Originally Posted by jbfunk
Bottom line is you can just compare them yourself. Reaper can be downloaded and used indefinitely for free. You get the full working version of the software, with full save mode, no shutdown after a certain number of minutes, and all of the features. Once you are happy with it, you simply pay for the license. If it's for home use, it's $60, if it's for a full blown commercial studio, it's $250. If you don't like it, it costs you nothing. AS far as questions about Reaper, you'll probably get more responses over at the Reaper forums.
And you can also DL a demo version of Sonar, too, so there's really no reason to wonder...
That said, modern DAWs can get pretty complicated. I don't think anyone can even begin to scrape the surface of any of them in an afternoon or two. So it might really be worthwhile to try to do at least a couple projects in each.
In fact, I remember sometime within the last year or so, keeping a toe in the water of a Sonar thread and this one guy popped in and said something like, Oh, I used Sonar 4 Producer for a couple of years but I got frustrated because it it didn't have features X and Y and feature Z didn't have sub-feature A.
I read it and thought... wait a sec, didn't it?
So I opened up my old version of Sonar 4 and, sure enough, every item on the guy's list of things Sonar (4) supposedly didn't have and found each. The guy had apparently just never explored enough. Or something. Maybe he just forgot. I mean... this stuff gets complicated and detailed. The human brain starts kind of glossing over
stuff after a while.
I'm a Sonar guy, but if I was shopping, Reaper would be one of the first places I'd look. And not just because I'm a huge cheapskate; but there is that.
BTW, I think it's great
that Reaper uses the two-tiered commercial/non-commercial pricing model used by a number of developer oriented softwares. I think it shows a sensible flexibility. If a guy is just using Reaper to record his songs and isn't making money from recording -- like 99.99% of musicians today -- it's sensible to give him a break. But if you're using Reaper in a commercial studio and charging clients? You're a pro and pros should expect to pay full price for their tools, seems to me. After all, they can take it off their taxes.