Reaper Video Optimizations
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
I started (and finished) a linear project this weekend and while I was at it I decided to do some Reaper video tests. This is not my first linear work in Reaper, I do it daily basis, but it's always felt a little clunky.. Sometimes it could take ~2seconds to start video playback and by that time I've missed trying to sync what I want with the audio.
I did some testing and I am extremely happy with the results. So happy that I can literally press play and the video starts playback instantly!
Bear in mind that these findings are experimental and there may be other / better ways of achieving this. There may be even more ways of optimizing further - if so please leave a comment!
As with any test I like to list tech specs at the start before jumping in just as a means of demonstrating what kind of machine the tests were done with.
I would also like to note that I am a pretty nerdy tech guy and I have programs and assets across different disks for better read/write which will also help a lot. I have done this for years generally, to improve load times in games / projects etc. but this also applies for any application, including this one!
Drive C - Windows Only
Drive D - Reaper.exe / VST / UE4 / Games etc.
Drive P - Reaper Session / Audio Assets / Videos* / Libraries etc.
*You could also try your video on another drive as well but I think it's good to keep it within the location of the session
AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 6core 3.6GHz
nVidia GTX 1660 Ti
32GB GDDR4 RAM
Let's dive in!
First let's open up the Reaper Preferences.
I'll explain each section split by the Reaper tab with screenshots.
Media - Video/REX/Misc
I am using VLC as the Video Encoder. Make sure you are using a 64-bit VLC install as the default it will download for you in 32-bit.
Disable these. Not only will it help your video session but your audio sessions as well. Peaks are nice to display but they tax your system a TON. This alone will help your sessions.
Audio - Buffering
I have auto-detect disabled for the core detection. I would recommend doing the same. Who knows how often it's checking for that value? is it every start? every second?
My CPU is 6-cores 12-threads so I've gone with 6 as per the Reaper recommendation of one per core. You could also input a value lower than your cores if you want to reserve the cores for other applications but you should probably go with all of them.
I have left these default. Usually when messing with these in other applications it can cause blue screens. Reaper backs up every 5mins for me but I would still like to avoid that.
Media Buffer Size
I have input a value of 11ms for the buffer size here. That is because my RME is running at a buffer size of 512 samples with a delay of 11ms - might as well let them match, right?!
Prebuffer is set to 100%, I found this was actually preventing it to buffer at all when it was at 0% - which isn't what we want.
Now let's move over to the Video Window (CTRL+SHIFT+V)
Video Item Properties
Earlier we disabled high-res peaks, however, this is a bit different. This will turn the peaks off entirely for the video.
Also if you don't need the audio in your source video to A/B against then tick 'ignore audio' to disable the audio entirely rather than just adjust the volume slider in Reaper as it will read less data this way.
Multi-threading - Disabled by Default. I enabled 4 which seems to be the max.
Pre-Fetch - Disabled by Default. I enabled 4 threads.
Video Cache - Default is 1second. I have set it to 2seconds.
That's it from me.
Please share if you found any of this useful!