Hello! before continuing, if you find it difficult to follow written instructions, or if you would prefer to read along with an audio guidance of the download and installation process on mac, follow this audio guide, in which Garth Humphreys will walk you through. Most of the instructions in the audio guide are easily applied to windows as well.
Downloading and installing Reaper
REAPER supports all Windows versions from Windows XP to Windows 10, and all macOS X versions from 10.5*to 10.12. Reaper can be downloaded for free and be used for sixty days before a license must be purchased. This will give you plenty of time to learn Reaper. The cost of a Reaper personal license is much less expensive than other Digital Audio Workstations. More information about purchasing can be found on the Reaper website. When opening the following link you should Download the appropriate file depending on the system you use: Windows or Mac, 32 or 64-bit. Reaper comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Most computers today have 64-bit versions of the operating system installed, so you can most likely download the 64-bit version, which takes advantage of the added processing power of your computer. download reaper (external site)
Launch the installer file that you have downloaded and follow the setup instructions. You may then open reaper at this time, but we will do that at the end of this tutorial.
downloading and installing OSARA
OSARA is a REAPER extension which aims to make REAPER accessible to screen reader users. It runs on both Windows and Mac. It is built to work with the free NVDA screenreader on Windows and VoiceOver on the Mac, however there are also people successfully using it with JAWS screenreader on Windows. Download either the Mac or Windows version of the OSARA installer from https://www.nvaccess.org/files/osara/snapshots.html
Basic installation instructions below, however, for additional instructions and information on Osara, see the main GitHub page at https://github.com/nvaccess/osara
Open the OSARA installer, leaving all the options to their default values, (keep clicking next).
At the end, reaper and osara should be set up and configured to work together with each other. By leaving the options at the defaults, you will have also installed the Osara key map.
Currently the method of installing Osara on the Mac is a bit different from other Mac applications as there is no standard install package.
Download the DMG and open.
Use VO+Shift+M to Open the "Install OSARA extension.command" file. This will run in Terminal. After a couple of seconds, it is safe to quit Terminal.
Follow this same process to Install the key map.
SWS Extension (optional but recommended)
the sws extenssion is a plug-in that extends the functionality of reaper and adds some keyboard shortcuts that allow the selection of some items which otherwise would be inaccessible, and allows you to perform many tasks faster. When installing the sws extension, the process is the same. You open the link provided at the top of this section and select the installer that best matches your operating system. There are no actual setup options on the sws installer, so installing it by leaving everything in their defaults should get you up and running.
testing it all together
To make sure that osara is installed and working, first launch reaper from the shortcut that has been created in your desktop. The shortcut name for reaper 32 bit is just simply reaper, whereas for systems that use 64 bit reaper the name of the shortcut will be reaper (x64).
Once you have launched reaper, you will come across a dialog that states that reaper is not free, and asks you if you would like to buy the software or evaluate it. At this time, you should press tab until you hear the button called "still evaluating". This screen does not appear again until the next day you run the program, even if you close and open it again, or until you eventually buy a license. If you have tabbed and cannot find the still evaluating button, wait a few seconds and try tabbing again, since the dialog is designed to show you the message for a few seconds to remind you to buy the program. Once you open reaper, you will hear the program name, the version number, and some other information, like such:
REAPER v5.50/x64 - (not registered) \\
or, REAPER v5.50/x64 - Registered to Jhon Doe (Licensed for personal/small business use) \\
in this case, this means that you have a blank project file already open. To test that osara is working properly, you should press either down or up arrow, which are the keyboard shortcuts to move to next and previous track respectively. At this point, you should hear your screen reader say, "no tracks".
So now that you are ready, its time to learn a few basics, plus a few specific commands so we will start out with reaper_and_osara_keyboard_shortcuts The Actions List which will help you understand how reaper exactly works.