Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting the default theme and appearance, part of Learning REAPER 4.
Probably one of the most important things to know about Reaper right off the bat is that its interface is highly customizable. Reaper really caters to all kind of music artists, producers, and engineers. And its interface can be set up and optimized for whatever kind of task you perform most frequently. That said, the first thing I want to do here is make sure what you see on your computer matches what you see in these movies. Otherwise you might have a difficult time following along. Because you really can revamp the look of Reaper to the point where two people's copies of it might not even look like the same program. So let's go to the option menu and choose Themes, and make sure default is selected.
Notice we have a couple of other options here, and just to show you how different some of the themes can be. I'm going to press Cmd+T or Ctrl+T on Windows, and that creates a new track. So that's what a track panel looks like on the default interface. Maybe I'll go to Options > Themes, and switch to the Classic 1.x. So you can see the colors and the appearance of the windows and buttons have drastically changed. Let's try the default 3.0 theme, and again we have a very different look, especially for the track panel interface. So again, to be consistent, let's go back to the default theme. For version 4, which is what I'm using right now. Now let's also go to Options > Layouts, and choose the default layout if you haven't already selected it.
Now you may or may not see changes depending on how your copy of Reaper has been set up. But again just to show you how different some things may look. I'll come to Track panel in here, and I'll choose Vertical. Now you can see that completely re-configures the layout of the Track panel so the buttons and meters are oriented vertically. Again let's switch back to the default. And this is only scratching the surface of how much you can customize the Reaper interface. If I go to Reaper preferences, on Windows you'll go to Options Preferences. Here under the Appearance section, we have a Theme editor. And here you can select specific colors for just about every single button, display, background, toolbar, and other interface elements in Reaper.
For example, I could choose the main window/transport background, maybe turn that to a bright red. Apply that. And you can see how that affects the interface. And as you can see, you can scroll through here and change all these other elements as well. Now, if you mess things up or just want to revert back to the original appearance, click the Load Theme button and choose Default. Notice you can also save themes if you come up with a particular color combination that you like or that works for particular kinds of projects. You can even go to the Reaper website at stash.reaper.fm/tag/themes.
And here you can browse and download themes that have been created by other users. For example, maybe I want to check this one out. I can download it. And then back here in Reaper, I'll choose Load theme > Browse, and I'll look in my downloads folder. Open that. You can see now my interface looks like this. And there's an entire community of people out there who are dedicated to creating Reaper themes. So as you browse through, you might be able to find a theme that works for the kind of projects that you like to work on. I'm just going to go back to Preferences and switch it back to the default.
Now lastly I want to make sure my menus and toolbars are at their default state as well. Lets go to Options > Customize menus > Toolbars. Now I am not going to get into this right now but you can also highly customize every single menu in Reaper to add or remove commands that you might or might not need. You can also customize the toolbar which just part of the interface here. But to make sure we are all starting from same place, lets click reset. Reset all menus to defaults. I'll say yes we want to do this. And again, reset, reset all toolbars to defaults, and say yes. So with our theme, layout, and menu synchronized, we should all be looking at the same sort of screen right now.
And at this point it should be pretty clear that you can highly customize the reaper interface. But for now I wanted to make sure that we're all starting from the same place. Okay, let's move on.
- Customizing the REAPER menu and toolbar
- Creating a new project
- Comping multiple takes
- Importing audio files
- Managing media
- Editing tracks
- Applying effects
- Mixing down a song