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Reaper: Feedback Loops | Audio Examples

Hear For Yourself By Matt Houghton
Published May 2023

These four audio examples illustrate the ideas discussed in the Reaper workshop article in SOS May 2023.

I captured three short audio clips and a slightly longer one to demonstrate the possibilities of using feedback loops in Reaper, as described in the main article. As I explained in that article, you shouldn’t expect great things: this is just a very quick and dirty demonstration of the concept as well as some of the creative possibilities!

SOS Reaper 0523 Clip 01

I started with a  ‘random’ dialogue clip — a slightly pitched ‘aah’ taken from a Zencastr podcast recording. The recording quality isn’t great, and the idea is to show that you can use pretty much any source as a starting point and still come up with interesting results.

SOS Reaper 0523 Clip 02

This is the same clip, but fed through a single-tap delay with zero feedback, courtesy of Reaper’s ReaDelay plug-in.

SOS Reaper 0523 Clip 03

The third clip is as 2, but this time the output of the delay is returned to the input via another track (as explained in the main article). Note how the delay now repeats, even though the ReaDelay plug-in parameters remain unchanged from the previous clip.

SOS Reaper 0523 Clip 04

This final example demonstrates both the possibilities and some of the risks. Building on the example in 3, I added various effects into the feedback loop, including Accusonus ERA 6 Voice Deepener and Baby Audio’s Crystalline reverb. I then manipulated some of the plug-in parameters and channel faders in real-time, while using Reaper’s ReaEQ as a low-pass filter whose frequency was modulated by the incoming signal. If memory serves correctly, I had a flanger in there too for good measure! Finally, I captured the result using Melda’s MRecorder plug-in on the master stereo bus. (For full details of this setup, please refer to the main article.)

Note that clip 4 gets very loud very quickly — indeed, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the recording is clipped. But it’s actually limited: thanks to the inclusion of a limiter in the feedback loop this section didn’t fry my ears or my speakers’ tweeters while I played with the controls! As the file progresses, you can hear an interesting swooshing effect (a combination of multiple stages of freeze and pitch/formant-shift) that’s reminiscent of the Shepard Tone illusion, as well as some of the modulation effects.

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