Reaper is a really great DAW, especially for a couple of thing where it is better than its competition. For recording/tracking of audio and editing of audio it is the best and extremly fast and efficient when you learn the workflow. The program also has a really small footprint, can be customised and is very flexible. The fact that all channels can be routed to everywhere and receive anything is great. Very very powerful, but might not be super easy for beginners.
Some of the stock plugs are pretty good and a lot of functionality can be added if you dig a bit deeper, but they will be pretty basic right out of the box. So beginners might find them a bit underwhelming.
I would advice all new (and old) users to learn from the videos at https://www.reaper.fm/videos.php to get a better understanding of the possibilities within Reaper.
PS: I now use Reaper mainly for tracking when I have recording-sessions with bands and artists, and when I do audio-editing. Production I now do mostly in Bitwig, but I have done a lot of production earlier in Reaper.
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. :-)