Reaper 3 – Automation / FX

By this point you are able to put tracks on the editor and move them around. Now lets do some more precise mixing by adding FX such as reverb and eq, while also automating some parameters like volume, panning, reverb size, etc.

  1. Start by making a new project and add a track. In this case I will use Arcade.wav.


  1. Click on the trim button on the track, you will see a list of parameters you can automate. Check the Volume option.

  2. You will now see a new sub-track appear underneath the track WITH a keyframe line. That is your automation line.

  3. When you hold shift and click on the line you will add a new keyframe that you can move around which will control your volume.

  4. When you hold the mac: cmd / windows: ctl key instead of shift you can then freestyle the automation.

  5. If you are done with automations and want to hide it you can click on the options button and select hide envelope

FX : Add an EQ Plug-in

You might want to use filters on your tracks. A filter is a Plug-In that gives you possibilities to transform the sound. Now lets add a filter to our track:

  1. Start by clicking on the track and typing shift + F. You will see a list of available filters. Click on Cockles and click on ReaEQ. This will open the FX List for that particular track.

NOTE: Cockles is the FX Suite that comes with Reaper by default. It is a collection of basic, very useful, plugins that you should explore on your own.

  1. The FX List looks like this:

    As you can see you have your first FX (VST: ReaEQ) and you can see on the right your parameters for that EQ. This is a very nice plug in and has many options. Every FX for this track can be added or removed using the Add/Remove buttons.

  2. With this Plug-in you can change the quality of the sound. Try dragging the 4th dot around and hitting play and see how the sound changes. Each plug-in is different and has different options.

Automate an FX

  1. With every Plug-in you add you can Automate any parameter. Click on the Trim button again and you will now see the list is bigger because you added an EQ. Click on the Freq-High Shelf box.

  2. You will then see a new sub-track appear corresponding to the Freq-High Shelf.

  3. You can now draw on that automation line and hear the results.

FX: Add Reverb

Need more FX? no problem:

  1. Click on the FX button on the track

    Click Add and select the Cockos VST: ReaVerbate Plug-in.

  2. You will see it shows up in the FX List and to the Right you will see the parameters for the reverb.

  3. You can play with the parameters and fit the plug-in the way you like. We also suggest looking at the available presets for each plug-in. This gives you fixed parameters for different tastes.

  4. you can of course Bypass any plug-in on the list by checking the boxes. Also you can change the order, or drag the plug-in to other tracks as well.

Opdracht – in-class

Create a 1-minute soundscape

You will use the sound files that were given to you in Reaper Les 2 to create a 1-minute soundscape that mixes at least 6 audio files in order to create a sound portrait that fits one of the following categories:

— City Landscape
— Transportation
— Nature
— In the past

Experiment with creating a sound story that makes us believe we are in a scene of your movie and that you introduce something new to that landscape half-way through. The goal is to get comfortable mixing and balancing sound in Reaper and preparing to have more storytelling control over sound.