I have used Reaper for years, but always as a companion to Reason when I needed the use of some of my VST's for more in-depth audio editing. I also own and use Studio one Pro 3 and Samplitude ProX2 but I find the low CPU usage and compatibility with most plugins an endearing feature within reaper. Stability has always been pretty good but Version 5 for me has been far and away the most stable version of Reaper yet! The interface has had a little face lift and it seems to play very nice with about every theme you can imagine so skinning is a breeze. Plugins that seem to have trouble being found in other DAW's are always there and ready to load in Reaper 5 without any hassle. In the current state of music making software, programs like Cockos Reaper (and Reason) are a true gift in that they get you away from the computer side of music making and allow you more time to simply be creative. Version 5 has put Reaper at the very top of the DAW food chain for me and I hope to see even more of the same thing from them in the future.
In a never-ending sea of new emulation plugins coming out from every direction, it can get daunting trying to find the ones that genuinely stand out from the crowd. Loads of plugin companies today boast that "this ones different" and "there's nothing like this". Only after multiple purchases and lots of cash spent later, do you realize you've been a victim of the now very strong music tech. marketing world. I have spent years trying all of the "big boys" in the guitar sim world. You name it, ive used it and there is a good chance I probably own it. Now don't get me wrong, guitar amp sim's have gotten to the point were they are serious contenders with the real thing and many developers like IK, Line 6, NI, and Waves have cranked out some beasts in the past few years. Despite the great sound I could get from these, I'd all but given up on finding a sim that just "felt" right until the random night a month or two ago I randomly decided to demo S-Gear by Scuffman Amps. After hearing some rave reviews by some friends of mine I downloaded the demo on a whim. This ones the real deal guys. Its truly one of those Gems we all talk about in the plugin world that simply change the way our music sounds. I just flat out love playing through it and the sound is beyond superb. Its not loaded with tons of features and extra processors like some of the others but what it does, it does second to none. I know everyone has their "desert island" plugins, and after a few months of using this guy, I have it up there in the top on my list! Highly recommended.
Reason 7 is an update that was clearly designed for the musician. I own or have owned Pro tools 8, Studio one 2, FlStudio 11, Reaper 4 and now Reason 7. All have amazing feature sets and each Daw will bring something different to the table. The thing that worries me about these workstations growing and expanding more with every update is that while they are a blast to play with, musicians are being trapped into a web i'm sure we all have been familiar with. Its become too easy to "play" or "learn" or "experiment" with different options, choices, plugins, features, etc. Reason 7 is an update that was clearly designed to get out of the way. Making music is just too easy and too much fun with version 7. Its updates like audio time stretching, parallel processing and visual EQ spectrum's that may seem behind in terms of Daw innovation, but they are almost brilliantly integrated to the point where you almost get the sense Propellerhead are one step ahead of the game. Almost like they see that our options for music making in the Daw world have expanded to the point where us musicians will want a Daw that gets out of the way and just lets us do what we should spend our time doing anyway. Writing and producing our songs. I will continue to work with different workstations for different reasons. That is, if i can pull myself away from having too much fun making music in Reason 7.