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Grouping tracks in Reaper

This is a great way to manage the volume or level of a pair of tracks for a single instrument. For example, the overheads, a guitar cabinet or the acoustic guitar.

I almost always use two mics on my acoustic guitar, a Shure SM-57 somewhere around the 12th fret pointed towards the sound hole, and a Samson C-01 or Behringer B-1 directly opposite the sound hole and roughly the same distance away.

For this example, I’ve got my two mics on my acoustic guitar track. I’ve balanced the mix and adjusted the level of each to get a sound I’m happy with. The two tracks are working well together but chances are I’ll want to rebalance the mix at some point and maybe bump them up or down a dB or two.

All my effects are (at this stage) only applied to the Acoustic Guitar bus track. So I’m now going to group the tracks for each of the mics. This will let me adjust the level quickly and easily, without messing up the work I’ve already done to blend them together.

Grouping the tracks

  1. Hold the Command key (Mac) or CTRL key (Windows) and select each of the tracks you want to group together.
  2. Press Shift + G, or right click and select Track grouping parameters.
  3. Select the parameters you would like the tracks to share, in this instance I’m just going to select All and click Close.

The two tracks are now linked and any changes I make to the track level, panning, mute, solo etc are replicated on the linked track.

Grouped reverse panning

Another cool trick you can employ here, which probably more useful for overheads, is to mirror the panning for the tracks.

  1. Select one of your grouped tracks and press ShiftG or right click the track and select Track grouping parameters.
  2. Tick Reverse pan.

Now when you pan one of the tracks right, the other will pan left. Cool huh?

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