The interface in Reaper
There are today a plethora of music programs to choose from, including: Pro Tools, Reason, Sonar, Reaper, Studio One, Logic, Cubase, Ableton Live FL Studio and Garage Band, to name a few. And one is not necessarily better than the other, although many claim the opposite. It is simply a matter of taste, as with so much else in life.
One thing that is extremely important to understand in this context is that all music programs sound the same (except possibly Harrison Mixbus which uses built-in “analog” effects). It is simply only ones and zeros that are summed and played, neither more nor less. Garage bands sound just as good, or bad, as the latest Pro Tools. What instead distinguishes them is the appearance, the workflow and to some extent also which plugs and hardware can be used.
I have by now tested, or at least glanced at, most music programs for both PC and Mac and come to the conclusion that Reaper (www.reaper.fm) suits me best, after many years with Cubase. At the risk of sounding like a salesperson…
Here are 10 reasons to use Reaper:
Clear, uncomplicated and stripped-down interface.
Organic workflow that feels almost self-propelled.
Efficient and extremely processor-efficient, both in terms of start-up, charging times and effects.
Modifiable, both in appearance and the way you work.
Good included plugs that cover most things.
Can be used for free for up to 60 days, then purchased for a small amount.
Under constant development thanks to feedback from users.
Takes up hardly any space, only a few megabytes.
Can be booted from a USB memory.
Works for both PC and Mac.
It is worth noting that Reaper does not come with either a sampling library or software tools.
If Reaper is just right for you, it is of course impossible to answer and changing music programs “just because” may seem both unnecessary and cumbersome. But if you are in the choice and qualification to try something new, then my tip is to dare to look beyond the most common options, where you often pay more for a name than the content itself.
Feel free to ask questions or comment on the article in the comment field below, and we will spin the topic together. Or if you prefer to discuss mixing in the “Mixing and mastering” section of the Studios forum here!
Fredagstipset is a recurring series where Studio writer Jon Rinneby shares tips every Friday in, among other things, recording and mixing. Here you will find all Friday tips.