Old 01-12-2008, 06:02 AM   #1
inthepipeline
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Default Dedicated Control Room channel

I find the mixing and routing capabilities of Reaper outstanding. The principle of having a "global" style channel strip is something almost utopian from the view of keeping mixing simple and straightforeward. This in conjunction with the simplicity of Reapers routing matrix makes setting up complex setups on demand easier work than in any other DAW software I have encountered.

The one area that would perhaps gain by differing from this structure is that of control room, headphone monitoring and talkback.
I'm perfectly aware that it is possible to perform most, but certainly not all of the functions of a CR output from within reaper. It's just that this is one area where things might not be set out in the most available fashion.

I would like to see a channel which could flip its source between any hardware audio output buss at the press of a button. It could revert to the Master bus by default with no buttons depressed and could host one input for a slate/talkback microphone which could be routed to any hardware output bus. depressing the talkback button would "dim" the CR channel output. It could host VST plugs for the sake of analysis and quick metering and the plugs could be disabled from the panel to free up CPU when they aren't needed. It would probably be ideal if it could float, rather than being attached to the mixer.

The idea is that regardless of which area of the mixer or edit window is in view, the control room channel could remain visible.
It would also free the master channel for exclusive use as a main output, rather than compromising it with monitoring duties.

It could change the status of Reapers already excellent mixer from tracking mixer to studio console!

What do you think?



I should add that I wouldn't dream of the CR channel looking as bad as this very old mockup.
The important thing is the functionality and speed that it would bring to Reaper, especially in a professional working environment where control room magic should be seamless and transparent to the client.

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Old 01-12-2008, 07:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
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What do you think?
+1

......................

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Old 01-12-2008, 01:05 PM   #3
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Hi Lawrence,

This is the first time I've seen the Cubendo CR mixer. I think this sort of approach would take up too much valuable screen revenue, even on my dual monitor system. I think it also has too many features. So much time has been spent on keeping the UI compact and rich in terms of functions per pixel. I'd forgotten a couple of things though. A mono button and a test tone and perhaps a simple phase meter.

Also,I was thinking more in terms of using elements that already exist within the Reaper GUI. So for example the elements that might be routed to the channel would be picked from the routing matrix etc. I think it's important to keep it simple and realistic to implement.

I'll try and expand on this in another post.
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:30 PM   #4
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I think it also has too many features. So much time has been spent on keeping the UI compact and rich in terms of functions per pixel.

What you asked for in your OP sounded to me just like (functionally) almost exactly the CR mixer in xxxxxx ... hence my reply...

Edited to remove references to xxxxxx and how the CR works in xxxxxx. I'll let Reaper's CR FR develop naturally.

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Old 01-12-2008, 09:57 PM   #5
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For laptop mixing I certainly feel it would be handy to have a "monitor" fader to the right of the master for changes that shouldn't affect the master output.

Eg. listening levels could easily be altered without having to touch the real master fader. I find myself doing this currently just because when you're working with laptop & headphones there is no other fast way to change volume level (I miss thumbwheel volume controls!). But of course the master VU is then useless.

A monitor fader would make that possible + you could mono check without monoing the master.. talkback functionality would fit nicely in there too I'd say.

Finally I'm very much in favour of making that distinction between solo which affects the master output and monitoring solo which doesn't + we could even get that "dim" solo idea where the non-solo'd channels are just heard at lower (assignable) level.

Yep - I'm all in for this! More & more people able to go portable thanks to REAPER, so this functionality is more & more relevant within the DAW.
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:17 PM   #6
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Lawrence,
Yes, of course you are right, but the more I think about this and the philosophy behind Reapers development, the more I think about how best to achieve a practical CR channel with max. flexibilty and minimum development overhead.
I like the reasoning behind removing the image of ******* from your previous post. We obviously think along the same lines. Organic development all the way!

OK, I've spent some time doing a bit of a mock-up. I ask you in advance to forgive my dodgy graphics. It's really not my strong point. I've just lifted some bits from the mixer and rearanged them the way I think things should look. I'm sure that there are some far brighter sparks than me who could do a better job, and maybe eventually they will!

So what is already available to us?
Well, all sorts of level meter plugs. Personally I like:
Roger Nichols Inspector (previously PSP) http://www.rogernicholsdigital.com/inspector.html
PSP Vintage meter http://www.pspaudioware.com/indexen....s/vmeter.html;
Gonio 3 Phase correlation plug http://www.uk-music.de/gonio.html
Voxengo SPAN http://www.voxengo.com/product/SPAN/

All freely available, so no real need for Reaper devs to fiddle about here if the channel could host VST plugs

Equally the Talkback/Slate section doesn't really need facilities like MDA Test Tone or other plugs to be written for it. It's really just a cut down version of a mono channel strip which hosts VST and matrix Inputs and Outputs.

So here's what I've come up with:

[L] latches the the "TB/Slate" button. Otherwise it is non latching.

Selecting any of the grey buttons on the left opens the appropriate dropdown menu for input, source or destination.

Destination busses latch on or off individually so that multiple destinations can be addressed symultaneously.

Insert slot buttons enable, disable the plugs. The are pre. the monitor output fader.

Monitor sources toggle between with only one being active at a time.

The O/P button opens the dropdown menu to select its final destination.

Stereo/Mono button does what it says on the tin.

The "S" is a SOLO Active indicator.

"DIM" illuminates when the TB channel is active and the monitor output is attenuated. Toggling this enables/disable the DIM function.

"M" illuminates to indicate that a mute is active.

And ideally the channel should float.

Other menu options which could be attached to the CR channel are

Swap buttons left/right. I designed the panel this way for me. I'm right handed and would want the larger buttons that way, but I'm not anti-leftist!

Show/Hide TB/Slate.

Set DIM function attenuation.

I would be soooo excited if this was taken seriously. The ability to route to and from the matrix and to host VST in the channel would make this far superior to anything I've ever seen. In a great many situations the mixer could remain partly or completely out of focus.

And er.. here's the piccy.



All comments welcome.

[Edit 13/10/09] Having read many feature requests made since I first suggested this one, I have tried to modify my original proposition to encompass a few more control room issues. The FR is now in the tracker, but has pretty much been lost in the sands of time, so I mention its location again in the hope that it will get enough votes for the devs to consider it:

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=621

Here is a better and more descriptive picture:


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Old 01-13-2008, 04:41 PM   #7
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Although I can adjust fairly fast using totalmix, I too would use the above suggestion if implemented...it's nice never to leave Reaper, or go into extra windows. Even a simple send control like on the tracks would be nice.
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:45 PM   #8
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Just thought of another nice touch:

Multiple output destinations (maybe 3).
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inthepipeline View Post
And er.. here's the piccy.

All comments wecome
I like it. It fits with Reaper's design.

It'll need a way to adjust the dim(s). I assume that the cans mixes will come from mixer summing groups so no need for panning on those destinations I guess.

Cool. +1

P.S. I'm not sure about the monitor sends. Maybe just a switch? Ideally, this channel would be post master, that is... plugins you insert here won't get rendered in a rendered mix.

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Old 01-13-2008, 05:07 PM   #10
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My thought was to make the DIM attenuation via the options menu. After all, when its set how you like it, it's not somthing which you visit much. So I thought it was best kept away from view.

The monitor section is not post master, so much as paralell. It doesn't alter anything in the mixer at all. just draws from anywhere you nominate and puts that signal to the hardware outputs you nominate, "a la" master= hardware outputs 1-2, Monitor = hardware outputs 9-10. That way you have a hierachy that lets you solo the desk normally if you don't choose to select a monitor slot, but if something is SOLO'd the indicator will light. It could be possible to go further and toggle all SOLOs on and off by making the indicator an active button, it could also be made possible to route the SOLO bus straight to the monitor channel, rather than to the master chanel, in fact that would be preferable.


The TB section should do the same thing, so say you have outputs 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 set up with three headphone mixes on group channels you can talk to any or all of them at the same time. If you want to record slate tones or TB mic these are added to whichever buss you choose from the matrix, eg. any input, any output.

This is pretty much the way this kind of section works on an analog desk, except that the same sort of structure would give the user greater control in the digital domain because there are so many more points on the busses that can be accessed.

Hope that makes things clearer.

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Old 01-14-2008, 12:23 PM   #11
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+1 indeed!
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:10 AM   #12
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Hi All,

Having posted my little mock-up of the CR Channel yesterday I wanted to see if is possible to set up a headphone send and Talkback channel in Reapers mixer.

I'm lucky enough to have an RME Fireface 800, which comes with its own mixer, Totalmix. The mixer has the bits you would imagine to make your life easier, eg. programmable DIM, MONO button, main monitor, phones 1, 2, 3 buttons all on their own pane. The window has an always on top function as well, so I can shrink it as much as possible, save it like that as a preset and it appears on my desktop where ever I want it to.

So for the headphone mix:

I create a channel in the mixer for a "HP mix". I don't want to add it to the master mix, so I untick the Master/Parent send box for the "HP mix" channel.
I create a hardware send to the headphones. The trouble is that if I SOLO anything the "HP mix" disapears. It's muted.

So I choose the option "Post FX (V1 Deprecated)" for the hardware send and now if I SOLO any channel apart from the MASTER it will not mute the send. The Mute buttons now don't affect the channel either.

Provided the fader is left at 0dB the meter for the channel will still works, but it's displaying the output level of the channels fader which isn't in use, not the send level to the headphone output. So your headphone send works, but is not fully functional because you can't meter it properly, SOLO it or mute it.

I usually like to have a reverb handy for a headphone mix, so let's spark up another channel and insert something into a VST slot. Now I'll create a send to each of the HP mixes (actually I've got 3 now). Again, this channel is only for monitoring, not for the main mix, so since the same things apply I can't monitor this channel either. I can send it to the headphone channels via three sends, "V1 deprecated", but I can't monitor anything from within Reaper.


This is where Totalmix comes into its own. Reaper needs a CR channel here!!



OK now to the Talkback/Slate part of my CR Channel. Let's see if I can do that with any more success.

I create a channel again. I enable input monitoring only and select the microphone input. I plug in a hard limiter and a basic EQ followed my MDA test tone, which is bypassed.I'd also like the option to have the talkback microphone appear out of phase at any stereo output. It's an old trick as I'm sure many of you know, but for those who don't, the sound far more easily penetrates a mix, so it doesn't need to be as loud to get across and it sounds as though it is "in the head" of whoever is wearing the cans. This is easy to achieve by adding the JS: IX/StereoPhaseInvert plugin after the compressor.

Again, I don't want this mic to go to the master mix, so the sends need to be V1 Deprecated again. This means that I've disabled SOLO Mute and the fader. Now my only options for controlling the mic is by using the panel controls on the mixer channel one by one (slow and fiddly). I downloaded Chut, a simple mute button from here: http://www.pompougnac-daniel.com/04p...ugs/outils.htm . 0.1%CPU. Ideal! Push to latch, push to release and it's small. Now I don't need to see the Talkback channel.

I want to be able to quickly talk to any of the headphone mixes, ideally with the option to DIM them whilst I'm speaking. Well you might think I'm going a couple of steps too far, but this is how a talkback channel should work. Also it should ideally have the ability to patch an ambient mic through to the CR mix, but I can't go that far, Unless you know better!

Well I'm not doing too badly. I can't dim the mixes, I can speak to the headphone mixes and of course I can send a test tone wherever I want to by creating a send to go there. I can do it quickly at the touch of a button (or with a single click). Then finally I unticked "show selected track in mixer".

Now all I see is one little button!


So I must admit, yes, a talkback channel is possible.

The main problems with the mixer seem to be monitoring and grouping behaviour. Disabling output of the fader, mute and solo isn't really the sort of behaviour I would have expected. Wouldnt it be better if the behaviour could be modified so that:

The Master/Parent Send could also be routed to hardware outputs.

SOLO buttons only mute channels which are not hardware outputs.

MUTE buttons mute post fader and post-fade sends.

At any rate I still think that a floating, CR monitor channel with VST capability and "from any point" selectivity would be far more flexible, easier to use and fits in perfectly with the present over-all philosophy of Reaper.

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Old 01-15-2008, 02:19 AM   #13
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++1

compact like itpl's image.
or expanded like what i am guessing was posted by L




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Old 01-17-2008, 11:32 AM   #14
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I've been wanting something like that for a long while. From an old FR:

"It would be neat to have the option to have a button that rotates through say 3 or so assignable stereo/5.1 pairs.

This way, you could permanently leave your monitoring setup wired to your soundcard, and click on this button to hear your mix switch between your different monitor speakers.

ADDITIONALLY, it would be cool to have a parameter that automated it - so that as you mixed, you'd hear things through Monitor Pair 1 for 10 seconds, Monitor Pair 2 for 10 seconds, etc... So, you would automatically be getting a fresh perspective every X seconds on what you're doing, without having to mentally switch gears and manually do it. That alone would be a worthy thing, IMO..."
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:15 PM   #15
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I think the layout needs a little work so this can go in the docker.
Other than that, very stoked on the idea.
I hate leaving REAPER for any reason.
This would be a great workflow enhancement.
++1
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:48 PM   #16
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Thanks for your comments.

I think that if there is any chance of this idea becoming a reality (and I really would like it to become one) it is important to try and keep it realistic. I am no coder/programmer, but the components I have used in my little mock-up already exist in the Reaper GUI. A lot of it is just the way the monitoring section functions on an analog mixing desk with the added opportunity to use plugins. A bunch of shortcuts which behave slightly differently to a standard Reaper channel because they are organised for a particular purpose.

The arrangement of the channel being changed so that it would fit in the docker is a minor one, nevertheless important it it were to float/dock. It's important though, that it remains as small as possible in view so as not to use up the all important screen revenue.

Further comments please?

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Old 02-06-2008, 01:07 PM   #17
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For the FR Tracker: !group "Dedicated Control Room/Cue mixes"
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:07 PM   #18
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+1 for dedicated solo-safe.

In the meantime I will follow my instinct and come up with one of those ridiculous workarounds that make Reaper so great.

My application is that I'm tracking a band (vox, keys, bass, drums) and want to have a discrete monitor mix for each. This is accomplished no problem by setting up a send/track (all pre-fader) for each mix and then routing that to some physical hardware outputs on the soundcard which then connect to one headphone mix each. The problem (which solo-safe would ultimately fix) arises when we who are in the control room want to listen to individual channels we are tracking for quality control without altering or killing the discrete monitor mixes.

The way this can be done is by soloing all the discrete monitor mix send/tracks and then putting all of the record armed tracks in a folder track (which I name "Cntrl Room"). Now when the Ctrl Room track is solo'd it will play back the control room mix and any solos done within the folder will not affect the monitor mixes. For this to work properly all monitor sends and the folder track must remain solo'd. This is why a solo-safe feature would be great.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:26 AM   #19
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Volume and Speaker Controller
http://www.cockos.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5099
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:06 AM   #20
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Yep, of course you could set this up too and save the state. You could pre-set levels of the various outputs to the magic 77dB and mix away to your hearts content across multiple monitors, all from within Reaper.

*I*
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:47 AM   #21
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+1 for the controlroom channel
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:06 AM   #22
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+1 for talkback
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:12 PM   #23
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Or there is always the hardware version:


--- I couldn't afford an Avocet!

8 pairs of switchable balanced inputs, 3 balanced outputs.
This is also going to drive a large pair of Sifam Vu meters.
Further mods will include precise gain control for 'K' metering and relay operated -1dB steps on the outputs.
All this will be remote controlled.
Why the need for such an apparently 'over the top' device?
in short, transparency. All the inputs and outputs should be(and indeed are) balanced. This makes the whole process far more complicated.

Of course this only deals with monitoring master outputs, headphones mixes, external sources, doing what I use Totalmix to for at the moment in terms of precise attenuation of hardware outputs.
Digicheck 5 remains an indispensable set of tools in terms of digital playback metering and analysis.
Talkback etc. is still handled on the master section of my little hardware mixer, an old but nice Soundcraft BVE100S.

OK, I'm lucky. I have a fair bit of gear, unlike many other people.
My point here is that in the case of most people I meet who have a home setup of some kind:
They are limited (as am I) for space
Sparse attention is paid to hardware between the main outputs of the DAW and the monitors/headphones, usually because of budget restrictions (they'd rather get some nice cables(ad!)
Many don't understand the gravity of good talkback, monitoring and metering because they have never experienced an accurate way of handling these issues in a DAW context. Much understanding comes from being able to explore issues in practice.

I say let's bring these things to every DAW user who is smart enough to go down the Reaper route. These facilities bring every Reaper user one step closer to educated mixing and mastering regardless how small and simple their setup may be:

Easily assignable Talkback
Advanced metering for all, through VST analysis tools
Hard VST Limiting to protect directly connected monitors
Comprehensive and quick Monitoring of headphone/monitor mixes
Use VST plugs to correct for control room colouration
Precise attenuation of a dedicated hardware outputs for accurate control room monitoring ('K' system style)
Once the master section is set up how you like it, save it, forget it.

*I*
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:32 AM   #24
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CR Channel where is it ? Is it available yet ?
I want it, I want it.
Very much looking forward to that feature.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:03 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew View Post
I find myself doing this currently just because when you're working with laptop & headphones there is no other fast way to change volume level (I miss thumbwheel volume controls!). But of course the master VU is then useless.
You can use the master's hardware output fader, especially now that it is now on the master channel as a send.

I agree Reaper can use built in control room controls.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:26 PM   #26
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Default solo ignore / defeat for headphone mixes as vote-able FR!

This thread has quite a few posts with people asking for a "solo ignore/defeat" ability so..

I made a vote-able Feature Request for reaper to give us at least the ability to allow channels (headphone mixes) to ignore mutes and solos when enabled on that track.

This is a key feature for studio use when wanting to solo the people recording to check their playing without messing up the headphone mixes.

please vote for this feature here..

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=393

thanks
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:20 AM   #27
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ive been asking for this FOREVER.

essentially: allow the SOLO button to route to a different hardware out.

then, add a 'L' button to allow a SECOND solo out to another hardware out so i can monitor whatever i want without affecting the headphone mixes.

right now i put a send pre fader to a hidden channel called 'solo', but i have to use a mouse hand AND a shift on the keyboard to activate it. i can put a second one for my 'listen' bus, but so far i dont use reaper in the studio; only live.

so that button is essentially a 'listen' bus just like any hardware mixer. no hardware mixer in the WORLD has solo MUTE the unsoloed MAINS!

that said, i LOVE being able to do just that: i solo the house music channel between sets and i still get my talkback to stage and i can hear and stage can hear their monitor mixes!

+++1

-cheers
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:16 PM   #28
pernordentoft
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for CR mixer
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