Cockos REAPER DAW
REAPER (Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering, and Recording) is a complete digital audio production application for Windows and OS X, offering a full multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing and mastering too... read more
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The private version is only $60, and even then it's on the honor system. I like to save my money for hardware so spending a lot on either Logic or Ableton didn't make sense to me. I have never felt limited in any way using Reaper. I don't play live so Ableton doesn't hold much appeal for me, plus I just haven't really meshed with it when I have tried. Logic has a great visual look and is very user friendly, but the price point of Reaper was too enticing. There are plenty of easy to follow tutorials on YouTube for any question you have, and a vibrant and helpful online community of users, especially on Reddit. Even if you eventually want to move to Logic or Ableton, starting with Reaper is a great choice for versatility and usability without spending a fortune.
My experience with Reaper DAW.
I started using this DAW a couple of years ago and I was surprised by how small it is. The developer is always improving it with constant updates. I used a variety of DAWs before but now all my work is based on Reaper. I love how simple and efficient it is. It has an incredible array of features and is very customizable. I love the fact that you can buy it for 60 dollars. So much value for so little money! :)
Ugly, gray-greenish thing that DOES EVERYTHING! Its cheap, versatile, messy but elastic (midi, mono audio, 5.1 audio on one track? no problem). It has tone of features in almost every department, well, besides samples and instruments... but there are tons of those free lying around. Reaper works with every vst you can find (vst2, vst3 both x32 & x64. And its STABLE, and its a really important and often overlooked feature.
Versatile and customizable beast of a DAW
Intuitable, compared to FL for example. With the free VST market it is perfect to get 'hands wet' quickly and start experimenting. Already built-in plugins have enormous capabilities although the (in web development terms, somewhat) aged visual part may leave other impressions. Robust and straight to the point! Visually customizable but whats more important, functionally superbly customizable with the custom actions feature. Strongly recomment the SWS/S&M plugin as it cuts down on loads of repeated actions and makes working with Reaper a breeze.
Amazing and customizable DAW without limits, but just basic if you dont use the community expansions.
Nothing you can´t do in this DAW For 60 USD you got a very Professional DAW (for recording and editing), very beginner friendly. Just hit record and start.
In my opinion its the most flexible DAW, if you start reaper the first time, its like a clean and classic DAW. But with the Community expansion behind reaper you can shape reaper perfectly to fits your workflow. That means you can transform reaper to an electronic music daw, or if you want, you can transform reaper to a mixing and Mastering Daw too. But without extensions it's just a basic Recording daw with midi compatibility.
i would recommand Reaper if you... ... want a customizable DAW without limits. ... want a professional DAW (recording, mixing & mastering) ... are a tinker ... want to use Hardware Synths ... want a "sky is the limit - daw" ... are a beginner, and want to grow up with your DAW
i wouldn´t recommend Reaper if you... ... looking for a cheap electronic music DAW (its just 60 USD but you have to buy synths, drumsamplers, samples, ect...too) ... want a all-in-one Daw (Reaper just have FX plugins, No Synths, and a simple Sampler) ... looking for highend features (like intigrated chord tracks) ... want to make live music. (doesn´t mean you can´t do it with reaper) ... if you want to do many collabs with other electronic music producer
This is my experience and opinion with Reaper. A unique and great DAW.
Make a DAW!
Reaper has been an absolute joy to work in! The stock setup is not that user friendly but Reaper is so customizable that you set the pace for what your workflow will be.
The fewest words I can use to describe it is: Make a DAW! With the help of SWS Extensions and Reapack you can set up Reaper to work for you, instead of you for it! An absolute steal for the price they charge for small businesses. (its not free so please buy it).
The PDC (plugin delay compensation) has been rock solid in my time using it. Key commands are super customizable so you can have your favorite plugins on the tips of your fingers!!! Reaper is great for working with video as well when you get the FFMPEG libraries installed.
Definitely my DAW of the year (past 2 actually)
Easy learning curve, very useful training info and videos available, the online user base is the most active for additional free support, incredibly powerful and customizable. For Pro Tool users there are skins that mimic the look, feel, and user quick-keys. Your license is also very portable to any desktop you happen to be using whether Windows, Mac OS, or Linux. There is no expense or hassle with an iLok USB dongle for piracy control required either, that is a huge win for easy of use. Its core engine is built so efficiently that you can easily run on older slower machines with smaller amounts of RAM as well. And its stability is remarkable... You can now see why its user base has exploded with a paltry price of only $60 for the FULL LICENSE. It is a no-brainer: Highly recommended.
Ok for mixing, not that great for MIDI etc.
I was using it for a long time, lately got Ableton and now i use Reaper only to tune the vocals with ReaTune. I wish they could make a cheap VST ReaTune to use with other daws. Will get Melodyne soon i guess. Anyway, i liked REAPER for mixing, and i didn't like it that much for songs production. Midi etc is nowhere not as great as in Ableton, and overall workflow is really on the other level in Ableton. But i'm more focused on songs production now than just mixing and mastering. If You are mainly into mixing live music etc, Reaper is ok, and it seems to use a lot less CPU than Ableton somehow. But it crashes really often. Must be something on my machine, Ableton crashes sometimes too but is overall a lot more stable.
Great for Beginners
When I started learning about audio, I read several articles on various DAWs. I downloaded and played around with all the popular ones mentioned. However, as a newbie I found them not easy to work with. I came across Reaper and tried it out. It was wonderful! The interface was straight-forward, it was very customizable, and there were a lot of tutorials offered on the site to help me learn. Their pricing was also very attractive. For anyone new to making computer music, I'd highly recommend Reaper to start. If you find your aspirations moving to a more professional environment, then move to another DAW.
Great DAW for the Price
I love this thing. I use it instead of Ableton now. It's super easy to use and intuitive. Everything on it was a dream to use and VST plugins are mainly "plug and play" with this thing. I have yet to find any issues with it whatsoever.
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REAPER (Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering, and Recording) is a complete digital audio production application for Windows and OS X, offering a full multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing and mastering toolset. REAPER supports a vast range of hardware, digital formats and plugins, and can be comprehensively extended, scripted and modified.