View Single Post
Old 12-02-2019, 02:06 PM   #1
Robert Randolph
Human being with feelings
Robert Randolph's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 874
Default REAPER sucks, and that's why you'll click this post.


Inspired by one of my friends, who wrote this thread, I thought I'd share my similar experiences.

I'm not "quitting" REAPER, however I have used REAPER significantly less in the last 6 months according to Time Sink. This has been a natural occurrence, but there are some concrete reasons why I believe I've been using REAPER much less lately.
  • Takes - If you're a regular here then you know what I think about the take system. Since that thread some things were improved, but it's still easy to get into a mess that makes you red when you say to a client, "Hold on, I'm not sure what's supposed to be playing here."
  • Scripts - I love REAPER scripts. What I don't like is how often I have to find a script to do a task that's simple in other products, or remember which script I use for X or Y process.
    Yes, this does mean REAPER has a huge edge in the DAW word for complex tasks, but the frequency of simple tasks far outweighs the complex for many of us.
  • Theme - It's easy to find a theme that you can tolerate. Some folks even have themes they love. I have, at best, found a theme that doesn't annoy me too much. Sadly, it's the default theme, but with some glaringly obvious issues fixed. Silly.
  • Text Boxes - REAPER loves text boxes. I don't.
  • Routing - REAPER's routing system is terrible. Once you have a project that's greater than 50 or so tracks, you must relegate the task of routing to some sort of script. Groups, sends, sidechains. It's a nightmare to find what you want in a large project for routing without jumping around to another part of the interface to narrow down what you see. This is one of those things that isn't so bad, until you use another implementation. I won't comment on an upcoming version that may/may not have a feature to improve this... but if it does have it, it's even worse to navigate.
    Sidechain routing is particularly annoying to work with, and riddled with workarounds due to the lack of any basic modulation processing capabilities.
  • Modulation - I think everyone can agree that REAPER's modulation system is in need of overhaul. You can workaround it with some ugly workflows, but even the most basic of traditional modular systems make REAPER's system seem... gross.
  • Helping - I run a music production chat server with 8,000+ users and I'm fairly well known in a number of other large servers, plus a website with a good deal of hits. I get dozens of questions about REAPER every single day. There's always acrobatics necessary to figure out what options a person is using, what scripts they're using, which .xxY version they're using, which theme they're using, what the phase of the moon is, etc... I can answer most questions about every popular DAW on the market, but REAPER is always a hassle unless it's someone just starting out.
  • COCKOS - I love you guys. Thanks for all your hard work.
  • Options - I keep a comprehensive list of my REAPER settings, and I can say for certain that if you sat me down in front of a vanilla REAPER install, it would take me weeks to get it setup in a way that doesn't irritate me. I'm ok when there's a prescribed workflow as offered by other products, and of course this comes with tradeoffs. I feel like REAPER sets you up with "Everything sucks until you fix it".
    It's awesome that REAPER allows you to set things up in a precise manner, however I find that often I'm left to make many either/or decisions that I must weigh against other tradeoffs. Unless you have a fairly simple workflow, you basically have to master the software before you can begin to start beginning to set it up so you can use it. (Yes, I typed that how I wanted.)
  • Whiners - People like me influence the software far too easily. If you can put together a coherent bug report, or feature request then it's likely that you will get priority. My experience, outside the REAPER-sphere, is that this means that certain workflows/bugs get overlooked as they are used/encountered by less experienced or less complex users.
    There's a handful of issues I see repeated about REAPER frequently, and when I respond with, "Write a report" or "Make a feature request", the answer is, "I'm too busy/My english isn't very good/I will just use X instead". It's easy to forget about these people because you never see them on the forum.
  • Instruments - Yep. You don't pay extra for stuff you don't need. That is undoubtedly a strength. However, in this decade nearly every other product has come to include a core set of usable instruments and effects that puts REAPER to absolute shame. I don't care because I have something like 1,750 plugins (ick), but it is the #1 thing I see people complain about.
    And yes, how nice these instruments look does matter.
  • Remote - Reaper has things like WRB, which is neat. However, it's a bit sad when I can load up Pro Tools | Control and use it with REAPER and have a fairly pleasant experience with less effort.
  • Hotkeys - I've written a fairly well-received article/video about how I interact with REAPER using the keyboard, but it's a workaround. REAPER has SO MANY SHORTCUTS. Many of them poorly named, subtly different or completely opaque (i.e. you have no idea what they do until you try them a few times). I think that most folks would consider me a "power user", and I still struggle with REAPER's actions every single day that I use it. There's usually some scenario where I need a slightly different action in a scenario, and... down the rabbit-hole. I don't experience this when using any other product.
  • ReaPack - is awesome. I have absolutely nothing remotely negative to say about this except that it's not part of REAPER. Very few REAPER users "out in the wild" know about it, let alone use it. Some people won't trust it because it's not first-party, or because the setup procedure can be confusing.
  • This Forum - does not have a good reputation, at all. Zealots. Rude. Fanatics. Snobs... and more. I've not once heard someone not involved with this forum say something positive about it. I have felt this way myself a handful of times since becoming a REAPER user, and I strongly felt this way before I used REAPER. The story is completely different when trying to talk about the forum to outsiders. This is a problem, and it will only reduce the quality/quantity of incoming suggestions and bug reports. This, in turn, affects me.
    Even the default tag under users' names is making fun of a user with a completely reasonable request. (and then subsequent threads where making fun of the guy seems to be kosher)
    Anecdotally, I know a VERY popular artist that came here anonymously and was viciously made fun of for asking about how to do something like another DAW. Really unfortunate
  • Navigator - REAPER's navigator sucks. Simple.
  • Monitor FX - This is the only time I'll mention another DAW: Cubase's Control Room. REAPER's Monitor FX pales in comparison, and Cubase's Control Room is an amazing feature for even a serious hobbyist, let alone working professional.
  • Macros - Not keyboard macros. I mean control macros: one knob controls many parameters. Track Controls sorta-kinda work, but they're a pain to setup. RCM can sorta do it. Modulation can kinda do it, if you fuss with it. Meh. Another feature I've come to rely on elsewhere that saves me a lot of time.
  • Sample Browsing - I don't use samples much, but when I do I'm instantly reminded that Windows Explorer or macOS Finder is a better browser than what REAPER offers. I don't think even the most fanatical REAPER user would disagree that this needs significant improvement.
  • NRPN/Sysex - I need NRPN and Sysex writing/editing support. RCM helps a bit, but it's far from user-friendly (and NRPN needs no help making things difficult!).
  • Docking - IIRC REAPER has 16 docking positions. I bet you can't put a window in all 16 in less than... an hour. Hardcore mode: try to do it with REAPER maximized. Best of luck!
    Now the fun part of dealing with windows that show up in your dock when you don't want, and vice versa. I'm sure there's rules to how this works, but it's not documented.
  • Politics - Apparently politics are allowed on the forum. I've avoided trying to write bug reports (as I always search first) a number of times because it's difficult to avoid some random offhand political commentary _even in bug reports_. I'm not interested. Life is hard enough as it is without all the snide negativity being flung around from whatever direction. (The thread I linked at the beginning already has political references in it...)
  • Envelope Points - REAPER's automation system is the best as far as I'm concerned. However, editing envelopes is painful for my shaky hands and slowly failing eyes.
  • Future Looks - If there was a new version coming, that had a new theme. I'd absolutely despise it. In fact, I know almost nobody that would like it. It'd be a running joke outside the forums about how awful it is. If it existed.
  • Apologetics - It is basically impossible to post on this forum with a reasoned request without a choir of 'BUT I THINK IT'S FINE'. I know of no other DAW forum where such anti-progress/anti-change thinking is normalized. Then some of us wonder why there's so many options...
Audio/DAW stuff, Woodworking, Programming and more...

Last edited by Robert Randolph; 12-02-2019 at 05:39 PM.
Robert Randolph is offline   Reply With Quote