Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

Up and Running:

A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

Version 5.03

September 2015

This guide will be updated regularly as the software itself is further improved and developed.

Check for updates and other information at

http://www.cockos.com/reaper/

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This document has been produced, compiled and rendered to PDF format using the wonderful LibreOffice Writer software.

For more information about LibreOffice go to

http://www.libreoffice.org

How to Use This Guide

REAPER is a sophisticated program and there is no single obvious or easy way or order to present all of the information contained in this guide. If you need more information about any topic than appears on any particular page, try searching! The PDF edition is bookmarked, and your PDF reader includes a Find feature on its toolbar. Also, both the PDF and printed editions feature a comprehensive index. Use it!

For a spiral-bound hard copy of this User Guide for about $30 go to LULU.com

1

Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

ReaRead

:

REAPER books and training manuals printed and bound are now available from

http://stores.lulu.com/spotlight/glazfolk

REAPER 4 Unleashed: Unlock Your Inner REAPER!

“REAPER Unleashed” picks up where "Up and Running".leaves off.

This book lifts the lid off REAPER's most powerful features, including custom actions, menus and toolbars,

FX chains, screensets, snapshots, templates, mouse modifiers and more. Many resources are supplied, including files with sample mouse modifiers, track templates, custom toolbars and much more.

Its sample work files and dozens of step by step tutorials will help you to understand how you can use these features in combination with each other to make REAPER behave for you the way you want it to.

Will it teach you everything that you could possibly ever want to know about REAPER? Most definitely not.

But will it help you unlock the creativity inside you to help you get the very best out of this program for yourself? Most certainly, yes!

Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide

The essential and definitive guide to recording, editing and mixing with REAPER. Now fully updated for version 4.0. Includes sample project files and step by step examples to help you learn how to use the many features of REAPER.

Includes special sections on key REAPER features such as routing and audio channel splitting, as well as numerous examples of how to use and apply many of the supplied FX plug-ins.

" Up and Running is not only a comprehensive guide to using REAPER, it's also full of an amazing amount of information on audio recording and engineering. I simply cannot recommend it enough!" -

Justin Frankel (COCKOS Inc and REAPER Developer).

ReaMix: Breaking the Barriers with REAPER

This book does much more than just teach you how to use basic tools (such as volume, panning, EQ, gates, compressors, delay, reverb etc.) to get an OK mix. It also guides you thru the relationships – some simple, some complex – that exist between the dimensions of sound and the dimensions of space. It guides you to use this knowledge to transform your OK mixes into great mixes.

Although not light on theory, it has a definite practical emphasis, with links to archives containing some 40 or so project files, with step by step examples to help you put your knowledge into practice.

"Wow! So much good stuff - from mindbending advanced techniques to solid sensible advice. This guide should have a positive effect on just about anybody interested in mixing (and especially those using REAPER)!" - Justin Frankel, Cockos Inc, developer of REAPER.

For a spiral-bound hard copy of this User Guide for about $30 go to LULU.com

2

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Foreword and Acknowledgements

REAPER isn’t just about software, and it isn’t just about making music. It’s about a whole lot more. REAPER is a whole entity. It represents the way music should be, the way the internet should be, the way computers should be, the way program development and licensing should be …. in fact, the way the world should be. It’s about collaboration and cooperation, and it is truly awesome.

This User Guide could not have been produced without the help of many in the REAPER community, and especially:

Malcolm Jacobson for his efforts in getting together the first REAPER manual. Art Evans for his technical advice and constructive input.

Mario Bianchi (aka Mabian) for his help with document formatting and layout and for his constructive suggestions and ideas. Also, a special “thank you” for comprehensively checking the document.

Simon Mullings for his suggestions and the patient hours spent on the tedious job of proof-reading.

Darkstar and musicbynumbers for too many helpful suggestions to mention!!

Bevan Fowke (aka Bevosss) for his advice and assistance with custom actions and macros.

Susan G for her assistance and advice, especially (but not exclusively) on MIDI matters.

Jason Brian Merrill for, amongst other things, review and comments.

Pipeline Audio for the original video tutorials. White Tie for awesome graphics. Xenakios, Jeffos and

SWS for their extension sets.

And, of course … Justin, Christophe, Schwa and Jeffos, for bringing us REAPER

So welcome to REAPER! This User Guide is intended to get you up and running in REAPER, and to help you understand better how the program works, so that ultimately you will better be able to help yourself.

If you are new to the world of digital audio, you’ll find that there is more than enough information in here to get you

“up and running”. You’ll probably find that some sections contain information that you’ll find difficult to understand and which you might not need at first. You can just skip over those sections and come back to them when you’re ready. If, like me, you have come to REAPER with experience of other DAW software, you’ll find that it pays to go over even the most basic sections, to help you understand how REAPER is designed, and how it slots together. You’ll find yourself asking, “Why can’t they all be like this?” You should also find plenty more to interest you.

It is not intended to be (and nor will it ever be) a 100% reference manual covering every single aspect and detail of

REAPER. I’ve tried to approach the topics in what seems a fairly sensible order, introducing items pretty much on a

“need to know” basis. In doing so, I’ve been as careful as I can be to ensure its contents are clear and accurate, but cannot accept any responsibility for any errors or problems you may encounter in applying it to your work.

REAPER Web Resources

The REAPER project is a live, dynamic and ongoing one. Be sure to check these web sites often: http://www.cockos.com/reaper/ http://www.cockos.com/reaper/download.php

http://www.cockos.com/reaper/about.php

http://www.cockos.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=20 http://www.cockos.com/wiki/

The REAPER Home Page

The REAPER Downloads Page

REAPER Features summary

The REAPER Forums

The REAPER Wiki

Sample Project Files

These are available for download from http://www.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/REAPER_User_Guide

Note that the links are case sensitive. The media files are in .MP3 format. Some of the examples outlined in this book require recording further tracks in MP3 format. In order to be able to do this, you will need to have an

MP3 encoder installed in your REAPER program directory. The encoder file can be downloaded from a number of locations, including http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Lame_Encoder.htm

Be sure to select the correct file for your system. For example, for 32 bit Windows this will be lame_enc.dll.

After downloading the file, simply copy it into your REAPER program folder. Start REAPER, then open the sample project file and play it. If you hear no sound, you should check the routing settings for your Master Track and make sure that output is correctly directed to your sound device.

For a spiral-bound hard copy of this User Guide for about $30 go to LULU.com

3

Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

What's New In This Edition ….

The table below summarizes the main feature changes introduced in REAPER 5.02 and 5.03. It may also includes some existing features that were previously not documented.

In addition to these, there are various bug fixes and performance enhancements. For a comprehensive list of all changes, choose Help, Changelog from REAPER's main menu bar, or choose Options, Show REAPER

resource path... and double-click on the file whatsnew.txt to open it.

Changes in 5.02/5.03

Setting project start time (slight change to method).

SoundTouch updated to v 1.9.0.

Track manager: track list can now be sorted by custom track color.

More information about bridging VST plug-ins.

Media, MIDI preferences: MIDI text events can be exported in Latin-1, UTF-8 or

ASCII (7 bit) format.

Where ...

Pages 34, 199

Page 175

Page 208

Page 303

Page 404

Note: With REAPER's rapid rate of development, this edition may not be 100% up to date. For a full list of new and recent features, choose the Help, Changelog command from the REAPER menu. To check for the latest versions of both REAPER and this User Guide, go to

http://www.cockos.com/reaper/download.php

For a spiral-bound hard copy of this User Guide for about $30 go to LULU.com

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Contents

1 Setting Up and Getting Started.................................................................................19

1.1 Downloading REAPER.............................................................................................................. 19

1.2 Installing REAPER on an OS X Mac...........................................................................................19

1.3 Installing REAPER on a Windows PC.........................................................................................19

1.4 The Install Options (Windows only)..........................................................................................20

1.5 Enabling MP3 Recording.......................................................................................................... 20

1.6 REAPER Software Updates....................................................................................................... 21

1.7 Starting REAPER..................................................................................................................... 21

1.8 REAPER Startup Tips............................................................................................................... 21

1.9 REAPER Selections, Controls and Commands.............................................................................21

1.10 The REAPER Screen.............................................................................................................. 22

1.11 The Track and Track Controls................................................................................................. 23

1.12 Setting Up For Audio ............................................................................................................ 23

1.12.1 Setting Up For Audio (PC Windows).......................................................................................24

1.12.2 Setting Up For Audio (Mac OS X)...........................................................................................24

1.13 Input Aliasing....................................................................................................................... 25

1.14 Output Aliasing..................................................................................................................... 25

1.15 Setting Up For MIDI.............................................................................................................. 26

1.16 Enabling VST Plug-ins............................................................................................................ 27

1.17 REAPER’s Installed Folders and File Location............................................................................28

1.18 Localization and Language Packs............................................................................................ 30

1.19 Backing Up Settings.............................................................................................................. 30

1.20 Running REAPER on a Flash Drive..........................................................................................30

1.21 REAPER Start Menu Options (Windows only)...........................................................................31

1.22 REAPER File Types................................................................................................................. 32

1.23 Pops and Clicks..................................................................................................................... 32

1.24 Uninstalling REAPER.............................................................................................................. 32

2 REAPER Project Basics............................................................................................... 33

2.1 Section Overview.................................................................................................................... 33

2.2 Opening an Existing Project..................................................................................................... 33

2.3 Project Settings...................................................................................................................... 34

2.4 Directing Audio Output............................................................................................................ 35

2.5 The Transport Bar................................................................................................................... 36

2.6 The Big Clock......................................................................................................................... 37

2.7 Track Controls......................................................................................................................... 37

2.8 Pan Law and Pan Mode........................................................................................................... 38

2.9 Navigation and Zooming.......................................................................................................... 38

2.10 Keyboard Shortcut and Mouse Defaults...................................................................................39

2.11 Using the Navigator............................................................................................................... 40

2.12 Track FX Basics..................................................................................................................... 40

2.13 Using the Supplied FX Presets................................................................................................ 41

2.14 Controlling Track FX............................................................................................................... 42

2.15 Creating a Default FX Chain................................................................................................... 43

2.16 Using an FX Bus.................................................................................................................... 44

2.17 Analyzing FX Performance...................................................................................................... 46

2.18 Selections and Loops............................................................................................................. 47

2.19 Managing Time and Loop Selections.......................................................................................48

2.20 Navigating by Jumping.......................................................................................................... 49

2.21 Time and Loop Selections and the Transport Bar......................................................................49

2.22 Item Names, Buttons and Icons.............................................................................................50

2.23 REAPER Routing Essentials..................................................................................................... 50

2.24 The Routing Matrix................................................................................................................ 51

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Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

2.25 Docking and Floating............................................................................................................. 52

2.26 The Undo History Window...................................................................................................... 53

2.27 Keeping a Window on Top...................................................................................................... 53

2.28 Multiple Project Tabs............................................................................................................. 54

2.29 Opening Multiple Project Tabs Together...................................................................................54

2.30 Managing the Play Cursor......................................................................................................54

3 Recording Audio and MIDI........................................................................................55

3.1 Creating a New Project............................................................................................................ 55

3.2 Setting Media Project Options..................................................................................................56

3.3 Saving the Project File............................................................................................................. 56

3.4 Creating and Naming Tracks.................................................................................................... 57

3.5 To Prepare and Record One Track............................................................................................. 57

3.6 To Prepare and Record Multiple Tracks......................................................................................58

3.7 Auto Arming Tracks................................................................................................................. 59

3.8 Using the Metronome.............................................................................................................. 59

3.9 Recording Stereo Tracks.......................................................................................................... 60

3.10 Multi-Channel Recording........................................................................................................ 60

3.11 Track Templates.................................................................................................................... 61

3.12 Importing an Existing Project.................................................................................................61

3.13 Project Templates.................................................................................................................. 61

3.14 Layered Recording................................................................................................................. 62

3.15 Overdubbing and Punch Recording.........................................................................................63

3.16 Non-Destructive Punch Recording........................................................................................... 63

3.17 Destructive Punch Recording..................................................................................................64

3.18 Fades and Crossfades............................................................................................................ 64

3.19 Recording Multiple Takes........................................................................................................ 64

3.20 Showing Takes in Lanes......................................................................................................... 65

3.21 Using Color Coded Takes........................................................................................................ 65

3.22 Working With Multiple Takes..................................................................................................66

3.23 Overlapping Items................................................................................................................. 66

3.24 Recording Multiple Additional Items........................................................................................67

3.25 Recording with Empty Events................................................................................................. 67

3.26 Recording with Input FX Plug-ins............................................................................................ 68

3.27 Preserve PDC Delayed Monitoring in Recorded Items................................................................68

3.28 Recording a Track’s Output..................................................................................................... 69

3.29 Recording FX Bus Output....................................................................................................... 69

3.30 Recording MIDI..................................................................................................................... 69

3.31 Other MIDI Recording Modes.................................................................................................71

3.32 Recording With a Virtual Instrument.......................................................................................71

3.33 Using Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth.................................................................................72

3.34 Looped Overdubbing and Looped Time Selection Recording......................................................72

3.35 Recording with External Hardware FX.....................................................................................73

3.36 Preference Settings for Recording...........................................................................................74

3.37 Track Preferences for Recording.............................................................................................75

3.38 Projects with Mixed Formats................................................................................................... 75

3.39 REAPER Audio Recording Checklist.......................................................................................... 76

3.40 Recording an Internet Audio Stream.......................................................................................76

3.41 Converting Audio Media Item Format......................................................................................77

3.42 Recording Live Windows Output.............................................................................................78

4 Importing Media: The Media Explorer.......................................................................79

4.1 Introduction and Overview....................................................................................................... 79

4.2 Searching the Media Explorer................................................................................................... 80

4.3 Media Item Preview................................................................................................................ 80

4.4 Inserting an Audio File as a New Take or Item...........................................................................81

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4.5 Creating and Using a Media Explorer Database..........................................................................82

4.6 Replacing an Item's Source Media............................................................................................83

4.7 Importing MIDI Files............................................................................................................... 84

4.8 Importing Media from Audio CD............................................................................................... 84

4.9 Media File Import Formats....................................................................................................... 84

5 Project Arrangement Basics......................................................................................85

5.1 Managing Tracks..................................................................................................................... 85

5.2 Track Control Modifiers............................................................................................................ 86

5.3 Solo In Front.......................................................................................................................... 87

5.4 Auto-Naming Multiple Tracks.................................................................................................... 87

5.5 Searching the Preferences Settings........................................................................................... 87

5.6 Track Colors............................................................................................................................ 88

5.7 Color Themes......................................................................................................................... 89

5.8 Track Icons............................................................................................................................. 89

5.9 Track Layouts......................................................................................................................... 90

5.10 Headphone Monitoring.......................................................................................................... 90

5.11 Creating a Headphone Mix..................................................................................................... 91

5.12 Displaying Grid Lines............................................................................................................. 92

5.13 Understanding Sends, Buses, Submixes and Folders.................................................................93

5.14 Track Folder Essentials........................................................................................................... 94

5.14.1 Drag and Drop Folder Management........................................................................................95

5.14.2 Nested Folders.....................................................................................................................96

5.15 Track and Track Parameter Grouping.......................................................................................97

5.15.1 Basic Track Grouping............................................................................................................97

5.15.2 Track Grouping Matrix Basic Controls......................................................................................99

5.15.3 Track Grouping Indicators.....................................................................................................99

5.15.4 Master and Slave Group Relationships....................................................................................99

5.15.5 Track Grouping Window........................................................................................................100

5.15.6 Track Grouping Window Basic Controls...................................................................................102

5.16 VU Meters on Multichannel Tracks........................................................................................... 102

5.17 VCA Grouping....................................................................................................................... 103

5.18 Audio Jogging and Scrubbing................................................................................................. 107

5.19 Default Toolbar Summary....................................................................................................... 108

6 Managing Track FX..................................................................................................109

6.1 Grouping FX in Folders............................................................................................................ 109

6.2 Backing Up FX Chains and FX Presets.......................................................................................110

6.3 Filtering Track FX.................................................................................................................... 110

6.4 FX Browser Options................................................................................................................. 110

6.5 Replacing One FX With Another................................................................................................ 111

6.6 Copying Track FX.................................................................................................................... 111

6.7 FX Quick Display..................................................................................................................... 112

6.8 Moving Track FX...................................................................................................................... 112

6.9 Managing FX Parameters......................................................................................................... 112

6.10 Changing the Default FX Name............................................................................................... 113

6.11 Renaming Track FX Instances................................................................................................. 113

6.12 Using Default FX Parameter Settings.......................................................................................113

6.13 Hardware Output FX Monitoring.............................................................................................113

6.14 Optimizing FX Performance.................................................................................................... 114

6.15 FX Notes and Comments........................................................................................................ 114

6.16 Wet/Dry Mix and Bypass........................................................................................................ 114

6.17 Plug-in Delay Compensation................................................................................................... 115

6.18 Opening a File in Recovery Mode............................................................................................ 115

6.19 Stem Rendering.................................................................................................................... 115

6.20 Rendering a Group of Tracks to a Single Track.........................................................................116

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Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

6.21 Freezing and Unfreezing Tracks.............................................................................................. 116

6.22 Vertical/Horizontal FX Tree Display..........................................................................................118

6.23 Adding FX Comments............................................................................................................ 118

6.24 Installing Extra JS Plug-ins..................................................................................................... 118

6.25 Track Templates Revisited...................................................................................................... 118

6.26 ReaEffects User Guide Supplement.........................................................................................118

6.27 Drag and Drop from FX Browser............................................................................................. 119

6.28 Audio Signal Flow Chart: Master Track....................................................................................119

6.29 Audio Signal Flow Chart: Tracks and Folders............................................................................120

7 Editing Tracks and Items.........................................................................................121

7.1 Using an External Editor.......................................................................................................... 121

7.2 Editing Items in REAPER.......................................................................................................... 121

7.3 REAPER's Smart Editing........................................................................................................... 122

7.4 Standard Windows Editing....................................................................................................... 123

7.5 Editing Behavior Preferences.................................................................................................... 125

7.6 Separating Loop Selection From Time Selection.........................................................................125

7.7 Snapping with Combined Snap/Grid Settings.............................................................................126

7.8 Snapping with Separate Snap and Grid Settings.........................................................................126

7.9 Trim Behind When Editing........................................................................................................ 127

7.10 Item Take FX........................................................................................................................ 127

7.11 The Nudge/Set Items Window................................................................................................129

7.12 Media Item Properties............................................................................................................ 130

7.13 Media Item Icons.................................................................................................................. 131

7.14 Item Notes........................................................................................................................... 131

7.15 Coloring Individual Items....................................................................................................... 132

7.16 Adjusting Item Volume........................................................................................................... 132

7.16.1 The Item Volume Knob/Item Volume Handle...........................................................................132

7.16.2 The Volume and Pan Faders..................................................................................................133

7.16.3 Normalizing Items................................................................................................................133

7.17 Changing Item Channel Mode................................................................................................. 133

7.18 Take Source Properties........................................................................................................... 134

7.19 REAPER Editing and Auditioning Example................................................................................134

7.20 Editing Multiple Media Items................................................................................................... 136

7.21 Slip Editing........................................................................................................................... 137

7.22 Adjusting Fades..................................................................................................................... 137

7.23 Crossfades and the Crossfade Editor.......................................................................................138

7.24 Crop Project to Selection........................................................................................................ 140

7.25 Grouping Items..................................................................................................................... 141

7.26 Storing and Recalling Item Groups..........................................................................................142

7.27 Glue Selected Items............................................................................................................... 142

7.28 Creating and Copying Items in Pencil Mode.............................................................................143

7.29 Propagating Items................................................................................................................. 144

7.30 Insert Space in Selection........................................................................................................ 145

7.31 Ripple Editing........................................................................................................................ 145

7.32 Trim to Selected Area............................................................................................................. 146

7.33 Free Item Positioning............................................................................................................. 146

7.34 Mouse Modifiers.................................................................................................................... 147

7.35 Dynamic Splitting - Remove Silent Passages............................................................................149

7.36 SWS Extensions.................................................................................................................... 150

8 Arranging, Comping and Editing Takes...................................................................151

8.1 Using Item FX with Individual Takes.........................................................................................151

8.2 Exploding Takes to Multiple Tracks............................................................................................151

8.3 Crossfades with Takes............................................................................................................. 152

8.4 Exploding Takes in Place.......................................................................................................... 152

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8.5 Play All Takes.......................................................................................................................... 152

8.6 Editing and Comping Multiple Takes.......................................................................................... 153

8.7 More Take Commands and Actions...........................................................................................156

8.8 Managing Comps with the Project Bay......................................................................................157

8.9 Propagating Takes................................................................................................................... 158

9 Loops, Markers and Regions....................................................................................159

9.1 Creating Loops........................................................................................................................ 159

9.2 Creating and Navigating with Markers.......................................................................................160

9.3 Time Selection Start/End Markers............................................................................................. 161

9.4 Snapping to Markers............................................................................................................... 161

9.5 Removing Markers.................................................................................................................. 162

9.6 Marker Actions........................................................................................................................ 162

9.7 Creating and Using Regions..................................................................................................... 163

9.8 The Region Manager............................................................................................................... 164

9.9 Project Building with Regions................................................................................................... 165

9.10 Changing the Project Timebase.............................................................................................. 165

9.11 Markers and Media Cues........................................................................................................ 165

9.12 Tempo Based Music Production..............................................................................................166

9.12.1 Time Based Music Basics.......................................................................................................166

9.13 Project Settings..................................................................................................................... 167

9.13.1 Audio Media Item Properties.................................................................................................168

9.13.2 Creating a Loop from a Time Selection...................................................................................168

9.13.3 Creating a Loop from Transients............................................................................................168

9.13.4 Transient Detection Settings..................................................................................................169

9.13.5 Beat Correction....................................................................................................................169

9.13.6 Quantizing Items..................................................................................................................170

9.14 Dynamic Splitting.................................................................................................................. 170

9.14.1 Splitting a Media Item into Samples.......................................................................................171

9.14.2 Changing the Project Tempo..................................................................................................172

9.14.3 Creating a Chromatic MIDI Item............................................................................................173

9.14.4 Saving and Using Samples....................................................................................................174

9.15 REX File Support................................................................................................................... 174

10 Pitch and Time Manipulation.................................................................................175

10.1 Changing Pitch for Individual Media Items...............................................................................175

10.2 Using ReaPitch...................................................................................................................... 176

10.3 Using ReaPitch with Multiple Tracks........................................................................................177

10.4 Instrument Tuning with ReaTune............................................................................................ 177

10.5 Pitch Correction with ReaTune................................................................................................ 178

10.6 Changing the Project Play Rate............................................................................................... 178

10.7 Time Stretching..................................................................................................................... 179

10.8 Stretch Markers..................................................................................................................... 180

10.9 Using Time Signature/Tempo Change Markers.........................................................................182

11 The Mixer and Master............................................................................................183

11.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 183

11.2 Mixer Commands.................................................................................................................. 183

11.3 Mixer Layouts and Screensets................................................................................................183

11.4 Mixer Menu Commands and Options.......................................................................................184

11.5 Showing and Hiding Types of Mixer Tracks..............................................................................185

11.6 Working with FX in the Mixer.................................................................................................. 185

11.7 Working with Sends in the Mixer............................................................................................. 188

11.8 Showing Track Icons in the Mixer............................................................................................ 189

11.9 Managing the Mixer............................................................................................................... 189

11.10 Track Control Menus............................................................................................................ 191

11.11 Introducing Windows Screen Sets.........................................................................................192

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Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

11.12 Mixer Appearance Preferences..............................................................................................193

11.13 Stereo and Dual Panning...................................................................................................... 194

11.14 Master Track Options and Settings........................................................................................196

11.15 Master Hardware Outputs....................................................................................................196

11.16 Master Track Channels......................................................................................................... 197

11.17 Avoiding Channel Leakage.................................................................................................... 198

11.18 Reset VU Meter Peaks.......................................................................................................... 198

12 Project Management Features...............................................................................199

12.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 199

12.2 Setting the Project Start Time................................................................................................ 199

12.3 Locking Media Items.............................................................................................................. 200

12.4 Locking Track Controls........................................................................................................... 200

12.5 Project Lock Settings............................................................................................................. 201

12.6 Customizing Colors and Fonts................................................................................................. 202

12.7 The Project Media/FX Bay...................................................................................................... 203

12.8 The Track Manager................................................................................................................ 207

12.9 Track View Screen Sets.......................................................................................................... 209

12.10 Windows Screensets............................................................................................................ 211

12.11 Auto Saving Screen Sets...................................................................................................... 212

12.12 Item Selection Sets.............................................................................................................. 212

12.13 Track, Mixer, Transport and Envelope Layouts.......................................................................213

12.14 Further FX Parameter Management.......................................................................................214

12.15 Track Control Panel and Menu Bar Help.................................................................................216

12.16 Using Multiple Dockers......................................................................................................... 216

12.17 Saving New Project Versions................................................................................................. 218

12.18 Multiple Project Backup Versions...........................................................................................218

12.19 Associating Rendered WAV Files with Source Project Files.......................................................218

13 Manipulating and Editing MIDI Items...................................................................219

13.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 219

13.2 Monitoring an External Synthesizer.........................................................................................219

13.3 Using Track Controls with MIDI..............................................................................................219

13.4 Controlling MIDI Data Sends.................................................................................................. 219

13.5 Configuring and Accessing the MIDI Editor..............................................................................220

13.6 The MIDI Editor Window........................................................................................................ 220

13.7 Control Change Messages...................................................................................................... 223

13.8 Control Channel Basics.......................................................................................................... 224

13.9 Working with MIDI Editor Lanes.............................................................................................225

13.9.1 Sysex Events........................................................................................................................225

13.9.2 Text Events..........................................................................................................................225

13.9.3 Bank/Program Select............................................................................................................225

13.10 MIDI CC Lanes: Tips & Tricks...............................................................................................226

13.10.1 General CC Lane Editing Techniques.....................................................................................226

13.10.2 Right Click Marquee Selection..............................................................................................226

13.10.3 Intelligent CC Lane Dropdown List........................................................................................227

13.10.4 14-bit CC Lanes and Actions................................................................................................227

13.10.5 Resizing CC Lane Height......................................................................................................227

13.11 Navigating the MIDI Editor Main Window..............................................................................227

13.12 Basic Note Selection and Manipulation..................................................................................227

13.13 Loop/Time Selections and Smart Editing................................................................................228

13.14 The MIDI Editor Menus........................................................................................................ 228

13.15 Note Creating and Editing....................................................................................................233

13.16 Using the Keyboard............................................................................................................. 234

13.17 Transposing Notes............................................................................................................... 235

13.18 General MIDI Program Patches.............................................................................................235

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13.19 MIDI Preview Scrub............................................................................................................. 235

13.20 MIDI Editor Modes and Views............................................................................................... 236

13.20.1 Note Modes.......................................................................................................................236

13.20.2 Note Styles........................................................................................................................237

13.21 Quantizing MIDI Data.......................................................................................................... 238

13.22 Input Quantization............................................................................................................... 239

13.23 Humanize Notes.................................................................................................................. 240

13.24 F3 - The Panic Button.......................................................................................................... 240

13.25 Using the MIDI Editor: a Basic Exercise.................................................................................240

13.26 Working with Multiple MIDI Tracks and/or Items (Overview)...................................................242

13.27 Managing Multiple MIDI Tracks and Items.............................................................................243

13.28 Editing Multiple MIDI Items.................................................................................................. 244

13.29 MIDI Editor Mouse Modifiers................................................................................................ 245

13.30 MIDI Editor Actions............................................................................................................. 246

13.31 In-Line MIDI Editing............................................................................................................ 247

13.32 Copying MIDI Items in Arrange View.....................................................................................248

13.33 Joining MIDI Items.............................................................................................................. 249

13.34 MIDI Preferences Settings.................................................................................................... 249

13.35 MIDI Output Direct to an External Synth...............................................................................250

13.36 Exporting Project MIDI......................................................................................................... 250

13.37 Feedback Routing with MIDI Tracks......................................................................................250

13.38 MIDI Routing, MIDI Buses and ReWire..................................................................................250

13.39 ReaControlMIDI................................................................................................................... 251

13.40 Some MIDI Plug-ins............................................................................................................. 252

13.41 MIDI Controlled Pitch Shift with ReaVoice..............................................................................252

13.42 JS: IX/MIDI_Router............................................................................................................. 254

13.43 Working with Piano Roll Synced to Project Arrange View.........................................................254

13.44 The Scale Finder................................................................................................................. 255

13.45 Sequencer Megababy........................................................................................................... 255

13.46 Using MIDI CC Messages to Control FX Presets......................................................................256

14 Customization: Actions, Mouse Modifiers, Menus and Toolbars............................259

14.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 259

14.2 REAPER Actions Essentials..................................................................................................... 259

14.3 The Action List Editor Environment.........................................................................................260

14.4 Creating a New Keyboard Shortcut.........................................................................................263

14.5 Removing an Existing Shortcut............................................................................................... 264

14.6 Changing an Existing Key Assignment.....................................................................................264

14.7 Examples of Possible Simple Keystroke Assignments.................................................................265

14.8 Keyboard Shortcuts for Recording........................................................................................... 265

14.9 Keyboard Shortcuts for the MIDI Editor...................................................................................266

14.10 Keyboard Shortcuts for the Media Explorer............................................................................266

14.11 Assigning Actions to the Mousewheel....................................................................................267

14.12 Exporting and Importing Keyboard Shortcuts.........................................................................267

14.13 Creating Custom Action Macros............................................................................................267

14.14 MIDI Editor Custom Macros.................................................................................................. 269

14.15 Importing Scripts................................................................................................................. 269

14.16 Using a Control Device with REAPER.....................................................................................270

14.17 Meta Actions....................................................................................................................... 272

14.18 Mouse Modifiers.................................................................................................................. 273

14.19 Saving and Restoring Mouse Modifier Settings.......................................................................275

14.20 MIDI Editor Mouse Modifiers................................................................................................275

14.21 Customizing the REAPER Menus...........................................................................................277

14.22 Customizing the REAPER Toolbars......................................................................................... 279

14.23 Creating Additional Custom Toolbars.....................................................................................282

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Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

14.24 Creating Smart Tools........................................................................................................... 283

14.25 The Toolbar Docker............................................................................................................. 284

15 REAPER Plug-ins in Action.....................................................................................285

15.1 What Are Plug-ins?................................................................................................................ 285

15.2 The Three Laws of Plug-ins.................................................................................................... 285

15.3 The Five Types of Plug-in....................................................................................................... 285

15.4 Adjusting Plug-in Parameter Controls......................................................................................286

15.5 Sound Shaping Effects: ReaEQ............................................................................................... 286

15.6 Time Based Effects: Delay...................................................................................................... 287

15.7 Volume Changing Plug-ins: the Limiter....................................................................................288

15.8 Analytical Plug-ins: the GFXAnalyzer.......................................................................................289

15.9 Using FX Presets................................................................................................................... 289

15.10 Time Based Effects: ReaVerb................................................................................................ 290

15.11 Volume Control with Compression: ReaComp.........................................................................292

15.12 LOSER’s Transients Plug-ins.................................................................................................. 293

15.13 Liteon's De-Esser................................................................................................................. 293

15.14 Volume Control with a Noise Gate.........................................................................................293

15.15 Sstillwell Chorus and Delay Effects........................................................................................294

15.16 Noise Reduction with ReaFir................................................................................................. 295

15.17 Multiband Compression with ReaXComp................................................................................296

15.18 LOSER’s TimeDifference Pan................................................................................................. 298

15.19 LOSER’s Exciter................................................................................................................... 298

15.20 SSTillwell's HugeBooty......................................................................................................... 298

15.21 Some Unusual JS Plug-ins....................................................................................................298

15.21.1 Utility/bufsave....................................................................................................................298

15.21.2 Sstillwell/thunderkick..........................................................................................................299

15.21.3 Remaincalm_org/tonegate...................................................................................................299

15.22 Some Guitar FX Plug-ins....................................................................................................... 300

15.23 Some Other REAPER JS Plug-ins...........................................................................................300

15.24 Bridging and VST Plug-in Run Mode......................................................................................303

15.25 Third Party Plug-in Presets .................................................................................................. 303

15.26 Losing the Graphic User Interface (GUI)................................................................................304

16 More REAPER Routing Examples...........................................................................305

16.1 Controlled Bleed.................................................................................................................... 305

16.2 Splitting Channels................................................................................................................. 306

16.3 Full and Fat Vocals with ReaDelay........................................................................................... 308

16.4 REAPER Send Types.............................................................................................................. 309

16.5 Channel Splitting and Pitch Shifting.........................................................................................310

16.6 Audio Ducking....................................................................................................................... 311

16.7 Double Ducking..................................................................................................................... 313

16.8 Using VCA for Track Volume Control........................................................................................314

16.9 ReaSamplomatic and ReaDrums.............................................................................................315

16.10 Round-Robin Multisampling..................................................................................................317

16.11 Multi Output VSTi Plug-ins.................................................................................................... 317

16.12 Using Parent Channels......................................................................................................... 319

16.13 Parallel FX Processing with the Channel Mixers.......................................................................319

16.14 More Parallel FX Processing..................................................................................................321

16.15 Channel Splitting and Parallel Processing with Item Take FX....................................................321

16.16 Other Channel Routing Plug-ins (Overview)...........................................................................321

16.17 REAPER’s Routing Interface..................................................................................................322

16.18 Multichannel Track VU Meters...............................................................................................322

16.19 Surround Panning with ReaSurround.....................................................................................323

16.20 Routing to/from Other Applications with ReWire.....................................................................325

16.21 Introducing ReaRoute.......................................................................................................... 326

12

17 Automation with Envelopes...................................................................................327

17.1 Understanding Automation..................................................................................................... 327

17.2 Automation Envelope Methods................................................................................................ 327

17.3 The Track Envelopes Window................................................................................................. 328

17.4 Available Track and Send Envelopes........................................................................................328

17.5 Writing Automation................................................................................................................ 329

17.6 Envelope Points Options......................................................................................................... 330

17.7 Writing Mute Automation....................................................................................................... 331

17.8 Automation Modes................................................................................................................. 331

17.9 Global Automation Override.................................................................................................... 332

17.10 The Envelope Panel Controls................................................................................................. 332

17.11 Manually Adjusting Envelopes............................................................................................... 333

17.12 Using the Mouse with Envelopes...........................................................................................334

17.13 Envelope Edit Mouse Modifiers.............................................................................................. 334

17.14 Managing Automation Envelope Display.................................................................................335

17.15 The Envelope Panel Controls................................................................................................. 336

17.16 Managing and Manipulating Envelopes..................................................................................337

17.17 Envelope Shapes................................................................................................................. 338

17.18 Envelopes in Track Templates............................................................................................... 338

17.19 Envelope Preferences........................................................................................................... 338

17.20 Using an Envelopes Toolbar.................................................................................................. 339

17.21 Locking Envelopes............................................................................................................... 339

17.22 Automation With Grouped Track Parameters..........................................................................340

17.23 Moving and Copying Envelopes with Items.............................................................................340

17.24 Automation with Track Sends................................................................................................ 341

17.25 Automation with FX Parameters............................................................................................342

17.26 FX Parameter Automation in Learn Mode...............................................................................343

17.27 Automating a VST with MIDI CC Messages............................................................................343

17.28 Automating FX Parameters on the Fly....................................................................................344

17.29 Automation with Item Take and Take FX Parameters...............................................................344

17.30 Automation with Hardware Output Sends..............................................................................345

17.31 Automating Automation........................................................................................................ 345

17.32 Actions for Managing Envelopes............................................................................................ 345

17.33 Automating the Metronome.................................................................................................. 346

17.34 Tempo/Time Signature and Play Speed Envelopes..................................................................346

18 Automation with Parameter Modulation...............................................................347

18.1 The Concept......................................................................................................................... 347

18.2 The Interface........................................................................................................................ 347

18.3 Defining a Parameter for Modulation.......................................................................................348

18.4 Defining a Parameter for Modification.....................................................................................350

18.5 Parameter Modulation with Audio Control................................................................................350

18.6 Using an LFO Shape with Parameter Modulation......................................................................352

18.7 Using Parameter Modulation for Dynamic Compression.............................................................353

18.8 Bypass Mode........................................................................................................................ 354

18.9 Parameter Modulation Under Parameter Control.......................................................................354

18.10 Using Parameter Modulation with an Envelope.......................................................................355

18.11 Parameter Modulation under Sidechain Audio Control.............................................................356

18.12 Further Applications............................................................................................................. 357

18.13 Managing FX Parameters in the Project Bay...........................................................................357

19 Using REAPER with Video......................................................................................359

19.1 Simple Video Editing.............................................................................................................. 359

19.2 Video Effects......................................................................................................................... 361

19.3 Working with Multiple Video Tracks.........................................................................................362

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19.4 Video Processor Parameter Controls........................................................................................ 366

19.5 Video Effects Presets (Examples)............................................................................................366

19.6 Understanding Video Formats................................................................................................. 367

19.7 REAPER Video Processing Tips................................................................................................ 368

19.8 REAPER Video Settings and Preferences..................................................................................368

19.9 Video Workflow Tips.............................................................................................................. 369

19.10 Making a Home Music Video on a Budget..............................................................................370

20 Exporting Files, Mixing Down and Rendering........................................................371

20.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 371

20.2 Batch File Conversion............................................................................................................ 371

20.3 Consolidating and Exporting................................................................................................... 372

20.4 Rendering A Project............................................................................................................... 373

20.5 Rendering a Finished Song..................................................................................................... 376

20.6 Batch Rendering.................................................................................................................... 376

20.7 Rendering Selected Media Items.............................................................................................377

20.8 Rendering Regions................................................................................................................ 377

20.9 Burning an Audio CD with REAPER.......................................................................................... 379

20.10 Saving Live Output to Disk................................................................................................... 381

20.11 Using Presets...................................................................................................................... 382

20.12 Rendering in Surround Format.............................................................................................. 382

20.13 Rendering a Video Project.................................................................................................... 383

21 REAPER's Preferences and Other Settings ............................................................385

21.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 385

21.2 General Preferences.............................................................................................................. 385

21.2.1 Import and Export Configuration............................................................................................386

21.2.2 Paths and Keyboards............................................................................................................387

21.3 Main Project Preferences........................................................................................................ 387

21.3.1 Project Track/Send Defaults ..................................................................................................388

21.3.2 Media Item Defaults.............................................................................................................389

21.4 Audio Configuration and Settings............................................................................................ 389

21.5 Audio Preferences................................................................................................................. 391

21.5.1 Audio Buffering ...................................................................................................................392

21.5.2 Audio Playback.....................................................................................................................393

21.5.3 Audio Seeking......................................................................................................................393

21.5.4 Audio Recording...................................................................................................................393

21.5.5 Audio Loop Recording...........................................................................................................394

21.5.6 Audio Rendering ..................................................................................................................394

21.6 Appearance Preferences........................................................................................................ 394

21.6.1 Appearance Media................................................................................................................395

21.6.2 Appearance, Peaks/Waveforms..............................................................................................396

21.6.3 Appearance Fades/Crossfades...............................................................................................397

21.6.4 Appearance, Track Control Panels..........................................................................................397

21.7 Editing Behavior Preferences.................................................................................................. 398

21.7.1 Editing Behavior, Envelope Display.........................................................................................399

21.7.2 Editing Behavior, Automation.................................................................................................400

21.7.3 Editing Behavior, Mouse Preferences.......................................................................................401

21.7.4 Editing Preferences, MIDI Editor............................................................................................402

21.8 Media Preferences................................................................................................................ 403

21.8.1 Media, MIDI Preferences.......................................................................................................404

21.8.2 Media, Video/REX/Misc Preferences........................................................................................404

21.9 Plug-ins Preferences.............................................................................................................. 405

21.9.1 Plug-ins, Compatibility..........................................................................................................405

21.9.2 Plug-ins, VST ......................................................................................................................405

21.9.3 Plug-ins, ReWire/DX ............................................................................................................405

21.9.4 Plug-ins, ReaScript ..............................................................................................................406

14

21.9.5 Plug-ins, ReaMote ...............................................................................................................406

21.10 Custom UI Tweaks............................................................................................................... 406

21.11 Project and File Management...............................................................................................406

21.12 Customizing the Performance Meter......................................................................................407

21.13 Customizing Undo History Behavior.......................................................................................407

21.14 Reset REAPER Default Settings............................................................................................. 408

21.15 Some Other REAPER Options................................................................................................ 408

22 Main Right-Click Context Menus Summary...........................................................409

22.1 The Track Control Panel Context Menu....................................................................................409

22.2 The Empty Track List Area Context Menu................................................................................410

22.3 The Timeline and Ruler Context Menu.....................................................................................410

22.4 The Media Items Context Menu.............................................................................................. 411

22.5 The Media Items Context Sub-Menus......................................................................................412

22.6 The Record Arm Context Menu............................................................................................... 414

22.7 The Envelopes Context Menu................................................................................................. 415

22.8 The Transport Bar Context Menu............................................................................................416

22.9 The Routing Matrix Context Menu........................................................................................... 417

22.10 The FX Window Context Menu.............................................................................................. 417

22.11 The Media Explorer Context Menu......................................................................................... 418

22.12 The MIDI In-Line Editor and MIDI Editor Context Menus.........................................................419

23 Using REAPER with Other Applications and Devices.............................................421

23.1 What is ReaRoute?................................................................................................................ 421

23.2 Setting Up Applications for ReaRoute......................................................................................422

23.3 Sending Audio from REAPER to Another Application.................................................................423

23.4 Sending Audio From Another DAW App to REAPER...................................................................424

23.5 Using REAPER With a Synth Workstation.................................................................................426

23.6 Syncing to an External Device................................................................................................ 426

23.7 Generating and Sending Timecode.......................................................................................... 428

23.8 Slaving REAPER to MIDI Sequencer Software..........................................................................428

23.9 ReaMote............................................................................................................................... 428

23.10 REAPER and NINJAM........................................................................................................... 429

23.11 ReaScript............................................................................................................................ 429

24 Troubleshooting REAPER.......................................................................................431

24.1 Input/Output Issues.............................................................................................................. 431

24.2 REAPER Interface Issues........................................................................................................ 433

24.3 Troubleshooting Record Modes and Monitoring........................................................................434

Index......................................................................................................................... 437

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Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

16

Summary List of Step by Step Exercises ….

As well as explanations of REAPER's features and guidance on how you can use them, this User Guide contains a number of step-by-step actual examples which are designed to help you learn. These are summarised below:

Creating a default FX chain.............................................43

Layered recording..........................................................62

Non-destructive punch recording....................................63

Recording multiple takes................................................64

Recording a MIDI track..................................................70

Creating and using track folders......................................94

Creating an FX bus.........................................................95

Track and track parameter grouping................................98

Master/slave grouping..................................................100

The track grouping window..........................................100

Copying track FX..........................................................111

Editing and auditioning media items..............................135

Grouping media items..................................................141

Creating and using markers..........................................161

Creating and using regions...........................................163

Using media cues.........................................................166

Working with FX in the Mixer........................................187

Using the width/stereo panner......................................194

Master track channels (advanced).................................197

Track view screen sets..................................................209

MIDI Pitch shift with ReaVoice......................................253

Creating a custom keyboard shortcut............................263

Creating keyboard shortcuts for recording.....................265

Creating a custom action macro....................................268

Customising mouse modifiers........................................274

Customising REAPER's menus.......................................279

Create Custom Toolbar.................................................281

Creating a custom toolbar.............................................283

Using sound shaping FX (Intro).....................................286

Using time based FX (Intro)..........................................288

Using a limiter (Intro)...................................................288

Using reverb (Intro).....................................................290

Using a compressor (Intro)...........................................292

Using a noise gate (Intro).............................................294

Using noise reduction plug-ins (Intro)............................295

Using a multiband compressor (Intro)...........................296

Simple track routing.....................................................305

Parallel FX processing (Intermediate)............................308

Double ducking (Advanced)..........................................313

ReaSamplomatic and ReaDrums....................................315

Using multi-output virtual instruments...........................317

Parallel FX processing (Advanced).................................319

Writing automation envelopes.......................................329

Editing automation envelopes (2)..................................333

Automating track sends................................................341

Automating FX parameters...........................................342

Parameter modulation with audio control.......................350

Parameter modulation for dynamic compression............353

Parameter modulation under parameter control.............354

Parameter modulation with sidechain control.................356

Using ReaRoute (1)......................................................423

Using ReaRoute (2)......................................................425

Using REAPER with a synth workstation.........................426

Summary List of Main Tables ….

This User Guide includes many instructional and summary tables. In addition to those in Chapter 21 (REAPER's Preferences and Other Settings) and Chapter 21 (Right-click Context Menu Summaries), the most important of these are:

REAPER's Install Options..................................................20

Installed File and Folder Locations....................................28

REAPER File Types...........................................................32

Navigating and Zooming Shortcuts....................................38

Track FX Management......................................................42

Loop and Time Selection Shortcuts...................................48

Takes Management..........................................................66

Coloring Tracks................................................................88

Move/Nudge Items........................................................124

Marquee Modifiers.........................................................124

Take Sets and Comp Management (1).............................154

Take Sets and Comp Management (2).............................155

Take Actions..................................................................156

Markers.........................................................................160

Regions.........................................................................163

Managing FX in the Mixer...............................................185

Managing Sends in the Mixer..........................................188

Windows Screen Sets.....................................................192

Using multiple dockers...................................................217

Commonly used CC messages........................................224

MIDI Editor: Keyboard Shortcuts.....................................234

Managing Custom Action Macros.....................................268

Customising the REAPER Menus......................................277

Customising the Main Toolbar.........................................280

Guitar FX Plug-ins..........................................................300

Sample JS Plug-ins.........................................................300

Channel Routing Plug-ins................................................321

Track Parameter and Send Envelopes..............................328

Automation Modes.........................................................332

Editing Envelopes...........................................................334

Managing Automation Display.........................................335

Manipulating Envelopes..................................................337

Parameter Modulation....................................................348

Project Rendering Examples...........................................375

Troubleshooting REAPER................................................431

Record Modes and Monitoring.........................................435

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Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

18

1 - Setting Up and Getting Started

1 Setting Up and Getting Started

1.1

Downloading REAPER

To download REAPER, visit the download page http://www.cockos.com/reaper/download.php.

Read the onscreen information carefully (especially about 32 bit and 64 bit) and be sure to select the correct version for your computer. If you keep the program for more than 60 days then you must purchase a license. To purchase your REAPER license, go to http://www.cockos.com/reaper/purchase.php

REAPER icon from the Applications folder on to the Dock. We strongly recommend that you should also, under

System Preferences, ensure that for your Mouse right click is enabled as a secondary button.

1.3

Installing REAPER on a Windows PC

To install REAPER on a PC with Windows you should follow this sequence:

1. In Windows Explorer, find the install file. The file name includes the current version number, e.g.

reaper50-install.exe.

2. Double click on this file to start the install program.

3. Click the I Agree button to accept the conditions and continue.

4. For a normal install, accept the default folder offered to you (but see note below) - for example, C:\Program

Files\REAPER.

5. If you need to, enable the

Portable install option

(see note below), then click Next.

6. Select which elements you wish to install (if in doubt accept the default settings - see also section 1.4 below) and click on Install.

7. Wait while the program installs. When prompted, click on Close to close the Install program. You will be asked if you wish to run the program now: in this case, choose No.

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Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

Note: If you are installing REAPER for the first time, or if you wish to replace an earlier version of REAPER with this one, you should accept the default destination folder and not enable portable install. If you wish to install this alongside an existing earlier 4.xx version, change the default directory (e.g. to \REAPER5) and enable portable install. This will ensure that your earlier 4.xx settings and preferences will be preserved separately.

Tip: If you choose not to install any REAPER program elements or options, you can later change your mind by simply running the install program again.

1.4

The Install Options (Windows only)

The Install screen lets you decide which REAPER elements you choose to install and which ones you prefer not to install. Listed below is a summary of your main options. By default, most of them are enabled.

Item

Audio Processing Plug-ins

Compressed File Support

Customizations

Additional Functionality

Desktop Icon

Start Menu Shortcuts

Associate with RPP Files

Explanation

This is a collection of Audio and MIDI FX that is supplied with REAPER – such as a Compressor, a Noise Gate and a Synthesizer. Usually you should make sure this option is ticked.

This allows you to work with file formats such as MP3, OGG,, FLAC and

WavPack as well as Video files.

This allows for the use of European keyboards and offers you the option to later choose any of a number of color schemes for REAPER.

This allows you to install elements such as the Media Explorer, CD

Ripping/Burning, Control Surface Support and ReWire. These aspects will be discussed at various places in this guide. If you are new to REAPER, or to audio software in general, you might wish not to install at this stage the ReaRoute ASIO driver, nor ReWire nor ReaMote. This makes for simpler options when audio routing. You can always add these later.

Leaving this option selected ensures that a REAPER shortcut icon will be placed on your Windows desktop.

Leave this option ticked to ensure that REAPER is added to your Windows

Start Menu.

Ticking this option will enable you to open REAPER with any of your

REAPER Project files direct from Windows Explorer or any desktop shortcut that you might create for your projects.

1.5

Enabling MP3 Recording

If you are intending to record and/or mix down your recordings in, or convert other recorded material to, MP3 format, you will need to install an MP3 encoder. A suitable encoder is LAME, which is available free of charge.

This can be obtained from any of many web sites, including http://aegiscorp.free.fr/lame/ . Once there, make sure that you select the right download for your system and your version of REAPER:

Windows 64 bit systems

Windows 32 bit systems

OSX 64 bit systems

OSX 32 bit systems lame_enc64.dll

libmp3lame.dll

libmp3lame_osx64.zip

libmp3lame_osx32.zip

Note that if you are using a 32 bit version of REAPER even on a 64 bit computer, you should download the 32 bit encoder, not the 64 bit one.

After downloading, Mac users should unzip the file and then drag the dynamic library file (named something like

libmp3lame.dylib) into their REAPER application launch folder.

Windows users should copy the file into their REAPER Program directory, which by default will be C:\Program

Files\REAPER. It can also be copied to other applications that may need it (e.g. Audacity).

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1 - Setting Up and Getting Started

1.6

REAPER Software Updates

REAPER is updated frequently and regularly, with bug fixes, new features and other enhancements. You can check for updates at any time by visiting

http://www.reaper.fm/

Simply download and install. There is no need to first uninstall any previous version. Existing preferences and settings will automatically be carried over.

Tip: REAPER is frequently updated. An option is available under Options, Preferences, General

(Startup Settings) to have REAPER automatically check for updates each time the program is started (provided of course that you are on-line at the time). By default, this option is enabled. If you do not wish to be notified whenever a new version is available, you can disable it.

1.7

Starting REAPER

To start REAPER, just double click on the REAPER desktop icon. You might also wish to consider creating a keyboard shortcut for this. For Windows users, this is done using the

Shortcut tab of the icon's Properties dialog box. Right-click over the icon to display this.

1.8

REAPER Startup Tips

By default, REAPER opens with the last used project. As you will see in Chapter 21 (under Preferences,

General), you can change this behavior if you wish. In addition, you can use hot keys when starting REAPER to override the default settings.

Action

Open REAPER without loading last project.

Open REAPER without loading any default project template.

Booster Key(s)

Shift (while starting REAPER)

Ctrl Shift (while starting REAPER)

1.9

REAPER Selections, Controls and Commands

Working in REAPER involves making selections and giving commands. For example, to copy a single item you would select the item (usually using your mouse) and then give the command for REAPER to copy it. Other times, you will use commands that affect the whole project file without any selection. For example, you might wish to save all your work. In that case, there would be no need to select anything – you would only need to give the necessary command. There are four main methods commonly used to give commands in REAPER:

Method

The Main Menu

Context Menus

Toolbars

Keyboard

Shortcuts

Comment

As with other applications, this is accessed by the mouse or keyboard.

Click your right mouse button over an item or area of the screen to display a context menu relevant to where you have clicked.

Click your mouse on any toolbar button for its command to be executed.

Many commands and actions can be accessed by keyboard shortcuts. You can also assign own shortcuts to other commands and actions. Chapter 14 will show you how.

In some cases, different modifier keys are used for the PC and for the Mac. The examples used throughout this guide are PC (Windows) shortcuts. Mac users should refer to this summary table of similarities and differences:

PC (Windows) Key

Shift

Control

Alt

Windows

Mac (OS X) Key Equivalent

Shift

Command

Option

Control

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Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide v 5.03

1.10

The REAPER Screen

REAPER allows you to select from a number of different color themes. The screen shots used in this book mostly use the REAPER 4 default theme. If you are using any other theme, you might therefore notice some visual differences. If this causes you any difficulties, consider switching to the default theme. In some cases modifications have been made to enhance clarity when greyscale printing.

When you start REAPER, it displays a screen similar (but not necessarily identical) to that shown below. The example shows a very simple project file that has been opened. The table below the illustration introduces briefly each of the main screen elements.

Element

The Menu Bar

The Main Toolbar

The Timeline

Explanation

This displays the Main Menu near the top as a row of commands – File, Edit,

View, Insert, Item, Track and so on. As in other Mac and Windows applications, the menu is used to give commands.

Just below the menu are two rows of seven buttons each. This is the REAPER

Main Toolbar. Depending on the color theme in use, your buttons might not look the same as those shown. However, as with other programs, you can hover your mouse over any button to obtain a tooltip (see example, left).

The various icons are introduced and explained throughout this guide as they are needed, and summarized at the end of Chapter 5. In Chapter 14 you will be shown how you can customize this toolbar.

The timeline runs across the top of the REAPER window, just to the right of the main toolbar. It measures the length of your project and helps you identify the position of the various media items. In the example shown, the timeline is measured and displayed in both measures/beats and minutes/seconds.

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1 - Setting Up and Getting Started

Element

The Arrange Area:

Main Window and

Workplace!

The Track Control

Panel (TCP)

The VU Meters

The Transport Bar

The Mixer and Mixer

Control Panel (MCP)

Explanation

This is to the right of the Track Control Panel. It displays the actual media items

(audio and/or MIDI) that make up your tracks. In this example, there are two

tracks each containing one media item.

As you will see in Chapter 19, video items can also be included.

This area is controls the behavior of your audio and MIDI tracks – in this example there are two tracks, labelled Vocals and Guitar. You can have as many tracks as you need, subject only to any limitations imposed by your hardware.

Each track has its own set of controls (faders, rotaries and buttons). We'll get to what these controls do and how they are used in Chapters 2 and 4. Tooltips are available for each of these (see example, left).

Each track (and the Master) uses Voluime Unit Meters – VU Meters – as a visual indicator of the level of the track's audio signal strength (volume). These are visible in both the Track Control Panel and the Mixer.

This is used to control recording and playback – for example, to start and stop recording. We'll look at this in Chapter 2.

This is displayed (in this example) across the bottom of the screen. It shows your tracks in a different way. In this example twp tracks are shown: these are the same tracks as is shown in the TCP.

Notice that this also includes a Master output track. The output of the Master is what you actually hear when you play your tracks and media items. The Mixer and Master will be explored in detail in Chapter 11.

Don’t be surprised if your screen doesn’t look quite the same as this, or even if it looks a lot different. The

REAPER screen can be customized to suit your individual needs. We’ll be covering this in Chapter 2.

1.11

The Track and Track Controls

If you've used other DAW software before you'll probably want to get to grips with REAPER's track controls as soon as possible.

This illustration shows the most commonly used of these. The exact position of some of them will vary with track control panel width. You can hover your mouse over any control for a tooltip. In most cases you click on a control to use it (for example, click on

Mute button to toggle mute status of any track, click and drag on Volume control to adjust the volume level), and right click on a control for a menu of commands, options and/or settings.

Depending on your exact track layout, the volume control may be a rotary control (as shown above) or a horizontal fader. Also, a rotary width control might be displayed next to the pan control (as shown, right): if so, you can safely ignore it for now. We'll get to it in later chapters.

If you're new to digital audio, don't worry. These controls will be explained further as you work thru this guide.

1.12

Setting Up For Audio

Before you can record or play anything, there are a few setup options that have to be specified. This section covers setting up audio. This is where you tell REAPER which audio device(s) you have, and how you wish to use them. There are differences in how you should do this for a Mac under OS X and a PC under Windows

In addition, it is also advisable to disable System Sounds. For OS X users, this is done in System Preferences.

Windows users should use the Control Panel.

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1.12.1

Setting Up For Audio (PC Windows)

To set up your Audio

Device, first choose the Options,

Preferences command from

REAPER's Main Menu, then under Audio select Device from the list on the left.

If on the other hand you plan to use the

PC's internal sound card, you should familiarize yourself with its control software (usually opened from the

Windows Control

Panel). This is especially important to prevent previously recorded material from being mixed back in, and re-recorded with, new material when more tracks are later overlaid. You should also consider using ASIO4ALL drivers, which are available free of charge. For more information, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Stream_Input/Output

On the Audio Device Preferences screen, you should set the following options:

Item

Audio System

Enable Inputs

Input Range

Output Range

Request sample rate/block size

ASIO

Configuration

Audio Thread

Priority

Comment

The other items on this screen will vary with the audio system selected . Choose ASIO and ASIO drivers if they are available for your sound card or Firewire or USB device.

This option needs to be turned on (ticked) if you wish to use REAPER for recording.

If your device has multiple inputs (up to a maximum of 512), specify the first and last of these that you want to be available. In this example, eight inputs are available, allowing up to eight microphones or lines (in any combination) to be used simultaneously for recording.

If your device has multiple outputs (up to 512), specify the first and last that you wish to be available. Usually, your MASTER bus will direct output to a single pair of outputs, but you can use the others also if you wish.

You can set sample rate and block size either here or using your sound card's own control software. If unsure, start with 44100 and 512.

Clicking this button gives you direct access to the Control Software for your sound card or other audio device.

Assigning a higher priority will ensure that audio threads will be processed ahead of other threads (e.g. graphics).

1.12.2

Setting Up For Audio (Mac OS X)

Audio devices on the OS X are set up and selected in the OS X Audio MIDI Setup. Make sure you have first downloaded and installed the latest Mac updates You should also check your Audio Device in REAPER. To do this, start REAPER and choose the Options, Preferences command from REAPER's Main Menu, then under

Audio select Device from the list of headers in the column on the left.

In the first example shown below, a USB Saffire device (a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40) has been installed. Saffire

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1 - Setting Up and Getting Started

has therefore been selected so as to ensure that this device is used for both input and output. You can (as shown here) set the sample rate and block size (which helps determine latency) here, or you can independently open the device's own control panel and set them there. If unsure, set these at 44100 and 512 to begin with.

If you wish to use the

Mac's internal sound card, you may need to take steps to prevent existing material being mixed back into, and re-recorded with, additional tracks when they are added later.

To do this, you will need an aggregate device. Open the OS X

Audio MIDI Setup

then click on the + in the bottom left corner of the window to create such a device.

Add to this aggregate device the built in input and built in output as shown here.

If you wish to rename it, double click on the text Aggregate

Device.

Next, in REAPER's Audio, Device preferences screen, select your aggregate device and Apply your changes. You will now be able to use your headphones with the computer's audio out socket and your microphone with its audio in socket.

1.13

Input Aliasing

REAPER supports Input Aliasing. This is the ability to give your own names to your audio inputs. It can be used to shorten the long names that the system will often give to these inputs, especially when your device supports multiple inputs. An example of the use of this feature might be to change names like Analog In 1

Delta 1010 (1), Analog In 2 Delta 1010 (1) and so on to just Mic/Line 1, Mic/Line 2, etc.

Input Aliasing is accessed from the Audio Preferences screen. Select Input Channel Name

Aliasing/Remapping. The method is similar to that used for output aliasing – see section below.

1.14

Output Aliasing

REAPER also supports Output Aliasing. This enables you to give names to your audio outputs, names that make sense to you. This is especially useful if your sound card or other audio device provides multiple outputs. For example, one pair of outputs might be connected to your control room monitors, another to studio monitors, and a third pair to a multi-output headphone monitor.

By default, your outputs will have names something like those shown here (above right). Clearly, these names are not very useful to you.

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By assigning aliases to these outputs, you can ensure that whenever you need to list them (for example, when determining the destination of the output from your Master) your own names will be displayed, instead of the hardware device names.

Example

To create output aliases:

1. Choose the Options, Preferences command.

2. Display the Audio page and in the section labelled Channel

Naming/Mapping make sure you have ticked the option Output Channel

Name Aliasing (this is almost the last item on this screen).

3. Click on the Edit Names/Map button for this item.

4. Double-click in the Aliased Names column on each item in turn to edit them. In each case, after typing your preferred alias, click on OK to return to the Output Channel

Alias/Mapping window (right).

5. Click on OK to close this window and return to the Preferences dialog box.

6. Click on OK to close the Preferences dialog box.

Your specified names should now automatically be used throughout REAPER. The topic of actually assigning outputs to tracks will be covered later, beginning with Chapter 2.

1.15

Setting Up For MIDI

If you intend to use MIDI at all, you should enable your MIDI devices.

Many PCI sound cards, Firewire and

USB audio devices include a MIDI input and output port (for use, for example, with a

MIDI Keyboard).

Choose Options,

Preferences from the Main Menu, then display the

MIDI Devices

screen under

Audio. You can select in turn each of the listed MIDI

Input and Output devices, rightclick over its name, then choose Enable Input. You can double-click on any input device name to display its Configure MIDI Input settings (see below right). This enables you to assign your own name (or alias) for the device, or to specify your advanced timestamp options (if required). You can also Enable input for control messages if you wish to use the device as a MIDI controller – see also Chapter 14.

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1 - Setting Up and Getting Started

To assign your own name or to specify a time offset for any MIDI Input or Output device, right click over the device name and choose Configure Output from the context menu.

If you have a joystick that you wish to use with REAPER you should click on the Add joystick MIDI button then select the device name and processing mode. You can also specify whether you wish to use it for Virtual MIDI Keyboard input an/or as a MIDI control/learn device.

If you wish to use a Control Surface, such as a Behringer

BCF2000 or BCR2000, with REAPER, then you should set its input mode to Control Only. The use of Control Devices will be explained later in this guide, notably in Chapters 11 and 13.

Other Audio Preferences

You can see that there are other Audio Preference screens that we have not yet examined, including Buffering, Playback and Recording. These will be dealt with later in this User

Guide, particularly in Chapter 21. When getting started, you should be able to just leave these settings at their defaults, only returning to change them later if you find that you wish or you need to do so. When finished, clicking on OK will, of course, close the Preferences box and cause your settings to be remembered.

This section has covered the general issues involved in setting up your system for working with MIDI. For project specific settings and options, see Chapter 2. In particular, if you are working primarily with MIDI material you may wish to change the default project timebase setting. This too is explained in Chapter 2.

1.16

Enabling VST Plug-ins

There’s one further Preferences screen you will probably want to visit before you get started – VST Plug-ins.

As with Audio Preferences, REAPER has several pages of Plug-in Preference screens, but these can (at first at least) be left to their default settings. However, if you already have a collection of VST and/or VSTi Plug-ins on your computer (including VST3), REAPER needs to be told where to find them. Note that VST3 plug-ins should be kept in a directory or directories separate from other plug-ins.

Choose the Options,

Preferences

command, then select

VST under the Plug-

ins section. You can try using the Auto-detect button to locate your plug-ins, but if they are spread across several directories then REAPER might not find them all.

In this case, you may need to click on the

Add button to specify the location(s) of the folder(s) where your other VST plug-ins are stored. You can leave most other settings as they are (at least for now).

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OS X uses two “built in” folders for installing shared plug-ins. These are ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins and

~/Users/<your account>/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins. REAPER will scan these by default: you should, however, check that they are automatically listed as your VST plug-in paths. If not, you should add them.

Windows does not locate any such folders for you. You will need to identify and specify where your VST plug-ins have been installed. If your VST plug-ins are spread across more than one folder (this is not unusual), you will need to use the Add button several times, each time selecting one of your folders. Use the OK button in the

Browse for folder window each time after selecting the folder name. Clicking the Re-scan button in the above window will then make the contents of your VST and VSTi folder(s) available immediately. REAPER will also scan any subfolders.

REAPER will automatically scan your VST folders each time the program is launched. You can also return to this screen at any time and add more VST folders later. Specify the extra location(s) of your VST plug-ins, then Re-

scan then Apply then OK to close this screen and cause your new settings to be remembered. You can find more information about the various VST Preferences settings and options in Chapter 21.

1.17

REAPER’s Installed Folders and File Location

The Registry

(Windows only)

The REAPER Install

Directory – OS X

REAPER’s

Installed

Folders and File Locations

Windows users note: REAPER does not store any install data, settings or preferences in your Windows Registry. Windows will set up an item for

REAPER under HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE, Software but it contains no data other than keeping a record of your file movements in Registry areas such as its MUICache and creating file associations, so that you can open .RPP files (for example, in Windows Explorer) by double-clicking on them.

OS X installs REAPER to its Applications folder.

Copy any PDF files (such as this User Guide) that you want to be able to access from REAPER's Help Menu to:

<username>/Library/Application Support/REAPER

With some versions (e.g. Lion) you may need to hold down the Options key while displaying the Go menu to make this path accessible.

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1 - Setting Up and Getting Started

The REAPER Install

Directory - Windows

The Application Data/

Support Directory

Sub Directories

REAPER’s

Installed

Folders and File Locations

By default, REAPER on Windows installs to C:\Program Files\REAPER

Copy into this directory any PDF files (such as this User Guide) that you want to be able to access from REAPER's Help Menu.

Some of the optional install items are held in sub-folders of C:\Program

Files\REAPER. These include the COCKOS ReaPlug VST plug-ins and (if installed) the SWS Extensions. Anything stored in this directory is accessible to all users of REAPER on this computer.

Most REAPER features (such as configuration files and custom settings) are placed into an Applications Data or AppData folder. The location of this will depend upon which version of Windows you are using.

To access the REAPER AppData or Application Support folder, choose

Options, Show REAPER resource path... from REAPER's main menu.

Some of the main items you can expect to find there are listed below.

You should find that you have a number of sub-directories here, such as:

Color Themes MenuSets

Configurations

Cursors

Data

Effects

FXChains

KeyMaps

Presets

Project Bays

ProjectTemplates

QueuedRenders

Scripts

TrackTemplates preset-vstplugname.ini

REAPER.ini

Many of these are self-explanatory, especially those which contain the various files and items that you can create yourself as an aid to managing your REAPER projects. For example, any FX Chains that you create will be stored on the FXChains sub-directory. Custom menu and toolbar data is stored in the MenuSets sub-directory, and so on.

Topics such as creating FX Chains and Custom Menus are covered elsewhere in this user guide.

Information held in the Data directory includes track icons and toolbar icons. The Effects folder is where your JS effects are stored.

For each VST plug-in, a separate file is used to store any presets that you have created or imported.

This includes all of your Options, Preferences settings, information about your last screen layout, and your recently used projects history.

These files store information about your installed plug-ins.

reaper-dxplug-ins.ini

reaper-vstplug-ins.ini

reaper-reginfo.dat

reaper-reginfo.ini

reaper-recentfx.ini

Store your product registration data

screensets.ini

Specify Default Paths for

Recording and Rendering

This file stores a list of your recently used FX: this list is used to produce the

Recently Used FX submenu that is available in the Mixer.

This file stores details of your windows screen sets. Note that track screen sets are stored with the relevant .RPP file.

You can use the General, Paths page of your Options, Preferences to specify default paths for your recorded media items. Note however that any path specified in your Project Settings will take precedence over this.

You can also specify default paths for your waveform peak files and for project rendering.

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There’s one more thing that might interest you here. All of the settings, preferences and custom files are text files. Any of them can be opened and modified using a text editor such as Notepad. This even applies to

REAPER’s project files, with .RPP extension. Of course, most probably you will never need to do this, and if you do, you should always take a copy first, just in case of any errors or accidents. However, you should never try to use a text editing program to open, view or edit any file ending in .app, .dmg, .exe or .dll

1.18

Localization and Language Packs

Selecting a language pack causes REAPER to use that language for its menus, dialog boxes, tool tips, and so on.

The default language is U.S. English. Language packs are managed from the General page of REAPER's

Preferences.

To see what language packs are available, and to download any, click on the link Download language packs

(see below). This will take you to a URL where you can follow the links (including to REAPER Stash) to find your language. After downloading, close the Preferences window and use the command Options, Show REAPER

resource path in Explorer/Finder to display REAPER's resource folders. Next, drag and drop the downloaded file(s) into the LangPack folder.

To select a language pack other than

U.S. English, select from the drop down list (right) and click on OK. You will need to restart REAPER for the language to take effect.

1.19

Backing Up Settings

In this chapter you have been introduced to some of REAPER's settings and preferences. As you progress, you will find many more. You can back up these settings and preferences at any time. This can be a good precaution to take against system failure, and can also be used to ensure identical REAPER installations on two or more machines. The procedure for doing this is explained in Chapter 21 under the heading “Import and Export

Configuration.” Don't be concerned if you do not yet understand the meaning of many of the options. Just keep it in mind that this facility is always available.

If uncertain about what to back up, it can be a sensible precaution to backup all your configuration settings from time to time, each time to a new ReaperConfig.zip file. How often you should do this really depends on how often you make changes to any of your settings, and how important those changes are to you. Remember to keep a copy of your ReaperConfig.zip files off line, for example on an external drive or a USB flash drive.

1.20

Running REAPER on a Flash Drive

You can install REAPER on a USB flash device, or other external drive. This ensures, for example, that if you are going to be away from home or your normal workplace, you can take your

USB Stick (or external drive) with you, plug it in to a computer, and away you go. Before you can install REAPER on a flash drive, it makes sense to first install it on your hard drive. When you then install REAPER to an external device in this way, all your settings, preferences etc. are also migrated.

The install method is different for

OS X and Windows users.

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1 - Setting Up and Getting Started

OS X

1. Insert the flash drive into a USB port. Create a new folder on this flash drive, e.g. REAPER4. In this folder create an empty text file called reaper.ini

2. Open the Mac folder containing the REAPER disk image (.dmg) file: this will most likely be Downloads.

3. Double click on th is file to open it. Drag and drop the REAPER icon to the new folder on the flash drive.

4. Be patient. There is a large number of files to be transferred. This can take 10 minutes or more.

Windows

1. Insert your external device into an available USB port on your PC. Note its drive letter (e.g. E:, F:. G:, H:.

I:. etc.). This will depend how many internal hard drives, disk partitions, external hard drives, DVD burners, etc. you have already installed.

2. Double click on the REAPER install file to start the install process.

3. Click on I Agree to accept the license agreement. The Choose Install Location window will be displayed.

4. Enable the option for Portable install.

5. Click on Browse. Select your flash drive and click on Make New Folder. Name the folder (e.g. REAPER) and press Enter.

6. On returning to the screen shown here, work your way thru the installation process in the normal way.

7. Wait while the various files are installed. There are a lot of files and this might take quite a few minutes.

1.21

REAPER Start Menu Options (Windows only)

Normally to start REAPER you can simply double-click on your Windows desktop shortcut. This will cause

REAPER to be started in accordance with your existing preferences and settings. However, for times when you do not wish to do this, you should also be aware of other options available from the Windows Start menu.

Click on the Start button, then All Programs then REAPER to be presented with a flyout menu of choices:

Menu Command Explanation

Install REAPER to USB key

ReaMote Slave

REAPER (show audio configuration on startup)

REAPER License

Uninstall REAPER

Whatsnew.txt

This can be used to install REAPER to a Flash drive or similar device.

However, the method described earlier in this Chapter is simpler!

The use of ReaMote is beyond the scope of this User Guide. However, you can read an overview in Section 22.

Starts REAPER normally, with last project.

REAPER

REAPER (create new project)

Starts REAPER with a new project file.

REAPER (reset configuration to factory defaults)

Starts REAPER and resets all settings, options and preferences to factory defaults. Use this with caution!

REAPER (ReWire slave mode)

Opens REAPER as a ReWire slave. This is beyond the scope of this User

Guide, but is discussed in overview towards the end of Chapter 16.

Starts REAPER with the Audio settings Preferences page.

Displays License information.

Uninstalls REAPER. If you need to uninstall REAPER for any reason, you should always use this method.

Opens the text file displaying a history of new features and changes introduced in each version of REAPER.

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1.22

REAPER File Types

Like any other program, REAPER creates a series of files that it uses to store your work. Some of the main file types and their purposes are described in the table below, along with other useful information.

File Type

.RPP

REAPER Project File

.RPP-bak

Project Backup File

.RPP-UNDO

Undo History File

.reapeaks

REAPER Peaks File

.reapindex

REAPER Peaks File

Example

Alone.RPP

Alone.RPP-bak

Alone.RPP-UNDO

Vox.wav.reapeaks

Vox.wav.reapindex

Explanation

This file is the core of your project. It holds all the information about your tracks, your media and their settings. .RPP files are stored in text format.

When you save an existing project file, the previous version is saved with the .RPP-bak extension. You can recover a project from its previous state by opening the backup file.

This file type will be created if you select the option to save your undo history with your project files. This option is included in the Undo Settings section of the General settings in your Options, Preferences window. This topic is explained more fully in Chapter 2.

These files contain the information necessary to enable

REAPER to draw the waveforms etc. on your media items.

These files contain index information about your individual media items.

1.23

Pops and Clicks

You're nearly ready to start making music with REAPER! Before you do, though, you should take a few moments to read this section, which deals with the not uncommon problem of unwanted pops and clicks being heard when you play back your music. This is a computer issue rather than a REAPER specific issue, and is generally less likely to occur with a Mac than with a PC.

If you encounter the sound of unwanted pops and clicks when you play back a song in REAPER, then most probably all it means is that your audio device settings are not right for your computer. As a quick fix, try adjusting the block size (Preferences, Audio, Device), starting at 128 and working up thru, 256, 512, 768 or

1024 to find the lowest setting for your system at which you can play back your music without any pops or clicks getting in the way

If you do encounter this problem, you should also read Chapter 21.4 to learn more about this topic.

1.24

Uninstalling REAPER

There is no need to uninstall your current version of REAPER before installing a new one. Your existing installation will automatically be upgraded from the new installation. However, should you wish to uninstall

REAPER for any reason, OS X users should simply drag the REAPER icon into Trash and then remove the folder

~/Library/Application Support/REAPER.

Windows users should follow this procedure:

1. Click on the Windows Start button, then All Programs, then REAPER then Uninstall REAPER.

2. When the REAPER Uninstall Wizard is displayed, click on Uninstall.

3. When the uninstall process is finished, click on Close.

4. When prompted, choose Yes if you wish to see which files have been left on your Hard Drive, otherwise choose No.

Tip: If you are likely to be reinstalling REAPER at some later date, do not remove these files. This will ensure that your previous settings and preferences will be recalled when it is reinstalled.

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2 - REAPER Project Basics

2 REAPER Project Basics

2.1

Section Overview

In this chapter you will be taught the essential basics about working with a project file in REAPER. Topics include opening and closing files, navigating the REAPER environment, working with tracks and audio effects, and more. Most of the topics introduced here will be covered in greater depth and detail later in this guide.

2.2

Opening an Existing Project

To open an existing REAPER Project File, use the File, Open Project command, or the keyboard shortcut

Ctrl O. As with other Windows Apps, you will need to navigate to the appropriate folder to find your project.

Recently used projects can more easily be opened using the File, Recent Projects command. This causes a list of up to the last 100 recently used project files to be displayed. You can then select any file from that list.

The General page of your Options, Preferences window offers a number of options. In particular, you can:

Manage your Undo preferences (see Chapter 2).

Specify whether or not you want the most recently used file automatically loaded when REAPER is started.

Choose the Last active project option for this. Other startup options are explained in Chapter 21.

Specify whether you want to Automatically Check for New Versions of REAPER on Startup.

Determine the number of files displayed on the Recent project list.

Other General Preferences settings are discussed and explained in Chapter 21.

Notice too the toggle command Continuous scrolling on the Options menu. If disabled (the default), the play cursor will scroll from left to right during playback. If enabled, this cursor will find and then remain stationary in the center of the arrange window during playback, while the media items scroll across the screen.

The examples used throughout this guide use the project file All Through The Night.RPP. This can be downloaded from

www.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/REAPER_User_Guide

. It might help you to keep that project open while using this documentation. Take a copy of this file and work with that. You will then be able to experiment freely without fear of damaging any of your own important projects.

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2.3

Project Settings

REAPER project settings can be defined to meet the requirements of individual projects. The Project Settings dialog box is accessed by choosing the File, Project Settings command, or by using the keyboard shortcut Alt

Enter. The dialog box has five pages of settings - Project Settings, Media,

Video, Advanced and Notes. If in doubt, leave most settings at their default values, at least until you understand better what they are and how they work.

Project Settings: Project Settings

These include:

Project Sample Rate: for example, 44100 Hz (CD standard) or 48000 Hz (DVD standard).

 Option to force the time signature to beats or whole samples.

 Project beats per minute and

time signature.

 Method for setting the timebase for items/envelopes markers and for tempo/time sig - essentially you have a choice of Time, Beats

(position, length rate) or Beats

(position only). See notes below.

Project start time and measure.

Leave these at their defaults for now. In Chapter 12 you'll see when, why and how to change them.

 Playback and render resample

mode – from Lowest (point sampling) thru Medium (64 Sinc) to

Extreme HQ (768 HQ Sinc).

Default mode and parameter

to be used for pitch shifting.

See Chapter 10.

Project Settings: Media

These include:

Paths (primary and secondary) to store media files. For example, if you specify “Audio” then your media will be stored in a folder called

Audio, as a sub-folder of the project folder. If left blank, REAPER will use the same folder as the project file.

Recording format - typically WAV or MP3, but there are others , e.g.

AIFF, DDP, FLAC, OGG Vorbis Video (GIF) and WavPack. Each of these comes with its own set of options and settings.

Settings and specifications for chosen recording format – e.g. for WAV files this includes Bit Depth.

 Preferred media formats when FX are applied, or items are glued or frozen, and when media items are

rendered. Also, default media format for project and regions. You have the same range of formats, options and settings as you have for recording format.

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Project Settings: Advanced

Item Mix Behavior. Determines how REAPER should behave when one media item is placed directly on top of another. The options are for

Enclosed Items to Replace enclosing items, Items always to be mixed, or for the newer item to always replace the older item.

Track mixing depth. If unsure, leave at the default setting.

 The option to allow feedback in

routing. Feedback routing can be useful for some advanced mixing activities, but can be dangerous for audio equipment.

If you are in any doubt, do not select this option.

 The option to synchronize the project with the timecode of an external device.

 The option to limit project length and recording time.

 Specifying a default pan law for your tracks. The pan law determines how the relative volume of a track behaves when that track is panned more or less to one side or the other. Gain compensation boost can be enabled or disabled. Pan laws mare discussed in more depth in Chapter 2. Meanwhile, if you are unfamiliar with how pan laws work, leave these at their default settings.

Default track pan mode. You have choice of pan modes, some mono, some stereo. See Chapter 11.

Project Settings: Video: These are explained in Chapter 19.

The Project Timebase Settings

The project timebase controls how media items, envelopes and project markers behave when the project tempo changes. When possible, get your project timebase settings right before you record or import any items. The default settings are Beats (position, length, rate) for items/envelopes/markers and Beats for tempo/time sig envelopes. For more information about the timebase, open the Actions list (from REAPER's main menu) and run the action Project settings: timebase help. For more about the Actions List, see Chapter 14.

It's worth also noting that you can still over-ride the project timebase setting for individual tracks within your project. To do this, select the track(s) and choose Set track timebase from the track control panel context menu. To do this for an individual item, select the item then press F2 to display the Item Properties dialog box.

Project Settings: Notes

This very handy section lets you enter any notes and comments that you would like to be included with your project file. You can specify that the notes should automatically be displayed each time the project is opened.

Tip: You can save all these settings as the defaults to be used for future new projects. Of course, for any individual projects you can over-write your defaults.

2.4

Directing Audio Output

Audio output will by default go from your master to the first available pair of outputs on your soundcard (usually outputs 1 and 2), and only to this pair. If your sound card has multiple pairs of outputs and you wish to change this, you can do so via the Routing Matrix (View, Routing Matrix or Alt R).

Your available hardware outputs are displayed along the top of the grid. Here you can select and/or deselect any of the available outputs.

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2.5

The Transport Bar

If the Transport Bar is not visible in your REAPER window, use the View, Transport command to display it, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl Alt T to do this. The Transport Bar might appear as shown here, as a floating window (undocked) inside REAPER, or it might be docked just below arrange view. At this stage, the exact position of the Transport Bar is not important. The main Transport Controls are shown below, though your exact layout might not be identical: whether docked or not, the controls will appear in a single row if the

window is wide enough.

The first five transport buttons are fairly standard

Go to Start,

Go to End,

Stop, Play, and Pause.

The Stop button stops playback and returns the play cursor to the position it was in when playback started. The Pause button pauses playback without moving the play cursor.

The Record button starts and stops recording, without stopping playback. Clicking on the Stop button when recording is taking place will both stop playback and recording. The Toggle Repeat button turns on and off the option for any looped time selection to be played over and over again during playback.

The Global Automation Override feature will be explained in Chapter 17. To the right of this the current

time selection is shown (start position, end position and length). This topic will be covered later in this chapter and in Chapters 6 and 8.

The current play cursor position is also shown: in the above example this is 29.2.54/0:56.722. Next to this is the playback status (Playing, Paused or Stopped). Next are edit boxes that show the project Tempo (BPM) and Time Signature values. To change the value of either box click in the box and type the new value.

Depending on your mouse preferences (Chapter 21), you can also use your mousewheel to adjust this. Finally

(in the above layout) is the playback rate. This can be made faster or slower by adjusting the horizontal fader.

If adjusted, the fader background is colored green. Double-clicking resets the rate to 1.0. You can also hover your mouse over the box and use your mousewheel to increase (up) or decrease (down) the value.

Three other useful transport control keys are Ctrl Left (go back a little), Ctrl Right (go forward a little) and Alt

Space (play, skipping loop selection.

Right clicking over the Transport Bar displays a context menu. This may seem slightly intimidating at first. We'll get to the more advanced stuff in Chapter 9, but for now just notice that there are menu options available to:

 Select your preferred time display format.

 Dock or Undock the transport in the Main

Window. You can choose the main docker or any of four other positions – Below arrange

view, Above ruler, Bottom of main

window or Top of main window.

Scrubbing

The top of the edit cursor is marked by an upside down triangle. You can grab this with your mouse and drag to move the edit cursor without affecting playback. Depending on your preferences settings, you may need to hold down the Shift key while you do this. If you do this when the project is not playing, it will have the effect of “scrubbing” your audio.

This topic is covered in more detail in Chapter 5 of this User Guide.

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2.6

The Big Clock

Use the View, Big Clock command (or press Alt C) to toggle on and off the display of the Big Clock, which clearly displays the current position of the Edit Cursor. This window can be sized and moved at will, or docked in the docker. Right clicking over the Big Clock gives you a context menu of options, including changing the display format.

2.7

Track Controls

If you play All Through The Night.RPP you will notice that the same sound is coming out of both speakers and that the different instruments and vocals are all competing with each other for the same acoustic space. That’s because no adjustments have been made to the Volume or Pan controls for these tracks. The exact position of these faders varies with factors like width and height of the your control panel and which of the available track layouts is in use.

The rotary fader shown here is used to adjust a track’s

volume. With some layouts, this will be shown as a horizontal fader. The rotary not far to its right adjusts the

panning, sending the signal more to the left or the right as preferred. If you see a second pan control, ignore it for now. This is used with some pan modes to control stereo width: this is a more advanced concept, primarily used for folders and tracks with stereo media files. This will be cove red in Chapters 10 and 11. For now, we will be working with just the one pan control. In any event, to adjust any horizontal, vertical or rotary faders in

REAPER, you can:

 Click and hold down the left mouse button over the fader, then drag in the direction required, releasing the mouse when finished. For rotary faders, drag up to rotate clockwise, down for anti-clockwise. Hold

Ctrl while doing this for more subtle adjustments.

 Hover your mouse over the fader, use the Scroll Wheel to adjust the level down/up. To enable this feature, go to Options, Preferences, Editing Behavior, Mouse and deselect Ignore mousewheel

on track panel faders and on all faders. See mouse behavior preferences in Chapter 21.

Right-clicking on the volume control opens the routing dialog box (shown right). You can enter values as dB for volume

(e.g. -6) and as percentages for pan (e.g., 25R for 25% right) and width directly into this box.

By default, the volume and pan controls apply to a track's

audio output. If you want to use these to control its MIDI signal, right-click on the track number in the TCP, then choose

MIDI track controls, then Link track volume pan to all

MIDI channels from the context menu (see Chapter 13).

Tip: To audition possible changes, hold down the Alt key while dragging the fader with the mouse. When you release the mouse, it will then return to its original position.

Tip: To work with more than one track, hold down Ctrl while clicking in the Track control panel on each track number required. Then release Ctrl. Any fader or other movement will be applied to all selected tracks.

The two buttons to the right of the width control fader on each track’s control panel have these functions:

Mute

Solo

Toggles Mute on/off for selected track(s) Note: Both the Mute and Solo controls can also

Toggles Solo on/off selected track(s) be used with modifier keys such as Alt and Ctrl for various functions. See Chapter 5 for details.

By default, track Solo causes the track itself and the output of any sends originating from that track to be played. If you wish to hear only the track without these sends, hold the Alt key while soloing the track. Notice that your track controls also include a phase control button. This can be used to reverse track polarity.

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2.8

Pan Law and Pan Mode

You can also change the pan law for individual tracks. Right-clicking over a track’s pan fader opens a window where you can select from the list (in a range 0.0 dB to -6.0 db) or type in your own value. A negative setting causes the signal at the center to be attenuated as panning increases.

The Gain compensation (boost pans) option can be enabled to cause the signal's audio strength to instead be boosted as it is panned.

Another option is to select your preferred pan mode (see right). This is quite a complex topic and will be explained and dealt with more fully in

Chapter 11 when we look at stereo panning. In brief, however, you have a number of options – Stereo balance/mono pan is the default (see

Project Settings). This is equivalent to the panning mode used in versions of REAPER before REAPER 4. If you select REAPER 3.x balance, stereo pan or dual pan, the width panner will also automatically be displayed.

Several of the screen shots used in this guide illustrate dual pan controls.

The various pan modes are explained, along with stereo and dual panning, in Chapter 11.

2.9

Navigation and Zooming

Navigating within the Track Control Panel

The following keyboard shortcuts can be used to navigate within the Track Control Panel:

Function

Go to next track.

Go to previous track.

Keystroke

Ctrl Alt Down

Ctrl Alt Up

Adjusting Panel Width with Mouse

To adjust the width of the track panel area, place your mouse over the vertical border that separates the track control panel area from the main workspace area, until the mouse indicator changes to a horizontal black double headed arrow. Click and hold down the left mouse button while dragging the mouse left or right.

Release the mouse button when the desired track control panel width is reached. Note that double-clicking on this vertical border will toggle track panel visibility on and off.

Adjusting Track Height with Mouse

Function

Adjust height of single track

Action

Click/drag up/down on lower track boundary

Adjust height of selected tracks

Adjust height of all tracks.

Adjust height of all tracks.

Alt + click/drag up/down on lower track boundary

Ctrl + click/drag up/down on any lower track boundary

Click/drag up/down between + and – on vertical scrollbar

Toggling Track Height with Keyboard or Mouse

Function

Toggle between normal track height and minimised track height, all tracks

Toggle between normal height and maximising currently selected track.

Expand height of selected tracks, minimise all others.

Press again to restore all tracks to same height.

Minimise all tracks.

Keystroke

` (this is the key immediately to the left of 1, usually directly above the Tab key).

~ (on most keyboards, this is the Shift key in combination with the ` key).

! (on most keyboards, this is the Shift key in combination with the 1 key).

@ (on most keyboards, Shift with the 2 key).

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Function

Toggles height of all tracks between minimised, normal and maximised.

Keystroke

Double click mouse on vertical scroll bar

Zooming In and Out with the Keyboard

The following keyboard shortcuts can be used for zooming within a project:

Function

Zoom Out vertically, decreasing track height

Zoom In vertically, increasing track height

Zoom to current time selection

Zoom Out to entire project length

Zoom Out horizontal

Zoom In horizontal

Zoom Out media peaks

Zoom In media peaks

Keystroke

Page Down

Page Up

Ctrl Num Pad +

Ctrl Page Down

- (the minus sign)

+ (the plus sign)

Shift Down

Shift Up

Scrolling with the Keyboard

The following keyboard shortcuts can be used for scrolling within a project:

Function

Scroll View down

Scroll View up

Scroll View left

Scroll View right

Keystrokes

Alt Down

Alt Up

Alt Left

Alt Right

Zooming and Scrolling with the Mousewheel

The mousewheel can also be used for zooming in and out when you are navigating a project file. The table below summarises how the mouse wheel behaves.

Behavior

Horizontal Zoom

Vertical Zoom

Horizontal Scroll

Vertical Scroll

Modifier Key for Mousewheel

(no modifier)

Ctrl

Alt

Ctrl Alt

Note: REAPER's zoom center settings will determine exact zoom behavior. These can be found in the

Editing Behavior section of your Preferences. See

Chapter 21 for more information.

You can change any default keyboard and mousewheel assignments. For example, you could use just the

Down and Up arrows (without Ctrl Alt) to go to the next or previous track, or the mousewheel without a modifier to scroll rather than zoom. You can also use other customized mouse modifiers for zooming, especially within the Arrange view and Ruler contexts. Mouse modifiers are covered in Chapter 14.

Tip: Making and using a zoom/navigate toolbar. Zooming and navigating are activities that are performed a lot. You might wish to consider making your own Zoom/Navigate custom toolbar. It isn't as complicated as it might sound. How to create your own custom toolbars is explained in Chapter 14.

2.10

Keyboard Shortcut and Mouse Defaults

You can use the command Help, Keybindings and Mouse Modifiers (or just press Shift+F1) to open your web browser with a list of REAPER's mouse modifiers and keyboard shortcuts. As you will see in Chapter 14, you can also define your own mouse modifiers, keyboard shortcuts and action keys, so that your mouse and keyboard behavior is determined by the context in which you are using it.

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2.11

Using the Navigator

The REAPER

Navigator shows you an overview of your project. It can be useful to display this when you are zooming closely on an area of your project.

To display the

Navigator, choose the

View, Navigator command. The keys

Ctrl Alt V can be used to toggle the

Navigator display on and off.

You can also use the

Navigator window to scroll thru your project. Simply position the mouse over the box within the navigator window that represents the on-screen area of your project. Then hold down the left mouse button, and click and drag to scroll the display. Release the mouse button when finished. Other ways of using the Navigator are:

Activity

Define new area to be displayed in REAPER workspace.

Method

Hold down right mouse button, drag and release

Reposition rectangle and workspace display area.

Left click mouse

Reposition and relocate play cursor.

Ctrl Left Click

Use as in workspace to scroll and/or zoom.

Mousewheel

2.12

Track FX Basics

Track FX (JS, VST, VST3 and

Direct X as well as VSTi ,

VST3i and DXi, and, for Mac users, AU) can be added to any track by directly inserting the FX into the FX Chain for the required track. A good selection of audio FX plug-ins is supplied with REAPER, including Jesusonic and

Cockos effects. We'll be taking a closer look at many of these individually later in this User

Guide, especially in Chapters 5 and 14. REAPER also includes a bundle of programmable video effects, which we will look at in Chapter 19. For now, let's just focus on some general aspects of how audio FX fit in to the

REAPER scheme of things. To use any of these FX, simply follow this procedure:

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1. Click on the FX Button in the Track Control Panel of the track to which you want to add the FX. This opens the FX window for that track. If the Add FX window (see below) is not automatically displayed, click on the

Add button to open it.

2. Select a category, e.g. All

Plug-ins, DX, VST, JS,

Cockos. All FX in that category will be listed.

3. Double click on the required FX name.

4. To add more FX, click on the Add button in the Track FX window, then repeat steps 2 and

3 above.

Note: When you add any plug-in to any track's FX chain, that plug-in will then be displayed in the FX

Browser's Recently Used FX folder.

2.13

Using the Supplied FX Presets

The excellent FX that are shipped with REAPER can be used to improve the sound of your tracks. The use of these FX is a huge topic. You will find many examples in Chapters 14, 15 and 16 of this User Guide. For more detailed information and more advanced examples, you should consider obtaining a copy of ReaMix: Breaking the Barriers

with REAPER which is available from the REAPER Bookstore at http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=1374784

However, as a means of getting started you might wish to explore some of the presets that come with these plug-ins. For example, Cockos ReaDelay includes presets which as a starting point you can try with your various tracks. Simply display the drop down list and select the item that you want

(example shown right).

Most of the Cockos Rea series of plug-ins include a number of presets. You can explore these for yourself to discover what is available. Of course, you can also make any adjustments and changes to these that you like, in order to customize them more precisely to your own needs.

To set any FX preset as the default for that FX

1. Select the required preset from the drop down list.

2. Click on the + button to the right of the list and choose Save

preset as default from the menu.

3. Type your own name for the preset and click on OK.

As well as the presets supplied with REAPER, you can download further sets by visiting http://stash.reaper.fm/ and following the link to FX

Preset Libraries.

To import downloaded presets into REAPER, follow this sequence:

1. Insert an instance of the plug-in into any track.

2. Click on the + button (just left of the Param button in the FX Chain window).

3. Choose Import Preset Library.

4. Navigate to and select the required file then click on Open.

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To select a preset when loading an FX

1. Open the track FX window and click on the Add button.

2. select the required category (e.g. Cockos).

3. Right click on the required FX (e.g. ReaEQ).

4. From the context menu, choose presets then select the required preset (e.g. Intimate female vocal).

2.14

Controlling Track FX

REAPER provides you with a number of tools to help you manage your Track FX. For example, you can:

 Change the order in which they are applied.

 Copy or move any FX from one track to another.

 Save (and retrieve) any sequence of FX as a chain that can be easily inserted into other tracks.

Bypass individual FX or an entire FX chain.

 Specify a default set of FX to be automatically inserted into new tracks for your project.

Task

Dock the FX Chain

Adjust the values for Track FX parameters

Adjust the wet/dry mix of any FX

Change Track FX Order for a track

Float an FX window

Keep FX or Add FX window on top

Close a floating FX window

Copy an FX from one track to another.

Move an FX from one track to another.

Rename an FX Instance

Bypass an FX

Replace one FX with another

Make the current Track FX the default for new tracks

Method

Choose the FX, Dock FX Window in Docker command.

Drag with the mouse, or scroll the mouse wheel over, the fader that controls the value of the parameter that you wish to change. For fine adjustments, hold down the Ctrl key while you do this.

If you prefer, select the control with the mouse, then use the up/down keys on your keyboard.

Select the plug-in in the FX chain, then use the mouse to adjust the small rotary control next to the UI button on REAPER's FX window interface, as shown here.

A setting of 100% equals completely wet: a setting of 0% represents completely dry.

Drag and drop FX name up or down within the Track FX window.

Double-click on the FX name in the FX Chain window (toggles).

The title bar of the floated window will display the track name, the

FX name, and its place in the track FX chain. For example: VST:

ReaEQ, Track 1 “Vocal” [2/3],i.e. the 2nd FX in a chain of 3.

Click on the pin symbol at right of title bar.

Double-click on FX window title bar.

Hold down Ctrl, drag the FX from the source track FX window and drop on the track panel for any other track.

Hold down Alt, drag the FX from the source track FX window and drop on the track panel for any other track.

Select the FX name in the FX Chain and press F2.

Untick either the check box left of the FX name in the Track FX window or the check box in the top right corner of the FX window.

Select the FX in the FX chain, then press R. In the Replace FX window (now displayed) double-click on the required replacement

FX. Any existing routing configuration will be preserved.

Within the Track FX window, choose FX, Save Chain as default

for new tracks.

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Task Method

Remove an FX from a track

Remove all FX from a track

Search for an FX

Save the current sequence of Track

FX as a chain

Save selected Track FX as a chain

Select the FX name within the Track FX window then click on the

Remove button.

Hold Alt while clicking on the track’s FX button in the TCP.

Enter text in the Filter List at the bottom of the FX window.

In the Track FX window, choose the FX, Save FX Chain command. FX parameter settings are saved with the chain.

Select the names of the FX to be included in the chain (use Ctrl key while clicking the mouse), then choose FX, Save Selected

FX as Chain

Retrieve an existing previously saved FX Chain

Within the Track FX window, choose FX, Add FX Chain command, or within the TCP right-click over the FX button and select Add FX Chain from the menu.

Load your default FX Chain

Within the Track FX window, choose FX, Load Default Track

Chain from the menu.

Access the FX Preferences settings

Within the Track FX window, choose the Options, FX Plug-in

Settings command. These are discussed in Chapter 21.

Bypass all FX for a track

In the Track Control Panel, click on the

FX Enable/Disable toggle button.

Click again to reverse this.

2.15

Creating a Default FX Chain

If you have used other DAW software such as Sonar, you might be used to having an EQ Plug-In automatically inserted for you in every track. REAPER allows you to do this by creating a default FX chain which is then automatically applied to every new track that you create.

Of course, this default chain can contain any FX that you wish. To do this, you simply follow this procedure:

 Open the FX Window for any track.

 Add as many FX you require.

 From the FX window menu, choose FX then

Save chain as default for new tracks.

Tip: If you switch the FX to bypass mode before saving your FX chain, then the FX chain will be saved in bypass mode. This means that the FX in your new tracks will not require any CPU usage until such time as you open the FX window and enable them.

Example

In this example, we will create a default FX chain that consists of ReaEQ and ReaComp, both set to bypass mode.

1. Open any project file and add a new track at the end. We will use this track to create our FX chain.

2. Click on the FX button for this track to open the FX Window.

3. In the first (left) column of the Add FX window, click on Cockos.

4. Select in turn, first ReaEQ (Cockos) and then ReaComp (Cockos). In each case, either use the OK button to add the plug-in to the track FX chain, or drag and drop them into the chain.

5. Make sure that both these FX are unticked – this sets them to bypass.

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6. Right click over one of the FX and from the context menu, choose Save chain as default for new

tracks.

7. Close the FX window.

8. You can now exit REAPER if you wish. There is no need to save the changes to the project file.

9. Re-open REAPER and open any project file.

10. Insert a new track anywhere you wish in this project file.

11. Open the FX window for your new tracks. You should see that the two plug-ins, ReaEQ and ReaComp have already been inserted into this FX bin, in bypass mode.

Tip: If you wish to make changes to the contents of your default FX chain, simply repeat the process described above, this time with the changed set of plug-ins, or (to remove it) with no plug-ins at all.

Tip: If you hold down the Ctrl Shift keys when opening a project file, the file will be opened with its FX off line. This can be useful if you need to conserve CPU, or if there is a plug-in which might be causing problems.

2.16

Using an FX Bus

If you have used other DAW software, or an analog (tape) recording and mixing desk, you are probably already familiar with the concept of a Bus. The exact meaning of the term can have several variations, but most commonly (and in this example), a Bus is used to enable a number of tracks to share the same resource (such as perhaps Reverb or Chorus FX).

This saves on valuable computer resources such as CPU. For example, instead of requiring multiple instances of the same FX in perhaps three or four tracks or more, by using a Bus you can ensure that only one instance of the FX is required. Note that when you use a Bus in this way:

 The output of each track is still directed to the Master.

 In addition, a copy of the signal from each track is directed to the FX Bus.

 At some stage, the output of the FX Bus is then mixed back in with the original signal. Typically (and in the example shown here) this is achieved by directing the output of the FX Bus to the Master, although other more complex routing arrangements are also possible.

The Bus can be inserted anywhere in the project that you like. In this example, we will place it just after the last track. This example uses the sample project file All Through The Night.RPP. Open this file, then save a copy to a new name such as All Through The Night with Bus.RPP before embarking on this example.

In this example, we are going to create an FX Bus and insert into that bus a Chorus effect. We will then ensure that both of our guitar tracks use the chorus. You will see that REAPER is different from other audio software in that it makes no inherent distinction between a Bus and a Track. The difference is determined solely by how you use it. Notice that the illustration below shows that for a more pleasing sound, the guitar tracks have been panned somewhat to the left and right respectively.

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To Create the Bus and add the FX to it:

Select track 4 (in the Track Control Panel).

To insert a new track either choose the Track, Insert New Track command, or press Ctrl ,T or double click in the vacant track control panel area beneath the last track.

To name this new track, click in the area where the name is to go, type FX Bus then press Enter.

To insert the Chorus FX into this bus, click on the bus’s FX button. From the list of plug-in types, select

Jesusonic, then in the list of plug-ins double click on JS: Guitar/Chorus. Close the Bus FX window.

To Create Sends from the two guitar tracks to the Bus:

Select the two guitar tracks in the TCP. Right-click over the ROUTE button for either of these tracks.

From the context menu, choose Sends then Track 5: FX Bus.

Note that for every send there is an equivalent receive, and vice versa. For example, if you now open the

Routing window for Track 5 (click on the track's ROUT button) you will see that it has two receives, one from each guitar track. You'll learn more about REAPER's routing later in this chapter (Routing Essentials) as well as in Chapter 5 and 15.

Making Adjustments

When you now play the song, you’ll probably find that there’s more chorus on the guitar tracks than you would like. There are four main ways to adjust this. Experiment until you find what gives you the results you want:

1. Adjust the chorus FX parameters. In this case, you could lower the amount of Wet signal in the mix.

2. Adjust the levels of one or both of the receives in the FX bus routing window.

3. Display the routing window for either guitar track and adjust the send levels for that track.

4. Adjust output volume fader for the track called FX Bus.

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Speed Tips

In Order To Do This ...

Toggle on/off send from track to

Master

Create a quick send on the fly from one track to another.

Send a track's output direct to any hardware output.

Do This

Hold Alt while clicking on ROUTING button. Works with single track or multiple track selection.

Drag and drop from ROUTING button of send track to the track panel of receive track. This can also be done in the mixer view.

See Chapter 11 for a description of the full range of options.

Right-click on ROUTING button and select Audio Hardware

Output or MIDI output (as required) then choose from the submenu. This can be used with a track selection and is independent of the track's master send status.

2.17

Analyzing FX Performance

FX plug-ins can impose a heavy load on your computer’s CPU. To help you overcome this, you can use the Performance Meter to closely monitor your FX in the following ways:

 You can check how much CPU is being used by the FX in your various tracks and in the master.

You can disable and enable FX chains for individual tracks, quickly, easily and conveniently, all together in one place.

 You can toggle on and off the mute status for your tracks, again all in one convenient place.

To display the Performance Meter, press Ctrl Alt P, or use the

View, Performance Meter command.

Example

In the example shown (right), the Master track with 1 plug-in is using 0.14% and the Vox, also with one plug-in, is using 0.05%.

If any track shows an unexpectedly high reading, you can examine the FX for this track, to help you to identify the reason for this. To open a track FX chain, double click on the track name or number in the Performance Meter window.

This feature is useful if you have a large number of tracks in your project. You can use the Performance Meter window to browse thru your project file, checking it track by track, without having to scroll or navigate thru Track View. You can of course also toggle FX Bypass for any track, selection of tracks, or all tracks in the Track View or Mixer View. The table below summarises these options.

In order to do this …

Toggle FX Bypass On/Off for that track.

Toggle FX Bypass On/Off for all tracks in the selection.

Toggle FX Bypass On/Off for all tracks.

In Mixer or Track View, do this …

Click the FX Bypass button for any track.

Select a number of tracks (Ctrl Click) then click the FX

Bypass button for any track in the selection.

Hold Ctrl key while clicking FX Bypass button for any track.

In addition, the Performance Meter has two right click menus, each with a number of options (see above). The first is accessed by right clicking in the track list area.

In order to do this …

Open FX Window for that track.

Toggle FX Bypass On/Off.

Toggle track mute for that track.

In the Performance Meter window do this …

Right click on track name, choose Show FX Dialog.

Right click on track name, choose Toggle FX Bypass.

Right click over any track, choose Toggle Track Mute.

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In order to do this …

Show in/hide from Performance Meter track list tracks with no FX.

Show in/hide from Performance Meter master track/monitoring when these have no FX.

In the Performance Meter window do this …

Right click on any track, enable/disable Show track FX

when empty.

Right click on any track, enable/disable Show master FX

when empty and/or Show monitoring FX when

empty.

The other menu is used mostly to select what information you want shown in the window. Right click anywhere in the main

Performance Meter area to display this. You can also use this menu to move the window to the docker.

Tip: You can select several tracks – using Ctrl Click – then right click over any of the selected track numbers in the

Performance Meter window to Toggle FX bypass and/or Track

Mute status for all tracks in the selection.

Note: You can find more information about the REAPER

Performance Meter in Section 19 of this guide, Further

Customizing REAPER.

2.18

Selections and Loops

Often you will want to work with just a part of your project for a while. In order to do this, first check the

Options menu to see if Loop Points Linked to Time Selection is enabled. If it is enabled (ticked) then making a time selection and defining a loop are the same thing. If it is disabled (not ticked) then making a time selection and defining a loop become two different things. Whichever is the case, you can define your loop area by clicking and dragging along the timeline.

 Stop the playback at or near the point where you want your loop to begin (or click your mouse in the background area) to move the Edit Cursor there.

 Place your mouse over the Timeline (just above the first track), then click and drag along the timeline, releasing the mouse to define the exact area that you want to loop. The effect of this is illustrated above. Notice that the start and end of the loop are marked by two small triangles.

If when you attempt this, the selection snaps outwards to define a larger area than you want, then REAPER has snapping enabled. Snapping will be discussed in detail in Chapter 7, but for now you can use the shortcut keys Alt S to toggle this feature on and off.

Tip: To set the loop selection to match a media item, hold Ctrl while you double click on that item. To set the time selection to match a media item, hold Shift while you double-click on the item.

Now when you play the project, provided that the loop (toggle repeat) button on the transport bar has been engaged, it will replay over again the area selected for your Loop.

This is known as the repeat function. If loop points are linked to time selection, the start time, finish time and duration of the selection are also shown on the Transport Bar. In any event, pressing the

R key toggles this repeat function on and off. There is also the option (under Options, Preferences on the

Playback page) to stop playback at the end of a loop when the repeat function is disabled.

To change the region defined as your loop, simply repeat the original procedure. To clear the loop altogether, without defining a new one, just press the Escape key.

If loop points are not linked to the time selection, you can define a time selection by clicking and dragging in the space underneath or between the media items, in the arrange view background area. An example of this is shown below.

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Right clicking on the Timeline then gives you a menu of commands which you can apply to a time selection, including Zoom Selection.

You can also use this menu to change the units used on the timeline – for example,

Minutes:Seconds, Measures:Beats,

Measures:Beats and Minutes:Seconds,

Measures.Beats (minimal), Measures.Beats (minimal)

and Minutes/Seconds (as in the example above right), Seconds, Samples, Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frames or Absolute Frames.

Many of these commands are shown in the illustration (right) - enough to help you to understand how important working with time selections is in

REAPER. The other commands on this menu will be discussed elsewhere in this User Guide, as the need arises. These are features that you are likely to find useful when editing your files.

Incidentally, to zoom out of a time selection and restore a whole project length to view, press Ctrl PgDown.

There's more about loops and time selections elsewhere in this guide, e.g. Chapters 6 and

8.

2.19

Managing Time and Loop

Selections

In the previous section you learnt how to click and drag within an empty area of the track view to define a time selection. This may or may not also change the loop selection, depending on your Options, Loop points

linked to time selection setting. As you progress thru this User Guide, you will see that time selection plays an important role in REAPER, for example when it comes to editing your media items. You’ll probably find at first that it’s too easy to perhaps select too large an area, or to miss part of the area that you intended to select.

To modify a loop selection using the mouse, hover the mouse over the edge at the start or finish of the loop selection on the timeline, then click and drag left or right. Dragging left from the start of the selected area extends the selection left, dragging right shortens it. Dragging right from the finish of the selected area extends it to the right, dragging left shortens it. Holding Ctrl while you do this cause any snap settings to be ignored.

To move a loop selection, hold the mouse over the selected area on the time line, then hold down Shift while clicking and dragging the mouse left or right.

You can also modify a time selection by first clicking then scrolling the mousewheel over the Selection area of the

Transport Bar. Scroll over the start area to adjust start time, end area to adjust end time, or over the length of selection area to move the entire selection. If you wish, you can enter actual times in the start and end time boxes. There are also several keyboard shortcuts you can use for managing Time Selections, summarised below. If loop points are linked to the time selection, then the loop area will also be modified.

Function

Nudge Entire Time Selection left a little.

Nudge Entire Time Selection right a little.

Extend Time Selection to left by nudging left edge left a little.

Shrink Time Selection to right by nudging left edge right a little.

Keystroke

, (comma)

. (period or full stop)

Ctrl ,

Ctrl .

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Function

Shrink Time Selection from right by nudging right edge left a little.

Extend Time Selection from left by nudging right edge right a little.

Move Time Selection left by time selection length.

Move Time Selection right by time selection length.

Copy portions of selected media items in Time Selection.

Remove Time Selection.

Keystroke

Ctrl Alt ,

Ctrl Alt .

Shift ,

Shift .

Ctrl Shift C

Esc

If you wish, you can use the keyboard rather than the mouse to define your time selections. First you need to position the cursor at either the start or the end of the loop, then use one of these:

Function

Drag cursor to the left and create time selection.

Drag cursor to the right and create time selection.

Keystroke

Shift Left Arrow

Shift Right Arrow

The following keystrokes can be used to zoom when you are working with a time selection:

Function

Zoom to Time Selection.

Zoom back to Project.

Keystroke

Ctrl PageUp

Ctrl PageDown

Tip:

If you are unable to position your cursor exactly where you wish when creating a loop selection, it may be that you have snapping enabled. Alt S will toggle snapping status on and off.

2.20

Navigating by Jumping

You can jump to any point on the timeline using the

View, Go To, Jump To command, or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl J. In specifying the place to jump to, you should use the same format as is used on the timeline. In the example used here, the timeline displays

Measures and below it Minutes and Seconds. You could therefore use either format, e.g. 33.1 or 1:04.

If your project uses markers and/or regions, you can use this box to jump straight to any maker or region. For example, typing M1 will cause it to jump to marker 1, R2 to jump to the start of region 2, and so on. Markers and regions are explored in Chapter 9.

Tip: Another easy way to open the Jump to dialog box is to double-click on the time on the transport bar.

2.21

Time and Loop Selections and the Transport Bar

There are two special ways in which the transport bar can be used with a loop selection or a time selection.

In order to do this ...

Repeatedly play the selection over and over

Play back project skipping over time selection

… you should do this

Make the required loop selection, make sure Repeat is enabled (the button next to Record on the Transport Bar), position the play cursor within the loop and press Space.

Make the required time selection and position the play cursor anywhere before the start of that selection. Press Alt Space.

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2.22

Item Names, Buttons and Icons

Depending on Appearance, Media preference settings, you may (or may not) see item names displayed above the media item rather than on it

(see right). You might also see some media item icons (or buttons). You'll learn more about this when we examine media items in Chapter 7.

2.23

REAPER Routing Essentials

This section will teach you more about one of the most important core functions of REAPER – Routing.

Routing is the means by which you ensure that your media (audio and/or MIDI) are directed to where you want them to go, so that your project can be heard exactly as you want it to be heard. You were introduced to some basic examples earlier in this chapter, when we looked at creating and using an FX bus. Routing can be very simple or extremely complex – and anything in between. This section introduces you to basic routing concepts.

More complex routing options will be covered later in this Chapter, also in Chapters 4 and 15, and elsewhere.

Each track includes a Routing Button in its panel toolbar (shown right). Hovering the mouse over this button will display a tool tip. This will also show any sends and/or receives already associated with that track. Clicking the button causes the routing window for that track to be displayed. To close the track routing window, either press the Escape key, or click on the little X in the top right corner of the window, or click anywhere outside the window.

The actual contents of your

Track Routing window will vary according to your project structure and your DAW hardware setup

(e.g. sound card and audio devices, MIDI devices etc.).

Depending on the nature of your project, your display should be similar to that shown above, but not necessarily identical. Notice in particular:

Master/Parent Send – Enabling this ensures that the track’s output will be directed to the Master. In the sample files provided, you will want to direct the output of all tracks directly to the Master, as shown for Track 1 (above). If in doubt, leave this item enabled.

Sends – In the FX Bus example earlier in this chapter you created sends. A track's output can be routed via a send from any track to any other track or tracks. This topic will be covered in more detail later.

Audio Hardware Outputs – in addition to (or instead of) directing output to your Master Bus, you can also direct output of any track directly to Hardware Outputs on your audio device. If your audio device has multiple outputs, this can be useful, for example, for creating a separate headphone mix, or as series of separate headphone mixes.

MIDI Hardware Output – Use this option to direct MIDI output to an external device or to the

Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth.

Receives – For every send (source) track there will be a receive (destination) track. In the earlier example, the FX bus included two receives, one from each of the two guitar tracks in that project file.

 Notice (picture below) that when you create a send, you are presented with volume and pan faders which can be used to control this. You can also specify whether to send audio output, MIDI output, or both.

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 Whenever you select any listed track, audio hardware output or MIDI device to be used for a track’s routing, controls such as Level and

Pan are automatically added to this interface.

When you create a new project, by default the output of each new track is routed to the Master track and from there to the output of your sound card. If that is all you need, you do not need to study the routing options right now. However, understanding REAPER’s routing capabilities will almost certainly enable you at some stage to get more benefits from the program.

The illustration below shows an example of the Track Routing Window for a track for which both a send and a

receive have been created. You will be shown how to do this later in this User Guide, starting at Chapter 5.

Approach track routing gently at first: it is a very powerful feature of REAPER. The early chapters of this User Guide will take you thru the basics of track routing.

After you have mastered these, you will find some rather more complex examples elsewhere in this

User Guide, especially in Chapter 16.

Note: Sends and Receives can be any of three types. These are Post Fader (Post Pan), Pre-Fader (Post

FX) and Pre FX. The differences will be discussed in Chapter 16. Meanwhile, if in doubt accept the default option Post-Fader (Post Pan). See also the flow charts that are shown at the end of Chapter 6.

2.24

The Routing Matrix

REAPER's Routing Matrix is a “one stop” window where you can manage and arrange a project's entire routing structures. For example, you can add and delete sends and receives and manage their various parameter controls, such as volume and pan.

Press Alt R to display the routing matrix. For the project file All Through The Night with Bus it should resemble that shown right: of course your hardware outputs will not be the same.

Observe the cell in the matrix where the Gtr Body row intersects with the FX Bus column. It contains two small blobs.

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By right clicking over this cell, you can cause the controls to be displayed which determine how the signal from the Gtr Body track is sent to the FX Bus (see illustration below).

Simplifying the Routing Matrix

Display

If your sound card has multiple outputs, then by default, REAPER’s

Routing Matrix will display multiple permutations of paired outputs, including several that you may feel that you do not need. By default REAPER will allow you to use any two consecutively numbered audio outputs as a stereo pair. It is quite likely that you may want to use, for example, outputs 1 and 2 as one pair (perhaps for your speakers) and outputs 3 and 4 as another pair (perhaps for your headphone amp). However, it would be unusual to want to use outputs 2 and

3 together as a pair.

If you wish, you can prevent these unwanted combinations from being displayed by choosing the Options,

Preferences command, then selecting the

Audio settings page. This includes a

Channel naming section, where you can turn off the option to Show non-standard

stereo channel pairs (see right). If for some reason you did wish to direct your output to any non-standard pair, you could still do so by selecting each of them individually on the matrix.

2.25

Docking and Floating

Too many views on the screen at once creates clutter. That’s when the Docker becomes useful. Right clicking over the title bar or background area of most windows causes a context menu to be displayed which will offer a list of choices relevant to that window. Usually their purpose will be obvious. This will include an option Dock in

Docker.

When a number of windows are docked, at the foot of the Docker you will see a series of Tabs. These are used to select which item is displayed by the Docker at any time. In the illustration here, the Docker includes several items. Notice also that:

 If you close a Window, next time it opens its docking status will be the same as when it was closed. If a

Window is docked when it is closed, next time it is opened it will still be docked.

 To undock a window, right click over the background or tab area of the window and deselect the Dock in

Docker option.

 The Docker can itself be attached to the main window or detached and floated. Click over the small exclamation mark in the bottom left corner of the Docker and use the option to Attach Docker to Main

Window to toggle.

By default the docker will be attached to the bottom of the main window, but you can use the same menu to change this position to left, top or right.

 Clicking over the exclamation mark after detaching the Docker from the Main Menu will also give you access to the Set Opacity feature. This can be used to ensure that when floated and not in focus, the

Docker is transparent. Opacity can be set between 25% and 100%.

Tip: The keyboard shortcut Alt D can be used as a toggle to show or hide the Docker or Dockers.

More experienced users might be interested to know that if you wish you can work with multiple dockers. This topic is covered in Chapter 12, Project Management Features.

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As an alternative to docking windows, you might consider the toggle command View, Show/hide

all floating windows as a method of handling screen clutter. Another useful command can be

View, Cascade all floating windows.

2.26

The Undo History Window

REAPER’s Undo feature is user friendly and very powerful. The View, Undo History command

(or use Ctrl Alt Z) toggles open and closed the

Undo History Window. You can double click on any event displayed in that window to go back to that point.

The General settings page under Options,

Preferences includes a section which you can use to determine the behavior of the Undo

History. In particular, you can:

 Specify the maximum amount of memory to be allocated to

Undo. Setting this to zero will effectively disable this feature.

 Specify whether item, track, envelope point and/or time selection and/or changes in cursor positions are to be included in the Undo History.

 Ensure that if the allocated Undo storage area becomes full, the most recent actions will be retained in the Undo History.

Save your Undo History with the Project File and ensure that this file is loaded with the project. This means that even after retrieving the project file at some later date, you will still be able to revert the project to an earlier state if you wish.

Store multiple undo/redo paths. Within the Undo

History window you can even store alternate sequences of commands and actions, then switch between them!

Tip: On the Appearance page of your Preferences settings, you can enable or disable the option Show last undo point in

menu bar. If you enable this, your last undoable action is shown after the last command on the menu bar. You can click on this at any time to open and display the Undo History window. Click a second time to close this window.

Note also that the Undo History window is dockable. To do this

(as with most other windows), right-click on the title bar and choose Dock in Docker from the context menu.

2.27

Keeping a Window on Top

The small pin shown on the right of the title bar of most windows (just before the

X) can be used to pin a window to keep it on top. Click on this to toggle its on top status. When the pin is shown in the down position, the window is locked on top.

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2.28

Multiple Project Tabs

REAPER lets you keep more than one project open at the same time, using multiple project tabs. This makes it easy for you to jump between different projects if you are working on more than one song, or to move or copy media items (audio and/or MIDI) from one project to another.

To create a new project tab when you already have one file open, simply use the File, New Project Tab command (or press Ctrl Alt N). A new tab will be opened (labelled Unsaved), but the previous project will also remain open on a different tab. You can jump between projects simply clicking on the tab (see below).

To open a file in a particular project tab, simply select that tab, then use the File, Open Project command in the usual way. To open it in a new project tab, simply select this option from the dialog box when opening the project. You may have as many projects open as you wish. Right click over any project tab to show the project tab menu. The commands are:

New project tab, This inserts a new tab.

Close project. Closes the current project and the tab with it.

You can also do this by clicking on the X at the left hand end of the project tab.

Close all projects but current. Closes all project tabs except current one.

Close all projects. Closes all open projects.

Always show project tabs. Shows project tabs, even if only one project is currently open (toggle).

Show project tabs on left side of window: Displays tabs on left of window instead of top (toggle).

Hide background project FX/MIDI windows. Ensures that when one of a number of open project tabs is selected, any open FX windows etc. belonging to other open projects are not displayed on top of it.

Run background projects. This allows you to play the project in one tab while working on another.

Run stopped background projects. Commences playback of projects in tabs not currently selected.

Play stopped background projects with active project: Causes background projects (open on other tabs) to be played with the current project. When this is enabled, you can also select Synchronize play start times

w/play background projects. This will ensure that all open projects are played/stopped in synch.

These commands and Offline background project media are mutually exclusive.

Monitoring FX … This opens the monitoring FX window for hardware output monitoring: see Chapter 6.

Tips: When working with multiple project tabs, they can be reordered using drag and drop. When using multiple project tabs, you can use the

File, Close All Projects command to close all open projects at once.

Note that the small X button used to close a project tab can be positioned to the left or the right: just drag and drop according to your preference.

2.29

Opening Multiple Project Tabs Together

You can open several projects together at the same time, each in its own project tab, provided all the .RPP files are in the same folder.

Simply use the File, Open project command, then navigate to the required folder. Use Ctrl Click to build your selection, ensure Open in new project tab is ticked, then click on Open.

2.30

Managing the Play Cursor

By default, when a project is playing, pressing Stop (or Spacebar) will stop playback and return the play cursor to its previous starting position.

Pressing Pause (or Enter) will pause playback at the current play cursor position. You can also specify that the play cursor should be moved when you click on the Time Ruler, an empty area of any track or in the empty area below tracks.

These three options can be enabled/disabled in your Seek playback when clicked. (Options, Preferences,

Audio, Seeking settings).

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3 Recording Audio and MIDI

This chapter will take you thru everything you need to know to get started with recording in REAPER. At the end of the chapter, you will find a helpful checklist.

3.1

Creating a New Project

To create a new project file, you can either use the File, New Project command, or press Ctrl N.

The Project page within the Options, Preferences dialog box can be used to determine how REAPER behaves each time you create a new project:

Amongst the most useful options on this screen are the following:

Use project file as a template. This enables you to use an existing project file as a template for new projects. All tracks, HX, tracks, buses, routing etc. will be copied into the new file from the template file.

Prompt to save on new project. If you enable this option, you will be prompted to save your new projects immediately they are created.

Open properties on new project. If this option is selected, the Project Options dialog box will automatically be displayed every time you create a new project. This can help ensure that you select the correct recording format and other settings that you require.

Automatically create a backup each time your file is saved and overwritten. This helps protect you against accidental loss of work.

 Whether to create and save multiple project versions. This feature is explained in Chapter 11.

Automatically save to a timestamped file at intervals you specify. This can help to protect you from the consequences of an unforeseen circumstance such as a power outage or a computer crash. You can save these files to the project directory and/or an additional directory. You can also specify the frequency (in minutes) of automatic saving, and whether to apply this when not recording, when

stopped, or at any time.

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3.2

Setting Media Project Options

After creating a project file, you can display the Project Settings window –

Alt Enter – to ensure that you are using your preferred Media Settings. In particular, check your preferred audio format. If you are not sure, for CD quality select .WAV, with settings similar to those shown here. If you wish later to use some other format (such as .MP3) you can render your files in that format.

The settings shown would be suitable when the output is to be rendered to CD audio. As a rule, 24 bit is preferred for recording. If the recording is to be finalised in DVD format rather than CD, you should consider a sample rate of

48000 instead of 44100. This is specified on the main Project Settings page.

Some people prefer 88200 for CD and

96000 for DVD. Be aware that increasing sample rate also increases media item file size and slows down processing.

Other formats.

If you prefer, you can record using any of a number of available compressed formats, including MP3, OGG and WavPack. Choosing any of these will present you with further options appropriate to that format. For example, if you choose MP3 you will need also to specify your required bitrate.

There is also a drop down list where you choose to write as cues to your recorded media files markers and regions, either one of these, or none of these, or only markers/regions whose name begins with #. See Chapter 9 for more about markers and regions.

3.3

Saving the Project File

After creating a file, use the File, Save Project command, or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl S, to save it. You will need to specify a project file name. When saving a new file you are offered a number of options. You can choose to Create

subdirectory for

project. If you also select

Copy all media into

project directory you may also specify a format for these items to be converted.

If you select Move all media into project directory , then by default all media files used by the project will be moved into the project subdirectory. Optionally you can ask to Copy rather than move source media if

not in old project media path. You would be likely to choose this, for example, if your project uses files from a samples library, to ensure that the samples are not removed from the library.

You should also make sure that you get into the habit of frequently resaving your project after making changes.

The easiest way to do this is simply to press Ctrl S.

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3.4

Creating and Naming Tracks

After creating a new project file, the next thing you will want to do is to create a track or a number of tracks for recording. A project can contain as many or as few tracks as you want. You can add tracks using the Track,

Insert New Track command or by pressing Ctrl T. Alternatively, you can simply double-click anywhere in the vacant area of the Track Control Panel.

It is advisable to name the tracks before you start recording. To do this, double-click in the track name area and type the name. The media file that is created when you record will then be given a sensible name that matches the track. Under Options, Preferences you can display the Recording settings page and decide which items are automatically included in your track’s file names. These can be any combination of track index (number), track name, and the time of the recording. We'll look at more of these recording preferences later in this chapter.

REAPER supports multitrack recording. The number of different sources that you can record at the same time is limited by the number of enabled inputs (under Preferences, Audio, Device) on your audio soundcard. Before commencing recording, for each track you will need to:

Arm the track for recording.

Assign the Input that is being used.

Check that the sound level is right for recording.

Optionally, you may also:

REAPER's Preferences include a page of Track/Send defaults which you can use to set track default characteristics

(e.g. default volume fader level).These are explained in Chapter 20.

 Select a recording format other than the default.

 Turn input monitoring on.

Note: You do not need to specify when creating a track whether it is to be a stereo or mono track. When assigning the track input for recording, you can use either a single mono input or a stereo pair. Note that both stereo and mono tracks can be panned between the left and right speakers as you wish. Panning is a topic that occurs throughout this guide, for example in Chapter 5.

3.5

To Prepare and Record One Track

1. Check the Options menu to make sure that Record mode: Normal is selected. We'll examine the other modes as this chapter progresses.

2. Click on the Record Arm button for that track

(on the left) The button should now appear red.

3. Click the mouse over the Input settings for that track (below the pan fader - see right) to display a menu. The exact options on that menu will depend on which sound card and audio device(s) you have installed.

4. Select the required input from the menu. This will be the one to which the microphone or line that you are using for recording is connected. In most cases, this is likely to be one of the Input: Mono options. If you are not sure which option to pick, choose Mono when recording from a single microphone or lead.

5. Enable Input Monitoring. This is the first item (Monitor Input) on the Record arm button right-click context menu, or you can use the toggle Record monitoring button shown here (right). The location of this button may vary according to your choice of layout and the TCP column width. If your sound card supports direct monitoring you will most likely wish to use that, in which case you should not enable

REAPER's input monitoring. Consult the sound card's documentation for more information about this. If your sound card does not support direct monitoring, then you should enable REAPER's input monitoring. There's more about input monitoring in sections 3.14 and 3.15.

6. Audition the sound while you adjust the volume on your audio desk or sound input device, so as to get a good strong signal without clipping. If in doubt, aim to peak at about –10dB. Note that the recording level

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cannot be controlled by adjusting the Track’s volume fader: that controls only the playback level.

7. Press the Record button on the Transport, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl R.

8. To finish recording, either press Stop on the Transport, or press Space, or press the Record button again, or press Ctrl R. Now click on the Record Arm button for this track to “disarm” it.

Tip: The Input menu (shown above) includes an item Input: None. This can be used to prevent material from ever being accidentally recorded onto a track where it is not wanted, such as perhaps an FX bus or a folder.

Note 1:

If you stop recording by pressing the Record button or with Ctrl R, the recorded media are automatically saved.

If you press Space or Stop, the dialog box shown here will give you the opportunity to save or delete any or all of your newly recorded media items.

Note 2:

REAPER supports “on the fly recording”. This means that you can also arm additional tracks after the recording has started.

Those tracks will then also be recorded from the point at which you arm them. Similarly, if you are recording more than one track, you can stop recording one while continuing to record the others by clicking on the Record Arm/Disarm button to disarm just that track.

Tip: When recording, make sure that the incoming signal is not too loud, or you can damage your recording equipment. Here’s what to do:

1. Turn the input or gain control on your input device (e.g. firewire device or desk) all the way down.

2. If recording an instrument in-line, insert one end of the line into the instrument and the other end into your input device. Turn the output on the instrument fully up

3. Audition the instrument, slowly raising the input or gain control on your input device until it sounds right.

3.6

To Prepare and Record Multiple Tracks

To prepare multiple tracks for recording you could repeat all of the necessary steps as many times as you require tracks, but that might be tedious – and besides, it’s too easy to make a mistake when selecting your audio inputs. You could end up with one input being recorded more than once, and perhaps another input being accidentally missed out. This is something that, at one time or another, is likely to happen with most DAW software. To avoid this problem, you can follow this sequence:

1. Use the Insert, Multiple tracks command to insert as many tracks as you require. The Insert tracks dialog will be displayed. Select the number of tracks required and choose whether they are to be inserted

After the last touched track or At end of project. Click on OK.

Name your new tracks.

2. Select all tracks to be recorded. After making your selection, click on the

Record Arm button of any one of them to arm the entire selection.

3. One method is to use the Routing Matrix. Press Alt R to display this.

In this example, four tracks are to be recorded at the same time. By default, all four tracks are at first assigned to the first input (above). If you were to record now, the same signal from the first input would be recorded four times! (Notice also that by default, input 1 is also assigned to track 5 - the FX bus - but as this is not armed nothing will be recorded there.)

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4. Click in the appropriate cells in the Routing Matrix to assign each track an input. The example shown uses audio inputs - Input 1 is to go to Track 1,

Input 2 to Track 2 and so on. MIDI inputs may also be selected – these are listed below the audio inputs. You can also right click over any red cell to access the Record Input menu should you wish to do so.

5. Monitor the strength of the signals and record as before.

Tips: Using the Track Control Panel to prepare multiple tracks

Another option is to use the TCP to set up and record your tracks.

1. To define the same record settings for multiple tracks, select the required tracks, right-click on the arm record button, then make your choices from the menu. Holding Shift will over-ride this and apply your menu choices to the one track only. Inputs can be assigned to a selection of tracks in a similar way by clicking on the Input button.

2. To assign a series of mono inputs in sequence to a set of tracks, select the tracks then click the Input button of any track in the selection. Next, select Assign inputs sequentially then your required inputs – e.g. in the above example, this would be Mono, Input 1 to Input 4.

3. To insert a new track at the end of your project, you can simply double click in the Track Control Panel area, just below the last existing track.

3.7

Auto Arming Tracks

If you wish, you can ensure that tracks are automatically armed for recording when selected and unarmed when deselected. Simply select the track(s) then right click over the record arm button for any track in the selection and choose Automatic record arm when track selected. This command can be toggled on and off.

To set all tracks in a project to auto arm, choose the Track command from the main menu, then Set all tracks

to automatic record arm when selected.

3.8

Using the Metronome

You can set up and use a Metronome when using REAPER for recording. To do this, you need first to right-click on the metronome button on toolbar, or the use the Options,

Metronome/pre-roll, Metronome/ pre-

roll settings command to set up your metronome. Left-clicking on the metronome button, or choosing the Options,

Metronome/pre-roll, Metronome

enabled command from the main menu, is then used to toggle the metronome on/off.

The Metronome Settings

Enable metronome: This turns the built-in metronome on or off.

The I/O Button: Immediately to the right of the Enable Metronome option, this allows metronome output to be directed to the device of your choice (e.g., Headphones). If any input monitoring FX are in use, the option to Play metronome thru Monitor FX will be available.

Run during playback: This will turn the metronome on during playback.

Count-in before playback : This will enable a count-in before playback.

Run during recording: This will turn the metronome on during recording.

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Count-in before recording: This will enable a count-in before recording. Useful if you are recording yourself.

It ensures that when you press Ctrl R the recording will not actually start until after the specified count-in. This gives you time to get back to the microphone and pick up your instrument.

Count-in length (Measures): This defines the number of measures a count in should be. If it is the very beginning of a project, it will wait those number of measures before starting to record. If you select a place to record within a project, it will start the count in this many measures before the time that you want to record at.

Primary beat volume: This determines how loud is the metronome volume.

Secondary beat gain:- The amount by which the volume of secondary beats will be adjusted.

Beat pattern: You can accept the default AABB or define your own.

You can also use Samples for your own metronome sounds.

First beat sample: This is the sample for the first beat – e.g., in 4/4 time, this sample will play on the 1.

Subsequent beat: This is the sample for other beats. For example, in 4/4 time, this sample will play on the 2,

3, and 4. To use your samples samples for the metronome in all your project you need to set up the samples, save a project with no tracks (but with any other project setting you think may be useful) then, in Preferences/

Project specify that project as the default template to use for all new projects.

By default, REAPER uses a synthesised metronome. You can specify in Hz the Frequency of first beat and of

Subsequent beats.

Beat click length xx ms: This is how long each beat click lasts.

Start shape: This can be hard (louder) or soft (quieter).

The Pre roll settings can be used so that when you start recording, or playback, the metronome will play for the specified number of measures before recording or playback actually begins.

Tip: The Metronome Time Base is controlled by the Project Settings. Press Alt Enter and display the

Project Settings page if you need to change this.

3.9

Recording Stereo Tracks

You may wish to record from two inputs direct to a stereo track, for example, if you are uploading some previously recorded material from audio tape into REAPER, or are recording stereo paired microphones.

Follow a similar procedure to that explained in section 3.5, selecting a stereo input instead of mono. The signal from paired stereo inputs can be recorded on to a single stereo item on a single track.

As has already explained in Chapter 2, it is advisable to open the Audio page of your Preferences settings and turn off the option to Show Non-Standard Stereo Channel Pairs. This will reduce your available stereo paired inputs to a more logical selection such as that shown above.

3.10

Multi-Channel Recording

This is a more advanced topic, less suitable for novices.

If you define a track as multichannel (for example, perhaps 4, 6 or 8 channels) then your recording input context menu for that track will include an option for multichannel recording. You can, for example, record from four, six or eight microphones simultaneously, each to a separate channel on the one track. This method is suited, for example, for use with four channel ambisonic microphone arrays as used in surround sound production.

For multichannel tracks, there is also a toggle command on the record arm context menu Track VU meter,

Show peaks from all track channels (not just 1+2).

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3.11

Track Templates

After you have set up a track (or a number of tracks) for recording, you might think that you may wish to use this same track exactly as it is again in some future projects. This can be done using Track Templates.

To create a track template from an existing track (or selection of tracks):

1. Select the track or tracks.

2. Choose the Track, Save tracks as track template command.

3. When prompted, type a template name. If you wish, you can select the option to Include track items

in the template. If so, any audio and MIDI items on the track will be included. You may also choose to Include envelopes in template. (Envelopes will be explained in Chapter 17).

4. Click on Save.

To import an existing track template into a project:

1. From the REAPER menu, choose the Track, Insert track from template command.

2. Depending on how your templates are stored, either select the required template from the menu, or choose Open template, then choose the required template and click on Open.

The Insert track from template sub-menu includes Offset template items by edit cursor. If enabled, any media items and/or envelopes saved with the original template will be inserted at the edit cursor position.

Note: T

rack properties and settings are saved into the template, including track name, inputs and outputs, any

FX plug-ins (with any parameter settings, parameter modulation, and track controls), sends and receives.

However, if a track included in a track template includes any sends to or receives from any track or tracks not included in the template, then these sends and receives will not be saved into the track template.

Tip: Organizing track templates. You can find where your track templates are stored by using the Options,

Show REAPER resource path … command (see Chapter 1). Here you can create subdirectories within the

TrackTemplates folder where you to store and arrange your track templates as you please. Your subdirectories and their contents will automatically be shown on the Insert track from template sub menu.

3.12

Importing an Existing Project

The Track, Insert Track from Template, Open Template command can be used to import an entire

REAPER project into your current project. All tracks in the original project file are imported – media items, track settings, FX, routing, etc. However, items that are not track specific (such as markers) are not imported.

To do this, simply select Project Files as the File Type when the Open Track

Template dialog box is displayed, navigate to select the file you wish to import, then click on Open. The tracks from the imported project file are inserted immediately below the currently selected tracks.

3.13

Project Templates

A Project Template goes further than a Track Template in that it can be used to create an entire Project File, based upon the structure and settings of the template file. For example, Project Settings (including Media

Settings) are saved with a project template, along with the screen layout, which views are open, how they are sized, whether they are docked, and so on. However, unlike when creating a Track Template, you should remove the media clips and items from a file before saving it as a project template, otherwise every time the template is used to create a new file, those media items will be inserted. (Unless, of course, there are media clips that you actually want saved into the template).

To create a Project Template:

 With the source project file open, choose the File, Project Templates, Save As Project Template command. When prompted, give the template a name, then click on Save.

To create a new file based on a Project Template

 Choose the File, Project Templates command, then click on the name of the required project template.

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To use an existing file as a template for all new projects:

 Choose the Options, Preferences command, then Project.

 Click on the Browse button labeled “When creating new projects, use the following file as a template”.

 The contents of the project templates folder will be displayed.

 Select the required file, then click on Open.

Click on OK to close the Preferences window.

Tip: If you are specifying a default project template it is a good idea to also save an empty project as a project template called Empty Project. Then, if you want to create a new file that doesn’t use your default project template, you can do so by simply choosing from the menu File, Project Templates, Empty Project.

3.14

Layered Recording

The term layering refers to a recording technique in which two or more instruments and/or voices are recorded for the same song, but not all at once. The tracks can be recorded one at a time. An initial track is laid down – this is often a guide track which will be discarded at the end of the recording process. Then each other track is recorded while the musician or singer listens thru headphones to a mix of what has already been recorded and what she is recording now. In order to use this layered recording method:

1.

With Record Mode set to Normal, record the initial track, as explained earlier.

2.

After recording, make sure the output of this track is directed to the Master.

Make sure also that you

“disarm” this track.

3.

Make sure that the Master is directed to whichever hardware outputs are connected to your headphones or headphone amp.

4.

Add another track. Name it. Arm this track for recording. Select the Input used by the microphone or line that is to be used to record this new track.

5.

Make sure that Record: input(audio or MIDI) is selected and that Input Monitoring is turned on for this track (see above). This will enable the person being recorded and the recording engineer to hear in their headphones a mix of previously recorded material with that being recorded now.

6.

Adjust the Volume levels of the previously recorded track (using the track fader) and the volume level of the incoming signal (using your external mixer desk or audio device, or audio device control software) until you are happy with your headphone mix.

7.

Press Ctrl R to start recording, and Ctrl R again to stop when finished. Again, disarm this track when you have finished recording on it.

8.

Repeat this procedure for all other tracks to be layered. At step 6. you can feed into your Master a mix of all tracks previously recorded up to that point.

Note: If you notice an echo type delay in your headphones it will be because latency is too high. Lowering the block size (see 1.12) to 256 or 128 can improve this. On consumer quality built in sound cards, however, this might cause pops and clicks. For Windows users, the use of ASIO4ALL drivers might resolve this.

Tip: Many sound cards and USB or Firewire audio devices come with software that can be used for zero latency input monitoring and headphone mixing, especially those devices with multiple inputs and outputs. If you use that software for input monitoring, then you should turn off the input monitoring option within REAPER.

Try it now! Open the supplied project file All Through The Night.RPP and save it as All Through The

Night LAYERS.RPP. Have a go at recording another instrumental track of your choice to go into this project - any instrument you choose!

Note 1: Monitor Input (Tape Auto Style). This option differs from normal input monitoring in that it monitors input only when the transport has stopped or when you are recording. During playback you will hear only the timeline audio, not the input.

Note 2: If you are monitoring an armed track when an existing track uses a plug-in (such as ReaFir) that has latency, you may wish to consider enabling the option Preserve PDC delayed monitoring in recorded

items. This more advanced topic will be explained in more detail later in this chapter.

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3.15

Overdubbing and Punch Recording

You can go over an existing track to re-record a section with which you are not satisfied, to correct perhaps just a few notes of an instrument, or a line or two of a vocal. Use punch recording for this. You can play back in your headphones previously recorded material along with any other tracks while you record. At the point where you want recording to begin, the track on which you are recording will cut out, and the recording will begin. At another point specified by you, the recording will stop, and the existing recording will come back in.

The technique can be applied with both audio and MIDI items. MIDI is discussed later in this chapter when

looped time selection recording is also explained.

3.16

Non-Destructive Punch Recording

By default, punch recording is not destructive: it creates a new take, but does not destroy the original. To use punch recording, follow this sequence:

1. Choose the Options command, then Record mode: time selection auto punch. The display of the

Transport Bar record button will change. Disable the Toggle Repeat function on this toolbar.

2. Select the track and arm it for recording. View the Options menu and for now ensure that Show all

takes in lanes (when room) is not selected. We'll look at lanes shortly. Also, for this example, make sure that Loop points linked to time selection is not enabled.

3. Make sure that the track output is sent to the Master and that Input Monitoring is enabled.

4. Make sure that the Master output is directed to the audio hardware outputs to which your headphones or headphone amp is connected.

5. Click once on the existing media item to select it. Click and drag along the arrange background area to select the region that you want to be re-recorded (see above).

6. Rewind the track to a point a short way before the position where you wish to start recording. This can be done by simply clicking at the required place on the timeline.

7. Press Ctrl R. You will hear the recorded material up to the start of the defined region, where you can rerecord that passage. Press Space to stop when you have finished recording. Accept the option to save your recorded media. Restore normal recording mode when you have finished punch recording.

Your track now contains two media items. What's happened to the originally recorded passage? Well, it's still there and you can still use it if you like. Pressing Ctrl L toggles the display of all takes or active take only (see above). We'll learn more about this soon.

Note: You can enable the option Monitor track media when recording. If you do this when punching in, say, a guitar or vocals, regular Monitor Input will cause you to hear both the existing and the new material right up to the punch, then only the new material during the punch. Monitor Input (tape auto style) will monitor only the existing materials up to the punch, then only the new material.

Tip: If you make a mistake or change your mind when overdubbing, you can use Ctrl Z to undo the recording or you can select the unwanted media item and use the Delete key to remove it.

Getting to grips with REAPER's various record modes and in particular how they work in combination with other options (such as monitoring) can be somewhat bewildering for new users. Chapter 23 includes a summary table

Troubleshooting Record Modes and Monitoring.

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3.17

Destructive Punch Recording

You have the option when punch recording of actually removing from the existing track the previously recorded material if you wish. If this is what you want, use the Options, New recording that overlaps existing

media items command to turn on the toggle option Trims existing items behind new recording. Be careful how you use this. You can restore this option to its default setting by choosing Splits existing items

and creates new takes from the same menu.

3.18

Fades and Crossfades

REAPER allows you to apply automatic crossfades and fades in and out of your recorded items. This feature can be turned on and off or customized thru the

Options,

Preferences,

Project, Media

Item Defaults.

You can select a preferred shape and duration (length) for your fade curves. Clicking on the image of the curve (shown above) causes you to be offered a number of choices (see right).

As you will see in Chapter 7, you can easily change the default fade type and/or length for individual media items. If you prefer not to use automatic fades, just disable that option.

3.19

Recording Multiple Takes

REAPER’s multiple takes feature can help you when you want to record several versions of a track to see which you prefer. It works like this:

1. Set record mode to normal (Options, Record Mode: Normal).

2. Make sure that Enable track free item positioning (FIPM) is not enabled (i.e., not ticked) for the tracks being recorded. Use the TCP right click context menu to do this. We'll get to FIPM later in this chapter.

3. Record your first take of the track.

4. Rewind to the start then record your next take.

5. Repeat step 4. as many times as you wish.

In the example shown, an initial vocal track has been recorded, then above it three takes have been made of a vocal harmony track.

Notice the text displayed with the name of the media item displayed for the

Harmony Vox track. It begins with the text

Take 3/3.

Note: Under Options, Preferences, Appearance, Peaks/Waveforms there is a setting to Automatically

color any recording pass that adds new takes to existing items. When you are recording multiple takes to two or more tracks at the same time, enabling this option can help you to visually identify which takes belong in the same set.

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3.20

Showing Takes in Lanes

Optionally, when you have multiple takes, you may choose to have them displayed in lanes. This of course takes up more room on the screen, but has the advantage that it makes it easier to see for your various tracks which take is currently selected. This option is toggled on and off by pressing Ctrl L or by choosing Options, Show

all takes in lanes (when room) from the Main Menu.

In the first example (shown right), three takes have been made of a vocal duet. The first and second are complete takes, the third is a punched-in overdub of only the middle section.

In this case, the option to Display empty take lanes (Options, Take lane behavior menu) has been enabled. This ensures that the short overdubbed section is given its own complete lane. This makes it easier for you to keep track visually of which parts of each take belong together.

For both tracks, the second take is currently selected

(except for the overdubbed section) and will be played.

In this second example (right), different takes (and permutations of takes) have been selected for the different tracks.

In this third illustration, the track height has been reduced, so that at any point only the selected take is visible. However, as long as the option to Show All Takes in Lanes remains active, the lanes will automatically be restored to view when the height of these tracks is expanded.

Note: When you create multiple alternative takes in this way you will later be able to easily pick the best passages from each of your takes and join them together as a single item. The method for doing this will be explained in Chapter 8 of this User Guide.

3.21

Using Color Coded Takes

REAPER's Item, Item and take colors command offers a variety of interesting ways that you can use color when working with takes and items (see right). We'll look at this whole topic in detail in Chapter7, but for now notice the command Set active

takes to one random color.

If after making your preferred working selection from the available takes for any track you double-click on that track in the

Track Control Panel then all media items in that track will be selected.

Choosing Set active take to one random color will now produce an effect similar to that shown below. This will only be visible if an option to show take color is enabled in the Appearance, Peaks/Waveforms page of your

Preferences.

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3.22

Working With Multiple Takes

Where an item includes more than one take, you can right click over any take and use the Take command to control and manage your multiple takes. The Take submenu is quite extensive - we'll explore most of its features in Chapter 8. For the time being, however, you should be aware of the following, especially if your takes are not displayed in lanes.

Command

Next Take

Previous Take

Explode All Takes to New Tracks

Shortcut

T

Shift T

Effect

Displays next take for selected track(s).

Displays previous take for selected track(s).

Creates a separate track for each take (see below).

Explode All Takes to

New Tracks differs from

Show All Takes in

Lanes in that it lets you treat each take separately as a separate track. The picture on the right illustrates this. Track 1 consists of two takes which are shown in lanes. After exploding these takes to new tracks we have (in addition to the original track) two new additional tracks, one for each take.

Caution:

One look at the Take submenu (on the media item's right-click context menu) will show you that there are commands available for deleting takes and cropping to active take. You are advised to avoid these until you have worked thru Chapter 8 of this guide. In particular, avoid using the Delete key when selecting takes: you are likely to delete more than just the take that you don't want!

Try it now! Open the project file All Through The Night LAYERS.RPP (which you saved earlier) and add a vocal harmony track to this project. Use this track to record three takes – then save the file.

3.23

Overlapping Items

You have already been shown two of the three overdubbing options on the

Options menu command New recording that overlaps with existing media, i.e. Splits existing items

and create new takes (default) and Trims existing items behind new recordings (tape mode). The third option is to Create new media items in separate lanes (layers).

This example shows this. In the first illustration (top) a part of a track has been recorded. In the second illustration (above), we have returned to this track and with the option Create new media items in separate

lanes (layers) enabled we have re-recorded the last part again, together with some new material.

In this case, the second take is to all intents and purposes a separate media item. You can choose which of

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these media items are and are not played.

There is also an Options menu command to Show overlapping media items in lanes. The maximum number of lanes can be set on the Options, Preferences, Appearance page.

This general topic will be addressed again later in this guide, especially in Chapters 4, 5 and 7.

3.24

Recording Multiple Additional Items

We have already seen how you can use REAPER to record multiple takes on the same tracks. Later, in Chapter

8, you will be shown how to edit these, so as to take the best parts from each of several takes and then patch them together into a single take.

As an alternative to using multiple takes, however, you may wish to record additional items onto an existing track, perhaps overlapping. This is an example of where free item positioning can offer you greater flexibility. By default, free item positioning is not enabled. To record extra items (rather than additional takes) on to an existing track, follow this sequence:

1. Set record mode to normal (Options, Record Mode: Normal).

2. Make sure Free Item Positioning (FIPM) is enabled (ticked) for the tracks being recorded. Right click on the Track Control Panel for the selected tracks and select Enable free item

positioning if this is not already ticked.

3. Record your first item for the track.-

4. Position the cursor at the point where you wish to record the second item. Record this item.

5. Repeat step 4. as often as required.

Example

In the first screen shot shown here,

Track 1 contains a Vocal Track and

Track 2 a Vocal Harmony for part of the song.

In the second screen shot, the option for Free item positioning

(FIPM) has been enabled for Track

2. The mouse cursor shows a small handle that can be used to adjust the height of this media item.

In the third screen shot, a second

Vocal Harmony has been recorded on to Track 2, overlapping the original harmony.

Notice that this is not an alternative take of the first harmony, but an additional media item.

Note: In the Options, Preferences, Project, Track/Sends Defaults window there is an option to make free item positioning enabled for your tracks by default.

3.25

Recording with Empty Events

Empty Events are a clever device which can be helpful when you are overdubbing or layering. If you know exactly the regions where you want recording to start and stop, you can define these regions by inserting empty events. Then, when recording is commenced, only those regions defined by the empty events will actually be recorded.

Let’s take an example where a vocal track has already been recorded, and we want to lay down a harmony vocal, where this harmony is only used for the chorus line of the song. This is how you would do this:

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1. Insert a new track to be used for the vocal harmony. Ideally, you should name this track straight away.

2. Arm the track for recording. Assign an audio input in the usual way. Turn on Monitor Input for this track, and make sure the output from the Master is directed to your headphones.

3. Use the Options menu to ensure that Record mode: auto punch selected items is chosen. Notice the appearance of the Record button in the transport bar changes.

4. To create an empty item, first make sure that your new track is selected. Click and drag to define a time selection, then use the Insert, Empty item command to create the empty item. Repeat this as often as required. If necessary, click and drag to adjust their exact positions. An example is shown here.

5. If you need to resize any of them, hover the mouse over the border between the end of the event and the background, about half way up. Click hold and drag to the left to make it shorter, or to the right to make it longer, then release the mouse.

6. Select all of the required events. To do this, use the Ctrl key while clicking on each in turn. If you need to reposition the play cursor before recording, do so by clicking on the Timeline. Arm the track for recording.

7. Press Ctrl R to start recording. When finished, press Ctrl R again to stop. If prompted, accept the option to save all files. Your previously empty media items will have been replaced with your newly recorded material. Disarm the track.

3.26

Recording with Input FX Plug-ins

Audio effects (FX) are usually added to a track later in the production process, well after the material has been recorded. This subject was introduced in Chapter 2, and you'll find more about it elsewhere (for example, in

Chapter 15). However, REAPER does allow you to add effects to material as it is being recorded if you wish. Use this facility with caution, as once an effect has been added to a recorded item in this way it cannot be easily removed (if at all). The procedure for recording with FX is as follows:

1. Arm the track for recording and select the required audio or MIDI input device in the usual way.

2. Right-click on the Record Arm button and choose Track input FX chain from the context menu. This causes the Add FX to Track window to be displayed.

3. Select any effect required, then click on OK. Set the parameters for this effect.

4. Use the Add button to add any additional effects.

5. Close the FX window.

6. Audition the performance and the effects as necessary (see comment below), then record the track in the usual way.

Effects placed in a track's input FX chain only use resources when the track is armed, and are applied destructively to the media item during recording. Most probably, before doing this you will want to audition the instrument or voice being recorded together with these FX so that you can get the parameter settings right. To do this, you simply need to keep the track armed and turn on input monitoring while you listen to the live material and adjust the FX parameters to suit. Input monitoring is explained elsewhere in this guide, for example in the sections dealing with layered and overdub recording.

3.27

Preserve PDC Delayed Monitoring in Recorded Items

If you are monitoring audio on an armed track against previously recorded tracks any of which uses a plug-in that has latency (such as, ReaFir) this will cause the output to be delayed. In this case you may wish to have the recorded output sound exactly as you are hearing it while recording. For example, you might be playing the notes early in order to make it sound right.

With this option on, it will play back the same way you heard it as you played it, with the option off it will be earlier (as the PDC of the plug-in will take effect).

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3.28

Recording a Track’s Output

There could be any number of reasons why you might wish to record a track's output. One example might be to record the output from an external synthesizer directly onto an audio track, as a wave file or similar. Here is an example of how you might do this:

1. Make sure that your MIDI keyboard is connected to your PC.

2. Create a new track. Name it and arm it for recording. Enable input monitoring.

3. Select Record: output then your required option.

Most likely this will be mono, latency compensated.

4. Select Input: MIDI, then select your input device from the available options.

5. Make such adjustments as you need (e.g. to the synth parameters) while you audition the music.

6. When ready, record.

7. Stop recording when finished.

3.29

Recording FX Bus Output

You can record the output of an FX bus track. Doing this opens up creative mixing options. For example, you could record the output of a reverb bus to a stereo audio track, then use stereo or dual panning to adjust the positioning of that effect in your mix. Here's how:

1. Set up a FX Bus track, select it, and arm it for recording.

2. You might wish to also turn up the track’s Receives to get a good strong signal – you can always turn down the volume when playing it back later.

3. Set the track to Monitor Input and chose a Recording Mode. This is likely to be Output, Stereo.

4. Play the song and monitor the signal level.

5. Rewind to start and press Record.

6. Stop recording when finished.

Tip: After doing this you will most likely want to mute the sends to the bus and set the bus FX to bypass. It can still be a good idea to leave the FX inserted in the bus, as a record of how the output was produced.

3.30

Recording MIDI

You have a number of options for recording MIDI, depending on what equipment you have and how it is set up.

In every case, however, the principle is the same:

 You will need to use either REAPER's virtual keyboard or a MIDI input device, such as a keyboard attached via a MIDI In port on your sound card or other audio device.

 You will need to create a track (or assign an existing one) for your MIDI recording.

 You will need to assign an output device for your track.

 You will need to assign a Channel for the MIDI item.

 You will need to turn Input Monitoring on to be able to hear what you are playing.

REAPER's Virtual MIDI

Keyboard, can be played using your mouse or PC keyboard. This keyboard is displayed using the command

View, Virtual MIDI

Keyboard. The shortcut keys

Alt B can be used to toggle display on and off.

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Procedure for Recording to a new MIDI Track

1. Insert a new track into a project file. Arm this track for recording.

2. Make sure that your MIDI keyboard is connected to the computer, MIDI Input of your sound card or Audio

Device and that it is switched on. In this example, we will be using the REAPER Virtual MIDI

Keyboard. If this is not visible, press Alt B. Right click over any key that you wish to be your centre note.

3. On the track you are using, right click over the arm record button (as shown). Make sure that Monitor

Input and Record Input are both selected, and that you have selected the Virtual MIDI Keyboard as the Input: MIDI device. For this example, select All Channels).

These settings can be made in the

Routing Matrix if you prefer.

4. Make sure the Track’s output goes to the Master, and that the Master output goes to the hardware audio outputs to which your speakers or headphones are attached.

5. In this example we will use a

Software Synthesizer. Open the FX

Window for this track. You will need to insert a Software Synthesizer here. You can use any such VSTi or

DXi synth that you already have installed. In this example, we will be using VSTi ReaSynth (Cockos), which is included with REAPER. For the time being, leave the

ReaSynth parameters at their default settings.

6. Press Ctrl R to start recording. Play a simple tune on the Virtual Keyboard. Use your mouse or PC

Keyboard – e.g., zxcvbvcxz will play half a scale up and down. When finished. Press Ctrl R again to stop recording. If prompted, save your media item.

In Chapter 13 we will see how your MIDI data can be edited using REAPER's built in midi editor.

Procedure for Playing Back a MIDI Item

Play the track. As it plays, you can alter the nature and shape of the sound by adjusting the soft synth parameters. When you have found a sound you like, you can click on the

+ button in the

FX Window

(indicated by the mouse cursor, shown left) and then choose

Save Preset to name and save that set of parameters. Your named preset can be recalled from the Preset drop down list any time. You can make and use presets in this way for all FX Plug-ins and Synths.

With VSTi synths, you are also able to import and export patch/bank files (see above).

Note: The example above demonstrates an important difference between MIDI and Audio. With Audio the actual sounds made by the instrument or voice are recorded. It is possible to use FX like EQ and Compression to alter how the audio item sounds when played back, but the audio item itself stays the same.

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With MIDI, you are essentially recording a series of instructions that by themselves have no sound. The music is created when those instructions are fed to a synthesizer. By changing the parameters of the synthesizer's settings – or even by changing the synthesizer – we are able to produce a completely different sound.

Despite these differences, both audio and MIDI items can be included on the same track.

Note: Before recording, you can assign sequential input channels to a number of MIDI tracks in one action.

Select the tracks, then click on the Input button for any one of them. From the menu, choose first Assign

inputs sequentially, then MIDI (sequential inputs or channels), then select the MIDI device, then the channel selection (e.g. for four tracks, perhaps channels 1 to 4).

3.31

Other MIDI Recording Modes

When recording MIDI, you should select one of six modes. In the above example, we used Record Input. With this mode, any existing events will be retained: the new material will be recorded as a new take. Four of the other five are Record: MIDI overdub

replace modes:

Record MIDI overdub: this will add new notes on any channel

within existing items while preserving what is already there.

Record MIDI replace: from the time you start recording until you stop, existing MIDI notes will be removed and any new material played on any channel will be recorded in their place.

Record MIDI touch-replace: existing MIDI notes will be replaced by any new notes played over them on the same channel as the original material. All other existing material will remain as it is.

Record MIDI latch-replace: existing MIDI material remains unchanged until you strike the first note. All of the old material will then be replaced with notes played on the same channel as the original material until recording is stopped.

Record Output -> Record: output (MIDI): Similar to the input mode, but records the MIDI signal coming out of the FX chain.

Note that these options can often be used effectively with time selection recording (see sections 3.16 to 3.18) and looped time selection recording (see below).

Try it now! If you have a MIDI keyboard, open the project file All Through The Night LAYERS.RPP (which you saved earlier) and add a MIDI keyboard track to this project.

3.32

Recording With a Virtual Instrument

To use a virtual instrument (such as a VSTi or DXi plug-in) for recording a MIDI track, you should choose the Insert virtual

instrument on new track… command. This can be done either by choosing Insert from the main menu (then Virtual

instrument on new track), or by right clicking over the vacant Track Control Panel area and selecting this command from the context menu.

You will then be presented with a selection of all the virtual instruments that you have installed on your system. Double-click on the required item. The track will be created, armed and named and the instrument displayed.

The example shown here is for ReaSynDr, which requires four outputs. If the item selected (like this one) requires multiple outputs then REAPER will create the initial track and prompt to ask you if you would like

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the other required tracks to be automatically built. If you select Yes the entire output chain will be built for you.

What exactly this produces will, of course, depend upon which Virtual Instrument you have selected.

Monitoring an External Synthesizer

If you are working with an external hardware synthesizer then it is likely that at times you may wish to monitor its output in REAPER. This topic is covered in Chapter 13, Manipulating and Editing MIDI Items.

3.33

Using Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth

You can use the Microsoft GS

Wavetable Synth if it is included with your version of Windows.

This can be especially useful for playing any MIDI files that you may wish to import into REAPER.

You will be shown how to import files in Chapter 4.

To enable the Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth:

1.

Go to Options, Preferences and display the MIDI Devices screen.

2.

Under MIDI Outputs, right click on Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth and select Enable output.

3.

Click on Apply, then on OK.

This Synth will now be available as a MIDI Hardware Output.

You can if you wish now use the

Microsoft GS Wavetable SW

Synth as your output device instead of using a software synth

(see above right).

3.34

Looped Overdubbing and Looped Time Selection Recording

Loop overdubbing allows you to make repeated overdubs of a section of recorded material without having to be repeatedly stopping and starting. The technique can be used with both audio and MIDI. In both cases, you will need to check your Options, Preferences, Audio, Loop Recording settings. Set When recording and

looped add recorded media to project to On stop. Usually you will also want to enable In loop

recording, discard incomplete first or last takes if at least one full loop was recorded. You should also (from REAPER's main Options menu) disable Loop points linked to time selection and enable Record

mode: Time selection auto-punch.

Now arm your track for recording, select your record options and make your time selection just as you would for normal punch recording. Click and drag along the timeline to create the loop – this should enclose the time selection, as shown below. Make sure Toggle repeat (next to Record button) is enabled on the Transport Bar.

When

Record input

(audio or

MIDI) is selected, then both audio and MIDI essentially behave in a similar way. When you record, new material will be recorded within the time selection (and added to the MIDI item) for each pass over the loop until you press Stop. The

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loop is used to audition material immediately before and after the section being recorded.

For example, you might choose Monitor input and Record Input (audio or MIDI) and Input MIDI then your MIDI device. If so, the outcome will be similar to that shown here.

Audio material recorded with Input MONO rather than Input MIDI would produce a similar result, except of course the media items would be audio instead of MIDI. You will, however, get significantly different outcomes if you use any of the Record: MIDI overdub/replace options with looped time selection recording. In each case, new takes will not be created. Instead, the existing take will be edited. For example:

Record: MIDI Overdub: with each loop, the new material will be added to the existing material within the time selection.

Record: MIDI Replace: with each loop, all previous material within the time selection will be replaced with new material. For example, the first loop will replace existing events within the time selection. Second time around it will replace the material recorded in the first loop with new events, and so on. Only the most recent material will be saved.

Record: MIDI Touch-replace: Each time you play a note within the time selection any existing material concurrent with that note will be replaced with new material is on the same channel. For example, if you play correctly except for one wrong note first time, you can correct just that one note second time round.

Record: MIDI Latch-replace: Each time round the loop all existing material in the time selection will be replaced with new material if on the same channel only from the moment you press your first note. This technique can be useful, for example, if you are replacing existing material little by little.

3.35

Recording with External Hardware FX

REAPER can record a track with an external hardware FX device in much the same way as you might use an external device as an insert when recording on an analog desk. You use a plug-in called

ReaInsert. If you want to try it out step by step, create a new REAPER project file, insert a track, then get your

FX device ready.

Example

1. Connect an otherwise unused audio output to the input for your

FX device. Connect the output of your FX device to an otherwise unused audio input.

2. Create a new REAPER project file and add a single audio track. Give this track a suitable name. Let’s record a vocal with the FX on it.

3. Connect your microphone to an otherwise unused audio input.

Switch on the FX Device.

4. Arm the track for recording.

5. Select the input device (to which the line or microphone is attached), select Monitor Input and specify that you want to Record Output and choose your required option (such as Mono, Latency

Compensated), just as we did in the section Recording a Track's Output.

6. Now display the FX Window for this track, and add the FX VST:ReaInsert to this window (see right).

7. Specify the actual Hardware Sends and Returns that you set up at steps 1. and 3.

8. Make sure the FX Device mix is set to 100% Dry, and within ReaInsert enable the option Automatic

device latency adjustment . This enables REAPER to calculate the required degree of delay compensation.

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9. With the track’s output directed to your headphones, monitor the required Volume and FX Levels, including the FX Wet/Dry mix.

10. When you are ready, Record.

11. When finished, don’t forget to disarm the track and set the ReaInsert plug-in status to Bypass.

3.36

Preference Settings for Recording

The Recording page of the Preferences window can be used to specify a number of options about REAPER’s recording behavior. Available options include:

 To scroll track view while recording.

 To display a preview of media item peaks as they are being recorded. This is useful to confirm that you really are recording and haven’t, for example, forgotten to arm one or more tracks. You can also specify a screen update frequency.

 When to build the peaks for recorded media files.

 To automatically display the whole Track Control Panel (including VU meters) when a track is armed.

 Whether to prompt to save/delete/rename files when recording is stopped. If you disable this option, files are automatically saved.

 Whether to prompt to save/delete/rename files on punch out. If you disable this option, files recorded by this method are automatically saved.

 Whether to start recording to a new file after a specified number of megabytes. This can help to make data secure when recording a long live performance,.

 Prevent recording from starting if no track is armed. You may wish to turn this off if you are using layered recording for a track (or tracks) where recording is not required to start until some way into the song.

 Which items to include in the file names for recorded media – you can include any combination of the track index number, the track name and the time stamp (or none of these).

 To check for free disk space before recording, and to display the amount of free disk space and/or recording path on the menu bar.

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3.37

Track Preferences for Recording

The REAPER Track Defaults settings includes a number of items that you can use to help make the recording process a little easier. These settings can be found on the Project, Track/Send Defaults page of the

Options, Preferences window. Settings on this page include:

 The default gain level for the track’s volume fader.

Whether output should be routed to the Main send.

 The default new track height.

 Whether new tracks are automatically armed for recording.

A Record Config option to set defaults for the Record Arm context menu. Options include, to turn on by default Input

Monitoring and specify default record input settings.

 Which Record Mode should be the default for new tracks.

Notice also that under Options, Preferences, Appearance, Track Control Panels there are settings which together determine how your track VU meters are presented.

For example, you can choose whether or not to Show track input when record armed and to Make

obvious that track input is

clickable. Disabling this latter option may improve the clarity of the display on your VU meters.

Enabling Show db scales on

record armed track meters and

Sticky Clip Indicators helps you to monitor peak levels. MIDI users may wish to Show MIDI velocity

on track VU and/or Show MIDI

output activity on track VU.

You can also specify whether to

Reset peak indicators on play/seek. If enabled, the numeric peak indicators on track and master VU meters will cleared when playback is restarted or the play cursor moved.

3.38

Projects with Mixed Formats

REAPER allows you to use different audio formats for different tracks in the same file. The default format for each new track that you create will be determined by your Project Settings. To change these for any track, simply right click over the track’s VU meter, then from the menu choose Track

Recording Settings.

You can choose any of the formats WAV,

AIFF, DDP, FLAC, MP3, OGG Vorbis,

Video (GIF) or WavPack lossless

compressor.

Depending on the format you choose, you will be presented with a range of options appropriate to that format.

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3.39

REAPER Audio Recording Checklist

The following checklist is for guidance only. In some cases you may vary the suggested order (e.g., you can switch on your PC and start REAPER before getting together your microphone and leads). In other cases the order is critical (e.g. you should always connect your microphone to your preamp before turning on the phantom power supply). If you are not sure, keep to the exact same sequence outlined here.

Item

Preparation

PC Preliminaries

Project Settings

Track Settings

Test Recording Levels

Recording

Evaluating

Comment

Set up all external recording equipment needed (microphones, stands etc.).

All faders and gain controls on mixer and/or sound device turned right down.

Phantom power (if available) turned off.

Everything connected that needs to be connected (e.g. microphone leads to mixer or sound device).

Turn equipment on, but check volume on speakers isn't too loud.

Connect headphones to headphone amp or sound device.

If phantom power required (for condenser microphone), turn it on.

Turn on PC and wait for Windows to open.

Open REAPER with required project file. Save file.

Check recording format and settings – e.g. 24 bit WAV at 44100 Hz.

Is a different format required for this track?

Make sure Record Mode is set to Normal.

Named and armed for recording?

Track Input Monitoring on or off?

Use the Sound Card’s direct input monitoring if available in preference to REAPER’s.

Record Input selected?

Correct input channel selected?

Start low and work up.

Record a small sample to test levels: the examples here show too low, too high and about right.

It is better to be too low than too high.

Press Ctrl R to record and again to stop recording when finished. Save media items. Press Ctrl S to save project file.

Unarm track before playing back recorded tracks to evaluate them.

Especially if listening thru headphones, disable Input Monitoring (or turn faders and gain controls on the input device right down), to prevent live ambient sounds from being mixed in with your recorded material.

3.40

Recording an Internet Audio Stream

You can use REAPER to record an audio stream from the internet. Before doing so you should make sure that you are not in breach of any copyright restrictions. The exact method will depend on your hardware setup, including your sound card. Your sound card should include some sort of software for changing its settings. This may or may not have its own icon within the Windows Control Panel. If you are not sure how to access it, you can click on the Windows Start button, choose Run, then type sndvol32 –r and press Enter. In overview, these are the steps that you will need to perform.

1. Access your sound cards control software and modify its settings to select (depending on the options available) the required option. You should probably temporarily disable input from all other sources

(Microphone, Line, etc).

2. Open your web browser and find the page containing the item that you wish to record.

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3. Open REAPER, create a new file and add a track.

4. The next step may require a little experimentation. Depending on the equipment you are using, it might be necessary to change your Options, Preferences, Audio, Devices settings to Direct Sound. An example is shown here.

These settings may not be the best for your particular system.

5. Arm your track for recording, making sure to select the correct input.

6. Press Ctrl R to start recording. In your web browser, play the item that you wish to record.

When finished, stop recording and save your work.

Note: Don’t forget when you have finished, to restore both your Sound Card Recording Control options and

REAPER’s Audio Device Preferences to their previous settings.

3.41

Converting Audio Media Item Format

In this internet age it is becoming increasingly common for musicians to want to collaborate on projects all the way across the world. Consider this scenario. You have a part recorded project of perhaps 50 or more 24 bit wave files. In some far off land you have a friend who has offered to lay down a track such as a flute. You'd like to get your source files to her, so that she can do this for you, layering it down against whatever headphone mix best suits her.

However, your recorded material so far comes to over

3 GB and she doesn't have a particularly fast internet connection.

One solution could be to convert the files to a compressed format and send her those. There's a quick way to do this, using the File, Save project as … command. Choose this command and follow these steps.

1. If you wish, navigate to a required parent folder.

2. Enable the three options to Create subdirectory for project, Copy all media into project

directory, and Convert media.

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3. Click on the Format... button to display the settings box shown above.

4. Enable the option (top left) Set format to save as.

5. Select your required format (e.g. FLAC, MP3 or, as shown here, OGG Vorbis).

6. Specify your preferred format settings.

7. Click OK then Save.

All audio media items in the project will be converted to the specified format as they are copied across. The format of the original items will remain unchanged.

You can also convert and export selected individual media items from one format to another without having to convert the whole project. This topic is covered in Chapter 20.

3.42

Recording Live Windows Output

Windows users (Vista/7/8) can use WASAPI drivers to record live Windows output (for example, subject to copyright constraints, a You Tube video). This requires the use of feedback looping, so you should proceed with caution beyond this point. This is not recommended for beginners.

First, create a new project file. Display the project settings (Alt Enter) and on the Advanced page enable

Allow feedback routing.

Next, display your Preferences, Audio, Device window and select WASAPI as your audio system.

Select Shared loopback mode (see right). Your block size and sample rate will need to match those of your sound device, as set in the Windows

Control Panel.

Finally, you simply add a new track and arm it for recording. You will probably want to set input to stereo. Press Ctrl R to record whatever you are currently playing in Windows, e.g. a You Tube video.

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4 - Importing Media: The Media Explorer

4 Importing Media: The Media Explorer

4.1

Introduction and Overview

Media Explorer display is toggled using the View, Media Explorer command, or the shortcut Ctrl Alt X. Its interface is shown in the diagram below.

The REAPER main menu command Insert, Media File … can be used to incorporate existing media items

(such as MP3, MIDI and WAV files) into a REAPER project, but it is often easier and more flexible to use

REAPER’s Media Explorer for this purpose. The media explorer includes several additional features that help you to find the items that you want. Before exploring its features and its functionality, identify the following:

Explorer/Shortcuts Panel. This can be used to navigate your directories and files, rather like Windows

Explorer. In addition, you can add here shortcuts to your favorite folders.

Browsing History Buttons. A quick way of browsing back and forth thru your browsing history.

Browsing History Dropdown. This stores (and can display) a list of recently visited folders. You can select from this list to open any of these folders.

Filter Box. Use this to type a text string to filter the displayed file list.

List/Details Dropdown. This selects whether full file details are displayed (as shown above) or file names only are listed.

Transport Bar. Works with selected media item. Controls are Play, Pause, Stop and Repeat.

I/O Button. Directs output to any audio output, or to play thru any track selected in Arrange View.

Pitch Wheel. Allows pitch of selected item to be adjusted on playback. Use the options menu to determine pitch shift knob range (by up to plus or minus 12 semitones) and behavior (continuous, quarter tones, or semitones).

Tempo Options. Allows you to set tempo match off, or on, or to half, or to double.

Volume Fader. Adjusts volume of playback of selected item.

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Although more commonly used for finding and inserting media files, the media explorer can also be used to find, and open, existing .RPP project files.

Note that the media explorer is dockable. To do this, choose the Options, Dock media explorer in docker command (or use the right-click context menu).

4.2

Searching the Media Explorer

Although in some respects similar to Windows Explorer, REAPER's media explorer incorporates a number of extra features which can make searching easier and more flexible. Here is a general summary.

In order to do this … Do this ….

Browse thru your folders

Use the Explorer/Navigate panel in conjunction with the main panel. For example, click on My Computer (Windows) or Home (Mac) in the Explorer panel, then use the main panel to browse thru your folders, and to open any folder.

Windows users have an option (Options menu) to Use Windows Explorer for

browsing. If enabled, the Windows Explorer context menu will be displayed instead of REAPER's context menu when you right-click on any item.

Navigate thru browsing history

Filter file list

Sort file list

Restrict search

Add folder to

Shortcuts list

Remove a shortcut

Select from browsing history dropdown: all folders and directories visited during your current session will be displayed and available.

Additionally, the buttons located to the left of this dropdown can be used to move back and forwards thru your browsing history.

Type any text string (e.g. bass) in the unlabelled filter box (immediately left of the list/details dropdown) to filter the list of displayed files.

Delete the text string to remove the filter.

Click on any column header to sort by that column – e.g. File name or Date. Click again to reverse the sort order.

The Options menu includes three items which can be toggled on or off to restrict file search according to any of the following:

Show all files

Search in subfolders

Search in folder names

Right click on the folder name in the main panel, then choose Add to shortcut list from the menu.

This folder will now be displayed in the explorer/shortcuts panel. You can select this shortcut at any time to display its contents.

Right-click on the shortcut name (in the explorer/shortcuts panel) and choose

Remove selected shortcut from the menu.

4.3

Media Item Preview

The media explorer allows you to preview media items before you decide which to insert into your project. By default, an item is automatically played when you select it. You also have a number of options available which determine exactly how the preview feature will behave.

 If Auto play is enabled/disabled by the tick box just below the pitch wheel. There is also an option to

Start on bar.

 On the Options menu there is an option to Auto advance to next file after preview. This will only work if the repeat function on the transport bar is set to off. Other preview toggle options include Auto-

stop preview after adding media, and Display preview position in tenths of seconds.

 The Transport Bar buttons (L to R) are Play, Pause, Stop and Repeat. The horizontal fader adjusts the volume of playback.

 Click anywhere on the displayed waveform to play back from there. Use the mousewheel to zoom in and out of the media peaks horizontally. To adjust the height of the waveform preview, click and hold the mouse on the top edge of the preview area, then drag up or down.

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 You can also scroll by holding Shift while you drag the mouse left or right. You can mark any time selection by clicking and dragging over the preview display, and move a selection left or right by holding

Alt while you drag the mouse.

 Display of waveforms can be turned on and off in the Options menu, Always show waveform peaks

for selected media.

 Other playback/waveform Options include Display preview position in tenths of second and Auto

stop preview after adding media.

 Enabling Options, Auto advance to next file after preview will cause all files displayed in the media explorer main window to be played in sequence. For this to work the repeat button on the transport bar must be set to off.

 By clicking on the I/O button (next to Transport Bar), you can direct the Preview to any audio output. The

I/O button menu also includes an option to play the previewed item through a selected track.

 The Pitch rotary control adjusts the pitch of the item being previewed. Double-click to reset. The Options menu Pitch shift knob range command allows you to set its range to +/- 2, 6 or 12 semitones and to set its behavior to Continuous, Quarter tones or Semitones.

 The Options menu includes two toggle options to Preserve pitch when tempo matching and Reset

pitch shift when changing media.

 To avoid possible clashes of tempo, you can select an option (including Tempo Match Off and Tempo

Match On) from the drop down list in the preview area. There is also a toggle option to Start on Bar.

4.4

Inserting an Audio File as a New Take or Item

Selected media items can be inserted into the current project from the media explorer's main window by rightclicking over the file name and choosing from the options offered (see below). The choices are:

Insert into project (on currently selected track, at current cursor position)

Insert at time selection (stretch/loop to fit) (if a time selection is currently active)

Insert into project on a new track (at current cursor position)

Insert as take in selected item (requires an item to have been selected)

Use as media source for selected item in place of that item's existing media source

Use as media source for selected item (stretch/loop to fit) in place of item's existing media source

Preview (plays item but does not insert it).

Show in explorer (Windows)/finder (Mac)

A quick way is to double-click on the file name, or to select it and press Enter, or to drag and drop – but it isn't quite that simple! Using any of these methods will cause a default action to be automatically applied.

You can determine that default action by using the media explorer's Options, Default action (double-click or

Enter key) command. This menu is shown here. It might seem strange at first, because it includes options for both media files and (.RPP) project files, both of which will most likely have different needs.

You should specify your requirements in each of the four sections on this menu.

Choose one of Insert media (if media item) or open

project (if .RPP project), Start preview, or Do nothing.

Specify for media items whether to Insert media on

selected track or insert media on new track.

Set your preference for the toggle option Enable looping

when inserting selected portion of media.

Specify for project (,RPP) files whether to Open projects in current tab or Open projects in new tab.

As well as (or instead of) importing entire individual media items, the media explorer makes a number of other choices available. These are explored in the table below:

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In order to do this … Do this ….

Insert part of a media item into a project

Select the required portion of the waveform in the preview window.

Right click over the selected portion and choose one of the items from the context menu.

The item can be loop enabled or disabled. It can be inserted at an existing time selection, on a new track, or as a new take on a selected item.

Alternatively, the required portion can be dragged and dropped into the project, in which case your default settings will be applied.

Insert multiple items at once

See also note below.

Use Ctrl click to build your required selection in media explorer.

Right-click over the selection and make your choice from the menu.

Alternatively, you can drag and drop the selection into the project. Unless you have changed the default setting, you will then be prompted to select whether you want the items inserted on one track or on separate tracks.

Note: The Media screen in the

Preferences window includes a setting for default behavior when inserting multiple items. These are:

Insert in one track (advancing

time) – each is placed one after the other in the same track.

Insert across tracks – each item is placed in a separate track, all starting together.

Decide automatically – if files are of the same length (file size) they will be placed in separate tracks, otherwise they will be inserted sequentially in the same track.

Prompt user – you will be prompted each time to specify your preference.

If in doubt, set this to Prompt User. Other useful options include whether or not imported media items should be copied to the project media directory. See Chapter 21 for more details.

4.5

Creating and Using a Media Explorer Database

Within the media explorer shortcuts panel you can create your own database (or databases) to further customize how your samples and media files are organized and displayed. One benefit of this is that it lets you display together files that might be stored in different folders.

For example, you might use different folders for various types of drum samples (snare, kick, hi hat, etc.).

There might, however, be times when you would want to see the contents of these various folders listed together. To do this, you could create a database called “Drums Various” and add all of these folders to that database.

Databases are set up and managed using right-click context menus in the Shortcuts column.

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In order to do this …

Create a new empty database

Add folder contents to database

Create a new database from a folder

Remove a folder contents from database

Change database name

Update database contents to reflect changes in folder contents

Remove a database

Do this ….

Right-click over empty area in Shortcuts column. Choose Create new

database... from menu. Type name, press Enter.

Select database in Shortcuts column. Right-click over its name and choose

Add path to database … from menu. Navigate to required folder, select it and click on OK. Repeat this to add more folders.

In main media explorer window, right-click on folder, choose Make

database from folder.

Select database in Shortcuts column. Right-click over its name and choose

Remove path from database... from menu. Navigate to required folder, select it and click on OK.

Select database in Shortcuts column. Use Rename database... command on context menu.

Select database in Shortcuts column. From context menu use Scan

database for new files to find and add new files, Remove missing

files from database to remove deleted files.

Right-click on database in Shortcuts column, choose Remove database.

Media explorer databases can be included in your export configuration settings (Options, Preferences,

General): see also Chapter 21.

4.6

Replacing an Item's Source Media

You can select an item in the media explorer and use it to replace the source media in an existing item (or number of items) in the current project. This can be done from the media explorer menus or by drag and drop.

To replace source media using the menus:

1. Select the media item (or items) in the project.

2. In media explorer, select the required replacement item.

3. Right-click on this item and from the menu choose either Use as media source for selected items or

Use as media source for selected items

(stretch/loop to fit).

To replace source media using drag and drop:

1. Select the item in media explorer.

2. Hold Ctrl Alt while you drag and drop to the media item whose source is to be replaced.

3. The dialog box shown here will pop up. You can choose Insert new media item that

overlaps target media item, Add source

media as new take in target media item,

Replace target media with source media

or (if there is more than one instance of the item) Replace all x occurrences of the

target media with source media.

4. Specify your preference as to whether to

Adjust target media item length to fit

source media, Stretch source media to fit

target media item, or Loop source media

to fit target media.

Note: This method can be used to replace an existing source media item with part of another item. After selecting the replacement item in media explorer, click and drag in the waveform preview area to select the required part of that item, then follow steps 2. to 4. above.

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4.7

Importing MIDI Files

To preview a MIDI file in media explorer, first create an empty track in your project and insert a virtual instrument or synthesizer into that track's FX chain. You can then select any MIDI file in the media explorer and preview it. You can also select any part of a MIDI file to import: use the same techniques as those described earlier in this chapter. Right-click over the file to choose one of the insert options.

When you import a type 1 MIDI file, you are offered the option of separating the tracks, or importing the file as one track. A message such as that shown below will appear.

If you enable the Expand option, the file will be imported as a series of separate tracks, one for each channel.

Otherwise, the material will all be imported onto different channels within a single MIDI track. You have also the options of merging the MIDI files tempo map to the project tempo map and/or importing any MIDI markers (if present) as project markers.

There are several methods available to you to then assign these tracks to an external synth for output (to enable you to play the song). This is one suggestion:

1. Add a new track immediately above the first of your

MIDI tracks.

2. Make this a folder track all of with your MIDI tracks contained within the folder.

3. Insert a synthesiser (such as ReaSynth) into the FX chain for the folder track.

4. Save and play the file.

You'll learn more about folders and how you create them, set them up and use them in Chapter 5.

4.8

Importing Media from Audio CD

You can use REAPER's media explorer to import into a project material from an audio CD (such as you might play on a CD player). To do this:

1. Insert an audio CD into your PC CD drive and wait for it to be read.

2. Display the Media Explorer, select My

Computer in the left panel, then double-click in the main panel on the letter which represents your CD drive.

3. The contents of the CD will be listed.

4. To play (preview) any track from the CD, right click over that track then choose Preview from the context menu (see above). Depending on what other software is on your computer, you may also see some non-REAPER related commands below this.

5. To insert the contents of a track into your project as a media item, right click over that track and choose one of the other commands from the menu. Each of these commands works as explained earlier.

Alternatively, you can double-click on the item to insert it into the currently selected track, or drag and drop to insert either on to an existing track or to a new one.

4.9

Media File Import Formats

Media files can be imported into REAPER in any of the following formats.

CD Audio (.CDA)

DDP (.DAT)

FLAC (.FLAC)

MIDI (.MID)

MIDI System Exclusive Message

(.SYX)

MIDI Karaoke (.KAR)

MPEG Audio (,MP2, .MP3)

OGG Vorbis (.OGG, .MOGG)

Recycle ([email protected], .REX, .RCY)

AVI Video (.AVI)

MPEG Video (.MG, .MPEG)

WMV/WMA Video (.WMA, .WMV)

MK Video (.MKV)

LCF Capture Video (.LCF)

Quicktime (.MOV, .QT, .M4V, .MP4)

WebM (.WebM)

WAV (.WAV, .W64, .BWF)

AIFF (.AIF, .AIFF)

WAVPACK (.WV)

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5 Project Arrangement Basics

5.1

Managing Tracks

In Section 2, we introduced some very basic REAPER track management features, such as Volume, Panning, Mute and

Solo. In this section, we will be exploring these features in more depth, as well as introducing several others, including moving and removing tracks, the use of track folders and track parameter grouping.

Many of the commands and actions involved in track management are available from the menu that is displayed when you right click over any track number. The illustration

(right) shows these.

Remember that at any time you can use Ctrl Z to undo your last action. REAPER’s Undo capabilities are described in more detail later in this section.

Tip: Before continuing, you might wish to open the supplied project file All Through The Night.RPP and save it to a new name such as All Through The Night EDITS.RPP. You can then use this file to try out and experiment with some of the ideas presented in this section.

Basic Track Management

A number of techniques can be used for carrying out these various track management tasks.

Task

Move a track up or down the track order

Move two or more adjacent tracks up or down

Delete a track

Delete two or more tracks

Copy a track as the next track

Copy a track to a specified location

Display the Master in Track

View

Make the Track Control

Panel wider/narrower

Method

Click on the track number, then click and drag the track up or down the track list, then release the mouse. Media items are moved with the track.

Click on the track number for the first track, then hold Shift while clicking on the track number(s) of the last of the tracks that you wish to select.

Then click and drag up or down. Again. all media items are moved with the tracks.

Click on or around the track number, the press Delete, or right click and choose Remove tracks. All media items are removed with the track.

Use Ctrl with the left mouse click to make your selection, then press

Delete, or right click and choose Remove tracks. All media items are removed with the tracks.

Right click over the track number, choose Duplicate selected tracks. All media items are duplicated with the track.

To do this with more than one track, select all required tracks first.

Click on the track number. Press Ctrl C. Move to the required location then press Ctrl V. All media items are duplicated with the tracks.

To do this with more than one track, select all required tracks first.

Right click anywhere in the Track Control Panel area, below the last track.

Choose Show master track, or use the keys Ctrl Alt M to toggle.

Click and drag right/left on the boundary between the TCP and the arrange area. As the TCP becomes narrower, some controls may disappear from view and faders may change to knobs.

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5.2

Track Control Modifiers

Four of the items used when auditioning tracks are the Volume, Pan, Mute and Solo controls. These controls were introduced in Chapter 2.

The Width control is also shown here. A width control is displayed only if you select the stereo pan or dual pan law (from the pan fader right-click menu). This will be discussed in Chapters 10 and 11.

By default, volume and pan faders control audio output. If you wish instead to use them for data on MIDI channels for any track(s) you should first select the tracks, then right-click over the track number and choose MIDI track controls then one of the Link track

volume/pan to MIDI options from the menu (see Chapter 13).

Volume and Pan Controls

Modifier Key

Alt

Ctrl Shift

Ctrl

Double click with Volume Fader

When mouse is released, fader returns to its original position.

with Pan Rotary

When mouse is released, fader returns to its original position.

With more than one track selected, only the current track is affected.

With more than one track selected, only the control for the current track is affected.

Allows more precise control of fader level.

Allows more precise control of fader level.

Reset to zero.

Reset to centre.

Mute and Solo Controls

Modifier Key

Shift

Ctrl

Alt

Ctrl Alt

Ctrl Shift with Mute Button

When more than one track is selected, only the current track is toggled.

Clears all mutes.

Unmutes selected track(s), mutes all others.

Mutes selected track(s), unmutes others.

Not applicable

with Solo Button

When more than one track is selected, only the current track is toggled.

Clears all solos.

Solo selected tracks only, excludes output from any sends.

Solo exclusive: Solos selected track(s), unsolos all others.

Toggles

Solo Defeat mode for the track or track selection. See comments below.

Note: When a track is muted, a small red M icon is shown in its VU meter. A !S icon indicates that the track is not being heard because another track or tracks is or are soloed.

Solo Defeat

Solo Defeat can be used to ensure that a track will still be heard even when another track or track selection is soloed exclusive.

The Mute and Solo control context menus

The options shown above are also available by right-clicking over the Mute and Solo buttons respectively. These context menus are shown on the right.

They can be applied to an individual track or to a selection of tracks.

Bulk Track Mute/Solo

To mute or solo a range of tracks in one action, click and drag in the TCP from the mute or solo button of the first track in the range to the same button on the last track in the range, then release the mouse button. Repeat this action to unmute/unsolo all muted or soloed tracks within a range.

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Volume and Pan Faders

Right clicking over the volume fader of any track or folder will open a window displaying volume and pan faders not only for the track itself but also for any sends and receives associated with that track. An example is shown here.

Right clicking over the Pan fader opens a window which can be used to change that track's pan law.

This subject was discussed in Chapter 2.

Tip: By default, double-clicking on a track number in the track control panel will cause all media items in that track to be selected. You can change this behavior if you wish on the Mouse Modifiers page of your Preferences. For more information about customizing mouse modifiers, see Chapter 14.

5.3 Solo In Front

Solo in front allows you to hear the other tracks quietly in the background when one track or a track selection is soloed. This feature is toggled on and off by the Options, Solo In Front command.

The level at which the background tracks are heard can be specified via the

Options, Preferences,

Audio settings page. This setting

(in the example shown it is set at

18dB) determines the extent to which the background mix is reduced. This means that the higher the setting the quieter will be the background mix and vice versa.

5.4

Auto-Naming Multiple Tracks

In one action, you can create and automatically name any number of tracks that serve a common purpose – for example, a number of backing vocal or percussion tracks. This can be done using the Insert, Multiple tracks... command.

In the example shown here, we are creating three

Backing Vocals tracks (B

Vox) at the end of the current track list. These will be automatically be named B Vox 1, B Vox 2 and B Vox 3, as shown.

5.5

Searching the Preferences Settings

You have already come across a number of REAPER’s preferences settings. For example, we have looked at some of the preferences settings for Audio Devices, MIDI Devices, Recording and Projects. The more you work with REAPER, the more you will realise how very many preferences settings there are. In fact, there are so many that it can sometimes be difficult to remember which page you need for a particular setting.

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To help you there is a text box and a Find button near the bottom of the Preferences window. You can enter any word or phrase in the box, click on Find and the first occurrence of that word or phrase will be shown. If this isn’t the item that you’re looking for, each time you click the Find button the next occurrence of that word or phrase will be shown. The item will be displayed with a colored highlight.

In the example shown here, a search for

sends has turned up some information about various options for setting the default parameters for track sends when they are created.

Tip: By default, doubleclicking on a track number will cause all media items on that track to be selected. You can change this, and/or add mouse modifiers of your own via the Editing Behavior, Mouse Modifiers preferences page. For example, you could assign Alt Double-click to the action View:Toggle track zoom to maximum height.

Instructions for customizing mouse modifiers can be found in Chapter 14.

5.6

Track Colors

You can use color as an effective means of helping you visually identify different tracks. To do this, simply select the track (or tracks) in the Track Control Panel, then right click, choose the Track Color command, then use any of these commands from the submenu:

Command

Set tracks to custom color…

Set tracks to random colors

Set tracks to one random color

Set tracks to default color

Effect

Opens a Color Selection dialog box for you to select a color for the track’s media items.

Sets the media items for each track in the selection to a different randomly chosen color.

Sets the media items for all tracks in the selection to the same randomly chosen color.

Restores the track's color to the default for the current color theme.

The illustration (right) shows an example of how the Colors interface

(displayed by choosing the Set tracks

to custom color… command) can be used to specify different colors for different tracks and groups of tracks.

On the Appearance page of your

Preferences settings (Options,

Preferences) you can use the Track

Control Panel options to apply your colors to the track label background, the track panel background, or both.

How the colors will be displayed for your track media items will depend upon which options are selected on the

Appearance, Peaks/Waveforms

page of your Preferences settings.

Waveform peaks and/or the

Background can be selected. You can also set the color strength (between 0 and 4) for both selected and unselected tracks. More details of these and other Appearance options are listed and explained in Chapter 21.

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5.7

Color Themes

REAPER also supplies a number of color themes that you can use to present your projects attractively.

To select from the themes supplied with REAPER, use the Options, Themes command. You can modify the colors and other characteristics of your preferred theme by selecting the action Show theme

tweak/configuration window from REAPER's action list editor. More details of this can be found in Chapters

10, 11 and 13. In addition, a very large number of complete themes are available in the REAPER stash. These are available for free download at

stash.reaper.fm

You can also visit the REAPER User Forums for more themes.

Be aware, however, that changing themes can also result in changes in such areas as your track control panel layout.

5.8

Track Icons

Icons can be added to tracks as you wish. You can drag your own .PNG or .JPG files from Windows Explorer and drop them on to any track in the track control panel, or right click over the track number and choose Track

Icon then Set track icon... from the track menu to use any of those supplied with REAPER. This opens the

Load Image Resource dialog box. You can view the icons as thumbnails (shown here), tiles, or a list. Make your selection and click on Open.

Shown left is an example of a project which uses track icons. Remember that if you create a track template from a track which displays an icon, then the icon will be saved with the template. To display these icons also in the Mixer, open the Mixer, display its menu and choose Show Track Icons in Mixer. To remove icons from any track or selection of tracks, first select the tracks (in either the track control panel or the mixer) then right-click over any selected track icon and choose

Remove Track Icon from the menu.

If you don't care for the icons supplied with REAPER – or you can't find what you want – you can download more track icon sets from the REAPER stash, at

stash.reaper.fm

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5.9

Track Layouts

Different people and different projects have different needs. That's one reason why REAPER's default theme makes available to you a selection of different track layouts. You can select any of these for your tracks and, indeed, if you wish even use different track layouts for different tracks. This topic is examined in more detail in

Chapter 12, where we deal with track, mixer, transport and envelope layouts. Here is a basic introduction.

First select the track (or tracks), then right click over the track panel. From the context menu choose Set track

layout then Track panel, then select from the list. New layouts are developed and added or modified from time to time. Be prepared to explore! Some examples are shown below:

Default: the theme default track layout.

Default + value readouts: Volume and pan settings displayed as text.

Small: uses less screen real estate.

Large: easier to read but uses more real estate.

Standard media: with horizontal volume fader (rather than rotary).

5.10

Headphone Monitoring

While you are listening to and evaluating your various recorded items, it’s usually recommended practice to use the monitors (speakers) in your studio or control room. However, you may wish also to use headphones from time to time, perhaps for those occasions when you need to focus in detail on a particular track or media item.

Assuming that you have a PCI sound card or other audio device (Firewire or USB) which supports multiple outputs, here’s a neat little trick.

1. Assign Output Aliases

to your outputs, as explained in Chapter 1.

2. Display your Routing

Matrix and assign the output from the Master to the Control Room speakers.

3. Put on your headphones.

4. As you play the song, click on the appropriate cells on the routing matrix to also direct any particular track on which you wish to focus to your headphones. Of course, you can change from track to track, or add as many or as few as you want at any time.

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In the example shown (above), the entire mix (from the Master) is being heard thru the Main Speakers, but only track 1 Vox is also being heard thru the headphones.

Remember that you can right click over this grid cell to display the controls for this send (such as Volume). This can be also a good technique to use when you have with you a musician who wants to particularly hear her own track while you are mixing!

When you are mixing down, you might not wish to see all of the available routing information available – it can get quite complex. You might wish to keep the routing matrix display as simple as possible for the job in hand. For example, if you are focussed purely on mixing, you might not need to see all the various input assignments.

Right clicking over the background area lets you customize its display.

In the example shown here, by unchecking Show audio hardware

as sources we have simplified the display. If you have installed

ReaRoute, consider also disabling the options to Show ReaRoute as

destinations and Show ReaRoute as sources.

5.11

Creating a Headphone Mix

Provided your sound card includes at least two pairs of outputs, we can make the process of headphone monitoring easier and more flexible by creating a headphone mix. This is how it is done.

1. Connect your Headphones to your Headphone Amp, and your Headphone Amp to one pair of outputs.

2. Create a new track and name it Headphone Mix. Create sends to this track for any and all tracks that you want to be able to monitor thru your headphone mix.

3. Choose the Options, Preferences command, select the heading General then click on the Advanced

UI/System tweaks … button. Enable Allow track envelope/routing windows to stay open.

4. Click OK then OK again to close the Preferences window.

5. Select your Headphone Mix track and open the Routing Window. Add an Audio Hardware Output to the paired outputs to which your Headphone Amp is connected. Disable the Master/Parent Send for this track.

6. You can now use the Pan and Volume faders for your receives, together with the Mute buttons, to control your headphone mix.

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5.12

Displaying Grid Lines

REAPER lets you determine whether or not to show grid lines in your projects. If you choose to show them, you have a number of options to determine how they are displayed. In this section we will look at three examples of how you might choose to use grid lines if you wish.

The display of grid lines is toggled on and off using the Grid button on the toolbar, or the

Options, Snap/grid, Show grid command, or the keyboard shortcut Alt G.

Grid line settings are accessed by rightclicking on the Grid button, or choosing the

Options, Snap/grid, Snap/grid settings command or by the keyboard shortcut Alt L. The examples below illustrate the effects of various permutations of grid setting options. These include options for the display of

marker lines. Markers will be explained in Chapter 9.

Show grid disabled.

Note that you also have an option to set the grid line spacing to frame rather than to a fraction of a beat. This can be useful when working with video media. (Frame rate is set in Project Settings, see Chapter 2).

Later in this guide (Chapters 6 and 7), you will be shown how to use grid settings to automatically snap various objects and items into position.

Show grid enabled.

Spacing 1 beat, minimum 10 pixels.

Grid line thru items, Marker line over items.

Dotted grid lines selected.

Show grid enabled.

Spacing 1 beat, minimum 5 pixels.

Grid line under items, Marker line over items.

Dotted grid lines not selected.

Show grid enabled.

Spacing 1 beat, minimum 5 pixels.

Grid line over items, Marker line under items.

Dotted grid lines not selected.

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5.13

Understanding Sends, Buses, Submixes and Folders

You have already seen that each of the tracks in your projects has its audio output routed by default to the master, and that from here the audio signal is directed to your preferred output device or devices, such as speakers or headphones. The signal flow that occurs here within REAPER can be represented by the first diagram on the right, which shows a simple project with just three tracks.

In Chapter2 of this User Guide, you were shown how to use a track as an effects bus, for example to add the same reverb effect to a number of tracks. The signal flow for this arrangement can be represented by the second of the two flow charts (below right).

The sends that you create for each track carry a signal to the

Bus track, which applies the effect, and then sends the processed (wet) signal on to the Master. At the same time, so long as the Send Master/Parent option remains enabled, the dry signal for each track is also sent directly to the master. Here it is finally mixed together with the “wet” signal from the bus before being directed to your speakers and/or headphones.

These two example models use routing arrangements that you would expect to find in probably any DAW program.

However, we are now about to enter territory where REAPER may be substantially different from other software that you may have used before. This relates to how you can create and use submixes.

With most programs, to create a submix (perhaps for your various drum tracks or vocal harmonies) you will need to create a bus, add sends from each track that is to be included in the submix, and then disable the direct sends to the master from each of these tracks.

You can use this method in

REAPER. Holding the Alt key while you click on a track's ROUTE button will toggle on and off the direct send to the master. If a track's output to the master is enabled the first of the green “lights” on the

ROUTE button is turned on. If disabled, it is turned off. This distinction is shown on the left. In the first (top) track, the output from the track to the master is enabled. In the second

(bottom) track, it has been disabled. If there are no other sends or receives on that track, the word ROUTE is then shown in red.

However, a smarter and potentially more powerful way of creating a submix is to use folders (sometimes called track folders). We'll look at how this is done shortly, but first let's get our heads around the concept.

A folder track is created initially in the same way as any other track. You then tell REAPER to treat this as a folder track - and essentially that's it. You now have your submix (as shown here on the right). Direct output to the master from the individual

“child” tracks within the folder is automatically disabled.

Instead, they are passed thru the folder. Note that you should not manually disable the master/parent send for child tracks within a folder, or their output will no longer go to the folder (the master track).

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Anything that you do to the folder will be done to the entire submix. For example, if you adjust the volume up or down, the volume of the submix will be adjusted up or down. If you add an effect such as a compressor to the folder then that effect will be applied to the submix.

Before we see exactly how a folder and its child tracks are set up, there's one more scenario to consider.

Even when you have a folder which contains a submix of other tracks, you can still use buses for the folder itself or for individual tracks inside the folder

(see right). In this case our folder (submix) still consists of the same three tracks as before. In addition, however, a send has been created from the folder to an FX bus, perhaps to add reverb to the submix. We'll see an example of this soon.

There are three types of send – Post-Fader

(Post Pan), Pre-Fader (Post FX) and Pre FX.

These are explained in Chapter 16 and illustrated by the flow charts at the end of Chapter 6. For the time being, accept the default option, Post-Fader

(Post Pan).

5.14

Track Folder Essentials

When a number of tracks are collected within a folder, you will probably want to use both the individual track controls and the folder controls. For example, you can use the Volume controls for individual tracks within a folder to set the volume levels for the different tracks relative to each other. You can then use the Volume control for the folder itself to control the overall combined volume level of the tracks in that folder.

Another example is that the Mute and Solo controls for the folder will act on the folder as a whole. However, you do still have the option of using each track’s individual

Mute and Solo controls.

The example illustrated (right) shows a folder called

Instruments that contains three individual tracks. The faint peaks that you see in the folder's lane in arrange view represent the combined contents of the folder's child tracks. This can be disabled on your Preferences,

Appearance, Peaks/waveforms page. Identify the little icons that you can see below the track number of each item in the track control panel. These are used to determine a track's folder status. Ordinarily, this can be one of four states:

An ordinary top level track (the default). The icon is displayed as a faint image of a folder. Hover the mouse over this image and it changes to a+ sign.

A folder track. This is displayed as in the Instruments track above, as a stronger image of a folder. Hover the mouse over this image and it changes to an X (see right).

A child track within a folder. The track is nested and the icon is displayed as a faint image of a folder. Hover the mouse over this image and it changes to a+ (see below right)

The last track in a folder. A folder icon is shown and the track is nested. Hover over this icon and it displays a down pointing arrow.

You can click on this icon to set a track's status. Let's work thru an example.

1. Open the file All Through the Night.RPP and save it as All Through the Night Folder.RPP

2. Make sure the Vox track is track 1, Gtr Body track 2, Gtr Neck track 3 and Bouzouki track 4.

3. Press Alt Enter to display project settings. Select Stereo Pan as project pan mode. A width rotary control is now added to every track.

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4. Select track 1. Press Ctrl T to insert a new track immediately underneath this track. This becomes track number 2. Name this track Instruments.

5. Click once on the folder button for this track. It becomes a folder and the tracks below it are indented.

6. We want the bouzouki to be the last track in the folder. Click twice on that track to set this. Adjust the panning of the three child tracks as you wish.

7. To illustrate a point, select the Bouzouki track and press Ctrl T. A new track is added outside the folder.

8. Name this track Reverb and insert

ReaVerbate into its FX chain. Drag and drop in turn from the ROUTING button of the Vox track and the ROUTING button of the

Instruments folder to this Reverb track. This will create two sends.

9. Lower the Reverb track volume to about –

10.0 db (see right) and save the file.

10. Play the file. Experiment with folder controls.

For example, mute the folder and you mute all instruments. Solo it and you solo all instruments. Adjust the volume and the overall volume of the instrument submix changes.

11. Use the width control on the folder track to bring the different instrument tracks closer together or further apart. Use the pan control to move the whole instrument mix further left or right.

To restore a folder as a normal track, click on the folder control icon as many or as few times as are required to cycle thru the various options until you see the one that you want.

5.14.1

Drag and Drop Folder Management

Another way of creating folders is by dragging and dropping. You identify which track is to be the folder, which are to be its children, then select and drag and drop the children into the folder. When you know what you are doing, this method is probably quicker, but it can be tricky at first. This process is illustrated below.

Here's the same project file as before (except that this time the Reverb track has already been added).

Three tracks have been selected and we have began to drag and drop them up. Notice that the thick horizontal bar shown above the first of these tracks occupies the whole width of the track control panel.

Carefully and slowly drag them a little higher and you will notice that the horizontal bar is now indented slightly.

Now release the mouse and you will see the three tracks have been placed as child tracks within a newly created Instruments folder (see below).

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If you hover the mouse over the folder icon for the

Bouzouki track you should see confirmation that it is the last track in the folder.

The drag and drop method can also be used to add tracks into an existing folder, and/or to remove them. However, the technique may take a little getting used to.

Experiment with this now if you wish.

Notice the small down pointing arrow just above the track number of the folder track (in this case Track2).

This can be used to toggle the display of child tracks in the folder between normal (as shown above left), minimized and collapsed (as shown below left).

5.14.2

Nested Folders

REAPER allows you to nest folders within folders, to as many levels as you like. This feature is probably more suited to relatively experienced DAW users than it is to newcomers.

To create a nested folder, first create an empty track within an existing top level folder, then use the folder control icon to make that track into a folder. Because the track is itself contained within an existing top level folder, it will automatically be made into a second level folder.

The project shown here is an example of this. Notice that:

 There is a top level folder called Vox Tracks which holds a Lead Vox tracks and a Harmonies sub-folder with four child tracks.

 There is another top level folder called

Instruments which holds two sub-folders (Drum

Kit and Guitars).

 The two second level folders which are subfolders of the Instruments folder each contain child tracks of their own.

 There is another top level folder (Reverbs) which itself contains two reverb busses.

Any action taken on a folder will effect its entire contents. For example, if in this case you were to mute the Instruments folder, then you would automatically also mute the contents of the Acoustic

Guitar and Other Instruments folders.

REAPER does not limit you two levels of folders. You can have more if you like. Be warned, however, that if you do, life can get complicated!

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5.15

Track and Track Parameter Grouping

Note: As well as conventional grouping, REAPER supports VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) grouping. To help avoid confusion, VCA grouping will be considered as a separate topic later in this chapter.

The topic of track and parameter grouping is a huge one with an extraordinary range of options designed to help you especially in your mixing and arranging. It is based upon this principle.

You can define group relationships between different tracks and their controls so as to ensure that when you make a change to one track in the group, changes are also made to the other tracks in the group.

The nature of these relationships can vary from being quite simple to rather complex, and everything in between. Everybody will have their own different ways in which REAPER's track grouping feature can be helpful.

Let's look at some possible examples. These examples have been selected primarily for learning purposes. You might or might not find the actual examples themselves to be useful for you.

 You might have two tracks that you wish to keep at a constant volume relative to each other. In this case, you could ensure that whenever one is faded up or down then so is the other.

 You might have two tracks that need to be panned opposite each other. In this case, you can ensure that when one is panned in one direction, the other is automatically panned in the other direction.

 You might have two or more tracks that you wish to treat as a group so that they are always soled or muted together.

In a moment, we'll work thru some examples. There are two main ways to create and manage your groups. This can be done either using the Track Control Panel or the Track

Grouping Matrix. Here is an overview of both methods.

Method 1 uses the Grouping dialog box (shown right), which can be accessed from the Track Control Panel or the Mixer

Control Panel. The method is as follows:

In the TCP or MCP, select the tracks whose parameters you wish to group.

Right-click over any track number in the group and choose Track grouping parameters from the context menu (or press Shift G).

When the Grouping dialog box is displayed (see left) specify those parameters that you want to group, then click on Close.

Make sure that the option Track grouping enabled on the TCP or MCP menu is selected (ticked).

You can use this same method later to make changes to your grouped parameter definitions.

This interface might appear a little overwhelming at first. For this reason, it may be easier, especially at first, to use the second method. Method 2 uses the Track Grouping Matrix. This is illustrated overleaf.

The grouping matrix, which can be docked, can be used to manage up to 32 different groups. To display this, choose the View command, then Track Grouping Matrix, or press Ctrl Alt G. The picture that follows shows just two groups on display. We can create a special project file for our examples. You can then group any selection of tracks that you like: in this example, we will be working with two of three tracks enclosed within a track folder. Note that you do not need to place tracks in a folder in order to be able to group them.

5.15.1

Example

Basic Track Grouping

In the examples that follow, the optional Width control is shown, but not included in any groups. Whether or not this is visible will depend on your choice of track layout. This is explained in Chapters 10 and 11.

1. Open the file All Through The Night.RPP and immediately save it as All Through The Night

GROUPS.RPP

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2. Select Track 1 (Vox) and press Ctrl T to create a new track immediately below it. Name the new track

Instruments. Using the techniques explained earlier in this chapter, make this track into a folder.

Enclose in the folder the two guitar tracks and the bouzouki track. Make the bouzouki the last track in the folder. Save this file. First, you need to make sure that the track grouping is enabled, Choose the Track command from the main menu. If Track grouping enabled (near the bottom) is not ticked, click on this command to select it. If it is already ticked, just click on the REAPER title bar.

3. Choose the View, Track Grouping Matrix command to display the Grouping Matrix.

4. Pan one guitar track about 50% left, and the other 50% right.

5. In Group 1 on the Grouping Matrix, click in the cells representing Gtr Body and Gtr Neck in the

Volume column.

6. Click in the cells for Gtr Body and Gtr Neck in the Pan column. In this column, click also in the Pan Reverse cell for one of the guitars, as shown (right).

7. The volume controls for these two tracks are grouped so that when you adjust the volume for either track, both volume faders will move together in the same direction.

8. Perhaps more interesting, when you now move the pan control left or right for either of these tracks, the other track's pan fader will move in the opposite direction.

9. Save the file.

10. Now click in the cells for the two guitar tracks in the

mute and solo columns and again save the file. The solo and mute controls for these two tracks are also linked together. Try them out!

11. To temporarily override the grouping, hold Shift while you adjust the volume of one of the guitar tracks.

Notice only that one fader is adjusted. You can use Shift to temporarily override any grouped track parameters.

12. To temporarily disable the group altogether, click where shown (right) on the

Group 1 enable/disable toggle control. You will now find that all group controls for this group are disabled.

13. Click in this same cell again to again enable the group. Save the file.

The table that follows on the next page summarizes what you might have discovered about grouping track control parameters from this exercise.

Note: A item's group control status can be master only (M), slave only (S) or master/slave (the default). In this exercise, all grouping has been of the default type, master/slave. We'll get to the other two options shortly.

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5.15.2

Track Grouping Matrix Basic Controls

In order to do this …

Define the tracks in a new group

Adjust all linked faders for a group

Adjust the fader for only one track in a group containing linked faders

Define a pan or volume relationship as reverse for a track within a group

Change an existing toggle parameter relationship (such as Solo, Mute or

Record Arm) into a reverse one

Link more parameters for tracks in an existing group

Add another track to an existing group

Remove a track from an existing group

Enable/Disable group

Select all tracks in a group

Ensure automation mode of slave tracks automatically follows that of master

Fine tune behavior of groups which share common tracks.

Using the Track Grouping Matrix

Display the Track Grouping Matrix. Select at least one parameter (such as Pan) for each track in the group.

In Mixer or Track Arrange view, adjust the fader for any one track in the group.

In Mixer or Track Arrange view, hold Shift while adjusting the single fader.

In the track row, click on the intersection cell for Pan

Reverse or Volume Reverse.

In Mixer view, hold Shift while clicking on the appropriate button (such as Solo or Mute) for the individual track. Use

Shift again to restore the positive relationship.

Click on the intersection cells where the required parameter column meets the track rows.

Click on intersection cell where the required parameter column meets the row for the track that is being added.

Click once, twice or three times on the appropriate intersection cell until it shows blank. If more than one parameter is linked, do this for each parameter.

Click in the group's Enable/Disable box.

Click on the group name.

Use the Automation Mode column of for tracks in the group.

Use the Flag: No Slave-Master settings to ensure, for example, that a track which is a master in group 1 and a slave in group 2 will not act as a master in group 1 when being slaved in group 2.

5.15.3

Track Grouping Indicators

By default, colored ribbons are used on the Track

Control Panel to identify grouped track parameters

(see right).

Under Options, Preferences, Appearance there is a sub-section Track Control Panels whose contents includes the option to instead use lines on the edges, or not to use any indicator at all.

5.15.4

Master and Slave Group Relationships

Each parameter that is included in a grouped relationship can take one of three states – Master/Slave (the default), Master only, or Slave only. The different ways in which this affects that parameter's behavior are:

A Master/Slave item can control other Master/Slave and Slave only items, but not Master only items. It can itself be controlled by other Master/Slave and Master only items.

A Master only item can control other Master/Slave and Slave only items, but not Master only items. It cannot be controlled by any other item

A Slave only item cannot control any other item, but can itself be controlled by Master/Slave items and

Master only items.

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Don't worry, this isn't as complicated as it sounds. To make sense of it all, let's work thru a couple of examples.

In the previous exercise, all items within our group had Master/Slave status. This meant, for example, that when you adjusted the panning or the volume on either of the two guitar tracks, the equivalent parameter on the other guitar track would move according to the defined relationship. This happened regardless of which of the two tracks you used to make the adjustment. Let's now look at some different scenarios.

Example

1. Open the file All Through The Night GROUPS.RPP that you made in the last example. We are going to add the Bouzouki volume control to this group as a slave only.

2. Make sure the grouping matrix is displayed. Click in the

Bouzouki row of the Volume column for group 1 to add this to your group. It is assigned the default status of

Master/Slave.

3. Click in the same cell again. The display changes to M. It now has master only status. Click again, and the display will change to S for slave only status (see right).

4. Observe this track in the track control or mixer panel. You will see only one colored ribbon on the track's volume control (instead of two). In the TCP this will be on the right, in the MCP (mixer control panel) this will be at the bottom. This indicates its slave status.

5. Play the song. Adjust the volume for either of the guitar tracks, first up, then down. Observe that because of its slave status the volume of the bouzouki track will be adjusted with it.

6. Now adjust the volume of the bouzouki track, first up then down. Because of its slave only status, it cannot control any other track. The volume faders of the guitar tracks will not move as you change the volume of the bouzouki track.

7. Now, for learning purposes, let's change the bouzouki volume status to master only. Click on that cell several times to cycle thru the options. Stop when it displays M.

8. This is the opposite of what happened at step

3. First, the colored ribbon indicator for this item is now shown only on the left instead of the right. This confirms its master only status

(see right).

9. Play the song. If you adjust the volume fader on the bouzouki track, the faders on the two guitar tracks will also move. However, if you adjust the volume of either guitar track, the other guitar track will also move, but the bouzouki fader will not.

10. Save the file when you have finished.

5.15.5

Track Grouping Window

Earlier we introduced the track grouping window, and said that this interface offered a different method of working with track grouping and with grouped track parameters. Let's now see how.

The Grouping window displays all group information about the various parameters for any selected track or selection of tracks. Most commonly (and most usefully) it makes sense to use it with individual tracks, one track at a time. Again, this will be more readily understood if you work thru an example.

Example

1. With the project file All Through The Night GROUPS.RPP open, select the Gtr Body track in the track control panel.

2. Either right-click over the track number and choose Track Grouping Parameters … from the context menu, or press Shift G.

3. This causes the Grouping window for the selected track to be displayed (see below left).

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4. In the TCP, select the Bouzouki track. The display in the Grouping window changes (above right), to show the currently grouped parameters for the bouzouki – in this case, just the master control on the volume track.

5. In this dialog box, click and select Mute Master, Solo

Master, Mute Slave and Solo Slave. These group parameters are now also selected for this track. This is confirmed by the display in the track grouping matrix.

6. One more thing we can do here is to rename the group.

Click on the Rename button, type Instruments and press Enter.

7. Close the dialog box. Observe the track grouping matrix.

Save this file.

You can define up to 32 groups in a project file. In the example below, a second group has been added, to help when adjusting the balance between the volume of the vocal track and the instrument mix.

Note: You can right-click over the matrix empty background area for a menu which allows you to toggle on

(above left) or off (above right) the option to Show individual group details.

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5.15.6

Track Grouping Window Basic Controls

In order to do this …

Define the tracks in a new group

Name a group

Using the Track Control Panel

Select the tracks in the Track Control Panel, press Shift

G then select at least one parameter.

Press Shift G, select the required group number and click on Rename.

Adjust the fader for any one track in the group.

Hold Shift while adjusting the single fader.

Adjust all linked faders for a group

Adjust the fader for only one track in a group containing linked faders

Define a pan or volume relationship as reverse for a track within a group

Change an existing toggle parameter relationship (such as Solo, Mute or Record

Arm) into a reverse one

Link more parameters for tracks in an existing group

Reset a track's volume, pan or width to its default value and adjust settings for other group members accordingly

Add another track to an existing group

Remove a track from an existing group

Enable/Disable group

Select the track in the Track Control Panel and press

Shift G. Click on Reverse Volume or Reverse Pan as required.

Hold Shift while clicking on the appropriate button

(such as Solo or Mute) for the individual track.

Open the Grouping dialog box for the group and select the required parameters.

Double-click on the volume, pan or width value displayed in the track panel.

Select the track in the Track Control Panel and press

Shift G. Display the drop down group list and select the required group.

Select the required parameters.

Select the track in the Track Control Panel and press

Shift G

Unselect all selected items except Group enabled

Press Shift G, select the group from the drop down list then click in the Group enabled box.

Tip: When you are playing back a song, in the course of editing you may from time to time wish to reset your VU Peaks without needing to stop and restart playback. To clear one peak, simply click on the peak number shown at the right hand end of the VU meter in the TCP or top of the

VU in the MCP. To clear all peaks, hold down the Control key while you do this.

5.16

VU Meters on Multichannel Tracks

Where a track has more than two channels you have the option of showing the output of all channels on the track's VU meters in the TCP and Mixer.

This feature is toggled on and off for any track or track selection by right-clicking over the track panel area (for example, on the track number) and enabling or disabling Multichannel track

metering on the context menu.

Shown right is a track with audio on four channels, as displayed in the Mixer using the default theme and layout.

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5.17

VCA Grouping

The origins of VCAs (Voltage Controlled Amplifiers) predate digital audio. Today, REAPER's contemporary implementation of VCAs opens up interesting mixing opportunities for you.

By way of analogy, VCAs in REAPER are a form of track grouping which allows tracks to be slaved within a group to a single track master. VCA slave tracks will have their volume dBs added to that of the VCA master track: thus, with VCA grouping the process is additive. With conventional grouping, however (such as that explained in section 5.15) nothing is added, the tracks are simply linked.

VCA groups can be set up and managed using the same grouping matrix that was introduced earlier in this chapter. With experience and experimentation you will come to learn that VCA grouping can be a very useful mixing tool. To begin with, however, we will keep to simple examples, designed primarily to help you understand the concept and how it is applied. The basic procedure for creating a VCA group is:

1. Add a new track to your project and give it a suitable name, such as VCA Control. Ordinarily, this track should contain no media items.

2. Display the grouping matrix and select a currently unused group. Optionally, you may give this group a name.

3. Set the VCA status in this group for your VCA Control track to M (for master).

4. Set the VCA status in this group for any tracks that you want it to control to S (for Slave).

You might find the example that follows easier if you understand the basic functionality of the grouping matrix, as explained in section 5.15.

Example

1. Open the file All Through The Night.RPP and save it as

All Through The Night VCA.RPP.

2. Pan the first of the guitar tracks about 35% left and the other about 35% right.

3. Add a new track (Track 5) and name it VCA Control.

4.

Display the grouping matrix (Ctrl Alt G). Make sure that the other tracks are in the same order as shown here in the matrix (below right).

5. In the grouping matrix, right-click over the text Group 1 to open the Grouping dialog box (above). Click the Rename button, then type VCA, then click on OK, then close the dialog box.

6. Set up this group as shown (right), so that track 5 is your

VCA master track and tracks 2, 3 and 4 are VCA slave tracks. In order to do this, click once on the appropriate cell for each of these tracks to add it to the group, then click once more to make it master (M) and (for tracks 2,

3 and 4) once again to change this to slave (S).

7. Play the song. As you raise the volume fader on the VCA control track, the three instrument tracks will each become louder. As you turn down the volume on track 5, the instruments will become quieter.

8. Notice, however, that the VU meter levels on the slave instrument tracks do not change during this. This is because the volume of the signal actually produced by each of these individual tracks is not changed. Instead, it is the volume of these tracks added to that of the VCA control track that is being sent to the master. Thus, the master's VU meter levels will change as the VCA control track fader is adjusted.

9. This leaves you free, if you wish, to adjust the volume of any of the individual instrument tracks without affecting any other tracks in the group. Save the file.

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10. Now let's try something different. Make sure that the pan law for all tracks is set to Stereo

balance/mono pan. This is done by right clicking over the track's pan control and selecting from the pan law drop down list (right).

11. Click on the Bouzouki/VCA matrix cell to remove it from the group.

12. Now play the song again. As you do so, adust the pan setting on the

VCA control track. You will find that the panning of the three instrument tracks will each be adjusted accordingly. Save the file.

VCA Grouping Parameters

This table summarizes the VCA grouping matrix options and parameters:

Parameter Comment

Volume

Pan

Adjust the volume fader on the VCA master to adjust the volume of all slave tracks in the VCA group. Note that the slave track faders themselves will not be moved.

Provided either Stereo balance/mono pan or Stereo pan has been selected as the pan law, changing the panning on the VCA master will cause the panning of all slave tracks in the group to be changed. The pan faders on the slave tracks, however will not be moved.

Pre FX Slave If the grouping matrix option Flag: VCA pre-FX slave is selected for any VCA slave track, then the signal volume will be adjusted before it is fed into the that track's FX chain.

Automation

Volume, pan and width changes on slave tracks can be automated by adding envelopes to the

VCA control track. The envelopes will be applied to all slave tracks in the group. Slave tracks may also have their own automation envelopes. Chapter 17 includes more about envelopes.

Mute

A mute envelope can be added to the VCA master. This envelope will be applied to all VCA slave tracks in the group. Automation envelopes are explained in Chapter 17.

Note: Defining a track as a VCA master causes that track's volume and pan faders to control volume and panning on all of its slave tracks. Keep in mind that a VCA control track is not a track folder or submix. No audio passes thru a VCA master/control track. Thus, for example, it would make no sense to add any audio FX directly to a VCA control track.

Further Examples of VCA Grouping Models

Here are some more examples of situations in which VCA grouping can be helpful. Doubtless you will in time find further and perhaps more complex applications of your own.

VCA with Automation Envelopes

You will need to understand something about automation envelopes if you are to understand this section.

Automation envelopes are explained in Chapter 17.

Problems can arise when using automation envelopes with conventional groups. For example, a volume or pan envelope on a master track in a conventional group will, on playback, adjust the volume or pan settings on that one track only, not on its slaves.

With VCA grouping, however, an envelope on a VCA control track will be applied to the summed total of its slave tracks. Moreover, you can have separate automation envelopes on both the VCA master and any of the slave tracks within the group. Shown here is the same project as in the previous example, with the same groups as before, and with volume envelopes added to the VCA control track and one of the slave tracks (Bouzouki). The summed levels of both slave and master envelopes will, on playback, be sent to the master.

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Actions to Manage VCA Envelopes

Two actions are available which add extra functionality to VCA envelopes. These are Envelope: apply all VCAs

from selected tracks to grouped tracks and reset volume/pan/mute and Envelope: apply all VCAs

to selected tracks and remove from VCA groups. Actions are explained in Chapter 14, but, in short, you can assign your own keyboard shortcuts to these actions, and/or add them to REAPER's menus.

The effect of the these actions is illustrated here.

Tracks 2 and 3 are slaved to track 4 in a VCA group. A volume envelope has been added to the VCA master track.

This track is selected.

Running the action Envelope: apply all VCAs from

selected tracks to grouped tracks and reset

volume/pan/mute causes an identical envelope to be added to each of the group's slave tracks and to time remove it from the master. This is shown on the illustration to the right. The VCA group settings remain intact.

Running the action Envelope: apply all VCAs from

selected tracks to grouped tracks and remove from

VCA group would also cause identical volume envelopes to be to each of the slave tracks, but these tracks would be removed from the VCA group and the envelope on the VCA master track (in this example, track 4) would remain intact.

Note that if any of the VCA slave tracks already contain a volume envelope, then the values on the VCA master track envelope will be added to those already on the slave track envelope.

These actions can applied to VCA master pan, width and/or mute envelopes as well as volume envelopes.

VCA with Overlapping Groups

Conventional grouping does not fully allow for overlapping group membership. For example, on the right tracks 1 to 3 volume faders are grouped as masters and slaves in one group, tracks 4 to 6 in a second group.

We might want to also group, say, volume faders on tracks 1 and 6 so that they and they alone could be moved together when required. VCA grouping makes this possible. We add a VCA control track (track 7) and set up a third group as shown below:

You would now find that you could adjust the volume of tracks 1 and 6 together by adjusting the volume fader on track 7, the VCA control track. No other track would be affected.

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VCA for Mix Control

This is a rather more complex and subtle example: newcomers to working with DAWs or REAPER might be best advised to stay away from this one until your knowledge and experience have grown a little!

This example uses VCA grouping in a project that includes folders as well as tracks. Three VCA groups have been set up, each with its own control track. The track layout shown on the right needs to be interpreted in conjunction with the grouping matrix shown below.

The groups are:

Group 1: Vocals VCA Control, track 14 (controls Lead

Vocal track and Harmonies folder).

Group 2: DrumsBass VCA Control, track 15 (controls

Drums folder and Bass track).

Group 3: Guitars VCA Control, track 16 (controls

Guitars folder and the Bouzouki).

The use of the three VCA control tracks can assist in mixing, making it easier for us to achieve the required balance of sound between the vocals and various instruments in this mix.

The mix has effectively been divided into three groups. Individual track volumes and pan settings can still be adjusted in the usual way, but in addition the VCA controls can be used to adjust the balance between the three groups.

This setup is illustrated in the grouping matrix shown below.

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5.18

Audio Jogging and Scrubbing

Jogging and scrubbing are techniques originated in the days when all recording was done with magnetic tape.

They help you to move within a project, or track, or group of tracks, to audition or locate a particular section. This is usually done in REAPER when your project is not playing, but you can over-ride this default setting.

To jog a portion of a song, simply position your mouse over the triangle that is located on the top of the edit cursor, as shown on the right. This causes the mouse pointer to change to a white hand. You can then click and drag in either direction. You’ll probably find when jogging that you will want to zoom in quite closely on your project.

By default, holding down the Ctrl key while jogging will enable Scrub mode. In this mode, playback will be much slower. This can help when looking for very short glitches, for example when zoomed in close.

You can set your jog/scrub preferences in the Audio, Playback page of the Options, Preferences window, as shown below. Notice in particular that:

 You can limit the maximum jog/scrub rates

(speed) to no more than normal playback speed. This makes it easier to identify the audio material when jogging or scrubbing.

 You can also choose to be able to engage jog/scrub mode to over-ride normal playback.

 If you enable the Only play selected tracks option, then only those tracks currently selected will be heard when you apply jogging or scrubbing.

You can modify REAPER's jog/scrub behavior by opening the Preferences window and using the Mouse Modifiers page to define your own modifier keys for Edit cursor handle left drag behavior. The default assignments are shown on the right.

Looped segment mode can be used to audition a section of your material as a loop. For example, if in

Playback preferences (above right) you specify a range of -1000 ms to 1000 ms, then holding Alt while you click and drag the edit cursor handle briefly left or right will jog a two second portion of audio over and over for as long as you hold down the mouse button.

You can also assign modifiers for jogging and/or scrubbing to your

Arrange View middle mouse button drag behavior. For more information about assigning mouse modifier preferences see Chapter 21.

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5.19

Default Toolbar Summary

REAPER's default toolbar is located near the top left corner of the screen. The various tools and their functions are introduced throughout this guide as and when they are required: in addition, you might find the summary diagram below helpful.

The actual appearance of the individual icons will depend on which color theme you are using. Themes can be selected using the command Options, Themes and then making your selection from the list available. Shown below are the icons used by the default themes for both REAPER 5 and REAPER 4.

Toolbar keyboard shortcuts summary (equivalent to left click):

New Project: Ctrl N

Open Project: Ctrl O

Save Project: Ctrl S

Project Settings: Alt Enter

Undo: Ctrl Z to undo last action

Right click to view undo history

Redo: Ctrl Shift Z to redo last action

Right click to view undo history

Metronome: no default shortcut:

Left click to toggle on/off

Right click for settings

Auto Crossfade: Alt X to toggle on/off

Item Grouping: Alt Shift G to toggle on/off

Right click for menu

Ripple Editing: Alt P to toggle on/off

Right click for menu

Envelopes, move points with media items:

Left click to toggle on/off

Right click for menu

Grid Lines: Alt G to toggle on off

Right click for settings dialog

Snap: Alt S to toggle on/off

Right click for settings dialog

Locking: L to toggle on off

Right click for settings dialog

You can edit this toolbar, for example adding more tools for other commands and actions. You can also create additional toolbars of your own. This topic is covered in Chapter 14.

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6 Managing Track FX

We have already covered the basic techniques involved in using effects (Direct X and VST) with REAPER tracks.

We are now going to look at some of the options available to help manage and use your FX more effectively.

We'll be looking in more detail at how you use some of the more important individual effects later (Chapter 15): in this section we're mainly concerned with the broader issues of managing and organising plug-ins.

6.1

Grouping FX in Folders

FX can be grouped for your convenience in any way you wish. For example, if you use chorus, delay and reverb a lot, you might wish to create one folder called

Chorus/ Delay and another called Reverb.

Frequently used plug-ins can be copied into special groups.

You can create as many folders as you wish, and the same plug-in can be placed in multiple folders. For example, you could place the Bootsy

EpicVerb plug-in both in a folder called Reverb and alongside other Bootsy FX in a folder called Bootsy.

To create a FX group folder:

Use the command View, FX Browser or the keyboard shortcut Shift F to open the FX browser window.

Right click over the text My Folders where shown (see above) and choose Create new folder. Type a name, then press Enter.

To add FX to a folder:

Select the category All Plug-ins in the left hand panel of the FX window. This will ensure that all FX are available to you.

Drag and drop the required FX from the right hand panel to the folder where you want the FX to be listed.

To drag multiple FX, use Ctrl with left mouse click to build up a selection, then drag them all together.

To create a smart folder:

If you enable the Smart folder option when creating a folder, all plug-ins whose names include any character strings that you define will automatically be displayed within that folder.

Right-click over My Folders and choose

Create new folder.

Type a folder name, enable the Smart

folder option and type a filter. In the example shown, we are creating a folder called Dynamics for all plug-ins with

comp or lim in their names.

Click on OK. The folder will be created and all plug-ins with comp or lim in their names will automatically be listed in it. You can still add more FX to this folder manually if you need to.

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To change the order in which FX folders are displayed:

Right click on the name of the folder to be moved.

From the context menu choose Move to top, Move up, Move

down, or Move to bottom.

To display and select from a folder

In the left panel of the FX window, click on the name of any FX group to display its contents in the larger right hand panel.

Double click on any FX name within that group (listed in the right hand panel) to add it to the current track.

Tip: If you leave the FX Browser open, you can add any FX to any track simply dragging and dropping to the required track in the Track Control Panel (TCP) or

Mixer Control Panel (MCP).

Tip: You can add FX from an existing folder to any track directly from the TCP or

MCP. Right-click over the FX button and select first the folder and then the FX.

6.2

Backing Up FX Chains and FX Presets

FX Chains and plug-in presets can be backed up and restored using the export/import configuration buttons in

REAPER's Preferences (General settings). See Chapter 21 for more information about importing and exporting configuration settings.

6.3

Filtering Track FX

By entering a text string in the Filter list text box in the bottom left corner of the Add FX window, you can display a list of those FX which match your criteria.

Before doing this, you should select either All Plugins from the list of plugin folders, or any particular folder if you wish to restrict your search.

In the example shown here, we have applied the text string chorus as a filter, in order to see what chorus plug-ins we have available.

The Clear Filter button can be used to remove the filter and restore all plug-ins to view.

You also have two options (on the Options menu – see below) which if enabled will ensure that your filters are automatically cleared for you.

These are Auto clear search field on folder change and Auto clear search field on close. This latter option refers to closing the FX browser window, not closing REAPER.

REAPER will remember your previous filters. You can access it from the filter drop down list, by clicking on the down pointing arrow located on the edge right of the Filter list box.

6.4

FX Browser Options

The FX browser Options menu is shown here. In summary, the available commands are:

Auto-float new FX windows. If enabled, FX will be opened and displayed in a separate window of their own when they are added, rather than within the FX browser.

FX Plug-ins settings... This causes the Options, Preferences,

Plug-ins settings page to be displayed (see Chapter 21).

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Show in left pane list.

This displays as a sub-menu a list of categories of plug-in that you can choose to display (or not). Those that are chosen will be listed in the left pane of the FX browser window.

You can choose as many or as few of the plug-in types as you want: DX, DXi, VST, VSTi, VST3, VST3i,

AU, AUi, JS, Rewire and Cockos.

Choosing Instruments will cause all virtual instruments to be listed together: these will also be ;listed in their native folders (VSTi, DXi, etc) if these are also selected.

Selecting Recent will cause all plug-ins recently used being displayed here, as well as in their native folders.

Selecting VST folders will cause all folders containing VST plugins to be listed in the left pane under My

folders.

Selecting FX Chains will cause FX chains to be listed.

Show in FX

This enables you to show in the displayed FX list the Default preset (if any, along with the FX name), descriptions, or file names, or both for JS FX, the Video processor (see Chapter 19), and/or plug-ins whose name begins with a #. Renaming a plug-in so that its name begins with a # will ensure that it is not shown in the FX browser's FX list.

There are also two Auto clear search field (filter) options – when you change your selected folder, and/or when you close the FX browser.

6.5

Replacing One FX With Another

To replace any FX in a track's FX chain, simply follow this procedure:

1. Display the track's FX chain and select the FX in the chain that you want to replace.

2. From the FX Window top menu choose the FX, Replace FX… command. This opens the Add FX window.

3. Select the required replacement FX and click on OK.

Any pin connector assignments on the replaced FX will automatically be assigned to the new one.

6.6

Copying Track FX

Any track FX (individual FX or complete chains) can be copied from one track to any other track, or tracks.

When a plug-in is copied in this way, the settings and parameter values are also copied with it. You can use standard Windows techniques like Ctrl C and Ctrl V if you like, but the simplest way is to simply select the required plug-in(s) in the FX window of your source track and use the mouse to drag and drop to the FX button of any other track. This can be done from either the TCP (track control panel) or the MCP (mixer control panel).

Example

For this example, open the file All Through The Night Folder.rpp that you saved earlier in this section. If you did not make this file, use any other file which has more than one track.

1. Click on the FX Button for the track Gtr Neck to open the track's FX Window.

2. Insert the VST ReaEQ(Cockos) plug-in into this window.

3. Hover the mouse over the text VST ReaEQ in the plug-in window. Press and hold down the left mouse button and, holding it down, drag the mouse to point on the track control area of the Gtr Body track.

4. Release the mouse. The ReaEQ plug-in will now have been copied into this track.

You can of course repeat this as often as required to copy the same plug-in to other tracks. When you copy an

FX in this way, any settings and parameter values that you have set will be copied with it. To copy more than one plug-in at the same time from one track to another, use this sequence:

1. Click on the first plug-in to be selected. Hold the Ctrl key down while clicking in turn on each additional plug-in that you want copied. Alternatively, if you want to copy all FX in a chain, click on the first item, then hold Shift while you click on the last item in the chain.

2. Use the method described above to drag and drop on or near the FX button of the track to which you wish to copy your plug-ins.

Tip: FX can also be copied from the FX chain of any track to individual media items or takes anywhere in the project. Working with per item and per take FX will be explored in Chapters 6 and 7.

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6.7

FX Quick Display

Track FX are listed on a track's FX button right click menu (see right). You can open the window for any of these FX direct from this menu.

6.8

Moving Track FX

To move (rather than copy) a plug-in from one track to another, simply hold down the Alt key while you drag and drop.

Tip: Hovering your mouse over any track’s FX button causes a tooltip to be displayed, listing the plug-ins present in that track’s FX bin. It displays this information even if the FX chain is set to bypass.

6.9

Managing FX Parameters

REAPER's FX interface window includes for each FX a Param button which you can use to help you manage and control the various FX parameters.

Click on any parameter control within the FX window then on the Param button to display a menu of choices. The five menu options are Show in track controls, Show track envelope, Parameter modulation, Learn and Alias

Parameter.

Show in track controls. This adds a control knob for this parameter to both the Track Control Panel (TCP) and the Mixer Control Panel (MCP).

Choose this command from the menu to display a list of parameters for this particular FX. Select any item(s) from the list to add a control knob to the track control panel. An example

(using two parameters from ReaComp) is shown here

(below right).

To remove any of these controls, right-click over the button and choose Remove from list from the menu.

This context menu also gives you access to the four other parameter control tools, Learn, Modulate (Parameter modulation), Envelope (Show track envelope) and Alias (Alias parameter).

Show track envelope. The whole topic of envelopes and automation with envelopes is covered in depth in Chapter

17. For the time being note that you can use this command to add to your tracks automation envelopes for any FX parameters. An example is shown here.

The envelopes can be displayed in their own lanes (as shown here) or over the media item(s). To learn how to do this, see Chapter 17.

Parameter Modulation. This is a rather advanced topic.

Parameter modulation allows you to define a relationship between two parameters so that one is controlled by the other. For example, you might want a threshold's ratio to automatically increase as the threshold is lowered. This topic is explained in Chapter 18.

Learn. If you are using an external MIDI control device you can assign FX parameters to controls (such as knobs or faders) on that external device. This topic is covered in detail in Chapters 11 and 13.

Alias parameter. This allows you to change (just for this instance) the name of a parameter to one that makes more sense to you.

Shown here is an example.

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6.10

Changing the Default FX Name

To change the default name of any Direct X or VST FX (but not JS) plug-in:

 Display the FX Browser Window (View, FX Browser)

 Right Click over the plug-in to be renamed.

 Choose Rename FX from the menu.

 Type the new name and press Enter.

6.11

Renaming Track FX Instances

You can rename individual FX Plug-in instances so that your custom name is used for that FX in both Track View and in the Mixer. Typically this can be used to describe the purpose of the FX. For example, you might want to rename an instance of ReaEQ that has been added to a vocal as “Add warmth” or “More presence” and so on.

To do this, simply select the plug-in and press F2, or follow this sequence:

 Right click over the FX Item in either the FX Chain window, or the

FX Bin in the Mixer view.

 From the menu, choose Rename

FX instance.

 Type your custom name.

 Press Enter.

Note that your custom name will only be applied to that single instance of the FX Plug-in in that one track. Other instances will not be affected.

6.12

Using Default FX Parameter Settings

You can specify that any set of FX parameter settings is to be used as a default whenever that FX is applied to any track or item. When you have your settings right, click on the small + button and choose Save preset as default from the menu. You will need to enter a name for the preset. The use of presets is explained more fully in Chapter14.

6.13

Hardware Output FX Monitoring

To open the FX: Monitoring window you can:

Choose Monitoring FX … from the context menu of any project tab, or

Click on the Monitor FX button at the end of the project tab bar (if you are using project tabs), or

Use the View, Monitoring FX command from the main menu, or

Hold Shift while clicking on the FX button of the Master track.

This FX window is the same as any track FX window. You can specify any FX that you want to put on your hardware outputs. These do not show up in renders, do not affect the metronome and are not stored in the project file. Examples when you might use this feature might include:

When running analysis FX.

Compensating for the acoustic characteristics (perhaps with EQ or reverb) of a particular room.

Notice that:

You can right-click on the Monitor FX button to access any plug-in assigned to output monitoring, or to add more FX.

Click over the right hand end of this button to toggle bypass status. The button turns red when bypassed.

Within the FX:Monitoring window, click on the Param button then Learn to assign control of any selected FX parameter to an external control device.

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6.14

Optimizing FX Performance

Some plug-ins can be quite greedy in their use of CPU. This especially tends to be the case with delay based FX, such as Delay, Chorus, and especially Reverb. REAPER provides a number of options which you can use to minimize the drain placed on your computer resources by your plug-ins. These options can be found in the

REAPER Preferences window (Ctrl P) under the heading Audio, Buffering. This window is shown and discussed further in Chapter 21.

There is no “one size fits all” optimal group of settings. What is best for you depends on various factors, including which processor(s) you are using and which plug-ins. However it shouldn’t be too difficult to experiment. Note in particular the following:

 Try using the default settings for Media Buffering at first. You can adjust them later.

Allow live FX multiprocessing. Try turning this on if your PC has multiprocessors.

Anticipative FX processing. This can reduce CPU usage, but too aggressive a setting can cause pops and crackles on playback. If working with UAD-1,for best results, both Synchronous FX and UAD-1

Synchronous modes should be enabled. Anticipative FX should be disabled. UAD-2, however, is copatible with Anticipative FX mode and this is recommended for best low latency performance..

Optimize buffering for low latency hardware.

If you find that any particular plug-in or FX chain gives you problems with media buffering or anticipative FX processing, you can disable either or both for individual tracks using the

Track Performance Options on the

Track Control Panel right-click menu.

6.15

FX Notes and Comments

The REAPER FX Chain window includes an area for any Comments (or notes) that you may wish to make – see example below. Click on the button just above the bypass tick box to add comments.

The notes are linked to the individual instance of the specific plug-in.

In the example shown, the comment is only displayed when the 4 band EQ is selected for

Track 2, the Vox Lead.

You may add notes for all or any of a track's FX if you wish, but only one comment at a time will be displayed in the track's FX window.

You can open the comments in a separate window of their own by clicking on that button . You may have as many as you wish of these comment windows open at any time.

6.16

Wet/Dry Mix and Bypass

The wet/dry mix control was mentioned in Chapter 2. Click and hold your mouse over the small rotary fader near the top right corner of the plug-in window and you will see the wet/dry balance for that plug-in displayed as text (above right). At 100% wet (the default) the plug-in is applied to the track in the way that you would normally expect. Click and drag the mouse on this to adjust this value to create a mix of the dry signal (the audio stream with no effect applied) and the wet signal (the audio stream with the effect fully applied. For example, set to 100%, this mix is fully wet. At 0% it is fully dry (effectively sounding the same as bypass). At 50% the dry and wet signals are mixed together in equal amount.

Notice also that the small check box to the immediate right of this control has a bypass function. Leave it ticked as shown and the effect (as determined by its various parameter settings including the wet/dry mix control) will be applied to the track. Untick this box and the effect is bypassed.

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6.17

Plug-in Delay Compensation

By default, REAPER uses plug-in delay compensation (PDC) to ensure that audio remains time aligned. It does this by adjusting for any latency caused by any plug-in, such as can arise with some convolution reverb plug-ins for example. The latency for any track is displayed in the bottom left corner of that track's FX chain window. For example, a display of 256/512 spls would mean that one of the FX requires a latency of 256 samples: REAPER rounds this up to a number of blocks based on your buffer size. All other tracks will be delayed to match the track with the greatest latency.

If you encounter circumstances in which PDC is creating problems (for examples, dropouts or excessive latency) then it can be disabled for any plug-in from the pin connector button (shown here labelled “2 in 2 out”) context menu. Note too that PDC is disabled when feedback routing is employed.

6.18

Opening a File in Recovery Mode

Any computer program will crash given the right (or wrong?) circumstances. REAPER is very stable, but nevertheless there may be occasions when you experience a crash. This can be caused by a problem with some third party VST, VSTi, DX or DXi plug-in.

If this happens, you should enable the option to Open with FX offline (recovery

mode) when re-opening the file from the

File, Open project dialog box (see right).

This will open the file with all FX set offline.

By reintroducing them online one at a time, you should be able to identify which is the plug-in that is causing the problem. To then fix the problem you should remove this plug-in and replace it with another of equivalent functionality.

Another method is to hold down Ctrl Shift while you open a file from the File, Recent projects menu.

6.19

Stem Rendering

Stem Rendering is a technique that can be applied to ease your CPU load, to prevent it from becoming overstressed. The item is rendered to a new track, whilst the original track remains but is automatically muted and its FX are bypassed. If you later wish to change the FX in a stem rendered track, you can delete the rendered track, unmute the original, and make your changes. This is how you make a stem track:

1.

In the Track Control Panel area, right-click over the track number.

2.

From the menu, choose Render/freeze tracks, then one of the Render tracks to … stem tracks

(and mute originals) commands. Your choices are mono, stereo or multichannel.

The first of these commands will render to a mono item

(as shown here). The second will always produce a stereo item. The number of channels produced when multichannel is selected will be determined by the number of channels that you have defined for the track. By default, REAPER tracks comprise just 2 channels: in this case, both the stereo and multichannel options will produce the same result. As well as track FX, any audio or MIDI received from sends from other tracks is included in the rendered material.

Stem rendering has a similar effect to freezing tracks (see section after next). One main difference is that

(unlike freezing) stem rendering leaves both the rendered and the unrendered tracks in the project. If you only wish to render the track FX without keeping both tracks in the project, you might wish to consider using one of the Render/freeze freeze actions instead. These are covered in the couple of pages that follow this one.

Stem rendering is also available with an extensive range of options (such as output format and quality) using the File, Render... command. This opens the Render to File dialog box. See Chapter 20 for details.

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6.20

Rendering a Group of Tracks to a Single Track

This example uses the Render to File dialog box, which is explained in detail in Chapter 20.

You can apply stem rendering to a group of tracks, so that they will be mixed down to a single audio file. To do this:

1. Put the required tracks in a folder.

2. In the Track Control Panel, select the folder. No other track should be selected.

3. Choose the File, Render command.

4. Make sure your selected options include

Stems (selected tracks) and

Channels Stereo or Mono (as you wish) as shown on the right. If you wish, also select the option to Add

rendered items to new tracks in project.

5. Select your output format (e.g. WAV) and format specifications (e.g. 24 bit).

6. Click on Render 1 file...

In the example shown below, the output of the

Guitars folder has been rendered to a single stereo track. This has been added to the file and the folder has been muted.

When working with multichannel tracks you can also render your output in multichannel format. You will need to select the required number of channels from the Channels drop down list in the Render to File dialog box.

You'll learn more about file rendering, including multichannel rendering, in Chapter 20.

6.21

Freezing and Unfreezing Tracks

The Freeze tracks actions

(from the Track right click menu

Render/freeze tracks

command) are used to freeze any track in place, replacing its contents with a single rendered audio item. The first of the freeze actions shown (above) will produce a mono audio item for each track frozen, the second stereo and the third multichannel (according to the number of track channels). If more than one track is selected, each will be rendered separately.

On line FX are applied to the rendered item, as is the content of any signals sent to the rendered channels from other tracks. Where these include MIDI data or items, they will be rendered as audio. Both on line FX and receives are then removed from the track. Note that a MIDI item with no synth attached to it will be rendered as silence. Where a synth is present, it is the output of the synth that will be rendered.

When a track has already been frozen, Unfreeze tracks will appear on the above menu as an action that can be used to restore the track to its state at the point in time that it was frozen. Both the FX chain and any receives will be restored. Other points to note are:

A track can have further FX and receives added to it after it has been frozen. In this case, if you then freeze the track again, these FX (along with audio and or MIDI material from the new receives) will be rendered together with the existing frozen material to another new audio item.

Each unfreeze action will remove the previous freeze on that track and restore it to its state at the time of

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that freeze action. Thus, if a track has been frozen, had more effects added and been frozen again, then you will need to unfreeze it twice if you wish to restore it its state immediately before first being frozen.

Using the Track Manager

Freezing can also be handled using the Track Manager. Choose

Track Manager from REAPER's main View menu.

You can select any track(s) from the list (in the example shown, tracks 3 and 4 are selected) then click on the Freeze button for a menu of freeze choices (mono, stereo or multichannel).

The number of times any track has been frozen (up to a maximum of 8) will be shown in the Freeze column.

In this example (right), tracks 3 and

4 have now both been frozen once.

The Unfreeze command will be added to the Freeze menu when that menu is displayed with a frozen track selected. Moreover, this menu will also include an option to display the freeze details for that track (see above).

You can read more about the Track

Manager in Chapter 12.

Selected FX Freeze

Other options, available from a track's FX chain window, are to freeze a track up to its last on-line or selected

FX, as you wish - see above. In this case, only the first two FX (ReaComp and ReaEQ) have been selected. The action Freeze track to stereo, up to last selected FX will cause the compression and EQ to be frozen on to the track. These two FX will be removed from the track's FX chain. The third (JS) effect will not be rendered to the new audio item. It will remain, and can be further adjusted, or removed altogether as the user wishes.

One useful action (accessible from REAPER's Action List window) is View: Show track freeze details. This can be used to display freeze history and details for any frozen track. Chapter 14 explains in detail more about actions and about how you can assign them to toolbars or to your own shortcut keys.

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6.22

Vertical/Horizontal FX Tree Display

The FX tree can be displayed in a vertical layout (the default) or horizontal layout

(shown here). The display can be toggled between these two options by double-clicking on the boundary between the two sections, on the doubleheaded arrow mouse cursor

(as shown).

6.23

Adding FX Comments

Near the top right corner of every track FX window there is a small button displaying three dots. Clicking this opens a window where you can type any comments you wish to make about the currently selected FX and its settings.

6.24

Installing Extra JS Plug-ins

You can find more JS plug-ins that are available free of charge at stash.reaper.fm/tag/JS-Effects

To install any of these, follow this sequence:

1. Download the effect and (if necessary) unzip the file.

2. If the JS effect file has a .txt extension, edit the file name to remove this.

3. Copy the effect to your REAPER Application Data Effects folder. You can find this by giving (within

REAPER) the command Options, Show REAPER resource path … If you wish, you can place it in a sub-folder within the Effects folder.

4. Close and restart REAPER.

Some JS FX come with other files (such as data files or image files). As a rule, data files are placed in a subfolder in the Application Data Data folder, and other files are placed relative to the JS FX file. In most cases where this is necessary, the JS effect developer will supply specific instructions with the effect.

6.25

Track Templates Revisited

Don't forget that as well as saving FX chains by themselves, you can include them with other track settings

(such as name, pan settings, volume levels, etc.) into track templates. Remember too that you can use the

Track, Save tracks as template command to save a whole selection of several tracks into a single track template. See also Chapter 3.

6.26

ReaEffects User Guide Supplement

You will find many examples in this User Guide of the use of various COCKOS effects, especially in Chapter 15.

In addition, a free PDF Reaper COCKOS Effects Summary guide can be downloaded from the following URL:

http://www.cockos.com/~glazfolk/ReaEffectsGuide.pdf

Note that this link is case sensitive.

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6.27

Drag and Drop from FX Browser

A handy way to add FX to any track or media item is to drag and drop from the FX browser. To do this:

Display the FX Browser window (Shift F or

View, FX Browser).

This will be displayed as a floating window but can be docked at the bottom, right, left or top of your REAPER window.

Basic docking was introduced and explained in Chapter 2.

A more in depth examination of the topic can be found in Chapter

12.

Simply drag any required FX from the Add FX (FX browser) window: to add the FX to a track, drop on that track in the track control panel, or to add the FX to a media item, drop on that media item.

Tips: You can use Ctrl Click to select more than one FX at a time, as shown above. Also, if you have previously created any FX chains, you can select FX Chains from the FX browser and drag any complete chain to any track or item.

6.28

Audio Signal Flow Chart: Master Track

This diagram illustrates specifically the audio flow for the Master Track.

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6.29

Audio Signal Flow Chart: Tracks and Folders

The two diagrams that follow (in this section and the next) illustrate how audio signals flow thru REAPER's tracks to the master and to your output devices. Some of the items shown in these charts (e.g. Item/Take settings) have not yet been discussed in this User Guide. They will be covered later, mostly in Chapter 7.

Notes:

1. The track mute button is shown more than once (near the beginning and near the end of the chain). This is because it does not only mute at the beginning (so that for example, all media items are effectively muted), it also mutes at the end (so that, for example, a synth in the track FX chain that is fed MIDI data via a receive from another track is also muted).

2. If track mute and track solo buttons are both enabled, then solo overrides the mute.

'

3. If the Master is soloed, direct outputs to hardware from tracks/folders will not be processed.

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7 Editing Tracks and Items

Note: Some of the arrange view illustrations used in this chapter use the REAPER 4 default theme and color scheme. The information and instructions, however, are still accurate and correct for REAPER 5.

7.1

Using an External Editor

You can specify up to two third party programs (such as Adobe Audition, Audacity, Wavosaur or Sound Forge) which you wish to integrate with REAPER for editing your audio media items. To do this:

1. Choose the Options,

Preferences command, then

External Editors.

2. Click on the Add button

3. Use the Browse buttons (shown right) to identify and select your preferred wave editor or editors.

4. Click on OK, then OK to close the Preferences window.

Notice that you can specify different editors for different file types, e.g. WAV, or MP3.

To use your external wave editor:

There are two main ways you can access your preferred external editing program from within REAPER:

 Select the media item and press Ctrl Alt E.

Within a REAPER project, right click over the media item that you wish to edit. From the menu, choose either Open Items in editor then, from the sub-menu, select either the option to open the item itself or to open a copy of the item.

Unlike versions of REAPER earlier than 4.0, by default double-clicking on an audio media item will no longer open it with your primary editor. This behavior can be changed thru the

Preferences, Editing

Behavior, Mouse

Modifiers page if you wish. This topic is covered in Chapter 14.

If the external editor works destructively on your files then the safer option is to open a copy. This copy will then be inserted into your track when you save it, close the editor and return to REAPER.

7.2

Editing Items in REAPER

The topic of editing items in REAPER is a big one. REAPER features a comprehensive range of editing techniques for managing the items within your projects. If you have worked with other audio software, you might find REAPER's ways a little strange at first. The first question you might have when you look at the screen is, “Where are all the editing tools?” The answer is … there aren’t any! At least, there aren’t many the first time that you use REAPER! But as you are about to see, that doesn’t mean that REAPER isn’t up to the job. You just get the wave editing features that you need, but without the screen clutter. What's more, you can create and add as many editing tools of your own as you like. We'll get to this in Chapter 14.

There are some basic concepts that you need to understand about REAPER’s design philosophy and structure before learning individual editing techniques. For example:

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Item Editing in REAPER is non-destructive. Edits made to items are unique per item and do not alter the content of the source file. You can experiment knowing that your original recorded files are safe.

 Item Editing in REAPER basically consists of selecting an item, or a portion of an item (range), then doing something to it – such as splitting it, deleting it, copying it or moving it.

 Sometimes a number of steps might be required to achieve an editing task. If so, you can assign a single keyboard shortcut to the entire sequence. Just how to do this is covered in Chapter 14.

 If you really miss having editing tools, then fear not. You can quite easily create your own tools and toolbars for this (or any other) purpose. This topic is covered in Chapter 14.

 To a very large extent, you can customize REAPER’s editing behavior thru the Editing settings within your

Options, Preferences window. We'll get to this later in this section.

In a moment, we'll be working thru REAPER's many editing facilities and features. Before we do, don't forget that when you are editing you have available not only the Edit, Undo command but also the Undo History window (covered in Chapter 2). Remember that if you get into trouble, this Undo History window can be used to restore a project file to any earlier state. How to enable these various options is explained in Chapter 2.

7.3

REAPER's Smart Editing

REAPER's smart editing features enable you to do many of the most commonly required editing tasks quickly and easily. In this section, we will look at smart editing techniques for moving, copying and deleting media items, selections of media items and parts of media items. To use them, make sure that the option Loop

Points Linked to Time Selection is disabled.

The table below shows REAPER's default behavior for various mouse actions. You can change any of these by selecting the context Media item and Left drag on the Mouse Modifiers page of your Preferences.

To do this with the mouse …

Move item or selection of items ignoring time selection

Move item or selection of items ignoring snap and time selection

Copy item or selection of items

Copy item or selection of items ignoring snap

Move item contents (within item)

Adjust item pitch fine

Render item to new file

Copy item, pooling MIDI source data

You need to do this …

Drag and drop.

Shift drag and drop.

Ctrl drag and drop.

Shift and Ctrl with drag and drop.

Alt drag and drop.

Shift and Alt drag and drop.

Ctrl and Alt drag and drop.

Shift Ctrl and Alt drag and drop.

Shown right is an example of how you might change any of these. In this example, we are in the process of changing the default click and drag behavior from Move item ignoring

time selection to Move

item: just move. This will enable us to move any selected area of an item just by dragging and dropping it.

You'll find more of that in

Chapter 14.

Tip: If you accidentally move an item it can be restored to its original position by choosing Item processing then Move item to source preferred position from the media item right-click context menu.

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7.4

Standard Windows Editing

Many of the basic editing tasks that you will be performing in REAPER involve the use of fairly intuitive standard

Windows procedures for selecting and manipulating items. There are also some extra ones. Here is a summary.

Select Items

 Select an item by clicking on the item.

 Select multiple items by using Ctrl Click.

Select adjacent items by using Shift Click.

 Select groups of items by right-clicking and dragging a marquee around the items. It is not necessary to marquee the whole of an item to select it (see above right). The marquee feature can, however, be made to behave differently by using any of a number of modifier key options (see Marquee Modifiers table below).

These techniques can be used in REAPER in several contexts – for example, Ctrl Click and Marquee can also both be used to make multiple note selections in the MIDI Editor (see Chapter 13).

Split Items

Splitting items is used in several REAPER editing functions. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the following:

 If no item is selected, pressing S will do nothing.

 If item(s) are selected, pressing S will split all selected item(s) at the edit cursor position.

 If there is a time selection current, pressing Shift S will split all selected Item(s) at the beginning and end of the time selection.

If an item with any FX is split, then both the resulting items will contain the FX. This can be changed in your

Options, Preferences, Media page by disabling the option Duplicate take FX when splitting items.

Heal Split Items

To reconnect media item that have previously been split:

 Select the media items in the track.

 Right click over any media item within the selection and from the menu choose Heal splits in items.

Heal is different from Glue. In short, heal restores items to their original state, whilst glue renders them to a new file. Glue will be discussed later in this chapter. Note also that if a number of previously split items each containing an FX chain are healed, then only the FX Chain of the first of the items is retained.

Cut/Copy Items

Apart from smart editing (see previous section) there are other ways to copy or cut items in REAPER. These are based on standard windows techniques

 Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl C to copy or Ctrl X to cut any selected item(s) in its entirety. Note that if a time selection is current, Shift Ctrl C/Shift Ctrl X will copy/cut only that current time selection, not the whole item. You can use the Actions Editor (Chapter 14) to change this behavior if you wish.

 Right-click on an item and select Copy items or Cut items from the menu.

 Select an item, then select Edit, Copy items/tracks/envelope points ignoring time selection or

Cut items/tracks/envelope points ignoring time selection from the menu.

Note: Copying MIDI Items in Arrange View: Special considerations that need to be taken into account when you are copying MIDI (rather than audio) items in arrange view. These are explained in Chapter 13.

Paste Items

Use Ctrl V to paste an item at the cursor position. If a track is selected, the item will be pasted into the selected track. If no track is selected, the item will be pasted into the last track that was selected in the

TCP. If you give focus to the main arrange view window before pasting, a new track will be created.

 Select a track and use Edit, Paste to paste the item at the current edit cursor position.

Copy or Cut Part of an Item

For those times when you prefer not to use smart editing you can use the Windows clipboard.

 Select the item then make the time selection.

 To copy or cut the selected area, first make sure that focus is on the main arrange view window, then to copy use Edit, Copy items/tracks/envelope points within time selection or right-click on the item and select Copy selected area of items from the menu, or press Ctrl C, or

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To cut the selected area, use Cut items/tracks/envelope points within time selection or right-click on the selected area and select Cut selected area of items from the menu, or press Ctrl X.

 Select a track in the TCP, position the cursor in arrange view and choose Edit, Paste from the menu.

Delete Items

Delete completely removes the item from the track. Note that it does not remove the media file from the project directory. There are several ways to delete items. Where an item has several takes, any of these actions will delete all takes, not just the active one. See Chapter 8 for how to deal with individual takes.

 Use the Delete key to delete selected item/s.

Right-click on a selected item and select Remove items. This will delete any selected items.

 Select Item, Remove items from the main menu.

Show Overlapping Items In Lanes

You might wish to place several overlapping media items on one track. If so, consider whether or not you wish to crossfade them. Crossfades can be applied manually, or automatically, by enabling the Auto Crossfade tool on the toolbar. Crossfade behavior can also be managed using the Crossfade Editor which will be examined later in this chapter. You might also wish to enable Show overlapping media items in lanes on the Options menu.

The maximum number of lanes to be used can be set on the Appearance page of your Preferences.

Move Items: Special

Shortcut keys exist for moving items in ways that might be difficult to control with the mouse. For example:

Default Shortcut Key

Num Pad 1

Num Pad 3

Num Pad 4

Num Pad 6

Num Pad 8

Num Pad 2

Purpose

Slide item a little to the left

Slide item a little to the right

Move item a little to the left

Move item a little to the right

Move item up one track

Move item down one track

Note: This feature is often referred to as “nudge”. With REAPER, nudging is relative to the screen display. For example, if you are zoomed in very closely on an item, then nudging left or right will move or slide it backward or forward thru a much smaller unit of time than if the view was zoomed out to the full project.

Tip: Double click on a track’s index number in the Track Control Panel to select all the items in that track.

Marquee Modifiers

Modifier keys exist for changing the marquee behavior when you right-click and drag. By default, these are::

Modifier Key(s)

Right-click drag (no modifier)

Purpose

Marquee select items.

Shift Right click-drag

Marquee add to item selection.

Ctrl Right click-drag

Marquee toggle item selection

Alt Right click-drag

Shift Alt Right clickdrag

Marquee select items and time

Marquee select items and time ignoring snap.

You can change any of these modifiers and/or add others of your own choosing, using the Mouse Modifiers page of your REAPER Preferences. More information about how to do this is given in Chapter 14.

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7.5

Editing Behavior Preferences

Familiarise yourself with REAPER’s main editing behavior preferences and how they work. If you do, you will find life getting a lot easier! They are displayed on the Editing Behavior page of the Preferences window. These are explained in Chapter 21, but in short, some of the most useful of these include:

Whether to move the edit cursor when performing various actions – e.g. changing time selection or inserting media.

Whether by default to link loop points to time selection.

Which focus point to use as the center when zooming horizontally and vertically. These two important options put you in control of

REAPER's zoom behavior. Selecting mouse cursor allows you to simply point and zoom with the mousewheel.

The option whether to move the edit cursor when selecting a media item is no longer on this page, but can now be set using the Media item left click context on the mouse modifiers page. The default behavior for this is Select item and move edit cursor but this can be changed to just Select item.

7.6

Separating Loop Selection From Time Selection

The setting Link loop points to time selection (on your Preferences, Editing Behavior page) determines whether by default the loop points are linked to your time selection. When linked, this means that when you select a time area other than that currently selected, the loop selection changes with it. At any time you can override the default behavior by using the toggle command Loop points linked to time selection on

REAPER's main Options menu. Even when this option is disabled (i.e. not ticked), you can still use the Alt key while you click and drag along the timeline to set both the time selection and the loop selection together.

Example

For this example we will be assuming that Loop points linked to time selection has been turned off.

In this first example, we have dragged along the timeline to create a loop.

Now we have dragged within the track area, just below the media item.

A new time selection is made within the loop area, but the original loop selection remains.

Next, we have right-clicked over the area and chosen Split items at time selection from the menu. We now have a separate item (for example, to be muted, or to which we could add FX), but the original loop area is still selected.

Here we have added FX to the newly split item. We could now make a different time selection, which we could also edit as required.

Notice that we can carry on working with different times selections, but our original loop area remains intact.

You can play this looped area over and over again while working on different time selections within it.

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7.7

Snapping with Combined Snap/Grid Settings

You have already learnt (Chapter 5) how to define grid settings. These determine whether or not a grid is displayed in your track area, and if so how that grid appears. The Snap/Grid Settings window (shown below) can also be used if you wish to ensure that various actions (including time or loop selection) and/or items are automatically snapped into position according to your settings. This, for example, might be to the nearest beat.

The Snap/Grid Settings dialog box is accessed by choosing the Options, Snap/Grid

Settings command, or by the keyboard shortcut Alt L, or by right clicking on the Grid button on the REAPER toolbar. The keyboard shortcut Alt S is used to toggle the Snap feature on and off. You can decide whether you want snapping applied in all or any of a number of ways, including:

Media Items:

Ensures that media items when created, moved or edited will be snapped to your settings - at their start, at both the start and the end, or as determined by the mouse position at the time.

Selection: Determines whether your time

and loop selections should be snapped.

Cursor: Determines whether your cursor

should be snapped.

Cursor to edge of media items on any

track: Good for navigating to item start,

end, splits, etc.

Snap to project sample rate: Enables

items to be snapped to items samples, cursor, markers, loop points and envelope points to snap to samples.

Notice the Snap Distance settings. These enable your snapping to be more flexible. For example, you might set your grid spacing at, say 50 pixels, specify snap distance of, say, 5 pixels and turn off the option to Snap to

grid at any distance. This will ensure that snapping to grid will occur only when you click the mouse within 5 pixels of one of the grid lines. Otherwise, the cursor will be positioned at the exact place where the mouse is clicked. Notice that you also have the option to make snapping Relative to Grid.

7.8

Snapping with Separate Snap and Grid Settings

In the above examples, REAPER was set up to use the same set of snap parameters for grid display as was used for snapping. In other words, the snapping would take place to the nearest grid position.

Let's now see what we can do if we disable the option Grid snap settings follow grid

visibility.

We have also changed the minimum pixels setting for grid line spacing, in this case to

20 pixels, whilst still specifying (at the point where the cursor is shown on the screen shot) a grid snap spacing of one sixteenth beats.

This produces a less cluttered display on the screen. Provided you have zoomed into your project sufficiently, gridlines will be shown for every quarter beat but snapping will take place between as well as on the gridlines, at every sixteenth beat.

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Notice also the Media items snap to option. This can be set to Snap both start/end, Only snap at

start/snap offset or Mouse position dependent (that is, at whichever position the mouse is nearer at the time, the start or the end).

Tip: When snapping is enabled, this can be over ridden when selecting a loop along the timeline by holding down the Ctrl key while you make the selection.

7.9

Trim Behind When Editing

The toggle command Options, Trim content behind

media items when editing can be used to ensure that existing material is effectively replaced by new material which as a result of some editing action is placed over it. This option is also available by rightclicking on the Auto Crossfade icon on the main toolbar.

The easiest way to understand what this feature does is to look at an example of what happens when you move one item onto another with “trim behind” disabled and enabled. In this example, we are assuming that autocrossfade has been turned off.

Let's first recall how REAPER behaves with trim behind disabled (the default setting).

1. Shown here are two guitar tracks.

2. We drag and drop the item from the second track over the top of the first.

3. If we now enable free item positioning on the track and increase the track height, by dragging the item on top below the original media item, we can see that both the original and the new item are now stored in this track.

Let's now see what happens if we repeat this exercise, but this time with the option Trim

content behind media items when

editing enabled.

Steps one and two would appear to be the same as before. But look what now happens at step 3:

This time, when we allow free item positioning and drag the new item down, there is nothing behind it! The original item has been replaced with the new one.

This example has been included only as an illustration and an example. It does not mean that you have to make use of free item positioning if you wish to work with “trim behind” enabled.

7.10

Item Take FX

REAPER allows you to apply FX not only to individual tracks but also to individual media item takes within a track. Suppose, for example, that you wish to add an effect (such as reverb or delay) to just part of a track. You can split the track media into several items and apply the effect only to those items where it is wanted. If you have selected the option to display the Per take FX and No FX item icons (Options, Preferences,

Appearance, Media) you can click on any item take's FX button to open its FX window. This topic will be explained in more detail later in this chapter. Otherwise you can select a media item and use the default keyboard shortcut Shift E.

To add a plug-in to a media item:

 Select the Media Item.

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 Click on the FX button or press Shift E to open the Item FX Chain. The Add FX to Item window will be displayed.

 Double-click on the Plug-In.

 Adjust the parameters. then close the FX Window. If you now hover the mouse over the item's FX button, you will see a tooltip showing the FX chain.

If you find this method too “fussy” then try this. You can simply drag and drop any FX from the FX Browser window straight on to any media item. You can drop the FX anywhere on the item. When FX have been added to an item, then the FX names will be displayed in arrange view together with the item name (see above).

Important note: Where an item has more than one take, be careful to make sure you have selected the correct required take before opening the item FX chain. This is because FX are assigned to individual takes.

Tip: You can also add recently used FX to an item, or open an existing effect for editing, by right-clicking over the item's FX button to display a context menu (see above).

Managing Item FX – Summary Table

To do this …

Add a plug-in to an item's FX chain

Open and view an item’s FX chain

Delete an item’s FX chain altogether

Copy an item’s FX chain to another item

You need to do this …

Drag and drop from FX browser window on to the item.

Select the item, press Shift E.

Select the first item in the chain then hold Shift while selecting the last item. This will cause all items in the FX chain to be selected. Then press Delete.

Select the items, then drag and drop the FX from one item to another.

If the FX button is visible, just drag and drop from the

FX button on to the destination item.

Shown here are the settings which determine if and how the various buttons are displayed for individual media items. We'll return to this in detail later in this chapter, but for now just notice that available item icons

(buttons) include its lock and mute status, its FX chain, its notes and properties.

If you enable the option Draw labels

above the item rather than within

the item then the buttons will be displayed (with the item name) above the item. You can, however, also specify as an exception that When media item height is less than label height the label should be moved to inside the media item. If you disable these options, the labels (if displayed) will always be superimposed on the media item itself.

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7.11

The Nudge/Set Items Window

The Nudge/set items window can be opened from the media items right-click context menu. You can use the

Actions List editor to assign this action to a keyboard shortcut, or the

Customize Menus/Toolbars editor to assign it to a toolbar. The use of both the Actions List editor and the

Customize Menus/Toolbars editor is covered in Chapter 14.

Once opened, this window stays open until you close it. You can select any item (or a number of items) and use this window to nudge or set a position.

Exactly how this behaves will at times depend on your other settings (for example, snap settings, and whether or not the item is loop enabled). The main options and parameters in this window are described in the table below, moving from left to right.

Item

Action

Nudge/Set

Definition

Unit Value

Unit Type

Snap to Unit

Nudge Left

Nudge Right

Get Cursor

Apply Move

Explanation

Choose Nudge or Set. Which of these you choose will determine how REAPER will interpret the Unit information.

If you choose Nudge, the item will be moved according to the unit specified by the amount specified. In the example shown above, the item position would be moved 10 ms to the left or right (depending on which Nudge button is clicked.

If you choose Set, the item will be moved to the position specified.

Determines exactly what will be nudged or set. Your choices are:

Position

Left Trim

Whole item: the whole item will be physically moved

The item is trimmed from the left

Left Edge

The left edge is moved

Right Edge

The right edge is moved

Contents

Duplicate

The item itself remains static, its contents are moved within it

Creates duplicate item(s)

Edit Cursor

Moves edit cursor

Whether the movement is left or right will depend on which button is clicked.

If Duplicate and Nudge are selected, you will be able to specify number of copies.

Determines the number of units by which the item will be nudged. This information needs to be interpreted together with the Unit Type selection. In the example shown above, the unit type is milliseconds and the unit value is 10.

Options include milliseconds, seconds, grid units, measures/beats, samples, frames, pixels, item lengths, item selections and notes. If notes is selected, an additional drop down list offering various fractions of a note (from 1/256 to whole) is also displayed.

Whether to enable or disable snapping.

These buttons are displayed only if Nudge is selected. They determine whether to nudge the item(s) to the left or to the right.

These buttons are only displayed when Set is selected. Get Cursor returns the current cursor position and writes it in the “to:” box. Apply Move moves the item according to the various options and settings, including the position specified in the

“to:” box.

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7.12

Media Item Properties

All media items have a page of property settings which help determine the behavior of that item. Often, editing in REAPER consists of selecting an existing item (or creating a new one) and then changing its properties.

To display an item's properties, select it then press F2, or right click and choose Item Properties, or click on its properties button (if visible). For audio (but not MIDI) items, you can also double-click on the item to do this.

The Media Item Properties box will stay open until you close it. If you leave it open, its contents will reflect the properties of whichever item or items is/are currently selected at any time.

You don’t need to understand every single one of these properties before you get started, just to know where this information is accessed and changed. The main properties contained within this dialog box are:

Position: entering a precise figure here will move the start of this media item to that position.

Length of media item (Position and Length can be shown in time, beats or HMSF).

Fade In and Fade Out: you can define both the length and the shape of these.

Snap offset: The amount of offset from the default snap position if snapping is enabled.

Item timebase: Defaults to project timebase but can be changed (time, beats, etc.).

Item mix: Effectively whether to replace or mix when an item is placed over another. Defaults to project default.

Loop source: whether item is a loop.

Mute status: whether or not the item is muted.

Item lock status: whether or not the item is locked.

 Whether or not to apply autofades at item start and end.

 Whether or not to play all takes.

Obviously, this only applies where two or more takes exist.

Active take file name.

 Active take name. By default REAPER will use the media item file name, but you can change this.

Pitch adjustment.

Start in source: sets start time.

Playback rate. For example, type x2 to double the playback rate of all items currently selected.

 Whether to preserve item pitch when the playback rate is changed.

 Adjust Volume and Pan, Normalize.

Channel mode: this is discussed shortly.

 Whether to invert phase.

 Add or remove Take envelopes.

 Which algorithm is to be used for pitch

shift and time stretch.

Stretch marker default fade size and whether to optimize for tonal content.

The option to use only a section of the media item.

 Options to reverse the item.

 Examine the media item source file's properties.

 Choose a new file to replace the existing source file.

Rename the source file.

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Access the Nudge/Set dialog box for this item.

 Open the Take FX Chain window for this take/item.

After making any changes, use the Apply button to apply them and leave the window open, or OK to apply them and close the window, or Cancel to close the window without applying changes. There is also an option

(right-click on title bar) to Apply changes after 2 seconds of inactivity that you can enable if you wish.

Some of these options – such as Loop Source and Channel Mode – are also available on the Item Settings menu. In addition, for many of them Keyboard Shortcuts either already exist or can be defined. You will be shown how to create your own keyboard shortcuts in Chapter 14 when we examine the Actions List Editor.

Tip: To change a property (e.g. playback rate) of several items at once, simply select all of the items then, with the Media Properties window open, make whatever changes you require.

7.13

Media Item Icons

For several of the settings in the Item Properties dialog box there are icons (buttons) available that can be used as a quick way of accessing these commonly used features. The display of buttons is turned on and off in the

Appearance, Media page of the Preferences settings.

The icons are listed in two rows. Ticking options in the first row means that the icons will be displayed only when the item has been enabled (by a keyboard shortcut, the menu, or the Item Properties dialog box). Ticking options in the second row means that the icons will be displayed whether the feature is enabled or not.

For example, if you tick the Mute option in the first row but not the Not muted option in the second, then the mute button will be displayed only when the item is muted. The button indicates the track's mute status and can also be used to unmute it.

If you choose to tick this item in both rows then the mute button will always be displayed (provided there is sufficient room) on all media items, and can be used as a toggle.

Enabling Properties (resampled

only) means that this button will only be displayed if an item is resampled.

In the example shown (left) we have two media items, both with lock status, notes, mute and

FX buttons displayed. The first item is muted and the second item is locked.

Whether your icons are displayed above the media items or superimposed upon the media items will depend on your preference setting

(on the same preferences page) for the option Draw labels above item rather than within item. Note that even if you have this option enabled, it will only be applied if there is sufficient track height. You'll find more information about other settings on this Appearance, Media page in Chapter 21.

7.14

Item Notes

The Notes button (or the Item settings, Item notes … command from the right-click menu) can be used to open a text box that can be used to enter any text notes for that item. When notes have been entered, a small Notes icon will appear on the item. Hovering the mouse over this icon will cause the notes to be displayed as a tool tip. Click on the icon to open and edit the Notes window.

Within the Notes window, click on the Load button to load any .PNG or

.JPG image file. The option Use as item background can be selected to display that image with the icon. Optionally, you may also choose to

Stretch to fit item. An example of a media item displaying an image is shown here. Icons can also be inserted into media items by dragging and dropping from Explorer/Finder.

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7.15

Coloring Individual Items

You can change the colors of individual media items (or selections of media items) by first selecting the items and then displaying their context menu and choosing Item and take colors, then

Set items to custom color or Set

items to random colors or Set items to one random color. Various options to tint media item waveform peaks and/or backgrounds with Item colors can be found on the Appearance, Peaks/Waveforms page of your preferences (see above).

Some themes (including the default) disable user control of these options, in which case you will not be able to change them. One way to make these options available would be to use a different theme (see Chapter 11).

Examples

In the example below, our vocal track is split into several individual items. Suppose that these include two verses and two choruses, and that we wish to easily identify the choruses. We can select the chorus items, then right-click over any item in the selection and choose Item and take colors, Set items to custom color from the menu. (These commands are also available on the main Edit menu). We can then select any color we wish from the Colors dialog box and click on OK. These items are now shown in the selected color.

Other similar commands include Set items to random color and Set items to one random color. To remove a custom color, choose Set items to default color.

7.16

Adjusting Item Volume

Besides using envelopes (which we'll get to in Chapter 17) there are three main methods available to adjust the volume of individual media items. They are:

 Using either the item volume handle or the item volume knob.

 Using the volume fader in the Item Properties box.

 Normalization.

7.16.1

The Item Volume Knob/Item Volume Handle

The Appearance, Media page of your Preferences settings includes the option to use either an Item

volume knob or Top edge of media item (item volume handle) as a quick and easy way to adjust the volume of individual media items.

The Item volume knob is shown here (right). Click and drag on this, up or down to increase or decrease item volume. Double-click to reset to 0.0dB. To adjust several items at once, select the required items then adjust the knob on any one within the selection.

The Item volume handle is a horizontal bar that sits across the top of each of your media items. Initially it will not be visible until you hover your mouse over the top of the media item to reveal a double headed vertical arrow. You can click and drag with your mouse down to lower the volume level (see first illustration). To pick up the handle from the top of the media and increase the volume from there, hold down the Shift key while dragging (see second illustration).

Use the Control key while adjusting either the item volume knob or handle for fine adjustments.

Tip: If you want the item volume handle when set to 0.0 dB to appear half way up your media items (rather than at the top edge), choose the Options, Preferences command, then on the Media page set Media item

adjustment range to -inf...+6 dB.

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7.16.2

The Volume and Pan Faders

The Item Properties dialog box includes two horizontal faders (Volume and Pan) to the left of the normalize button. These can be used to raise or lower an item's volume and adjust panning. After setting the level, click on Apply to apply it to the item. This method is useful especially if you are making adjustments to both volume and pan settings together, or if you do not wish the item volume handle to be displayed.

7.16.3

Normalizing Items

The term normalizing refers to adjusting the volume of an item (or selection of items) to a standard level. This can be especially useful if some of your tracks have perhaps been recorded at too low a level. To do this:

1. Select any item (or group of items) to be normalized.

2. Right click over the selection.

3. Choose Item processing then either Normalize items or Normalize items (common gain) from the menu.

Use the common gain option if you want the level on all items to be raised by the same amount, or relative to each other. This will be the amount by which the loudest of the items can be increased without clipping.

If you want every selected item to be normalised independently do not select the common gain option. This can be expected to result in a greater increase in volume for some items than if common gain had been selected.

Any individual item can also be normalised by clicking the Normalize button inside the Item Properties dialog box. This is especially useful if you need to make changes to other item properties while you are normalizing.

7.17

Changing Item Channel Mode

Right clicking over any Media Item and choosing Item settings from the context menu causes a sub-menu to be displayed.

Notice in particular that for stereo media items, you have a number of channel mode options (also available in the Item

Properties dialog box). These include:

Normal: maintains or returns the stereo item to its original channel state.

Reverse Stereo: swaps left and right channels.

Mono (Downmix): combines both left and right channels into a single mono channel.

Mono (Left): produces a single mono channel using only the output from the original left channel only.

Mono (Right): produces a single mono channel using only the output from the original right channel only.

For multichannel items (see Chapter 3) you have also the option of mixing down in mono or stereo to channels other than 1 and 2.

Examples

Some examples are illustrated below. Note that these changes are non-destructive. You can switch an item between these different states as often as you wish. For example, to convert a stereo media item to two mono items quickly and easily, you can simply duplicate it, then set one to Mono (left) and the other to Mono (right)

Mode: Normal

Mode: Reverse

Stereo

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Mode: Mono

(Downmix) (i.e. mixed to as single mono track)

7.18

Take Source Properties

The Take media source section of the

Media Item Properties dialog box can be used to view the properties of the currently selected take, or to change or rename its source file. Where the media item consists of only one take, then the terms “take media source” and “item media source” become synonymous To change the media item contents click on Choose New File, or to rename it use the Rename File option.

You can click on the Properties button to display information about the format of the original Audio file or

MIDI recording which is the source of the item. In the case of MIDI items, you can also modify some properties, such as restricting which channels are played. Examples are shown below:

7.19

REAPER Editing and Auditioning Example

Most new users of any digital audio software struggle with editing at first, especially if they are used to another program which uses different techniques. The best way to understand what’s going on is to work thru some examples. These examples assume that you have the option to Link loop points to time selection enabled.

Open the file All Through The Night.RPP. Use the File, Save Project As command to save it as All

Through The Night EDITS.RPP.

The examples that follow are designed to help you to learn and understand the use of REAPER. They are not intended to cover every possible feature – you can explore these for yourself – nor is it suggested that they represent a particularly good arrangement of this song.

By way of preparation, set pan the two guitar tracks 33% left and 33% right respectively.

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1. We are going to make a copy of the Bouzouki track and then play around with the sound. In the Track

Control Panel, right click over the Track name or number for this track, then from the menu choose

Duplicate tracks.

2. Change the name of this new track to Bouzouki

Copy. Press Ctrl S to resave the Project File.

3. In the Track Control Panel, click on the track number for the first Bouzouki Track then hold the Ctrl key and click on the track number for the second track.

Both tracks are now selected.

4. Click on the Solo button for either track to solo both.

5. With both tracks still selected, use the mouse to lower the volume fader on either track to around –

7dB – both tracks will be lowered. As you get near to the –7dB mark, hold the Ctrl key down for more precise movement.

6. Holding down the Shift key, move the Pan fader for the first Bouzouki Track to around 55% left, and, again holding the Shift key, move the Pan fader for the second Bouzouki track to around 55% right.

7. Right click over the Media item for the second

Bouzouki Track. Choose Item properties from the menu. Change Start in Source to - 0:00.007. Click on Apply then OK. This causes this item to be nudged 7 milliseconds to the right. This adds a very small delay effect to make the instrument sound fuller.

8. Press Ctrl S. Play the Song.

9. While it plays, hold down Ctrl and click on the Solo button for either of the

Bouzouki tracks. This clears both the Solos.

10. Right click just beneath the Track Control Panel area and choose Show

master track.

11. Adjust panning and volume for the various tracks to get a reasonable mix.

You might end up with something similar to that shown above. Press Ctrl S.

12. In the example shown, you might be happy with the overall balance between the different tracks, yet the overall volume of the Master might be just a tad too loud in parts.

13. Open the FX bin for the Master and insert into it the JS/Utility Limiter.

Set the maximum volume of the limiter to –0.5. Close the FX window, and make sure the Volume Fader for the Master is set to 0dB. You can now play the song without clipping.

14. Notice there is an extended period at the end of the song that we might wish to remove. Position the Play Cursor at around the position shown

(right). Make sure that no track is selected, then press the letter S to split all tracks at the cursor mark.

15. Note that whereas before each track consisted of one item, each now has two items. The items (to the right) that you have just created by splitting should still be selected (as shown here). If they are not, right-click and drag over them to marquee (select) them.

16. Press Delete to remove these items. Press Ctrl S to save.

17. Now we’re going to mute part of an item. We first need to make a separate item containing just the area to be muted.

18. Select the media item for the Vox track. Position the Edit Cursor round about the 56 second mark.

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19. Press the ~ key (Shift `) to maximise the current track. Press Ctrl Alt Up or Ctrl Alt Down until the

Vox track is displayed. At this level of magnification you can see that some unwanted sounds have been recorded during a passage when the singer is not singing. As likely as not, this is probably headphone bleed. We’re going to get rid of it.

20. If you want to hear it first, you can Solo that track and play it. Don’t forget to Unsolo when finished.

21. View the Big Clock.

With the edit cursor near the 56 second mark, repeatedly press the + key, until the area we want to deal with occupies a large part of the screen.

22. Click once on the media item to select it.

23. Click and drag just below the timeline to select the region that we wish to work with (see below).

24. Right click over the media item and choose the command Split items at

time selection. This creates a new item, and this new item is still selected. Press Esc to clear the time selection.

25. If the item's mute button is visible, click it. Otherwise, right click on this new item and choose Item

settings then Mute.

26. Press the ~ key to return the whole of your song to the display. Adjust track heights as you wish.

27. Play the song. Notice that the Vox track is now muted during the passage that we have been working on.

28.

Press Ctrl S to save. We’ll be returning to this example shortly.

7.20

Editing Multiple Media Items

You can use REAPER's various item editing and manipulation techniques (including smart editing) on selections of multiple items. Just make your item selection and then carry out the required action (delete or move, etc).

1. You can do this with more than one adjacent track at a time by using the marquee method (right-click and drag) when making a selection.

2. You can also do this for media items in non-adjacent tracks. Make the time selection, then select the first item, then hold Ctrl while you click on each of the other items. In the first picture (right), tracks 1 and 4 have had an area

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selected in this way. In the second screen shot (below), the same selected area has been cut from both media items.

This is an example of where you may wish to customize REAPER's mouse settings to change its default behavior. For example, you might wish to ensure that even when multiple items are selected, only the one item is edited. This can be done on the Mouse

Modifiers page of your Preferences window, a topic covered in Chapter 14.

7.21

Slip Editing

You can slip-edit unwanted passages from the start or end of a media item by following this sequence:

 Hover your mouse over the lower part of an item’s left or right edge so that the mouse appears as a double headed horizontal arrow with a square bracket (as shown right). The direction faced by the bracket will depend on whether you are at the start of the item or the end.

 Click and drag to the right or left (as appropriate), then release the mouse.

Slip Editing Multiple Items

To slip edit several items in different tracks, simply select all the media items required (for example, hold the Ctrl key while clicking in turn on each item, or use the marquee method), then slip edit any item in the selection. The change will be applied to all items in the selection

(see left).

This is another example of where you may wish to customize REAPER's mouse settings to change its default behavior. For example, you might wish to ensure that even when multiple items are selected, only the one item is slip edited. This can be done on the Mouse Modifiers page of your

Preferences window. This topic is covered in Chapter 14.

Take care when slip-editing adjacent items, especially when they are touching each other. If you click and drag on one of the items so as to create a space between the two, then slip editing will take place in the usual way.

However, if you slip edit in such a way as to overlap the items, you will create a crossfade. Both items will be heard when the overlapping portion is played.

This is illustrated here, where the end of the first (further left) of the two adjacent items has been slip-edited to the right, overlapping the other item.

This behavior can be modified in two ways. Disabling auto-crosssfade (on the toolbar) will stop the crossfade, but both items will still be heard.

Enabling Trim content behind media items when editing (Options menu) will ensure that only the slip-edited item (the item on top) will be heard during the overlap.

Another technique is to use slip-editing to move the boundary between two adjacent items

(perhaps when an original item has been split). Select both items and hover your mouse over the boundary between the items to see the symbol shown here. You can then click and drag left or right to move the boundary.

7.22

Adjusting Fades

If you select any item in a track and zoom in close enough, you will see that there is a fadeout curve at the end of that item. You can change both the shape and duration of this curve, either using the mouse, or thru the Item Properties dialog box.

1. Select the rightmost item on one or more tracks. In the example shown (right) two tracks have been selected. In this example the items selected are vertically aligned: this does not need to be the case.

2. Hover your mouse over the vertical white line that marks the start of the fade. The mouse changes to display a curved shape.

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3. Click and hold down the mouse button. Drag left to increase the length of the fadeout

(see below left) then release the mouse. Notice that the fadeout curve is now more gradual. If you were to slip edit any or all of these items, the fadeout would keep its shape and duration – it would just begin sooner.

4. Make sure that your media items are still selected.

5. Right-click over the vertical line that marks the start of the fadeout. A menu of different fade curves will be displayed (see right). You can select any of these.

If you prefer, instead of using your mouse, you can press F2 (with the items selected) to display the Items Properties dialog box. You can make your changes there.

Notice that your

REAPER Options,

Preferences dialog box includes an area on the Project

Defaults screen where you can specify default fade and crossfade length, overlap, and shape characteristics. See Chapter 21 for further information.

In addition, the Preferences Mouse

Modifiers page gives you additional

functionality by using modifier keys with your mouse when working with fades and crossfades.

For example, holding Shift while dragging the mouse left or right will move a crossfade left or right. Other default settings are shown here, but you can change them. For information about customizing your mouse modifiers, see Chapter 14.

7.23

Crossfades and the Crossfade Editor

Typically a crossfade might be used to transition gradually from one media item on a track to another. In the example shown (right), two media items overlap each other with a crossfade. Alt X toggles on and off auto crossfade mode.

When enabled, this ensures that dragging the start of one media item over the end of another will automatically create a crossfade. Default crossfade parameters (including fade and crossfade shapes) are set in the Media Item Defaults page of REAPER's preferences.

Various crossfade elements (such as shape, start and finish) can be edited with your mouse in much the same way as you might edit a simple fade. In many cases this might be all you need to do. However, if you need it the Crossfade Editor gives you more precise control over the shape and sound of the crossfade. The Crossfade Editor is opened using the View, Crossfade Editor command, or by doubleclicking on a crossfade.

Below you can see the same crossfade as before, with the crossfade editor open. The crossfade area has been selected (by click anywhere on the crossfade curve). The crossfade editor displays the fade parameter information for the selected media items.

It might help to use a copy of your project at first, until you become familiar with how the controls work.

The following should help you to understand the controls and options and how they can be used:

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The fader units (top right) can be set to your preference, either time (seconds) or beats.

Any of the seven shapes shown can be selected for fade out, fade in, or both. After choosing a shape, you can use the mouse directly on the crossfaded media items. Drag left/right on either curve to adjust the fade itself, or at the intersection to move just the point where the fades cross. The dialog box controls can also be used to edit the fades and crossfade (see points below).

Mouse modifiers can be used to customize mouse behavior (see next page).

Optionally, you can select Equal gain or Equal power. Equal gain settings include linear fades (the top shape). Equal power includes logarithmic fades (second from top). Equal gain might be preferred when both items contain similar material. Equal power might be chosen when the crossfade is between two different types of sound or different instruments.

Adjustable parameters are curve, center of crossfade, start and end locations of fade-out and fade-in, length, position of contents (the crossfade media items), and volume of fades. Most of these are selfexplanatory. The curve setting will adjust the shape of the left, right or (if linked) both curves.

Depending on other settings, this may cause the fades' intercept point to move left or right. Note also that when adjusting the length you can specify which position should be preserved – center, start, or end. The contents rotary can be used to move either of the media items left or right. The

volume control can be used to adjust the volume of the crossfaded items.

Parameter values can also be typed directly into the edit boxes.

Left/right values of the different parameters can be linked or mirrored. Except for start and end, link and mirror are mutually exclusive options. For example, if shape is linked then changing the shape of either fade will cause both to be changed in the same way. If mirrored, selecting a shape for one fade will cause an opposite shape (if one is available) to be applied to the other fade. If

start and end are linked and mirrored, then adjusting either of these controls will change the

crossfade start and end length equally, keeping the center point constant. If length is linked, adjusting the length of either fade will change the length of both fades equally. If mirrored, lengthening one fade will cause the other to be shortened by an equal amount. If contents are linked, that control will move both media items left or right together. If mirrored, it will move them in opposite directions. If volume is linked, then adjusting either control will raise or lower the volume

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 of both items together. If mirrored, then raising the volume on one side will lower it on the other.

You can choose whether your edits should apply to all grouped items.

You can set the position of audition points before and after the crossfade. Enabling audition will cause the crossfaded area (together with the pre-roll and post-roll) to be looped when play on the mini toolbar is engaged. Any other existing loop settings in the project will be retained.

There are also options to solo the track and mute either left or right side of the crossfade.

Right-click over the Crossfade Editor for a context menu.

The mini toolbar at the foot of the window can be used to play,

pause and stop playback, and enable/disable loop audition.

Previous and Next select the previous or next crossfade.

The + button (top) can be used to save the current crossfade editor settings as a Preset. Optionally, you can include crossfade length within the preset. Saved presets can be recalled from the drop down list to the left of this button.

If several crossfades are selected, the crossfade editor will by default apply its settings to the entire selection. For mouse edits, this can be changed in your mouse modifiers.

Fade/Crossfade Mouse Modifiers and Actions

Both media item fade intersection and fade/autocrossfade mouse modifiers (right) can be defined separately for left click, left drag and double click actions. In many cases the left drag modifiers are likely to be of most interest.

These modifiers can be used when working with fades or crossfades, e.g., to enable or disable various options, (such as whether to ignore snap and/or selection/grouping, and whether to stretch items) or to assign actions (such as adjusting the fade curve).

There are also options which enable you to adjust the fade curve with the mouse.

Left click and double click modifiers can be used to apply any of a number of additional fade intersection or auto crossfade actions from REAPER's Actions list. These include actions to change fade/crossfade shapes, to adjust curves horizontally only or both horizontally and vertically, and to adjust fade curves in various ways. Search the actions editor to see the full list. For more general information about using both mouse modifiers and the actions list see Chapter 14.

Note also that the Appearance, Fades/Crossfades page of your Preferences includes various options which determine how and when fade/crossfade edit handles are displayed (see Chapter 21).

7.24

Crop Project to Selection

When recording, it’s not unusual to end up with a period of silence at the beginning, before your song actually starts, and varying periods of silence at the end of your various tracks, where you have perhaps allowed the recording to continue longer than necessary.

Of course, you can fix this by slip-editing your tracks individually, then dragging and dropping them to the start of your timeline. A quicker way would be to Crop project to selection. To crop a project to selection, do this:

1. Click and drag along the background area to mark the area that you want to keep – see picture below.

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2. Right click over the Timeline and choose Crop project to selection from the menu. If you wish, press

Esc when this is done to remove the time selection.

Tip: If immediately after cropping to selection (and before pressing Esc) you again right click over the Timeline and choose Zoom selection from the context menu (or use the shortcut keys Ctrl Numpad Plus your project will expand horizontally to fit the width of your Track View window.

7.25

Grouping Items

Provided that Grouping is enabled – Options, Item

Grouping Enabled command, or Alt Shift G – items can be grouped together to facilitate working with them. For example, you can move them together, set them all to a common color, mute and unmute them, and so on).

Select the items and use G to add them to a group. If you prefer, you can use the Item grouping button on the

REAPER toolbar to toggle grouping on and off.

In the example shown below, three of the six items have been grouped. Notice that for grouped items a

Grouped icon will be displayed if this has been enabled in Preferences, Appearance, Media. Even when this preference is disabled, you will see a thin colored bar above and below all items that have been grouped (see right).

Further items can be added to a group. Select any item in the group, then press Ctrl G to select the entire group. Hold the Ctrl key while you click on those items that you wish to add to the group, then release Ctrl and press G. Note that U removes a selected item from a group. You can also use the Group commands from the right click item menu to manage groups.

Example

Here is a simple example, using the file All Through The Night EDITS.RPP and save it as All Through The

Night GROUP ITEMS.RPP

1. Select the Vox track, and use the editing techniques that you have already learnt to cut this track into several media items, so that it resembles that shown above. There are a number of ways you can do this

– one is to position the cursor at the point that you want to split, then select the item, then press S.

Repeat this as often as necessary. To remove unwanted items, select them and press Delete.

2. Check your Options menu to ensure that Item Grouping is enabled. If it isn’t, turn it on. Notice that by default, the keyboard shortcut Alt Shift G can be used to toggle Item Grouping on and off.

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3. Select the second of the items in the Vox track. Hold down the Ctrl key while you select in turn the fourth and last items for this track.

4. Press G to bind them into a group. Select any item in the group and press Ctrl G to select them all.

5. If item icons are visible, click on the Mute button for any item in the group. Otherwise, right-click and choose Item Settings, Mute from the menu. Repeat this to unmute them.

6. With all items in the group still selected, right-click on any of them and choose Item and take colors then Set items to custom color. Select a color and press Enter.

7. Now select the first of the items drag and drop to the right a little. All items in the group will move together. Press Ctrl Z to undo this.

8. Now click on any other media item not in the group. This deselects the group. Save the file.

9. Click again on any item in the group and press Ctrl G. Again, all group items are selected.

10. Press U. These items are now ungrouped. Save the file.

7.26

Storing and Recalling Item Groups

Different groups of items can be saved and recalled using the Item Groups tab of REAPER's Project Bay. The

Project Bay will be explored in more detail in Chapter 12. For now, notice that you can open it using the View,

Project Media/FX Bay command, and then select the Item Groups tab. To create and save multiple groups, simply use this method:

Open the Project Bay and select the Item Groups tab.

Select the items for your first group then right click over one of them and choose Group then Group

items from the menu. A group will automatically be created in the Project Bay. You can right click over the group name and choose Rename group to give it your own name.

Repeat this step to create subsequent groups. The example here shows a project with two item groups.

To select all items in a group, you can now right click over its group name in the project bay and choose Select

group from the menu. To remove a group, use the Delete group, keep items command on the same menu.

Tip: To adjust the volume of all items in a selected group, hold Ctrl and Alt while adjusting the item volume button or item volume handle of any one of the items in that group.

7.27

Glue Selected Items

When you have a number of items in a track that you wish to permanently treat as one, you should consider using the Glue items command. When you glue items, they become one and a new media item is created. For example, two MIDI items glued together will automatically and always open together in the same MIDI Editor

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window. Two audio items glued together will now share one common set of Item properties. Items that have been glued together can be later split up any way you wish. This can be useful if you later realise that you need to adjust one or more properties of a portion of a glued item. To glue together a number of adjacent items in a track, follow this procedure:

1. Select all of the items that you wish to glue. The easiest way to do this is probably to right click and drag the mouse across the items.

2. Right click over any item in the selection and choose Glue items from the context menu.

Example

In the example shown below, a track is made up of six separate media items (as in the exercise above). By positioning the mouse initially over the first item, then right clicking and dragging to the last item before releasing the mouse, we ensure that all items are selected.

We then right click over any of these items (where the mouse is shown above) and choose Glue selected

items from the menu. As a result, the items are joined into one, as shown below.

One application for gluing items is to join several items together into a new loop source. You'll learn more about working with loops in Chapter 9. Another use for glue is to render an item, for example, incorporating item gain and item take FX into the new media item and setting the FX to bypass. When a selection of two or more items are glued in this way, the FX and so on will be applied to the appropriate sections of the new item.

7.28

Creating and Copying Items in Pencil Mode

REAPER includes an optional pencil mode that can be used to create new media items or make copies of existing ones. How the feature works is determined by your Track

left drag settings on the Mouse Modifiers page of your Preferences window.

In Chapter 14 you will learn how to change these settings to suit your own custom requirements if you need to. For example, you could assign the Shift modifier to be used to draw a new item. For now, we will be looking at the default settings. These default settings are shown here.

By default, the following modifiers can be used when clicking and dragging in an empty area in Arrange view:

Ctrl – draws a copy of currently selected media item. Snapping will be applied if enabled.

Ctrl Shift - draws a copy of currently selected media item, will not snap.

Ctrl Alt - draws a copy of currently selected media item pooling MIDI source data with snapping (if enabled).

Shift Ctrl Alt - draws a copy of currently selected media item pooling MIDI source data, will not snap.

The illustration above is an example of this. The first of two existing media items on a track has been selected.

By holding Ctrl while clicking and dragging further along that track, a copy of that media item is made.

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7.29

Propagating Items

Two media item context menu commands, Propagate item to similarly named items on track and

Propagate item to similarly named items (all tracks), can be used to copy the settings and features of one media item to other items on the same track and which share the same item name. Let's look at two examples:

Example 1

1. In this example, we have imported a sample into our project and placed it on a new track:

2. Next we have copied it as required across the track:

3. Some time later, we decide to make some edits to the first item. These include an adjustment to the item volume handle, some FX, and a fade out.

4. Finally, we right-click over this first item and choose Item processing, Propagate item to similarly

named items on track to copy these edits to the other items. Any instances of this item on other tracks will not be affected.

Example 2

1. In this next example, the original item has been copied to create several media items across two tracks.

Notice that each track has its individual settings, such as different panning and FX on one track but not the other. As well as this, the original media item has its own FX, volume envelope and pitch adjustment.

2. The Item processing, Propagate item to similarly named items command has been used copy the features of the original item to all other similarly named items in the project.

Tip: You can assign one name to several media items all in one go. Select all of the items, press F2 to open the

Item Properties dialog box, type the name in the take name edit box and click on OK.

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7.30

Insert Space in Selection

The command

Insert, Empty space in

selection can be used to create a gap anywhere in a song. Make your time selection before using this command. The space is applied to all tracks (as shown here). Existing material is moved to the right.

You could then create additional material on any or all tracks in the space that you have opened out.

7.31

Ripple Editing

The simplest way to describe ripple editing is this: usually, when you delete part of a media item, a gap is left on the track where the deleted item used to be. With ripple editing, the material on the track is moved over to fill that gap. This is illustrated in the three screen shots below.

This first picture (left) shows a media item selected with a time selection highlighted.

With ripple editing off, deleting the selected area of the selected media item has the effect shown here.

With per track ripple editing enabled, deleting the selected area of the selected media item has the effect shown here.

To access Ripple Editing, choose the Options,

Ripple editing command, or use the keyboard shortcut Alt P, or use the Cycle Ripple Editing Mode button on the main toolbar. The same action (choosing the command or using the shortcut) toggles the Ripple Editing status between three states:

Off: This is the default mode. Items will not shift when you edit a track.

Per Track: If you select the ripple editing option once, it will change to per track ripple editing. Ripple editing will then be applied when you are editing the currently selected track(s) but not to any other tracks.

All Tracks: If you select the ripple editing option once more, it will enable the all tracks ripple editing. This means anything you do to ANY of the items on ANY track will affect the ENTIRE project. This can be used, for example, for deleting entire sections of songs.

In this mode, markers and automation are locked to the items that they relate to, so as you move items the associated markers and automation move too. Using this mode on multiple tracks is very useful for editing multitrack recordings of live material - everything that belongs together stays together in sync as you edit.

For instance, if you split the item at a couple of places (so you now have three items) then delete the middle piece, the remaining pieces join up, but unlike with a normal stereo editor, you can adjust the join by dragging the ends of the items appropriately. If you want to move material from one place to another, you can split at the insertion point, drag the material to the right of the insertion out of the way, then make the insertion and drag the displaced material to join it. All items to the right of the dragged item will stay together and markers and automation will move correctly too.

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Here is shown an example with ripple editing on all tracks. Ripple Editing, all tracks is enabled. In the first picture the silence before the music starts is selected. The command Cut selected

area of items is then applied. The selected area is cut from all tracks, and the remaining material is moved to the project start.

Note: Complications can arise if locked items are included in the selection that is to be ripple edited. In particular, REAPER needs to know whether the ripple editing should be applied to the locked items. The Editing Behavior preferences page includes options for dealing with this – see Chapter 21.

Tip: Shortly in this chapter you will be shown how to use mouse modifiers to determine how REAPER behaves when an item or selection of items is dragged. This includes options to select and apply any of the three ripple editing states when the item(s) is/are being dragged,

7.32

Trim to Selected Area

If you want to trim a media item or track from both the start and the finish at the same time you can do so.

Just follow this sequence:

1. Select the media item (or items).

2. Click and drag in the track background area to select the area that you want to keep.

3. Right click over a selected media item and choose Trim items to selected area.

If Ripple Editing is turned on, the area that is trimmed will also be removed from the timeline, otherwise some empty space will be left. If your Snap/Grid Settings are set to include Media Items, then provided that snapping is enabled, snapping will be applied when you select the area to be trimmed.

7.33

Free Item Positioning

Choosing the option for free item positioning enables you to move your media items around freely within a track or tracks. This can be helpful, for example if you want two or more media items to play simultaneously or to overlap on the same track. To turn this feature on:

1. Select the track (or tracks) for which you wish to allow free item positioning.

2. Right click over the Track Control Panel and choose Enable track free item positioning from the context menu.

The following series of illustrations demonstrates an example of how this feature might be used.

In the first screen shot we have a Lead Vocal and a

Harmony Vocal on different tracks. We might find it convenient to place these together on the same track.

In the second screen shot we have enabled Free Item

Positioning for the Vox Main track. Notice that there is a small handle (shown by the mouse cursor) which can be used to adjust the height of this media item.

In the third screen shot the media item for the Vox Hmy track has been dragged and dropped into the Vox Main track.

When this track is played, both of these media items will play together. In fact, in this example, Track 3 can now be deleted.

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Each of the (in this case two) items is independent of the other. Either or both can be muted and unmuted, have

FX added to them, have changes made to pitch and/or playback rate, and so on. You can use the Media Item

Properties dialog box (F2) and/or the right-click context menu for this purpose.

7.34

Mouse Modifiers

You have already encountered many examples of how REAPER uses the mouse with and without modifiers to perform a whole range of tasks. These have so far included making loop and time selections, copying and moving media items, slip editing media items, using item pencil mode, and so on. In Chapter 14, you'll learn more about how you can modify any of these if you wish, and even create your own. Meanwhile, you can find out more about the various Mouse Modifier default settings by browsing thru the Editing Behavior, Mouse

Modifier section of your REAPER Preferences.

From the Context list, select a topic, such as Media item click, Media item edge drag, Track click, Ruler, click,

Arrange view right-click, etc. A summary list of all default mouse actions relevant to that context will be shown.

You can then double-click on any entry in the Modifier column to assign an action to that modifier.

Shown here (below) is an example of the default actions associated with the various mouse modifiers for when you are dragging media items. For example, by default, clicking and dragging a media item will move it, ignoring any time selection. Holding Ctrl as you do so will copy it – and so on.

There are many more for you to choose from. For example, you could define Shift Win as a modifier to restrict item movement to being vertical only, when moved or when copied. You could use Ctrl Win for adjusting an item's volume, and so on. To do either of these, you would need to double-click on the modifier in the list, then make your choice from the list of commands and actions offered.

The Context drop down list includes the following entries that can be relevant when you are working with media items.

Media item (left click, left drag and

double-click)

Media item bottom half (left click,

left drag and double-click)

Media item edge (left drag and

double-click)

Media item fade/crossfade (left

click, left drag and double-click)

Many contexts have an option associated with them: where present, this is displayed below the table, just above the OK button. In the example here, you have the option whether or not to treat the label area above the item as empty track space.

Notice too the Import/export button. This can be used for saving and recalling your mouse modifier actions, either for the currently selected context or for all contexts.

There's a lot to explore here, and how you use these options will very much depend on your own personal needs. The examples that follow should help to get you started.

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Media Item Left Click Modifiers

Shown here are the default assignments for mouse behavior when you click on any media item.

Notice that the default behavior for a simple click is Select item and move edit cursor.

On the other hand, Alt Click will select the item ignoring grouping.

If you wish, you can swap these assignments over, so that a simple click will select the media item without moving the edit cursor.

To do this, just double-click in the list on the item that you wish to change, then select your preference from the list (see right). You will find more information about customizing mouse modifiers in Chapter 14.

Media Item Edge Left Drag

Shown here (right) are the default mouse modifier settings that are used when clicking and dragging on the edge of any media item(s).

Chapter 14 includes a step by step example showing how you can change these.

Other Options

Notice that you can assign different modifiers to be used when clicking on the bottom part of media items from those used when clicking on the top part.

In the example shown here, the default action for a simple click on the bottom half of a media item is being changed to Toggle

item selection.

Note: When the context Media item

bottom half is selected, an option is displayed to Disable targeting of bottom

part of media when take lane height is less than

xx pixels. By default this is set to

44. You will need to change this if you want to be able to use these context actions with media items less than 44 pixels high.

These are just some of the many possible examples which illustrate how you can use mouse modifiers in various different contexts when editing media items. It's up to you now to explore the many other options for yourself, depending on which aspects and options are most important to you!

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7.35

Dynamic Splitting - Remove Silent Passages

REAPER's Dynamic Splitting is a powerful feature which can be used for all sorts of purposes. Many of these are designed to help you with tempo based composition, but it has other more widespread applications. One such use is to clean up a track and remove those passages that should be silent. This can be handy, for example, with a vocal track, to auto4matically clean up the passages between verses which might contain unwanted background noises such as breathing or shuffling sounds.

Suppose that you have recorded such a vocal track. With dynamic splitting you can effectively tell

REAPER to go thru the track and take out all of the passages where the vocalist isn't singing. These are the passages where you want the track to be silent and which otherwise might contain various breathing or other unwanted sounds.

To do this, you first select the media item then right click over it and choose the Item

processing, Dynamic split items… command.

You then need to select the required parameters before splitting.

You are given immediate visual feedback before executing the command. Each split point is indicated by a colored vertical line and those areas marked for removal are shown as darker.

Dynamic splitting will be examined in more detail in Chapter 9, in the context of tempo based music production, but when applied to this particular task it can be used as explained in the table below.

Start with settings similar to those shown here and adjust then as necessary.

Summary of Dynamic Splitting Parameters

When used in this way, dynamic splitting basically employs a noise gate to tell REAPER how often and where to split your media items and which areas are to be removed.

Dynamic Splitting Parameter

At transients

When gate opens

When gate closes

Reduce split

Min slice length

Constrain slice length

Setting to Remove Silent Passages

Deselect this option when using dynamic splitting for this purpose.

You would be unlikely to select one of these options without the other.

Both of these options need to be turned on, so that REAPER can work out the beginning and end of each passage that is to be removed.

In most cases, when using dynamic splitting for this purpose this item should be deselected.

This sets the shortest length for any slice. You will probably need to experiment to get it right. Usually, this should be set to a low value.

Happily, REAPER's dynamic splitting interface gives you immediate visual feedback. You can see by looking at the screen when your settings are right. The illustration below shows the effect of setting this value too high. Notice that it can result in some recorded passages also being removed

In most cases for this particular application this setting should not matter. If in doubt, try both and be guided by the visual feedback.

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Dynamic Splitting Parameter

Gate threshold

Setting to Remove Silent Passages

This setting is important, but usually has a reasonable range of acceptable values. If you make this too low you might allow unwanted sounds thru the noise gate. If you set it too high you risk deleting quieter passages of the recorded material. Start around -50dB and make any necessary adjustments from there.

Min silence length

Hysteresis

Action to perform

Remove silence

Fade Pad

Other settings

This is another parameter that will require fine tuning. Set too high it will fail to catch all the periods of silence,

This setting can be used to adjust the level at which the gate closes relative to that at which it opens. In the example shown above, the gate will close at -62.5 dB and reopen at -50 dB. Raising the hysteresis figure closer to or even above 0dB will have create more splits.

For this application you would choose Split selected items or Split

selected and grouped items. The other options involve the use of stretch markers, which will be covered in Chapter9.

This option should be enabled.

Enabling fade pad can help ensure a smoother transition.

Leave them as shown here.

7.36

SWS Extensions

As you get to know REAPER better you will find that there are a number of editing and related actions that you will want to use frequently. This might include, for example, actions as diverse as lining up a number of media items with the edit cursor, or setting the volume of an entire selection of media items in one action. You will find that many of these actions – and more - are available as a plug-in to REAPER by downloading and installing the

SWS Extensions Pack. To do this, you simply follow this sequence:

1. Go to

http://www.standingwaterstudios.com

2. Follow the instructions to download the correct version for your operating system.

3. After downloading, run the install program, then start REAPER in the usual way.

The contents of this extension pack are by no means lightweight. They include not only hundreds of useful actions for editing and more but also whole modules which bring extra functionality to REAPER, including mixing snapshots and marker management. So comprehensive are they that they come with their own PDF manual.

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8 Arranging, Comping and Editing Takes

Earlier, in chapter 3, we looked at how you can create multiple takes when you are recording. In particular, make sure you are familiar with the sections that cover Showing Takes in Lanes, Using Color Coded Takes and Working With Multiple Takes. The editing and arrangement techniques covered in Chapter 7 can also be applied to editing a project with multiple takes. This example is intended really to get you thinking about how you might approach the task. You have two main methods at your disposal. You can either:

 Explode the takes to new tracks. You can then work on and edit each track separately and (if you wish) join them all back to a single track when you have finished, or

 Work on and edit the various takes all within the single track on which they were recorded. We'll get to this method later in this section.

Note that unless specifically stated otherwise, the instructions in this section assume that you have the free item positioning option disabled for the tracks that you are working on. This is the default setting. (For more information about free item positioning, see chapter 3).

8.1

Using Item FX with Individual Takes

In Chapter 7 you learnt how FX can be added to individual media items. Where multiple takes exist on a track, each take can be assigned its own FX and FX chain. For example, you can insert separate FX plug-ins into individual takes, as shown in the example here. Select the required take, then press Shift E to open the take add FX window.

If you have enabled the options Display media item take name and Draw labels above the item (both under Appearance,

Media, see above), then any FX chain for the currently selected take will be included in the information displayed. In the example shown on the right, Take 2 is currently active: the FX names displayed are those FX assigned to Take 2.

If you wish, you can insert the same FX into each take and apply different parameter settings for each one.

8.2

Exploding Takes to Multiple Tracks

We'll start by looking at the first of these two methods. Let’s suppose that we have recorded three takes of a vocal track. We can right click over the item and use the Take, Explode all takes to new tracks command.

This command creates (in this case) three extra as yet unnamed tracks – the original track with its three takes is still intact. Now suppose that after auditioning we have decided which parts we want to use from each take.

In the next illustration, we have edited the various takes to leave only the portion of each take that we wish to keep. This has been done using various editing techniques that have been covered in Chapter 7.

Finally, we select the various items from tracks 3 and 4 and use the Num Lock 8 key to move them up to track

2. Track 1 is now muted and could of course be hidden. Tracks 3 and 4 could be deleted.

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You could now select all of the items in track 2 and use the Glue Items command to bind them together as one media item. Note that the original muted track with the three takes on it is still available. This makes it easy at some later time for us to change our mind about what to include in the vocal track if we wish.

8.3

Crossfades with Takes

If you intend to arrange your media items so that they overlap, then you should first decide whether or not you want REAPER to add a crossfade. This feature is turned on and off using the Auto

Crossfade button on the main toolbar (or the keyboard shortcut, Alt X).

The curves of crossfades can be edited. You can extend the crossfade in either direction by dragging the vertical fade bars. If you hold Shift while doing this, you can move the crossfade itself left or right to a new position. Right-clicking over the crossfade reveals a menu of different crossfade shape options (see left).

Using these techniques can ensure that an otherwise abrupt edit is smoothly disguised by a gradual transition at the best edit point.

Various options are available to you for customizing mouse behavior when crossfade editing. These can be selected from the Editing Behavior, Mouse Modifiers page of your Preferences – see also Chapter 14. An example of this shown here. For more advanced crossfade editing, you might wish to use the Crossfade Editor

(see Chapter 7)

8.4

Exploding Takes in Place

Another option is to use the Take, Explode all takes (in place) command. This has the effect of merging all takes on the track into a single lane. Here's an example of when you might wish to do this. The track shown here includes three lead vocal takes. You have made your selection of the best parts of each take. These have had their individual item properties (such as volume) adjusted to give you the sound that you want.

By exploding all takes in place, the selected items are placed over the others takes in a single lane, and are played together.

8.5

Play All Takes

Here's a really interesting trick you can do with takes. Shown here is a vocal track with an overdubbed vocal harmony for just a short part. Both takes at that point have had individual pan and volume envelopes added, and some delay and perhaps pitch shift FX to the second take's FX chain.

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After selecting both these media items, right-click over either one of them and choose Item settings then

Play all takes. We can thus have our complete vocal and harmony mix on one single track! This setting is also available from within the Item Properties window.

8.6

Editing and Comping Multiple Takes

You don't need to explode takes to multiple tracks in order to manage them. In this section we'll see some of the ways in which you can manage your takes all within a single track. In overview, this essentially consists of selecting the best parts of each take and comping them together into a single take of your preferred selections.

Slice and Dice

When you choose the Option to Show all takes in lanes (when room) there is a neat technique known as slice and dice that helps you combine the best of each take together, to play as one track. To do this, you simply

Split the track in as many places (and at the exact points) that you think appropriate, then select from each slice your preferred section. The different methods that you can use for splitting are explained in Chapter 7.

A clever trick is to make all of the items that together make up a complete set of preferred takes a different color from the others. To do this, first choose your takes and select all of the media items (use marquee to do this), then choose from the right-click menu Item and take colors, then Set active take to custom color or Set active take to one random color. These commands are also available from the media item right-click context menu. An example of how this can be used is shown below.

Notice in this example that the second of these takes consists of an overdub of just a small portion of the song. The option to Display empty take lanes (Options, Take lane behavior menu) is enabled to ensure that your takes are displayed more clearly. An empty part of a take (such as exist in

Take 2 here) cannot be selected unless you enable Allow selecting empty take lanes (Options, Take lane

behavior

menu).

Note: If you prefer not to see the empty take lanes, you can hide them by disabling Display empty take lanes (Options, Take lane behavior menu).

Comp Sets

You can save multiple comp sets for individual tracks

(example shown above) and even for groups of tracks

(as shown right). This latter example is a project with two vocal tracks, each of which has been sliced and diced and colored at random.

With all media items in this set selected (use marquee for this), you can right-click over the selection and choose Comps then Save as new comp from the context menu. You will be prompted for a name: this name will then be added to the Comps menu and can be used to recall this comp from the menu at at any time. One advantage of this is that it makes it easier for you to compare different combination of slices from different takes, and hence arrive at the best outcome. There is no limit to the number of comp sets that you can save and use.

Saved comp sets can be applied by selecting the media items (all takes) of the relevant tracks in arrange view, then right c licking over the selection and choosing Comps then the comp name from the context menu.

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Here is a summary of the commands on the Comps sub-menu.

Command Explanation

Save as new comp

Saves your current selection of takes on all currently selected tracks as a new comp set. You will be prompted for a name.

Rename active comp

Remove active comp

Lets you change the name of current active comp set.

Deletes the currently selected comp set and removes it from the Comps menu. This does not remove any takes or media items from the project itself.

Crop list to active comp

Removes other comp sets from comps menu list.

Moves all items in take selection to the top lane of its track.

Move active comp to top lane

Comp names

Your comps will be listed at the end of the

Comps menu (see example right).

Choosing any of these will cause that set of takes to be selected.

In this example, we have created a second comp set and colored it green. We can now switch between comp sets at will.

In this example, with our preferred comp set selected we have used the command Move

active comp to

top lane.

Don't forget also that by pressing Ctrl L you can toggle lane display on and off, as shown below.

Tip: When you use lanes and slice and dice in this way, you can use the Num Pad keys

1 and 3 to slide items left or right if their timing is slightly out of sync with other takes. The exact amount by which these keys will slide your selected media item(s) will depend on how closely you are zoomed in or out.

As a rule, you are likely to find that in the earlier stages of post production, you are more likely to want to create and save comp sets for individual tracks, rather than for groups of tracks. This will offer you a great deal of flexibility in how you “mix and match” your various tracks together. However, as your mix progresses towards its completion, you may find that it can be more advantageous to save comped sets for whole selections of tracks, so that they can be recalled and used together.

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The table below summarizes other Take menu management commands that are available to you:

Command (Shortcut)

Next take (T)

Previous take (Shift T)

Delete active take (X)

Crop to active take (Alt Shift T)

Duplicate active take

Lock to active take

Show FX chain for active take

Remove FX for active take

Take envelopes...

Explode all takes to new tracks

Explode all takes in place

Explode all takes (in order)

Explanation

Makes next take the active take for all selected media items.

Makes previous take the active take for all selected media items.

Deletes currently selected take on all currently selected media items.

Removes all non-active takes from currently selected media items.

Adds a copy of the active take to the item as a new take.

This is a toggle command. It locks the current active take selection.

When take locking is applied to a media item, its active take cannot be changed unless this toggle is unlocked.

Opens the FX browser to allow you to add FX to the active take for the selected media item.

Removes FX previously added to a take's FC chain.

Opens a window from which you can choose to add a volume, pan, mute and/or pitch, and/or any take FX parameter automation envelope.

Automation envelopes are explained in Chapter 17.

Copies each take to a new track.

Places selected takes on the same track on top of each other, so that all will play at once.

Places selected takes on the same track in sequence, one after the other.

This command turns this ….

into this:

Implode items across tracks into takes:

Copies all selected items to a single track as a series of takes.

This command turns this ...

… into this:

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Command (Shortcut)

Implode items on same track into takes:

Explanation

Moves all selected items to the same start time as a series of takes on the same track.

This command turns this ….

into this:

Paste to takes in items

Pastes previously selected and cut or copied takes into selected tracks as a new item.

8.7

More Take Commands and Actions

The third section of the Items context menu contains a series of commands that involve creating a new take from an existing item.

These commands open up for you a number of interesting and creative options.

The first three of these involve applying track effects to an existing media item and are essentially similar – one creates a mono item, one a stereo item and the third of these is used with MIDI items. The table below summarizes the use of these commands.

Command (Shortcut)

Apply track FX to items as new take

Apply track FX to items as new take (mono output)

Apply track FX to items as new take (MIDI output)

Explanation

One use for this command is to free up CPU if your system is becoming stressed. Consider an example of a track with some FX in its FX chain, say EQ and a compressor:

After applying track FX (mono output), we have a new take with the

FX applied to it. The original FX chain can now be set to bypass:

Render items as new take

This will not only reduce your CPU overload, it also opens up further creative options for you. Try selecting Play all takes then using pan and volume envelopes on both takes to vary their placement and relative volume levels for different parts of the song.

This command is another CPU miser. It will render the existing media item as a new take.

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Command (Shortcut)

Reverse items as new take

8 - Arranging, Comping and Editing Takes

Explanation

You can have some fun with this one. It does what it says – it adds a new take to the media item with the material reversed. Here's an example. Starting with this …

… we end up with this:

As well as these commands, REAPER's Action List (see Chapter 14) includes a number of actions you can use to deal with empty take lanes. These actions (which can be assigned to shortcut keys or toolbars) are:

Item: Remove all empty take lanes

Item: Remove the empty take lane after the active take, and

Item: Remove the empty take lane before the active take

Don't forget how many options you now have … slice and dice, play all takes, volume, pan and mute envelopes, pitch and/or playback rate shifting, take FX … and so on!

Footnote: Confused about colors?

REAPER's Preferences,

Appearance, Peaks/

Waveforms settings includes many color options.

These options may be disabled by some color themes, including the default theme. Where they are enabled, their order of precedence is not obvious.

In the example shown here, we have asked for media item peaks and backgrounds to show both track colors and take colors. Clearly to show both of these will not be possible.

In cases like this, the option furthest to the right will take precedence. In other words, for a particular media item, if takes have not been colored then the track colors will be used. If, however, take colors have been specified, then these will take precedence over track colors.

8.8

Managing Comps with the Project Bay

Takes and comps can also be managed from within REAPER's Project Bay.

The Project Bay is a one-stop center which allows for the convenient management of a project's media items,

FX, item groups, takes and comps. It is explored and explained in detail in Chapter 12 of this User Guide.

To open and display the Project Bay, use the View, Project Media/FX Bay command. Click on the tab labeled

Take Comps to display the takes and comps management section.

Clicking on the Options button (bottom right) displays a menu. This menu is explained in detail in

Chapter 12. For now, notice the option to Mirror

selection in bay and project. When enabled, this allows you to select any media item or segment by clicking on it either in the project itself or in the list shown in the project bay.

Within the project bay window (see below) you can right click over any listed comp to display its context menu.

Choices include commands to Activate comp, Rename comp and Delete comp (keep takes).

You can also create a new comp from your current take selection by clicking on the Actions button (bottom

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right) and choosing Create new comp from the Actions menu.

An example of a project with the Project Bay open and the Take Comps window selected is shown above.

The illustration on the right shows how within comp sets you can also select and manage individual takes and items. For example, you can activate or deactivate individual takes, or remove them from the comp altogether.

8.9

Propagating Takes

In Chapter 7 you were shown how to copy a media item's properties and characteristics to all similar media items on the same track or on all tracks. The same principle can be applied to takes, using either of the Item

processing commands Propagate take to similarly named active takes on track or Propagate take to

similarly named active takes (all tracks). Here is an example.

In this example, we have three takes of a media item, which has also been split into three sections. All three takes share the same name (Vox.mp3). Notice that some FX have been added to the active take for the first section, together with an envelope and a fade out.

By choosing Item processing, Propagate take to similarly named active takes on track from the context menu, we ensure that these features are copied to the other active takes on this track:

Notice that although the envelope is copied, the envelope points are not.

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9 Loops, Markers and Regions

Note: Many of the arrange view illustrations used in this chapter use the REAPER 4 default theme and color scheme. The information and instructions, however, are still accurate and correct for REAPER 5.

9.1

Creating Loops

Any audio, MIDI or click source Item can be looped. Indeed, by default REAPER media items are loop enabled. You can disable this for individual items in the Media Item

Properties dialog box, or globally (for MIDI and imported items) on the Project, Media

Item Defaults page of your Preferences.

The loop point is defined by the duration of the source media. If you insert an item that is four bars long, it will loop every 4 bars, if it is 8 bars, it will loop every 8 bars, etc. Note that in the following examples, if you are using beats for your timebase, the item must be an exact number of beats in length, or it will not loop in sync.

If necessary, adjust the playback rate (Media Properties) while preserving pitch, then glue the item to do this.

To Loop an entire Item:

1. Hover the mouse over the edge of an

Item until the Cursor changes to a double-headed arrow (see right).

2. Drag the Cursor to extend the Item.

Each loop point will be indicated by a notch in the item edges.

3. The length, start time and end time of the looped item will be displayed as you drag the edge of the loop.

Cropping and Looping:

If you wish to loop only part of an item, then one method is to first crop and glue the item.

1. Make sure snapping is enabled. Hover the mouse over the edge of the Item until the Cursor changes to a doubleheaded arrow. Click and drag the mouse in on the item to make it shorter, so that you are left with only that part of the item that you want to use as the basis of the loop.

Release the mouse button.

2. Right click over the item and choose Glue items.

3. Now drag the Cursor to extend the Item. Each loop point will again be indicated by a notch in the edges of the item. Extend the loop as required.

Changing Playback Rate:

There may be times when you will wish to change an item's playback rate, for example to keep it in sync. Taking the same example as above, you would first display the Item Properties box, and most probably make sure that Preserve pitch

when changing rate was selected. You could then change the Playback rate (for example, to 2.0). This would have the effect shown here. The original item

(looped) as shown above has had its playback rate modified (right).

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Creating a Loop from a Time Selection

Another way of creating a loop from only part of an item is to select the required item, highlight the required part of it as a time selection, right click, choose Copy loop of selected area of items, remove the original, then paste in the loop in its place. This is shown here:

1. Select first the source item, then select the area to be looped (see above). Either press Ctrl Alt L or right click and choose Copy loop of selected area of item.

2. Select the track and position to which you want the item copied.

3. Press Ctrl V to paste in the area to be looped.

4. Drag the cursor from the edge of the item as before to create the loop.

9.2

Creating and Navigating with Markers

Markers are like bookmarks. They can help you when you are navigating, arranging and editing your projects.

Markers can be inserted at the current Edit Cursor position, whether or not the project is being played.

Action

Insert, Marker command

Insert, Marker ( prompt for

name) command

Right click mouse over marker

Shortcut Effect

M

Shift M

Inserts numbered Marker at present position.

Inserts numbered Marker at present position and opens dialog which prompts for a marker name.

Other options include Set color... to color the marker.

Displays menu to Edit Marker or Remove Marker.

Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts

Default Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts for creating and navigating with markers are:

To do this ...

Go to marker 1 thru 10.

Move marker 1 thru 10 to cursor position, or create new marker if no marker of that number exists.

Go to next marker/ project end or previous marker/ project start.

To jump to any marker.

Mouse/Keystroke

1

thru 0 on main keyboard, not Num Pad.

Ctrl 1

thru Ctrl 9 and Ctrl 0

] or [

Jump to marker using the Transport Bar.

Open Edit marker dialog (e.g. to add or change marker name or change marker color).

Make loop selection in REAPER's main arrange view or in the MIDI Editor piano roll view.

Select area between the two markers.

Move a marker.

Remove a marker.

Ctrl J opens Jump To dialog. Type m and marker number – e.g. m2 to jump to marker 2.

Right click on Transport Bar then Jump to

marker

Shift double-click on marker number. Type a new name, or click on Set color.

Double-click on ruler between two markers

Double click on timeline between markers

Click and drag marker along timeline

Alt Click on marker

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Example

This example illustrates the use of markers. Before you begin, on the Options menu, enable the option Loop

points linked to time selection.

1. Open the sample file All Through The Night.RPP and immediately save it as All Through The Night

MARKERS.RPP

2. Play the song. Just before the place where the vocal starts.

Press Shift M. When prompted, type as the name Verse 1

Start and press Enter

3. At the end of the first verse, press Shift M again, name this marker Verse 1 End and press Enter.

4. Create similar markers for the start and finish of Verse 2 and Verse 3. These will be at or around 1:00,

1:38, 1:46 and 2:35. Save the file.

5. Press 1 on your keyboard (not the numeric keypad). Notice the edit cursor jumps to the start of Verse 1.

6. Press 2. Notice it jumps to the end of Verse 2.

7. Double click on the timeline ruler (not the markers row) between markers 2 and 3. Notice that this area is now looped and will play repeatedly.

8. Right click over the timeline and choose Zoom selection. You could now do any close editing work required for this selection.

9. Press Esc to clear the selection, then Ctrl PgDn to restore the whole project to view. Save the file.

9.3

Time Selection Start/End Markers

REAPER treats the start and end of any current time selection as floating markers. The shortcut keys for Go to next marker and Go to

previous marker are ] and [. These will also find the start or end of the current time selection and move the play cursor there.

You can also right-click over the Go to start button and enable the option Use transport home/end for markers. The Go to start and Go to end buttons will now find the previous/next marker or start/end of a time selection when one is current.

9.4

Snapping to Markers

Optionally, you may wish to ensure that when you are making a time selection, the boundaries of the selection will automatically snap to nearby markers at the start and/or end of the time selection

(if any such markers are present).

Consider the portion of the Snap/Grid

Settings shown on the right. Notice that snapping has been enabled, with a snap distance of 10 pixels defined.

With snapping disabled, it can be quite difficult to make a selection which starts or ends exactly at a marker. When you attempt to make such a selection, you might end up with the selection shown in the first of the screen shots below.

Notice that the end of the selection doesn't quite match the marker.

However, in the second example shown, with snapping enabled and the settings shown above, if you drag the selection to within 10 pixels of the marker position, the selection will automatically snap to the marker when you release the mouse. Notice the effect of making exactly the same selection with the above snap settings disabled (left) and enabled (right).

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Example

In the first screen shot (below), a project contains two markers, one at the start and one at the end of the project.

Suppose that you wish to reposition Marker 2 at the start of the second verse. You can simply position the edit cursor there and then press Ctrl 2.

Now let us suppose that you want to create Marker 4 at the end of the song, reserving Marker 3 for a position as yet unspecified. You can position the edit cursor at the end of the song and press Ctrl 4.

9.5

Removing Markers

There are two main methods of removing unwanted markers.

To remove a single marker

Position the mouse over the marker “flag” and hold down the Alt key while you click the left mouse button. Alternatively, you can right-click over the marker flag and choose Remove Marker from the context menu.

To remove a series of markers

Define a time selection that includes all of the markers that you wish to remove.

Right click over the space just above the marker “flags” within the time selection, and choose

Remove all markers from

time selection from the context menu.

9.6

Marker Actions

Many actions are available (in the Actions List Editor) to help you manage markers. These include Markers:

Delete marker near cursor and Markers: Renumber all markers in timeline order.

Chapter 14 explains in detail more about actions and about how you can assign them to toolbars or to your own shortcut keys.

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9.7

Creating and Using Regions

Regions essentially take the idea of markers one step further. You can create regions for your projects, making it easy to identify, select and work with different passages of a song.

To do this ...

Create a new region from the current selection.

Mouse/Keystrokes/Command

Shift R or right click, Create Region from Selection

To change name or other properties of the region.

Shift Double click on region icon.

To specify a color for a region.

Shift Double click on region icon then Set color.

Make the area of the region the current selection.

Double click on region icon, or right click on region icon, Select Region

Remove a region.

Alt Click on region icon

To create a Region from two existing Markers …

1. Make sure the Option for Loop points linked to time selection is enabled.

2. Double click on the timeline (not the markers row) between the markers to make the selection.

3. Right click and choose Create region from selection.

To create a Region from scratch …

1. Click and drag across the background area of the Track View to make the selection.

2. Right click and choose Create region from selection.

Example of working with Regions

1. Make sure that the Option for Loop points linked to time selection is enabled.

2. In the file All Through The

Night MARKERS.RPP, double click on the timeline between the first two markers.

This causes this area to be selected.

3. Right click over the timeline, between the markers, and choose Create Region from

Selection.

4. Hold Shift while you doubleclick on the new region’s icon to display the Edit Region dialog. Type

Verse 1 and press Enter.

5. Double click on the timeline between markers three and four to select this area. Press Shift R to define a region. Right click over the icon for this region, choose Edit Region, type Verse 2 and press Enter.

6. Repeat this process using the area between markers five and six to create a Verse 3 region. Keep this region selected.

7. Press Ctrl with the + on the Numeric Pad to zoom in on that region.

8. Press Ctrl PgDn to restore the whole project to the screen.

9. Press Esc to remove the current selection.

10. Save this file.

A number of handy actions are available (in the Actions List editor) to help you create and manage regions.

These include Markers: Insert region from time selection and Markers: Insert region from selected

items as well as Regions: Go to next region after next region finishes playing.

Chapter 14 explains in detail more about actions and about how you can assign them to toolbars or to your own shortcut keys.

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9.8

The Region Manager

The View, Region/Marker

Manager command toggles this display, used to manage regions and markers.

This table shows how the region manager manipulates markers and regions using its buttons, its controls, and its context menu

(displayed by right-clicking on its title bar or in its background area.)

To do this … … you do this

Renumber markers and regions in timeline order

Go to marker or region and scroll into view.

Auto play any region on selection in region manager.

Edit marker/region name

Edit other marker/region data

Sort rows in any order

Double-click on marker/region name in table then edit.

Double-click on number, start time, end time or length to edit.

Delete a marker or region

Click on any column header, e.g. Name or Start time. In the above example, Start has been chosen as the sort column.

Select the marker or region in table and press Delete.

Removes the region definition but not media content.

Tick/untick Regions and Markers options (top right).

Show/not show regions or markers in Region Manager

Change column order

Hide/Show columns

Click and drag column header left or right.

Right click on any header, deselect/select from list.

Open Edit region/marker dialog box

Double-click on region or marker name.

Change region or marker color

Click on small color icon to left of marker/region number.

Zoom to region or marker

Render regions as a separate file each (all tracks)

Render only selected tracks within regions, as separate files

Export marker/region list as .txt or .csv file

Import regions/markers from .csv

file (replace existing)

Choose Renumber in timeline order from context menu.

Enable Seek playback when selecting a marker or region on context menu.

Enable Play region thru then repeat or stop when

selecting a region from context menu.

Double-click on region or marker number.

From context menu choose Mark all regions to be rendered or click in Render column to select required regions and choose

Mark selected regions to be rendered from the context menu, then use the Render Matrix... button to open the

Render Matrix window. See Chapter 20.

After selecting region to be rendered, left click in Render Matrix column to select tracks. For details see Chapter 20.

Tick Regions and/or Markers option box(es), choose Export

regions/markers... from context menu, then type a file name, choose file type and click on Save.

Use Import regions/markers (replace existing) command from context menu, select file then click on Open.

Import regions/markers from .csv

file (merge with existing)

Use Import regions/markers (merge with existing) command from context menu, select file then click on Open.

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9.9

Project Building with Regions

Regions can be used as a very powerful project building tool, especially when you are constructing a project from samples and/or loops. Two especially powerful features of regions are:

Drag and drop a region along the timeline to move a region's entire contents.

Hold Ctrl while dragging and dropping to copy the entire contents of a region.

To illustrate this, take a look at the image above. We have started building a project, with an introduction, then a verse (which has been made into a region), a chorus (also a region) and a second verse.

By holding the Ctrl key while clicking and dragging the icon for the Chorus region to the right, to the end of verse 2, we are able to copy the entire chorus to that point (see below).

Notice that any markers and time signature markers that are inside the region will also be copied or moved when the region is copied or moved.

Note: You can also select a series of media items and create separate regions for each item in the selection. To do this, make your selection, then run the action Markers: Insert separate regions for each selected

item. This action can be run from inside the Actions window, and/or be assigned to a keyboard shortcut, and/or added to a toolbar, and/or added to one of REAPER's menu – see Chapter 14 for more information.

9.10

Changing the Project Timebase

You can select Time, Beats (position, length, rate) or Beats (position only) as the timebase for your envelopes, events and markers. To do this:

1. Press Alt Enter to display the Project Settings window. Click on the Project Settings tab.

2. Make a choice from the Timebase for items/envelopes/markers drop down list, then click on OK.

You can also change the beat by clicking in the BPM box (on the Transport Bar) and entering a number.

9.11

Markers and Media Cues

If you need to share your media files with other applications that use media cues (for example, Sound Forge) you can convert your markers to media cues when rendering. File rendering is covered in detail in Chapter 20.

REAPER also has an option on the View menu (enabled by default) to show media cues where they exist on imported media items. Moreover, you can use the Item Processing command to create markers within

REAPER for these media cues.

Example

1. In the screen shot shown below, our project includes a number of markers:

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2. We can now select the appropriate tracks and render the file (using the

File, Render) command, selecting the option Stems (selected tracks) from the Render drop down list,

Mono channels, and specifying which combinaton (if any) of markers and regions we want written into the output files as cues. In this example,

Markers only has been selected.

3. If these rendered files were later imported back into REAPER, we can see that the media items contains cues which correspond exactly with the original markers. This is illustrated below. Notice the series of vertical broken lines which indicate the positions of the media cues.

4. If we now select any of these media items then right click and choose Item processing then Import

media cues from items as project markers then a set of REAPER markers and regions is automatically created for the project.

9.12

Tempo Based Music Production

9.12.1

Time Based Music Basics

REAPER incorporates a number of features which make it a good choice for tempo based music production.

Some of these elements (such as creating loops and various item properties) have already been mentioned in the context of other uses. Others have not yet been mentioned. In this section we will draw these elements together to give you a flavour of how REAPER can be used for the production of tempo based music. Creating tempo based music is a process that largely consists of creating and sequencing loops from audio samples.

These become the building blocks from which a work is created. Individually they can vary in length from a single note to a complete rhythmical pattern, and anything in between.

One advantage that sampling has always had over MIDI is sound quality. There are any number of human performance techniques and subtle variations that it are very difficult if not impossible to simulate with MIDI.

However, until recently MIDI held one big advantage over sampling. A MIDI track can easily be transposed without altering its tempo, and its tempo can be changed without affecting its pitch. This has not always been the case with audio.

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Take the example of drum loops. One of the biggest problems with using samplers to trigger drum loops has been that when the tempo changes, so does the pitch. Samplers change pitch by slowing things down or speeding things up. This means that as you play keys up and down your keyboard, you must at the same time handle the issue of beat changes. It becomes almost impossible to get the exact tempo you want without having to open the sampler and make adjustments to the loops.

Today, however, there are available many tools that can do all this for you. The time and pitch altering tools that come with REAPER use high quality algorithms which give you all the options you need to change or maintain such factors as length and intonation. It thus becomes possible to modify samples accurately and without distorting their essential characteristics.

ReCycle is one program that has become popular because its REX grooves automatically arrange themselves to the project tempo on import. Bring in a groove and it always fits the song. Take a set of items representing slices in a rhythmic groove, set their timebase to beats, and change the tempo -- magic!

They move all over the place but remain exactly in rhythmic time according to the tempo. Using REX files you are able to play back loops at different tempos without altering the pitch. You're on your way to being able to create drum loops and other sounds exactly the way you want them, and with relatively little effort.

Later in this chapter we'll have more to say about ReCycle, and indeed about REAPER's own dynamic splitting capabilities which puts this magic at your disposal. After dynamic splitting, just double click in the BPM area of the transport bar, enter a number and, hey presto! The whole track plays faster, or slower, in perfect pitch. What's more, the whole track will speed up or slow down naturally, without glitches, pauses or stuttering.

9.13

Project Settings

Before creating any music, you should make sure that your project settings are specified correctly. To display the project settings dialog box, press Alt Enter or choose the command File, Project Settings… from the main menu. In particular, check the following:

 Under Project Settings, Project beats per minute.

 Under Project Settings, Time signature.

 Under Project Settings, Timebase for events. You can select Time, Beats (position, length, rate) or

Beats (position only). The former locks items to the timeline so that changes in tempo will cause items to be resized and their play rate adjusted. With Beats (position only), the start of the item is locked to the beat, but the item contents are not affected or modified by tempo changes.

Under Project Settings, Default pitch shift mode and parameter.

Remember that you can change the timebase for individual tracks (right-click, Set track timebase) and for individual media items (F2, Item timebase). You can also change properties such as Beats per Minute and Time

Signature as often as needed during the song. For example, you can increase the tempo for one passage then restore it to its original setting at the end of that passage. Shortly we will see an example of how this is done.

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9.13.1

Audio Media Item Properties

You can record your own media items or import them from existing files. You can also change various properties such as playback rate and pitch for individual media items.

You can specify parameter settings for individual media items and/or for selection of items. For example, if you wish to change the pitch or playback rate for several items you can select those items and press F2 (or right click anywhere in the selection and choose the Item

properties… command).

In the example shown, we are increasing the playback rate for the selected items by 5% and preserving the original pitch. Notice that you can override the project default pitch shift mode if you wish. You may find that different algorithms work better with different kinds of audio item (such as vocal, snare, kick or bass guitar). More information about time stretching can be found in the section

Time and Pitch Manipulation.

9.13.2

Creating a Loop from a Time Selection

Remember that you are able to select any part of an existing media item and use it to create a loop. This subject is covered earlier in this chapter.

Chapter 14 will introduce you to REAPER's actions and the action list editor. This can be used to assign keyboard shortcuts to many actions that can be useful when you are working with loops and time selections. There are actions, for example, to extend the time selection in either direction, to reduce it from either direction or nudge it in either direction. Browsing and searching the action list will help you to identify those which are most useful to you. Chapter 14 will show you how to bind these actions to your own shortcut keys.

9.13.3

Creating a Loop from Transients

Another method of selecting the area required for your loop is to use the transients in an existing media item.

The following actions are just some of the many that can be found within the Action List Editor (Chapter 14).

Where no existing keyboard shortcut exists, you can assign your own if you wish.

Item navigation: Move cursor to nearest transient in item

Item navigation: Move cursor to next transient in item

Item navigation: Move cursor to previous transient in item

Time selection: Extend time selection to next transient in items

Ctrl Tab

Tab

Shift Tab

Assuming that you are using the default key bindings shown above, and that Ctrl Alt Tab has been assigned to

Extend time selection to next transient in items, you can select the item, navigate exactly from transient to transient and select the exact area required.

You can select the item, copy and paste it elsewhere, then right click over it, choosing

Copy loop of selected areas of items from the context menu.

These are just a few of the actions and commands that can be used to suit your own method of working when creating your tempobased projects. Explore the others and get to know them. They include:

Copy selected area of items

Trim items to selected area

Split items at prior zero crossings

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9.13.4

Transient Detection Settings

The command View, Transient Detection Settings causes the window shown here to be displayed.

This can be used to make your transient detection sound more natural and human, by introducing subtle variations in sensitivity and/or volume threshold. Enabling the zero crossings option will help to prevent unwanted clicks.

9.13.5

Beat Correction

REAPER includes many actions to assist you with beat detection and beat correction. There are actions to detect tempo, create measures from time selections, extend or swap time selections to the next transient, and more.

Some of them are on the context menus and all of them are in the Action List. Any action can be assigned shortcut keys, run from the action list window itself, and/or added to REAPER's Actions menu. More information about the Action List can be found in Chapter 14.

How you string these actions together is up to you. Here is an example. You might have a live performance that was not done to a click. It is a simple process to go thru the track and manually tempo-map the whole performance. We're going to assume that you are using the following keyboard assignments:

Tab

Item navigation: Move cursor to next transient in items.

Ctrl Alt Tab

Ctrl Shift Alt Tab

Time selection: Swap left edge of time selection to next transient in items

Time selection: Extend time selection to next transient in items.

Example

In the example shown here, we have used our shortcuts to create and extend extend the selection out, as required.

We then instruct REAPER to Create

measure from time selection

(detect tempo).

We could do this either from the timeline's context menu or using a keyboard shortcut.

We then use our keyboard shortcuts to capture the next time selection required, again using that time selection to create a measure with

REAPER auto detecting the tempo.

This process is repeated until we come to the first place where a change of time signature is required.

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By right clicking over the timeline we display the context menu and select the command Create measure from

time selection (new time signature).

This causes the Edit Time Signature dialog box to be opened, which you can edit at will then click on OK.

This process can then be repeated up to the end of the performance.

9.13.6

Quantizing Items

REAPER allows you to quantize your audio items. This essentially means lining them up according to the project tempo or time signature.

You might have a situation in which you have copied and pasted a sample several times within a track (or across several tracks) and you need to ensure that they are correctly aligned. To ensure that all items are aligned to the beat, you simply do this:

1. Double-click on the track in the Track

Control Panel to select all the media items in the track. Alternatively, you could right click drag with your mouse to marquee or

"lasso" them.

2. Right click over any of the items, then choose Item Processing then Quantize

item positions to grid. This causes the

Quantize Item Positions dialog box to be displayed.

3. Specify your required parameters, including the note length setting (1/8,

1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, etc.) and whether you want the items stretched to fit. An example is shown on the right.

4. Click on Process for the quantizing to be done.

In the example above, the option to also quantize item ends and stretch to fit was enabled.

9.14

Dynamic Splitting

Dynamic splitting is a very powerful feature which has a number of applications. You have already seen (in

Chapter 7) how it can be used to remove silence. For example you might have recorded a pretty good bass line that you'd like to use for a song. Maybe it was recorded at 96 beats per minute. The timing might be a bit out at times but on the whole you're pretty pleased with it. The trouble is that you want to use 120 beats per minute for your new song.

Here's another example. Maybe you've recorded a killer slide guitar track. You like it but think it would be pretty clever to give the tune one or two tempo changes. Dynamic splitting is the answer to both these challenges. It works on the principle that you can instruct REAPER to split any media item (or selection of media items) according to criteria that you specify. Basically it works like this:

 You first select the media item (or items) to be split.

 You right click over the item and choose Item processing, Dynamic split items… from the menu.

 This causes the Dynamic split items dialog box to be opened.

 You give it the information that it needs to work out where to split your items. This will essentially either be to split the track at its transients or to use a noise gate to split whenever the audio volume falls below a specified amount. As you will shortly see, each has its separate uses.

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REAPER then "shadow splits" your selected item(s). That is to say, it indicates with a row of colored bars exactly all of the points at which the item will be split if the parameter settings are left as they are.

 You make such adjustments as you wish to the parameter settings until satisfied that they are right.

 You tell REAPER to split the items.

Once split, each slice of the original item will be set to the current timebase. You can set any of the splits to any other timebase you choose.

You can use the items together or individually, according to your needs. Suddenly you've got a whole library of samples!

Dynamic splitting is non-destructive. This means that your original audio files (WAV, MP3, AIF or whatever) remain intact. Nevertheless, if you are going to use this method to build a sample library, it's often a good idea to work on a copy of the original track. This just makes it easier to go back to the original if you wish to use it to make a fresh set of samples. Let's now take a look at an example or two.

9.14.1

Samples

Splitting a Media Item into

In the examples below, a recording of a resonator guitar is selected. We have then chosen Item processing then Dynamic split

items from the context menu. Studying these examples will help you to understand how the settings work. In every case, the At transients option should be enabled. These examples should be sufficient to get you started. After that, it's up to you to experiment according to your particular needs.

Examples

Only a minimal number of options are used here.

If you specify a very low minimum slice length REAPER will seek out transients with a high degree of sensitivity.

This will result in our media item being split into a very large number of items.

This might be suitable, for example, if we are intending to introduce tempo changes to the song. The larger the number of samples and the shorter their length, the more sensitive and immediate will be the track's response to any such changes.

Consider the two examples shown.

Notice (right) that Best to worst has been selected as the method for constraining slice length. This option is likely to be preferred when splitting at transients. Notice also that we have specified that we want to keep the beat locations unchanged even if the tempo changes.

Now let's see what happens when we bring some of the other options into play.

In the case shown above right we have set a largish minimum slice length with the result that our media items are quite longer. This might be appropriate if we are creating samples to be used with a software synthesizer.

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However, we might want to do some more fine tuning.

In this next example (lower right), we have increased the minimum slice length and used the Reduced splits option to further reduce the number of splits. In this particular case, these settings might be about right for creating our sample library from this bass guitar track.

Before splitting it might in some instances be worth considering whether you wish to enable the noise gate settings to allow you to also remove silence. Whether you would do this would depend largely on the instrument in question and the nature of the tune and arrangement. If the instrument is played continuously and produces an audio signal similar to that shown above, then there may be little point in using the noise gate.

Below we can see how part of our original media item now looks after splitting.

This next example (right) shows splitting at transients with a noise gate employed to remove unwanted background sounds such as drawing breath from a vocal track.

In this example if we were to set the gate threshold too low, too many unwanted sounds would still get thru. If we set it too high, we risk removing some of the quieter vocal material. You are likely to find that a fair amount of experimenting is needed to get the settings just right.

9.14.2

Changing the Project Tempo

Once an item has been dynamically split, you can create time signature markers for changes in tempo to which your music will respond when played back. To create these, follow this sequence:

1. Right click over the timeline and choose Insert tempo/time signature marker… from the context menu.

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2. Specify your required changes in Beats per Minute or time signature. If you wish, you can select the option for a gradual tempo transition between markers.

3. Click on OK.

You can double-click on any time signature marker to edit its settings and you can drag it along the timeline to change its position.

These settings, along with more information about time signature markers and their behavior (including editing and moving markers) can be found near the end of Chapter 10.

9.14.3

Creating a Chromatic MIDI Item

When dynamic splitting you can select the option to Create

chromatic MIDI item from slices.

This causes a MIDI item to be created that creates one

MIDI event for each slice, moving up the chromatic scale.

One common application of this is for sample triggering.

Suppose that you have a groove that you have assembled from various items from different sources. You can now create chromatic midi from the items and then load those items into a sample player, each mapped to the next note in sequence. The midi will then play the groove. Moving the midi notes around changes the groove. It is also quite easy to swap out exactly what it is that is being triggered.

Another example is hit replacement. You can dynamic split a drum part, creating chromatic midi from it. You then have one velocity-sensitive midi note for each hit. It's then a straightforward job to delete a bad hit and use the midi note to trigger a drum sample. Alternately, you can use the whole midi track to trigger a drum sample to double a recorded part (thereby fattening it).

The chromatic MIDI item can, of course, be edited like any other MIDI item with the MIDI Editor, and used to play any synthesizer or sample player. A comprehensive section on using the MIDI Editor can be found later in this User Guide, at Chapter 13.

Leading Pad, Trailing Pad and Fade Pad settings

The examples used in this section have not made use of any of these three settings.

Leading pad is the amount in milliseconds (ms) by which the split point is pushed left of the transient or gate open point when you click on Split. This works both with transient splits and gate open splits. Dynamic split works out where to split and then pads it left by your ms value.

Trailing pad pushes the actual split point to the right by the number of ms specified., and by that same value to the right of the gate close point in gated splits. The actual splits in this case will be to the left and right of the dark area boundaries if you use both When gate opens and When gate closes.

The Fade pad option, if enabled, will fade in and out over the length of those pads.

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9.14.4

Saving and Using Samples

After splitting, you can save any of the individual slices as samples. To save an individual sample, simply right click over it and choose Glue items from the context menu. The sample wave file can then be imported for use with any VSTi sampling plug-in, such as ReaSamplOmatic5000.

Remember also that if you save the original file with the split items, you can return to it as often as you need to whenever you wish to use it to create more samples.

9.15

REX File Support

REX files consist of sets of groove slices. They are created in and exported from a program called Recycle for the purpose of being used in the creation of tempo based music. You can import these files into REAPER either using the Insert, Media command or by dragging and dropping from the Media Explorer. When you do this, they will automatically position themselves according to the current tempo.

Once you have imported your REX files into REAPER, you can manipulate and use them in exactly the same ways as you can use other media items that have had dynamic splitting applied within REAPER.

For example, imported REX slices can be made to keep their beat location even if the project tempo is changed.

In your Preferences settings, under Media, Video/REX/Misc there are a number of options available for determining how your REX files behave.

You can choose to import REX files as Beat slices that dynamically adjust to tempo change or as A

single loopable item at the current project tempo, or ask REAPER to Always prompt.

You can also specify REX tail behavior as any of Preserve all slice tails, Chop all but the final slice tail.

Chop only the final slice tail, or Chop all slice tails

The Action list also includes a useful action Item: explode REX item into beat slices. This can be assigned its own shortcut key if you wish.

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10 - Pitch and Time Manipulation

10 Pitch and Time Manipulation

10.1

Changing Pitch for Individual Media Items

The pitch of any item can be changed from the

Media Item Properties dialog box. The pitch is measured in semitones. You can enter a number to raise or lower the pitch of any item by that number of semitones, or you can type in a multiplier, such as x1.5.

Notice that there is a drop down list that you can use to select your preferred Pitch shifting /

Time stretching algorithm. Choices are:

 Project default (from Project Settings).

 SoundTouch 1.9.0 (allows stretch rates up to 1,000 times and up to 64 channels).

 Dirac LE (better quality, more CPU intensive).

 Simple windowed.

 Élastique 2.28 or 3 Pro (best).

Élastique 2.28 or 3 Efficient (less resource intensive than elastique Pro).

 Élastique 2.28 or 3 SOLOIST (suitable for monophonic items).

If you choose one of these élastique algorithms, you should also select a Parameter from the different options available for each of the three algorithms. To learn more about these and other features of elastique, go to the zplane web site

http://www.zplane.de/index.php

.

To open the Media Item Properties dialog box for any item, first select the item, then press F2. The default algorithm is determined by your Project Settings. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to easily and quickly change the pitch of any selected item or group of items without needing to open the Media Item Properties box:

Keyboard Shortcut

Description

Shift 9

Shift 7

Shift 0

Shift 8

Move pitch down one semitone.

Move pitch down one cent.

Move pitch up one semitone.

Move pitch up one cent.

You can also use a take pitch envelope for pitch changes. Right click on the take (or media item if only one take) and choose Take, Take pitch envelope from the menu.

For more adventurous pitch shifting escapades you can try using one of the pitch manipulation plug-ins that are supplied with REAPER. Simply open the

FX window for a track, click on Add, then in the filter list type pitch to discover what is available.

Shown here is the JS Pitch:

Octavedown plug-in. Other JS pitch shift plug-ins include fft-ps, mdct-shift, octaveup, pitch2, pitchdown and superpitch. These are each suited to particular tasks, but the most powerful of the available pitch shift plug-ins is ReaPitch.

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10.2

Using ReaPitch

Simply insert the VST ReaPitch plug-in into a track’s FX chain and you have a powerful pitch manipulation tool at your disposal.

For example, you can use

ReaPitch to create vocal harmonies.

The first illustration (right) shows

ReaPitch inserted into the FX chain for a vocal track. The

Elastique Soloist algorithm has been selected, together with the

Monophonic parameter. Notice that the pitch has been shifted down by 25 cents and the effect panned 50% right.

In the second illustration, you can see that we have added a second shifter, this time taking the pitch up by 25 cents and panning the effect 50% left, thus creating an extra harmony.

Notice also that in the second illustration we have also adjusted the panning and the mix of the wet and dry signals to produce a more pleasing overall effect.

Pitch Shifting and Channel

Splitting

If you intend to do a lot of work in this area, you should definitely take the time to get on top of

REAPER’s channel splitting capabilities. These are explained in some detail in the section

More REAPER Routing

Examples (and elsewhere). Look especially at the example headed

Channel Splitting and Pitch

Shifting.

With channel splitting, you can, for example, not only create several vocal harmonies, but also apply different FX plug-ins or plug-in chains (such as Reverb or

Delay) to each of your different harmonies.

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10.3

Using ReaPitch with Multiple Tracks

We’ve already looked at how REAPER can send audio streams from one track to another. Let’s now have a look at how this feature might be used with ReaPitch.

In the example shown on the left, sends are used to send a signal from a Lead Vocal Track to two other tracks.

Each of these other tracks has its own FX chain which includes

ReaPitch, and of course the pan and volume faders for these tracks can be controlled independently of each other and of the lead vocal.

Chapter 16 will help you to understand how to go about setting up a signal flow such as this.

10.4

Instrument Tuning with ReaTune

ReaTune is a plug-in that can be used to help you correct the pitch on your recorded media items. This is commonly used with vocal tracks.

However, it can also be used to help you to tune an instrument – see illustration on right.

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10.5

Pitch Correction with ReaTune

The plug-in ReaTune can be used for pitch correction. It can be used in either manual or automatic mode. In either mode, élastique SOLOIST is a suitable algorithm.

Automatic mode is illustrated top right. To apply it, first insert the

ReaTune plug-in into a track’s FX window. You should then:

 Select the page headed

Correction.

 Enable the Automatic

pitch correction

option.

 Select the required algorithm and parameter.

 Specify the correct key and play.

ReaTune will then do the rest for you!

Manual mode is illustrated below right. To use it, first insert the ReaTune plugin into a track’s FX window. You should then:

 Select the page headed Manual

Correction.

 Enable the Manual

pitch correction

option, and other options as preferred.

 Enable or disable the other options as required. These are

Update, Prevent

octave shifts, and

Prevent overlapping

segments.

 Use your mouse (click and drag) to draw your corrections. You can also Clear the display at any time.

10.6

Changing the Project Play Rate

You can adjust the play rate for the whole project, using the Transport Bar. The project’s default pitch shift mode will be applied. You can use any of these methods:

 Click in the Rate edit box and type a new value (e.g., to speed up by 10% type 1.1)

 Click the mouse in this edit box and scroll the mousewheel, up to increase play rate or down to decrease it.

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Drag the horizontal fader adjacent to the play rate edit box.

In addition to these methods, you can right click over the same edit box or the play rate fader and select one of the options from the menu.

Notice that from the menu you can:

 Reset the playrate to 1.0.

 Increase or decrease the playback rate by any of the values listed.

 Enable or disable the option to Preserve pitch in audio items when changing master playrate.

 Apply play rate to the current BPM.

 Set the playrate fader range according to any of the available options.

Note: If the playrate fader is not visible in your transport bar, you can display it by right-clicking over any part of the Transport Bar background and selecting the option to Show play rate control.

10.7

Time Stretching

The Take properties and Take pitch

shift/time stretch mode sections of the

Media Item Properties dialog box (F2) can be used to stretch or shrink the time for an item.

To do this, adjust the Playback Rate. In the example shown (right), playback rate is being increased by 2% and the option to Preserve

Pitch has been selected. Élastique 3 Pro has been selected for the algorithm to be used.

To open the Item Properties dialog box for any item, first select the item, then press F2. To make the same change for a number of items, do this:

1. Select all of the required items.

2. Press F2.

3. When the Media Item Properties dialog box appears, identify those properties where changes can be made to several items at once. These include pitch adjust and playback rate (see above).

4. Make your changes and click on OK.

When the Media Item Properties dialog is opened for more then one item at once, some of the options will been dimmed and are not available when setting properties for multiple items. (such as Take envelopes and Rename file). Most options, however, are available.

Another method that you can use to adjust the playback rate of any media item (or selected group of media items) is this:

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1. Select all the required items.

2. Hover mouse over the end of one of the items until it turns to a double-headed arrow, as you would for slip-editing. Hold down Alt, click and drag mouse, left to increase playback rate, right to slow it down.

3. Release the mouse when finished.

Notice that if you have enabled the option Display media item

pitch/playrate if set

(Preferences, Appearance, Media) any changes to Pitch or Playback

Rate will be displayed on or above the Media Item(s) in Arrange View.

10.8

Stretch Markers

Stretch markers can be used to speed up or slow down part of an item or selection or group of items. They can be inserted at the current play cursor position or at the start and end of a time selection. Unlike standard project markers (which apply to the project as a whole), stretch markers are only applied to the item(s) selected at the time they are inserted. By dragging these markers left or right, the tempo of these items can be changed.

To create stretch markers, follow this sequence:

Position the play cursor at the point where you want to insert a single marker, or make a time selection starting and ending where you wish to insert two stretch markers.

Select the item or items to which you want the marker(s) to be added

Either right click over a selected item, or choose Item from the main menu.

Choose Stretch markers then either Add stretch marker at current position to insert a single marker or Add stretch markers at time selection to insert a pair of markers at the start and end of a time selection.

Stretch markers can then be dragged left or right with the mouse to adjust timing. Holding Shift Alt while dragging the first of a pair of stretch markers will move both markers together, preserving the distance and timing between them. Other modifier keys are listed on the table on the next page. Meanwhile, here are some examples showing how stretch markers can be manipulated.

A stretch marker is inserted in this item at the position shown.

As it is dragged left, timing is made faster before (left of) the marker and slower after (right of) the marker.

In this second example, stretch markers are added at a time selection.

Left marker dragged right to speed up area between markers, slowing down area before. Notice new stretch markers are automatically added to the left and at the start of the item.

The same marker is dragged back left as Shift Alt are held.

Timing before the marker changes but the timing between the original two markers does not change, as both markers and the area between them are dragged together.

Stretch markers can be snapped to grid using Snap stretch markers to grid or Snap stretch markers

within time selection to grid from the Stretch markers menu.

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A stretch marker can be removed by holding Alt while clicking on it. Markers can also be removed using either of the Stretch markers commands (from the context menu) Remove all stretch markers or Remove all

stretch markers within time selection. Removing stretch markers will cause an item's timing to revert to what it was before the markers were added. To make any changes to the item permanent, instead of removing the stretch markers manually you can Glue the item (from the item context menu, or the main Item menu).

Where a number of items have been selected, markers will be added to the items in that selection. As long as they remain selected, moving one marker in the selection will also move the others. This can be over-ridden by holding Ctrl while dragging the marker.

Where items have been grouped, markers added to one item in the group will also be added to other items in that group. By default they will be moved together when one is moved. This can be over-ridden by holding Ctrl when dragging the marker. Grouping items is explained in Chapter 7. The following example shows how stretch markers can be used with grouped items.

These two items have been grouped. Selecting and adding stretch markers to either item causes the markers to also be added to the other.

Adjusting the marker position for one item by default makes the same adjustment on other items in the group.

Various modifier keys can be used in conjunction with your mouse to modify the behavior when a stretch markers are dragged. These defaults can be changed by selecting Media item stretch markers on the Mouse

Modifiers page of REAPER's preferences (see Chapter 14).

Default Mouse Modifiers when dragging stretch markers

(none)

Shift

Ctrl

Shift+Ctrl

Alt

Shift+Alt

Ctrl+Alt

Shift+Ctrl+Alt

Move stretch marker.

Move stretch marker ignoring snap.

Move stretch marker ignoring selection/grouping.

Move stretch marker ignoring snap and selection/grouping.

Move contents under the stretch marker.

Move stretch marker pair.

Move contents under the stretch marker ignoring selection/grouping.

Move stretch marker pair ignoring snap.

In addition to the commands and mouse actions explained above, please note that:

The Item Properties dialog box includes an option to optimize stretch markers for tonal content.

The Dynamic Split Items dialog (see Chapter 9) has an option to Replace stretch markers. If selected, existing stretch markers will be removed from the item(s) and replaced with dynamic splits according to the dialog box settings.

Several Actions are available for managing and working with stretch markers, for example to go to the nearest, next or previous stretch marker. For more information about REAPER's Actions and Actions Editor, see Chapter 14.

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10.9

Using Time Signature/Tempo Change Markers

The default project Beats per Minute and Time Signature for any project are determined by the values assigned in the Project Settings window. You can change this for the entire song by any of these methods:

 Display the Project Settings window (Alt Enter) and change it there, or

 Press W to return the edit cursor to the start of the song, then either ...

 Type your value in the BPM edit box (shown here) or Time Signature edit box on the transport bar, or ...

 Hover your mouse over the BPM edit box on the transport bar and scroll the mousewheel up or down.

If you wish to make time signature or tempo changes within a song, your Project Settings should use the default setting Beats (position, length, rate).

The project tempo map envelope can be used for changes (see Chapter 17). This works for the most part just like any other automation envelope. Note, however, that editing multiple points at once on this envelope causes each point to be adjusted pro rata, not by a constant BPM value.

You can make changes within a song, by inserting a Time Signature/Tempo Change Marker. This changes the beat after the marker position. To change these at any current cursor point, use the BPM or time signature edit box in the transport bar, or:

1. Position the edit cursor at the required place in the song.

2. From the menu, choose the Insert command, then Time

signature/tempo change marker (or press Shift C).

3. Specify your requirements in the dialog box (right). Available choices include BPM, whether to Gradually transition

tempo to next marker, Set new time signature , Allow

a partial measure before this marker and (where the metronome is enabled and uses a beat pattern) to define a

New metronome pattern starting at this point.

4. Click OK.

Time Signature markers can later be modified, for example by editing (double-click on marker) or moving them (drag and drop).

Note, however, the following:

Tempo/time signature markers are always pinned to beat position rather than time.

Manually editing time signature markers requires them to be placed at the start of a measure.

With snap enabled (Chapter 7), time signature changes snap to bars, tempo changes snap to beats.

With snap disabled (Chapter 7), moving time signature markers will modify the preceding tempo if necessary to ensure that the project contains only complete measures.

Time signature changes that truncate the previous measure are marked with a *.

Time signature correction may be problematic when a project contains linear tempo transitions.

One tempo/time signature marker cannot be moved past another.

Notice that your Ruler context menu includes a number of other commands relating to project tempo and measure – these are shown on the right.

Note also that the Preferences, Audio

Seeking page includes the toggle option

Playback position follows project

timebase when changing tempo – see Chapter 21.

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11 - The Mixer and Master

11 The Mixer and Master

11.1

Introduction

Until now, most of the emphasis has been on working in Arrange View. This is hardly surprising, as that is the area where you will find yourself spending most of your time (at least with audio) and doing most of your work.

As your mix progresses, however, you will find that the

REAPER Mixer becomes more important. The contents of this section should help you to familiarise yourself thoroughly with the REAPER Mixer and its various features and capabilities. You will also learn more about how to get the best out of the REAPER Master.

Mixer display is toggled on and off using the View,

Mixer command (Ctrl M).

Note: Some of the screen shots shown in this chapter use themes other than REAPER 5 default. The commands and actions, however are the same regardless of which theme you are using.

11.2

Mixer Commands

The Mixer menu (above right) is opened by rightclicking over the title bar or any any vacant area of the mixer window, or by clicking over the word “Master” on the Master track, or (when docked) right-clicking on the Mixer tab in the docker.

This menu offers you much flexibility as to how the mixer is displayed. For example, you can choose whether or not you wish to display (and be able to manage) your FX and sends in the mixer. The main mixer menu options are summarized overleaf.

You can also access the TCP context menu in Mixer view by right-clicking over any track name or number.

11.3

Mixer Layouts and Screensets

Commands on the Mixer menu let you select what is displayed in the mixer: mixer layouts let you decide how it is displayed. Chapter

12 - Project Management Features, covers the topic of layouts (TCP and MCP) in more detail, but for now note the following:

Layouts are created and saved with, and attached to, individual color themes, not within REAPER itself. An example of an alternative mixer layout (Session mixer) is shown here

(left). The theme that you are using might not include this exact same layout. Themes can be downloaded from

stash.reaper.fm

. To select an installed theme, use the

Options, Themes command.

Layouts can be accessed by choosing Set Track Layout then

Mixer Panel from the TCP context menu, or Options,

Layouts from the main menu, or by the View, Screensets/

Layouts command, then selecting the Layouts tab.

Mixer layouts are assigned on a per track basis. If using the context menu, you should first select the tracks for which you want the layout assigned. If using the Screensets/Layouts window you can choose to apply the layouts globally or to selected tracks only.

Before getting too involved with layouts, however, it will pay you to familiarise yourself with the Mixer menu commands and what they do.

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11.4

Mixer Menu Commands and Options

Command Description

Master Track

Show folders

Show normal top level tracks

Show tracks that are in folders

Show tracks that have receives

Scroll view when track activated

Auto-arrange tracks in Mixer

Group folders to left

Leads to a sub-menu of toggle options for Master Track:

Show in mixer

Show on right side of mixer

Show in separate window

Show in docker

The View, Floating Mixer Master command (from REAPER's main menu) can also be used to toggle the floating of the

Mixer Master in its own window.

Determines whether track folders are shown.

Determines whether tracks not in folders are shown.

Determines whether tracks in folders are shown.

Determines whether tracks with receives are shown.

If there is not sufficient room in Mixer view to display all tracks, the mixer will scroll to follow the TCP track selection.

Mixer track order will follow any changes to track order made in the TCP. Disable this if you want to arrange tracks in a different order in the MCP and TCP.

Places track folders to the left. This can be useful at times in bringing all your submix folders, but confusing at other times for separating folders from their child tracks.

Group tracks that have receives to left

Places all tracks with receives to the left. Especially useful if the only tracks with receives are all buses.

Clickable icon for folder tracks to show/hide children

Enables folders to be opened/closed to show/hide child tracks.

Show multiple rows of tracks where size permits

Shows tracks displayed in up to three rows when tracks will not fit in one row and the mixer window has sufficient height.

Show maximum rows even where tracks would fit in less rows

Show sends when size permits

Show FX inserts when size permits

Show FX parameters when size permits

Show track icons in Mixer

Show icon for last track in folder

Dock Mixer in Docker

Close

Causes tracks to be displayed in as many rows as will fit in the track height, regardless of how few tracks there are.

Displays a Sends bin above the track controls.

Displays an FX chain area above the track controls.

Shows FX parameter controls: right-click on any of these to assign control to an FX parameter.

Track icons (if used) will be shown in tracks in the mixer.

Displays the last track in folder icon for last track in folder.

Docks the mixer in the REAPER docker.

Closes the Mixer view.

Tip: Double-click on any track panel in the Mixer to toggle on and off zoom to track in the TCP. This behavior can be changed on the Mouse Modifiers page of your preferences (see Chapter 14). You can also use the

Mouse Modifiers page to add further actions of your own. For example, you could assign Ctrl Double-click to the action Track: Set to custom color … How to assign your own actions is also explained in Chapter 14.

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11.5

Showing and Hiding Types of Mixer Tracks

11 - The Mixer and Master

Take as an example the above project. It has two folders (or parents) - Vocals and Instruments, containing two and three child tracks respectively - and one top level track, called Reverb. There are sends from the two folders to the Reverb track

(which acts as a bus), and the tracks have some FX in them.

The four “Show” commands on the

Mixer menu are used to determine which types of track are displayed.

In the example shown here we might have reached a stage in our mixing where we are happy with the balance within our submix folders and want to focus on getting the balance between the submixes and the level of our vocal and instrument folders and our reverb bus just right.

In this case, we could elect to show not the tracks that are in the folders, but only the folders, tracks that have receives and our master track (on the right). This example also uses a sidebar mixer layout.

The example shown here is a simple one: imagine how useful this feature might be if your project contained perhaps 90 individual tracks inside perhaps a dozen submix folders and with maybe another half dozen buses!

In that case, you might also find one or more of the Show and Group commands to be very handy.

The Mixer menu does not have the facility to specifically hide or unhide named individual tracks. However, this can be done using the Track Manager. The Track Manager will be explored in Chapter 12.

11.6

Working with FX in the Mixer

If you wish, you can do just about all of your FX management working in Mixer view. You can add FX to tracks, move or copy them from one track to another, open the FX window for any plug-in, or open the track's FX chain for more complete FX control. For this to be possible, though, you need to enable on the Mixer menu the option

Show FX inserts when size permits. The table below summarizes these and other activities.

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In order to do this ...

… you do this

Change the order of plug-ins in the FX Chain.

Drag and drop up or down the order.

Copy FX from one track to another (similar to Track View).

Drag and drop FX to FX area on another track.

Display FX context menu

Display the Add FX window.

Display the FX chain and the control window for that plug-in.

Right click on any displayed plug-in name.

Click in any vacant area of the FX area.

Ctrl click on any displayed plug-in name.

Move FX from one track to another.

Open and float a plug-in’s control window.

Remove a plug-in from FX Chain.

Alt drag and drop to another track.

Click on the plug-in name.

Alt click on plug-in name.

Remove all plug-ins from a track’s FX Chain.

Alt click on track’s FX button.

Toggle offline status of a plug-in.

Ctrl shift click on plug-in name.

Toggle bypass state for a plug-in.

Shift click on plug-in name.

In addition, right clicking over the FX area of any track in the Mixer produces a context menu as shown on the right. If you click over an empty part of the FX area then some commands (such as Float FX

configuration) will not be available. If you right click over an actual plug-in name then you will be presented with the full menu. You can use this for any of the following:

Add FX... Opens FX browser for you to add any installed FX plug-in(s),

Quick Add FX Displays a sub-menu of recently used FX: you can select any item from this menu to add to the track's FX chain.

Add FX Chain Displays a menu of FX chains, any of which you can select and insert in this track.

Replace FX... Opens FX browser for you to replace selected FX with any other: any existing routing configuration will be preserved.

Quick replace FX... Opens sub-menu of recently used FX, from which you can choose any item to replace the selected FX.

Float FX configuration Opens the FX window for the selected plug-in.

Show FX chain Opens FX chain for the track: same as clicking on the track's FX button.

Bypass chain Sets FX chain for this track to bypass. Same as clicking on the track's FX enable/disable button.

Bypass FX Sets the individual plug-in to bypass mode.

Offline FX Sets the individual plug-in offline.

Delete FX Removes this plug-in from this track's FX chain.

Rename FX instance Allows you to give an individual name to this particular FX instance.

Track FX Parameter Controls

You can turn your mixer into your own truly customized mixing console by adding controls directly to the mixer track panels for those FX parameters that you find you are most likely to need to tweak most often.

You'll find more useful information about this in Chapter 12, Project Management Features.

Meanwhile, it's easy to get started. Let's see how you would go about creating a console like that shown below.

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Notice the rotary faders for Band 2 and Band 4

EQ gain on every track.

Example

You can use one of your existing project files for this example.

1. Open one of your earlier project files, for example, All Through the Night MARKERS and save it as All

Through the Night MIXER.

2. Display the Mixer. Undock it, and adjust the width and height of this window as you prefer.

3. From the Mixer menu enable Show FX inserts when size

permits and Show FX parameters when size permits.

4. Insert into the first track an instance of ReaEQ.

5. Select the band 3 settings page.

6. Click once on the Gain fader control for this band, then click on the Param button to display the Param menu.

7. Click on Show in track controls.

8. Select the band 2 settings page and click once on the gain fader for this band.

9. Click on the Param button to display the Param menu. Click on Show in

track controls (see above). Close the EQ window.

10. In the mixer, you should now see these two controls displayed for track

1. Drag and drop the ReaEQ from track 1 in turn to each of the other tracks. Save the file.

Note 1: These controls can also be assigned within the Mixer. Right-click over the control button, then choose the FX and parameter from the context menu (see above). Choose

All parameters if you wish to add a control for each of the FX parameters.

Note 2: These controls will be added to the track control panel as well as the mixer panel. You could of course have created as many controls as you like, not just these two. This exercise was just an example.

Note 3: When we revisit this topic in Chapter 12, you will see that we have a couple of options up our sleeves for making it easy to have controls like this automatically added to new tracks as they are created.

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11.7

Working with Sends in the Mixer

Enabling the Show sends when size permits option from the Mixer menu will cause your existing sends to be displayed, each with a small rotary fader to enable you to adjust the send volume level directly from the mixer panel. Right clicking over an existing send causes a menu to be displayed with the options shown here.

Right clicking over an empty part of a track's sends area will produce a menu with only one command – Show

track routing window. This can also be displayed by left clicking anywhere on the track's empty sends area.

Show send parameters Opens a small window with parameters

(volume, pan, etc.) for that send.

Mute send Toggles the send's mute status.

Remove send Deletes the send altogether.

Show track routing window Opens the track's routing window.

Go to send destination track Selects the send's destination track.

As well as this menu, a number of other techniques are available for creating, editing and managing your sends. You can drag and drop from the ROUTING button of one track to another (as in the TCP) to create sends, but using the sends area of a track's channel strip for this purpose offers you more options. This can be seen in the following table:

In order to do this ...

Add a send from one track to another.

Add a send from one track to another and open control window for that send.

Add a send from one track to another and disable send from first track to the master.

Add several sends to one track in one action

Add several receives to a track in one action

Copy a send from one track to another

Delete a send.

Display a context menu.

Open entire routing window for a track.

Open the control window for a send.

Raise or lower the send volume level.

Toggle a send’s mute status on or off.

… you do this

Drag and drop from one track's send area or

ROUTING button to the other. In the latter case, a send control window will be opened.

Ctrl drag and drop from one track's send area or

ROUTING button to the other.

Alt drag and drop from one track's send area or

ROUTING button to the other. Use this method to create sends from several source tracks to the same destination track to create a traditional submix.

Select all sending tracks. Hold Shift while dragging and dropping from send area or ROUTING button of any selected track to receiving track.

Select all tracks from which you want the sends to come. Hold Shift while dragging and dropping from the ROUTING button of the receiving track

(unselected) to any of the selected tracks.

Drag and drop the send to another track.

Alt click on the send.

Right click on any send

Ctrl click on a send or Click in empty part of sends area or Click on the ROUTING button.

Click on the send – allows you to change volume and/or pan, specify send/receive channels, mute etc.

Click and drag on a send’s control knob.

Shift click on the send.

Note that in the above table, those actions which use the routing button can be carried out in both the Track

Panel and the Mixer Panel.

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11.8

Showing Track Icons in the Mixer

The option to Show track icons in Mixer (from the Mixer menu) can be enabled to ensure that any track icons that you have allocated will be displayed at the head of the track's mixer panel.

Track icons are inserted using the Custom track icons, then Set track icon... commands from the TCP menu. This menu can also be accessed from within the Mixer by right-clicking over a track's name.

11.9

Managing the Mixer

Note: The sample layouts used in the illustrations in this section are illustrative only and have been selected for learning purposes. They will not necessarily look exactly the same as the layouts that you are using.

You might find yourself faced with conflicting objectives when you want to display track FX inserts, sends and so on all at once and for all tracks, especially if you have a large number of tracks.

One option for displaying more tracks is to enable Show

multiple rows of tracks where space exists. Shown here is an example of what might happen when you enable this option.

The problem has arisen that all the tracks have been squeezed into the window – but now there doesn't seem to be enough room to show all the features that we need to see.

In this example, there appears to be not enough room to display all of the track FX and the sends. When this happens you have two main options. These are either to make manual on-screen adjustments to the relative size of the different parts of the track panels, or to use a thinner mixer layout.

Making manual on-screen adjustments.

If, in the example here, you hover your mouse on the boundary between the FX area and the hidden sends area for any track, the mouse cursor will change to a double-headed arrow, as shown on the right. Finding the right spot can be a little tricky at first, so be patient.

You can then either click and drag up or down to drag the boundary up or down for that one track or hold Ctrl while you drag up or down to move the boundary for all tracks.

By holding Ctrl and dragging (in this case) up, we are able to make more room to display the sends as well as the FX inserts if we wish to, as shown in the second of these illustrations.

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In order to do this ….

Adjust relative height of elements for the current track only.

Adjust relative height of elements for all selected tracks.

Adjust relative height of elements for all track.

… you do this

Click/Drag up or down

Alt Click/Drag up or down

Ctrl Click/Drag up or down

Here we have adjusted the boundaries between the different elements (track controls and FX inserts) so as to make all of the FX visible. For example, Track 5 has no sends, but more space has been allocated to displaying the full list of track FX

We have then made some further manual adjustments - for example, the VU meter on the master has been made taller again by dragging up its top boundary.

Themes and mixer layouts.

REAPER's default theme includes many layouts, a sample of which are shown in this chapter. Listed below right are some of the layouts included with the REAPER 5 default theme. In addition, other themes are available, which have their own layouts. Themes can be downloaded from

stash.reaper.fm and installed by dragging the .ReaperThemeZip file into REAPER's arrange view. Installed themes can be selected from the main menu, using the Options,

Themes command.

Then, to choose a mixer layout for your tracks you can just do this:

1. Select the tracks whose layout you wish to change. For all tracks, just select one then press Ctrl A.

2. Right click over any selected track name then choose Set track

layout then Mixer Panel then select from the menu. The layouts that you will see listed are attached to whichever theme you are using and may not be the same as those listed here.

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This is an example of another of the mixer layouts (Strip Full Controls) included with the REAPER 5 default theme. To browse thru, and download, the available REAPER themes go to

http://stash.reaper.fm/.

Sample screen shots of some of the other track and mixer layouts supplied with the REAPER 5 default theme are shown in Chapter 12.

11.10 Track Control Menus

The same functions that are available in the track control panels of your track view are generally also available in the mixer control panels. These functions are covered in detail in Section 2 of this User Guide. For example:

 Right clicking over the background area or Track Name for any track panel in the mixer displays the track context menu.

 Tracks can be armed in the Mixer for recording.

 Clicking on a track’s ROUTING button displays the track’s Routing Window. Right clicking on this button displays its routing menu.

 Clicking on a track’s FX button displays the FX chain for that track. Right clicking on this button displays a context menu.

 Right clicking over a track’s volume or pan fader causes the Volume Control or Pan Law window to be displayed.

 Similarly, the Record Arm, Record Monitoring and Select Record Mode buttons serve the same purposes as they do in Track View.

 Tracks can also be muted or soloed in the Mixer view. Both buttons use the same mouse modifiers and have the same context menus as they do in the TCP.

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11.11 Introducing Windows Screen Sets

Windows screen sets can be used to save and recall complete on-screen layouts of your REAPER windows, including Arrange view, Mixer view, the Navigator, the

Routing/Grouping matrix, and more. We'll examine their capabilities in more detail in Chapter 12, along with some examples in action.

Using Windows screen sets to save different combinations of Mixer settings can be a useful step towards fully understanding what screen sets are and how they work. They can be a great time saver, because the more you use REAPER, the more you will find yourself settling on perhaps three or four different layouts that you prefer for use in different circumstances. This will depend mainly on factors such as:

Number of Tracks: your preferred mixer layout is likely to be different for a project with only three or four tracks from what it would be for a project with perhaps 20 or 30 tracks. For larger projects you are more likely to show multiple rows.

Project Stage: the information that you would like to see in your Mixer may vary according, for example, to whether you are at the recording, early mixing or final tweaking stage of your project.

Windows screen sets are globally available in all projects. They are stored in a screensets.ini file in your

\Application Data\REAPER folder. This means that you can use any project to create a screen set, and then use that same screen set with any other project. You should find the following summary information useful.

In order to do this ….

Create a Windows Screen Set

Load/Recall a Windows Screen

Set

… you do this

Arrange your Windows, including the Mixer and its various options and settings, on screen, exactly as you want it.

Choose the View Screensets/Layouts command (Ctrl E).

Select the Windows tab.

Click on any item number to select it, then on Save to open the

Save Windows Screeenset window (see above).

Select as many options as you require, e.g. Main window position,

Tool window positions (ie. all other windows), Docker selected tab,

Mixer flags (i.e. whether inserts, sends, FX, etc are visible), Layouts,

Last focus (currently focussed window).

Click on Save.

You can accept any default shortcut Load key that is shown (e.g. F7 for windows screen set #1) or click on Edit shortcuts to open the

Actions List Editor and assign your own. The Actions List is explained in Chapter 14.

Either use the keyboard shortcut (where one exists), or

Choose the View Screensets/Layouts command (Ctrl E).

Select the Windows tab and double-click on the required screen set name.

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11.12 Mixer Appearance Preferences

REAPER's Preferences window does not have a section specifically labelled Mixer, but there are several places where your choices will affect the Mixer and its appearance.

One of these is the Theme development/tweaker window, accessible from the action list editor. Choose the Actions, Show action list command, enter theme in the filter window then select and Run the action Theme

development: Show theme tweak/configuration window. The action list editor is explained in depth in Chapter 14.

Click on any element name in the displayed list, choose a new color from the color picker window and click on OK. Use the Save Theme... button if you want to save your changes.

Mixer FX text normal color

Mixer FX text bypassed color

Mixer FX text offline color

Mixer sends text normal color

Mixer sends text muted color

Mixer sends text MIDI hardware color

Mixer sends level color

Mixer FX knob text normal color

Mixer FX knob text bypassed color

Mixer FX knob text offline color

Whether you want the VU meters to be interlaced.

VU meter clip indicator color

VU meter top color

VU meter middle color

VU meter bottom color

VU meter interlace/edge color

VU meter show MIDI activity

Under Options, Preferences, Appearance, Track Control Panels you will find a couple of options that you might be able to use to customize your mixer appearance by the use of color coding. Control of these options is disabled by the some color themes (including the default, which locks these options on). These are to Set

track label background to custom track colors and to Tint track panel backgrounds. Any colors selected using the context menu Custom track colors command (see Chapter 5) will be applied to the track panels in your Mixer. Shown below is an example with custom colors applied and using the settings of the default theme.

If you wish to be able to change these and various media item coloring preference options, one way is to use a theme that allows this. An example (which in most respects closely resembles the default theme) can be found at

http://stash.reaper.fm/theme/1621/Default%205.0%20Nitpicky%20Edition

.

One final preference setting to note is the

Show in mixer

option under

Project,

Track/Send

Defaults. By default, this option is enabled, which means that new tracks as they are added are automatically shown in the Mixer. You should disable this preference if you wish to change this default behavior. This setting can be overridden for individual tracks using the Track

Manager. This is explained in Chapter 12.

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11.13 Stereo and Dual Panning

The stereo panner and the dual panner are designed to give you more control over how you pan stereo tracks.

The default pan law (stereo balance/mono pan) gives you a single pan control which moves the sound between the left and right speakers.

However, a stereo track is made up of two channels – left and right. You can see these on any stereo wave file that you record or import into any project. The output of one channel (the top waveform) is normally routed 100% left, the other (bottom waveform) 100% right. Using the dual panner or the width panner you are able to change this in one of two different ways.

The dual panner (shown below right)) is easier to understand. Each of the two pan controls contains one of the channels. Pan the first of these 100% left and the second 100% right and you will hear the first channel thru the left speaker only and the second thru the right speaker only. Reverse these and you will now hear the first channel only thru the right speaker and the second only thru the left channel. Pan both fully left and you will hear both thru the left speaker only. You can adjust both pan controls independently to place each channel exactly where you want it. For example, if you set both controls dead center you will hear exactly the same mix of the two channels thru both speakers.

The stereo panner is in some respects more subtle. You can use the width control to adjust the mix of the two individual channels of a stereo media item, folder or submix, and the balance panner to position that overall mix further to the left or the right.

To help you understand this, let's work thru a relatively simple demonstration.

Displaying the Dual Panner or Stereo Panner

Any track's dual or stereo panner can be shown by right-clicking over the pan fader and selecting the required pan mode. You are most likely to want to do this for a track which contains stereo media items, or which is a folder, or acts as a bus or submix.

Example

In this example we will first create a stereo file in order to help us experiment with the use of the width panner.

We will then get a little more ambitious and use it on a submix. This will include rendering the mono media items on two current tracks a single stereo file. The topic of rendering will be covered in detail in Chapter 20.

1. Open the file All Through the Night.RPP and save it as All Through the Night WIDTH.RPP.

2. Mute all tracks except the Guitar Body and the Bouzouki.

3. Pan the Guitar Body 100% left and the Bouzouki 100% right.

4. Choose the Render command from the File menu. Make sure that you set Channels to Stereo, and select Master mix and Entire project. Select output format MP3 and Add rendered items to new

tracks in project (see next page).

5. Click on Render 1 File.

6. After a few seconds, the rendered file will be added as a new track. Give the track a suitable name. It should resemble that shown here.

7. In this rendered track, the guitar makes up the audio on one channel, the bouzouki on the other channel.

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8. Solo and play this track.

9. Adjust the pan control slowly, first fully left, then fully right, then back to the center. As you do so, one channel will gradually fade away. Panned full left you will hear only the guitar, full right only the bouzouki. Move the pan back to the center.

10. Selected this track in the TCP, right click over the pan control and choose Dual Pan option from the pan mode drop down list (explained overleaf).

11. Play the song. Slowly move the top pan control to 100% right.

You will hear both instruments in the right speaker only.

12. Move the lower pan control to

100%% left. Now you will hear the guitar in the right channel only, the bouzouki in the left channel only – the opposite of what you started with.

13. Experiment moving these faders.

When finished, move the top pan control to 100% left and the lower pan control to 100% right.

Save the file.

14. Now change the pan mode for this track to Stereo Pan.

15. Play the song. At first you will hear only the guitar in the left speaker, only the bouzouki in the right speaker. Slowly move the lower (width) panner from 100% right towards the centre (0W). As you do so, the two instruments will tend to blend more together.

16. With width set at 0W, move the top (pan) control fully left. The mix will now be heard thru one speaker only. Move it back to the center. Save the file.

Now try this:

1. Unsolo and mute the stereo track.

2. Create a folder called Instruments just after the Vocal track. Select Stereo pan mode for this folder.

3. Make the two guitar tracks and the bouzouki tracks child tracks of this folder. Adjust the volumes and pan settings of the individual tracks and the folder to get a nice mix. Pan the different tracks well apart.

4. Use the width control on the folder. Experiment with using this to bring the instruments closer together or further apart. Use the pan control to position the overall mix further left or right. You can still adjust pan settings for individual child tracks within the folder as well if you wish.

Tip: This technique can do wonders when you are mixing vocals, including vocal duets and vocal harmonies!

Pan Modes

By default, the stereo width is applied before the pan/balance control. To select a different pan mode, right-click over either the pan or width control fader and choose from the drop down list. The three modes are:

Stereo Balance/Mono Pan: The track is treated as mono, even if it contains stereo media. Set to center, you hear the same signal equally thru both speakers. Set hard right, you hear it in the right speaker only.

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Stereo Pan Lets you control side (pan) and width separately. Side means that the stereo image is set more to the left or right, and width means how far apart the left and right channel are in the stereo image. With side set to center and width set to 100%, you hear the left channel in the left speaker and the right channel in the right speaker. With side set to center and width set to 0%, you hear both channels equally in the left and right speakers. With side set hard right, you hear both channels equally in the right speaker, regardless of the width setting.

Dual Pan: Lets you control both channels separately. The left knob sets the left channel more left or right, the right knob sets the right channel more left or right. With left set hard left and right set hard right, you hear the left channel in the left speaker and the right channel in the right speaker. With left and right both set to center, you hear both channels equally in the left and right speakers. With left and right both set hard right, you hear both channels equally in the right speaker.

11.14 Master Track Options and Settings

The mixer Master Track controls has the same functions as when the Master Track when shown in Track View. Note the Output button (above - by default labelled Mono):

 Left click on the Output button to toggle between Stereo and

Mono modes.

 Right click on the Output button to set any one of four available Mono modes (above right).

Left click on the FX button to display the master FX Chain.

 Right click on the FX button for the Add FX context menu.

If the FX chain for the Master is displayed, then you can use all and any of the FX management keyboard shortcuts that you can use on your tracks.

 Right click over the VU area to display the settings that you can use to control what is displayed in the VU and how it is displayed (above right).

 This includes the option to display output in multichannel mode (e.g. when working with surround sound). Disabling this option will ensure a two channel display.

11.15 Master Hardware Outputs

Output from the master can be directed to one or more of your available hardware outputs. This can be done using the routing matrix. The master routing button (in the Mixer) can also be used to set up and manage your hardware output or outputs.

 Right click on the ROUTING button to display a menu of hardware output options. These can be toggled on and off in any permutation that you require.

 Left Click on the ROUTING button to display the master track outputs window. This can be used to control the levels and panning of the signals to the hardware outputs.

Notice (below) that for each output you can independently control any or all of the following:

Toggle Mute on/off.

Set Volume level.

Toggle phase invert.

Set panning position.

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11.16 Master Track Channels

The topic of routing and channel splitting is one that recurs throughout this user guide. The concept itself starts as a relatively simple one, but from those simple beginnings it can grow into something as complex and as complicated as you like. You'll find no shortage of examples in Chapter 16.

You can use channels to send two copies of the same signal to two different places. You can then do separate things to each signal before joining them up again. Below is a relatively simple example. The example itself may or may not be something that you’ll ever want to do, but that’s not the point. The point is that it will help you to understand what channel splitting is about and how to do it.

Let’s take an example of using multiple channels (two stereo pairs in fact) for our master. We can use this to feed some effect (such as reverb) into our signal chain, then send the effect (and only the effect) out to our headphones (to enable us to assess it), while sending the overall final mix to our speakers. In order to work thru this example, you will need a sound card with at least four audio outputs.

Example

This exercise will almost certainly be too complex for the novice user, and as such is recommended for the more experienced only. Otherwise, you might wish to return to it after you have completed Chapter 16.

This diagram shows what we are going to achieve. It assumes that our audio signal flows from left to right.

First we will create the necessary extra Channels for the Master Track.

The audio coming into our Master from the mix will be split between Channels 1/2 and Channels 3/4. The signal that is passed to Channels 3/4 will be fed thru a Reverb plug-in then directly out to our headphones. It will also be passed back into a Compressor plug-in, where it will be mixed back into the original incoming signal. The final mix will then be fed to the speakers.

1. Open the file All Through The Night.rpp and save it as All Through The Night MASTER.RPP.

2. Pan the two guitar tracks roughly 40% left and 40% right respectively. Pan the Bouzouki about 15% left, the Vox around 10% right. Quickly adjust the volume levels for each track to suit, especially to avoid clipping in the Master. Save the file.

3. View the Mixer and enable the options to Show FX

inserts when size permits and Show sends when

size permits.

4. Make sure your Speakers and Headphones are each connected to different paired sound card outputs.

5. Right click over the ROUTING button in the Master and make sure that output is directed both to your speakers and to your headphone amp.

6. To create the required channels, left click on the

ROUTING button for the Master Track and set the number of channels to 4 (as shown, right).

7. Assign the output of channels 1/2 to your studio speakers and 3/4 to your headphones. Your settings should appear similar, but of course not identical, to those shown here.

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8. Play the song. For now, it should be heard over the speakers, but your headphones should still be silent.

9. In the Master FX chain, add the plug-in ReaEQ and, for the purpose of this exercise, add a 2 dB gain on Band 2, a 1 dB drop on Band 3, and a 1dB gain on Band 4.

10. In the Master FX chain, click just below the ReaEQ and add ReaVerbate. Leave the parameters at their default settings, but adjust the outputs from this plug-in so that they are directed left and right respectively to channels 3 and 4 only. The settings for these outputs are shown

(right).

11. Now play the song. The playback thru the speakers will include the effects of your ReaEQ settings but not

ReaVerbate. In contrast, if you listen thru the headphones, you will hear only the reverb.

12. Now click again in the master FX chain and add ReaComp after the reverb plug-in. Adjust the Input

Settings for this plug-in so that Channels 1 and 3 are the Main Input for the left, and channels 2 and 4 are the Main Input for the right, as illustrated below right.

13. Play the song. You can adjust the amount of reverb in the mix by adjusting the vertical Wet and Dry faders in the

ReaVerbate window. You can also adjust the Threshold

(vertical fader on the left) and Ratio settings for ReaComp if you wish.

14. Your speakers will now play the output signal from your

Master Track’s FX chain, including the reverb mixed in. Your headphones will still play only the direct output of the

ReaVerbate plug-in.

15. Save this file.

11.17 Avoiding Channel Leakage

You need to be aware when you are using multiple channels for the Master Track that any signal routed along any channels between tracks will also be sent to the Master. For example, you might be using channels 3/4 in one or more of your tracks for some other purpose. In that case, if you also used channels 3/4 for the purpose outlined in the above example, then the signal on channels 3/4 of your tracks would also be leaked into the signal being fed to your reverb plug-in.

This channel leakage can be avoided simply by reserving for the Master a pair or pairs of channels not used elsewhere in the project – in this example, you might choose to use

Channels 5/6 or Channels 11/12. Since you have up to 64 channels available to you, this should not normally present you with any problem.

11.18 Reset VU Meter Peaks

Notice that during playback, your VU meters in both track view and mixer view will display the peak level recorded for each individual track (see right). To reset the peak reading for any individual track, click your mouse over the area where the peak value is displayed.

To reset the peak reading for all tracks, hold the Ctrl key while you click your mouse over the area where the peak value is displayed in any one track.

You can also if you wish disable the option under Options, Preferences, Appearance, VU

Meters/Faders to Reset meter peak indicators on play/seek. If you do this, the current peak levels will be remembered even when you stop playback. When you resume playback, they will be retained as the peak levels until, of course, a louder passage is encountered.

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12 Project Management Features

12.1

Introduction

In this chapter we'll be looking primarily at some of those features of REAPER which you are more likely to want to use when you are managing your project as a whole rather than just focussing on individual tracks or items.

These include using the Project Media/FX bay, Locking, modifying a color scheme, using the Track Manager,

Screen Sets and more. We'll start by looking at how you can change a project's start time.

Note: Some of the illustrations in this chapter use REAPER 4 theme and colors. The information and instructions, however, are valid for REAPER 5.

12.2

Setting the Project Start Time

With many projects you will find that you have a few seconds of recorded silence before the program material (instruments and vocals) actually start. This can create two annoying problems:

 Times shown on the timeline and on the big clock do not accurately represent the time within the song.

 When you go to the start of the project, there are always a few seconds of silence to be played before you reach the start of the song.

In the example shown above the actual start of the song is at 0:04.701. We want to reset this point to Zero.

This is how it is done:

 Place the cursor at the point that you wish to mark as the start of the song - in the example shown this will be 04.607 into the project.

 Press Alt Enter to display the

Project Settings window.

Select the tab labelled Project

Settings.

 Click the button labelled Use

Cursor (see right). REAPER will automatically enter the correct position into the Project start

time box for you.

 Click on OK to close the Project

Settings interface.

 If you wish to mark this point, press the letter M on your keyboard. This creates a marker on your timeline labelled 1.

 If you need to refresh your understanding of markers, look back thru Chapter 9.

The position of the marker is now set to 0:00.000 and you can jump straight to this point at any time by pressing 1 on your keyboard (see right).

 If you wish, you can double-click on the marker to open up the Edit marker dialog box, where you can give it a name.

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12.3

Locking Media Items

Individual items can be locked into position to prevent their settings from being accidentally changed, such as by being moved or deleted, while at the same time leaving you free to manipulate other items as you wish.

To make use of this feature, first ensure that both of the item icons Locked and Not locked are selected (along with any other item icons that you wish to use) under your

Options,

Preferences,

Appearance,

Media settings (see above). Whether the icons are displayed on top of the media items or in a lane above it (as in the example below) will depend on whether you have enabled the option Draw item labels above rather than within the item.

Locking for individual media items is then toggled on and off by clicking on the small padlock item that will be visible at the top left corner of the media item.

The example above shows a track with two media items. The first item has been locked (notice the dark padlock icon). It can now not be deleted or moved, unless its status is set to unlock. Similarly, you cannot grab the handle across the top of the media item and drag it down to adjust its volume, nor can you add a fade in or fade out, nor can it be slip-edited.

You can, however, make changes to most of its settings within the Item Properties dialog box (pitch, play rate,

FX Chain, and so on) or using the media item context menu. The second item, however, remains unlocked

(notice the open padlock icon). It can (for example) be moved, or deleted, or have a fade out added. You can also open the item for editing, in the MIDI editor (MIDI items) or your installed external editor (audio items).

Locking and unlocking can also be performed with multiple items. To lock a number of items, simply hold the

Ctrl key while you click on each item in turn to build the selection, then click on the padlock for any item included in the selection.

12.4

Locking Track Controls

The toggle command Lock Track Controls (from the track control panel right-click context menu) can be used to lock/unlock the controls for any track or selection of tracks. This prevents you from making accidental changes to any of the track's controls (e.g. Volume or Pan). In the example shown, track controls have been locked.

You can hover your mouse over the control of a locked track to see its current setting displayed as a tool tip.

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12.5

Project Lock Settings

The Locking feature of REAPER can be used to effectively freeze certain aspects of a project file to prevent something accidentally being changed or deleted. There are two aspects to locking:

Deciding which project elements you would like to be locked.

 Enabling or disabling the locking feature. The keyboard shortcut L can be used to toggle this on and off.

To display the Lock Settings window (shown right), press Shift L or right click over the lock button (the last item) on the toolbar. The table below summarises some of the ways in which you are able to make use of this feature. Select which ones you wish to lock, then Enable locking to actually lock them.

Locking Option

Time selection

Comment

This locks the current time selection so that, for example, if you accidentally click and drag at some other point along the timeline your time selection will remain unchanged. You can remove a locked time selection by pressing Esc then selecting Yes when prompted.

Locks currently selected loop points.

Loop points

Items full

Items (prevent left/right movement)

Items (prevent up/down movement)

Item edges

Regions

Markers

Time Signature Markers

This option prevents you from making any changes at all to any of your existing media items. For example, you cannot mute them, add FX to them, delete them, move them, slip edit them, or even access the Item Properties window or right click menu for any of your items.

This option allows you to make any other changes you like to your media items except move them left or right.

This option allows you to make any other changes you like to your media items except move them up or down.

This option disables actions such as slip editing.

Item fade/volume handles

This option can be used to prevent any adjustments being made to any item's volume handle or rotary fade controls.

Item stretch markers

Item envelopes

Track envelopes

This option can be used to prevent any changes or movement from occurring to any item's stretch markers.

This option ensures that when locking is enabled you will not be able to make any changes to existing item and/or track envelopes. For example, you will not be able to move or add points, or change shapes. You will still be able to add new envelopes for faders and plug-in parameters, but you will not be able to edit these in any way. For more about envelopes see

Chapter 17.

Locking regions prevents you from changing (for example by moving, deleting or renaming) existing regions. However, you will be able to create new regions with Lock Regions enabled.

Locking markers prevents you from changing (for example by moving, deleting or renaming) existing markers. However, you will be able to create new markers with Lock Markers enabled.

Locks time signature markers and prevents them from being modified.

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Example

Let’s suppose that we are happy with the way our media items line up, and we don’t want any of them being accidentally nudged or moved to the left or right. You might then wish to lock their horizontal position.

1. Press Shift L to open the Locking Settings window.

2. Tick only Items (prevent left/right movement).

3. If Enable Locking is not enabled, click on it to turn it on.

4. Now try to drag and drop any of your items to the left or right. They won’t move.

5. Press the L key – this toggles locking off again.

12.6

Customizing Colors and Fonts

Chapter 14 of this User Guide covers REAPER's action list editor. One action that you might find useful is the the action Theme development:

Show theme tweak/configuration window

This is selected after choosing the

Actions, Show action list...

command. Enter theme in the filter window then select and Run the action Theme development:

Show theme tweak/ configuration window.

Themes consist primarily of three types of materials: image files, color/font definitions and Windows settings. The image files provide, for example, the track control items and media item icons (pan and volume faders, mute and solo controls, etc.).

The definitions apply to items such as the font used for track names and the colors used for media items, track and mixer panels, edit and play cursors, markers, VU meters, envelopes, and so on. If you are not sure what any of the listed items are, you can use the

Theme element finder to identify them (see below). To display this,

Eter theme in the action list filter window then select and Run the action Theme

development: Show theme element finder.

In addition to those installed with REAPER, many themes are available for download from stash.reaper.fm

. To install a downloaded

.ReaThemeZip file, drag and drop it from Windows

Explorer into REAPER's Arrange View (main view).

The Load Theme … button (in the theme development/tweaker dialog) can be used to select any available theme. Scroll thru the Theme color/font

settings list to see all of the items which you can change. Click on any item to open (as appropriate) the color picker or font dialog box, where you can change its definition.

Finally, having chosen your fonts and colors, you can save them all together into a new theme by clicking the

Save theme... button and giving your theme a name.

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12.7

The Project Media/FX Bay

Overview

The Project Media/FX Bay is a one stop center which you can use for managing and arranging a project's FX and media items. It is opened from the main menu by the View, Project Media/FX Bay command. The window contains five tabs (pages). The Item Groups (Chapter 7) and Take Comps (Chapter 8) tabs have already been introduced. The other three are:

Source Media. This lists the media items that are available for use in, or are already used in, the

project. Each item will occur only once in this list. Where it is used more than once in the project, this will be indicated by the number in the Usage column.

Media Items. This lists only the items that are actually used in the project (i.e., active). An item

will appear in this list as many times as it is used in the project.

FX. This lists the FX plug-ins that are used in the project.

You can drag media files (e.g., from REAPER's Media Explorer or from Windows Explorer) or FX (e.g., from the

FX browser) into the Project Bay. Media items inserted in this way are added to the Source Media page. If the item is then used in the project, it will be added to the Media Items page. FX items are added to the FX bay.

You can rename items within the Project Bay, select all instances of a media file or FX within the project, and replace media/FX in the project with any other media/FX from the Project Bay. You can also mute/solo media items and bypass/unbypass FX.

Both Media pages and the FX page include a Retain column. When you drag media items or FX into the project bay, they are marked with a + in the retain column. This setting means that the entry will remain in the project bay even if there are no instances of that media item or FX in the project.

When you add media (by recording or inserting) to the project, they will appear as entries in the media items and source media bays, with the retain status unset. These entries will be automatically removed from the project bay if they are removed from the project itself. If you want the entries to remain in the project bay even after being removed from the project, you should enable retain for those entries in the source media bay.

FX entries in the project bay include a Preset column. If you change the value in this column (from the right-click menu), all instances of that FX in the project with the previous preset selected will be changed to the new preset. In addition, you can retain an FX entry with a specific preset, or multiple entries for the same FX with different presets, in the project bay.

The Project Bay includes the buttons Actions and

Options. Clicking on either of these displays a menu. As an example, the Options menu is shown on the right.

Most of these commands require little explanation.

Mirror selection in bay and project. When enabled, this causes an item selected in the project to also be selected in the bay, and vice versa. You can also ensure that REAPER will zoom to a selected item when this option is enabled.

Use last selected item as source for “draw a copy” mouse action. This enables you to use pencil mode to create copies of the last selected item.

Space bar previews media allows use of the spacebar to play the currently selected media or source media item. Loop media preview will allow any loop marked in the project to be applied. Preview (source or media items) through selected track allows you to play back the item with, for example, any FX in a particular track's FX chain, or any track envelopes, being applied. The Filter can be set to use name, path or comment.

Make sure the option Clear bay when changing projects is enabled if you wish to make each Project Bay project specific. Disable it if you want to carry over items in the current bay to the next project that you open or create. You also have the option to Automatically retain media items when they are removed from

project. This ensures that retain status is automatically assigned when an item is removed from the project.

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The Dock project bay and Close window commands are self-explanatory.

The commands on the Actions are shown right. They can be used with and applied to the items (media or FX) on whichever bay page is currently selected.

New project bay window opens a new project bay window. You can then use this (for example) to load a different saved project bay, whilst keeping the original bay open in the original window.

Create new folder. Individual project bay entries can be dragged and dropped in or out of the folder (see example below, where two folders have been created, Bells and Strings). Folders can be used for source media items (as shown below), Media Items (in project) or FX. Double click left of the folder name to collapse or expand the folder.

Force refresh forces a refresh of the project bay display.

Select all items causes all items in the current tab to be selected.

Retain all items causes all items in the current tab to be marked to be retained in the bay even when they are deleted from the project.

Remove all items from project will remove all items from the project, and Remove all items that are not used in project will remove from the media bay all items that are not used in the project.

The Media Explorer button (lower left) can be used to open the Media Explorer, from where media items can be dragged and dropped into the project bay (as source media) or into the project itself.

The rotary Volume control can be used to control the volume of any item being previewed when the option to preview thru selected track has been disabled.

The Bay button (bottom left) serves three basic functions. You can use it to create a new project bay, to replace the contents of the current bay with a previously saved one, or to merge the contents of a previously saved project bay into the current one.

The Source Media Bay and the Media Items Bay

The techniques for working with media items in both of these bays are very similar. The main differences are:

Items dragged into the Bay are placed in the Source Media Bay only, until such time as they are actually added to the project. They are then automatically also listed in the Media Items bay.

Only items which are active (and therefore included in the project) are shown in the Media Items Bay.

Active items can be managed from either of these bays. Available items can only be managed from the

Source Media bay.

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In order to do this …

Change the column order

Hide/Show columns

Add an item to Source

Media Bay

To preview an item

To add an item from Source

Media or Media Items Bay to a project

To remove an item from within the project.

To remove an inactive item from Source Media Bay

To remove all unused items from the Media bay

To remove the retain status of an active item

To remove all instances of an item from project

To reassign retain status to an active item

To locate a Media Items Bay item or Source Media Bay item in the project

… you do this

Click and drag column header left or right. You can do this with any of the five Project Bay tabs selected.

Right click on any header, deselect/select from list.

Drag and drop from Windows Explorer or REAPER's Media Explorer.

You can drag an entire item or (if using Media Explorer) a time selection.

Select the item then press Space.

Either... Drag and drop from Bay into the project arrange view window,

Or … Select track and position cursor in Arrange view. Right-click on item name in Bay and choose Insert into project from context menu.

If not already active, its status will now be made Active.

Select the item and use the Delete key, either from the arrange view window or within the Media Bay.

Select item and press the Delete key, or right-click in item row in Retain column (to left of item name), then choose Remove from bay.

Right click on title bar, choose Remove all items that are not used in

project from the context menu.

Select item in bay, right click in Retain column, choose Remove from

bay if removed from project.

Right-click item in Retain column for the item, choose Remove from

project.

Select item in Bay, right click in Retain column, choose Retain from menu.

Click on the item in the list then on the

Usage button. Click on any item in that list in order to go to and select that item.

To mute an item in project

To rename any media item

Right-click on item, choose Mute from the context menu (to toggle).

Select item in the Bay: click Rename button or use the context menu.

To add comment to an item

Double click in the comments column of the item row.

To filter the media item list

Type a text string in the Filter box (e.g. vox to see only media items with vox in their name) then click on the Refresh button.

To clear a filter

Click on Clear Filter button.

To replace a Source Media or Media Items item with another item

To save an item set list from the Bay (for possible use in other projects)

To load a previously saved item set list.

To sort media items list.

Select item name in Source Media or Media Items list. Right-click and choose Replace in project. Then select from flyout menu, e.g. All

instances or any single instance: choose the replacement item.

The media format (e.g. MP3, WAV) need not be the same for both items.

Select the items, then click on the Save button and choose one of the available options. You can Save selected items to a new project

bay, or Save all items as a new project bay. For either of these, you will be prompted for a new .ReaBay file name. You also have the option to Save and merge selected items to an existing project bay file, in which case you will need to select the required file from the list.

Click on the Bay button, choose a .ReaBay file from the list. You may

Load and merge it with the current one, or replace the current one.

Click on any column header to sort. Click again to reverse sort order.

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The FX Bay and FX Parameter Bay

Many FX Bay management commands are the same as in the

Media Bay – e.g., setting retain status on/off, applying and clearing filters, creating and using folders, and removing items from the media and

FX bays are handled in exactly the same way. The example here shows three folders being used to organize the FX. This table emphasises those aspects more specific to the FX Bay itself.

In order to do this …

Add FX from FX Bay to track or media item in project.

Open FX browser window

Add FX to the FX Bay

Locate and open FX window for any FX instance

Toggle bypass for any FX

Assign a preset to an FX

(see note below table)

Manage any FX parameter

… you do this

Either... Select track or media item in Arrange view, right-click on plug-in name in FX Bay, choose Insert into project

Or... Drag and drop plugin from FX Bay to track panel or media item.

Click on the FX Browser button.

Drag and drop from FX Browser.

Right click over the track name or number in the Track column then click on the required instance. The Usage button can also be used for this.

Select the FX then use the Bypass button, or right-click over FX name and choose Bypass from menu. Repeat this to re-enable the plug-in.

Right-click in the Preset column for the FX and select from the menu.

Change FX instance preset

Replace one FX with another project bay FX

Right-click on FX name, choose FX parameters then FX parameters

list, then select feature (e.g. Show in track controls or track envelope), then select parameter from list. More about this in Chapter 18.

Right-click in the Preset column for the FX and select from the menu.

Right-click on FX name, choose Replace in project then select from the flyout menu of FX. You can replace all instances or a single instance.

Note: Some FX names may occur more than once in the list. In the example above, ReaComp appears twice.

This is because one of these instances have been assigned a preset. This enables you to manage these separately. The preset stock – Modern vocal has been applied on one ReaComp on the Vox track.

Next to the FX tab in the Project Bay window there is a FX Parameters tab. This is used for managing various

FX parameter features such as envelopes, learn mode and parameter modulation. This will be explained in

Chapter 18, which deals with parameter modulation.

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12.8

The Track Manager

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The Track Manager (View, Track Manager) gives you overview control of your tracks. It displays a grid similar to a spreadsheet or table. If the grid is empty, click on the Show All button (above right) to display a list of the project's tracks.

Click on the Options button or right-click on the title bar to display a menu which includes Mirror track selection. This allows any track selection made in either the Track Manager or the TCP to be automatically applied in the other. You can also ensure that when this is enabled, selecting a track in the Track Manager will Scroll to

selected track in TCP and mixer.

If your project includes folders with child tracks, then that hierarchy is retained within the track manager's track list. The option to Indent

tracks in folders can be disabled from the Options menu. The other

Options button menu items are explained in their context in the table below. The table also summarises what you are able to do within the track manager window.

To do this …

Change column order

Hide/Show columns

Adjust column width

Filter the track list by name

… you do this

Click and drag column header left or right.

Right click on any header, deselect/select from list.

Click and drag left or right on boundaries between column headers,

Type text in filter box: e.g.” vo” to list in Track Manager only those tracks whose name includes vo. Supports use of NOT and OR filters: e.g. “bass OR guit” will find all tracks with either bass or guit as part of their track name.

Use the appropriate Options menu commands to also Hide filtered-out

tracks in TCP and/or Hide filtered-out tracks in mixer. The Clear button removes the filter.

There is also an option on this menu to Display child tracks if folder

parent is displayed.

If you enable the option Close track manager on enter key in filter box from the Options menu, then pressing Enter in the filter box will automatically close the Track Manager.

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To do this … … you do this

Change TCP track order in track manager

Delete track

Show/hide Master

Show/hide tracks in

TCP/MCP

Drag and drop tracks up or down. This can be disabled by disabling Allow

reordering tracks via track manager from the context menu.

Select track row and press Delete. You will be prompted to confirm this.

Toggle Show master track in track manager in Options button menu.

Click in track row in TCP/MCP columns. You can use the toggle option (on the

Options button) to Link TCP/Mixer visibility to synchronize track display.

Supports “Swipe” (see last row of table).

Double-click on track number in # column.

Scroll track into view

Set/change track color

Open/show track FX chain

Add FX to track or open an FX window

Open/show track Input

FX chain

Monitor plug-in delay compensation

Arm/unarm tracks for recording

Click on the small square colored icon in the column left of the track number.

The FX column shows the number of FX in each track's FX chain. Double-click on that cell to open the FX chain for that track.

Right click over the track's FX cell and use context menu.

The IN-FX column shows the number of FX in each track's Input FX chain.

Double-click on that cell to open the input FX chain for that track.

Any plug-in delay compensation used by a track's FX will be indicated (in ms) in the track's PDC cell. Clicking on this cell toggles track FX bypass.

Click in the R column for any track(s) to arm for recording. The letter R will be shown for armed tracks. Click again to unarm. Supports “Swipe” (below).

Right click on any cell in this column to display record menu for that track.

Mute/unmute tracks

Solo/unsolo tracks

Click in the M column to toggle mute status. All the modifier keys used in the

TCP can be used here – e.g. Ctrl Mute to unmute all. Right-click for TCP mute context menu – see Chapter 5. Also supports “Swipe” (see below).

Click in the S column to toggle solo status. All the modifier keys used in the

TCP can be used here – e.g. Ctrl Alt Solo to solo exclusive. Right-click for TCP solo context menu – see Chapter 5. Also supports “Swipe” (see below).

Click in the Lock column to toggle lock status. Locked tracks display a + sign.

Supports “Swipe” (see last row of table).

Lock/unlock track controls

Manage MIDI items

Double-click a track's MIDI cell to open track MIDI items in new MIDI Editor.

If item is already open, double-click to close.

Right-click in cell for menu of options: Open in new MIDI editor, Open in

existing MIDI editor, Open in existing MIDI editor (clear editor first)

or Remove from MIDI editor. The third of these options removes from the

MIDI editor any tracks/items already open before opening this one.

Free Item Positioning on/off toggle

Click in the FIPM column to toggle on/off Free Item Positioning. FIPM on shows a + sign. Supports “Swipe” (see last row of table).

Freeze/unfreeze tracks

Select track(s) in Track Manager window, then choose whichever action you wish from the Freeze button menu. See also Chapter 6.

Sort Track Manager list

Click on any column header. Click again to reverse sort order.

Manage track groups

The track manager will respect grouped track parameters (Chapter 5). As with the grouping matrix, you can use Shift to temporarily over-ride these.

Swipe to toggle several adjacent tracks

For example, to arm several adjacent tracks for recording, or to mute several adjacent tracks, or to enable free item positioning on a series of adjacent tracks. Click and drag/sweep down the appropriate column.

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In the example shown above this table, the Vocal and Acoustic Guitar tracks and folders are the only ones shown in the TCP. All tracks are shown in the Mixer. The Vocals folder settings have been locked. Both the Vox

Lead and Vox Harmy tracks are soloed. They are also FIPM enabled. The Reverb track uses plug-in delay compensation of 512 ms. Tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, and 11 have all been frozen, track 11 twice.

Tip: You can use the Screensets window to save different sets of Track Manager settings as Track Views, any of which can be recalled in an instant. Screen sets are explained later in this chapter.

12.9

Track View Screen Sets

Screen Sets enable you to save several different views of your project, so that you can easily select and recall them when editing or arranging. There are two types of Screen Set – Track Views and Windows.

Track Views are created and saved on a per project basis – the screen set data is stored in the project's .RPP file and can be recalled only when you are working with that project file. Using track view screen sets can be especially useful when you are editing or in some other way working closely with media items.

Windows screen sets are global and are stored in the Application Data screensets.ini file. They can be recalled from, and applied to, any project file.

The procedure for creating track views is:

Use the View, Screensets/Layouts command to show the Screen Sets window (the default keyboard shortcut is Ctrl E). The Screen Sets window may be docked (or undocked), and (if undocked) pinned to stay on top.

Adjust your track layouts to suit.

 Select a number from the Track views page of the Screen Sets window.

 Click on Save and name the set.

You can create up to 10 track view screen sets per project file. To recall a view, double click on its name.

You can also assign keyboard shortcuts to individual screen sets. By default, Shift F4 to

Shift F6 are used to save your first three track views, and F4 to F6 are assigned to load each of these first three track views.

If you want to modify these, or assign shortcuts to other track views, then you should click on the Edit shortcuts button in the Screensets window. This opens the Action List Editor. For instructions on how to use the Action List Editor, see Chapter 14.

Notice that there is also an option available to Autosave when switching

screensets. If enabled, this ensures when switching from one screen set to another that any changes made to the layout of the first of these screen sets will be saved. The

Edit fields... button can be used to “tweak” this, so that only certain aspects of your changes are automatically saved.

Example

1. Open the file All Through The

Night.RPP and save it as All

Through The Night TRACK

VIEWS.RPP.

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2. Adjust the track height of your Vox track as shown here (right).

3. In the Track View page of the Screen Sets window, click on 1, then Save to open the Save Track View window.

4. Type: Vox View but do not yet press Enter.

5. Take a look at the five options that are available. We'll examine these shortly. For this exercise, make sure that only Track control panel status is selected.

6. Click on Save.

7. Now adjust the track heights so that all tracks are minimized except the two guitar tracks. Make these two tracks high enough to show all track controls.

8.

In the Track views window, click on 2.

9.

Click on Save to open the Save Track View window.

10. Again make sure that only Track control panel status is enabled and type Guitars View. Press Enter.

11. To switch between these track layouts, double-click on their names in the Screen Sets window.

This simple example has introduced you to screen sets and how to use them. Because we selected only the option Track control panel status the project track layout was the only information saved with this screen set.

Notice the five options that you may choose to include in or exclude from a track view:

 Track Cursor Position

 Track Scroll Position

 Horizontal Zoom

 Track Control Panel Status

 Track Mixer Status

Let's then now work thru a further example which use options other than track height.

Example

1. Horizontally zoom your project so that only the first 45 secs is displayed. Position the cursor at the 46 sec mark.

2. In the track view page of the screensets window, click on 3 then on Save.

3. Make sure that ONLY Track cursor position and Horizontal zoom are selected.

4. Type a name for the screenset: Verse 1.

5. Click on Save.

You can now at any time use track view screen set 3 to zoom to Verse 1 and position the play cursor there, and either of the other two screens sets to then zoom vertically to either the vocal or the guitar tracks. To remove any screen set that you do not wish to keep, simply select it and click on the Clear button.

Track Mixer Status

Notice that one of the options that you have when saving track view screensets is Track Mixer status. This option can be used to save any Track Manager settings regarding which tracks are and are not displayed in the Mixer at any time. Switching between different track views would then automatically select different selections of tracks to be shown in the Mixer.

Do not confuse this with the option Mixer flags in Windows screen sets, which allows you to select not which tracks but which mixer elements and options (FX inserts, sends, multiple rows, etc.) are applied.

Note: As you adjust the height and/or width of your track panel, the display area for track controls will become smaller or larger. Some control will disappear and reappear. An example is shown here.

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12.10 Windows Screensets

Unlike track view Screen Sets, Windows Screen

Sets are not project specific, but can be applied to any project. They are stored in the

Application Data folder in a file called screensets.ini.

After opening the Screensets/Layouts view

(Ctrl E), the procedures for creating Windows screen sets are as follows:

 Decide which windows and views you want displayed, and arrange them on screen as you wish.

 In the Screen Sets window, select the

Windows page, select a number, then click on Save. Type a name, then select as many of the six options as you require (see below). Click on Save.

 To recall and open any screen set, simply double-click on its name.

 To change a screen set, open it, make the changes, then save it.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts with

Windows screensets. By default, Shift F7 to

Shift F9 are assigned to saving Windows screen sets 1 to 3, and F7 to F9 are assigned to loading them.

These assignments can be changed in the Actions List Editor (see Chapter 14).

The options that you may choose to include in or exclude from any screen set are:

 Main Window Position

Tool Window Positions

 Docker Selected Tab

 Mixer Flags

 Layouts

 Last Focus

Some of these are self-explanatory. In addition, note that:

The tool window position option will cause the position of those windows which are defined by Windows as tool items

(such as VST FX and the MIDI Editor) to be saved and recalled with the screen set. For any particular project, however, this will only be applied if that particular window exists in that project. This option is useful, for example, if you use a set of standard plug-ins in the Master and you want to easily be able to open and close all these FX windows when working with any project.

Enabling docker selected tab will ensure that whichever window in the docker is visible when the screen shot is saved will be visible when it is recalled.

The mixer flags option, if enabled, will save your various Mixer menu options (FX inserts, sends, folders, top level tracks, position of master, etc.) with the screen set. These options are discussed in detail in Chapter 11.

We encountered layouts in Chapter 11, in the context of the Mixer. You'll find more information about Layouts later in this chapter. Enabling this option will ensure that your layouts are saved with the screen set.

The last focus option can be selected to ensure that a particular view automatically is given focus whenever the Screen Set is loaded.

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12.11 Auto Saving Screen Sets

You have the option to automatically save changes to your Track Views or Windows screen set layouts. To do this, simply ensure that the Auto-save when switching screensets option is selected (see right).

This can be used to ensure for example, that if you change the selected tab to be displayed in the docker before switching to a different Windows screen set, when you return to the first screen set,

REAPER will have remembered which docker tab was last selected.

If using auto-save, consider using the Edit

fields... button to decide which elements for which you want changes automatically saved

(see right).

The available options are all items that were included in your options when you created your screen sets.

12.12 Item Selection Sets

By using item selection sets, you are able to create many different selections of items within a project file and select all of the items in any set simply by selecting that set name. The procedure is as follows:

Use the command View, Screensets/Layouts to display the Screensets window.

Select the Selection sets tab.

Within your project, select all of the items to be included in the group. These can be on a single track or across any number of tracks.

Select a set number, then click on Save.

Give the group a name and press Enter.

At any time you can now recall that group by doubleclicking on its name, or by selecting the name and clicking on Load.

In the example shown here, two selection sets have been created, one for Vox Verses and one for Vox

Choruses. Simply by double-clicking on the required set name, we can select all of the items in either set.

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12.13 Track, Mixer, Transport and Envelope Layouts

Layouts in general, and mixer layouts in particular, were discussed in Chapter 11.

Layouts are created, stored and retrieved with individual themes. From the Layouts tab of the Screensets/Layouts window you can select any theme from the drop down theme list.

Layouts are designed and created for use with individual themes. Therefore, the choice of layouts available to you will be largely dependant on which theme you are using. Themes can be downloaded from

stash.reaper.fm.

Layouts associated with your chosen theme will be available to you from the various drop-down lists in this window, such as track panel layouts and mixer panel layouts. For earlier themes that do not include any layouts, a number of standard layouts are available.

Shown right is an example, in this case double-clicking to display the Mixer Panel drop down list and to select a mixer layout.

This is an example only – the exact range of choices available to you may not be exactly the same as shown here. When one of these drop down lists is displayed you can hover your mouse over any item to see how it looks, in this example in the mixer.

Here is a summary list of the main layout elements available:

Global Layout

Transport

Envelope Panel

Master Mixer Panel

Selects theme defaults for all layout elements.

Selects a layout for the Transport bar.

Selects a layout for track envelope panels. See Chapter 17.

Selects a layout for the Master in the Mixer panel.

Mixer Panel

Master Track Panel

Track Panel

Selected track panel

Selects a layout for all tracks and folders in the Mixer panel.

Selects a layout for the Master in the Track control panel.

Selects a layout for all tracks and folders in the Track Control panel.

Selects a layout for selected tracks in the Track Control panel.

Selected track mixer panel

Selects a layout for selected tracks in the Mixer panel.

Shown here is an example of one rather different track panel layout that you might choose – Standard

Media. Amongst other things, it uses horizontal faders

(rather than rotaries) for volume control.

You do not need to open the Layouts window to select layouts for a project. You can also use the Options,

Layouts command from the main menu or the Set

track layout command from the TCP or MCP context menu.

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Assigning Actions to Layouts

Within the Layouts screen you can assign up to 20 actions to quickly recall any layout. These can be assigned to shortcut keys and/or to custom toolbars.

In the example shown here, Action #1 has been assigned to select a Track Panel layout called Tracking and Action #2 is being assigned to select a different Track

Panel called Vertical (vertical meters). You could then click on the Edit shortcuts button and assign shortcuts to the two actions Layout: apply custom layout #01 and Layout: apply custom layout #02. You could also use the Customize

toolbar editor to create icons for these actions on one of your toolbars. See Chapter

14 for information on both how to assign keyboard shortcuts and how to create custom toolbars.

Default Theme Layouts

The drop down lists in the various Layouts categories include many options that you can explore. These include Track Panel specialist layouts for recording and tracking, and layouts with vertical meters. Mixer Panel layouts include narrow channel strips and wider strips with a sidebar to display FX chains, sends, etc. (see example right).

12.14 Further FX Parameter Management

In Chapters 2 and 5 we looked at some uses for the Param button in REAPER's FX plug-in windows. In chapters 16 and 17 you'll see how this can also be used to create automation envelopes and for parameter modulation.

Meanwhile. here are some other ways in which you can use them.

If you touch any FX control (such as a fader) with your mouse and then click on the Param button you will see a menu similar to that shown here. In summary, these options are:

Show in track controls. Adds a rotary fader to TCP and (optionally)

MCP for adjusting that parameter's value. See Chapter 11 and below.

Show track envelope. Adds an envelope for automating that parameter – see Chapter 17.

Parameter modulation. Enables parameter modulation for this item – see Chapter 18.

Learn. Allows you to assign this parameter to an external control device, such as a fader or button on a control surface – see The Learn Option below.

Alias parameter. Allows you to assign your own name to this one instance of this parameter. This name will be used, for example, on any track control or envelope that you create for this parameter.

FX parameter list. This causes a flyout menu of a list of all parameter controls for this FX to be shown. Using this menu is another method of assigning (or unassigning) any of these options to any parameter, rather than touching it with your mouse – see above right.

Most of these options are available only with FX in a track's FX chain (including the Master). However, Learn is also available with record input FX and monitoring FX. Learn and Show track envelope are both available with per take FX.

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The Learn Option

Let's take a closer look at the Learn option.

When you touch the control in the FX window with your mouse and then click on Learn the Learn window is displayed (see below).

Twiddling the control (such as fader or rotary) on your control surface device will cause information to be displayed in the Command window about the channel and CC assignment for this control. This information is picked up from the control surface.

Choice of CC mode (absolute or relative) will depend on the parameter being assigned and your own control device. In many cases, absolute mode with soft takeover will be appropriate, but you may need to experiment.

The option to Enable only when effect configuration

is focused is especially powerful – it means that this control surface assignment will only be used when that particular plug-in has focus. This enables you to assign the same control surface fader to any number of different functions with different plug-ins. For example, the same fader used to control EQ gain in one plug-in could also be used to control the threshold setting on a compressor.

When one or more parameters in a plug-in has been assigned to a control surface, you will see an extra command on the Param menu – Default controller

mappings.

This leads to a flyout menu (right). You can use this menu to save these settings as the default for this plugin, so that these controls will be automatically made available whenever that plug-in is loaded into other tracks.

Other options on this menu (where a default has previously been saved) are to Clear default or Use default.

Show in track controls

When track controls are shown in the TCP and MCP, they are not only controls for individual parameters.

They also serve as a gateway to managing your console. To display these in the Mixer, you must enable the option Show FX parameters when

size permits from the Mixer menu.

Right click over any of the controls in the TCP or

MCP for menu (see right). This menu includes:

Remove from list. This removes the control from the TCP and MCP.

Learn, Modulate, Envelope and Alias. These four options are the same as on the Param button menu in the FX window. For example, from here you can add control surface support to any of your custom track controls by choosing Learn.

Plug-in Menu (shown in the example below are

ReaEQ and ReaDelay). This lists the plug-ins in the track's FX chain, together with a flyout menu of all their parameters. You can use this menu to add controls for any of these parameters: the menu includes the option All parameters.In the MCP, when the option Show FX

parameters when size permits is enabled, you can right-click in this area for any track to add controls to that track. An example is shown right. The actual menu that is displayed will, of course, depend on which FX are included in the track's FX chain.

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Track Templates

Back in Chapter 3 when you were introduced to recording, we mentioned track templates and how useful they can be. Now that you have discovered a lot more about REAPER, it's worth revisiting this topic.

Arguably, track templates more than any other single feature of REAPER can be your best friend when you are setting up your projects.

A track template can be made up of any track or any selection of tracks. For example, you might have a folder called Drums. This might contain a series of child tracks – Kick, Snare, Toms, Hi hat, etc. – all of which have their own track FX with their own settings, and with volume and pan faders set at their own levels. You could save the entire folder (parent) with its child tracks and all their settings into a single track template called Drum Kit.

Items that get included in track templates include track name, track control settings, track properties

(color, icon, etc.), track FX (together with their parameter settings), track controls, FX alias names and FX parameter alias names, parameter modulation, FX parameters, sends and receives, and more.

To save a track (or selection of tracks) as a track template, choose Track, Save tracks as track template from the main menu. To insert tracks from a track template into a project, choose Insert track from

template from the same menu.

12.15 Track Control Panel and Menu Bar Help

A selection of useful information can be displayed below the control panel and at the end of the main menu bar.

Right click just below the track control panel and select from these options:

Selected track/item/envelope details

CPU/RAM usage, Time since last save

Track/item count

REAPER tips

No information display

Show mouse editing help

select only one of them. In the case of the menu bar (right hand end), you can select as many or as few of the following options:

The first five of these options are mutually exclusive: that is you can

Show free disk space

Show recording path

Show recording volume name

Show recording format

Show audio device information

This menu also gives you access to the Audio Device page of your preferences, the Media Settings page of your project settings, and the Monitoring FX window.

12.16 Using Multiple Dockers

In Chapter 2 you were introduced to working with REAPER's docker as an aid to navigating your way thru

REAPER's various views and windows. In fact you are not restricted to just one docker: you can create up to 16 dockers if you wish. In the example shown here, we have two dockers attached to the bottom of the main window and a floating docker. The first docker (bottom left) contains tabs for displaying the Routing matrix, the

Mixer, and the Media Explorer. The second is used to display at any time the Screensets window, the Track

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Manager or the Undo History. The floating window is a third docker, and this contains tabs for displaying the FX chains for four of the tracks in the current project. This is, of course, only an example.

These instructions assume that you are already familiar with the basic techniques for docking and undocking windows, and so on, as explained in Chapter 2. You can attach any docker to the main window in any of the four positions. You can also choose the same position for more than one docker (for example, you might wish to attach two dockers to the right).

To do this …

Dock a window

You need to do this ...

Right-click on the window's title bar and choose the command Dock … in

Docker.

Drag and drop any tab from an existing docker into the arrange view area.

Create a new docker

Move a window from one docker to another

Drag and drop the tab from its present docker to its new one.

Reorder tabs in any docker

Drag and drop tabs left or right.

Close a docked tab

Alt Click on tab, or click on tab x button.

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To do this …

Attach a docker to the main window

You need to do this ...

Click on the ! to display the menu, then choose Attach docker to main window, then select a position

(bottom, left, top or right).

More than one docker can be attached to any of these positions. Click and drag on the boundary between two dockers docked in the same position to adjust the position of the boundary between them (and therefore the relative size of the two dockers.

Use this menu also to change the position of a docker, e.g. from top to left.

12.17 Saving New Project Versions

REAPER's action list includes an action File: Save new version of project (automatically increment

project name) which by default is assigned to the keyboard shortcut Ctrl Alt Shift S. This causes a new .RPP file to be created when you save a project. Thus, if, for example, you have a file open called WinterBlues.RPP then running this action would cause this project in its current state to be saved as WinterBlues_1.RPP. Running the action again would save it as WinterBlues_2.RPP, and so on.

12.18 Multiple Project Backup Versions

The Project page of REAPER's Preferences includes an option when saving to create multiple rpp-bak backup files. To do this, enable the option Keep multiple versions, with or without (as you wish) their own undo histories. If enabled, using File, Save project as... to save a project (over writing the previous file) will cause a new time and date stamped backup version to be created.

Opening the .RPP file will always open the most recently saved version. However, opening the RPP-BAK file will cause a Choose version from backup file dialog to be displayed. Here you can select which version you would like to load. With multiple project tabs you are able to have multiple versions open at the same time.

12.19 Associating Rendered WAV Files with Source Project Files

When using the File, Render command to render a project (or part of a project) to .WAV file(s), there is an option to Include project file name in BWF data. Rendering is discussed in detail in Chapter 20. If this option is enabled, the RPP project name will be embedded in the rendered file(s). This ensures that this RPP file will remain associated with the rendered WAV file(s).

If any file rendered with this option enabled is subsequently inserted into another project, then the command

Open associated project in tab: xxx.RPP (where “xxx” represents the associated project file name) will appear under Open items in editor on the media item context menu.

This can be used to create a new project tab into which it will open the associated RPP file.

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13 Manipulating and Editing MIDI Items

13.1

Introduction

REAPER has a number of techniques for manipulating and editing your MIDI items. In brief these are:

 Many of the commands on the right-click media item context menu can be used with MIDI items as much as they can with audio items – for example you can create and manipulate multiple takes, add

MIDI FX to a take’s FX chain, cut, copy and move items, and so on.

 In addition, there are commands on the right-click item context menu that are specific to MIDI items and only MIDI items. We’ll get to these soon enough.

 You can open any MIDI items or selection of MIDI items in REAPER’s MIDI Editor for detailed editing.

You can choose either to open a single item, several items together in the same single MIDI Editor window, or to use a separate window for each item.

 For quick MIDI editing, you can edit the track in-line. This makes the item’s content available for editing without needing to open a separate MIDI editing window. This is covered near the end of this chapter.

Before looking at editing, however, we'll resolve a couple of other issues of importance to MIDI users.

13.2

Monitoring an External Synthesizer

An external synthesizer can be monitored using MIDI or audio input. Just do this:

Activity

Monitor using MIDI

Input

Monitor using Audio

Input

Procedures

Insert a track and name it. Arm it for recording and turn record monitoring on

Set record mode to Disable (input monitoring only)

Select Input: MIDI, then the device, then the channel(s)

Open the track's routing (I/O) window, select your MIDI Hardware Output.

Insert a track and name it. Arm it for recording turn record monitoring on

Set record mode to Disable (input monitoring only)

Select the necessary mono or stereo audio input from the synth's audio interface.

13.3

Using Track Controls with MIDI

As mentioned in Chapter 5, REAPER's track volume and pan controls by default control a track's audio signals. If you wish to use these for MIDI instead, you can do so. Right click on the track number in the TCP or MCP and choose MIDI Track Controls then select one of the Link track volume/pan to MIDI options from the menu. You can choose all channels or any individual channel.

You can also use the plug-in ReaControl

MIDI with any track.

This is explained in detail in Chapter 15.

13.4

Controlling MIDI Data Sends

REAPER's sends and receives can be used with audio items,

MIDI items, or both. You have already been introduced to this topic (Chapter 5), and it is covered in more depth in

Chapter 16. Meanwhile, note that the button indicated on the right can be used to ensure that a send's fader controls are used to control the MIDI data.

With this button enabled, CC messages CC07 for Volume (127, max) and CC10 Pan (64, center) are sent on the selected channels (by default, all channels). If there are any MIDI items (even empty ones) on the sending track, they are sent when transport starts or stops, or play position changes. However be aware that not all synths and plug-ins recognize this feature.

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13.5

Configuring and Accessing the MIDI Editor

Note: Many of the illustrations used in this chapter use the REAPER 4 default color theme. The instructions and actions are nevertheless accurate for REAPER 5.

The MIDI Editor needs to be opened from an existing item. If you wish to open it with a “clean sheet” then you must first create a new empty MIDI item. To do this, select the required track and (optionally) make your time selection to define the length of the item. Then choose Insert, New MIDI Item from the main menu.

By default, MIDI items created in this way are loop enabled. You can change this for an individual items within its Media Item Properties dialog box, or globally on the Project, Media Item Defaults page of your

Preferences settings.

The MIDI Editor can be opened by any of these methods, using a single MIDI item (either recorded or empty):

Unless you have changed your default mouse modifier preferences (see Chapter 14) double-click on the

MIDI item, or

Select the MIDI item and press Ctrl Alt E

Right-click on the item and choose Open in built-in MIDI editor from the menu.

However, exactly how the MIDI Editor will behave when opened will depend on your Preferences settings.

Before delving into the MIDI Editor, therefore, we really need to explore these preferences. Use the Options,

Preferences command, the choose MIDI Editor from the list to access the MIDI Editor preferences.

The wider range of MIDI Editor preferences is explored in Chapter

21. For now, we just need to focus on those shown on the right.

First, you can specify what by default will be opened with the MIDI editor. This can be clicked MIDI

item only, all selected MIDI

items, all MIDI on the same track, or all MIDI in the project. The default is All selected MIDI items.

You can override the default settings at any time by opening the MIDI Editor by right-clicking on an item (or a selection of items) and choosing Open items in editor, then, from the sub-menu, choosing either Open

items in built in MIDI editor, Open MIDI item in editor or Open item copies in built-in MIDI editor.

You can also determine what is to happen when more than one MIDI item is open: you can choose to have a separate MIDI editor instance per media item, per track or just one editor for the whole project.

13.6

The MIDI Editor Window

The next part of this User Guide focuses on how to work in the MIDI Editor with a single item. Later in this chapter we will look at working in the MIDI Editor with multiple items, and with items on multiple tracks.

When you open an item in the MIDI Editor you will see a display similar to that shown below. It includes:

The Main Menu.

We’ll take a detailed look at the main menu, its various commands and actions shortly, but first you need to understand some more about the interface and how to navigate it.

The Toolbar(below Main Menu)

Hover your mouse over any button for a tooltip. You can customize this toolbar to meet your own requirements (see Chapter 14). The default toolbar icons are described below (left to right).

Track List and Media Item Lane

These buttons open (on) and close (off) the Track List and Media Item Lane panels. In the illustration below, both these are set to off. These are explained in this chapter, in the section Working with

Multiple Tracks and/or Items. For the time being, please make sure both of these are set to off.

Filter Button

This is the third button on the toolbar. It opens the Filter Events window to allow you to decide what you want displayed in the MIDI Editor. The Show only events that pass filter box toggles your filter settings on and off. Invert causes all notes to be displayed except those defined by the filter settings.

Enabling Solo will cause only events that pass through the filter to be played.

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You can choose to display all Channels, or any combination or permutation of channels.

The Event Type drop down list lets you select any type of event for your filter. The default is All, but you can change this to Note, Poly Aftertouch, Control Change (CC), Program Change (PC), Channel Aftertouch, Pitch, or

Sysex/Meta.

The content of the Parameter drop down lists depend on the event type selected. For example, for Note (as shown below), it will display a list of notes, with options to filter on note (optionally using the keys in piano roll) or note range, velocity, position in measure and/or length. However, choosing Program Change (PC) as event type will allow filtering only on program number and/or position in measure. Pitch can be filtered on low/high values or position in measure.

Position in measure behavior will vary with the event type. For example, if the event type is Note, position in measure allows you to restrict display to a range you define anywhere between 0 and

127. For PC, CC or Pitch, low and high position in measure values are set to any range within 1/32 and 1.

Set selection causes current filter settings to be applied, and

Add to selection lets you add to the existing filter selection. For example, you can create a filter on Note then add to it one based on Pitch. You can also specify settings to Remove from (current)

Selection. Set filter from selection will automatically create a new filter based on the current MIDI Editor note selection.

To the right of the filter button are four toggle icons, Quantize

(on/off), CC selection follows note selection, Show grid and

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Snap to grid. Right-click over the Snap to Grid button to set behavior for when snap is enabled – Always

snap notes to the left, Snap notes to end of grid (the default), or Snap relative to grid. The final icon

Dock editor can be used to dock and undock the MIDI Editor window.

The Filter Button includes a right-click context menu which can be used to toggle on/.off the options Show

only events that pass filter, Invert filter and/or Solo.

Note: If both Media, MIDI preferences to Create new items as .MID files and Import existing MIDI files

as .MID file reference are enabled, the MIDI Editor toolbar will on the left display two further buttons - File,

Save MIDI file and File, Revert to saved MIDI file.

The Ruler

The MIDI Editor follows your Arrange view settings. For example, if the option Loop points linked to time

selection is enabled, click and drag along the MIDI Editor ruler will define both loop and time selection.

The Transport Bar

This is found at the bottom of the MIDI Editor window. It contains the transport buttons and a number of drop down lists. The first six buttons (left to right) can be used to rewind, start, pause playback, stop playback, jump to end, and to toggle repeat loop mode on/off. The loop area can be set on the timeline in either the MIDI

Editor or the Arrange window. There are also some drop down lists. From L to R, these are:

Grid

This is the grid division box. It is used to specify your required grid division unit. Note that the units is

Notes, and that you can select from any of the values listed – 1/128, 1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2 or 4.

Grid spacing type

Options here are straight, triplet, dotted or swing. If you choose swing, several other parameters will also be displayed on this bar. These are discussed later in the context of quantizing.

Notes

This is used to select the default note length (expressed as a fraction of a note) that is used when new notes are added. In the example above, this has been set to be the same as the grid setting. It can be overwritten using the main menu Options, Drawing or Selecting a Note Sets Note Length.

Scale and Chord

Enabling the snap to scale option allows you to select a scale and a chord from the two drop down lists. You can also use the chords button (here labelled “Major”) to load a REAPER .reascale file.

Color

Use this to use color to display differences in Velocity, Channel, Pitch, Source, Track or Media Item.

Track List

Where more than one track contains MIDI item, this selects which track is to be made active in the MIDI editor.

Channel

Use this to select a channel from 1 to 16 for current editing (or choose All).

Tip: The View, Piano Roll Timebase menu includes the options source beats, project beats and project time.

MIDI data is always defined in beat-based terms, but in the time view mode the grid is adjusted to reflect any tempo changes in the project. If there are no tempo changes, the beat and time views will be identical. You also have the option to select Project synced. This synchronizes the timeline of the project and MIDI item together.

It also ensures that both windows are synchronized during such actions as zooming and scrolling.

The Main Window

The main window by default consists of two panels. The larger (top) panel displays your MIDI notes. Here you do your editing. The default view is Piano Roll View. Click on any piano key to play that note. The smaller

(bottom) panel is the CC lane, used to display various information, such as note velocity or pitch.

Move your mouse over the main window area (where the notes are displayed) and you can see your mouse cursor displayed as a pencil. This indicates the current edit position, for example for inserting notes. Both the position on the timeline and that on the piano roll are shown in the top left corner, just beneath the toolbar.

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The Scroll Bars

The MIDI Editor window includes vertical and horizontal scroll bars which can be used to navigate and zoom in and out of the contents of the MIDI item(s).

The CC Lane(s)

By default, Velocity information is shown in the CC lanes. To change this, either:

 Click on the drop down arrow (right) to see a menu of items (including standard

MIDI control messages) that you can choose to display in the CC Lane instead of velocity. A small selection of the available choices are shown on the right, or

 Click on the small + button next to the drop down list arrow to add extra CC lanes. Select any item from the list to display in the selected lane.

Right-clicking over the shaded area at the edge of the top border of a CC lane will produce a menu that can be used to hide a CC lane, clear it, change its contents (Set lane), or add an extra lane.

To remove a lane from view, click on the small minus sign that appears to the immediate right of its drop down arrow.

Provided the lane height is tall enough, the existence of CC messages can also be seen on the MIDI item in the main window (see right).

13.7

Control Change Messages

Control change messages are used to change the status of a MIDI parameter. If using an actual MIDI device, these messages can be used to physically control the foot pedals, volume sliders, modulation wheels, and other controls on electronic instruments. Within REAPER, control change messages can simulate this effect when playing back your MIDI data thru a software synthesizer.

Controller data is used for various purposes. The different controller data streams are numbered from 0 to 127.

Some of these controller numbers are industry standard. For example, controller 7 is generally used to control volume and controller 10 for panning. A control change message has two parts. The first is the control change number, which determines which parameter is to be set. The second is the desired value for that parameter. For example, first, you might send a CC #7 message to specify that you want to adjust volume. Next, you send a value that sets the actual volume level required.

A control change message can act as either an override (setting the parameter to the exact value specified), or an offset (adjusting the parameter up or down by the amount specified).

MSB and LSB

MSB and LSB stand for

Most Significant Byte and Least Significant Byte respectively. MSB control change messages typically act as coarse controls, while LSB messages generally allow fine adjustments. Some control

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change messages have both MSB and LSB versions. Most MIDI devices that contain sounds/patches respond to both Bank Select MSB and LSB control change messages.

Some of the more commonly used cc parameters are listed below. Don’t worry if you don’t understand them all.

You should consult your MIDI device’s documentation for more details.

Parameter

Bank Select MSB

Bank Select LSB

Velocity

Mod Wheel

Breath

Portamento

Balance

Expression

Sound Timbre

Sound Release

Sound Attack

Sound Brightness

Description

Many MIDI devices offer a total of more than 128 instruments, in which case these instruments are grouped into banks. Thus, depending on the device, a full program change message might consist of five parts – cc #0 (Bank Select), followed by the Sound Bank MSB value, then cc #32 (Bank Select LSB) followed by the Sound Bank LSB value, then finally the Program Change number.

Program change numbers are discussed in more detail in the sub sections that follow after this one.

The measure of the speed with which a key on a keyboard is pressed.

A lane is also available for Note Off Velocity.

This can add vibrato or other changes to a sound.

Varies from 0 (no force) up to 127 (high force).

Determines the smoothness of the glide from note to note

Typically used to adjust the volume of stereo parts without affecting the panning.

Used to create relative volume changes.

The property of a sound that gives it its unique “color”.

Determines how long it takes for a sound to fade out.

Controls how long it takes for a sound to fade in.

This adjusts a sound’s filter cutoff, allowing you to create filter “sweeps”.

13.8

Control Channel Basics

MIDI Data Control Channel (CC) messages can be recorded during live performance, and edited or manually entered using the CC lane in the

MIDI Editor. The CC Lane appears at the bottom of the MIDI Editor.

Data is displayed horizontally according to its position on the Timeline, and vertically according to the value of the data.

Most CC data has a value of 0 at the bottom of the CC Lane, and 127 at the top of the CC Lane. The example (right) shows Velocity.

Exceptions to this rule include Pitch, Pan and Pan Position, which are displayed as positive or negative variations from a centre line.

The information displayed in the CC Lane is selected from the dropdown list at the left of the window. CC Data is entered or edited by dragging the mouse to the required value. To delete an event, select it, then press Delete.

The Mouse Modifiers page of REAPER's Preferences includes the ability to customize left drag and double-click behavior when working with

MIDI CC events.

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13.9

Working with MIDI Editor

Lanes

There are a few especially interesting items that you can display in your lane or lanes that are not included in the above table. These are worth a special mention, because they might otherwise slip under your radar. They are

System Exclusive messages, Text Events, and

Bank/Program Select.

13.9.1

Sysex Events

System exclusive (Sysex) messages are MIDI data that can only be understood by the particular make and model of the device that created them. For example, all synthesizers should respond to CC messages like Volume or

Pan control, but system exclusive messages created by a Roland synthesizer would not be understood by, say, a Yamaha synthesizer.

You can add a lane which can be used to manage system exclusive (Sysex) messages, as shown above. In this example, a Sysex lane is displayed in addition to a Velocity lane.

Some MIDI hardware, especially older devices, accept sysex messages as a way to initialize or change settings on the device. Sysex messages are raw MIDI data, represented as a list of hexadecimal bytes.

Sysex events may be added, edited, moved, or deleted in the same way as text events (see below). Double click in the lane to open the Add Sysex Event dialog box, enter the message and click on OK. Click, hold and drag on any sysex event to move it. Double click on any existing sysex event to edit it, or right click to delete it.

13.9.2

Text Events

The Text Events option lets you display a CC Lane which can be used to display text in a lane below your MIDI notes.

These could be, for example, lyrics, or marker information or any of the other available text types.

Just double click at any point in the lane to open the Edit Text

Event dialog box, type your text, specify its type, and click on OK. As with system exclusive events, double click on any existing text event to edit it, drag it to move it, right click to delete it.

13.9.3

Bank/Program Select

When you choose the Bank/Program Select option for a CC lane, you can double click at any point to open the Bank Program

Select dialog box.

Here you can select any bank/program combination, and assign it to any channel. The bank/program combinations available to you will depend on what instruments you are using (see example, right).

If using a synthesizer which has its own instrument definition files, you can load a file into the MIDI Editor by clicking on the Load File button, then navigating to its directory, then selecting it.

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An example of the use of program changes is shown here. To edit any program change message, just double click on its CC Lane bar. This will open the Bank/Program Select window for you to make your changes. Also, click and drag to move a program change message, double-click to edit it. To delete it, simply right click over its CC Lane bar.

13.10 MIDI CC Lanes: Tips & Tricks

REAPER's MIDI CC lanes include a number of additional features. Here are some that you might find useful.

13.10.1

General CC Lane Editing Techniques

Many of the CC message types – such as Mod Wheel, Breath, Portamento, Pan, Volume etc. – can be expressed as a continuous range of values, rather than as discrete items (in the way that text events, for example, are).

For messages of this type there are a number of standard techniques you can use to enter, edit or delete them.

 To enter a single message, click and move (gently push) the mouse in the appropriate CC lane at the required point. The nearer the top of the lane, the higher the value of the message.

 To change the value of an existing message, click and drag it up or down.

 To delete a message, right click over it. Alt right click sweep will delete a series of messages.

You can click-hold-drag-sweep to insert a continuous sequence of messages. The example shown (right) causes the notes to be panned in increments first to the left, then to the center, then to the right, then back to the center again. The faster you sweep, the greater the interval between individual events.

13.10.2

Right Click Marquee Selection

You can right-click and drag within any CC lane to make a selection of multiple events. Having made your selection, you can work with them in the CC lane, as well as (if appropriate) in the piano view window. For example, if the CC lane displays

Velocity, then there will be one event shown in the

CC lane for each note in the piano view. Selecting the events in the CC lane will also select the corresponding notes in the piano roll view.

You could then work with those selected events in the MIDI Editor or work with them in the CC lane itself. For example you can:

Delete them.

Adjust their values (up or down).

Right click over the CC lane for a context menu (see right). This can be used to nudge or move the selected events.

Click and drag to move the selection left or right, control click and drag to copy.

The exact behavior here will be determined by whether the individual CC events are directly linked to individual note events. In the example shown here, this would be the case with the velocity events but not the pitch change events. Thus, in the former case

(velocity) you would need to move the events in the piano view window itself and the velocity events would move with them. In the latter case (pitch changes), you would move the events in the CC lane itself.

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13.10.3

Intelligent CC Lane Dropdown List

The CC Lane dropdown menu uses markers to show which other lanes already exist and contain data, whether they are currently displayed or not. In the example shown here, this applies to Velocity, Pitch, Program,

Bank/Program Select, Text Events and Breath.

13.10.4

14-bit CC Lanes and Actions

The CC Lane drop down menu includes a complete range of options for 14-bit CC messages. These can be found at the end of the drop down list. There are also actions that can be used to select any message type for any lane. Use of the Actions List Editor is explained in detail in Chapter 14, but in brief:

1. From the MIDI Editor Actions menu choose Show action list …

2. In the Action List, select one of the actions CC: Set CC lane to ... (e.g.

Set CC lane to 007 Volume 14-bit or

Set CC lane to 007 Volume MSB). You can now assign a shortcut key to that action (see Chapter 14).

Close the Action List Editor.

3. Now you can at any time select a MIDI Editor CC lane and use the shortcut key to use that CC lane for the chosen message type: existing data will be displayed and new data can be inserted and/or edited.

13.10.5

Resizing CC Lane Height

You have three options for changing the height of CC lanes. All involve clicking on the dotted “handle” (shown here) on the “ceiling” boundary above the CC lane in question. The mouse cursor becomes a vertical doubleheaded black arrow. You can then drag the mouse up or down. When you have only one CC lane displayed all three actions do exactly the same thing. However, when there are two or more CC lanes shown, these three actions will behave differently.

Click and Drag: Simply click and drag up/down to increase/decrease the portion of the MIDI Editor window used to show the selected CC lane. Increasing this portion will decrease the height of the piano roll window and vice versa. Other CC lane heights remains unaffected.

Shift Click and Drag: Shift click and drag up/down will increase/decrease the height of all CC lanes and adjust the height of the piano roll window accordingly.

Control Click and Drag: Control click and drag will adjust the height of just the one CC lane, leaving other CC lane heights unchanged.

In addition, you can double-click on the dotted handle (also known as “grippy area”) of any open CC lane to toggle between viewing and minimising it.

13.11 Navigating the MIDI Editor Main Window

The MIDI Editor’s menus and action list contain any number of techniques that you can use for precision navigation: we’ll get to these shortly. First, you should familiarise yourself with the tools that you have available for “broad brush” navigation. The horizontal and vertical scroll bars in the MIDI Editor window are used for scrolling, and their respective plus and minus buttons can be used for vertical and horizontal zooming. You can also use your mousewheel. This can be customized in the Actions List Editor (see Chapter 14), but by default the settings are:

Mousewheel: Horizontal Zoom Ctrl Mousewheel: Vertical Zoom

Alt Mousewheel: Horizontal Scroll Ctrl Alt Mousewheel: Vertical Scroll

The keyboard shortcuts PageUp and PageDown can be used to zoom in/out vertically, and + and to zoom in and out horizontally. These too can be changed in the Actions List Editor if you wish.

13.12 Basic Note Selection and Manipulation

The MIDI Editor’s menus and action list contain any number of techniques that you can use for precision editing and manipulation of your notes: we’ll get to these shortly. First, you should familiarise yourself with the most basic tools that you have available for quick and basic editing.

To do this …

Add a note

Delete a note

Select a note for editing

You need to do this …

Click and drag in the MIDI editing area.

Double-click on the note.

Click once on the note.

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To do this … You need to do this …

Select a range of notes

Select all notes in a range

Right click and drag around the selection.

Right click and drag keys in piano roll.

Add to an existing selection

Hold Alt and Ctrl while right clicking and dragging around notes.

Change a note’s length

Hover mouse over the start or end of the note - the mouse cursor is now a double headed black arrow. Click and drag left or right , as required.

Move a note

Click and drag note to new position then release.

13.13 Loop/Time Selections and Smart Editing

To move the position of the cursor, click on the timeline (ruler) in the MIDI Editor window.

Loop and time selection within the MIDI Editor will behave in accordance with whether or not you have enabled the option Loop points linked to time

selection on REAPER's main menu. These notes assume that you have this disabled.

You can select an area to be looped, as in the main

REAPER window, by clicking and dragging along the

MIDI Editor timeline (see right). You can also use the timeline in the REAPER main window to define and modify loop areas if you wish. Use the Toggle

Repeat button on the MIDI Editor Transport Bar to enable or disable looping.

To make a time selection, click and drag along the boundary between the piano roll display area and the

CC lane. The mouse cursor becomes a horizontal double-headed arrow. Notice that the time selection is mirrored in REAPER's Arrange view (see right).

This facilitates smart editing (see Chapter 7). For example, within the docked MIDI Editor window you could work on the part of a MIDI item that you wish to copy or move to another track and then, still in the

MIDI editor, mark that as a time selection.

In Arrange view, you could then Ctrl Click Drag that area to another track (or elsewhere on the same track) and create your copy.

If using this feature, you should first decide whether or not you wish to enable Auto-select CC when

moving/copying within time selection from the

Options menu.

13.14 The MIDI Editor Menus

This section is an overview of the MIDI Editor's main menu commands. When docked, the main menu is not displayed, but you can access these commands by right-clicking over the window’s tab in the docker.

The File Menu

Rename MIDI take ...

Renames the MIDI Item.

Export to new MIDI file ...

Exports active MIDI track to a file. MIDI events are normally stored in the Project file itself.

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Customize note names

Displays a sub-menu. Rename current note. Use this to name the currently selected note., with the option of Renaming … to all channels. Alternately, double right-click on note in piano roll to enter the name for the selected note directly in the piano roll. Use Tab to move to next note, Shift Tab to previous. When finished you can save to a file.

Load note names for active channel..., Load note names for all channels.... Select either of these options, then choose From file... to browse for your required file. Recently used files will also be displayed on the menu. When loading from the recent file list, hold Shift with this command to merge imported names with existing note names rather than replace them.

Notice there is an option to Clear existing note names before loading.

Another option is to Save note names for current channel to file...

Finally, You can also Clear note names for active channel or Clear note names for all channels.

Customize note colors

Displays a sub-menu. Load color map from file .../Clear color map (use defaults). Used to import your own .PNG color map file or restore the REAPER defaults. For more information about how to create a color map file, go to

forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=78839

Close Editor

Closes the REAPER MIDI editor, and returns you to the main REAPER window.

The Edit Menu

Undo, Redo, Copy, Cut, Select all events, Delete event

These features work as expected on all selected MIDI notes. Note that you can cut, copy and paste between MIDI Editor windows, and into some external applications.

Paste, Paste preserving position in measure

Paste will paste to the current cursor position. Where a selection of notes (rather than a single note) has been cut or copied, the entire selection will be pasted starting at the current cursor position.

Paste preserving position in measure pastes to the next measure after the cursor position, retaining the relative position of the item pasted.

Insert note

Similar to Insert Note at Mouse Cursor (using the I key), but positions new notes at the Edit Cursor.

Insert note at mouse cursor

A very quick way to insert notes. Inserts new notes (according to the current Snap values) wherever your mouse is hovering. Note that since this command takes the mouse cursor as its reference position, you should use the Insert key to execute it rather than actually display the menu.

Split notes

Splits selected notes (using the S key). If no notes are currently selected, all notes currently under the Edit

Cursor are split.

Split note under mouse cursor

Splits any note currently located under the mouse cursor (based on snap settings). Disabling Snap allows you to make very accurate splits. Note that since this command takes the current mouse cursor as its reference position, you should use the keyboard shortcut Shift S to execute it.

Join notes

Joins selected notes together.

Mute events

Mutes current note selection.

Quantize ...

Opens Quantize Events dialog box. See the Quantize section and the MIDI Toolbox section for more information about this feature.

Quantize submenu

Quantize using last settings, Quantize position to grid

Unquantize, Freeze quantization

See the Quantize section and the MIDI Toolbox section for more information about these command.

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Humanize …

Opens the dialog box shown here. Humanizing can make the exact timing of MIDI generated music sound less “clinical” and more realistic.

It does so by allowing you to introduce random small and subtle imprecisions in timing and velocity.

As well as being found on the Edit menu, this command is also available as an assignable action.

Transpose ...

Opens the dialog box shown here, which can be used to transpose all or a selection of MIDI notes.

You can transpose by a specified number of semitones, with a snap to scale option, or from one specified key/scale to another.

Remove selected duplicate notes

Removes duplicate notes (i.e. duplicate notes of the same pitch and same starting position) from selection.

Set note ends to start of next note

Adjusts the end point of all notes in selected range

Reverse

Reverses the order of the MIDI events within the current item.

The Navigate Menu

This menu presents a number of options for moving notes in any direction, either by grid or by note:

Move cursor left by grid Move cursor up one note

Move cursor right by grid Move cursor down one note

There are also a number of commands that can be used to jump to and select a note, either instead of or in addition to any current selection:

Select note nearest cursor

Add note nearest cursor to selection

Select previous note

Select next note

Select previous note with same note value

Select next note with same note value

Select all notes with same note value

Add previous note to selection

Add next note to selection

Move edit cursor to start of selection

The Options Menu

Dock window

Positions MIDI Editor inside the Docker. When you do this, the

MIDI Editor’s main menu will not be displayed. This menu can now be accessed by right-clicking over the window’s tab in the docker ( right).

Sync editor transport to project transport

Synchronizes MIDI Editor transport to REAPER's main Timeline.

Time format for ruler, transport, event properties

Gives you the choice of Measures.Beats.100ths or

Measures.Beats.MIDI_ticks.

Snap Settings

Displays a sub-menu of snap toggle options: Snap notes/CC to grid, Always snap notes to the left,

Snap note ends to grid and Snap notes relative to grid.

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Note preview

Displays a sub-menu enabling you to select any or all of four situations when you would like notes to be previewed (.i.e. audibly heard) – Preview notes when inserting or editing, On velocity change, On

keyboard action, and/or All selected notes that overlap with selected note.

CC events in multiple media items

Two options are available, either of which can be enabled if you wish. These are Draw and edit on all

tracks or Edit on all tracks.

Drawing or selecting a note sets the new note length

Over-rides the default note length set by the drop down Notes box on transport bar.

Allow MIDI note edit to extend the media item

If enabled, this toggle will ensure that the media item length will be extended when a note is moved or copied within a time selection.

Auto-select CC when moving/copying within time selection

If enabled, will include CC events when a time selection is copied or moved.

Display 14-bit MSB/LSB CC data as a single entry ...

If enabled, ensures that 14-bit MSB/LSB CC data will be shown as a single entry (rather than separate entries) in event list view and properties,

Automatically correct overlapping notes

Toggles on and off the automatic correction of overlapping notes.

Use F1-F12 as step sequencer

When enabled, the function keys (F1 - F12) can be used to enter notes. These keys are mapped to the 12

Semitones of an Octave, with F1 having the lowest pitch and F12 having the highest pitch. The starting pitch for F1 is set by the location of the highlight bar. In the example shown (right), the starting pitch for

F1 is C6. In this case, pressing (for example) F5 will create an E note. By moving the highlight bar and edit cursor, and using Function keys to enter notes, complete arrangements can be quickly created.

Normally this mode will also advance the cursor according to the snap settings. You can bypass this by holding Shift while pressing the function key.

Use all MIDI inputs for step recording

Toggles the use of MIDI inputs when step recording.

MIDI editor mouse modifiers

Opens the mouse modifiers page of your preferences window. Here you can select actions to be assigned to mouse behavior in various contexts. This is discussed later in this chapter and in Chapter 14.

Customize menus/toolbars ...

Opens the Customize Menus/Toolbars window. See Chapter 14.

The View Menu

Filter events..., Quantize..., Humanize..., Transpose …

Opens one of these dialog boxes, which have been discussed earlier in this chapter.

Event properties ...

Opens the Note properties dialog box. This topic is covered later in this chapter, along with The Right-

click Notes Menu.

Raw MIDI data

Opens a window displaying raw MIDI data for currently selected item.

Mode: piano roll

Displays a standard, white/black piano key view.

Mode: named notes

Replaces the Piano Roll view with note names. Note: Only works when using a VSTi that reports note names, such as Fxpansion's BFD. Check the REAPER forum to see if a note namer plug-in has been posted for the VSTi you want to use. For example there are EZDrummer note namers available.

Mode: event list

Displays the event list. These three modes are discussed in more detail later.

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Piano roll notes

Displays a sub menu of Rectangles, Triangles and Diamonds to determine how notes are displayed. You also have three toggle options to Show velocity

handles on notes, Show velocity numbers on notes and/or Show note

names on notes. In the example shown here, velocity handles and note names are displayed.

Color notes by

This command selects the criteria used for coloring notes. The options are Velocity, Channel, Pitch,

Source (using color map), Track and Media item. You can toggle on/off Show color selector in

editor. You also have options to Load color map from file and Clear color map (use defaults).

Show/hide note rows

Displays a sub-menu with three mutually exclusive commands to determine which rows are shown. Show

all note rows, Hide unused note rows. or Hide unused and unnamed note rows. The hide options are not compatible with piano roll view.

Piano roll ruler

Provides options to display or hide project markers, project regions and/or tempo/time signature

markers on the piano roll ruler. These are displayed above the ruler, and tempo/time signature markers can be edited by double-clicking on them. You can also right-click for a context mrnu.

Piano roll timebase

Sets the timebase for the piano roll. Options are Source beats (from media source item), Project beats,

Project time, or Project synced. For more information, choose Timebase help from this menu. See also the example at the end of this chapter.

The Contents Menu

Track List/Media Item Lane

Toggles the display of these panels.

Media item selection mirrors arrange view

A toggle which when enabled ensures that selecting a MIDI item in the MIDI Editor causes that item also to be selected in Arrange view, and vice versa.

Clear editor when changing active MIDI media item via this menu (shift toggles)

This causes the MIDI Editor display to be cleared when the active item is changed via the contents menu.

One item per ...

Opens sub menu where you can specify one MIDI editor window for each item, each track, or the project.

Options when using one MIDI editor per project

Opens sub menu where you can specify various options which determine how REAPER behaves when you are using one MIDI editor per project. See section “Managing Multiple MIDI Tracks and Items.”

Active MIDI item follows selection changes in Arrange view

Allows you to make any MIDI item active in MIDI editor by selecting it in Arrange view.

List of project tracks/MIDI items

This menu lists all tracks which contain MIDI items and all items themselves. A tick indicates that the item is currently open and the active item. Select an item from this menu to open it in the MIDI Editor window, closing all other items: hold Shift while doing so if you do not wish to close all other items.

The Actions Menu

This has two default commands - Show action list and Show recent actions. Show action list opens the

Actions … window with the MIDI Editor section automatically selected. Custom actions and keyboard shortcuts play an important role in working within the MIDI Editor.

When Show recent actions is enabled, the Actions menu will list your most recent activities, as well as any custom actions or keyboard assignments that you have placed there. These commands can then be executed from this menu (see example, right).

There are some simple examples showing you how you can use the Actions List later in this chapter. The Actions List Editor and how to use it will be covered in detail in

Chapter 14.

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Finally (on the subject of menus) remember that REAPER makes extensive use of right-click context menus.

Knowing which commands are on the main menu is useful, but as you will shortly see, more often than not you’ll use the right click menus and custom actions more than the main menu.

13.15 Note Creating and Editing

Overview

A MIDI Item can contain data from up to 16 channels. The MIDI Editor can display and edit all 16 MIDI channels, or you can use the Filter Events window or Channels drop down list to limit the channel display.

If you select Channel from the Color drop down list, each channel will be assigned an individual color, visible in both the Piano Roll and the CC lane. The MIDI Editor uses as its default a Piano Roll interface to display and edit

MIDI information. Notes are displayed vertically according to their corresponding value on a Piano Keyboard, and horizontally according to the duration of each note and their location within the MIDI Item or the Timeline.

Preview Keyboard

The Preview Keyboard at the left of the screen provides a visual representation of the value of the notes on the

Piano Roll, and allows you to audition a note without having to enter or edit it first. Clicking a key on the

Preview Keyboard will send a MIDI note of the corresponding value to the MIDI Instrument that is connected to the Track. The Preview Keyboard can mimic a velocity sensitive keyboard. Clicking on the far left of a key will generate a soft note, while clicking on the far right of a key will generate a loud note.

Entering / Editing Notes

MIDI notes can be recorded as part of a performance, imported from an existing MIDI file, or they can be manually entered using the MIDI Editor.

Using the Mouse:

Notes can be entered by dragging your mouse from left to right across the Piano Roll. The duration of the note will increase as you drag the Note. If Snap is enabled, the duration will Snap to the nearest Grid Line

(depending on the strength of your Snap settings). Notes can also be entered by double-clicking on the Piano

Roll (in a space not already occupied by another note). In this case, the duration of the note is determined by the value of the Grid Setting. Notes can be deleted by double-clicking on the Note.

The duration of an existing note can be altered by dragging the edge of the note. While holding it, you can drag the note out, move it up and down, etc. When you let go, the notes will be positioned according to your snap setting. A note’s velocity can be adjusted by clicking and dragging up or down from the top of the note, in similar fashion to that used for adjusting the item volume button or handle in REAPER’s main window.

Notes can be moved by dragging in any direction. Dragging left or right will change the location of the note in the Timeline, while dragging up or down will change the note value.

The Right-Click Notes Menu

Insert note at mouse cursor

A very quick way to insert notes. It will insert notes according to the current snap values wherever your mouse floats over. Remember to use INSERT key otherwise you will have to move your mouse cursor!

Insert note at edit cursor

Similar to previous, but wherever the edit cursor is.

Copy/Cut/Paste

These are standard Windows editing commands which perform standard Windows functions.

Paste preserving position in measure

This pastes notes to the next measure after the cursor, retaining the relative position of the item(s) pasted.

Select all notes

Selects all notes in this MIDI Editor window

Delete notes

Deletes all notes in current selection.

Split notes

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Notes can be split at the Edit Cursor by selecting Split notes (S) from the right-click menu. All notes that are under the Edit Cursor will be split.

Split notes under mouse cursor

Notes can be split at the location of the Mouse Cursor by selecting Split notes under mouse cursor

(Shift S) from the right-click menu.

Join notes

Joins all notes in current selection to make one note per row.

Mute notes

Mutes according to context the current note selection or the note under the mouse cursor.

Select previous note

Select next note

Selects previous or next note in place of current selection.

Select previous note with same value

Select next note with same value

Select all notes with same value

Selects previous, next or all notes with the same value as the currently selected note.

Note properties

Midi note attributes can be edited by entering values into text boxes. You can change any of these:

note pitch, velocity, position, channel, note off velocity, length.

You can use + or to make relative changes. For example, for note value, entering +1o2 will raise the pitch by one octave and two semitones.

Note channel (1-16)

A quick way to change the channel for the current note selection. For example, choosing channel 8 will ensure that a note will use channel 8 -- and will send that note to the vsti or midi instruments channel 8.

Note velocity (1-127)

Used to change the velocity for a note or note selection to a specified value, within the range 1 to 127.

13.16 Using the Keyboard

Looking at the right click Notes menu you can see that default keyboard shortcuts have been assigned to many of these commands. There are others that are not shown on the menus. Some of the most useful of these are listed here.

Notes can be entered at the position of the edit cursor by using the Keyboard Shortcut I or at the mouse cursor by pressing Insert. The duration of the note will be determined by the value of the grid setting (from the Grid

Division box). The effect of this is shown in the two illustrations (right), before and after.

The Edit Cursor position on the Timeline is adjusted by using any of the following Keyboard Shortcuts.

To do this …

Move edit cursor right by one grid division.

Move edit cursor left by one grid division.

Move edit cursor right by one pixel.

Move edit cursor left by one pixel.

… use this shortcut

Right or Ctrl Num 6

Left or Ctrl Num 4

Shift Right or Ctrl Alt Num 6

Shift Left or Ctrl Alt Num 4

Notes can be moved using any of the following Keyboard Shortcuts.

To do this …

Move selected note(s) down one octave.

Move selected note(s) down one semitone.

Move selected note(s) up one octave.

Move selected note(s) up one semitone.

Move edit cursor left by one pixel.

… use this shortcut

Alt Num 2

Num 2

Alt Num 8

Num 8

Alt Num 4

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To do this …

Move edit cursor left by one grid unit.

Move edit cursor right by one pixel.

Move edit cursor right by one grid unit.

… use this shortcut

Num 4

Alt Num 6

Num 6

Note display can be filtered for channels 1 to 10 using any of the shortcuts Shift 1 thru Shift 0. Shift ` removes the note filter and restores all notes to view.

Use F1-F12 as step sequencer:

When Use F1-F12 as step sequencer is selected, the Function keys F1 thru F12 can be used to enter notes.

The Function keys are mapped to the 12 Semitones of an Octave, with F1 having the lowest pitch and F12 having the highest pitch. The method for using this is the same as already described under the MIDI Editor’s main Options menu.

Note Properties:

The keyboard shortcut Ctrl F2 can be used to open the Note Properties box, as an alternative to choosing the command from the right-click menu.

Selecting / Editing multiple Notes:

Multiple notes can be selected by holding down the Ctrl or Shift keys while selecting notes with the mouse, by drawing a Marquee (Right-click and drag) around a group of notes, or by using Select All (Ctrl A).

The value of all selected notes can be adjusted by dragging one of the selected notes.

The duration of all selected notes can be adjusted by dragging the edge of one on the selected notes.

The note velocity of all selected notes can be adjusted by dragging the Velocity handle (when active) of one of the selected notes.

The default Velocity value for notes created in the MIDI Editor is taken from the last selected event - e.g. if the

Velocity of the last selected event was 70, then the Velocity value for the next created note will be 70.

13.17 Transposing Notes

As an alternative to using the Edit, Transpose command to transpose MIDI notes you can use a number of keyboard shortcuts. First select the required notes, then use one of the following shortcuts:

Move notes up one octave Alt NumPad 8

Move notes up one semitone

Move notes down one octave

Move notes down one semitone

Ctrl Up or NumPad 8

Alt NumPad 2

Ctrl Down or NumPad 2

13.18 General MIDI Program Patches

We have already seen that you can use a Bank/Program Select lane to make program changes within an item. It’s worth noting that

REAPER includes a file GM.reabank (in the \Application

Data\REAPER\Data folder) which can be used to select standard

General MIDI banks and patches. An example is shown here.

If the General MIDI banks are not automatically available in the Bank drop down list, click on the Load File button, navigate to the

REAPER data directory and select the file GM.reabank.

13.19 MIDI Preview Scrub

Within Piano Roll View and Named Note View you can preview your MIDI material by clicking and dragging the edit cursor along the timeline. This is similar to audio scrub: exact scrub behavior will be determined by the settings under Options, Preferences, Audio, Playback.

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13.20 MIDI Editor Modes and Views

13.20.1

Note Modes

The MIDI Editor has three modes, accessible from the Views menu.:

1. Piano Roll View – keyboard shortcut Alt 1.

2. Named Notes – keyboard shortcut Alt 2.

3. Event List – keyboard shortcut Alt 3.

Up until now, the only view used in this User Guide has been Piano Roll. Before moving on to examining the other two views, there are a couple of points that you might find interesting.

Named Notes Mode:

In this mode you can double right click in the left pane to enter text, as shown. If you select the option on the View menu to Show note names

on events, then the names will be shown on the actual notes themselves, as shown here.

If you leave this option enabled, the names will also be displayed in Piano Roll View.

I n named note mode, you also have the options

(View menu) to Show all note rows, Hide unused note rows and Hide unused and unnamed note

rows. The first of these options is the default.

Hiding unused note rows can make it easier for you to navigate thru the MIDI Editor to work with existing notes. However, problems may occur if you then want to add or move notes to rows that are currently empty. The option to Hide unused and unnamed note rows can help you to get round this. By taking the time before you choose this command to name any empty rows that you are likely to need, you will ensure that these rows will still be available to you.

Event List Mode:

Event List mode displays the MIDI information as a list of events, in tabular form.

In this mode you can use the right click menu

(shown left) to i(for example) nsert, copy, cut paste, delete or mute any events.

The full menu is shown here.

You can also double click on any event to modify that event’s properties (see example below right).

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Of course, the information displayed in the Event

Properties dialog box will in large measure depend on the event type of event.

The Toolbar displayed in

Event List view is simpler than that used in the other two views. The Filter button (top left) is used exactly as in the other two views to filter only those events that you want displayed. The Add Event button will insert a new event immediately before the currently selected event, and the Delete button will delete the currently selected event.

The fourth button toggles the docking of the MIDI

Editor on and off.

Note: From the Options menu, the toggle command to Display 14-bit MSB/LSB CC data as a single

entry in event list view and event properties dialog is by default enabled. This causes 14-bit MSB/LSB CC data to be shown as a single entry rather than separately.

13.20.2

Note Styles

The default display note style used by the MIDI

Editor is rectangular. This is the style that has been displayed in all of the Piano

Roll View and Named Note

View examples up to now.

However, two further options are available, specifically for use with drum sounds.

These are triangle and diamond modes. To choose a note style, use the View,

Piano Roll Notes command and select

Rectangle, Triangle or

Diamond.

An example which uses triangles instead of the default rectangles is shown on the left.

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13.21 Quantizing MIDI Data

The term Quantize refers to a process of aligning a set of musical notes to a precise setting. This results in notes being set on notes and on exact fractions of notes. When you quantize a group of MIDI notes, the program moves each note to the closest point on the timing grid.

The point of quantizing is to provide a more uniform timing of sounds. It is often applied to MIDI notes created by a musical keyboard or drum machine. Quantize is available by choosing the Edit, Quantize events command from the

MIDI Editor menu. This causes the dialog box shown on the right to be displayed.

The first choice you have is between the Use Grid and

Manual Settings option. We'll come to Use Grid shortly.

Shown right is the dialog box interface that appears when the Manual option is selected. The various quantize parameters are explained below.

Notice the Bypass option (top right). Disabled it lets you see the result of different quantize parameter settings as you tweak them. Enable this until you are finished if you don't want this to happen. Toggle it if you want to compare how your music sounds with and without quantizing applied.

All Notes, Selected Notes, All Events or Selected Events. The first Quantize drop down list allows you to quantize selected notes or events (not just notes) or the whole sequence (all notes or all events). This can come in handy if you just need to quantize a certain off section, or perhaps just a certain instrument, such as the hi-hats of a drum section. The second Quantize drop down list works in conjunction with whatever selection you make from the first. You can choose to have the quantizing of notes and/or events applied to the Position only, Position and Note End, Position and Note Length, Note End Only or Note Length Only.

The Strength setting adjusts how strictly notes are quantized. The lower you set the strength, the less

'magnetism' the grid has to the midi notes. This introduces subtle imprecisions to the quantizing which can make the outcome seem less clinical.

The Grid and Length values determine which units (measured as fractions of a note) are used for quantizing.

These can be selected from the drop down lists or entered manually in their respective boxes. They act in conjunction with the Allow notes to options (see below). Grid type can be straight, triplet, dotted or swing. If swing is selected, you will also need to specify swing strength.

Move left and Move right. If Quantize Position is enabled, these will ensure that notes are individually quantized to the start or end of the specified note fraction, whichever is nearest. Move left only will only quantize notes to the start, move right only will only quantize notes to the end.

Shrink and Grow. These are applied if Quantize Length is enabled. REAPER will extend or shorten notes by moving the end position of each note. You can enable either or both of these options.

The Only quantize range faders allow you to specify a percentage range for quantizing. 50% represents the mid-point between the grid lines. Values more than 50% are only really meaningful if “allow move right” or

“allow move left” is disabled. The distance is measured from the grid line being quantized to: normally it will select the closest line so that you will never be more than

50% away.

Fix Overlaps can be enabled to stop notes from overlapping as a result of being quantized.

When the Use Grid Setting is selected, the Quantize

Events dialog box will be as shown on the right.

From the Grid drop-down list (at the bottom of the MIDI

Editor window, next to the transport bar), select a note length value (such as 1/32, 1/16 or 1/8) and then select an item from the grid spacing type list. This can be straight, triplet, dotted or swing. If you choose Swing a

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strength fader is displayed (see below). This can be used to adjust the swing setting within a range of -100% to

100%, or you can enter a value directly into the Swing % edit box to its immediate right. You should also set a

Notes value: left at Grid, this will take its value from whatever is chosen for the grid. Otherwise you may select any other required value from the drop down list.

Used well, swing can result in a more musically pleasing output.

In essence, you define a percentage delay to be applied on the upbeat. For example, if you apply swing to 1/4 notes then those which coincide with the 1/2 note divisions will be unaffected by the swing, those that fall between these divisions will be delayed by the amount specified. Small amounts of swing (even 5% or less) can help to prevent a part from sounding too rigid.

Quantize is non-destructive – that is to say, the process can be reversed at any time.

The various other commands on the Edit menu that are used with quantizing are:

Quantize notes using last settings

This bypasses the Quantize Events dialog box, making it easier for you to apply the same quantization settings to various disparate selections.

Quantize notes position to grid

This quantizes notes according to your grid settings.

Unquantize events

Removes quantization and returns the notes to their previous state.

Freeze quantization for events

Freezes the quantization for all currently selected events.

Shown above is an example. The top picture shows two unquantized notes selected. In the second picture they are quantized by moving them left. In the third picture, they are quantized by moving them to the right.

13.22 Input Quantization

The term Input Quantize refers to a process by which MIDI notes are automatically quantized as they are entered. This could be, for example, by playing your MIDI keyboard, or even the

REAPER Virtual Keyboard.

Input quantize is applied on a per track basis. Simply right click over the track’s

VU Meter (TCP or MCP) and choose

Track Recording Settings from the context menu. This causes the dialog box shown on the right to be displayed.

You should then select the option to

Quantize track MIDI recording.

Options then available include:

 The note length to be used for quantization (e.g. 1/8).

 Your quantize positioning preference. Options are Nearest

value, Previous value and Next

value.

 Whether to quantize note-offs.

 Quantization strength. A lower setting will allow more subtle variation, creating a more “human” effect by allowing minor variations in how strictly the quantization is applied.

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Swing setting. This can be between 0% and 100%. You can use this setting to add a touch of delay to those notes that do not fall on the upbeat. The best way to understand how these settings affect how your notes sound is to try a few examples.

 Quantize within % range. These are similar to the Nearly Quantized and Far From Quantized faders in the Quantize Events dialog box (see previous section).

13.23 Humanize Notes

Humanize Notes (from the Edit menu) can be used to introduce subtle variations – some might say imperfections! – to a MIDI item that is just too exact, too perfect. For example, no human pianist will ever complete an entire live performance on an acoustic piano with every key being struck with exact precision and perfect timing. Therefore, you might not want your

MIDI items to be too perfect.

The Humanize Notes dialog box (right) can be used to introduced random variations in timing and velocity to an existing MIDI item to make it sound … well, more human!

13.24 F3 - The Panic Button

The F3 key can be your best friend when you are working in the MIDI Editor (and also when you are playing back MIDI items in REAPER's main Arrange View). Pressing F3 will set all notes to all MIDI outputs off, until you stop and recommence playback.

13.25 Using the MIDI Editor: a Basic Exercise

In this example, you will be introduced to some simple examples which involve working with the REAPER MIDI

Editor. The objective of this is not to produce a stunningly brilliant piece of music, but to help you to become familiar with the MIDI Editor. The step by step instructions assume that you are using a PC with Windows. OS/X users will need to adapt some of the steps to suit their own environment.

Example

1. Create a new project file. Add one track to it. Arm this track for recording and set its input to your MIDI keyboard if you have one, or to the virtual keyboard if you do not.

2. Record about 20 or 30 seconds of a very simple tune on Channel 1. This might be part of a nursery rhyme or some other song with which you are familiar. Your Track and Item will look something like this:

3. If you are using Windows, display the track’s routing window and add a MIDI Hardware Output to

Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth.

4. Play the tune. It should play with a piano sound.

5. Double click on the item to open it with the MIDI Editor.

6. Check the first two MIDI toolbar buttons to make sure that neither the Track List nor Media Item Lane are displayed – you do not need them for this exercise,

7. Display the drop down note-length list (labeled Notes:) and set it to 1/2.

8. Scroll your mousewheel up or down until you are satisfied with the horizontal zoom setting. Use Ctrl with the mousewheel to find an acceptable vertical zoom setting. You should see something like this.

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8. Just for fun, draw in a few more notes by clicking and dragging in the edit window. Experiment with using your mouse to move them about and change their length (by clicking and holding over a note’s right edge and dragging left or right). Delete any that you do not want to keep.

9. Now Zoom out horizontally to see the entire length of the item.

10. Display the CC Lane List and choose Bank/Program Select (see right).

11. At the very start of the song, double click in the CC Lane. Select the bank

General MIDI and the program Church Organ. Click on OK.

12. Return to the start of the timeline and play the tune. It should sound like a church organ.

13. Draw in a number of long

“dronish” notes as shown below. Marquee them (right click drag) to select them all (but only your new notes).

14. Right click over any of the selected items, choose Note Channel from the menu, then channel 2.

15. Double click in the CC Lane,at the start of the song. Select General

MIDI, Choir Aaahs and Channel 2 (see right). Click on OK.

16. Play the song from the start. You should hear an organ with a choir.

The choir may seem too loud.

17. Change the CC lane to display 07 Volume MSB.

18. Click on the Channel Filter List (on the toolbar) and choose Channel

2. Now only your Aaahs are displayed.

19. Click, hold and drag your mouse as you sweep along the CC Lane with a fairly low volume setting, as shown below.

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20. Remove the channel filter and restore all channels to view.

21. Display the Color drop down list and choose Channel.

22. Close the MIDI Editor and save the file.

23. Play it. The choir should now sound a lot quieter.

24. Continue if you wish to further explore the MIDI Editor on your own.

13.26 Working with Multiple MIDI Tracks and/or Items (Overview)

From Arrange view you can make MIDI items available for editing by choosing the command Open in built-in

MIDI editor from the right click context menu. By default, double-clicking on the item has the same effect.

REAPER's exact behavior here will be determined by your Editing Behavior, MIDI Editor preferences – see also Chapter 21. In brief, this is where you select one of three options – to use a separate MIDI editor for each media item, or one instance per track, or one instance for the whole project. For example, if you set your preference to one MIDI editor per media item, then each MIDI item you double-click on will open in a separate

MIDI editor instance by itself. If you set it to one MIDI editor per project, this will result in all MIDI items being opened in the MIDI editor when any single MIDI item is double-clicked: The double-clicked item will be the selected and active item.

If One MIDI editor per project is specified, then you should also specify whether to open the clicked MIDI item only, all selected MIDI items, all MIDI items on the same track, or all MIDI items in the project (see right).

Within the MIDI Editor itself, your default preference settings can be changed and overridden from the Contents menu. This will be discussed shortly

Tracks and items can be managed in the MIDI Editor by displaying the Media Item Lane (second button on toolbar toggles) and the Track List (first button on toolbar toggles). Both these options are also available on the Contents menu.

The illustration below shows an example of the MIDI Editor window opened with three MIDI tracks, the first of which comprises three items. Both the Track List (right of window) and the Media Item Pane (foot of window) are displayed. In a moment, we'll examine these more closely.

In the MIDI Editor each item is assigned three qualities – visibility status, active status and editability status.

These can be set as required to allow you to work with different items at different times. Visible means the item and its notes are displayed in the MIDI editor window. Active means that the item can be used for inserting, copying, pasting notes, etc. Editable means that mouse edits (move, lengthen, etc.) and commands such as quantize, transpose and humanize can be performed on an item's notes. One and only one item at a time may be active, but as many items as you wish may at any time be visible and/or editable. Note that:

An item can be visible without having to be editable or active. One or more items may be visible.

An editable item will also be visible but need not be active. One or more items may be editable.

An active item will also be editable and visible. One and only one item is active at any time.

An item can be made active using the track list (above right). A track can be made active from the Contents menu or using the drop down list near the end of the transport bar (also see

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below right). If the track contains only one MIDI item, that item will be made active. If it contains more than one item, all items will be visible and editable but only one item will be active.

The Filter Events window allows you to select multiple channels for display and editing. If you select two or more channels in this window, the drop down channel list at the foot of the MIDI editor window will read “Multi” or “All”. Alternately, you can simply use the drop down channel list to select “All.”

The MIDI column in the Track Manager (Chapter 12) can also be used to open items in/remove items from the MIDI Editor, and to show items in/hide items from the MIDI Editor track list. Tracks can also be selected to be shown in or hidden from the track list using the track list's context menu (see below).

13.27 Managing Multiple MIDI Tracks and Items

The Track List

Track List display is toggled on and off by the first icon on the MIDI Editor toolbar, or from the Contents menu. Right-click on the track list area to open the Track List context menu.

You can choose between Automatic mode and Manual selection

mode. In automatic mode, clicking on an item name automatically selects it and makes it the active and sole editable item. In manual mode, selecting an item name does not automatically make it the active item, nor does it affect the status of other items. In either mode, you can always click on any item's “make active” icon (green down pointing arrow) to make it active, or the green padlock icon to make it editable.

You can choose (mutually exclusive) Selection linked to visibility or Selection linked to editability.

Tracks made visible or editable will automatically be added to the track selection.

Two mutually exclusive options from the MIDI Editor Options menu are repeated here: these are Draw and

edit CC events on all tracks and Edit CC events on all tracks.

You can use the command Choose which tracks appear in track list to hide tracks from or restore them to the track list. Selecting this command causes the X symbol to be displayed beside each track name. This toggles

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track display. In its default gray state, the track will be displayed, when red it will be hidden. After making your selection, again select Choose which tracks appear in track list from the context menu to implement your selection. You can also choose whether Media item selection is to be mirrored so that selecting an item in either the MIDI Editor or Arrange view automatically causes it to be also selected in the other.

Finally, you can choose whether to Show tooltips in MIDI track list.

In the example on the left three tracks are displayed, containing in total five MIDI items. The Acoustic Guitar track holds three items. Guitar break

1 is the active item: it is therefore also editable and visible. guitar break 2 is editable and visible, guitar break 3 is visible but not editable. The acoustic bass item is both editable and visible. The electric guitar is not visible and therefore not editable.

The diamond shaped symbol to the left of each track name opens and closes a list of MIDI items on that track.

Click on any item name to select it, or on any track name to select all items on a track. You can use control+click to build a selection. In automatic mode, the first item in a built selection will be made active, but you can change this by clicking on the “make active” icon of any other item.

You can then use the various other icons to set qualities such as icon color or editability for the entire selection.

The small colored square to the right of an item name opens the color picker: this can be used to select a different color to be used for this item in the Media Item Lane.

The column to the right of the color picker is the “make active” column. Click here to make any item the current item for inserting events (shown by the green arrow). It will automatically also be made editable and visible.

Click in the next column to the right of this to make any item visible and editable, indicated by the green unlocked padlock icon. If contents do not appear visible, check 1) the scroll settings for the MIDI editor window, and 2) the channel filter, to ensure that the required channel is included in the filter. This same green icon can then be used to toggle editability.

The eye symbol to the right of this toggles the visibility of any item (or item selection) in the MIDI Editor.

The gray/red circle to the right of this (for tracks) toggles record arm status for that track. This is used in conjunction with the Record button on the Arrange view Transport Bar.

Use the M button to the right of this to toggle mute status for individual tracks or items.

Use the S button to the right of this to toggle solo status for any track.

You can also use the Contents menu (from the MIDI Editor main menu) to override and change your current

MIDI Editor preference settings. For example, you can:

Use the One MIDI editor per command and select Media item, Track, or Project.

Use the Options when using one media item per project command and change the setting for

Behavior for “open items in built-in MIDI editor” to any of clicked MIDI item only, all selected

MIDI items, all MIDI items on same track as clicked item or all MIDI items in project.

The Contents menu also makes available a number of toggle options to be applied when all MIDI items in

project is selected. These are Only MIDI items on same track as active item are editable, Clear editor

when changing active MIDI item (shift toggles) and Close editor when active item is deleted in

Arrange view. For more about MIDI preferences and options, see Chapter 21.

There is also a toggle option Active MIDI item follows selection changes in Arrange view. This enables you to make any MIDI item active by selecting it in Arrange view.

The Media Item Lane

This displays the MIDI items and their position in the arrangement. In automatic mode, clicking on any item highlights, selects it and makes it active. As with the track list, you can use control+click to build a selection.

The individual media item right-click context menu offers you various options for setting items to custom colors or random colors.

13.28 Editing Multiple MIDI Items

In order to be able to edit different MIDI items at the same time you will first need to select those items that you wish to make available for editing, as explained in the previous section. You can then perform normal

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mouse editing activities on any part of the selection, such as copying or moving, adjusting velocity, stretching, shrinking, etc. The table below gives some examples of how you can apply this to various MIDI editing tasks.

MIDI Editing with Multiple Items: Some Tips and Examples

These notes assume that you are by now familiar with the basic MIDI editor navigation and editing techniques explained earlier in this chapter and, for example, shown in the exercise in section 12.24. Indeed, you are advised not to experiment with editing multiple MIDI items until you are confident that you have mastered the techniques for editing the contents of a single MIDI item.

Tip: Before attempting any of these editing tasks in the MIDI editor, check your channel filter settings to make sure that the notes to be edited are actually visible!

If you want to do this … … do this!

Change track/item name.

Copy/move a note (or note selection) to another item within MIDI editor.

Copy/move a note (or note selection) to another item in

Arrange view.

Mouse edit a selection of notes in more than one MIDI item.

Delete selection of notes across more than one item.

Double-click on name in track list and edit.

Make sure source item(s) editable. Select note(s), press Ctrl C (copy) or

Ctrl X (cut). Make the destination item active. If required, position play cursor. Press Ctrl V (paste).

Make source item(s) editable in MIDI Editor. Select note(s), press Ctrl C

(copy) or Ctrl X (cut). Select destination item in Arrange view, make it active in MIDI Editor, position play cursor. Press Ctrl V (paste).

Make items editable. Select notes and use mouse (e.g. drag to move, click drag from edge of any note to lengthen or shorten notes).

Make items editable. Select notes and press Delete key.

Mute/Unmute note selection across more than one item.

Change note properties for a selection of notes

Quantize, Humanize, Transpose across multiple items.

Adjust velocity of notes selected in two or more items.

Edit CC data across multiple

MIDI items.

Show/Hide all MIDI items on tracks in Track List.

Show/Hide all tracks/MIDI items in Track Folder.

Make items editable. Select notes and press Alt M, or use Mute events command from Edit menu.

Make items editable. Select notes and press Ctrl F2. Make changes then

OK.

Make all required items editable. Make note selection and choose Edit menu command, e.g. Quantize, Humanize, Transpose.

Display velocity lane and make items editable. Select required notes.

Click/drag mouse up/down from top edge to increase/decrease velocity.

Display CC lane and make items editable. Select required events and perform edit as required with mouse or via Event Properties dialog.

Click (for one track) or Shift click (for all tracks) on diamond symbol to the left of any track name in Track List (toggle).

Click on circle symbol to left of folder name in Track List (toggle).

13.29 MIDI Editor Mouse Modifiers

The Mouse Modifier dialog can be opened by the Options, MIDI editor mouse modifiers command. A dialog box is opened where you can customize exactly how you would like the mouse to behave when you are working in the MIDI editor.

There are several areas in which you can modify mouse behavior within the MIDI Editor. These include MIDI

note, MIDI note edge, MIDI CC lane, MIDI CC event, MIDI Source loop and marker, MIDI ruler,

MIDI marker/ region lanes, MIDI piano roll and MIDI editor. In many cases separate contexts are also available for left click, left drag and double-click behavior. You can define how your mouse behaves when it is being used in any of these contexts. For example, if you wanted to, you could ensure that, say. Shift Alt Left

click is used to toggle a note's mute status.

For much more about mouse modifiers, including MIDI Editor mouse modifiers, see Chapter 14.

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13.30 MIDI Editor Actions

REAPER’s Action list Editor lets you assign keyboard shortcuts to any command or action, or sequence of actions, including many not shown on the MIDI Editor menus. Chapter 14 will show you how to do this, including adding actions to the

MIDI Editor menus.

The Action list is displayed by choosing Show actions list from the Actions menu. One of the first things to notice about it is that it contains a whole load of assignable actions beyond those that are shown on REAPER’s menus.

This means that you are able to create your own keyboard shortcuts for any of these actions, and even for sequences of actions.

Notice also (right) that when using the MIDI Editor Action

List, you are able to assign MIDI commands and actions to keystrokes so that those keys will behave differently in the MIDI Editor from the way they behave in the main REAPER environment. You can see that there’s quite a few, and that some already have keys assigned to them. You can assign your own keys to other actions.

Let’s take a simple example. Being able to select notes quickly and easily is important when you are working with the MIDI editor. If in the Action List filter box you type add note then only those actions which included these characters will be displayed (see above). One of these is Add next note to selection. You can assign a shortcut to this action – perhaps the letter N.

Example

1. With any MIDI item open in the MIDI Editor, choose the Actions, Show actions list command.

2. Click on the action Add next note to selection.

3. Click on the Add… button. This causes the Keyboard or MIDI Input window to be displayed.

4. Press the letter N. Click on OK. You can see that this keystroke has now been assigned to this action.

5. Close the Actions List.

6. Click on any note to select it. Now press N several times. Each time you do so, the selection will be extended by one note. You could now move these notes together, or assign them to a different channel, or delete them, or perform any other editing action.

You’ll see in Chapter 14 that the Actions List Editor lets you do much more than this. For example, you can:

 Chain together any sequence of actions so that the sequence can be executed with a single keystroke.

 Add actions and custom actions to your MIDI Editor toolbar and/or the MIDI editor Actions menu, and/or any of REAPER's MIDI Editor menu commands (File, Edit, Navigate. Oprtions, etc.)

 REAPER's MIDI Editor commands (such as Edit -> Delete events, Edit Insert note, Edit

→ →

Quantize,

Navigate Select next note, Options Correct overlapping notes when editing, etc.) can all be found in the Action list. In addition there are many hundreds of actions, some very precise, which are not shown on the menus. The table that follows should help guide you thru many of these.

Category/Group

Note/event selection

Examples

of MIDI Editor assignable actions

(not fully comprehensive)

Select all notes with same note value, Select note nearest to edit cursor, Select all muted notes.

Add next/previous note to selection, Add note nearest edit cursor to selection.

Select/unselect all CC events, Select/unselect all CC events in last clicked lane.

Select all notes in time selection, Select all notes starting in time selection, Select all CC events in time selection (several variations).

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Category/Group Examples

of MIDI Editor assignable actions

(not fully comprehensive)

Note inserting/ editing/ manipulating/ moving/ transposing

Color notes by velocity/channel/media item custom color/using colormap/by track custom color.

Delete all notes/trailing notes less than [1/128 to 1/8] note in length.

Lengthen/shorten one grid unit/one pixel.

Make notes legato, preserving note start times/relative note spacing.

Move notes down/up one octave/semitone (transpose)

Move notes left/right one grid unit/one pixel.

Invert selected/all notes.

Invert chord voicings.

Reverse selected/all notes.

Edit note velocity +/- 01/10.

Set note length to grid size/double/half.

Trim left/right edge of notes to edit cursor.

Insert note [1/128 to 1] note length.

Set note ends to start of next note.

Set note position to edit cursor.

Split notes on grid.

Copy/cut/duplicate notes within time selection, Fit notes to time selection.

Paste events into active media item regardless of source media item (allows items to be copied from a selection of media items into a single media item.).

Loop/time selection

Loop point: set start/end point. Remove loop point. Double/halve loop length.

Set time selection to selected notes, Remove time selection, Remove time and loop point selection.

Move cursor to start/end of loop/time selection.

Activate item/track

(when working with multiple items/tracks)

CC lane management

Channel display

Activate next/next visible/previous/previous visible MIDI item. Activate next/next visible/previous/previous visible MIDI track.

Cursor movement

Lyric events

Mouse modifiers

Next/previous CC lane. Set CC lane to xxx.

Show only channel xx, Show only next/previous channel, Toggle channel xx, Color notes/CC by channel.

Cursor advance [1/128 to 1]. Cursor advance [1/32T to 1/4T].

Align lyric events with notes. Import lyrics for selected noted from file.

Insert/edit text/lyric event at first selected note.

Select next/previous lyric event. Shift lyric events backward/forward one note.

Actions are available to set mouse modifier behavior within the MIDI Editor for each of the categories CC event left drag, CC lane left drag, MIDI editor right drag, note edge left drag, note left click, note left drag, piano roll left click, piano roll left drag, ruler left click and ruler left drag. The list of actions is exhaustive.

13.31 In-Line MIDI Editing

To use the in-line editor on any MIDI item, first select the item then either use the default shortcut key E or right click and from the menu choose Open items in Editor then Open items in In-line Editor. The in-line editor will only be displayed if there is sufficient track height.

REAPER’s main MIDI Editor is recommended for serious and in-depth editing of your MIDI items. However, many common tasks can be carried out using the in-line editor if you prefer. This allows you to edit the

MIDI item without leaving the main window.

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The in-line editor displays piano roll view only, and the contents of CC lanes will be determined by whichever lanes were selected last time the item was opened in the MIDI Editor. If it has never been opened in the MIDI

Editor, the Velocity lane will be selected by default. You can adjust the boundary between the editing area and the CC lane with the mouse to adjust its height, just as in the MIDI Editor.

Right-clicking over the editing area will display a menu that will show you which editing tasks can be carried out with the in-line editor. These are listed in detail in Chapter 21, but in summary, the following types of commands and actions are supported within the in-line MIDI editor:

 Note editing mouse actions, including change length, change velocity, marquee, move, delete and insert.

 Most commands on the MIDI Editor’s Edit and View menus, including quantize and humanize.

When working with the in-line editor, any keyboard shortcuts and custom actions that you have defined in the main MIDI Editor will apply, along with any defaults. For example, PageUp and PageDown will zoom vertically in and out within the in-line editor. You can run your MIDI Editor custom actions within the in-line editor. The inline editor also displays a small toolbar in its top right corner. From left to right, the function of these tools is:

The Move CC with events toggle tool: serves the same purpose as its equivalent tool in the MIDI Editor window.

 The Show/Hide tool (magnifying glass): toggles between the functions Show all note rows, Hide unused note rows and Hide unused and unnamed note rows.

 The Item Style tool: toggles between rectangle, triangle and diamond note display style.

 The Vertical Scroll/Zoom tool. Click and hold on this and drag vertically up or down to scroll vertically up and down, left and right to zoom vertically in and out (see example, right). You can double-click on this button to zoom to contents.

 The X tool. This closes the in-line editor and restores normal display.

The MIDI Editor and In-line Editor are designed for editing your MIDI events. Remember also that many of the item editing tasks, functions and activities that you discovered in Chapter 7 can also be applied to MIDI items as a whole. For example, in arrange view items can be dragged and dropped, split, copied, muted, grouped in selection sets, locked and so on. Plug-ins can be added directly to an item's FX chain. Selecting a MIDI item in

Arrange view and pressing F2 will display its Item Properties window where you can shift pitch, change play rate, loop enable/disable, and do much more.

13.32 Copying MIDI Items in Arrange View

When you make a copy of a MIDI item in arrange view, then depending on your preferences and on how you make the copy one of two outcomes will occur:

The first of these is that the new item will be created as a new instance of the original item, and will use the same source data as the original. In this case, any changes made to either item will be applied to the source data, and therefore also to the other item. This might be what you want, for example, if you have a melody, a bass line, or a drum pattern that you wish to repeat throughout a project. You’re still working on the line, and you may need at some future time to make changes to these items, and you wish to do this in such a way that when you make these changes to any one item they will automatically be applied to all of the others.

In the alternative scenario, the new MIDI item becomes a discrete item in its own right, so that you can independently edit either item without affecting the other.

By default, when you copy and paste items using the menus or keyboard shortcuts (such as Ctrl Shift C and

Ctrl V), the former method (with common source data) is applied. The items are also added to the Project

Media Bay (see Chapter 12) where they are listed as MIDI pool items.

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To change this default behavior, disable the preference (under Options, Preferences, Media, MIDI) to Pool

MIDI source data when pasting or duplicating media items (see also Chapter 21). Items will then by default be copied as discrete items. Note that a new

MIDI pool item is never created when an existing

MIDI item is split. Note also that by default MIDI items added to a project from the

Project Media

Bay are not pooled.

The default behavior when you copy an item by dragging with the mouse depends on your mouse modifier settings for the context Media item drag. By default, the following apply when dragging MIDI items:

Drag and drop

Ctrl with drag and drop

Move item ignoring time selection

Copy item as discrete item

Shift Ctrl Alt with drag and drop Copy item, pooling MIDI source data.

For a complete list of mouse modifiers, see the Editing Behavior, Mouse Modifiers page of your Preferences. Select Media item left drag from the context list. You can change any assignments if you wish. The method is explained in Chapter 14.

You can remove any individual MIDI item's pooled status and convert it into a discrete item. To do this, either display the item's source properties window (Ctrl F2 or use the context menu) and click on Un-pool this

item, or click on the item's pooled status icon (see above).

13.33 Joining MIDI Items

There may be times when you wish to join a number of MIDI items together. This might, for example, be to create a single loop enabled item, or simply so that you can edit them as one item, or perhaps to be able to export the MIDI data as a single MIDI file. For example, you might have several MIDI items that you wish to export together as a single file. The track shown below might be an example of this.

You can select all of the items (right-click and drag is often the easiest way to do this) and glue them together: right-click anywhere on the selection and choose Glue items from the context menu.

You can then double-click on the glued item to open the MIDI Editor, from where you can export it as a single

MIDI file (File, Export to new MIDI file …).

13.34 MIDI Preferences Settings

To specify your MIDI preferences, choose the Options, Preferences command (Ctrl P) and then select the

Media, MIDI page. You'll find these shown in Chapter 21, but for now the following are worth noting.

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You can specify whether by default new MIDI items are created as REAPER media items (the default) or .MID files.

You can specify how your edits to imported .MID files are to be interpreted – that is, whether to apply your edits only to the item in the REAPER project file or also to the original file on your disk.

You can set the default behavior for imported multichannel MIDI files – as multichannel on a single track, as single-channel items on multiple tracks, or always prompt to ask.

13.35 MIDI Output Direct to an External Synth

The MIDI output of any track or selection of track can be sent directly to an external hardware synthesizer instead of (or as well as) to the master. Right-click on the track's ROUTE button, choose MIDI output from the menu, then the device name, then the channels. Optionally, you may also disable output to the master send.

13.36 Exporting Project MIDI

From Arrange view, the File,

Export Project

MIDI …

command can be used to export either an entire

MIDI project or selected items or tracks within that project to a single MIDI file.

An example of such a project file is shown here.

It includes six tracks with MIDI events ( a different channel for each track), enclosed in a folder whose FX chain includes a virtual instrument. For the most part, the options shown here require little explanation.

You can choose to export the Entire project time or the current Time selection only.

You can include All media items within the project, or Selected tracks only or Selected

items only. In the example shown, All MIDI items has been chosen.

You can merge the various MIDI tracks to a

single MIDI track in the output file or export it as a Multitrack MIDI file, with the integrity of the different tracks maintained in the output file.

You also have options to Embed tempo map and/or Write project markers as MIDI cues.

13.37 Feedback Routing with MIDI Tracks

We have already mentioned (Chapter 2) that REAPER's project settings allow you to use feedback routing. You will need to enable this feature if you wish to route MIDI output from one track to another, then audio output from the second track back to the first.

13.38 MIDI Routing, MIDI Buses and ReWire

REAPER's MIDI routing capabilities can be enhanced by the use of MIDI buses. By default, your MIDI tracks can contain up to 16 MIDI buses, each comprising 16 MIDI channels. When sending MIDI data from one track to

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another, you are able to specify bus/channel combinations for both the source and destination tracks rather than just a channel.

These options are available in the drop down lists in the MIDI send/receive windows (below right).

MIDI data sent from one track to another in this way can be directly routed to any VST or

AU synth in that track's FX chain. To do this, right-click over the plug-in's “2 Out” button and choose the required MIDI Bus from the MIDI

Input menu (below right).

The same context menu can also be used to assign MIDI Output to any bus, and/or to assign the synth's audio output to any track channel or channels.

When a track has volume and pan MIDI controls, moving the volume/pan fader within the routing window will generate CC7/CC10 events. When a send's MIDI routing button is enabled, these CC events are sent to the destination track.

ReWire users may be interested to know that MIDI data routed in this way can be also be mapped to ReWire, using any permutation of buses/channels that you require. For more information about using ReWire with REAPER, see Chapter 16.

13.39 ReaControlMIDI

The Cockos ReaControlMIDI plug-in can be used with any MIDI track to set various MIDI parameters on that track. It can be inserted from the track’s FX chain, or by right-clicking over the track name or number and choosing Show ReaControlMIDI for Selected

Tracks from the menu. An example of this plug-in in use is shown here.

You can use several different instances of this plug-in on the one track to send different MIDI messages to different channels.

Many DAWs have MIDI tracks with MIDI-specific controls, like bank/program select, MIDI volume and pan, etc. REAPER instead uses ReaControlMIDI, which provides a MIDI track TCP for any track.

This gives you additional flexibility, because you can insert multiple instances, or insert it at any point in an

FX chain, either for the track as a whole or for individual items. Notable features of ReaControlMIDI include:

Load File: You can load a REAPER .reabank file or

Cakewalk .ins file of instrument definitions and then select a preferred bank/program combination.

Control Change: Up to five CC items can be selected from the drop down lists. Any and all of the items available for CC lanes in the MIDI Editor are available.

ReaControlMIDI also gives you a vehicle for creating

MIDI CC track envelopes, by allowing automation of any of the plug-in's enabled CC sliders. Automation will be explained in Chapters 16 and 17.

You can also assign track controls to the TCP and/or

MCP to manage its various parameters. This is explained in Chapter 12.

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13.40 Some MIDI Plug-ins

REAPER includes a good selection of plug-ins that can be placed into the FX chain of any of your MIDI tracks, or directly into any MIDI item. Many of these (the IX series) have been written and developed by Philip

Consadine. Now is a good time to take a look at them.

The basic steps involved in inserting and using Track FX are covered in the section Track FX

Basics. If you are unfamiliar with these steps, you should review that section before proceeding.

If you display the Add FX window and type midi into the filter list box (as shown here), you will see a list of those MIDI FX that are currently available. Below are listed some of the JS MIDI FX supplied with REAPER.

Comments

FX Name

MIDI_CCRider

MIDI_DuplicateFilter

MIDI_KeyMap

MIDI_KeySnap

MIDI_Router

MIDI_Tool and MIDI Tool II

midi_transpose

MIDI_Variant

MIDI_Velocifier II midi_velocitycontrol

MIDI_Wobulator sequencer_megababy

Synthesis/midi_drumseq

A LFO Controlled CC generator.

Blocks duplicate notes.

A MIDI key mapping utility.

This is a good cheat for bad pianists.

Routes events from one channel to another.

These do interesting and fun things to MIDI note events.

Transposes a note or a range of note.

A pattern based, musically aware, randomification monster.

This is a pattern based velocity modifier.

Used to vary and control velocity on a MIDI track.

A LFO Controlled automatic pitch wobulator.

An awesome pattern sequencer (see later in this chapter).

Use this drum sequencer with your favourite patch set.

These plug-ins can be made even more powerful by the use of automation envelopes, which can be applied to any of their parameters. How to create, manage and apply automation envelopes will be covered in Chapter 17.

For more information about how to use these and other MIDI plug-ins, visit the Cockos web site, and in particular

http://www.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/Jesusonic_Effects_Documentation#MIDI

13.41 MIDI Controlled Pitch Shift with ReaVoice

The ReaVoice plug-in can be used in conjunction with a recorded vocal track to create pitch shift harmonies.

As with many other plug-ins, ReaVoice can be used in a number of ways. In this section we will take you thru just one example. After completing this example you should be able to experiment with this plug-in’s capabilities for yourself. The procedure for using ReaVoice is as follows:

 Record the Vocal Track.

 Insert a new track immediately below the Vocal Track.

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Create a send from the Vocal Track to the new track. Initially at least, this should be Pre FX.

 Insert ReaVoice into the FX Window of the new track.

 Arm this track for recording. Make your MIDI keyboard the Input Device and turn Input Monitoring on.

 Mute all tracks except these two.

 Play the song. As you do so, play the keyboard, experimenting until you find an appropriate range of notes.

Work out what you want to play, press W to return to the beginning, then Ctrl R to record. Stop recording when finished.

 If you do not have a MIDI keyboard, you can either use

REAPER’s Virtual keyboard, or you can enter the notes by hand using the MIDI Editor.

 If you wish, you can record more than one take, selecting

Play All Takes for the MIDI track items.

 After finishing recording, you can use the MIDI Editor to polish your work.

Example

In this example, you’ll have some fun and explore how ReaVoice works at the same time.

1. Open the file All Through The Night.rpp and save it as All Through The Night REAVOICE.rpp.

2. Mute all tracks except the Vox track.

3. Move the Vox track to the top, select it and press Ctrl T to insert a new track. Your Vox track is now track

1 and the new track is track 2.

4. Name the new track Vox MIDI.

5. Display the Routing window for the Vox MIDI track and add a new Pre FX Receive on Audio 1/2 from the Vox track.

6. Insert the ReaVoice plug-in into the FX Window for this track. For now make its settings as shown above. Note in particular the number of voices and the long sustain setting.

7. In the Vox MIDI track, insert an empty MIDI item from about the 13 second mark to about the 50 second mark. This should coincide with the first vocal passage on the Vox track.

8. Double click on this to open it in the MIDI Editor.

9. Create a pattern of notes similar to that shown above. You don’t need to follow this precise pattern, be prepared to experiment.

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10. As you play the song, make sure that the two vocal tracks are soloed. You can of course edit any individual note or notes, for example, by moving them up or down, by lengthening them or shortening them, or by changing their pitch. Here are some more possibilities, just for fun and to give you some ideas.

11. Within the MIDI Editor window, press Ctrl A to select all events.

12. Press Ctrl F2 to display the Note Properties dialog box.

13. In the Note box, type +2 (as shown) then click on OK. This raises the entire selection by two semitones.

14. Experiment with other settings as you wish. Save the file when finished.

15. Now experiment with adjusting some of the ReaVoice settings.

13.42 JS: IX/MIDI_Router

This plug-in can be inserted from a track's FX chain. It is used to redirect

MIDI data from one channel to another.

You can choose whether to send notes, non-notes, or both.

13.43 Working with Piano Roll Synced to Project Arrange View

Here is one example of how you can work with the MIDI Editor piano roll synced to the project.

This is what we have done:

1. Recorded a percussion instrument as a wave file and, using stretch markers, dynamic splitting, or any other technique, edited this item so that the notes are exactly as we want them.

2. Created a new empty MIDI item and opened it in the

MIDI editor.

3. Used the MIDI editor command View, Piano roll

timebase, Project sync.

4. Right-clicked on title bar and chosen Dock Window.

5. Clicked on the ! in lower left corner of docker and deselected (i.e. unticked) the option Attach docker to main window.

6. Clicked on the ! in lower left corner of docker and chosen Set opacity, 75%.

We can now move the MIDI editor window and place it over the previously recorded track: this helps us visually in using the MIDI editor to add the notes for our next percussion instrument.

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13.44 The Scale Finder

REAPER's main Arrange View includes a feature that MIDI users may find useful – the Scale Finder. It can be used to identify those scales which contain any given set of notes.

The Scale Finder is opened using the command View then Scale finder.

Notes can be typed from the computer keyboard or entered using a MIDI device (including the Virtual MIDI Keyboard).

The file sample reascale (provided and installed with REAPER) can be used with the scale finder, or you can click on the button at the bottom of this window and use the Load command to import a file of your own choosing.

You also have the option to use the notes that are currently selected in the MIDI Editor.

13.45 Sequencer Megababy

Sequencer Baby is a pattern sequencer which can be used to play a MIDI synthesizer under program control.

This section is intended to introduce relatively new users to the concept of pattern sequencing, together with a simple example of how one can be used. Beyond this, don't hesitate to explore and experiment for yourself!

We'll start by working thru a step by step example, then go on to examine Sequencer Megababy in more detail.

Example

1. Create a new file, and insert a single track.

2. Open the track's FX chain and add an instance of JS:

MIDIsequencer_megabab

y.

3. You need a synthesizer to use with Sequencer Megababy.

You could use a synthesizer of your choice, but for this example insert an instance of

ReaSynth. For now, leave its settings at their defaults, except (as a precaution)

Volume. Set this to about -15 dB. If this later turns out to be too low, you can raise it.

4. Also as a precaution, insert the JS: Utility/limiter and set max vol to -3.0 dB.

5. Select the Sequencer Baby plugin. Some of its main controls are shown below.

6. Click and drag in a few places (example shown right) to enter a note pattern.

7. Click Play on REAPER's transport bar. This pattern will play over and over again.

8. Stop playback. Change the Steps per beat value to 8 and play again. Notice the music plays faster.

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9. Set this to 2: notice playback becomes slower. Set this back to 4.

10. Change Sequence length to 24. The sequence becomes longer. Draw some more notes.

11. Click on the number 1 above the pattern grid (but below the parameter controls). A new screen is shown: here you can create another pattern. Do this!

12. Now hold the Alt button while clicking on the number 1 button. Notice the color of the column headers changes.

13. Play the music. The two patterns (0 and 1) are now chained. You can chain up to 16 patterns.

14. If you wish, save the file.

15. You can also record the synth's output as an audio media item. To do this, arm the track for recording, choose Record output from the record arm context menu, then press Ctrl R.

Note: The four lanes below the pattern grid area can be used to set modulation, volume, pan and/or expression values for individual notes or any sequence of notes. Click/sweep to create an envelope: right-click on any node to delete it, right-click/sweep to delete entire envelope. Shown here is a pan example.

Summary Examples of Sequencer Baby Keyboard/Mouse Control Combinations

Left click-drag

Right click-drag

Shift Ctrl Alt Left click-drag

Ctrl Left click-drag

Shift Left click-drag

Ctrl Left-click / Ctrl Right-click

Left click pattern number

Ctrl right-click pattern number

Alt Left-click pattern number

Draw new notes/ erase existing notes.

Audition notes without drawing.

“Sweep” draw notes freehand / erase existing notes.

Adjust note velocity.

Adjust note start offset..

Halve steps per beat, slow down / Double steps per beat, speed up.

Select pattern number.

Clear pattern.

Set pattern chain end.

A more complete list can be displayed by clicking on the plugin's Edit button.

13.46 Using MIDI CC Messages to Control FX Presets

This is an advanced topic and as such not recommended for novice users.

Bank/Program Select CC messages can be used to switch programmatically between presets for any FX on any track during playback in real time. This can be done using a dedicated MIDI item that is placed on the same track as the media item containing the FX whose presets you wish to automate. The procedure can be a little bit

“fussy” so be prepared to take your time over this, especially at first, until you get used to it.

1. After recording the item, insert the required FX into the track's FX chain and (if it is not already displayed) import the required preset library. To do this, click on the + symbol to the right of the presets drop down and choose Import preset library (.rpl).

2. The available presets can now be displayed from the presets drop down list.

The example here shows the default presets library for ReaDelay, but you can do this for any plug-in. You could delete any presets that you do not wish to keep and/or create and save more presets of your own if you wish.

The self-evident commands for doing this can be found on the same presets

+ menu that you used in step 1. above. If you do this, it is recommended that you then export the presets library with a new name.

3. For the purposes of this example, we will be content to use just the supplied set of ReaDelay presets shown on the right.

4. You now need to create a .reabank patch/bank file. This is in fact an ordinary text file, but it must be laid out in a certain way, and it must be saved with a .reabank extension. You can use any text editor for this.

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5. Joel Sampson has available (free of charge) on his web site an excellent and comprehensive five page

PDF manual explaining just about every aspect of reabank files and how to create them. Summary instructions follow below, but I would strongly recommend that you download and study The Art of

Reabanks from

www.djemberecords.com/reaper.html

6. An example of a reabank file for the default ReaDelay preset library is shown below. In this case,

Notepad has been used to create the file. Note the comments at steps 7 and 8.

7. The bank line is the first line of the file. It sets the most significant byte (MSB) and least significant byte

(LSB) of the Bank Select number, then the bank name. You can set both numbers at zero.

8. Each subsequent line consists for each preset of its patch number (starting at zero) and its name, which is shown here the same as the name displayed in the FX presets drop down.

However, you may use different names if you wish, as the selection process is based on the patch number.

9. Save the file and close the text editor when finished. A fairly sensible place to save it is in a subfolder of your \Application

Data\REAPER\Data folder or equivalent (depending on whether you are using Windows or OS/X, and which version)

– but that's up to you.

10. Start REAPER and open the appropriate track's FX chain.

Select the FX and from the preset + menu select Link to

MIDI program change and select a channel (e.g. Channel

16). This will make the controlling MIDI messages distinct from any others.

11. From the track's context menu, set Enable track free item positioning on. This command will now appear on this menu with a tick beside it. By enabling free item positioning you are ensuring that you can place two or more items underneath each other on the same track.

12. Select the track that contains the media item with the FX plug-in whose presets you wish to control. Use your mouse to make a time selection that includes this item. Now from the Insert menu choose New

MIDI item to create an empty MIDI item alongside (parallel to) the existing media item. The result of this is shown below:

13. Open the empty MIDI item in the MIDI Editor, and make sure that the Bank/Program Select lane is displayed.

14. At the point where you want to make your first automated preset change, double-click in the Bank/Program Select CC lane. This will display the Bank/Program Select dialog box.

15. Click on Load File. Navigate to and select the file that you saved at step 9. and click on Open.

16. The preset bank will now be loaded. Display the Program drop down list and select the required preset (see right). Be sure to select the same channel as you specified at step 10.

Click on OK.

17. Repeat step 16. as many times as you wish to create as many automated preset changes as you require.

18. You should now be able to see your program changes displayed in the MIDI Editor CC lane (see below).

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19. Play the song. Your ReaDelay presets will now automatically change according to your instructions!

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14 Customization: Actions, Mouse Modifiers, Menus and Toolbars

14.1

Introduction

Customization is the key to unlocking REAPER's real power and making the program work for you. The more you use the program, the more you will benefit from customizing its many features. Even occasional users will find that they can benefit from taking the time at the very least to tweak some of REAPER's mouse modifiers and keyboard shortcuts. That's what this chapter is about.

By now you should already have come across some of REAPER's options and preferences settings and it's quite likely that you might have already changed some of these to suit your own workflow. This chapter really lifts the lid on customization and will guide you thru the following:

Actions. REAPER makes extensive use of keyboard shortcuts. In addition, it has a library of hundreds of actions that you won't find on any of its menus, actions which can help you with any number of tasks.

Moreover, you can string whole sequences of these actions together to make your own custom commands which can then be triggered off by a single keystroke.

Mouse Modifiers. REAPER uses the mouse for plenty of activities, some of which you have already encountered (like moving and copying media items and making time and loop selections), some of which you have not yet encountered (like editing automation envelopes). Some of these you will use a lot, some you will use a little, and some you will only use rarely, if ever. Any of them can be changed.

Menus. Most REAPER menus can be edited to suit your own requirements. You can move to the top the commands most important to you. You can hide the ones you never use. You can even add your own custom actions and commands to these menus!

Toolbars. REAPER's toolbar might not be much to look at, with its lonely collection of just fourteen tools.

Did you know, though, that you can add your own tools to it, as well as create your own extra toolbars?

These are the topics that will be covered in this chapter. Spend as much time as you need to get to understand it. It will pay you dividends.

14.2

REAPER Actions Essentials

Before we look inside REAPER's Action List Editor to explore the world of shortcut keys, custom actions, control surface assignments and more, it's worth taking stock of a couple of useful resources that are available to you.

Key bindings and mouse modifiers opens your default web browser with a list of all current keyboard shortcut and mouse modifiers. This list is searchable and may be printed.

Choose the Action list as HTML command from REAPER's Help menu to open your default web browser with a list of all of REAPER's many available actions, any of which can be assigned to a keyboard shortcut and/or combined with other actions into your own custom actions. This list is also searchable and may be printed.

Before you rush off to print anything, keep in mind also that this information is also contained within the Action List Editor itself, and that this editor is searchable.

The editor is opened by choosing the Actions command from REAPER's main menu, then Show action list..., or simply by pressing the ? Key.

Let's take a look inside …

ReaScript documentation. Just what ReaScript is will be explained later in this chapter and in Chapter 23. In brief, ReaScript items can be used to add additional functionality to REAPER. A number of sample scripts can be found at, and downloaded from, stash.reaper.fm/tag/Scripts. They need to be placed inside the Scripts sub-folder within your REAPER applications data directory. They can then be selected and executed within

REAPER's Actions list editor by clicking on the Reascript Load button.

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14.3

The Action List Editor Environment

You'll get more out of REAPER's Action List Editor (shown below) if before trying to use it you take a little time getting to know its interface, its structure and how you can navigate it.

Item

Filter

Comments

You can filter the list of displayed actions using any text string or strings that you like. For example, in this screen shot the list has been filtered to show only those actions that relate to track height:

Notice that where an existing keyboard shortcut exists it is shown to the left of the action. For example, the ! Key is used to toggle the action View: Expand selected

track height, minimize others.

Similarly, you can see that Ctrl Shift Mousewheel can be used to adjust the height of any track selection.

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Item

Filter (cont.)

Comments

Clear

Find shortcut...

In this second example, a filter is used to list all actions relating to new tracks. The only one of these that currently has an assignment is Track: Insert new track,

This is assigned by default to Ctrl T.

The Clear button clears any current filter and restores all actions to the list.

The Find shortcut... button is used to see if a particular keyboard shortcut has already been assigned to any action.

When you click on this button, you are prompted to type the key or move a MIDI controller. We'll come to MIDI controllers later in this chapter. If the key that you type is already in use, then its assignment will be displayed (see below).

In this example above, we have searched to see if an assignment exists for the letter

s. For this kind of search, you should only type in upper case if you really are searching for the combination of Shift with the letter. For example, in this case, a search for Shift S would have produced Item: Split item at time selection.

In this second example, we have searched for Ctrl A:

Column headers/

Sort keys

If no shortcut exists for the key or key combination for which you are searching, then a message Shortcut not found will be displayed.

The State column indicates for toggle actions whether their current status is on or

off.

By default, actions are listed in alphabetical order of their action name. You can click on the Shortcut column header to sort instead on current keyboard assignments.

This causes them to be sorted instead by keyboard assignments, with special characters and numbers at the top of the list (see below).

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Item

Column headers/

Sort keys (cont.)

Comments

Sections

Run

Run/Close

This can be especially helpful if you wish to familiarise yourself with REAPER's current keyboard shortcut assignments. Click on the column header again to reverse the sort order. Click on Description to sort them back into alphabetical order.

The Action List is divided into a number of sections, shown here. The Main section is the one that is used most of the time (for example, when you are working in Arrange view). There are different sections, for example, for actions and shortcuts for use with the Media Explorer and the MIDI Editor. If you open the Action List from within one of these environments, the correct Action List section will automatically be selected for you.

Otherwise, you can select any section from the drop down list and that section's actions will also be selected and displayed in the action list.

Any action that is on the action list can be executed from within the action list whether it has a shortcut key assigned or not. Simply select the action, then click on the Run button.

If the option Show recent

actions is enabled on REAPER's main menu (above) then any actions that you execute in this way during your current work session will be added to REAPER's Action menu and can be executed from there for the rest of that work session. When you close REAPER, these actions will be cleared from the menu.

This button is similar to the Run button, the main difference being that after running the selected action it closes the Actions window.

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Item

Close

Remember last action filter

Comments

This closes the Actions window.

If this option is enabled (from the Action window right-click context menu) then REAPER will remember your most recent filter and apply it next time the Actions window is opened, even in a future work session.

Show action IDs

General

This toggle option (from the right-click context menu) shows/hides a column displaying REAPER's action IDs.

The Action window exhibits the basic characteristics of other REAPER windows. For example, you can use the pin symbol (top right) to keep it on top, or you can dock it in the docker (from the right-click context menu).

You'll have noticed several other features inside this window, including a number of additional buttons, some of which are currently dimmed. We'll get to these in due course.

14.4

Creating a New Keyboard Shortcut

In this next example, we will create a new shortcut.

Let’s take the example of the docker. Filter the action list on “attach” and you will see that View:

Attach/unattach

Docker to/from main

window does not yet have any shortcut key assigned to it. Likewise, if you use the Find shortcut … button to search for lower case Q, you should find that this letter does not have any action currently assigned to it.

Incidentally, REAPER will not let you accidentally override an existing keyboard assignment. If you try to use a key that is already assigned elsewhere, you will see a message similar to that shown here (right). Trying to assign lower case U to an action would produce the message shown here. You would then have the option as to whether to change the assignment for this key or leave it as it is.

Example

1. From the Actions menu, open the Actions window

(Show action list …)

2. Let’s see if we can use Q for docking. Click in the Find

shortcut … window. Type lower case Q and observe the response. You should see a message Shortcut not

found. We therefore know that this keystroke combination is available. Click on OK to close this message box.

3. In the Filter box type attach then select from the list of actions View: Attach/unattach Docker to/from

main window.

4. Click on the Add button to open the Keyboard or MIDI

Input box (shown above). When it appears, untick the option Automatically close window on

key/MIDI input. This makes it less likely that you will assign a wrong key by mistake.

5. Press lower case q – you will see Q displayed in the Keyboard or MIDI Input box (see above).

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6. Click on OK. You can see that this keyboard shortcut has now been assigned.

7. Close the Actions window.

8. You can now use the shortcut key lower case D to attach/detach the docker to/from the main window.

14.5

Removing an Existing Shortcut

Removing an existing shortcut is easy. For example, you might like to remove the shortcut that you just assigned to the action View: Attach/unattach Docker to/from main window. Follow this sequence:

1. In the Action List, find and select the action from which you wish to remove the shortcut. The current shortcut(s) will be displayed just below the list. (see right).

2. Click on the shortcut shown in the window

(in this example, the letter Q).

3. Click on the Delete button. The shortcut will be deleted.

14.6

Changing an Existing Key Assignment

The procedure for changing an existing key assignment combines the two techniques of creating a new shortcut and removing an existing one. Let's take as an example assigning the Up and Down arrow keys to the actions

Track: Go to previous track and Track: Go to next track, instead of Ctrl Alt Up and Ctrl Alt Down (the default assignments).

1. Find and select the action Track: Go

to previous

track.

2. In the displayed list of shortcuts, select

Ctrl Alt Up (see right).

3. Click on Delete to delete this shortcut.

4. Click on Add... to display the Keyboard or MIDI

Input window.

5. Press the Up arrow (see right), then click on OK.

6. When asked if you wish to override the current assignment to View: Zoom in horizontal, choose OK.

You will still be able to use the Plus key to zoom in horizontal.

7. Use the same techniques as at steps as at steps 1. to 6. to change the shortcut key for Track: Go to next

track from Ctrl Alt Down to just Down.

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14.7

Examples of Possible Simple Keystroke Assignments

Many power users believe that keyboard shortcuts are the fastest, most efficient and most productive way of working with REAPER. This is especially the case for frequently repeated activities that might otherwise involve a lot of time fiddling around with the mouse. Keyboard Shortcuts are an extremely important feature of

REAPER. As you work your way thru this User Guide, and as you get to know REAPER better, you will find that there are all sorts of actions that you can assign to keyboard shortcuts, including hundreds that do not appear on any menus.

Here are some examples of some tasks for which you might consider it worth assigning shortcut keys in the

Main section, together with suggested keys that you may wish to use.

Task

Track: Toggle bypass FX for currently selected track(s)

Track: Toggle bypass FX for all tracks

Track: View FX chain for current track

Track: View routing for current track

Track: View envelopes for current track

Possible Shortcut Key

B

Ctrl B

Ctrl F

I

K

14.8

Keyboard Shortcuts for Recording

REAPER makes extensive use of keyboard shortcuts in many, many areas. In this section you will be introduced to how you can create your own keyboard shortcuts to make your recording sessions flow more smoothly. Here is a simple example in which you will create two keyboard shortcuts specifically for use when you are recording.

As you become more experienced, you may well find further examples that you will wish to explore.

You will have noticed that when you stop recording, REAPER by default prompts you to confirm whether you want to save or delete the new media items. The Main (alt recording) section of the Action List gives you the opportunity to bypass this prompt by assigning keyboard shortcuts for those options that you use most often –

Save All and Delete All. As with the earlier examples, it is only an example. You'll probably find the exercise worth completing even if you don't want to keep these keyboard shortcuts assignments.

1.

In the Actions List Editor, select the section Main (alt recording) – see right.

2.

In the filter box type stop save. You should see the action Transport Stop

(save all recorded media)

3.

Select this action.

4.

Click on Add … and type lower case S then click on OK.

5.

Clear the filter box, then type in it: stop del

6.

Select the action Transport: Stop (DELETE all recorded media).

7.

Click on the Add button then type lower case D to assign this shortcut to the letter D. Click on OK.

8.

Clear the filter box again.

9.

Close the Actions window.

10. Make sure that the option to Use alternate

keyboard section when

recording is enabled. You’ll find this under Options,

Preferences, General,

Keyboard.

11. Click on OK to close the Preferences window.

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From now on whenever you are recording, you will have the option of using the shortcut keys S or D to stop recording, automatically saving or deleting the newly recorded media items. You can still use Enter if you wish to be prompted. Remember too that when you are not recording, the keys S and D will revert to their normal functions. For example, S can still be used to split media items when working in arrange view.

Tip: If you wish, you can assign macros such as these to an external device such as a keyboard pedal. We'll look at this when we look at Using a Control Device with REAPER.

14.9

Keyboard Shortcuts for the MIDI Editor

Editing is one area where assigning actions to shortcuts can be especially useful, and nowhere more so than when you are using the MIDI Editor. Take the trouble to familiarise yourself with the contents of the MIDI Editor section of the Action List and you should be well rewarded. Notice also that there are separate sections for the MIDI Event List Editor and the MIDI Inline Editor.

The method used for assigning shortcuts to actions, changing or removing existing assignments, etc. is exactly the same as that used in the Main section. For that reason, this section of the User Guide does not contain any step by step examples.

However, below are listed some examples of some actions that you might find useful when working in the MIDI

Editor. Special thanks go to Susan G for compiling these lists.

To do this ….

Use an action such as ...

Managing Notes

Insert notes of a specific length

Make notes legato

Transpose notes

Adjust note lengths slightly

Adjust velocities

Display only notes matching specified criteria

Insert note …. [range from 1/128 to 1/2 to whole note]

Set note ends to start of next note

Edit: Move notes up/down one octave/semitone

Edit: Lengthen/Shorten notes one grid unit/pixel

Edit: Note velocity +/-01, 10

Filter: Toggle filter on/off

Channels Management

Specify a channel for new notes and events

Show all or specified channels

Change the channel for selected notes

Cursor/Grid Management

Advance the cursor by a note value

Move the cursor by specific amount

Change the grid divisions

Action: Set channel for new events to 01 ...1 6

Channel: Show all/only/toggle channels 01 … 16

Edit: Set notes to channel 01 ... 16

Cursor: advance … [range from 1/128 ... to whole note]

Edit: Move edit cursor right/left by grid/measure/pixel

Grid: Multiply grid size by... or Grid: Set division to...

14.10 Keyboard Shortcuts for the Media Explorer

If you work extensively with imported samples and so on, you should definitely take the time to get to know the range of actions available within the media explorer. By now you should be developing enough confidence to explore this for yourself, but to help you here is a summary of some of the most useful groups of actions you will find there:

Browser actions: these are used to navigate your folders. For example, by default

Backspace will take you to the parent folder (relative to the current folder).

Preview actions: actions exist for a host of tasks, including play, pause, stop, toggle repeat on/off, rewind a little, fast forward a little, stop preview when inserting media, and many more.

Tempo match actions. These include tempo match off, tempo match on, toggle on/off, and tempo match/2.

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14.11 Assigning Actions to the Mousewheel

One special type of action assignment that you can make is to the mousewheel, optionally also using modifier keys. This way you are able change the REAPER default mousewheel assignments. This can be useful, for example, if you wish the default behavior of the mousewheel to be to scroll rather than to zoom. Here's a reminder of the default mousewheel assignments:

Mousewheel alone

with Ctrl with Alt with Ctrl+Alt with Ctrl+Shift

View: Zoom horizontally

View: Zoom vertically

View: Scroll horizontally

View: Scroll vertically

View: Adjust selected track heights

Again, the method for changing these is essentially the same as that which you have already used.

Suppose, for example, that you wish to use the mousewheel by itself to scroll horizontally.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

In the action list (Main section), find the action

View: Scroll horizontally.

In the shortcuts list, select Alt + Mousewheel and click on delete.

Click on the Add button, then scroll the mousewheel. The text Mousewheel will be displayed, as shown on the right.

Click on OK.

If you wished, you could now use the same method to assign Alt + Mousewheel to the action View:

Zoom Horizontally.

14.12 Exporting and Importing Keyboard Shortcuts

The Import/export button near the bottom left corner of the

Actions window can be used backup or restore any or all of your keyboard assignments. Exported keymap sets are by default saved as .ReaperKeyMap files in the \KeyMaps directory of your \Application Data\REAPER folder.

This feature can also be used to copy keyboard assignments from one computer to another. The options on the menu are for the most part quite self-explanatory:

Import Imports keyboard assignments from an existing .ReaperKeyMap file.

Export all … Exports all your current keyboard shortcut assignments to a .ReaperKeyMap file.

Export selected items … Exports only those items currently selected to a .ReaperKeyMap file.

Restore all shortcut binding to factory defaults Removes your custom keyboard assignments and restores all REAPER defaults.

.ReaperKeyMap files can also be included when exporting/importing configuration settings (see Chapter 21).

14.13 Creating Custom Action Macros

You can assign an entire sequence of actions to a single keyboard shortcut if you wish. In fact, there is no preset limit to the number of actions that you can assign to a single keystroke or keystroke combination. The process of assigning more than one action to a keystroke is known as creating a custom action, or macro.

As you browse the actions list, you might at first be somewhat puzzled at some of the items that are there. You might wonder, for example, why would anybody need an action for Item: Select item under mouse cursor when it is surely easier just to click on the item.

Often with actions like this, the answer is that the real power of these actions comes not from using them on their own, but in combination with other actions.

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Managing Custom Actions (Macros) – Summary Table

In order to do this ...

Create a new macro

You do this ...

Click on New... button. Type a name for your macro.

Add actions to a macro

Change order of actions

Drag and drop from action list, or double-click.

Drag and drop up or down the list.

Remove action from macro

Select action in macro action list, click on Remove.

Add macro to main Actions menu

Enable the option Show in actions menu.

Enable the option Consolidate undo points.

Consolidate macro into a single undo point

Save macro

Click on OK.

Assign shortcut key to a macro

Edit an existing macro

Copy an existing macro

Run an existing macro

Delete an existing macro

Select the macro in the Action List. Click on Add.

Select the macro in the Action List. Click on Edit.

Select the macro in the Action List. Click on Copy.

Use shortcut key (if assigned), or select the macro from REAPER's

Actions menu (if this option is enabled), or select macro in Action

List and click on Run option.

Select the macro in the Action List. Click on Delete.

Let's take a simple example. Normally, to split an item you would need to select the item, position the edit cursor at the required position, and then press S to split it. By creating a custom action, we can combine this sequence of activities into a single keystroke.

Example

1. In the Actions List

Editor, click on the

New button. This will cause the

Create Custom

Action window to open (see right).

Type a name, such as Split under

mouse.

2. In the list of actions shown in the left panel. Find the action View: Move

edit cursor to mouse cursor.

Double-click on this action.

3. In the list of actions shown in the left panel. Find the action Item:Select item under mouse cursor. Double-click on this action.

4. In the list of actions shown in the left panel. Find the action Item:Split items at edit or play cursor.

Double-click on this action.

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5. Click on the option Consolidate undo points to enable this option.

6. Click on OK. You will be returned to the main Action List with your new custom action selected.

7. Click on Add and type lower case C to assign this keystroke to your macro. Click OK.

8. Close the Actions List Editor.

9. Hover your mouse over any media item and press lower case C. The item will be split at that point. One of the split items will still be selected. If you don't like this, you can edit the macro.

10. Open the Actions List Editor, find your macro Split under mouse and select it. Click on Edit. Add to the end of this macro the action Item: Unselect all items. Click on OK.

11. Now test the macro again. This time it will split items without leaving anything selected.

This is of course just one example of a custom action macro in action. Think about those sequences of actions and commands that you use together a lot … think actions, think macros! You'll also find plenty of ideas and inspiration on The Useful Macro Thread on REAPER's Q&A, Tips, Tricks and How To forum – at forum.cockos.com

.

14.14 MIDI Editor Custom Macros

If you use the MIDI Editor a lot, then you should find that this is a good area in which to be looking for macros which will speed up your editing and make it simpler. The examples below were supplied by Bevosss. They show that a macro doesn't have to be lengthy and complicated to be useful

This custom action ....

Navigate: select next note right with same note value

Navigate: move edit cursor to start of selection

Navigate: select previous note right with same note value

Navigate: move edit cursor to start of selection

Edit: Select all

Remove selected duplicate events

Edit: Unselect all

Grid: Set grid division to 1

Edit: Insert note at edit cursor

Edit: Unselect all

... does this

This will find the next note with the same value as the current one, select it, and move the edit cursor there.

This will find the previous note with the same value as the current one, select it, and move the edit cursor there.

This macro removes all duplicate events from the current item.

Creates and inserts a semibreve (or whole note).

The note duration sets the grid. Thus, you could have equivalent actions for any other fraction of a note or multiple of a note available in the actions list.

14.15 Importing Scripts

For more advanced custom programs which go beyond chaining together actions, you can import into REAPER custom scripts that you may have written or obtained and which add extra functionality to the program.

Python, EEL and Lua scripts can all be imported. For

Windows users, if you are to access actions written in

Python, then it will need to have been installed on your computer and ReaScript enabled on the Plug-ins,

ReaScript page of your Preferences. Otherwise, these Action List controls may be dimmed.

The topic of writing scripts is outside the scope of this User Guide, although there is a brief introduction to

ReaScript in Chapter 23. If you are interested in learning more you should visit the REAPER web site, and in particular: www.cockos.com/reaper/sdk/reascript/reascript.php

ReaScript Documentation can also be opened from REAPER's Help, HTML Lists command.

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14.16 Using a Control Device with REAPER

A control surface such as a Behringer BCR2000 or a Novation Nocturn can be used to control some of REAPER's actions. You might also be able to use your pedals and other controls on a MIDI keyboard in a similar way.

Examples might include track panning and volume, mute and solo status, arming and starting/stopping recording, and possibly to physically map REAPER’s transport bar for functions such as Play, Stop, Pause,

Rewind, etc. Of course, you will need to know the specific characteristics of your particular device, including how to install it, set it up and so on. That is obviously outside the scope of this User Guide.

You should also be aware that different control devices have different capabilities and different applications. Not all control surfaces can be used to control all actions, even those that are listed as midi CC capable. Obviously it is also beyond the scope of this user guide to present a detailed analysis and comparison of all these. In overview, however, they fall into two broad categories:

 Devices which can be recognised by REAPER as a specific and individually named control surface.

 Generic devices not specifically recognised but which can nonetheless be used as a control surface.

If you have a control device of a type listed in the illustration here, first make yourself familiar with its documentation. Next, install the device and its drivers on to your computer in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. You should then be able to select it on the Control Surfaces page of REAPER's

Options Preferences settings. Of course, you should consult the manufacturer's documentation and/or web site for further information. You may also be able to find further information on one of REAPER's on-line forums.

Choose the Options.

Preferences command, then select Control

Surfaces and click on

Add to see a list of available devices (see right).

Notice that the list includes an entry for devices which conform to the OSC (Open Sound

Control) protocol. If you are intending to work with such a device, be sure to familiarise yourself with its documentation and characteristics before proceeding.

If you choose this option from the list, the screen that then follows will give you the opportunity to specify a device name and pattern configuration. This includes choices such as LogicTouch or LogicPad, or to tell REAPER to write a sample (default) configuration file.

This file will contain the default mappings and various appropriate comments. You should also supply a port number (for the transfer of messages) and IP addresses for both the host and the device itself. Go to

http://www.cockos.com/reaper/sdk/osc/osc.php

to learn more about how REAPER handles OSC and about REAPER's Default.ReaperOSC file.

For other (non OSC) control devices, even if they are not shown on this list, you might still be able to install and use them if they are capable of emulating one of the devices that is listed (e.g. HUI or Mackie emulation).

You should check the manufacturer's documentation and web sites.

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In every case, make sure that you choose the options that are correct for your device from the various Control

Surface Settings options. Shown below is one example of such settings, with a Novation Nocturn. This sample screen is not intended as a model for you to use with any particular product.

You might wish to install several devices in this way. For example, you might wish to use both a Frontier AlphaTrack and a Frontier

Tranzport. This is perfectly possible, so long as each device is installed correctly.

You will need to consult the product documentation to ascertain how then your control surface(s) can be used with REAPER.

If your device is not on the list of recognised control surfaces and cannot emulate any of the items on that list, you can still use it with

REAPER. An example of such a product is the

Behringer BCR2000. Once it has been physically set up and installed on your computer, it will appear on the list of

REAPER's MIDI Devices. Depending on the actual product and which drivers you are using, it might appear on this list with its own name or merely as a USB Audio Device.

Install it as a MIDI Device, most likely Input Only and in most cases for control messages only. An example of this is shown here. You can double-click on the device name to open the

Configure MIDI Input

dialog box. What you do next will depend on the device. You might also use this method to use your

MIDI keyboard also as a MIDI controller (depending on whether the keyboard supports this feature).

Once such a device is installed, you can then assign any action listed as supporting midi CC control to one of the knobs, faders, buttons or rotaries on your control device.

The procedure is similar to assigning an action to a key on your PC keyboard. Open the Actions List from the

REAPER menu. Select the action, click on Add then instead of pressing a key on the keyboard, tweak the control surface control and click on OK.

An example is shown on the right - in this case we are assigning a rotary control to be used to adjust the volume of track 1.

For further information, including about the various settings, you should consult the documentation supplied with your device, the manufacturer's web site, or one of the REAPER forums.

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14.17 Meta Actions

Meta actions are special actions that take your custom action macros a step further, for example to be able to repeat the same macro as many times as is required without you having to keep pressing the same shortcut keys. This technique can be useful in an example such as if you need to drop a marker at the start of each verse of a song. When you create the macro you don't know how many times you will need to repeat the actions - some songs might have two or three verses, others five or six. This is a perfect example of when you might wish to use a meta action.

REAPER includes two meta action commands:

Action: prompt to continue, and

Action: prompt to go to action loop start

Example

Take a look at the example on the right. If you create this custom action macro and assign it a keyboard shortcut (such as Ctrl Shift K), then you can use it in this way.

Select any track which is made up of multiple items and position the play cursor at the start of the timeline.

You can then activate this macro. The cursor will move to the start of the first item in the selected track and drop a marker at that point. You will then be asked if you wish to continue (see illustration below).

If you press Enter or click on Yes, the play cursor will move to the start of the next item, insert a marker there, and ask the question again. If you click on No, then the execution of the custom action macro will stop.

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14.18 Mouse Modifiers

We've come across the mouse modifiers page of REAPER's preferences settings several times already. You can use this page to change any of REAPER's default mouse modifier controls and also to add more of your own. Some pointers to keep in mind:

Modifier keys. Windows users can use any of the following modifier keys, in any combination, for any mousewheel action: Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Win

Mac users may use any of these modifier keys, in any combination: Shift, Command, Option, Control

Contexts. The Contexts drop down list on the Mouse

Modifiers page of your preferences window lists the contexts in which you could use your mouse and for which you could need modifiers (see right). When you select an item from this list, current mouse assignments for that context are displayed.

For most contexts you will find a number of variations, depending upon the exact kind of mouse action being undertaken. For example, separate mouse modifiers can be applied to media items depending on whether the mouse action being applied is a simple left click (which by default selects the item), left drag (which by default moves the item) or a double-click (which by default opens MIDI items in the

MIDI editor, or displays media item properties for audio items). Some contexts (e.g. Arrange view) also make middle button mouse actions available.

You aren't going to learn all of these at once, and some of them you may never need. For example, if you never do any work with MIDI then the various MIDI contexts are unlikely to be important to you. Take the time to identify those which you are likely to use the most and think about how you can improve them. The procedure for customizing REAPER's mouse modifiers is as follows:

1. Display the Mouse Modifiers page of REAPER's Preferences Window.

2. Display the Context drop down list and select an entry from that list. A list of current modifiers for that context is then shown. An example of this is shown here, for Media item edge left

drag.

3. In the Modifier column, double click on the item that you wish to change. A list will be displayed which shows suggested actions that you might wish to assign to that modifier. You now have a number of choices:

Select any item from that list, or

Select No Action to disable that modifier, or

Select the item marked with a bullet to restore REAPER's default action for that modifier, or

For some items only (including double-click items), use Action List … to open the Action List editor so that you can assign one of REAPER's actions, or one of your own custom actions, to that context.

4. Click on Apply to apply your changes.

5. Repeat steps 1. to 4. as often as needed. When finished, click on OK to close the Preferences window.

If you get into trouble, use the the Import/Export button then Restore modifiers to factory defaults in

this context. This will restore REAPER's original modifiers to this context.

The examples that follow have been selected to help you to understand how REAPER's mouse modifiers work and how you can benefit from using them. Don't be concerned if not all of the actual examples themselves mean a lot to you right now: try to stay focused on the technique. Let's suppose that there are certain editing

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and other activities that you use a lot in REAPER. Let's also suppose that these include the following:

Creating empty MIDI items on tracks.

 Slip editing media items.

 Adding FX to media items.

Toggling mute status of media items.

Setting and removing loop points.

That's (intentionally) a fairly mixed bag of activities. All of these are examples of activities that can be made easier and/or faster and/or smarter by modifying REAPER's mouse modifiers.

Examples

This exercise will step you thru the above examples in the same order as they are listed.

1. Choose the Options, Preferences command, then select the page Mouse Modifiers.

2. Select Track left drag from the context menu.

REAPER's default mouse assignments for pencil drawing copies of items will be shown. Notice that Alt and Shift Alt are currently unassigned.

3. Double click on the word Alt in the Modifier column. A list of possible suggested actions will be shown.

4. In this list, click on Draw an empty MIDI

item. This action is now assigned. The small dot shown next to this Action on the list indicates that this is a custom change that you have made yourself.

5. Click on Apply to apply the action.

6. Now select Media item edge drag from the context list. Let's suppose that we want to make

Move item edge ignoring snap the new default behavior when clicking and dragging from the media item edge.

7. Double click on Default action and select

Move item edge ignoring snap from the menu. Now double click on the modifier Shift and select Move item edge from the menu.

8. Click on Apply. These two items have now been swapped over.

9. Now select Media item double-click from the context drop down list. Modifiers for this context will now be displayed. Suppose that we want to create an action which can be used to open the item's FX chain window, and that we wish to assign Shift Ctrl for this.

10. Double-click on the text Shift+Ctrl to display a menu. Click on Action List … to open the Action List

Editor. If you have worked thru the earlier examples in this chapter, this will be familiar! Find the action

Show FX chain for item take and select it. Click on Select/Close to return to the Mouse Modifiers window. Click on Apply. This action is now your media Shift Ctrl double-click action (see below).

11. Repeat this procedure to apply the action Item properties: Toggle

items mute to the modifier

Shift+Win. Click on Apply.

12. Finally, we can add an action to the

Ruler double-click context so that the Shift modifier will remove any current loop points.

13. Select Ruler double-click from the context drop down list. Double click on

Shift in the modifier column and select Action List... from the menu. Find the action Loop Points:

Remove loop points, select it then click on Select/Close and then Apply.

14. Close the Preferences window.

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If you do not wish to keep these assignments, use the Import/Export button to restore factory defaults.

Remember! When you are assigning actions to mouse modifier keys you are not limited to using REAPER's native actions. Provided that you have installed the SWS extensions you can use any of the SWS actions. You can also use any custom actions that you have created yourself.

Note: When you select a mouse modifier context, in some cases an option relevant to that specific context will be displayed just below the list of behaviors. Look out for these. For example, for both the Track and Media items contexts you can specify whether the item label area (above the media item) should be regarded as part of the media item or as empty space.

Tip for OS X Users:

Next to the Import/Export button you will find a Swap cmd/opt button. This can be used to swap over all Cmd button and all Opt button assignments for the currently selected mouse modifier context,

14.19 Saving and Restoring Mouse Modifier Settings

Mouse modifier settings can be saved to and restored (loaded) from REAPER mouse map files using the Import/Export button.

Settings can be saved/restored for the current context only, or for all contexts (see right).

14.20 MIDI Editor Mouse Modifiers

Using mouse modifiers in the MIDI Editor is a topic that merits a section of its own. Nowhere is this more true than when you are editing MIDI notes and CC events.

A large number of actions are available for use in the MIDI editor. One example is the MIDI note left click context (below). If you use the MIDI Editor a lot then you should definitely take some time to investigate and to identify which of these actions are most useful to you. For example, you could reassign Alt to be used when clicking on any note to erase it. Notice that in addition to the other shown on the menus, you can choose to open the Action list and select an action there.

Remember that all actions in REAPER's Action

List MIDI Editor and MIDI Event List Editor categories (including any custom actions of your own) are available to be assigned as a mouse modifier in most contexts within the MIDI Editor.

MIDI Editor mouse modifier contexts include:

MIDI note left drag

MIDI note double click

MIDI note edge left drag

MIDI note double click

MIDI CC event left drag

MIDI CC lane left drag

MIDI CC event double-click

MIDI CC lane double-click

MIDI source loop end marker left drag

MIDI ruler left click

MIDI ruler left drag

MIDI ruler double-click

MIDI marker/region lanes left drag

MIDI piano roll left drag, MIDI piano roll

double-click, and

MIDI editor right drag.

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Let's take a brief look at some of these areas in which you can modify mouse behavior within the MIDI Editor.

Shown here are the defaults for MIDI note left drag, MIDI piano roll left drag and MIDI ruler left drag.

In many cases separate contexts are available for left click, left drag and double-click behavior. You can define how your mouse behaves when it is being used in any of these contexts.

Within most contexts you will find several different types of mouse action. For example, when working with MIDI notes, a different action will be required when (say) dragging a note from when double-clicking on it. Thus, within the Mouse

Modifier page of your preferences, you can select not only a context but also a type of mouse action.

Let's look at just two examples: the default actions for the contexts MIDI note left drag (above right) and MIDI piano roll left drag (right). By default many actions are already defined. For example, simply dragging a

MIDI note (or selection of notes) will by default move the note(s), whereas holding Ctrl while you do this will copy them. As you go down the list some of these defaults become quite interesting. For example, holding Shift and Alt while dragging a marqueed selection of notes will stretch the selection out horizontally so as to arpeggiate the notes.

Simple click and drag in the empty MIDI piano roll area will first draw a note, then extend it as the mouse is dragged. Various keys can be used with this for other actions. For example, holding Ctrl and Alt while dragging will paint a straight line of notes between mouse up and mouse down.

Many key combinations are not assigned. Click on any of these for a list of actions that you can use. You can also use this method to change any existing assignments. Shown right are the default actions which are assigned to the MIDI

ruler left drag context.

If you use the MIDI Editor a lot, you should take the time to explore just what is available for the different contexts.

Take the time also to look at the MIDI

editor right drag assignments. As well as several variations to set marquee behavior

(select notes, add notes, toggle selection, etc.) there is also an action using Ctrl Alt to select all notes touched while freehand dragging.

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14.21 Customizing the REAPER Menus

You can customize REAPER's main menu and many context menus in a number of ways, including:

 Removing from view commands that you never use.

 Changing the order in which commands are listed.

 Adding your own custom actions to an existing menu.

To open and display the Custom Menu interface, choose from the main menu the command Options,

Customize

menus/toolbars.

This causes the

Customize menus/toolbar window to be displayed. By default, it will open with the

Main File menu displayed.

The table below summarizes the main tasks that can be carried out within this window.

The & sign displayed before any letter indicates that when the menu is displayed, that letter can be typed to select that command. On the menu itself, the letter will appear underscored. Thus, in the example shown above, when you display REAPER's main file menu, the letter N in New project... will appear underscored, and you can therefore type N to select this command.

In order to do this ...

Select a menu for customization

Change the name of a currently selected main menu command

Remove a command from the currently selected custom menu

Change the position of a command on the custom menu

… you need to do this.

Display the drop down list (top left of window) and select the required menu.

Select the command. Click on the Retitle... button. Type the new name and press Enter

Select the command in the left hand column (click once).

Right-click and choose Remove from the menu, or click on the Remove button located below the customized menu pane.

Eitherin the left column, drag and drop the command up or down to its required position.

Or … in the left column select the command that you wish to move. Press Ctrl X. Click at the position where you wish the command to be placed. Press Ctrl V.

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In order to do this ...

Copy a command from one main level menu to another

Add a REAPER action or a custom action to the current custom menu as a new command

Rename a command on the custom menu

Add a separator to the current custom menu

Add a label to the current custom menu

Add a submenu to the current custom menu

… you need to do this.

Select the first main menu from the menus drop down list.

Select the required command and press Ctrl C.

Select the second main menu from the menus drop down list.

Click at the required position in the customized window (left) pane and press Ctrl V.

In the left column, click to select the existing command above which you wish to insert your custom action. Click on the

Add button, then choose

Action from the menu. Select your item from the list then click on the Select button.

In the left column, select the command, click on Rename, then type the new name and press Enter.

In the left column, click to select the existing command above which you wish to insert the separator. Click on the Add button, then choose Separator from the menu.

In the left column, click to select the existing command above which you wish to insert the label. Click on the Add button, then choose Label from the menu.

In the left column, click at the position you want the submenu inserted. Click the Add button, then on Submenu. Type a name then press Enter.

Click on the Save button.

Save changes made to the current custom menu

Restore the one or all custom menus to the default settings

Export the current custom menu or all menus as a ReaperMenuSet

Replace the current custom menu or all menus with a previously saved

Reaper Menu Set

Include REAPER's default menus with your custom menus

Click the Reset button, then choose either Reset Current

Menu or Reset All Menus.

Click on Export... , choose Export All or Export Current, then type a name and click on Save.

Click on Import... then select the required menu set file, then click on Open. You can also drag and drop .ReaperMenu and .ReaperMenuSet files into REAPER from Windows

Explorer.

Tick the Include default menu as submenu option (top right of window). This is recommended especially if you are removing any default commands from the menu.

Example

In this example you will learn how to add an action to a REAPER menu as a new command, and how to remove an unwanted command. You'll also change the order of some commands. As with many other exercises in this

User Guide your main focus should not be on the example itself but more on the technique.

Suppose that you do a lot of work with markers, and that you would like to renumber markers in timeline order quickly and easily without having to remember a keyboard shortcut. You could add the action to the Ruler context menu. While you're about it, you can also remove the command Insert empty space in selection

(assuming for the sake of the example that you think you do not need this command). Follow these instructions.

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Example

1. From REAPER's Options menu, open the Customize menus/toolbars window.

2. Display the drop down menu list and choose Ruler/arrange context.

3. Click on any one of the commands in this menu – for example Set selection to items.

4. Click on the Add... button, then choose Action... This causes the Actions List Editor window to be opened.

5. In the filter box type: mark renum – this should find the action Markers: Renumber all markers in timeline

order.

6. Select this action then click on Select/close. The

Actions window will close and you will be returned to the

Customize menus/toolbars window. This action has now been added to the menu and is selected (see right).

7. With the item still selected, click on Rename...

8. You will be prompted for a new name. Type: Renumber

markers and press Enter.

9. To move this up the menu, drag and drop it above Zoom selection.

10. Now select the item (lower down the list) Insert empty space in selection. Click on Remove to remove this from the menu.

11. Make sure you have enabled the option Include default

menu as submenu.

12. Click on Save then Close.

13. Create some markers in this project, out of timeline order.

14. Now right-click over the ruler/timeline (see right). Choose

Renumber markers from the menu: your markers will be renumbered.

15. Notice at the bottom of this context menu the item Default

menu: Ruler/arrange context. This can be used to access the original context menu.

16. If you wish to restore this menu to its original state, open the Customize menus/toolbars window again and with the Ruler/arrange context still selected, click on Reset then Reset current

menu/toolbar to default. Click on Save then Close.

14.22 Customizing the REAPER Toolbars

Customizing REAPER's main toolbars (including the MIDI Editor toolbars) can make it easier to make REAPER work for you to work the way that you would like it to. For example, you can:

 Remove any of the default icons/commands that you do not wish to be shown.

 Assign a different REAPER command or action to any existing icon.

Assign a different REAPER command or action to a new icon.

Assign a custom action or macro of your own to a new or existing icon.

The procedure is similar to that used for menu customization. Make your changes to the existing default toolbar layout thru the Customize menus/toolbars dialog box. This can be displayed by right-clicking over the empty area of the toolbar background, or by choosing Customize

menus/toolbars from the Options menu. When the

Customize menus/toolbars window is displayed, choose

Main Toolbar or one of the MIDI View toolbars from the drop down list in the top left corner. We'll get to Floating

toolbars a little later in this chapter.

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The table below summarizes the main tasks that can be carried out within this window.

After the table there is an example in which you can add to the toolbar an item of your own.

Purely as an example, we'll use the action View:

Toggle master

track visible for this.

In order to do this ...

… you need to do this.

Change the name of a REAPER toolbar

Select toolbar from drop down list. Click on Retitle..., type new name then click on OK.

Remove an item from the toolbar

Add a new action or command to the toolbar

Click on either the item name in the left panel, or on the icon itself in the display just above the window's command buttons. In the example shown, Enable Metronome has been selected. Click on the Remove button.

In the customize toolbar area (left panel) select the item before which you wish to add your item.

Click on the Add button. This causes the Actions window to be displayed. From the list of actions, select the REAPER command, action or custom script or action. Click on

Select/Close. REAPER will add this to your toolbar and assign an icon.

To add a separator space between two toolbar items

To change the icon used for any toolbar item (including an item that you have added)

In the customize toolbar area, right-click over the second of these items and choose Add separator from the menu.

Right click over the icon in the icon display near the bottom of the Customize Menus/Toolbars window, just above the command buttons. This causes the Select toolbar icon window to be displayed. Select your required icon then close the Select toolbar icon window.

Change the action assigned to a toolbar button

Replace a toolbar icon with text

Change the position of an item on the toolbar

In the customize toolbar area (left panel) select the item that you wish to change. Right click, choose Change action, then select from the action list and click on Select/Close.

Right click over the item in the customized toolbar list in the left panel. Choose Text Icon from the menu, type the text then click OK.

Use the mouse to drag and drop up or down the list shown in the customized toolbar list. Ctrl X / Ctrl V may also be used, as can Cut and Paste from the right click context menu.

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In order to do this ...

Close the Customize Menus/Toolbar

Window without saving your changes

Save the toolbar with your changes

Restore the toolbar to its default status

Export the current custom toolbar or all toolbars/menus as a

ReaperMenuSet

Replace the current custom toolbar or all toolbars/menus with a previously saved Reaper Menu Set

… you need to do this.

Click on the Close button. Choose No when asked if you wish to save your changes.

Click on the Save button.

Click the Reset button.

Choose Reset Current

Menu/ Toolbars to

Defaults from the menu.

Select Yes to confirm'

Click on Export... , choose Export All or Export Current, then type a name and click on Save (see also note below).

Click on Import... then select the required menu set file, then click on Open.(see also note below)

Note: ReaperMenuSets can also be included when exporting/importing REAPER configuration preferences and settings – see Chapter 21.

Example

The real benefit of this exercise will come from it teaching you a technique, not from the actual example.

1. Right-click over the toolbar area (but not any specific tool) and choose customize

toolbars... from the context menu.

2. Click on the last item on the toolbar (Enable locking) then click on Add... to open the

Actions List.

3. Find the action View: Toggle master track visible. Select this, then click on Select/close. This item will now be added to the list of toolbar items.

In the icon display, it will be labelled something like

“Tog Mast”.

4. Drag this item up or down the list to whatever position you want it to take.

5. If you do not like the text Tog Mast you can right-click over the item in the list and choose either Change icon (to select an icon) or Text icon (to type a different text label). If you choose text icon, you may also select a Double width

toolbar button option for better text display.

6. Click Save and then Close. If you don't want to keep this icon, access the customize menus/toolbars window again and simply remove it.

Tip: The command Position toolbar can be used to change the position of or float the main toolbar: see section immediately below this one.

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14.23 Creating Additional Custom Toolbars

REAPER can display up to 16 general and eight MIDI only additional toolbars that you can set up to suit your particular requirements. By selecting which items are added to these toolbars you are able create one click access to your most important commands and actions. To toggle the display of any toolbar, right-click over the empty area of your main toolbar and choose the Open toolbar command, then select a toolbar. You may display as many of these toolbars as you wish. By default, each toolbar contains one icon, labelled “Edit Me”. To change this, you will need to customize the toolbar (see below).

Each toolbar window can be dragged, resized and positioned anywhere on your screen. It can also be kept on top (using the pin symbol). Right click over the empty area of any custom toolbar to again display the menu shown (right). Options are:

Switch toolbar: selects another toolbar to display in its place.

Open toolbar: use this to open another toolbar.

Position toolbar: used to dock the toolbar at the main toolbar, at the top of the main window, in the toolbar docker (explained shortly), or to float.

Customize toolbars: use this to open the Customize

menus/toolbars window to enable you to customize the contents of any of the toolbars. By default, the currently displayed toolbar will be selected for editing.

You can add commands to each or any of these toolbars as you wish. To select a different toolbar for editing after opening the Customize menus/toolbars window, display the drop down list from the top left corner of the Customize menus/toolbars window. The following table summarizes the main editing options.

In order to do this ...

Change the name of any tabbed toolbar

Add an action or command to a custom toolbar

To edit a custom toolbar button label

To assign an icon instead of text to a custom toolbar button

To remove an item from a custom toolbar

To change the order of icons on a custom toolbar

To save a custom toolbar set

To export a custom toolbar set

To import a toolbar set

To dock/undock the floating toolbar

… you need to do this.

Select toolbar in the Customize Menus/Toolbars window, click on

Retitle... then type the new name then click on OK.

Click on Add... to display the Actions List. Select the command or action and click on Select.

Right click over the item in the customized toolbar panel (left) and choose Text Icon... Type the text then click OK.

Right click over the item in the customized toolbar panel (left) and choose Change Icon... Select the required icon from those displayed, then close the Select Toolbar Icon window.

Select the item in the Customized Toolbar (left) panel and click on

Remove.

Drag and drop items up or down the list displayed in the customized toolbar (left) panel.

Click on the Save button in the Customize Menus/Toolbars window.

Use the Export... button and choose Export current menu/toolbar

to … Type a name and click on Save.

Use the Import... button, select the file name, click on Open.

Right click on floating toolbar, choose Dock floating toolbar then select one of the three options.

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Shown here is an example of custom toolbars, used to give easy access to various track and windows screen sets. Let's see how this was done.

Example

1. With the Customize menus/toolbars window open select Floating toolbar 1.

2. Click on Retitle... and type Screen Sets. Press

Enter.

3. Use the Add... button to open the Actions List window. Select Screenset: Load window set #04, then click on Select.

4. With the Actions List window still open, select the action Screenset: Load window set #03 and again click on Select.

5. Repeat step 4 several times to select the other actions required for this toolbar..

6. Select the action Screenset: Load track view #01 then click on Select/close.

7. If necessary, drag and drop any of these items up or down the list to put them in your preferred order.

8. If necessary, remove any unwanted items on this toolbar.

9. Right-click over each item in turn and choose the Text icon command. Enter a label, such as Track Set

1 and enable the option Double width toolbar button.

10. Save and Close the Customize menus/toolbars window when finished.

This exercise has shown you how to create a custom toolbar. Only you can decide, however, when you should create them. Use them for those activities that you use the most. For example, if you find yourself getting frustrated when navigating and zooming, then make a zoom/navigate toolbar. If you spend a lot of time editing media items, make an item edit toolbar. In Chapter 17 you'll find a custom toolbar for working with envelopes.

14.24 Creating Smart Tools

If you have used other DAW software (such as Cubase, Pro Tools or Sonar) before coming to REAPER, then you may be used to using a toolbar to help with various editing tasks, such as splitting, deleting or muting items.

You have already seen that this method of working is not native to REAPER. However, if you wish, you can create your own smart tools which can be used in a way similar to that with which you are familiar.

The Actions List includes a number of actions suitable for this sort of treatment. These include actions like

Item: Split Item Under Mouse Cursor. In addition, you may also have created some custom actions of your own, for example to select and mute or delete items. Without arming, any tool which makes reference to the mouse cursor, for example, would otherwise be useless – because the mouse cursor will be over the toolbar, not any media item, when the tool is clicked! By using smart tools we solve this problem.

To create a Smart Tool for any action or custom action, you first need to assign the action or custom to the toolbar, as explained in the section before this one. In this example, we have created a button to

Split Item Under Mouse Cursor. Then, to use it as a smart tool, simply do this:

1. Right click over the tool. If you hover the mouse there long enough, a tool tip will be displayed. Move the mouse over any media item and it will change to a letter A.

2. Left click on (in this example) the item to which you want the action applied, at the exact position that you want the action to occur. In this case, the item beneath the mouse cursor will be split.

Once a tool is armed it will remain armed until you “unarm” it. To do this, either right click on the armed tool. or press Esc immediately after using it.

Tip: A floating toolbar can be sized (made larger or smaller) by dragging its lower right hand corner in or out – look for the small dotted triangular area. If you want to restrict just how large the icons may become when you do this, enable the option Don't scale toolbar buttons above 1:1 on the Appearance page of your preferences window. There is also an option Don't scale toolbar buttons below 1:1.

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14.25 The Toolbar Docker

If you have several custom toolbars, the toolbar docker can be a useful means of accessing your various toolbars easily without creating a lot of screen clutter. It uses a tabbed layout that makes it easy to switch between your various toolbars whilst only displaying the contents of one toolbar at a time. In addition to this, the toolbar docker can itself be docked in any of REAPER's main dockers.

Shown below is an example where a user has created eight custom toolbars and made them all accessible from the toolbar docker:

Display of the toolbar docker is toggled using the View, Toolbar docker command. A tip worth remembering is that toolbar layouts (tool positions) are by default saved with windows screensets. This makes it easier to switch between using and not using the toolbar docker, or using different toolbar selections in the toolbar docker at different times.

The following table summarizes the main features of the toolbar docker.

In order to do this ...

Add an open toolbar to the toolbar docker

Remove a toolbar from the toolbar docker

Replace one toolbar on the docker with another

Display toolbar contents

Dock the toolbar docker

Undock the toolbar docker

… you need to do this.

Right click over the toolbar background area, choose Position toolbar,

In toolbar docker.

In the toolbar docker, right click over the toolbar's name tab, choose

Position toolbar then Close toolbar or one of the display options such as floating or at top of main window.

In the toolbar docker, right click over the toolbar's name tab, choose

Switch toolbar then select the required toolbar.

In the toolbar docker, click on toolbar name tab.

Click on the ! (exclamation mark) on the left end of the toolbar docker, then choose any one of the four attach docker position options bottom, top, left or right. In the example shown above, this has been docked at the top.

Click on the ! (exclamation mark) on the left end of the docked toolbar docker, then deselect the option Attach Toolbar Docker to main

window.

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15 REAPER Plug-ins in Action

15.1

What Are Plug-ins?

There’s a wonderful assortment of plug-ins supplied with REAPER - over 200 of them! These include the

Jesusonic and the VST Rea plug-ins from Cockos. In this section we will be introducing you to a selection of these. We will only be covering the very basics, just to give you a feel for what plug-ins are and how they work.

Beyond this, you can explore for yourself.

Plug-ins are pieces of software that are used to control and shape the sound generated when you play back the media items in your tracks. Some simple examples of when and why you might want to use a plug-in are:

 To make a vocal recording sound nicer, more lifelike. Perhaps your dry recording sounds a bit thin, even verging on feeble in places. Plug-ins can add body, warmth and sparkle to such a track, not by working magic, but by finding where those qualities are buried in the recording and bringing them out.

 To smooth off peaks and dips in the volume of a track, making the overall track sound more even.

 To add a “live” feel to a track or even a whole mix, making it sound more as if it were recorded in a church or a concert hall, rather than in a boring old studio.

15.2

The Three Laws of Plug-ins

Before you start using plug-ins, study and memorise this mantra. There are no exceptions to these laws!

1. It is better not to use a plug-in at all than to use it badly. A badly used plug-in is likely to make your mix sound worse, not better. If in doubt, underdo the use of plug-ins, don’t overdo them.

2. Never judge the quality of a plug-in by how much you like its presets. Presets reflect someone else’s idea of how something ought to sound, not the quality of the plug-in, nor its potential. You will almost certainly never learn how to get the best out of any plug-ins, be they EQ, compression, reverb or anything else unless you take the trouble to understand their various parameters. And that takes time.

3. You can’t judge the quality of a plug-in by its cost. No, really you can’t. Some plug-ins are free. Some cost literally thousands of dollars. Some free ones are pretty awful, some are great. Some plug-ins costing hundreds of dollars are, to be polite, very, very ordinary. Others are excellent.

15.3

The Five Types of Plug-in

Especially when you are new to digital audio, when you start to explore the world of plug-ins you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed, if not utterly confused. Why? Because there is so much choice. Heaven help me, have I really got to understand all that lot to be able to use this recording caper?

No, you don’t. Learn in steps as you go. In essence there are essentially five types of plug-in (well, there’s a major exception to that, which I’ll get to shortly). These five types are:

Sound Shaping: these plug-ins affect the frequency (pitch) of your track(s). An example is EQ.

Time-Based Effects: these plug-ins manipulate how your track(s) interact with time. Examples include Delay, Chorus and Reverb.

Volume Changing: these are plug-ins that determine the overall volume or perceived volume of your track(s). Examples are Compressors and Limiters.

Routing Plug-ins: these do not shape the sound of your tracks as such, but are used for tasks such as routing. Routing is generally beyond the scope of this chapter: we'll get to it in Chapter 16.

Analytical Plug-ins: these display information, but don't in any way alter the sound of the track.

And that exception? Well, some plug-ins can cut across more than one of these categories at the same time, performing more than one job. One example of this is a Multiband Compressor, which displays the characteristics of both an EQ and a Compressor.

It would be way beyond the scope of this User Guide to teach you the science between these various plug-ins – that would require an entire volume in itself! Our objective is to give you an introduction to what REAPER offers in this area, and to show you how REAPER's own interface is used to control them.

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15.4

Adjusting Plug-in Parameter Controls

Plug-in faders can be adjusted using any of four main methods. These are:

Hover your mouse over the fader and scroll the mousewheel. Use Ctrl for finer adjustments.

Click on a fader and drag the mouse. Hold the Ctrl key for finer adjustments. Hold Alt for “elastic” auditioning: the control will return to its original position when the mouse is released.

Click on the fader then use the Up and Down arrow keys.

Click in the parameter value window (in the first example show below, you can see one of these to the immediate right of each of the three horizontal faders) and type a value.

If you prefer not to use the first of these methods (for fear of making accidental adjustments), you can enable on the Editing Behavior, Mouse page of your Preferences the option Ignore mousewheel on all faders.

15.5

Sound Shaping Effects: ReaEQ

Many sound shaping plug-ins fall (in one way or another) into the EQ category. EQ means “equalisation.” This is rather strange, since they are used to emphasise (or de-emphasise) selected frequencies. Perhaps they should be called “UnEQ”!

ReaEQ is the main EQ plug-in supplied with Reaper. There are also several JS EQ plug-ins but

ReaEQ is the most powerful and flexible. Let's take an example.

1. Open the supplied project file All Through The

Night.RPP and save it as

All Through The Night

EQ.RPP

2. This example uses only the vocal track, which is an excellent tool for demonstrating EQ. Solo the

Vox track.

3. Display the FX window, click on Add and add

Cockos VST: ReaEQ.

Notice that by default this has 4 band tabs (numbered

1 to 4).

4. Play the song. As you do so, select Band 4 and fade the Gain left to about – 35 dB. Notice how deep the voice becomes. Double click on the fader to return it to the centre.

5. Select Band 2. Fade the Gain down to about – 14 dB. Notice how tinny and even disembodied the voice sounds. Double-click to return to normal. Now lift the Gain to about +3 dB. The voice should sound quite pleasantly fuller and warmer. Select Band 3 and set the Frequency to about 4200. Observe what happens as the gain is adjusted between +3.5 and -3.5. When finished, return it to 0.0. Save the file.

What has been happening is that you have been adjusting frequencies This is a huge subject. It is way beyond the scope of this guide to teach everything there is to know about EQ, but here is a brief introduction. Exactly how you divide up the frequency spectrum is to some extent arbitrary. Here’s one way that makes sense:

Frequencies

16 to 60 Hz

60 to 250 Hz

250 to 2000 Hz

Comments

Very Low Bass. These frequencies are felt rather than heard.

Bass. Herein dwell the fundamental notes of the rhythm section. A modest boost here can help make a sound fuller, but too much gain will make it boomy.

The Mid Range. Too much gain here makes it sound like you’ve recorded from the other end of a telephone. If a take sounds muddy, try cutting it here.

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Frequencies Comments

2000 to 4000 Hz

4000 to 6000 Hz

Upper Mid Range. Often a tricky area. Too much can cause listening fatigue. Lower this range a tad on the mix while boosting a tad on vocals can help a vocal stand out.

Presence Range. This is the key range for clarity and presence of instruments and vocals. Some gain here will bring the instrument or voice forward in the mix. A drop here can pull a vocal or an instrument back.

6000 to 16000 Hz

High Range. This is where you find clarity and sparkle. Too much gain here produces a searing, glassy effect. Not enough will sound dull ands “heavy”.

So ... we know that the frequency is measured is measured in Hz (and kHz), and that we can increase or decrease the volume at any level, to shape the sound. The sound level itself is measured in decibels.

We need to understand two more terms – first, band width. ReaEQ measures bandwidth in octaves. A narrow bandwidth setting means that you will raise or lower the sound over a very small part of the spectrum relative to your selected frequency. A wide setting means that you will be working on a much wider part of the spectrum. An example of the difference in how a narrow bandwidth (top) and a wide bandwidth

(bottom) can shape a sound is shown here.

You will also see, if you display the drop down list labelled Type that there are several type of band. Some of the most commonly used are:

Band: the volume is raised or lowered either side of the frequency, the range being determined by the bandwidth setting. Sometimes called a “peaking filter.”

Low/High Pass: Filters out frequencies above/below the frequency setting.

Low/High Shelf: Causes the gain to be lowered or raised below/above the frequency setting.

Pass and Shelf will in most cases only be used (if at all) at very low frequencies or very high frequencies.

You can add or remove bands using the Add band and Remove band buttons.

Tip: Don’t forget that you can create track parameter controls and/or automation envelopes for this or any other plug-in by clicking on the Param button in the plug-in window – as explained in Chapter 11.

15.6

Time Based Effects: Delay

These include reverb, delay and chorus. Sound takes time to travel thru any distance, and surfaces like walls and ceilings create reflections which make the sound patterns even more complex, intricate – and alive. Time based

FX use a number of tricks and techniques to artificially simulate this, thereby creating a more

“live” sound. But be careful. Too much here can ruin an otherwise good sound.

Parameter

Delay (ms)

Feedback

Mix in (dB)

Description

Determines the amount of time that passes between the original sound and when the delayed sound is heard.

Determines the amount of the delayed signal that will be fed back into the delay itself. This helps to prevent the delay from just being an echo.

Determines the overall output level.

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Parameter

Output wet (dB

Description

Determines the Output level of the Post FX signal. Lowering this relative to the dry output will make the effect more subtle.

Determines the Output level of the Pre FX signal

Output dry (dB)

In this example, we will use the JS: Delay/Delay to add a touch of delay to the Bouzouki.

Example

1. Unsolo your Vox track and solo the track Bouzouki. Open its FX Window and add the JS:Delay/delay.

2. Play the song. Experiment with adjusting the FX parameters until you have found an effect to your liking.

For very small delay settings, such as 0.2 ms, it is easier to type them in the box than to use the faders.

3. Unsolo the track, then continue to make any further adjustments until you are satisfied with the results.

4. Save the file.

Note: The plug-in ReaDelay is a more powerful alternative to JS Delay. In particular, it allows you to create multiple delay taps, each with its own delay settings, and to pan each of these individually.

15.7

Volume Changing Plug-ins: the Limiter

In this next example, we will look at an example of one volume changing effect, the JS:LOSER:masterLimiter.

This can be added to the FX Window for your MASTER to perform two functions. These may at first appear to be contradictory, but they are not:

To raise the overall volume of the mix, but at the same time …

 To prevent the mix from “clipping”, i.e. getting too loud at any point.

We will be using the JS:Loser/masterLimiter which includes the following controls and parameters:

Parameter

Threshold

Look Ahead

Attack

Release

Limit

Description

Determines the level at which the other limiter settings will be applied. It may seem paradoxical, but the lower the threshold, the higher will be the perceived overall volume.

As you lower the threshold, more of the song is lifted to the limit specified.

Determines how far ahead the limiter looks – this helps smooth out sudden peaks.

Determines how quickly the limiter kicks in as the signal increases.

Determines how quickly the limiter recovers after a peak is encountered.

This determines the maximum volume that cannot be exceeded.

Example

1. Display the FX Window for your MASTER and insert the

JS: LOSER

/masterLimiter.

2. Play the song, adjusting the controls.

3. As you lower the Threshold, the volume will get louder, but the maximum (limit) volume is never exceeded.

4. As you lower the Limit, the song gets quieter.

5. The more you lower both Threshold and Limit, the more you squeeze the dynamics out of the song – volume remains almost constant, and there is little or no movement in the VU.

The trick to using a limiter well is to smooth out peaks and dips somewhat, but without adversely affecting the dynamics of the song. And, especially at first, be gentle!

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15.8

Analytical Plug-ins: the GFXAnalyzer

Shown on the right is a JS: Analysis

gfxanalyzer plug-in.

Insert this into any track's FX chain (or the master's FX chain and as the project is played you are given visual feedback as to the level of output at different frequencies.

This can sometimes help, for example, in identifying which frequencies might need attention.

Three of the Cockos plug-ins – ReaEQ,

ReaFir and ReaXComp - all include an analytical display similar to that shown here as part of their standard interface.

Now that you've had a look some examples of different types of plug-in.

We can go on and examine some more.

First, though, another word or two about presets ...

15.9

Using FX Presets

When you are satisfied with your settings for any plug-in, you might wish to save them as a preset, so that you can apply them next time you want to use it on another track:

1. Click on the + button just above the JS Delay/delay plug-in when this plug-in is selected.

2. Choose Save preset from the menu.

3. Type a name and click on OK.

To save these as default parameter settings for the plug-in when it is used in the future, use the Save preset as default... command from the same menu.

To import an existing preset library (such as you might be able to download from the

REAPER web site) you would choose Import preset library….

To export your presets to a file (for backup purposes, or to use on another computer) you would choose Export preset library

...

To choose an existing preset (from those previously saved or imported, or which were supplied with the plug-in), insert the plug-in into that track’s FX window, display the drop down list of presets (see above), then select the one that you want.

Within the FX Browser, you can select a preset when adding an FX to the FX chain. Right-click over the plug-in name then from the context-sensitive menu choose Presets, then select the required preset from the displayed list.

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15.10 Time Based Effects: ReaVerb

ReaVerb is a VST plug-in that is supplied with REAPER. Reverb itself is a time-based effect, and ReaVerb uses a type of reverb known as convolution reverb to create the illusion of space. This section will introduce you to the basics of using ReaVerb. After that, it has more features that you can explore for yourself.

Most reverbs attempt to simulate the effect that the acoustic environment of, say, a hall or a room would have on sound. However, the mathematics required is complex, so that few come close to sounding like real acoustic rooms. Reverb plug-ins vary not only in their essential quality but also in the scope of their applications.

Convolution reverb can give you realistic reverb on a budget. It uses impulse responses of real acoustic spaces. This is done by first generating a signal in the required environment and then recording the result.

ReaVerb even takes this concept a step further, allowing you to not only use recorded impulses from real environments to create your reverb, but also to use something closer to more traditional reverb methods to then modify that sound further, should you wish to do so.

To be able to use convolution reverb, you will need a collection of impulse wave files. Search the net and you’ll find all you want, many free. This example uses files downloaded from http://www.voxengo.com/impulses/ . In the example that follows, these files have been downloaded and stored in a folder that we have created and named C:\Program Files\REAPER\Reverb Impulses\Voxengo\

Example

1. Open the file All Through The Night.RPP and save it as All Through The Night REVERB.RPP

2. Add a new track after the last track, and name it Reverb Bus

3.

Create Receives into this track from all of the instrument tracks and the Vox track. This will later enable you to feed different levels of signal, panned as required, from different tracks into your Reverb Bus.

4.

Display the FX Window for the Reverb Bus.

5.

Add ReaVerb into this FX Window.

6. Fade the Wet level down to around –60 and the Dry level down to about –0.5, as shown above. We will start by adding just a little reverb, then increase it as required.

7. Click on the Add button and then on File. This lets you add a file at the start of your Reverb chain. Navigate the file browser window to where your impulse files are stored and select one. In this example, we will be using St Nicolaes

Church.wav

8. Click on Open to insert that file into ReaVerb.

9. Play the file. In the Track Window, lower the Volume fader for the Reverb Bus to about –10dB. Lower the fader on the Master to about – 6dB. You can bring this up again later if you wish.

10. In the ReaVerb window, now raise the wet signal until you hear a pleasing amount of reverb. This will probably be at about –10 dB. If you like, Solo the Reverb track for a while, so that you can discern the effect more clearly.

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11. We can now use the ReaVerb controls to adjust the Reverb effect. The Pre-reverb fader offsets the reverb tail by delaying the signal that is sent to the reverb tail generator. Try it for yourself.

12. To add more controls to the

Reverb chain, click on Add and choose Time/Gain/Stretch.

Your window suddenly has all these extra controls. These are used to stretch the impulse

(make it longer), add in some graininess, or trim the impulse

(make it shorter). The best way to find out is to experiment!

13. Now click on Add again and add a Filter (LP/HP). This causes a

High Pass Filter and a Low Pass

Filter to be added. This can be used to stop the reverb impulse from being added to very low and/or very high frequencies.

14. When you have your sound right, you can save that set of parameters as a named preset that can by recalled for other projects. Click on the + button, choose Save preset, name the preset and click OK.

Notice that when you are experimenting with ReaVerb you can:

 Drag and drop to change the order in which modules are positioned in the reverb chain.

 Untick the box to the left of any module’s name to bypass that module.

Tip: When making changes to ReaVerb settings it may be necessary to first stop and then restart playback for those changes to be employed.

ReaVerb Features Summary

Echo generator - generates an echo - useful for "filling in the gaps" of an impulse or creating echo-decay.

High and low pass filter - force the impulse not to work above or below a certain point.

Normalize - raise the gain of the impulse to 0dBFS.

Reverse – reverses the Reverb – a nifty effect for vocals, guitar solos and song intros/outros.

Trim/Gain/Stretch – trim or stretch the impulse (make it shorter or longer), add in some graininess.

File - use this to insert an impulse file. You can insert as many files as you want!

Max FFT – FFT filters are a complex mathematical topic. Google to learn more details! Meanwhile, for the rest of us, changing the FFT size changes CPU usage. A lower FFT setting means a higher CPU usage, but spread more evenly. Higher FFT sizes will consume less CPU but result in more latency. FFT size will therefore affect performance and possible dropouts, but it should not affect the sound itself. If unsure, use the default setting.

ZL – option to enable zero latency: useful when tracking while monitoring reverb levels.

LL – option to use an extra thread to improve low latency performance.

You may find when rendering that better results are obtained with both ZL and LL disabled.

Set all -apply these performance settings to all instances of ReaVerb in the current project.

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15.11 Volume Control with Compression: ReaComp

Earlier in this chapter, we encountered a Limiter. You can think of a limiter as being like imposing a ceiling – it stops the volume of a signal from going above whatever level you set.

Because limiting can be harsh, it is often better to use a compressor on individual tracks. Think of it this way – a simple limiter cuts in suddenly and severely, whereas a compressor can be eased in much more gently. It might help to get a visual picture of what limiting can do to a recording compared to a well applied compressor. The three illustrations show the same waveform first as recorded, then how it might look with limiting (center), and with compression instead of limiting (right).

Notice that on the original waveform the volume varies quite considerably from time to time.

Applying a limiter (near right) can lift the quieter passages, but may make the overall effect too loud. The dynamics have been largely squeezed out of the song. The illustration far right shows the same waveform after carefully using a compressor instead of a limiter. The track no longer clips, and more of the dynamics of the recording have been preserved.

Software compressors vary from the simple to the complex. We’re going to concentrate here on understanding just five main terms.

These are essential to understanding how to use compression. There are other factors, but let’s just focus on these five for now.

Threshold - This is the volume at which the compressor will kick in. For example, if you set your threshold at, say, -10dB, then nothing below that threshold will be compressed at all.

Ratio – This determines how gently or severely the compression is required. For example, a relatively gentle ratio like 2 to 1 would ensure that for every 2 decibels the volume of the recording goes above the threshold, the sound will be increased by only 1 decibel. A much more severe ratio of 12 to 1 would mean that for every 12 decibels the recording goes over the threshold, the sound will increase by only one decibel.

Gain – This is how the volume of the track is adjusted after compression. Often you will want to raise the overall sound at least a little, to prevent the overall volume of the track from now being too quiet. The gain control in ReaComp (above) is labelled Wet.

Limit Output – Selecting this option will prevent the compressor output from exceeding 0 dB.

Bypass – this is the small tick box in the top right corner, next to the UI button. You can use this to toggle bypass on and off, enabling you to assess what this plug-in is doing. When this is ticked (as here) the plug-in is active. When unticked it is set to bypass. You’ll find one of these in all plug-in windows.

Example

1. Open the file All Through The Night.RPP and save it as All Through The Night COMP.RPP

2. Solo the Bouzouki track. Look at its media peaks. You can see that it starts at a steady volume, but over the last 30 seconds or so of the song it gets rather loud.

3. Play the track from the 55 second mark for about 15 secs then stop it. Try applying some compression to kick in at about –12 or –13 dB.

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4. Display the FX Window for this track.

5. Insert the VST: ReaComp (Cockos).

6. Create a loop to play over the last 20 secs or so of this instrument.

7. As you do so, experiment with setting the Threshold (vertical fader on the left) and the Ratio. Select the option to Limit Output. You’ll probably end up with a setting of something like -16 on the Threshold and a ratio around 4:1 or 5:1 (see picture).

8. Now save this file.

15.12 LOSER’s Transients Plug-ins

Used well, a compressor can enrich a track or a mix, but used badly it can do more harm than good. If you’re not too confident about using a compressor, then you could do worse than look at LOSER’s

Transients Killer. It’s a simple compressor (more like a clipper really) with just two parameters for you to control – Threshold and Ratio. All other settings are fixed. The threshold determines the volume at which compression begins – the ratio determines how much compression is applied.

Feeling a little more adventurous? Try adding LOSER's Transient Controller immediately after this, to add more sustain and/or attack to the track, folder or mix.

15.13 Liteon's De-Esser

Liteon's de-esser is a specially crafted compressor whose purpose is to remove sibilance from vocal tracks.

It works by combining either a highpass or bandpass filter centred on a specific frequency with a compressor to tame the sibilance.

By turning Monitor on you are able to sweep the Frequency control to identify where the sibilance is worst, then turn Monitor off again. As a rough guide, male sibilance is likely to be found at around 4500 Hz and female at about 6500 Hz – but these can vary with individual singers.

The Bandwidth determines how wide or narrow will be the frequency range to which the compression is applied.

Threshold, Ratio and Gain work in the same way as in a normal compressor.

15.14 Volume Control with a Noise Gate

Noise Gates controls sound at the quiet end of the scale. Often when you record a track such as a vocal there will be sections of silence, perhaps between verses. At least, you want them to be silence! However, you might notice on playback irritating sounds have been recorded at a low level during these periods. A noise gate can be set to detect these and filter them out. Like the compressor, the Noise Gate can be quite simple or more sophisticated. For now, we’re going to focus on just the basic Noise Gate controls:

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Threshold – Used to specify a minimum sound level below which the Noise

Gate will kick in.

Attack – Specifies how quickly the gate should kick in. Too short an attack period can cause it cutting out the natural decay of a sound you want.

Hold – This specifies how long the gate remains open after the signal falls below the Threshold

Release – This determines how soon the gate closes after the signal has fallen below the Threshold.

Let’s take an example, using the project All Through The Night

COMP.RPP

Example

1. Solo the Vox track.

2. Play the song from just before the end of the first verse. If you listen carefully (especially thru headphones) you can hear some unwanted sounds during the otherwise silent passage. Certainly you can see this on the track’s VU meter.

3. Open the FX Window for this track and add Cockos VST ReaGate.

4. Play the song again. Adjust the Threshold fader (the first on the left) to a level just above that at which the Threshold’s VU meter is peaking during the quiet passages (see below). This will shut out the sound – visual confirmation is given by the VU meter on the right, which should now display no activity.

5. You will probably find that the default settings for Attack, Hold and Release work quite well, but experiment with adjusting them if you wish.

6. Now save this file again.

You have just seen here a simple example of using a noise gate. Noise gates can be used to great effect and for a large number of applications (including with a drum kit to cut out the bleed between mics). Applications like that are more complicated and require a greater understanding of the noise gate's many parameters.

15.15 Sstillwell Chorus and Delay Effects

If you have ever owned an acoustic guitar then you probably know what a chorus effect is. You might have used a chorus pedal at some time to make your guitar sound fuller and richer, almost like two or more guitars.

REAPER includes a number of chorus effects. Shown here is

Sstillwell's Chorus_Stereo.

This uses similar principles to the delay plug-in that we encountered earlier. It has a number of additional controls, the most

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important of which is Number of Voices. Try it and see! This is another plug-in where you’ll find the wet/dry mix control and bypass toggle tick box (top right) can be very useful.

Other chorus/delay effects from Sstillwell include a mono Chorus effect, Delay_Pong (creating a delay effect which can be ping-ponged between left and right speakers), and Delay_Tempo (a simple delay effect). For a really unusual delay effect, try experimenting with remaincalm's floaty delay.

15.16 Noise Reduction with ReaFir

ReaFir is a multipurpose dynamics plug-in that almost defies categorisation or description. It can act as an EQ, a Compressor, a Noise Gate, and more. In this example, you will see how it can be used for noise reduction. The need for a noise reduction plug-in can arise when an otherwise good track has some unwanted background noise on it. This might, for example, be hiss or rumble, or the sound of an air conditioner.

ReaFir can be used to remove such sounds from your tracks in real time. In order to do this, you must first identify a passage on the track (perhaps a second or two) where you have recorded the unwanted noise by itself. This is likely to be at the very beginning of the track.

Example and Procedure

In overview, the procedure is this:

1. Insert ReaFir in the FX window of the track containing the recorded items with the unwanted noise.

2. Position the play cursor at the start of a passage containing just the unwanted noise.

3. Set ReaFir to

Subtract

mode.

4. Set Edit Mode to Precise.

5. Select the

Option to Automatically build noise profile.

6. Play the track only for the duration of the passage containing the noise, then stop the playback.

7. You should see that ReaFir has built a profile of the unwanted noise. This will be marked with a red line

(see above right).

8. Now uncheck the box labelled Automatically build noise profile.

9. Return the play cursor to the start of the song and play it.

10. You should now find that as the song plays, the noise that you profiled by following steps 1. to 5. has now been removed from your output..

Note: You might be a little puzzled as to when to use a noise gate and when to use noise reduction software such as ReaFir. The answer is usually quite simple. Noise reduction is suitable for removing a background noise that is fairly constant, such as an electrical hum, whereas a noise gate is better at dealing with occasional noise, such as a vocalist's breathing sounds.

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15.17 Multiband Compression with ReaXComp

Applied to the Master, Multiband Compression can be a useful tool for adding body, warmth and volume to your final mix. It is outside the scope of this guide to suggest just how heavily or lightly you should apply your

Multiband Compressor. Many audio engineers believe quite strongly that the contemporary trend being currently pursued by the major record companies takes multiband compression too far.

Be that as it may, a multiband compressor works by applying different rates of compression to different frequency bands. This lets you shape the sound much more precisely than is possible with a simple compressor.

The ReaXComp default settings include 4 bands. These are 0 to

200 Hz, 200 Hz to

1,000 Hz, 1,000 Hz to

5,000 Hz and above

5,000 Hz. However you can add extra bands or delete superfluous ones. You can also change the band frequencies as you wish. For example, if you increase the top frequency of Band 1 to, say, 250 Hz, then that automatically becomes also the starting frequency for Band 2.

f you have not used a Multiband Compressor before, then you are advised to start cautiously and become more adventurous as you gain in knowledge and confidence. You can experiment on any of the sample All Through

The Night project files that you have used elsewhere in this User Guide.

Example

1. Open one of your sample project files.

2. Insert ReaXComp in the FX window for the Master.

3. Play your project from the beginning.

4. It is quite likely that at this stage ReaXComp will have no effect on the sound. This will be the case if, as shown right, the peak levels (green vertical bars) fall short of the threshold settings (red horizontal lines) for each band (see example above) But you can still learn something!

5. Enable the Solo current band feature.

6. As the song plays, select in turn each of the four tabs, 1, 2, 3 and 4. This will enable you to hear separately each of the frequency ranges that you are working on.

7. Now disable the Solo Current Band feature. Disable Auto makeup gain. This will need to be done individually for each of the four band. If Auto makeup gain were to be left enabled, the volume of our mix would be pumped up after we make our other changes.

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8. As the song plays, adjust the threshold for each of the bands until they come just below the peaks for each band. An example of this is shown here.

9. The default Ratio setting of 2:1 is quite a “safe” level. Try increasing the ratio for each of your thresholds up to around 4:1. If you find this makes the sound too compressed, ease the levels back towards 2:1.

Remember, this is an example, not a model!

10. Even now, with these fairly conservative settings, you should notice the difference with

ReaXComp enabled and set to bypass. When enabled, the different tracks should bind together better into a mix.

11. If you wish, you can experiment with the various other controls, especially the Knee. This setting determines how suddenly or gradually the compression is applied.

12. You can also experiment with the Gain controls if you wish, both for individual bands and for your overall mix, but don't overdo it.

Using ReaXComp: Some Tips

Don’t use too many bands. Too many independently compressed bands can make your mix sound disjointed. Many of the best mastering engineers use only as few as three bands.

 Listen closely to the changes in sound as you adjust the various settings. One affects the other, so it is important to take your time here.

 The Attack settings determine how much time passes after the signal rises above the threshold before the compressor kicks in.

 The Releases settings determine how much time passes after the signal falls back below the threshold before the compressor is released.

 Try to adjust the Attack and Release settings so as to make the compressor come in and out unnoticed.

 Especially when first using a Multiband Compressor in the Master, it is advisable to use the Gain settings only to compensate for loss of volume due to compression, not to pump the signal up. A notable exception here might be where one bandwidth needs to be adjusted slightly relative to the others.

 It is often advisable to place a limiter (such as LOSER’s Master Limiter) after the Multiband Compressor in your FX Chain.

 Another, and completely, separate use for a Multiband Compressor is to compress a very specific frequency within a track, for example as a de-esser or de-popper on a vocal track.

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15.18 LOSER’s TimeDifference Pan

Of the many JS plug-ins that are supplied with (or available for use with) REAPER, LOSER’s TimeDifference Pan definitely merits a mention. It is simple to use, but very effective.

Sometimes you may feel that a track you have recorded sounds rather “thin” or “wimpish”. You’ll want to fill it out a bit, or fatten it up to make it sound richer, warmer, fuller. One old trick is to duplicate the track and run the duplicate track a few ms behind the original, but panned differently. Fed back into the main mix, this can almost make the one instrument sound like two instruments at times.

LOSER’s TimeDifference Pan plug-in effectively does all this for you – with much less time and trouble on your part, and with very, very little CPU overhead. If you want to experiment with this plug-in to try out the effect for itself, the Bouzouki track on All Through The Night.RPP lends itself to this quite well.

15.19 LOSER’s Exciter

LOSER’s Exciter plug-in is a simple way of putting some high end sparkle back into an otherwise possibly dull mix

Problems with individual instruments should be fixed on their own tracks. However, you might still wish to add some vitality to the overall mix Place the

Exciter at or near the beginning of the Master FX chain and see for yourself. Note these parameters:

Frequency – the frequency above which you want to add the sparkle. Try experimenting in a range of about

2000 Hz to 4500 Hz. Sometimes, you may need to go even higher for the best results.

Clip Boost – the amount by which you wish to boost the volume above this frequency. Be gentle at first.

Harmonics – the amount of Harmonics you want to add to the mix (go easy on this one).

Another plug-in in a similar vein is the JS:SStillwell/exciter.

15.20 SSTillwell's HugeBooty

This is a simple plug-in that can be used to enhance the bass frequencies on any track.

Try setting the required frequency first, then gradually increasing drive and mix until you like what you hear.

15.21 Some Unusual JS Plug-ins

15.21.1

Utility/bufsave

Placed as the first FX chain item (or, for MIDI tracks, immediately after the synth) and at the end of the chain, this adds feedback to the chain (see example below). Up to 100 buffer slots are available. Use the same slot for both instances of bufsave on the same track, and do not use that same slot number on any other track.

The FX In between the two instances of bufsave could be a solitary simple effect (such as a simple delay, or remaincalm's floaty delay) or, as shown here, a whole sequence of effects.

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The other four faders manage the audio flow.

They determine separately for each bufsave instance the levels of source to buffer mix, buffer to buffer mix, buffer to destination mix and source to destination mix. In particular, source to buffer mix acts as a feedback control.

When working with feedback, be cautious. As a precaution, initially set both source to buffer mix faders some way to the left. You can then slowly fade these up more as required.

Interesting sounds can be obtained using more than one pair of bufsave plug-ins in an FX chain, with each pair being allocated its own unique slot.

15.21.2

Sstillwell/thunderkick

This one can be positively scary! It adds a bottom end thunder-like sound to a track. You could try using it on a bass drum, or a synth or even an electric bass … or anywhere where you want to create that atmosphere.

Its four faders are quite easy to work with. You'll likely get the best results without too much experimenting.

15.21.3

Remaincalm_org/tonegate

Tonegate is a tone generator triggered off a gate, to add sine, square or noise tones. It is made more interesting by the addition of pitch and fade in/fadeout controls.

This plug-in really gives you plenty of opportunity to be creative.

Originally intended for use with kick or snare, it is remarkably versatile.

Try it out on your electric guitar, for example.!

Experiment at first with the

Frequency fader and the

Waveform options, then let your ears be your guide as you adjust the other controls.

You can learn more about this and other great remaincalm JS plugins by visiting

remaincalm.org

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15.22 Some Guitar FX Plug-ins

There’s a whole series of Jesusonic plug-ins especially designed to help you shape your guitar sounds. By and large, they work in much the same way as your guitar pedals do. Here is a selection:

Plug In

JS Guitar/amp-model

JS Guitar/amp-model-dual

JS Guitar/chorus

JS Guitar/distortion

JS Guitar/flanger

JS Guitar/phaser

JS Guitar/wah

JS Guitar/tremolo

Description

Lets you select an amplifier to be simulated, such as a Fender or a

Marshall. Lots of parameters for you to tweak! The dual version of this plug-in lets you choose different left-right speakers!

The waveform is fed thru a series of delays whose delay times are slowly modulated. The shape of the chorus sound is moulded primarily by the

Length, Number of Voices, and Rate settings.

This plug-in works by distorting the shape and frequency content of the waveform. The degree of distortion applied is determined principally by the Gain and Hardness settings.

Flanging is produced when a signal is mixed with a delayed copy of itself, while the delay time continually changes. The flange effect is set by adjusting the Delay Length, Rate and Feedback parameters.

This four allpass filter stereo phaser effect settings include Rate

(Hz),Range (Min and Max), and Feedback.

The wah effect is a filter effect, produced by the Position, Top

Resonance, Bottom Resonance and Filter Distortion settings.

Tremelo is produced by low-frequency variation in a sound's amplitude envelope, achieved by setting Frequency (Hz) and Amount (dB).

It is not suggested that you will want to use all these effects at once, but if you do use more than one of these, then the effect is cumulative. The order in which you apply them will determine how the output sounds. As a starting point, one possible order is shown on the right.

This does not mean that you shouldn’t hold back from experimenting with other FX ordering, to see what creative sounds you can produce!

Filter (e..g.Wah or Phaser)

Compressor

Distortion

EQ

Pitch Change (e.g. Vibrato)

Modulator (e.g. Flange or Chorus)

Level Controller (e.g. Tremelo or Limiter)

Echo (such as Reverb)

15.23 Some Other REAPER JS Plug-ins

This next part of this chapter will give you an overview of some of the other wonderful Jesusonic plug-ins supplied with REAPER. It is only a small selection, and the fact that any plug-in isn’t included in this table in no way implies that it is inferior to any of those that are included.

Plug In Description

JS IX/StereoPhaseInverter

Four choices, Normal Phase, Invert Left, Invert Right or Invert Both.

JS IX/PhaseAdjustingRouter

A stereo phase inverter with the addition of selectable input and output channels. This can be used, for example, to create a fuller, more vibrant sound from a single mono track.

JS LOSER/DDC

JS LOSER/SPLimiter

A custom designed compressor suitable for use with Digital Drums.

A simple peak limiter with a single control, Threshold. This can be used to prevent an individual track from clipping.

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Plug In

JS LOSER/gfxGoniometer

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Description

Place it at or near the end of the FX chain of a stereo track, folder, or the

Master

You will see a visual representation of the movement of the sound within the stereo field.

JS LOSER/StereoEnhancer

JS LOSER/Waveshaping

Distortion

JS Meters/tuner

Used to create an enhanced stereo effect in a stereo track, folder, bus or

Master. Works by adjusting the width panning of high and low frequencies independently, and to define the crossover point between the two.

Other stereo manipulation plug-ins include Liteon/pseudostereo and

Sstillwell/stereowidth.

A delightfully easy to use plug-in that adds distortion to a track.

Insert this into a new track and arm for recording, then tune your guitar.

JS Meters/vumeter

JS Misc/tonifier

JS SStillwell/ozzifier

Insert this into any track when you want monitor its VU levels closely.

An interesting plug-in that creates sound effects by shifting pitch or frequency for audio blocks of a determined size.

Especially good for fattening or doubling a vocal track.

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Plug In

JS SStillwell/expander

JS SStillwell/hpflpf

Description

The opposite of a compressor! Can restore dynamics to a mix that sounds overcompressed. This works by further attenuating the volume of the signal when it falls below a given threshold.

Adds a high pass filter and low pass filter to a track or Master. Useful, for example, for removing bottom end rumble.

JS SStillwell/badbussmojo

A nonlinear waveshaper with a difference.

JS SStillwell/louderizer

JS Pitch/superpitch

JS Filters/autopeakfilter

JS Filters/dc_remove

JS Utility/limiter

JS Utility/volume

Use in particular the nonlinearity, knee and mod settings to make a piece sound a little less perfect and a little more “rootsy” and authentic.

A simple plug-in with two controls, used to make a track or mix louder.

One of a number of plug-ins that can be used to change pitch.

A neat plug-in that lets you create autowah type effects, essentially by adjusting center frequencies and filter width. The closer together are the values of the min and max center frequency and the lower the octave width setting, the more dramatic will be the effect.

A DC offset removal plug-in.

A simple plug-in. The Max Vol control can be set to prevent clipping in the

Master track when you are experimenting with sounds and mixing.

A simple plug-in that increases or attenuates volume. Place it at the start of an FX chain to adjust track or item volume before FX are applied.

Another very simple plug-in, used to adjust the phase of a track or item.

JS Utility/phase_adjust

Over 200 Jesusonic plug-ins are supplied with REAPER. Hopefully, this chapter has given you more than a few good pointers, but it is not possible to document them all in this User Guide. For more information check out

REAPER's Wiki – go to

wiki.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Jesusonic

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15.24 Bridging and VST Plug-in Run Mode

If you are running the 64 bit version of REAPER and wish to use older 32 bit plug-ins you will need to use bridging. By default, REAPER will attempt to work out for any plug-in that you use whether this bridging is required (Options, Preferences,

Plug-ins, Compatibility). However, for any plug-in you can override this setting by right-clicking over the plug-in in the FX browser and choosing from the context menu

Run as, and selecting one of three options which allow you to specify just how a plug-in is to be bridged. These options are:

Separate process: all bridged plugins for which this option is selected will be put into a single process, external to the main Reaper process. This has the advantage of minimising the resulting CPU load, but also carries a significant disadvantage: if one plugin is buggy and crashes the bridge process, all the other bridged plugins will die too.

Dedicated process: this puts each bridged plugin into a separate bridge process of its own. This will prevent a buggy plug-in from crashing the entire bridge, but it has the downside of increasing the overall CPU load.

Native only: is the default; the plug-ins are run inside the main Reaper process.

Bridging can serve another useful function. Even though it is primarily intended for use with 32 bit plug-ins, you can if you wish also bridge (most likely in a dedicated process) any 64 bit plug-in. This has the effect of firewalling REAPER against any adverse effects that could potentially arise from a buggy 64 bit plug-in.

A further choice, Embed bridge UI, determines whether the bridged plug-in GUI is displayed in the FX Chain wrapper window (or as a floating window) or is displayed in a completely separate (Windows / OSX) window.

The choice is provided as some bridged plug-ins behave better in one context than in the other.

Remember! You should not store 32 bit plug-ins in the same directory as 64-bit plug-ins.

15.25 Third Party Plug-in Presets

You can use your favourite third party VST and DirectX plug-ins with REAPER, such as

Sonitus, Wave Arts, Sony, and so on. Many of these plug-ins are supplied with a number of Presets. The method of accessing these will vary depending on such factors as the plug-in’s native interface and which type of plug-in it is. In this section, we will look at three examples. Armed with this information, you should be able to figure out where to find the presets for any of your plug-ins.

Example 1

This example is of a popular DirectX

Sonitus plug-in, Phase. In this case, the plug-in interface includes its own native Presets section. Clicking on that (shown above) displays a menu of supplied presets. You can also store your own presets here if you wish, as the Sonitus range of plug-ins includes its own preset manager.

Notice that you can also use REAPER’s own Preset Library to store your presets with REAPER rather than with the plug-in. This is accessed by clicking on the small + button shown just to the left of the Param button. This is especially useful when you are working with plug-ins that might not have their own native Preset Manager.

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Example 2 (right)

This example shows a TWest VST plug-in, STEADY Pro.

This plug-in does not have its own native preset manager. However, as with other plug-ins you can use the REAPER VST program interface to create and manage your own presets.

Example 3 (left)

A Direct X plug-in this time, Sony’s Vibrato.

In this case, native presets do not appear when clicking on the REAPER Preset drop down list arrow. This will only display any presets that you have created yourself.

In this example, right-click over any vacant area of the plug-in’s GUI interface to display a list of factory presets.

15.26 Losing the Graphic User Interface (GUI)

There might be times when you might want to lose a VST plug-in's graphical user interface (GUI) and instead display its parameters as a simple series of faders. This is when the UI button in REAPER's plug-in interface comes in. Clicking this button causes the plug-in and its various controls to be displayed in a simpler format.

Here's an example, using the Terry West VST

Voc-EQ PRO ST plug-in. You might like this plugin, but perhaps not its rotary controls. Some people find rotary controls quite difficult to control with a mouse.

In that case, you might want to click the plug-ins

UI button (see position of mouse cursor), and turn that graphical interface into this:

In REAPER's generic interface, every parameter is controlled by a horizontal fader.

There is also an option on the Plug-ins, VST page of your preferences settings to Default

VST to generic UI (instead of plug-in UI).

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16 More REAPER Routing Examples

This section is mainly intended for reasonably experienced users of DAW software, to show you some of the more clever aspects of REAPER’s routing that are probably different from anything you’ve experienced before.

But hey, even if you’re a complete newb, you might like to have a look anyway. You might find it interesting … or you might prefer to skip past it for now and come back to this chapter later.

Note: Some of the screen shots used in this chapter use the REAPER 4 default theme. The actions and steps required for the examples, however, are exactly the same in REAPER 5. In addition, the default REAPER 5 theme sports an additional feature on the TCP's track routing button. This displays for each track one, two or three small “lights” each of which will be on or off. The first of these indicates whether the master/parent send option is enabled; the second whether that the track has one or more receives; the third (as shown here) whether that the track has one or more sends. Hover the mouse over the button for a tooltip.

16.1

Controlled Bleed

Bleed is a term used when material intended to be recorded on to one track manages to overflow onto others.

This commonly happens:

 When more than one voice or instrument is recorded at the same time, each with its own microphone. For example, you might record a person singing and playing an acoustic guitar at the same time, perhaps one vocal mike, one guitar mike.

However, you will find that some of the vocal will bleed on to the guitar mike, and vice versa.

 With layered recording, when the headphones are so loud, or ill-fitting, that the microphone being used for recording actually picks up some of the output of the headphones.

Headphone bleed is bad, period. If, for example, you have an artist who likes to hold one headphone to her ear while overdubbing a vocal, then make sure the mix is sent to that ear only. Happily,

REAPER’s flexible routing makes this simple.

In the example shown (right), output from the Master is directed to both Speakers, but only one headphone.

The other kind of bleed, which we will call live recording bleed, can actually have some benefits. If all microphones are positioned carefully and correctly, it can produce a warmer, fuller more natural sound than is often obtainable from layered recording. (Layered recording is where each track is recorded one at a time). The trouble is, the “all at once” method of recording it also has negatives – serious ones. For example:

 It isn’t possible to drop in and overdub a short passage to correct perhaps a vocal phrase or a couple of bars on the guitar. Basically, the whole track has to be recorded again each time. Everything.

 Your mixing options are restricted. For example, if you need to add some presence or compression to the vocal track, then you will also be adding it to the guitar bleed in the same track.

This is where REAPER’s routing capabilities can be so useful. They allow you have the best of both worlds – the richer, fuller sound that you can get from adding a small amount of controlled bleed, but without the disadvantages. Here’s how it works:

 Use layered recording, to ensure that each track is recorded cleanly.

 Use REAPER’s routing to add a little bleed where you want it, before or after any FX in the FX chain.

Example

This example demonstrates a simple use of routing to create a controlled bleed effect.

1. Open the file All Through The Night.RPP and save it as All Through The Night

BLEED.RPP

2. Mute the Bouzouki track. To keep this example simple, we won’t be using it here.

3. Select the Vox track, right click over the

Volume control and set the number of track channels to four.

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4. Display the FX Window for the Vox track. Add a Reverb FX of your choice. In this example, we are using ReaVerbate which is included with REAPER.

5. After inserting the ReaVerbate plug-in (or whatever you are using), adjust its settings to suit. Click on its 2 in 2 out button and use its pin connector to direct output to Channels 3 and 4 only (see right).

6. Display the routing window for the Vox track. Add Sends from the Vox

(stereo source Channels 3/4) to both Guitar tracks (channels 1/2), as shown below. Pan these at about 70% left and 70% right respectively, about –15dB, and Post FX. This ensures that the vocal track will be heard crisply and cleanly from the center, whilst its reverb is directed more to the left and right.

7. Play the song, with the Vox track Master/Parent send disabled. Adjust the Send levels of Vox to both Guitar Tracks so that the Vox can only just be discerned in the very background.

8. Enable the Master/Parent send on the Vox and play again. You may need to tweak some reverb parameters and/or send levels. The Vox should sound fuller and richer than before.

9. Save the file.

Now try this!

Remove the Reverb FX from the vocal track.

Remove the sends from the Vocal Track to the Guitar

Tracks.

Create a new track called Vox Reverb and insert a Reverb

FX of your choice.

Create a send from your Vox track to this Vox Reverb track.

Create sends from the Vox Reverb track to both Guitar tracks, Post FX.

Play the song, adjusting Send, Pan and Volume levels to suit.

Disable the master/parent send of the Reverb track – you should notice a significant difference.

16.2

Splitting Channels

This example will introduce you to a feature in REAPER that possibly delivers you more mixing power than any other single aspect: the ability to create and use multiple channels.

Doesn’t sound very interesting or exciting does it? It’s not an easy concept to understand at first, so, just for fun, we’ll take as simple an example as we can to introduce the concept.

You have an acoustic guitar track recorded. You should by now have a general idea at least about how to shape its sound with EQ, or fatten it with a little delay. But in this example, we’re going to take it to another level: we can split the recorded track by different frequency bands into, say, three different paired channels, and perhaps pan different frequencies differently, or add some trailing delay just to one channel (i.e., one selected frequency range).

Why would you want to do this? With this particular example, maybe you would, maybe you wouldn’t. But being able to create and use channels in this way opens up many creative mixing and editing possibilities. We’ll start with this example because it’s a fairly simple one to put into practise. After that, we’ll look at a more complex case.

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Example

1. Open the file All Through The Night.RPP and save it as

All Through The Night Channels.RPP

2. We are (for the purpose of this example) going to work only with the track Gtr Body. Mute all other tracks except this. To do this, hold the Alt key and click on the

Mute button for this track.

3. We now are going to create three tracks – let’s call them

Ghost Tracks – to mirror each of the three bands that we are going to split our Gtr Body track into. Create these three tracks and label them Low, Medium, and High.

See illustration on right.

4. Display the routing window for the Gtr Body track. Set the number of Channels (near the top) to 6, and create sends to each of the three tracks that you have just created.

5. Send Audio from Channels 1/2 to 1/2 on the Low track,

Channels 3/4 to 1/2 on the Medium track, and

Channels 5/6 to 1/2 on the High track (see illustration right).

6. Getting complicated? Then make sure that your Routing

Matrix is in view.

7. Now open the FX window for the Gtr Body track and insert the JS LOSER/3BandSplitter.

8. Set the first frequency fader to about 200 Hz and the second to about 2000 Hz.

9. Solo the Low track and play.

Notice you hear only the Low frequencies.

10. Hold Ctrl Alt and click on the

Solo button on the Medium track. Notice you hear only the Medium frequencies.

11. Hold Ctrl Alt and click on the

Solo button on the High track. Notice you hear only the High frequencies.

12. Experiment adjusting the faders in the 3 Band Splitter and playing back. Notice how the sound changes.

Set them back to their defaults afterwards.

13. Now select the Medium track, open its FX window and add JS:Guitar/chorus.

Adjust the settings to suit.

14. Now unsolo any solo tracks, unmute any muted tracks to restore all tracks to your mix.

You’ll probably want to fade down the original Gtr Body track to about – 6 dB and the

Bouzouki to about – 10 dB

(or mute altogether).

15. Make any further adjustments you want to your Delay Chorus settings. An example (but only an example) is shown above.

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16. Experiment with panning the three bands differently, to create a fuller sound.

17. Save this file.

The plug-ins supplied with REAPER include several which can be used for channel manipulation, including a four band splitter (shown here) and a five band splitter.

16.3

Full and Fat Vocals with ReaDelay

This next example shows how you can combine REAPER’s channel splitting capabilities with the ReaDelay plug-in to create a simple effect for fattening up thin vocals – all on a single track! The flow chart on the right illustrates how this will be done. The signal flow shown has this effect:

It creates a sidechain which is fed into the ReaDelay plug-in to fatten the original sound and to fill it out.

 It uses ReaComp to apply some compression to the main vocal.

The delayed signals are then mixed back in with the original signal. Further compression is then applied.

if you wish, you could apply more FX to any of:

 The original dry recording.

 The sidechained and delayed signal.

 The final mix of the dry and sidechained (delayed) signals together.

Note that the order of the plug-ins in the FX chain is significant: if you change the order, you change the outcome! This issue will be examined again more closely in later examples.

Example

1.

Open the file All Through The Night.RPP and save it as All

Through The Night READELAY.rpp.

2.

Solo the Vox track. For the purpose of this example, we will be working with the vocal track alone.

3.

Display the routing window for this track and set the number of track channels to 4.

4.

Open the FX Window for this track. If there are any plug-ins already in the chain, remove them.

5.

Now insert ReaDelay into the FX chain.

6.

Click on the 2 In 2 Out button to display the connector matrix. Leave the Inputs at their default (Channels 1 and 2), but adjust the

Outputs so that they are Channel 3 (Left) and Channel 4 (Right), and only these two channels (as shown above).

7.

Click on the Add Tap button to add a second page.

8.

Set Page 1 to a Delay Length (time) of about 3.5 ms and musical length 0.

9.

Set Page 1 Pan to about 50% Left. This shows on the fader as –0.5. See the illustration below.

10. Set Page 2 to a Delay Length (time) of about 6ms or 7 ms and musical length 0.

11. Set Page 2 Pan to about 50% Right. This shows on the fader as 0.5.

12. Make sure that both pages are Enabled and that neither is soloed.

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13. Set the Wet level to about - 9 dB and the Dry to about -2 dB. Because we have not yet added a channel mixer you will not yet hear the delay effect.

14. Insert ReaComp into the

FX Chain. Leave the Main

Inputs and Outputs both at their default settings, which are Channel 1 (Left) and

Channel 2 (Right).

15. Set the Ratio to about

6:1. Adjust the Threshold so that for louder passages

Output is reduced by about 6 or 7 dB.

16. We can now join our channels back together again, to mix the delayed signal with the compressed signal. Insert the

JS:IX/Mixer_8xS_1xS

into the FX chain (after

ReaComp).

17. Fade all but the first two faders all the way down; adjust the other two faders as you wish (see right).

18. Add another instance of

ReaComp after the mixer.

Adjust settings to suit.

19. Play the file, adjusting the track volume faders to suit your ears. Compare the vocal sound with FX alternately enabled and bypassed. With these FX enabled, the vocal should sit above the mix rather more easily.

Note: In this example, the order in which the FX are applied is significant. With the order that we have used, the sidechained (delayed) signals do not go thru the compressor, with the result that these signals retain more of their original dynamics.

16.4

REAPER Send Types

Every send is defined as being one of three types - Post-Fader (Post-Pan), Pre-

Fader (Post-FX), or Pre-FX. The default type is Post-Fader (Post-Pan), but this can be changed in your preferences if you wish (Track/Sends defaults page).

Different send types send the audio at different stages in the audio signal flow . For example, the volume of a send that is Post-Fader (Post-Pan) will be affected by changes made to the source track's volume fader. A send that is Pre-Fader (Post FX) will not. An audio send that is Pre-FX will not be affected by any FX in the source track's FX chain. For more complete information, consult the flow charts at the end of Chapter 6.

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16.5

Channel Splitting and Pitch Shifting

You’ve already seen how ReaPitch can be used, for example, to create vocal harmonies from a lead vocal track. Now you will see how by splitting a vocal track into several channels you can create a whole vocal ensemble, with different FX and plug-ins being applied to different harmony parts.

This is especially useful, for example, if you want to compress your vocal harmonies before lowering them, to make them sit smoothly and subtly behind the lead vocal.

The illustration (right) demonstrates this concept.

In summary, this is what happens:

 The Vocal Track is assigned six channels.

Two instances of ReaPitch are inserted, and the signal from channels 1 and 2 is fed to both of these.

The output from the two ReaPitch instances are directed via channels 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 respectively to two separate instances of ReaComp.

 In each case, you will need to specify Channels 3 and 4 (ReaComp 1) and Channels 5 and 6 (ReaComp 2) as the input source for your compressors. Auxiliary Inputs should be set to nothing, and the Output channels should be the same as the Input Channels.

 The output of the two compressors is sent to a single instance of ReaEQ, as is the original signal on Channels 1 and 2. In order to do this, you should make Input 1 for ReaEQ Channels 1, 3 and 5 (see illustration right), and Input 2 should be Channels 2, 4 and 6.

 By sending the three different audio streams directly into ReaEQ we cut out the need for a channel mixer. However, in doing this it makes it more difficult to adjust the relative volume levels of the three audio streams.

In this example, you could use separate instances of the JS utility

Volume plug-in in each chain to do this.

 The three streams are joined back together at ReaEQ, from which they are fed to the volume fader and then to the Master.

This method can be employed, for example, when you wish to use more than the 16 channels that can be handled by any of the mixer plug-ins. You can in fact use up to 64 channels.

Again, the order in which FX are placed in the chain is important. One possible strategy is to insert them in reverse order of their channels, i.e. highest channel numbers first. The critical factor is to place those FX which both take their input from and direct their output to Channels 1/2 after any FX whose output is directed to sidechain channels (such as 3/4 or 5/6).

Tip

: If you forget to create your required track channels before loading your plug-ins into a track's FX chain, then you can still add them "on the fly". To do this, just click on the small + button in the bottom left corner of the Plug-in Pin Connector window - see above.

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16.6

Audio Ducking

The next example will show you how to use a technique known as sidechaining to create an effect known as ducking. Put simply, this describes what happens when a compressor is set up to ensure that the volume on one track is automatically lowered whenever the volume on another track is raised.

You might want to do this, for example, when working with a kick and a bass. In this example, we’ll use the Bouzouki, Guitar and

Vocal tracks in our sample project, just to show you how it’s done. We will use audio ducking to ensure that the overall volume of the instruments are automatically lowered slightly whenever there is a signal on the

Vocal track. This helps lift the vocal track slightly above the mix. In order to do this, we use multi channel routing in conjunction with the ReaComp compressor.

This diagram (above right) illustrates the concept of how we use sidechaining to achieve our ducking effect. Let’s take it step by step.

Example

1. Open the project All Through The Night.RPP and save it as All Through The Night DUCK.RPP.

2. If there are any tracks other than Gtr Body, Gtr

Neck, Vox and Bouzouki, delete them, so that you are left with just these four tracks. Adjust the volume and pan faders of these tracks to get a reasonable mix.

3. If necessary, change track order so that Vox is

Track 1, Gtr Body Track 2, Gtr Neck Track 3 and

Bouzouki Track 4.

4. In the Track Control Panel, select the Vox track and press Ctrl T to insert a new track after this. Name this new track Instrument Submix.

5. Click on the Folder icon to make this track a folder. Make the Bouzouki track the last track in the folder.

6. We need to add two more channels to the Instrument Submix so that it can receive a sidechain signal from the Vox. Right click over the Volume fader for this track, then set the number of channels to four (as shown above right).

7. We now need to create a sidechain to enable the various instrument and Instrument Submix track to detect the signal level of the Vox track.

8. Drag and drop from the ROUTE button on the Vox track to the

ROUTE button on the Instrument submix. This will create a send and open the controls window for that send. Accept the default send type

Post Fader, Post Pan) and set the destination channels to 3/4 (as shown right).

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9. Next, display the FX window for the Instrument Submix Track. Add the Cockos plug-in VST: ReaComp

(Cockos).

10. Notice that this plug-in includes an item called Detector input. This is where we tell REAPER that we want the Vox level, not the Bouzouki level to control when the compressor kicks in. This Detector input offers two basic choices – Main Input and Auxiliary

Input.

11. We need to ensure that Main Input is defined as the media on the Submix track (Channels 1 and 2), and Auxiliary Input is defined as the stream coming from the Vox track on

Channels 3 and 4.

12. Click on the 4 In 2 Out button and if they are not already set, set the assignments as Main Input L - Receive from

Channel 1, Main Input R - Receive from Channel 2, Auxiliary

Input L – Receive from Channel 3, and Auxiliary Input 4 –

Receive from Channel 4. These are as shown on the right: most probably these will be the default settings.

13. Now display the Detector Input drop down list and select

Auxiliary Input L + R (right). This ensures that the compression will be applied to the instrument mix in response to changes in the volume (strength) of the incoming signal on channels 3/4 from the vox track.

When the volume of the vox exceeds the threshold setting, the instrument mix will be compressed.

14. Now play the song. Adjust the Threshold (first vertical fader) downward, so that during Vocal passages the VU meter peaks above the fader level.

15. Slide the Ratio fader right until you are satisfied with the overall amount of reduction on the Instruments. This will probably be somewhere between 4:1 and 6:1. Observe the flashing red bar to the left of the Output V U. This indicates the amount of reduction that is occurring on the submix track. In the example shown below, this is –2.5 db.

16. Notice what is happening here: the volume signal from one track (the vocal) is triggering the compressor on the instruments folder.

17. Save the file.

Shown are possible compressor settings that might be appropriate in this case. The trick is not to make the compression too obvious, but to have it just squeezing the peaks of instrument mix down a little to make room for the vocal.

Tip: A quick way to create a sidechain from one track to another is to drag and drop from that track's

ROUTING button directly to the window of the plug-in on the receiving track.

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16.7

Double Ducking

This example should only be attempted after you have completed the example in the previous section Audio

Ducking. It builds on the work you did there, to apply a further instance of sidechaining, this time to the

Master. We will set up another instance of ReaComp, this time in the Master Track, to ensure that another layer of gentle compression is applied to the entire mix during the vocal passages. The same audio stream is used to apply ducking in two different ways – hence the term double ducking. As with many of the other examples included in this section, the main purpose of this example is to help you to understand how to use REAPER’s routing capabilities. The example itself is of secondary importance.

In the previous example, we used a send from the Vox track to Channels 3 and 4 on the Instrument Mix track and then used these as Auxiliary Inputs to gently compress the Instrument Mix. Because the Instrument Mix is itself being routed to the Master, that Vox track send will automatically also be sent to the Master on Channels 3 and 4. We can use this just to smooth out the mix a little.

Example

1. Open the file All Through The Night DUCK.rpp and save it as All Through The Night DOUBLE

DUCK.RPP.

2. In either the TCP or the MCP, select the Master

Track. Right-click on the Volume fader for the Master and ensure that the number of Channels is set to four (above right). Close this box.

3. Display the FX Window for the Master Track and insert ReaComp.

4. Open the pin connector window. As before, select Vox as the Sidechain receive from channel.

5. Set the Ratio to around 2.0 to 1.

6. Display the Detector

Input drop down list and select Auxiliary Input L +

R.

7. Play the song.

8. During the vocal passages, adjust the left hand vertical

Threshold fader so that the compression kicks in gently.

Raise the vertical Wet fader by about a decibel or two.

9. Make sure that Limit

Output is selected. An example of how your settings might look is shown here.

10. That’s it! You can now save your file.

These last couple of examples have introduced you to how you can use sidechaining for ducking. You can use sidechaining in conjunction with a number of other REAPER plug-ins, including ReaGate, ReaXComp, ReaComp and ReaFir.

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16.8

Using VCA for Track Volume Control

In Chapter 5 we examined REAPER's VCA grouping capabilities in some details. In addition, there are available

JS VCA plug-ins that enable you to use one track to control the volume of any other track or selection of tracks.

The JS Utility VCA plug-ins allow you to do this, if you wish, without the need for creating groups or folders.

They enable you to control the volume of any selection of tracks. They are easy to use and give you great flexibility. Two plug-ins are required – one for a controlling master track, one for each of the slave tracks it controls. You can use REAPER's native JS: Utility VCA plug-ins, or you might prefer Witti's more fully featured variations of these. You can download these at

stash.reaper.fm/v/17673/plugins.zip

In this example we will use REAPER's native JS plug-ins. The procedure is as follows:

Example

1. Open the file All Through The Night and save it as All Through The Night JSVCA. Add an empty track to your project. Name this track something like VCA Master.

2. Add the plug-in JS:Utility/

vca_master to the FX chain for this track. As you can see (right), this has only one parameter, Volume.

3. Add the plug-in JS:Utility/

vca_slave to the first of the tracks whose volume you wish to control, I.e The

Gtr Neck track.. This too has a simple interface. This plug-in should be the last in the track's FX chain.

4. You now need to create a send from the Vol Control track to this slave track. The easiest way to do this is simply drag and drop from the ROUTE button on the Vol Control track to the slave track's track panel.

This causes a send control window (shown right) to appear. Make sure that you select the receiving slave track's sidechain channels (shown here, 3/4) as the destination of the send.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the Gtr Body track. This track will now be under the control of the vca_master plug-in on the VCA Master track.

6. That's it! You can now use the Volume (dB) fader on the vca_master plug-in to control the volume of all slave tracks. A handy tip is to add a parameter control to the track panel. To do this, within the plug-in window click first on the Param button, then on Show in track controls. This will allow you to adjust the parameter's level without the FX window needing to be open (see right). Another option is to add an automation envelope for this control.

7. To also display the track parameter control in the mixer panel, simply enable Show FX parameters

when size permits from the Mixer's context menu. For more information about this, see Chapter 11.

8. Note also that the VCA master's Volume (dB) control can be assigned an automation envelope if you wish. For more information about automation envelopes see Chapter 17.

Note: The Witti VCA plugins

The Witti VCA controls plugins are similar to REAPER's native JS versions, the main difference being the addition of drop down lists to enable you to easily select which paired channels are to be used for the sends and receives. By using different permutations of send and receive channels, you are able to set up multiple instances of the VCA master control plug-in. These can be used independently of each other to control the volume on different track selections.

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16.9

ReaSamplomatic and ReaDrums

This example uses the ReaSamplomatic plug-in provided with REAPER in conjunction with the ReaDrums track template created by jamester. You can download this template from the REAPER Stash on the REAPER web site. To check the current address for this, visit the REAPER Forum and check jamester's signature, or do a search. After downloading, it should be copied into your Track Templates folder. For XP users, this is

C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\REAPER\TrackTemplates

The template does get modified from time to time, so that the version that you download might not be exactly the same as the one used in the description that follows. This should not matter. Also, in the example, we will using the MIDI Editor for demonstration purposes, but if you have a keyboard, you can use that instead.

Example

1. Create a new empty project file and save it as ReaDrums Example.RPP

2. Right click over the Track Panel Area and from the menu choose Insert track from template then your

ReaDrums template. Notice that a track will be inserted, with eight individual named instances of

ReaSamplOmatic5000 inserted in its FX chain.

3. Notice that each instance of ReaSamplOmatic5000 is set up differently. From top to bottom, these are

Kick, Snare, Perc 1, Perc 2, Perc 3, Perc 4, HH Cl, HH Op. Near the bottom left corner you can select a MIDI channel for each sample. The default is 0, which means all channels. Shown here is the Snare, which has been set to use channel 1. In this illustration, an audio sample has also been inserted. That's the next step!

4. Display the Media Explorer – Ctrl Alt X – and select a folder where your samples are stored.

5. In the ReaDrums FX window select the item Kick. From REAPER's Media Explorer window you can drag with your mouse the required sample file and drop it into the ReaSamp window, in the black area above the

Browse button.

Alternatively, you can either use the plug-in's

Browse button to make your selection, or select any existing item in

Arrange view and click on

Import item from arrange.

Another option is to click on the

[list] button to open a window where you can build up a list of samples. This list can be sorted by file name, or by peak or RMS values.

6. Now repeat this process in the other seven

ReaSamp instances, one at a time, for each of the other seven

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instruments, each time inserting a different appropriate sample. If you wish, rename any of the ReaSampl-

Omatic5000 instances to reflect the sample name.

7. Notice that each instance of ReaSamplOmatic5000 uses different Note start and Note end settings. This makes allows the notes (and any other events) for the different instruments to share a single MIDI item.

8. Make sure the ReaDrums track is not record armed. Save the file.

9. Along the timeline select the first 10 seconds or so. With your ReaDrums track selected, choose the

Insert, New MIDI Item command to insert a MIDI item.

10. Double click on this item to open the MIDI Editor. From the menu choose View, Piano Roll Notes,

Triangle and View, Mode, Named notes. If necessary, scroll up or down to display your samples. F or each sample, its row number will correspond to its ReaSamplOmatic5000 note start/end setting. For example, in this case the snare (shown above) will be row 37.

11. Compose a few notes, similar to the concept shown below. Don't copy this pattern, make a simple composition of your own.

11. Close the MIDI <