Reaper Tutorial

First Song with REAPER

  4.7   (19)  - log in to review
22 Videos | Length: 2hr 21min 52sec
Sample this tutorial...
Own it Forever
$30 Download
Site All-Access Pass
$15 /month Get Your Pass
  • image description 5:04

    Introduction

    Kenny lays out the basics of REAPER, the sounds and plug-ins needed, and how to prepare to record your first song in REAPER.

  • image description 10:40

    Piano Chords

    Dive in and start recording your first track. Kenny demonstrates how to lay down some simple piano chords and edit and Quantize them to be on the grid.

  • image description 4:29

    Piano Arpeggio

    Dig a bit deeper and see how to play a more challenging part and then edit and add quantization.

  • image description 7:10

    Kick & Snare

    Starting with the kick and snare, explore how to lay down a basic groove that can be built upon.

  • image description 5:11

    Hi-Hats

    Adding to the drum track, we now add a hi-hat part. See how to change the Grid and alternate the parts.

  • image description 6:49

    Bass Synth

    Moving past the Drums, you'll now learn to create a simple Bass part while also learning about the built-in Synth, ReaSynth. Programming and Synth creation are discussed.

  • image description 5:55

    Violin Section

    Kenny now adds a string part which lifts the arrangement, adding some nice dynamics and harmonic structure to the song.

  • image description 7:39

    Chorus Synth

    Going back to the ReaSynth, discover how to create a melodic part which will serve as the main Hook in the song.

  • image description 12:04

    Song Arrangement Pt. 1

    Now that the basic parts have been recorded, see how to arrange the song in sections. Basic copy and paste editing are employed to create motion and dynamic parts that create interest in the track.

  • image description 11:59

    Song Arrangement Pt. 2

    Continuing to arrange the song, explore how to lay down section by section to create lifts and breakdowns within the song structure.

  • image description 6:05

    Sleigh Bells

    Next, we go back to recording musical parts on top of the arrangement. Sleigh bells serve as a percussive high end lift in the choruses.

  • image description 3:46

    Electric Piano

    Moving back to the 2nd Verse, we broke it down earlier and now we're going to add an interesting lift to separate it from the 1st Verse and other parts of the song.

  • image description 6:05

    Cello Section

    Continuing with the theme of building up the 2nd Verse, we now add a section of cellos to add harmonic interest to the electric piano part.

  • image description 3:19

    Tremolo Cellos

    Finishing off the 2nd Verse, see how to add another set of string parts, this time featuring the unique quality of the tremolo articulation.

  • image description 7:38

    Snare Fill

    Focusing back on the whole song, we start to create transitions using a REAPER sampler plug-in to create a 1/16 note fill using a snare drum, as well as automation for volume and filter envelopes.

  • image description 4:41

    Sound FX

    Explore how to create emphasis on the snare fill by adding a sound FX sample (included) placed on top to provide interest.

  • image description 4:50

    Reverse Cymbal

    Now see how adding a reverse crash sample can create unusual ways of transitioning from song section to section.

  • image description 3:27

    Long Sound FX

    A Long Sound FX is now added that creates emphasis on the downbeats of the choruses to really bring out their explosive qualities.

  • image description 4:22

    Reverse FX

    Now discover how adding Reverse FX will create its own interesting sound and separate each half of the double choruses.

  • image description 6:00

    Cutting Up the Chorus Synth

    Finally, learn how to duplicate the chorus melody, glue it and render it as audio so you can cut it up and create a syncopated alternative version of the chorus theme.

  • image description 11:38

    Mixing Down the Song

    In this last video, learn how to bounce down and render your file into a final mix, which can then be used for sharing or burning to audio CDs.

  • image description 3:01

    The Final Mix

    For archiving purposes, we've included the full final mix playing from beginning to end without any interruption.

Product Overview


Platinum producer / engineer Kenny Gioia takes you step by step on how to make your first song in Cockos REAPER. From nothing to something awesome, Kenny gets you going with REAPER easily and quickly. You also get the Reaper session and audio files that Kenny uses, so you can follow along.

Kenny begins by laying out the basics of REAPER, as well as the sounds and plug-ins you'll be using to make your song. He then jumps right in starting with laying down the chords to the song, and then the drums.

The bass, strings and synths are next, and Kenny makes understanding the workflow to frame out your first song easy. Arrangement, incidental instruments and effects are next, ending with a mix and render so you can share your song with the world!

See the individual tutorial descriptions below for more info. If you're ready to make your first song with Cockos REAPER, this is the video series for you… Watch "First Song with REAPER" today.


Why Users Choose Us

There are many things our users love about Groove3, but a couple always stand out at the top when asked why people choose us as their learning resource.

Quality Content

We meticulously craft professional quality tutorials that are thoughtful, informative and done with attention to detail. We stand behind our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and are trusted by 1000s of users every day.

Save Time & Money

Our library brings over 1700 hours of quality instruction to you fingertips and we release new content every week. Don't waste your valuable time scouring the web for information you may never find or is cumbersome to use and potentially can't be trusted.


alanamlauto
Submitted 1 week ago

This is probably the best tutorial I've seen for any DAW

I have just recently started using Reaper and Kenny is by far the best instructor I could have wished for. He starts on the basis that you know little or nothing about the application which is the best way rather than assuming you have any knowledge.


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

obogzch
Submitted 3 months ago

Lovely

Somebody here said he's talking too fast... What? Kenny is one of the most thorough teachers online and also here. He is a true professor and master of his craft. Everything is prepared ahead of time and well done.


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Mahaniac
Submitted 1 year ago

Very Concise

This is cut and dry with some very useful Reaper tips and shortcuts.


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Cardinal
Submitted 1 year ago

some good some not so good

Some helpful steps in how to get going. I have other questions, esp. about VSTs that have driven me bonkers.


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Michael C
Submitted 3 years ago

Kenny is da man!

So perfect. So concise. No wasted words. Easy to follow. Easy to listen to. I love Kenny G's instruction. Thanks Groove3

I am a: Professional, Musician


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

dasegi
Submitted 3 years ago

Kenny Gioia as usual!

Very helpful, interesting, very understandable!

I am a: Hobbyist, Musician, Ableton Live, Reaper


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

thetonybliss
Submitted 3 years ago

Very good practical intro class for Reaper

Tutor does a very good job with his ground up and hands on training

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician, Sound Designer, Game Designer, Sound for Film/TV, Reaper


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Paul
Submitted 3 years ago

Very Helpful

Shows how easy it is to make music with just Reaper

I am a: Hobbyist


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

PGF
Submitted 3 years ago

Nice Kenny!!

Kenny has become my go to instructor!


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

ProfessorMarvel
Submitted 3 years ago

Super tutorial!

So helpful for getting to grips with making music on Reaper!


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

alanamlauto
Submitted 1 week ago

This is probably the best tutorial I've seen for any DAW

I have just recently started using Reaper and Kenny is by far the best instructor I could have wished for. He starts on the basis that you know little or nothing about the application which is the best way rather than assuming you have any knowledge.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

obogzch
Submitted 3 months ago

Lovely

Somebody here said he's talking too fast... What? Kenny is one of the most thorough teachers online and also here. He is a true professor and master of his craft. Everything is prepared ahead of time and well done.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Mahaniac
Submitted 1 year ago

Very Concise

This is cut and dry with some very useful Reaper tips and shortcuts.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Cardinal
Submitted 1 year ago

some good some not so good

Some helpful steps in how to get going. I have other questions, esp. about VSTs that have driven me bonkers.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Michael C
Submitted 3 years ago

Kenny is da man!

So perfect. So concise. No wasted words. Easy to follow. Easy to listen to. I love Kenny G's instruction. Thanks Groove3

I am a: Professional, Musician

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

dasegi
Submitted 3 years ago

Kenny Gioia as usual!

Very helpful, interesting, very understandable!

I am a: Hobbyist, Musician, Ableton Live, Reaper

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

thetonybliss
Submitted 3 years ago

Very good practical intro class for Reaper

Tutor does a very good job with his ground up and hands on training

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician, Sound Designer, Game Designer, Sound for Film/TV, Reaper

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Paul
Submitted 3 years ago

Very Helpful

Shows how easy it is to make music with just Reaper

I am a: Hobbyist

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

PGF
Submitted 3 years ago

Nice Kenny!!

Kenny has become my go to instructor!

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

ProfessorMarvel
Submitted 3 years ago

Super tutorial!

So helpful for getting to grips with making music on Reaper!

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I've played an instrument since I was 10. Drums and Trumpet. I'm 40 now. I can play a little bit of any instrument. Master of none. Rock bands most of my life.

2. What training have you had?

I was taught trumpet classically from grade school up until I graduated high school. I went to Five Towns College for engineering and learned that you can't just learn this stuff from school. I did graduate though.

3. When did you get into recording?

I've been recording since I was 15. Two cassette players wired to a Radio Shack mixer. Eventually I got an 8 track reel to reel by Fostex. I've used just about every DAW and I started using them before they even recorded audio. Vision and Performer were just MIDI sequencers at the time. Before they became Studio Vision and Digital Performer. I got studio jobs because I knew computer MIDI and most studios didn't. I eventually moved up to Sound Tools which was two track. Then Pro Tools made a Audio Media III card which let you have 4 inputs. Gradually I moved up from there with Pro Tools D24, Pro Tools Mix to HD.

4. People you have worked with/for?

Marcy Playground
Mandy Moore
LFO
Willa Ford
Lee Ann Womack
Paulina Rubio
Hall & Oates
Bayside
Head Automatica
Cute is What We Aim For
FTSK
and many more...

5. Why are you so good at training people?

Hmmm. My Mom always said "Self Praise Stinks". I think it's because I have no ability to talk like a professional announcer, or plan out my teachings. So I teach as if you were sitting next to me. Pretty much off the cuff. I think that engages people more. We're so used to hearing everything done so properly and planned out with unnecessary explanations and proper wording that the brain will actually ignore most of it. Your brain tunes it out like you're back at your desk at school. But if the teacher grabbed you aside and just explained it to you, I believe you'd get more out of it. That is what I try to do.

Products by Kenny

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Compressors Explained

    Kenny Gioia is back, this time giving you the history and application of all the famous Compressors ever made, as well as their modern day plug-in equivalents! Now you’ll know exactly what Compressor to pick for your tracks and how to use them. This series is long overdue!

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Delay Explained

    The Delay effect is one of the oldest effects to be used on recordings, and there are many different types and ways to apply it. Multi-Platinum mixer / producer extraordinaire Kenny Gioia returns with a must have series for anyone recording, mixing, engineering or producing music. See how delay can be used to make tracks bigger, wider and just cooler! Learn the important fundamentals and advanced techniques of delay, and you'll find yourself using delay smarter and more creatively.

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Eventide UltraChannel Explained

    Multi-Platinum Engineer / Mixer Kenny Gioia brings you the definitive series on Eventide's amazing UltraChannel Strip plug-in. Follow along with Kenny as he breaks down all the Features and Functions while showing you What the Plug-In Can Do on Different Sources. He also reveals all the Effects, so you'll know just what to do with them on Your Songs and Productions.

  • image description
    tutorial video

    First Song with REAPER

    Platinum producer / engineer Kenny Gioia takes you step by step on how to make your first song in Cockos REAPER. From nothing to something awesome, Kenny gets you going with REAPER easily and quickly. You also get the Reaper session and audio files that Kenny uses, so you can follow along.

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Free VST Instruments Explained - Vol 1

    Kenny Gioia brings you detailed virtual instrument video tutorials on some of the best FREE VST instrument plug-ins, all for absolutely nothing! See some of Kenny's favorites with an in-depth tutorial for each virtual instrument showing you all of it's features and functions, plus how to use it. These videos are for those looking for high quality, free VST/AU/AAX virtual instruments, with free instruction on using them.

You might be also interested in

Music producer and engineer extraordinaire Kenny Gioia brings you a series of video tutorials that walks you through the process of recreating the backing tracks to the pop hit “Broken” by Lovelytheband. See how to build the backing tracks and arrangement to this hit song from scratch.

Produce music for profit! Learn to create commercial music for the contemporary marketplace – for advertising, music libraries, TV, and more. This digital book will help you understand the creative, technical/production, and business skills and practices required to produce commercial music.

The All-Access Pass gives you just that, instant online access to every single video tutorial currently on the site and any ones that get added during your membership.

Logic Pro X wiz Larry Holcombe presents in-depth Logic Pro X 10.5 production video tutorials! Watch how to produce an entire electronic music track from scratch using Logic Pro X 10.5, and its newly added features. These videos are for those who already know Logic Pro X 10.5, but want to see it in use when making an electronic music production. The extra samples used in the videos are also included via the course extras link.

Cubase instructor Gary Hiebner brings you Cubase video tutorials on working to Film! These videos are designed for those who already know their way around Cubase, but want specific information and instruction on importing video into Cubase and producing music or effects to it.

Josh Bess presents melodic techno production video tutorials designed for the absolute beginner! See step by step how to make your very first melodic techno track in Ableton Live and start your journey into producing this epic electronic music genre. You also get the samples, audio effects, MIDI files, and Serum presets used in the tutorial so you can follow along.

Synthesizer wiz Thomas Cochran brings detailed you dark synthwave sound design video tutorials! See step by step how to make sounds from scratch that define this popular genre. In these videos Thomas uses some great 3rd party virtual instruments like TAL-U-No-LX, Serum, Korg Mono/Poly and u-he Diva, but you can apply the info to any comparable virtual or hardware synth. This series is for those who have a basic understanding of synth sound design and want to focus on understanding and creating the sounds found in dark synthwave music.

Kenny Gioia brings you detailed virtual instrument video tutorials on some of the best FREE VST instrument plug-ins, all for absolutely nothing! See some of Kenny's favorites with an in-depth tutorial for each virtual instrument showing you all of it's features and functions, plus how to use it. These videos are for those looking for high quality, free VST/AU/AAX virtual instruments, with free instruction on using them.

Synthesizer pro Thomas Cochran brings you synthwave sound design video tutorials! See step by step how to make sounds from scratch that define this hugely popular genre. In these videos Thomas uses some of the best 3rd party virtual instruments available, which are the go-to's for creating these sounds, and are used by many of today's serious synthwave sound designers and producers. This series is for those who have a basic understanding of synth sound design and want to focus on understanding and creating the sounds found in synthwave music.

Studio wiz Fabio Lendrum presents a Native Instruments video tutorial series! Watch how to produce a song from start to finish, using only Native Instruments virtual synths and samplers. These videos are designed for those who are just getting started with NI products, or want more info on producing and using Native Instruments virtual instruments when composing. Presets and Audio used in the videos included!

Studio production pro Thomas Cochran teleports you back to the '80s with in-depth Synthwave production video tutorials that show how to create the sounds and produce the tracks that make this popular genre so powerful. These videos are perfect for beginner Synthwave producers or anyone looking for more insight on how this genre is made.

Production wiz Josh Bess delivers an in-depth Downtempo Trap production video tutorial series! See and hear how to make your first beat in this trending genre, including sound design, editing, mixing and mastering for a polished, professional sounding track. These videos are designed for beginner producers looking to make their first Downtempo Trap beat. Course extras to create your own music and follow along with this course are included!

Production wiz Josh Bess presents a step by step Lofi Jazz Hip Hop production video tutorial series! See how to create your first beat in this trending genre, including sound design, editing, mixing and mastering for a finished, professional sounding song. These videos are designed for beginner producers looking to make their first Lofi Jazz Hip Hop beat and includes course extras to create your own music and follow along with the videos.

First Song with REAPER is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 19 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from This is probably the best tutorial I've seen for any DAW I have just recently started using Reaper and Kenny is by far the best instructor I could have wished for. He starts on the basis that you know little or nothing about the application which is the best way rather than assuming you have any knowledge.
Date published: 2020-07-28
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Lovely Somebody here said he's talking too fast... What? Kenny is one of the most thorough teachers online and also here. He is a true professor and master of his craft. Everything is prepared ahead of time and well done.
Date published: 2020-04-30
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Concise This is cut and dry with some very useful Reaper tips and shortcuts.
Date published: 2019-07-19
Rated 3.0 out of 5 by from some good some not so good Some helpful steps in how to get going. I have other questions, esp. about VSTs that have driven me bonkers.
Date published: 2019-03-11
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Kenny is da man! So perfect. So concise. No wasted words. Easy to follow. Easy to listen to. I love Kenny G's instruction. Thanks Groove3
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Kenny Gioia as usual! Very helpful, interesting, very understandable!
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very good practical intro class for Reaper Tutor does a very good job with his ground up and hands on training
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very Helpful Shows how easy it is to make music with just Reaper
Date published: 2017-08-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Nice Kenny!! Kenny has become my go to instructor!
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Super tutorial! So helpful for getting to grips with making music on Reaper!
Date published: 2017-07-04
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great companion to the "Mixing in Reel Time" tutorials here on Groove3! Kenny never lets me down. I've been watching his tutorials for years and I always learn something new. I had no background in audio production before I bought Reaper as my first DAW years back because I wanted to avoid the high overhead cost of going to a "Professional" recording studio. Thanks to you Kenny I feel like I can actually compete, and best of all I can be as creative as I want and still use Kenny's workflows to get to a completed project in a very time efficient manner. I love how his more recent tutorials have evolved into a "Full Beginning to End process" where he thinks out loud and explains every step in a very logical way. Like I said in the title. This Tutorial goes great with the "Mixing in Reel Time" tutorial. Bless you Kenny! I couldn't have come as far as I have without you buddy!
Date published: 2017-06-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Always Good Stuff From Kenny I've been using Reaper for over 8 years now however, I love watching Kenny's videos because I still learn some nifty tricks that make the workflow interesting and fun.
Date published: 2017-06-03
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from For beginners but I learned a couple of things. Hopefully this trainer does an intermediate level sequel. Much prefer learning a DAW or techniques through an applied way like this.
Date published: 2017-05-16
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from A primer to help one learn how to organize the process of creating a complete song in REAPER. A well done video as many of Kenny Gioia's videos are. This may be the trick to help a person out of "4 bar-it-is," the trap of making lots of 4 bar stems, but never quite organizing the stems into completed songs.
Date published: 2017-05-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great Great
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Another great tutorial. As usual another excellent and useful tutorial by Kenny Gioia.
Date published: 2017-05-10
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Exactly why I signed up..... This well done course was exactly what I was looking for. I've been using Reaper for the last year, and sometimes it's difficult to read manuals and learn from them. So much easier when you can see it done. Yes, Kenny might go through things a little quickly, but then you play it over again, until it sinks in. Groove3 is a big step up from You Tube. Professional done videos, and high quality. Easily worth the money. Thanks guys.
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 3.0 out of 5 by from I can't understand nothing :-( Thus guy is talking so fast, I don't understand him. Hey Kenny, you have time enough...
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Don't want to give it a five because it's closer to a 10. Reaper wasn't intimidating. Users are pointed to some nice freeware. It was about creating a song instead of messing around with effects. This a great tutorial for a 1st time user.
Date published: 2017-04-29
We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies. View Privacy Policy