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Save Time & Edit Faster!

When it comes to content creation, whether it’s creating videos or podcasts, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as the presence of long bits with unwanted silence.

Those awkward pauses can interrupt the flow and diminish the impact of your videos. They can also be a pain to cut out manually with your video editor taking minutes or even hours to finish.

In this article, we’ll walk you through a hassle-free method to eliminate these pesky silences from your audio using Reaper, a versatile digital audio workstation (DAW) software.

By the end you will be able to auto-remove all silence with just a few clicks. You can then import these recordings or videos to a video editor like davinci resolve for further editing.

What is Reaper?

Reaper is a fast, lightweight, and highly customizable digital audio workstation software.

Whether you have a powerful rig or a humble potato PC, Reaper will still work. It’s so light that you can probably even run it on your smart fridge if you wanted to!

It won’t take up much space on your computer either, just around 147MB when installed.

It’s perfect for recording, producing, and editing audio. The best part is, it comes with built-in plug-ins that can enhance your vocals, remove background noise, and much more.

Some Plugins (VST Plugins) also work outside of Reaper in OBS, Davinci Resolve and can be installed with a separate executable, without installing Reaper itself.

How To Install Reaper?

First things first, you’ll need to install Reaper on your computer. Reaper is compatible with Windows, Mac, and even Linux systems.

But for this guide we will refer to the Windows installation steps. You can find more about installation instructions HERE.

You have two installation options:

  • Download the installation files/ setup executable (exe).
  • Enter a command on powershell

Winget Reaper Install

Want to install it faster? If you are on windows open the PowerShell with as admin and type: winget install Cockos.REAPER -h

You can try it out for free for 60 days with all the bells and whistles and no soft or hard locks on any of the features.

After that 60 days trial you can purchase a license but there still won’t be any restrictions whatsoever.

There are two licensing options:

  • Discounted license – $60
  • Commercial license – $225

Both options are a one-time fee with no recurring payments like some of its competitors. Isn’t that awesome?

Reaper Settings and Setup

Now that you have installed Reaper you can customize the settings to match most of your workflow and projects.

You can tweak the audio device, project settings, and other options to suit your preferences.

Reaper preferences for audio devices (CTRL + P):

  • Audio system: WaveOut
  • Input device: Microphone (RODE NT-USB)
  • Output device: Speakers (RODE NT-USB)
  • Sample format: 24bit
  • Input channels: 2
  • Output channels: 2
  • Sample 48 000
  • Buffers: 8 x 120
  • Audio tread priority: ASIO Default/ MIMCSS Pro Audio/ Time Critical
  • Allow projects to override device sample rate

I should say that the audio system is good for compatibility especially if you don’t have a sound card otherwise you are better off using ASIO.

Here are the project settings I’m currently using (Alt+ENTER):

  • Project sample rate: 48 000
  • Project BPM: 120 000
  • Timebase for items/ envelopes/ markers: Beats (position, length, rate)
  • Timebase for tempo/ time signature envelope: Beats
  • Project start time: 0:00:000
  • Project start measure: 1
  • Playback resample mode: Sinc interpolation 64pt (medium quality)
  • Render resample mode: Sinc interpolation 192pt
  • Default pitch shift mode mode élastique 3.3.3 pro
  • Pitch shifter parameter: Normal
  • Stretch marker mode: Balanced

To make your life even easier, you can add a shortcut to the Auto Trim/Remove Silence feature in your toolbar, if you plan on removing silence for different projects or videos.

To add the auto-remove silence shortcut:

  1. Right-click on the toolbar,
  2. Select “Customize Toolbar,”
  3. “Add”
  4. Type “remove silence” in the filter bar.
  5. Select “Auto Trim/Split Items (remove silence)”
  6. Click “Add”

Now you can use this shortcut instead of looking for this function every single time.

How To Import Media?

It’s time to import your media into Reaper. It can be an audio-only file or a video with audio.

You can also use Reaper to record the audio and work on it right away without needing to import any other media file.

You can either drag-and-drop the file into Reaper or click on:

  • “Insert” in the top bar,
  • Select “Media”

If you’re on Windows, you can simply click on the “Insert” key.

If you encounter any issues, try converting your file to a different format using software like Handbrake or Shutter Encoder.

How To Auto Trim/ Remove Silence

Remember the Auto Trim Shortcut you added to your toolbar? Now you can click on that button to auto remove silence from your media.

Let’s go over the settings:

  • Threshold: -35db
  • Hysteresis: +0.0
  • Ignore silence shorter than: 200ms
  • Make non-silent clips no shorter than: 200ms
  • Leading Pad: 40ms
  • Trailing Pad: 100ms
  • Fade Pad: Checked
  • Auto adjust snap offset to peak values in the first 100ms
  • Mode: split and remove silent areas

First you can adjust the threshold for loudness. For me -35db works fine, but the more you go down on this (-40, -50..) the more it’s going to pick up silence.

If it’s cutting out too much you can go down 1 at a time to figure out the sweet spot for example -36, -37, -38 etc.

You can ignore silence shorter then and enter the milliseconds, I usually keep it at the default 200ms, but it may depend on your particular use case.

If you want to split and remove silent areas completely without leaving any empty space you just need to select the mode: split and remove silent areas.

If you want to remove silence but keep the empty spaces you can check the option: preserve trimming of non-silent areas

You can also split and keep silent areas. If you are reading this article I will probably want to remove the silent areas completely and edit the video later on a video editor, so you don’t need to use anything else.

With all the settings in place, click “Process” and watch Reaper work its magic. All the unwanted silence will be removed from your audio file, leaving you with a much cleaner recording.

How To Render Media

Next thing you need to do is render the file so that you can work with it on any other software with the silence already removed.

You can also do all your audio editing in Reaper and apply some effects but that is up to you and depends on your workflow.

To render media:

  • Go to the top menu
  • Open the “File” drop down menu
  • Click on Render (CTRL + ALT + R).
  • Select the folder where you want to render your file to in “Directory”.
  • Enter a filename
  • Select sample rate (same as original footage)
  • Choose the right format
  • Video resolution and frame rate (match original footage)
  • Click render

I’m just going to select the “D:\Remove Silence directory” for this example. Then you can enter a filename and see where your file will be rendered to.

Keep the same sample rate of your microphone or original recording. You can also normalize if your audio is too loud after hitting “dry run” if there are no clips it should be fine.

If you imported a video and want to keep it as a video:

  • Go down to primary output format,
  • Go to format and choose video (ffmpeg)
  • Use MOV/MP4 for compressed video or MVK for lossless
  • You can select the video resolution and frame rate and usually make these match the original footage so if you recorded in 1080P at 60fps you would select 1080P at 60fps.

Finally, hit the “Render” button, and Reaper will take care of the rest. Once it’s done, click on “Show in Explorer” to locate your file.

Now, you can import it into your video editing software and start adding footage, effects, color grading and more.

You just skipped a time consuming step that is cutting and removing silence from your video. Go about your day and keep creating awesome content!

Streamline Your Content Creation

Now, you can import it into your video editing software and start adding footage, effects, color grading and more.

You just skipped a time consuming step that is cutting and removing silence from your video. Go about your day and keep creating awesome content!

There are also other ways to auto-remove silence, this is just one of them.

You can try Auto-Editor, a Command Line Interface App (runs on the terminal) that automates some video editing tasks including silence removal.