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Just a plug from a satisfied customer for Reaper, as a basic but pretty deep computer audio editor etc for location work.  I just got a new location mac laptop, and didn't want to spend the $ for ProTools 12 for it (req. for El Cap).  Reaper is $60 for the lowbudg license, works pretty much exactly the same PC vs Mac, and I was able to figure most basic things out pretty fast without a manual.  Cockos improves it all the time and there is a huge community of users, forums, videos etc to help you.  The "higher" functions of a DAW like PT (surround, heavy mix auto, conforms etc ) are probably possible in Reaper but I'm not likely to go there.  I just needed a multitrack replacement to Sound Studio and Reaper has worked out very well.

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+1 to Reaper being a fantastic DAW for music. It can do user-configurable multichannel audio,  not just 5.1 but other formats as well.
 All plugin settings can be automated. Of all DAWs, it comes closest to Samplitude's great feature of source/destination editing. Reaper needs two project tabs and some user-configured shortcuts for that to be quick, and then it's basically copy/paste of time selections between two projects. Has made music editing about 5 times quicker for me when switching over from Nuendo 2 and PT 8.

Full VST support, and a heap of free good-sounding and intuitive "standard" plugins like EQ.

I haven't tried out any of the video post production related features either, so can't comment.

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FWIW, Reaper was developed by Justin Frankel (WinAmp) and loosely modeled after Sonic Foundry's (now Sony's) Vegas Pro, which was originally an (audio only) DAW. Vegas and Reaper I prefer over SloTools for audio post.

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We consider it our most reliable solution for high-track-count location recording (192 tracks are common for us) - always run it as the backup if we are running ProTools as the main by client request - otherwise we run Reaper with SD970s as the backup. I personally prefer to edit and Mix in ProTools, but that's just familiarity over many years of use, and the clients want it - but importing tracks recorded on Reaper takes a few minutes. The only problem is timecode (in and out) is a bit weird and un-intuitive. We've tried everything that runs on a Mac - Nuendo, Nuendo Live, Tracks Live, Boom Recorder and others. FYI - Mark Franken from Sounds in Sync has been extraordinarily nice in updating his free utility EdiMarker at my request to make importing Markers created in Reaper into ProTools to support this workflow - it's ridiculously easy now. 

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Hi Scott

 

Sending (generating) timecode is rather unusual. You have to create a separate track in your session and put a LTC (or MTC) Generator Object on it, and drag it out to be longer than your anticipated recording duration, then assign it to an appropriate output. You then have to go into this generator object and set the start time (presumably to match your timeline) and set the TC rate.

Chasing TC (or Timestamping) is not much easier. While you can in theory use MTC, with an external LTC to MTC convertor app like Lockstep, I've found it unreliable. The way I find that works is to feed LTC into an input on your chosen Interface. 

1) Right-click on the Play Button to open the External Timecode Sync window. Select the LTC Input to whatever channel you are feeding with LTC. Tick the "Start Playback on valid timecode" box. It won't work otherwise. Change the other settings as follows: Freewheel = 0, Synchronise by Seeking Ahead = 1000, Re-Synchronise = 0, Skip / Drop Frames = 0, Offset incoming TC = as required. Using the defaults WILL RUIN YOUR RECORDING with regular dropouts as it re-syncs! These settings will make it work similar to BoomRecorder - it will timestamp the new regions, but if incoming TC drifts or stops, it will keep on recording. As with all of these DAWs, the Wordclock needs to be synchronous too between Audio and Video or it will drift over time. That may not be a problem for narrative filming with short takes, but will be if you are recording a concert.

2) Once timecode is running, you need to 'go online' BEFORE pressing record - tick the "Enable Synchronisation to Timecode" box at the top of this window (it will immediately start chasing - and playing anything already at that location), or I've set up the custom shortcut key "F6" to do the same thing. Once it's chasing, you should see the Counter running at an appropriate time. You can close the External Sync window if still open, and click the Record button to drop into record when desired. Clicking Stop or the spacebar will drop out of record, but will keep chasing. You need to de-select the "Enable Synchronisation to Timecode" box (or just press your custom shortcut again) to stop it chasing so you can playback.

3) All the BWAV files will be timestamped with the appropriate start time, but not with the TC framerate, so if you want to import the files into ProTools, Avid or similar, you need to be sure that the destination session is set up right. Then you can just spot the files to the timeline using Original Timestamp in ProTools.

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Wow, that's a lot of steps.But I'm glad to know it's possible.

I'm using an RME RayDAT on my recording rig, and I've got the Time Code Option board on order. Now I'll know what to do when it arrives! Thanks so much for the very thorough description.

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