Justin Frankel on What Makes Reaper Different from other DAWs

David: Do you think that’s part of what makes Reaper different? I know you set out for it to be different. What really stands out to you in that respect?

Justin: I think there are sort of three big things. The first is it’s a lot more modern than a lot of DAWs. It was started decades after some of them, so we’ve had the ability — or the advantage of having a lot more processing power and a lot more resources on the computers that are running it.

So there’s that. The other two things I would say are that we are not motivated at all by money. We want to have money, we want to have enough money so that we can pay for things, and so that we can provide this DAW to our users, but we’re never going to add copy protection, we’re never going to do things that would ultimately compromise the user experience.

So you know, if you have to use a dongle with your software, , it’s a compromise. It’s a compromise for the user. The user is — at some point, inevitably is going to be inconvenienced by that, and sometimes that inconvenience is a big deal.

If you’re using it for a live show, it’s a big deal to have one more thing that can go wrong. The third thing is that we’ve always been focused on making Reaper accessible and configurable, so early on, we made it theme-able, so that you could customize the appearance.

We’ve now made it very scriptable, so you can write scripts to do more advanced things we haven’t actually programmed Reaper to do.

So users can write scripts in Python and Lua and another scripting language of our own, so if they want to manipulate projects and envelopes, they can do that. If they want to create Macros, simple things, they can do that very easily without even programming, just by dragging and dropping different actions together.

So on all of these different levels, we’ve given the ability to the user to go and customize it to their heart’s content.

Having said that, you don’t need to. I don’t really do that. I use it as it is, and it’s great, but for the people who really want to make it something of their own, they can.

David: Right. So people can get under the hood with Reaper, and just go.

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