Reaper is a Digital Audio Workstation - DAW. I’m using 6.43 from the 21st of December 2021.

I learned about DAW’s years ago from an expert who played, recorded and mastered Outro by Edinburgh4 and Summer Days and Starry Nights.

External Soundcard

Behringer UM2 I bought on Amazon for £35.

Behringer recommend using the driver

There is talk on the amazon reviews about using an older Behringer driver, but I’ve got asio4all working:

I’m using the 2.14 stable release from May 2017.

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My setup with external sound card to the right, guitar plugged into input 1. Phantom power turned off as it is not a mic. 1/4” (6.35mm) to 3.5mm headphone converter - which is a bit loose. It cost £2.99. I’ve ordered another at £8 to see if that is better.

I’m running computer audio to speakers (the green 3.5mm jack going into the pc at the top front), and external soundcard audio to headphones. This is so I can listen to YouTube and use Reaper at the same side. Can’t have both going through the same device. Actually it does work.. just a bit flakey..if you’re recording I hit Ctrl P to open preferences in Reaper which closes the audio device, and lets chrome take over. Otherwise I’ll get an Audio Device error in YouTube.


Reaper DAW 101 is a great beginning tutorial which continues in Part 2

He covers initially the setting up of the external sound card.

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For my setup I’ve got the ASIO buffer size down to 256 samples giving me 11ms/11ms latency. Any lower and I get clicks and pops in the audio output. Apparently this is about right with USB.

Interestingly on the YouTube video he was down to buffer size of 128 samples giving 5ms/4.5ms. The interface looked more expensive.

Have set sample rate to 48KHz as opposed to the default of 42KHz.

Keyboard Shortcuts

In order of most used:

space - Start at edit cursor, stop

w - Cursor to beginning

Ctrl r - Record

Shift n or F2 - item properties / normalise track

d - dynamically split items

s - split (there is a heal too to unsplit)

Ctrl l - Hide inactive takes

t or Shift t - next/prev take

ctrl shit t - delete current take

alt shift t - delete all but current take


enter - cursor to current position

highlight a selection on track screen

Ctrl P - preferences

r - repeat toggle

escape - get rid of selection

+ - or mouse wheel - zoom tracks in out.

Ctrl m - mixer

Record monitor

Lets you hear from your audio out what is happening in real time, including any latency.

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I’m working on a laptop without my external sourdcard now, and you can see the massive latency with my built in microphone. With live monitor there is some great delay.

Save all on stop

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untick check box so it saves automatically each time you record


Take snap off to split exactly where I want

Ctrl l to hide/show inactive takes

Creating New Projects

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Very handy when creating a new project, can move the existing assets (as you don’t need a project name to start with) to the new directory.

Click Track / Metronome

There is a Metronome

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1 measure (4 beats) when starting to record

and you could put on onto a new track

Insert, Click Source

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25s of click track, at 96bpm

Notice the gat track is armed, so I can live monitor the sound

Slowing a part down

Slowing a track

  • Rate knob on right hand side
  • Right click preserve pitch

Quantizing gat

Shift n Nomalise the gain (or F2, normalise)

D - dynamically split items, with

  • When gate opens
  • When gate closes

This gets rid of silences

  • Right click, grid processing
  • Quantize item to grid


  • Right click, glue items

Which makes it a complete piece

This works well when there are lots of silences


extreme high quality

out to WAV then mp3

Inserts Effect (FX)

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Drag the line to see the inserts/fx and sends.

All the sound in a channel goes through every Inserts Effect

VST’s - audio plugin format from Steinberg.

ReaTune - Guitar tuner

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ReaComp - Reapers own compressor

ReaxComp - more complex compressor (Multiband)



ReaVerbate - reverb

YT guy recommends everything bundle

izotope Trash 2 distortion plugin free for December 2021

waves have some good ones too

JS - Reaper own format


Sending sound out to a separate track eg for reverb can send many tracks to that same reverb

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Turn down dry - the original signal

Add a send on the vox track to THE REVERB

Can send only a certain amount to the reverb

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2 Gat’s both being sent to THE REVERB. First gat has a tuner on it (orange means bypassed)


There are 2 built in compressors with Reasper:

  • ReaComp (Cockos)
  • ReaxComp (Cockos) - multiband compressor.

A compressor - take a sound that is unruly that has peaks and troughs and keep in one zone so it doesn’t get too loud at any point

Ratio - 3:1..if you have a jump of 3dB it will be squashed to 1dB

then bring threshold down..

Release down to from 100ms to 13ms.. Attack on drums he likes.. from3ms to 20ms?

Then turn up wet volume until it is roughly the same as the existing one ie by turing off and on the compressor.


Use multiband compression to take a certain frequency and when it is too hight it pulls it down.



Low Pass and High Pass to get in the way to fit in the mix when have lots of instrumentation



Tkae Length (musical) from 4 beats to 0

then Length (time) to a a few hundred ms.

then take away the dry (original) signal

add some feedback

then some filter’s

add ping pong delay.. one twice as long as the other. for big stereo delay sound.


  • ReaCast - live digital Shoutcast
  • ReaInsert - routing
  • ReaNINJam - online collaboration eg ninJam
  • ReaStream - send to another reastream. Allowed him to capture his mic and the mix, and send to another daw.
  • ReaVocode
  • ReaVoice - pitch shift
  • ReaSynth
  • ReaSampleOmatic - samples and playing with a midi keyboard


  • ReaFir - FFT. Can remove background noise all of the time. eg consistent background noise.


  • ReaVerbate
  • ReaVerb - more powerful


In a very rough order of popularity in 2021, and corresponding number of hits of video in YouTube:

  • Ableton Live 2m

  • Logic Pro 1.3m

  • Pro Tools 1.4m

  • FL Studio

  • (Steinberg) Cubase 530k

  • Studio one

  • Reason

  • (Apple) Garageband 1.1m

  • (Cockos) Reaper

Resources 2019, 846k views - up to date as of Dec 2021 - ReaperTV 2019


Reaper is a great tool to get going quickly without having to initially buy the software.

I hope you enjoyed this rough article. For me it serves as a place of knowledge, and as a good friend once said

It is better to publish something nearly finished then nothing at all