Academy Dashboard Forum Studio DAWs Reaper Fader automation in Reaper using Parameter Modulation (Like Wave's Vocal Rider)

  • This topic has 25 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Alan Craig.
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  • #8599
    Mark Warner
    Participant

      I have been working on creating the equivalent of the Waves Vocal Rider plugin since seeing its use in Warren's videos and subsequently finding out it is $249 to buy. So I have worked on a way to do the same in Reaper at no cost, just using the "JS Utility Volume/pan" and a Reaper feature called "Parameter Modulation". If you do not know what this is yet, it is the ability for Reaper to automate and record parameter control information. In this instance like riding a fader and recording those movements but we are going to generate this automatically and save the time usual spent manually manipulating the volume automation.

      1. Pick the track for rider automation such as a vocal track. Click the FX button (In Green in my image below) and add the JS Utility Volume/pan to the FX chain. If you already have FX on this vocal move it to the top of the chain.

      2. Click on the little automation icon to the left of the word "Trim". This will open the automation envelope for the selected track. From the list of available parameters look for the JS Utility Volume/pan section and check the box next to "Volume db". This will open the track automation area and put it below the selected track.

      3. Go back the FX chain list and select the JS Utility Volume/pan effect. At the top is a menu option labelled "Param", click on this and choose "FX parameter list" and then "Parameter Modulation" and finally "Volume db". This will open the parameter modulation window. The "Enable Parameter Modulation Bassline" check box should be checked by default but if not then check it.

      4. In the parameter modulation window now check the "Audio control signal" check box. This will add some more options underneath.

      5. At this point I can only give you a rough idea of a starting point as the values needed will depend upon your signal strength/volume going into the utility.
      Attack 1ms
      Release 1ms
      I want the automation to respond as quickly as possible to changes in volume so these work well

      I always forget to set the "Track Audio Channel" for the signal source that is controlling the automation. In this instance it is the same channel so choose 1 or 2 (1+2 is working in Stereo). You could also send a control signal from a totally difference channel by sending on 3 and 4 for example, this allows side chain control of any Reaper parameter or plugin parameter to be setup, automated and/or recorded.

      Play a section of the vocal and look at the meter. Try to see what the lowest value is and what the highest value might be. I set my example in the image below at min = -16db and Max = -8db but you will need to work out what is best for you. As far as I can tell these two values are similar to the range values in Wave's Vocal Rider.

      The "Enable parameter bassline" slider at the very top is similar to Waves resting point parameter in that it will set a point at which the utility will return to when no signal is present or the signal falls below the minimum range/threshold. I move this up (to the right) by +2db for reasons I will explain later.

      The "Strength" parameter controls how much modulation is applied. 100% is way to much and a bass point of 10% is a good starting place but in my example I ended up on 6%. This is connected with the +2db rise on the "Enabale Parameter Bassline" slider. In order to ensure the modulation does not sound pumpy and feels natural, I have set a limit on the modulation for my own example between peaks and troughs of no more than +/-1.5 db and on average around +/-1 db difference.

      The last parameter is the choice of Negative, Centered and Positive. This is where this example departs (I think) from how the Waves plugin works. We need to choose "Negative" so check that box. Negative will pull down the volume as the volume increases whereas Positive increase the volume (the opposite of what we are trying to do). FYI Centered seems to be similar to positive but with a different bassline). So with the choice of Negative selected the volume will be pulled down from the bassline, hence my increase by +2db on the bassline slider to compensate for volume reduction of 1 to 1.5 db. Remember though the signal will only rest at +2db at such time there is no signal present so in reality the plus 2 db increase will not be heard and the output of the modulation should be quite similar to the input, only smoother.

      6. Writing the automation - From the automation menu (click on the automation icon to the left of the word "trim" to open the Envelopes window again). Near the top there is a drop down menu to the right of "Automation Mode" the default is "trim/Read". From this menu select "Write". Set your cue mark to the position you want to write automation from and press "Play" (record is not required) and when you have finished remember to change the Automation Mode back to "Trim/Read" otherwise you will continue to overwrite the automation. If you need to change any setting then keep it on "Write" until you are happy with the automation. Changing values and pressing play again will overwrite until you change back to "Read/trim". Also note that the write operation can be suspended by clicking the cicular "Arm" automation button on the automation lane. It changes the slider colour to indicate if it is selected or not.

      I hope what I have written makes sense. If not then send me your questions below and I will do my best to answer them.

      Cheers - Mark

      #8610
      Steve A
      Participant

        Brilliant! I use Reaper once in a while, so I can't wait to try this out... Thanks Mark!

        #9754
        Fernando Franco
        Participant

          Awesome!

          #9832
          Arthur Labus
          Moderator

            Hi Mark !
            As always great stuff and i am promise to hold me back with Cubase tutorials ๐Ÿ™‚

            It works !

            The only small "issues" : that JS stuff is renamed to "JS Volume/Pan Smoother" (i've used v5) and "bassline" mean "baseline". Just a peak at your screenshot help to find it out ๐Ÿ™‚

            Will try it on lead guitar as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

            Thank you very much Mark !

            #9836
            Arthur Labus
            Moderator

              How to h...., you know about that +2dB on slider right above โ€œEnable parameter baselineโ€ ? There is no scale or even counter or anything else ?!

              UPDATE: i see it now - if you move that slider, the value appears in parent window in "Volume (dB)" Slider.

              Meanwhile, i am having a copy of that JS script as "Microautomation", but have no clue how to change the start settings. Any ideas ? Anyone understanding the JS script ? Or where to find the "Paramater modulation" as stand alone script ? Or even just save the complete settings ?

              • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Arthur Labus.
              #9865
              Mark Warner
              Participant

                Yes you got it Arthur, I should have made that clearer, sorry.

                At the top of the window is button with a + in it. Click that and it will allow you to save it as a preset. If you do this it will save the parameter mod settings as well.

                • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Mark Warner.
                #9869
                Arthur Labus
                Moderator

                  Doesn't matter, it works !

                  However, if i save it as preset, al that "deeper" parameter stuff is not a part of preset settings.
                  If you remove that effect and insert it again - all parameters are lost.
                  Use latest Raper version on Windows 7 PC.

                  #9870
                  Mark Warner
                  Participant

                    Hi Arthur,
                    You can aslo edit the Jesusonic (JS) plugins and change the defaults in the Javascript. This Sound on Sound artical is a good place to start.
                    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb13/articles/reaper-0213.htm

                    #9874
                    Arthur Labus
                    Moderator

                      OK, back in few months ... ๐Ÿ˜‰

                      #9875
                      Mark Warner
                      Participant

                        I'll have a look at how to do it tomorrow. If I can work it out I will post details here. I have been intending to look at JavaScript in Reaper for a while so this is a good reason for me to have a go ๐Ÿ™‚

                        • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Mark Warner.
                        #9877
                        Arthur Labus
                        Moderator

                          I am sure we'll find it out ๐Ÿ™‚

                          #9914
                          Mark Warner
                          Participant

                            Hmmm. I don't think it can be done Arthur. The Parameter Modulation code lies outside of the JS Plugin scripts. The only default I can set is the +2db value. If you click "Edit" top right of the plugin window you get the Java edit screen. Under the text is the slider instantiations. The top one is written as Slider0:0<... change the second 0 to a 2 and then press ctrl + S and that will save and recompile the script. This means every time you open JS Volume_pan Volume will always be +2db. I think the parameter modulation code must be inside Reaper itself and not in the plugin, which would make sense as it is common to all the Plugins. So if you altered it every time you open PM for other plugins you would also get the default settings which may not be desirable.

                            • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Mark Warner.
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