Old 12-30-2014, 10:43 AM   #1
famous beagle
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Default A way to render without opening the file?

I doubt this is possible, but I thought I'd ask.

I have 130 files that are small examples (about 15 seconds long, most of them), and I need to get quick rough mixes of all of them. Is there any way for Reaper to create rendered versions of them from the last known mix without opening the files individually?

In other words, can I just select all the files and tell Reaper to render them as they stand?

If not, is there a time-saving method to avoid opening each one, rendering it, and then opening the next, rendering it, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
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When you say 130 "files" you mean Reaper projects? So you have every ~15 second audio item in a separate Reaper project file, and you want to render them all?

I'm not aware of a clever way to do that, but i think you should be able to run Reaper from the command line. E.g. http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=97077

(...but i find no documentation on the subject.) It would take a long time to set up at first (if you're clever you could automate the script creation), but once you had the script you'd just run it whenever you needed renders.

AFAIK most people who do this kind of thing usually have all 130 in a single project and tweak the project structure depending on which items need which kind of mix (e.g. everything on separate tracks, or grouping similarly-mixed items in folders, or automating the mix from item to item.) Then you create a region for each item (or use some kind of extension to automatically do this) and use the render matrix to render all the files in one go (with automatic naming/etc. via the render dialog.)

And project-in-project (PiP) is an unsupported feature that may solve this as well: make a parent project that holds the 130 other projects, make regions for them, and use the render matrix to render. You'll have to search the forum for info on how to enable this feature (and note that it's currently unsupported.) (Also note that I've not used it, so I'm half guessing, here.)
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:20 PM   #3
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Yes it's 130 separate projects.

Thanks for the suggestions. Yeah I've messed around with the idea of doing them all in the same project, but there's so much variation with regards to effects and VST instruments from example to example, that it seemed like more of a headache than it was worth.

Maybe it would be easier to do than what I'm doing, but I haven't researched it enough yet.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:20 AM   #4
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Looks like the command line syntax is this:

reaper.exe -renderproject filename.rpp

from this thread: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=17857
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIAmbition View Post
Looks like the command line syntax is this:

reaper.exe -renderproject filename.rpp

from this thread: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=17857
Thanks for the tip, but I'm afraid I don't know what this means. How do I execute this? I don't know what "command line syntax" means.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:14 PM   #6
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Well, if you have to ask, then that route may not be the best option, unless you're willing to do a little studying. :-)

Are you on windows or mac?

From that link above, it seems that the mac version of reaper lacks the command line option, so if that's true (and it's weird if it is true) then it would be moot if your a mac user.

If on windows, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command-line_interface
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/window...-windows-8.htm
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/window...-windows-7.htm

The command line is a text-based interface (as opposed to the GUI that windows users are used to.) You'd run the command in the windows command prompt window (see above link). Actually, you'd write a script to run that command 130 separate times, once for each file, as I alluded to in my earlier post. Writing that command 130 times is probably a pain, even with cut and paste, so unless you have the computer chops to generate such a script file automatically, you maybe aren't going to want to go this route. But it wouldn't be too hard, once you read up on making a script (e.g. a ".bat" file) in windows, and learn how to "cd" to the right directory and run reaper with the command, with the proper path to the file specified and so forth. Easy peasy for a hacker, but maybe a little bewildering to a novice.

If that sounds unreasonable, then you probably want to chalk this one up to hard experience, and, in the future, think through your whole working process before you make 130 of anything. :-)

I think the easiest route for you, next time, and if the scripting sounds scary, then maybe in this case as well, would be to import everything into a single project, learn how to use automation and folder tracks and so forth, and do the rendering with regions.

Or check out PiP, but that may be harder than scripting, I don't know; haven't used it, myself.

Or maybe someone else has a clever solution.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:40 PM   #7
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What clepsydrae said...
Getting things done with an app usually requires one to open the app and do whatever it is they want to do. The way around that is through command line scrips usually. You need to choose what it is that you do and don't have tolerance for and do that. I suggest changing your work-flow so you don't have this "issue" again. As for the current batch of projects, I suggest just sucking it up and open each one by one, render them, and never work that way again. Or learn a useful skill that you can use in many other ways and learn scripting and command-line stuff.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tips y'all. Yes that sounds a little beyond my skill level at this moment. I'm sure I could figure it out if I wanted to devote the time to it.

Richie43: With regards to "never working this way again," let me explain a bit more. I write (mostly) guitar instructional books for Hal Leonard, and often times I'll record the accompanying audio for those books. I also record the audio for other people's books as well sometimes. Many of these books will be like this; i.e., they'll have a bunch (50 or 100 or 150, etc.) of short examples.

This was the first time I had to do rough mixes like this, and it was only because my editor needed to check the accuracy of the guitar parts so that the book could make the print deadline for the NAMM show.

However, if there are other/better ways to work, I'm all ears. Basically, the reason that I didn't get into the habit of doing everything in one project is because of the variety needed.

For example, in a typical book that has, say, 100 examples, I may end up using 50 or more unique amp/effect settings in AmpliTube 3 for guitar, 10 or more unique bass settings, and dozens of different keyboard VSTs over the course of the whole book. Usually only common thread that runs through just about all the examples is EZ Drummer 2 and the vocals, if present (maybe 10% of the projects have vocals). I generally don't print the guitar effects because I sometimes need to change the tone after recording some other parts.

Considering all this, would it still be advisable to do everything in one big project? Would I have to have a different track for every different guitar sound? It seems to me (I could be wrong though!) that would be the case. And if so, that seems like much more trouble than it's worth.

Like I said, though, if I'm wrong about that, I'm all ears!

Thanks
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:12 PM   #9
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I still think it would be MUCH easier as one big project. If it were me, I would use one guitar track and as soon as you have the tone you need for a specific 'song" (or example), save it as an "fx chain". The actual guitar DI tracks would go on their own tracks with the master send disabled and each would instead have a send to the amp track. You would need to either solo the active DI track or mute all of the inactive DI tracks as you go. By the time you have your "bunch" of tracks, you'll have the same number of fx presets that are instantly recallable. I suppose for rendering you would do them one by one, so that may or may nor fit your scheme. I have done similar work to what you are doing, and this is how I did it.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:44 PM   #10
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howdy famous....

you indeed have a bit of a problem there, and I can appreciate wanted to get it done fastly....

since it seems like you will be doing the more in the future, maybe working out a plan for that would be the only helpful brain storming.

I just did a little test in that light... maybe food for thought.

What we have in reaper is the ability to render regions to separate files.

So here is what I did...

Made two tracks that represent you actual tracks... could be audio recording with some fx on them or could be midi with a VSTi

I put both those into a folder and named it 'folder A'
[ you might name it 'lesson 001' ]
the folder lets me put additional FX on it if desired.

I make a time selection the length of everything in that folder and hit
Shift R which creates a region the length of the time selection. Name it and color it.
Now I also did something to consider... Since I used vsti synths for the tracks, with some additional fx on each track, I froze each track.
This takes the VST and\or VSTi away and leaves only a wav file on each track. OK so far?

Now let's say the tracks used so far are 4 bars long.

OK... I do the same set up of a folder and two more tracks below that... I call it folder B [ i.e., lessson 002 ]
Now the IMPORTANT thing is that the tracks used this time begin AFTER the tracks used in folder A!!! In fact it might be a good idea to leave one bar of empty space between them.
So now, you do the time selection and region creation for these tracks, name and color that region.

So you could continue in this way with whatever number of folders, each being its own region. Each region is the name you want the rendered mix to be called. [ Lesson 01, Lesson 02, etc. ]

Then you can use the region matrix to render each region to it's own wav [mix] all in one automatic stroke.

I forsee at least one potential issue... all the tracks in a given project would want to be the same bpm. Well, it might work OK with various bpm's and a tempo track on the Master. Likely would but I did not test this.

Other thoughts: Using the freeze will reduce the cpu load when you have 100 instances of something like Guitar Rig... and you can always unfreeze just a given track and redo the Gtr Settings and freeze again...

I don't know how reaper will behave with hundreds of frozen tracks since it will have to keep them ready to un-freeze if desired. Still, even if you had to split up a big project [say 150 tracks ] into three project of just 50 tracks each, this would save a lotta time for rendering.

Now I might offer one other idea:

It sounds like you use the same set of tracks over and over... i.e., a drum, a vocal, a guitar... [or whatever you use]

You could set those up as wanted and save them, including the containing folder as a track template. So as you progressed with working on the project, you could quickly load in another instance of that template, name the tracks as desired, tweak the FX as desired, and do your recording on just those...

Last thought: It might be good to put a marker just before each region. That way you could use the SWS actions to go to next and previous markers...

[which brings up a wish for a script that would let one type in the number of a marker to go to]... maybe there is one I don't know about?

I hope this is clear enough to be helpful
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:56 PM   #11
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(ninja'd by Richie and hopi, but anyway, my post: )

Quote:
Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
Many of these books will be like this; i.e., they'll have a bunch (50 or 100 or 150, etc.) of short examples.
Yeah, this issue of projects that involve lots of sub projects is one of the final frontiers of DAW workflow, IMO. I take it that a lot of video game sound effect designers use Reaper because it has some handy features to enable this kind of thing. I run in to it whenever I record a live show and need to mix each song a bit differently but it's overall a single project with some commonality. Reaper isn't perfect: you've found an example where it would be great to have better batch functions (although with a tiny bit of scripting knowledge you could do exactly what you want) but AFAIK Reaper is better than other DAWs at this stuff (anyone know a DAW that has fancier batch operations with the same basic level of DAW features?). This is one reason why people want (a supported version of) PiP -- project in project. Make one master project with references to all your sub projects and render that.

For your needs, I would use a single project with a separate set of tracks for each sub project, grouping any in folders when/if it makes sense to have common processing across several. This will create many instances of plugins, which may bog down your computer. As Hopi said, freezing is the thing to do in that case. (I'd be surprised if Reaper had any trouble with that: once frozen, Reaper is just playing back vanilla audio for that track. Remembering the past states is just on disk for whenever it's needed.)

(I was all ready to suggest the clever way around the CPU issue by using automation to mute the tracks when they aren't being used. Assuming that in Preferences the option "Audio -> Do not process muted tracks" is enabled, the muted tracks should not use any CPU. However, this doesn't work: apparently the "automation mute" just lowers the volume to zero, as opposed to properly muting the track, and it doesn't result in any CPU savings, which is disappointing.)

Anyway, then establish regions around the audio and use the region matrix to indicate which should be rendered.

Let's return to scripting, though: assuming you're on windows, the script route might not be so hard for you: you'd just create a regular text file called "myscript.bat" containing lines like these (assuming a 64bit install):

Code:
"C:\Program Files\REAPER (x64)\reaper.exe" -renderproject "c:\Documents and Settings\clepsydrae\Desktop\example\examplefile1.RPP"
"C:\Program Files\REAPER (x64)\reaper.exe" -renderproject "c:\Documents and Settings\clepsydrae\Desktop\example\examplefile2.RPP"
"C:\Program Files\REAPER (x64)\reaper.exe" -renderproject "c:\Documents and Settings\clepsydrae\Desktop\example\examplefile3.RPP"
...etc for all the RPP's.

That's for a 64-bit install on windows. You just have to confirm what path your Reaper lives in, and know the path to your projects.

Then just double-click on the .bat file and it will get to work executing all those commands.

Note that it will render with whatever the last render settings were for each individual project. If you want to set that, open each project, choose File->Render, adjust the settings, including the output destination (and learn to use the wildcards in the File name field, it will save time), but then click "Save changes and close" which won't actually render. Then save the project file (or the changes won't be remembered.) When you run the script file, it will render using those settings. It's a pain to set up, but you only have to do it once. It'd be nice if Reaper let you specify render settings somehow for the batch, but no. (That's another reason "one big project" has its advantages.)

Note also that it will overwrite without confirmation any files with whatever it is rendering, if they have the same name, so use caution.

Given the work done recently (last year or so) on this batch rendering stuff, I have a suspicion that some new features may be on the way in v5? We'll see.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:13 PM   #12
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Thanks much for the replies y'all!

Richie and Hopi: If I'm understanding y'all correctly, you're wanting me to put each guitar DI recording on its own track. Y'all understand that, with a book that has, say, 100 examples (not atypical), that would result in likely well over 150 tracks in guitars alone. (I neglected to mention that some tracks will have two different guitar parts.) That sounds like a nightmare among nightmares to me for two main reasons:

1) I just hate the thought of wading up or down through that many tracks. I'm used to working with less than 20 tracks (see #2).
2) I use a Korg NanoKontrol as a mixing surface and for other features too (accessing FX and send windows, adjusting send levels, etc.), but with that many tracks, I wouldn't be able to do that.

That's not even including the keyboard tracks, vocals if any, and drum tracks.

Hopi brought up another good point regarding the fact that most of the examples will be a different tempo, maybe different time signatures, etc.

I mean ... geez it's enough to make my head spin just thinking about it!

With my way, sure I have a lot of projects, but each one is set up with the same template (i.e. drums are always tracks 1-8, bass is 11, guitars are 12-13, keys 14, etc.), and so working on each one is quick and consistent with regards to mixing.

I suppose I could try a test one day with 3 or 4 examples to see what the process would be like, but like I said .... it sounds dreadful to me!

Clepsydrae: Like I said, this is the first time I've had to render rough mixes (in 8 years), so it's not something I deal with all the time. But if I have to again in the future, I'll definitely check out your scripting suggestion. Thanks for the explanation!
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:23 PM   #13
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Despite all of the great suggestions, it seems like you are already doing whatever makes the most sense to you.....Just keep doing it...The time spent trying to change this could have been spent opening projects...lol.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:09 PM   #14
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If you do go the .bat route, there is an easier way than typing each name again and again:

Code:
for %%i in (*.rpp) do echo %%i
echo Render all above files?
pause
for %%i in (*.rpp) do "C:\Users\Fergler\Desktop\REAPER\reaper.exe" -renderproject "%%i"
However, with both this and regular per-file method, I kept getting an error:

'There was an error opening the project: test.rpp'

And besides, it looks like you'd have to click through each one anyway.

My suggestion to OP is to just open every project, add to render queue, and repeat for every project. It will take 5-10 minutes for your amount of files.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:07 PM   #15
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Thanks y'all. I've already done the rough mixes that I needed to do. Again, this is the first time I've ever had to do it in 8 years; I was just curious if there was an easy, fast way.

Ritchie: I don't mean to disregard the good suggestions. But I wanted to make sure I understood you correctly. Would I really have that many guitar tracks open for a book with 100 examples?

Edit: I should make it clear that, normally of course, I simply render each one after I'm done with the mix. So there's not an extra project-opening step. The only reason I had to do it this time is because I had to do rough mixes.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergler View Post
'There was an error opening the project: test.rpp'
Thanks, Fergler -- I'm out of my scripting element when it isn't linux. :-)

Re: the error, I think i read in that other thread, or somewhere else in the forums, that the path is actually relative to reaper.exe or something like that. If there is an easy way to modify your script to canonicalize the project path for a full path to each discovered file, that would be a handy thing for others to have as well, i'm sure.

-c
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
Thanks y'all. I've already done the rough mixes that I needed to do. Again, this is the first time I've ever had to do it in 8 years; I was just curious if there was an easy, fast way.

Ritchie: I don't mean to disregard the good suggestions. But I wanted to make sure I understood you correctly. Would I really have that many guitar tracks open for a book with 100 examples?

Edit: I should make it clear that, normally of course, I simply render each one after I'm done with the mix. So there's not an extra project-opening step. The only reason I had to do it this time is because I had to do rough mixes.
I did an audio thing for a class, so it was similar but not for an instruction book. But when I did it, I had around 70 examples, and yes, I did have all 70 guitar DI parts on their own individual tracks, and they all routed to one amp-sim (S-Gear for me). I just soloed the one I needed, got the "amp" sound right, saved the amp settings as a single preset, and moved on. I knew then that there was probably a more streamlined (and probably semi-automated) method, but I preferred it a little less streamlined and more methodically controlled. I never even considered making each part it's own project, that seems like an unnecessary layer to the process (for my brain).
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richie43 View Post
I did an audio thing for a class, so it was similar but not for an instruction book. But when I did it, I had around 70 examples, and yes, I did have all 70 guitar DI parts on their own individual tracks, and they all routed to one amp-sim (S-Gear for me). I just soloed the one I needed, got the "amp" sound right, saved the amp settings as a single preset, and moved on. I knew then that there was probably a more streamlined (and probably semi-automated) method, but I preferred it a little less streamlined and more methodically controlled. I never even considered making each part it's own project, that seems like an unnecessary layer to the process (for my brain).
Ok ... you saved each setting as an FX preset. So when you rendered each region, you just loaded the matching preset into S-Gear and had only the appropriate guitar track unmuted?

But again, though, would you still think so if you also added drums (with different kits from EZ Drummer), bass, keys, and possibly a second guitar part and/or vocals for each example, each of which would have a different tempo and possibly different time signatures (usually either 4/4 or 12/8)?

I mean .... for a book with 100 examples, I would be looking at hundreds of tracks! I don't even know how many ... 500 or maybe more?
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
Ok ... you saved each setting as an FX preset. So when you rendered each region, you just loaded the matching preset into S-Gear and had only the appropriate guitar track unmuted?

But again, though, would you still think so if you also added drums (with different kits from EZ Drummer), bass, keys, and possibly a second guitar part and/or vocals for each example, each of which would have a different tempo and possibly different time signatures (usually either 4/4 or 12/8)?

I mean .... for a book with 100 examples, I would be looking at hundreds of tracks! I don't even know how many ... 500 or maybe more?
In that case, like I said in an earlier post, just keep doing what you are doing. It seems that some sort of scripting or semi-automated approach MIGHT be possible, but you may as well just treat them all as individual projects (like you are already) and get back to work!
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:25 AM   #20
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Relevant FR you should vote for regarding muting and plugin processing:

http://forums.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=4906

This one is older, but same idea:

http://forums.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=1180

It'd be really swell to get it into 5 -- it would really enable a lot of complex projects to be more manageable.

I didn't note above that in my testing I tried the "experimental" option to not process silent tracks -- didn't have any discernible effect, so maybe it doesn't apply to plugins?
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clepsydrae View Post
Relevant FR you should vote for regarding muting and plugin processing:

http://forums.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=4906

This one is older, but same idea:

http://forums.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=1180

It'd be really swell to get it into 5 -- it would really enable a lot of complex projects to be more manageable.

I didn't note above that in my testing I tried the "experimental" option to not process silent tracks -- didn't have any discernible effect, so maybe it doesn't apply to plugins?
Interesting stuff Clepsy. I hadn't thought about that before. Thanks for the information!
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