How to Save MIDI Files in Reaper
By Jason Savage
Updated September 22, 2017
Reaper is a digital audio workstation (DAW) application produced by Cockos. It offers a wide array of tools for recording, editing and arranging audio and MIDI. MIDI data differs from audio in that it does not contain actual audio information or sound, instead taking the form of data which can tell a MIDI-enabled synthesizer or instrument what to play, how to play it and when. Sometimes musicians who work with MIDI data want to save individual tracks or fragments of MIDI for use in other applications. Reaper provides a number of options for doing so.
Saving an Individual MIDI Region
Start Reaper and choose "Open" from the "File" menu to load the project containing the individual MIDI region you want to save. In Reaper's Edit Area, locate that MIDI region within your project. Right-click on the region and select "Open items with built-in MIDI editor" from the "Open items in editor" sub-menu. Reaper's MIDI editor will open and display the MIDI data contained in the region.
Right-click in the area at the top of the of the MIDI area next to the "Snap to grid" button. A contextual menu will appear. In the "File" sub-menu, select "Export to new MIDI file." A dialogue box titled "Create new MIDI file" will appear. Name the MIDI file and select a location to save it from the drop-down menu.
Click "Save." Reaper will save a copy of the region as a standard MIDI file in the specified location. You can now open and edit the selected MIDI region as a separate file in the MIDI editor of your choice.
Saving All MIDI Data in a Project
Open the project whose MIDI data you want to save. Open the "File" menu and select "Export project MIDI." A dialogue box titled "Consolidate MIDI" will appear. It contains a number of options for saving your project's MIDI data. To save all of the MIDI data in your project, select "Entire project" under "Consolidate time."
Choose an output format for your MIDI file. If your project contains more than one track with MIDI data, you have the option of preserving the different tracks in the new MIDI file or merging all MIDI data into a single track. For example, if you want to open the new MIDI file in a different multitrack editor, choose the "Multitrack MIDI file" option under "Output to MIDI file." If you want all of the project's MIDI data consolidated onto a single track, select "Merge to single MIDI track."
Specify a location for Reaper to save the new MIDI file by clicking the "Browse" button and navigating to your desired location. Name your MIDI file when prompted and click "OK." Reaper will export and save the MIDI data you specified as a new standard MIDI file in the specified location. It can now be opened in the MIDI editor of your choice.
Jason Savage has been a freelance writer since 2005. He has authored technical and procedural documents for a variety of clients, while his journalism and fiction have appeared in "Monday Magazine," "The Pedestal" and other publications. Savage holds B.A. in English and a B.F.A. in music.