Answers For Someone Moving To Reaper From Ableton Live

Yesterday I received an e-mail form someone who used to work with Ableton Live, but can no longer use that program. So she wanted to know if she could do some of the same things in Reaper that she used to do in Ableton Live.

After answering her e-mail, I thought it would be good information to share in a post. So her questions and my answers are below.

Question 1

I saw in your video (she was referring to the Reaper Tutorial Video)  that from an imported audio track it is possible to clip a part to keep and delete the rest; but would it be possible to keep the entire track while only looping a part of it? I remember that it was possible in Live, which was very useful to avoid “manual” pre-clipping editing with another software.

My Answer

Sort of, yes. Not like Live, which is unique in that it isn’t linear like most DAWs. But you can easily and quickly copy “selected area of selected item,” which lets you select the part you want to loop, and copy only that part. Then you can drag just that part down to create a new track. Once you trim it (just drag the edges) to get the loop start and stop points, you’ll want to “glue” the item, which basically renders it in-place as a new file. Then all you have to do is drag the edge of the
new item and slide to the right to loop the item as many times as you want. Then you have the entire original file and a looped segment in the track underneath it.

Question 2

Within this loop above mentioned, would it be possible to make it start from any specific point (like in Live)?

My Answer

I’m not exactly sure how it’s done in Live, but yes, I think so. Once you create your loop segment, you can drag it anywhere on its own track to start wherever you want and copy/paste it to create as many different instances of the same loop starting wherever you put them or drag them. Of course you can put multiple loops (created as described above) on the same track as well. Of course, if you need them to play simultaneously, you simply add another track (ctrl+T). Very easy.

Question 3

In Live, it was possible to correct the BPM matching a loop defined in an audio track (especially because if it was from a non-electronic music source) by snapping and sliding time frames to make the sound waves match the BPM of the audio project. Does Reaper allow this?

My answer

Again, yes. Though probably not in the same way. Reaper Tempo Matching and stretch the loop to fit. From the manual: “Insert into project (on currently selected track), Insert at time selection (stretch/loop to fit)”

Question 4

Finally, your video mention that your opinon about plug-in sound editing has changed. What is it now? What can Reaper do about audio file editing by itself?

My Answer

About 90 percent of it, yes. And what’s better is that you do it all non-destructively, then render it. If something gets messed up, you still have the original file. There are some things though, like sample-level
editing and volume/gain adjustment of just small sections of an item that aren’t easy to do. I still prefer using a separate editor for stuff like that.  I hope that all helped!

I am not saying that Reaper is the same as Ableton Live, or that it can replace it. Live is called that for a reason – it can be used in live performances. The reason for that is due to its ability to do many looping tasks on the fly – practically immediately. That is something you can do with Reaper. At least not as easily. If anyone out there has done it, let us know in the comments!

But the person asking the questions had some pretty specific needs for what seemed like a non-live set of applications. And it seems as though Reaper can definitely handle those tasks. Again, if you use both Reaper and Live, let us know in the comments if what I’ve said needs any clarification or corrections.



0 comments on “Answers For Someone Moving To Reaper From Ableton Live”

  1. I am in the process of transitioning from Ableton Live to Reaper at the minute. I must say Live is for dummies…(I don’t mean nothing bad by it just another way of me saying its simple) compared to Reaper. The possibilities in Reaper seem somewhat endless compared to what Live can do. I do love Live for that reason. Also I love the sample based editing features for making new drum loops out of existing loops and so on. But Reaper is my cup of tea for post-production. I have never liked Live’s layout. But that’s just my taste.

  2. Please discard my first comment as i seen after i posted it that there was a spelling typo and also this one lol.

    1. That’s OK, Stevie. I fixed the typos in the below comment:). Thanks, BTW!


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