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Layer sounds in one track in REAPER

January 31, 2023

Here’s a crazy REAPER feature. You can put a bunch of items in just ONE track and move them freely like this:

It’s called “free item positioning” and ever since I knew about this, I do a lot of my layering/stacking this way.

Pretty handy for when I am reinforcing a snare or creating swooshes, whatever that can have a bunch of layers!

How?

To enable free item positioning, simply right-click on a track and check the "Free Item Positioning" option.

Now you should be able to move the items in this track freely and even stack multiple items on top of each other.

If it gets messy, you can go to the Actions menu (shortcut: ?) and search for Item: Auto-reposition items in free item positioning mode. I suggest setting a shortcut for it if you find yourself using it frequently 👍

Why would you use this feature?

🔊 Stacking sound effects

I primarily use this whenever I want to layer several sound effects together. So instead of having a bunch of tracks, I can put them all in one track and do all my processing in there.

By the way, if you want to enable these useful buttons at the top of your items, check out this quick tutorial → Get useful buttons on top of your items

🔴 Stacking recordings

If you record on a track while free item positioning is on, every recording pass you make will stack on top of the previous one like this:

These three layers will play at the same time.

And if you want to hear the previous layers as you record, you can right click the monitor icon and select Monitor track media when recording .

That’s it!

Feel free to experiment and find creative ways to use it!

For example, you can use it to reinforce a snare or a kick, or to layer multiple sound effects together to create unique swooshes.

You can also use it to record multiple passes of a track and stack them together, allowing you to easily hear the previous layers while recording.

And if you want a bit more control over your items, you can check out this tutorial to enable some useful buttons at the top of your items → Get useful buttons on top of your items.

Enjoy 💙

Hai there!

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

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