In this Episode I’d like to give you a brief introduction to the DAW, Reaper. It is an extremely powerful multi track audio editor that is cross platform, working on Mac and Windows. I will be concentrating on the Mac version however most of what is covered is also applicable to Windows.
You can find download links at the end of this post for Reaper and OSARA. Reaper is the application and OSARA is a plugin created by NVAccess which makes it more accessible – OSARA: Open Source Accessibility for the REAPER Application. I would also recommend installing an additional plugin called SWS which expands the functionality and usability of Reaper, link also below.
Whether you are on Windows or Mac, you will want to install all three, Reaper, OSARA, and SWS. To quickly check you have OSARA installed, hit the up or down arrow once you’ve opened Reaper, if VO reports “No Tracks” then your good to go.
Okay, so all installed? Cool, lets go. You can use VoiceOver to explore the interface, however almost everything you’ll need is available with keyboard shortcuts.
When you start Reaper for the first time, it will prompt you to set an audio device, go ahead and do this. If you don’t do this initially, you can access the preferences by pressing Cmd+P, and going to Devices in the tree view. Whilst in Preferences, I’d recommend going into Paths and setting a location for peak files to be saved.
F12 will toggle on and off keyboard shortcut help. This is an invaluable tool both when your new to Reaper or even when you’ve been using it for a while. When toggled on, Voice Over will report the action that is bound to whatever key/s you press. I recommend making liberal use of it.
The Actions List
Pressing F4 will bring up the Actions List. You’ll be placed into a search field that lets you filter the thousands of actions down to the one you’re looking for. Once you’ve done this, you can see the shortcut, or shortcuts that are assigned to it. If there’s not currently an action assigned, you can also add the shortcut from this dialog. The Import/Export button will allow you to import a another key map over your existing one, or save your own key map for a back up, or to share with others.
- Command+P Preferences
- F12 Shortcut Help
- F4 Show Action List
- Shift+F1 Help: Mouse modifier keys and action shortcuts