Building a Mix Template in REAPER DAW

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Starting your mix with a template is an easy way to save time, reduce repetitive steps, and reduce decision fatigue. The template doesn’t mix for us, it just reduces the setup time, and gives us quicker access to our favorite tools by having them in the mixer from the start. It’s generic enough to work with most music mixing projects.

My template includes a number of track groups/folders with specific names
– Drums Bus
– Percussion Bus
– Bass Guitar Bus
– Electric Guitars Bus
– Acoustic Guitars Bus
– Keyboards Bus
– Samples Bus
– Vocals Bus
– BG Vocals (this track goes inside the Vocals Bus folder)

Personally, I stop there with track settings. You could have tracks set up for kick, snare etc, but I prefer not to. I go to my saved FX-Chains for individual track starting points.

Something that often takes me out of Flow is searching the fx browser for specific plugins. My template includes several starting point effects on the folders for EQ, Compression, and Tape Saturation. I don’t have to use these in the mix, but they’re ready if I want them.

A Parallel Compression track for drums is in the template with an eq and SoundToys DeviLoc set up.

Lo-Fi, Modulation, Delays, and 3 Reverbs are inserted on several tracks to use for parallel processing. I like to set up many options for these and especially put new plugins I haven’t used yet, or plugins I forgot about.

All the tracks are saved as a single track template, so it’s just 2 clicks to add everything into a project. You could also save this as a Project Template if you prefer.

The Master track includes some starting point bus compression plugins, a Pultec style EQ and Ozone 8 (set offline) for when I need to render a quick master. The plugins on the master track are saved as a separate FX Chain.

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