I'm working on an art installation which features Unity, VR and Reaper. Ideally I'd like to be able to start Reaper, load a project and start it playing from the command line.

I don't have much experience with Reaper, but given its popularity and quality I'm hoping that some faculty for this exists in the program.

  • tbh, for an installation I'd be looking towards 'video of one I played earlier'… Blue Peter style.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 18, 2019 at 17:14
  • You might be able to do this using reaper keyboard commands and some kind of macro made from operating system tools. There might be a better stack for that approach, depending on the OS. Sep 18, 2019 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


I don't think you can. At least the command line options don't mention anything about playback: https://github.com/ReaTeam/Doc/blob/master/REAPER-CLI.md

But maybe that's not really what you want, i.e. why do you want to play a reaper project and not a sound file ?

  • One reason why a regular sound file might not work could be the need for multi channel audio in a way not supported by consumer audio formats. Sep 18, 2019 at 17:55
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox yeah sure, there could be all kinds of reasons, but sometimes people are too focused on a specific direction they don't realise there are completely different possibilities. But we'll only know when we know what exactly he tries to achieve
    – Creynders
    Sep 18, 2019 at 18:01
  • 1
    From my audio engineer - "We want to play a Reaper project instead of a sound file because our output is a custom multi-channel speaker array and we have a lot of control over channel routing in Reaper...!" Sep 19, 2019 at 10:25

For playback, after loading reaper with the project/clip just send a spacebar keypress for "play." (Maybe after sleeping for a few seconds, if the keypress gets invoked before reaper has the track loaded and ready.) No need for any Reaper API stuff for something that the script can accomplish in one line.

To run reaper on CLI with a project or audio file loaded, looks like that's just /path/to/reaper.exe /path/to/audio.wav

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