Steinberg take note- Reaper's sub-projects looks very cool

As I’ve been thinking a lot about how to work with my large projects without having to constantly freeze, etc, last night I was watching some Reaper videos. I’ve played with Reaper a few times, and obviously the GUI is tough for me to get around, and I am a long-time Cubase user so it’s daunting to consider using a different DAW. But I was really impressed with this concept of sub-projects. I didn’t realize that Reaper did this. This seems like it could be a great way to more efficiently handle really large projects.

I know Wavelab does something similar-it would be amazing to be able to have something like this in Cubase.

wow sweet feature!!
I would use this kind of thing a lot, i track live bands, but with an i5 surface pro 4, soon run out of processing power, so end up spending ages freezing tracks etc… total slow PITA on cubase…

love this on Reaper!

ive put a post on the feature requests part of the forum

There are some aspects that I want to get more details about. I use a sidechain plugin a lot that affects multiple tracks. So when I do a render in Cubase, I need to render pre-inserts. I’m not sure if this sub-project would be able to handle this sort of situation.

But isn’t this another request for being able to freeze multiple tracks at once? As mbira point out in that thread, more info is needed about the limitations and capabilities of it.

No, sub-projects are different from freezing multiple tracks. I don’t have time to go into it right now, and it’s deeper than what that video shows. A really great feature!

Let’s hear about it when you get a chance.

It’s nothing like freezing-a totally different situation. You can dynamically do edits to the rendered stereo file and those don’t effect the underlying project. You can do edits to the underlying subproject files and those dynamically are reflected in the render. It reminds me more of like how we can open a Cubase export in wavelab and go back to the Cubase project, but it’s 1000x better because it is staying within the daw. I recommend watching some of the short videos. It’s a pretty impressive feature!

I checked out the SOS videos… That is a pretty cool feature. It appears to be something like render-in-place plus automatic re-rendering when you edit the underlying audio, which is very cool. Still, it doesn’t include midi, so it’s kind of limited, and really a non-starter for people who mainly use midi instruments.

No question though about the idea behind this FR though- a way to have some kind of modular approach that permits that kind of utter flexibility is needed.

Yep, that looks very cool.

I also recently found out about the Spectral Editing features in Reaper. Very impressive.

Subprojects in Reaper are totally brilliant. The feature was added without fanfare in Reaper 5.11 back at the end of 2015. It’s genius. I hope Steinberg does something similar… it’s one of the killer features of Reaper that many DAW users – even those who use Reaper regularly – aren’t really familiar with. I found out about it recently myself, even though I’ve used Reaper on the side for years (along with several other DAWs, including Cubase of course). Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective), the Reaper devs are LOUSY at marketing or don’t care about marketing for Reaper, so they didn’t publicize this feature.

And yes, @J-S-Q, the spectral editing was another one of those cool features they added under the radar. The workflow of the spectral editing is very clunky right now, though, but it’s very cool that it’s in there now.

But back to subprojects, probably one of the best unsung cool features of Reaper. If only the rest of the workflow of Reaper were more elegant…

+1 support for this feature. Subprojects are one of the most powerful and most useful unsung features of Reaper. A definite super-feature. Hope Steinberg will do something like this.

I’m not sure what you mean about the midi. If you have instrument tracks that are playing midi then they are rendered down like audio (but are kept as midi and instrument tracks in the sub-project). Changing the midi notes, etc, within the sub-project does the same thing-when you make a change the audio is rendered out. I’m not sure if I’m misunderstanding you, because other than that, I don’t know what you would be expecting a midi sub-project to do?

I created something similar to a Drum Track with several Battery and Kontakt instrument tracks that were being fed from the Drum Track (MIDI). I then turned the whole thing in to a sub-project and so the main project just has a stereo bounce down of the Drum Track, but I can still double click and open the Drum Track and make midi edits, etc. The only drawback is that I can’t have a MIDI trigger sending a sidechain into a different sub-project. In order to do that I would have to have my midi trigger living in each sub-project. But I CAN put the sidechain on to the stereo bouncedown (unlike a frozen Cubase track). It’s an interesting feature.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the same concept as Folders in Logic? I don’t mean Track Stacks, but the way Logic 9 uses folders (which, I believe, is still in 10).

Just that, yes. Clunky :wink: but cool Reaper feature.


By the way, I merged the two threads discussing this, but left out the OP from krevvy because it didn’t make sense in the merged thread. Here it is below for history’s sake. :smiley:

I disagree that the feature itself or the way it handles the MIDI tracks is clunky. I can’t think if a better/different way to do it. But I totally feel like Reaper itself is very clunky-mainly because I am so tied to my Cubase workflow and key commands, etc, and I have no idea how to get around quickly in Reaper.

So yeah…I’d love for Cubase to take the lead on a feature like this…They do something similar already in Wavelab. I can’t remember what it’s called, but you can do the Meta Normalizer on sub-projects where the individual stems are not affected.

+1. This is probably top of my personal wishlist.

I use both Reaper and Cubase. Reaper’s Subprojects is a brilliant feature for a few reasons…

  1. If you want to do layering of eg kick and snare sounds, or SFX for film/AV work (rather than rely on VSTis for every sound), you can use subprojects as a way of inserting your layered creations into your project wherever you want, while still retaining the ability to edit them. Eg if you use layered samples to create a gun sound for a film, you can insert the project on the timeline where needed. But then the director says ‘The gun’s too modern… needs to sound more like an old Colt…’. You can go in and redo the sound without having to completely redo and respot everything.

  2. If you’re working on orchestral stuff that’s using up all your memory/CPU, a subproject is a much better way of working than freezing multiple tracks.

  3. It’s a great way of assembling a mastering project — have mixes of each track in their own Cubase project; have a master project that has each of those as subprojects that open when double-clicked. That way, you can attend to specific problems in mixes rather than compensate for them with EQ/compression during mastering. It’s a lot quicker than organising such projects manually!