REAPER is known for its extensive customization features, especially one of his most obvious: his GUI tweakability, thanks to its GUI system called WALTER.
For a long time, adjusting a theme started with the Theme Development/Tweaker window (that you can find on the action list), where you can adjust color and fonts of the theme. This window could have more feature (that is why I attempted to make my own version), but it do the job.
But until relatively recently, if you wanted to go deeper than just colors, you had to edit the rtconfig.txt of the theme, and/or to modify the theme images directly. Detailed infos about this can be found in reaper.fm Theme Development pages, White Tie threads series on the REAPER Color Themes forum, marked as “sticky” on top of the section, and its ebook WALTER: A themer’s Guide. It doesn’t mention recent features, but it is still relevant and has lots of screenshots which can help understand some basic concepts.
Adjusting colors is fun but people wanted more controls, and rtconfig tweaker is kinda complex. So White Tie, who is Cockos affiliated designer, released a companion script for REAPER v6 default theme, which came out 3 years ago, called the Theme Adjuster (Note that it can also be used on other themes now). It allows to hide and adjust element of the TCP, of the Mixer, quickly, and has several more options. A nice script with a good looking GUI, for people who just wanted to push customization of the default theme without any coding.
Few months ago, White Tie pushed the concept of theme customization scripts even further, with a new free script called the WT Theme Assembler. It is a very impressive script. You can think about it as the Theme Adjuster on steroids. The main idea is to let you choose different variations of UI elements, like different types of pan knobs, different type of faders, of icons sets etc, right from within REAPER and without to have to edit any file. If you are using the default theme, it fun and low effort way to customize your REAPER GUI.
The script is still in active development and hasn’t been integrated to REAPER (yet?), this is why I wanted to showcase it on ReaLinks, and let you know it is avalaible. You can already download it from reaper forum, and give feedbacks. For detailed infos, there is a ReaperBlog video tutorial about it!
With all these tools, REAPER is for sure the DAW with the most advanced theme customization features, alternative softwares having usually just the possibility between a white and a dark theme at best. This new script in particular will really help users to customize REAPER at their own and personal taste to make them feel at home as fast as possible.
Have fun tweaking! 🎨
Feature Image Credits: White Tie