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Old 02-15-2015, 11:54 PM   #41
grinder
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Ok Macousticboy
I pulled up your soundcard and the software mixer
Have a look here
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep0...es/emu0404.htm
To get your levels to Reaper
Put the software mixer"Main Mix" on -1db
Then set your levels on the EMU software mixer tracks playing the instrument of your choice to suit around -12db peak levels on the reaper tracks in meters.
You should get no distortion from that.
Any one chime in if I am an idiot!

Grinder

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Old 02-16-2015, 12:14 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grinder View Post
Ok Macousticboy
I pulled up your soundcard and the software mixer
Have a look here
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep0...es/emu0404.htm
To get your levels to Reaper
Put the software mixer"Main Mix" on -1db
Then set your levels on the EMU software mixer tracks playing the instrument of your choice to suit around -12db peak levels on the reaper tracks in meters.
You should get no distortion from that.
Any one chime in if I am an idiot!

Grinder

https://soundcloud.com/steve-maitland-1
That's right, -1db. I was thinking it was 0 - +1.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:23 AM   #43
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Macousticboy - the easiest would be to post one example of your mixes.
As long as we all try to help you in theory, fine. But looking at the facts is the only right thing to do.

[tbh. when I started with mixing, I also sent horrible (horrible!) material to ME's because most people told me "For sure a 'mix' won't sound like a 'master'. The magic happens in the mastering". Insert facepalm. You know what? Although I used the same ME as the "big guys", my music still didn't sound like theirs.
I believe you make that same mistake right now.
Yes, it is the MIX that has to be 98% "there", also in terms of loudness btw.. You simply have to learn which tracks/instruments will benefit of saturation/compression/limiting and which won't. The same goes for the overall frequency spectrum. It only sounds balanced it you treat several tracks differently. Nobody can "master" a final mix that is either too dynamic or already squashed to death and expect it to sound good.

So do us a favour and upload something]

EDIT. I also believed that a certain piece of gear will improve my mixes immediately Haha!]
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Last edited by beingmf; 02-16-2015 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:59 AM   #44
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Quote:
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Macousticboy - do us a favour and upload something
Quote:
Your submission could not be processed because a security token was missing.

If this occurred unexpectedly, please inform the administrator and describe the action you performed before you received this error.
Sorry, looks like I cannot.

Last edited by macousticboy; 02-16-2015 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:12 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
Macousticboy - the easiest would be to post one example of your mixes.
As long as we all try to help you in theory, fine. But looking at the facts is the only right thing to do.

[tbh. when I started with mixing, I also sent horrible (horrible!) material to ME's because most people told me "For sure a 'mix' won't sound like a 'master'. The magic happens in the mastering". Insert facepalm. You know what? Although I used the same ME as the "big guys", my music still didn't sound like theirs.
I believe you make that same mistake right now.
Yes, it is the MIX that has to be 98% "there", also in terms of loudness btw.. You simply have to learn which tracks/instruments will benefit of saturation/compression/limiting and which won't. The same goes for the overall frequency spectrum. It only sounds balanced it you treat several tracks differently. Nobody can "master" a final mix that is either too dynamic or already squashed to death and expect it to sound good.

So do us a favour and upload something]

EDIT. I also believed that a certain piece of gear will improve my mixes immediately Haha!]
Sir, it´s not that easy, let me explain to you.
If you were given the best available bike, it would still be unsure whether you would be able to win Tour de France.
If you use high end, everything has to be high end, an U47 with an Alesis interface, well, could be nice, but I would not recommend this combination, also the room and your abilities and know-how concerning the gear is very important !
Do not think with an U47 you will have better vocal recordings !
The singer must be good and the room and the mic amp and interface and the engineer´s capabilities...

Pump your bike´s tires properly before joining Tour de France !
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:17 AM   #46
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It would be good if you tried this gain staging anyway
Macousticboy.
Long term it is good to understand a little theory. (I myself was never one for it however it has to be said I have benefited fro it more than a little.
This is good practice no point in being a great performer and catching takes you can not use or are difficult to use is it?
My sleep calls me so I will catch this thread tomorrow.
All the best Grinder

Ok Macousticboy
I pulled up your soundcard and the software mixer
Have a look here
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep0...es/emu0404.htm
To get your levels to Reaper
Put the software mixer"Main Mix" on -1db
Then set your levels on the EMU software mixer tracks playing the instrument of your choice to suit around -12db peak levels on the reaper tracks in meters.
You should get no distortion from that.
Any one chime in if I am an idiot!

Grinder
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:13 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
Sorry, looks like I cannot.
How about dropbox or Google Drive or ...
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:03 AM   #48
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@ Lord LoudMouth:

bulls**t! that is for your whole posting ... why dont you shut up finally? everybody now knows that you dont have a clue what you are talking about. get lost and please dont come back with another nickname.


Quote:
Pump your bike´s tires properly before joining Tour de France !
wrong ... you have to take the right drugs and know the right docs to win the Tour de France.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:24 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Marceaux de Champs View Post
Do not think with an U47 you will have better vocal recordings !
The singer must be good and the room and the mic amp and interface and the engineer´s capabilities...
Shootout for one of the last album productions: #1: Shure 545 ... #10: U47

And a "bad" singer might also sound good with a U47. He won't sing better, but maybe the bad performance is captured gloriously
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:01 PM   #50
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How about dropbox or Google Drive or ...
Or... nothing! ;-)

As I mentioned earlier, I'm awaiting on a mastering project I'm paying an engineer to do. When he's done, I'll be sure and post something, probably in another thread. I'll stick to that plan.
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:42 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
Or... nothing! ;-)

As I mentioned earlier, I'm awaiting on a mastering project I'm paying an engineer to do. When he's done, I'll be sure and post something, probably in another thread. I'll stick to that plan.
Then I don't get the purpose of this thread at all.
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:43 PM   #52
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I didn't see these mentioned or linked here earlier. Here's how I set up to master an album. I don't do any processing, I just go over the setup and workflow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj6gUvoqvfk

Since then I started using the Monitoring FX Chain for certain plugins instead of on the master track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InRwfE4o1UU

Once the tracks are processed I get the album ready for duplication with HOFA CD Burn & DDP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj5SI0m98gk

If you're interested in learning how to master music yourself I highly recommend these two training products from Ian Shepherd.
Mastering with Multiband Compression

and Home Mastering Masterclass
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:00 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicSounds View Post
I didn't see these mentioned or linked here earlier. Here's how I set up to master an album. I don't do any processing, I just go over the setup and workflow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj6gUvoqvfk

Since then I started using the Monitoring FX Chain for certain plugins instead of on the master track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InRwfE4o1UU

Once the tracks are processed I get the album ready for duplication with HOFA CD Burn & DDP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj5SI0m98gk

If you're interested in learning how to master music yourself I highly recommend these two training products from Ian Shepherd.
Mastering with Multiband Compression

and Home Mastering Masterclass
I actually have your 1st video bookmarked! Thanks, though.
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:01 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
Then I don't get the purpose of this thread at all.
Purpose: It's in the title. Failing that, exchange of info as in what EpicSounds just posted will do.
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:17 PM   #55
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maybe I dont get it ...

so someone goes to a shop and buys a hammer. goes home, and find he is lacking of nails. goes back to the shop, complains that there are no nails delivered with hammers, buys nails, goes home and finds no tutorial how to hammer nails into a wall.

goes back to the shop and demands an immediately complete tutorial for hammering nails into walls under any possible and thinkable circumstances and with a guaranty that these into the wall hammered nails are awesome into a wall hammered nails are.

we have here a confusion of using a tool and achieving a result. I think that kinda confusion can only be made by musicians.
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:24 PM   #56
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I think you do get it.
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:33 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
under any possible and thinkable circumstances and with a guaranty that these into the wall hammered nails are awesome into a wall hammered nails are
No, no such guarantee is required.

Quote:
we have here a confusion of using a tool and achieving a result. I think that kinda confusion can only be made by musicians.
No, no such confusion exists.
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:35 PM   #58
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I don't get why you don't get it whiteaxxxe, seemed like a pretty simple request.
but maybe you aren't a blogger/youtuber/educator or mastering engineer?


Going to comment on some things from the OP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by macousticboy
Everytime I load it, the meters on both sides are a bright red at 1st, and I always set the Master bus to -4 or lower if needed.
This is a good indication that your mix is way too loud to begin with. Give yourself 12dB to work with if possible. You can lower the item volume, first to hit the chain right, second to balance with other songs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by macousticboy
Start piling those babies up high enough (like the videos say to do) and say "Goodbye song, hello exaggerated dynamics" (and STILL not as loud a a Pro can do!)
Don't start inserting plugins without having a clear purpose for doing so. Manage the levels so each processor is not increasing the level. You also need to know what each plugin likes to see for levels, if it's an analog style compressor it's probably cleanest at about -24dBFS. If it's a modern clean floating point EQ then you can hit it at +24dBFS and it won't add distortion.
"exaggerated dynamics" it's likely the opposite. Poor mastering tends to eliminate all dynamics of not just the individual elements but of the song as a whole.
Loudness is not the goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macousticboy
What's the steps I need to take to get my tracks up to sounding like the Big Boys? [...] the keys to this mystery?
The key is having a great mix of a great song. Then the trick is to not wreck it with mastering, and also fit in with the other songs on the album.
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:58 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I think you do get it.
+1 (at least)

I haven't seen the back cover of a comic book in years. Perhaps there is someone there who advertises a "Be A Mastering Engineer IN Seven Days" booklet.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:01 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicSounds View Post
This is a good indication that your mix is way too loud to begin with.
Thing is, I work really hard to "get the red out." If I see any channels going into the red, I'm turning it down until it disappears. I suppose I don't go much further, so perhaps that's why a certain plugin is responding the way it does? I would think that turning something down to almost -10 would correct that, but it didn't.

I'll even mix things down further to get proper levels in relation to the whole. It's not unusual for me to go down to -20 or greater when mixing.

Quote:
Give yourself 12dB to work with if possible. You can lower the item volume, first to hit the chain right, second to balance with other songs.
I've heard that, others have told me they like -10db, or even -6, or on the other end of the spectrum, -12-18. Basically it boils down can you meet your final goals on headroom.

This is an instructor at Berklee. Notice how he sets his levels before recording:

http://youtu.be/bBqZZRa-l3o

Or are we talking about 2 different things?

Quote:
Don't start inserting plugins without having a clear purpose for doing so. Manage the levels so each processor is not increasing the level. You also need to know what each plugin likes to see for levels, if it's an analog style compressor it's probably cleanest at about -24dBFS. If it's a modern clean floating point EQ then you can hit it at +24dBFS and it won't add distortion.
That's exactly why I don't like these videos that simply say "you can do with this or that set of plugins. They never really take the time to explain what each VST does.

Quote:
"exaggerated dynamics" it's likely the opposite. Poor mastering tends to eliminate all dynamics of not just the individual elements but of the song as a whole. Loudness is not the goal. The key is having a great mix of a great song. Then the trick is to not wreck it with mastering, and also fit in with the other songs on the album.
Well in fact, I posted an album of mine on CD Baby TOTALLY un-mastered beyond the basic mixdown, and later tried to work with those files with all the Variety of Sound stuff someone did a video on. A friend told me what I came up with lost a lot of the warmth and subtleties I had in just my basic mixdown. Suffice it to say, I didn't release a "remixed, remastered" version.

Which is why I was hoping to learn what to do with the chain that Reaper has for mastering. You would think someone at Reaper would know!
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:36 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post

Or are we talking about 2 different things?
Well that's recording levels, not preparing-a-mix-for-mastering levels.

In a way it's the same thing. The combined levels of all the tracks in the mix should be coming up on the master about half way up the meter, in the yellow or about -12dBFS peak in the loudest part of the song.

In mastering you'll bring that up to the digital mastering standard of -1dBFS. Depending on the processors you choose, you'll either want to increase the level at the beginning or at the end right before the limiter (or increasing the input volume on the brickwall limiter.

The coffee cup analogy explains why you want to use -1dBFS instead of 0dBFS for the master peak level.


Quote:
Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post

A friend told me what I came up with lost a lot of the warmth and subtleties I had in just my basic mixdown. Suffice it to say, I didn't release a "remixed, remastered" version.
Gotta constantly compare at equal volume to the original and other songs to be sure you're heading in the right direction. Sometimes compromises must be made. You have a lot more creative freedom if loudest-song-ever isn't your primary concern.


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Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
Which is why I was hoping to learn what to do with the chain that Reaper has for mastering. You would think someone at Reaper would know!
I don't know what mastering chain you mean. I don't think there are any fx chains included with the default install and many of the plugins don't have presets. Perhaps you downloaded another user's mastering chain?
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:10 PM   #62
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Just playing around here, thinking how would you approach mastering with Reaper's native effects? So decided to experiment with one of the songs provided by Mike Senior's public library - "Stop Messing With Me" by Sven Bornemark (blues). Tried the following effects on the master:

Reacomp - very gentle compression, just to smooth out some transients n the vocals, also highpass at 50hz
Reafir - eq mode, lose a little of the thumping low end
JS: SStiiwell/stereowidth - little bit of width and center boost
JS: SStiwell/1175 - 1176 clone, used somewhat aggressively for color and warmth
JS: Loser/masterlimiter - round it up to -.1 db

To me, sounds not too bad for a quick experiment, could be done better though with more time. Project and audio files can be downloaded here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/poe66rjjy4...aster.zip?dl=0

Hope this is fun to play with, and of course there are many other ways to go.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:46 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicSounds View Post
I don't know what mastering chain you mean. I don't think there are any fx chains included with the default install and many of the plugins don't have presets. Perhaps you downloaded another user's mastering chain?
Nope. It's right here:

https://stash.reaper.fm/tag/FX-Chains
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:50 PM   #64
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the stash is a collection of stuff kindly uploaded by the user community - so yeah, those are other user's fx chains which could prove useful.
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:12 PM   #65
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Okay so I thought about it and decided to go ahead and post my most recent mix that I sent to an engineer. You can find it in the Music/Collab forum.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:42 AM   #66
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I m also suprised there still are no good tutorial videos showing how to use
the hundreds of JS plugins and Rea plugins.
A tutorial could show applications and examples
for
single instrument tracks
busses/folders
and mastering
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:27 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naji View Post
I m also suprised there still are no good tutorial videos showing how to use
the hundreds of JS plugins and Rea plugins.
A tutorial could show applications and examples
for
single instrument tracks
busses/folders
and mastering
Nice to see some agreement! :]
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:26 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
Nice to see some agreement! :]
For example Kenny Gioia makes very good tutorials for Reaper, but as I can remember he only sometimes used ReaComp, ReaEQ and Readelay - that´s it.

Either he thinks the many other plugins are not worth being showed or for trash, maybe they are not good ?, that´s the reason why a lot of people hesitate to use Reaper, they see many available plugins, and they see that the gui is very simple, so they think they are not good, and there are no detailed explanations, too little examples and why no tutorials ?

I bought a hammer and hammer is called Reaper, found some different nails
one is called

JS: Liteon/tilteq, another one is called JS: Misc/reverseness
and JS: schwa/fft splitter and JS: Utility/bufsave...and...and...

Sure I tried to use these nails, my hammer (reaper) still works, but the nails(plugins) have damaged my wall (mix)
or in daw language
I have checked some plugins out, but could not find any decent use,
that´s why tutorials could help

Last edited by Naji; 02-17-2015 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:59 AM   #69
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I dont think the plugins are the nails. that was thought as an example how to treat a tool. a tool is not the solution, but the OP wants obviously a solution and demands that from the tool.

thats not how it works.

and I dont think, that the Reaper plugins need a special explanation, as to what is an eq and what you can do with it. if someone wants a mastering tutorial thats is too not going to happen, because its different what to while mastering all the time. mastering is not doing this and then that, thats not the way it works.

and that is what the OP doesnt (want to) understand. if he doesnt know what an eq or a compressor is or how to use it ... then he should clear that up as first, but in that case its the worng time to use the term mastering.

ok, I will give a short mastering tutorial: take a track, throw a compressor, an eq and a brickwall limiter on it and turn the knobs on these until your track sounds awesome.

done.

was that right? that is what mastering engineers do. maybe they do have a break and got to GearSlutz for a while and discuss ITB or OTB and outboard gear and summing boxes or dithering or samplerates and samplerate-conversion ...
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:13 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naji View Post
I m also suprised there still are no good tutorial videos showing how to use
the hundreds of JS plugins and Rea plugins.
A tutorial could show applications and examples
for
single instrument tracks
busses/folders
and mastering
I would love to make a tutorial on just this topic but unfortunately I don't see a market for it. I have to eat.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:14 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naji View Post
For example Kenny Gioia makes very good tutorials for Reaper, but as I can remember he only sometimes used ReaComp, ReaEQ and Readelay - that´s it.

Either he thinks the many other plugins are not worth being showed or for trash, maybe they are not good ?, that´s the reason why a lot of people hesitate to use Reaper, they see many available plugins, and they see that the gui is very simple, so they think they are not good, and there are no detailed explanations, too little examples and why no tutorials ?
All of the plugins that come with Pro Tools are excellent.

I keep it simple because most users don't need them.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:24 AM   #72
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Using Reaper as a mastering platform will be similar to using any other DAW as a mastering platform. Did you want to know specifically why Reaper might be a better choice? Or is it more about mastering in general? I could do a video sometime showing how I personally use it for mastering but I fear it will be a pretty boring video as it won't be any different to how I master in any other DAW.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:37 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by bladerunner View Post
Using Reaper as a mastering platform will be similar to using any other DAW as a mastering platform. Did you want to know specifically why Reaper might be a better choice? Or is it more about mastering in general? I could do a video sometime showing how I personally use it for mastering but I fear it will be a pretty boring video as it won't be any different to how I master in any other DAW.
And that was my point. There's not really anything specifically different unless you use only Reaper plugins.
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:42 AM   #74
Naji
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Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I would love to make a tutorial on just this topic but unfortunately I don't see a market for it. I have to eat.
I did not consider mastering only, I am pretty sure a lot of people would be glad to see tutorials that would show and explain what all the plugins are good for.
Now I have them, but JS plugins I never use, I tested five or six and could not find out what they are good for, except two JS plugin, I rarely use.

So if you made tutorials that would show what one can do with the plugins

- for single instrument tracks
- folder / busses
- mastering

you surely could buy one more loaf of bread, cuz I´d join groove3 again.

What about a survey ?

Of course you could also make another 100 more tutorials about mixing,
but REaper and JS plugins would be much more specific and thus more interesting.
And such tutorials would be interesting for many old Reaper users, new Reaper users,
other daw users and for those who hesitate to buy or work with Reaper, because the plugins
do not look attractive, but maybe they are useful !?

I could not make such tutorials, because I do not have the voice and timbre of a Mr. Gioia or
Mr. Dan Worrall and believe me it is not only my voice

Last edited by Naji; 02-17-2015 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:45 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Naji View Post
I did not consider mastering only, I am pretty sure a lot of people would be glad to see tutorial that would explain what all the plugins are good for.
Now I have them, but JS plugins I never use, I tested five or six and could not find out what they are good for, except two JS plugin, I rarely use.

So if you made tutorials that would show what one can do with the plugins

- for single instrument tracks
- folder / busses
- mastering

you surely could buy one more loaf of bread, cuz I´d join groove3 again.

What about a survey ?
I'm hoping to make that not necessary. I'd love to make Reaper tutorials for every need we can think of. Stay tuned.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:25 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
I dont think the plugins are the nails. that was thought as an example how to treat a tool. a tool is not the solution, but the OP wants obviously a solution and demands that from the tool.thats not how it works.
Complete & total bullshit:

Now let's get to the truth: It's a stigma to provide such a tutorial here for free because you have a few semi-regulars who sell mastering tutorials as a product. Otherwise you'd have a complete, ongoing forum for the topic just like Gearslutz does. Also, it's a stigma to say the developers have missed a couple of important things here & there.

Full stop. ;-)
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:02 PM   #77
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Complete & total bullshit:
It's unclear to me what you EXPECT to get for free just because you asked for it but I definitely don't think this is the way to go about it.

This forum is here to help. Please speak to us how you'd like to be spoken to.

Thanks
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:35 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
It's unclear to me what you EXPECT to get for free just because you asked for it but I definitely don't think this is the way to go about it.

This forum is here to help. Please speak to us how you'd like to be spoken to.

Thanks
Start by not with the "Comic book ad for being a mastering engineer in 7 days" and "and that is what the OP doesnt (want to) understand" comments. There is not one thing wrong with me asking for something that should have been not a 2nd thought a long time ago, and what there is copious information on for just about any other DAW, except the one under present discussion.

As a personal note, please don't see this as an offense against yourself or other bloggers doing the same thing. I have no problem with you doing what you do for a living and I understand if there's reasons for not duplicating what you may very well one day put forth the labor that you want to be cost effective. I'm just tired of the atmosphere I got here as if I farted loudly during a Laura Gibson recording session.

There's nothing wrong with asking for a tutorial on mastering. I'm currently reviewing videos that are out there on Reaper & learning a lot. But shit on me long enough, I shit back. Sorry, that's just how it is.
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:11 PM   #79
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Don't get me wrong. I understand your point, somehow, and I understand Kenny's point. You want some kind of a recipe in Reaper. But there is none. As he said: a mastering tutorial for Reaper would be just the same as in Sonar, in Logic ... you name it.

While I think that Reaper is fantastic for mastering, mainly because of the channel routing options, the process itself is more or less the same. Use whatever hard- or software in order to achieve your sonic goal.

What INDEED would be interesting: a guide to the included (and even 3rd party) JS plugins. I'm totally lost sometimes looking at the plethora of options - a tutorial separating the cream from the crop would be fantastic!

And: just ignore "those" comments, no?
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:42 PM   #80
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What INDEED would be interesting: a guide to the included (and even 3rd party) JS plugins. I'm totally lost sometimes looking at the plethora of options - a tutorial separating the cream from the crop would be fantastic!
Agreed! And although i can't speak German, your site looks delicious
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