Let's start recording

Introduction to Reaper

In this second lesson we will adjust the Audio and Midi settings and learn how to create both Audio and MIDI tracks.

Audio settings

Before starting to work and record it is necessary to correctly set all the audio settings of the project through the dedicated window found in the Options / Preferences menu:

Here you can decide which sound card to use, enable inputs and outputs and set the required sampling rate for the card and the Buffer Size. Remember to check both of these options and that the sample rate must be the same as the project.

The Buffer Size must be low enough to have no latency (a size of 256 should be fine)

Project settings

In this section we can decide the basic settings of the project, it is divided into various areas but the main ones are two:
Preject Setting;
Media;

In the first screen we can decide:

- Sampling frequency;
- Bpm of the project;
- Time;
- Time management (Setting the Timebase to "time" means managing the length of the clips, or the position of the markers according to the time in seconds, to "beat" according to the beats. - The difference is that if you change the metronometric tempo of the piece, while in the first case the audio is not stretched, in the second it is);
- Project start time (in seconds);
- Project start stop;

In the media screen it is possible to indicate the path of the folder where Reaper will save the recorded files, it is also possible to choose a second path to create an automatic backup folder. In this menu it is possible to select the bit rate of the recorded audio files.

Let's start recording

To start recording we must first create a track. In Reaper, unlike other software, the tracks are generic and will take the characteristics of the clips we load, for example if we insert a stereo audio file the track will become stereo, if a mono file, the track will be mono or MIDI with a file MIDI and so on.

To create a track we can right click on the Track Control Panel and insert a track, we also have the possibility of making a multiple insertion.

The basic controls we have on the track are:

Record Arm: this button has the function of enabling the recording of the track;
Input Monitoring: this button enables monitoring of the track you are recording on;
In: this menu lists both Audio and MIDI recording options;
In FX: this section is used to insert effects directly into the input (Attention, using the effects in the input you will record the audio directly with the effect, thus not being able to go back);
FX: is the section that allows the management of insert effects;
Input: in this menu you can choose the sound card input to the track, or the inputs if we want to make a stereo shot;
Trim: is the menu that manages all the automations;
Mute: serves to silence the track;
Solo: serves to solo the track;
Phase: turn the phase of the clip;

At this point, once the inputs have been chosen, we can arm the track, press Rec on the Transport bar and start recording (Before recording, remember to save the project in a specific folder, in this way Reaper will automatically save the audio files recorded in that folder, or decide the path manually through the project settings menu, otherwise by default Reaper will save the files in the documents folder of your PC and it will then be very difficult to go and recover it).

Let's record a MIDI track
To start recording a MIDI track we first need to enable our MIDI device. So let's go to Option - Preferences - Midi device.

Here we find all the MIDI devices connected to the computer, right click on the device to be enabled and select enable input.

At this point we create a new track and among the inputs we select the MIDI device we have enabled.

Remember that MIDI is not an audio signal, in order to actually play something you need to assign a VST (Virtual instrument) to the track. In Reaper, virtual instruments are placed as the first plug-in in the effect slots. The complete list of installed VSTs can be found in the instruments menu.

You can enter MIDI notes by hand via pianoroll. To do this it is necessary to select the portion of the timeline in which we have to insert the clip, go to the insert menu - new midi item.

In this way an empty MIDI clip will be inserted, by double clicking on the clip we can open the piano roll and insert the notes by hand.

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