REAPER 4: Production Without Limits
In 2004 Cockos Incorporated introduced a new build of software in the form of the REAPER Digital Audio Workstation. Along side the new product launch came the Cockos Inc. stoic pledge ..’to build quality software that would benefit people throughout the world’. Such altruism – reflected in the resplendent quality of the product and its unbelievably low pricing structure – has held steadfast and guided REAPER into its current incarnation of version 4.
What is it?: In meaning, REAPER is an acronym for: Rapid Environment for Audio Prototyping and Efficient Recording. It is coded by a small group of dedicated engineers who have created and launched many fine products and technologies including Gnutella, Shoutcast and Winamp. In layman producer terms what you get is an install of a remarkable audio production software which provides a streamlined audio production workflow without limits. The REAPER installer is a complete and self-contained executive with an ultra-lite digital footprint the size of which is less than 6MB (Windows install. OS X Install between = 7 & 11MB). REAPER contains no loop or sample libraries, no crippled evaluation versions of other software, no arbitrary hardware or software restrictions and absolutely no invasive copy protection system. What is included; are over a dozen top-quality 64-bit ReaPlugs, the celebrated Elastique 2 real-time pitch shifting engine, full REX support, and literally hundreds of user-programmable effects. REAPER installs as Windows 32/64Bit – OS X 32/64Bit and OS X PPC.
The Calling: The appeal of REAPER is immediate because it is designed to let you work quickly and creatively while addressing the primary core value of what a DAW is all about – a Digital Audio Workstation. REAPER is a complete multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing, and mastering environment. REAPER is not an over sensationalised product founded on the supa marketing hype of fruitless plugins and processing gimics – Piece of Cake anyone? Comparitively speaking, the most impressive thing about REAPER is its openess and honesty and the fact that it is simply so much better! Why? For lots of reasons – I found the CPU usage in REAPER a total gift of joy. There was a drastic reduction in the CPU demand using REAPER when compared to the CPU readings in other DAWs. REAPER also provides a huge amount of freedom and control through an open flexibility which provides a myriad of options for customisation of all menus and visual parameters. Such unprecedented flexibility means the end user ultimately owns the working environment and production workflow. This, instead of tolerating a regime of fixed methods and inflexible processes enforced through other third party DAWs, lets you shape the software as you need it to work to best suit your production processes and demands. I also like the idea that any track can be an audio track, a midi track or a bus and that any track channel can be sent or routed anywhere else. Creating ‘Sends’ and ‘Sidechaining’ in REAPER is as simple as dragging from one track to another and dragging a send from the source track to the target track respectively.
If you are looking for a fully fledged DAW with a whole bunch of fresh VST(i) synths to help inspire you through a writers block – you wont find it here. With REAPER you have to bring your own VST(i)/VST’s to the party which will be fully supported up to 64Bit inclusive. What you will find, however, is a first class DAW in the truest sense, one that is very stable, incredibly fast, intuitive and with a powerful editing feature set comparable to and beyond other high-end DAWs which apply to both audio and MIDI. One that provides a phenomenal amount of customisation necessary to create your perfect DAW environment. Its all in there.
$60: discounted license.Read the pricing details here.