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  • AndyGBass

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

Tech Spec

Reaper (v5.987)


AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 6core 3.6GHz

nVidia GTX 1660 Ti


Windows 10


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

Video Encoder

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.

High-Res Peaks

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.

Thread Priority

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.

Performance Tweaks

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!

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