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Locking Tracks, Items, Stretch Markers, Tempo Map, etc. (Rapid-fire REAPER Tutorials Ep72)

Hey folks! This episode will cover all the stuff you can lock in REAPER to keep your sausage fingers from moving something you don't mean to!

Locking in REAPER

Locking exists in every DAW I've ever used, but to the surprise of no one, it's a lot more complex and customizable in REAPER. You can lock different aspects of your project or individual tracks based on your needs. There is still some functionality missing that I'd love to see, which I'll go over below, but overall, it's very handy once you know the differences between the different locking options

Locking Track Controls

Right click on any track(s) and choose 'Lock track controls'. You will see your track(s) greyed out and their controls will be locked. This means you are no longer to click on any of the track controls, including volume fader, pan knob and pan mode, FX bypass or view, Mute, solo and record arm. This is useful if you don't want to accidentally hit any of these buttons or adjust any parameters on a track.

Tracks whose controls are locked also ignore any global commands that may affect them, like all, unarm all, and so on. This is very handy for A/Bing for example. Say you want to A/B two lead synths against a drum beat on a large project. Solo the drum and lock its track controls. You can then cmd+opt+left click the synths to exclusive solo them, a command which your locked drum track will ignore.

Locking Track Heights

Right click on any track(s) and choose 'Lock track height' in the dropdown menu. This will fix the track height to whatever it currently is, so vertical zooming will not have an effect on the height of those tracks. I do this to my sends, for example. Sends won't have any audio tracks on them I may want to zoom in on, so I don't need them to be zoomed when I zoom in on my other tracks! You can also maximize tracks with notes so they're always legible.

Locking Items

Locking track controls won't have an effect on the items. The items on locked tracks can still be moved, faded, stretched, trimmed, and deleted. This is one of the things that separates REAPER from other DAWs, and also something that may confuse you at first: Locking items and tracks are completely separate. You can lock items while keeping a track unlocked, and the opposite is possible too.

You can lock items using one of three methods below:
-Right click on the item(s), go to item settings, and choose 'Lock' (You can also find a tickbox in the item properties after hitting f2).
-Click on the item lock icon (if you have item labels enabled in Preferences>Appearance>Media)
-Set hotkeys to the action 'Item Properties: Lock'. I have mine set to Ctrl+L and 'Item Properties: Unlock' set to Ctrl+U.

Note: It's advisable not to set a toggle hotkey for locking, but instead have separate hotkeys for locking and unlocking. In large projects, you may want marquee select a bunch of items and lock them. With a toggle hotkey, this will cause previously locked items (which you may forget about) to be unlocked.

Project-wide Locking

Other than items and tracks, you can also lock certain aspects of your entire project. You can enable locking by pressing L (or clicking the lock icon on your main toolbar) and show your Locking settings by hitting Shift+L (or right-clicking the lock icon). From here, you can choose any number of parameters to lock for the entire project.

Time Selection & Loops Points: This will prevent previously made time selection/loop points from being deleted or adjusted, or if there are none, prevents one from being created. Hitting ESC with your time selection/loop points locked will prompt you to unlock.
Items (full): This option essentially locks your entire timeline. You won't be able to move, delete, or adjust levels/parameters/fades/stretch markers of your items. Useful for mixing projects where you want your items to never move! You can additionally choose certain aspects of your items to be locked.
Track Envelopes: Lock all automation.
Regions & Markers: Locks all regions and markers from being moved or deleted.
Time Signature Markers: Prevents time signature/tempo markers from moving!

Here's the video:

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