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Reaper: Which Plug-ins Make A Difference?

Cockos Reaper Tips & Techniques
By Martin Walker

Before your test plug-in, insert this JS: Channel Polarity Control plug-in and then change its Polarity Mode to 'Invert Both' as shown here.Before your test plug-in, insert this JS: Channel Polarity Control plug-in and then change its Polarity Mode to 'Invert Both' as shown here.

Why not use Reaper to find out what difference your 'character' plug-ins are really making?

Ever since I first reviewed version one of Reaper, way back in SOS June 2007, this DAW's versatility has continued to surprise me. Recently, I was struggling to optimise the settings of a soft clipper plug-in in an attempt to remove the spiky attack transients from a bass line without adversely impacting on the overall character of the bass sound. It occurred to me that it would be useful if the clipper would let me hear what audio was being removed, rather than what was left. Such a 'delta' function in most noise-reduction plug-ins allows you to hear/preview/monitor what you're removing and it's really useful! With that in mind, I wondered if there was a way to do the same with my clipper in Reaper, and it turns out that there is...

In this article I'll tell you how you can do it, making use of Reaper's ability to add extra audio channels to an existing track, and using some of the bundled Jesusonic plug-ins. I'll also explain how to use the same technique to perform other useful tasks in your project, such as isolating the 'mojo' from analogue-style plug-ins (so you can understand precisely what they're adding), exploring the phase differences between different types of EQ plug-in, and hearing just how much each element of a complex effects chain modifies audio passing through it, so you can tweak each stage to perfection.

Vive la Différence!

To preview how a plug-in changes the incoming audio, you subtract its input signal from its output signal to leave you with the difference between the two. And the easiest way I've found to do that is to create a 'source bypass' tool for your plug-in (the 'Device Under Test', or 'DUT', as it's known in engineering...

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Published March 2020