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How to Render in Reaper

Tuesday September 19, 2023. 07:54 PM , from Audiotuts+
How to Render in Reaper
Reaper, a powerful and versatile digital audio workstation (DAW), has become a favourite among music producers and sound engineers for its efficient workflow and extensive feature set.
While composing and recording music is the first step in the creative process, rendering and exporting your final project is equally crucial. In this tutorial, we'll delve into the art of Reaper rendering.
In our free Reaper course, you’ll learn the basics of Reaper with Dave Bode. In this quick lesson, Dave will talk you through how to render audio in Reaper, where you'll learn some of the basic but essential editing tools. Let's get started!

How to Render in Reaper
After you've made all of your edits and you get your project sounding fantastic, it's gonna be time to render out your project so that other people can hear it.
Go to File > Render, which also has the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+R to start the process.

The first time that you look at this render window this can feel maybe a little overwhelming. But I'm just going to draw your attention to a few of the areas that will be very helpful when it comes time to do some Reaper rendering.

The first is this Source option. You can click this dropdown and you can see there are a bunch of different options for rendering things like the stems, the master mix plus stems, and much more.
For most of your projects you want this set to the default, which is going to be the master mix.

Next, you want to make sure that your project is going to render at the appropriate start and end times. Sometimes you'll have a project, where you may not necessarily want it to start rendering from the very beginning.
To do this you need to create a time selection. One of the easiest way to do that is to use markers.

This makes it really easy to make a time selection by clicking and dragging with your mouse to highlight the space between the two markers. Then you can just choose time selection from this drop down menu.

You can also name you makers by selecting them and typing =START for the start of your footage and =END for the end.

Then select Custom Time Range and it will select the start and end times based on the markers you have created.

Next let's look at this output section right here. First, we have to set an output directory. If you click on Browse you can add a location for where you want to save your file.

Next, you need to create a name for your file.

Or you can use Wildcards. If you click on Wildcards, you will see that there is a ton of different wildcards that you can insert for the file name which will automatically name the file according to these properties.
So for example if you want your file named with the project, you just select that wildcard. Or if you want it to be something like your 'project_the date', you can do that as well.

In the output section there are many options, don't let this overwhelm you because there are really only a few options that you need to focus on.
The first is sample rate, by default this should be set to whatever your project was set to. Right now it's 44,100 hertz which is the default sample rate for music. However you can change it to 48 kilohertz if you work on a combination of music, video projects, podcasts, and audiobooks as 48 kilohertz pretty much works for everything.
Also remember, that if you are rendering to somewhere specific, like Audible for example you want to make sure that you are matching their delivery specifications exactly.

So the next section you want to look at is Channels. By default this will be selected to stereo, but if it's something like an audiobook you may want to switch this over to mono.

And by the way, if you are going to be delivering something in mono, please make sure that you listen to your project in mono. Which you can do by clicking on this button right here, this will collapse the stereo image down to mono.
if it's something simple like a podcast with just one microphone then it should sound exactly the same. But if you have any stereo audio in your project, you're going to want to hear what that sounds like in mono in case there is any kind of phase cancellation when the left and the right channels get combined together.
But for most projects you're going to want to choose Stereo.

Click on the Normalize button if you want to make sure that you are outputting your files that meet loudness specifications for things like YouTube, and Spotify, and Audible etc.
From here you can can input the exact specifications for the delivery platform.

If you are exporting something like an MP3, you can click on the Metadata button which allows you to add all kinds of metadata for the ID3, which is supported by MP3, and WAVs, and AIFF.

Next, you have some options for output. You can see you have a Primary output format and a Secondary output format, which by default is not selected. What this means is that when you render, you can output two different file formats.
So if you wanted to render a WAV, and then as a secondary, you wanted to do something like an MP3, you can do that right here.

A couple more options down here that you might want to check out. One of those is silently increment filenames to avoid overwriting, this can be a really handy option if you are rendering different versions.
And you want to make sure that you don't accidentally overwrite a previous version, because if you don't change the file name, Reaper will render overtop of it.

Once this is done Reaper rendering, you'll see there are a few useful buttons at the bottom. You can launch the file, you can open the folder and you can open the Media Explorer all within Reaper.

You can even change the statistics that Reaper shows you during Reaper rendering.

And that's pretty much it, now you know how to render your projects using Reaper rendering. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and that you've learned some new tips and tricks that you can use for your own projects. See you next time!
About This Page
This page was written by Jonathan Lam from the transcript of a course by David Bode. Dave is an expert on video and audio production. Jonathan is a digital artist, graphic designer, illustrator, and animator. The page was edited by Gonzalo Angulo. Gonzalo is an editor, writer and illustrator.

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