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Drum Racks in REAPER (Ableton Style)

November 27, 2023

If you are searching for an Ableton-like drum rack in REAPER, you will unfortunately not find one natively, at least not to this day. 🥲

The only sampling plugin we have is ReaSamplOmatic5000, which is good, and can totally be used as a drum rack, but setting it up for multiple samples can be a bit of a pain.

However, thanks to some talented members of the REAPER community, there are a couple of scripts available that make this process much easier and work super well! 🤩

In this short article, I will go over the two drum rack scripts available in REAPER:

  • RS5k Manager by MPL
  • ReaDrum Machine by Suzuki

RS5k Manager

This script made by MPL has a beautiful and intuitive interface. Despite having many features, it doesn't feel overwhelming, and you can choose what you want to see on the screen.

The script integrates seamlessly with REAPER's Media Explorer. Simply select a track and start dragging samples into the pads. It will automatically create a MIDI track for your writing and a separate track for each sample, allowing you to process and mix them individually.

What I love is that when you drag samples into the pad, they are automatically renamed in the MIDI editor, making it super easy to locate them. I also find it so convenient to have all of the Reasamplomatic controls available when I press any of the pads.

The interface is seriously so well done! 👌

How to install RS5k Manager

To get the script, you need ReaPack installed. If you don't have it, check out this guide: How to install ReaPack.

To use the script, open the Actions menu (shortcut: ?) and search for "Script: mpl_RS5k manager (background).lua". I recommend setting this up in one of your toolbars! ⭐️

For more info check out the forum thread of this script.

ReaDrum Machine

This script, made by Suzuki, is an interesting solution! It works similarly to the previous script, with the main difference being that it takes full advantage of REAPER 7's new FX containers feature. The end result is a very clean track, as everything is done in just one track.

Basically, when you drag samples into the pads, an FX container will be automatically created in your track. This allows you to further process the samples as they will now have their own self-contained FX chain.

One thing I love is that you can load samples from the arrange view.

How to install ReaDrum Machine

You need to use REAPER v7+ for this script to work.

You also need ReaPack installed. If you don't have it, check out this guide: How to install ReaPack.

Once ReaPack is installed, you need to add the following repositories. To do so, paste the following links into: Extensions > ReaPack > Import a repository.

Sexan’s repository:

https://github.com/GoranKovac/ReaScripts/raw/master/index.xmlCopy

Suzuki’s repository:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Suzuki-Re/Suzuki-Scripts/master/index.xmlCopy

Once both repositories are installed, open the Actions menu (shortcut: ?) and search for "Script: Suzuki_ReaDrum_Machine_Instruments_Rack.lua". I recommend setting this up in one of your toolbars! ⭐️

For more info check out the forum thread of this script. Consider supporting the creator (Suzuki) and let him know any feedback if you have any! ✨

That’s it!

In conclusion, while REAPER does not have a native drum rack feature like Ableton, there are scripts available that make it possible to create drum racks. The RS5k Manager and ReaDrum Machine scripts offer convenient ways to create drum racks in REAPER, providing flexibility and ease of use.

Feel free to explore these scripts and experiment with the different approaches in your REAPER projects!

Let me know if you need any further assistance or have any questions. I'm happy to help!

Hai there!

I'm Alejandro, and I created this ad-free page to give you the best experience learning REAPER.

If you find my work helpful, please consider buying me a coffee. That'd help me cover the costs of this site and gives me more time to create free resources.

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