How to make my recorded guitar smooth

I use reaper any body can give me some ideas on how to make my guitar playing softer?


Hi Tom and Welcome to the Community.

Recording and mixing in Reaper or any DAW is a vast subject, so before anyone can give you guidance some information will come in handy.

Are you playing electric or acoustic
How are you recording you guitar
Are you using an amp
Are you recording Direct Input
Are you recording your input to Reaper at -18 db
What type of music are you recording.

When you say softer, in relation to ? Can you provide an audio sample.

Generally a softer sound will relate to how and what you are playing but the key information is how you are actually getting the sound to Reaper. There is likely to be a lot that can be done to “soften” the sound in the signal chain, before you need to start mixing.

If you can fill in some / all of the blanks, I am sure someone will be able to help you out. I’ve been using Reaper for a number of years but the key is to establish something very close to the sound you want to hear before you actually start recording. So lets address that first.



You can see my settings a little, Have decent Mic , monitors etc with reaper software

I think my playing is harsh here


I couldn’t really hear the harshness. Though I think it was just adding to the emotions of the song. I really enjoyed both very much. I have to be honest I didn’t understand most of the words but it was my cup of tea. You sang and played very well. Though I did get a bit distracted by you shrinking and enlarging. Have you did an introductory posts? I’d be interested in reading a bit more about you and your musical background.

Tom, all I can say is that I enjoyed both videos. I am not an expert sound engineer but to my ears there was nothing I would have called out as either out of balance or harsh in either production.

I assume the video of your playing in the second was recorded in front of a green screen? I’d agree with James that some of the shrink and enlarge didn’t add to the video and would have liked a more consistent theme throughout, perhaps just a variety of shorts of the ladies in the autumn forest. But maybe if I understood the lyrics, it’d make more sense.

Of course, we are focused on guitar playing primarily and the music production comes as a supporting element to that.

As James suggested, would appreciate an intro over in #community-hub:introduce-yourself, a little personal background, guitar history, and your focus/aspirations going forward with JustinGuitar.

And then look forward to you sharing more recordings in #record-yourself-progress-performance:audio-video-of-you-playing. I watched your performance of Yesterday, which was as enjoyable as the other two.

Not had a chance to listen and by guess work I’ve answered some of the questions I put to you. So acoustic recorded by mic. So whence from there ? You’ll have to explain. Audio Interface, Mixer, Amp any outboard EQ before hitting Reaper. Sorry you left me in the dark. Would love to help but insufficient info to go on. If I get a chance I listen later but beyond critique couldn’t off mixing (in Reaper) advice, before knowing what if anything you are doing before hand.


Thank you all for feed back. :slight_smile: Yes I know about the shrinking and enlarging part :slight_smile: LOL I made a mistake with the video editing software and just let it be.

I am self-taught guitar player , Started with classical guitar and then just continued finger style .
I know Justinguitar long time ago , watched some of his videos too . 12 years ago wanted to do some recording but gave up. It seems I am a perfectionist :slight_smile:

Right now my equipment

Audio Motu 4 and PC: i7-10700KF CPU 3.79 GHz | Ram: 32 GB |GeForce RTX 3070
Rode condenser MIc and Shure 57 dynamic Mic , Yamaha Studio Monitors and Sony headphone monitor etc…

I suggest that you, as a start, research the very basics of using ReaEQ - start with learning what high/low pass/cut means. This alone is great for overall tone shaping. Then learn how to apply and dial in reverb…

This would be a good place to start. Kenny produces excellent tutorials for all the Reaper tools. If you have not dug too deeply into Reaper the second link will provide plenty on basic recording, mixing and mastering.

Dynamic EQ (using ReaEQ) in REAPER

This will give you an overview of how ReaEQ works

Playing: EQ with ReaEQ


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I don’t think your guitar sounds harsh to me. It sounds like a good recording.

Sometimes it might just be case of getting a second set of ears to let you know their opinion as I think we experience things differently that we’ve created for some reason. I think people on here would be honest and say if it sounded too harsh :slight_smile:

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