For starters, Reaper is a creation of Cockos Inc., an ambitious digital audio technology company from California.
In fact, Reaper is a short form of Rapid Environment for Audio Production and Recording.
Now, while Reaper has been around for just over ten years, it packs the power and flexibility of a complete digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer.
Granted, its range of features makes it quite competitive in an industry dominated by big guns like Ableton Live, Pro Tools, and FL Studio.
Till now, Cockos has distinguished itself by including a provision for users to build custom menus, toolbars, and macros, not to mention the ability to alter the appearance of the interface in its entirety.
But more importantly, the development team has kept the fire burning through constant improvements and functions.
In an attempt to provide a viable alternative to already dominant DAWs, they seem to focus more on delivering advanced functional capabilities over the quantity of media content.
And the resulting flexibility and capabilities have reached a new level in Reaper 5.
What's New in Cockos Reaper 5?
Some of the headline features you can expect from the latest version are as follows;
To begin with, it comes with a re-done default theme that brings in additional layouts.
The layouts can be applied full scale or per channel to influence aspects like fader size, pan pot position, or even what's on the Track header.
Following closely, the DAW now has a Theme Developer Panel included in the Action Menu from where color modifications for existing themes can be accessed.
Similarly, Reaper now boasts of a new VCA grouping capability that enables users to manage the output level and dimension of multiple tracks.
The feature especially comes handy if you want to implement collective changes without conflicting already recorded track automation.
Another key-improvement involves automation envelopes.
With Reaper 5, users can now apply automation either track-based or to individual items.
In case you shift an item or track, the set automation remains regardless.
Cockos has also improved Scripting courtesy of an enhanced ReaScript development environment.
You can now write and debug scripts in Lua, EEL, and Python just by accessing the feature from the Action List.
The beauty of it all- it opens room for creativity with everything from simple macros to deep customization.
Next, you have the introduction of Smart folders that provides for folder-specific file searching and grouping of keyword plugin in the FX browser.
Other functional developments include better video support, responsive interface with seamless scroll, zoom, and fade actions.
What makes Reaper worth considering?
Reaper prides itself as one of the most customizable and budget-friendly DAW.
It's easy on the RAM and CPU usage and continues to introduce headline features required of a top-class soundware.
Pros & Cons
Powerful and highly customizable
Compact disk footprint
Usable of both Windows and Mac
Avails a great selection of plugins
Supports third party effects
Minimal bundled plugins
Novices will need some learning
With Reaper, you can enjoy the features and functional flexibility of a full-fledged DAW without spending a fortune.
In short, if you want a budget-friendly tool for recording, editing, and mixing your audio, you could try it out.
Here comes Mixcraft, a multi-track recording tool by Acoustica.
In principle, it works as a digital audio workstation, MIDI sequencer, virtual instrument host, a non-linear video arranger, and track loop recording software, all in one unit.
With competition getting hotter among top DAW developers, Mixcraft hasn't been left behind.
For one, it supports a wholesome variety of advanced audio production resources.
Even though it designed for PC users only, it comes feature-packed just like any other stellar alternative out there.
Just at face value, it's already easy to notice it comes packed with functional features and a lot of extras as well.
Now, let's find out what Acoustica adds to the existing package.
What's New in Mixcraft Pro 8?
First off, Mixcraft Pro Studio 8 comes with six more virtual instruments, 28 additional effects, and plugins worth more than $1250.
Secondly, Acoustica takes the software to the next level with an integrated Melodyne Tuning Software.
With Celemony's revolutionary application now directly linked into Mixcraft's clip sound edit window, it really speeds vocal pitching.
Next, Mixcraft Pro Studio comes with additional synths.
The new inclusions are nothing but accurate emulations of revered analog and virtual models such as the Moog Memorymoog and Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer.
Of all the additions, one highlight is the Kastelheimer Veldberg XD – which is by many standards a goldmine for analog and digital timbres.
When it comes to virtual pianos, Mixcraft doesn't disappoint.
With the peerless Pianissimo, it is now easier to imitate the warmth, response, and playability of a grand piano.
Pianissimo blends high-quality piano samples, advanced physical modeling, and desirable characteristics; like sympathetic resonance, great tonal control, over 200 polyphony voices to bring an aura of realism during audio production.
What's more, you can now achieve higher fidelity levels in your tracks thanks to superior mastering tools.
With virtual tools such as iZotope's Mastering Essentials suite, TB parametric EQ, SideKick6 Sidechaining Compressor, and more mastering moves to a whole new level.
Mixcraft Pro Studio also introduces the warm, smooth sound of tubes.
Users can now worry less when it comes to tuning harsh frequencies.
Other key takeaways you can expect, include innovative sonic shapers, live performance recording, XBass Enhancer, MP4, and VST3 support.
Why is Mixcraft Pro Studio worth considering?
For PC users, Mixcraft gets everything right.
From a powerful audio engine to global automation for parameters not to mention high-quality sounds and instruments.
Generally, it has all the basics for making pro-grade music.
To top it all, at its price, you can even consider it as a backup to your primary DAW.
Pros & Cons
Intuitive user interface
Impressive global automation recording
Flexible rendering options
Extensive range of tools and effects
Powerful audio engine
Great selection of sounds
PC use only
Mixcraft Pro Studio combines excellent recording capabilities and all the right tools in a sleek interface.
Though it still has to improve- it is good enough for now.
Overall, a powerful tool you can consider next time sonic inspiration strikes.