Intro to Digital Audio Recording: Learn the Basics of Reaper DAW | Brian Knapp | Skillshare

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Intro to Digital Audio Recording: Learn the Basics of Reaper DAW

teacher avatar Brian Knapp, Digital Audio Recordist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (52m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Configuring your interface

    • 3. Configuring Plugins

    • 4. Basic Project Settings

    • 5. Track Panel Layout

    • 6. How Reaper stores files

    • 7. Using Multiple Project Tabs

    • 8. Track Grouping

    • 9. Creating Busses

    • 10. Working with Midi Tracks

    • 11. Mix Panel Layout

    • 12. Rendering Your Mix

    • 13. Exporting Tracks

    • 14. Thank you!

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About This Class


Whether you’re just learning about recording audio for your podcast, setting up your home studio to record your next single or you're a veteran audio engineer frustrated with Avid ProTools, this course is the place to start.  You’ll learn the basics of Reaper DAW from tips on preferences to steps for rendering your final mix. I'll also give you downloadable sample tracks so you can follow along.

As a recording engineer of 10+ years, I've tried many of the digital audio workstations out there and landed on Reaper for a few reasons:

  • You can have way more tracks and plugins in your session than other DAWs out there
  • When you make edits or move things around, it's never deleting or changing the original audio files
  • It's a full 64bit platform
  • It's very customizable for advanced users or users coming from other DAWs, but it's also very intuitive for people just starting out
  • It's cost effective.  You can download a free 60 day trial or purchase a basic 1 user license for $60

What You'll Learn In This Class:

  1. How to configure your audio interface

  2. How to configure Reaper to find your plugins

  3. Other basic preferences and tips

  4. How to setup your tracks and use the track window

  5. Basic track grouping and routing

  6. Using the mix window and plugins

  7. Rendering your master mix and exporting tracks

I'll also be available in the discussion group for any questions or feedback and you can always reach me at


Meet Your Teacher

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Brian Knapp

Digital Audio Recordist


Hi, my name is Brian Knapp. I've been recording, mixing and doing live sound professionally for over 10 years.  

I've developed a passion for recording music, focusing on the fundamentals and getting it right at the source.  I find the more I understand these fundamentals the easier it is to get great recorded tracks and amazing sounding mixes. 

Being a self-taught recordist I've had to rely on the internet to learn the basic building blocks of recording. But because there's so many sources out there it was difficult to sort through the contradictory opinions about these complex techniques. That's why I've developed these courses.

My hope is to help you understand the building blocks of digital recording so that they become almost se... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name's Brian. Now. I've been tracking, mixing and doing live sound for more than 10 years here in my professional studio and at my home studio as well. In this course, I'm gonna show you the ins and outs of Reaper, which is a very powerful and easy to use digital audio workstation that I think can help you deliver professional sounding mixes more efficiently. I'm often asked what is the best dog, and my advice is always the one that makes the most sense to you, the one that fits your needs, the one that fits your workflow. And the one year most proficient at I used to be a pro tools user, but tried a few of the different Daws and landed on Reaper for a few reasons. One is, it's very efficient on your computers processing power, meaning you can run way more tracks and plug ins than most of the other ones out there. Another thing is, it is very powerful and customizable to fit your needs, but if you're just starting out, it's very easy to use and intuitive. It's also a full 64 bit platform, meaning if you did want to render your tracks or master mix at a full 64 bit float you can , and lastly, it's very cost effective. You can actually download a free 60 day trial of the software or by a one user basic license for $60. So in this course, I'm gonna cover how to configure in her face how to configure your plug ins, some other basic preferences, the track window and some basic routing. The mixed window and how to use those plug ins. And then, lastly, how to render your project or export tracks. As always, I'll be available in the discussion group to answer any questions or give feedback. You can also reach me at Brian a digital recordist dot com, or go to my website and sign up for my newsletter. I'm super excited about this course, so let's get started. 2. Configuring your interface: So I have my fresh install of Reaper up, and some of you, if you just installed it, probably have, ah, screen that looks like this where repor said you need to set up your audio device. Otherwise, if if you're just in Reaper, all those types of sort of under the hood settings are under options, preferences or control P, and then I'm down under the audio tab and under device. Now, if you're on a Mac, you won't see all of these different options in the drop down. You'll probably just see either the name of your interface or the manufacturer of your interface. Um, you only get all these different options on a PC just because of the way that the driver structure is set up. So, basically, if you're on PC, you want to choose A S i O. But you also want to make sure that you have your control panel package of your interface installed or your driver package of your interface installed. That's because when you install those control panels or driver packages, it will go ahead and install the bio driver on your PC for you and then that way, your interface will show up in the next step. You want to choose the A s i o driver because it will have the least amount of Layton C and is the most efficient. I won't go into late and see and buffer size in this video. I think it's a little out of scope, but I will cover that in my basics of digital recording class coming up. Okay, so I have s i o selected. And then you can see my interface, then shows up under the driver selection. Most people only have one interface, so really, only one interface should show up there, then moving down to the inputs and outputs. Um, basically, Reaper just wants to know, you know how many how many inputs and outputs you have so that it can set that in the back into the software. So, basically, you just want to, you know, the the first drop down you wanted as number one and the last one you want as your last input. So if so, I have 24 inputs, so I'm gonna set that at 24. If you only have four or two, then that's that would be your last and the same for your outputs. Um, you would, you know, basically just select your first output there and your last I'll put in the last section. So pretty simple. Um, I'm not gonna go into all of these other, uh, more advanced settings. Basically, if you hit, that s i o configuration button that should launch your interfaces control panel. And then that's where you would want to set your block size and sample rate. Um, and again, I'm not gonna go into that in this particular course. Okay, so now that we have our audio interface, I'll set up the next thing I want. Oh, uh, touch on Is this Midi Devices tab? Basically, if you have a USB keyboard, um, that will just show up, and it's and it's plugged in. Um, that'll just show up under MIDI devices here. If you're interface has midi inputs on it and you would connect a keyboard via Amidi cable , then your interface will actually show up in here as the quote unquote midi device. But what you'll have to do to either one of those is you just have to right click on here and enable those inputs so that then they show up on your inputs list when you arm the track 3. Configuring Plugins: So then the last thing I want to cover in the preferences section is the plug ins setting. Now, plug ins are the, uh you know, effects and EQ use and compressors and cool pedals and all that stuff that you can put on each track. Now, Reaper comes with a few simple plug ins built in. So if I create a new track control T and then ah, hit the effects button, it will bring up the the plug ins window, and you can see all the different built in plug ins here. But if you want to, like, download free ones or by, um, by the professional ones, you need to know how toe have Reaper find him. So, basically, if we go back in the preferences under the V s T tab, this is where you would set where your plug ins reside. Okay, so I downloaded to free plug ins. Ah, 32 bit one in a 64 bit one. Also two different kinds. So some manufacturers like to just give you the DLL that goes into your plug in folder and others have lycan installer. So first thing I did was I created two folders, a plug ins 32 folder and a plug in 64 bit folder just to keep things kind of organized. Ah, so this be happy? E que is just a 32 bit, uh, plug in, and I just dropped the deal. Ellen, there, um, I go back into my reaper preferences, and I re scan, I re scan that folder, pull up my effects, and there's my be happy plug in. Now, if you noticed, it kind of loaded the graphic interface. Sort of just kind of free floating out there. And it also has this parentheses x 86 bridge. That just means that you're running a 32 bit plug in. And this is how this is how they load it. The 64 bit plug ins will actually load right here into this window, and it's a little bit more streamlined. Um, and so I'll show you that right now. So basically, I have, um, this other free plug in that I found, um, and again just ah, just google free VSD plug ins, and you'll come up with a whole bunch of different ones out there. Um, so I'm just gonna run this installer. And here it's saying, you know, it's gonna put sort of the core, Ah, plug in files into its own folder. But then, if I click next year now it's asking me, where do you want this? This actual dll for the plug in to go. And so you know, we wanted to go into plug ins. 64 Click Next, and you'll often see this too. You'll see. You know, um, what what version of the plug in do you want to install? A. X is Ah is a pro tools plug in format. And so with Reaper, you don't You don't need that, Um and so I'm just gonna install this. Finish it Now If I go back into my plug in 64 folder, you'll see there's a there's a deal on there. So now if we go back into Reaper, close this going to my preferences paste in my 64 bit plug in folder, um, and you wanted separate your directories with semi colons and no spaces on. Then just click the re scan button. Click apply. And now there you go and you notice it loaded in the window. Like I said, because it's a 64 bit plug in 4. Basic Project Settings: Okay, so now let's go over the general layout of Reaper. Starting at the top, you have your typical file menu, and then underneath that you have your shortcut toolbar. Um, where you can turn your Metrodome on and off, get to the your Metrodome settings, um, and enable and disable snapping to the grid. So if you're working, you know, with, um ah, bpm and you want you know you want the project, you want your cursor toe. Always snap to, ah, division on the screen. You have this snap option enabled, um, and some other features that I'll go into in a bit. So then, as you probably figured out by now Ah, you have your track window up here, your transport bar here in the middle, and then you're mixed window here. It's a pretty standard. Um, Daw layout. Um, Now, the nice thing about Reaper is you can actually pop thes elements out. So if you're working in a multi monitor situation, you could actually pop out the transport and the mixed window onto your second monitor, and then that way, you know, you have your full your full track window on your top monitor. So I find that it's it's really nice. Um, you can actually float this master around. So if you wanted that, you know, over the top of your of your track window, so you can always be kind of, you know, monitoring your master output. Um, you can do that as well. So again, it's just very configurable and flexible. So the other thing that's nice is, um, Reaper has different themes for the look and feel of how things are laid out. Um, I have the default theme on right now. Ah, but if I were to go to you know this this default 4.0, this is an older, um, this is an older layout that they used to use on. And so if, for instance, you upgrade to this latest version Reaper and you don't like the new layout, you can always just roll back to two. This layout. Now there are there is a website on Reapers. I'm sorry. There's a page on Reapers website where people upload their own custom themes. And so if you are coming from a pro tools world, there are a few people that have recreated the pro tools look and feel, uh, and created a theme for Reaper, and you could see here I have a screenshot of what? That what that looks like. Okay, so let's go back to the default theme here and let's let's get started on a project. So the first thing I like to do is sort of set up where you're going to save all your project in your project files and everything. So if you click Save Project as, um, I have a little folder on my desktop called Audio Project and will name this test project now, that folder will now contain all the wave files that report will generate. When you record, it'll save all your backup files in there. All the Reaper project files everything in one folder. So it's very nice if you are moving around studios or sharing projects with other folks. Um, everything's contained right in that folder, and as I mentioned before, Reaper is nondestructive. So if you record ah, whole track of vocals and then you start cutting up that track and let's say you want to take the second verse and make that your first verse in your first person, you know you want to swap versus around and you cut that all up. All those changes are made Onley in the Reaper project file. It never touches the actual raw audio. So if anything gets compromised or anything like that within your session, you don't have to worry. All of the raw audio is untouched and just just laid out in the way that you recorded it. Okay, so the next thing you want to do is just set your sample rate in the Project settings tab. So I just went to file project settings, and I like to just make sure that this check box is checked for each of my projects. So that Reaper and my audio interface are, you know, in in lockstep and that the project sample rate is set. Um, you could also set your BPM in your time Signature in Here is Well, um, and obviously some other advanced options. I'm not gonna go into those today. Um, but again, I just like to set that sample rate so that each of my projects are set with whichever sample rate I'm working in 5. Track Panel Layout: Let's go over the basics of a track. I have a microphone connected to one of my inputs. And so as soon as I click this arm for record, um, you get a few other options and obviously you can see um my microphone is active and you can see the meters moving now, Um, and if you click on this input drop down, you'll get a few options. Here. You can set your your model inputs, uhm and those of the inputs that we set up when we set up. That s I o ah, driver. And you know, when we set up the interface, um, it will also make some stereo connections as well for your inputs. And this is also where you would set your your midi inputs if you want Teoh record Midi. So here. Here's that USB mini keyboard that I have plugged in and you just set, um, you know, I I usually always just check all channels. Um, just because I only have the one midi keyboard, but I'm sure if you have multiple many devices, you kind of already know about channels and everything like that, and so I don't need to go into that. But for now, we'll just set, You know, we'll just set my input as one. And then the other very, very important thing is this little speaker icon or the record monitoring or software monitoring, as I was sort of mentioning before. This is what people get tripped up quite a bit on is that if this is on and when you arm a track, this is automatically on, so you want to click it twice to turn it off? And what if, if it's on, then you will not only be hearing the direct monitoring that we discussed before directly from your interface, but you'll also be hearing the monitoring from Reaper. So then you get this weird delay type thing or, you know, robot type, and it just is super confusing causes all sorts of issues. So you want to make sure that that's turned off and so that you're only hearing your zero late in see direct monitoring from your interface. So then, basically, I could just record a quick you know, test signal. Just see you guys can see test test test 123 Test test test. 123 So you can see I have some audio in their, um, nothing too special there. What I do really, really like about reaper is that it does actually print or, you know, print a graphic representation of the wave form here. And so you can use that for many, many different things, which I'll go into a little bit, Um, later, when I pull up some other audio tracks, Um, so basically the other thing about this, you know, sort of the basics of this track layout here is so you can you know, you can name the track here. Um, and here you have your volume fader. But you can also see it moving in the track in the mixed window. Um, here is your effects. You're affects, tab. So, you know, if you want to put some, you know, some the plug in that we ah, the plug in. Then we installed before. This is how you would we put that on that track. Okay. And here you have, um, this trim button, which brings up all of your automation. I'm not gonna go too far into automation today, but I do want to just show you quickly. So if I click on an enable volume automation for this track. You'll see it brings up like another lane or envelope as they call it, And basically So let's say this first passage, um, this first little test has test. Uh, I want to highlight that. And then I come down and you'll see I have my own little, uh, this, You know, this lane has its own little volume fader. So if I drop that down So now I'm just turning down the volume just for that little passage , and then everything else is the same. So that's just ah, you know, a little touch on automation on. And then lastly, you have your mute and your solo buttons here, and you're phase Ah, phase inversion. Um, and so pretty basic stuff. Ah, the nice thing about Reaper is you can change the layout of this a bit. So if I right click here on the track, you have your track layout, um, options here. And you can go to track panel. And let's say I go down to here and I click Be, See? Now look, it changes all all the layout off this track. And now all the stuff kind of shows up in one spot here Now, instead of volume as a knob, it za fader. Um, and I have pan all of a sudden and that kind of thing. So you just get some flexibility as faras How you wanna lay your tracks out and stuff like this? Now, you can change this for all the tracks. You could make that a global change, or you can just do it track by track. Lastly, I always like to set, um, I was, like, the color code, my tracks. And so, um, I'm gonna be sharing my basic track template. I'm sorry, my basic session template, um, for you guys to download, which is all color coded and everything like that. Just so you guys have some sort of a jumping off point, but you can obviously set your own, and basically, you could just come in here, go to track color, and you can just you can, you know, hard. Set a custom color to what you want, or you can just say Just give me one random color. I don't really care. Um, you know, and then it picks a a lovely neon neon yellow for you. So, um, you just have a lot of options for, you know, sort of visually organizing your project. 6. How Reaper stores files: now, before we move on. One thing I do want to point out is that if you noticed I named this track after I recorded the audio. And so what Reaper will do then in the back end is because I didn't have a name on this track. It just kind of uses its own, um, naming scheme for the actual wave file itself. So if we take a look at the ah, the folder where I have this project saved will open that up and I can break this down for you. So basically, you have your test project, your project file, RPP, and then Reaper always takes a back up any time that you save your project. So it's always going toe to create a backup of the last time that you saved so that that's very nice, and you can change those settings to in the preferences. You can even put these back up files on a different hard drive or a thumb drive or something like that if you want. Um, and then lastly, you have your actual audio file, so you're you're 24 96 wave file, or whatever the sample rate and bit depth you set, and then a a proprietary Peaks filer analysis file that Reaper assigns to each audio file. But if you look at the name of this audio file, it's just iso one. And then, um, there are some some new mayor characters Now, those numeric characters do apply to the date and everything like that, but I just want to show you the 01 is track. That's your track number. Now, if I would have named the track, it would actually put that name second, So would be, oh one dash test dash And then this date Ah, identify her. Um, and it's just very nice to have your files named so that if you are working with another person, you can easily identify you know what the bass track is? What? You know what? The drum track is that kind of thing. So I just wanted to point that out just to show you how the actual the files and project files are being saved in the back end 7. Using Multiple Project Tabs: So for the remainder of this class, I'd like to use the sample project that I've included in the download section of this course. And it's also a good segue. Wait for me to show you another useful feature that I use quite a bit. And it's reapers option to open multiple projects at once using this new project tab feature. So, basically, if you open a new tab, you know you stub your other project here, But you can click on this new this new tab and actually bounced between two projects. So if you're building, you know, some songs or whatever and you know, you wanna take some virtual instruments from one song and pop it in the other or something like that, or drum track or something like that, you can easily do that. So let me open us this new project file, and I'll close the mixed window for now just so you can see all the tracks we got. So I just have some basic drum groove here that I recorded from a friend and just ah ah little Amidi part just so that I can show you how many instruments working in that and So, you know, if I wanted to copy this this midi You know this mini part over to my other project here, all you gotta do is just, you know, control. See or copy. Um, copy this particular track, click back over to other project and then just control V or paste. And, you know, there it iss. So again, I do use this quite a bit for like, um, you know, moving drum drum parts around, Um, and just so that you know, I'm starting new projects with at least something Teoh work off of, um, so it just makes it really handy. And obviously, if you have multiple projects open, you are gonna be eating up into your computer's processors and stuff like that, So I would, um you know, Please, you know, experiment. But but just be conscious that, you know, if you're tracking, you probably don't want multiple projects open at once. Um, just because you want as many resource is is possible for for when you're tracking. But for mixed time, you might be able to bounce between two projects without, you know, causing any issues. Um, so I'll just get rid of this here and we'll go back over to this project here, and I'll just I'll play you a bit of it here. - Okay , so you get the idea. So one thing that, um, I find very, very useful Is this this locking feature here, Um, so when you're working with a lot of tracks like this and you're flying around, you're making edits and your, you know, scrolling around It can be fairly easy to buy accidentally knock one of these tracks out of time. Um, and that obviously, you know, you don't want because everything will be, you know, out of out of time so you can use this little locking feature, And if you right click on it on a PC, you get some options. You can lock all sorts of different things. And basically, I just Unless I am, you know, doing an actual editor, something like that. I always have the left right movement locked, and the hot key for that is just super easy. It's l and so you can just keep everything locked. And if you do need to come in and you know up, yeah, though you know that that snare track is a little you know, or you know, this sneer head is a little weird and you come in and you cut it, you know, or something like that. You need to move around. Just just hit the l and unlock it for that little bit and then lock it again. That way you can just keep everything locked in place and you never have to worry about knocking something out of time. 8. Track Grouping: Okay, so let's talk about, um how Reaper handles routing buses and track grouping. The first thing I'm gonna go over is track grouping. I use this a lot. I think it's a really great feature of Reaper. Um, you can easily group tracks together and actually create a pseudo bus using that group. So if I just create a new track here, and I slide it to the top, and I just ah, let's just call this, you know, the drum group, um, take my caps lock off their, um, And then I highlight all my drum tracks. So I click the first, the first track all the way down to the Tom track here. And then I hold my mouse button down and I drag up and it shows that blue line there. Now, watch the left side of that blue line is gonna gonna bounce, bounce in a little bit as I go up. And then if I let go the mouse now have nested all these drum tracks into this drum group, and you can actually just minimize the whole you know, group right there. Um and so now all my drum tracks are grouped into this group so I can control all these tracks with this fader. I can mute a mall, whatever I want to do. So if I hit play here, I can just mute the whole bus, our group. And now all my drums were muted. Um, you can volume automate that group. You can do all sorts of things with that group so I can turn all the drums down whatever you want to dio. So it's just a really handy way of, um, not only organizing your tracks in a visual manner, but also, um, you can process them in such a way that it's a lot like a traditional bus. So, for instance, if I, um, you know, click on the effects chain here and I want to put on a reverb on all the drums, I can just drop that reverb right on onto this drum group and then all the you know, all the drums will be, uh, you know, swamped and river. It's obviously that's way too much, you know, That's way too much reverb. And, you know, um, you very rarely would use an effect like that. That's not like an e que or something like that. But Reaper does give you away of actually using an effect like that on a drum group and actually controlling how much of the effect is going onto this drum group. Every time you add a plug in to a track, you will always get this this Reaper control panel up at the top. And in there there is a mix knob, and you can actually mix how much of the effect you're applying to that track. So if you did wanna set up a drum reverb this way, you could just turn them the mixed knob way down on the reverb. And now, when I play, it sounds like, you know, a nice controlled river. I can go all the way 100% again. And no, that's not good. But if I bring it back down to, like 15 that is a usable river, and again, that's per plug in. So if you would have any Q on here beforehand, you could leave that 100% wet because, you know, let's say you you know you wanted toe, you know, roll the the low end or high end or something like that off the whole drum group. Um, you can do it that way. So again, Reaper calls those you know, groups or track groups, Um, and not necessarily buses. I kind of used the term interchangeably because in in one way, you know, it kind of is acting like a bus. Um, the other nice thing about a groups track groups is that Reaper also. Well, show you as a representation. Um, all the wave forms added up, and so you can actually see, you know, So I obviously have all of the drum tracks collapsed here. Um, but you can actually zoom in and see all the wave forms added up in one visual representation, and as a beginner to mixing and recording, you can easily see Then if something is out of phase now, I highly recommend to, you know, develop your ear enough so that you can hear when something is out of phase. But it is nice when you're learning to actually have a visual representation to lean on. So I just wanted to point that out 9. Creating Busses: So lastly. Then I can show you how to actually set up a traditional effects bus and use the Reaper routing to Ah, Roger. Roger. Audio to it. So I'm going to get rid of this reverb. Well, actually, Aiken, take this opportunity to show you you can actually cut and paste your plug ins. Two different tracks. So already have this river of all kind of, you know, set up and everything, so I'm just gonna control X cut that off of that track. Now let's create a drum, reverb us and paste paste it right onto that plug in window. Now again, Uh, because we're doing this in a more traditional manner, I want to then set this mix knob all the way wet. So now we have our drum reverb and you can click the route button on the actual drum group and then just simply drop this sends dropped down down and send your drum group two year drum reverb us. Now, when you set up a traditional bus in this manner, you then have a lot more granularity. As far as you know, you can set your send level and then also set your overall level on the actual effects bus itself. So, um, for this first, you know, I'll leave. Believe the send 100% for unity, and then we'll just turn down the drum reverb here and again. You can, you know, you can bring up your mixed window and do all of these things here in this mixed window. So, um, you know, you have your your drum group here and your drum effect bus here. And so, um, you know, again, uh, I have the send at unity and then we'll just pull down the drum reverb here, um, and actually, just pull it all the way down, and then I'll just bring it up as we play. So So there's no reverb. And now, as I bring this up now, if I bring it all the way up, it's way too much. But again, I can then show, you know, I could then send it to the to the river, bless and again, that's it. Just that's a more advanced topic to get into. But that's how you can you know, um, control how hard you're pushing a plug in versus how much of the overall levels in the mix . Okay, The last thing I want to cover in regards to routing is reapers routing matrix, which is very similar to a lot of, you know, routing windows in a lot of different de W's. But if you go toe view routing Matrix or Ault are, you can pull up the graphical representation of all your routing. That's that's going on. So here your tracks at the top, um and then your outputs as well. And so here, if I hover over, you can see this is my master left, right Output And, um, you know, So my master output is actually routed to my left and right hardware output. And then, um, here we have our drum reverb track or bus, and you can see that the drum group is bussed to the drum reverb. And so the more routing you have going on, and the more inputs and outputs and stuff that you have, this rotting matrix will be, you know, a little different, but it will show you everything in one page. 10. Working with Midi Tracks: Okay, The next thing we can go over our Midi tracks s. I just have this simple, you know, Midi synth track here. Um, you know, nothing special. And basically, I just am using the free synth plug in that comes with Reaper. Nothing. You know, nothing fancy and again, basically Ah, if you hit record your you know your midi inputs will be under this midi tab here, you select your MIDI device what channel you're on, and you should be good to go as far as recording many instruments now, if you, you know, already have apart that's down or you download, submit e um, parts from a friend or from the from the web. You could basically drop him in your track. And, you know, you'll see all the different MIDI notes here. If you double click on the track, it'll actually open. Reapers midi editor. Um and it's just super easy to use. You got your keyboard here on the on the left. And obviously this will trigger whatever plug in you got going on or instrument. You know, you got going on, um, here all your midi notes. So if you know if you want to move notes around chopping up. Um, you know, let's say during a performance you flubbed something. You can go in here and, you know, fix, fix your flubs. And then down here is just the velocity information that if your keyboard or drum trigger or whatever has the ability to record the velocity of the note, you can change that. Here is well, just by sliding this up and down, obviously red indicates louder. Um and ah, Then it goes all the way to blue as faras just, you know, graphic representation of the volume. 11. Mix Panel Layout: All right, let's get into the mix window. So you can either hit control em to bring up the mixer or you just go to view here and click on mixer and again. You know, this layout is all customizable. You can, um you can change your sizes here, Um, of how much mixer you want to see versus the track window here. You can even change, you know, sort of thea the layout of each individual fader here and also the master just by, you know, dragging and moving around sliding around the different windows now. Ah, I will go over these thes sections here. So, um, you'll see there's a whole bunch of slots at the top of each track, and then there's a line and then their slots underneath that line. So the slots at the top are all your effects. So your plug ins What? Not here. You can see. I got the synth plug in here and the river plug in here and then underneath the line are all your sentence. So here you can see we're sending this drum group to the drum reverb and then on my master , you can actually see I'm sending, you know, uh, to my hardware output left and right. So that's basically a brief overview of just, you know, the mixed panel. Um, obviously, you have different Vader's for for each, um, and then your master volume here. Um, OK, so this is pretty straightforward. Uh, you know, you could just pick an empty slot here, like on the kick, for instance. And if you click on the empty slot, it will bring up your plug ins list. Um, and I'll select the plug in the compressor plug in that we had insult before. And so now that plug in is on that track here, Um, if you want to copy this, you can either right, click copy it and then, you know, pasted over to the snare. Or it's really handy to use your control and all keys on windows, obviously. But if you hold down control and you click and drag a plug in, you'll actually copy it right to another, right to another track. So you can just copy these around super fast way to, you know, build up, build up your plug in chain, and then if you want to just get rid of plug ins. You can hold down the L Key and just click on them, and they'll they'll just go away. So same with your outputs as well. You just click on a free space and it will bring up the the routing window here. Um, he just choose your scent and it's all set now. The hot keys are a little different for down here and eso. You'll just want to look that up. And like I said, the more you get to know your hot keys, the quicker you'll you'll get around Reaper. Um, and there is a list of those hot keys in the manual that I have linked in the links for this class. 12. Rendering Your Mix: Okay, so the last thing I'd like to cover is rendering an exporting a project. So the first thing is rendering. So if you got your mix all dialed in and it's jamming and you just want toe, you want to bounce down the whole, the whole mix or stems of a mix, you would open up the render window. Now, the first thing, um, that you're going to see is a drop down for for your source. So do you wanna do you want to render the entire master or do you want to do individual stems? Now? Stems would be, you know, individual tracks that have all of their volume. Pan affects all that information printed right in the track. If you want to send another mix engineer, you're raw files that I will cover next in the export window. But for right now, we're just talking about either rendering the entire master or rendering individual stems. Now, there are quite a few other options in here. Um, but I don't want to waste too much time going over every single one. Let's just cover, uh, the master mix here. And of course you can set, you know, Do you want to render the entire project? Or do you wanna set a time and then just, you know, render the time selection that you have selected? Um, you can also do regions, but that's a little bit more in depth. So then the next thing is obviously, you know, where do you want your ah render to be out? You know what directory do you want to render it to, um, and then the next thing down, eyes super handy. So you could actually put in here. Um, you know, you could actually say Okay, this is the final, you know, final mix, um, or you can put in wild cards. So, like, for instance, um, you could just say the whole track project. I'm sorry that you could say the whole project name so you could say project name, dash, final mix. Um, or you can If you're doing stems, then you can, you know, say okay. I want I want the track number in the name dash. The actual track name that we assigned it. So and you'll see it gives you a little bit of ah, um explanation. A little example of what the file name is gonna look like. So, like, if I drop this down to stems, you'll see so that it will say, you know, ah, you know, if we were gonna render this synth track than its track 10 you know, synth dot wave is what it would render to, um So then you have your sample rate. What do you wanna, um, render your your mix at, um, And if you want down sample, they do give you some dithering options and all that, and that's a topic for a different video. Um, I go into that in my basics of digital recording, so go ahead and check that out. Um, and then obviously, if you're again, if you're rendering stems, um, you can set it to stereo or mono. I like to actually use this check box here. Tracks with Onley mono media Tomato file. So then you never have toe. You just set those two and then re parole. You know, if that's mono, it'll render it mano. If it's stereo, it'll render its stereo. Um, And then here's your your render speed. Um, basically, you're really only going to use other full speed off line or if you do have some hardware effects set up on some of your tracks or your master or something like that? Well, then you want to do an online render, and it'll actually have to, you know, play the song at normal speed to render it so that your hardware effects could be in play. So then again, here's some or re sampling settings. Basically, um, you know how high of a resolution do you want to set for your re sample Again? I'll go. I go over that in much more detail in my basics of digital audio recording class. Um, so we can jump down to your output format. Um, obviously, you can, you know, you can render it as, ah, as a 24 bit wave. You could do MP three right in here, um, flak, but even does have support for DDP, which is a mastering package standard. Um, it's super handy. If you are doing any mastering, you can just export right to DDP from from Reaper. You don't have to use another mastering program to do that. Um, so if we said it toe wave here, um, I do want to remind you that Reaper can actually render in 64 bit, which I highly recommend, if you're sending it off to another, mastering it to a mastering engineer who also uses Reaper or one of the other few 64 bit Dawes out there. Now, I'm not gonna go into the bit depth thing, because I do cover that in my other video. But I just want to remind you that reaper is 64 bit. But ah, lot of other programs are not. So if the mastering engineers running a version of pro tools that can only handle 32 bit float well, then you gotta choose 32 bit float you He won't be ableto here. She won't be able to read the 64 bit float file. But again, if you can render it at at the highest bit depth to give your mastering engineers much headroom is possible. Okay, uh, and then the last thing is, you can actually you know, if you are just rendering, um, let's say you're rendering this synth track. Ah, and it's actually going out to a hardware synth and coming back in. And you want to render it, um, you'd set it at a stem. And then what you can do is you can check this box to then add that file just right back into the project s. That's a handy way of, you know, um, saving you some steps. Um, And then the last thing that I think is super handy, um is you can actually add multiple songs to or multiple projects to a render queue. So basically, you can get all your mixes all ready to go, and for everyone, you can set your render settings added to the Q. And then once you know all 10 songs or 11 songs or whatever are in there, you can just let it rip and go grab some coffee, and you don't have to sit there and wait for for your renders to finish. 13. Exporting Tracks: So now if you want to actually just basically bounce your raw audio out of Reaper so that another mix engineer can import it into another Daw Reaper actually has an export consolidate wizard to help you do just that. So it will not print any of the volume pan sends effects? Nothing. It's just the raw audio that you recorded. So basically again, you can set the entire project if, you know, or you can set an actual time selection. Um, or you could just punch in customs, start and stop, uh, parameters right in here. Then again, you can also say you only want to render certain selected tracks or just all the tracks in the project here you can set out, you can hard set a sample rate, or you can just set it to auto. And it'll keep whatever sample rate that that particular track is set to. It'll just keep that sample rate for that track. And then again, here, you have your, um, you're re sample settings, quality settings, your, uh, file output. You could actually you know, um, render all these tracks to MP threes if you wanted. Um, and then again, here's your bit depth and some other settings that I'm not gonna cover and then basically here, your output directory. So this is a really easy way of exporting. You're raw tracks again. It will not print any of your effects or pan or volume or anything like that. It's just a really handy way of exporting your tracks in a nice organized manner to give to another mix engineer toe work on an import into their own Daw. 14. Thank you!: so thank you for taking this course. I hope you got a lot out of it. As always, I'll be available in the discussion group for any questions or feedback. Or if you have any ideas for other digital audio recording workshops or topics that you want me to cover. You can reach me at Brian at digital recorders dot com and please sign up for my newsletter on my website. Thanks again, I really appreciate it.