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Goodbye to Reaper? Workflow Help Needed
Old 12th October 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Goodbye to Reaper? Workflow Help Needed

Alrighty, here's another "help me, I'm not sure what to choose" plea. Bear with me... I seem to only post these... I have no friends that are into music production.

I've been using Reaper for years, and have become proficient in it. I can do most anything I want (which admittedly is not hugely complex), but I can't get past the ITB feeling... I don't like the workflow. There are no EQ or Comps to "twist", I hate switching between a lot of plugins, and I want at least the feel of an analog(ish) workflow (until my dreams of having an actual console come true). Don't get me wrong, Reaper is great. Powerful, customizable, sleek, but I just can't shake my irritation at searching for/adding plugins just to make minor EQ/Comp adjustments, and other minor things (like the stock plugins' GUI, pre-fader metering, etc.).

I'm thinking about switching to another DAW, and would like to hear from people who have used other DAWs (such as Harrison Mixbus and Reason) as to whether they think I'd benefit from switching. To help, here's what I think I'd value in a DAW, if I could have my cake and eat it. Won't blow your socks off, don't worry. I'm no pro!
  • Mimics analog workflow (at least to some extent) - easy access to EQ, Comp, and other channel strip "knobs" in mixer. Ideally, without a plugin.
  • Use of groups and busses are intuitive.
  • Has pre-fader metering, unlike Reaper (or a workaround, like Reaper).
  • MIDI setup, recording, and editing is intuitive and good (including multichannel like Superior Drummer). I use about 50% audio recordings and 50% MIDI (by necessity, not choice). I'd like to be able to print the MIDI to audio once I'm done arranging it ("freeze" in Reaper, I believe).
  • When using a plugin, access to parameters is readily available in Mixer window (Reaper does this a bit)
  • Plays well with controllers - automation, faders, the usual (I have an X-Touch currently).
  • Helps me listen more and watch less (I know, this is just my personal problem )
  • Can work on Mac or Windows, hopefully licensing transferring to different computers (the latter is less important)

EDIT: I forgot to add that while I want to record others, and have done it a little, my primary purpose right now is songwriting, arrangement, and production of my own material. I would like to be able to use it for hosting other musicians and engineering as well.

Probably more I could add, but you get the idea. I have my eye on Reason and Harrison Mixbus because I think they fit my needs/wants to varying degrees.

Thanks very much ahead of time to anyone willing to point me in the right direction. And I know, it ultimately doesn't matter as long as the music is good!

Last edited by mortalsphere; 13th October 2018 at 11:06 AM.. Reason: What I will use it for!
Old 13th October 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 

Ok, should be able to see this thread now! It was caught in a filter.
Old 13th October 2018
  #3
Deleted c2a9416
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by mortalsphere View Post
Alrighty, here's another "help me, I'm not sure what to choose" plea. Bear with me... I seem to only post these... I have no friends that are into music production.

I've been using Reaper for years, and have become proficient in it. I can do most anything I want (which admittedly is not hugely complex), but I can't get past the ITB feeling... I don't like the workflow. There are no EQ or Comps to "twist", I hate switching between a lot of plugins, and I want at least the feel of an analog(ish) workflow (until my dreams of having an actual console come true). Don't get me wrong, Reaper is great. Powerful, customizable, sleek, but I just can't shake my irritation at searching for/adding plugins just to make minor EQ/Comp adjustments, and other minor things (like the stock plugins' GUI, pre-fader metering, etc.).

I'm thinking about switching to another DAW, and would like to hear from people who have used other DAWs (such as Harrison Mixbus and Reason) as to whether they think I'd benefit from switching. To help, here's what I think I'd value in a DAW, if I could have my cake and eat it. Won't blow your socks off, don't worry. I'm no pro!
  • Mimics analog workflow (at least to some extent) - easy access to EQ, Comp, and other channel strip "knobs" in mixer. Ideally, without a plugin.
  • Use of groups and busses are intuitive.
  • Has pre-fader metering, unlike Reaper (or a workaround, like Reaper).
  • MIDI setup, recording, and editing is intuitive and good (including multichannel like Superior Drummer). I use about 50% audio recordings and 50% MIDI (by necessity, not choice). I'd like to be able to print the MIDI to audio once I'm done arranging it ("freeze" in Reaper, I believe).
  • When using a plugin, access to parameters is readily available in Mixer window (Reaper does this a bit)
  • Plays well with controllers - automation, faders, the usual (I have an X-Touch currently).
  • Helps me listen more and watch less (I know, this is just my personal problem )
  • Can work on Mac or Windows, hopefully licensing transferring to different computers (the latter is less important)

EDIT: I forgot to add that while I want to record others, and have done it a little, my primary purpose right now is songwriting, arrangement, and production of my own material. I would like to be able to use it for hosting other musicians and engineering as well.

Probably more I could add, but you get the idea. I have my eye on Reason and Harrison Mixbus because I think they fit my needs/wants to varying degrees.

Thanks very much ahead of time to anyone willing to point me in the right direction. And I know, it ultimately doesn't matter as long as the music is good!
You can have the best of both worlds. Keep Reaper for editing then run it into Mixbus for mixing.
Or Reaper, Mixbus then add some considered outboard purchases later

YouTube
Old 13th October 2018
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the video! That was really interesting. So basically you are using Mixbus as a console and routing the audio through it.

Out of curiosity, though, why would you send your master mix back into Reaper? Why not keep it in Mixbus and bounce it down there?

Also, while that does seem like an interesting option, why not switch DAWs altogether instead of having to worry about ReaRoute I/Os, etc.? That seems like it would complicate the process a little. Plus, since you are running both at once, doesn't that eat up CPU?
Old 13th October 2018
  #5
Deleted c2a9416
Guest
Just seems easier to keep your audio files in one place after editing etc., otherwise you will need to copy them or route to Mixbus somehow. Probably not too onerous though, although I do find the Mixbus file system clunky.
First time I rendered a track in it it took a while to find it!
It's really easy to link the DAW's.

The thing with Mixbus it's fairly cpu lite, as the eq's / levellers / comps / saturation are all part of the DAW, so no plugins are necessary, although you can use other plugs if you want to. Some third party plugs won't play nicely. Mixbus also do their own additional plugin comps and mastering stuff.

Personally I find Reaper so easy to use and navigate, plus got the routing set up for my outboard, so I use Mixbus as a big plug-in. It's more intuitive than the regular way of working, (especially if you are used to consoles / mixers). Does add a nice subtle vibe to tracks too.

Final thought, both DAW's bought together cost less than some of the better known ones, ("spits" ).
Old 13th October 2018
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniff View Post
Just seems easier to keep your audio files in one place after editing etc., otherwise you will need to copy them or route to Mixbus somehow. Probably not too onerous though, although I do find the Mixbus file system clunky.
First time I rendered a track in it it took a while to find it!
It's really easy to link the DAW's.

The thing with Mixbus it's fairly cpu lite, as the eq's / levellers / comps / saturation are all part of the DAW, so no plugins are necessary, although you can use other plugs if you want to. Some third party plugs won't play nicely. Mixbus also do their own additional plugin comps and mastering stuff.

Personally I find Reaper so easy to use and navigate, plus got the routing set up for my outboard, so I use Mixbus as a big plug-in. It's more intuitive than the regular way of working, (especially if you are used to consoles / mixers). Does add a nice subtle vibe to tracks too.

Final thought, both DAW's bought together cost less than some of the better known ones, ("spits" ).

Yeah, I see what you're saying. That video (I don't know if that was you or not) shows that it's pretty simple, just some I/O settings and done.

I knew that the mixer's EQs, comps, etc. were all part of the DAW in Mixbus, but their FAQ says it is more CPU than other DAWs because of this. But like you said, the good thing is you don't have to add many (or any) plugins to it! Nice.

The price is definitely a nice thing. I watched a series of videos on Reason, and it looks good too, especially the SSL styled mixer. But I don't really like the workflow of the editor. Reaper's seems to be a lot more streamlined.

Have you tracked in Mixbus? I'm really interested in that, and also the MIDI functions, which I've heard are still lacking.
Old 13th November 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 

surprised nobody mentioned that you can already add things like eq knobs, etc., to Reapers Mixer page with very little effort. But I seldom use it, as I prefer other EQs to the stock Reaper ones. That`s part of what I like about NOT having a bunch of built-in FX that dont suit me. And of course that`s part of what keeps Reapers price as low as it is. No fat.
Old 12th December 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
 
s wave's Avatar
Why not use 2 or 3 daws or programs and 2 or 3 PCs? I do. I am linux fan. I have Ardour 4 and Ardour 5. They are good for creative flow. Super ez click and group tracks or busses together. They are basic but really nice to have as an option. Sometimes I bounce stems back and forth to hear the differences. If you are proficient at Reaper why stop? Just individually figure out your specific work flow problems. Reaper has huge advantages in many areas. Like having a track for Midi OR Audio; that alone is a time saver.

Take your biggest work flow problem then watch a video. Kenny Gioia highly recommended here. And fix it.

If you ask yourself the right question the answer is in the question to paraphrase Einstein.
Form the right question about your workflow (get specific) then analyze the question... not too hard.

Success is seeing the exchange... If you use Mixbus you gain more filtered (precolored) sounds, (what I heard) but you will loose the 'Dry er' sound. Thats the exchange. I heard it was modeled off of analog mixers.

I can add effects work in envelopes use midi or audio very quickly in Reaper. But I choose to have a separate PC with midi controller because I like it that way. I can edit audio in Reaper but I have stand alone editors because it betters my workflow and my options. Some times I get overwhelmed looking at 50 tracks. When that happens I move to a stand alone editor and use that it is fun and ez at the time. If i get burnt out I will use an old drum machine or Lmms or fedora jam. Having more money does not really help the situation its more about finding out what you like and making it happen. gl
Old 12th December 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
Have you considered Softube's Console 1?

It's exactly as you state, analogue control over tightly integrated DAW SW. Reaper is fully supported if I recall correctly.

Softube - Console 1
Old 30th March 2019
  #10
Gear Head
 

Thread is kind of dead now, but I finally got a chance to reply and feel I owe that to those of you who responded.

Console 1 looks very nice, and I will consider that in the future. Interesting that they model their EQ off of analog (SSL) consoles, just like Mixbus does.

s wave: Yeah, I will probably keep using Reaper for some things at least, like automation or envelopes, etc. Sniff's comment about combining the two sounds really attractive. I've watched the majority of Kenny Gioia's videos on Reaper's website and they are fantastic. I learned a ton from them, including some of the things I find time-consuming or hindering to my preferred workflow. But in spite of those videos, I haven't come across a way to add EQ/Comp, etc. knobs in the Mixer window. Ivansc, can you shed some light on how to do that?

Thanks for your comments!
Old 8th April 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

You could build a channel strip like you see in the video below. And then buy a controller like the Behringer X-TOUCH mini and assign it to what ever you want in your channel strip. You can make it so that it follows what ever track you've selected. Of course it would be easier to just buy Console 1 but the X-TOUCH mini is much cheaper.

YouTube
Old 18th April 2019
  #12
Gear Nut
 
shmuelyosef's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mortalsphere View Post
I've been using Reaper for years, and have become proficient in it. I can do most anything I want (which admittedly is not hugely complex), but I can't get past the ITB feeling... I don't like the workflow. There are no EQ or Comps to "twist", I hate switching between a lot of plugins, and I want at least the feel of an analog(ish) workflow (until my dreams of having an actual console come true). Don't get me wrong, Reaper is great. Powerful, customizable, sleek, but I just can't shake my irritation at searching for/adding plugins just to make minor EQ/Comp adjustments
I'm a recent convert to Reaper from SONAR, and one of the great things is the efficiency. I particularly like the track and FX template functions. Keeps me from messing around with plugins. I build a sound up ONCE, and then can call it exactly back. I've even got some plugins that store synth recipes (e.g. Soundtower for my DSI OB-6] that restores the entire voice with all effects even if the preset has been erased...the template remembers all the synth settings.
Old 20th April 2019
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustacheVerra View Post
You could build a channel strip like you see in the video below. And then buy a controller like the Behringer X-TOUCH mini and assign it to what ever you want in your channel strip. You can make it so that it follows what ever track you've selected. Of course it would be easier to just buy Console 1 but the X-TOUCH mini is much cheaper.

YouTube
But the Console 1 is so pretty... And the channel strip emulations are supposed to be really good. I think it's a good option for when it's not practical to get lots of outboard gear.
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