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  #46  
Old 04-12-2015, 11:35 AM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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It's been a month since I started out feeling like a dog watching TV.
After a lot of reading and immersion as much as I had time for in the world and language of recording and Reaper I've reached a milestone.

I have 10 covers completed in adequate quality to burn a CD for my 80 year old mother.

Along the way I've learned about starting with a scratch track, panning the scratch track hard left and right so it can be split and each part used separately.
I've learned to add some reverb to "thicken" my vocals. I've used EQ to notch out a nasty tone on my GXi. I've used volume envelopes to start and stop the parts I want to be heard.

And today I used copy and paste followed by slip editing to fix a vocal timing problem by moving the vocal to the correct spot and thereby saved a 7 track song from the recycle bin.

At this point I've probably used 5% of what Reaper is capable of. Wow!
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  #47  
Old 04-13-2015, 07:30 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unimogbert View Post
It's been a month since I started out feeling like a dog watching TV.
After a lot of reading and immersion as much as I had time for in the world and language of recording and Reaper I've reached a milestone.

I have 10 covers completed in adequate quality to burn a CD for my 80 year old mother.

Along the way I've learned about starting with a scratch track, panning the scratch track hard left and right so it can be split and each part used separately.
I've learned to add some reverb to "thicken" my vocals. I've used EQ to notch out a nasty tone on my GXi. I've used volume envelopes to start and stop the parts I want to be heard.

And today I used copy and paste followed by slip editing to fix a vocal timing problem by moving the vocal to the correct spot and thereby saved a 7 track song from the recycle bin.

At this point I've probably used 5% of what Reaper is capable of. Wow!
See, old dogs CAN learn new tricks! Reaper has a lot of shortcuts (1 or 2 keys to do something that would normally require using a drop-down menu, etc), but there are also techniques that work with any DAW, such as creating templates - saving time setting up new sessions or inserting FX chains always used.
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  #48  
Old 04-17-2015, 08:10 PM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
See, old dogs CAN learn new tricks! Reaper has a lot of shortcuts (1 or 2 keys to do something that would normally require using a drop-down menu, etc), but there are also techniques that work with any DAW, such as creating templates - saving time setting up new sessions or inserting FX chains always used.
This dog is probably going to stay on one channel with the volume turned down.

I have a very, very, very strong impression that Reaper is a community hacking project by software engineers FOR software engineers and that no two people have the same Reaper due to add-ons, extensions, scripts and other stuff that are practically or completely undocumented. Even the video tutorials take you via pathways that depend on these extensions and add-ons.

Asking some questions in the newbie forum indicated that Reaper is not complete without the (complex,undocumented) SWS extensions and, depending on the question, other add-ons. Where to place the add-ons in your copy of Reaper is not documented with the adds - you're expected to know.

(I don't know software. I grew up with airplanes and nuclear reactors - stuff that'll kill or maim you if you do it wrong, not software. But I work in a place that does software for the DoD - so I'm around it. And software people. I still can't bring myself to push buttons randomly just to see what happens.)

I can do $60 worth with Reaper but my frustration level has risen as I've tried to learn new stuff that seems pretty obviously needed to me but has complex and divergent incomplete answers that get me nowhere.

My Mom's CD is going to be pretty rough.

Sorry Mom.
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  #49  
Old 04-20-2015, 08:28 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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The only things I added immediately after d/l-ing Reaper were the impulse files to use with ReaVerb. That's all I needed to get started. I've added more plugins and virtual instruments since then, just put them in the same 'VST Plug Ins' folder in Window's Program Files.
I think you're over-complicating things.
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  #50  
Old 04-20-2015, 09:02 AM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
I think you're over-complicating things.
Maybe. Or maybe I'm just dumb.

I have yet to figure out drums. Took another run at it yesterday. Even had an example project template with drums in it. They played just fine but the rest was alien technology.

I'm still working on the user manual but it reads more like unix help files - if you know what it means it'll help clarify. If you don't - it probably won't.

My big accomplishment for the weekend was to safely change colors of my tracks. (and fix a few mistakes in vocals by punching in copies of other better takes)
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  #51  
Old 04-20-2015, 10:00 AM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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Originally Posted by unimogbert View Post
Maybe. Or maybe I'm just dumb.

I have yet to figure out drums. Took another run at it yesterday. Even had an example project template with drums in it. They played just fine but the rest was alien technology.

I'm still working on the user manual but it reads more like unix help files - if you know what it means it'll help clarify. If you don't - it probably won't.

My big accomplishment for the weekend was to safely change colors of my tracks. (and fix a few mistakes in vocals by punching in copies of other better takes)
I tech supported for Digidesign during the earlier releases of Pro Tools. For 8 hours a day I would hear and endless stream of continuous frustrations. It was a difficult job to say the least. That and truth be told, in the early days, there probable as some legitimate reasons to be frustrated.

That said and setting aside all the legitimate frustrations (of things that just didn't work in the early days) the single biggest problem was folks getting frustrated, angry and in doing so making things much more complicated than needed. Even terms from your last post like "extensions", "add-ons" and "scripts" seem to be overly complicated descriptors. Honestly in all the years I've had my nose in DAW's 60 hours a week I don't know what your describing.

I know this is only a hobby for you but I'm thinking maybe someone in your general area might be able to sit down with you and show you around Reaper a bit. I'm bettin' an hour or so with someone who's familiar with the program would shed light on just how easy Reaper can be?
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  #52  
Old 04-20-2015, 10:30 AM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna View Post
so making things much more complicated than needed. Even terms from your last post like "extensions", "add-ons" and "scripts" seem to be overly complicated descriptors. Honestly in all the years I've had my nose in DAW's 60 hours a week I don't know what your describing.

I know this is only a hobby for you but I'm thinking maybe someone in your general area might be able to sit down with you and show you around Reaper a bit. I'm bettin' an hour or so with someone who's familiar with the program would shed light on just how easy Reaper can be?
Beginners don't know what they don't know. And they don't know the words to describe what they don't know and they don't know what the words the power users use mean. I'm still struggling to keep VST and VSTi definitions straight.


I actually DO know what I mean by extensions (SWS_extensions are what everyone says Reaper needs right off the bat - it adds a whole host of commands and functions to the already complex menus - and it has incomplete documentation according to the website) , add-ons are software modules obtained elsewhere to do stuff that Reaper might do but aren't the crowd favorites (meters, de-essers, compressors, etc), scripts are command sequences the power users come up with do accomplish things by invoking the script with say, a keystroke combination. (same meaning as in unix)

I agree that an hour or two with a power user could help a lot if they are patient. What I've learned from watching tutorials is that nobody uses the same Reaper so it might be like trying to learn to fix a Chevy by going to a Custom Car Show.....


At the moment I feel like a pre-student pilot who is told that "you get in, start the engine, and go flying. See how easy it is?"

I seem to be taxiing without crashing - so far.
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  #53  
Old 04-20-2015, 01:13 PM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Ok:
VSTs are plug-ins, these can be compressors, equalizers, effects; VSTi's are virtual instrument plug-ins (meaning you tell them MIDI info, they play sounds - synths, drums, etc.). Reaper comes with a lot of plug-ins (but not VSTi's).

Extensions - you don't need them. Reaper's got everything you need already. You need to learn how to use the built-in features and not worry about MORE shortcuts to remember, or scripts to do oft-repeated tasks more quickly.

Add-ons - de-essers, compressors - these are just more plug-ins, VST's. You don't need any more now. Really.


How are you trying to add drums to tracks? I'll tell you that if you are trying to create MIDI tracks from scratch, using a built-in wave table or VSTi plug in, you're going to get bogged down. Starting out, you'll do better to 'play drums' on a simple keyboard with built-in drum sounds (like most inexpensive Casios) and record the audio-out from the keyboard. Alternately, there are programs that run as a VSTi plug-in. Some are more complicated than others. EZDrummer (now version 2) is pretty easy to use - you audition the built-in loops, modify them if/as needed, then drag and drop them into a track in Reaper - but there's still a bit of a learning curve associated with this that I'm not sure you're ready for.
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  #54  
Old 04-20-2015, 01:58 PM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
Ok:
VSTs are plug-ins, these can be compressors, equalizers, effects; VSTi's are virtual instrument plug-ins (meaning you tell them MIDI info, they play sounds - synths, drums, etc.). Reaper comes with a lot of plug-ins (but not VSTi's).

Extensions - you don't need them. Reaper's got everything you need already. You need to learn how to use the built-in features and not worry about MORE shortcuts to remember, or scripts to do oft-repeated tasks more quickly.

Add-ons - de-essers, compressors - these are just more plug-ins, VST's. You don't need any more now. Really..
Gotcha. Lots of VSTs, no VTSis. I see them in the menus but don't know where to place them if I should attempt downloading from Reaper Stash (or wherever). This minor but significant detail is never stated.

According to the ravening helpful crowd on the reaper forum all answers seem to be found in the SWS extensions. Which I don't want to add for lots of reasons some of which you also have.

The stock listing seems to be really long and I'm using EQ, reverb, compressor and limiter now. Don't know if they are good or bad but it's not for me to worry about now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
How are you trying to add drums to tracks? I'll tell you that if you are trying to create MIDI tracks from scratch, using a built-in wave table or VSTi plug in, you're going to get bogged down. Starting out, you'll do better to 'play drums' on a simple keyboard with built-in drum sounds (like most inexpensive Casios) and record the audio-out from the keyboard. Alternately, there are programs that run as a VSTi plug-in. Some are more complicated than others. EZDrummer (now version 2) is pretty easy to use - you audition the built-in loops, modify them if/as needed, then drag and drop them into a track in Reaper - but there's still a bit of a learning curve associated with this that I'm not sure you're ready for.
My puzzle starts with "how does one do drums?" What are the ways? What do the words you are using in that paragraph mean? I comprehend what a MIDI input device is and that's about it.


(Thanks for you help!)
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  #55  
Old 04-20-2015, 06:30 PM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Drums- I have a sample drum template called ReaDrums and it uses the ReaSamplomatic5000 plugin (?). Came from the Home Recording book.(was offered as a sample in the book with no instructions - just to show what can be done if you know how someday. Maybe.)

Shows dashed lines as tracks which I assume are what MIDI tracks look like.
When I double-click on the track I get a kind of grid thing which has names of stuff vertically on the left. Drum names are in lines 36 thru 44 while the rest of the lines zero thrue 127 are just numbered. The bottom of the grid seems to have columns at what are probably the times of the hits in the MIDI track?
There are also small diamods horizontally on the lines corresponding to a drum at time intervals. (oriented over the columns across the bottom.)

I tried fooling with the diamonds. Left click gets a sound, right click gets a huge menu that looks dangerous.

Early on I downloaded something that is called 'SMDrums (stereo)' which has subdirectories corresponding to drum types each containing .wav samples of different duration samples of those drums. This was a recommended download from Reaper Stash with no instructions of where to place it or how to use it.

Seems like MIDI ops requires its own book. It appears that you need a MIDI file to tell the sampler(synthesizer? modulator? left-handed smokeshifter?) when and how long then a sampler to read the MIDI file then some samples for the synthesizer to imitate.

Am I close?
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  #56  
Old 04-21-2015, 07:58 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Yes, you're trying to create drum tracks from scratch via MIDI. I honestly don't recommend this method for a beginner. After 4+ years with Reaper, I'm still a MIDI amateur - I don't create drum tracks that way.

What do you think about 'playing' drums on a keyboard? Most Casio's have sounds built in - play a C note for a snare, for example, and a low E is the kick drum, hi-hat open is a high A, hi-hat closed is the B next to it. Go to a music shop, and play around with a demo keyboard and see if it might be something you could work with.

Alternately go to the EZDrummer page here and check out what it's like.
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  #57  
Old 04-21-2015, 08:49 AM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Yes, you're trying to create drum tracks from scratch via MIDI. I honestly don't recommend this method for a beginner. After 4+ years with Reaper, I'm still a MIDI amateur - I don't create drum tracks that way.
I'll take that as validation that what appears fairly difficult - is.

My wife pointed out last night (as I was complaining again) that my Mother knows I don't play drums so..... no need to do it for my covers.

It seemed like a good idea to dress up my tracks but it's not good if I wind up chucking the computer out the window in continued frustration.

I may circle back to drums around the year 2017 or so. Meantime I can inquire into how MIDI works on a casual basis. (I don't play keyboard either)

Thanks for trying to help.
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  #58  
Old 04-21-2015, 09:03 AM
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OK at the risk of complicating things I would say that while Mike is trying to be helpful (as per his own experience) IMO Honestly except for "feel" there is no fundamentally no difference between inputting midi notes via physical keyboard or virtual keyboard. And arguably if you have no prior physical keyboard experience using the virtual keyboard and or simply drawing midi notes into the grid may in fact be simpler

Some quick midi basics:
midi notes are usually displayed in a grid with horizontal and vertical lines The lines that run horizontal and divide the grid into up and down increments and actually relate to the individual keys (notes) on a keyboard (virtual or physical) that has been rotated 90 degrees with the low notes at the bottom and going higher as you go up.

The vertical lines of grid (do as you suspected indicate time increments) and usually the spacing is adjustable in increments relating to note lengths = whole notes , 1/2, 1/4 ,1/8 and 1/16th notes.

midi notes (usually indicated by little rectangular boxes for individual notes, or long lines the height of the individual notes, and indicate a a loop of of a combination midi notes. For example a loop of an entire drum kit playing a pre determined pattern)

Ok so there 4 basic methods for inputting midi notes into the grid.
1. by clicking on the mouse with the cursor over a particular key on the virtual midi keyboard
2.by depressing a physical key on a physical midi keyboard
3. by placing the cursor in the graph and double clicking the mouse
4. by drawing in (usually with a pencil tool) by clicking the mouse with the pencil cursor in the grid.

(Note) once you have a note or set of notes, say perhaps a One bar set of kick drum notes (you can with most DAW's) highlight that bar and copy and paste in successive bars in the time line to have the same kick pattern for an entire song.

With drums the usual "mapping" (which actual key triggers which drum instrument) i.e. kick drum, snare drum, tomtom, high hat symbals , crash , ride etc.

kick drum is usually C .

So with that in mind perhaps this tutorial will help a bit (even though its about inputing a synth instrument ) it is using the ReaSamplomatic5000 and many of the basics will apply. Hope this helps

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  #59  
Old 04-21-2015, 09:51 AM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Thanks Kev.

The grid is, I presume, the "piano roll" that the crowd refers to?
(I've actually seen and loaded player piano rolls on a player piano when I was a kid so it's a good analogy)

I briefly made an excursion to the virtual keyboard and the grid and a synthesizer (documented in this thread) and even got it to make sounds. They were ugly simple synthesizer sounds but - they made sounds.

What's missing for me are the parts that relate to drums.

Setup involves getting sampled sounds of a drum set, putting them in the right place (not named), then hooking them to the sampler somehow then mapping the samples thru the sampler to the keyboard then tap the keyboard to make drum sounds and punch holes in the roll? Right?

Or alternatively you punch holes in the paper roll with your mouse button? Also right?

If those are the building blocks I get the concept. It's the naming of the pieces, their locations and the connections between them that I can't bridge because these are assumed to be obvious by the reaper forum folks.
They aren't obvious to me. I'm too ignorant to even be a newbie there.

(even though I'm still reading the User's Guide as best I can)
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  #60  
Old 04-21-2015, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by unimogbert View Post
Thanks Kev.

The grid is, I presume, the "piano roll" that the crowd refers to?
(I've actually seen and loaded player piano rolls on a player piano when I was a kid so it's a good analogy)]
Yes basically. For example in the youtube screen pictured in my post (before actually clicking on the the play button), the piano roll is on the left and defines the corresponding notes vertically and relates to the the horizontal grid lines (as if you took that virtual keyboard at the bottom and pivoted it from the lower left corner 90 degrees )

Quote:
I briefly made an excursion to the virtual keyboard and the grid and a synthesizer (documented in this thread) and even got it to make sounds. They were ugly simple synthesizer sounds but - they made sounds.

What's missing for me are the parts that relate to drums.
Quote:
Setup involves getting sampled sounds of a drum set, putting them in the right place (not named), then hooking them to the sampler somehow then mapping the samples thru the sampler to the keyboard then tap the keyboard to make drum sounds and punch holes in the roll? Right?
Correct now in the tutorial she goes through the process of locating a WAV file and loading it into the sampler NOTE there are two different kinds of files you can load into a sampler a multi instrument loop (like she does in the tutorial) which already has a predetermined pattern. Or you can load single note (sometime called one shot) sample of things like a single kick drum hit or snare or cymbal etc. Map it to a particular key (some times it will do the mapping by default for you. Then you then produce your own pattern. Which I believe is what you are trying to do correct ?

Quote:
Or alternatively you punch holes in the paper roll with your mouse button? Also right?
Yes essentially the same concept

Quote:
If those are the building blocks I get the concept. It's the naming of the pieces, their locations and the connections between them that I can't bridge because these are assumed to be obvious by the reaper forum folks.
They aren't obvious to me. I'm too ignorant to even be a newbie there.

(even though I'm still reading the User's Guide as best I can)
Yes your beginning to get it Yes the lingo is hard to get at first but that will come.
You said you have a ReaDrum sampled drum set I am presuming it has one shot samples
I can't do it right now but this evening I will review that tutorial and see if I can figure how to load an map for multiple single samples
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