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 REAPER by Cockos is an Audio Plugin Host. It can host VST Plugins, Audio Units Plugins, VST 3 Plugins and DirectX Plugins. It supports ReWire.
Product REAPER
Developer Cockos
Price (MSRP)
$60 / $225
Type / Tags Sequencer / Multitrack
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Can Host
Can Host
ReWire Mixer/Synth Application
Operating System Availability
Download Released
Downloads Released
Downloads Released
Downloads Released
Supported Sample Formats (loads or saves) include
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 4.70 from 20 reviews

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.


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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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Reviewed By Zig
January 22, 2016

I bought Reaper around five or six years ago. I'm not going to go through the features list as Cockos (www.reaper.fm) can do it better than I can. What is important though is that after Logic was sold to Mac, and I didn't want to buy a Mac (not just because I didn't like them - but because Mac were forcing people to migrate to a system I just did not prefer), I had to find another DAW.

Reaper back then was an insider tip and after comparing other free or lower priced DAWs, Reaper beat them all. I tested it until I bought it. Guys, for the little money you pay, you get a fully fledged DAW. This is not to say that Cockos should increase the price - on the contrary. The price was what initially attracted me to it (apart from the specs). It works! After transferring all of my songs from Logic to Reaper, I have never looked back.

What also sets Reaper apart from the overpriced competition is that you get loads of high quality VST plugins and the software is updated on a regular basis. You don't have to wait a couple of years for a fix and then pay for it. No, Sir! Every few weeks or months, Cockos has an update. It may not even be a fix but just an improvement. And as I am writing this, Cockos has a new update: version 5.12. This is what I call good service. Cockos have done the right thing by the consumer by offering a system that does the same as most other DAWS but even better in my opinion. They listen to users.

There was one minor issue I did want to raise. This doesn't reduce my overall rating but some people might think otherwise. I really miss the notator so that you view the score and print it out. I've since learned to to use the piano roll editor, but a proper score would be very helpful, especially for those who study music and or need to print it out for whatever reason. I have written a few orchestral arrangements, and if I were to have a classical musician play it, they'd expects notes. Music students may buy Logic or another program just because of this. A couple of my friends are music teachers who have stayed with Logic for this very reason. Cockos: you're losing a huge demographic here.

Otherwise, great program.

PS: I upgraded to Windows 10 a few days ago because I heard that latency issues had been improved. Reaper has always been stable. But Windows 10 has resolved the latency and popping/crackling sounds coming from my lexicon Omega (which I am currently updating). Reaper works fine in Windows 10.

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Discussion: Active
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.

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.

31 October 2012 at 6:44pm

As far as I know it is download only.

11 November 2012 at 1:18pm

Thanks man.





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.

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, .


24 November 2019 at 8:54am

Thank you.

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Average user rating of 4.70 from 20 reviews

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