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REAPER – a $50 version of Pro Tools

Computers & Mobile Music
REAPER – a  version of Pro Tools

Justin Frankel of Winamp fame has been working on REAPER a $50 alternative to Pro Tools… Anyone use this?

REAPER is reasonably priced Windows software for multitrack audio production. REAPER requires no dongle, has no copy protection, and can be evaluated with full functionality.

Learn more about REAPER

32 thoughts on “REAPER – a $50 version of Pro Tools

  1. faberman says:

    Why would you want such a crap if you can get ARDOUR for free?

  2. housepig says:

    I’m running Windows with some hardware that doesn’t work under Linux, so Ardour is not an option for me.

    I was using Tracktion, but I’ve been checking out Reaper for the past few weeks and liking it quite a lot – very flexible, very small cpu footprint.

  3. Glidedon says:


  4. WQuoyle says:

    It’s still being actively developed but already light years better than Ardour… Ardour may have had something a few years back but now… too many cooks muddying the code i reckon.

  5. patrol says:

    this is just one big add for some crappy software

  6. Robert says:

    I’m currently using Audacity for a free multi-track audio production tool. Anyone know how Reaper or Ardour compare with it?

  7. Joshua Cook says:

    Can this program sequence midi as Pro Tools/Logic can?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I tried to use it, but found the interface too clumsy. I’d rather go with FL Studio, which has a lot more of bells and whistles and lifetime updates included in the price.

  9. KevT says:

    Cheap, full-feature and pretty compatible with PC’s not optimized for music production (i.e., that laptop from work where you’ll kill a few hours on a layover in Atlanta mixing down some tracks!)

  10. Mike says:

    Reaper is fantastic software which is constantly updated. The developers are very responsive to feedback. Built-in effects. Open effect-authoring protocol (JS). SDK for other devs to add functionality. No offensive copy protection. It’s amazing for the price.
    You can’t compare it to Audacity or Goldwave. It’s not an audio editor. It’s in a different league to those packages anyway.

  11. Paul Davis says:

    WQuoyle wrote “Ardour may have had something a few years back but now… too many cooks muddying the code i reckon.” Would you care to be more specific?

  12. Dan says:

    I’ve been using Reaper for a couple months now, recording 16 live tracks at once. No glitches in the recordings at all. This software is STABLE! It hasn’t crashed on me yet. It handles all of my VST and DX plugs with zero problems. The ability to route tracks and channels and create auxes and sub groups is very flexible and intuitive.

    I used to use nTrack Studio, Sony Producer, Audacity, Ableton and a couple others, but now I just dabble with those. Reaper is my main recorder. I’m using it with a midi controller (Axiom 49). So when my bands come over to practice, I simply start a new project based on a template and hit the record button. Three hours later I have 16 tracks of practice waiting for tweaking and copy / pasting.

    If any of you remember the early days when winamp was nice thin and stable, you get a glimpse of how this multitrack recording software relates to the rest of the pack. It’s well worth the fifty bucks.

  13. Dan says:

    I forgot to mention that their file format is completely open. That opens the door for writing some external tools. Ex: to perform file management or generate documentation.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The thing that separates Pro Tools from the legions of multitrack usurpers out there is that it uses double-precision mixing, to prevent quantizing when you turn a fader down.

    Reaper, like most audio editor/mixer apps, uses floating-point math to do summing. Unlike most audio apps, it does it at 64-bit, making it possible to fade without decimating.

    But that doesn’t make it Pro Tools. Yet Another Audio App, IMO.

  15. jf says:

    Pro Tools own literature says that they use 48-bit mixing.
    (PDF link)

    Won’t 64 bit give better resolution and less quantization?

    And usually everything gets converted to 24 bit before it ever comes back into the analog world.

    Has anyone ever benchmarked this and detected differences in the audio pathways between the two programs?

  16. avb says:

    For almost 3 years now i’ve been following ardour development. I used a build of 0.99.3 for more than a year – mainly because i felt 2.x had too many dependencies.

    0.99.x would crash occasionally. When i finally got around to installing the truckload of dependencies i got 2.5 up and running. It was stable, much better than 0.99.3.

    Then i discovered reaper, and i thought, bam. For a ~3 Mb download i could get a full-featured DAW that’s fast, lightweight, and didn’t require a lot of other stuff to be compiled and installed. It’s also apparent that reaper wasn’t “written to sell hardware.” I don’t have to pay for it if i don’t want to, and it would continue working with all features available. I sincerely hope justin frankel ports reaper to linux soon. Perhaps the only thing ardour has going for it is the fact that it’s open source.

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