Editing Classical Music in Reaper Part 1
Editing Classical Music in Reaper Part 2
Editing Classical Music in Reaper Part 3 – Source/destination 3/4-point editing
UPDATE: Updated Scripts for 3/4-Point Editing in Reaper 6

This time we’re going to take a look at some further basic and advanced editing features of Reaper DAW.

Selecting and pasting audio items

This is all pretty basic stuff, but in case you’re still wondering why dragging over multiple tracks doesn’t work like in other DAWs, the Reaper manual explains:

Select groups of Items by right-clicking and dragging a marquee around the Items.

To select multiple audio items, right-mouse-click and drag over them.
To select multiple audio items, right-mouse-click and drag over them.

To paste multiple tracks, however, just select the lane where you want the upper track to appear and type CMD + V.

To paste multiple tracks in Reaper select the lane where you want the upper track to appear.

Ripple editing

From the Reaper Wiki: Ripple editing is a good way to perform an edit within a busy timeline and maintain sync relationships. When you perform a ripple edit, you are essentially adjusting the duration of a clip by manipulating its start and finish points. By doing so, the clips beyond the edit points are adjusted by the same value as your adjustment to that item.

To better understand this term, take a look at this ripple editing flash animation. Essentially we’re looking at a feature that will literally save us dozens of hours of time on a busy editing project.

Ripple editing in Reaper: Click once for "per track" or twice for "all tracks" options
Ripple editing in Reaper: Click once for “per track” or twice for “all tracks” options

For example, let’s say we have a complex 18-track project to edit (the example below is from my Scott Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag arr. Edson Lopes music video). At the last minute, the artist requests a few additional notes to be added to point A.

1. Let’s split the tracks by typing S first.

2. Traditionally, I’d have to select all audio to the right of the split point by right-clicking and dragging over every single audio item, then move them all to the side,and even then I could face some issues with automation points not moving together with my selection. With the third ripple editing option selected (“All tracks”), however,  this action is a breeze! Just select any item to the right of the split point and move it to the side.

With the "All tracks" mode enabled, just select any one audio item...
With the “All tracks” mode enabled, just select any one audio item…


...and drag it to the side.
…and drag it to the side.

Doing so, Reaper will not only move all audio at the same position or to the right of your selection, but also ANY markers and envelope points (automation) as well, which is HUGE and allows for easy edit corrections anytime during the project!

3. To finish, paste the audio items of the added notes by dragging any of the tracks to the split point.

4. Now, all you’re left to do is move the audio items back together!

There you go. The last three steps would normally take a minute or two, but thanks to the ripple editing we’re able to do the same in just a few short seconds! Amazing, right?

In case you got lost in the steps above, watch this video from 09:30 on:

Item volume and FX

To set Item Volume:

  1. Mouse over the top edge of the Item until the cursor changes to a vertical double-headed arrow.
  2. Drag the cursor to lower the Item Volume. The Item Volume will be shown to the right of the Cursor and the Peaks will be redrawn to reflect the change in Peak Volume as you drag the edge of the Item.
  3. Release the mouse to complete the change in Item Volume.

By default, you cannot drag the Item Volume above 0db. This behavior can be overridden by pressing the SHIFT key while changing the Item Volume.

To apply an effect to a single audio item and not the entire track, do the following:

Right-mouse-click the item and select Take > Show FX chain for active take OR click the item and type shift + E.


Whenever I’m working on a project solely as an editor and not a producer/recording engineer, I typically get a long edit list in this format:

Measure 1-11; T04 1:22 – 1:45

Measure 12-16; T09 4:55 – 5:02


When the list contains 50 actions PER TRACK, you can imagine how much work finding the right regions and scrolling through tracks means.

My workaround is a combination of the Region/Marker Manager and Nudge function.

  1. First, I would place markers to the beginning of each track and name them accordingly. The tracks are typically longer so it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to do this.
  2. Open the Region/Marker Manager (View > Region/Marker Manager OR type cmd + shift + alt + R)
  3. Open the Nudge/set Items window (View > Nudge/Set Items OR type N) and set it to edit cursor (default)
Enter the time in [minutes:seconds] and type Enter
Enter the time in [minutes:seconds] and type Enter
  1. Leave both windows open at all times. To complete the first request from above, type 4 to go to marker nr. 4 (for tracks above 9 simply select them in the Region/Marker Manager) and type 1:22 in the Nudge/Set Items window. Type S to split the tracks, type 4 again, then 1:45 in the Nudge/Set Items window, S again. Select the tracks in-between the split points and paste them to your edited track. It may seem like a lot of work in the beginning, but in reality you’ll be able to do the steps 2-4 in only a few seconds after a while!


To reduce any distractions while working, I strongly recommend enabling fullscreen mode in Reaper. To do this, either type cmd + F11 (fn + cmd + 11) or go to View > Fullscreen.

Render wildcards

This feature is another time-saver. When exporting multiple tracks (read my previous post to learn how to do that) you can automatically name them according to the region number, region name etc. This is especially useful when working with clients and are sending different versions of edited tracks, OR want to export one batch of high quality files (.wav or .aiff) and another batch of .mp3 files.

My typical string looks like this: “[ARTIST NAME] – $regionnumber $region – [VERSION NUMBER]” ($region is typically the name of the piece)


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