Old 03-04-2016, 10:00 AM   #1
metal_priest
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Default Reaper for Classical Music - Tips and Tricks

Hi!

As I noticed a lot of people in those last days is opening topics (or dig into buried topics) about using reaper for classical music purpouses, I decided to open this thread where we can try to tweak reaper all togheter and try to fix it on our needs.
It will be nice if it could be a sticky thread, but I don't want to be so demanding
Actually I think they're good not only for Classical editing, but for all the users, anyway...

In the next days I will link this first post to the already existing topics i know, so if you know some others please write down here and I will link them.

I had set also a couple of macros/toolbar that I think could be helpful, but they're little bit sophisticated so I'm writing an "how to" to be sure I'm not forgetting something when I will share them with the community.

The biggest one is about the crossfade editor, then another one for the takes management (both for recording and sharing them with the client/producer) and another couple I'm still going to work on.


SOURCE DESTINATION EDITING
Thank's to Pelleke, he made a huge job setting up those macros.
3 and 4 points source-destination editing, it's not still perfect but it does the job. Really really thank you

CLASSICAL HELPER SHORTCUTS V1
Thanks to bachstudies, those are 3 shortcuts. One to color items after a split, one for a precise crossfade and one to zoom out the whole project or on a time selection.


MULTICHANNEL RECORDING SHORTCUT


THIS! is maybe the most helpful thing ever. I can't wait to try it for my next job.
This is for recording multichannel files, each channel for each mic you're using. No need to group items for 32 or 48 or 64 tracks, just record one file and use this script for mixing them.
Just create a track with the number of your mics (reaper works for even channels only, so you will have probably a channel you will not use), select it and run the script.
Rename your new tracks for the mixer and start to record

About this one I'm working on a couple of macros (and a dedicated toolbar) to make the job smoother, such as a fast way to render a stereo track to share the takes with the clients and more.


CROSSFADE EDITOR MACRO AND TOOLBAR

soon


As I said, i will update this post with all the news anout tip and tricks for classical works.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:21 AM   #2
studer58
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Hi metal_priest,

Regarding your multichannel recording shortcut, I was wondering whether the "showing takes in lanes" method of recording multitrack could be an ideal way of "layering" takes or repairs one atop another and thus not require any fancy source-destination or crossfading, as it is already inbuilt into the way Reaper functions in this mode ?

To illustrate what I mean, have a look at this video by Kenny Gioia....and instead of a multi-miked drum kit imagine those same mics are spread out across a baroque ensemble or a piano or an orchestra...but still having bleed and leakage between mics similar to a drumkit ?

Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIF8vx-dJJI

You can see how the crossfading, grouping of mics within each take, vertical stacking of takes should allow for simple decision-making between take segments (which in our case would likely be longer than one or two drum hits !)

I'm undecided whether this method might not be better: Multichannel recording using one track in Reaper, with Kenny's supporting video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu9n5AQetfI

You could further refine the process by having a talkback or playback speaker in the recording room and playback the material several bars before the 'repair' or 'drop-in' point...and then mute the playback when the musicians had hit the correct tempo and the insertion/drop-in point was reached ?

Reaper allows the crossfades to be engaged across all mics within a given take, and in the first video you can see how volume tweaks for individual mics can be incorporated as well...so perhaps Source Destination editing as a concept is not really necessary to pursue in emulation any longer, if the Takes In Lanes concept is adopted ?

Of the 2 videos shown here, which method do you think is best suited to to classical music session recording and editing (not of concerts per se, but rather sessions aimed at CD production, for example) ?
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:45 AM   #3
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hi studer58!

actually, I had the same doubt you have here. But I see that the punch in method for recording classical music isn't very comfortable.
First of all because all the classical musicians I met in my jobs aren't very happy to record this way...actually I can say they don't be able to record this way at all.
Classical musicians usually like to play again and again the same bars, starting a couple of bars before and stop when they want to stop.
And i think the punch in is more and more complicated when you have more and more musicians which have to punch in exactly at the same time...probably it's easier to have them in time if they start some bars before the cut point, don't you think?

BUT!

there's a thing I still try to figure it out, and that's why I started this topic btw.
You can layer takes also after the recording. If you select your takes that are all "in line" on the tracks you can "implode" them into takes layers.
Tha pita is that, as the musicians usually never play at the same perfect time because they're not playing on a click track, all the takes (and relatives cuts) will never be aligned, so you still have to tweak the items and actually I think this takes more time than the source-destination editing where you just cut the take you need time by time and paste it on your destination project, adjust the cut and the job is done.

Anyway, this is my personal opinion and I will be very happy to have here other ideas for comparison and to improve our workflows!

I hope I have some time in the next day to upload something
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metal_priest View Post
hi studer58!

actually, I had the same doubt you have here. But I see that the punch in method for recording classical music isn't very comfortable.
First of all because all the classical musicians I met in my jobs aren't very happy to record this way...actually I can say they don't be able to record this way at all.
Classical musicians usually like to play again and again the same bars, starting a couple of bars before and stop when they want to stop.
And i think the punch in is more and more complicated when you have more and more musicians which have to punch in exactly at the same time...probably it's easier to have them in time if they start some bars before the cut point, don't you think?
Yes I was thinking this was how it would be done...starting all together at a designated bar number and stopping together at a bar marker X bars further on. Certainly not individually punched in for each mic, but all 8 or so mics punched in together simultaneously, as an ensemble. Playing along via speaker playback before the punch-in point may not interest them, even though it is accepted practice in studio recordings.

[/QUOTE]BUT!

there's a thing I still try to figure it out, and that's why I started this topic btw.
You can layer takes also after the recording. If you select your takes that are all "in line" on the tracks you can "implode" them into takes layers.
Tha pita is that, as the musicians usually never play at the same perfect time because they're not playing on a click track, all the takes (and relatives cuts) will never be aligned, so you still have to tweak the items and actually I think this takes more time than the source-destination editing where you just cut the take you need time by time and paste it on your destination project, adjust the cut and the job is done.[/QUOTE]

Yes..that's where I feared that the drum example was too far at the other extreme from ensemble musicians, because the drum hits are likely to be only +/- a few 10's of millisecs variation from one take to the next, whereas 4 to 8 musicians involves a lot more human response time variation ! As you suggest, to truly align takes that are likely to have much greater timing variations, is going to involve 'time stretching' of takes, hopefully preserving pitch....particularly if these are of several bars duration ?

[/QUOTE]Anyway, this is my personal opinion and I will be very happy to have here other ideas for comparison and to improve our workflows![/QUOTE]

I think you are largely correct, and given that punch in recording is unfamiliar to many of these musicians means that they are unlikely to adapt easily to the method, unfortunately.
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:00 AM   #5
Datikus
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Hi, it's my first post in this forum. Good to be here

So, I'm a recording engineer recording only classical music. For many years I've been using Protools, but I like Reaper so much, that would be happy if it will become more flexible for classical music recording as well.
I would be happy to share experience if someone needs. But mostly I would get useful information regarding classical music recording with Reaper.

So, first thing I would like to find out (I was searching it in manual, but couldn't find), where is the button which allows to continue recording from the place I've stopped on a particular take. Protools has this button in case if I want to start recording from the beginning or from the moment when recording stopped. I know about Cmd R (starting recording) and pausing it, but I need to stop and not pause. I would be grateful if someone teaches me this.
Thanks
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:16 AM   #6
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I realize that many Reaper users here use it only for location capture, and not for subsequent mixing.

However, even for monitoring with effects, it's likely you're ahead of me in how to implement the effects busses to put reverb/delays on spot mics in chamber or orchestral concert capture settings ?

I'm ok with creating a pair of stereo tracks which receive sends from the various spot mics, and placing a couple of effects in each of the tracks (plus filtering them to make their returns to the mix less obvious as effects.

Where I have trouble is the variety of panning and width options in both the effects modules and in the stereo return busses....there are so many options for panning the effects (as per the screenshots below) !

I want a nice panoramic effects 'field' for the spots mics to sit within, neither bunched up in the centre nor spread hard left/right. I'll typically place a plate reverb and a room or hall in each of the left and right effects return tracks, and send varying amounts of spot mic to these....then control the overall return to the stereo mix via the 2 ganged faders.

As you can see in the effects window ("Track 9 reverb right") there's the opportunity to pan the effect and control its width, as well as to pan it in the actual track pan control too.

Then there's the panning possible in the post-pan, post-fader "Receives" window ("Routing for track 8 reverb left") ....which is presumably panning for the placement of the reverb returns, to correspond with the actual pan placement of each spot in its own track control.

There just seem to be be too many choices, with no guidance as to which will give a desirable 'natural effects panorama' ?

I'm hoping someone here can point me towards some YouTube tutorials or other sources of info, as the manual is difficult to follow....or just PM me if the advice is too obtuse or lengthy
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File Type: jpg Reaper effect buss (right) 58.jpg (58.4 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Reaper effects routing 1 60.jpg (60.9 KB, 10 views)
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Datikus View Post
So, first thing I would like to find out (I was searching it in manual, but couldn't find), where is the button which allows to continue recording from the place I've stopped on a particular take. Protools has this button in case if I want to start recording from the beginning or from the moment when recording stopped. I know about Cmd R (starting recording) and pausing it, but I need to stop and not pause. I would be grateful if someone teaches me this.
Try the option Move edit cursor to end of recorded items on record stop in Editing Behavior Preferences.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:25 AM   #8
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I'm simply asking now whether I've been getting it wrong all these years, or if there's a more correct and streamlined way of employing FX via a pair of busses ...specifically in orchestral and chamber music concerts, where the quality and spatial rendering of effects is crucial to creating a believable and satisfying simile of the event.

As an aside, I've used Reaper busses happily in multitracked pop and rock type productions, and with great success. This primarily because there are no rules or conventions with this genre, and "natural spatial rendition" almost never enters the equation...you simply alter, chain, tweak, pan etc until it sounds good, within the context of the mix...in other words, there is no 'wrong' way to employ effects in such a context. Orchestras are different !

I won't elaborate on the need to select a credible, supportive ambience convolution sample (or plate, hall, chamber etc...perhaps even a few of these), eq the spot mic and send an appropriate level to the effect and return it to the mix, while retaining 'location' in the stereo spectrum. Sounds so easy...and maybe I'm overthinking it.

Yes Reaper's strength (and Achilles Heel) is its tweakability and programmability, and for me that means more ways to get it wrong ! I'm not about to move to another platform at this stage, and I'm sure they all have their own shortcomings too. Once I have a sure fire way to accomplish what I've outlined above, you can can be sure I'll create a template !

Let me outline a typical procedure, and perhaps you can point out any obvious flaws in my method ? I'll have a main pair, an outrigger (flanks) pair, a woodwind pair, a percussion spot and perhaps a soloist spot (flute, oboe, voice, piano pair, etc)

I'll create individual Reaper tracks for each of these, panned and level balanced appropriately. At this stage it'll sound like a pretty good recording...except that perhaps the spots appear a little too prominent. So I'll eq some of the 'presence' out of them, which improves it a bit more. I decide the spot, wwinds or perc require a little ambience....

Create a stereo pair of FX tracks (busses)...because I don't want my FX return to come back as a mono blob of ambience in the centre. I'll pan these hard left and right, add an instance of Reaverb to each, then select a sample from my Bricasti M7 plugins, say a Gold Plate. When I select this, I'm offered a choice of either an M to S sample, a Left sample or a Right sample.

Typically I'll place the left sample on the left FX buss and the right sample on the right FX buss. I'll often add a HP/LP filter below this, to give me an effects envelope of about 200 to 6k for both busses. Then I'll click on the Receives drop-down on each buss and put in an appropriate amt of send from each of the spot channels, and match the panning the spots occupy in the main mix.

I'll tweak these levels and pans via muting and soloing the spots in the main mix, until the balance seems right. How does this sound thus far ....?

My main question relates to the creation of a suitable 'stereo reverb/ambience field' for the returning FX. For instance (given that Bricasti gives the M-S, L and R samples) is it correct to hard pan the FX busses ? And should that be done on the track panel pan or the FX box (which also has a pan)..or both ?

I'll match the panning of the spot track in the main mix in the I/O dropdown panel of the Receives also.... I feel that I'm about 90% of the way there with what I've described above, but it's the panning of the sends/receives and the overall FX busses (and creation of a credible stereo ambience field) that's my main hurdle.

I knew this was going to be a long description (unavoidable, when discussing Reaper !) so if you'd prefer to simply PM me your current working FX template instead of replying that would be cool too...but for the benefit of other Reaper users, it would be helpful if you could expose any flaws in my typical MO procedure and outline them here ! Thank you for any contributions you can make here

ps...of course I could forget about FX busses altogether and simply drop an FX instance into each individual track... and do all the level sending and panning there, but that would require more CPU processing...and feels intuitively wrong to someone who's so used to creating a pair of FX return channels on an analog desk and bussing returns from an external hardware FX rack !
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacki View Post
Try the option Move edit cursor to end of recorded items on record stop in Editing Behavior Preferences.
Thanks
I found that action in list and created a custom order.
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