So you want to know how to use Reaper?

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Answered by: Dylan, An Expert in the Home Studio 101 Category
So you want to create your own home studio. You've set up your computer and purchased a condenser microphone but all you are lacking is the vital piece to get going: the software. Reaper is generally known as a comprehensive piece of software that can do anything. From recording to mixing, Reaper has a variety of functions and here you will be learning the base set-up and functions so you can learn how to use Reaper.

First and foremost is to visit and download the software and begin the installation process. Once the installation is done the program will open and prompt you to change your settings; this step is vital to the recording process so be sure to pay attention to all the preferences.

Input should be the microphone you are going to use to record and the output can stay as your default computer driver. All other settings are based on your choice and what you like so just look over and customize to your liking.

With the preferences done we can begin the fun part, recording! For this example we will be following a hip-hop formula but this can be used for any type of recording. Drag and drop the instrumental or back track you would like to use into the timeline, from here we can begin recording. To record simply double click under your initial track and the recording track will appear. Click on the gray button on this track; it will then turn red thus showing you that this will be the track that your vocals will be recorded on. Now either hit the record button on the timeline or "CTRL-R" and your track will begin recording. Once you finish hit the Stop button or the spacebar and the recording will stop.

From here there are a variety of functions that can be done like effects, vocalization, compression, and so forth but for now we will just focus on the base functions which leads to the final step; exporting. To export simply go to "file" and "render" this will give you options on how you want to render your audio file such as audio file type, bit-rate, and speed of render. All of these are up to your personal preference and will determine the quality and size of the audio.

Once finished with the preferences simply hit "render" and that's it — you now know how to use Reaper. Don't worry if things don't come out great at first. The nice thing about Reaper is that it is intuitive so it's simple to learn and master. If you make mistakes to your track simply use the "undo" button and try again. Like with most things you just need to continuously practice and work on Reaper so that you can get a hold of all the functions. Fret not, the learning curve is not steep. Within a few hours you should have professional sounding tracks that will impress you and anyone else that might hear.

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