Reaper Tutorial

First Song with REAPER

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22 Videos | Length: 2hr 21min 52sec
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  • Introduction 5:04


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

  • Piano Chords 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.

  • Piano Arpeggio 4:29

    Piano Arpeggio

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

  • Kick & Snare 7:10

    Kick & Snare

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

  • Hi-Hats 5:11


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

  • Bass Synth 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.

  • Violin Section 5:55

    Violin Section

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

  • Chorus Synth 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.

  • Song Arrangement Pt. 1 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.

  • Song Arrangement Pt. 2 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.

  • Sleigh Bells 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.

  • Electric Piano 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.

  • Cello Section 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.

  • Tremolo Cellos 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.

  • Snare Fill 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.

  • Sound FX 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.

  • Reverse Cymbal 4:50

    Reverse Cymbal

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

  • Long Sound FX 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.

  • Reverse FX 4:22

    Reverse FX

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

  • Cutting Up the Chorus Synth 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.

  • Mixing Down the Song 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.

  • The Final Mix 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.

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