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  #1  
Old 02-08-2014, 05:08 AM
EricJ EricJ is offline
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Default Recording Help - Reaper

Hello everyone. New to recording. I downloaded Reaper not too long ago and getting familiar with it. I also have the Focusrite 18i20. Trying to get these two to sync together. I am using 6 mic's...
snare
kick
rack toms
floor toms
2 overheads

I have an input for each mic in the focusrite. I set a track for each mic in Reaper. However, the levels for each are not right. I attempted to adjust them but having no success. For example, the kick is overpowering. I attempted to reduce the vol on the track itself. Tried to adjust the pre-amp volume on it. Still no change. It is obvious that I do not know what I am doing.

Need some help with the initial setup.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:07 PM
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Flareless Flareless is offline
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Default Re: Recording Help - Reaper

It sounds like you've got things set up correctly. I'm a bit unclear when you say "the levels for each aren't right". While you describe a high bass drum volume you don't mention any other mic. Are they all clipping? Could you please be more descriptive? What platform are you running on?

I've been using Reaper now for over two years and it's quite good. I have a Mackie 1640i as my interface. Reaper ignores most of the Mackie's mixer functions and treats it as an interface only. That is to say that the sliders on the Mackie don't affect levels in Reaper (this is different than the Focusrite which is an interface only). The only thing it really uses are the preamps. For these I adjust the gain to ensure I'm not clipping inside of Reaper.

In Reaper make sure each channel is set to the corresponding channel on the Focusrite (it sounds like you've done this). I'm not entirely familiar with this unit but I just read that it has eight pre-amps and eighteen channels. I'm not sure how these mix and match but I'll bet you a dollar it will affect the levels of your mics. Have you got a good handle on how these work?

I also suggest checking the Reaper Forum (if you haven't already). They have some great support there.

You did choose a great DAW though. Reaper is very powerful yet totally affordable. Even for us drummers : )
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:23 PM
EricJ EricJ is offline
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Default Re: Recording Help - Reaper

Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated. My response below is going to sound a bit stupid...

The kick is not clipping but it is over powering and not the right sound at all. I need to figure out how to trim it back and adjust the tone. I am not familiar with how to do that yet in Reaper. I tried to reduce the gain on the kick thru the focusrite interface but that did nothing.

Also, I am not sure what you mean when you asked what "platform" I am running on. Shows you how new to this I am.

I tried to make sure that each track in Reaper had a channel that was pointing to a specific focusrite channel. Example... my snare is on #1 so I mapped it all accordingly. The only thing that confuses me are some of the other selections that seem like would make sense but dont. In Reaper, it gives me the following options...

Input MIDI: Focusrite
Virtual MIDI Keyboard
All MIDI Inputs
Map Input to Channel

You would think that I should select Focursite and then the specific channel under that drop down menu. However, when I select one of the Focusrite channels I get nothing. The only way this works is if i select "Map Input to Channel" and select one of the options there.

Thanks Rich and anyone else for your reply
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:58 PM
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Flareless Flareless is offline
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Default Re: Recording Help - Reaper

No problem Eric. Ok... by Platform I mean PC or Mac. The reason I ask is that PCs can be a bit more of a nightmare to work with than Macs when it comes to music. For work - PC. For art and music - Mac. I'm a PC guy, by the way, and I still use a Mac for music. I just don't have time for the downtime. My Mackie plugs into my Mac and goes. With my PC first I had to update the drivers, then reconfigure the blah blah blah.... waste of time.

But this post isn't about that. It'll just help narrow down where the issue you're facing may lie.

It sounds like you are very new to the DAW world so please excuse me if I go over some really basic stuff you may already know.

First, your mention of MIDI. MIDI is not where you want to go. You want to record audio inputs and not MIDI. MIDI itself is not even sound but data. There are many primers on MIDI so I won't get into it here suffice it to say that an audio recording of your drum set requires no MIDI settings.

When you are using Reaper you should see your Transport Control Panel and your Mixer Control Panel. Reaper and other DAWs are computerized representations of mixing desks and you can add as many tracks as your project will require. This can be done from the Insert menu or by pressing Command-T (Mac).

Each Track will have a Record button. If you right click over this Record button you will see your options for what you want this track to record. You will want a checkbox next to the option: Record: input (Audio or MIDI). This tells Reaper to record what's coming in. There are other things you can record but let's not get into that here. The second thing you will want to select from this menu is Input: mono and select the port on the Focusrite from the list. If the list does not include all the Focusrite ports then STOP. You have a problem somewhere.

Once you've set each of these tracks to the correct input port you can Arm the track then enable Record Monitoring. This will pass the sound from your Focusrite and through your computer to your speakers. There are often times you don't want to monitor a track but for now let's try it.

Monitoring will also allow you to hear each track. At this point you should be able to use Reapers VU meters and track slider controls to adjust each microphone's volume in the mix. You may have to adjust the gain on the Focusrite as well.

Once your levels are set you should be able to hit Record on the transport bar and record your track.

I have to mention that Reaper, like other Digital Audio Workstations, is an extremely powerful and complex piece of software. I've been using it for years and have barely scratched the surface of its capabilities. A solid read through the manual is a must and will save your hours of time in the long run. There are also video tutorials on its use.

I hope this helps!
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2014, 01:57 AM
EricJ EricJ is offline
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Default Re: Recording Help - Reaper

Rich, thanks again. I have a PC and it has an older XP operating system.

ok so I followed what you said and also watched a couple of youtube videos on the topic. I added a track for each mic. Then I added the REAEQ to each of them and made a few adjustments. After playing around with it for about 90 min, the sound is not bad. I would like a little more reverb on the toms but the ReaVerb just did not sound right to me. Not sure if there is another FX for reverb that is better. I could not find one in there.

Now, I have another problem. I attempted to play along with a song that I inserted as a media file. This song starts abruptly so you can see when it begins and it is easy to time the beginning of the song that way. So, I recorded myself playing along with this song. When I played it back, my drumming was not sync'd with the song. It was off a bit. So, I must have a latency issue.

How do you recommend fixing that? lowering the buffer size on my interface?
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:25 AM
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Flareless Flareless is offline
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Default Re: Recording Help - Reaper

Definitely reduce the buffer to eliminate the latency. Experiment with various settings until you get what you need.

I should mention that latency was the primary issue that made me ditch my HP i7 for a Mac Mini. Start adding up the time you spend tweaking the PC to see what I mean.

Like I said, the PC is the king of the heap - until you want to do music. Still tons of people use PCs for music so there is a way - it just takes a little while to tweak.

You might also want to check out the TOGU line of effects. TAL Reverb is a fantastic plug-in!

Oh, I should mention that there are a ton more plug-ins for the PC than for the Mac : )
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2014, 02:53 AM
EricJ EricJ is offline
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Default Re: Recording Help - Reaper

Rich, I will keep playing with the buffer. I also saw there are latency offset settings in Reaper. Are you familiar with those?

I downloaded that TAL Reverb into a folder. The file is Tal-Reverb-3.dll How do I import it into Reaper?

Meanwhile, I have an HP Elitebook and it is a work PC so I cannot do anything about it. Maybe one day I can get a Mac. Right now though, I spent a lot of $$ on all of the other equipment so I will have to figure out how to make it work with this pile of junk I guess.

Thanks again

Last edited by EricJ; 02-09-2014 at 03:03 AM.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2014, 03:02 AM
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Flareless Flareless is offline
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Default Re: Recording Help - Reaper

LOL! Not a pile of junk. Just trickier to get working. It'll happen though!

Never played with latency offset myself. This may be a question for the Reaper forum.
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