SWS Extension

The most popular REAPER extension.

If you have only one extra thing to install with REAPER, it would be the free SWS Extension. And yes, even if you are a beginner, and even you are just starting REAPER.

This free and open source extension, made by the community, provides to REAPER a sets of features which quite be quite handy and quite powerful.

For regular usage, you have things like:

  • lots of straightforward one shot actions (Convert Regions to Markers, Quantize Items, Put items one after the other etc…), which can save a lot of time.
  • Auto-Color: tracks, markers and regions can be colored automatically based on their name. Very handy to have consistent coloring across projects, and to not have to care about setting the colors manually when you are working (here is a tutorial).
  • Some nice GUI based tools like the SWS Notes, the label processor to batch rename items
  • etc…

And for more advanced workflows:

  • Global/Project startup actions
  • Marker Actions
  • Loudness related batch processing tools
  • Cycle Actions
  • Contextual Toolbars
  • API Functions which can be used by ReaScripts
  • etc…

In total, it is hundreds of actions which are provided. There is no complete up-to-date guide of SWS features in one place, but they are documentation and tutorials on the web made by other users.

Don’t worry, SWS is extremely light weight (less than 4MB) and efficient, so it doesn’t make REAPER slower, and it doesn’t clutter the interface as it doesn’t add anything but an extension menu entry in the top bar if not already present, so it is very discrete. I know lot of people who don’t realize they have it, and think some features are native from REAPER, despite they come from SWS!

The extension is free and available to download via the SWS Extension website. Official releases can take a while to go out, but you have more regular pre-release versions with hot fixes. These were always stable enough so far for regular use so you can definitely consider it. Update (2024-06-08): The SWS website can’t be updated with last SWS version, as the admin is unavailable at this time, but you can now download the extension right from REAPER thanks to ReaPack.

It is maintained freely by community members since its release, back in 2009. Currently, it is top developers Cfillion and Nofish who do most of the contributions (coding, support, testing…) and Tim, original SWS creator, who manage the release and the website. You can contact them via the SWS Thread on Cockos Forum, but the best is via the GitHub Issues panel.

The code is open source and anyone is welcome to contribute on its GitHub Repository, thought it do requires a certain level of C++ and coding in general (I know from experience, as I have already pushed some code to it, and it was kinda complex just to set up the development environnement). 😅

There is a Donate button on the website if you want to give support to the project in general, or you can find individual contributors donations links.

That’s it for now. Tell us in comment, if I forgot to showcase one of your top favorite feature from SWS!

Have fun setting your Auto-Color rules! 🎨

Showcased on [url=https://www.realinks.net]ReaLinks.net[/url]:

[*][url="https://www.realinks.net/links/extensions/sws-extension/"][b]SWS Extension[/b][/url]

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