Useful Links and Resources
- 1 Useful Links and Resources
- 1.1 Other Reaper Specific Resources
- 1.2 User Groups, Community Support and Resources focused on accessibility
- 1.3 Tutorials and Presentations
- 1.4 Accessibility Enhancing Scripts
- 1.5 a list of third party accessible instruments and effects
- 1.6 Using Yamaha SYXG 50 on Modern Machines
Useful Links and Resources
Other Reaper Specific Resources
In addition to the already mentioned sws extensions, there are some more packs and sites (usually created by users) that further extend the functionality and knowledge of reaper. A (hopefully) comprehensive list of these follows. Please note that the accessibility of some of those is not thoroughly tested and cannot be guaranteed. However, you might find something fun or useful here, Who knows?
- mentioned in the manual and elsewhere, there is the reaper stash, where you can download presets, scripts, instrument banks, themes, language packs and so on.
- The cockos wiki has documentation available for many of the other supplied effects that are not in the ReaEffects guide
- ReaPack is a freeware utility which manages and installs user created scripts for a really vast number of tricks and functions. Its interface is accessible.
- playtime is a paid vst especially designed for Reaper which claims to add Ableton Live like features and functionality. Currently not an accessible utility.
- For some nice free sampled acoustic drums there are several versions of this kit, which was originally and especially designed to use reaper's only stock plug-ins. And a few complementary professionally designed free grooves from groovemonkee to go with it.
- Vordio is a free audio post production workflow tool that converts XML exported from an NLE video project from programs like Final cut Pro, Premiere Pro, or DaVinci Resolve, into a REAPER audio project for audio post production.
- the reaper blog provides paid one on one support, lots of free learning materials for reaper, plug-in reviews, tips, tutorials and more.
- The Ambisonic Toolkit "brings together a number of classic and novel tools for the artist working with Ambisonic surround sound." A set of reaper js effects scripts are available from their site.
- AA translator is a paid utility that aims to convert sessions or projects files from different DAWS.
- Last but not least, there are accessible spectrum (frequency) analysis, phase analysis and peak meter vst tools you can use in reaper.
This wiki also has been archived offline in wikiSyntax form only, for now.
User Groups, Community Support and Resources focused on accessibility
Reapers Without Peepers (an email list hosted on groups.io)
The RWP (Reapers Without Peepers) mailing list, is a very helpful place for those learning or using Reaper. Discussion of Reaper's accessibility via any means on either the Windows or Mac platforms is welcome. Join us here.
Reaper Access (a friendly, active group on WhatsApp)
This WhatsApp group is another source of assistance for people who are interested in learning or indeed already using Reaper. It tends to be higher traffic than RWP. It's a fairly loose, friendly hang, and has proven to be a great place to collaborate and/or get critique. Most of the messages being exchanged day-to-day are voice notes, but people who prefer to text are equally welcome.
To minimize spam, we've unfortunately had to pull down the direct link. Instead, we're going to give you an easy-to-follow description of how you can join. This measure keeps the group readily available to humans, whilst slamming the door firmly in the face of spam bots.
To join the group, you'll need a device with WhatsApp installed (iPhone, Android etc).
Open the browser on your device, and assemble the shortened link described below in your address bar.
- The link starts with www and a dot, as usual.
- Then you'll want to type the word tiny, another dot, and the letters cc.
- Next comes a forward slash.
- After the forward slash, type the word ReaperAccess exactly as it is written here.
- Notice that there are no spaces anywhere in the link, and you'll want to make sure that the first letter of Reaper and the first letter of Access are both uppercase.
If you get stuck following those instructions, just subscribe to RWP and let them know that you'd like to be added to the WhatsApp group. Someone will get you hooked up.
DAW World (a Discord Server Focused on DAW Accessibility)
This Discord server has channels and roles for multiple accessible DAWs, Reaper being one of them. If you're new to Discord, think of channels as a way of grouping discussion into topics, whereas roles are a way of telling the server which topics you're interested in, IE, which topics you'll want to see in your feeds. It's worth mentioning that Discord's accessibility is still a work in progress, but at this point, the server is quite usable on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android and there's a friendly admin team who are always happy to help, so don't let that discourage you from getting involved.
Here are step-by-step instructions for joining. As with the WhatsApp group above, an assembly approach has been taken to minimize the presence of spam bots on the server:
- Open your browser of choice, go to its address bar and type https. Follow that up with a Colon, then two Forward Slashes.
- Then type in tinyurl.com, and another Forward Slash.
- Lastly, type in DAWDiscord, and hit Enter, click "Go" etc.
- Remember, there shouldn't be any spaces anywhere in that link you've just assembled.
Once you've signed up for a Discord account, you'll be able to join the server. The first time you join, you'll need to assign the roles that you're interested in. Here's some info on how to get that done.
In Discord, any messages that you type into the chat starting with an exclamation mark "!" are considered as commands, no matter which channel you're currently in. In other words, you can type commands starting with an exclamation anywhere on the server. To assign yourself some roles, you can either go to the #role-up channel and react to the roles you're interested in, or if typing commands makes you feel powerful, you can assign roles by typing !srole add [role]. The roles that are currently available are:
- logic pro
When you're happy with your roles, type !done into the chat to move on to the rest of the server.
If you get stuck at any point, drop a message in the #Welcome channel or ask on RWP. Someone will be happy to help you get hooked up.
This is a community-maintained Dropbox folder that's choc full of useful content, such as custom actions, tutorials, templates, preset libraries and free instruments. Some of the content is mirrored on this here site, but new stuff tends to hit the Dropbox first. If you'd like to subscribe, just ask on RWP or WhatsApp.
Tutorials and Presentations
This free set of audio tutorials by Garth Humphreys and occasional guests can be found at The ReaProducer Standalone Site. If you'd prefer to subscribe, here's the ReaProducer Podcast feed for Apple Podcasts, or here's the RSS feed for other podcast catchers. Most of these episodes have been produced on the Mac, however Garth has always been mindful to make sure that his content is applicable to both platforms.
If you're new to Reaper, it is recommended that you work through the first few tutorials in order. They start with installation, and move through important concepts, such as importing media, recording, and editing with both time selections and items. How to Save and Render projects is also covered, along with side-chaining and an introduction to automation. There really is a ton of useful info contained within these bite-sized tutorials.
Recordings of Live Streams and Presentations
Justin Macleod (a Reaper power user from the UK with serious sound design chops) has taken to live streaming deep dives into various topics. These sessions are part presentation, part exploration, part Q&A. Here's a folder containing recordings of previous live streams (shout out to Daniel Wolak for hosting).
The topics covered are loosely voted on by members of RWP. Keep a lookout for emails with #Demo in the subject line to find out when the next stream will be.
Justin streams on TeamTalk. If you're new to that platform and need help getting hooked up, just ask.
If you appreciate his efforts, Justin massively appreciates donations via PayPal.
CAVI Courses (aging, but still useful resources)
For a few years, CAVI (Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired) ran popular courses designed for people who were getting started with Audio Production and more specifically, Reaper.
In March 2018, all of the previously available audio related course materials were released for free. The links to the actual audio content have since been pulled, but Daniel Wolak has once again saved the day. Use the following links to browse and download the audio content from his server:
The wiki content from previous courses can still be found here.
Nowadays the materials therein are getting a little long in the tooth, but there's still plenty to be learned, so grab 'em while you can. We'll only be linking to them until they're superseded by free content that's more current.
Some More Audio Tutorials
Chris Belle's Tutorials
- About the actions list
- making custom actions
- Editing basics, and an explanation of the reaper ripple editing modes
- noise reduction with reaper
- Using stretch markers
- Side-chaining with ReaComp
Patrick Perdue's Tutorials
Podcasts on CoolBlindTech.com
A growing set of podcasts have been done by members of the CoolBlindTech.com team, mostly by Alex Hiironen. They cover many things, from basics to using some effects and virtual instruments. They are somewhat scattered, but the first of them are presented in a (hopefully) organized manner. Note: they seem to be applicable to windows only.
- part 1, why is reaper awesome
- part 2, rudimentary recording
- part 3, recommended configurations
- part 4 tracking your next single
- and so on and so on
Accessibility Enhancing Scripts
Now follows a large collection of utilities and scripts created mostly by blind reaper users. Most of these are windows based, though you might find useful reaper presets and tricks as well.
Access4Music Scripts and Utilities
This is a collection of links that point to scripts that allow the user to access various third-party software instruments and as well as enhancing the accessibility of Reaper's MIDI Event List. Access4Music is a small Italian team of visually impaired programmers.
Free NumPad and Applications Key Emulation Scripts (useful workarounds for folks on laptop keyboards)
If you're using a laptop that doesn't have an embedded numeric keypad but you'd still like to use those keys in Reaper, here is a numpad key emulator script by Andrew Downie (mirror link 1) (mirror link 2)along with its corresponding auto hotkey source code (mirror link 1) (mirror link 2). This nifty script reminds you if you've accidentally left the NumPad emulation turned on by a series of beeps, and you can configure how often you get reminded. The script activates the NumPad emulation by default as soon as it is opened. It also displays a dialog box with configuration options and a list of the hotkeys used. Quite self-explanatory by design, but if you get stuck, Andrew has been known to haunt RWP from time to time.
On Windows, Shift+F10 doesn't always work as a substitute for the Applications key inside Reaper. If you're stuck on a keyboard without an Applications key, here is an Applications key emulation script (mirror link 1) (mirror link 2) available (written by Matej Golian). launch it every time you want to work in REAPER. You can
then use the right CTRL key instead of the applications key. So for example the shortcut alt+applications will become alt+right CTRL.
The Access4Music team also has their own version of an Applications key script along with another handy utility which makes it possible to read columns in Reaper's MIDI Event List individually.
Last but by no means least, here is Andrew Downie's version of an Applications key emulation script (mirror link 1) (mirror link 2)
Sibiac NVDA Add-on
A sighted programmer from Germany, known as Az, (Alexey Zhelezov) has very generously created the SIBIAC add-on for NVDA which aims to make a growing list of third-party fx or instrument plugins accessible. These include addictive drums 2, toontrack EzMix 2, and the worldwide renowned Melodyne, among many others.
JAWS Scripts for Reaper
The Snowman provides an ever-expanding set of JAWS scripts for Reaper. These are intended to work hand-in-hand with OSARA, and are highly recommended for the smoothest experience when using Reaper with JAWS. Follow this link for documentation and your download
a list of third party accessible instruments and effects
Note: this probably needs its own page if it grows too much? (see or start a discussion on this topic)
Even though most virtual instruments and effects are highly visually oriented, some of those are being successfully controlled and used by blind and visually impaired people via a combination of automation parameters, OCR and various bolt-on scripted solutions. The choices mentioned on this page are a loosely organized, non-exhaustive list of feedback compiled from all corners of the Reaper accessibility community. Discussing automation parameters from the ground up is certainly beyond the scope of this page, instead, you're more likely to find hints on which parameters of an instrument or plugin can be manipulated using OSARA's Parameters dialog, or tips on parameters that are misleadingly labelled, to take a few examples at random. It is recommended, but not always necessary that plugins are opened in bridged mode with dedicated process per plugin (most often the case if you're attempting to access a plugin with an AutoHotkey script from the likes of Access4Music). Brace yourselves, there are MANY of them. User reports follow:
The presets for most Waves plugins are accessible when loaded in VST3 mode. Parameters are labeled correctly and most will provide real-world values. Notable (but likely not the only) exceptions are Waves Tune LT, GTR3 Stomps and GTR3 Tool Rack (where the stomp box parameters are not labeled because they are interchangeable). Sibiac provides some accessibility to the GTR3 Tool Rack plugin.
- All of the reverbs, including renaissance, trueVerb, echo. Built in Presets are selectable from the slider as well, but cannot be edited from the text box. Also, when setting parameters like frequency ranges (in hertz) or room sizes for the reverbs the editable field shows values that do not correspond at all with the reported parameters so its better to just stick to the slider when manipulating those effects.
- RVox (a vocal compressor) and C6 (a multi-band compressor/equalizer) can be used without any problems as well.
- GTR3: The accessibility isn’t quite as good as some of their other plugs (not all the parameters show formatted values) The only labeled parameter is the on/off switch for each box, so that will help you find out which box is which. The GTR3 Tool Rack requires a golden cursor location to load presets properly, but is doable with no problems, which when loaded will prompt an accessible context menu. It’s also very modular, so you can access just stomps, just amps/cabs etc as separate plugs and use the fx chain to switch around the order of those boxes if you want. Reaper user Gerad Deuvall has created a youtube video demonstrating its use
Kontakt and Other Instruments
Some Kontakt instruments do have their parameters labelled correctly, so following the manuals when adjusting a parameter should be pretty simple. These include:
- All of the symphony essentials series: woodwind, brass, strings.
- NI Absynth 5 and Guitar Rig 5: you can navigate the presets with OCR, but no names are announced when you move with the arrow keys, however it does change, you will have to reload an instance of OCR to see new presets or categories.
All of the presets for pianos, harps ETC are now visible to reaper. Just go to the FX window by hitting F on the track that has PianoTeq instantiated on it, tab to the Presets combo box and use your ArrowUp and ArrowDown keys to navigate the choices.
Since version 6.1, automatable parameters are accessible in the OSARA Parameters dialog. However, changing between the different pianos is a bit tricky. Here's a suggested way of doing it: Press F on the relevant track to open the FX window, make sure PianoTeq is selected in the FX chain list box, then tab until you find an unlabelled check box. Using NVDA's object navigation, go to the next object (note that you need to use object nav, you can't tab to this area of the screen). It's reported as "unknown" by NVDA. Using NVDA+Shift+NumPadMinus, set focus to that "unknown" object. That object is the PianoTeq GUI itself, and it isn't accessible, but once focused, it does react to some key presses. Control+N switches between categories of instruments, and N switches from instrument to instrument. Your controller will continue working while you are interacting with the inaccessible GUI, so you can play a few notes, hit N, play some more, and so on until you've found a preset you like. Performing OCR may even tell you which preset that was.
Omnisphere is partially accessible if you're comfortable with concepts like review cursor in screen mode, object navigation with the use of the number pad, simulated clicking and relocating cursor. This also means that expansions like Keyscape, Trilion, ETC. will work too. You can change preset banks, select visible lists and some other settings. To navigate more presets, you will have to scroll with a mouse wheel.
After the plugin is instantiated in REAPER’s FX Window, use Shift+Tab to move to the “Add” button, then press UpArrow to get into Omnisphere’s GUI. Use NVDA’s screen review to navigate to the area where NVDA will report “software version x.x, or sound sources version x.x" (where x is the version you’re using). Move the mouse pointer to this information with NVDA+NumPad+Slash, and press the NumPad+Slash to click. You’ll be taken to the library tab of the plugin GUI. Using screen review, you’ll find some category filters such as type of sound, (for example, bells and vibs, ARP+BPM, etc). Filter the sounds as needed by selecting the appropriate filter using the above commands. Once again, they're NVDA+NumPad+Slash to move the mouse pointer to the desired item, and NumPad+Slash to click. The list of sounds in the category you've chosen will appear on the right of the screen, after where NVDA says: “normal”. Still using screen review, select your first sound and play your keyboard to see whether you like it. Once the first sound has been clicked, you'll be able to navigate through other sounds in that category using UpArrow and DownArrow. Note that the sound list wraps; that means if you have reached the last sound on the list, when you press DownArrow again, you’ll be at the very first sound.
Hint: if you need to open another instance of Omnisphere during your session, from that instance of the plugin onward, you’ll be taken directly to the Library tab. It's recommended to save any sounds you like as user presets by hitting Shift+Space on the Plus button in REAPER's FX window. This will enable you to recall them quickly without having to muck about in the plugin GUI as described above every time.
Addictive Drums 2
You can make some changes and preset selections with OCR. You can also change kit pieces and presets, but it's limited.
- Nectar 2 and Neutron 2: once you find the Presets menu with OCR, you can browse the subcategories with NVDA speech, using the arrow keys, however, the main category title is not announced. It behaves like a folder tree though.
- Nectar elements: in addition to parameters being reported correctly, there is a user created rpl (reaper presets library) file which allows these to be selected just like any other preset from the regular effects dialog. It contains all presets of Nectar Elements, plus two special packs: Styles 1 and Utility pack. Many thanks to Alan Escola. The file can be found via this dropbox link (mirror 1) (mirror 2)
- iZotope OZone 8: Once you find the preset menu with OCR, a dialog box will pop up and you can arrow through the presets with speech.
- The iZotope DDLY Dynamic Delay and iZotope Vinyl plugins are all properly labeled from the parameter list. The DDLY plugin allows two different delays to be applied to the same track, and can be downloaded as a trial if you want to see it for yourself. The Vinyl plugin is free, and adds a vinyl noise effect to the track which you apply it to.
Cakewalk Dimension Pro
Use OCR to find the preset selection, and when you hit enter, an accessible dialog box will pop up. Scripts are also available at the music access site.
Superior Drummer 2
OCR works okay with this in Classic Mode since all kit pieces are stationary, no matter the expansion selected. Problem is, you have to use OCR to go to some menus to select classic mode, then from there, you have to find some text, move your cursor slightly above, and right click and you will be able to read the context menus with speech for kit selection pieces. The Learn button is also somewhat visible, making this extremely tricky but can be done. Probably not worth the headaches though.
Scripts are also available at the music access site.
I've noticed that SoniVox VSTs are accessible. You can just tab down to the presets menus, and it lists all the different instruments there. I have SoniVox Orchestra companion Strings, Brass, and woodwinds, and they all work in that exact same way. I also have SoniVox's Harpsichord, session drummer, classic bass, big band percussion, and singles taylor acoustic guitar and they all work perfectly accessibility wisse. Also The classic series of plugs works well, the free ones you can download from Mixcraft - classic delay, reverb, eq, chorus, that entire set of plugs.
The Sugar Bytes Unique virtual synthesizer is a virtual synth that specializes in vowel sounds. The parameters are visible in the list but are not labeled, but the preset list is accessible from the dropdown list that is found in the FX chain window. It can be downloaded as a trial as well.
Versilian Studios makes a ton of free and extremely affordable plugins that all seem to be fully accessible. I've purchased a couple and have all the free ones, and have had no issues with the standalone versions, and I believe there are Kontakt versions of many of the plugins as well. However, note that the VSCO instruments are strictly Kontakt instruments, except for the community edition which is a free library of raw wave files from the Kontakt versions. http://vis.versilstudios.net/products.html
Korg Virtual Instruments
- KORG Legacy: when I modify some parameters they do not cause any effect. Example, with KORG MS-20. It is a monophonic (or polyphonic) analog synthesizer from the 70s. There are some presets that are polyphonic, when I modify the parameter that is used to change the polyphony, I can not do it even though I used the slide bar in the corresponding parameter. It is something strange. The same happens with other parameters. Almost all parameters have a name, but some do not. Not only happens with the MS-20, it also happens with MonoPoly and Polysix. they are all from KORG Legacy.
- WaveStation and M1, there are no problems. WaveStation parameters are accessible through the GUI, while some can be accessed in the FX parameters box.
Using Yamaha SYXG 50 on Modern Machines
For those wanting a gm compatible synth, there is a recently updated version of this once popular Yamaha soft synth (mirror link 1) (mirror link 2). Since newer windows systems do not have the ability to allow a particular midi device to be selected as the system default (older windows versions did), you must install this midi mapper (mirror link 1) (mirror link 2) (you can log in with a google account or create one to be able to download it or just use the mirror links). After installing the VST midi system synth driver first according to the procedure described on the first link, you should be ready to go. It basically acts as a midi mapper just like it did on the older windows installations so that you can select the VST midi system synth as the system default. The response of this VST is just as good. It tends to stutter a little especially when some new patches come in, but no major issues have been reported. If you plan to make music or do music production with it, then you should instantiate this by choosing the "Virtual instrument on new track" option from Reaper's Insert top menu.