Welcome to Reaperworld. It’s an alternative universe, in which a “2.4.5” update is huge. Released yesterday, it’s a new build for what might best be described as an “indie” DAW from the original creator of Winamp.

Check out the full feature list, but here are some highlights:

  • “Solo in front” for easier soloing
  • Track folding for MIDI to hide unused / unnamed rows
  • Multimedia keyboard support, so you can use those silly, useless buttons PCs have for something cool
  • Mute fades, so you don’t get that annoying pop on muting
  • A ridiculous number of MIDI workflow and technical improvements

What’s really nice is I get an overwhelming sense that they’re improving the kinds of arcane MIDI and plug-in details that users would want improved. You know, there are all sorts of little annoyances you find when working that developers probably don’t think of. Those kinds of VST and MIDI improvements might not make big headlines at NAMM or in magazine copy, but then, that’s why so many users pour over release notes — these are the things they actually encounter working.

If you’re interested in using Reaper, now is the perfect time to point out the work Peter Dines has started trying to optimally combine Reaper and Native Instruments’ Kore, with Kore providing various live performance, sound design, sound cataloging, and synth/effect features:

Kore Host How-Tos: Reaper, Affordable PC/Mac DAW [Kore@CDM minisite]

Mac Experience?

I haven’t really had a chance to try the Mac beta; anyone on Mac had testing experience?

  • Tim

    What skin/color theme is that? It's purdy.

  • @Tim: Not exactly sure. There are tons of gorgeous themes —


    It's funny, as Reaper started out as fugly but now I think has the nicest skins around!

  • Looks like this one:

    Olive Cream II

  • bologma

    it really is exciting to be using such an amazing product, and to have been hooked so early in its development. The user input, the speed of development… fantastic.

    Rumor has it that Rex support is on the chopping block… can't wait to see how that is implemented!


  • REAPER is sooo awesome. It's absolutely the best.

  • Jason

    Does anyone know if you can save clips in Reaper which ALSO CONTAIN THE TRACK SETTINGS (like the plugins, eqs, etc.)? You know like in Ableton. That would probably be enough to convert me.

  • Defyer

    @Jason: I'm not sure if you can save just like in Live. But you can save both the clip and the FX chain so all you have to do is load the clip and then the FX chain.

    Try it. See if it fits your workflow. I can't seem to get accommodated with it's MIDI editor. Apart from that, it's one hell of a DAW.

    And to be honest, I don't know of any DAW to get so much support and so many (very frequent) updates.

  • JT

    I used to use Reaper under Windows, but in a much earlier version. I recently switched to Mac, and got back into software for music creation and I can definitely say the Mac version of Reaper is very very nice. I have had it crash a few times, I think it has something to do with having repeat turned on, in terms of playback that is. I'm currently using it for a project, and I'm very impressed with how it's improved.

  • Downpressor

    but does it run on iPhone?

  • c.db.sn

    i wrote a few tunes within reaper when i had a deadline and my cracked copy of ableton 6 gave me the "you should go ahead and buy this software" message. it took me a few hours to get the hang of it, it felt a bit awkward going from live to reaper, but in the end i was really impressed, i almost switched all together.

    i have since actually purchased a copy of live, but in a pinch (er, and on my budget…), this would be my app of choice!

  • Am now using Reaper quite a lot after having tried out Live, Sonar & Cubase, in the end I would really recommend it, whether on a limited budget.. or not. Sounds great (I had a bad experience with Reason's sound totally changing when ReWired through Ableton Live), complex routing is really made easy, included plugins range from OK to really nice.

    Plugins interfaces could be reworked, but that doesn't really matter.

    The only reason not to go to Reaper would be being used so much to another DAW you can't move away from it anymore, or really not getting along with the interface, which relies a lot on right clicks (logical for PC users, not so much for Mac users). Oh and the MIDI editor really needs to be improved, but then seeing the speed at which bugs and requests are treated, I guess this will be done rather soon.

  • Kyran

    Reaper seems to have all the features you could want for a price no one can argue with. It even looks terrific now.

    But I always feel like I'm fighting the program, to make it do what I want it to do.

    I really don't like the midi editor, and everything takes just that few more clicks that enerve me (which doesn't happen with the other hosts I use)

    There are also so many options layed out in such an uncomfortable windows 3.1 way.

    I check it every now and then, but unless they really improve the midi workflow it's not the host for me

    (except when I need to multitrack record a rockband or something, but even then Live would be a very compelling alternative that feels better for me)

  • B.Leo

    Peter, you should also remind CDM readers that Reaper in the particular DAW that's being used as the primary testing platform for <a>dsmcu, the Nintendo DS wireless control surface you featured previously!

  • Pingback: Reaper : An alternative to the standard software | Key Of Grey()

  • Reaper is a godsend. It's so fast and efficient. It was hard to move from Cubase and learn a new world, but Reaper is so much more reliable. When they implemented one of my requests I had to buy it. Now my whole band own it.

    It's an exciting creative time for lovers of music software.

  • I am a Sound Designer for the Games Industry. Normally I use ProTools or Samplitude10. But when I discovered Reaper, I was just blown away.

    I dont use it for work at the moment but for my private projects, which is mostly mixing tracks.

    I have it running on PC and Mac now – the Mac version is surprisingly stable and I can do everything that I need witht it.

  • Been using REAPER for years and it's the main part of my live peformance set-up as well.

    Kudos to Justin for programming us such a beast.

    If you haven't had a chance to play with ReaNinjam, go get to it now, you won't regret it. 🙂

  • -R.j-

    Uhm, i tried to osx version but tbh if i cant use rewire and ninjam with it then its pretty useless for me, don't get me wrong though its a nice piece of software for the price.

  • "Build multichannel Routing of Selected FX"

    Me likey.

  • but does it run on iPhone?

  • drej

    what's with the 'cheap' tag?

  • drej

    edit: sorry, i thought it was freeware. my bad.