Old 10-08-2018, 01:23 PM   #1
melokeyz
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Default Reaper DAW

Hello Everyone,

I've been a Propellerhead Reason user for 1 year and I want to switch DAWs. I am so amazed by how popular Reaper is despite the fact it's unbelievably small in size. When I first saw the size, I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was watching properly LOL. To be honest, that put me off in the beginning, I mean how come a DAW with this size is a REAL DAW? Until I saw the tremendous applause that it gets from the huge online audience.

Besides it's a crash-free and cheap DAW, I want to know how a DAW with a small size like that made success in short time? What makes Reaper unique?

I will switch right away when I see convincing answers.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:24 PM   #2
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Besides it's a crash-free and cheap DAW, I want to know how a DAW with a small size like that made success in short time?
Well it has been around for over 10 years.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:25 PM   #3
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made success in short time?
Reaper has been developed for almost 13 years now. IMHO that is not so "short".
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:37 PM   #4
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I'm not one of the developers, but generally speaking, extremely efficient and compact code is the result of painstaking work, often involving hand coding time critical tasks in Assembly language, and doing significant amounts of testing on boundary conditions and corner cases. This takes large amounts of effort and time, something that (I suspect) many profit-oriented companies skimp on. Disclaimer: My opinion.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:39 PM   #5
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Just an aside...

I don't think there's a ton of assembly mostly, C++ but could be wrong - Cubase has a lot of assembly from the early days when there was little choice in order to be performant if memory serves - Reaper's small size is far more to do with lack of additional resources packed into the installer such as synths and libraries, graphics and so on.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:40 PM   #6
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The most convincing answer could be "because we don't give a fuck"...

Reaper isn't driven by profit. That's why it's affordable. Not free, like most open source. It's driven by one smart fella, who happens to be a musician and a very good programmer. He uses Reaper too. It's his tool.
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Old 10-08-2018, 02:58 PM   #7
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It's driven by one smart fella...

i would also like to add schwa. (far off knowing who is still involved in coding, if any.)

and these incredible scripter, the lads who take care of the user guides and this community where you can find almost everytime someone who can give help and advice, if needed.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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Only lean VSTs/Effects are included, no samples libraries. That's maybe the #1 reason it's so small.

The guy behind it developed WinAmp and some other popular paradigm-shifting apps. I think he just loves tight efficient code without tons of supporting 3rd party libraries, a concentration on functionality over form, and has a "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude which explains the rapid improvements.

A close ear on the community for help on bug fixes, ui development, and a bunch of other stuff means no long drawn out meetings in conference rooms with a stuffy marketing/legal team. Small development team means quick/clear communication and turn-around.

A fair price and no dongle or heavy copy protection.

Of course, flexibility and customization. This is the swiss army knife of DAWs. There is not as much hand-holding, which is a plus for the more engineering types. Yet, even for newbies, the basics are simple to learn especially with the friendly forum folk.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:18 PM   #9
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To the OP: let me rephrase your question. Why are the other DAWs so big?
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:39 PM   #10
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It depends on how you define "DAW".

For me, a "DAW" mainly is an infrastructure tool that allows for making use of tons of 3rd party stuff in a way the more flexible the better.

For others, a "DAW" is a production tool out of the box. That is why there need to be multiple of them, each dedicated to a certain purpose, and why they are big, providing all this stuff out of the box, and why they are expensive (with respect to the core functionality provided), needing the supplier to maintain all this stuff.

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Old 10-08-2018, 10:58 PM   #11
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let'assume, for arguments sake, all DAWs are exactly the same.

REAPER still stands out from the rest by way of this forum and it's extremely helpfull members, Kenny G's (and others') thorough video tutorials, and the frequent updates which gives improved features,bug fixes and new content.

all this for $60.

NO BRAINER
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melokeyz View Post
Hello Everyone,

I've been a Propellerhead Reason user for 1 year and I want to switch DAWs. I am so amazed by how popular Reaper is despite the fact it's unbelievably small in size. When I first saw the size, I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was watching properly LOL. To be honest, that put me off in the beginning, I mean how come a DAW with this size is a REAL DAW? Until I saw the tremendous applause that it gets from the huge online audience.

Besides it's a crash-free and cheap DAW, I want to know how a DAW with a small size like that made success in short time? What makes Reaper unique?

I will switch right away when I see convincing answers.

Thanks for your help.

It's been around for over a decade. The brains and driving force behind the program, Justin Frankel, made a lot of money way back when he sold winamp to AOL, back in the early 2000s.

He could have retired then, but chose not to, and being a musician, dedicated most all of his time to the development of a DAW, ever since.

So there you have it.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:43 AM   #13
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with other DAWS I had to learn how they required me to accomplish my tasks.

with reaper it conforms to my workflow and skillsets organically, it grows, to whatever I become as I learn. When a new need arises I find that reaper can allow that to happen in my own unique way.

Reaper truly becomes a custom DAW as I grow as a Mixer. My copy will never be your copy. Each of the Reaper Users have their own unique experiences that in time is reflected in their copies of Reaper.

There are of course hundreds of little tech goodies and ease of workflow, and the community?! Get the F outta town! You'll never find this anywhere else.

It also just makes sense how it functions, routing is so much like a live board I had no problems understanding it (well I did have to ask a few times ) . Fx chains, and bussing, it's all just logically put together.
I will admit to having a pretty steep learning curve, but I jumped right into it and it's full steam ahead. I know I'm never going to be stuck and unable to learn how to do something - the wealth of help and Knowledge available from other Reaper users, is always available. The help. man do I appreciate this forum and the amazingly kind inhabitants here.

And truth be told whether you use it or not makes not one bit of difference. I found this quite by accident. For me, it was meant to be.

For you? that's your story...
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:47 AM   #14
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The only really logical answer is: "It is free to try for 60 days. Try it and make your own decision".

However if you do, make sure you also download and install Reapack (script manager) and SWS extensions. (available from Standing Water Studio`s site).
And of course download the free user guide & check out some of the many excellent free video tutorials at reaper.fm.

I own and use several other DAWs but Reaper has by far the best user group right here on the forums & the tutorials - also from users - are among the best I have ever seen.

Let us know how you get on.
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:02 AM   #15
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It depends on how you define "DAW".

For me a "DAW" mainly is an infrastructure tool that allows for making use of tons of 3rd party stuff in a way the more flexible the better
-Michael
I love this definition of daw!
Finally we agreed on something
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:13 AM   #16
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As per title, I’ ve been slowing moving from S1 to Reaper and therefore, my word, is for sure the least entitled to a final judgement.
I can only tell you that the approach is very challenging. You'll be forced of doing a certain kind of things absolutely un required in other daws. I learned S1 in 10 days, I haven’t learned Reaper in 2 months...somebody here might say I’m slow.

What I love about it is the fact the is one of the few daws that just try to be a daw and make it good. Sometimes with a huge degree of success, sometimes not so much. My humble opinion.
But the real plus for me are the users who can add features on features continuously. Amazing.

I agree with Ivanisc that you need to install extensions (easy)
I would definitely add to his list Heda inspector and the last playlist tool coming up very nicely.
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:01 AM   #17
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...when I see convincing answers.
convinced? :-)
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:04 AM   #18
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The only really logical answer is: "It is free to try for 60 days. Try it and make your own decision".
Definitely this. I frankly don't expect you to like Reaper at all coming from Reason. They're pretty much the opposite ends of the DAW spectrum. In my limited experience with Reason, it's as much or more a collection of boutique virtual instruments and effects designed to work together as it is a DAW. If you use those instruments and effects a lot, which to me is most of the point of why anyone would buy Reason, you'll spend a lot of time and likely hundreds or thousands even, trying to replace all that stuff, as a comparable instrument and effects package is -not- included with Reaper, and then you get to learn how to use the new stuff and try to recreate your workflow, and your install will definitely not be small anymore lol.

Why do you care about the size of the install anyway? Disk space is cheap. And once you replace the Reason suite with what, I dunno, NI stuff, you'll very likely have a larger install and have spent more.

Aaaaanyway, good luck!
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:18 AM   #19
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I love this definition of daw!
Finally we agreed on something
Having been learning when discussion with you.

You are very welcome
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:22 AM   #20
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I learned S1 in 10 days, I haven’t learned Reaper in 2 months...somebody here might say I’m slow.
Supposedly if you had skipped S1, you would have been 10 days faster learning Reaper, not having been drown into inappropriate paths.

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Old 10-09-2018, 04:33 AM   #21
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Supposedly if you had skipped S1, you would have been 10 days faster learning Reaper, not having been drown into inappropriate paths.

-Michael
Had I skipped it...not ten days...4 years. I would be pretty expert of Reaper!

Good to know Michael!
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:11 AM   #22
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A fair price and no dongle or heavy copy protection.
Just out of interest, would the inclusion of some form of copy protection necessarily add to the cost of REAPER. I mean is it intrinsically a difficult thing to do and maintain?
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:17 AM   #23
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Just an aside...

I don't think there's a ton of assembly mostly, C++ but could be wrong - Cubase has a lot of assembly from the early days when there was little choice in order to be performant if memory serves - Reaper's small size is far more to do with lack of additional resources packed into the installer such as synths and libraries, graphics and so on.
I did read somewhere once that some parts of REAPER's audio engine were compiled with older C++ compilers (maybe Borland?) that contain much less bloat than modern Swiss Army knife "does everything" compilers.
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:19 AM   #24
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often involving hand coding time critical tasks in Assembly language
Hmm the only assembly language in REAPER that I can think of is in JSFX...
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:29 AM   #25
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Hmm the only assembly language in REAPER that I can think of is in JSFX...
Can I use this old midi assembly code I wrote for the C-64 in JSFX?

LDA #$03
STA $DE00
LDA #$15
LSR A
BCC INPUT
CMP #$FE
BEQ CHECK
JMP OUT
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:06 AM   #26
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Just out of interest, would the inclusion of some form of copy protection necessarily add to the cost of REAPER. I mean is it intrinsically a difficult thing to do and maintain?
Well, you can't really copy protect anything, so...
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:46 AM   #27
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For me, the big thing was efficiency.

I do use reaper for other things, but I run software bass management and monitor control. When I was using Ableton Live, my processor pretty much stayed at ~20% utilization when I wasn't doing anything (from several relatively low-latency linear phase crossovers). Reaper accomplishing the same task stays under 5%.

It also beats everything else at DAWBench.

It's just better code and can do just about anything.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:37 PM   #28
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and it's extremely helpfull members, Kenny G's (and others') thorough video tutorials

oh yeah - i forgot
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:45 PM   #29
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For me, the big thing was efficiency.

I do use reaper for other things, but I run software bass management and monitor control. When I was using Ableton Live, my processor pretty much stayed at ~20% utilization when I wasn't doing anything (from several relatively low-latency linear phase crossovers). Reaper accomplishing the same task stays under 5%.

It also beats everything else at DAWBench.

It's just better code and can do just about anything.
Well said and totally agree, thank you.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:45 PM   #30
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For me, the big thing was efficiency.

I do use reaper for other things, but I run software bass management and monitor control. When I was using Ableton Live, my processor pretty much stayed at ~20% utilization when I wasn't doing anything (from several relatively low-latency linear phase crossovers). Reaper accomplishing the same task stays under 5%.

It also beats everything else at DAWBench.

It's just better code and can do just about anything.
What crossover eq's do you like for that?
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:32 AM   #31
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Ten years a dedicated Reaper user and I still don't know the whole of what it is capable of... It allows me to make my tunes and that is what I need it for. End of..
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:00 PM   #32
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What crossover eq's do you like for that?
I've been using 2 instances of FF Pro-Q2. The XO I use is high enough that the pre-ringing isn't a big deal (or, at least I consistently prefer it to a minimum phase XO when chosen blind).

I use another instance to tune my speakers to taste (mostly just a different rolloff), plus another one for my headphone signal along with HRTF. I've also got some meters running there. It adds up, but with Reaper, the impact it makes on my computer is actually pretty minimal (though it's around .25s of latency, so not suitable for tracking).

The plan was Acourate to build the XOs with either ReaVerb or AcourateConvolver, but this has been working really well so far at about half the latency. And while I do get revision requests, I haven't gotten any that seem to be a result of my XO or my slightly odd subwoofer setup (I'm essentially running them like an LFE channel).

The stumbling point right now is that it seems like I can't use ReaRoute to send audio between the Reaper projects, so I either have to use some physical interface or actually do the mastering in another application...which is fine...it'd just be cool to use 2 Reaper projects as smoothly as a Reaper Project and a Wavelab Project.
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:46 PM   #33
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Just out of interest, would the inclusion of some form of copy protection necessarily add to the cost of REAPER. I mean is it intrinsically a difficult thing to do and maintain?
Yes, exactly.
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:47 PM   #34
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I did read somewhere once that some parts of REAPER's audio engine were compiled with older C++ compilers (maybe Borland?) that contain much less bloat than modern Swiss Army knife "does everything" compilers.
We do compile on Windows using some older compilers, yes (VC6+ICC10 on Win32, VC2005+ICC10 on Win64).
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:19 PM   #35
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We do compile on Windows using some older compilers, yes (VC6+ICC10 on Win32, VC2005+ICC10 on Win64).
It was REAPER's noticeable better audio engine performance that made me buy a license less than a week into trying it out for the first time ten years ago. I didn't need the thirty days, or whatever the evaluation period is to know that I had found the most efficient DAW on planet Earth!
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:59 PM   #36
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much less bloat than modern Swiss Army knife "does everything" compilers.
Do you suggest that the recent gnu C compilers for X86, X86/32 and ARM for Linux and Windows should create bloated code ? I really doubt that. (Naming Reaper's target systems, no experience with MAC at all, here)

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Old 10-10-2018, 10:39 PM   #37
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Do you suggest that the recent gnu C compilers for X86, X86/32 and ARM for Linux and Windows should create bloated code ? I really doubt that. (Naming Reaper's target systems, no experience with MAC at all, here)

-Michael
Don't know about those, but I remember personally compiling some things in Dot Net and it added support for junk that not used in my code.

I used to like inspecting the guts of compiled executables with hex editors, looking for clues to some of the internal guts of what got created. I'd find things like command line arguments that I didn't program in the source code. (I also found a few cheats for games like that too)

Some of the fastest stand alone executables I've ever seen were created by a guy I used to contract to program stuff for the company I worked for. He used nothing but an older copy of Borland C++ with no GUI based IDE. His stand alone executables also had no dependencies on any external .dlls or other Windows components. This guy wrote stuff like debuggers for other programming languages as his main gig.
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:04 AM   #38
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36 responses & the OP is, er....STUMM.
Wonder if we convinced him/her/it?
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:46 AM   #39
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Some of the fastest stand alone executables I've ever seen were created by a guy I used to contract to program stuff for the company I worked for. He used nothing but an older copy of Borland C++ with no GUI based IDE. His stand alone executables also had no dependencies on any external .dlls or other Windows components. This guy wrote stuff like debuggers for other programming languages as his main gig.
That sounds very familiar. One of the best programmers I worked with, also used old compilers. Probably Borland, can't remember. He was a funny guy. Cowboy hat and boots, always in jeans, long hair. Drove a beat-up Cadillac. We used to listen to J.J. Cale together.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:41 AM   #40
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Borland C++
That compiler was and is complete shit. One would have to be insane to use it these days.
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