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Audacity Vs. Reaper

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by TelZilla, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

    Jan 21, 2007
    Cleveburg, USA
    Hi. I'm looking to do some recording to my PC, bot laying multiple tracks myself and recording my band live. I'm not looking to do some heavily processed deal, we play stone age music (blues, Stones, the easiest NRBQ songs we can find, etc.) on stone age rigs (guitar-> Tube Screamer or equivalent->Tube amp, with some vibrato or reverb if we're really pushing our musical boundaries). I really just want to capture the sound in a format we can listen to. I'll be using an M-Audio Fast Track USB adapter

    I have downlaoded Audacity, but have not begun recording. I've read some good stuff (here and elsewhere) about Reaper.

    What will Reaper do for me that Audacity won't?

  2. GhostofJohnToad

    GhostofJohnToad Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 10, 2006
    Toledo, Ohio
    For my 2 cents I like em both but would prefer reaper if you are laying down multiple takes. It's very simple to use and is very clean. Audacity is great as an audio editor but I find it a little lacking in the multi-track sense. try 'em both, it won't cost you a thing. Experience will tell.

  3. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

    Jan 21, 2007
    Cleveburg, USA

    Well, Reaper will cost me $40, right? Or am I taking you too literally?

  4. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 12, 2003
    Glamorous NoHo
    Reaper only costs you $40 if you want it to cost you $40.

  5. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

    Mar 10, 2003
    Allston, Mass
    Reaper costs you $40 if you want to continue using it after the trial period. The fact that is continues to work after that period is up is a testimony to the user-friendly attitude of the developer.

    It's shareware. Audacity is freeware. Reaper is worth more than $40.

  6. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

    Jan 21, 2007
    Cleveburg, USA
    I was hoping you might reply, Ben. I respect your opinion, and I know you are a Reaper fan.

    What advantages does it have over something like Audacity?

  7. elmerbumpkin

    elmerbumpkin Tele-Meister

    Jun 20, 2006
    I never hear much talk about Kristal Audio Engine, and haven't used it myself, but it's an open-source type multi track recorder/editor/mixer. Anyone have any experience with that?

    I use Audacity some, and find it's pretty user friendly. You can do multi tracks really easily, but I don't think you can record them simultaneously.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007

  8. StuH

    StuH Friend of Leo's

    May 12, 2006
    Yukon, Canada
    Reaper is the talk of the town the past six months. Highly praised and compared to other bargain price and freebie apps. it is supposed to have the best support of all. Rewire applications and third party plugins are supposed to work flawlessly on Reaper which is something you can't say about Audacity. The audio engine is said to be on par with Sonar, Cubase and Protools. Midi features are supposed to be somewhat lacking but audio features are fantastic, and even surpass the big three mentioned above especially routing when it comes to routing options. The user base is growing hugely so get on the train before it turns into another $300 program.

    I'm not a user but this is the jist of what I read on the forums and in the mags, plus Ben Harmless uses it and I think Tim Armstrong aswell and nothing but praise from them as I recall. There's even a whack of guys on the Sonar forum that switched to it.

    I agree with Toad, Audacity is a great tool for editting wave files as it is super easy to navigate and has really sensible controls. The bigger programs to make this chore painfully difficult sometimes. I wouldn't use it as my mainstay program though.

  9. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

    Mar 10, 2003
    Allston, Mass
    I was using Sonar for awhile, but I found that I kept wanting to rout things in a way that was simply impossible. In my mind, a DAW should be able to rout signals in any way that one could rout them in outboard gear. Reaper can do that. Sonar can't.

    Tha audio engine, to my ears is absolutely on par with the big boys - and it should be. The guy who wrote it is the brain behind Winamp, and though many things played through Winamp are low-bitrate MP3s, it is a solid program and fairly ubiquitous because of its utility and interface. It's also very flexible and fantastic at working with plugins. At my workplace (a radio station) we even have a plugin for Winamp that converts specially formatted MP2 broadcast audio (with proprietary software tags) into .wav files.

    I use a bunch of freeware plugins with Reaper, which you would expect to be the most likely to have compatibility problems. None have yet occurred.

    The learning curve is also equal to or better than Sonar was.

    Because I like to use my computer as a tape machine as much as possible, (recording plain audio) I don't really get into MIDI programming much, but that's clearly been the big issue for Reaper at this point.

    Compared to Audacity, I think Reaper has a much better interface when working with multiple tracks. Audacity is very useful for recording individual tracks, but it's not what I would consider to be a highly useful multitrack DAW package. You also don't get the same integration with plugins that you get with Reaper (though I think that's improving). I don't know about the signal routing.

    The best thing? Reaper is constantly updated. The developer reads the forums, and tweaks code in near real time when issues arrive. That's gold right there. It's largely because of this that it's so stable. I've never experienced a crash while processing or editing audio. The other two programs I've worked extensively with - Sonar and Samplitude - are simply unstable in comparison.

    The other best thing? It isn't Pro Tools, and I'm not scammed into buying Digidesign or m-Audio hardware.

  10. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Admin Post
    I started out using n-Track Studio, which I kept for a couple of years, even though it seemed to get buggier and buggier. It was great when it worked...

    Then I got Sonar Home Studio 4, but didn't use it much because I got Reaper for free during his beta testing phase, and immediately dug it immensely.

    I have all the plug-ins from all three programs, and Reaper works with them very nicely.

    Cheers, Tim

  11. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Admin Post



  12. J-man

    J-man Super Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    North Wales
    Admin Post
    Why either?

    This is Kristal - and it's FREEWARE and much much better than Audacity.

  13. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

    Mar 10, 2003
    Allston, Mass
    Cool J-man. Haven't checked out Krystal. It's got the look of something that can get the job done.

    At about 4:00am this morning (I work an overnight shift every week) I ran across this thread on If Tim and I don't convince people with our collective ranting, the gearslutz guys put together some solid arguments, and many (if not most) of them are recording professionals.

  14. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

    Jan 21, 2007
    Cleveburg, USA

    I find your collective ranting quite effective, actually.

  15. Telephx

    Telephx Tele-Meister

    May 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Downloaded Audacity but never really tried it. Does Audacity allow sends to tother tracks for crosstalk? the one time i tried it i was surprised at the effect. REAPER does- I'm a noob but it's seems your style of music would benefit. other advantages- great support community- check out the cockos forums.

  16. wanderingscot

    wanderingscot Tele-Meister

    Dec 26, 2007
    Tyler, TX
    I really like KRYSTAL though I'm only recording song ideas and practice tracks. No need for super high quality. Recently downloaded "hammerhead" drum freeware to create some rhythm tracks. Can easily import 'em to KRYSTAL. A little interested in checking out Reaper and Audacity after reading all the rave reviews.

  17. tuuur

    tuuur Friend of Leo's

    Nov 12, 2006
    the Netherlands
    Tried out Audacity some time ago, and it had one major drawback: when I recorded a track alongside another track, the new track ended op off beat. The manual stated to edit that by hand. Don't know if that's sorted out already.
    Furthermore I found the interface not so intuitive. I recommended it to my father who does some simple lp to mp3 conversions with it.

    I got so fed up with buggy nTracks that I bought Mackie Tracktion, after testing that for some time. Worked ok for a while, but with every new installation, and now a new pc, it became more difficult to configure sound, and it was only after half an hour fiddling that I could start on recording.

    Lately I experimented with Garageband on an Intel Mac (and no, I don't want this to turn in to a pro or anti mac thread) which I loved A LOT. Got one song done in one evening, without even having to touch audio settings.
    Only I just got some old 333mhz G3 iMac and dito Powerbook around, which won't be fast enough; so I'd like to have that on the PC (got a new Dell Latitude laptop) basically.

    From the screenshots, Reaper looks promising. I'll give it a testdrive, thanks for the reviews!

    Ha, I know that demo project song! Heard that on first, some small music rating community site for homerecorders. NOW it all comes together for me.

  18. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 29, 2004
    I'm a big Reaper fan too. I used to use Cakewalk. I downloaded Reaper and I immediately became more proficient and productive with my home recording because of it. It's intuitive (well, as much as recording software can be...), inexpensive, well-supported, and it just works. I have no desire to be a recording engineer; I'm a musician first and foremost and I like having a tool that lets me get my ideas down. Reaper does that for me, but it also has quite a bit of depth to it depending on what you want to do with it. Also, it has an active user forum as well which is a great resource.

    Best $40 I think I've ever spent on all this music technology crap.

  19. Chito

    Chito Tele-Meister

    Jan 15, 2007
    Ottawa, Ontario
    It's $50.00 now.

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