Apr 13, 2015

Reaper Tip - Creating Custom Actions

At first creating custom actions didn’t seem like much of a time savings to me. But, for those tasks that you do over and over again it can both save significant time and make the entire editing process that much more enjoyable. This post was inspired by a video from The Reaper Blog. The one thing that really qualifies for me is doing small trims. Maybe I cough, or say ‘uhmmm’ or there’s a background noise or an additional take. Doesn’t matter. The process is the same. Here’s what I used to do:
  1. Go to the start of the problem
  2. split.
  3. drag the clip on the right to trim it until I removed the offending part.
  4. Drag the clip over to the left to butt up against the split.
  5. Move the playhead back a few seconds
  6. Hit play to hear the new edit
Not too bad, but those last three steps require some time and precision dragging and get tedious. It’s not a huge savings but now instead of steps 3 through 6, I just position my mouse to the end of the offending area and hit the trim button on my Shuttle Pro. The clip gets trimmed and moved automatically and it starts playing so I can validate the trim. I do have ripple editing enabled for the track.

The process is pretty simple.
  1. imageUse the Actions menu and select the Show Action List… item
  2. Next to Custom Actions… click the New… button
  3. SNAGHTML23a1b017In the Edit Custom Action dialog drag the desired steps from the left to the right. Use the filter box to find them easily.
  4. Check the Consolidate undo points and Show in actions menu checkboxes and click OK
  5. Click the Add… button in the Shortcuts for selection action area and in the resulting dialog assign your shortcut. I usually just override the less useful default.
I also installed the SWS extensions so I could move the cursor to the left one second, instead of the default 3 seconds provided by the built-in action Transport: Rewind a little bit.
imageThis new action is also a good candidate for the toolbar even though it has a simple shortcut. When you add it to the toolbar you can right-click it, and the action will arm and turn orange. Now if you have already done a bunch of splits and just need to do multiple trims, a simple left click will repeat the custom trim action until you disarm it by right-clicking on the icon again. This arming tip works with other actions as well.

See the full list of Reaper tips.

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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.