Introduction and foreword

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This HTML version of the Reaper manual was made possible by the generosity of Geoff Francis. Geoff authors the Reaper manual and has given express permission for conversion into HTML for use by screen reader users. All images have been removed from this version of the manual. Wording, however, has not been altered. There are therefore numerous references to non-existent images. While the manual is highly visually oriented, there is still a great deal of useful information for blind users of Reaper. Readers should be aware that some references to keyboard commands may be incorrect depending on factors such as reaper and osara versions or previously configured key maps. It is therefore important to confirm the current keyboard command list by pressing shift-F1 from within Reaper, or using osara's built in keyboard training/help mode, which can be turned on or off by pressing f12 by default. In this wiki, every chapter of this guide has been placed on the official reaper user guide category (when viewing the sectioned guide). This means that at the very end of every chapter there will always be a link that will take you back to the table of contents, so to speak. Initial conversion to html has been made possible thanks to the efforts and work of Andrew Downie. Subsequent Conversions to html, wiki syntax and keeping the userguide up to date have been made possible by the work and efforts of Juan Pablo Bello.

adapting the user guide[edit]

As it is with anything wiki related, the idea of having put the entire users guide into a wiki is for you to feel free to clarify or update some information. This is because even though the guide is highly visually oriented, a great deal of tasks can be carried out using keyboard commands and different procedures. As time goes on, accessibility solutions to software improves and adds new functions. It would be ideal that this guide will reflect that as well, documenting and outlining what's new. There are some cases in which some procedures are far too detailed or different from what is being described in the unaltered original wording of the user's guide. In such situations, hyperlinks are available to supplementary articles which have been created by users, for users that can describe and explain the procedures when using assistive technology. Feel free to use them and create your own!

From here on begins original content

Up and Running:[edit]

A REAPER User Guide v 5.961

Version 5.961

October 2018

This guide will be updated regularly as the software itself is further improved and developed. Check for updates and other information at This document has been produced, compiled and rendered to PDF format using the wonderful LibreOffice Writer software. For more information about LibreOffice go to

how to use this guide[edit]

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

  • ReaRead: REAPER books and training manuals printed and bound are now available from

  • REAPER 4 Unleashed: Unlock Your Inner REAPER!

“REAPER Unleashed” picks up where "Up and Running".leaves off. This book lifts the lid off REAPER's most powerful features, including custom actions, menus and toolbars, FX chains, screensets, snapshots, templates, mouse modifiers and more. Many resources are supplied, including files with sample mouse modifiers, track templates, custom toolbars and much more. Its sample work files and dozens of step by step tutorials will help you to understand how you can use these features in combination with each other to make REAPER behave for you the way you want it to. Will it teach you everything that you could possibly ever want to know about REAPER? Most definitely not. But will it help you unlock the creativity inside you to help you get the very best out of this program for yourself? Most certainly, yes!

  • Up and Running: A REAPER User Guide

The essential and definitive guide to recording, editing and mixing with REAPER. Fully updated for each dot version. Includes sample project files and step by step examples to help you learn how to use the many features of REAPER. Includes special sections on key REAPER features such as routing and audio channel splitting, as well as numerous examples of how to use and apply many of the supplied FX plug-ins. "Up and Running is not only a comprehensive guide to using REAPER, it's also full of an amazing amount of information on audio recording and engineering. I simply cannot recommend it enough!" - Justin Frankel (COCKOS Inc and REAPER Developer).

  • ReaMix: Breaking the Barriers with REAPER

This book does much more than just teach you how to use basic tools (such as volume, panning, EQ, gates, compressors, delay, reverb etc.) to get an OK mix. It also guides you thru the relationships – some simple, some complex – that exist between the dimensions of sound and the dimensions of space. It guides you to use this knowledge to transform your OK mixes into great mixes. Although not light on theory, it has a definite practical emphasis, with links to archives containing some 40 or so project files, with step by step examples to help you put your knowledge into practice. "Wow! So much good stuff - from mindbending advanced techniques to solid sensible advice. This guide should have a positive effect on just about anybody interested in mixing (and especially those using REAPER)!" - Justin Frankel, Cockos Inc, developer of REAPER.

(official) Foreword and Acknowledgements[edit]

REAPER isn’t just about software, and it isn’t just about making music. It’s about a whole lot more. REAPER is a whole entity. It represents the way music should be, the way the internet should be, the way computers should be, the way program development and licensing should be …. in fact, the way the world should be. It’s about collaboration and co- operation, and it is truly awesome. This User Guide could not have been produced without the help of many in the REAPER community, and especially: Malcolm Jacobson for his efforts in getting together the first REAPER manual. Art Evans for his technical advice and constructive input. Mario Bianchi (aka Mabian) for his help with document formatting and layout and for his constructive suggestions and ideas. Also, a special “thank you” for comprehensively checking the document. Simon Mullings for his suggestions and the patient hours spent on the tedious job of proof-reading. Darkstar and musicbynumbers for too many helpful suggestions to mention!! Bevan Fowke (aka Bevosss) for his advice and assistance with custom actions and macros. Susan G and Nathan (aka planetnine) for their assistance and advice, especially (but not exclusively) on MIDI and especially notation editor matters. Jason Brian Merrill for, amongst other things, review and comments. Pipeline Audio for the original video tutorials. Xenakios, Jeffos and SWS for their extension sets. And, of course … Justin, Christophe, Schwa and Jeffos, for bringing us REAPER So welcome to REAPER! This User Guide is intended to get you up and running in REAPER, and to help you understand better how the program works, so that ultimately you will better be able to help yourself. If you are new to the world of digital audio, you’ll find that there is more than enough information in here to get you “up and running”. You’ll probably find that some sections contain information that you’ll find difficult to understand and which you might not need at first. You can just skip over those sections and come back to them when you’re ready. If, like me, you have come to REAPER with experience of other DAW software, you’ll find that it pays to go over even the most basic sections, to help you understand how REAPER is designed, and how it slots together. You’ll find yourself asking, “Why can’t they all be like this?” You should also find plenty more to interest you. It is not intended to be (and nor will it ever be) a 100% reference manual covering every single aspect and detail of REAPER. I’ve tried to approach the topics in what seems a fairly sensible order, introducing items pretty much on a “need to know” basis. In doing so, I’ve been as careful as I can be to ensure its contents are clear and accurate, but cannot accept any responsibility for any errors or problems you may encounter in applying it to your work.

REAPER Web Resources[edit]

The REAPER project is a live, dynamic and ongoing one. Be sure to check these web sites often:

Sample Project Files[edit]

These are available for download from Note that the links are case sensitive. The media files are in .MP3 format. Some of the examples outlined in this book require recording further tracks in MP3 format. In order to be able to do this, you will need to have an MP3 encoder installed in your REAPER program directory. The Lame encoder is included in the REAPER install package: however, if you are using a much earlier version of REAPER, you might need to download this. You can do so at any of a number of locations, including Be sure to select the correct file for your system. For example, for 32 bit Windows this will be lame_enc.dll. After downloading the file, simply copy it into your REAPER program folder. Start REAPER, then open the sample project file and play it. If you hear no sound, you should check the routing settings for your Master Track and make sure that output is correctly directed to your sound device.

What's New In This Edition ….[edit]

The table below summarizes the main feature changes introduced in REAPER 5.961. It may also include some existing features that were previously not documented. The previous update before this was 5.96.

In addition to these, there are various bug fixes and performance enhancements. For a comprehensive list of all changes, choose Help, Changelog from REAPER's main menu bar, or choose Options, Show REAPER resource path... and double-click on the file whatsnew.txt to open it.

Changes in 5.961 Where ... ReaEQ: Context menu on graph display now includes option to use large band handles. adding a few final paragraphs on section 16.5 on page 315
ReaEQ: Various new techniques for fine tuning adjustments to bandwidth. adding a few final paragraphs on section 16.5 on page 315
ReaEQ: New options for 0 db, 3 db, or 5db per octave for analyzer slope. adding a few final paragraphs on section 16.5 on page 315
ReaXcomp: Context menu on graph display now includes option to use large band handles. First new list item Page 324

Author's Note: I recommend the use of Adobe software (such as Acrobat or Reader) for use with the PDF version of this document. Document hyperlinks are available provided you have not enabled the option for using the hand to select text. Click on the hyperlink to jump straight to that part of the document, then use Alt Left- Arrow to return to where you were. Adobe also offers you quite flexible search features which are referenced towards the end of this document, but no guarantee is given that these will be available with different PDF reading software. Note: With REAPER's rapid rate of development, this edition may not be 100% up to date. For a full list of new and recent features, choose the Help, Changelog command from the REAPER menu. To check for the latest versions of both REAPER and this User Guide, go to