You are here

Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:30 am

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?
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
https://anthonyflynn.bandcamp.com/album/toy-town

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby ore_terra » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:32 am

A compressor (limiter)?
User avatar
ore_terra
Frequent Poster
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:56 pm
Location: Seville - Spain

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:54 am

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.
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
https://anthonyflynn.bandcamp.com/album/toy-town

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:29 am

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. ;)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10172
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:38 am

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.
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
https://anthonyflynn.bandcamp.com/album/toy-town

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:04 pm

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.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27016
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:47 pm

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.
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
https://anthonyflynn.bandcamp.com/album/toy-town

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:40 pm

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
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27016
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:34 pm

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...
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7224
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:54 pm

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.
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2879
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: In the woods in Canada
 

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:10 am

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.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 9201
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:12 am

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.
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
https://anthonyflynn.bandcamp.com/album/toy-town

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Ramirez » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:44 am

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.
Ramirez
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1066
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Bethesda, Cymru
Bill Withers while Tom Waits, and Stan Getz

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:52 am

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.
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
https://anthonyflynn.bandcamp.com/album/toy-town

Re: Using Reaper to smooth out peaks?

Postby CS70 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:31 am

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)
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5277
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Next