REAPER is a very small download and a quick installation. It could not be any easier to get on your computer and ready to use. The manual is lengthy, but with plenty of screenshots and diagrams explaining each of REAPER’s many features concisely. Getting your plugins and MIDI devices setup is pretty much the same as other software packages, so there’s no hassle there.
The interface is snappy and responsive, everything is clearly laid out. The CPU usage is low and I’ve yet to encounter any instability or crashes even after 5 years of use.
REAPER’s features are pretty standard. Multitrack recording, flexible audio and midi routing, audio editing and so on are implemented just as you find in most other DAWs. The interface doesn’t have a lot of panache but it’s very customizable and the community creates custom themes and skins, drastically changing the look of the software. While REAPER is a very straight-forward program that does most DAW functions by the book, it does have a few subtle changes to the concept of tracks and bussing that are rather clever. There is no “audio” or “midi” track. All tracks are just general purpose tracks that can contain a MIDI or audio item or even both in the same track. Also, you can make any track act as a bus simply by dragging tracks underneath it and clicking the folder icon. This will nest the other tracks under the parent track and route all audio through it. You can also just drag and drop tracks into a desired bus track to nest them underneath. Very elegant and intuitive.
Included are a suite of some very usable processing plugins. A couple of compressors, limiters, EQs, pitch shifters, a convolution reverb and so on. The interface for these plugins, much like the interface of REAPER itself, isn’t the most inspiring--it’s very bland with no fancy graphics, but the plugins work and fairly well at that.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about REAPER, by design. The developers actively post on the forums and frequently update the software and keep on top of bugs and minor feature additions. It’s a powerful DAW that eschews a lot of bloat and flash, keeping things fast and simple while still delivering everything you need for professional audio production at a great price.
+Low CPU use
+Clever Bussing and Track implementation
+Great, Active Community
-Fairly bland looking
-Doesn’t come with a sample or instrument library
-No bells and whistles in general
It can't get any faster nor simpler. It's only 7MB and the installation takes 30 seconds. Copy-and-paste VSTs from Cubase. And, bingo! Everything works perfectly!
Being a Cubase user, I switched to Reaper to mix and even compose. A really incredible software, it's easy-to-use, intuitive and with endless possibilities. Although I'm not one of those geeks that changes skin every week. It's really awesome.
Clean, quick and light installation. It takes maximum 5 clicks and you are ready to discover this superb sequencer.
Configuration is easy following the kind advice of people in the forums.
I recommend you to install one of the configurations made by Réno and to pay close attention to his tutorials. You will have at your disposal an incredible customizable and powerful DAW.
I use it on a QOSMIO laptop with an i5 processor and 8GB ram.
Resource usage is ridiculous even if stuffed to death with plug-ins.
My system has never crashed. I've never experienced such flow elsewhere.
except maybe with Ableton live (which isn't comparable at all).
I've been toying with it for a year, but the last three months I've been working more seriously with it.
To be honest, I installed it some years ago but I never really paid much attention to it.
I worked for a long time with cubase (from atari to version 3.7, I think).
I then put general-purpose sequencers aside to focus on
more creative software (ableton live, usine...)
I simply love its versatility, how easy it is to familiarize oneself with it, the great implication of the community in the forums, and its sound business policies, which led me to buy a license without hesitation.
I have never regretted my decision and I recommend it to anyone who still hasn't found his Holy Grail among DAWs.
It's light, effective and can be installed in two or three clicks.
Except for Linux users, everybody else is catered for from Windows 95 to Windows 8 32 or 64 bits, Mac OS 32, 64 bits or PPC.
Do note that it works better under Windows than Mac OS.
I've tried multiple options but this software is currently the lightest there is.
We could disregard the hardware because this software is really optimized.
Relatively stable and very powerful, Reaper can compare with the major players.
I was surprised with the Mackie Control support, it is excellent.
I couldn't tell when I started to use Reaper, but I have version 4 since it came out.
Its price/quality ratio is very interesting, but it depends on how much you earn and your plug-in collection.
It's a version stripped of all unnecessary features. It goes straight to the point, while allowing some unprecedented things in this type of product.
Reaper is an expert sequencer that isn't meant for everybody, but those who master it will have an unlimited world of possibilities at hand.
I would criticize its not very intuitive usage, due to its endless possibilities. It's not easy to make it simple when you offer so many things.
Its midi editor, while having evolved quite a bunch, is not the most user-friendly.
It is actually off-putting for beginners. It lacks certain options that would allow beginners to really get on with a comprehensive product.
But apart from that, it's really a performance beast. It's a unique product without equal.
I use it rarely, preferring Logic, Cubase and Sonar. Probably out of habit. But even if I'm not a regular user, its qualities do not need to be proven and must be recognized.
Reaper is a minor player in the sequencer world, like Linux in the OS world. It's a bit harder to get a grip of, maybe a bit less sexy in the beginning, but very powerful and customizable.
When it comes to price/quality ratio, I have mixed feelings: it costs $60, which isn't much, but if we want to use it for professional applications its $225.
For people who have a good plug-in collection, it's OK. But for those who don't, they have to buy everything, so it is a stiff price.
Reaper is the sequencer we end up using when we are disappointed by the rest and have already come a long way. Starting directly with Reaper is not as obvious nor advantageous.