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Does Reaper's Price Tag Really Mean Anything?
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abaga129
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30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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Does Reaper's Price Tag Really Mean Anything?

Im really considering buying reaper. I've been playing around with it and it runs so much smoother on my system than Cubase 5. So far it seems like a very capable little daw.I cant believe it only costs $60...
Is there a reason it's so low? are there things that other daws do that it simply cannot?

Mainly just want some opinions on it. I also noticed that it is upgradeable until version 5.9.9 which is a plus.
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30th December 2012
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Nope. You can read their pricing philosophy on their site which is a very admirable approach. I hated Reaper when I first tried it but after a few more attempts, I realized how customizable it was -- making it the most intuitive DAW for me. I mean, if there's not an action for it, you can automate it pretty easily. Don't let the long dialog menus fool you... You can customize everything from toolbars to right-click dialogs.
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30th December 2012
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It is a great product.

I haven't moved to the 4.x version but had all the upgrades from 2.x what ever it was. From my point of view, the midi quantize stuff could be better, but I mainly record and play guitar...
abaga129
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This is all great info. Thanks!

One thing that really caught my attention is the ability to apply side chain compression to specific bands instead of the whole instrument.

I've also heard great things about reaplugs.
abaga129
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Something that I really disliked about cubase was working with midi instruments. It just seemed so tedious since i was an Fl Studio pilgrim.
Is reaper any better in this area?
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Great program. Go for it.


IT's in a constant state of development (and there are a lot of things done unconventionally which i don't like) but it doesn't sound any worse (or any better) than anything else.
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30th December 2012
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I think they have a reasonable pricing policy. Actually, considering the very high quality of Reaper, it makes me wonder why simple plugins cost so much. For example, there are many compressor plugins that cost more than Reaper, yet the compressor included with Reaper is of better quality.

It's a little refreshing to see a product being developed for the love of the product and not to maximize profits. It makes me wonder why Lexicon can ask $1500 for a reverb plugin.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abaga129 View Post
Is there a reason it's so low?
That pricing takes advantage of the smaller scale economics of a tiny programming team: it's Justin Frankel (the creator) and 2 or 3 other guys.

The other big time DAWs such as ProTools, Cubase, Logic have much larger teams. More programmers means more features which leads to your next question...

Quote:
are there things that other daws do that it simply cannot?
Reaper does not have music staff notation abilities. It takes a lot of extra programmers to implement something like that.

It also does not include a large selection of virtual instruments, sound libraries, and loops. I don't think Reaper 4 has any guitar amp sims whereas Cubase/Logic has a good selection already built in.

Reaper also does not have the Research & Development resources to include the latest cutting edge algorithms ahead of Avid/Steinberg/Apple. For example, the big 3 had elastic audio before Reaper did. Reaper will typically be trailing the other major DAWs in innovation.

With all that said, if you're a musician that mostly records live instruments instead of working primarily in MIDI and sees a DAW as a computerized replacement for a simple tape recorder, Reaper is an excellent value. All the supposed "shortcomings" of Reaper mentioned above are irrelevant for that usage scenario.
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30th December 2012
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I spent maybe five days trying to get Cubase to work. Something in the audio config was broken every time I started it - MIDI wouldn't play, audio wouldn't record, occasional latency hell etc. Granted, I was pretty new to DAWs but I am a comp sci major so I do know my way around software in general.

I tried Reaper and had made my first recording and applied some plugins within 10 minutes. Never looked back. Only thing that feels weird is buying plugins for €200 the DAW itself is just $60...
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I've been forcing myself to learn Reaper for the past month or so with HUGE help from Kenny Gioia's videos. The more I immerse myself it in the more I catch myself chuckling at how good it is. Once I have it completely customized to my workflow (I'm just about there now) I'm quite sure it will be my goto DAW. I've never seen a piece of software so open and customizable by the end user, yet still so powerful in function before. I don't really care what they want to charge for it, I'd still be buying it. Throw in a different skin/theme and it also becomes the best looking DAW on the market too.

$60 is a gift for that software.
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Really like the batch system. Very useful in FX handling for 80,000+ events at a time!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osirisguitar View Post
Only thing that feels weird is buying plugins for €200 the DAW itself is just $60...
There are so many free VST options, especially processing but also instruments (especially synths) that you could avoid that if you wanted to.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason West View Post
For example, the big 3 had elastic audio before Reaper did.
Reaper actually doesn't have elastic audio. Not sure why people keep saying it does, it does not.

For $60 it's a great deal, but the idea that it can do "anything" any other DAW can do is a tiny bit overblown. It does a lot of things really, really well... mix scenes being one spectacular example, and some other things not so well.
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1
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very fair post.

I think it does most things its target audience needs.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
Reaper actually doesn't have elastic audio. Not sure why people keep saying it does, it does not.
I thought Reaper licensed the algorithm from somewhere. They didn't do it in-house.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason West View Post
I thought Reaper licensed the algorithm from somewhere. They didn't do it in-house.

Z-Plane Elastique' (the algo used for time stretching / pitching) is not "Elastic Audio". Almost everyone uses Elastique' these days, not everyone has "Elastic Audio". Reaper does not have elastic audio... in that you cannot stretch a section of a clip without splitting it up, only an entire clip.

Elastic Audio (PT), Warp (Cubase), Flex (Logic), Bend (Studio One), Audio Snap (Sonar) and whatever Ableton Live calls it there... Reaper does not have that. To stretch a portion of a clip requires splitting it. The "Big 3" (PT, Logic, Cubase) had Elastic Audio before Reaper was even conceived I think.

So the "comparison chart" that shows Reaper with Elastic Audio and Audio Quantize is just plain wrong.
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IMO the price reflects the fact that the $100 million or so that Justin sold Winamp for along with the marginal fees being charged for Reaper are financing the development of a piece of software (Reaper) that will then be sold to a third party at some point.

It's all about building a large group of loyal users.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O View Post
IMO the price reflects the fact that the $100 million or so that Justin sold Winamp for along with the marginal fees being charged for Reaper are financing the development of a piece of software (Reaper) that will then be sold to a third party at some point.

It's all about building a large group of loyal users.
based on what? speculative bs.
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For $60, Reaper is a no-brainer on one level. I've now spent more on Kenny's how to videos than I spent buying Reaper. Much of the functionality in Reaper is not just apparent on the surface, and Kenny must be a genius to have figured out all the stuff it will do.

The more difficult question is whether there are other good reasons to go with another DAW because of higher functionality. Honestly, a very real cost is the learning curve of whatever DAW one picks. The real price is what you invest in purchase price and learning it and the benefit is what you can get out of it.

Maybe the OP would like some opinions from the perspective of considering the total investment--what DAW should he consider?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxm View Post
based on what? speculative bs.
well - he may be speculating but it's a reasonable one!!!
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re: Elastic vs Elastique

Split, stretch, ripple edit. Okay, it can be a bit fiddly, but I don't see what the big deal is. Especially for $60. Surely, by the time you've isolated and selected the part of the item you want to elasticate, you might as well have split it anyway?

As for staff notation, do any of them do it anything like as well as a dedicated program? If you need that functionality you can just bolt things together with Rewire - I sometimes run Reaper and Sibelius side-by-side, then dump the MIDI over. Maybe the day is coming when the whole lot will be all in one, but for now I'm happy with DAWs and scoring software focusing on what they do best.
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Yes, he did make quite a bit of money from winamp. He also developed, before and after, a lot of open source software. I think his mindset it more that way. He has a couple of other people. So maybe it is 3-5 folks. There are a lot of users. He has commented that it is a business and it has be be self sustaining. So, at the price it is, it must make enough money to be. It USED to be $40

I got in around version 1.8. I moved from Cubase after 10 years. I dabbled in a few others besides cubase. The music recording part has always been strong. The midi, not so much, especially compared to Cubase, which started as a midi program (and whose audio was always catch up). However, the midi stuff I miss from Cubase is that stuff that I hardly ever used (and would have to look up in the manual, since I hadn't done it in so long), The everyday midi in Reaper is pretty good. Still a bit clunky I think. I suspect the developers were not full blown midi guys. Justin is a guitar player. But it is more than servicable and I use it with no issues.

Updates are frequent (though not as much as they used to be) and usually features or bugs people report on the forum. The developerw read the forums, sometimes even reply. I have not spent on licenses for Reaper in all this time what I would spend on ONE cubase update.

I really did like cubase, I started with it on 1.01 - the version that was ported over to PC back in, what '94? I went through ALL the updates until sx2, when I switched. I think Cubase is good and is probably a lot better now but I have no reason to go back. Heck, when I bring up an old song in Cubase, I can't figuare out how to do anything - must not be too intuitive, I guess! :-) It is just what you are used to.
#23
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There is no need to speculate about how Cockos was initially financed or how it continues to be financed.

This post over on the Reaper forum from Justin Frankel explains his business philosophy well enough and explains that Cockos was setup and is run as a profit making company.

To read it just enter the password "lounge".

Cockos Confederated Forums

ns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperUser View Post
There is pretty much nothing other daw's can do that Reaper can't, it is 100% a serious legitimate program, one I permanently switched to from Pro Tools and Sonar (and will gladly never go back to). It doesn't come with any loops or instruments though.
Really? I've recently been experiencing problems with my new hardware when trying to use them as inserts. I went to REAPERs forum and found this thread, and from what I've read, it looks like a problem that either hasn't been addressed, or ignored for quite sometime. If you don't use hardware inserts, then it's not an issue. Cubase on the other hand handles hardware inserts like a champ.

But REAPER is a great program that sips on resources compared to every other DAW I've tried. Great coding, overall

ReaInsert & ReaPing - Cockos Confederated Forums
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperUser View Post
There is pretty much nothing other daw's can do that Reaper can't,
Reaper is great, and gets used here for some tasks - but there are plenty of things it cannot do; mostly related to timecode, automation and other none essentials for the average user.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impromptu View Post
re: Elastic vs Elastique

Split, stretch, ripple edit. Okay, it can be a bit fiddly, but I don't see what the big deal is.
Who here said it was a big deal? It's just a matter of "correctness" when people are talking features, listing a feature it actually doesn't have. I mean, a guy posted a comparison chart showing Reaper with Elastic Audio and Audio Quantize, neither of which it actually has.

It's on the FR list (audio warp markers, whatever) ... so obviously ... a lot of current users actually want it?

Not a "big deal", just factual. No need for defensive reactions.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Reaper is great, and gets used here for some tasks - but there are plenty of things it cannot do; mostly related to timecode, automation and other none essentials for the average user.
Exactly. The things it does well it does - exceptionally - well, but no DAW does everything well, and Reaper is certainly no exception to that rule.

They're working on the midi sequencer currently and (imo) it's currently a bit of a (comparative) mess... but it will be much better when they finish. That's kinda the textbook definition of "active development", making things better?

Great product... but I for one am not a big fan of the "time selection" editing method that's pretty much exclusive to Reaper and Vegas. That's on the FR list also, true range selection.
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Lawrence:

Hey, no problem - not my baby.

I don't actually know what a warp marker is. I suppose we could always try working with musicians who can play in time and in tune, but that may be too much to ask!

Relax, I'm just ragging you a bit...
#29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abaga129 View Post
Something that I really disliked about cubase was working with midi instruments. It just seemed so tedious since i was an Fl Studio pilgrim.
Is reaper any better in this area?
You can customize a lot of the mouse modifiers and keyboard commands to be more like FL Studio. You can also add your own buttons to MIDI Editor menu to chop things and what have you. FL Studio is at the forefront of MIDI editing in my opinion at this moment and while Reaper has an exceptional amount of customization, it won't be identical to it. Still, you can try.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impromptu View Post
Hey, no problem - not my baby.

I don't actually know what a warp marker is. I suppose we could always try working with musicians who can play in time and in tune, but that may be too much to ask!
Haha, yeah... when people can always play in time and in tune and can arrange their songs correctly before recording them, we wouldn't need most of the modern technology we use.

If only that was always possible, to only record and mix players who actually practice a lot and always play in time and always sing in tune.

Celemony would be out of business.
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