From time to time, we come up with some tips and recommendations to help you finding your way through the jungle of audio equipment. Today, we present to you one of a sound designers’ favorite audio work station and why Sonuscore's Kontakt scripter and Dynamedion's sound designer Stefan loves working with it.
Briefly describe the product. What does it do?
To what extent changed / improved the "Reaper" your way of working?
The software offers me a lot of freedom to adapt everything to my desired workflow. Depending on the project I can change the DAW to use it most effectively. I’ve used Logic Pro X for my sound design work but the ability to load multiple videos into a project makes Reaper much better for my work.
Pro? (e.g: Quality? / Usability? / Features?)
The biggest benefit is the adaptability of the software and the great and helpful community that has evolved from it. For many things there are pre-built macro commands / complex scripts that speeds up your working steps etc. Additionally Reaper is very cheap and offers a fully functional 60 days demo version that I currently use.
Con? (e.g: missing certain features? / high memory consumption?)
Reaper is not very beginner friendly but if you already have worked with DAWs and spend a bit of time watching online tutorials you will get into a smooth workflow soon. It also doesn’t offer as many advanced plug-ins as e.g. Logic or Cubase, but that can also be an advantage. The entire package is very small and barely consumes space on the computer and if you already have used plugins from third parties like Waves, FarbFilter or Plugin Alliance, it doesn't really hold you back.
What is the Killer-Feature? What do you like in particular?
The killer-feature is more a sort of spirit behind the software. The producer runs a direct dialogue with the users, encourages them to make the software even better and to share presets and macros with each other and offers tutorials and help. All this is reflected in the high adaptability of the software; everyone can use the DAW as it is best for them.
Compare it (if possible) with similar products from other manufacturers. What is better / worse?
I can compare it to Logic the best, as it has been my go-to sequencer for the last years. These two products completely differ in their design philosophy. Logic is more suitable for music and offers a huge library of instruments and effects for a low price (whereby you need a Mac to use it, which was also a reason for me looking for a new DAW). Logic has many good features, but you can’t easily adjust or connect them – that’s the big difference. Reaper offers a lot more freedom in how you can use the product. Nevertheless I would say Logic is better for music production and compositions. For sound design and recording Reaper is definitely the preferred choice.
The product is best suited for whom / which area of application?
For recording, mixing, mastering or sound design Reaper would be a good choice. For composing some other products are more suitable. In general I have to say that it could be a disadvantage if you work together with other companies or freelancers on a project. For collaborations, Reaper is still to much of a niche product.
How is the price / performance ratio?
Definitely. For the offered features the price is almost terrifying low and as mentioned you can test the software 60 days for free.
Your conclusion to the sound designer / BOOM blog readers out there
As a sound designer you definitely should take the time to test Reaper. The scope of the features is really gigantic. Only warning: You have to be up for making the software to your own. There are some pitfalls which would be annoying to everyone who hasn’t the “tinkerer” urge. With a bit of time and effort, this software is sure to become a valubable asset.
How many points do you give the product (0-10)?
I give Reaper 9 out of 10 points. Little bugs and crashes from the software here and there have negatively affected the transition part but the remaining features certainly make up for it. And other DAWS also have bugs – nobody’s perfect ;-)
Thank's Stefan for the review and your personal evaluation. Now it's up to you, BOOM Library followers: try it and find out how it works for you!