Old 05-01-2019, 11:08 AM   #1
BLO-audio
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Default 'Smart' punch-in using some part of auto-trim feature?

I use reaper for voiceover, and at the moment, when I mess up, I just stop and say the line again, then take out the error in editing.

I've heard a more efficient way can be 'punch and roll', using punch-in mode and pre-roll, and they work ok, but the pre-roll duration is necessarily fixed; sometimes it might take you too far back, which wastes time, and sometimes not far enough, in which case you still have that edit to do in post.

I therefore wondered if one could make a custom action that set the auto-punch before the beginning of the first word of the sentence you started and messed up and then added a pre-roll from there, rather than just from where the play cursor was when you hit the key. I.e something like the noise threshold you can set parameters for as part of the auto-trim function (remove silence) action.

tldr: is there an action, or could there be a custom action, that (when a key is pressed during recording) sets the cursor just before the last instance of a waveform exceeding a db threshold?
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:02 PM   #2
vdubreeze
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That's an interesting idea.

I've been through a few flavors of self punching techniques for vo and haven't found one where a time and labor saving script or action could be used by itself in all circumstances. I tried creating a series of punch-in actions across the top of the keyboard and ended up abandoning them and going back to how I did it without them. Which is to just place the cursor however many seconds before the punch, as a manual "pre roll", hitting spacebar to roll and hitting "r" softly to punch in. Not the most advanced, but I would keep discovering that an automated function sometimes isn't as good as a manual one, if you have a groove on it. The slight downside is that you do have to look up from the script to place the cursor, but if you have Reaper set for continuous scrolling, when you stop it's always right in the middle of the screen. Have the cursor remain where you stop when stopping (instead of returning to the same start, as I have it during other kinds of recording) and you just need to use an action to move cursor back x seconds (if you can keep your stops consistent with when the mistake was). I actually don't even do that, I just use the "move cursor back 5 secs" and hit it 1 or 2 times. That's kind of an example of what I meant. When I'm doing vo, and I think probably with most others, one keystroke for each function works, but setting up several different keys on each for the several different timing options just ended up being slower due to having 15 keystrokes : )

That's a cool idea about going back to the last waveform, though. Looking forward to what the scripting folks have to say about it. I'm ok doing it manually, because it always stops in the middle of the screen, so I can pretty much always back up the cursor 5 or 10 secs, manually punch and keep going. This has just made me realize that I could have playback initiate immediate upon going back 5 secs, but that would probably get to the punch too soon for me 75% of the time

Sometimes, though I haven't the will to punch everything, so I'll read through it and not stop recording. I'll throw down markers every time I pick up again and when I edit just jump marker to marker. Another way is to just leave 5 seconds before starting in and then visually it will be obvious where to edit. Sometimes doing punch ins for hours is just too much, can't face it : ) So I'll do one of those.

I'm not really much of a vo person, but I've recorded a billion vo projects as engineer and editor, and I never stop getting emails from actors who *used* to get paid to go to a studio and read who are now expected to be able to read and edit in their homes, and nearly all say "This isn't what I signed up for! I have no aptitude to do this and have no desire to! I can't stand this self recording." On the long projects it's really grueling to wear all the hats!
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:19 PM   #3
BLO-audio
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I think your method is the current best option; at the moment, though, my booth isn't big enough to fit a monitor screen in, and my laptop's fan is way too loud if I crowd that in as well, so I have to sort of operate "blind", though I could have a keyboard in there with me. But then, like you say, 9 times out of ten one is so disoriented by where the fixed pre-roll starts off that one misses the auto-punch!!

The visual cues thing is good; I use the ole dog-clicker trick- click just after mistake and before restarting- which is very easily visible and also I find the sharp sound and action helps vent my frustration at messing up a bit!

It is interesting, isn't it, about the change in the industry. I've never known anything different myself, and really enjoy both sides separately, but yeah on long projects you end up embodying the tension that's supposed to be shared between two people: the audio engineer saying 'this isn't good enough, go again', and the actor staying happy and confident thinking 'I'm nailing it!'. Needless to say, in one person, the effect can be a bit...emotionally intense.
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