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.
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.
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. :-)