« Light but powerful DAW at a low price »Published on 10/08/14 at 03:30
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