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REAPER Vocal Effects (An In-Depth Look)

REAPER has several plugins that you can use as vocal effects, such as autotune, pitch correction, reverb, etc. To use a vocal effects plugin in REAPER, click the ‘FX’ button on your vocal track, find your desired plugin, and double click it to insert it. 

Vocal Effects For REAPER

Not only is vocal mixing a significant part of producing a song, but it can also be pretty tricky if you do not know what you’re doing.

Thankfully, REAPER has a plugin collection that contains some real gems for vocal mixing. 

If you learn how to use REAPER’s vocal effects plugins properly, you will have a much easier time getting a great vocal mix in REAPER.   

 In this in-depth article, we will be looking at REAPER vocal effects and how to use them!

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

Here is a list of what you will need to follow in this tutorial:

  • REAPER DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
  • A song with vocals that you need to mix

My Approach

I like to keep it somewhat simple when mixing vocals using REAPER plugins. 

Here is a brief outline of my process using REAPER vocal effects:

  1. Use ‘ReaTune‘ to pitch correct/autotune your vocals
  2. Use ‘JS: Saturation‘ to add warmth and presence to your vocal track
  3. Use ‘ReaEQ‘ to clean up and sculpt your vocal track
  4. Use ‘ReaComp‘ to control the dynamics of your vocal track
  5. Use ‘ReaVerb‘ to add space and size to your vocal track
  6. Use ‘ReaDelay‘ to add size and an interesting vocal effect to your vocal track
  7. Take a final listen and clean up your vocal track using ReaEQ if need be

Now that we know the process we will follow, let’s get started!

Step One – ReaTune

Start by inserting ReaTune onto your vocal track and setting the scale of your song, your attack time, etc. 

ReaTune In Action

You also have the option of manually pitch correcting your vocal track in REAPER, but it will take more time, effort, and knowledge.

Now that your vocal track is pitch-corrected, you can move on.

Step Two – JS: Saturation

The second vocal effect that I like to use in REAPER is JS: Saturation.

This will help you add some warmth and color to your vocal track.

JS: Saturation In Action

Step Three – ReaEQ

One of the most important steps in mixing vocals is EQing them. 

EQing or equalizing vocals is cutting out or boosting specific frequencies in your vocal track to clean up and enhance them. 

ReaEQ In Action

ReaEQ also has several EQ presets that you can use to get you started.

Step Four – ReaComp

ReaComp is one of REAPER’s compression plugins that I use to control the dynamics of vocals in my tracks. 

Compression will help you to even out the volumes of the quieter and louder sections of the vocals in the song you are working on.

ReaComp In Action

ReaComp also features some vocal presets; these can be especially helpful for beginners.

Step Five – ReaVerb

The next plugin I use for mixing vocals in REAPER is ReaVerb to add a bit of reverb to my vocals.

Adding reverb on vocals helps to add size, space, and excitement. 

ReaVerb In Action

Be careful when adding reverb to your vocals not to go overboard and wash your vocals out.

Step Six – ReaDelay

The last plugin I will use to mix my vocals is ReaDelay. 

I’m going to use the ‘vocal slapback‘ preset to add a bit of slapback to my vocals. 

ReaDelay In Action

Delay is another plugin that you do not want to be too heavy-handed with when mixing vocals.

Step Seven – Clean Up

The final step for mixing vocals with REAPER vocal effects is to go through and make any tweaks or adjustments that you need to make. 

For example, I notice that I need to do a few small EQ and compression adjustments on my vocal track. 

Cleaning Up Vocals In REAPER

How Do You Add Vocal Effects In REAPER?

To add vocal effects in REAPER, all you have to do is click the ‘Show Track FX Window‘ button on your vocal track and double-click a vocal effect/mixing plugin that you want to add. 

Adding Vocal Effects In REAPER

Remember that you can use third-party vocal effects plugins and stock REAPER plugins.

REAPER Voice Effects

Here is a list of the voice effects you can find in REAPER:

  • JS: Saturation (helps to add warmth and flavor to your vocal track)
  • ReaTune (you can use this plugin to correct the pitch of/autotune your vocal track)
  • ReaEQ (great for sculpting the tone of your vocal track)
  • ReaComp (essential for controlling the dynamics of your vocal track)
  • ReaVerb (adds space and dimension to your vocal track)
  • ReaDelay (adds size and effect to your vocal track)
  • ReaPitch (you can use this one to alter the overall pitch of your vocal track)
  • ReaGate (great for cutting out dead space in between vocal lines in your vocal track)

Although REAPER comes with a lot more plugins than the ones I’ve listed here, these are typically the ones I end up using as vocal/voice audio effects.

Best Vocal Plugins For REAPER

Here is a list of what are, in my opinion, the five best vocal plugins for REAPER:

  1. ReaPitch: you can use this one to change the pitch of vocals to get a cool low or high effect
  2. JS: Saturation: saturation is great for adding warmth and color to vocals
  3. ReaEQ: use ReaEQ to sculpt the tone of your vocals
  4. ReaVerb: reverb is something I almost always use on vocals, and ReaVerb is REAPER’s best reverb plugin, in my opinion
  5. ReaDelay: I often use delay on vocals to add size or get an interesting effect

REAPER Best Vocal Effects

Here is a list of the best vocal effects in REAPER:

  1. ReaVerb: REAPER’s primary reverb plugin
  2. JS: Delay w/ Tempo Ping-Pong: great for getting an incredible ping-pong delay on your vocals
  3. ReaPitch: you can use this to change the pitch of your vocals to get an excellent effect
  4. JS: 4-Tap Phaser: I like to throw some phaser on vocals every once in a while
  5. JS: Flanger: sometimes, flanger can be an excellent effect to throw on a vocal track

Does REAPER Have Autotune?

Yes, REAPER has an autotune plugin called ‘ReaTune.’ 

You can use ReaTune for autotune and manual pitch correction, and it also has a tuner within it. 

ReaTune Autotune In Action

What Does Autotune Do To Your Voice?

Autotune changes the pitch of your voice in real-time based on whatever parameters you set. 

Here are the things you can tune based off of in ReaTune:

  • Musical scale/notes (what notes your voice gets tuned to by ReaTune)
  • Minimum/maximum pitch (the minimum and maximum pitch that ReaTune will tune your voice to)
  • Attack time (how quick ReaTune changes the pitch of your vocals. The faster the attack time, the more unnatural and robotic your voice will sound)

You can use autotune for corrective purposes and a vocal effect, as heard in some hip-hop and pop songs. 

How Do You Get Rid Of The Breath In REAPER?

To get rid of the breath between vocal lines in REAPER, you can use ‘ReaGate.’ 

Removing Breath With ReaGate

‘ReaGate’ is a noise gate plugin. You use a noise gate to cut off the volume of a track when it dips below a certain threshold. 

Noise gates are often used to cut out breath and dead space in vocal tracks.  

Related Questions

How Do You Deepen Voices In REAPER?

You can use the ‘ReaPitch‘ plugin to deepen voices in REAPER. 

To do this, insert ‘ReaPitch’ on the track you want to alter, and then set the pitch to your desired tone. You can change the pitch in ‘ReaPitch’ based on centssemitones, or octaves.

Keep in mind that you can also use ‘ReaPitch’ to raise the pitch of something, not just lower it.

Is REAPER Good for Audio Editing?

Yes, in my opinion, REAPER is an incredible digital audio workstation for audio editing. Everything is super smooth, and you can accomplish all the major editing tasks without opening up additional windows or screens.

Although other DAWs such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, etc., all have their perks, REAPER is my favorite for audio editing. 

What Should You Record First in A Song?

If possible, you should always record drums/percussion first when working on a song. 

This will give you a solid foundation to record other instruments on top of.

What Effects Does REAPER Have?

REAPER has a whole collection of mixing and mastering plugins such as saturation, equalization (EQ), compression, reverb, delay, etc. 

These are only a few of the effects/plugins offered within REAPER. However, REAPER does not include any virtual instrument plugins, unlike other DAWs such as Logic Pro, FL Studio, etc.

Take your music production to the next level with our guide on mixing vocals in REAPER.

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