REAPER enthusiast thread

This thread is for people who utilize REAPER in their creative productions. A great DAW that’s available to demo with no restrictions as long as you like, but even the license is inexpensive for those wanting to give back.

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I’ve been using REAPER for about 6-7 years now. Great program, similar to Pro Tools or Acid Pro.

Out of curiosity, are there any must-have features to reaper that an outsider should know about? I’ve always heard loads about it but even upon closer investigation I couldn’t figure out why people used it.

New at Reaper… but love it so far. easy to use, versatile, powerful. I’ve got a lot to learn.

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REAPER really covers my main base of approaching a track, that is, easily loading up audio files from a sample library, adjust them to fit a grid, lay out and organize the tracks in the track window which can easily zoom in or out for inspecting a short segment of music, or widen out to see the entire piece.

I do like the “glue” feature which lets you combine a group of individual audio files into one new single file. Great for managing segments with many cuts and splices (I’ve definitely built tracks in the past manually copying and pasting measures of tiny slivers of audio clips).

Also it can do FX chains on individual segments of audio, so it’s also nice as a sort of audio editor.


I‘m using Ableton Live since vesion 4, but ever since I installed Reaper a few years ago, I keep coming back to it.
I think I installed it because I wanted to double check on some computer issue I had back then, but it‘s really an anazing DAW!
Reaper is highly customizable - you can make your own keyboard shortcuts and even use ‚custom actions‘ that let you combine multiple functions in one macro, which triggers the functions sequentially. Reapers ‚actions‘ can also be mapped to Midi CC or Midi Notes.
You can make your own custom toolbar buttons, that can toggle Reapers actions or run scripts!
The buttons will display text by default, but you can use your own icons, if you want to.
I‘ve set up buttons for basic stuff like changing grid size (one button for each grid size really speeds things up) and stuff like that.
Besides all that, you can also customize the piano roll!
In Live, I typed all my basic scales and modes in the piano roll by hand and saved them in preset folders, so I can drag them into my projects.
With the customized piano roll in Reaper, I can right click anywhere in the piano roll and choose to insert scales, chords or arpeggios at the cursor.
Then there are scripts…there are some really amazing scripts in the database and you can of course start writing your own.

Also Reaper has parameter modulation, you can use of course automation lanes, but also envelopes and lfo‘s.
IIRC you can even assign one parameter to modulate another one…

Reaper runs incredibly stable on my system, even my wifes old single core netbook runs Reaper^^

If I wasn‘t so bound to Lives workflow, I‘d switch to Reaper, I think.
I‘s need a bigger screen, though^^

Lol, this text sounds so super positive… :roll_eyes:

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When I first got it, I was frustrated with some Protools bugs and needed to finish a project and had no time to do research and figured it was cheap and would work (all the heavy lifting by other plugins and hardware anyway).

But so I already had it when I was doing more comparison shopping and basically found it could do everything any of the others could do…which in many cases I had not initially realized because you had to kinda make your own tool bars to see all the options I was used to.

In the end, I’ve always been reading reviews of others because I’m a disloyal shit and would always jump to greener pastures, but it has been so solid and issues-less for …like 8 ish years.

The only people I don’t recommend it to are those that want their DAW to also include a lot of its own effects and instruments. Reaper has effects but they are not my favorites, great for utility stuff, but not my go to. Really, still using mostly the same ones or same developers that I always have thru 3 DAWs.

I’ve heard some amazing shit come out of Reaper. never tried it though… in fact, I’ve heard a lot of really good metal bands record through it.

What’s the pros/cons versus FL studio, if anyone can extrapolate?

For me, Reaper is best in class for a ‘traditional DAW’, meaning ProTools, Cubase, Sonar, etc. Familiar layout and functionality, works exactly like you’d expect, and on and on. It’s feature complete, incredibly stable, resource light, very extensible, and has some neat tricks up its sleeve. It’s also dirt cheap considering what you get.

I’m an Ableton fellow as far as sound design goes, but when it comes to traditional recording and mixing, Reaper’s where it’s at. I’d stand it up against any of those traditional DAWs in a heartbeat. I use both regularly as they both excel at different things, and ultimately compliment each other well.

The downsides for me is that it’s almost too customizable, and can take a while to get it set up for a good workflow. It’s also really hit and miss in terms of plugin quality, especially when compared to Ableton. Reaper also looks like shit out of the box, but again can be customized without too much hassle.

I think FL’s focus on sequencing and piano roll tends to set it apart, alongside some really nice plugins. At this point it can do everything all the other DAWs can, it just does it in different ways. It’s mostly just workflow differences. Any of those traditional DAWs, Reaper included, are likely going to be more useful if you’re tracking a lot of instruments - I wouldn’t want to do 10 mics on a drumset in FL or Ableton, I’d absolutely use Reaper for it just from a workflow perspective. I love Reaper’s ‘a track is a track’ mentality where it doesn’t differentiate between MIDI or audio or automation or mono/stereo. You can just dump whatever into a track and get to it.

For just putting together samples or recording a VSTi, whatever’s clever. It mostly comes down to what you’re comfortable with. FL feels more geared towards electronic music, Reaper feels built for recording live takes, but either can do either without too much headache.

As I said, I think Reaper’s hit and miss with plugins, whereas everything in FL is at least great, some of them incredible.

Also, Reaper has mediocre MIDI but slap-yo-momma good automation, which also helps lend it a recording/mixing over EDM feel.


IMO FL Studio is the drum / synth VST every DAW needs - fuck that mixing console, export everything to a better DAW and FL Studio is a fucking powerhouse of possibilities.


The best part about Reaper is its price that seems so unfair compared to the rest of DAWs. It is an excellent alternative to Pro Tools which should just go away how exclusive they always wanted to be. Just die already. For sound design and arrangement I would stick with other DAWs just from “got used to it already and it does what I want” perspective but Reaper seems to be excellent for stem mixing and live recording. But I doubt I dig deep enough to experience its fullness.

From what I gather that seems to be the case. Lots of metal bands use it, a few producer buddies that record bands swear by it.

I still think I’ll use FL studio for recording metal, just from knowing it inside and out- but something like reaper or ableton definitely seem to fit the bill better.

It’s all up to your workflow. It takes years to develop how you do things in your DAW of choice, just to feel confident with this software. You develop some habits and apply them without much thinking later on. Just for that reason I don’t see any need switching between DAWs unless that one DAW in particular lacks of something crucial you really miss. But even for that I wouldn’t feel any sudden urge for switching because you will need to re-learn every feature all over again because different DAW put those things elsewhere. Your workflow is no more. You’re stuck with a learning process all over again even when you could do most of these things in your primary DAW and just make music instead. Tough choice.

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Count me in, bros. Been using it steadily since 2009. ONLY DEATH IS REAL

Good point… I’m new at Reaper and loving it… but I spend a lot of time staring at and thinking WTF do I do now? Then I dig into the manual and search some YouTube videos and learn something new. Then I’m stoked again for a while.

Recently, while struggling with a simple experiment … in pure frustration, I exported the track I was working on to Audacity and in 20 minutes I had an awesome take on what I was looking for…

Lesson learned… don’t lose the value of workflow learned on other platforms just because the new platform feels like “The Promised Land.” It’s all about using the tools and workflow you’ve developed for an end result.

I’m working with reel to reel analog again as well. It’s all good…

No joke? That’s awesome man. I have a Teac X-700R reel to reel. Been meaning to load up some stuff on it and go through a bin of old reels I inherited from the 80s and rip samples from them. That’s rad!


Akai GX 4000D in my mini annex studio that we refer to as The Green Room.


So rad!! Do you record to it often, or use it in production at all? That’s sexy :slight_smile: I just started getting into R2R, I don’t know much about it…


Been listening to the old stuff looking for the occasional gem… some of them sound better than I remember. Moved a few snippets to WAV files for future source. Have a lot of them in mind for something… so want to capture them and work with them in digital.

Have not recorded on it yet (since the 90’s!) but I’m planning on it.

Tape is tedious… but rewarding. Cutting and splicing tape… tape loops…dual speed… reverse… slap back echo… and a mixing board. There’s a lot you can do right there. Just be prepared for some late nights with your hair on fire.

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