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 REAPER by Cockos is an Audio Plugin Host for macOS, Windows and Linux. It can host VST Plugins, Audio Units Plugins, VST 3 Plugins and DirectX Plugins. It supports ReWire.
REAPER
Favorite Audio Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2019
Product REAPER
Developer Cockos
Price (MSRP)
$60 / $225
Type / Tags Sequencer / Multitrack
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Can Host
Instruments
    
Can Host
Effects
    
ReWire Mixer/Synth Application
Operating System Availability
Operating
System
Latest
Version
Download Released
 
6.13
 
Downloads Released
 
6.13
 
Downloads Released
 
6.13
 
Downloads Released
Supported Sample Formats (loads or saves) include
MP3, OGG, WAV
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionSerial Number

REAPER (Rapid Environment for Audio Prototyping and Efficient Recording) is designed for the recording, arrangement, editing, mixing and rendering of audio.

Basic features:

  • Support for an unlimited number of audio tracks.
  • Audio tracks are all fully routable (multiple inputs, outputs).
  • Volume, pan controls and envelopes per track.
  • Supports audio processing plug-ins (DirectX, DXi, VST, VSTi, and Jesusonic) with automation, easy chain manipulation and editing.
  • Pitch shifting and time stretching.
  • Fast, reasonable and usable Windows-style UI, working well on both low and high resolutions or multiple monitors.
  • ASIO, Kernel Streaming, WaveOut, and DirectSound support for playback and recording.
  • Reads WAV, OGG, MP3 and MIDI files, records WAV and MIDI files.
  • Can render to WAV, OGG, MP3 if lame is installed.
  • Full SMP support (can utilize 2 or more processors).
  • Multi-layer undo/redo support.
  • User creatable color themes.

Advanced features:

  • Unlimited send/receives per track, with configurable parameters (pre-fx, post-fx, volume/pan adjustment/envelopes, mix to mono, phase, etc.).
  • Any track can act as a bus, for routing flexibility.
  • Tracks can have one or more (mono or stereo) hardware sends, for analog mixing capability.
  • Fully routable/FX-able folder tracks that can contain group tracks.
  • Item grouping.
  • Ripple editing.
  • Grid/snap support with configurable options.
  • Markers.
  • Unlimited takes per media item.
  • Auto punch-in/punch-out functionality.
  • Automatic record monitoring modes.
  • Selection length granularity options as well as grid snapping.
  • Tempo envelope (for grid lines/snapping/ruler), play-speed envelope.
  • Project consolidation/export options (for rendering all or parts of any number of tracks to WAV, etc.).
  • A UI and architecture that allows you to easily cut loops of many tracks simultaneously, without having to write them to disk.
  • Support for plug-in generated media (such as click tracks, etc.).
  • Project tempo envelopes for variable tempos in track, grid/snapping that supports variable tempos.
  • 64-bit floating point sample pipeline for high quality.
  • Advanced recording and monitoring options; examples:
    • You can route multiple tracks (inputs and/or media items) into a bus, and record THAT mixed down version.
    • You can record the input signal, or record the post-FX, post-track-render signal.
    • You can switch recording sources on the fly, even while recording.
    • You can arm/disarm tracks' inputs while playing or recording.

Other features:

  • Human readable, human editable, backwards and forwards compatible project file format.
  • Options to build peaks for recorded files on the fly.
  • Lots of control for the user to specify where recorded files go, etc., when dealing with many projects.
  • Template support to make it easy to load a project template and save it as a new project when you begin.
  • Input/output channel name aliasing (why view your inputs as "MOTU 896: Analog 1" when you could have them be "Vocal Mic", etc.).
  • Options for automatically backing up project files to alternate paths, time-stamped versions, etc.

Learn how to use REAPER... in KVR Learn

Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.71 from 21 reviews

Reviewed By Kitusai
January 4, 2020

I use(d) Sonar, Cubasis, Reason, Ableton Live and recently bought Reaper after having tried it.

It is a huge surprise. I still use Ableton Live notably for Max for Live extensions but I was fed up by the weight and CPU ressources and the weak evolution of it comparing to its price. Notably MassiveX and Live or Maschine and Live on my MacBook Pro Core i5 RAM 8Go is very bad: CPU ressources are too high and the computer becomes too much warm.

With Reaper I can use all of this soft synths without any problem, the CPU stays normal. I only had troubles with Waves AR chamber.

The workflow of Reaper -after a little adaptation- is very nice and flexible. The sound is perfect, the design very nice to use and it never crashes either on my PC desktop and on my MacBook. The relation price-quality is just incredible with constant improvements.

I'm still discovering functionalities reading the good and complete manual and seeing the excellent videos.

The power of this software comparing to its weight and ressources consomption is just amazing! And the ability to melt Live with Reaper (Rearoute on PC, Soundflower on Mac, IAC on Mac for midi) allows to use the best of each environnement.

I'm a happy musician.

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Reviewed By Wishoff
December 5, 2019

The new Reaper 6 is a really great step up. Reaper in general is among, if not, the best DAW for every kind of music.

Working in MIDI is great, its easy to add or change notes, changing velocity, position and length, named keys great for drum samplers, MIDI cc data envelopes, including pitchbend, its like automation just for the MIDI data, something I've always wanted, its finally here, and its perfect.

Super fast audio handling, splits, glue, render, audio clip effects in real time, not rendering with effects no no, its real time on the clip as if inserted on the inserts on a track, and its automatable. Clips are repeatable just by dragging it, its looped, not just cloned to unique clips, changes operate through out the clip loop. Super easy fade in and out slope curves and easy crossfades.

Automation is very powerful, you can toggle automation for the last touched parameter, all automation points can be turned into an automation clip that you can copy-paste all over and even on other parameters over other plugins on different tracks, no limits.

The mixer is very pleasant to work with, inserting effects is fast and its super easy to clone effects just by dragging them onto another channel, and removing then just requires alt+click, bypass is shift+click. Version 6 introduced embedded effects, so you can see minified versions of the compressor or eq f.ex. not nothing i use no matter which DAW, but it works fine. Also minor things like ctrl+clicking the peak indicator digits resets all digits on all channels, solo defeat, grouping, VCA and multiple layout types just makes it the best mixer on the market i think.

Last positive thing i wanna mention is the performance, its ridiculously efficient, super low CPU usage, super fast load on both program and projects, and it sounds just as good as all the other majors, especially with the new samplerate conversation engine introduced in version 6.

Negative things, well there's not much, one thing I'm missing is auto track colouring, but it can be archived by installing SWS which is a free Reaper extension. Actually, if i find that I'm missing something, its most likely already there in Reaper, just open the Actions window and search for it, and maybe assign a shortcut for it, or maybe design a macro including multiple actions, again, Reaper is quite limitless.

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Reviewed By flundstrom2
November 23, 2019

Simply an excellent and good-looking DAW for generic recording. Full demo version, with unlimited everything, is free (will just take longer and longer time to start), full version for personal, non-commercial use is like €60, and if you want to use it for commercial use (defined by your annual turn-over), it is just a little more expensive. Updated a number of times every year with new features and bugfixes. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux(!).

Excellent routing, excellent macro features, excellent shortcut remapping (allowing you to do complex tasks even triggered by MIDI events).

Contains a scripting engine that allows you to write your own VSTs for both audio and MIDI data in several different languages, even a quite simple one that anyone can learn by just modifying one of the huge amounts of pre-shipped scripts. I've actually even written a driver for a Novation LaunchControl XL, since its default reaper integration wasn't what I wanted it to be.

Updated a number of times every year with new features and bugfixes. You can even buy a print-out of the manual for a very cheap price, too.

Drawback: Not all DAW and keyboard controllers have dedicated settings for Reaper, but many newer ones do, and may even be shipped with overlays so you know exactly what each button does in the context of Reaper. I've heard some old-timers complain about it being hard to get into, but I - who haven't been working with other DAWs before and hence wasn't biased from the Big DAWs workflows - found it very easy to work with.

I think a newbie cannot go wrong with Reaper, and it'll never lack a feature you'll need as you grow with it.

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Reviewed By alexandredesroches
March 27, 2018

Incredibly powerful and so versatile. Very good community and forums. Super present Administrators. Such as a 2h delay reply on a bug report and an actual solution provided quickly.

Extremely satisfying interface customizations. Full screen display. Excellent usage or computer ressources. Excellent MIDI editing. Awesome Keyboard shortcuts to infinite possibility with macros.

You can also create your own plugins, or transform the excellent Fabfilter Pro-Q 2 into a sidechain dynamic EQ with REAPER's integrated and easily applicable functions (parameter modulations). You can create anything like a custom multiband compressor with your favorite single band compressors... Most flexible ..endless..routing features I've ever seen. Coming from Cubase pro 9.5...

Perfect YouTube community for teaching tips and tricks accurately. Specially the "REAPER mania" channel by Kenny Gioia.

Super good not to say breath taking automation features such as automate the automation lane with advanced LFO. Including random LFO for humanizing MIDI sounds.

Extra high quality Sample Rate Conversion. FX chains presets stored easily and recalling on tracks or idividual items. Very efficient track freezing to save CPU and still be able to recall the previous settings by unfreezing.

Render speed faster than I ve experimented with Cubase.

Very stable. Super fast installation (11MB) and portable install possible on flash drive for example.

Can't think how much I should have stepped in REAPER faster. Would have saved money, time and energy and made better music. Honestly.

60 dollar for 2 complete versions?? Its almost free!.

Thanks to the devoloppers.

Alex.

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Reviewed By digitalboytn
December 21, 2016

After Henry da Vandal AKA Gibson bought out Cakewalk, I knew that it was time to get out of Dodge...

I had been a Cakewalk user since the stone age and a Sonar Pro user since it's inception and I knew the program pretty well and I thought that they really got it all together with the X3e Pro x64 update...

So I have started using REAPER 5 and I love it !

The install is minuscule, it loads faster than a speeding bullet and it is very well coded...

The workflow is extremely fast and it has never crashed or given me any grief...

Of course there is a learning curve, but like anything, if you log in the hours and check out the manual and the menus, it's not that painful...

Step by step and it all makes a little more sense...

Also, the tutorials that Kenny Gioia did are really great...very informative...Take a bow Kenny G :)

One of the things I have noticed through changing DAWS and adopting a slightly different workflow, is that I am using a lot less plugins and the sound is more "open" as a result of this...

I used to use the channel strips in Sonar X3e Pro extensively and they sounded great, but by using less effects in REAPER I feel that the results are much better...

It really does reinforce that the quality of the sound at the source is vital...

Anyway, I am happy to be using REAPER and it's great that Justin has this project on his menu..He made mega miilions out of Winamp and is blessed to be able to now spend his time pursing his passions..

That's a very cool thing...

REAPER is one of those passions and we are fortunate to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labour...

5 Stars for REAPER :)

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Discussion

Discussion

Discussion: Active
Jusus
Jusus
31 October 2012 at 4:21pm

Help is there a hard copy of reaper, I don't seem to find a place where I can order it.

mazimede
mazimede
11 November 2012 at 11:22am

You need to purchase Reaper online with Credit card or Paypal account. It is not available in stores. Maybe you may request for hard copy delivery during purchase, but i think it is impossible.

tal4jesus
tal4jesus
31 October 2012 at 6:44pm

As far as I know it is download only.

Jusus
Jusus
11 November 2012 at 1:18pm

Thanks man.

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inkwarp
inkwarp
25 January 2016 at 1:34am

i love Marmite. what on earth do you mean? are you a hater?

i had to comment as this is the first negative review of reaper i have seen for quite some time : /.

i understand your criticism though, reaper's interface seems (is) overly complex, esp. for those with little knowledge. however, if you stick through the steep learning curve and you can get your head around the infinitely customizationable nature of it, it is a great piece of software. if you are looking for an opposite on terms of a much more streamlined interface, them studio one is a good choice.

i also want to point out that you can get a lot of stuff on the reaper site to do a lot of skinning and customization, i have just d/l a set that simlifies the plethora of menus you find in it's default install. it's a fantastic piece of kit and .. it's very VERY cheap for what you get.

i am going to buy it very soon as it also has a great forum and very regular (every few weeks it seems), updates. as i say i am still 'seeing other DAWs' but i come back to reaper more and more as i explore and play.

and Marmite is food of the Gods :)

just my tuppence worth x.

joseph1960
joseph1960
25 May 2016 at 11:35am

I have always used Propellerhead Reason 7.1 Which has a fantastic mixer and is pretty. Lol. I bought Reaper two years ago because I wanted to use vst's. And after I got my head around it, I fell in love. I have quite a lot of Refiils for Reason. So I can bounce down my tracks to reaper and use VST and back again to Reason to use the Mixer. And because it's all digital, there is no loss of audio quality. Amazing! Reaper 5.18 is a Superb DAW that shines with each update. It has scoring as well now. :-)

Happy days, .

Joseph.

WBRS
WBRS
24 November 2019 at 8:54am

Thank you.

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REAPER

Average user rating of 4.71 from 21 reviews

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