Home Recording Studio Software-Why Reaper Rocks As A DAW

Published: 11th February 2011
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Reaper, by Cockos, is the software I use for my digital audio workstation (DAW) every single day. DAW is a fancy way of saying "computer recording studio." There are so many things I love about it that it's hard to narrow down what makes it so amazing. I think what I like the most about Reaper is how rapidly it allows me to record and edit. When I think about work-flow with Reaper compared with any other program I've ever used for recording and mixing audio, it makes my head spin. Want to add a new track? "Control-T" BOOM! Done. You want to fix a buzzing guitar on one measure? No need for fancy "punch-in"approaches. Just record that same bit of audio on another track (which you can add with a quick "ctrl-T"), peel back the buzzy bit from the original track, drag the new part from the new track into the space where the old buzzy guitar sound was, and you're done. That whole thing takes me about a minute and a half. I can use my eyes as well as ears to crossfade the new bit of audio into the original track so nobody would ever know it was a patch; completely seamless.

What are some other daily things that rock about Reaper? Well, think about problems you get yourself into. How about accidentally "cutting" a slice of audio in the wrong spot? Easy-peasy. Just drag the ends of the cut part back out to select the right section! Every time you cut or copy a selection of audio, you're actually copying the entire recording on that track, but only showing the section you picked. In other words, if you highlight and cut a bit of audio out, and later realize you need it back, just grab the edge of the audio item after the void you left when cutting, and drag it over the blank space. Bingo! The original audio is back. Essentially everything is non-destructive but in such an incredibly intuitive and neat way that speeds up your ability to finish your project.

Oh, and did I mention their "Fair Pricing" scheme? There is only one version of Reaper. Meaning, there is no "trial version" that is crippled in some way. You can simply pay for the license you say you qualify for. That would be either the full commercial license for $150, or the discounted license for $40. Yup. You heard right. The same software sells for either $40 or $150, though it is worth FAR more than $150. It's the honor system. Who does that? Cockos, that's who. If you make $20K a year using Reaper, you should choose the full commercial license. If you make less than that, you're allowed to use the $40 version. And nobody is going to ask you to prove anything. There are no dongles, no copyright security schemes that make other software hard to work with. It is just pure awesomeness.

Basically, if you don't already have a DAW, just go to the Cockos website at http://www.cockos.com/reaper/purchase.php ASAP. And as I said, I have no affiliation with them. I'm just a satisfied customer.



ps- For some great home recording tips and tutorials, visit us at Home Brew Audio

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