Old 03-31-2020, 01:50 PM   #1
RandomAwesome
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Default Massive STEM export problem/idea (DONE)

Hey all,

My name is Josh Schroeder and I've been a full-time producer/engineer for about 12 years now. Been using Reaper most of that time. Absolutely love it.

One of the reasons I love Reaper is the ability to do entire records in one session. Engineering AND mixing AND mastering. I love the efficiency and the customization flexibility.

One of the hangups I run into are stem files.

It's not uncommon to have ~ 20 different songs and 300+ tracks in an album session of mine. That's 6000 boxes to tick in the region render matrix. This is an insane amount of tracks to sort through. I usually just render them all, zip em, upload em, and pray for the band, but that's not ideal.

Since Reaper has the ability to detect STEREO vs. MONO tracks, why not also SILENT tracks? Since a lot of those regions are blank, due to redundant channels in a massive session, it would be incredible to check a box next to the stereo / mono one that would read "skip track if signal is below X db" or empty or whatever.

I've also looked into some kind of program that would comb through wav files in a directory and delete/sort the ones that have no signal... but no luck here

Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old 04-01-2020, 03:42 PM   #2
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Would the following custom action help any?

SWS: Unselect all items/tracks/env points
Xenakios/SWS: Select tracks with no items
SWS: Toggle (invert) track selection
SWS: Toggle selection of items on selected track(s)

So empty tracks with no items would not be selected. Then you could select Stems (selected tracks) as the rendering source.
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Old 04-04-2020, 11:45 AM   #3
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Hey xpander!

First of all, thank you so much for the reply.

Secondly, I followed your steps and this helps a ton, and I believe this is getting much closer to my desired effect, but I'm still going to end up with a lot of empty tracks.

I've attached a photo so you can see what I mean:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=11L...s9V2lBoxK5qgs1

All of the regions in this project are songs. As you can see, if I rendered things down as-is, I would get a ton of empty space in my tracks. I would also be missing out in rendering down busses, or my parent folder tracks. Since those are technically empty, the selection trick doesn't work here :~(

Any further ideas here would be most welcome!
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Old 04-04-2020, 11:48 AM   #4
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Honestly, if there was just a way, outside of Reaper, to scan a folder full of thousands of files, and delete the ones that have no audio information, or audio information below -X db, that would be precisely what I need!

Typically, I just render down ALL regions, and send it to the bands I work with, but that's 6500+ files in a recent project I worked on :O
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Old 04-11-2020, 04:37 AM   #5
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Hi Josh,

I am going to take a look at this problem sometime this weekend. Stay tuned...
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Old 04-11-2020, 04:39 AM   #6
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Oh, and...

Hi everyone else,

First post here. Well, 2nd.
Been reading a while. Learned a lot of useful things. Thank you all for that.
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Old 04-13-2020, 07:25 AM   #7
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Would something like this be useful?

Also, the script will automatically detect any empty track/region that has an item buried anywhere down within any mixture of child tracks and/or tracks which it is receiving from, to any 'nested' depth. So all required folder tracks and buses will be included in the output. And if the render queue is used, the render file path is set per stem allowing each regions stems to go in their own named folder.

I should probably post this in the ReaScript sub-forum and continue any discussion of this script there, right? I am still just learning Reaper scripting and coding in general so it might be wise to have the experts here look at the code to ensure it meets the high standards of this community. What do y'all think?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Render_script_user_input.jpg (43.5 KB, 39 views)
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Old 04-13-2020, 07:48 AM   #8
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That looks good AB1, thanks for that. I see no problem announcing and talking about scripts in more general forums, but script forum is surely the place for the more detailed discussion about the inner workings...
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:27 AM   #9
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Hey AB1,

This looks like it could work. I'm pretty new to custom scripts. How would I try this one out?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:07 AM   #10
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I haven't uploaded the script yet (will do so tomorrow at the latest) but when I do...

In Reaper, on the menu; Options, Preferences, General, Export configuration.
If you haven't done so already I would tick ALL of the boxes in the panel on the left.
Then save the configuration file.

Menu: Options, Show Reaper resource path...
In your 'Configurations' folder, copy the config file you just saved and keep it safe anywhere outside your Reaper folder. Then make another copy of it!
And backup your project file before using new scripts!

All the above is just good practice before running new scripts or otherwise changing your Reaper setup in any way.

If you know how to make a portable install of Reaper you could do that instead (still backup your project file!).

Download the script (I will attach it to a post here).
Copy it into the 'Scripts' folder in your Reaper resource path (see above).

Menu; Actions, Show action list...
Near the bottom of the 'Actions' window click on ReaScripts: Load...
Navigate to the new script inside your 'Scripts' folder (see above) and open it.

The script will now appear in your actions list (near the top for easy access) and you can run it from there (double-click it or click on 'Run') or give it a keyboard shortcut or whatever you want to do to trigger it to run. It's a good idea to first click 'Edit' in the Actions window (with the script selected in the list) to take a look at the script itself. There may be instructions for the script near the top. Close the edit window before you run the script.

You will need to download and install the Reaper SWS extension (if you don't already have it - look under Menu; Extensions) if you want to use the 'Min peak level' option in this script, but the script will run without it if you don't enter a value for that option.


IMPORTANT - One thing I just noticed. You seem to be using an older Reaper theme in your screenshot (nothing wrong with that - so am I!). If you are NOT using that older theme in a recent version of Reaper (which you can do), this script may not run correctly as it may rely on features introduced in later versions of Reaper than the one you are using - looks like v3?

I don't know of any good reason not to use the latest version of Reaper (you can stick with your older theme so it will look the same). I think Reaper v6 may still require a beta of the SWS extension at the moment so it may be better to go with the last version 5 number for now (all old version are available on website). Create a portable install of Reaper v5 or 6 if you want to try it (and this script) out before you commit. You can import your config file (see above) from your older version so that everything is the same as you are used to, but you will have access to new features and will be able to run all scripts.
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Old 04-14-2020, 12:18 PM   #11
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Who is this 5 post count guy swooping in with a script!?


OP if you do need to quickly remove a bunch of files from your system that are empty, you can drag them all into a new reaper session (Save it first) and when it asks place them all on one track sequentially. You may need to make sure 'Copy imported media to project media directory' is unticked in preferences > Media, and same for the Project Preferences > Media where there is 'On import of media to project' setting.

Use action (with SWS installed)
SWS: Organize items by peak RMS

It should now be fairly obvious when you zoom out where the blank files start.
Delete all but the blank ones.

Save As, and be sure to tick Move all media into project directory. This will move all your blank files out of wherever they were.

Delete the project.
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Old 04-14-2020, 12:59 PM   #12
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Ha. Been lurking a while. Something about the OPs problem inspired me to try scripting it. I scripted the heck out of Reaper for myself a while back and have been missing the fun of scripting so I thought I would write some for others. Just posted one in the ReaScript Request sticky.
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:40 AM   #13
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Here you go.

I ran into this issue...

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=231421

and although I have worked around it (after messing about with region colors and extstate) I am still not happy using special markers to tag 'selected' regions and thought I might think of something better in a day or two. But this works for now.

If you want to render selected regions, use a bunch of named markers and snap one against the start of each region as required. If you keep one of these markers within each region when not in use, it can be very quick to 'select' or 'unselect' a region just by dragging a handy nearby marker. But yeah it's a kludge, I know.

Hope the script works out for you. If I understood you correctly it should do exactly what you were asking for. If you have any problems with it or need any changes or additional features, let me know and I will see what I can do.

Script is fully commented to help others modify it to their own needs.
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:47 AM   #14
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The current prerelease version of REAPER has an option to not render silent files. If you'd like to help with feedback, the prerelease forum is here:

https://forum.cockos.com/forumdisplay.php?f=37
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
The current prerelease version of REAPER has an option to not render silent files. If you'd like to help with feedback, the prerelease forum is here:

https://forum.cockos.com/forumdisplay.php?f=37
Another classic example that yes, the devs do read the forums.
Great addition - thank you!
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Old 04-15-2020, 11:51 AM   #16
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You're thanking Schwa right? (as is right and proper). I still haven't got the hang of forums.
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Old 04-16-2020, 10:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
The current prerelease version of REAPER has an option to not render silent files. If you'd like to help with feedback, the prerelease forum is here:

https://forum.cockos.com/forumdisplay.php?f=37
No kidding? When is that version set to release? I'm in the middle of several album projects, so I don't want to get involved in any beta or alpha software. Made that mistake with my Kemper :\
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:33 PM   #18
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There is a rule around here about not discussing pre-releases anywhere other than in the dedicated thread within this forum. I am guessing that "when will it be finished?" would not go down well but with Reaper, things are usually out the door pretty quick.

In the meantime you still have options even if you don't want to try new software - perfectly understandable if you are mid-project.

It's getting late now but I will look again tomorrow. Off the top of my head, if you don't mind waiting whilst you render everything including empty space as you have done before, you could do that, COPY the entire folder of renders and import the copies into a new project in a portable install of the latest official Reaper. Then use this portable Reaper as though it were a stand alone app to do one job only - namely scan each imported file and actually delete off the hard drive all the 'empty' copies (or more safely, copy the non-empty ones to a new folder) - just as you described in your post #4. I'm sure that could be done simply enough.

Or wait for a new version of Reaper. You may indeed find it meets your needs.

BTW the above script was written for you. I don't think I made that obvious. No worries as I'm just whiling away the UK lockdown blues and was looking for something useful to do, plus it will stay here for anyone else to find and use. Though it might be obsolete...
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Old 04-17-2020, 06:35 AM   #19
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The attached script does what you describe in post #4. Since you have asked for something that will delete files from the hard drive, please read the instructions. It's very easy to use, just make sure you only use it when you intend to. If used with Reaper v5.99, use latest official SWS extension - 'beta' version is not required. Script requires confirmation from user before running, for safety.
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Old 04-17-2020, 06:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB1 View Post
There is a rule around here about not discussing pre-releases anywhere other than in the dedicated thread within this forum. I am guessing that "when will it be finished?" would not go down well but with Reaper, things are usually out the door pretty quick.
My bad! This is literally my first thread and also the first post I've made. I will keep that in mind from now on.



Quote:
In the meantime you still have options even if you don't want to try new software - perfectly understandable if you are mid-project.
Yeah, it'd be one thing if I just had a few personal projects kicking around, but I literally have a handful of major label album projects that I might need to access over the next few months. Not only that, but my sessions are always full albums in one giant Reaper session. So these can grow to be precarious towers of Janga, as you might imagine.

Quote:
It's getting late now but I will look again tomorrow. Off the top of my head, if you don't mind waiting whilst you render everything including empty space as you have done before, you could do that, COPY the entire folder of renders and import the copies into a new project in a portable install of the latest official Reaper. Then use this portable Reaper as though it were a stand alone app to do one job only - namely scan each imported file and actually delete off the hard drive all the 'empty' copies (or more safely, copy the non-empty ones to a new folder) - just as you described in your post #4. I'm sure that could be done simply enough.
This is a good idea, the only problem is my projects typically have 4000-6000+ files. It's definitely doable, but extremely tedious unless I'm misunderstanding your suggested method.

Quote:
Or wait for a new version of Reaper. You may indeed find it meets your needs.
This sounds the safest to me

Quote:
BTW the above script was written for you. I don't think I made that obvious. No worries as I'm just whiling away the UK lockdown blues and was looking for something useful to do, plus it will stay here for anyone else to find and use. Though it might be obsolete...
Many thanks for this! I haven't had the chance to try it yet, as I've been busy with a bunch of remote music projects. For now, the band in question has been content with sifting through 6500 stems, haha, so good on them for their insane patience. But thankfully, they're also Reaper users, so they completely understand the situation.

You're a shining example of why I love Reaper and those that contribute to it. Please stay safe across the pond!

Thanks again!
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomAwesome View Post

This sounds the safest to me
Yeah that's what I would do too if I wasn't used to dealing with scripts already. I probably overplayed the 'safety' aspect - it's only renders you would be deleting not original recording files so no real need to copy the entire folder and then copy again what you wanted rather than delete what you didn't want. Worst case scenario you could just render them again, easier than calling the musicians back to the studio! But yeah, definitely keep an eye on the Reaper updates. There's something in the works... I will try and remember to update this thread then.
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