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Getting Up and Reaping

Installing And Configuring Audio

If using external Midi or Audio Devices,please consult their manual or quick start guide to know whether to connect them to the computer first or whether to install their drivers first.

  • If your midi or Audio Device has a USB (Firewire or Thunderbolt) cable, plug that into your computer.
  • If you want to use midi cables, plug a midi cable from midi out on the keyboard to midi in on your audio/midi interface card, and vice versa, from midi out on your sound card to midi in on your keyboard.
  • Install all drivers that came with your sound card and keyboard.
  • Install Reaper 64 on Windows 7 64, and Reaper 32 on Windows 7 32 bit and XP. On the mac, you can install either the 32 or 64 BIT versions if you are on OSX 10.7 (Lion) or later. See the Reaper download page for more info.
  • Open Reaper, and once loaded, select the continue to evaluate option, until you decide to buy it.
  • press CMD+Comma (CMD+,) on OSX, or ctrl+P (On Windows) to go to options/preferences, which is a dialog with a tree structure. on the left, and the options for each category on the right.
  • Navigate down the tree structure to audio>device, then tab down and configure input and output for your audio Device, also called sound card.
    1. If you are using your Mac’s built in sound card, then the defaults are fine. Otherwise change the drop down list to the name of your USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt interface.
    2. If on windows, ASIO is highly recommended. If your sound card doesn’t support ASIO (a lot of built in sound cards don’t) then you can select one of the other options. (You may have to try each to see which gives you lowest latency)

Enabling Your MIDI Device

  • Still under the general topic Audio, arrow to midi device, tab down to the line with the names of your midi keyboard and midi interface and right click on the word disabled and change to the word Enabled after their name.
  • Note:
    VoiceOver users will have to use an actual mouse as the VO+Shift+Space keyboard shortcut for right click HotKey will not work anywhere in reaper. If using a one button mouse or a track pad you can right click by holding the CMD key while clicking the mouse.
  • Tab to apply, activate it, then navigate to okay, and hit enter.
  • Testing MIDI

    You can test to learn if midi messages are getting into reaper by loading a soft synth onto a track.

    • Press ctrl+I (Mac/Win) to get the insert menu for loading a soft or virtual synth.
    • Arrow down the first column to select a folder where Reaper’s virtual synths are stored; VSTi, or Instruments.
    • then navigate over to the second column and select the included synth called ReaSynth, and press enter on it.
    • It will load onto its own track.
    • Navigate to the new track that has ReaSynth.
    • move to Record source, where you can select Midi From the drop down menu, and under its sub menu, select either the virtual keyboard or your midi device, all channels or a specific channel.
    • Note:
      if you connected your Midi device directly to the computer via USB, It will probably show the device name. If you used a Midi In/Out to USB cable or 2 Midi cables to connect the Midi in and out of your midi device to your sound card or audio device, You will have to select the name of that device under midi.
    • Move to Arm for Record, and activate it to turn armed on.
    • Move to monitor item; and activate it to hear what you are playing through the ReaSynth Sounds.
    • Press keys on your keyboard and you should hear it through the sounds of ReaSynth.
    • Note:
      If using Built in Audio Device/Sound Card, there can be latency. This is a noticeable delay between when pressing a key on the midi keyboard and hearing it, or between when you press Play/Stop/Record and when Reaper obeys the command.

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    Configuring Reaper’s Preferences

    Making these changes in Reaper’s preferences can yeild better results when using reaper solely via the keyboard. You can bring up the preferences dialog by pressing CMD+comma (Mac) or CTRL+P (Windows). For more detailed configuration guide, see this blog post.


    Under this section uncheck:

    • Commit changes to some edit fields after one second of no typing


    Check the following:

    • Stop playback at end of loop if repeat is disabled

    Editing Behavior


    • Move edit cursors to start of time selection on time selection change

    If you havent’d done so by now, you should either download the KeyboardNinja KeyMap and/or the ReaperAccess Plug-in and install them along with the SWS Extensions.

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    You can move forward and backwards through a project time line quickly by:

    STEPS KN HotKey ReaAccess HotKey
    Fast forward or Rewind a little bit. CMD+Left or Right Arrows No HotKey; Create one
    Moving forward or backwards by measure (even if project time base is not set to Beats/Measures). OPT+CMD+Left OR Right Arrows. PG UP/Down
    Moving forward or backwards by beats. (even if project time base is not set to Beats/Measures). OPT+CMD+SHIFT+Left or Right Arrows. CTRL+PG Up/Down
    By using the Jump to Dialog to move to a specific time in the project. CMD+J CTRL+J

    Where you jump to will depend on the format.

    • enter. 36. (36 followed by a period or full stop) will move you to
      bar 36 beat 1.
    • Enter 36.3 will get you to bar 36, beat 3.
    • 36.4.25 will get
      you to exactly a quarter way through bar 36, beat 4. (the 25 being a

    Alternatively, you can jump to minutes/seconds.

    • enter 36: (36 followed by a colon),
      that’d jump you to 36 minutes.
    • Enter 36:3 to get to 36 mins 3 seconds.

    If you combine that jump dialogue with judicious use of markers
    you can fly around the
    timeline. Press M to place a marker where ever the cursor is in a project and you can use the numbers 1 through 0 to quickly jump to the first 10 markers from anywhere in the project at anytime. If you have the ReaperAccess Plug-In installed the measure/beat etc that you move to will be spoken.

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    Making Selections

    Use any of the above Methods to navigate through the project to the start of where you want to select then:

    STEPS KN HotKey ReaAccess HotKey
    1)Select the tracks you want to make the selection on, or select all tracks. OPT+CMD+Up/Down Arrows (add SHIFT to select contiguous tracks) Up/Down Arrows (Add SHIFT to select contiguous tracks)
    2) Set Start Point. OPT+[ ALT+SHIFT+[ (or ALT+[)
    3) Use one of above navigational method to move to where you want the end of selection, then set end point. OPT+] ALT+SHIFT+] (or ALT+])
    4) Select all items on all selected tracks in current time selection. OPT+A No HotKey; Create one. (Suggest using ALT+A)
    5) Toggle loop or Repeat of Selection On Playback R CTRL+R

    If you have the ReaperAccess Plug-In installed you can navigate to/select tracks with just the up/down arrows. However using them along with Shift doesn’t appear to Select contiguous tracks.

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    Navigating/Selecting Tracks via ReaConsole

    To quickly get to any track in a project you can open ReaConsole (by pressing default HotKey C) and typing upper case “S” followed by the track number. Seperate non contiguous tracks with a comma, (e.g. S1,3,7) to select those tracks quickly. Use a dash to select all tracks inbetween and including the first and last track (e.g. S1-7 to select tracks one through seven). You can also use track names as well, (e.g. “Sguitar” to select the track named guitar). Wildcards are useful allowing for quick selection of all tracks that have guitar in their name, (eg. Sgui*). ReaConsole commands are case sensative. upper case letters usually force a command and lower case toggles it. For example upper case “S1″ will force only track one to be selected after the command is executed despite whatever tracks were selected before. Which means “s1″ will only toggle the selection of track 1. Therefore, if track one was already selected, it would unselect it; If track one was not selected it would select it. These ReaConsole methods can be used in place of the track navigation HotKeys provided in the frequently encountered scenarios.

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