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 Sound Editor Guide : Reaper

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DanielCoffey
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PostSubject: Sound Editor Guide : Reaper   Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:44 am




===

I know many Voice Actors and Modders are familiar with the free sound processing apps such as Audacity, but some of us like to use Reaper. Just in case any of the Audacity users would like to try Reaper but were concerned about how to perform the regular Voice Acting tasks in an unfamiliar application, here is my Reaper Guide.

===


REAPER : WHERE TO GET IT


Reaper Home Page : http://www.reaper.fm/

Reaper Forum : http://forum.cockos....isplay.php?f=20

Reaper Manual : http://www.cockos.co...r/userguide.php

Reaper Download : http://www.cockos.co...er/download.php

The Download allows you to choose the Windows / OSX, 32 or 64-bit versions of Reaper. The software is available for a 30-day evaluation period. During this time you have access to the FULL version of Reaper to decide if it is the tool you want to use.

After the Evaluation period, you are obliged to pay the $60 Individual Registration Fee which entitles you to free upgrades for the next two major revisions. The current version of Reaper is 4.261 which means you would be covered up to Reaper v5.99.

Throughout this thread I will use the Windows keyboard convention (Control, Alt, Shift) and just assume that Mac users (like me) will know to replace them with (Command, Option, Shift) as required.
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DanielCoffey
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PostSubject: Re: Sound Editor Guide : Reaper   Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:45 am




===


CHANGING DEFAULT FILE LOCATIONS


By default, Reaper stuffs all files for all projects into the same directory and as you record more projects it can lead to one unholy mess. Fortunately Reaper will give you more control over how its files are organised.

1. Open a New Project and press Alt-Enter to open the Project Settings window.

2. Select the Media tab and find the field labelled "Path to Save Media Files". Type Audio Files in this field. Click the "Save as Default Project Settings" button.

3. Create a new Track (Ctrl-T), arm it for recording and record a brief sample. When you stop recording, if you get a popup asking you to "Select Files to Save or Delete", make sure you untick the "Save or Delete New Files On Stop" checkbox.

4. Save your temporary Project (Ctrl-S) and you will be asked to choose where to save the project and what to call it. On the Mac this will be in the ~/Documents/REAPER Media/ folder. Type in a name for your project and thick the following two checkboxes... "Create Subdirectory for Project" and "Move All Media Into Project Directory".

What you have now done is tell Reaper to organise its files in a more logical and consistent manner which will help prevent clutter and hopefully avoid problems with deleting the wrong files. Your file structure will now look like this...

Code:
REAPER Media folder containing...

    MyLastProject folder containing...

        MyLastProject.rpp
        Audio Files folder containing...

            Line One Take One.wav
            Line One Take One.wav.reapeaks
            and so on...



===


ZOOMING IN ON YOUR AUDIO TRACK


By default, the Track window will only take up a certain height on the top half of the screen. Of course you can drag the lower edge of the window to allow more room, but the track itself is still quite small.

It is very easy to zoom in or out on this track to see small details...

1. Zoom the Timeline by using the Mouse Wheel. This will stretch or compress the horizontal axis.

2. Toggle between Minimized and Normal view of a Track by pressing ` (back apostrophe)

3. Toggle between Minimized and Maximised view of a Track by pressing ~ (tilde)

4. Zoom the vertical axis by using Shift-UpArrow and Shift-DownArrow


===


RENDERING AS MP3 (MAC ONLY)


By default, Reaper stores everything you record as 24-bit WAV files. It is likely that the Modder you are VAing for will specify that they want you to produce your lines in MP3 format. Reaper handles this easily by permitting you to "Render" or export your final lines in MP3 format.

Windows users will have no issues doing this but due to licensing issues, Mac users will need to download and install a small third-party DLL to enable this. This DLL is called LAME and is available from the following link...

LAME MP3 Encoder : http://aegiscorp.free.fr/lame/

Download the 32 or 64-bit version that you need and install the enclosed .dylib in the following directory...

Machintosh HD / Library / Application Support

Please note this is not the user ~ / Library folder but rather the root Library folder.


===


CREATING AND NAMING A NEW PROJECT


If you have already set up Reaper to store its files efficiently, you will have a REAPER Media directory that your projects will reside in. The .RPP project master file will be inside a named project directory and the raw sound files that Reaper generates will be in a subdirectory for safety and ease of access. Of course, go with your own personal preference for organisation.

There are many useful keyboard shortcuts which you may find more useful than hunting for the mouse under all your cables and scripts.

You can open a new project by selecting Reaper - Files - New Project or by pressing Ctrl-P. This project needs to be given a name so immediately Save the project (Ctrl-S) . Make sure it is going to save in the correct place (usually REAPER Media) and give it a name. I have started naming the projects with the name of the quest and the character part as follows... "TEG Demons Eye - Golan Jordan".

Your clean project is ready to receive tracks and recordings once you have conducted a Sound Check.


===


SOUND CHECK


Having made sure that Reaper is listening to the correct Mic and reporting to the correct speakers/headphones by looking at Reaper - Preferences - Audio - Device, you are ready to start a Sound Check.

Create an empty Track by either clicking Reaper - Track - Insert New Track, pressing Ctrl-T or double-clicking in the Track Control Panel (top left area by default).

Arm the Track for recording by clicking the red Track Arm button for your test track. You should immediately see the meter begin to move about as the mic picks up room noise. If you don't see any activity, check Reaper is listening to the mic and that the mic is powered if it is needed.

At this point you will probably be looking at that tiny Track Meter to the left of your track and thinking that it is useless. All it is really for is to show that there is an input being delivered to that track. Some Reaper re-skins increase the size of it but you should now really be looking at the Mixer Panel in the lower half of the screen.

Divide the screen into a track area and a mixer area. If you like you can increase the height of the Mixer area for the purposes of the Sound Check then return it to a more normal split afterwards.

The Track Meter will have a visible gauge showing the mic signal but it may not be stretched all the way up. There are a couple of horizontal handles on the top edge of the Meter which you can grab with the mouse and drag up till the Meter is as tall as it can go.

You now need to check your posture and position to the Mic and speak in your Loud voice while watching the peaks on the Meter. Do a few loud lines of Angry Guard or Frightened Victim as you adjust the mic gain.

If you trip the Peak indicator, you have gone above 0.0dB on the signal and are clipping so back down the gain a little and try again.

You can click the red Clip Indicator to clear it.

You should be getting your maximum peaks at around -6dB with the majority of normal spoken lines in the -12dB to -15dB area. Fiddle with the gain till your Loud voice comes in at about -6dB and you should be delivering a good signal to Reaper. Hiss, hum and background noise that the mic is picking up can be dealt with or chased down and eliminated later.



===


PREPARING TO RECORD A TRACK


Before you start recording, it might be a good idea to name your track. Double-click just to the right of the Track Arm button and you will be prompted to give the track a name. The character's name would be a good idea.

Since we will only be dealing with a single track (barring re-takes), it would be useful to expand the height of the track window. Either drag the lower edge of the track down to fill the available space or press ~ (tilde) while your empty track is selected. This will Maximise the Track View.

You can enable this behaviour as a default by selecting Reaper - Preferences - Project - Track/Send Defaults - Default Track Height in New Projects - Large.

Rather than fiddling with multiple tracks in one project (say one track per line), you may find it less disruptive to your reading to work on one long track for the entire session. You can easily highlight sections of the track for exporting when the recording is finished. Consider your track like a tape cassette. Just keep talking, even if you fluff a line.

At this point, I assume you will have a visible set of your lines, either onscreen somewhere or printed for reference. You want to be able to ignore what Reaper is doing and just concentrate on your reading.


===


STARTING AND STOPPING A RECORDING


This is where keyboard shortcuts really become useful. While you can start and stop a recording by clicking on the red Record button on the Transport Bar, it is much easier to use the keyboard. Just learn that Ctrl-R starts recording and that pressing Ctrl-R again stops it. There is also an even easier way to stop recording... just hit the space bar.

If you get a popup window when you hit the space bar asking you to select a file to save, make sure you un-tick the "on Stop" check-box and it will not bother you again.

Start the recording (Ctrl-R) and get your script visible. Some modders may ask for a few seconds of complete silence so that they can use the natural background noise of your room and mic to help deal with noise reduction in Post-Processing later. Give them a good few seconds of complete silence that you can cut out and let them have later.

After that period of silence, you can start speaking. Forget Reaper is listening and just enjoy the VA.

Leave between 2 to 4 seconds between each line to allow easier cutting out later.

If you fluff a line, just stop speaking for a few seconds and then redo it. From the early days of learning to use Voice Dictation software, I learned to say "Scratch That" to signify I wanted the program to ignore that last line. While Reaper supports Takes, chances are you will just be able to repeat the line and pick the good one when you come to cut it out later.

Once you are done with all the lines for that actor, press Ctrl-R or Space to stop the recording then press Ctrl-S to Save the Project.

Turn off the Track Arm button and you are ready to listen to your recording and select the good portions of the lines.


===


EVALUATING YOUR RECORDING


You can now play your track back from the beginning and listen to the overall quality of the lines.

If listening to the recording on your pre-amp, turn down the gain to prevent live sounds that are still coming through the mic affecting what you are hearing. My own pre-amp has a Monitor Mix dial that allows me to choose whether I listen to the clean recording Playback or the continuous feed from the Input Mic(s).

If you find that someone drove past or the air-con came on half way through a line, you can make a note of lines to redo. You have the option of adding your new recording onto the end of the previous one or picking a point near the fluffed/spoiled line and storing it as a Take.

Takes are, by default, non-destructive and you can always go back to your original if you want to. Takes are effectively stored in parallel as a virtual Track above your real Track.
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DanielCoffey
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PostSubject: Re: Sound Editor Guide : Reaper   Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:47 am




===


INTRODUCTION TO EFFECTS


Reaper comes with a very wide selection of Effects already loaded and ready to use. Broadly speaking, Reaper’s Effects fall into five categories...

Sound Shaping : Effects that affect the frequency/pitch of your track such as Equalizers and Noise Reduction.
Time Based : Effects that change how your track interacts with time, such as Reverb, Chorus and Delay.
Volume Changing : Effects that change the actual or perceived volume of the track such as Compressors and Limiters.
Routing : Effects that change how the output of tracks are routed into others.
Analytical : Effects that display information about your track but don’t alter it in any way.

There are several ways to help you manage your Effects efficiently. You can create groups to put frequently used Effects together or you could group Effects that have a similar function. You can also change the names of Effects to make them easier to remember.

Effects in Reaper are always non-destructive. You can add them, see if you like what they do to the sound of your track and either keep them or take them out without destroying your original recording.


===


GROUPING EFFECTS


Effects in Reaper can be grouped in any way you wish. If you frequently use the same set of Effects on your Voice Acting tracks, you can put them into a group (there is actually one called Favorites, more on that in a moment).

To create an Effects group, either select Reaper - View - FX Browser or press Shift-F to open the Effects Browser window. If you want to create a new Group, right-click on the line marked My Folders and choose Create New Folder. For your convenience, Reaper comes with an empty Favorites folder already set up.

To add an Effect into a group, all you have to do is drag and drop it into the desired group (or groups - Effects can be in multiple groups at once). Of course first you have to know what the Effect is called, so type part of the Effect name into the Filter List field. This will display the subset of Effects that contain the word you typed.

As an example, type “gate” into the Filter List and you will see just one Effect listed... VST: ReaGate (Cockos). Drag this effect into the Favorites folder.

Do the same for Compression Effects by typing “comp” into the filter and drag VST: ReaComp (Cockos) into the Favorites folder.

Finally, type “ReaFir” in the filters and drag VST: ReaFir (FFT EQ+Dynamics Processor) (Cockos) into the Favorites folder.

You now have a set of the three core Voice Acting Effects in one place. ReaFir is a background noise Reducer, ReaGate is another noise filter that deals with short duration quiet noises and ReaComp is an Effect that manipulates volumes within a track.


===


RENAMING EFFECTS


VST: ReaFir (FFT EQ+Dynamics Processor) is quite a mouthful, so let’s change it to something shorter. Click the Clear Filter button to show all the Effects again and select your Favorites folder. The three Effects we just selected should be in there. Right-click on the entry for ReaFir and delete all the stuff in the brackets to just leave ReaFir. You could add (Noise Reduction) if you wanted to indicate what the Effect does. Do this with all three Effects and you will have a list that is more legible.

It is not possible to delete the Effect Prefix of VST: but at least you can edit the names themselves.


===


APPLYING AN EFFECT TO A TRACK


All you have to do in order to apply an effect to a track is right-click the FX button in the window to the left of your Track itself or on the FX button on the Track Volume Mixer. You will immediately notice one or two entries called Recently Used and Favorites. Any Effect groups that you created will be listed here too.

Remember that some Effects, particularly the Time Based ones such as Delay, Chorus and Reverb can impose a heavy CPU load while running. It is far better to not use an Effect rather than use one badly.

If in doubt about whether to use an Effect or if you don’t fully understand it, leave the decision to your Modder. They would always prefer to receive a raw, un-tweaked voice sample from you than one which you had mangled through over-zealous use of Effects.


===


TURNING AN EFFECT ON AND OFF


You will notice that any track that has had an Effect applied will have a green illuminated FX button to the left of the track or on the Track Volume Meter. Right-clicking on this green button will display the current Effects on the track.

At this point you have the choice of selecting the effect and ticking or un-ticking the unlabeled checkbox in the very top-right of the Effect to turn the Effect on or off or you can find the Effect where it is listed above the Track Volume Meter, right-click on it and choose Bypass Effect (this is a toggle) to turn it off or on.

If you have maximized the Track Volume Meter you may have to drag it down a bit to expose the active Effect area.


===


REMOVING AN EFFECT FROM A TRACK


You can either Left-click on the green track FX button, select your Effect then click the Remove button at the bottom of the Effect Parameter window to remove the Effect or simply right-click on the Effect name in the Track Volume Meter and choose Delete FX.


===


REDUCING THE STRENGTH OF AN EFFECT - THE EFFECT FADER


There is a very tiny control on the Effect Parameter window which acts as a fader to reduce the strength of an Effect.

Click on an active Effect to bring up the Effect Parameter window. Look along the top row until you see a very small round dial almost at the right edge. Hover over it and use the mouse scroll wheel to change it.

This is the Wet Mixer control. At 0% Wet, this control means the Effect is at zero strength and is effectively bypassed. At 50% Wet the Effect is at half strength and at 100% Wet (default) the Effect is at full strength.


===


REAFIR NOISE REDUCTION EFFECT


If you are attempting to remove constant background hum and hiss from your audio, ReaFir is the Effect to use. If the background noise is faint but of short duration then you want to use ReaGate instead. Generally noise reduction is the first Effect you apply to a track.

Before you apply ReaFir to your track, make sure you have a good five seconds or so section of your track where there is no speaking and no sudden noises. You need to show ReaFir a section of the hum or hiss that you want to eliminate so that it can learn the noise profile.

Make sure you have applied ReaFir to your track and you should have the ReaFir Effect Parameter screen open.

Make the following selections...

Edit Mode : Precise
Mode : Subtract
Automatically build noise profile : ticked

Click at the beginning of your quiet section in your recording, press Play and let it run for the few seconds where there is only the background noise in the recording. You must stop the playback BEFORE you hit a section with speech or else ReaFir will learn what you sound like and attempt to delete that too.

Make sure you now uncheck the Automatically build noise profile checkbox before doing anything else.

Once you have stopped the recording, you should see a red line on the graph which looks something like this...



If for some reason you need to reset the Effect, for example if you have accidentally played back a sample with spoken words in, then you need to do the following...

Click the Reset button on the ReaFir Parameter window
Un-tick and re-tick the Automatically build noise profile checkbox
Reposition your Track Play cursor at the beginning of a noise-only section
Press Play
Stop the recording before it gets to the next speech part.

Here is a sample from a voice line with a couple of seconds of empty recording before and after the line. The first recording has faint hum in the background (turn up your speakers to hear it).

SAMPLE : 44100, Mono, .mp3 raw output from Mic, no effects
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/reaper/reaperguide/OllySampleNoEffects.mp3

This second sample has ReaFir applied after having played the hum for it to learn and subtract. The Effect is at 100% Wet (100% strength).


SAMPLE : 44100, Mono, .mp3 with ReaFir Noise Reduction Effect
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/reaper/reaperguide/OllySampleReaFir.mp3

As you can see, the noise is completely gone. There are one or two small background sounds still audible in the quiet sections of the second track but these could be removed later by a very gentle application of ReaGate.


===


REAGATE NOISE GATE EFFECT


Noise Gate effects are used to filter out short duration noises that fall below a specified threshold such as rustles, breathing noises and similar.

A Noise Gate Effect needs a delicate hand or it can also filter out softer parts of the spoken lines as well as introduce pops and clicks into a passage. If the raw recorded sample has good, strong vocals then a Noise Gate should work well.

Reaper comes with the VST: ReaGate Effect and it has the following parameters...

Threshold : This is the unmarked slider on the left of the Effect Parameter window. It is used to specify the volume below which the gate should be engaged.
Pre-Open : This changes how the gate behaves when it opens and closes. Pre-open offers the chance to look ahead a few milliseconds so that the Attack can be activated just before the volume falls below the Threshold.
Attack : This determines the speed with which a closed gate reopens when the volume rises above the Threshold. The lower the Attack, the faster the gate will go from letting through 0% to 100% of the signal. Too fast an Attack will result in audible clicks.
Hold : This determines how long the gate is held open before closing when the signal falls below the Threshold.
Release : This determines the speed with which the gate closes when a signal falls below the Threshold.
Hysterisis : Specifies a margin of flexibility around the Threshold to prevent the gate from opening and closing and "chattering".

Other settings that may need to be adjusted to get the best out of ReaGate are...

Low Pass Filter : Allows frequencies below the specified value to pass unhindered through the gate but filters frequencies above it.
High Pass Filter : Allows frequencies above the specified value to pass unhindered through the gate but filters frequencies below it.
Wet and Dry sliders : Sets the levels of processed and un-processed signal allowed into the output.



Remember to use Gate with a light hand. Fortunately Reaper applies Effects in a non-destructive way so if you over-use ReaGate you can always revert to the original recording.

Here is that sample from Olly Lightfeather again. The first one is the raw sound file with no effects...

SAMPLE : 44100, Mono, .mp3 raw output from Mic, no effects
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/reaper/reaperguide/OllySampleNoEffects.mp3

This second sample has ReaGate on its own, carefully applied to take out the couple of clicks you can hear after the "My Friend". I used the lowest threshold I could to take out the clicks and ended up with a Gate Threshold of -41.6dB.


SAMPLE : 44100, Mono, .mp3 with ReaGate Threshold at -41.6dB
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/reaper/reaperguide/OllySampleReaGate.mp3

You will notice in the sample above that when the VA was speaking and ReaGate was allowing the loud voice sample through the Gate, it did nothing for the background hum underneath the words. Sure the beginning and end hum was eliminated but not when the VA was speaking.

Next I applied ReaFir Noise Reduction FIRST to get rid of all the hum along then entire line then put ReaGate on afterwards. Since ReaFir had already taken care of most of the noise apart from those clicks after the end of the spoken line, I was able to use a much lower Threshold on ReaGate. Always use as little ReaGate as you can.

SAMPLE : 44100, Mono, .mp3 with ReaFir Noise Reduction and ReaGate Threshold at -54.0dB
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/reaper/reaperguide/OllySampleReaFirReaGate.mp3

If you raise the Threshold too high, you will end up chopping off parts of the words. This is an example with way too high a Threshold. Notice how the F on "Fortune favours the bold" has been lost...

SAMPLE : 44100, Mono, .mp3 with ReaGate Threshold at -34.0dB
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/reaper/reaperguide/OllySampleTooMuchReaGate.mp3


===


REACOMP


The ReaComp Effect is an Audio Compressor. Its most common use is for smoothing out variations in volume between the louder and quieter parts of a track. It can also be used to raise the overall volume of a track without the loudest parts tripping the Peak Indicator.

The various parameters define and determine the characteristics of the Compression, such as at what volume it begins to be applied, how gently or harshly it is applied and how suddenly or gradually it is released.

Threshold : Determines the volume at which Compression should be applied. Volumes below this value will not be affected.
Pre-Comp : Allows the Compression to gradually begin a few milliseconds before the Threshold is reached.
Attack : Determines how quickly the Compressor responds when the Threshold is reached.
Release : Determines how quickly the Compressor responds when the volume falls below the Threshold.
Ratio : Determines the extent to which the Compressor will reduce the volume above the Threshold. At 1:1 there is no reduction. At 2:1 the reduction is gentle and at higher values the reduction is more severe.
Knee Size : Determines the range of volume the Compressor will use in applying the Ratio. With a Ratio of 4:1 and a Knee of 0dB, the full 4:1 Ratio will be applied immediately. With a Knee of 10dB, the Ratio will be applied gradually, starting at 1:1 and only reaching 4:1 when the volume exceeds the Threshold by 10dB.
Wet : This is effectively the Gain to be applied to the track. It determines how much Gain is to be added to the track as a whole, thereby raising the lower volumes.

For most purposes, only three of these settings need to be used.




Threshold to say how much of the loudest sounds are to be lowered, Ratio to say how much they are to be lowered by and Wet (Gain) to say how much the quieter sounds are to be raised.

Different groups of parameter settings are more suitable for different types of instrument, and even different styles of music. For example, for a more dramatic, percussive effect (such as you might use on a rock drum kit) you would be likely to use more aggressive settings, such as a short attack and release times and a harder knee. For a vocal ballad, however, you would be more likely to allow longer attack and release settings and a softer knee.

Here is the original Olly VA line with ReaFir Noise Reduction and ReaGate but without any Compression effect...

SAMPLE : 44100, Mono, .mp3 with ReaFir Noise Reduction and ReaGate Threshold at -54.0dB
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/reaper/reaperguide/OllySampleReaFirReaGate.mp3

I then applied some Compression. I noticed that the loudest parts were peaking at between -15dB and -6dB so I set the Threshold to come in at -18dB with a moderate Ratio of 4:1. I raised the Wet (Gain) of the quieter parts by +5dB. This did, of course mean that the little click/hiss after the "Good luck!" line was audible again so I had to strengthen the ReaGate effect by exactly +5dB too...

SAMPLE : 44100, Mono, .mp3 with ReaFir Noise Reduction and ReaGate Threshold at -49.0dB
ReaComp at -18dB Threshold, 4:1 Ratio and Wet (Gain) of +5dB
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/reaper/reaperguide/OllySampleReaFirReaGateReaComp.mp3
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DanielCoffey
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PostSubject: Re: Sound Editor Guide : Reaper   Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:53 am




===


PROJECT BASICS


When you are working on producing lines as a Voice Actor, you will usually be working on a single character’s lines at once, probably even in a single track. If, however, you are the Modder, you may need to bring several Voice Actors’ lines together into a single project.

Again, if as a Modder, you are merely processing individual lines for your Mod you will tend to only be concerned with single lines at a time but in the case of producing an audio demo of your Mod or perhaps something scripted like a Play, you will need to combine multiple lines from multiple actors into a single output stream.

This is where an understanding of how Reaper organises, edits and plays back tracks is useful.


===


IMPORTING MEDIA FILES


For this example, I have created two files, Character1.wav and Character2.wav. The first one has two lines in it and the second has just a single line. Both files have decent silences on either side of the line but were recorded separately so the gaps between the spoken lines do not match each other.

Open a New Project (Ctrl-N) and immediately Save it (Ctrl-S) with a name.

Select your media files and insert them into the project by selecting REAPER - Insert Media File. You will be asked to Import file into Project and shown a standard file selection window. Picking a single file will just import it as a new Track at the playback cursor’s current location. If you pick several files at once (Ctrl-click) you will be asked if you want to import them into individual tracks or all into one track. Generally you will want them in individual tracks. They will all be inserted at the playback cursor’s current position and will be left-aligned.

If you were to hit Play now, you would find all your lines being spoken simultaneously since Reaper treats Tracks as parallel streams with equal priority. We will of course need to move the Tracks around and cut and splice lines.


===


RENAMING A TRACK

The first thing you need to do is RENAME your track. If you double-click on the area just to the right of the Track Arm button, you can call the track anything you like.




===


MUTING AND UN-MUTING A TRACK


You will see from the above picture that I have also highlighted the M and S buttons on the Track Control Panel.

The M button Mutes and Un-Mutes the selected Track individually. This means that if you want to just listen to one Voice Actor without another, you can do so. You can also Mute a track that you don’t want to delete but still want to store in the Project, such as a Take that you don’t want to discard.

If you have a Project with several Voice Actors’ lines displayed at once, rather than Muting several Actors to listen to just one, you can leave them all Un-Muted and instead press the S button on the Track you do want to listen to. This is the Solo button. Only tracks which have been selected for a Solo will play.

Remember to check the state of the Mute and Solo buttons when it is time for your final playback.


===


THE GRID


No, this is not a reference to Tron. Reaper has a Snap To Grid function that is ON by default. The spacing on the Grid affects how easily you can select portions of your Tracks.

By default, the timeline across the top of the Track will be in Bars, Beats and also Seconds. You can change the Time Ruler View for a Project to be Seconds only by selecting REAPER - View - Time Unit for Ruler - Minutes:Seconds.

You can turn the Snap To Grid behavior on or off at any time by pressing Alt-S. This means you can fine-tune selections without the Snap To Grid if you need to.

The behavior of the Grid can be fine-tuned on the REAPER - Options - Snap/Grid - Snap/Grid Settings page (Alt-L). By default the Grid snaps to the beat. Since the default Project is 120 beats a minute in 4/4 time this means that each beat and each Grid line is half a second.
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DanielCoffey
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PostSubject: Re: Sound Editor Guide : Reaper   Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:53 am




===

NON-DESTRUCTIVE EDITING OF TRACKS


Because of the way Reaper is designed, any edits you perform on a recorded sound file are non-destructive and can easily be reversed.

As well as offering you a comprehensive Undo (ctrl-Z) facility, no changes that you make to a Track on the screen ever affect the actual recording behind the Track.

Consider a Track in Reaper to consist of two layers... the raw sound file that you recorded, and the view of the Track that you see on the screen. The two layers are separate. The raw sound file is effectively locked.. protected and out of reach. No matter what you do on the screen, your recording is always safe.


===


SLIP EDITING


Slip Editing is the term used when you remove unwanted sections from the start or end of a Track.

With Reaper, all you have to do is drag the outer edges of the Track to shorten the overall length of the item.

Hover the cursor over the ends of the item you want to shorten and you will see the cursor changes to a small arrow inside a bracket. You can now click to drag the outer edges of the Track towards the middle. The parts of the Track that you are covering up are still there, behind the Track item box. If you wanted to, you could always drag the edges back to reveal the hidden sections.

With the example above, I want to separate the two lines from the Priestess and move them apart just enough so that Apollo’s line can be placed between them.

Of course I will have to remove the silent passages around each line first otherwise the background noise from the Priestess’s line will still be playing while Apollo is speaking.

Slip Editing is the key to removing the silence from the ends of the Track but you can’t get at the silent part in the middle of the Priestess’s lines unless you first break the Track into two pieces.

You do this by Splitting the Track.


===


SPLITTING A TRACK


There are two very simple ways to split a Track into pieces. You can either place the Playback Cursor at the point you want the Track to split and press S (or right-click on the Track and select Split Item At Cursor) or you can highlight a section of the Track and press Shift-S (or right-click on the Track and select Split Item at Time Selection).

S : Split Track at Cursor
Shift-S : Split Track at Time Selection

Back to our working example. I will select the Voice parts of the lines and Split the Track right between the Priestess’s two lines....



Now all I have to do in order to get rid of the silent passages is to Slip Edit the outside portions of all the items until the silent passages have been removed. If you ever change your mind about the Slip Editing, you can drag the outside edges back again since you will still have the original audio item in the Track.




===


MOVING PART OF A TRACK


To move items on a Track around, you simply have to click on the part you want to move and drag it across the Track. While Snap To Grid is on, you will be constrained to the Grid lines. Alt-S will toggle this behaviour.



Now when you Play the Project, the Actor's lines will be played back in order without excessive silences.


===


GLUEING ITEMS TOGETHER


Glueing is a handy technique for when you want to join two Track items together so they are treated as one item in future. A typical use of this is if you need to snip a tiny part out of a Track and then join the two halves together again.

Zoom in on the Track with the portion you want to cut out. Turn off Snap To Grid (Alt-S) and select the portion you want to remove. Now you can Split the Track around that selection (Shift-S) and Delete it. Now you have your original Track item split into two with a small gap between them.

You now have to decide if you want to keep the two pieces exactly where they are in the Timeline and just add silence between them or if you want to close the gap.

To just add an empty section between them, select both Track items (Ctrl-click) then right-click and select Glue Items. The empty space will be filled in.

If you want to close the gap, drag the two halves closer together to close the gap. Select both Track items (Ctrl-click) then right-click and select Glue Items. You now have one Track item that is a little shorter than it was before.

Remember you can always Undo (Ctrl-Z) or re-import your original Voice line if you change your mind about the edit.
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DanielCoffey
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PostSubject: Re: Sound Editor Guide : Reaper   Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:54 am




===


TRACK FOLDERS


Reaper comes with a powerful way of organising your Tracks. If you have a group of instruments that you want to apply the same Effect to or if you simply have a lot of lines for one Voice Actor part, you can create a Folder and group the appropriate lines inside it.

A Track Folder has its own Volume, Effect, Mute and Solo controls that are applied to all Tracks in the Folder at once. You can of course still access the controls on the individual Tracks inside the Folder but if you know you want to apply the ReaFir Effect to the entire set of Tracks you can just do it once to the Folder. All the Tracks inside the Folder will then have the ReaFir effect applied to them on playback. This is highly efficient.

To create a Track Folder, just add a new empty Track to your Project and drag the Tracks that you want to group together into the empty Track you just created. The empty Track will automatically become a Folder and the Tracks inside it will become embedded on the Project display.

Here are two empty Tracks that have been added into the sample Project...



And now I have dragged the Tracks into their respective Track Folder and given the Track Folders a name...



Folders can also contain Folders and are a great way to organise your Project.

For example, if a Voice Actor sends you their lines split into two groups with differing Silence Samples for each submission, you can put the each in their own Folder and have the ReaFir Noise Reduction Effect applied separately to each Folder.

In a large Project such as a Play, you can have nested Folders for Acts, Scenes and Actors. You can Mute or Solo individual Folders to listen to just one part and of course Effects applied to folders change every track that plays inside the Folder. This is a great saving in CPU load for large Projects.
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DanielCoffey
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PostSubject: Re: Sound Editor Guide : Reaper   Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:54 am




===


RENDERING


Rendering is the term that Reaper uses for the task of exporting (or rendering) all or part of a project to a single file. You might have a project made up of many Tracks and Takes and want to export it into, say, CD format.

In Voice Acting, it is likely that you will have a long track with many lines recorded in it that you may have adjusted with some effects. You will want to select the appropriate portion of the Track that contains a single line and then export or render this single line to its own file.

While you can do the whole process one line at a time, Reaper also has a Render Queue where you can store lines to deal with in one go when you are ready.

To use the Render Queue, you need to do the following...

First select the portion of your Track you want to export and listen to it. Remember to leave a second or two of silence for your Modder to adjust when the line starts and to allow pacing between the lines. There may be breathing sounds captured in the lead-in to a line but the Modder may decide they are appropriate and keep them.

Next, press Ctrl-Alt-R to send the Current Selection to the Render Queue. You will see the following pop-up.



It is very important that you check the settings on this window because there are several settings that are not stored in Reaper Defaults and have to be chosen every time you open a new Project. One example is the Render Bounds which defaults to Entire Project instead of Time Selection. Once you have set it correctly, it will remember your selection for the rest of the Project.

Render Bounds : Set to Time Selection.
File Name : Enter the name of the line here, such as Guard_Brick_3A
Channels : Set to Mono
Output Format : Set to WAV
Destination : Add to Render Queue

NOTE : While you can also select MP3 as the Output Format, remember it is a compressed format which, while it has a much smaller file size, also contains far less of the raw sound data. If you are delivering lines to a Modder, give them the very best and select WAV. If you are just offering a quick sample recording for an opinion on a line, MP£ will do.

When you have finished exporting all your lines to the Redner Queue, it is time to check the number of lines and then process the queue.

Select Reaper - File - Show Render Queue.

A quick eyeball count of the number of items in the queue should match the number of lines you are to deliver (remember to also allow for your Silence Sample so that mic noise can be removed).

Choose Render All and Reaper will go through the lines and export them to your chosen format.
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