What's a DAW?
Using your current computer and no other software, you can import any
audio and MIDI, synthesize, sample, compose, arrange, edit, mix, and master songs or any other
If you add a hardware audio interface of your choice (AD/DA: analog-to-digital/digital-to-analog)
and a microphone, you have a complete recording studio, suitable for recording anything
from a soloist to a band to an orchestra (even if the orchestra is just you).
Nondestructive multi-track recording means that you can record and layer take after take,
correcting, editing, revisiting, and tweaking to your heart's content.
There are inexpensive audio interfaces designed just to plug guitars in to, and
there are very fancy audio interfaces designed to convert many simultaneous line
and microphone inputs.
REAPER converts your computer into the full power of
any top-of-the-line recording studio. Minus, of course, a room full of
shockingly expensive converters, microphones, amplifiers, and, well, talent.
If you are a top-of-the-line recording studio
interested in REAPER,
this part of the discussion has probably insulted your intelligence.
So we'll just say that unlike some other DAWs, REAPER will support almost
any existing audio interface, even interfaces manufactured by companies
whose software does not
allow you to use any other hardware interface.
If you currently use another DAW, you might be reading this because you're
contemplating shelling out $150 for the next overhyped version that doesn't
address any of the bugs you've been complaining about for five years
while adding a bunch of features you couldn't care less about. What does
REAPER have to offer you?
For starters, REAPER is coded by a small group of dedicated engineers,
not multiple software units under the central command of product marketing.
That means REAPER is lean, efficient, and stable. REAPER starts up and
is ready to record in seconds, balances processing loads intelligently
across multicore systems, and doesn't fall over when you start to tax it.
That means you spend more time recording and editing, instead of staring
at the startup splash screen.
REAPER also gives you two major version updates with your license. And we don't parcel
them out once every year or so, either: REAPER is famous for its
fast, frequent, and most importantly, stable upgrades
If you had bought REAPER 2.0, you would have received over 100
free upgrades, all the way to the end of the 3.xx version series,
and the application you had at the end of the license period would have had
far more depth and power than the one you started out with.
If you think there's some feature in your current DAW that you can't live
without, we hope you'll take two minutes to download and try out the
evaluation version of REAPER to see if it's in there. Dynamic beat slicing,
multichannel audio support, intelligent automation thinning,
flexible multiple MIDI hardware device and sysex support,
fast controller-to-plugin mapping - REAPER's feature set is mature,
comprehensive, and powerful.
Freedom and Control
REAPER is designed to let you work quickly and creatively, without
imposing any artificial limits on what you can do. REAPER doesn't have
track types, busses, tools, or offline processing. If you want to
create a drum bus, simply add a track above the drum tracks and press
the folder button - the drums will automatically send to the folder,
Once you get the drum levels and FX tweaked right where you want them,
you can record the folder's output to non-destructively freeze the drums
and move on.
Any track can be a bus, and any track channel can be sent anywhere else.
Sends are are breeze: just drag from one track to another. Sidechaining
is a breeze: drag a send from the source to the target, select the plug-in
knob you want to sidechain, and press a button.
Because REAPER doesn't have track types, you can use an audio gate to
write MIDI triggers right on the same track. Or, render a virtual instrument
from MIDI to audio as a new take. You can insert MIDI track controls
at any point in the signal chain, to control MIDI pan (or anything else)
both upstream and downstream of a MIDI plugin.
Every item has handles for fades, snap points, volume, per-take FX,
and more, so you can work intuitively without constantly switching tools or
keeping track of what mode the mouse is in.
With Free Item Positioning, you can visually arrange any number of media items
vertically within a single track to control how the items crossfade
and mix together. All processing is non-destructive, so once you have the perfect
arrangement, glue and lock the items until you're ready to tweak some more.
REAPER's easy-to-use and sophisticated branching undo system means that you can
work with creativity and confidence, knowing that you can get back to any
prior state with a mouse click. REAPER can even track your actions right in the
title bar so you can always see what you've just done.
Native VST plug-in bridging and firewalling allows you to run REAPER x64
with nearly seamless integration of Win32 plug-ins. Or, on any Windows system,
firewall VST plug-ins in their own process space to maximize RAM utilization and protect
against plug-in crashes bringing down the whole project. A firewalled Win32 VST plug-in
can be configured to use up to 3GB of RAM all for itself, without sharing memory
space with REAPER or any other plug-in, on any Windows system.