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Reaper!! New, almost free DAW

Discussion in 'Reaper' started by Fede, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Fede

    Fede Active Member

    I just wanted to give this new DAW program a mention, because I really think they deserve it!


    The main programmer, Justin, has, almost single-handedly I think, created a complete DAW that now is approaching a position as a serious competitor to the big ones (PT, Nuendo, Logic, Cubase etc.). He's must be manic, imsoniac or something. Just look at the version history (click older news at the bottom of the main page) to see how frequent the updates are, and how fast new features are added to this $40/$200 (non-commercial and commercial respectively), 2 Megabytes (!!) application.

    And the support is incredible. Just look at this thread in the Reaper-forum, how particular issues, like they're having with UAD-1 cards in some cases are being handled: http://

    In some cases reported bugs have been addressed in an update just about an hour after the bug was reported!!

    Anyway, I knew nothing about this very promising app. until a few days ago - and when I couldn't find anything about it (almost) on this forum, I thought I'd give it a mention. (I'm not affiliated with them in any way)
  2. GregP

    GregP Guest

    It's been around for a little while now. It certainly deserves your support and mention. ;)

    Justin is the founder of Nullsoft and the creator of the original WinAmp. He does this for the love of coding and the challenge of creating. He deserves the success he gets. :D

    His personal interaction with his client base and his inexpensive license make this a no-brainer recommendation for people looking for an entry point into the world of computer-based recording. And who knows? In another 2 years of maturity and with the collaboration of a hardware company, he might very well end up producing the next professional app, too!

  3. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead Guest

    There's a few of us that think Reaper's better than the other Daws already :)

    Each to their own, I tried them all and I'm so glad I found Reaper. The speed it loads (2 seconds) and edits, and the extreme personal customisation possible makes it a definite heavyweight contender. It's audio engine is the stablest I've seen (along with Samplitude), it's really geared for fast audio recording and editing.

    Anyone sick of bugs and waiting for update fixes to be released, or just waiting for your Daw to load, should definitely check out Reaper. It may not have the huge feature list of other programs, but it's developing fast and it's quite unique and ground breaking in some fields eg routing and keyboard control.

    Plus it's got an excellent community behind it :


    I hope that wasn't too over zealous, I'm sure you love your daw too...:)
  4. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    Reaper is not a fraction of other DAWs. It can't perform/interface with and control gear in a professional studio...yet. It is a good novice/hobby tool.
  5. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead Guest

    Yet is the operative word, it won't be too long before we get the ping function, Justin can code pretty much anything even without manufacturers cooperation. And for mixing in the box, it rocks! Faster than any other daw I've tried...
  6. GregP

    GregP Guest

    What part of the mixing in Reaper is "faster"?
  7. Scoobie

    Scoobie Active Member

    I read something about reaper along time ago. Someone claiming almost the same thing.
    Out of curiosity I downloaded reaper..................

    My conclusion was, Samp or Sonar is light years ahead of Reaper. Reaper is not even in the same ballpark. JMHO
  8. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead Guest

    Well, I meant editing as well as mixing. It opens up in 2 seconds, that's fast. Also many instances are possible, can be set as a fast external editor to open up an item solo. It almost never crashes, if somehow it does it's a fast reload. That's a fair chunk of time saved already. Then we have strip silence and tab-to-transient together for fast drum editing, plus a new audio quantize feature. You don't have to grab the mouse much, almost everything maps to the keyboard. Don't have a mixer, no problem, I have 20 tracks of mute/solo on the F and number keys (I love this feature!), you can have 64 if you want.

    You can set mouse behaviour to mimic your favourite daw so you're not bumbling around, the navigation (which I think is ultra important) you set up how you feel comfortable. It's pretty deep if you look in the menus, things like duplicate the complete track including plugins, and changing the order of plugins with a single drag, complete routing changes with a few quick clicks...too many things to list here. Less reliance on the mouse is excellent in my view. Maybe these features don't interest you, that's cool, but it's speeded up my workflow no end. I haven't seen all these things together on the one daw, some aren't on any.

    A long time ago is nearly a different program. I've been using it for 4 weeks, it's changed a lot just in that time. Bug fixes come out almost instantly!

    I like Samplitude, I still have it set as a secondary external editor just in case I need it, but I hardly ever do. But for many reasons, I prefer Reaper for basic audio recording and editing, it just works better for me. I really don't care about the price, it's just a very nice bonus.

    We have pro users from Sonar, Samplitude, Pro Tools, Nuendo, Logic...they prefer Reaper. You might not, but that's just personal taste, nothing to do with Reaper being a "hobby" program. It's 64 bit, low latency optimized and burns to CD...sounds like a contender to me. Once the midi and hardware latency compensation is completed, along with anything else that's lacking, it'll be very hard to fault IMO. It probably won't be that long at the current rate of development, Justin never sleeps!

    I'm not trying to start a flaming war here, just keeping people informed of developments...use whatever daw you prefer :)

  9. Fede

    Fede Active Member

    Can you give any examples of what you felt were missing?

    Also: "a long time ago" in Reaper-world means you know little if anything about Reaper today. I don't know what Reaper was like "a long time ago", but I know that right know, if Justin gets it working perfectly with UAD-1 , I'll have a hard time finding ANYTHING I like better in Nuendo 2.11! (intensive focus on this particular issue is scheduled to begin any day now, as Justin is borrowing a UAD-card from a troubled user for a couple of weeks, so that he can perfect it)

    Apart from the lightning startup and virtually inexistent footprint, I really like the way plugins are handled. You can have as many as you want, drag'n-dropping them is really quick, saving and retrieving chains of plugins, changing the order of plugs - it's all lightning fast. Mixer is quick and reconfigurable, can have more than one row of faders/meters.

    So many things you (or at least I) realize are unnecessary with other DAWs. For instance: choosing what kind of track you want to create - midi, audio, group/bus, fx-return or something else....why bother? In Reaper, a track is a track, and everything else is just a waste of time.

    No tools or modes - you don't need them, you just think you do. I guess the MIDI-part is still a little behind the majority of the competition, though it's enough for what I do.

    I can't imagine what computing in general would be like, if Justin had done the main OS on his own... :shock: ...thanks, Bill! :roll:
  10. GregP

    GregP Guest

    I dunno. Almost all the "time savers" are as quick or quicker in other sequencers. It's fair enough to have a preference and love the workflow. I think that's great. But none of what you mentioned strikes me as new, revolutionary, or "faster." It's a different spin on the same paradigm, with some nice features.

    Reaper's strength is that Justin has identified features that people like from other software.. multiple rows of mixer is old hat for Logic or (I believe) Orion, plus other sequencers. Tracktion does away with a mixer altogether.

    I still recommend demoing Reaper with a very clean conscience to anybody who will listen. But I'll be more curious to see Justin re-invent the sequencer, which he isn't really doing right now. From what I've seen, I believe he has it in him. ;)

  11. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead Guest

    No offence but that's very vague and non-specific. WHAT other daw has all these features...for instance the starting speed for one? As far as I know tab-to-transient, which saves a lot of time when drum editing, is only in Pro Tools. Most of these features mentioned earlier are only in one or two other daws at a time, I think we've got like a best of collection going on.

    It'd be more helpful if you went through point by point which daws, including your preferred one, can do said operations better. As far as I can see, it's only midi Reaper needs to catch up on, and it is.

    No offence again, but the general replies we get about Reaper are"well, ours can do all the important things" without elaborating...if they did, we'd then point out what they can't do.

    Oh and new update, we now have Smooth Seeking mode which gives Ableton Live- like seamless playback, except it goes one better and works on non-click recorded music too in Region mode...btw I requested that about 4 weeks ago :)

    Feel free to rebut. :)
  12. GregP

    GregP Guest

    No offence taken at all! I had actually composed almost an entire post "rebutting" several of your points with examples, but it smelled too much like an accidental "host war" waiting to happen, which I'm thankful Recording.org is devoid of.

    I don't want to sully Recording.org with one, especially since I really DO think Reaper is fantastic. A rebutal would just make it seem like I was minimizing its significance and "big-upping" other software. One thing's for sure-- one of the features you mention (tabbing to transient) isn't widespread yet, and it's a GREAT one. Good on Justin for including that.


    Besides, I'm a known beta-tester for a particular sequencer, and I don't want my own bias to make me look like a shill. Recording.org is also thankfully devoid of shills, though there's certainly nothing wrong with promoting the tools you love. :D

  13. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead Guest

    No worries, I wasn't after a flaming match either. The more features people point out we haven't got, the better we can improve Reaper, since if they are good they generally get in (eventually).

    But I'd still like to hear specifics from anyone, if they truly think we're lacking in some area (that I can't see).

  14. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    It is impossible to prove such a claim. There are too many system and preference variables as well.

    The fastest DAW that I know of is SAW, but it does not do what many of the other DAWs do functionally.

    What is the Reaper mix engine topology?
    How are the plug-ins handled?
    Is there dithering between them?
    Can they run at the session sample and bit rate?
    Where is the surround mixing/monitor?
    Why the heck won't it work on my Mac?
  15. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead Guest

    I said it was the fastest I've tried, that's pretty easy to prove, try it yourself! YMMV.You can post on the Reaper site if you have any really nerdy questions, you usually get an answer fast, maybe from Justin even.

    It's 64 bit all the way through the audio path...you drag plugins onto tracks, also drag them to reorder, and you have unlimited slots. No CPU when inactive. I only dither on the master track when rendering so not sure on that question, or the next one although I can tell you it's awesome at low latencies. Surrounds still coming, but we do have a Mac build, it's a little behind the current PC build but within 6 months it should be up to speed:

    GT The Brick preamp

    ...btw I run Reaper on an iMac under Boot Camp, so there's 2 ways to run it on a Mac! (maybe not yours though).

    I'm an engineer/musician not a tech, so go see the geeks if you have a geeky question. All I'm saying is it's faster in my experience than the other daws I've tried, and about as easy to learn as Live. The best way to experience it is to do a project in it, it's free to try!

    I use it as my main Daw, but keep Samplitude around just in case I need something special (haven't used it since though). It's obviously not everybody's cup of tea, but there's users from every Daw on the forum so it seems to attract across the board. And it changes nearly every day, so if you tried it a while ago, you might be very impressed with the latest builds. For instance Smooth Seeking, an Ableton Live-like mode for seamless playback, that just got added. Besides, it's rock-solid stable in my experience, that goes further with me than large feature sets.
  16. GregP

    GregP Guest

    I know plenty people who thought Live was annoying to learn, so I'm not sure that's the best comparison. ;)

    Every other feature here listed in the above post is already in Tracktion... and it runs natively on non-UB Mac (UB coming with Tracktion 3).

    I'm just not seeing any innovation yet. Certainly the best program out there for the buck, though.

  17. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead Guest

    You have Tab to transient and Smooth Seek in Tracktion? I don't think so. The routings not in Reaper's league either, not to mention the fx. We have plenty of ex-Traction users.

    I don't want to wait 2 years for an update or bug fix either. :)
  18. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead Guest

    Forgot to add..there is a working Mac Build UB. It'll catch up to the PC version in a few months.

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