Mar 16, 2015

Reaper Tips for Voice Over

I recently moved from Audacity to Reaper for working with my voice over audio files.Reaper is really overkill for this as it’s a full functioned Digital Audio Workstation. I would call it on par with Logic and ProTools but I haven’t actually used those, but that is the claim I see. The bigger difference is price. The price for Reaper is either $60 or $250 depending on how you use it. A fully functional version can be downloaded for free. The limitation seems to be a small delay when opening the program while it reminds you it’s not free and it counts down. The great advantage I find to Reaper over Audacity is the ability to render in real time. You put a section of your recording in a loop, adjust an effect and you can immediately hear how it’s going to affect the final audio. That and it’s just one heck of a lot more fun to use. Easily worth $60.
I’m planning a series of tips that I discover while using Reaper that are appropriate for the screencast voice over.

Tip 1 – Name the Track

image 1. Reaper is geared towards multi-track music recording. When I use it for voice over I just work with one track and I tend to create a new project for every clip I create. My courses are composed of modules and modules are composed of clips. It pays to name each clip. Just double-click next to the arming button and type in your name.

Tips 2-7:  Rendering

2. If you do have more than one track you can first click somewhere in the track header area on the left and then when you render (Ctrl-Alt-R is the shortcut otherwise use the File menu and selection Render…) you can select the Stems (selected tracks) option and just render out the single track.
3. Use the wildcard popups or just type $trackname and now the rendered file will have your track name.
4. I use my rendered files in Camtasia but the default WAV settings are not compatible with Camtasia. Still leave the selection at WAV and…
5. Select 16 bit PCM from the bit depth menu and all should work when you import the file to Camtasia.
6. Make sure you leave some headroom. As the file renders it shows you the output level and then how much headroom you have left. If it clips you’ll need to redo it.
7. You can have the window close automatically but see Tip 8.

Tip 8 : Don’t use Tip 7

8. When the render finishes there’s a very handy button that will show you your rendered file  in an explorer window. Very convenient for dragging said file into the Camtasia Clip Bin area.


Quick Reference For All The Reaper Tips

See Part 1Eight Quick Tips

See Part 2 – Using Track Templates 

Bonus TipBacking up your Reaper settings files automatically.

See Part 3Quick Access to Effects

I stopped Numbering them…

Reafir MadnessIntelligent Noise Reduction

Reaper Custom Actions – speed up your workflow
Using the ShuttlePro V2 with Reaper – speed up your workflow even more

More FX Customization – FX control aliases and add a UI for control to the track

About Me

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.