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thodwris

Reaper question...

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thodwris    1

Hello...

I have a problem when I use Reaper.When I record something and render it as an mp3,it seems like I can't add something on top.If I try and record something new and then I rerender the song,I get annoying sounds on the background.I could by the way keep a Reaper project file on my PC,record something new on top and then render the whole song without any problems.But is this the only way?Isn't there some way that I can get an mp3 file,add something on top and then render the whole thing as an mp3 without getting annoying sounds?

All the best,

Theo

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OldG    3

Each time you render an mp3, it will rob a little sound quality ( with unnatural artifacts starting to appear, just like jpegs will with images) - try to work with the highest quality WAV settings (24 bit) until you really have to compress to mp3. Using VBR setting when rendering to mp3 should also help preserve the quality

hope that helps

Mick

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thodwris    1

Hello Mick...

Thank you for replying to this thread...These were nice tips but...I am almost positive that when someone posts a BT in this forum,he does so in mp3 layer.Then,when someone wants to play somthing on top,he reposts the whole thing in mp3 also.I can't do that.How do you get an mp3,add a guitar lick and keep it an mp3 without annoying sounds?Are there any settings invloved?Do the guys take the mp3,make it a wav file,add something in wav and then render back to mp3?Is it my PC to blame? :dunno:

All the best,

Theo

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knight46    2

Theo,

Not sure if this answers your question, but...when I record in Reaper the recording is saved as an mp3 file (I do this in Preferences). This is a straight mp3 file unrendered (not really sure at this point what rendering does) and I can post as an mp3 and others can open and record along.

Hope this helps.

Also you might want to check out the Reaper Forum at:

REAPER Forums - Cockos Confederated Forums

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thodwris    1

Hello Eddie...

Thank you very much for the reply...I know that one can set the program to save from the beginning in mp3 layer.But in order to be able and listen to what someone recorded with Repaer in Winamp for example,shouldn't the file be rendered at first?I know so far that rendering a Reaper file,takes all the tracks recorded and mixes them up in one track that can be played back in Winamp,Windows Media Player etc. ...I believe that when someone posts a BT on this forum,renders it at first.Then some other guitarist that takes a shot on that BT adding his/her own tracks re-renders it to post it back.Now,if I try and do that I get annoying sounds on the background.Maybe that has something to do with the settings :dunno: ...I will keep that link you sent me and try and find out the answer to my problem.I hope it helps...Thanks again for everything...

All the best,

Theo

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Hi Theo, most DAW's wil automatically open an Mp3 file as a wav form{at least in those I've used, which excludes reaper}. You would then record your playing which is also in a wav format and then render them to mp3 to save &/or post. At least thats my take on it.

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thodwris    1

Hello Kenny and thank you for answering.So for example if I record a 5 track song in Repaer,there is a way to keep it as a wav file but mix the tracks all together in order to be able to play it back in any DAW?I think that just might be the solution to my problem...

All the best,

Theo

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I believe Theo, you should have the option under "save as" to keep the file{s} in the form you require/desire. Wav files should open in most current daw's and players as far as that goes, the main reason for converting them to mp3 is size{Wav's are much much larger files}.

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Stratrat    0

I don't know how Reaper works - but in both Audacity and Garage Band, when you "save" the recording, it saves it in the native format for that program (most likely .wav, but with a file suffix proprietary to the program). You can choose to "export" it as an mp3, but the original file (with each of the individual tracks) is still saved so you can go back and work with it further.

If I work with somebody else's mp3 file, I "import" it into Audacity or GB, which converts it (again, most likely to .wav format), then when I'm done with it, I "export" it as an mp3.

The odd sounds could be caused by your computer and/or audio interface, too....if the throughput drops too low to handle the analog/digital conversion (due to a processing "bottleneck" somewhere along the line), you can end up with extraneous noises in the recording.

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knight46    2

Mac,

This is also how Reaper works.

Theo,

Here is something I have found. When you created a recording the recording is saved either as a wav, mp3 or another format that you can choose from Reaper Preferences. That, or those if multiples, can be exported (using the export comand) to another file that can be given to others to add to or to modify.

If you render a set files, or a session, you are preparing the file for play, you are presenting it to the world for a listen, not for modification.

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Theo,

I'm sure you should be able to use an MP3 as a backing track, and add your own recording on top. After you record your new track, but before rendering, try listening to each track individually by muting the others, then listen to the whole thing together in Reaper. Do you hear the noise anywhere before rendering? Is the master volume maybe getting to high from adding the tracks together? If the noise is only in the final rendering, maybe it's the MP3 settings in File->Project Settings->Audio Settings. Also, what happens if you record a WAV file instead of an MP3?

Good Luck,

-Chris

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thodwris    1
I believe Theo, you should have the option under "save as" to keep the file{s} in the form you require/desire. Wav files should open in most current daw's and players as far as that goes, the main reason for converting them to mp3 is size{Wav's are much much larger files}.

Hello again Kenny...

At first let me apologise for being so ignorant and asking so many questions.The route of these questions is to find a way to get an mp3 file from another guitarist(such as a BT)and add something on top without messing up the sound.I will try a project in Reaper and see if I choose to save it as a wav file if it compresses to one single track.Then I should add something I wish on top and then render the file to an mp3.I surely hope it works...Thank you vry much for your patience Kenny.Be always well...

All the best,

Theo

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thodwris    1

Hello Stratrat,or should I call you Mac?...

I think that it is great,that feature that you are talknig about in Audacity.In Repaer,as far as I know you must save it as an mp3 and as a Reaper Project File if you want to go back and do some more work with it.Also in Repaer,if you import a file in mp3 format it stays like this,but the idea is that you can add on top something directly in mp3 format using the settings.I think that there is no problem with the sound card,because if there was a problem,it would be there all the time...Thank you very much for your time and for replying.Be always well...

Hello again Eddie...

I understood very clearly what you say.The thing is that I think I have not expressed myself clearly enough for all of you to understand exactly what I want.I will make another try further on this reply.Thanks again for replying and for the help.Be always well...

Hello Chris...

I have no problems with any of the tracks after I record them or after I have rendered the file in mp3.It is all clear.Thank you very much for your time and for replying.Be always well...

Now here is the problem more clearly for you to understand better and help me out(please do!).I will comment on what Eddie said about a file that when I render it it is not suite for editing but for presenting to others.Let's take things from the very beginning.When we use Reaper or any other program to record our music,we don't record just one track.We use several tracks to complete a song,make it sound better.We add,two guitars,a bass maybe,drums,vocals,keynoards etc. .These tracks can be always played back in Reaper or any other program(Audacity) one at a time or like a whole song.But if we want others to hear what we recorded,we should do something.I think that's where rendering a song comes in the picture.When we render a file,we compress the tracks(I think) to one single track(as wav or mp3) that can be played back in any DAW's.That's how many guitarists have shared their music through this forum.Let's talk about Backing Tracks.There comes a member,makes a file using drums and a rythm guitar(renders-compresses the file in one track either in wav or in mp3 format) and then someone else can take this track,work with it in Reaper or any other program adding a solo guitar(for example)on top,then renders it again(to compress it in one file so that it can be played back in DAW's)and posts it back to the forum...The annoying sounds that I am talking about come from rendering a file that has already been rendered in one track.I mean is the answer to my problem to decompress the file(a BT for instance)using some kind of a program(that I don't know)and then render it after I have added something on top?Or am I missing something?Maybe BT's are not rendered in wav or mp3 formats.Maybe there is a way to post a song in the forum or to send it to some other guitarist without rendering it first.I mean,when two guitarists in this forum want to collaborate,how do they swap files that can be edited?There must be a way otherwise no collaboration would be possible...Surely,there must be a detail that I am missing here...

Anyway,please excuse me for my long reply,but I really need to find the answer to my problem.I hope with your valuable help,I will get to the bottom of this...

All the best,

Theo

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Hi Theo, no apologies needed, we all need info at sometime or another.

Here's what I suggest you try...open the BT you wish to record something to in one track in reaper, then record your playing in another track{seperately, meaning not recorded with the bt added into that individual track} Then use the play button to see how it turned out...if it's good then save the project in whatever format Reaper uses{for future reference/experimenting etc.} and then export it in whatever format you desire.

However, if while listening to it play in Reaper you hear those annoying extra bits of unwanted audio, I would suggest looking into some of the other possibilities the other posters here recommended...Hang in there, recording can be a bit of a hassle at first while learning the in's and out's of your DAW. Keep asking if you continue to have problems, someone here will definitely help get you straight...best of luck Theo, I'm looking forward to hearing something soon!

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Ha we posted at about the same time, sorry if I added to the confusion. I'm not sure which one of us is more confused now{lol}

When any of us do a collab or use a bt, what we do is to open the already formatted files provided by the collaborator{s} or the BT in our choice of DAW's. The daw then opens it in it's "default" format choice. Each DAW uses it's own preferred format, my Audition tracks wouldn't open in Reaper, but once it or they're saved to wav or mp3 then it's in a format that Reaper {and most DAW's} can recogonise and open in accordance to it's own preferences. When you record in your DAW your actually recording in it's default format, when you export the finished file{s} it's then that you chose what format you wish to save it as.

I'm not sure where your noise is coming from, but just opening a file in your DAW shouldn't add anything annoying to it. You shouldn't need to do any rendering or anything else to that track to hear it in it's originality. To me it sounds like there's a preference setting out of whack somewhere, and you would be better off with help from someone who's familiar with reaper.

Open your daw > import BT into one track > record your track{s} onto another track{s} > do any editing or adding of fx > mixdown > listen to mixdown thru daw > make any desired changes > save project/tune in desired format.

Hope this made sense as I'm no pro nor even close, just trying to help.

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Stratrat    0
....Let's talk about Backing Tracks.There comes a member,makes a file using drums and a rythm guitar(renders-compresses the file in one track either in wav or in mp3 format) and then someone else can take this track,work with it in Reaper or any other program adding a solo guitar(for example)on top,then renders it again(to compress it in one file so that it can be played back in DAW's)and posts it back to the forum...the annoying sounds that I am talking about come from rendering a file that has already been rendered in one track.

...I mean,when two guitarists in this forum want to collaborate,how do they swap files that can be edited?There must be a way otherwise no collaboration would be possible...Surely,there must be a detail that I am missing here...

Check out this thread for the "Weekend" collab that a bunch of us did a while back. We sent mp3 files back and forth and recorded over them, and Kenny (X4String) did the final mix. In many of the collab threads, you'll see people using mp3 files....because they're so universal and the file size is much more manageable than .wav files.

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Tekker    1

Anytime you export to mp3 the sound quality will degrade the audio quality some. So if you start off with an mp3 background track, add your part and then export the whole thing to an mp3, the background track has been converted to mp3 twice thus twice the quality loss.

The bitrate of the mp3 determines the quality loss. If you start out with a low quality mp3 and then mix it down to an mp3 again you are really going to hear it.

When you load your backing track in Reaper you can check the bitrate by right-clicking on the audio waveform and selecting "Source Properties". Then check the "Bitrate (average)" which will be in kbps (kilobits per second). Good quality is from about 192kbps or higher.

Also make sure your exporting your exporting your mp3's at this rate or higher. You can set this using the "Constant Bitrate" dropdown menu when you export. I think the default is 128kbps, so try increasing this number and see if it helps. A higher will give better quality but it will also result in a larger file size and it will take longer to upload and download the mp3. But if audio quality is the high priority, then it's worth taking a little longer to share the file.

Hope that helps.

-tkr

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thodwris    1

Hello Kenny...

Thank you very much once more for the help that you provide.Any small piece of information is very useful to me.You should know that you make all the sence in the world,I understood very good what you were trying to say.My problem is though that I try to do exactly the same thing(as you explained)and I get the annoying sounds.As Stratrat sais you are the one who did a final mix in one of the collaborations in this forum,but I guess you are not using Reaper.There is somethinng that I miss,a detail in th whole situation...Anyway,thank you once more.Be always well...

Hello Stratrat(or Mac)...

Thank you very much for your help.I didn't know that mp3's are used because of their size,I thought that they provide better osund quality.I noticed from the very beginning that you guys work a lot with mp3's in the collaborations,the thing is that I don't have a clue how to do the same thing with success.I hope I get to the bottom of this.Thanks again,be always well...

Hello Tekker...

It has been a long time since we talked.I hope you are all right and you are enjoying life...

Thank you for jumping to the rescue for one more time.I will make sure to give it a try changing the kbps and see what happens.I hope that this was the problem.I will get back to you after I have tried like you said.Thank you very much once more,be always well...

All the best,

Theo

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thodwris    1

Actually there could be a problem with my sound card.I tried as Tekker suggested for a couple of times and the results were the same.I changed the kbps at 192 and it all stayed the same.I noticed that when I try to rerender something,without the tracks being one on top of the other I get no interference,no problem with the sound.But should the tracks be one on top of the other I get the same problem,something like a scratch on the background.So there might be a problem with the sound card after all.Just to make sure,I will try to do the same thing using some other program.If I also get the same problems,then it is crystal clear that it is not the program or the settings to blame but my PC...Thank you all very much for your help and for being there for me.I might return to this thread to ask about Audacity...

All the best,

Theo

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Stratrat    0

Theo, how are you connecting your instrument to your computer for recording? Are you going directly into the sound card via an adapter of some sort, or are you going through a USB/Firewire mixer or audio interface? If you're using a sound card, is it the one that came with your computer or have you installed an aftermarket one designed for recording?

As I said before, your problem with multi-tracking could be related to a processing bottleneck somewhere in the chain...especially since you said you don't notice it with a single track, but do notice it when you multi-track. If your interface, processor or hard drive can't "keep up" with the information it's receiving, you will sometimes get clicks, skips, pops, etc. in the recording. Recording/rendering multiple tracks (especially if you're adding fx to them) significantly increases the load on your system, and if the weakest link in the chain isn't up to the task you can see problems like you're describing. The fact that you don't experience any problems with one track but do with multiple tracks seems to point in this direction, IMO.

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knight46    2

Theo,

The best of luck with your problem. I misunderstood the initial problem (my fault not yours) and would agree with Tekker and Mac on the issues.

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thodwris    1

Hello Mac...

Thank you one more time for your time and attention on my problem.I really appreciate that you try to help me so much...

I connect my guitar to the PC using a cable that has two guitar jacks on one end and a jack for the sound card on the other end.I use the two guitar jacks to get stereo from my effects processor and with the other jack I go directly to the sound card.The sound card I am using is the one the PC had installed from the very beginning.I have had the computer for about one year if that matters...To comment a bit on this I would surely like for the problem to be in the sound card.My processor is rather small,2 Gb but I would rather get an external sound card to solve the problem.I was thinking of the Line 6 Toneport.Now I would want you please to take a look at the data I told you about my computer and give me an opinion on the problem.I want to know if by getting the Line 6 Toneport would solve the problem or if I would have to change necessarily the processor...Please help me with this...

I think that it is no longer necessary to talk about the problem as I think you are right.So the best thing that I am hoping now is to tell me that by getting the Toneport I can solve the problem and carry on...Be always well...

Hello Eddie...

I find nothing wrong that you misunderstood,it's ok.I want to thank you for being with me all the way and I really appreciate it.Be always well...

All the best,

Theo

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knight46    2

Theo,

I have the Toneport UX1 and am very happy with the tone and recording I am getting. I have just purchased a couple of condenser mics and hope to have something to present soon.

I think that you will find that most agree that using an external source like a Toneport is far superior to the default PC installed sound card.

If I had it to do over I would probably go to the UX2 as it provides two XLR inputs both with phantom power. The UX1 only has one XLR input and it requires a separate power source.

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Stratrat    0

I'd agree with everything Knight46 said above. The Line6 Toneport would be a HUGE improvement over your stock soundcard, and would most likely solve your problem.

I also agree with his advice to get the UX2 instead of UX1.....even if you're only connecting your guitar right now, you may eventually want to use a mic to either sing or mic an acoustic instrument - having the XLR inputs with phantom power will allow you to power a condensor mic without having to buy an external preamp to supply the phantom power (which a condensor mic will not function without). The initial cost is a bit higher, but it will probably save you money in the long run.

A 2GHz processor on your computer is plenty enough - there are many people successfully recording on systems with slower processors than that!

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Tekker    1

While I certainly agree that getting a new soundcard will improve the quality of your recordings, it sounds like the problem you are having is with the background track and not your recorded track correct?

If so, then replacing the soundcard won't help with this problem as the mixdown process doesn't use the souncard.

Can you post some audio clips for us to hear?

-tkr

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