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Wow, Reaper is so much better than I thought
Old 26th August 2018
  #1
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Wow, Reaper is so much better than I thought

Just gave Pro Tools First a shot today...

I hate that you have to click on a different button to change the function of your cursor — to move items around, select, or trim. In Reaper this is all accomplished at once. The program knows what you want to do based on the location of the cursor. Elegant!

In computing generally, Ctrl+Scrollwheel means zoom in / out. In a browser, in an image editor, in a PDF viewer, in Google Docs, in Reaper. But not in Pro Tools First.

I don’t like that Pro Tools requires a secondary program running in my system tray. I don’t like that I have to give them my personal information in order to test the product.

I don’t understand why the program requires a 2.1 GB download. It’s huge and slow. Every time I change a setting, arm a track, whatever, the program hiccups and stutters as it refreshes. It doesn’t respond very quickly. Reaper is lightning fast by comparison — I never notice it pausing to think.

Overall my impression is that PT is legacy bloatware. The design feels like cutting edge tech from the 1990s. Whatever you may think of Reaper as a DAW, it is clear that, as a work of software engineering, it is far superior.

On the plus side, I appreciate the stock plugins that come with PT. The UI and presets are snazzy.

I didn’t expect to have such a negative experience with PT. If it were released as a new product today, I’m not sure that many people would use it. Personally I would rather use Audacity.
Old 4th September 2018
  #2
My thoughts as someone who doesn't mind Pro Tools (though it's admittedly not my primary DAW):
I wholeheartedly agree with your finishing statement. With that said, REAPER's biggest advantage is also its biggest weakness. I know that if I go to a studio, anywhere in the world using Pro Tools, it's going to behave the same way that it does in every other studio. With REAPER however, if I talk to even many of my friends running it, their setup isn't going to come anywhere close to resembling mine.

In practice this isn't a big deal - more and more studios are now encouraging the idea of BYOD and even in those that don't, you can usually just bring your own USB stick with your own REAPER install, but you get the idea.

Not to mention the fact that from the perspective of schools / universities, with PT, they can teach well defined courses on the software, and unfortunately this really isn't true for REAPER. REAPER just doesn't have the same type of ecosystem around it. Hell, take a look at high end control surfaces. They'll almost certainly guarantee compatibility with Pro Tools and maybe Logic and Cubase. REAPER, well, it *might* work, and if it doesn't, there's a reasonable chance that someone else has written a plugin to make it work, but if it doesn't? You're very much on your own.

To clarify, I think REAPER is fantastic, and I'm no huge fan of Pro Tools, and I genuinely agree with you when you say that, had it been released today, there's no way it'd be as prevalent as it is, but it does have some very real material advantages going for it, and there's many things that I do prefer in it over REAPER. To cite one example, as dated as PT's UI is, it is at least consistent and it is designed well. REAPER's UI is quite frankly, a total cluster**** and the state of themes well, they exist and there's many of them, but in my experience (with a few notable exceptions), the quality is pretty damn poor.

If I had to pick between the two though? REAPER absolutely wins.
Old 30th June 2019
  #3
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jacko's Avatar
I would consider myself at least fluent in Pro Tools HD / Ultimate.
I have even been recently approach to write a book with some workflows and tutorials for Pro Tools.
I've done at least over a thousand of mixes in Pro Tools and a chunk of big recording sessions with big Neve / SSL equipped studios.
Yet, this year I have switched to Reaper after getting more familiar with it. It's just a far more advanced and powerful DAW and there is very little if anything that I miss from Pro Tools.
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