Views on Reaper!

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
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Fourstepper
KVRist
214 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:39 am

I'm probably the more exotic person around these places, but just a day ago I sold ableton live in favor of reaper to do hip hop and drum and bass. The beauty of reaper is, that if you happened to try multiple daws and possibly like some features of each, then you can go and literally take whatever from each one of them and almost, if not completely replicate it.

I edited the copying and pasting a lot from Ableton, because I think that's where ableton really shines with its grid, so I made my F1 to F7 keys switch between grid sizes and then also if I drag in the bottom of a media item I marquee select items and create time selection if it snaps to grid, if I left click/shift click on items it selects them, puts playhead in front of them and makes a time selection that is loop able afterwards. Same with R doing a reverse.

So I can edit and work fast like I like it with ableton, but I get a full featured mixer, (imo) better midi editor that I can also customize and is less cumbersome to work with (actually I like it the most from all daws I've tried so far) and overall the reaper's no bullshit interface just really works with me :)

Also may I say that as simple as it sounds, when doing music for the whole day and finishing multiple tracks daily, simple tasks like quickly navigating track vst's is like one of the biggest deals for me, because my mouse arm actually genuinely hurt from ableton and overall the whole interface. Say I am on a track and I wanna change a vst parameter on a different track in the arrangement view, I have to find the track with my mouse, go down to the vst's toolbar, click the little icon, do whatever I need and then get back working. This takes way too much energy and time for me to be efficient
If you would like to ask about something, please don't be shy to just pm me.
:dog:

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voidhead23
KVRist
139 posts since 5 Jan, 2018 from Beijing, PRC

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:07 am

i gave Reaper an earnest try, but for everyone's claims of stability, it just crashed constantly with certain plugins i needed and that ran fine in every other DAW. i really like the idea of it, but i never really make that much music in it. i seem to make some change then i don't like what it does then i need to track down where that one checkbox is...i found it much less enjoyable to use than Live or even Logic. i guess i prefer limitations so i can actually get down to making music instead of trying to make my studio perfect.

i also really, really dislike the user base. The internet is full of new Reaper users having issues and basically being insulted and patronized by other users (and often not even being answered). There is no flaw at all in the program, it's always the user. For example, Reaper, on my system is less stable than Live and Logic (even when using buggy plugin compatibility mode). A Reaper user's answer would be to stop using such shitty plugins, because Reaper is perfect. So i should change my entire production style to suit Reaper's inability to handle it, even though it's supposed to be such a flexible and customizable program? Every DAW has issues. And Reaper users refuse to acknowledge this and get defensive when others are just having a few problems, like the program and are looking for help. i've never seen this with another DAW, where it seems like we all like moaning about the tools we love. This shouldn't be an issue for using a tool, but when you have something like Reaper where you have to study it a bit, dealing with Reaper users is unavoidable (for me).

But i do agree that 'clunky editing' and piano roll behavior and those minor things can be changed and set up to work really fluidly in just a couple days work and experimentation. i have my best keyboard shortcut setup of any DAW in Reaper. But i find the program itself unenjoyable to use.

Trancit
KVRAF
1952 posts since 27 Jul, 2004

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:05 am

cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
Been using it for two years. Very lightweight, fast, stable, cheap, capable, fair price, excellent developers, tons of extensions, excellent arranger and editor, fast keyboard-centric workflow. Very fun. Personal. No bloat or huge bundles. Great and helpful community. Very good for mixing, recording, processing audio, arranging etc.

However it can be endlessly frustrating if you make music mostly on your laptop with virtual instruments and virtual keyboard + midi, which a lot of people do these days. The workflow is an absolute inconsistent mess that seems to be a dice roll. MIDI editor zoom behaviour seem to have no thought behind it a lot of the time. In fact, a lot of things seems to be added with little thought as for how it integrates into a whole. The virtual keyboard is borderline unusable and makes recording a simple quantised midi melody much harder than it should be.

After two years i still don't get how the few benefits of "audio and midi are the same track"-paradigm outnumbers the massive amount of frustration that comes from not having separate settings and options for audio and midi tracks.

It is in constant development, yes, but i've been following dev builds regularly for a year, and a large majority of the updates are very eclectic features and bugs and stuff that concerns few (i assume), while the massive oversights and obvious inconsistencies and very common workflow frustrations seems to be untouched for years. It also has an endless amount of UX inconsistencies that you just have to memorise because there is no predictable logic to a lot of things. It is very keyboard centric in general but some of the keys only work in certain contexts and not in others without reason. There is no way to tell what part of the UI has current focus. No general design guidelines for most UI elements. Etc etc etc. An endless list of minor troubles that adds up over time.

And yet, it does so many things so effortlessly and make many other DAWs look like incapable toys in certain aspects.

So yeah. Reaper can be frustrating. But pretty much every DAW is absolutely terrible. Reaper is still the best for me and for a lot of people for a good reason.
Very good post...
I think you´ve nailed the pros and cons very well
Especially with your thoughts about the development and the overall ignored inconsistencies I agree 100%...
Instead of improving the programm, the devs seem to have a lot of fun to add more and more gimmicks which are completely useless to me...
Everything important for me is untouched since partly 10 years or more...

I like too it´s lightweight, stability and efficency... but the lack of so much common features and the lack of simple things like making a new midi item and open it in the editor with a workable zoom factor is really a joke...
Just to take the last example, which is claimed about since about 12 years:
If you make a 4 bar long midi item and doubleclick to open the midi editor the midi editor is zoomed out to 12 bars... meaning it shows only 1/3 of workable space by default and 2/3 bullshit...:
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Fourstepper
KVRist
214 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:26 am

I don't exactly understand what is messy about midi in reaper for you.. I much prefer how it's handled there than in ableton, albeit definitely not in the stock settings.
:dog:

Trancit
KVRAF
1952 posts since 27 Jul, 2004

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:47 am

Fourstepper wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:26 am
I don't exactly understand what is messy about midi in reaper for you.. I much prefer how it's handled there than in ableton, albeit definitely not in the stock settings.
To whom do you refer to???

User avatar
Fourstepper
KVRist
214 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:04 am

Trancit wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:47 am
Fourstepper wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:26 am
I don't exactly understand what is messy about midi in reaper for you.. I much prefer how it's handled there than in ableton, albeit definitely not in the stock settings.
To whom do you refer to???
To cantalopue/you
:dog:

cantaloupe
KVRer
10 posts since 31 May, 2017

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:48 am

Re Midi-stuff: I don't really have a definite list over annoyances i've experienced, it just feels like it regularly don't work like it should. The zoom amount is very unpredictable. Sometimes i get a microscopic note at the very very end of a clip that wont show up on the editor unless i zoom in all the way (which should be impossible given quantisation is on). Sometimes a midi-recording doesn't fold properly inside a time selection if i start recording in the middle of the selection, sometimes it just doesn't record before the point i started recording at all, other times it works. Often the midi editor opens up on much lower octaves than the lowest note so i need to scroll up (or down) to find the actual notes, sometimes it works. Sometimes it opens the clip zoomed out (similar to screenshot above) with no correlation to the actual clip size. Sometimes there is a gap before the beginning, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes it records a note on the first bar, sometimes it don't (meaning i often have to record from the second bar, starting from the first, and then move the clip to the beginning of the arranger to make sure the very first note is actually recorded). Sometimes i can see the midi notes as i record, sometimes i don't (i swear i could yesterday, but now i can't. Maybe i'm tripping). I have mapped the key under Escape as "record"; this somehow increases the octave on the virtual keyboard if set to "Arrow keys change octave" for mystical reasons. The virtual keyboard hijacks buttons for metronome and record. No global quantisation. No context-sensitive settings: why would i record midi to my microphone track or why would i record audio to my midi synth or why would i record midi from my microphone track outside of very specialised cases? Probably a lot more that i don't remember right now.

This stuff should be #1 priority, not obscure script import issues and complex video filters. I'm at a point where i just deal with composition in Renoise and then record it in Reaper because i simply can't stand losing more ideas to unpredictable behaviour.

enroe
KVRian
927 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:05 am

@cantaloupe: Good post! I share most of your thoughts. :)
cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
Been using it for two years. Very lightweight, fast, stable, cheap, capable, fair price, excellent developers, tons of extensions, excellent arranger and editor, fast keyboard-centric workflow. Very fun. Personal. No bloat or huge bundles. Great and helpful community. Very good for mixing, recording, processing audio, arranging etc.
Yes, yes! :tu:

cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
The workflow is an absolute inconsistent mess that seems to be a dice roll. MIDI editor zoom behaviour seem to have no thought behind it a lot of the time. In fact, a lot of things seems to be added with little thought as for how it integrates into a whole.
I've optimized the Midi-Editor use+sync+zoom by using a combination of
Window-Layouts and Mouse-modifiers. With these two you can optimize
a lot!

cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
After two years i still don't get how the few benefits of "audio and midi are the same track"-paradigm outnumbers the massive amount of frustration that comes from not having separate settings and options for audio and midi tracks.
True. It doesn't matter for single-timbral VSTis. But if you use multitimbrale
VSTis (Kontakt, Halion, Shortcircuit) it becomes a mess! :cry:

cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
It is in constant development, yes, but i've been following dev builds regularly for a year, and a large majority of the updates are very eclectic features and bugs and stuff that concerns few (i assume), while the massive oversights and obvious inconsistencies and very common workflow frustrations seems to be untouched for years.
Haha, yeah - but if you look at the "Feature Request"-forum you'll realize
that everyone thinks that his personal requests are the "main + capital missing
features, which need to be implemented immediately
". This is a very sentimental
value!

cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
It also has an endless amount of UX inconsistencies that you just have to memorise because there is no predictable logic to a lot of things. It is very keyboard centric in general but some of the keys only work in certain contexts and not in others without reason. There is no way to tell what part of the UI has current focus. No general design guidelines for most UI elements. Etc etc etc. An endless list of minor troubles that adds up over time.
Yes. The only way is to become accustomed to it. 8)

cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
And yet, it does so many things so effortlessly and make many other DAWs look like incapable toys in certain aspects.

So yeah. Reaper can be frustrating. But pretty much every DAW is absolutely terrible. Reaper is still the best for me and for a lot of people for a good reason.
Ahh, I see: With your last sentences you get back to praising Reaper.
That's nice! :D
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

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Burillo
KVRAF
3239 posts since 15 Nov, 2006 from Hell

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:08 am

a lot of people compare REAPER to Linux. the comparison is very apt - REAPER is grown, not designed. it can do many things (some would say "pretty much everything", but i disagree), but most of the "things you didn't know you can do" are done in an awkward and manual way, so while it's technically true that you can do them, they're not properly integrated into the DAW and you have to install SWS extensions, ReaPack and other stuff to get things that often come built-in and nicely integrated into other DAWs.
From Russia with love

Trancit
KVRAF
1952 posts since 27 Jul, 2004

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:18 am

Fourstepper wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:04 am
Trancit wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:47 am
Fourstepper wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:26 am
I don't exactly understand what is messy about midi in reaper for you.. I much prefer how it's handled there than in ableton, albeit definitely not in the stock settings.
To whom do you refer to???
To cantalopue/you
My issues with Midi are 100% GUI related... there is no way to convince Reaper to open the Midi editor at a useable level...

No one on earth with 2 cents of brain works with 1/4 notes as a default... respectively a zoom level which lets 66.6% of workspace unused ... there is no way for a horizontal zoom to fit, so using zoom to fit with notes cloose together (pitch wise) end up with a massive vertical zoom too...
Ableton behaves quite silly too in this regard... it´s adaptive zoom is too silly to recognize, that no one on earth wants to open a 1 bar midi clip with a grid of 64th by default... and there is no way of changing this to a fixed grid by default... if you change it and make a new clip... baaam 64th... same sh*t like with Reaper´s zoom

But this is just one case... there is so much in Reaper GUI related and functional, which is thrown in without further thinking and never work as it should...
A good example too are screensets... when you create a bunch of screensets "Hey... make a guess with which screenset Reaper loads on startup"...
Sometimes when you make screensets it starts with the second of 3...sometimes with the 4th of 4 etc...etc...

They should really take a break and go 10-20 steps back to make this programm work as it was intended to be...
Last edited by Trancit on Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Trancit
KVRAF
1952 posts since 27 Jul, 2004

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:22 am

enroe wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:05 am
cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
The workflow is an absolute inconsistent mess that seems to be a dice roll. MIDI editor zoom behaviour seem to have no thought behind it a lot of the time. In fact, a lot of things seems to be added with little thought as for how it integrates into a whole.
I've optimized the Midi-Editor use+sync+zoom by using a combination of
Window-Layouts and Mouse-modifiers. With these two you can optimize
a lot!
And others think I only need to customize Reaper because I want it to turn into Ableton... :hihi:

cantaloupe wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm
After two years i still don't get how the few benefits of "audio and midi are the same track"-paradigm outnumbers the massive amount of frustration that comes from not having separate settings and options for audio and midi tracks.
True. It doesn't matter for single-timbral VSTis. But if you use multitimbrale
VSTis (Kontakt, Halion, Shortcircuit) it becomes a mess! :cry:
That´s another goodie in Reaper... working with sends and lots of tracks for multitimbral VSTi´s was the most stupid idea since invention of DAWs

User avatar
Fourstepper
KVRist
214 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:27 am

Well I don't want you to use it like Ableton, that's my personal prefference. Honestly, whatever anyone uses I don't care about, but I think whatever you really need to do in Reaper can be set up so painlessly that other DAWs can only look from a far. Yet again, just my personal opinion :)

Enjoy the creations!
:dog:

Trancit
KVRAF
1952 posts since 27 Jul, 2004

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:12 am

Fourstepper wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:27 am
Well I don't want you to use it like Ableton, that's my personal prefference. Honestly, whatever anyone uses I don't care about, but I think whatever you really need to do in Reaper can be set up so painlessly that other DAWs can only look from a far. Yet again, just my personal opinion :)

Enjoy the creations!
No,no... I wasn´t refering to you in this regard... I was attacked a few postings before:
elassi wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:25 am
Trancit wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:20 am
As soon as you want to let it do something else as needed for i.e. electronic music styles you do have to make your hands dirty... or you will miss a lot of advanced features... There it starts to put all the custom actions together to convince Reaper doing at least a little bit of what you want... dealing with tons of custom scripts...
Well, if a user thinks he must turn Reaper into Ableton Live before he can work "seriously", well, than this might be necessary. And complicated.
...
I just took your post as good example, why it can be necessary to try to customize Reaper to be able in a certain way...

User avatar
Fourstepper
KVRist
214 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:21 am

Ah.. :) sorry in that case! (?) :D
:dog:

Kalamata Kid
KVRAF
3540 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Re: Views on Reaper!

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:26 am

I will soon have to decide on my main or one and only DAW.
My new fast PC is getting ready to become a music creation monster.
The contenders are Reaper, Studio One and Cubase, the latest versions.
All ARA or soon to be.
All three are great DAW's.

Reaper is slight favorite however it is missing multi-touch capability.
Does it have single touch capability?
It is missing the some of the MIDI capabilities of Cubase.
It is more difficult to use than Studio One.
But the list of the advantages are is as long as its drop down menus.

One deciding factor will be how well any of the above DAW's implement ARA2.
And looking froward to Reaper 6 release and what new it will offer.
23" 10-touch Monitor and iPad Air as Midi Controllers, iConnectMIDI2+, Windows Pro 10-64bit, i9-9900k, 32 GB RAM.

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