1 - Setting Up and Getting Started
The Arrange Area:
Main Window and
This is to the right of the Track Control Panel. It displays the actual media items
(audio and/or MIDI) that make up your tracks. In this example, there are two
tracks each containing one media item. As you will see in Chapter 19, video
items can also be included.
The Track Control
This area is controls the behavior of your audio and MIDI tracks – in this
example there are two tracks, labelled Vocals and Guitar. You can have as many
tracks as you need, subject only to any limitations imposed by your hardware.
Each track has its own set of controls (faders, rotaries and buttons). We'll get to
what these controls do and how they are used in Chapters 2 and 4.
The VU Meters
Each track (and the Master) uses Voluime Unit Meters – VU Meters – as a
visual indicator of the level of the track's audio signal strength (volume). These
are visible in both the Track Control Panel and the Mixer.
The Transport Bar
This is used to control recording and playback – for example, to start and stop
recording. We'll look at this in Chapter 2.
The Mixer and Mixer
Control Panel (MCP)
This is displayed (in this example) across the bottom of the screen. It shows
your tracks in a different way. In this example twp tracks are shown: these are
the same tracks as is shown in the TCP.
Notice that this also includes a Master output track. The output of the Master is
what you actually hear when you play your tracks and media items. The Mixer
and Master will be explored in detail in Chapter 11.
Don’t be surprised if your screen doesn’t look quite the same as this, or even if it looks a lot different. The
REAPER screen can be customized to suit your individual needs. We’ll be covering this in Chapter 2.
The Track and Track Controls
If you've used other DAW software before you'll
probably want to get to grips with REAPER's track
controls as soon as possible.
This illustration shows the most commonly used of
these. The exact position of some of them will vary
with track control panel width. You can hover your
mouse over any control for a tooltip. In most cases
you click on a control to use it (for example, click on
Mute button to toggle mute status of any track, click
and drag on Volume control to adjust the volume
level), and right click on a control for a menu of
commands, options and/or settings.
If some of these controls are not visible, you may
need to increase the track panel width or height. Hover your mouse over the right or lower panel boundary so
that your mouse cursor becomes a double headed arrow, then click-drag to the right or downwards.
Depending on your track layout, the volume control may be a rotary control (as shown
above) or a horizontal fader. Also, you might see a rotary width control next to the pan
control (as shown, right): if so, ignore it for now. We'll get to it in later chapters. In
fact, all of these controls will be explained further as you work thru this guide.
Setting Up For Audio
Before you can record or play anything, there are a few setup options that have to be specified. This section
covers setting up audio. This is where you tell REAPER which audio device(s) you have, and how you wish to
use them. There are differences in how you should do this for a Mac under OS X and a PC under Windows
In addition, it is also advisable to disable System Sounds. For OS X users, this is done in System Preferences.
Windows users should use the Control Panel.
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