Hey guys, so LBro told me to go with reaper (again)!! I ended up with ableton live though, i have grown accustomed to it. I guess i could use both though! Im just now getting into reaper and it has way more options than Live!!!
So i ended up paying someone on Fiverr to mix a couple of my songs. But i would like to learn how to do it!! I find it very fun to do!!! So my question is… How would I take a RAW audio file and turn it into a Radio station like performance? I messed around with reaper some and added some FX’s such as saturation reverb and distortion and such but its still not quite up to par on what i would like.
Is mixing just adding a bunch of FX’s together and such? Or is it more complicated than that? Any better software to use other than Reapers? Are there any good videos to watch on learning how to do it? I guess analog gear would be the best bet i suppose, though im not sure. I look at mixing as just one big equalizer project! Thoughts? Any advice? Thanks!!!
So there are loads of good YT videos on the basics and undoubtedly plenty of people here will also add their comments.
At a most basic level start by recording your vocal and guitar track separately. Then before doing anything else you can adjust the relative volume of each track to suit AND if you like pan them slightly.
Then you can look at tweaking EQ and adding effects e.g. compression to your vocal, to clean things up and improve the overall quality of tracks.
I use Ableton and as a final plug-in across the master channel I use a mastering plug-in/rack effect which just finishes things off.
If it’s just a vocal and guitar should be relatively straight forward.
I’d say it’s more complicated than that. You have an amazing level of detail you can go into when using Reaper (or others). When I recorded my acoustic guitar with vocals I could hear quite audible lip smacks and such, there’s a technique called the envelope where you can isolate just that moment and reduce the level to get rid of the noticeable noise.
That’s just a minor example of one of thousands of techniques you’ll discover. It’s not meant to put you off, it’s amazing that such affordable software exists that allows you to produce “radio station” like performances.
I’d suggest the devil is in the detail. This may be just the thing that drilling into excites you. I was the opposite. I’ve quite technical after a long career in software development and what I like about music is it’s quite organic and there are no knobs (well, unplugged anyway) to fiddly or envelope techniques to learn etc, hence I can’t be bothered to get particularly proficient at Reaper.
On the other hand I’ve seen what friends and muso colleagues have done and its within everyone’s reach. There is a significant learning curve, there’s a guy on youtube - Kenny Gioia - that’s a great starting place with reaper. Best of luck
Agree with Tony’s latter statement. I am just starting with this the same as you and all I have done is mixed a guitar/vocal in Audacity with only my amp plugged into the laptop and a conference call style headset/mic. It has be interested enough to now look at upgrading to AI, Reaper or Ableton, mics, and decent headphones.
For me personally it’s important not to lose sight of what I’m doing, playing guitar and vocal and not to disappear down a software rabbit hole that detracts from my basic goal, to play better guitar and perform better👍 JMHO.
Bytron, if you are learning to record and mix with Reaper then Kenny Gioa videos are gold. I don’t go to YouTube I find what I need here: REAPER | Videos
When I started to record and mix just my guitar and voice (on separate tracks as others said is the way to go to give you most options) I used the material on this site: https://www.recordingrevolution.com/ I followed some of his basic series.
But there are many channels that will have structured series to get you going. I’d suggest pick somebody that you can understand and connect with and stay with them, follow their intro etc. Rather than jumping all over the place. The field is vast and you could easily get lost bouncing from one person to another.
Resist the urge to start accumulating plug-ins. That will certainly happen in time but intially Reaper has good enough quality and all the options that you need.
Agree with David, Kenny’s your man for all things Reaper. I to use(d) the Reaper Video listings DP linked. But Kenny has his own channel on YT https://www.youtube.com/@REAPERMania
However, I think its easier to locate tutorials at Reaper.fm
There was another oldish but great video about where to place sound when mixing, to create a space for all voices (peeps and instruments). Its a great demo on how to use or understand why panning and EQ works. I’ll dig around for a link later as its not jumping out of my favourites but I am sure others may have it bookmarked.
I think I know the one you mean Toby. I’d also struggle to find it again as I suspect it was even years ago that I watched it. That said, I think following an introductory series of videos that cover the basics.
So this is not a step by step guide on how to mix in a certain product, ie Reaper but more the “why” mixing is so crucial to getting a great sound and how creating space makes for a cleaner fuller mix.
It will give you a better idea of what you should be aiming for when mixing and mastering. And understanding why that works so well.
When watching that video I posted, you will get the ideas better if you listen through a decent sounds system, where there is some space between the speakers (not sure what your set up is right now) or headphones . For example if you watch on a cell you really won’t hear the stereo effect or depth. As its some years since I watched it, I am currently playing it via my new studio monitors, which are about 5 feet apart. This really multiplies the principles and effects the guy discusses making it clearer to understand what is going on in the mix. Enjoy