Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thoughts on the Cockos Reaper demo

If you follow the world of computer music and audio, it's hard not to have noticed the stir Cockos Reaper has been causing. Where software DAW's (Digital Audio Workstation, your piece of music creation software of choice) are almost exclusively bulky, bloated applications, that have one useful feature for every 100 that you never use (but you do see reflected in the price!), there now is Cockos Reaper. The creators and fans of Cockos seem to have conspired to make sure everybody hears about how their new DAW can do anything the big ones can, while being smaller, more stable and, best of all, cheaper.

After seeing another "Best DAW" poll raided by Reaper fans I decided to have a look. There can surely not be this much commotion over something that does not at least merit some of it? At the Cockos website you can download the Reaper demo, which currently weighs less than your average song at less than 6MB.

The first thing I noticed was the sleek, black interface. I personally like my software good-looking It gives it a feeling of polish and  a nice first impression, which all reflects back into your user experience. The second thing I noticed, after playing around with it for a bit, is that, while everything that should be there was there, was that there was little innovation to be found, at least at first glance. I had hoped that the Cockos revolution was about more than just price, stability and size, but my first hour revealed little to believe that was the case.

I think that Reaper probably is an excellent DAW, but too traditional for my tastes. If I wanted to record a band, it would probably do exactly what I wanted; record multiple inputs, mix them, add effects and some general polish, and then produce a file. When I open my DAW, I mess around with samples, virtual instruments, loops and whatnot for hours before I have the vaguest idea what I want to do. Reaper and me don't work well together, but I can imagine a whole lot of people falling in love with it, and I can, if anything, appreciate a small developer entering a very competitive market dominated by a few powerhouses, and then starting a revolution.


  1. That's pretty cool, I have a few friends who are into recording and such.

  2. good follow up post to yesterday's

  3. Sounds interesting. Looks like it wants to be just a little bit better than audacity xD