Editing Video In Reaper

Did you know you could edit video in Reaper? Since Reaper is an audio recording program, you won’t be surprised that you can’t do a whole lot with video, but you CAN do some really impressive and important video editing.

Make Your Videos Sound Awesome

One really common mistake most folks make when producing their own talking head videos (where you have a person talking – NOT the band with David Byrne:-P) is that while the video may look great, the audio quality often sucks. See our article How To Get Good Audio On Your Videos for more on this.

As I show in the video on that page, one great way to fix this is to record the audio separate from the video. For example, while your camcorder is recording the video of your noggin, you could have a microphone recording into a computer (or one of those hand-held digital audio recorders). Then after you’re done recording, just replace the camcorder’s crappy audio (this is almost guaranteed) with the “good” audio.

Well guess what? You can do THAT in Reaper. Import the video onto track one, start a new track, import the good video, line up the audio tracks, and turn down the audio on track one. Done! No need for a separate video program.

BTW, I have a course on how to use Reaper for all your recording needs :-). Check out the details on The Newbies Guide to Audio Recording Awesomenss 2: Pro Recording With Reaper here.

Edit Out The Video Flubs

Very few people can look into a video camera and record perfectly every time. You’re gonna mess up from time-to-time; or in my case, every 15 seconds or so:-P. Usually people fix this in a video editor. But you don’t need a video program if all you’re doing is snipping out the screw-ups!

In Reaper, what you see on a “video” track is only the audio part of that video. You can open a video view window in Reaper to see the visual part of the video. But edits you make to the “audio” in the “video” track will also affect the video. 

What this means, for example, is that if you cut out a part of the audio file on track one (where we imported our video file), the corresponding video will also be cut out. You’ll see what I mean in the video below.

This is fabulous news because it means that one of THE most common jobs done with a separate video editing program – namely, cutting out the flubs – can be done in Reaper! In the video below, I purposely (yeah right) make a mistake and leave it in so I can demonstrate how to use Reaper to fix it. Of course the all important replacing of crappy audio with good audio is also shown below. Enjoy!

12 comments on “Editing Video In Reaper”

  1. Thanx for the guidance, I do have a problem & hope that U can help.. The Video /poor audio was done on an iPhone & the good audio was done on a Zoom R-16 recorder OK.. but the length time line is different & won’t sync up? why? the same song was recorded on both… however in all my editor programs including Reaper the audio (R-16)is about 26 seconds longer than the Video / poor audio recorded on the iPhone… How to make this work
    Thanx in advance for your time to respond

    1. Hmm. That is an odd one. Have you tried altering the time of the Zoom audio in Reaper? Hold down the Alt key and drag the left edge of the Zoom audio to the left until it is the same as the video’s audio track. That should work to make them the same.

  2. Many thanks for this excellent tutorial.
    I’m a newcomer to Reaper (but with some experience of other DAWs) and also a newcomer to video editing, so this handy guide has saved me a lot of grief.
    I’m used to recording and editing music, but this is my first foray into making a spoken word video (a series of short poems). I’m dealing with exactly the same scenario, except that I also need to split the video into shorter segments (because I read all the poems in one take). I started off using Shotcut, because I assumed that a full-fledged video editor would be the best way to do the job. However after several evenings spent wrestling with it, I gave up. Too buggy! Too slow! And every time I thought it was right, it came out with unsynchronised sound when rendered.
    I was just wondering about using a DAW to at least line up the audio before doing the edits in a video editor when I found your guide, and the bombshell moment when I learned that I can use Reaper (and maybe other DAWs?) to do the whole job! I’ve now edited the whole session in very little time. Most of the time was taken up re-positioning the audio at intervals due to differences in the sample rates (a job that was impossible in Shotcut).
    Just rendering the first segment now. . .
    I’ll let you know how it goes!

  3. Hello! I wanted to ask, how I can mix two videos together? E.G. a background video with a beautiful landscape and my video recorded with a camera?

    1. You can’t do that in Reaper. Since Reaper is an audio program, it offers only very basic video editing options. You can add (and mix) multiple audio tracks on a video. But not multiple videos. I’ve been using Vegas to mix multiple videos. I’m working on a project right now that has 66 videos in it!

  4. You can do indeed do multiple videos in reaper for example: the preset in the video processor “Combine: Grid of videos”. That isn’t the only way either. Reaper might be slightly awkward, but it can get the project done. There are several videos and forums that have further information on this.

    1. Thanks Evan. I was not aware of that. Are you saying you can show multiple videos at one time (for, say, 4 panels simultaneously showing 4 different videos? Because THAT is what I thought Alex was asking. And as far as I know, that is not possible. I can see where you could put multiple video clips in series/sequence on the same track, which I can see might be handy. Thanks for the clarification!

  5. The “Grid of Videos” preset does in fact allow multiple videos in a grid. I use it every week to prepare virtual choir pieces for church. It also allows a background color, image or video, among other features. It’s surprisingly flexible video processing for a DAW, and it seems to be able to handle dozens of tracks, at least, without choking.

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