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Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

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Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:30 am
by Arpangel
Still trying to work out the best way to do this, I can’t use the volume envelope for this as it’s too fiddly, I need something that just reduces the peaks in an item, to allow me to raise the overall level.
I do this normally by going through and reducing the peaks with the volume envelope, but it takes ages, just wondering if there’s a quicker easier solution?

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:32 am
by ore_terra
A compressor (limiter)?

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:54 am
by Arpangel
ore_terra wrote:A compressor (limiter)?

I was thinking of manually lowering the levels of peaks, if you can imagine the Reaper volume envelope, but being able to place it above the 0 dB point on the item, that’s what I need.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:29 am
by blinddrew
If you're just looking at cutting the peaks of sharp transients have a look at the GClip plugin.
As recommended by The Elf and Zukan. ;)

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:38 am
by Arpangel
blinddrew wrote:If you're just looking at cutting the peaks of sharp transients have a look at the GClip plugin.
As recommended by The Elf and Zukan. ;)

I’ll do that, I’m talking about the odd heavy handed note, not big sections.

PS, just looked, it’s for Windows only, I’m on Mac.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:04 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
It's a task that limiters were designed for... and these days with look-ahead limiter plugins it's easier and more transparent than ever.

Having said that, if it's just a few troublesome peaks I just do some manual editing. Snip, snip, section level change -4dB (or whatever), next.... it takes mere seconds.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:47 pm
by Arpangel
Hugh Robjohns wrote:It's a task that limiters were designed for... and these days with look-ahead limiter plugins it's easier and more transparent than ever.

Having said that, if it's just a few troublesome peaks I just do some manual editing. Snip, snip, section level change -4dB (or whatever), next.... it takes mere seconds.

Yes, I’ve tried that, cutting the offending note out, reducing its level, then "glueing" it back together, but I’m having trouble making a smooth volume transition between the edited note and the rest of the track, I’ve changed the shape of the envelope points in Reaper to "smooth in, smooth out" and it makes it a little better, but it’s still noticeable.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:40 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
Arpangel wrote:Yes, I’ve tried that, cutting the offending note out, reducing its level, then "glueing" it back together, but I’m having trouble making a smooth volume transition between the edited note and the rest of the track...

Then either you're doing it wrong, or you need a better DAW.

I don't take anything 'out'. I literally create an edit point fractionally before and after the offending transient, typically with a 10ms cross-fade for each one (replicating a quarter-inch tape edit). I then select the isolated segment or clip and reduce its level by 4dB or so, as necessary. And that's it. It's extraordinarily rare that I or anyone can hear the edits or any obvious volume transition.

All I'm doing is what a look-ahead limiter does, but with a degree of more intelligent application... ;-)

H

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:34 pm
by Mike Stranks
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Yes, I’ve tried that, cutting the offending note out, reducing its level, then "glueing" it back together, but I’m having trouble making a smooth volume transition between the edited note and the rest of the track...

Then either you're doing it wrong, or you need a better DAW.

I don't take anything 'out'. I literally create an edit point fractionally before and after the offending transient, typically with a 10ms cross-fade for each one (replicating a quarter-inch tape edit). I then select the isolated segment or clip and reduce its level by 4dB or so, as necessary. And that's it. It's extraordinarily rare that I or anyone can hear the edits or any obvious volume transition.

All I'm doing is what a look-ahead limiter does, but with a degree of more intelligent application... ;-)

H

Yup! I was doing the very same this afternoon to deal with over-obtrusive mouth-clicks on some spoken-word I'd been sent...

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:54 pm
by ManFromGlass
It can take a bit of time but I’ve found nothing as effective and I’ve looked.

Hugh - 10ms is the length of a tape crossfade? 30 ips? I find that interesting because in the DAW my crossfade length of choice is around 9 ms because it just feels right. Interesting.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:10 am
by James Perrett
To make the maths easy - if the edit is slanted so that it has a length of 0.15" (equivalent to an angle of 59 degrees) it will take 10ms to pass the head at 15 ips. Of course, that's for the full tape width so, as each channel takes up about a third of the tape width, the cross fade is around 3.3ms for each channel.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:12 am
by Arpangel
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Yes, I’ve tried that, cutting the offending note out, reducing its level, then "glueing" it back together, but I’m having trouble making a smooth volume transition between the edited note and the rest of the track...

Then either you're doing it wrong, or you need a better DAW.

I don't take anything 'out'. I literally create an edit point fractionally before and after the offending transient, typically with a 10ms cross-fade for each one (replicating a quarter-inch tape edit). I then select the isolated segment or clip and reduce its level by 4dB or so, as necessary. And that's it. It's extraordinarily rare that I or anyone can hear the edits or any obvious volume transition.

All I'm doing is what a look-ahead limiter does, but with a degree of more intelligent application... ;-)

H

What don you mean by an "edit point"? And you say you isolate the segment?
Sounds like what I do, I cut either side of the offending note, reduce its level, then splice it back together again making a smooth transition.
I’m thinking that Reaper is a bit of a blunt instrument when it comes to note for note editing, I never had this trouble when I was using Sequoia years ago, it just sort of did it and sounded much better with less effort.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:44 am
by Ramirez
Arpangel wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Yes, I’ve tried that, cutting the offending note out, reducing its level, then "glueing" it back together, but I’m having trouble making a smooth volume transition between the edited note and the rest of the track...

Then either you're doing it wrong, or you need a better DAW.

I don't take anything 'out'. I literally create an edit point fractionally before and after the offending transient, typically with a 10ms cross-fade for each one (replicating a quarter-inch tape edit). I then select the isolated segment or clip and reduce its level by 4dB or so, as necessary. And that's it. It's extraordinarily rare that I or anyone can hear the edits or any obvious volume transition.

All I'm doing is what a look-ahead limiter does, but with a degree of more intelligent application... ;-)

H

What don you mean by an "edit point"? And you say you isolate the segment?
Sounds like what I do, I cut either side of the offending note, reduce its level, then splice it back together again making a smooth transition.
I’m thinking that Reaper is a bit of a blunt instrument when it comes to note for note editing, I never had this trouble when I was using Sequoia years ago, it just sort of did it and sounded much better with less effort.

I do this kind of thing in Reaper all the time with absolutely no problems.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:52 am
by Arpangel
Ramirez wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Yes, I’ve tried that, cutting the offending note out, reducing its level, then "glueing" it back together, but I’m having trouble making a smooth volume transition between the edited note and the rest of the track...

Then either you're doing it wrong, or you need a better DAW.

I don't take anything 'out'. I literally create an edit point fractionally before and after the offending transient, typically with a 10ms cross-fade for each one (replicating a quarter-inch tape edit). I then select the isolated segment or clip and reduce its level by 4dB or so, as necessary. And that's it. It's extraordinarily rare that I or anyone can hear the edits or any obvious volume transition.

All I'm doing is what a look-ahead limiter does, but with a degree of more intelligent application... ;-)

H

What don you mean by an "edit point"? And you say you isolate the segment?
Sounds like what I do, I cut either side of the offending note, reduce its level, then splice it back together again making a smooth transition.
I’m thinking that Reaper is a bit of a blunt instrument when it comes to note for note editing, I never had this trouble when I was using Sequoia years ago, it just sort of did it and sounded much better with less effort.

I do this kind of thing in Reaper all the time with absolutely no problems.

Looks like I’m not very good at this then, like everything else, you’ve got to like doing it to make a good job of it, and a I hate editing.

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:31 am
by CS70
Arpangel wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:It's a task that limiters were designed for... and these days with look-ahead limiter plugins it's easier and more transparent than ever.

Having said that, if it's just a few troublesome peaks I just do some manual editing. Snip, snip, section level change -4dB (or whatever), next.... it takes mere seconds.

Yes, I’ve tried that, cutting the offending note out, reducing its level, then "glueing" it back together, but I’m having trouble making a smooth volume transition between the edited note and the rest of the track, I’ve changed the shape of the envelope points in Reaper to "smooth in, smooth out" and it makes it a little better, but it’s still noticeable.

That's usually what crossfades are for. The more the difference, the longer the crossfade must be - but usually we're talking 5-10ms, really really large ones are 50ms.

In the end it should be looking like this

Image

(random image from the internet but gets you the idea). The guys in the image use a "slow" crossfade but there's really no need, a "linear" one is just fine (where the fade trajectory are straight lines instead of bowed as in the pic)