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Maintaing dynamic level between recording sessions

I'm recording guitar with an digitech rp 250 processor and Reaper. When i record the guitar I sometimes need to adjust the gain level of the processor so that Reaper has a max level of about -10. Now let's say I want to add to that same guitar part recording but don't remember the gain level I used. What is the easiest way to make the dynamic levels match up? I know there's the envelope tool but I think it'd be easier to use some automated fx. Maybe like normalize, or amplify? I'm thinking not compression because I don't want to affect the dynamic range of the individual recordings.

Comments

Kurt Foster Tue, 06/06/2017 - 14:02

effects aren't the answer. you never will match a tone by putting crap on it that wasn't there in the first place. that's common sense. and that's all i have to say about that.

plug in. set levels just like you did when you recorded it. if necessary, play back the first take and adjust levels to match it. it's called matching levels. you need to learn how to do this. it's a basic.

i bet you start to remember how you did things now. lol.

DonnyThompson Tue, 06/06/2017 - 14:42

Alex H, post: 450756, member: 50583 wrote: Alright thanks, I'm new to reaper and don't see normalize in the effects. I suppose I could just do it in audacity. Reaper has these huge lists of fx that I have no idea what they're for.

The worst thing you could do is to use processing which you aren't familiar with or are clueless as to what it does or how it works. You'll end up using a hammer to drive a screw. Know your tools. Learn Gain structure. And don't count on effects to make your audio sound better...Cuz it won't, particularly if you are unfamiliar with them.
Get your recordings to sound good going into your DAW and forget the amateur "fix it in the mix" approach. Levels, mics and mic technique, and learn about what a particular processor or audio manipulation will do to the signal before you choose it.

Alex H Tue, 06/06/2017 - 14:58

Kurt Foster, post: 450762, member: 7836 wrote: effects aren't the answer. you never will match a tone by putting crap on it that wasn't there in the first place. that's common sense. and that's all i have to say about that.

plug in. set levels just like you did when you recorded it. if necessary, play back the first take and adjust levels to match it. it's called matching levels. you need to learn how to do this. it's a basic.

i bet you start to remember how you did things now. lol.

Well jeez alright then. I suppose i can just play the track while watching the level then try to make my setup match it. I just thought to make it perfectly match dynamically an effect would help without changing quality since I would not be heavily using fx.

DonnyThompson Tue, 06/06/2017 - 15:13

Alex H, post: 450770, member: 50583 wrote: Well jeez alright then. I suppose i can just play the track while watching the level then try to make my setup match it. I just thought to make it perfectly match dynamically an effect would help without changing quality since I would not be heavily using fx.

You can be obdurate and negative, you can think that we are coming down on you - but we're not. The advice you've been given here is from seasoned pros. We can either tell you what you want to hear, or we can tell you the truth and give honest suggestions based on years of experience that will help you learn and improve your skills and quality.
Recording and mixing is an "artistic" science... but you have to learn the tech side first. There are rules, and you have to know what they are before you bend them.
Obviously you are new at this. Ditch the mindset that there are shortcuts to creating good-sounding audio, because there aren't any.
Learn that first, and then perhaps come back with a little more humility and gratefulness that these pros have taken their valuable time to help you.

Alex H Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:18

DonnyThompson, post: 450771, member: 46114 wrote: You can be obdurate and negative, you can think that we are coming down on you - but we're not. The advice you've been given here is from seasoned pros. We can either tell you what you want to hear, or we can tell you the truth and give honest suggestions based on years of experience that will help you learn and improve your skills and quality.
Recording and mixing is an "artistic" science... but you have to learn the tech side first. There are rules, and you have to know what they are before you bend them.
Obviously you are new at this. Ditch the mindset that there are shortcuts to creating good-sounding audio, because there aren't any.
Learn that first, and then perhaps come back with a little more humility and gratefulness that these pros have taken their valuable time to help you.

Alright. I'm sorry if I made anyone think I don't appreciate the helpful comments. I haven't used this website very long, and don't know the backgrounds of people I'm talking to. But so far this website seems awesome. I wasn't trying to sound negative. I figure instead of messing with fx that I don't know how to use I should just continue trusting my ears and using the simple level meters, faders, and amp gains to balance my recordings together. As a newbie to Reaper I thought maybe there were little software shortcuts but thanks for letting me know concentrating on just playing my instruments and getting solid initial recordings. I think this is the point people have been trying to get across to me. I've spent many hours reading about gain staging and think I have a good setup, my recordings have been sounding great with no audio problems such as clipping or background noise. Thanks for your time.

DonnyThompson Wed, 06/07/2017 - 03:00

I'm sure if you searched YouTube you'd find a plethora of instructional vids for Reaper ( or most any DAW platform).
The thing about DAWs is they all do the same things, some are more complex than others because they are designed with professional uses in mind - but they still all do the same thing at their basic functions, which is to record, edit and mix audio tracks.
Where they differ is in what they name certain commands, where on the GUI certain commands are located, and where the various editing and function tools reside.
Reaper is a very good program, not intrinsically difficult as DAWs go; (although they all have their own learning curves) and if you get to know the platform - really get to know it - your work will be far more efficient, and you can spend more time creating music than trying to figure out what to do with it once it's inside the box.
Welcome to RO.

Alex H Mon, 06/12/2017 - 23:05

DonnyThompson, post: 450781, member: 46114 wrote: I'm sure if you searched YouTube you'd find a plethora of instructional vids for Reaper ( or most any DAW platform).
The thing about DAWs is they all do the same things, some are more complex than others because they are designed with professional uses in mind - but they still all do the same thing at their basic functions, which is to record, edit and mix audio tracks.
Where they differ is in what they name certain commands, where on the GUI certain commands are located, and where the various editing and function tools reside.
Reaper is a very good program, not intrinsically difficult as DAWs go; (although they all have their own learning curves) and if you get to know the platform - really get to know it - your work will be far more efficient, and you can spend more time creating music than trying to figure out what to do with it once it's inside the box.
Welcome to RO.

I'm getting to know how to use reaper more efficiently each day that goes by. I'm beginning my use of fx. I did some googling and am using only ReaEQ to help fine tune my drum recordings. I'm using one condenser mic to pick up the whole set while having 1 dynamic mic on the kick and 1 dynamic on the snare. I'm beginning to learn about the particular frequencies at which the snare and kick give their optimal sound. There's so much to learn but it's a lot of fun. The kick mic was picking up the overall drum set so a low pass filter seemed in order to isolate the kick with a little boost at 100hz.

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