Chapter 3: recording audio and midi
- 1 3 Recording Audio and MIDI
- 1.1 3.1 Creating a New Project
- 1.2 3.2 Setting Media Project Options
- 1.3 3.3 Saving the Project File
- 1.4 3.4 Creating and Naming Tracks
- 1.5 3.5 To Prepare and Record One Track
- 1.6 3.6 To Prepare and Record Multiple Tracks
- 1.7 3.7 Auto Arming Tracks
- 1.8 3.8 Using the Metronome
- 1.9 3.9 Recording Stereo Tracks
- 1.10 3.10 Multi-Channel Recording
- 1.11 3.11 Track Templates
- 1.12 3.12 Importing an Existing Project
- 1.13 3.13 Project Templates
- 1.14 3.14 Layered Recording
- 1.15 3.15 Overdubbing and Punch Recording
- 1.16 3.16 Non-Destructive Punch Recording
- 1.17 3.17 Destructive Punch Recording
- 1.18 3.18 Fades and Crossfades
- 1.19 3.19 Recording Multiple Takes
- 1.20 3.20 Showing Takes in Lanes
- 1.21 3.21 Using Color Coded Takes
- 1.22 3.22 Working With Multiple Takes
- 1.23 3.23 Overlapping Items
- 1.24 3.24 Recording Multiple Additional Items
- 1.25 3.25 Recording with Empty Events
- 1.26 3.26 Recording with Input FX Plug-ins
- 1.27 3.27 Preserve PDC Delayed Monitoring in Recorded Items
- 1.28 3.28 Recording a Track's Output
- 1.29 3.29 Recording FX Bus Output
- 1.30 3.30 Recording MIDI
- 1.31 3.31 Other MIDI Recording Modes
- 1.32 3.32 Recording With a Virtual Instrument
- 1.33 3.33 Using Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth
- 1.34 3.34 Looped Overdubbing and Looped Time Selection Recording
- 1.35 3.35 Recording with External Hardware FX
- 1.36 3.36 Preference Settings for Recording
- 1.37 3.37 Track Preferences for Recording
- 1.38 3.38 Projects with Mixed Formats
- 1.39 3.39 REAPER Audio Recording Checklist
- 1.40 3.40 Recording MIDI From Keyboard Check-List
- 1.41 3.41 Recording an Internet Audio Stream
- 1.42 3.42 Converting Audio Media Item Format
- 1.43 3.43 Recording Live Windows Output
3 Recording Audio and MIDI
This chapter will take you thru everything you need to know to get started with recording in REAPER. At the end of the chapter, you will find a helpful checklist.
3.1 Creating a New Project
To create a new project file, you can either use the File, New Project command, or press Ctrl N.
The Project page within the Options, Preferences dialog box can be used to determine how REAPER behaves each time you create a new project:
Amongst the most useful options on this screen are the following:
Use project file as a template. This enables you to use an existing project file as a template for new projects. All tracks, HX, tracks, buses, routing etc. will be copied into the new file from the template file.
Prompt to save on new project. If you enable this option, you will be prompted to save your new projects immediately they are created.
Open properties on new project. If this option is selected, the Project Options dialog box will automatically be displayed every time you create a new project. This can help ensure that you select the correct recording format and other settings that you require.
Automatically create a backup each time your file is saved and overwritten. This helps protect you against accidental loss of work.
Whether to create and save multiple project versions. This feature is explained in Chapter 12.
Automatically save to a timestamped file at intervals you specify. This can help to protect you from the consequences of an unforeseen circumstance such as a power outage or a computer crash. You can save these files to the project directory and/or an additional directory. You can also specify the frequency (in minutes) of automatic saving, and whether to apply this when not recording, when stopped, or at any time.
3.2 Setting Media Project Options
After creating a project file, you can display the Project Settings window ï¿½ Alt Enter ï¿½ to ensure that you are using your preferred Media Settings. In particular, check your preferred audio format. If you are not sure, for CD quality select .WAV, with settings similar to those shown here. If you wish later to use some other format (such as .MP3) you can render your files in that format.
The settings shown would be suitable when the output is to be rendered to CD audio. As a rule, 24 bit is preferred for recording. If the recording is to be finalised in DVD format rather than CD, you should consider a sample rate of 48000 instead of 44100. This is specified on the main Project Settings page.
Some people prefer 88200 for CD and 96000 for DVD. Be aware that increasing sample rate also increases media item file size and slows down processing.
If you prefer, you can record using any of a number of available compressed formats, including MP3, OGG and WavPack. Choosing any of these will present you with further options appropriate to that format. For example, if you choose MP3 you will need also to specify your required bitrate.
There is also a drop down list where you choose to write as cues to your recorded media files markers and regions, either one of these, or none of these, or only markers/regions whose name begins with #. See Chapter 9 for more about markers and regions.
3.3 Saving the Project File
After creating a file, use the File, Save Project command, or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl S, to save it. You will need to specify a project file name. When saving a new file you are offered a number of options. You can choose to Create subdirectory for project. If you also select Copy all media into project directory you may also specify a format for these items to be converted.
If you select Move all media into project directory , then by default all media files used by the project will be moved into the project subdirectory. Optionally you can ask to Copy rather than move source media if not in old project media path. You would be likely to choose this, for example, if your project uses files from a samples library, to ensure that the samples are not removed from the library.
You should also make sure that you get into the habit of frequently resaving your project after making changes. The easiest way to do this is simply to press Ctrl S.
3.4 Creating and Naming Tracks
After creating a new project file, the next thing you will want to do is to create a track or a number of tracks for recording. A project can contain as many or as few tracks as you want. You can add tracks using the Track, Insert New Track command or by pressing Ctrl T. Alternatively, you can simply double-click anywhere in the vacant area of the Track Control Panel.
It is advisable to name the tracks before you start recording. To do this, double-click in the track name area and type the name. The media file that is created when you record will then be given a sensible name that matches the track. Under Options, Preferences you can display the Recording settings page and decide which items are automatically included in your trackï¿½s file names. These can be any combination of track index (number), track name, and the time of the recording. We'll look at more of these recording preferences later in this chapter.
REAPER supports multitrack recording. The number of different sources that you can record at the same time is limited by the number of enabled inputs (under Preferences, Audio, Device) on your audio soundcard. Before commencing recording, for each track you will need to:
Arm the track for recording.
Assign the Input that is being used.
Check that the sound level is right for recording.
Optionally, you may also:
Select a recording format other than the default.
Turn input monitoring on.
Note: You do not need to specify when creating a track whether it is to be a stereo or mono track. When assigning the track input for recording, you can use either a single mono input or a stereo pair. Note that both stereo and mono tracks can be panned between the left and right speakers as you wish. Panning is a topic that occurs throughout this guide, for example in Chapter 5.
3.5 To Prepare and Record One Track
- Check the Options menu to make sure that Record mode: Normal is selected. We'll examine the other modes as this chapter progresses.
- Click on the Record Arm button for that track (on the left) The button should now appear red.
- Click the mouse over the Input settings for that track (below the pan fader - see right) to display a menu. The exact options on that menu will depend on which sound card and audio device(s) you have installed.
- Select the required input from the menu. This will be the one to which the microphone or line that you are using for recording is connected. In most cases, this is likely to be one of the Input: Mono options. If you are not sure which option to pick, choose Mono when recording from a single microphone or lead.
- Enable Input Monitoring. This is the first item (Monitor Input) on the Record arm button right-click context menu, or you can use the toggle Record monitoring button shown here (right). The location of this button may vary according to your choice of layout and the TCP column width. If your sound card supports direct monitoring you will most likely wish to use that, in which case you should not enable REAPER's input monitoring. Consult the sound card's documentation for more information about this. If your sound card does not support direct monitoring, then you should enable REAPER's input monitoring. There's more about input monitoring in sections 3.14 and 3.15.
- Audition the sound while you adjust the volume on your audio desk or sound input device, so as to get a good strong signal without clipping. If in doubt, aim to peak at about ï¿½10dB. Note that the recording level cannot be controlled by adjusting the Trackï¿½s volume fader: that controls only the playback level.
- Press the Record button on the Transport, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl R.
- To finish recording, either press Stop on the Transport, or press Space, or press the Record button again, or press Ctrl R. Now click on the Record Arm button for this track to ï¿½disarmï¿½ it.
Tip: The Input menu (shown above) includes an item Input: None. This can be used to prevent material from ever being accidentally recorded onto a track where it is not wanted, such as perhaps an FX bus or a folder.
If you use the Record button or Ctrl R to stop recording, recorded items are automatically saved.
If you press Space or Stop, the dialog box shown will let you save or delete any or all of your newly recorded media items.
REAPER supports ï¿½on the fly recordingï¿½. This means you can also arm additional tracks after the recording has started. Those tracks will then also be recorded from the point at which you arm them. Similarly, if recording more than one track, you can stop recording one while continuing to record the others by clicking on the Record Arm/Disarm button to disarm just that track.
Tip: Track/Send Default Preferences. The Track/Send Defaults page of REAPER's preferences can be used specify record configuration defaults for future tracks and projects, including turning input monitoring on and selecting default inputs ï¿½ see Chapter 22.
Tip: When recording, make sure that the incoming signal is not too loud, or you can damage your recording equipment. Hereï¿½s what to do:
- Turn the input or gain control on your input device (e.g. firewire device or desk) all the way down.
- If recording an instrument in-line, insert one end of the line into the instrument and the other end into your input device. Turn the output on the instrument fully up
- Audition the instrument, slowly raising the input or gain control on your input device until it sounds right.
3.6 To Prepare and Record Multiple Tracks
To prepare multiple tracks for recording you could repeat all of the necessary steps as many times as you require tracks, but that might be tedious ï¿½ and besides, itï¿½s too easy to make a mistake when selecting your audio inputs. You could end up with one input being recorded more than once, and perhaps another input being accidentally missed out. This is something that, at one time or another, is likely to happen with most DAW software. To avoid this problem, you can follow this sequence:
- Use the Insert, Multiple tracks command to insert as many tracks as you require. The Insert tracks dialog will be displayed. Select the number of tracks required and choose whether they are to be inserted After the last touched track or At end of project. Click on OK. Name your new tracks.
- Select all tracks to be recorded. After making your selection, click on the Record Arm button of any one of them to arm the entire selection.
- One method is to use the Routing Matrix. Press Alt R to display this. In this example, four tracks are to be recorded at the same time. By default, all four tracks are at first assigned to the first input (above). If you were to record now, the same signal from the first input would be recorded four times! (Notice also that by default, input 1 is also assigned to track 5 - the FX bus - but as this is not armed nothing will be recorded there.)
- Click in the appropriate cells in the Routing Matrix to assign each track an input. The example shown uses audio inputs - Input 1 is to go to Track 1, Input 2 to Track 2 and so on. MIDI inputs may also be selected ï¿½ these are listed below the audio inputs. You can also right click over any red cell to access the Record Input menu should you wish to do so.
- Monitor the strength of the signals and record as before.
Tips: Using the Track Control Panel to prepare multiple tracks
Another option is to use the TCP to set up and record your tracks.
- To define the same record settings for multiple tracks, select the required tracks, right-click on the arm record button, then make your choices from the menu. Holding Shift will over-ride this and apply your menu choices to the one track only. Inputs can be assigned to a selection of tracks in a similar way by clicking on the Input button.
- To assign a series of mono inputs in sequence to a set of tracks, select the tracks then click the Input button of any track in the selection. Next, select Assign inputs sequentially then your required inputs ï¿½ e.g. in the above example, this would be Mono, Input 1 to Input 4.
- To insert a new track at the end of your project, you can simply double click in the Track Control Panel area, just below the last existing track.
3.7 Auto Arming Tracks
If you wish, you can ensure that tracks are automatically armed for recording when selected and unarmed when deselected. Select the track(s) then right click over the record arm button for any track in the selection and choose Automatic record arm when track selected. This command can be toggled on and off.
To set all tracks to auto arm, choose the Track command from the main menu, then Set all tracks to automatic record arm when selected.
3.8 Using the Metronome
You can set up and use a metronome when using REAPER for recording. Use the Options, Metronome enabled command to turn it on and off (or left-click the metronome button on the toolbar; control/command shift m is the default shortcut for this), and the Options, Metronome/ pre-roll settings command (alt plus shift plus m) to set up your metronome (or right-click on the metronome button on the toolbar).
The Metronome Settings
Enable metronome: This turns the built-in metronome on or off.
The I/O Button: Immediately to the right of the Enable Metronome option, this allows metronome output to be directed to the device of your choice (e.g., Headphones). If any output monitoring FX are in use, the option to Play metronome thru Monitor FX will be available.
Run during playback: This will turn the metronome on during playback.
Count-in before playback : This will enable a count-in before playback.
Run during recording: This will turn the metronome on during recording.
Count-in before recording: This will enable a count-in before recording. Useful if you are recording yourself. It ensures that when you press Ctrl R the recording will not actually start until after the specified count-in. This gives you time to get back to the microphone and pick up your instrument.
Count-in length (Measures): This defines the number of measures a count in should be. If it is the very beginning of a project, it will wait those number of measures before starting to record. If you select a place to record within a project, it will start the count in this many measures before the time that you want to record at.
Primary beat volume: This determines how loud is the metronome volume.
Secondary beat gain:- The amount by which the volume of secondary beats will be adjusted.
Beat pattern: You can accept the default AABB or define your own. You can also use Samples for your own metronome sounds.
First beat sample: This is the sample for the first beat ï¿½ e.g., in 4/4 time, this sample will play on the 1.
Subsequent beat: This is the sample for other beats. For example, in 4/4 time, this sample will play on the 2, 3, and 4. To use your samples for the metronome in all your project you need to set them up, save a project with no tracks (but with any other project setting you think may be useful) then, in Preferences/ Project specify that project as the default template to use for all new projects.
By default, REAPER uses a synthesised metronome. You can specify in Hz the Frequency of first beat and of Subsequent beats.
Beat click length xx ms: This is how long each beat click lasts.
Start shape: This can be hard (louder) or soft (quieter).
The Pre roll settings can be used so that when you start recording, or playback, the metronome will play for the specified number of measures before recording or playback actually begins.
Recording during audio pre-roll: to record audio during audio pre-roll, the recording preference to record audio during pre-roll will need to be enabled. Then, Enable metronome and the metronome settings options Run metronome during recording and Pre-roll before recording. After the recording is finished, drag the left edge of the recorded item to the left (or use action: grow left edge of items default is numpad 4) to reveal what has been recorded.
Tip: The Metronome Time Base is controlled by the Project Settings. Press Alt Enter and display the Project Settings page if you need to change this.
3.9 Recording Stereo Tracks
You may wish to record from two inputs direct to a stereo track, for example, if you are uploading some previously recorded material from audio tape into REAPER, or are recording stereo paired microphones. Follow a similar procedure to that explained in section 3.5, selecting a stereo input instead of mono. The signal from paired stereo inputs can be recorded on to a single stereo item on a single track.
As has already explained in Chapter 2, it is advisable to open the Audio page of your Preferences settings and turn off the option to Show Non-Standard Stereo Channel Pairs. This will reduce your available stereo paired inputs to a more logical selection such as that shown above.
3.10 Multi-Channel Recording
This is an advanced topic.
If you define a track as multichannel (for example, perhaps 4, 6 or 8 channels) then your recording input context menu for that track will include an option for multichannel recording. You can, for example, record from four, six or eight microphones simultaneously, each to a separate channel on the one track. This method is suited, for example, for use with four channel ambisonic microphone arrays as used in surround sound production.
For multichannel tracks, there is also a toggle command on the record arm context menu Track VU meter, Show peaks from all track channels (not just 1+2).
3.11 Track Templates
After you have set up a track (or a number of tracks) for recording, you might think that you may wish to use this same track exactly as it is again in some future projects. This can be done using Track Templates.
To create a track template from an existing track (or selection of tracks):
- Select the track or tracks.
- Choose the Track, Save tracks as track template command.
- When prompted, type a template name. If you wish, you can select the option to Include track items in the template. If so, any audio and MIDI items on the track will be included. You may also choose to Include envelopes in template. (Envelopes will be explained in Chapter 18).
- Click on Save.
To import an existing track template into a project:
- From the REAPER menu, choose the Track, Insert track from template command.
- Depending on how your templates are stored, either select the required template from the menu, or choose Open template, then choose the required template and click on Open.
The Insert track from template sub-menu includes Offset template items by edit cursor. If enabled, any media items and/or envelopes saved with the original template will be inserted at the edit cursor position.
Note: Track properties and settings are saved into the template, including track name, inputs and outputs, any FX plug-ins (with any parameter settings, parameter modulation, and track controls), sends and receives. However, if a track included in a track template includes any sends to or receives from any track or tracks not included in the template, then these sends and receives will not be saved into the track template.
Tip: Organizing track templates. You can find where your track templates are stored by using the Options, Show REAPER resource path ï¿½ command (see Chapter 1). Here you can create subdirectories within the TrackTemplates folder where you to store and arrange your track templates as you please. Your subdirectories and their contents will automatically be shown on the Insert track from template sub menu.
3.12 Importing an Existing Project
The Track, Insert Track from Template, Open Template command can be used to import an entire REAPER project into your current project. All tracks in the original project file are imported ï¿½ media items, track settings, FX, routing, etc. However, items that are not track specific (such as markers) are not imported.
To do this, simply select Project Files as the File Type when the Open Track Template dialog box is displayed, navigate to select the file you wish to import, then click on Open. The tracks from the imported project file are inserted immediately below the currently selected tracks.
3.13 Project Templates
A Project Template goes further than a Track Template in that it can be used to create an entire Project File, based upon the structure and settings of the template file. For example, Project Settings (including Media Settings) are saved with a project template, along with the screen layout, which views are open, how they are sized, whether they are docked, and so on. However, unlike when creating a Track Template, you should remove the media clips and items from a file before saving it as a project template, otherwise every time the template is used to create a new file, those media items will be inserted. (Unless, of course, there are media clips that you actually want saved into the template).
To create a Project Template:
With the source project file open, choose the File, Project Templates, Save As Project Template command. When prompted, give the template a name, then click on Save.
To create a new file based on a Project Template
Choose the File, Project Templates command, then click on the name of the required project template.
To use an existing file as a template for all new projects:
Choose the Options, Preferences command, then Project.
Click on the Browse button labeled ï¿½When creating new projects, use the following file as a templateï¿½.
The contents of the project templates folder will be displayed.
Select the required file, then click on Open.
Click on OK to close the Preferences window.
Tip: If you are specifying a default project template it is a good idea to also save an empty project as a project template called Empty Project. Then, if you want to create a new file that doesnï¿½t use your default project template, you can do so by simply choosing from the menu File, Project Templates, Empty Project.
3.14 Layered Recording
The term layering refers to a recording technique in which two or more instruments and/or voices are recorded for the same song, but not all at once. The tracks can be recorded one at a time. An initial track is laid down ï¿½ this is often a guide track which will be discarded at the end of the recording process. Then each other track is recorded while the musician or singer listens thru headphones to a mix of what has already been recorded and what she is recording now. In order to use this layered recording method:
- With Record Mode set to Normal, record the initial track, as explained earlier.
- After recording, make sure the output of this track is directed to the Master. Make sure also that you ï¿½disarmï¿½ this track.
- Make sure that the Master is directed to whichever hardware outputs are connected to your headphones or headphone amp.
- Add another track. Name it. Arm this track for recording. Select the Input used by the microphone or line that is to be used to record this new track.
- Make sure that Record: input(audio or MIDI) is selected and that Input Monitoring is turned on for this track (see above). This will enable the person being recorded and the recording engineer to hear in their headphones a mix of previously recorded material with that being recorded now.
- Adjust the Volume levels of the previously recorded track (using the track fader) and the volume level of the incoming signal (using your external mixer desk or audio device, or audio device control software) until you are happy with your headphone mix.
- Press Ctrl R to start recording, and Ctrl R again to stop when finished. Again, disarm this track when you have finished recording on it.
- Repeat this procedure for all other tracks to be layered. At step 6. you can feed into your Master a mix of all tracks previously recorded up to that point.
Note: If you notice an echo type delay in your headphones it will be because latency is too high. Lowering the block size (see 1.12) to 256 or 128 can improve this. On consumer quality built in sound cards, however, this might cause pops and clicks. For Windows users, the use of ASIO4ALL drivers might resolve this.
Tip: Many sound cards and USB or Firewire audio devices come with software that can be used for zero latency input monitoring and headphone mixing, especially those devices with multiple inputs and outputs. If you use that software for input monitoring, then you should turn off the input monitoring option within REAPER.
Try it now! Open the supplied project file All Through The Night.RPP and save it as All Through The Night LAYERS.RPP. Have a go at recording another instrumental track of your choice to go into this project - any instrument you choose!
Note 1: Monitor Input (Tape Auto Style). This option differs from normal input monitoring in that it monitors input only when the transport has stopped or when you are recording. During playback you will hear only the timeline audio, not the input.
Note 2: If you are monitoring an armed track when an existing track uses a plug-in (such as ReaFir) that has latency, you may wish to consider enabling the option Preserve PDC delayed monitoring in recorded items. This more advanced topic will be explained in more detail later in this chapter.
3.15 Overdubbing and Punch Recording
You can go over an existing track to re-record a section with which you are not satisfied, to correct perhaps just a few notes of an instrument, or a line or two of a vocal. Use punch recording for this. You can play back in your headphones previously recorded material along with any other tracks while you record. At the point where you want recording to begin, the track on which you are recording will cut out, and the recording will begin. At another point specified by you, the recording will stop, and the existing recording will come back in.
The technique can be applied with both audio and MIDI items. MIDI is discussed later in this chapter when looped time selection recording is also explained.
3.16 Non-Destructive Punch Recording
By default, punch recording is not destructive: it creates a new take, but does not destroy the original. To use punch recording, follow this sequence:
- Choose the Options command, then Record mode: time selection auto punch. The display of the Transport Bar record button will change. Disable the Toggle Repeat function on this toolbar.
- Select the track and arm it for recording. View the Options menu and for now ensure that Show all takes in lanes (when room) is not selected. We'll look at lanes shortly. Also, for this example, make sure that Loop points linked to time selection is not enabled.
- Make sure that the track output is sent to the Master and that Input Monitoring is enabled.
- Make sure that the Master output is directed to the audio hardware outputs to which your headphones or headphone amp is connected.
- Click once on the existing media item to select it. Click and drag along the arrange background area to select the region that you want to be re-recorded (see above).
- Rewind the track to a point a short way before the position where you wish to start recording. This can be done by simply clicking at the required place on the timeline.
- Press Ctrl R. You will hear the recorded material up to the start of the defined region, where you can re-record that passage. Press Space to stop when you have finished recording. Accept the option to save your recorded media. Restore normal recording mode when you have finished punch recording.
Your track now contains two media items. What's happened to the originally recorded passage? Well, it's still there and you can still use it if you like. Pressing Ctrl L toggles the display of all takes or active take only (see above). We'll learn more about this soon.
Note: You can enable the option Monitor track media when recording. If you do this when punching in, say, a guitar or vocals, regular Monitor Input will cause you to hear both the existing and the new material right up to the punch, then only the new material during the punch. Monitor Input (tape auto style) will monitor only the existing materials up to the punch, then only the new material.
Tip: If you make a mistake or change your mind when overdubbing, you can use Ctrl Z to undo the recording or you can select the unwanted media item and use the Delete key to remove it.
Getting to grips with REAPER's various record modes and in particular how they work in combination with other options (such as monitoring) can be somewhat bewildering for new users. Chapter 25 includes a summary table Troubleshooting Record Modes and Monitoring.
3.17 Destructive Punch Recording
You have the option when punch recording of actually removing from the existing track the previously recorded material if you wish. If this is what you want, use the Options, New recording that overlaps existing media items command to turn on the toggle option Trims existing items behind new recording. Be careful how you use this. You can restore this option to its default setting by choosing Splits existing items and creates new takes from the same menu.
3.18 Fades and Crossfades
REAPER allows you to apply automatic crossfades and fades in and out of your recorded items. This feature can be turned on and off or customized thru the Options, Preferences, Project, Media Item Defaults. You can select a preferred shape and duration (length) for your fade curves. Clicking on the image of the curve (shown above) causes you to be offered a number of choices (see right). As you will see in Chapter 7, you can easily change the default fade type and/or length for individual media items. If you prefer not to use automatic fades, just disable that option.
3.19 Recording Multiple Takes
REAPERï¿½s multiple takes feature can help you when you want to record several versions of a track to see which you prefer. It works like this:
- Set record mode to normal (Options, Record Mode: Normal).
- Make sure that Enable track free item positioning (FIPM) is not enabled (i.e., not ticked) for the tracks being recorded. Use the TCP right click context menu to do this. We'll get to FIPM later in this chapter.
- Record your first take of the track.
- Rewind to the start then record your next take.
- Repeat step 4. as many times as you wish.
In the example shown, an initial vocal track has been recorded, then above it three takes have been made of a vocal harmony track. Notice the text displayed with the name of the media item displayed for the Harmony Vox track. It begins with the text Take 3/3.
Note: Under Options, Preferences, Appearance, Peaks/Waveforms there is a setting to Automatically color any recording pass that adds new takes to existing items. When you are recording multiple takes to two or more tracks at the same time, enabling this option can help you to visually identify which takes belong in the same set.
3.20 Showing Takes in Lanes
Optionally, when you have multiple takes, you may choose to have them displayed in lanes. This of course takes up more room on the screen, but has the advantage that it makes it easier to see for your various tracks which take is currently selected. This option is toggled on and off by pressing Ctrl L or by choosing Options, Show all takes in lanes (when room) from the Main Menu.
In the first example (shown right), three takes have been made of a vocal duet. The first and second are complete takes, the third is a punched-in overdub of only the middle section.
In this case, the option to Display empty take lanes (Options, Take lane behavior menu) has been enabled. This ensures that the short overdubbed section is given its own complete lane. This makes it easier for you to keep track visually of which parts of each take belong together.
For both tracks, the second take is currently selected (except for the overdubbed section) and will be played.
In this second example (right), different takes (and permutations of takes) have been selected for the different tracks.
In this third illustration, the track height has been reduced, so that at any point only the selected take is visible. However, as long as the option to Show All Takes in Lanes remains active, the lanes will automatically be restored to view when the height of these tracks is expanded.
Note: When you create multiple alternative takes in this way you will later be able to easily pick the best passages from each of your takes and join them together as a single item. The method for doing this will be explained in Chapter 8 of this User Guide.
3.21 Using Color Coded Takes
REAPER's Item, Item and take colors command offers a variety of interesting ways that you can use color when working with takes and items (see right). We'll look at this whole topic in detail in Chapter7, but for now notice the command Set active takes to one random color.
If after making your preferred working selection from the available takes for any track you double-click on that track in the Track Control Panel then all media items in that track will be selected.
Choosing Set active take to one random color will now produce an effect similar to that shown below. This will only be visible if an option to show take color is enabled in the Appearance, Peaks/Waveforms page of your Preferences.
3.22 Working With Multiple Takes
Where an item includes more than one take, you can right click over any take and use the Take command to control and manage your multiple takes. The Take submenu is quite extensive - we'll explore most of its features in Chapter 8. For the time being, however, you should be aware of the following, especially if your takes are not displayed in lanes.
Displays next take for selected track(s).
Displays previous take for selected track(s).
Explode All Takes to New Tracks
Creates a separate track for each take (see below).
Explode All Takes to New Tracks differs from Show All Takes in Lanes in that it lets you treat each take separately as a separate track. The picture on the right illustrates this. Track 1 consists of two takes which are shown in lanes. After exploding these takes to new tracks we have (in addition to the original track) two new additional tracks, one for each take.
Caution: One look at the Take submenu (on the media item's right-click context menu) will show you that there are commands available for deleting takes and cropping to active take. You are advised to avoid these until you have worked thru Chapter 8 of this guide. In particular, avoid using the Delete key when selecting takes: you are likely to delete more than just the take that you don't want!
Try it now! Open the project file All Through The Night LAYERS.RPP (which you saved earlier) and add a vocal harmony track to this project. Use this track to record three takes ï¿½ then save the file.
3.23 Overlapping Items
You have already been shown two of the three overdubbing options on the Options menu command New recording that overlaps with existing media, i.e. Splits existing items and create new takes (default) and Trims existing items behind new recordings (tape mode). The third option is to Create new media items in separate lanes (layers).
This example shows this. In the first illustration (top) a part of a track has been recorded. In the second illustration (above), we have returned to this track and with the option Create new media items in separate lanes (layers) enabled we have re-recorded the last part again, together with some new material.
In this case, the second take is to all intents and purposes a separate media item. You can choose which of these media items are and are not played.
There is also an Options menu command to Show overlapping media items in lanes. The maximum number of lanes can be set on the Options, Preferences, Appearance page.
This general topic will be addressed again later in this guide, especially throughout Chapters 4, 5 and 7.
3.24 Recording Multiple Additional Items
We have already seen how you can use REAPER to record multiple takes on the same tracks. Later, in Chapter 8, you will be shown how to edit these, so as to take the best parts from each of several takes and then patch them together into a single take.
As an alternative to using multiple takes, however, you may wish to record additional items onto an existing track, perhaps overlapping. This is an example of where free item positioning can offer you greater flexibility. By default, free item positioning is not enabled. To record extra items (rather than additional takes) on to an existing track, follow this sequence:
- Set record mode to normal (Options, Record Mode: Normal).
- Make sure Free Item Positioning (FIPM) is enabled (ticked) for the tracks being recorded. Right click on the Track Control Panel for the selected tracks and select Enable free item positioning if this is not already ticked.
- Record your first item for the track.-
- Position the cursor at the point where you wish to record the second item. Record this item.
- Repeat step 4. as often as required.
In the first screen shot shown here, Track 1 contains a Vocal Track and Track 2 a Vocal Harmony for part of the song.
In the second screen shot, the option for Free item positioning (FIPM) has been enabled for Track 2. The mouse cursor shows a small handle that can be used to adjust the height of this media item.
In the third screen shot, a second Vocal Harmony has been recorded on to Track 2, overlapping the original harmony.
Notice that this is not an alternative take of the first harmony, but an additional media item.
Note: In the Options, Preferences, Project, Track/Sends Defaults window there is an option to make free item positioning enabled for your tracks by default.
3.25 Recording with Empty Events
Empty Events are a clever device which can be helpful when you are overdubbing or layering. If you know exactly the regions where you want recording to start and stop, you can define these regions by inserting empty events. Then, when recording is commenced, only those regions defined by the empty events will actually be recorded.
Letï¿½s take an example where a vocal track has already been recorded, and we want to lay down a harmony vocal, where this harmony is only used for the chorus line of the song. This is how you would do this:
- Insert a new track to be used for the vocal harmony. Ideally, you should name this track straight away.
- Arm the track for recording. Assign an audio input in the usual way. Turn on Monitor Input for this track, and make sure the output from the Master is directed to your headphones.
- Use the Options menu to ensure that Record mode: auto punch selected items is chosen. Notice the appearance of the Record button in the transport bar changes.
- To create an empty item, first make sure that your new track is selected. Click and drag to define a time selection, then use the Insert, Empty item command to create the empty item. Repeat this as often as required. If necessary, click and drag to adjust their exact positions. An example is shown here.
- If you need to resize any of them, hover the mouse over the border between the end of the event and the background, about half way up. Click hold and drag to the left to make it shorter, or to the right to make it longer, then release the mouse.
- Select all of the required events. To do this, use the Ctrl key while clicking on each in turn. If you need to reposition the play cursor before recording, do so by clicking on the Timeline. Arm the track for recording.
- Press Ctrl R to start recording. When finished, press Ctrl R again to stop. If prompted, accept the option to save all files. Your previously empty media items will have been replaced with your newly recorded material. Disarm the track.
3.26 Recording with Input FX Plug-ins
Audio effects (FX) are usually added to a track later in the production process, well after the material has been recorded. This subject was introduced in Chapter 2, and you'll find more about it elsewhere (for example, in Chapter 16). However, REAPER does allow you to add effects to material as it is being recorded if you wish. Use this facility with caution, as once an effect has been added to a recorded item in this way it cannot be easily removed (if at all). The procedure for recording with FX is as follows:
- Arm the track for recording and select the required audio or MIDI input device in the usual way.
- Right-click on the Record Arm button and choose Track input FX chain from the context menu. This causes the Add FX to Track window to be displayed.
- Select any effect required, then click on OK. Set the parameters for this effect.
- Use the Add button to add any additional effects.
- Close the FX window.
- Audition the performance and the effects as necessary (see comment below), then record the track in the usual way.
Effects placed in a track's input FX chain only use resources when the track is armed, and are applied destructively to the media item during recording. Most probably, before doing this you will want to audition the instrument or voice being recorded together with these FX so that you can get the parameter settings right. To do this, you simply need to keep the track armed and turn on input monitoring while you listen to the live material and adjust the FX parameters to suit. Input monitoring is explained elsewhere in this guide, for example in the sections dealing with layered and overdub recording.
3.27 Preserve PDC Delayed Monitoring in Recorded Items
If you are monitoring audio on an armed track against previously recorded tracks any of which uses a plug-in that has latency (such as, ReaFir) this will cause the output to be delayed. In this case you may wish to have the recorded output sound exactly as you are hearing it while recording. For example, you might be playing the notes early in order to make it sound right.
With this option on, it will play back the same way you heard it as you played it, with the option off it will be earlier (as the PDC of the plug-in will take effect).
3.28 Recording a Track's Output
There could be any number of reasons why you might wish to record a track's output. One example might be to record the output from an external synthesizer directly onto an audio track, as a wave file or similar. Here is an example of how you might do this:
- Make sure that your MIDI keyboard is connected to your PC.
- Create a new track. Name it and arm it for recording. Enable input monitoring.
- Select Record: output then your required option. Most likely this will be mono, latency compensated.
- Select Input: MIDI, then select your input device from the available options.
- Make such adjustments as you need (e.g. to the synth parameters) while you audition the music.
- When ready, record.
- Stop recording when finished.
3.29 Recording FX Bus Output
You can record the output of an FX bus track. Doing this opens up creative mixing options. For example, you could record the output of a reverb bus to a stereo audio track, then use stereo or dual panning to adjust the positioning of that effect in your mix. Here's how:
- Set up a FX Bus track, select it, and arm it for recording.
- You might wish to also turn up the trackï¿½s Receives to get a good strong signal ï¿½ you can always turn down the volume when playing it back later.
- Set the track to Monitor Input and chose a Recording Mode. This is likely to be Output, Stereo.
- Play the song and monitor the signal level.
- Rewind to start and press Record.
- Stop recording when finished.
Tip: After doing this you will most likely want to mute the sends to the bus and set the bus FX to bypass. It can still be a good idea to leave the FX inserted in the bus, as a record of how the output was produced.
3.30 Recording MIDI
You have a number of options for recording MIDI, depending on what equipment you have and how it is set up. In every case, however, the principle is the same:
You will need to use either REAPER's virtual keyboard or a MIDI input device, such as a keyboard attached via a MIDI In port on your sound card or other audio device.
You will need to create a track (or assign an existing one) for your MIDI recording.
You will need to assign an output device for your track.
You will need to assign a Channel for the MIDI item.
You will need to turn Input Monitoring on to be able to hear what you are playing.
REAPER's Virtual MIDI Keyboard, can be played using your mouse or PC keyboard. This keyboard is displayed using the command View, Virtual MIDI Keyboard. The shortcut keys Alt B can be used to toggle display on and off.
Procedure for Recording to a new MIDI Track
- Insert a new track into a project file. Arm this track for recording.
- Make sure that your MIDI keyboard is connected to the computer, MIDI Input of your sound card or Audio Device and that it is switched on. In this example, we will be using the REAPER Virtual MIDI Keyboard. If this is not visible, press Alt B. Right click over any key that you wish to be your centre note.
- On the track you are using, right click over the arm record button (as shown). Make sure that Monitor Input and Record Input are both selected, and that you have selected the Virtual MIDI Keyboard as the Input: MIDI device. For this example, select All Channels). These settings can be made in the Routing Matrix if you prefer.
- Make sure the Trackï¿½s output goes to the Master, and that the Master output goes to the hardware audio outputs to which your speakers or headphones are attached.
- In this example we will use a Software Synthesizer. Open the FX Window for this track. You will need to insert a Software Synthesizer here. You can use any such VSTi or DXi synth that you already have installed. In this example, we will be using VSTi ReaSynth (Cockos), which is included with REAPER. For the time being, leave the ReaSynth parameters at their default settings.
- Press Ctrl R to start recording. Play a simple tune on the Virtual Keyboard. Use your mouse or PC Keyboard ï¿½ e.g., zxcvbvcxz will play half a scale up and down. When finished. Press Ctrl R again to stop recording. If prompted, save your media item.
See also Recording MIDI from keyboard checklist later in this chapter.
In Chapter 13 we will see how your MIDI data can be edited using REAPER's built in midi editor.
Procedure for Playing Back a MIDI Item
Play the track. As it plays, you can alter the nature and shape of the sound by adjusting the soft synth parameters. When you have found a sound you like, you can click on the + button in the FX Window (indicated by the mouse cursor, shown left) and then choose Save Preset to name and save that set of parameters. Your named preset can be recalled from the Preset drop down list any time. You can make and use presets in this way for all FX Plug-ins and Synths. With VSTi synths, you are also able to import and export patch/bank files (see above).
Note: The example above demonstrates an important difference between MIDI and Audio. With Audio the actual sounds made by the instrument or voice are recorded. It is possible to use FX like EQ and Compression to alter how the audio item sounds when played back, but the audio item itself stays the same.
With MIDI, you are essentially recording a series of instructions that by themselves have no sound. The music is created when those instructions are fed to a synthesizer. By changing the parameters of the synthesizer's settings ï¿½ or even by changing the synthesizer ï¿½ we are able to produce a completely different sound.
Despite these differences, both audio and MIDI items can be included on the same track.
Note: Before recording, you can assign sequential input channels to a number of MIDI tracks in one action. Select the tracks, then click on the Input button for any one of them. From the menu, choose first Assign inputs sequentially, then MIDI (sequential inputs or channels), then select the MIDI device, then the channel selection (e.g. for four tracks, perhaps channels 1 to 4).
3.31 Other MIDI Recording Modes
When recording MIDI, you should select one of six modes. In the above example, we used Record Input. With this mode, any existing events will be retained: the new material will be recorded as a new take. Four of the other five are Record: MIDI overdub replace modes:
Record MIDI overdub: this will add new notes on any channel within existing items while preserving what is already there.
Record MIDI replace: from the time you start recording until you stop, existing MIDI notes will be removed and any new material played on any channel will be recorded in their place.
Record MIDI touch-replace: existing MIDI notes will be replaced by any new notes played over them on the same channel as the original material. All other existing material will remain as it is.
Record MIDI latch-replace: existing MIDI material remains unchanged until you strike the first note. All of the old material will then be replaced with notes played on the same channel as the original material until recording is stopped.
Record Output -> Record: output (MIDI): Similar to the input mode, but records the MIDI signal coming out of the FX chain.
Note that these options can often be used effectively with time selection recording (see sections 3.16 to 3.18) and looped time selection recording (see below).
Try it now! If you have a MIDI keyboard, open the project file All Through The Night LAYERS.RPP (which you saved earlier) and add a MIDI keyboard track to this project.
3.32 Recording With a Virtual Instrument
To use a virtual instrument (such as a VSTi or DXi plug-in) for recording a MIDI track, you should choose the "Insert virtual instrument on new track" command. This can be done by pressing alt-I and pressing down arrow until you hear "Insert virtual instrument on new track." You will then be presented with a selection of all the virtual instruments that you have installed on your system. Press down arrow until you hear the instrument you want and press enter. Alternatively, you may type in a few letters from the instrument name to get to it more quickly.
The track will be created, armed and named and the instrument displayed.
The example shown here is for ReaSynDr, which requires four outputs. If the item selected (like this one) requires multiple outputs then REAPER will create the initial track and prompt to ask you if you would like the other required tracks to be automatically built. If you select Yes the entire output chain will be built for you. What exactly this produces will, of course, depend upon which Virtual Instrument you have selected.
Monitoring an External Synthesizer
If you are working with an external hardware synthesizer then it is likely that at times you may wish to monitor its output in REAPER. This topic is covered in Chapter 13, Manipulating and Editing MIDI Items.
3.33 Using Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth
You can use the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth if it is included with your version of Windows. This can be especially useful for playing any MIDI files that you may wish to import into REAPER. You will be shown how to import files in Chapter 4.
To enable the Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth:
- Go to Options, Preferences and display the Audio, MIDI Devices screen.
- Under MIDI Outputs, right click on Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth and select Enable output.
- Click on Apply, then on OK.
This Synth will now be available as a MIDI Hardware Output.
You can if you wish now use the Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth as your output device instead of using a software synth (see above right).
3.34 Looped Overdubbing and Looped Time Selection Recording
Loop overdubbing allows you to make repeated overdubs of a section of recorded material without having to be repeatedly stopping and starting. The technique can be used with both audio and MIDI. In both cases, you will need to check your Options, Preferences, Audio, Loop Recording settings. Set When recording and looped add recorded media to project to On stop. Usually you will also want to enable In loop recording, discard incomplete first or last takes if at least one full loop was recorded. You should also (from REAPER's main Options menu) disable Loop points linked to time selection and enable Record mode: Time selection auto-punch.
Now arm your track for recording, select your record options and make your time selection just as you would for normal punch recording. Click and drag along the timeline to create the loop ï¿½ this should enclose the time selection, as shown below. Make sure Toggle repeat (next to Record button) is enabled on the Transport Bar.
When Record input (audio or MIDI) is selected, then both audio and MIDI essentially behave in a similar way. When you record, new material will be recorded within the time selection (and added to the MIDI item) for each pass over the loop until you press Stop. The loop is used to audition material immediately before and after the section being recorded.
For example, you might choose Monitor input and Record Input (audio or MIDI) and Input MIDI then your MIDI device. If so, the outcome will be similar to that shown here.
Audio material recorded with Input MONO rather than Input MIDI would produce a similar result, except of course the media items would be audio instead of MIDI. You will, however, get significantly different outcomes if you use any of the Record: MIDI overdub/replace options with looped time selection recording. In each case, new takes will not be created. Instead, the existing take will be edited. For example:
Record: MIDI Overdub: with each loop, the new material will be added to the existing material within the time selection.
Record: MIDI Replace: with each loop, all previous material within the time selection will be replaced with new material. For example, the first loop will replace existing events within the time selection. Second time around it will replace the material recorded in the first loop with new events, and so on. Only the most recent material will be saved.
Record: MIDI Touch-replace: Each time you play a note within the time selection any existing material concurrent with that note will be replaced with new material is on the same channel. For example, if you play correctly except for one wrong note first time, you can correct just that one note second time round.
Record: MIDI Latch-replace: Each time round the loop all existing material in the time selection will be replaced with new material if on the same channel only from the moment you press your first note. This technique can be useful, for example, if you are replacing existing material little by little.
3.35 Recording with External Hardware FX
REAPER can record a track with an external hardware FX device in much the same way as you might use an external device as an insert when recording on an analog desk. You use a plug-in called ReaInsert. If you want to try it out step by step, create a new REAPER project file, insert a track, then get your FX device ready.
- Connect an otherwise unused audio output to the input for your FX device. Connect the output of your FX device to an otherwise unused audio input.
- Create a new REAPER project file and add a single audio track. Give this track a suitable name. Letï¿½s record a vocal with the FX on it.
- Connect your microphone to an otherwise unused audio input. Switch on the FX Device.
- Arm the track for recording.
- Select the input device (to which the line or microphone is attached), select Monitor Input and specify that you want to Record Output and choose your required option (such as Mono, Latency Compensated), just as we did in the section Recording a Track's Output.
- Now display the FX Window for this track, and add the FX VST:ReaInsert to this window (see right).
- Specify the actual Hardware Sends and Returns that you set up at steps 1. and 3.
- Make sure the FX Device mix is set to 100% Dry, and within ReaInsert enable the option Automatic device latency adjustment. This allows REAPER to calculate delay compensation as required.
- With the trackï¿½s output directed to your headphones, monitor the required Volume and FX Levels, including the FX Wet/Dry mix.
- When you are ready, Record.
- When finished, donï¿½t forget to disarm the track and set the ReaInsert plug-in status to Bypass.
3.36 Preference Settings for Recording
The Recording page of the Preferences window can be used to specify a number of options about REAPERï¿½s recording behavior. Available options include:
- To scroll track view while recording.
- To display a preview of media item peaks as they are being recorded. This is useful to confirm that you really are recording and haven't, for example, forgotten to arm one or more tracks. You can also specify a screen update frequency.
- When to build the peaks for recorded media files.
- To automatically display the whole Track Control Panel (including VU meters) when a track is armed.
- Whether to prompt to save/delete/rename files when recording is stopped. If you disable this option, files are automatically saved.
- Whether to prompt to save/delete/rename files on punch out. If you disable this option, files recorded by this method are automatically saved.
- Whether to start recording to a new file after a specified number of megabytes. This can help to make data secure when recording a long live performance.
- Prevent recording from starting if no track is armed. You may wish to turn this off if you are using layered recording for a track (or tracks) where recording is not required to start until some way into the song.
- Which items to include in the file names for recorded media -- these include the track name, the track number, the project name, track name, year, month, day, hour, minute and second (or none of these). These and other options are shown here (right).
- To check for free disk space before recording, and to display the amount of free disk space and/or recording path on the menu bar.
- Whether to record audio during pre-roll.
- Whether to use audio driver reported latency: this automatically adjusts media positioning to compensate for the audio driver's reported latency. There are also options for this to be manually adjusted. Beginners especially should leave these at their default settings.
3.37 Track Preferences for Recording
The REAPER Track Defaults settings includes a number of items that you can use to help make the recording process a little easier. These settings can be found on the Project, Track/Send Defaults page of the Options, Preferences window. Settings on this page include:
The default gain level for the trackï¿½s volume fader.
Whether output should be routed to the Main send.
The default new track height.
Whether new tracks are automatically armed for recording.
A Record Config option to set defaults for the Record Arm context menu. Options include, to turn on by default Input Monitoring and specify default record input settings.
Which Record Mode should be the default for new tracks.
Notice also that under Options, Preferences, Appearance, Track Control Panels there are settings which together determine how your track VU meters are presented.
For example, you can choose whether or not to Show track input when record armed and to Make obvious that track input is clickable. Disabling this latter option may improve the clarity of the display on your VU meters. Enabling Show db scales on record armed track meters and Sticky Clip Indicators helps you to monitor peak levels. MIDI users may wish to Show MIDI velocity on track VU and/or Show MIDI output activity on track VU.
You can also specify whether to Reset peak indicators on play/seek. If enabled, the numeric peak indicators on track and master VU meters will cleared when playback is restarted or the play cursor moved.
3.38 Projects with Mixed Formats
REAPER allows you to use different audio formats for different tracks in the same file. The default format for each new track that you create will be determined by your Project Settings. To change these for any track, simply right click over the trackï¿½s VU meter, then from the menu choose Track Recording Settings.
You can choose any of the formats WAV, AIFF, DDP, FLAC, MP3, OGG Vorbis, Video (GIF) or WavPack lossless compressor.
Depending on the format you choose, you will be presented with a range of options appropriate to that format.
3.39 REAPER Audio Recording Checklist
The following checklist is for guidance only. In some cases you may vary the suggested order (e.g., you can switch on your PC and start REAPER before getting together your microphone and leads). In other cases the order is critical (e.g. you should always connect your microphone to your preamp before turning on the phantom power supply). If you are not sure, keep to the exact same sequence outlined here.
Set up all external recording equipment needed (microphones, stands etc.).
All faders and gain controls on mixer and/or sound device turned right down.
Phantom power (if available) turned off.
Everything connected that needs to be connected (e.g. microphone leads to mixer or sound device).
Turn equipment on, but check volume on speakers isn't too loud.
Connect headphones to headphone amp or sound device.
If phantom power required (for condenser microphone), turn it on.
Turn on PC and wait for Windows to open.
Open REAPER with required project file. Save file.
Check recording format and settings ï¿½ e.g. 24 bit WAV at 44100 Hz.
Is a different format required for this track?
Make sure Record Mode is set to Normal.
Named and armed for recording?
Track Input Monitoring on or off?
Use the Sound Cardï¿½s direct input monitoring if available in preference to REAPERï¿½s.
Record Input selected?
Correct input channel selected?
Test Recording Levels
Start low and work up.
Record a small sample to test levels: the examples here show too low, too high and about right.
It is better to be too low than too high.
Press Ctrl R to record and again to stop recording when finished. Save media items. Press Ctrl S to save project file.
Unarm track before playing back recorded tracks to evaluate them.
Especially if listening thru headphones, disable Input Monitoring (or turn faders and gain controls on the input device right down), to prevent live ambient sounds from being mixed in with your recorded material.
3.40 Recording MIDI From Keyboard Check-List
Newcomers sometimes run in to trouble when recording MIDI from an external MIDI keyboard. If you find things aren't happening as you would like them to, here are some things to check:
Is the keyboard sending MIDI on the required MIDI channel?
Is the keyboard device enabled in Preferences for Input/Control?
Is the keyboard selected as the input device for the track?
If needed, is the correct MIDI channel from the keyboard selected?
If needed, is the input mapped to the correct MIDI channel?
Is record arm enabled?
Is input monitoring enabled?
If needed, is the plug-in ï¿½listeningï¿½ to the required MIDI channel.
3.41 Recording an Internet Audio Stream
You can use REAPER to record an audio stream from the internet. Before doing so you should make sure that you are not in breach of any copyright restrictions. The exact method will depend on your hardware setup, including your sound card. Your sound card should include some sort of software for changing its settings. This may or may not have its own icon within the Windows Control Panel. If you are not sure how to access it, you can click on the Windows Start button, choose Run, then type sndvol32 ï¿½r and press Enter. In overview, these are the steps that you will need to perform.
- Access your sound cards control software and modify its settings to select (depending on the options available) the required option. You should probably temporarily disable input from all other sources (Microphone, Line, etc).
- Open your web browser and find the page containing the item that you wish to record.
- Open REAPER, create a new file and add a track.
- The next step may require a little experimentation. Depending on the equipment you are using, it might be necessary to change your Options, Preferences, Audio, Devices settings to Direct Sound. An example is shown here. These settings may not be the best for your particular system.
- Arm your track for recording: be sure to select the correct input.
- Press Ctrl R to start recording. In your web browser, play the item that you wish to record. When finished, stop recording and save your work.
Note: Donï¿½t forget when you have finished, to restore both your Sound Card Recording Control options and REAPERï¿½s Audio Device Preferences to their previous settings.
3.42 Converting Audio Media Item Format
In this internet age it is becoming increasingly common for musicians to want to collaborate on projects all the way across the world. Consider this scenario. You have a part recorded project of perhaps 50 or more 24 bit wave files. In some far off land you have a friend who has offered to lay down a track such as a flute. You'd like to get your source files to her, so that she can do this for you, layering it down against whatever headphone mix best suits her.
However, your recorded material so far comes to over 3 GB and she doesn't have a particularly fast internet connection.
One solution could be to convert the files to a compressed format and send her those. There's a quick way to do this, using the File, Save project as ï¿½ command. Choose this command and follow these steps.
- If you wish, navigate to a required parent folder.
- Enable the three options to Create subdirectory for project, Copy all media into project directory, and Convert media.
- Click on the Format... button to display the settings box shown above.
- Enable the option (top left) Set format to save as.
- Select your required format (e.g. FLAC, MP3 or, as shown here, OGG Vorbis).
- Specify your preferred format settings.
- Click OK then Save.
All audio media items in the project will be converted to the specified format as they are copied across. The format of the original items will remain unchanged.
You can also convert and export selected individual media items from one format to another without having to convert the whole project. This topic is covered in Chapter 21.
3.43 Recording Live Windows Output
Windows users (Vista/7/8/10) can use WASAPI drivers to record live Windows output (for example, subject to copyright constraints, a YouTube video). This requires the use of feedback looping, so you should proceed with caution beyond this point. This is not recommended for beginners.
First, create a new project file. Display the project settings (Alt Enter) and on the Advanced page enable Allow feedback routing.
Next, display your Preferences, Audio, Device window and select WASAPI as your audio system. Select Shared loopback mode (see right). Your block size and sample rate will need to match those of your sound device, as set in the Windows Control Panel.
Finally, you simply add a new track and arm it for recording. You will probably want to set input to stereo.
Mute audio output from REAPER and press Ctrl R to record whatever you are currently playing in Windows. For example, this might be a YouTube video that you are currently listening to over your speakers.