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Old 12th October 2020 | Show parent
Gear Head
Michael Grafl's Avatar
Originally Posted by Trensharo View Post

REAPER is decent for mixing and editing, but the issue is the UI/UX (and workflow, as an extension) is pretty rugged. If you pour in the hours needed to “make it your own,” you can get a decent setup. But I’d still hate looking at it (themes can’t fix the fundamental issues in the REAPER UX, for me), and the Workflow is still going to be “typical REAPER.”

REAPER just comes across looking and feeling like a typical F/OSS application. Technically, it’s brilliant, but the usability is definitely a 5th priority in the minds of the developers.
Fair enough. But your comment makes me wonder how much FOSS you actually use, because while it's a bit rough around the edges, it's far above the level of any serious FOSS application I've ever used (otherwise I wouldn't use it).

I personally switched from Cubase to Sonar to Reaper somewhere around 2008-2010, and found REAPER to be the most intuitive and usable of the bunch, since a track is simply a channel that doesn't discern between sample rate, mono or stereo, or whether it's MIDI or audio. For a long time I just used the default configuration and was happy with it.

The UI isn't fancy. And no amount of theming will counteract some of the fundamental design choices. Yes, it's like putting lipstick on a pig. But the UI feels very functional to me. It feels robust and snappy.

Talking and reasoning about UX is more complex. The thing that bugs me the most about REAPER is the layout and structure of the default menus, mostly because of their flat hierarchy, which results in often being overwhelmed by the options offered after right clicking in some particular context. I still feel the cognitive load when working with the default menus trying to find a specific action, so much so that I tend to sometimes just look for it in the action list.

So yeah, the defaults would probably benefit from a well thought out overhaul. The thing is, every time I try some other DAW to keep an open mind, I find a few things that I'd like to have in REAPER, but a ton of things that seem a lot more cumbersome. And then I usually figure out how to configure REAPER to do the thing the other DAW uses.

I've always seen REAPER as a toolbox for building your own DAW. If you have a very specific workflow, REAPER is probably your best bet to automate as many tasks as possible to increase your productivity. So I disagree with your assessment of REAPER being more expensive that other DAWs. I think for certain tasks REAPER can save you so much time that it would be financially irresponsible to use any other tool.

For other tasks, REAPER gets the job done, but not in the most inspiring ways, and then yes, as a professional I don't care about a one time investment of 500 Euros if it makes my life easier.

I also have more trust in the REAPER developers to fix issues faster than any other company. In that sense they're simply more professional.

Anyway, I'm not writing this to promote REAPER. I just felt a bit offended by your comparison with FOSS software, because I find it to be absolute hyperbole.

If I did more MIDI stuff, I'd get Cubase, no question. And the take system can't be worse than in REAPER.