Old 01-25-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
valrus
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Default REAPER vs GarageBand

So I'm in the process of trying out REAPER and seeing if it's worth my hard-earned when I'm already used to GarageBand. I've basically been stumbling around in it and trying to replicate what I can do in GarageBand, but I suspect this really isn't the way to compare them, as I end up getting hung up on little things (Cmd-R to record? Why not just R? Why do I have to select something from a context submenu just to lengthen a MIDI item? Why is merging MIDI items so counterintuitive?) rather than really getting into the REAPER way of doing things.

For those of you who have tried both or, better yet, switched from GB to REAPER, a few questions:
  • If you switched, how did you get used to the REAPER workflow? Apple's known for their intuitive interfaces; did you find REAPER's less intuitive when getting started, and how did you get around this? Is there a "Zen" of REAPER that it helps to understand? I'm a Vim user so I'm not opposed to interface learning curves, but GarageBand works for me about 80% of the time. So I want to know what's good about REAPER's interface.
  • Tell me a way in which REAPER, to quote the Perl community, "makes the easy things easy and the hard things possible." Is there something you do often in REAPER that would be extremely tedious or impossible in GarageBand?
  • Is it worth my sitting down and reading the REAPER manual cover to cover? Are there particular sections I should focus on?

Thanks in advance for any answers I get. I tried Googling this thread's name but it didn't yield anything very useful.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #2
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Garabeband is in no way intended to be/replace a full-function DAW.
REAPER is one of the most powerful platforms on the market, at
the lowest price of any "serious DAW" YES - READ THE MANUAL!!!!

I won't go so far as to say GB is a "toy" - but it does what
it does. REAPER is a truly world-class, professional
working environment that is worlds beyond what GB was intended
to be.

And yes, I have GB on my MacBook and have used it.

They are just VASTLY different beasts. BB gun compared to a Howitzer.

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Old 01-26-2012, 12:32 AM   #3
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+1 to that.

I moved from Logic to Reaper last summer after 3 or four previous attempts that I gave up on because of similar problems with finding the workflow different to what I was used to, and not realising just how customisable Reaper is. I had the Logic way of working and its keyboard shortcuts engrained in my brain and couldn't be bothered to put the effort into understanding the fundamental differences in Reaper (the whole "every track is a send" thing, and the sheer number of recording/in/out options for MIDI and audio on every channel alone was quite a challenge to fully grasp when I was used to separate MIDI and audio tracks) On top of that, remapping keys and setting up actions for the way I wanted to work seemed like a chore.

I finally switched about 6 months ago, when something just clicked with me with Reaper 4 that hadn't done with v2 or 3. I've now had Reaper purring like a kitten for the last four of those six months, and for the last few weeks I've been confident enough to start coming up with new actions which had would never even occurred to me as possible in a DAW when I was still of the mindset that Logic was the be-all-and-end-all. I'd have to say Reaper is arguably the best option available for audio work if you like to work how you like to work, rather than being constrained by a developer's vision of how you should be working. It takes a bit of effort to get to that kind of level of personalisation where everything feels just right, but do a little bit every day, like switching a new keyboard shortcut or two between takes or edits when you realise that you want the "g" key to open the Groove Tool or the "s" key to solo the active channel for example, and before you know it you have your own ideal working environment. Garageband can never offer you that kind of satisfaction.

Having said that, I can't deny that a few of my personalised editing tools/actions/workflows are set up the way they are because of Logic. So, if you like the way Garageband does things then all you need to do is work out what you like about it and make Reaper work like that - this forum is a great place to ask for help with certain actions and workflows to help you on your way. If you can't seem to do something and it's actually because Reaper can't do it (unlikely but possible), the development of it is like nothing I've ever experienced before (other than maybe Curve by Cable Guys; a virtual synth where community-driven feature requests are voted on and added in updates), and new features are added/improved upon regularly.

In short, you've got nothing to lose if you want to move on from what is basically the equivalent of a virtual 4-track recorder to a full-featured mixing desk, which leaves even Logic looking rusty.

Last edited by Morpion; 01-26-2012 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:50 AM   #4
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I'm in a similar boat moving from Garageband to Reaper. I've only been playing with Garageband for a few months now. Before that, although working with computers all my life, I've never really played with digital music toys.

Garageband does offer the safe, coddled feel provided by, as Morpion mentioned, "developer's vision of how you should be working". As a software developer part of the job is to herd your users down the chute and to the desired destination. That can include getting a song mastered, a document completed or a house designed. This can be very helpful, particularly if using the software is a new experience entirely. Garageband has helped me in this respect as it gave me an idea as to how to go about getting the job done. It is very powerful (with limits, yes, yes, I know) and very easy to use. It serves as a great springboard into the realm of digital music. It is like paint-by-numbers. Fun for kids and teens alike. Picture great fun around the kitchen table on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Now picture an artists loft. Huge open spaces with a pile of blank canvases in the corner. Stacks of paint cans, bottles, mixing stuff and other artist thingies I'm not familiar with. Nothing done yet just huge amounts of potential. This is Reaper.

But you don't even know how to mix paint! It's ok, neither did I. I'm still not very good at it but I've made some progress.

Reaper's options and capabilities are wide and deep. The trouble is it's difficult to tell whether to start by going wide or deep. Garageband shows you. Reaper doesn't do it as clearly.

I started by learning how to perform tasks in Reaper that I did with Garageband. Not building entire songs mind you, but rather getting comfortable with individual components of the system. One day it would be recording MIDI and getting a sound out of it through use of plug-ins. One day it would be experimenting with various plug-ins. The next it would be editing tracks.

I've been reading through the manual so I can learn the program's capabilities and focusing on the areas which affect what I am working with at the time. The Net, of course, is also a great resource for quickly solving problems.

Reaper is tough to learn coming from Garageband but as someone working through it I can only suggest that sticking with it and becoming proficient at a powerful DAW like Reaper will be a huge asset to you in the end. Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #5
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Thanks all.

I'm starting to read the manual, and I'm mostly able to do the basic stuff in REAPER that I was used to in GB. I understand that REAPER is much more powerful than GB but I think I'm looking for the equivalent of a "killer app" - a particular feature REAPER has that, once I get used to it, makes it indispensable. Does that make sense?

Morpion's post gives me the impression that one possibility is REAPER's customizability, and I definitely think that could be a big draw for me, but it will be a little slow going, I think, till I get into the groove of tweaking it so it fits how I want to work. One complication, of course, is that I don't yet know how I want to work, because I'm used to GB where I don't have a choice! Of course this is part of your point.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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@Valrus.... please just be patient! Don't judge early.
Take it from me - I'm 50, cut my studio teeth in the analog
days... tried DAW in 1999 or so (Cakewalk 9.0) and couldn't
make heads or tails of it - computers were such crap then,
you had to be MAJORLY committed to make it work. I gave up.

I came to REAPER in May 2011 - I'm still a noob, but I've
built a fine studio and have now tracked quite a few tunes.

I learn something about REAPER EVERY TIME I TRACK!! Whether
from the manual or from this site. The folks here are VERY
forgiving of us noobs - they are HERE TO HELP (I try helping
whenever I can, even if my answers are as noobish as they are correct)

GarageBand was designed for "FUN" - it was meant to make folks
be able to record things fast and easy, but NOT AT AN ADVANCED
LEVEL. I used it a number of times on my MacBook to record my
daughter's Oboe auditions for various symphony groups. But
I realized early on that it's BASIC - cool, but BASIC.

So please... don't give up on trying to learn REAPER - it's
everything you'll likely need, with features beyond anything
else out there, at any price.

Jedi
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valrus View Post
(Cmd-R to record? Why not just R?
You can change that if you want. I like that accidental recordings are avoided with a two-key combination.

Quote:
Why do I have to select something from a context submenu just to lengthen a MIDI item?
You don't. I don't quite know what you mean.

Quote:
Why is merging MIDI items so counterintuitive?
You might want to check the manual if there is a simplier way of doing the things you do.

Quote:
Apple's known for their intuitive interfaces
I agree, but some of their software (Logic, GB, iMovie, Final Cut) try to teat some precision tools in a simplier way, and as a result the user might not be fully inofrmed what actually happens. Such as the audio volume adjustment in iMovie, from 0 to 100% instead of a standard dB scale. Each user have their own preferences, which is why some software will feel unfamiliar, atleast in the beginning.

Quote:
how did you get around this?
By using Reaper more and reading the manual. Just reading the Tips, Tricks & Howto's forum might also reveal good tips.

Quote:
Is there something you do often in REAPER that would be extremely tedious or impossible in GarageBand?
Oh boy. Trimming, grouping, volume adjustments, pitch shifting, recording, stopping... Pretty much everything I do in Reaper! For me there are countless things that are so much faster to do in Reaper than the competition. Pitch shifting an item, handling tracks and items, limitless FX chain, folder tracks, to name just a few.

Quote:
[*] Is it worth my sitting down and reading the REAPER manual cover to cover? Are there particular sections I should focus on?
I would focus on the parts you do the most, especially in the ones that you feel uncomfortable with in Reaper.

Quote:
I tried Googling this thread's name but it didn't yield anything very useful.
I'm not surprised, as they are quite different tools in nature, and targeted for different users and uses.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:08 AM   #8
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I'm a noob with Reaper, tried other DAW's before and just couldn't get to grips with them. The basics in Reaper seemed to be a lot easier to get to grips with than say Sonar for example. Now I've got the basics down and I'm just learning more every day. I look throught the Tips/tricks pages at lunchtime at work and then try them out when I get home. I must confess to not reading the manual but will do soon.

I bought an ipad at Christmas and the 1st thing I downloaded was garageband. i thought it was great for what it is, good fun. nice to be able to knock up the basics of a song in a few minutes without even picking up my guitar. Typical Apple product, very user friendly.

The thing is though you just can't compare GB & Reaper, GB is great fun but its not a DAW. Its more of an 8 track with pretend instruments and pretend session musicians. With Reaper its all down to you, no automated guitar or piano players.

Reaper simply has no limits where garageband has lots.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valrus View Post
Is there something you do often in REAPER that would be extremely tedious or impossible in GarageBand?
At the top of a very long list, exporting MIDI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valrus View Post
Is it worth my sitting down and reading the REAPER manual cover to cover? Are there particular sections I should focus on?
Absolutely! Figure out how sends and receives work.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella Monkey View Post
I bought an ipad at Christmas and the 1st thing I downloaded was garageband. i thought it was great for what it is, good fun. nice to be able to knock up the basics of a song in a few minutes without even picking up my guitar. Typical Apple product, very user friendly.

The thing is though you just can't compare GB & Reaper, GB is great fun but its not a DAW. Its more of an 8 track with pretend instruments and pretend session musicians. With Reaper its all down to you, no automated guitar or piano players.

Reaper simply has no limits where garageband has lots.
The GarageBand he's talking about is the Mac app, not the iPad app.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:01 PM   #11
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Reaper is great, you just need to be willing to invest a little time to learn it. The learning curve is going to be a lot greater then garage band.

I tried reaper like 4 times and gave up on it the first 3 times...it seemed so unintuitive.

On the fourth try I discovered actions and the customizability and now it's pretty much the best move I've ever made with music software. My workflow is lightning fast because of how I've customized reaper.

You can make the program work any way that you want.

Like I said, put in the effort to learn it. If I might suggest, pick up the groove3 production tutorials for reaper 4 by Kenny Gioia and you will learn the ins and outs of the program really quick. So for a total of $100 bucks you get reaper and the tutorial videos. That's half what you'd pay for Logic and other programs. Well worth the investment.
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:24 AM   #12
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Sorry if any of my posts make me seem impatient or unwilling to put in the time. I'm not. I'm making my way through the manual and doing all my recording in REAPER until I feel I've given it a fair shake (which I expect to take possibly months). And I understand that REAPER is much more powerful than GB, in principle. It's just that, having only used GB, I don't even know what "more powerful" means because I only know about the basics!
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
Garabeband is in no way intended to be/replace a full-function DAW.
REAPER is one of the most powerful platforms on the market, at
the lowest price of any "serious DAW" YES - READ THE MANUAL!!!!

I won't go so far as to say GB is a "toy" - but it does what
it does. REAPER is a truly world-class, professional
working environment that is worlds beyond what GB was intended
to be.

And yes, I have GB on my MacBook and have used it.

They are just VASTLY different beasts. BB gun compared to a Howitzer.

Jedi
This. Although, maybe I'd go as far to make GB a .22 rifle.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valrus View Post
Sorry if any of my posts make me seem impatient or unwilling to put in the time. I'm not. I'm making my way through the manual and doing all my recording in REAPER until I feel I've given it a fair shake (which I expect to take possibly months). And I understand that REAPER is much more powerful than GB, in principle. It's just that, having only used GB, I don't even know what "more powerful" means because I only know about the basics!
Don't let the vast array of features throw you. Reaper is really very intuitive for the most part. All the dozens of options are really gravy - just figure out what works for you and get on with business.

If you find you need something new, poke around till you find it 'cuz it's probably there.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:24 PM   #15
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And check out THIS THREAD for some great videos to help ya get going...
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:38 AM   #16
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@goldbox (even though you're obviously a bot).

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Old 01-31-2012, 06:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
@Valrus.... please just be patient! Don't judge early.
Take it from me - I'm 50, cut my studio teeth in the analog
days... tried DAW in 1999 or so (Cakewalk 9.0) and couldn't
make heads or tails of it - computers were such crap then,
you had to be MAJORLY committed to make it work. I gave up.

I came to REAPER in May 2011 - I'm still a noob, but I've
built a fine studio and have now tracked quite a few tunes.

I learn something about REAPER EVERY TIME I TRACK!! Whether
from the manual or from this site. The folks here are VERY
forgiving of us noobs - they are HERE TO HELP (I try helping
whenever I can, even if my answers are as noobish as they are correct)

GarageBand was designed for "FUN" - it was meant to make folks
be able to record things fast and easy, but NOT AT AN ADVANCED
LEVEL. I used it a number of times on my MacBook to record my
daughter's Oboe auditions for various symphony groups. But
I realized early on that it's BASIC - cool, but BASIC.

So please... don't give up on trying to learn REAPER - it's
everything you'll likely need, with features beyond anything
else out there, at any price.

Jedi
My experience was similar to yours Jedi, old synth hand (50+) that made the leap recently back into music. I went from GB to Logic Express while keeping an Eval copy of Reaper. I've made a huge effort to learn Logic Express but I work full time and just cant spend an hour a day and even though I'm tech saavy and have made investments in everything from keypad covers to tutorial books, it's just hard to be creative with it. Now I'm wondering if I should upgrade to Logic Studio or try Reaper more seriously. Logic comes with a lot of stuff...though at a price.


Did you try a form of Logic and if so, what led you to Reaper. Any other former Logic users please feel free to join in....
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:47 AM   #18
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What led me to Reaper was preempting the semi-inevitable fuck up of Logic Pro by Apple, based in part on the Final Cut Pro X debacle. The fact that a few months ago they caught wind of the pro audio community talking of Logic X probably being a "Garageband Pro", and issued a statement denying that they were taking Logic in this direction smacked of a kind of desperation that they'd already got quite far into making Logic into a pro-sumer version of Garageband and are now having to backpedal to create something which will be satisfactory.

On top of that, the whole "App Store only" thing is ridiculous, Logic itself uses way too much CPU, is buggy as hell with random crashes and hangs (and yet the bugs which are most annoying and have been there for years are ignored in favour of less critical updates), and I can't honestly see them being able (or even bothered) to keep themselves up there as one of the pro choices for audio work. Apple are making far too much money from the consumer market to give their time to develop a pro app correctly any more. They've already managed to ruin their reputation in the film industry which they're now trying to scrape back with some updates that came out last night.

Just to let everyone know I'm not an Apple-basher for no reason, I'm a certified Mac technician who looks after just under 500 Macs in a college. Recently Apple decided to get rid of the K12 licencing, meaning that higher education sites can no longer get the same value for buying multiple licences - to put it in perspective, we can now buy 16 copies for the same price we used to be able to get 500. We won't be upgrading Logic anymore and we're looking for alternatives; this means the kids who do the music tech courses won't be learning on Logic, meaning they won't be buying Logic when they leave college. A downward spiral for Logic in the eyes of young audio enthusiasts as far as I'm concerned, especially if this happens across the entire education establishment. Maybe I'm wrong about that due to the lower price of it in the App Store; time will tell.

My experience with dealing with how Apple address issues has, over the last few years, peaked and troughed since they introduced the Intel processors. Currently I have almost entirely lost faith in them, although obviously I have to hope that their success in business continues so my job continues to prosper.

As a personal user of Apple stuff, for the first time in my life I'd have no qualms at all about shifting to Windows now that Logic is a distant memory thanks to Reaper, and Lion is the single worst operating system I've ever used in my life (which is making me hold back on wanting to get a new Mac in future, since the OS is so badly broken.)

So the problem for me wasn't so much with "Logic the software" which is undeniably a very good, albeit flawed bit of software, but more with "Logic, the potential for major future upset (and unsolved current problems)". This is what got me looking for alternatives, which led me to Reaper. Now I'm used to it, Reaper does everything Logic does and more (excepting possibly some really top-end MIDI stuff which Logic can do better than any other DAW I've come across, but which I've come to do without). I couldn't be happier with my choice.

Blimey, sorry; that turned into quite a rant. I'd barely got started too...

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Old 02-01-2012, 04:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I'm a certified Mac technician who looks after just under 500 Macs in a college. Recently Apple decided to get rid of the K12 licencing, meaning that higher education sites can no longer get the same value for buying multiple licences - to put it in perspective, we can now buy 16 copies for the same price we used to be able to get 500. We won't be upgrading Logic anymore and we're looking for alternatives; this means the kids who do the music tech courses won't be learning on Logic, meaning they won't be buying Logic when they leave college. A downward spiral for Logic in the eyes of young audio enthusiasts as far as I'm concerned, especially if this happens across the entire education establishment
I Keep nudging the media guys at Northumbria Uni (Where I work as a Win Sys admin) to contact Cockos for EDU licensing so they have an option aside from Logic. Unfortunately they seem intent on moving to Pro Tools instead, I can see their point, they want to be seen to be teaching an industry standard. I would have hoped at this level it should be more about the end product than the tools used.
Hopefully the tide is turning.

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Old 02-01-2012, 04:23 AM   #20
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You work at Northumbria?!? I work at Gateshead College! It's a small world indeed! Greetings fellow Geordie!

I've been having similar conversations with the head of music tech here about the possibility of moving to Reaper, but he's not keen. I think the main issue I'd have with supporting it is the customisability - if the kids start getting the hang of it then and changing their settings then it'll be virtually impossible to teach and support them.

They're talking going all Pro Tools here too. We already have about 30 installations of it, but this would mean a load more...
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:44 AM   #21
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You work at Northumbria?!? I work at Gateshead College! It's a small world indeed! Greetings fellow Geordie!

I've been having similar conversations with the head of music tech here about the possibility of moving to Reaper, but he's not keen. I think the main issue I'd have with supporting it is the customisability - if the kids start getting the hang of it then and changing their settings then it'll be virtually impossible to teach and support them.

They're talking going all Pro Tools here too. We already have about 30 installations of it, but this would mean a load more...
Indeed I do, Nice to see someone on here with a Propper accent

Yeah the customisability, that could be a headache. Reaper runs quite happily as an App-V on the Windows side which sandboxes it and discards changes on close, maybe it's possible to do something similar on the Mac side. I'm a novice Mac user so wouldn't have a clue how to lock down an app. I moved that way to distance myself from Windows outside of Work. I've been doing this for so long that looking at a Windows OS makes my brain believe I'm working instead of enjoying myself
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:58 AM   #22
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We use a bit of software on the Macbooks here called Deep Freeze, which reverts everything back to the original state I set them to, after a restart. It helps a great deal when people change some random settings in "X" bit of software and you don't know exactly what they've done - just restart and it's all OK again. This could be a potential solution, but it's more the possibility of kids buying the software for home use, customising their own copy of it, then coming into college and having to deal with a standard install of it that makes me think Reaper could be problematic as a learning tool for beginners in audio production. I know it would confuse the hell out of me if I had a vanilla install of Reaper to deal with now, after customising all my menus, keyboard shortcuts and themes.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #23
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Well, I'm glad this thread gave you two the opportunity to meet each other!

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Old 02-03-2012, 12:42 AM   #24
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Well, I'm glad this thread gave you two the opportunity to meet each other!

No need to be a cheeky git.
The correct post would have been thanking all of the people who commented and helped in great depth (me aside of course. As I didn't help at all and derailed the thread)
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:55 PM   #25
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Of course there's no need to be a cheeky git, but there's rarely any harm in it either. I'm happy to let you derail this thread as I think I've gotten all I'm going to out of it. But yes, you're right. I do appreciate all the comments I got in response to my questions. I'm just going to keep putzing around in REAPER till I get a feel for it.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:02 AM   #26
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For whatever its worth regarding the original topic of this thread, I first started with REAPER. I'm taking a class at the local community college and they use Logic Pro 9.

After having started with REAPER, I find Logic Pro 9 to be somewhat more difficult to use than REAPER. I'm not an advanced user of either tool, but IMO Logic Pro 9 appears to be a very fully functional but bloated mishmash of tools. REAPER appears to have a much better architecture. In the end though, the biggest difference between Logic Pro 9 and REAPER (in addition to the cost) may turn out to be all of the (Apple) Loops that are part of Logic Pro 9. REAPER doesn't provide these. So if you primarily want to create music by dragging and dropping loops, Logic Pro 9 is probably the better tool. However, if you want the full power of a well-designed DAW without all the loops, REAPER is probably a better choice. I'm not trying to start a religious war here, just commenting on my experience regarding the "ease of use of REAPER vs Logic Pro 9"

FYI, I found the "REAPER Power" book by Geoffrey Francis to be very helpful in getting started. My library offered it online as an e-book so there was no cost.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:03 AM   #27
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I'm instantly suspicious of any software with pictures (or equipment - those home keyboards with little congas embossed under the keys) - so I sneered at Garageband with its little guitar and drum icons, as well as it feeling pretty sluggish; in fact, the original version couldn't keep up with more than a couple of tracks of MIDI when run on our old iBooks, and I'd been making multitrack music for many years on much less powerful computers.
Seeing those little track pictures creep into the god-like Logic was hard to believe.
Reaper reminds me a lot more of using my old Cubase 3 (which I recently switched from on Windows 98 and onto a macbook); I'm finding it does all the things I need, though often in a different way than I'm used to. And no sluggishness. And so *cheap* too!
Apple have for a long time had a strategy of buying companies that write successful Apple software, then turning it "Appley", which I guess now means "friendly" and not for experts who want to learn about dbs, groupings, automation, notch filters, side channels, etc.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:59 AM   #28
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Over the past few weeks I've been getting more and more into Reaper learning how to do the things I do in GarageBand first then trying new stuff.

I can't believe how easy to use Reaper is now that I'm beginning to understand it and I have barely scratched the surface.

Plus it doesn't suck not to be tied to Apple if I want to switch platforms. There really is a ton more 3rd party stuff for Windows over Mac.

Glad I switched!
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #29
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OP: I can't say enough positive things about this, if you're making the switch and trying to find your way around. In addition to the user manual, it's (imo, of course) pretty much required reading for anyone looking to get the best out of this DAW.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperbac...ashed/16954502

Geoffrey's book is FANTASTIC.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:01 AM   #30
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Not exactly the same scenario as the OP but I'm in the process of ditching Pro Tools for Reaper. I'm back in school and I just can't see shelling out the cash for an upgrade I don't really want just to run the software on my new computer. After switching my 3rd party plug-ins from RTAS to AU/VSTs I'm finding myself blown away. I've been a PT user for over 10 years and can say that Reaper is leaps and bounds ahead. The routing options alone just make me realize how hampered I was. It is a little daunting to learn the new software and I am by no means faster on it than I am on a PT system but I'm more than happy to put the effort in when I can see what the returns are by just spending some cursory time with the manual. I'm excited to get in deeper.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:41 PM   #31
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I'd have no reservation in recommending Reaper to anyone, at it's core it's a very stable,fully featured DAW.

I personally think a lot of things are over complicated and it's customisability is both a pro and a con.

However,if someone said to me Reaper was the only DAW I could use for the rest of my life then I'd have no problem with that

spend some time with the manual, books and you tube videos and you'll be up and running in no time.


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Old 04-26-2012, 12:03 PM   #32
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I'm just starting on Reaper now and I'm making the leap from GarageBand, which I've used exhaustively for about 18 months.

I've read through this thread and I detect a lot of bias against GarageBand which doesn't seem entirely rooted in fact. I don't want to single any specific comments out, but I will say that there's a fair amount of misinformation about GarageBand in this discussion, either through simple incorrect data or or a sort of assumption that it can't do very much.

I avoided GarageBand for years because of what I'd heard other musicians and engineers tell me it *can't* do until, one day, I actually sat down and really got my hands dirty. I was shocked at what it could handle and what it offered, especially in terms of fast, easy use. Clearly there were eventually limits to where it could go, but if I had listened to all the anti-GarageBand talk I would have never gotten to enjoy this surprisingly versatile and well-made tool. I accomplished a lot with GarageBand that audio pros couldn't believe wasn't made with a more pro-level tool, mainly because they'd always heard how bad GB was.

So now the million dollar question: Why move on from GarageBand if I enjoyed it that much?

I was convinced to get on board with Reaper because my (very cool and knowledgable) friend told me the magic words I needed to hear: Reaper sounds better. Of all the arguments I could think of, that one is the most persuasive. It's the only argument I couldn't ignore. I'll share a bit of what he told me when I asked him his thoughts about moving to Logic, which I was considering (remember, this is just from a private chat between two friends):

Quote:
I'm really worried about you and Logic....it's really a bad program!!!! I know it appears to have a large user base and following but in reality, it's only really popular for it's Midi. The Audio part if really bad. Even in the latest. So many bugs and troubles with samples being dropped out of audio files and files going missing out of your session even after you've saved them to the proper directory in the first place. I could go on and on but Logic is so Unlogical.

In the music industry, they have 30 people working on a record in the studio....they have a guy who's job it is just to fix computer problems. Guys like us don't have that luxury.

Try Reaper out. Once you get on it....you won't look back ever! It was created by guys who used to design for logic, Nuendo/Cubase and Protools. It has the best of each of them but without the headaches and confusion/frustration. If you take a closer look into audio forums.....you'll see that there are way more people horny for Reaper than anything else these days.

The learning curve for Reaper is less than a month before you are flying on it. Musician friends I have given it to say it takes about a month before they are able to do everything without any help.

All the built in plug-ins are way better than the logic ones. It's UI is amazing and intuitive for musicians.
Reaper was not designed for engineers, but for musicians... which is why I love it so much. It sounds way better than logic and protools as well. The audio engine has a way better headroom and width and depth.

Reaper is about 4MB. The entire program. It's super light on the CPU. You can run it off a USB stick! Whatever your memory can handle..it can do. You can trigger as many drum sounds as you like if you have 4GB of RAM. I always render midi to audio myself once i have what i want because Midi is a pig on any and all systems.

You can bring the old files and midi information over to Reaper too. You can copy and paste midi and audio from different programs into Reaper. It's the only software that allows that.

I was afraid to leave protools but the positives outweighed the negatives so fast that there was no point in resisting.

The reaper forum is truly a unique community....it's very active....it's not like you post a question and then wait for an hour for an answer....you get your answer in minutes! It's an amaizing resource and the guys on there are so helpful. You'll post a question and have an answer in less than 5 mintues all the time. It's open source....they hear about a bug in an update and it's gone the same day!

With Logic....you get people bitching about this and that and there is no help with anthing!!!!!! The company ignores you, then charges you $250 for the update which fixes the bug you had but introduces three new ones with no fix.
And this is why I am now a Reaper guy.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:37 PM   #33
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Sorry but to tame some minor misinformation in your post. Does Reaper Sound better NO, no one has ever A-B blind tested DAWS and found any one to sound better than another with the same material and plugins of course!
None of the Reaper guys ever worked for or programmed another DAW. Justin was the original creator of the Mighty Winamp though.

Aside from that glad you're on board
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:46 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valrus View Post
And I understand that REAPER is much more powerful than GB, in principle. It's just that, having only used GB, I don't even know what "more powerful" means because I only know about the basics!
Exactly!

If you judge B by the standards of A, you won't get any idea about what B can do.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:54 PM   #35
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Jwcorey, I'm sorry but your friend has written so much false information that I just have to straighten a few things out.

First of all, a learning curve is not measured in weeks or months. For some it may be less than a week, and others will never grab it. One friend of mine will never learn to use any DAW properly. He's just not that kind of a guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwcorey View Post
how bad GB was.
As you perhaps have now noticed, GB is not "bad". It's a very different kind of tool. There are hammers and there are nail files. That doesn't make a nail file "bad".

Quote:
Reaper sounds better.
That is completely wrong, it doesn't.

Quote:
It was created by guys who used to design for logic, Nuendo/Cubase and Protools. It has the best of each of them but without the headaches and confusion/frustration.
No it wasn't, and no it doesn't.

Quote:
"Reaper was not designed for engineers, but for musicians..."
If you compare to Logic, I'd say it's the other way around. For example, editing is not nearly as precise in Logic than it is in Reaper. Reaper is a lot more in-depth as an editor. Non-engineering musicians wouldn't care for that. They want easy-to-get-to loops and instruments. Reaper doesn't offer that.

Quote:
You can trigger as many drum sounds as you like if you have 4GB of RAM.
Those comments must be a few years old, but while I easily understand the love and enthusiasm your friend has for Reaper, I don't think he is that experienced about audio work with computers. The amount of RAM doesn't decide how many drum sounds you can trigger.

Quote:
Midi is a pig on any and all systems.
No it's not.

Quote:
You can bring the old files and midi information over to Reaper too.
Every DAW supports that.

Quote:
It's open source.
No it's not.

Quote:
they hear about a bug in an update and it's gone the same day!
Sometimes, and sometimes it takes months, or even years.

Quote:
And this is why I am now a Reaper guy.
I hope those weren't the only reasons...
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #36
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mrelwood, your response has made my day much better. Thank you for enlightening him!
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:22 AM   #37
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Thanks for the replies, guys. Glad to be set straight and I'm grateful. It's appreciated.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #38
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Reaper and Protools(RIP) are 64 bit floating point mix engines. This does in fact sound better than the older 32 bit mixers like Garageband and Logic and all the rest. No difference just passing line level at unity gain but pretty clear when doing a full mix with processing. (I added rip after Protools because they just sunk their flagship with corporate shenanigans. There are many threads around here from PT refugees switching to Reaper.)

From the perspective of an experienced engineer, Logic and especially Garageband are very cumbersome. I have no doubt there's something intuitive from a layman's perspective but I still can't recommend those in good faith.

For example, when I start a session the 1st tasks are setting the session sample rate (96k, 88.2k or 48k), determining the system latency to nudge overdub tracks back into sync and file management. This is some of the most buried stuff in Garageband and you'll find they restricted it to ONLY work with 24 bit 44.1k audio. Further, you have to select the unintuitive option of export to iTunes or it will further degrade your render to CD or mp3 quality.

A novice might say "Wait, that's all I wanted and just what I wanted!". Someone more experienced will be impatient and furious at this point! The comments above about choosing the right tool for the job and the wrong tool not equaling bad are right on point.

IMHO, Garageband seems like a way to learn weird and bad habits. I recommend Reaper to everyone.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:33 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post

IMHO, Garageband seems like a way to learn weird and bad habits. I recommend Reaper to everyone.
FWIW, REAPER is a way to learn funny habits as well.

Signed,

Someone who's right-click marquee selecting icons on the Win desktop all the time.

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Old 04-27-2012, 09:45 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
FWIW, REAPER is a way to learn funny habits as well.

Signed,

Someone who's right-click marquee selecting icons on the Win desktop all the time.

Well, yeah I agree (trackfolders?!). I still haven't weaned myself from ProtoolsHD9 and relearned how to edit in Reaper yet. But it's right around the corner. The flexibility in Reaper is pretty impressive and worth learning a couple new tracks for. And also the fact that everyone else really has broken their DAW's beyond usability (again IMHO).
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