Change of DAW? Part 1

Change of DAW? Part 1

I have kept up with every release of Cubase since version 6. I’ve never felt the need of changing to a different sequencer, until I read an interesting thread on VI Control about Reaper. I have never seen people so passionate about their choice of sequencer. I was intrigued…and decided to take the plunge to try it out.

One of the great things about Reaper is that it is very easy to set it up. The download is less than 20mb, installation was very quick and within a minute or so I was ready to go. Wow!! I was used to Cubase type downloads of about 30gb and e-licenser activation etc. None of that with Reaper. I was also very impressed with the startup time, it is very quick! Cubase always feels a bit sluggish starting up…and let’s not even talk about closing it down.

You are allowed to try Reaper for 60 days before you have to buy a license. The discounted license goes for $60 and the commercial license is $225. Not much compared to the competition. You are also allowed to install it on as many computers as you want.

First impressions

Getting yourself accustomed to a new sequencer is not easy. Luckily the developers of Reaper have made an impressive resource database with tons of videos that explain every little detail of Reaper. Having said that though…the first few days of using Reaper were….painful.

First of all, the interface that looks very basic, dated and amateurish. First impressions matter, especially when you work day in and out with any software package, things like GUI, colour, fonts, ergonomics make a lot of difference!

The most difficult obstacle to overcome was getting a grip on a whole new set of commands and terminology. Unlike Cubase, Reaper doesn’t give you handy toolboxes and menu’s. Even though I had watched a lot of the YouTube tutorials, I was feeling lost most of the time. I had to google how to do even the most basic actions.

Too early to say

I am still very early on in the process of trying out Reaper. It is a complex program that takes time to learn. I will report on my findings later on in this series. One of the reasons I wanted to try out a new DAW is that I am curious if I could come up with a different workflow. I have been using Cubase for such a long time that everything that I do is accustomed to the way the program works. Would it lead to a new and inspiring way of writing music when I would work with a different program?