Tracks and Track Folders
Tracks and track folders
A track in Reaper is a container that can hold both audio and midi information. For example, if you want to record yourself singing over a backing track, you would insert a new track and import the instrumental audio to this newly created track. You can name it instrumental. You can then set up your inputs and record yourself singing on this same track, but it is not recommended to record yourself on a track that contains the instrumental, as you won't have as much separate control over each track if everything is on one track. Instead, you would create a new track and record yourself on this second track that can be titled vocal. This allows for more flexibility and less confusion when editing.
In regards to midi, a track can also have a virtual software instrument added to it. This will be covered in other articles.
Reaper has many ways of accomplishing the same task. You can insert a new track with control+T (Command+T on Mac). You will be placed in an edit field where you can type a name for the track, or you can leave it blank. Press enter and you have a new track. You can also insert a new track from the tracks menu by pressing alt, followed by T after alt is released.
Lastly, when navigating up and down through existing tracks you can press control plus applications key (control+2 on Mac) and you will have the track options found in the toolbar mentioned in the prior paragraph. Inserting a track (you guessed it) is one of those options.
Track folders are an excellent method for keeping a big project organized and less cluttered. You can open, make small, and close a folder. When a folder is closed all tracks within that folder are no longer visible, just the folder track.
How to create a track folder
1. Insert any number of tracks.
2. Up or down arrow to the track that you want to designate as the beginning of the folder.
3. After you are focused on that track, press shift+enter. That will cycle between folder, and track state. In this situation, you want folder.
4. Down arrow to the last track you want included within the folder and press shift+enter until you hear, “end of folder”.
You now have a folder within your project. It is recommended to have a blank track as your beginning folder, but not required.
Note, all tracks under the folder track are known as child tracks and the folder track is the parent. This means that if you apply any effect/fx to that folder track, the child tracks will also be affected. This is essentially a sub mix bus because all signals of the child tracks are going back upstream to the parent track or folder track.
How to create track folders with SWS extension
If you have the SWS extension installed, you can also create track folders by first selecting several tracks and then running the "SWS, make folder from selected tracks" action. The only downside to this option is that no empty track will be created at the start of the track folder
How to close and open folders
1. Arrow to the track folder and press enter until you here close or open.
How to undo folders
1Arrow to folder track and press shift plus enter. You should here your screen reader say track. 2Arrow to end of folder track, which now may state open folder and do the same as step one.
Once you've created several folders, you can jump through them by hitting Alt+PageUp or Alt+PageDown in the track list (Option on Mac).