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Offline ScottT

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What multi-track software are you using?
« on: July 02, 2016, 09:43:23 PM »
I just picked up a 4-channel recorder and am realizing that SoundForge - which I have used since version 4.5 came bundled with my ZA2 soundcard! - isn't up to the task of handling multi-track recordings.   Can anyone recommend what they use or provide an overview what's out there?  I've seen folks mention using Audition, Reaper, and Audacity.  I'm sure they provide the same essential functionality but must have pros and cons.

I run Windows and only perform basic editing other than using a VST plug-in (Waves L3 Multimaximizer).  I work in IT so I'm not afraid of discovering new software...
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Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 09:51:02 PM »
Reaper, hands down best for price.

Non destructive multitrack. VST host. Good bundled plugins. Free, uncrippled trial. $70 purchase price.

I've used Audacity, don't care for it. Own Soundforge, find myself in Reaper unless I need a pencil tool.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 10:55:29 PM »
Reaper, hands down best for price.

Non destructive multitrack. VST host. Good bundled plugins. Free, uncrippled trial. $70 purchase price.

I've used Audacity, don't care for it. Own Soundforge, find myself in Reaper unless I need a pencil tool.

Reaper, +1000.  I've been using it for years, and like it so much better than any other DAW I've tried.  Besides the reasons Scoobie mentioned, it's highly customizable to your needs (many skins and extensions out there), graphical routing matrix to send any input to any output, and best of all, no limitations on track counts (it can do whatever your hardware can handle).

Speaking of extensions, I've recently come across this guide which has been saving me a ton of time using the SWS Extensions for Reaper.  Don't let the "classical music" scare you off - this is pretty much good info for anyone who does "concert" recordings:
http://urosbaric.com/reaper-classical-music-editing

One thing that the blog posts above don't mention about SWS Extensions is how much they speed up track splits and exports for a concert recording. 

1. Drop markers in your timeline for track in/out points and name the markers with track names.
2. Extensions > Marker List (see right window in screenshot below).  You can click on any marker to jump to that point. 
3. Right-click in the Marker List and select Convert Markers to Regions, it creates region for each track between consecutive markers. 
4. File > Render, and make your bounds Project Regions.  It then renders all of your tracks. 
5. You can even use wildcards in the File Name box.  For example: $regionnumber $region will automatically number the tracks by the region number and auto name by the name you gave them.  I prefer to just use $region and I make the marker titles have the track number in them (ex. 01 First Song 02 Second Song etc.), because my markers are usually placed out of order and I don't bother fixing them.

You'll notice for the project I'm showing that there are bunch of unnamed markers.  This was a choir concert of various groups with applause, talking, transitions between groups which I edited out, to produce tracks of just music.  If you're doing the typical concert taper thing of documenting the whole event, you wouldn't have those.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 11:03:49 PM by voltronic »
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Offline Ronmac

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2016, 06:39:19 AM »
Of all the Daws I use I recommend Reaper to anyone looking for an inexpensive and powerful tool. It is also the DAW I use the most.

Offline goodcooker

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 10:53:07 AM »
Wavelab 6. You may even have it already :D PM for details.
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Offline ScottT

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 07:10:46 PM »
I played around with Reaper and Wavelab yesterday.  I was able to load two stereo sources (SBD + AUD) and get them aligned.  Applying the VST plug-in as part of chain of effects was different from what I'm used to (configure the plug-in and apply to the file creating a visibly obvious change to the wave form), but it worked in both programs.  I struggled a bit with a couple basic tasks - I suppose this is part of the learning curve.

I Googled and went through all the menus in Reaper but could not find a simple way to increase the volume of a short segment of audience participation in the AUD source.  Could they make it more confusing?  In SoundForge you click-drag to highlight the portion you want, go to Process> Volume, and move the slider bar up or down to alter the volume of the selection.  I still need to wrap my head around the different vocabulary, because "Take Volume Envelope Automation" seems unnecessarily complex for making a four second passage slightly louder.

I switched to Wavelab where I stumbled a bit over applying fade ins and outs and dropping markers for track separation.  It was getting quite late so I rendered the project as-is and performed the remaining tasks in SoundForge.  The end result is here:  https://archive.org/details/dirtfoot2015-10-16.matrix.flac16

Does anyone use a multi-track editor for the majority of their workflow?  I've always used r8brain, Trader's Little Helper (after FLAC FrontEnd became obsolete with 64-bit operating systems), and the Live Show Tagger/Foobar2000 after I finish in SoundForge.  I imagined that I would ditch SoundForge for whatever DAW I switch to, but maybe I'm just adding one more application to the front end of my workflow.
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Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2016, 08:02:58 PM »
I played around with Reaper and Wavelab yesterday.  I was able to load two stereo sources (SBD + AUD) and get them aligned.  Applying the VST plug-in as part of chain of effects was different from what I'm used to (configure the plug-in and apply to the file creating a visibly obvious change to the wave form), but it worked in both programs.  I struggled a bit with a couple basic tasks - I suppose this is part of the learning curve.

I Googled and went through all the menus in Reaper but could not find a simple way to increase the volume of a short segment of audience participation in the AUD source.  Could they make it more confusing?  In SoundForge you click-drag to highlight the portion you want, go to Process> Volume, and move the slider bar up or down to alter the volume of the selection.  I still need to wrap my head around the different vocabulary, because "Take Volume Envelope Automation" seems unnecessarily complex for making a four second passage slightly louder.

I switched to Wavelab where I stumbled a bit over applying fade ins and outs and dropping markers for track separation.  It was getting quite late so I rendered the project as-is and performed the remaining tasks in SoundForge.  The end result is here:  https://archive.org/details/dirtfoot2015-10-16.matrix.flac16

Does anyone use a multi-track editor for the majority of their workflow?  I've always used r8brain, Trader's Little Helper (after FLAC FrontEnd became obsolete with 64-bit operating systems), and the Live Show Tagger/Foobar2000 after I finish in SoundForge.  I imagined that I would ditch SoundForge for whatever DAW I switch to, but maybe I'm just adding one more application to the front end of my workflow.

In Reaper hit V. click on the line to add points, drag these points to adjust volume in that section.

The main thing to understand, and it's the beauty of non-destructive editors like Reaper is that you aren't ever modifying your original file. The master is untouched. What you are doing is storing a list of changes that you want to make to the file/s. Then when you render, you create a new file with these changes.

Not only can you automate volume, you can automate pans, compressor settings and more. (have a singer's scream that's louder than everything else?Put a compressor on it, and automate the threshold so it only kicks in on the scream.)

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Offline voltronic

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 08:07:11 PM »
I played around with Reaper and Wavelab yesterday.  I was able to load two stereo sources (SBD + AUD) and get them aligned.  Applying the VST plug-in as part of chain of effects was different from what I'm used to (configure the plug-in and apply to the file creating a visibly obvious change to the wave form), but it worked in both programs.  I struggled a bit with a couple basic tasks - I suppose this is part of the learning curve.

I Googled and went through all the menus in Reaper but could not find a simple way to increase the volume of a short segment of audience participation in the AUD source.  Could they make it more confusing?  In SoundForge you click-drag to highlight the portion you want, go to Process> Volume, and move the slider bar up or down to alter the volume of the selection.  I still need to wrap my head around the different vocabulary, because "Take Volume Envelope Automation" seems unnecessarily complex for making a four second passage slightly louder.

I switched to Wavelab where I stumbled a bit over applying fade ins and outs and dropping markers for track separation.  It was getting quite late so I rendered the project as-is and performed the remaining tasks in SoundForge.  The end result is here:  https://archive.org/details/dirtfoot2015-10-16.matrix.flac16

Does anyone use a multi-track editor for the majority of their workflow?  I've always used r8brain, Trader's Little Helper (after FLAC FrontEnd became obsolete with 64-bit operating systems), and the Live Show Tagger/Foobar2000 after I finish in SoundForge.  I imagined that I would ditch SoundForge for whatever DAW I switch to, but maybe I'm just adding one more application to the front end of my workflow.

You can't use the same procedures for Reaper and Wavelab because they are two different kinds of programs.  Wavelab is a wave editor meant for editing mono or stereo tracks, whereas Reaper is a full-out multitrack DAW.

If you were to make a time selection in Reaper and then ask it to do a gain change or anything else to that selected area, it would do that to all of the tracks which have any content at that time, be they 1 or 100.

Using volume envelopes as Scoobie recommends is, IMO, simply the correct way to do this.  It also allows you to get very precise with points, curves, etc. and is very similar to how video effect automation is done in multitrack NLE video software.  You are changing the track volume for that track only, whereas in Wavelab you are changing the volume of the entire project at that time selection.

That said, there is another way to adjust the volume of an isolated section a bit more similar to what you did in Wavelab (but again, it's not worth comparing the two programs).  Every Item in Reaper has it's own adjustments,

1. Mark the beginning and end of the section you want to adjust.
2. Position the cursor at the first marker and hit ALT+Z to split at a zero crossing.*  Do the same at the end marker.
3. You now have a separate "item" to play with.  Hover your mouse over the top edge of the item and you'll get a double-headed arrow.  Drag up or down to adjust the gain of that item.
4. If you right-click the item and select "Item Properties" a window with many more options will appear.
5. When you're done adjusting that item, Shift+Click to select the item you edited and the items before and after, right-click and select "Glue Items".

*ALT+Z is different than the regular "S" split, which does an auto fade in/out by default and will cause you to hear a little pop at your edit point as the volume will go down to zero and then right back up again.  This would remain even when you "Glue" the items back together later.  ALT+Z (split at zero crossing) avoids this.  Know that by doing the split this way, it may not be exactly where you dropped your marker, but will be at the nearest zero crossing in the waveform.

Note that by using this method, you still may hear the edit points.  If you use the Track Volume envelope, there's no edit points to be audible. ;D


The only other way to do this and not hear the edits would be to follow the above steps, through Step 4, and then:

5. Drag your volume-edited item straight down and it will pop into a new track.
6. Hover over the left edge to get a double-horizontal arrow.  Drag left a little bit to extend the track out a second or so earlier.  Do the same on the right side.
7. Drag that item straight up back to where it used to be.  It will automatically crossfade the overlapping sections.
8. Make sure to "Glue" the items back together so you can move everything around later if need be.  Or leave them as separate items to tweak your level adjustments, crossfades, etc.

See screenshots below to see what this looks like.  (The reason the waveforms show "offline" is because I'm using an ASIO audio driver which takes the source tracks offline when the application loses focus - in this case when I'm taking screenshots.)
While the two procedures I've described will certainly work for you, I hope you see that just clicking V and putting some points in to adjust the volume is fairly quick and easy.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 08:13:37 PM by voltronic »
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 04:54:36 PM »

 "Wavelab is a wave editor meant for editing mono or stereo tracks"

^ That's not really true. You can edit and mix as many tracks as you like in the Wavelab Montage VERY easily. I do it all the time.

You are correct in saying that it's an apples and oranges comparison. Reaper is more geared towards mixing and Wavelab is more geared towards mastering.

I don't know if you have used Wavelab much but what you say about gain changing "whereas in Wavelab you are changing the volume of the entire project at that time selection" is just not correct. You can highlight any section of any track (or any entire track, or multiple tracks) with your mouse and only process that portion you selected.

Scott - I use Wavelab for everything up to track splits which I still do in CD Wave Editor. One weird thing is that the volume envelope tool is in the Montage feature.
The gain tools I use most are under Process > Change Level > Find peak level > adjust to suit. You can select any part of the waveform and apply any amount of +/- gain in the pop up window. I sometimes use this to zoom in and knock down a few peaks instead of opening it up in the Montage to use the volume envelope tool and use it instead of normalize to get to -.5 dB before adding some Waves L3.

Hit me up via PM or just ask here in this thread if you need a few pointers on editing functions. If you are used to Soundforge you should be able to wrap your head around Wavelab pretty quickly.
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2016, 05:39:55 PM »
I also use WaveLab v6.11 for doing my 4 channel matrixes, and as goodcooker stated, you can do as many tracks as you want with the "Audio Montage" windows! I just like using WL 6.11 to do the mastering and multitracking, because I can then Dither/Resample with WL once I'm done with my multi-Channel mix, instead of having to switch programs again! I like being able to just use ONE program for my mastering and multitrack stuff and I use WL for ALL mastering and multi-track mixing, and then CD Wave to track and for cue sheets, and then Traders Little Helper to FLAC/make ckecksums, and then MP3Tag to tag my FLACs/MP3s

I have never used Reaper so I cant comment on it, but it sounds like its geared more towards the multi-track mixing part of the game, vs WL being geared more towards the mastering part of the game. That said, I'm used to WL and have been using it for well over a decade already, so I am very used to it by now! I also have SF 10.0a and sometimes use it just for the iZotope 64Bit SRC Resampler[since I cant find it for WL?!?!], but I normally use WL 6 to dither/resample with WL's Crystal Resampler and iZotope's MBIT+ Dither once I have rendered my Multi-Track mix in the Audio Montage!
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Offline voltronic

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2016, 05:43:35 PM »

 "Wavelab is a wave editor meant for editing mono or stereo tracks"

^ That's not really true. You can edit and mix as many tracks as you like in the Wavelab Montage VERY easily. I do it all the time.

You are correct in saying that it's an apples and oranges comparison. Reaper is more geared towards mixing and Wavelab is more geared towards mastering.

I don't know if you have used Wavelab much but what you say about gain changing "whereas in Wavelab you are changing the volume of the entire project at that time selection" is just not correct. You can highlight any section of any track (or any entire track, or multiple tracks) with your mouse and only process that portion you selected.

Scott - I use Wavelab for everything up to track splits which I still do in CD Wave Editor. One weird thing is that the volume envelope tool is in the Montage feature.
The gain tools I use most are under Process > Change Level > Find peak level > adjust to suit. You can select any part of the waveform and apply any amount of +/- gain in the pop up window. I sometimes use this to zoom in and knock down a few peaks instead of opening it up in the Montage to use the volume envelope tool and use it instead of normalize to get to -.5 dB before adding some Waves L3.

Hit me up via PM or just ask here in this thread if you need a few pointers on editing functions. If you are used to Soundforge you should be able to wrap your head around Wavelab pretty quickly.

Yeah, you're right and I was off base.  I was completely thinking of Sound Forge when I wrote that post!  Whoops.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2016, 12:03:18 PM »
Reaper is a great program, but there is a learning curve.  I found Kenny Gioia's tutorial videos at Groove3  very helpful and a time saver in learning the program.

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2016, 01:21:59 PM »
Has anyone come across a good ANDROID multitrack?

N-track has been around forever...but I can't find much feedback on their Android app...

http://en.ntrack.com/android-multitrack-studio.php
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2016, 09:25:03 PM »


In Reaper hit V. click on the line to add points, drag these points to adjust volume in that section.

The main thing to understand, and it's the beauty of non-destructive editors like Reaper is that you aren't ever modifying your original file. The master is untouched. What you are doing is storing a list of changes that you want to make to the file/s. Then when you render, you create a new file with these changes.

Not only can you automate volume, you can automate pans, compressor settings and more. (have a singer's scream that's louder than everything else?Put a compressor on it, and automate the threshold so it only kicks in on the scream.)


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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: What multi-track software are you using?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2016, 09:42:54 PM »
Ok, this will possibly sound like a stupid question because my mixing & editing  is not as advanced as you all.

So the question is I have 4-6 tracks recorded obviously and I want to bring them all together in one program, but each mic may or may not have picked up something I want to get rid of. Is there a way to repair all the tracks or select what I wish to work on.

Most of my work when I edit is cut & trim to take beginning dialog and end dialog out. Usually one set of mics may get overloaded so I work only on that track(s) But sometimes I need to clean up all of them at once. Like if I'm at a location or major event and there is another event going on next door. So I may pick up some muffled chatter. That being said, sometimes one mic picks it up more that the others & so forth. But I have found that if I just use a cutoff filter it thins out the gongs sound. So in past (which takes much longer) I clean up the worst tracks 1st, working my way to the better ones next then blend them in & clean up afterwards.

This can take hours upon hours.   :banging head:

Some audience is fine but talking or laughing really ruins the piece especially if from elsewhere leaking in.

So the questions are: do you combine & then repair or work separately. My ole' skool mind is still stuck in razor blades & block land (yes I still know how to do that). :smash:

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« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 11:09:42 PM by SacredMetal »
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