Chapter 15: Customization: Actions, Mouse Modifiers, Menus and Toolbars

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15 Customization: Actions, Mouse Modifiers, Menus and Toolbars[edit]

15.1 Introduction[edit]

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.

15.2 REAPER Actions Essentials[edit]

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 24. 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.

15.3 The Action List Editor Environment[edit]

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 Comments Filter

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. Boolean search terms are supported. For example, you could search for any of these:

  • delete OR remove OR clear
  • insert ( item OR media ) (spaces before and after parentheses)
  • properties ( take NOT channel ) (spaces before and after parentheses)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. In the second example (below), 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.
Clear The Clear button clears any current filter and restores all actions to the list.
Find shortcut... 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: If no shortcut exists for the key or key combination for which you are searching, then a message Shortcut not found will be displayed.
Column headers/ Sort keys 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).This can be especially helpful if you wish to familiarize 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.
Sections 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.
Run 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.
Run/Close This button is similar to the Run button, the main difference being that after running the selected action it closes the Actions window.
Close This closes the Actions window.
Remember last action filter 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 This toggle option (from the right-click context menu) shows/hides a column displaying REAPER's action IDs.
General 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). 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). When working in the Actions window, the right-click context menu shown here is available. Two toggle commands are whether to Remember last action filter (when the list is closed and later reopened) and/or Close after action on double-click/enter. The next set of three actions is mainly provided to assist script writers and developers. These are Show action IDs, Copy selected action command ID and Copy selected action text. Finally, there are the toggle actions to Dock Action window in Docker and Close window.

The Actions window right-click context menu is shown here. Two toggle commands are whether to Remember last action filter (when the list is closed and later reopened) and/or Close after action on double-click/enter. The next set of three actions is mainly provided to assist script writers and developers. These are Show action IDs, Copy selected action command ID and Copy selected action text. There are options to Arm selected action and Disarm actions. Finally, there are the toggle actions to Dock Action window in Docker and Close window. There are number of additional buttons in this window, some of which are currently dimmed. We'll get to these in due course.

15.4 Action List Sections[edit]

The different action list sections can be used in different environments. In most cases, these present you with the actions (for example, when you are recording) that are most relevant to the particular context. These are: Main (alt recording) Media explorer MIDI editor MIDI event list editor MIDI in-line editor Having separate sections for different environments brings one important benefit in particular. You can assign the same shortcuts to different actions in the different environments. Thus, various combinations of keys could be used in the MIDI editor to select what is displayed in a CC lane. That same set of shortcuts could be used, say, in the MIDI Event List Editor to determine which channels are displayed, and, say, in the Media Explorer to browse thru various folders. Moreover, none of the assignments that you make in any of these sections will have any impact on keyboard shortcut behavior in the Main section.

15.5 Creating a New Keyboard Shortcut[edit]

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).
  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.

15.6 Removing an Existing Shortcut[edit]

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. ( right).
  2. Click on the shortcut shown in the window (in this example, Q).
  3. Click on the Delete button. The shortcut will be deleted.

15.7 Changing an Existing Key Assignment[edit]

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 ( 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.

15.8 Examples of Possible Simple Keystroke Assignments[edit]

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 Possible shortcut key Track: Toggle bypass FX for currently selected track(s) B
Track: Toggle bypass FX for all tracks Ctrl B
Track: View FX chain for current track Ctrl F
Track: View routing for current track I
Track: View envelopes for current track K

15.9 Deprecated Actions[edit]

As you explore the Actions List you might notice that some actions are flagged as ?deprecated.? This means that these actions are considered no longer suitable and are not supported. It is recommended that you do not use them. The main reason they remain in the Actions List is so that existing custom action macros which use these actions will not be broken.


15.10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Recording[edit]

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.

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.

15.11 Keyboard Shortcuts for the MIDI Editor[edit]

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 Insert note ?. [range from 1/128 to 1/2 to whole note]
Make notes legato Set note ends to start of next note
Transpose notes Edit: Move notes up/down one octave/semitone
Adjust note lengths slightly Edit: Lengthen/Shorten notes one grid unit/pixel
Adjust velocities Edit: Note velocity +/-01, 10
Display only notes matching specified criteria Filter: Toggle filter on/off
Channels Management
Specify a channel for new notes and events Action: Set channel for new events to 01 ...1 6
Show all or specified channels Channel: Show all/only/toggle channels 01 ? 16
Change the channel for selected notes Edit: Set notes to channel 01 ... 16
Cursor/Grid Management
Advance the cursor by a note value Cursor: advance ? [range from 1/128 ... to whole note]
Move the cursor by specific amount Edit: Move edit cursor right/left by grid/measure/pixel
Change the grid divisions Grid: Multiply grid size by... or Grid: Set division to...

15.12 Keyboard Shortcuts for the Media Explorer[edit]

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.

15.13 Keyboard Shortcuts for FX and FX Chains[edit]

To create keyboard shortcuts for any of your favorite FX (or FX chains), display the FX browser (View, FX Browser), then right-click over the FX or chain name and choose Create shortcut… from the context menu. You can then define the shortcut in the usual way. Once assigned, the shortcut can be used to insert the FX into any track or item, or any selection of tracks or items. These shortcuts can also be added to REAPER’s menus and/or toolbars, as explained later in this chapter.

15.14 Assigning Actions to the Mousewheel[edit]

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 View: Zoom horizontally

with Ctrl View: Zoom vertically

with Alt View: Scroll horizontally

with Ctrl+Alt View: Scroll vertically

with Ctrl+Shift 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. In the action list (Main section), find the action View: Scroll horizontally.
  2. In the shortcuts list, select Alt + Mousewheel and click on delete.
  3. Click on the Add button, then scroll the mousewheel. The text Mousewheel will be displayed, as shown on the right.
  4. Click on OK.
  5. If you wished, you could now use the same method to assign Alt + Mousewheel to the action View: Zoom Horizontally.

15.15 Exporting and Importing Keyboard Shortcuts[edit]

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 22).

15.16 Creating Custom Action Macros[edit]

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.

Managing Custom Actions (Macros) ? Summary Table

In order to do this ... You do this ... Create a new macro Click on New... button. Type a name for your macro.
Add actions to a macro Drag and drop from action list, or double-click.
Change order of actions 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.
Consolidate macro into a single undo point Enable the option Consolidate undo points.
Save macro Click on OK.
Assign shortcut key to a macro Select the macro in the Action List. Click on Add.
Edit an existing macro Select the macro in the Action List. Click on Edit.
Copy an existing macro Select the macro in the Action List. Click on Copy.
Run an existing macro 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.
Delete an existing macro 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.
  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.

15.17 MIDI Editor Custom Macros[edit]

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 .... ... does this
Navigate: select next note right with same note value Navigate: move edit cursor to start of selection
This will find the next note with the same value as the current one, select it, and move the edit cursor there.
Navigate: select previous note right with same note value
Navigate: move edit cursor to start of selection
This will find the previous note with the same value as the current one, select it, and move the edit cursor there.
Edit: Select all Remove selected duplicate events
Edit: Unselect all
This macro removes all duplicate events from the current item.
Grid: Set grid division to 1
Edit: Insert note at edit cursor
Edit: Unselect all
Creates and inserts a semibreve (or whole note). 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

15.18 Importing Scripts[edit]

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 24. 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.

15.19 Introducing ReaPack[edit]

A very useful source of scripts is the ReaPack plugin. This allows you to import and install several packages containing any number of scripts that you might find useful. The plugin can be found at [1]. Instructions for downloading, installing, etc. are at [2].

15.20 Meta Actions[edit]

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.

15.21 Mouse Modifiers[edit]

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 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.

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,

15.22 Saving and Restoring Mouse Modifier Settings[edit]

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).

15.23 MIDI Editor Mouse Modifiers[edit]

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 click, MIDI note left drag, MIDI note double click, MIDI note edge left drag, MIDI CC event left drag, MIDI CC lane left click/drag, MIDI CC event double-click, MIDI CC lane left drag, 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 click, MIDI piano roll left drag, MIDI piano roll double-click, and MIDI editor right drag.

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.

15.24 Customizing the REAPER Menus[edit]

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 ... ? you need to do this. Select a menu for customization Display the drop down list (top left of window) and select the required menu.
Change the name of a currently selected main menu command Select the command. Click on the Retitle... button. Type the new name and press Enter
Remove a command from the currently selected custom menu 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.
Change the position of a command on the custom menu Either ? in the left column, drag and drop the command up or down to its required position. Either ? in 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.
Copy a command from one main level menu to another 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.
Add a REAPER action or a custom action to the current custom menu as a new command 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.
Rename a command on the custom menu In the left column, select the command, click on Rename, then type the new name and press Enter.
Add a separator to the current custom menu 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.
Add a label to the current custom 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.
Add a submenu to the current custom 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.
Save changes made to the current custom menu Click on the Save button.
Restore the one or all custom menus to the default settings Click the Reset button, then choose either Reset Current Menu or Reset All Menus.
Export the current custom menu or all menus as a ReaperMenuSet Click on Export... , choose Export All or Export Current, then type a name and click on Save.
Replace the current custom menu or all menus with a previously saved Reaper Menu Set 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.
Include REAPER's default menus with your custom menus 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.

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.

15.25 Customizing the REAPER Toolbars[edit]

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.

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 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.
Add a new action or command to the toolbar 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 In the customize toolbar area, right-click over the second of these items and choose Add separator from the menu.
To change the icon used for any toolbar item (including an item that you have added) 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 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.
Replace a toolbar icon with text 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.
Change the position of an item on the toolbar 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.
Close the Customize Menus/Toolbar Window without saving your changes Click on the Close button. Choose No when asked if you wish to save your changes.
Save the toolbar with your changes Click on the Save button.
Restore the toolbar to its default status Click the Reset button. Choose Reset Current Menu/ Toolbars to Defaults from the menu.
Export the current custom toolbar or all toolbars/menus as a ReaperMenuSet Click on Export... , choose Export All or Export Current, then type a name and click on Save (see also note below).
Replace the current custom toolbar or all toolbars/menus with a previously saved Reaper Menu Set 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 22.

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.

15.26 Creating Additional Custom Toolbars[edit]

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 ... ? you need to do this. Change the name of any tabbed toolbar Select toolbar in the Customize Menus/Toolbars window, click on Retitle... then type the new name then click on OK.
Add an action or command to a custom toolbar Click on Add... to display the Actions List. Select the command or action and click on Select.
To edit a custom toolbar button label Right click over the item in the customized toolbar panel (left) and choose Text Icon... Type the text then click OK.
To assign an icon instead of text to a custom toolbar button 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.
To remove an item from a custom toolbar Select the item in the Customized Toolbar (left) panel and click on Remove.
To change the order of icons on a custom toolbar Drag and drop items up or down the list displayed in the customized toolbar (left) panel.
To save a custom toolbar set Click on the Save button in the Customize Menus/Toolbars window.
To export a custom toolbar set Use the Export... button and choose Export current menu/toolbar to ? Type a name and click on Save.
To import a toolbar set Use the Import... button, select the file name, click on Open.
To dock/undock the floating toolbar Right click on floating toolbar, choose Dock floating toolbar then select one of the three options.

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 18 you'll find a custom toolbar for working with envelopes.

15.27 Creating Smart Tools[edit]

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.

15.28 The Toolbar Docker[edit]

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 ... ? you need to do this. Add an open toolbar to the toolbar docker Right click over the toolbar background area, choose Position toolbar, In toolbar docker.
Remove a toolbar from the 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.
Replace one toolbar on the docker with another In the toolbar docker, right click over the toolbar's name tab, choose Switch toolbar then select the required toolbar.
Display toolbar contents In the toolbar docker, click on toolbar name tab.
Dock the toolbar docker 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.
Undock the toolbar docker Click on the ! (exclamation mark) on the left end of the docked toolbar docker, then deselect the option Attach Toolbar Docker to main window.

15.29 Using a Control Device with REAPER[edit]

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/OSC/Web 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/OSC/Web 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.

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.