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Last week, myself and PetersonGoodwyn ( and shared almost 100 of our top REAPER tips.

Day 1

#REAPER tip: My custom theme is based on RADO 4 with transport moved to top Get RADO:

#REAPER tip: User themes can be further customized using the track and mixer layout options (bottom of options menu) in Reaper 4.

#REAPER tip: User themes can be further customized using the track and mixer layout options (bottom of options menu) in Reaper 4.

#REAPER tip: 1 of my most used mouse modifiers is for Media Item Dbl click. I assign cmd+opt+ctrl to “open media item in external editor”

#REAPER tip: The external editor I find most useful is iZotope RX2. Assign any program from “External Editor” tab of preferences

#REAPER tip: You can drag a plugin from the FX browser onto a media item to process just that file.

#REAPER tip: Enable the “FX” and “No FX” view option for media items for easy access to item fx inserts. (prefs>appearance>media)

#REAPER tip: got a p-pop in dialog? Split the audio before and after the pop, insert ReaEQ on the item with HPF at 150Hz. No pop!

#REAPER tip: “Overlap items and crossfade items when splitting” in the Media Item Defaults preferences is essential for fast editing.

#REAPER tip: tweak “Media item peaks edge highlight” colors in the theme editor to improve visibility for editing.

#REAPER tip: (continued) I use neon green/pink or black/white (saved as different themes) depending on what I’m editing.

#REAPER tip: The esc key will close whichever floating window is active. Way faster than the mouse.

#REAPER tip: Track Folders handles subgroup routing and organization in one click.

#REAPER tip: Use the ReaInsert VST to integrate external hardware effects just like plugins, with delay compensation.

Day 2

#REAPER tip: REAPER is actually an acronym. Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering, and Recording.

#REAPER tip: Most VST3 plugins will work in Reaper except for their special sidechain function. Waves C6 and VocalRider for example. 🙁

#REAPER tip: You can CMD+OPT+Drag a media item to quickly render it as a copy, even to your desktop!

#REAPER tip: Cockos gave us a ton of powerful customizable options. The SWS extensions take it even further.

#REAPER tip: “Elastic Audio” style editing is accomplished by splitting (with crossfade) and alt-dragging media item edges.

#REAPER tip: Pro Tools users wish they had our visible waveforms while dragging.

#REAPER Tip: To keep a window on top of everything else, click the little pushpin in the top right of that window.

#REAPER tip: Want to delete extra time from project? You need the “remove contents of selection (moving later items)” action.

#REAPER tip: (continued) You need a time selection for that to work. I assign the action to option+delete

#REAPER tip: The quickest way to create a send is to drag from the sends section from one track to another. Setup your defaults in the prefs

#REAPER tip: It’s easy to navigate the hundreds of preferences in REAPER using the find box in the bottom left of the preference window.

#REAPER tip: If you use Steven Slate Drums, this track template I made will save you a bunch of time

#REAPER tip: You know that text display at the bottom of the TCP? Right-click for hidden view options. I find “CPU/RAM usage” most helpful

#REAPER tip: Use Padre’s LFO Generator (SWS Ext) for instant complex wavy automation. I <3 this thing.

Day 3

#REAPER tip: Not sure of the tempo of some audio you imported? Here’s an accurate way to find out:

#REAPER tip: The file management defaults aren’t very good. Follow this tutorial for Pro Tools style session folders

#REAPER tip: You can automate pitch changes in media items by enabling the take envelope for pitch in the item properties.

#REAPER tip: The Dynamic Split function can be used to chop up media at transients, remove silence and turn audio to MIDI

#REAPER tip: When editing my left hand is always on the keyboard, but there’s no delete on that side so I use Cut instead (assigned to X).

#REAPER tip: (Part 1) When dragging in multiple audio files you will be asked this question:

#REAPER tip: (Part 2) Selecting YES will drop the files Vertically, creating new tracks is needed. It looks like this:

#REAPER tip: (part 3) If you choose NO, all the files will be spread out Horizontally on the same track. Like this:

#REAPER tip: I’ve found screensets assigned to numeric keys to be the fastest way to jump from editing to mixing or any other view layout.

#REAPER tip: Rt click Snap button for snap settings-They’re more advanced than you might expect-Here’s how I like mine

#REAPER tip: Every media item has a volume trim you can grab at the top edge. Hold Shift to increase gain. I absolutely LOVE this feature.

#REAPER tip: If you hold alt and drag on an item you will slip the waveform without changing the item boundaries or fades. So awesome!

#REAPER tip: Sort your VST plugins into folders in the FX browser so you can more quickly access your favorites.

#REAPER tip: (Part 1) Use Regions to quickly copy large chunks of your project, try out new arrangements and more.

#REAPER tip: (Part 2) To create a region: Make a time selection where you need it, right click and choose “Create region from selection”

#REAPER tip: I use regions for marking each song when Mastering. It makes batch exporting and naming ($region wildcard) very easy.

Day 4 – @PetersonGoodwyn took over this day

#REAPER tip: Need to convert bit rate or file type for a bunch of files? File -> Batch File Converter has you covered.

#REAPER tip: If you’ve got a control surface, bounce live (Ctrl+Alt+B), ride levels by hand. That’s old school mixing by the seat of your pants!

#REAPER tip: Use Track Channels for parallel processing without ballooning your track count.

#REAPER tip: You can do SO MUCH with track channels. I you haven’t delved yet, do so now!

#REAPER tip: Ex: Ducking with ReaComp: send key track to channels 3/4 of track being compressed. Set detector input to “Auxiliary L+R” in ReaComp

#REAPER tip: Changing the RMS Size in ReaComp will get you from “1176” to “LA2A” in a jif.

#REAPER tip: Set up a keyboard shortcut to bypass all FX. Use it to reference where you started.

#REAPER tip: The stock plugin “ReaFir” is a great noise reduction tool. Check out “Automatically build noise profile” in Subtract mode.

#REAPER tip: A poem: Never start a tracking date / Without a new Project Template

#REAPER tip: I would be lost without track markers. Shift + M makes a new one at your current position.

#REAPER tip: “Apollo” is my favorite #REAPER theme

#REAPER tip: “CTRL+P”=Preferences / “CTRL+T”=New Track / “F”=insert FX to selected track. Simple but so useful.

#REAPER tip: Don’t forget you can make your own shortcuts in Preferences->Keyboard->Show actions window

#REAPER tip: Appending one project to another in #REAPER

Day 5 – @PetersonGoodwynp took over this day

#REAPER tip: “MajorTom” is one nasty stock compressor.

#REAPER tip: Apply different effects, eq settings, etc to one track with different Track Channels and mix to taste with the Mixer_8XM-1S plugin.

#REAPER tip: Navigate to the extremes of your project instantly with the “Home” and “End” keys.

#REAPER tip: Use the “Resolution” slider in ReaDelay to bit crunch the wet signal or emulate old digital delays.

#REAPER tip: ReaTune doubles nicely as a guitar tuner. Just make sure Record Monitoring is on.

#REAPER tip: ReaComp: Use the “Pre-Comp” slider and a fast attack to totally destroy transients. Fun 2 b had there.

#REAPER tip: Likewise, use the “Pre-open” slider in ReaGate to preserve transients.

#REAPER tip: ReaVerb will render numerous impulses at the same time. What does a stadium sound like inside a church?

#REAPER tip: Build simple synth textures from scratch with ReaSynth

#REAPER tip: My favorite plugin for drum samples: “MIDI/drumtrigger” turns any audio signal into a velocity sensitive MIDI trigger.

#REAPER tip: “LOSER/TransientController” is a very capable Transient Designer-type stock plugin.

#REAPER tip: Use the multi-band “stereoEnhancer” to increase the width of your mix while keeping the lows tight

#REAPER tip: You can set the click sound to anything you want in Options->Metronome and pre-roll settings.

#REAPER tip: Track icons are often overlooked in the rush to get the session started. Set up a one-key shortcut to add them.

Day 6

#REAPER tip: To quickly get to the REAPER resource folder: open REAPER-go to Options -find “Show REAPER resource path in Explorer/finder”

#REAPER tip: The ‘Performance Meter’ view shows CPU use, FX count and latency per track for all tracks among other things.-

#REAPER tip: REAPER 4.10 added Freeze and Unfreeze options to tracks (right-click on TCP). A fast way to save CPU and not compromise the mix

#REAPER tip: Drag a VSTi from the FX browser to an empty part of the TCP to instantly setup the instrument. (input, rec & mon enabled 4 you)

#REAPER tip: Did you know you can have multiple projects open at the same time? You can even copy and paste between projects!

#REAPER tip: use File>Clean Current Project Directory… To trash unused audio files from your project.

#REAPER tip: Use the track Manager to hide extra tracks you don’t want to delete yet, or just to organize the project.

#REAPER tip: Rt-clicking on insert slot or fx button will bring up the shortcut list for FX. This is why you sort plugs into folders

#REAPER tip: hold shift and you can move the position of a fade. Rt-click where the fade icon appears to show different fade shapes.

#REAPER tip: every plugin hosted in REAPER has a mix control between the UI (show/hide graphics) and bypass buttons in the top right.

#REAPER tip: Sometimes (fairly rarely actually) plugins have hidden controls-Click the UI button to see them all.

#REAPER tip: the “jump to” function will let you skip to a specific time, marker or region by typing. I assign this to * on numpad

Day 7

#REAPER tip: The default pianoroll toolbar doesn’t give you much to work with. Here’s how I customized mine:

#REAPER tip: The fastest way to adjust MIDI velocity is to assign “Adjust value for events” to Cmd+mousewheel

#REAPER tip: in piano roll, CMD+Opt Drag will paint a line of MIDI notes instead of one long note. The notes will match the grid

#REAPER tip: Humanizing aka randomizing hi-hats and rides 10-15% for timing + velocity makes your programmed drums a helluva lot more real

#REAPER tip: to keep my external hardware delay in sync with my project tempo I send it MIDI clock (MIDI Out>device>Enable+Clock)

#REAPER tip: the MIDI “Filter Events” function can be a great way to clean up fumbled notes in a MIDI recording or to hide unwanted notes

#REAPER tip: The REAPER Wiki has loads of helpful info and tips.

#REAPER tip: Kenny Gioia’s “Reaper 4 Explained” is 7.5hrs of fantastic in-depth coverage of REAPER basics

#REAPER tip: Geoffrey Francis does an amazing job keeping the official User Guide up to date

#REAPER tip: Johnny Ginese’s Tutorials For Reaper site is a great resource of video tutorials.

#REAPER tip: The Cockos REAPER user forum is the place to go to learn, report bugs and request new features.

#REAPER tip: The Sound On Sound website has several of their great Reaper articles

#REAPER tip: I’m going to be taking over very soon. Go here for the latest REAPER news and tips.


  1. Audiogeek
    Audiogeek January 15, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this!! Super!

  2. David Gann
    David Gann June 4, 2015

    Recently switched to Reaper. Just found this goldmine!! Time to start digging. Many thanks! I’ll check out Reaper Blog next.

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