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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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On 12/10/2015 at 4:18 PM, nickreich said:

We consider it our most reliable solution for high-track-count location recording (192 tracks are common for us)

 

Am curious, what are you doing that makes 192 tracks common for you?

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wow - an echo from 2015! I do mainly recording of Concerts and Musical Theatre, both for Cast albums and filming for either full cinema 'streaming' or TV commercials and the like, and also a lot of Broadcast OBs for awards shows, where we record the rehearsals for finessing mixing before the live show. Because most live consoles at the larger end use MADI or similar in blocks of 64 channels, once the show tips over the 128 channel point into a third stage rack, they tend to fill the next one pretty quick with alternate mics, backups or whatever.

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And....I (OP) converted my studio to Reaper as the main DAW about 2 years and haven't looked back.  Lotsa film mixes, lotsa album mixes, location recording off of the USB out of FOH consoles, lots of location under-fire sound editing---and cheap enough to have a legal copy on every computer we have!

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11 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

And....I (OP) converted my studio to Reaper as the main DAW about 2 years and haven't looked back. 

 

Wow. That's pretty cool, Phil.

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On December 8, 2015 at 9:34 PM, Philip Perkins said:

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.

Hello Phillip,

Good to hear that Reaper is working well for you!  I know you do a lot of music records and I need some advice.  I recorded a jazz combo for a documentary the other day and I used my Nomad 10.  I didn't have cabling for inputs nine and ten so I was limited to 8 tracks.  I used my SD 302 to mix three horns to inputs 7 and 8.  I was feeding two cameras and we had to kluge a monitor for the vocalist.  It was way more complicated than it could have been and I've been considering investing in some gear to make it easier to do these type of sessions.  I'm looking at this board:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Sig22MT--soundcraft-signature-22-mtk-mixer-and-audio-interface-with-effects?mrkgcl=28&mrkgadid=1669547280&rkg_id=0&campaigntype=dsa&campaign=aaDSA&adgroup=1669547280:DSA - Product - Mixers&placement=google&adpos=1t1&creative=248832405304&device=c&matchtype=b&network=g&gclid=Cj0KCQjw9LPYBRDSARIsAHL7J5luEjBn7OwLUmwVmyj-YdQeIZBXZ1ROmwOgdJ9ytZD9gQ7sQl_SeEsaAh_VEALw_wcB It comes with recording software but I'm certain it would play well with Reaper too.  The price point is attractive and the quality seems decent.  I'm really open to other ideas as well.  I'd like at least 12 mic preamps.  Your thoughts? 

Bernie

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I'm pretty sure that most of the boards in this class share the same or a very similar digital "engine", whether they have Behringer, Soundcraft, AH, Midas, etc nameplates.  I've had very good luck with Reaper and a non-new Mac laptop recording off a USB feed from these consoles (that belonged to venues I was working in)--it generally worked as advertised.  I kind of gave up on this style of board for a console that I'd own because the build quaility was so flimsy, I had reliability issues, I got very used to having way more "plugin" style effects with more control and, more importantly, the ability to save a lot of complex "scenes" or setups.   It seems like there are two paths you can take with decent sounding cheap boards anymore--ones like this Soundcraft, with actual (although pretty cheesey feeling) faders and USB output for a daw, vs. way more "savability", onboard recording w/o a computer, almost no moving parts (ie knobs and faders), far deeper feature set (incl feedback control, comps, limiters and VCA groups) and smaller size.   After 2 consoles of the Sig22MT general type I went the other way (QSC TM16): the scene saving, onboard fx, recording and small size vs: airline baggage BS have really made a diff.  On a remote location (ie a foreign country) I can now often have MY console working, with all my presets etc saved, instead of a rental.  Anyhow, if you like the sound and the ergonomics of that Soundcraft go ahead on:  it should rock the DAW thing just fine.  Reaper is a good low $ choice for this if you don't need all the TC and reporting features of Boom Recorder.  I should point out that NONE of these cheapo boards have the ability to be externally clocked (yes, that old discussion), so there is no way to include it in a system with genlocked cameras that is stable over a long roll.   It is very likely that this won't be an issue for you, or I hope it isn't, since I have yet to discover a way to "get there from here" in this regard.  For that kind of system syncability you have to move up several grades of console (Yamaha QL, CL etc), go with a computer interface like RME or a pro-level dedicated recorder like JoeCo.

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I appreciate the input Phillip!  I'm not sure how much of this type of work I'll get going forward thus the need for keeping the cost low.  I definitely don't need too sophisticated a system for these quick music records that will be primarily tracking without effects on any kind.

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There are SO many of this kind of mixer around now that if I thought I'd only use the thing occasionally I'd look on Craig's List for one for sale locally.  I bet you wouldn't have to wait long.  When I sold my 2 previous consoles I wasn't able to get very much for them, in spite of them having cases and being in almost-new condition.   If there isn't much for sale where you are maybe hit up a friend who lives in some place like LA or NYC--there are often many for sale at any give time in those places.

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51 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

There are SO many of this kind of mixer around now that if I thought I'd only use the thing occasionally I'd look on Craig's List for one for sale locally.  I bet you wouldn't have to wait long.  When I sold my 2 previous consoles I wasn't able to get very much for them, in spite of them having cases and being in almost-new condition.   If there isn't much for sale where you are maybe hit up a friend who lives in some place like LA or NYC--there are often many for sale at any give time in those places.

That's a good consideration as well.  I just now took a closer look at the Soundcraft Ui24R, and it fits somewhere in between your QSC Touch mix and the Signature series.  Good choices for sure!

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On 5/30/2018 at 4:23 AM, berniebeaudry said:

I appreciate the input Phillip!  I'm not sure how much of this type of work I'll get going forward thus the need for keeping the cost low.  I definitely don't need too sophisticated a system for these quick music records that will be primarily tracking without effects on any kind.


You might like to consider a Behringer XR18 (or X18), which you can use together with a tablet or even a Behringer X Touch for extra physical controls over it:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1095112-REG/behringer_x_air_xr18_18_channel.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1025704-REG/behringer_x_touch_universal_control_surface.html
(or: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1025705-REG/behringer_x_touch_compact_universal_control.html)

 

 

 

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On 5/22/2018 at 11:57 PM, Philip Perkins said:

And....I (OP) converted my studio to Reaper as the main DAW about 2 years and haven't looked back.  Lotsa film mixes

 

I use Reaper daily but still go to Pro Tools for film mixes.  It feels like it takes so many more clicks to do the things that dialogue editing and automation require in Reaper. Have you changed anything about the way Reaper works with extensions to make film editing/mixing easier?

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Yes.  And there are many things about Reaper that make film mixing much easier.  One fave:  can have more than one timeline open at once.  Extremely helpful in dealing with imports, versioning and deliverables, off line sound design etc.  I cannot believe that in 2018 ProTools STILL has that "one-project-open-at-a-time" limitation.  I don't agree about Reaper needing more clicks or whatever to cut dialog and make automation either, and I use both all the time.  PT never fails to piss me off.

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I use Vegas Pro a lot, which was the inspiration for Reaper, and I find the exact opposite. Both VP and Reaper are more direct than the multiple PTs menus, sub menus, sub-sub-sub menus.

If you like aggravation, PT is your app.

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9 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Yes.  And there are many things about Reaper that make film mixing much easier.  One fave:  can have more than one timeline open at once.  Extremely helpful in dealing with imports, versioning and deliverables, off line sound design etc.  I cannot believe that in 2018 ProTools STILL has that "one-project-open-at-a-time" limitation.  I don't agree about Reaper needing more clicks or whatever to cut dialog and make automation either, and I use both all the time.  PT never fails to piss me off.

Sonic Solutions DAW had the ability to have more than one time line open way back.  That's a very useful feature that I had taken for granted then.

 

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