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Merging tracks in Reaper

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  • Merging tracks in Reaper

    I just started working in Reaper (switched from Audition). I have several guitar tracks that I need to merge into a single track. Please tell me there is a very simple way to do this...I mean, like 'right click...choose Merge Tracks (or whatever)... DONE". I missing a trick? I can't find anything on this...I've been on it for a half hour. Surely it's a very simple thing, no?

  • #2
    When in doubt - Pull the manual out.

    Reaper as with many DAW programs use different terminology to describe simple terms (simply to be different and unique)

    I mainly use Sonar which makes this task ultra stupid easy - You highlight the tracks then select Bounce to Tracks or Bounce to Clips. You can chose to Overwrite, Merge (sound on sound) or move parts over (handy for building drum tracks) and insert parts depending on how you set your options. Cubase is nearly identical.

    In reaper the methods are similar they simply call the tasks by different names.

    You cant take pieces of tracks and merge them into a single track by simply a dragging and dropping the highlighted sections as mentioned in chapter 7 of the manual here.
    You may or may not want to turn of snap which locks the track to the time bar.

    After you assemble the edits in a single track you'd use something called Glue which renders them into a single track.

    If you want merge two or more tracks and have both play as a single track they use a task called Implode into one track which you'll find at section 7.30 in the manual, Page 143.

    As with many DAW's there are more then one way to skin a cat. Other simple methods of merging the audio is to simply feed the tracks to an aux buss. DAW's have no track limitations so there's really is no need to merge tracks. If you want to run a single effect on several tracks you can simply feed those tracks to an Aux buss and run the effect there. If you want to fade those tracks up and down in volume you should be able to automate the Buss volume, if not you can usually fade all the individual tracks up and down at the same time.

    The benefit of having individual tracks vs merging them is once they are merged you obviously have no ability to adjust the individual instruments volumes, tones pans etc. You have to be sure the tracks are dead on correct before merging or you're stuck with the results.

    Merging is often a necessary evil when you have tape or use a stand alone recorder where you need to merge instruments together to free up tracks. In a DAW where you have unlimited tracks its rarely needed for that purpose. I use it occasionally after cutting and pasting parts together and simply to cut down on the complexity of a mix, or if I want to create a stereo track out of two mono tracks. There are some tools that can work differently on a stereo track but again, I can always send tracks to an aux buss and get the same results and save allot of time in the process.

    Anyway, you should print the manual and read a little of it every day. I've done that on every DAW program I've had and its the best way to get to know how to do things. You may not remember every detail but you'll at least know it exists and be able to go back and find it again.


    • #3
      Sorry for the late response, WRGKMG... it's been busy. Yowzers, they don't make it easy, do they? I still think they could use a fast way of simply merging multiple tracks into one. Sometimes I don't need the flexibility of multiple tracks - if I've already done all the tweaking I need to do I may want to just bake them all down into one track to keep it simple. Thanks for the info!