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REAPER Presets (A Complete Guide)

The REAPER DAW includes a reasonably extensive plugin collection. Many of the plugins within the REAPER plugin collection also include various presets that you can use to get you started. To use REAPER presets, insert a REAPER plugin that has presets available and select one from the dropdown menu. 

Using REAPER Presets

Mixing with plugins such as EQ, compression, reverb, etc., can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to music production.

Using plugin presets can be helpful if you are just starting to mix your own music.

When I first learned music production, I probably used at least one plugin preset on all of my individual tracks during the mixing process. I basically used plugin presets as training wheels until I was ready to mix without them!

In this complete guide, we will look at REAPER presets and how you can use them in your mixes.

What You Will Need For This Tutorial

Here is a list of what you will need for this tutorial:

  • REAPER DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
  • A track that you need to mix

Now that you have what you need for the tutorial, let’s get going!

REAPER Preset Library

Here is a list of all the different REAPER plugins that come with presets:

  • ReaEQ
  • ReaComp
  • ReaXcomp
  • ReaVerb
  • ReaVerbate
  • ReaDelay
  • ReaGate
  • JS: Paranoia Mangler

You can see the different presets for each plugin using the dropdown menu within each REAPER plugin.

How To Use REAPER Presets

Step One – Insert Plugin Onto Track

The first step for using a REAPER plugin preset is to insert a stock REAPER plugin on your track.

To do this, click the ‘Show Track FX Window‘ on the desired track and double-click the vst plugin that you want to use. 

Insert Plugin

Now that you have inserted your plugin, you can move on. 

Step Two – Select Your Desired Plugin Preset

The next step is to select the plugin preset you want to use. 

To do this, open up the dropdown preset menu in the plugin and make your selection. 

Open Preset Dropdown

Step Three – Tweak Preset If Needed

The final step for using REAPER presets is to make any necessary tweaks or adjustments.

Listen to what the preset is doing to your track and change around any controls, knobs, or dials as you see fit. 

Tweaking A Preset

As you can see, using REAPER plugin presets is quick and easy.

REAPER Templates, Presets, and FX Chains

One of the great things about REAPER is that you can customize it to make it your own by saving track templates, plugin presets, and entire FX chains.

These REAPER functions can help you enhance your workflow and make working in REAPER smooth and efficient.

Track Templates

To save a track template in REAPER, organize your track how you want to keep it, right-click the track, and select ‘Save tracks as track template.’ 

Now, you will be able to use this template the next time you are working on a similar track. 

Saving A Track template

REAPER Plugin Presets

To save a REAPER plugin preset, dial in your plugin settings how you want to keep them, press the ‘+‘ next to the dropdown preset menu, and select ‘Save preset.’ 

This is an excellent way for you to save your own plugin presets in REAPER. 

Saving Plugin Preset

REAPER FX Chains

To save an entire FX chain in REAPER, set your FX chain up the way you want it to be, click ‘FX,’ and then ‘Save FX Chain.’ 

Now you have saved this specific FX chain. 

Saving FX Chains

How Do I Install REAPER Presets?

To install (import) a REAPER Preset Library (.rpl), click the ‘+‘ on a REAPER plugin next to the dropdown plugin menu and select ‘Import preset library’ (.rpl)

From here, find your REAPER Preset Library and select it to install it.

Installing REAPER Presets

You can also use this dropdown menu to export a REAPER Preset Library. 

This is handy if you want to share REAPER presets with another user.

Where Are REAPER Presets Stored?

REAPER stores presets in a ‘.ini file.’ 

There will be a separate ‘.ini file’ for each individual plugin.  

To find your REAPER preset folders, click Options>Show REAPER resource path in explorer/finder>Presets. 

You can see all of your different REAPER plugins that have presets. 

REAPER Preset Path

How Do I Save A Track Template In REAPER?

To save a track template in REAPER, start by organizing your track in how you want to save it.

Next, right-click the track selection and choose ‘Save tracks as track template.’ 

Now, you have saved this track as a template. 

Keep In mind that you can use this technique to save one or multiple tracks as a template.

This is an incredibly handy technique for enhancing your workflow and saving you time with your music production. 

How Do I Import A Template Into REAPER?

To import a track template into REAPER, select Options>Show REAPER Resource Path In Explorer/Finder

Next, copy and paste or drag and drop your REAPER track template file (.RTrackTemplate) into the ‘TrackTemplates‘ folder.

As long as your track template file is in the correct format, you will successfully import a track template if you follow these steps.

Using this same process, you can also import a REAPER project template folder if you copy and paste a REAPER project file into the ‘Project Templates’ folder.

What are your favorite REAPER presets?

Here are some of my favorite REAPER plugin presets:

  • Track Default (ReaEQ): this preset is excellent because it is a simple EQ curve that I often use on my tracks
  • Master Bus NY Comp (ReaComp): this preset is a fantastic but straightforward master track compression preset
  • Super Smooth 3 Band (ReaXcomp): this EQ preset is a great starting point for a dynamic compressor
  • Vocal Slapback (ReaDelay): this delay preset gives you a tasteful amount of vocal slapback
  • Kick Gate (ReaGate): this is my go-to kick drum noise gate preset
  • Sweetverbo (ReaVerb): this preset is my favorite REAPER reverb preset
  • MixAlive (ReaVerbate): this preset adds some life to your mix in the form of reverb

Related Questions

How Do You Add an Fx Chain in REAPER?

To add an FX chain in REAPER, dial in your FX chain the way you want it, click ‘FX‘ on the Track FX Window, and choose ‘Save FX Chain.’
Now, you can use this same FX chain anytime you want to.

What REAPER Plugins Have Presets?

Here are all of the REAPER plugins that include presets:
ReaEQ
ReaComp
ReaXcomp
ReaGate
ReaVerb
ReaVerbate
ReaDelay

Do Other DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) Have Presets with Their Plugins?

Yes, other DAWs such as Pro Tools, FL Studio, Studio One, Adobe Audition, etc., all have plugins with presets.
Whether on individual tracks or multiple tracks, plugin presets can help simplify the mixing process, especially for beginners.

Now that we have finished looking at REAPER presets, let’s dive into REAPER VST folders.

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