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Michael Drolet -- 2015
Home Reaper -- Digital Audio Workstation -- Intro

When you insert your "SOUND_YI"* USB key into a PC running Windows, you should see a pop-up similar to this.  Click on "Open folder to view files."

(*YI -- Your Initials)
You should see at least two folders: "Reaper" and "Projects".  Double click to open the "Reaper" folder.
Double-click on "reaper.exe" to launch the program.
Reaper may try to open the last project you were working on.  If the drive letter has changed because you're using a different computer, you may see this message.  Click on "OK" to dismiss it. Reaper
                    Last Project
Depending on which computer you are using, you may see this "nag" screen.  Click on it and wait until the "Buy Me" countdown is complete.  Then click "Still Evaluating" to continue.
The Reaper screen is made of several sub-panels.
  • MENU BAR -- see Reaper Quick Start Guide below.
  • TIMELINE/RULER -- measurement in minutes, seconds frames or measures, beats.
  • ARRANGE AREA -- audio, video or midi media items.
  • TRACK CONTROL PANEL -- determines behaviour of media items.
  • TRANSPORT BAR -- play, stop, record etc.
Reaper Screen
Typing CTL-ALT-X will open the Media Explorer Tab.  Browse to the Media Files folder for current project.
                    Media Explorer
Within the "Projects" folder you should create a new folder for each new project.
Create a new project in Reaper by clicking on the "New Project" tool or by choosing "New Project" from the file menu.

Reaper Save
              Project As
The current project folder, contains:
  • Reaper project files (*.RPP) -- the project file is "recipe" for Reaper to build current project.
  • Reaper backup files (*.RPP-bak) -- the last project file saved.
  • Reaper undo files (*.RPP-UNDO) -- list of recent actions performed.
Within the current project folder you should create a "Media Files" folder to contain all the media items for that project.

If you check the box "Create subdirectory for project" in the "Save Project As" dialog box, this will have been done automatically.

Media files are the "ingredients" Re
aper needs for the current project.

  • Audio files (*.WAV or *.MP3) -- sound files recorded or downloaded from Sound Library, iTunes or CD.
  • Reaper peak files (*.WAV.repeaks) -- image of track audio waveform.
                    Media Files
To ensure best audio quality, you should work with uncompressed "Windows PCM Audio" files -- *.wav.

Files downloaded from the Online Sound Library are in compressed, "lossy" "MPEG2 Audio, Layer 3" format,  -- *.mp3.

First download files for the current project into its Media Files folder, then use Reaper to convert them to *.wav format.

This can be done using the "Batch File/|Item converter" from the Reaper file menu.

Once converted to *.wav, you can delete the original *.mp3 files.

Reaper Batch
Within the "Reaper" folder are many other folders. One of these, "Docs" contains user friendly documents in PDF format.

  • "ReaEffects Guide" -- manual for included effects plugins.
  • "Reaper Quick Start" guide  -- tables showing Reaper's menu structure
  • "Reaper User Guide" -- 400+ page user manual -- the first place to look for answers.