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Cubase vs Reaper for composing. Is the grass greener?

PeterKorcek

Active Member
Reaper is like a framework that you can adjust to your liking, but that takes time and effort. The times I WANTED to start working in it, but somehow did not like it in the end - MIDI editor, the overall GUI feel, mixer, even the skins - some are nice, but eventually did not stick to it. I still have it here in my PC, but I always got back to Cubase, because all these things are just better there. Cubase has problems as well of course, I remember when video was not working one time and Reaper saved me, but as overall package Cubase just feel better to me and more streamlined. As a part-time programmer I really appreciate the coding in Reaper, however :-D
 

robgb

I was young once
You're almost saying it yourself here: it is not an inherent problem of Reaper. It IS quite simple out of the box, and then also gives you all the tools to tinker with if you want. Fine if you need constraints to stay focused but don't blame a product's flexibility for you inability do so.
There's a concept called the Paradox of Choice that suggests that while people want choice, too many choices can give them anxiety. I think the problem with Reaper is that it gives us endless choices. Some people embrace this, others are repelled by it.
 

novaburst

Senior Member
I think the problem with Reaper is that it gives us endless choices. Some people embrace this, others are repelled by it.
You just don't need a lot of options to make music with your DAW, if these endless choices are giving you a better audio signal then maybe some options are founded but they are not giving you a better signal to make your music sound better that will need the final mix.

If your clicking away to make this work then your not making music, because it only takes a few clicks or button presses to make music and that is weather your using reaper or any other DAW.

All this customize this and customise that is not justified and does not make you faster and if we all are honest with our self's why the 1000 and 1 options when all you want to do is hit record and render because when its all done your not doing much more than that apart from automation and working with 3rd party plugins or stock

If there is anything about reaper that it may have over other DAWs it may have stability
 

robgb

I was young once
You just don't need a lot of options to make music with your DAW, if these endless choices are giving you a better audio signal then maybe some options are founded but they are not giving you a better signal to make your music sound better that will need the final mix.
Making music is more than just an audio signal. The greatest DAW in the universe won't improve your music or your sound, but the process of getting it to the rendering stage can either be a pleasure or torture. And being able to customize your workflow in Reaper makes making music a pleasure.
 

novaburst

Senior Member
A DAW has more uses than just making music.
If your doing other things with your DAW other than music not sure what to say, vidio work, movies, lights I think the correct software is best suited,

Don't want you guys to think I'm slamming Reaper because I'm not, generally the thought when talking about DAW is associated with music production, and it does not take much clicks to get your music going and that's with any DAW, if you are using your DAW for other things maybe you do need a 1000 options.
 

Rapollo

Member
That’s kinda the joy of Reaper, it’s customizable enough to use for many areas of audio whether it be music production, sound design, voice over, podcasts or whatever. Custom actions and 3rd scripts make doing any repetitive or mundane tasks a breeze which is why it’s consistently growing quickly and gaining favour in other parts of the audio industry, not just music.

Yeah outta the box it might not be as intuitive as Logic or studio one. Boo hoo you just gotta do a bit of learning and research and learn it like any other skill in life! And guess what? It’s always worth it. For the record I moved from Logic to Studio One to Reaper :) and still trying shift my Studio One license!
 

novaburst

Senior Member
I have Reaper and its not rocket science for any type of audio production its quite simple 1 2 3 steps and your done, no need for customizable options, sound design are mostly created with 3rd party plugins,

repetitive or mundane tasks a breeze which is why it’s consistently growing quickly and gaining favour in other parts of the audio industry, not just music
Not sure what this means but surely a lot of task like this should be achieved with letter keyboard, if not a hardware controller,

You what ever way poeple try to spin it and make excuses for customizable clicks, it all boils down to the same thing record and render and all DAWs are simple at doing that, and absolutely none is better at doing that than the other no matter how much you customize.
 

gregh

Senior Member
That’s kinda the joy of Reaper, it’s customizable enough to use for many areas of audio whether it be music production, sound design, voice over, podcasts or whatever. Custom actions and 3rd scripts make doing any repetitive or mundane tasks a breeze which is why it’s consistently growing quickly and gaining favour in other parts of the audio industry!
But none of that flexibility is relevant to, say, a composer, or a podcaster. They want a product that is good for their specific needs and maybe Reaper is it, but I dont see the greatness for the individual user in that their DAW can be made to do everything with enough effort. Thats more a tweaker thing. Im not going to recommend Reaper to a midi composer because it can sharpen steak knives, read bedtime stories and make toast or whatever as well

But that flexibility is great if you want to make a specialised product based around Reaper - there's that great podcasting product based on Reaper that I've posted here before - can never remember the name coz I dont do podcasting, but it is the best example I have seen of what Reaper can be tweaked to do
 
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Rapollo

Member
But none of that flexibility is relevant to, say, a composer, or a podcaster.
Actually, it is. That is why OTR was created, as well as multiple 3rd party scripts designed to speed up workflow as well as midi tool scripts. Yeah, Cubase arrives with great MIDI ready to go, but comes along with a much bigger price, dongle, heavy CPU usage, and a boat load of other stuff a lot of users consider "bloat".

Reaper is appreciated by composers like Will Roget, who composed the entire 4 hour COD soundtrack in a single project for keeping the overall sound cohesive and due to Reaper's CPU, flexibility and region matrix. As well as Gareth Coker who chose Reaper over Cubase and Studio One describing their CPU usage as "woeful" in comparison, Reaper lacked the out-the-box MIDI but guess what? That can be improved and customised! Those are just two top industry composers that come to mind.

So yes, that flexibility is absolutely relevant to composers. I also have hands on experience using Reaper for podcasts and made use of custom actions and the play rate to make the editing process for those faaaar less time consuming.

They want a product that is good for their specific needs and maybe Reaper is it, but I don't see the greatness for the individual user in that their DAW can be made to do everything with enough effort.
Of course. But the second part of that sentence.. I guess I just disagree :/ if a tool can do multiple tasks I would personally always choose that single tool over several different tools if its just a small amount of effort. It's not like changing a few settings, creating a custom action or track template is a huge task or even takes more than 10 minutes.. but that's just me!

Im not going to recommend Reaper to a midi composer because it can sharpen steak knives, read bedtime stories and make toast or whatever as well
That is an odd comparison. I also freely recommend Reaper to people because its not only free to try and use, its wonderfully cheap. Non of the usual "what do you recommend?" met with a "How much?! Ugh".

I'm not trying to sell Reaper to anyone funnily enough, the tools don't even matter to me at least. Just bringing light to your comments!
 
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gregh

Senior Member
Actually, it is. That is why OTR was created, as well as multiple 3rd party scripts designed to speed up workflow as well as midi tool scripts. Yeah, Cubase arrives with great MIDI ready to go, but comes along with dongles, heavy CPU usage, and a boat load of other stuff a lot of users consider "bloat".

Reaper is appreciated by composers like Will Roget, who composed the entire 4 hour COD soundtrack in a single project for keeping the overall sound cohesive and due to Reaper's CPU, flexibility and region matrix. As well as Gareth Coker who chose Reaper over Cubase and Studio One describing their CPU usage as "woeful" in comparison, Reaper lacked the out-the-box MIDI but guess what? That can be improved and customised! Those are just two top industry composers that come to mind.

So yes, that flexibility is absolutely relevant to composers. I also have hands on experience using Reaper for podcasts and made use of custom actions and the play rate to make the editing process for those faaaar less time consuming.



Of course. But the second part of that sentence.. I guess I just disagree :/ if a tool can do multiple tasks I would personally always choose that single tool over several different tools if its just a small amount of effort. It's not like changing a few settings, creating a custom action or track template is a huge task or even takes more than 10 minutes.. but that's just me!



That is an odd comparison. I also freely recommend Reaper to people because its not only free to try and use, its wonderfully cheap. Non of the usual "what do you recommend?" met with a "How much?! Ugh".

I'm not trying to sell Reaper to anyone funnily enough, the tools don't even matter to me at least. Just bringing light to your comments!
very few people have been using Reaper longer than me - I know what it does and I hate the way people overstate the wonders of Reaper compared to Bitwig (for some things) or Cubase or Live etc etc. Reaper is just another piece of software not some "all things to all people"
 

robgb

I was young once
I have Reaper and its not rocket science for any type of audio production its quite simple 1 2 3 steps and your done, no need for customizable options, sound design are mostly created with 3rd party plugins,


Not sure what this means but surely a lot of task like this should be achieved with letter keyboard, if not a hardware controller,

You what ever way poeple try to spin it and make excuses for customizable clicks, it all boils down to the same thing record and render and all DAWs are simple at doing that, and absolutely none is better at doing that than the other no matter how much you customize.
While most DAWs are perfectly capable of doing what you need to do, I've always said that the beauty of Reaper is that you control it rather than it controlling you. Because of its seemingly infinite customizability, you aren't stuck with the developer's idea of good workflow.
 

robgb

I was young once
very few people have been using Reaper longer than me - I know what it does and I hate the way people overstate the wonders of Reaper compared to Bitwig (for some things) or Cubase or Live etc etc. Reaper is just another piece of software not some "all things to all people"
It's not overstated. It just is. But that takes nothing away from Bitwig or Cubase or whatever, if those are the DAWs you prefer.
 

Ivan M.

New Member
I use Reaper exclusively, all for midi, which has both good and bad sides to it.

Editing notes in piano roll is ok (there's no science to it). What I find great there is: it allowed me to setup a shortcut L for legato (which I use most of the time), predefined S to split notes, and Q to quantize, actions to change a CC lane to a particular CC (mod, pitch, expression) which I put in a toolbar.

However, zooming is strange, it almost never zooms to the content in a convenient way, so when I open an item, I often have to move and zoom around to find the notes!

CC editing definitely needs improvement. It makes me want to throw my computer out the window!
For example: when I want to edit multiple values with a mouse, sometimes it will modify only one, regardless if many are selected, so I have to undo and try again.
Or if I want to simply draw events over existing ones, and in the process click on one, it will not draw new values, but just select.
Or, if you want to use shift+drag to apply a linear transition to a range of cc values, and while doing that I happen to click on a cc event, it will again select and edit only that event, so you have to click elsewhere just to avoid clicking on any existing event (which makes me enter values I don't want, that need additional corrections).
So, essentially it gives priority to changing individual values over changing a group of values from a selection.

EDIT: not quite true, with some careful settings adjustments most of these are solved

I also waste a lot of time drawing curves with mouse (did try scripts, but they are not user friendly).

I'm really looking forward to v6, hoping for improvements and hoping it comes out soon.

Edit: I typed the use cases from memory, they might be a bit different
 
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Tim_Wells

Tim Wells
IMO, the grass is greener. I went through a period of jumping from one DAW to another, thinking I was going to find that magic bullet. For me, there is no panacea... and all the DAW switching killed my productivity. I say pick a good DAW and stick with it. The features and tools available in the top tier DAWs are very similar. I would include Reaper in that group.

I'm a Cubase user and it's great. But I'm sure I would be happy with Reaper, as well.
 

Tod

Senior Member
I use Reaper exclusively, all for midi, which has both good and bad sides to it.

Editing notes in piano roll is ok (there's no science to it). What I find great there is: it allowed me to setup a shortcut L for legato (which I use most of the time), predefined S to split notes, and Q to quantize, actions to change a CC lane to a particular CC (mod, pitch, expression) which I put in a toolbar.

However, zooming is strange, it almost never zooms to the content in a convenient way, so when I open an item, I often have to move and zoom around to find the notes!

CC editing definitely needs improvement. It makes me want to throw my computer out the window!
For example: when I want to edit multiple values with a mouse, sometimes it will modify only one, regardless if many are selected, so I have to undo and try again.
Or if I want to simply draw events over existing ones, and in the process click on one, it will not draw new values, but just select.
Or, if you want to use shift+drag to apply a linear transition to a range of cc values, and while doing that I happen to click on a cc event, it will again select and edit only that event, so you have to click elsewhere just to avoid clicking on any existing event (which makes me enter values I don't want, that need additional corrections).
So, essentially it gives priority to changing individual values over changing a group of values from a selection.
I also waste a lot of time drawing curves with mouse (did try scripts, but they are not user friendly).

I'm really looking forward to v6, hoping for improvements and hoping it comes out soon.

Edit: I typed the use cases from memory, they might be a bit different
That was a strange way saying Reaper is your DAW of choice Ivan, but I totally agree with you on all you say.

The one thing that separates Reaper from other DAWs for me is the ability to customize it and create your own toolbars. That along with all the "actions" and available "scripts" that you can either tie to a key, or put in a toolbar. Also the ability to use those actions and scripts to build Super Tools.
 
CC editing definitely needs improvement. It makes me want to throw my computer out the window!
Some customization of the mouse modifiers should solve all the problems that you listed:

Or if I want to simply draw events over existing ones, and in the process click on one, it will not draw new values, but just select.
Change the default "Move CC event" to something like "Draw/Edit CC events ignoring selection".


Or, if you want to use shift+drag to apply a linear transition to a range of cc values, and while doing that I happen to click on a cc event, it will again select and edit only that event, so you have to click elsewhere just to avoid clicking on any existing event (which makes me enter values I don't want, that need additional corrections).
The mouse modifier contexts "CC event" and "CC lane" (open space in the CC lane) can use different actions. By default, shift+drag in the CC event context is linked to "Move CC event ignoring snap", while in the CC lane context it is linked to "Linear ramp". Shift+drag can be linked to linear ramp in the CC event context too, which would allow you to start dragging while the mouse is over a CC event.


I also waste a lot of time drawing curves with mouse (did try scripts, but they are not user friendly).
In case you are referring to my scripts, please let me know if I can help!
 

Ivan M.

New Member
That was a strange way saying Reaper is your DAW of choice Ivan
Actually, I choose it because of the price and good reviews :)

Some customization of the mouse modifiers should solve all the problems that you listed:

Change the default "Move CC event" to something like "Draw/Edit CC events ignoring selection".

The mouse modifier contexts "CC event" and "CC lane" (open space in the CC lane) can use different actions. By default, shift+drag in the CC event context is linked to "Move CC event ignoring snap", while in the CC lane context it is linked to "Linear ramp". Shift+drag can be linked to linear ramp in the CC event context too, which would allow you to start dragging while the mouse is over a CC event.

In case you are referring to my scripts, please let me know if I can help!
Hey Julian, thank you very much for the detailed info. I was just fiddling with the settings today, and did something similar: changed "shift + r. drag" to the "ramp ... ignore selection" variant, which helped.

However, there is something you apparently can't do. If you have a note selected, and click drag on it, it will always go into edit event context. It doesn't matter if you set "action... ignore selection" in the mouse CC lane settings.
Any action initiated in the event rectangle is handled by the "cc event edit" context/settings. To get the actual "ignore selection" from the cc lane context, you have to click outside of a selected event.
You can't have a draw tool (like in envelope lane) which overwrites anything underneath it, regardless of selection, and that exact thing is causing much friction.

I should take this to the cocos forum.

About the scrips, it was long time ago, they are probably much improved by now.
 
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