Thursday, 15 September 2011

Reaper v4 visual updates (free DAW)

Recently I updated my version of Reaper (3.78) up to the latest version (4.0) which has now already been updated to v.4.02 with a couple of small tweaks.

For those that don't know, Reaper is a free to use, fully functional music workstation, similar to that of Logic (mac only) and cubase etc. The main difference being is that they kindly give you the full fully working version, totally unlimited for free. The only catch being that if you use it commercially in any way then you need to pay the appropriate busines licence (still very reasonable) .
I am going to give a quick overview of the main page to show some of the visual updates that have been made since v3.
There are a whole load of technical and functional improvements (key updates listed below) But I am focussing on the basic visual improvements of the user interface / main page.

Previously you could add colour to the tracks but the basic feel of the program was dark green / grey and black. lots of black. ( grim reaper...) All very well but it was a bit depressing to look at, and very angular and square.
The new version still retains some of its trademark darkness and black but used more carefully and everything is now just a bit more funky and curvy.
Think of it as comparing windows 7 to windows 95 or a new ford focus to a model T
its a bit like death has discovered neon lights and disco for the first time

This is the tool box, previously 95% grey on black, now all neon. The same icons are there but they have been updates to be clearer and curvier.

 The track control bus is lighter and clearer, slightly redesigned. You can of course still change the size and placement of most panels.

One of the nice features they have kept is the manual or random colouring of tracks to keep things clear  and organized  (and prettier). They also have now added a whole bunch of nice icons you can add to each track to label the instrument or input being used. This is now really easy to do.

 The transport bar is pretty much the same as before but again can be removed or docked

 The master mix and track mixer panel is one of the more obvious updates. It is so much clearer and brighter with easy access to the main functions. The record button being very easy to hit now. ( I never bothered with it in the previous version, I used the button record on the track fader)

I really like how they have visually improved v4 over v3. It is not just to make it look nicer, it actually improves the clarity of the whole main screen immensely.
It feels like you are almost using a real hardware desk as its so clear.

Automation (Trim) is also a lot easier to find and use.

A massive improvement
check the program out here:

Main updates for V4
  • Dockers and toolbars: Multiple dockers, freely dockable in main window or floatable (up to 16 separate dockers/toolbars)
  • Envelope editing: Support for copying envelope points with the mouse
  • Media Explorer: Scroll and zoom the media peaks preview)
  • MIDI editing: Set user-definable scales and chords in the MIDI editor for drawing and editing notes
  • Mouse modifier customization: Assign any action (including custom actions) to mouse click or double-click in most contexts
  • Multichannel support: Allow choosing greater than 2 channels of sequential inputs, monitoring inputs
  • Multichannel support: Multichannel track meters
  • Project Bay: Manage, preview, search, replace project source media, media items, and FX
  • ReaSurround: Multi-channel surround panner with support for any number of input channels and speakers
  • Theme layout support: Fully themeable UI, allowing repositioning/removal/addition of UI elements
  • Track pan improvements: Track stereo width controls and envelopes
  • Video: performance improvements, support for sequencing still images

 PS , I previously had the 'small business' license for v2.00 up to v3.99.
 This is currently only $60 for the new version
I will get this if I release any music for sale through v4+.
The software is totally free for home use but if you sell any of your work for profit / business you must get this license. :-)

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