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Learning REAPER – Resources & Help

I’m among the many frustrated Pro Tools users that is spending more and more time with REAPER these days. It doesn’t have all the features I need yet but is growing at an astounding rate, a new update is released every 2-3 weeks, a nice change from waiting months for similar updates from AVID. These updates aren’t just bug fixes, they’re new features, options and workflow improvements suggested by the user community.

Learning a new DAW, especially one so customizable as REAPER is not something easily accomplished in a weekend. Here’s a list of some resources to help you and I learn REAPER:

REAPER User Guide – Official user manual, regularly updated to reflect new changes

REAPER Wiki – user contributed Wiki for REAPER

REAPER Blog – News, tips and tricks

SWS Manual – SWS are some very useful extensions for REAPER

REAPER Forum – Official user forum

Groove3 Reaper Explained Tutorial video hosted by Kenny Gioia

If you haven’t tried tried REAPER yet get full version trial here:


  1. rumpelfilter
    rumpelfilter April 22, 2010

    I used to work on Cubase, before taking a long break from audio and music. Now that I am back, I started right away using Reaper and I haven’t been missing anything yet. It works, it’s stable, it’s really felxible and customisable… and best of all, it’s affordable! Guess re-starting from scratch helps, because I don’t have to change an existing workflow.

    To anybody who really wants to learn how to get the most out of reaper I highly suggest to read the manual. There’s a lot fo hidden gems in this piece of software!

  2. Marcelo Kato
    Marcelo Kato April 22, 2010

    I love Reaper!
    It’s cheap and really stable… I love the fact that it is update every week or so.
    I’ve made the switch from Cubase, and couldn’t be any happier.
    Reainsert is perfect for adding outboard gear without fuzz.
    I can’t imagine a world without delay compensation!

  3. relaxo
    relaxo April 22, 2010

    Not being a wise guy….seriously, why would you chose Reaper over Logic? Please don’t say money because $400 is 1000% irrelevant when you’re talking about spending hundreds or thousands of hours on the right or wrong DAW.

    Serious, please tell.

  4. Jon
    Jon April 22, 2010

    I spent a month with Logic 9. Really big improvement over V7 but still a very different workflow from PT. Besides the cool instruments and FX I HATED working in Logic. Got rid of it.

    If I could get over that…it’s not cross platform. My PC is still my main computer, I’m not about to run a ‘studio’ off a 13″ laptop. Not ready to fully switch to Mac yet.

    Another thing is that Cockos actually listen and respond to feature requests and quickly. Apple is only slightly better than AVID in that area. Does Waveburner still forget plugin settings?

    Not leaving PT just yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m not sending AVID another penny.

  5. relaxo
    relaxo April 22, 2010

    Yeah, I am so unhappy with the new Avid that I am looking into swithcing back to Logic.

    So you are saying that besides the workflow on Logic issues, you might choose Repear in my sshoes because they have so much more positive momentum than Logic now?

  6. Jon
    Jon April 22, 2010

    The option is worth considering.
    The full installer is only 4MB so you can download, install and start it in about 1 minute.

    It’s fresh code so bugs get fixed quickly, unlike PT which is using 10 year old code and the bugs became features.

    What it lacks is:
    Score editing (a big reason people choose Logic)
    Advanced MIDI functions
    Beat detective
    Playlist view or intelligent take management.
    Included sample library (does anyone use the bundled sounds really?)
    No SHINY bundled FX and Instruments. It does support VST and AU though and there are a billion of those.

    Let’s see what AVID comes out with next. We may have to just quit PT cold turkey.

  7. ExtraMedium
    ExtraMedium April 22, 2010

    I’ll definitely check this out over the weekend. I personally never saw the big deal of Pro Tools. I’ve worked with it about as much as I have with things like Logic and Sonar, and honestly I had more trouble with Pro Tools than the reputation and “industry standard” status could make up for. It was the only serious game in town in the beginning of the whole home studio thing, and $20,000 setups got it a reputation as the Bentley of DAWs but it never did anything for me that the cheaper and often more functional DAWs couldn’t do just as well if not better. Aside from being called “Pro Tools” that is.

  8. rumpelfiler
    rumpelfiler April 23, 2010

    Many people complain about the lack of “advanced MIDI features” in Reaper… but I’ve never reallu understood what features everybody is talking about. What is it exactly that Reaper lacks in this field?

    • Jon
      Jon April 23, 2010

      re: MIDI features
      It may not be fair to say REAPER is lacking MIDI functions, I haven’t dug really deep. I have noticed there are functions that are not available in the default UI. Adding the Quantize, Humanize and Note Properties buttons to the MIDI editor will get you most of what needs to be done. The user has to customize it before it’s fully functional.
      I actually prefer the PT MIDI editor and Realtime Properties for tracks or regions is brilliant.

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