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Reaper Tutorial

First Song with REAPER

  4.7   (22)  - log in to review
22 Videos | Length: 2hr 21min 52sec
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    Kenny lays out the basics of REAPER, the sounds and plug-ins needed, and how to prepare to record your first song in REAPER.

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    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.

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    Piano Arpeggio

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

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    Kick & Snare

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

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

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    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.

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    Violin Section

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

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    Chorus Synth

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Sound FX

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

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    Reverse Cymbal

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

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    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.

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    Reverse FX

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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First Song with REAPER is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 22 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Kenny is the man! By coincidence, I stumbled onto Reaper. I‘m a Reaper user, because of Kenny. His videos are so clear and followable. Any beginner, non-techie, like me, can learn how to use a DAW. He always goes so in-depth and on a WIDE range of topics and techniques, you can‘t help but get good. If there‘s anything I‘m trying to do on my project and I can‘t figure it out, I got to Kenny‘s tuts! Thanks, for all the hard work!
Date published: 2021-02-09
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Perfect starting point This course walks you through all the basics of making a song while giving tips to help you work faster
Date published: 2020-12-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very easy to Unterstand! Kenny does a very comprehensive and understandable Job • thumbs up and thanks!
Date published: 2020-10-19
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
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