Old 05-24-2018, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Questions about processing transfered concert recordings

I'm in the process of transferring a lot of live concert recordings to Reaper. We originally recorded them on DAT. I've saved each concert as a separate project. They're renaissance and baroque music, and a typical concert will have 3-4 pieces, intermission, and 3-4 more pieces. Some of the pieces are straight-through, others have several movements.

I'd welcome suggestions about how to process these. I'll delete space between pieces and movements, fading the applause down. Aside from personal listening and sending them to the performers, the most likely use will be posting individual pieces to YouTube, as some of the music isn't often recorded. Any thoughts on how to treat these in Reaper? Do I want to break each piece out into a separate file within the project? I haven't done any editing in a long time and before putting a lot of time into this I'd like to have a good idea the best way to go about it.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:05 PM   #2
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Reaper very easily handles this kind of thing in a single project, and that's what I'd do. Do the concerts all sound pretty much the same sonically? That is, same mics, same location with the performers in the same place? If that's the case you can do it on a single continual stereo track. And if any are fairly different you can drag that concert to the space below and it will create a new track for it, if it would require some processing (brightening up, for example) that the others don't.

I would break each piece out as a separate section on the track, including movements that are meant to be listened to straight through. Then you can give each a region and name it, and then when it's all ready to be rendered you can render all of the regions to separate files in one click. Unless you're creating CDs you'll be rendering separate files for the performers, so use naming conventions that will guarantee they'll play in the order you want when sorted by name, generally with a number up front and the exact same amount of characters before the title.

I would make the session 16 bit, as that's what the DATs are, save those renders as 16 bit wavs. Then you can batch convert to mp3s or whatever else from those and you'd have those to return to rather than pulling up the project again. Entering the metadata for the mp3s insures that when copied over to the player in their computer the files will be neatly enclosed in folders of artist/album on their drive instead of Unknown Artist and Unknown Album.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:50 PM   #3
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The concerts will have quite a bit of variation sonically - they were recorded in different venues over about 6 years. There was no sound man - I simply set up coincident mics high and wherever the hall allowed me to place them - we did a pre-concert sound check and then I just hit the record button. In addition, the personnel for the concerts varied a lot depending on the concert theme - it could have been 1 violin, 1 viola da gamba and a harpsichord, or it could have been 7-8 players. The earliest music is from the time of Columbus; the latest is early classical era.

It looks like I've been saving as 24-bit WAV's - no reason on my part, that's simply what Reaper defaulted to. I've transferred about 1/4 of the tapes - most recorded at 48, some at 44.1 - once I have them off tape and onto the HD, I'll start figuring out how to do your sections/regions. There's going to be a lot of editing to fade the applause and put silences between tracks, eliminating the tuning (instruments are strung in gut so there's LOTS of tuning, especially when there's a lute playing with us).

It's a fun project so far - there's a surprising amount of pieces that are musically very nice and aren't riddled with mistakes, tuning issues, dropouts, fire engines going by, etc. And some are sonically very pleasant considering how crude the recording technique was.
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