What exactly is Reaper?

Reaper is made by Cockos, and it’s well known for its complete, flexible feature set and stability wherever digital audio is used. It’s been used in a wide variety of fields – commercial, home studios, broadcasting, live recording, education, scientific research, sound design, game development, etc. There is only one version of REAPER from professional environments to student laptops, which is fully functional and has no artificial restrictions.

My personal experience with Reaper DAW for Music Production

I’ve been using many different DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) for music production over the past eight years. I finally made the switch to Reaper, and I’m never going back. Here’re 14 good reasons why I decided to stick with Reaper for music production after using it for a solid two years.

You should know that I’ve been using Reaper mainly for editing vocals, recording, mixing, and mastering tracks.

  1. Reaper is a blazing fast and lightweight music software.

I can’t stress enough how fast this thing is. We’re talking – lightning fast.

Reaper performs enviably well compared to its competitors. Not only when recording, but it’s also fast while editing and rendering too. It utilizes your CPU and RAM efficiently. One of the best DAWs out there with good hardware acceleration. This is because it’s well programmed and optimized for the computer on a lower level.

Before switching to Reaper, I remember editing heavy sessions with lots of stems and VSTs on Adobe Audition. I know Audition’s not a DAW for professional work, but those were the sessions I had to work with. It was a nightmare to mix and master inside the same session in Audition. It was simply impossible. With Reaper, I’m easily using 42 plug-ins in my presets from the start, and I’m not experiencing lags, delays, or crashes.

  1. Reaper is the most customizable DAW I’ve used.

Reaper is all about customization and user experience. The user can shape his vision for a DAW into reality. I know at first you may find Reaper ugly and odd to work with, but please give it a shot. Its customizations aren’t only in terms of control groups, keys, settings, and other minor tweaks, but you’ll be able to change the program’s looks and make it appear and feel almost precisely every different DAW out there you are familiar with.

Reaper has professional-looking user interfaces in Logic X, Premiere Pro, Cubase, and others. You name it. Just open their forum and look for your preferred skin. Most of the skins you’ll find out there are free to use. Some have PRO versions you can donate for. You can even create your own personal icons sets, user interfaces, and others, or very easily tweak and edit those already shared on their website.

  1. Why isn’t Reaper an Open Source? Or is it?

The short answer is – No, it’s not!

The core of Reaper may not be open-source, but besides that, it can be scripted and automated with custom user functionalities almost infinitely, which isn’t available in other DAWs.

They’ve been tons of scripts you’ll find ready for download, which will optimize your workflow. When I’ve looked for special macros, I haven’t done a single search without a satisfactory result. Even if you can fill a blank spot, you can easily create a simple macro inside Reaper for your needs.

  1. Reaper’s not wayward. It works with every VST out of the box.

It just is a VST friendly music production software. Unlike Ableton and many other DAWs, Reaper works great with different types of virtual instruments. The only formats that Reaper can’t run are Pro Tools’ unique AAX and RTAS. It works perfectly well with all VSTDXAU, and even JS (JavaScript) variants.

In addition, Reaper has its own integrated VST plug-ins, which are available in 32-bit and 64-bit formats.

  1. Stable and Reliable. I haven’t experienced a single crash in months.


Studio work


Live performances

I’ve used to use Ableton Live for live performances, and it was pretty good. Almost as stable as Reaper but had other problems. Sometimes there was a bit more delay, and sometimes it crashed for no reason.

  1. It’s Affordable. For what it’s worth, it’s unbelievably cheap.

You can fully evaluate REAPER within 60 days. REAPER licenses are reasonably priced and have no DRM. After the trial period, the developers want you to pay $60 for a personal license, but you can still use it for free, thanks to its unlimited trial license-basically making it a free DAW. It can easily be ranked as the best DAW out there in its price range.

Talk about different types of licenses, compare them with other daws

  1. It’s supported, well documented, and has an active community

The core of Reaper may not be open source, but besides that, it can be scripted almost infinitely, which is not available in other DAWs.

  1. Reaper’s internal sum mixer and audio exports sound better.

This can be very subjective, and everyone can judge for himself.

  1. It runs great on different Operating Systems.

This may be a strange reason for some people, but when working on a project with other audio engineers, we often have to send versions of the projects and load them in different environments. That wouldn’t be possible with every other DAW. Reaper works equally well on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10, Linux, and even mac OS X.

I remember using my portable audio interface (Baby Face PRO) with a laptop running Windows XP to record vocals in a studio at the end of the world and then transfer this session to my main workstation for further edits. Then the session gets sent to my associate working on MAC OSX and then again back to me.

  1. If you are looking for an Intuitive workflow, chose Reaper.

Again this may vary and be subjective for the user.


Again this may vary and be subjective for the user.

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