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image Reaper 3 came out a little while ago and I’ve mentioned that I’m experimenting with switching to it from Cubase. So far I can’t imagine going back to Cubase. Some of the things I like:

  • It’s fast and small. While the 4.4MB installer file size is great, it’s the responsiveness and quick loading time that are truly awesome. Cubase feels bloated and slow after using Reaper, as do most DAWs.
  • Powerful. The amount of features in it are ridiculous. You may have to hunt for the options, but 99% of the time it’s there.
  • I haven’t had it crash on me yet.
  • It’s fully customizable. I feel like I can trick it out as much as I want. From themes to keyboard shortcuts to actions, you can make it your own.
  • Frequent useful updates. Unlike Cubase’s usual “launch buggy, gradually patch those bugs and save any useful new features for the next version you have to pay for” you actually get an amazing amount of updates and improvements.
  • An active community and approachable developers. Reasonable or good ideas get implemented quickly, developers are responsive in the forums, lots of people were helpful when I was flailing around in “I’m used to Cubase!” land.
  • It plays nice with dual monitors. HOORAY.
  • Quick search of VST plugins.
  • I don’t feel locked in. Project files are in plain text, you can export your stuff easily. You can move your preferences around easily.

Some things I don’t like so much:

  • There are so many options that new (and/or less tech-savvy) users will likely feel overwhelmed hunting down the right checkboxes to get the behavior they expect. It’s awesome that it’s so customizable, but I’d love to see them pick some more universal up-front options and move a lot of the tweaks to a Firefox about:config style interface or just an .ini file.
  • A lot of the comping/audio behavior doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The logic behind which items play and which don’t when they overlay each other on the same track still confuses me, so I try and avoid it. Comping generally works but lacks the precision of Cubase or Logic.
  • Unlike versions 1 and 2, Reaper 3 doesn’t have my song Making Me Nervous as the default project. :( :(

Anyway, it’s been good and I recommend trying it out. There’s an un-crippled evaluation version so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Posted on - June 9, 2009 [at] 7:38 pm by Brad
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4 Comments on this post

orijimi on Reaper 3
June 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm

I was waiting for that last bit.
What kind of specs do you need to use this thing competently? I tried Reason once on this netbook but it would constantly stop and tell me my e-penis was too small while playing the default project. It had actually optimized the project, at that point, but still it could not succeed.

EleosFever on Reaper 3
June 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Reaper3 is simply the best audio editing software..


morbo on Reaper 3
June 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I think they changed their license too. For the $60 discounted license, it now says you can make money on it if… “You are an individual or business, using REAPER for commercial use, and the yearly gross revenue does not exceed USD $20,000. ”

That is very reasonable. I doubt that I would ever exceed that. If I did, there is a blurb to contact them “If you wish to upgrade a discounted license to full license for the difference in price…”

Jason Clark on Reaper 3
June 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Do you know if the Making Me Nervous sample project included with earlier versions is still available, and does it work with Reaper 3? Or for that matter, do you know if anyone has turned any of your songs into a Reaper 3 project?

Comments are closed on this post.