- It's fast and small. While the 4.4MB installer file size is great, it's the responsiveness and quick loading time that are truly awesome. Cubase feels bloated and slow after using Reaper, as do most DAWs.
- Powerful. The amount of features in it are ridiculous. You may have to hunt for the options, but 99% of the time it's there.
- I haven't had it crash on me yet.
- It's fully customizable. I feel like I can trick it out as much as I want. From themes to keyboard shortcuts to actions, you can make it your own.
- Frequent useful updates. Unlike Cubase's usual â€œlaunch buggy, gradually patch those bugs and save any useful new features for the next version you have to pay forâ€ you actually get an amazing amount of updates and improvements.
- An active community and approachable developers. Reasonable or good ideas get implemented quickly, developers are responsive in the forums, lots of people were helpful when I was flailing around in â€œI'm used to Cubase!â€ land.
- It plays nice with dual monitors. HOORAY.
- Quick search of VST plugins.
- I don't feel locked in. Project files are in plain text, you can export your stuff easily. You can move your preferences around easily.
Some things I don't like so much:
- There are so many options that new (and/or less tech-savvy) users will likely feel overwhelmed hunting down the right checkboxes to get the behavior they expect. It's awesome that it's so customizable, but I'd love to see them pick some more universal up-front options and move a lot of the tweaks to a Firefox about:config style interface or just an .ini file.
- A lot of the comping/audio behavior doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The logic behind which items play and which don't when they overlay each other on the same track still confuses me, so I try and avoid it. Comping generally works but lacks the precision of Cubase or Logic.
- Unlike versions 1 and 2, Reaper 3 doesn't have my song Making Me Nervous as the default project. :( :(
Anyway, it's been good and I recommend trying it out. There's an un-crippled evaluation version so you've got nothing to lose.