So I have been a hard-core Pro Tools fan since 1994.  However I have also been a hard-core Pro Tools / Avid hater since about 1995.

Pro Tools is indisputably the industry standard recording software used in every pro recording studio worldwide.  The studios may also use other software, but if you want to be compatible and competitive in the industry, you better be running Pro Tools.

But at the same time, Pro Tools is extremely expensive in comparison to other DAWs, they often release production updates to their software that feel more like Beta versions, and the fact is that compared to many other DAWs, they offer less functionality for that expensive price.  They have also forced users into various paths that either limit their functionality or cost 4 times what their lower performance systems cost.

Well, I got pretty excited when they released Pro Tools | First.  A free, trimmed down version of their flagship software that could give my students a taste of the real world.  And, you know, I even overlooked the bugs / functionality changes that suddenly occurred between updates.  But when Avid announced that they were going to begin CHARGING money for Pro Tools | First, AND they were going to a subscription based format, and jacked the price to actually OWN the software to incentivize users to use the subscription service, well, they pretty much lost me.

I will definitely be buying Logic when I get my next computer upgrade.  But for now, I am running Reaper.  (update, already got Logic – still evaluating)

I learned about Reaper through a student a couple years ago.  I wasn’t really impressed with the interface, but I figure that is simply a matter of getting used to it.  People who use something other than Pro Tools tend to not care for the Pro Tools interface, though I find it very clean, streamlined and user friendly.

Did I mention that Reaper is only $60 for non professional users?  Yeah.  $60.  Sold.

For my use in teaching, Reaper is great.  A default slider for playback speed is right in the main window.  Nice.  Set that to .8 (80%) and just drop songs into Reaper and they play back at 80% speed.  Really nice.

Not the biggest fan of the plug-in window, but who cares.  It still works.  And it only cost me $60 instead of $600+++

Forget Pro Tools.  Get Reaper.

Reaper DAW is a great, highly functional alternative to Pro Tools | First.
Reaper DAW is a great, highly functional alternative to Pro Tools | First.