker
Time selection: Set start point
Markers: Go to next marker/project end
Time selection: Set end point

That is definitely an improvement over using a guide track except that
the playhead seeks to the marker. I would prefer if audio kept playing from where it was personally.

The option "Smooth seek" can disable seeking until next marker, which is a good compliment to this, but it would be kinda nice to be able to have the automatic time selection be completely decoupled from the playhead seeking all together.

Thanks for your suggestion!
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2019, 02:30 PM   #8
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

actually testing it more, smooth seek seems to cause this action to bug out and not work correctly.
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2019, 11:13 PM   #9
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

Anyone else using Latch/Preview or any of of the unique to REAPER automation features to do interesting things?

The Latch/Preview stuff is something some people might be missing out on, I know I was. It's so good though.
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2019, 03:25 AM   #10
bjohn
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 109
Default

I find myself using automation more for effects than volume, especially EQ. One thing I love about Reaper is that you can save automations as a preset; for example, I have one for removing plosives/pops from vocals that I named "Plosive Killer," which applies a low-cut filter that reaches a higher frequency than my normal low cut; plosives have a lot of low-frequency energy but if you set the entire track EQ at the frequency that eliminates plosives the vocals will usually sound thin. There are loads of ways to fix plosives, but this is the most efficient for me.

Having this saved as an automation preset means I can apply it in any project easily and it's also easy to fine-tune. The ability to save and reuse automation presets is fantastic; not all DAWs have this feature.
bjohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2019, 12:28 PM   #11
Quambo
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 37
Default

I haven't ever used automation to do songwritey things like volume, pan, or EQ effects, but what I have learned to use it for is to record my synth plugin.

Since the sound of the synth is a product of all of the parameters, you need to save all of the parameters' positions, and it may sound okay to save the setup as a preset in the plugin, but what happens when you make a change to the parameters and want to have that change recorded, but you don't have that exact preset able to be reset at the beginning of the part?

As I found out, I can save the entire setup into automation by arming every parameter for that plugin and some other track plugins (like an impulse response). I use write mode except during playback. I keep the automation lanes all hidden, but I would like to find a way to show it unobtrusively.

So all of the knob positions -ALL of them, even the ones I never tweak- are saved to automation when I press record. Whenever I want to play back a part, I go to trim/read and go back to the part. It moves the parameters back to those positions, so I can load setups straight from where it was recorded, rather than from a preset.

That means all the aspects of the setup are saved there without me having to worry about what is going on inside the plugin, say if the synth needs to switch from one preset to another. It's not just keeping track of a few parameters. I'm not sure how other DAWs do this, but it seems pretty useful.

Last edited by Quambo; 04-24-2019 at 12:38 PM.
Quambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2019, 05:45 PM   #12
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quambo View Post
So all of the knob positions -ALL of them, even the ones I never tweak- are saved to automation when I press record. Whenever I want to play back a part, I go to trim/read and go back to the part. It moves the parameters back to those positions, so I can load setups straight from where it was recorded, rather than from a preset.
Cool, that's an interesting way to do things!
I'm not sure I totally get your objective is for this approach... wouldn't it be easier and more flexible to have different tracks with other instances of the synthfor the different sounds?
Are you trying to keep things super CPU efficient?
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2019, 05:54 PM   #13
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohn View Post
Having this saved as an automation preset means I can apply it in any project easily and it's also easy to fine-tune. The ability to save and reuse automation presets is fantastic; not all DAWs have this feature.
Cool
What do you mean by "automation presets" are you talking about track templates?
Or the presets you can save with automation items?
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2019, 06:45 AM   #14
Quambo
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 37
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Riley Hill View Post
Cool, that's an interesting way to do things!
I'm not sure I totally get your objective is for this approach... wouldn't it be easier and more flexible to have different tracks with other instances of the synthfor the different sounds?
Are you trying to keep things super CPU efficient?
There are a couple reasons I do it that way, and they aren't for CPU reasons. One is that I wanted a way to treat the synth as a recordable instrument. Capturing all of the parameters does that. It records what it sounds like, and the recording stays the same even if I change the settings or preset later.

Secondly, if you control just a few or no parameters per instance, anything you decide to creatively change outside of those parameters, like say if you change the wave shape, will affect the whole channel. That means each channel can effectively only have one sound, but with my approach, one channel can have unlimited sounds.

I like experimenting with sounds, and with this, it’s just as easy as pressing record. I can do dynamic changes, and it won't be changed afterwards. It gives unlimited options on one channel and MIDI binding setup, vs needing 1 full channel for every 1 less flexible option.

There are some other issue that stem from using multiple channels. Each has to have the MIDI controller bindings. Having two plugins with the same bindings, when you move the knobs to change one, it will change the other, so they won’t stay. Unless you set the binding options to be active only when that plugin is focused, visible, or the channel is selected. But what I ran into was that the parameters wouldn’t even move during playback unless I had that particular plugin focused or selected. So I had to keep focusing each different synth track as I played through the project.

I was trying to find a way to record the initial positions of synth parameters, putting instances of the plugin on different channels or as take FX, but they always had the issue of not starting (on playback) the same way as recorded, always starting the last way they were. And the little buttons and switches on the synth were not being recorded. Deciding to use write mode and arm everything had the unforeseen effect of giving me more flexibility.

Now I can load a full preset from the plugin, and it won’t alter past recordings, because each little button and switch was saved in the automation. Initial positions are saved for everything, too.

If I created some cool sound just by experimenting, I can go back to that part and retrieve all of the parameter settings, even if I never saved a preset for that particular segment.

(Edit: Another big benefit is that, since all parameters are armed for writing, I can manipulate them with the mouse or MIDI input. It doesn't try to prevent me from changing things, like it did before.)

Last edited by Quambo; 04-25-2019 at 12:55 PM.
Quambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2019, 12:17 PM   #15
bjohn
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 109
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Riley Hill View Post
Cool
What do you mean by "automation presets" are you talking about track templates?
Or the presets you can save with automation items?
No, I mean you can actually save a drawn-in automation and reuse it in other projects. It's covered in Kenny's automation video...it's a great time-saver. See around 3:50 at https://www.reaper.fm/videos.php#nqB1pFkEPKE

Last edited by bjohn; 04-25-2019 at 12:23 PM.
bjohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2019, 01:44 PM   #16
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohn View Post
No, I mean you can actually save a drawn-in automation and reuse it in other projects. It's covered in Kenny's automation video...it's a great time-saver. See around 3:50 at https://www.reaper.fm/videos.php#nqB1pFkEPKE
Yes automation items now I understand, totally! it's very useful
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2019, 01:45 PM   #17
J Riley Hill
Human being with feelings
 
J Riley Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quambo View Post
There are a couple reasons I do it that way, and they aren't for CPU reasons. One is that I wanted a way to treat the synth as a recordable instrument. Capturing all of the parameters does that. It records what it sounds like, and the recording stays the same even if I change the settings or preset later.
Oh Ok I'm starting to understand now! Thats really cool, so you are using a midi controller and recording everything you do. Seems like a good way to get sounds for sure.
J Riley Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 01:21 PM   #18
Quambo
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 37
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Riley Hill View Post
Oh Ok I'm starting to understand now! Thats really cool, so you are using a midi controller and recording everything you do. Seems like a good way to get sounds for sure.
Yeah! but it works with just the mouse, too.
Quambo 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 07:47 PM.


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