The newest version of Reaper (4.10) has an amazing new feature, found in some other DAWs – track freeze. Freezing a track means rendering it to a static sound file, the point of which is to save a lot of precious CPU cycles.
I’ve done this manually before, mostly to be able to work on my projects on computers that don’t have all of the VSTs I’ve used (Superior Drummer’s 30+ GB doesn’t install well portably to DropBox for instance). Having started to use more amp sims, problems have also started to occur when neither my laptop nor my aging static computer can always playback the projects without stutter.
The thing with a freeze function is that you get help switching between the track in a frozen state and in a live rendered state. When you freeze the track it automatically mutes the original track (or tracks, you can freeze a whole track folder including subtracks). When you unfreeze the track the rendered file disappears and the track(s) are reenabled.
Even cooler is that you can freeze a selected number of FX on a track. Say you have a compressor, amp sim and cab impulse loader and want to tweak EQ and delay on that track, you can freeze the first three and keep the last two live.
It’s really easy, either right-click on a track and select freeze from the menu, or open the track’s FX list and freeze from there.
This function is really going to help me keep my portable Reaper setup where it and most VSTs are installed in my DropBox and I can work on any computer.