Reaper Tutorial

Reaper Signal Flow Explained®

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25 Videos | Length: 2hr 53min 7sec
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    Tutorial 1



    In this title, we go thru the basics of Signal Flow. Using pictures and diagrams we describe how signal flows and is routed throughout Reaper.

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    Tutorial 2

    The Routing Matrix


    Next we dive into the Routing Matrix and how all signal flows through this virtual patch bay. We break each section down, based on inputs, outputs and routing tracks into one another.

Channel Signal Flow

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    Tutorial 3

    Input FX


    The first place to add FX in the chain is in using the Input FX. In this video, we go thru how to set up this feature that applies FX and plugins on the way in and prints the effect.

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    Tutorial 4

    Track FX


    The next stop is the Track FX or the FX that's placed right on the channel. In this tutorial, we run thru how this works and the benefit of this approach.

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    Tutorial 5



    One of the powerful features in Reaper is it's ability to route signal almost anywhere. In this video, we break down how to get audio from point A to Point B using Reaper's sends. Post fader, Pre-fader and Pre FX sends are explained.

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    Tutorial 6

    Pans, Master Parent & Review


    And at the end of the channel, we have our pans and our master parent send. In this video, we explain how to deal with output from each channel and review with pictures and diagrams how the channel signal flows.

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    Tutorial 7

    Item FX


    One of the more unique features in Reaper is the ability to add FX directly to our media items. In this tutorial we explain this approach and the benefit of utilizing this place in the chain to place our FX.


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    Tutorial 8

    Mono, Stereo, MIDI & Video


    Next we go thru what can each track be used for. We start with the basics. Mono and stereo audio along with Midi and even Video files.

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    Tutorial 9



    Another use for tracks in Reaper is the ability to use them as busses. To both combine similar tracks together for processing along with sub-mixing is all touched upon.

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    Tutorial 10



    One of the more useful tools for organization is the ability to use tracks as folders that can nest other tracks and give both audio control and visual preferences. In this tutorial, we run thru the benefit of folders.

Record Setup

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    Tutorial 11

    Naming Tracks


    In the first video of this section, we begin to prepare to record audio. We start off with simply naming tracks and how important that can be.

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    Tutorial 12

    Inputs, Colors, Record Enabled, Keystroke & Selecting Tracks


    Next we tackle setting up inputs, Colors, Enabling Record, setting up a keystroke using Actions and Selecting tracks.

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    Tutorial 13

    Recording Levels


    One of the most important aspects of recording audio is proper recording levels and gain staging. In this video, we cover the proper way of getting levels to avoid distorting both in the DAW and using our analog front end.

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    Tutorial 14

    Recording Modes


    Next we tackle the varying recording modes in Reaper and how each one can be used to maximize efficiency for the task at hand. All modes are explained including using takes, punching in and creating layers to achieve finished performances.

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    Tutorial 15

    Monitoring Modes


    Finally we run through the different Monitoring Modes in Reaper and how important it is to utilize each one depending on your set up. Each one is described in great detail.


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    Tutorial 16

    Setup & Click


    The next step is run through recording Midi data. We start by explaining the setup and move on to setting up a proper click track to stay in tempo with out projects.

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    Tutorial 17

    Recording MIDI


    We then move on to recording midi thru an external keyboard and editing the data using separate midi items.

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    Tutorial 18

    Recording in Items


    Another option for recording Midi is to punch right into existing items. We again go over editing midi data and go over such advanced modes like overdubbing and auto touch recording.

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    Tutorial 19

    Input Quantize


    Many times we know ahead of time that we want our performance to bee right on the grid. Rather than processing our midi data after the fact, Reaper allows you to quantize on the way in. Saving an extra step along with valuable time.

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    Tutorial 20

    Loop Recording Drums


    One of the more useful way to record programmed drums is thru Loop mode and building a performance or pattern. In this video, we explain how to set this up including automatically fixing the performance on the fly.

Track Uses

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    Tutorial 21

    Hardware Inputs


    Next we dive in to the more advanced uses for tracks. We start off with using tracks as just hardware inputs for things like drum machines, synthesizers and hardware outboard FX units. Disabling recording is featured in this video.

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    Tutorial 22

    Software FX Returns


    Another important use for tracks is as FX returns for combining similar FX and saving CPU processing power. In this tutorial, we explain exactly how to set this up along with some great tips like Auto Color and Auto Icon.

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    Tutorial 23

    Parallel Compression


    One of the advanced uses for tracks is as a Parallel Compressor. Being able to combine processed signal with unprocessed versions opens up greater possibilities along with precise control.

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    Tutorial 24

    Headphone Mixes


    Finally we run through the steps involved in setting up proper Headphone mixes. First setting up quick post fader sends and then going thru the process of setting up completely separate mixes for each artist using Pre- Fader sends.

Final Output

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    Tutorial 25

    Rendering Mixes & Queue


    No DAW is useful if you can't output a final mix for others to hear. The Rendering features in Reaper are first rate and are explained in great depth in this final but important video. Not only does Kenny show you how to create mixes and output stems, but he runs through the powerful process of automating it all using the Render Queue function.

If you're new to Cockos Reaper, or just want to learn more on the art of routing and signal flow, this title is a must have. Multi-Platinum Producer / Mixer Kenny Gioia shows you what you need to know about both basic and advanced signal flow and routing in Reaper, making your time spent in Reaper more efficient and creative.

Kenny begins with an introduction explaining the important basics of Signal Flow in Reaper using pictures and diagrams. He then dives right in, revealing Reaper's Virtual Patch Bay, where you'll learn to recognize and utilize inputs, outputs, routing tracks and more. Channel Signal Flow is then explained and you'll discover Input FX, Track FX, Item FX, Sends, Pans, Master Parent Send and how and when to use them.

Tracks are up next, and Kenny covers them all. You learn to choose and use each Track Type including Audio, Video, MIDI, Track Busses and Track Folders. Record Set Up is the next topic where you'll explore preparing to record audio. See how to Select Tracks, Name Tracks, Assign Colors, Keystroke Shortcuts, Setting Levels, Record Modes, Monitoring Modes and more!

Kenny now changes gears and reveals all things MIDI, such as MIDI Setup and Click, Recording MIDI, Input Quantize, Loop Recording Drums, Overdubbing and Auto-Touch Recording and much more. Track Uses is then examined and you'll discover how to utilize Hardware Inputs, Software FX Retuns, Parallel Compression techniques, create Headphone Mixes, how to Render Mixes and work the powerful Render Queue feature.

If you use Reaper to craft your productions, why not know the important topic of Signal Flow frontwards and back? Get "Reaper Signal Flow Explained" today and work smarter and faster.

Submitted 4 months ago

Kenny Gioia as usual!

Very helpful, interesting, very understandable!

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

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Submitted 5 months ago

Very Well Explaned

Kenny does a very good job of explaining the ins and outs of Reaper. Excellent command of the English language!

I am a: Hobbyist, Musician, Reaper

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CD Sky
Submitted 1 year ago

Reaper rocks!

I've been a Studio One Pro user for years (and will continue to use it for years to come), but i've been toying with the idea of adding Reaper to my workflow because of its extra flexibility. These tutorials were perfect in walking me through what I need to know to confidently make better use of the program. Excellent series!

I am a: Semi-Pro, Producer, Audio Engineer, Musician

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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
Willa Ford
Lee Ann Womack
Paulina Rubio
Hall & Oates
Head Automatica
Cute is What We Aim For
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.

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Reaper Signal Flow Explained® is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 3.
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 Well Explaned Kenny does a very good job of explaining the ins and outs of Reaper. Excellent command of the English language!
Date published: 2017-10-07
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Reaper rocks! I've been a Studio One Pro user for years (and will continue to use it for years to come), but i've been toying with the idea of adding Reaper to my workflow because of its extra flexibility. These tutorials were perfect in walking me through what I need to know to confidently make better use of the program. Excellent series!
Date published: 2017-03-01