Getting Started

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Hello! This page will walk you through installation of Reaper and the extensions that make it as accessible as can be, show you how to test everything installed correctly, then nudge you toward other pages you'll likely find helpful.

If you're not so keen on text, head over to the Reaper Made Easy project for audio tutorials in English.

Downloading and installing Reaper

REAPER supports all Windows versions from Windows XP to Windows 10, and all macOS X versions from 10.5*to 10.12. Reaper can be downloaded for free and be used for sixty days before a license must be purchased. This will give you plenty of time to learn Reaper. The cost of a Reaper personal license is much less expensive than other Digital Audio Workstations. More information about purchasing can be found on the Reaper website. When opening the following link you should Download the appropriate file depending on the system you use: Windows or Mac, 32 or 64-bit. Reaper comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Most computers today have 64-bit versions of the operating system installed, so you can most likely download the 64-bit version, which takes advantage of the added processing power of your computer. download reaper (external site)

Launch the installer file that you have downloaded and follow the relevant setup instructions, and optionally configure the installation to your liking (windows only). After you finish the installation, you are ready to move on to installing Osara.

downloading and installing OSARA

OSARA is a REAPER extension which aims to make REAPER accessible to screen reader users. It runs on both Windows and Mac. It is built to work with the free NVDA screenreader on Windows and VoiceOver on the Mac, however there are also people successfully using it with JAWS screenreader on Windows. If you are using JAWS, you may wish to download Snowman's Reaper Jaws Scripts here.

Dolphin SuperNova now also offers support for Reaper with OSARA. Map and script data can be obtained via SuperNova's online updating feature.

Download either the Mac or Windows version of the OSARA installer from this link.

As always, make sure reaper is also up to date so you can take full advantage of osara's functionality. You can also follow what's new in osara, be sure to check this from time to time.

Basic installation instructions below, however, for additional instructions and information on Osara, see the main osara page at

Windows Osara Installation

Open the OSARA installer, leaving all the options to their default values, (keep clicking next).

At the end, reaper and osara should be set up and configured to work together with each other. By leaving the options at the defaults, you will have also installed the Osara key map.

  • note: You can decide not to install the key map during the set up process, by toggling a checkbox. This is useful in situations when osara is updated or you already have a favorite set of hotkeys assigned. The osara key map will still be copied in case you wish to integrate the shortcuts from it later on into an existing key map.

Mac OSARA Installation

Currently the method of installing Osara on the Mac is a bit different from other Mac applications. There is no standard install package, because OSARA is an extension, not an app.

Download the DMG and open.

Use VO+Shift+M to Open the "Install OSARA.command" file. This runs in Terminal.

When VoiceOver informs you that Terminal has launched in the background, use Command+Tab to switch to it, and follow the installation prompts.

Note that sometimes, you might need to use VoiceOver's Window Chooser feature in Terminal to bring the installation prompts into focus. Window Chooser is accessed by hitting VO+F2 twice quickly.

If Mac OS complains about OSARA being an unknown extension when you open reaper, allow it to run in the Security and Privacy pane of System Preferences.

SWS Extension (optional but recommended)

the sws extenssion is a plug-in that adds a large number of actions, in other words, it extends the functionality of Reaper substantially. and is free. It is highly recommended as Osara takes advantage of some of the added actions. When installing the SWS extension, follow the relevant instructions for your operating system as described on the Standing Water Studios (SWS) website. There are no actual setup options on the installer, so installing it by leaving everything in their defaults should get you up and running.

testing it all together

To make sure that osara is installed and working, first launch reaper from the shortcut that has been created on your desktop (Windows), or from the Applications folder (Mac). The shortcut name for reaper 32 bit is just simply reaper, whereas for systems that use 64 bit reaper the name of the shortcut will be reaper (x64).

Once you have launched reaper, you will come across a dialog that states that reaper is not free, and asks you if you would like to buy the software or evaluate it. At this time, you should move through the dialog to the button called "still evaluating". This screen does not appear again until the next day you run the program, even if you close and open it again, or until you eventually buy a license. If you have tabbed and cannot find the still evaluating button, wait a few seconds and try tabbing again, since the dialog is designed to show you the message for a few seconds to remind you to buy the program. Once you open reaper, you will hear the program name, the version number, and some other information, like such, (editors note: how is this actually heard on the mac?)

REAPER v5.50/x64 - (not registered)


REAPER v5.50/x64 - Registered to Jhon Doe (Licensed for personal/small business use)

in this case, this means that you have a blank project file already open. To test that osara is working properly, you should press either down or up arrow, which are the keyboard shortcuts to move to next and previous track respectively. At this point, you should hear your screen reader say, "no tracks".

So now that you are ready, its time to learn a few basics (exactly which ones? see discussion page), plus a few specific Keyboard Shortcuts so we will start out with "create page" which will help you understand how reaper exactly works.