Cockos Reaper 4
Cockos Reaper 4

Reaper 4, General Sequencer from Cockos in the Reaper series.

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All user reviews of 5/5 for the Cockos Reaper 4

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Average Score:4.9( 4.9/5 based on 37 reviews )
 32 reviews86 %
 4 reviews11 %
Audience: Anyone Value For Money : Excellent

TreDay's review"Light but powerful DAW at a low price"

Cockos Reaper 4
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.

+Fully Featured
+Simple Interface
+Low CPU use
+Clever Bussing and Track implementation
+Great, Active Community
+Frequently updated
+Low Price

-Fairly bland looking
-Doesn’t come with a sample or instrument library
-No bells and whistles in general
Le Garage Studio01/28/2014

Le Garage Studio's review"A nice surprise"

Cockos Reaper 4
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!


No remarks.


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.

tourtour's review" A reference"

Cockos Reaper 4
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.
Big mistake!
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.


Cockos Reaper 4
Everything has been said



10 / 10 for installation and stability. (some plug-ins had to be configured as "dedicated process") In any case, anything that uses samples


I've used it for a week.
I have been a Cubase user for 10 years, I stumbled upon it a year ago but never payed much attention to it .... What a mistake!!!
Seriously now, I am so thrilled: the concept is so amazing, the workflow is customizable at will...
Properly configured I think you can win 50% of time and, thus, productivity. Even more.
My musical creativity has come back, the geek is gone after having configured everything once and for all ) :)

Personally, I followed these steps to have a boosted learning:
To start with, I downloaded the demo to my mac; added a new API 1608 "skin" that is super nice and relaxing to the eyes (very important!)
I then browsed the software's menu, I tried to understand the features I had in front of me... You can classify / tidy up / rename the menus and submenus as you wish, a very nice trick. So many things are customizable.

You can create your own menu with the features that you need. For example, if you work with vocals, you can adapt your workflow with the appropriate tools needed for that ... creating a group of 10 voices, for instance, takes less than 10 seconds... it's a real no-brainer.

I've been a Cubase user for a very long time and I think that's it for me... or is it? Can a $60 software stand up to Cubase or Protools? In my opinion, it can. Reaper developers are going in the right direction. Bravo .
And I didn't even mention some great extensions (SWS extension) nor the small plug-ins included ...Don't be fooled by appearances....not the best looking but very effective and light on CPU resources.
The click for me was Reno Mellow, who offers some great tutorials. He is also a very active member in the forums ...he is really good. Bravo ... take your time to look into them and you won't regret it :) :)

Top! You get my point.

Anonymous 's review" Awesome"

Cockos Reaper 4
Installation without a sweat: best example of a DAW that can be installed on any OS without any problems. Currently running on a Mac with os X 10.9 beta 2 Mavericks. I haven't looked at the manual, I learned as I went along thanks to Reno Mellow (who has made a remarkable job) and the courses at


2 macs, Mid 2009 and Early 2008, both running Mac os X 10.9 (beta, which is a much better option than Mountain Lion). Reaper performs much better than anything else. I have never seen anything as stable, reliable and light. Even if, like me, you own a better-known DAW, like Logic, don't hesitate to record your most critical sessions (live) with Reaper — I have never seen this software crash!


In spite of having bought a license a long time ago, I left this little gem aside for months disheartened by the decrying of Reaper (it's ugly, it's difficult, it's complicated... how long until some say reaper is evil?). In the meantime I bought DAWs that are supposed to be more pro and weren't of any use to me (a waste of money in my opinion). I tried all demos you can imagine until I finally came to realize... That the perfect DAW had been all this time on my computer, and I had already paid for it (if you can call it a purchase, given its price). How can I put it? You can pack reaper with tracks, AUis, and it doesn't break. You don't like the GUI? No problem, there are lots of skins available that can be installed via copy and paste. You want to use two soundcards, no problem... You want to make your own templates, you can choose your own icons, etc., etc., etc... I have just started using it but I am not only excited, I am downright impressed. (and I've had DAWs...) I have suddenly realized that my $400+ presonus is no longer installed and Logic is still on my Macs but I never open it anymore. I have Reaper, which I use spontaneously. I'm already making templates, recordings...
Paradoxically, the only thing that stops Reaper from hitting it off commercially (even if it is starting to be pretty well known) is its price, which is very low. It makes the big guys think it's not professional. If it were to cost $600, it came inside a nice (but useless) box with two or three names of top engineers, everybody would think it's great and it would be cool. (I certainly hope it never happens — I'm kidding) So forget all the media hype and advertising, judge for yourself. Just forget all of it and give it a good and thorough test drive (the demo is not limited). I bet you will end up adopting it. Do I have to find a defect? OK, no OMF support, so you need an external audio editor for that. That's why I give it 9/10. I cannot give it less — exceptional value for money.

Marchal's review"Excellent"

Cockos Reaper 4
Very easy installation, and it's only a couple of MB big!
Automatic updates whenever needed.


It uses little memory and CPU resources (even with a bunch of plug-ins), unlike all midrange and high-end competing products.
You can handle a lot of tracks with a modest PC.
Works with Windows 8.


Excellent value for money, and it runs in full 64-bit mode internally.

jetlag's review"Unmatched value for money"

Cockos Reaper 4
Did you have any problems during the installation?
Installation was always a breeze, regardless of the multiple setups I've used reaper with, both on mac and pc. The same applies to updates. No issues whatsoever.
How complicated is the overall configuration?
It's a little complicated in the beginning. You really have to put some effort into it but, in comparison, other DAWs seem to be more limited. Reaper's major strength is precisely its customizability.
Did you have any incompatibility problems?
None for the time being (after 5 years of use).
Is the user's manual clear and comprehensive?
As usual, it's discouraging to read on its own, but very effective when you are looking for something. What's more, there are tons of tutorials online from the Reaper community. There's even videos on Audiofaznine made by some awesome people.


- What's your computer setup?
A dual-core notebook running windows 8 and a Mac mini - external and internal HDDs, 4GB RAM. Midrange desktop PC with a four-core processor.

- How is the performance? (if measurable)
Excellent performance, no excessive use of RAM.

- Does the software work correctly with your setup?
It works perfectly. I almost never have crashes, plus there's a recovery function.
What about the hardware+software configuration stability?
Windows 8 really annoyed me in the beginning but it is usually the asio and VST drivers that are unstable, not Reaper. Nothing that keeps you from working and having fun.


How long have you been using it?
Five years
Did you try any of other models before buying this one?
Sonar, cubase, garageband... but nothing as good, especially for this price..

Which features do you like the most / the least?
+++ Value for money, routing, functionalities, customization. --- I'm still looking (sometimes too many possibilities can be overwhelming).

How would you rate its value for money?
Unmatched, it's simply awesome.

Based on your experience, would you buy this product again?
By all means, and I have no intentions of giving it up.
the bubble03/24/2013

the bubble's review"My next purchase"

Cockos Reaper 4
Ultra-fast installation. There is a comprehensive manual with feature comparisons between Reaper and different DAWs. which is very helpful in the beginning because it can be a bit hard and confusing in certain aspects. Do note that I have tried steinberg, presonus, cakewalk, ableton. Reaper really stands out in terms of handling and ease-of-use compared to all the others I've mentioned.


PC with amd athlon x2 4800 + 4Gb Ram, hdd 250Gb and 125Gb and presonus firestudio mobile (two years of savings to buy it). An old system by today's standards, given the current evolution, which I deem unacceptable, because you can't keep up with it unless you make a lot of money. And Mac is prohibitive for the same reasons, as usual, small budgets (like mine) end up losing. And most DAWs have engaged in this frantic race. If you only have the money to change one element, there's no point in doing it. And that's where Reaper plays its cards best: It is not too resource-intensive, less so than my Sonar home studio 7 (basic version) from four years ago. and that's great news for me. I've only had some rare crashes with two problematic VSTs (I shouldn't have unzipped them). It runs perfectly on my old and modest laptop (also 4 years old), better than my old Sonar.

A good point: the FX section. It has allowed me to gather audio and midi in one single place, something I have been dreaming about with other sequencers. This allows me to process midi with audio effects and finally have sounds that sound more realistic! I'm thrilled. The effects included are of good quality.
The interface and menus can be quite confusing in the beginning, you need to get used to them. The editing tools aren't in the same place and they don't use the same terminology (the "split" and "glue" items especially). Some people don't like the way the fx are classified, I mitigated the problem by having them displayed directly on the tab, as if I opened them with the explorer, which seems simpler to manage in the end. That's something other DAWs lack. In conclusion: Reaper is very versatile and I like that.


It tried it out 2 years ago and it didn't quite convince me, but I just gave it another try and I changed my mind. Some call it the "PT killer," but I can't say anything in that respect because I've never used that software, since I don't have the money for a Mac nor for PT (to get both together I would need to take out a two-year loan). It is undeniable that Reaper has a great quality and that's the one I'll buy. It has allowed me to keep my current pc two years. It has the same functions regardless of the price, and since I don't sell 1.000.000 albums every year, 20.000 dollars is not within my reach. What's more, I can install it on any pc without thinking about any limitations or USB keys. There's no score editor but that's not too bad: I export and import my midi from musescore to reaper and vice versa. The effects are really good and have allowed me to mix my songs with a surprising simplicity, especially for someone like me who hasn't studied audio engineering nor has from 5000 to 15.000 to go into a studio to record. I'll finish by stating that I will never ever go for Steinberg. Why, you ask? No demo versions, which given the price of their sequencers ought to be an obligation (for the pro version, not the basic one that doesn't have enough features). And Halion demos with mandatory security dongle, what a disgrace. And that's just an example from among all software developers with the piracy paranoia: When you want to work seriously you don't get illegal copies, you pay for the software.

+ Full demo without limitations (even beyond 60 days).
+ General quality of the software.
+ PC, Mac and Linux compatible.
+ Not too resource-intensive.
+ Ultra fast launching.
+ FX section that mixes audio and midi.
+ Detailed PC- and RAM-usage tab.
+ Clear main interface.
+ One license and installation on several PCs without limitations.
+ Review updated: Good and easy-to-use (free) effects

- Confusing to get a hold of in the beginning (menus and editing).
- No melodyne (or similar) integration.

I'm thrilled after one year of use! The more I use it the more I like it and whenever I have to switch to other DAWs it's a nightmare, so I only use this one because it covers all my needs perfectly!

Slode's review

Cockos Reaper 4
Did you have any problems during the installation?
No issues, it's very fast, very compact and very powerful

Did you have any incompatibility problems?

How complicated is the overall configuration?
Very intuitive. It is very easy to get a hold of, especially for people who know other sequencers.

Is the user's manual clear and comprehensive? ...
It's very comprehensive. It covers all functions in detail and it is well explained.


What's your computer setup? (motherboard/CPU/RAM/HDD/sound card..)
Motherboard: I have a PC Dell XPS 512 laptop
CPU: i7
4GB Ram
HDD: 500Gb
Soundcard: Lexicon U-22

Does the software work correctly with your setup?
Yes, perfectly!

How is the performance? (if measurable)
Very good, it never crashes, it's very responsive and has lots of features!

What about the hardware+software configuration stability?
Perfectly stable over two years of use, even with less-performing hardware in terms of PC Laptops, my Reaper crashed 2, 3 times.


How long have you been using it?
Reaper 3

Which feature do you like the most / the least?
The most: Design, it's clear, intuitive, the FREE price, performance
The least: I don't have anything to complain about!

Did you try any of other models before buying this one?
Cubase: Unnecessarily complicated
ProTools: Perfect, but also unnecessarily complicated
LogicStudio: Very good

How would you rate its value for money?
Excellent ++++

Based on your experience, would you buy this product again? ...

Anonymous 's review"Simply indispensable"

Cockos Reaper 4
It is disconcertingly easy to install. The software is very light and it detects your license with a simple file placed within a folder on your computer.


I've used it with several PC setups running Windows 7 with a simple I3 and a bit of ram on a Mac Pro quad core (with a Fast track M-Audio soundcard): No compatibility problems, no crashes and the use of the software is always seamless.
I write music on different computers, so it's a real delight to start a project on a Mac and then be able to work on it on a PC without any compatibility problems (unless you use AU or Mac-specific plug-ins, but that's a given). The software is perfectly optimized and you are never under the impression of riding a battle tank (unlike with cubase).
The entire interface can be customized, so you can devise a tailored-made DAW depending on your needs. The possibilities are really huge and I probably only use 5% or 10% of the software's potential.


I've been using Reaper to write music for over a year and I have never been disappointed by it, I've never had a bug nor a crash (even Apple's DAW have a lot of bugs, crashes to desktop, etc.). I've had no problems with my numerous VST and other type of plug-ins either. The basic interface is simple and practical (everything is in the right place and the learning curve is pretty short). The performance is excellent for a RIDICULOUS price.