Reaper Takes, Jakerock style:

Ok, coming from another DAW like Cubase, the way that reaper displays your takes can be super confusing...
Takes dont really get their own "lanes" they stack and expand according to how many takes are in that particular part of the timeline... Pretty weird looking. At first. I am quite used to it now, but it took awhile.

I came up with this little workaround that ends up displaying the takes in a more traditional (Cubase-like) fashion.

Basically, you

  1. record a mess of takes
  2. explode them...
  3. arrange as you wish
  4. make them uniform length
  5. re-implode them to a track.

Here we go....


Record a mess of takes. (Literally)


Highlight eveything on the track and "explode all takes to new tracks"
(Rt click, "takes" menu >)

Heres what happens:


Now, you can leave things as they are... Or can arrange by take number...


Now we have to make a place to implode the tracks back to takes... Mute the source of the takes (Track 1) then make a new track (Track 2).
P ut it right above the first exploded take (track3 ).


Now we are going to make all of the exploded takes equal length. Make a time selection that fully encompasses (with a little extra) the items on the tracks.


Now we select the empty track at the top, and "Insert Empty Item." Select the next track and go right down the line and do this for every take that you exploded.
This puts an empty item that is the length of the time selection behind all of the items on the track.
This effectively fills in the empty spaces, and makes everything uniform length.

To make this easier, I have made this simple macro... All you have to do is hit "I" for each track... super fast.


Then you marquee select (rt click+drag to lasso) all of the tracks you have exploded AND the track that you created and put the empty item on.


  1. Then you can run this macro...
  2. It turns each highlighted tracks items into one uniform item
  3. Sets the item to NOT loop source
  4. Implodes them in order to the destination track at the top.


Nice and tidy! All the takes have their own "lanes" and are arranged the way that you want them...

This seems like alot of steps... But with the two macros it goes REALLY fast. When I was first trying to use reapers takes system,
it was really necessary for me to do this to be able to make quick visual sense out of the takes. At this point, I am used to looking at them as they are and dont do this all of the time. Whatever time it takes is probably worth it, if it makes you faster and more comfortable comping takes with a client...
Im sure that Reapers takes system will eventually get sophisticated enough that this will no longer be necessary, but for the time being if you want things to look "normal" (coming from another DAW) then this is one solution.

If you practice this a few times and understand what is going on, it doesnt take much time at all...

Lets rock!