Advanced Audio Editing in REAPER: 30+ Hotkeys for Editing (Rapid-fire Reaper Tutorials Ep75)
In this episode of Rapid-Fire REAPER tutorials, we will look at a bunch of hotkeys to speed up your editing workflow! by default, REAPER doesn't have a ton of hotkeys assigned, but there are loads of actions that, when set and accustomed to, can help you edit at breakneck speeds.
Optimizing your editing speed and workflow is one of the most crucial things you need to do if you're looking at any kind of audio work as a potential career path. When you take on audio editing gigs (podcast editing, dialogue, ambience & sfx editing, etc.) you are usually paid a flat rate. The faster you work, the more you are getting paid per hour, so taking a bit of time to set up REAPER in way that is comfortable and fluid for you to edit, will literally pay you more money in the long run.
Now, I'm obviously not forcing anyone to modify their REAPER install exactly like mine, but there's a solid logic behind the way that I have mine set up, one that is inspired by, but also building upon, all the other DAWs that I've worked in in the past, as well as improving upon REAPER's own hotkeys.
I am also sharing, for the first time, my full list of shortcuts. This, of course, changes and evolved continuously but if you want to check it out, here they are in a Google Sheet document. I am very open to suggestions and improvements on this system, and it could ultimately serve as a good community resource. You folks have always given me really good ideas, and sharing my workflow with you is also a way for me to discover stuff I didn't know, so feel free to ask to edit this document.
As a bonus, if you donate to my channel, I will send you my key maps!
Most people, when assigning shortcuts to various actions, try to use hotkey combos that are easy to remember, so something with R if you want to reverse an item, or something with T to trim the item. I stick to this principle myself, but when it comes to editing, above and beyond what key I'm pressing, I'm thinking about where the key is. The most optimal way to set up REAPER for editing, is to place hotkeys for your most commonly used actions, where they are the most accessible and easy to press, ideally without having to look down on your keyboard, or moving your hands from where they are by default.
Let's take a regular keyboard and split it into four Zones:
Zone 1 is where our left hand naturally rests when we are behind a computer. When working in REAPER, it's likely that your left hand is on this zone, where you can access your modifiers (Command, Control, Shift, and Option) as well the Escape key, f1-f4, and The additional keys you see on the screen. This is the most prime spot to place editing hotkeys, as these keys are the easiest to press from your default stance. Meanwhile your right hand rests on the mouse, so keys in Zone 2 & 4 are less ideal for setting common hotkeys to because we would either need to lift our hand off the mouse to press them, or we would need to move our left hand. Zome 3 is an area either hand had easy access to, so once we run out of hotkey combos to put in Zone 1, we can start populating those keys.
Another philosophy I follow to help me remember my hotkeys, since I can't always rely on the letter to give me a clue, is putting similar actions on adjacent keys. Things like moving or turning things up and down can be on two keys on top of each other, and left and right actions can be next to each other.
With that in mind, here's a list of almost all the hotkeys I have in Zone 1. In previous tutorials, I have gone through a lot of these, so I won't include any duplicates in this list. You can check out this playlist to see all my previous hotkey-heavy tutorials!
click on image to enlarge and take a screenshot! As a bonus, if you donate to my channel, I will send you my key maps!
Creating Actions for Inserting FX Plugins One of my favourite set of actions in REAPER are the 'Insert FX' actions. I have hotkeys and toolbar icons to insert some of my most used plugins on items and tracks quickly. To create an action to insert a plugin follow these steps:
- Go to your FX Browser and find the plugin you want.
- Right click, select Create Shortcut...
- Here you can set a shortcut to insert that FX like you would with any other action.
- Alternatively, you can hit cancel, and it feels like nothing happened, but REAPER will actually create an unassigned action for inserting said plugin in your action list (Insert FX: [FX Name]).
- You can now put this on any toolbar, run it from the custom action or add it to any menu you want!
This video will show you the entire process!
Hopefully you can see how much quicker every task becomes once you spend some time to set some hotkeys, and get familiar with them. In the next episode I will show you lots of extra hotkeys for media item properties.
Here's the video:
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