School me on quantization with Reaper
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Thread: School me on quantization with Reaper

  1. #1


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    School me on quantization with Reaper

    I own Reaper and it's the only DAW I have used. I've had audio quantizing issues when double tracking guitars and the times I've tried looking into this in the past, it looked like process of quantizing using Reaper was more complicated than compared to Pro Tools (at least as the process was described to me by my guitar instructor). Seems like you have to do a ton of clip cutting in Reaper to quantize your audio.

    Am I wrong about that? Anyone recommend a good video from Youtube about it? I'm otherwise pretty happy with Reaper so I'd rather stick with it rather than move on and go through the transition process.

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Uh, what exactly do you mean? Like, slicing up a waveform note by note?

    Quantizing guitars is for if you are mixing other people's guitars and the files they gave you suck and you have to slice them up.

    Reaper's take lanes are like. Just do a bunch of takes.

    I usually do four to eight takes. And then I see which ones work together. Which one I like on which side and all that. Sometimes I'll really like a single take in isolation, but the combination of two other takes ends up being cooler. I do it for stuff like bass because I usually improv those fills.

    I only split between sections. S is the key for spliiting items. Just highlight one, pick where you want to hit split, and hit S.

    It looks something like this for a whole song.



    That just for conveniences sake, ideally the best way to record is to go from the start and play the song all the way through IMO. But that's a pain, especially if you write while you record demos. I don't want to have to play the preceding three minutes before getting to the part I want to retool, so I split between chorus/verse/bridge/etc.

  4. #3


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    For the sake or argument though, if you do have ten seconds you want to chop up into a billion little slices and edit the fuck out. (keep in mind some of these steps might be different based on how you have reaper configured)

    You just slice up the waveform, disable the grid lines (red circle) or disable snapping and drag them about to exactly the miliseconds you want.

    Then you highlight every item in the section and right click and go "glue items" and it will reassemble them into a single item.



    Depends on how you have it configured. Reaper is highly customizable, one of its main strengths. Not everyone uses it the exact same way. Stuff like the visibility of the lock icons and count in and etc. etc. etc. and pan law is all user configurable.

    Once again though. I don't see a benefit to doing it that way. Unless you are doing like, djent mixtests. If you absolutely must have silence on a guitar part, I would automate the volume envelope instead of slicing it up. That's just cheesy.

    That being said though, everyone has different workflows. No two people are the same. I'm not sure exactly what you meant. I personally wouldn't slice up a ten second clip into a billion different pieces and drag them around, but that doesn't mean you can't get good results with it. I think it's easier to just do more takes.

    If it's something you can't re record on the fly. Yeah, that skill is more important. If it's a guitar part, retracking it is way easier.

    I personally don't like punching in section by section, since that's not as "trve" as playing it from the top. But if I wanted to change the guitar part at the third chorus and I had to play the earlier three minutes of the song just to get there, shit would be untenabley time consuming.

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  6. #4


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    I never use take lanes for what it's worth. Some basic rules:

    If you're slip editing getting the cross fades right is a big deal.
    RECORD IN A HIGH BITRATE IF YOU USE STRETCHING

    Auto-quantizing isn't superb in Reaper, but manual quantizing is fantastic. We'd be able to help if you had some more specific questions - what exactly do you need help with?

  7. #5


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    Sorry, I thought I was clear enough. I'm talking about situations where you're tracking something twice but once track is slightly offset from the other track for whatever reason. Here's an absolute garbage example:



    In the 1st half of the riff, the left & right channels drift a little too much apart. Here are the wave forms from inside Reaper:



    I already do what you suggest which is to just re-record a take. I definitely don't like the idea of cutting something up into dozens of individual pieces so that's why I was asking if I was reading what I had previous found wrong.

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    Just offering my boomer-y advice, but I would totally utilize instances of this to re-track until it’s locked in without editing. That riff is a perfect riff to really hammer yourself on until it’s perfect with the other take. IMO, if you can get 98% there in a take, it’s not a big deal to shorten or slide one or two notes around to get them lining up. When I first started recording years ago, my bass player would force me to re-track it and my timing improved in leaps.

    I know with our SOTW’s it tends to put us in the hot seat time-wise, but it’s really an opportune time to school yourself on burying the click!
    Perfection is the enemy of progress.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by scole View Post
    Sorry, I thought I was clear enough. I'm talking about situations where you're tracking something twice but once track is slightly offset from the other track for whatever reason. Here's an absolute garbage example:



    In the 1st half of the riff, the left & right channels drift a little too much apart. Here are the wave forms from inside Reaper:



    I already do what you suggest which is to just re-record a take. I definitely don't like the idea of cutting something up into dozens of individual pieces so that's why I was asking if I was reading what I had previous found wrong.
    How are you recording? DIs?

    There are a ton of factors at play here. Slicing up DIs and slicing up printed tracks or tracks that are a mic'd cab are also two different types of process.

    Based on your screenshot I say yeah, just cut it and see how the results go. Re-recording is ideal, but it you don't want to or can't for whatever reason there are a bunch of ways to optimize it.

    You are going to be noticing the differences in those tracks more because you aren't hard panning them. Can't quite make out what you have going on there, but it looks like 30% panning.

    That's why the whole "quad tracking vs doubling" is a thing. Double tracking and having it sound good requires you to be tight, but if they aren't hard panned, you have to be even tighter.

    VSTs are always going to be suboptimal for doubling tracks, because no matter what, there is going to be some latency. The majority of the time it's going to be so minor it's unnoticeable, but it can be an issue depending on the overall speed of the piece and all that.

    There'a also plugins like this for those sorts of issues.


  10. #8


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    BTW, if you need a measure of how tight your rhythm tracks are you can use Mid/Sides processing to get a general idea.

    You hardpan your tracks and then comp it down to a stereo track and then use a mid sides array.

    100% tightness, which is identical takes, which is undesirable, because the whole point of multitracking is for the takes to not be identical, is going to be 100% mid activity. The differences are going to be sides.

    There are a bunch of ways to do it. Voxgeno does a free plugin

    You render your rhythm bus down to stems, and do a mid/sides treatment on it, and if it's not tight enough make it less sides.

    Could work for you, could not. Just like anything else in terms of recording there are a ton of ways of approaching it.

    First screenshot here is two identical takes hardpanned. So it's all mid. Different takes is going to show up on sides. You can sometimes get two takes to gel better together by using mid sides processing and decreasing the sides, because in theory that makes the parts that are identical louder, and the differences quieter.





    Reaper also has its own Mid sides encoding and decoding plugins, but those require routing different tracks. the ones you can drop in as an insert on one track are easier to use.

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