Computers can perform the sort of audio recording and editing that used to require very expensive studio time. That said, many of the high-end audio programs (or DAWs – digital audio workstations) are also very expensive. Not so in the case of Reaper.
This download of Reaper is a 30-day trial but the publishers rely on your honesty to buy a full licence if you wish to keep on using it as the only restriction is a reminder pop-up window after this period has ended. Even so, the cost is very reasonable at $50 for a non-commercial licence or $225 for a commercial licence.
The limitations of Reaper are based on the capabilities of the computer rather than an arbitrary track limit for MIDI or Audio recordings. The interface is in a traditional format with tracks arranged in rows in the top half of the screen with a mixing console at the bottom for setting the volume of individual tracks.
Audio and MIDI can be recorded or imported as simply as dragging and dropping a file into a track. It can then be edited in various ways such as timestretching or pitch correction.
There is a wide selection of effects that can be applied to tracks included with Reaper. It is compatible with all the main standards for plug in effects and virtual instruments including VST, VSTi, DX, DXi and JS. Reaper also supports sidechaining, a method of varying an effect based on another track. This is very common in dance music and offers some exciting creative possibilities.
All in all, this is a very good DAW, especially for beginners as it offers lots of features at a low price.
this is the latest v4 and ships with an array of new features and UI improvements.
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