REAPER

Computer Music - - Make Music Now -

01

There’s only one type of track in Reaper: any track can han­dle MIDI or au­dio clips, or video, or even all at once! A stan­dard track can be con­fig­ured as an ef­fects send, a sub­group, or even a VCA mas­ter. It can han­dle mul­ti­chan­nel au­dio, or com­plex sidechain­ing set­ups, or par­al­lel pro­cess­ing chains.

02

You can route any­thing to al­most any­where in Reaper. Click­ing the rout­ing but­ton for a track shows a list of cur­rent sends and re­ceives, and al­lows you to cre­ate more. But it’s of­ten eas­ier to just drag the rout­ing but­ton from the source track to the des­ti­na­tion, then con­fig­ure it via the popup. The de­fault post-fade setup is ideal for ef­fects sends.

03

Reaper’s ap­proach to sub­groups is great: sim­ply drag a se­lec­tion of tracks onto a blank track to cre­ate a folder, which is also a sub­group. Fold­ers can be nested, so top and bot­tom rack tom mics could be com­bined in a ‘rack tom’ folder, in­side a global ‘toms’ folder, which is in turn con­tained within a ‘drum kit’ folder.

04

Mid/side set­ups can be con­verted into stereo with no need for any plug­ins: drag both Mid and Side tracks into a Stereo folder track. Then untick Mas­ter Send in the rout­ing win­dow for the side track, and add two sends to the stereo track: one to chan­nel 1, and the other to chan­nel 2 with the polarity in­verted.

05

If you like to work with VCA-style fader be­hav­iour, se­lect all the tracks you wish to con­trol, then right-click and choose Track Group­ing. Pick a group you haven’t used yet at the top, and op­tion­ally name it. Then tick VCA Slave be­low. Now cre­ate a new track, open the group­ing op­tions for that track, pick the same group, and tick VCA Mas­ter.

06

Track group­ing can be used for a lot of other pur­poses. Try se­lect­ing all your drum kit in­put tracks, and tick­ing both Record Arm Mas­ter and Record Arm Slave. Now arm­ing any one of your drum kit tracks will arm them all, so you won’t ever re­alise you for­got to record the ride chan­nel half­way through a take!

07

If you’re part­way through a take and you no­tice that a track is not armed when it should be, don’t panic: sim­ply arm the track in ques­tion, and it will pick up record­ing from that point along with all the oth­ers. With a bit of luck, the band will never know!

08

Solo In Front is an awe­some fea­ture, which you can en­able from the op­tions menu: now solo­ing a track just turns down the rest of the mix in­stead of mut­ing it com­pletely. This is great for edit­ing, when you need to hear sub­tle de­tails, but still need some con­text to hear if the part is in tune or in time.

09

…you can take this fur­ther by open­ing the Ac­tions list and search­ing Solo In Front Dim. This pa­ram­e­ter sets the amount of at­ten­u­a­tion ap­plied to tracks that aren’t soloed, and it can be linked to a MIDI con­troller, so you can as­sign a hard­ware knob to ride the mix up and down be­hind your soloed tracks, like on a large for­mat con­sole.

10

Ac­tions are key to Reaper’s enor­mous power and flex­i­bil­ity, and you’ll need to get com­fort­able with them if you want to be­come a true power user…

1 The Ac­tions list, avail­able from the

Ac­tions menu, lists ev­ery func­tion Reaper is ca­pa­ble of, and its search func­tion is in­dis­pens­able! Ac­tions can be as­signed to hot-keys, MIDI con­trollers, or com­bined into com­plex Cus­tom Ac­tions which can then be used just like the nor­mal Ac­tions.

2 From the Op­tions menu, choose

Cus­tomise menus/tool­bars, then click the drop­down at the top to choose any menus, con­text menu or tool­bar, and cus­tomise the con­tent. You can delete, re­name or add func­tions from the Ac­tions list.

3 Your cus­tomised tool­bars can be em­bed­ded in the ar­range page, in the MIDI ed­i­tor, docked in a tabbed docker, or can float freely in their own win­dow. Spend­ing a lit­tle time cus­tomis­ing Reaper to suit your own work­flow can pay div­i­dends in speed and ef­fi­ciency.

Use MIDI to con­trol how much a non-soloed track is dimmed when us­ing Reaper’s Solo In Front fea­ture

In Reaper, sub­groups and fold­ers are the same thing

En­code or de­code mid/side just with chan­nel rout­ing

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