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Reaper as DAW replacement?

Stagepig

Regular
Hey,
It seems like there are quite a few Reaper users on this forum.
After using Studio One, Ableton and Maschine for general recording purposes my band brought the idea up to use reaper as the main DAW for the band. Mostly because of it's cost and the rather simple installer (no big download content on slow servers).
As someone coming from another DAW will there be any big hindrances about switching?
I would really like to be able to get all my VST Stuff working properly without spending too much time on relocating all the libaries or stuff like that.
Besides that: Could I try reaper in its Linux Version? I recently got really fed up with windows getting slower by the minute so the possibility to switch the OS without loosing my DAW would make Reaper a great alternative for me.
 
I use it on OSX and am a pretty big fan. That said, I don't have extensive experience with any other DAW, so my experience is probably different than yours would be. I think the biggest hurdle's for Reaper are figuring out what add-on's you need, how to configure things to make sense for your work flow, and finding a good theme that makes your experience a pleasant one. What I mean by all that...look up "SWS Extensions" for Reaper, they're a great example of (what I think is) one of the most widely used extensions/add-ons for Reaper. They add all sorts of functionality through context menu's by basically making things more accessible and easier to figure out. I can't remember if SWS also reconfigured the Menu's or if that was another thing I picked up from someone else, but I have Reaper set up where all the Menu's are re-organized into categories that make sense, where the default menu's are sort of all over the place. As far as configurations, this is more in the keyboard shortcuts, toolbars, mixer window, floating windows & toolbars etc etc etc. I've set up toolbars that I can toggle in & out of existence for things like assigning track colors, adding new project windows/tabs, rendering, etc etc etc. And then themes are pretty much just to make it look pretty, but for me that goes a long way in enjoying the DAW...the default theme never really made me want to dive in and figure it out, but a couple different user theme's I found made it a lot more attractive which in turn made it easier to work with.

I'd definitely recommend it, especially since you can try it for as long as you want at 100% functionality before paying for the very cheap license.
 

ChristThePhone

Forum Addict
You just need to tell it where to look for the plug-ins. I find the routing in Reaper rather complicated. Also editing MIDI tracks doesn't seem to be that easy. I liked Tracktion a lot but it turned out to be less and less stable with every new version.
 

lummox

New here
I had some expirience with Cakewalk DAWs and Samplitude before Reaper. As for now, Reaper is my only DAW.

I don't consider myself a pro DAW user, I am a hobbyist musician. But I'd definitely recommend to give Reaper a try. It's fast and small, almost tiny (as oppozed to bloated heavyweights like some popular DAWs), and it's highly customizable and extensible at the same time. It's pretty easy to use, although some learning curve is definitely there. It developes fast, it's well documented and it has great community. It does have some flaws, but I, personally, have no unresolved issues with Reaper. It even has portable install option. And its price is really affordable after all.

The hardest part in learning Reaper, IMO, is that transition time when you constantly ask "where the hell is that handy feature I loved so much in my previous DAW". :)

Edited:
Could I try reaper in its Linux Version? I recently got really fed up with windows getting slower by the minute so the possibility to switch the OS without loosing my DAW would make Reaper a great alternative for me.
AFAIK, there's no native Linux build of Reaper. But Reaper wiki says that Windows version of Reaper runs fine in Wine on Linux. Hadn't try that myself.
 
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aziz

Forum Addict
I've used the Reaper in the stock configuration for years, just finished an album. There's a trick or function for everything in Reaper, I dont know a hundredth of those. Good DAW!
 

GotMetalBoy

Forum Addict
The hardest part in learning Reaper, IMO, is that transition time when you constantly ask "where the hell is that handy feature I loved so much in my previous DAW". :)
That's my issue right there. I used Cakewalk Pro Audio and SONAR since 1997. Since Gibson bought Cakewalk, I noticed the quality lowering, so I decided to try REAPER. When Gibson announced the death of Cakewalk, I decided to convert 100% to REAPER. I've been learning REAPER for about 6 months and IMHO it's the greatest DAW if you like tweaking and customizing. It's like the Axe-Fx of DAWs. It's not the prettiest out there but gives you the freedom to make many changes. One of my favorite features it that is has search fields for a lot of windows, so you can quickly find things like plugins, Tracks, actions...

At the top of the REAPER website, there's a video section that is extremely helpful. Their forum has a lot of helpful people, especially the ones that know how to code because they've created some really awesome tools.

To get started with REAPER, I recommend:
* Install REAPER as Portable, so it will be easy to backup or move to another PC because it will keep all configuration files in one place
* Install the SWS/S&M Extensions
* Install the ReaPack Extensions
* Watch the REAPER 5 Explained videos no matter how experienced you are with DAWs because there's a lot of helpful features you could miss
** Also, checkout the YouTube channels: REAPER Mania and The REAPER Blog
* Read the manual's table of contents to get a quick idea what REAPER is capable of and read the first couple chapters to get familiar with the basics
* In REAPER, click the Help menu > Key bindings and mouse modifiers, to get a list of shortcuts
** If you use MIDI instruments, the F3 key stops stuck/hung notes because REAPER seems to have an issue with notes not stopping and keep ringing out
 

6L6C

Forum Addict
@GotMetalBoy
Thanks !
I have been screwing with Reaper for the past year when I have time and although I am comfortable with it (to some extent) this is all great info.
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Came from Cakewalk/Sonar which I liked allot and ran great on my main machine, when trying Reaper was pretty taken back how well it ran on my machine, very fast. As far as stability no complaints about either. Sonar for me was easier to use right of the bat, but got use to Reaper, but still need work. Ha ha

Reaper even runs good on a laptop of mine that would barely run Sonar. And that's Ok! It didn't meat the minimal specs. But Reaper I would trust the same laptop away from home. And not just goofing around in my house seeing how far can we push this machine.

I pretty much love any DAW. Since I was introduced to recording with a 4 track reel to reel, a kid in my school had a 8 track with a 12 channel board a compressor and some sort of reverb.
Yep! He was ruling the world at the time.
And all of that stuff was nothing compared to any DAW today.

John
 

lummox

New here
@GotMetalBoy
Thank you for some really helpful tips! I had not used any extensions so far, might consider it.

When Gibson announced the death of Cakewalk, I decided to convert 100% to REAPER.
A note for all former Cakewalk users. Sonar has been relaunched as 'Cakewalk by BandLab'. Another company, BandLab Technologies, developing it now. It's even become free. :astonished: I myself have read about it here last Sunday, hadn't checked it yet. I really like Reaper, so I don't think I'll use reborned Cakewalk as my primary DAW, but I'll definitely take a look at it as soon as I'll have some spare time. Any free DAW worth a try. :)
 
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Diego

Fractal Fanatic
I'm switching from PT to Reaper in two of the pro studios I run and where I work after I used Reaper for 5 years in my Project Studio.
I have to maintain PT since it's still the "reference" DAW and since sometimes we still need to send out files (for mastering but also for collaboration) we have to have it installed. But that's the only reason I still have PT running.
Reaper is reliable, easy to use (as every software there's a learning curve), starts in seconds, light on CPU and also cheap... but most of all it's like FAS product: there are a lot of updates and every time it get better.
 

GiRa

Forum Addict
where all the Menu's are re-organized into categories that make sense, where the default menu's are sort of all over the place
This is, in my experience, applicable to everything on Reaper. The defaults are made by some sadic evil entity who wants you to pass your first weeks at just configuring the DAW itself.

I tried to use Reaper quite a few times now, but it's always too much to fix out of the box for me.

I am pretty fond of Mixbus 32C from Harrison. It's a DAW modeling a physical console sound and workflow. Nearly no plugins needed for a decent mix. It runs on Linux too if you want.
I have to say that the MIDI management/programming is still way behind modern DAWs, so it's not perfect for writing with MIDI. It was made just for mixing and they are adding good features release by release. The recording features are fantastic and the editing is OK.
 

GiRa

Forum Addict
But Reaper wiki says that Windows version of Reaper runs fine in Wine on Linux. Hadn't try that myself.
I tried that and I would not recomment this to anyone :p
Reaper itself will work just fine, but all the plugins and stuff relying on some kind of protection will not.
 

Stagepig

Regular
Cool there is some really helpfull advice already!
I'm also gonna look into Tracktion and Mixbus 32c since I'm really angry at the stuff windows did to me over the past few days (again):p
The Installation of Reaper itself already made it look like a super light program which is great compared to studio one that was a lot heavier. It's gonna be cool to see what I can use with all the CPU Power that becomes free with that.
Recreating alot of the Projects for my badnmates will be no fun but some one has to make it.
I also will have to figure out how to get good interface drivers in linux and check if i can somehow make my native instruments komplete stuff work.
If that won't I can still change to windows again :)confused:) since Reaper runs on it too.
Is it possible/easy for someone starting with Reaper to build a theme for himself or will i have to look through various online themes to find the right one?
 

GotMetalBoy

Forum Addict
I am a little confused???
Did you mean when they closed the doors.
Or did you mean when they aquired Cakewalk :rolleyes:
All of the above! I really liked SONAR and figured some day the bugs would get fixed, so I was dumb enough to buy the lifetime updates. It was getting annoying how the monthly updates kept coming out later and later in the month and then they announced their 30th anniversary late. I installed Cakewalk by BandLab but it uses so much hard drive space compared to REAPER. I cheated on REAPER a couple times and used Cakewalk by BandLab for MIDI editing because I know all the shortcuts better than I do in REAPER.
 
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