Reaper or Logic Pro
I've been getting really hard into music production, and the biggest hurdle standing in my way is the DAW. Currently I use a trial version of Reaper on a Windows machine, but the more I try to use it, the more I resent how Windows handles audio, USb, and MIDI. I've been considering giving a Mac another go exclusively as an audio production rig, so probably a Mac Mini with tons of RAM, as well as Logic. I've used GarageBand on my iPhone and I very much like the fact that there are instruments built in, and I know that both are built on the same codebase.
The research I've done says it's kind of a toss-up between the two DAWS. I'm wondering, as somebody new to DAW software and very much a fan of having accessible instruments built in (I don't have anywhere near the money or room for all the synths I want), and unhappy with how Windows handles basically anything I plug in, would Logic be worth it? Is it any more or less accessible than Reaper? How does the workflow differ between the two? I've heard that VSTs tend to not be very accessible with Reaper as well. What about the learning curves? Thanks for any help.
So, I love the way logic works, but editing in it is really annoying, especially if you aren't editing to bars and beats, say for podcasts or sound design. If two regions on a track overlap, any audio between those two regions is muted. I've tried to explain to David Earl why this is a problem for VoiceOver users, but he refuses to do anything about it. Reaper doesn't have this problem. What I do love about logic though is the simplicity of it, and the midi features you get. You get something called smart quantise. It intelogently quantises and doesn't mess up things like drum rolls. Also, the built in stuff is pretty good.
In 2021, from a blind user perspective, there isn't a single reason not to use a windows machine for music production.
At the cost of installing extra drivers the first time you use an audio interface, you earn access to sibiac, ocr and other stuff that will make your workflow better and much more enjoyiable.
Not only Reaper is cheaper, more powerful, customizable, easiest to use, and more accessible from a blind user perspective, but a Mac would be more expensive, and, as we discussed on other topics, Voiceover is not improving its performance with the new m1 powered Mac devices, so basically you are paying a lot of money for a machine that is less responsive.
In other words: use reaper, it's cheaper, multiplatform and more accessible. Works prety well on a Mac for the same price. And, if you are serious about your music production, stay on windows.
Does the windows machine perform better at this task than on a Mac machine?
I realise that it is a different use case to the OP but, if I were to get a new computer I'd be biased toward a Mac because of the writing software I use, as well as familiarity to VoiceOver. I understand that there is a big cost difference, if it were not a stand alone machine with one purpose, would I be at a disadvantage using Mac compared with a windows box?
Well, some people prefer a Mac computer, of course, but generally speaking I would say that a windows machine runing Nvda is faster and more responsive than any Mac. I own an m1 powered Mac for programing, and to me it feels like voiceover is not taking advantage of the powerful processor at all.
It could be faster in some areas, like rendering, but in absolute terms, simple tasks doesn't feel mor responsive on an m1 mac than on an old intel Mac.
The battery last hours and hours, and you will feel at home if you love mac OS, but the it's slower and needs more keypresses for the exact same task.
Yeah, it's a big leap to head back over to windows. New hardware, learning curve for NVDA and the whole OS and then broken connection to other apple devices, though less so with the Mac than anything else. I did notice that NVDA feels a lot snappier and is more direct in it's control. Trouble is, I'd have no idea where to get started buying a windows machine. Option paralyses kicks in.
It sounds like Reaper is the way to go, even if it means trudging along with Windows'... quirks. When it comes to composition, would Logic be any easier than Reaper? I'm talking about MIDI tracks and using virtual instruments. Forgive me, I'm new to this and don't have the words to be as descriptive as I'd like. I mean to say, would Logic or Garageband be worth it for using as an instrument library or sequencer/looper and using Reaper for editing stuff recorded on my mixer as well as mixing and mastering?
Hi ya, I've been using Reaper heavily for years on Windows now, and if you are willing to put in the time needed to learn how to use Reaper, it is fantastic.
I'm not sure what issues you are having with audio, but if you have a decent audio interface, you are golden. No need to break the bank either, I use a 2 input Behringer I got for $120, and I've never had a problem with it.
I also do a lot of MIDI work, and Reaper works great. To the comment earlier about smart quantizing, not sure what advantage PL really has there, since Reaper has tons of parameters for quantizing, but I admit ignorance with logic.
I highly suggest you join the Reapers without Peepers email list, one of the best groups of any kind I have ever been a member of, they are incredibly helpful.
Also, there is an incredible community of blind Reaper users and programmers producing scripts and low level coding for Reaper that makes it almost 100 percent accessible, this is with windows or mac.
I've tried production on a Mac with Voiceover, and it drove me mad. I agree that out of the box, the Mac is better with audio, but having to jump through all of Voiceover's finger gymnastics is a deal breaker for me. And again, with a dedicated audio interface, you lose nothing.
Going from windows to mac, you realize how much time you are wasting doing the Voiceover dance.
I am no windows fan boy, I don't care what hardware or software I use, as long as it gets the job done, and I know a lot of folks use Reaper on Mac, but for me personally, Windows with Reaper is the way to go.
Good luck, hope to see you on the list.
First let me say that, much as I love my iPhone and its accessibility, I have never used a Mac and come from the world of Windows.
I was nervous to take the jump from Sonar to Reaper, but finally did about a year ago and I'll never look back. Reaper did have a stigma about being a bit difficult to learn and use years ago. However, these days Reaper is very accessible and works well both on Mac's and Windows.
One big advantage of using Reaper is that the (free) Osara plug-in makes Reaper very accessible for those using a screen reader. Reaper gives programmers access to their API so that an open source program like Osara can customize the experience for those using a screen reader.
One thing I have never liked about the Mac's is the inability to write scripts (as with NVDA and JAWS) to customize the experience for blind people and make their work more efficient. Just because a program might be "accessible" doesn't mean that it is necessarily efficient and productive to use for a blind user. If one has to use a thousand keystroeks just to get to a button and activate it, that isn't a good work flow.
Also, you can try Reaper for free for 60 days and the cost is only about $60 if you decide to purchase. You almost can't go wrong. There is a very active group of Reaper users who use both Mac and Windows systems. Just search for the "Reapers Without Peepers" (RWP) group and introduce yourself. They keep the "Accessible Reaper Wiki" that has lots of info about getting started, along with pointers to free demos, plug-ins, instruments, etc. on their Dropbox folder.
We recently aired an episode of Eyes On Success in which we interviewed the lead developer of Osara and the person who manages the Reapers Without Peepers e-mail forum. Just go to:
and enter the word "reaper" into the search field to find that episode.
Hope that helps. good luck.
The best DAW for you depends on your intended use. If you want the basics, I'm sure Reaper can deliver, not that I know. I did research it. As I recall, it looked like Reaper was a one time deal. Is it continuing to be updated? If not, you might not want to invest in it. At what point will it become obsolete? This is a concern you will never have with Logic Pro or with Pro Tools.
As for uses, if your ultimate goal is to build into something professional, I have doubts whether Reaper can get you there, let alone keep you there. Are there a lot of professional Reaper blind users? I do know there are quite a few Logic Pro and Pro Tools professional users who are blind, and I feel pretty certain there always will be, well, so long as civilization lasts, anyway.
I can't speak to the features offered by Reaper. I use Logic Pro. I deliberately turned my back on Windows before I made that choice. If Windows was a car, you'd be forced to stop every five miles, remove the motor from the engine compartment, put it back in, restart your car, and resume driving. I don't care for that kind of workflow.
But about features, consider this. Logic Pro is like an enormous semi filled to the brim with shoeboxes, and every shoebox is filled to the brim with baseball cards, and every baseball card is a complex, professional level ability the DAW possesses. Does Reaper have more than a single shoebox?
In the end, I think your choice comes down to this: if you want to do music as a hobby, use Reaper. If you wan a professional DAW, stick with one of the two industry leaders, the ones used by the large majority of audio engineers..
Agreed. I cant speak to reaper either, but if you want to do it more professionally... stick with logic or protools. I jumped to protools after years of using amadeus pro, and haven't looked back. It really depends what you wat. If you want it more as a hobby, reaper. Truth is, we coud argue why so and so is better than so and program until we're blue in the face, but it all depends where your heading with it really.
I'm a Mac guy, and have Reaper, Pro Tools, and Logic. All work well, and it's really up to you, depending on what you want! Pro Tools isn't cheap, but audio editing, and even midi is a breeze, even off-grid. With Logic, you get a ton of instruments and beat making capabilities, and the built-in stuff is fantastic! Reaper's cheaper, but isn't near as feature rich as Logic right out of the box. If you wanna do midi, my choice is Logic. For audio, Reaper's far easier. As for the guy who said Voiceover lagged on the M1, that's not the case for me! It's quite snappy, but you meed to use the Alex voice, or the real old voices like Fred to really crank on it.
I don't have any mac and I didn't it at all.
But What i would like to say:
I use reaper and lilypond.
I have a midi controller with 80 keys.
But it is lazy for me to play for midi.
It' more easier to type lilypond text then get MIDI then work in reaper with MIDI.
If I want to play piano enough professional sound VST is Salamander (yamaha).
It is free of charge vst for any vst host.
NVDA, reaper, lilypond and professional sound from salamander vst.
What else do I need?
But I'm not a piano player. I prefer classical guitar.
I'm afraid you've fallen into the trap that Avid wants you to be in. The only reason why they charge absolutely rediculous prices for ProTools is because they know people will still buy it. They've gotten near a monopoly on digital audio only because they were the first to do it well. Kind of like JAWS was the first screen reader for DOS that did it well and in both situations they've got such a positive image that they're the absolute best even though cheaper products work better. Oh, but don't tell the average musician or client that ProTools isn't all the best anymore, because if you do they'll laugh in your face. As a matter of fact, Reaper was developed by an ex ProTools developer! The shock! You wanna guess why? He didn't like the way Avid was going and wanted to make a daw that was just as good but way cheaper.
I do use both simultaneously. Logic, for music making and midi stuff, Reaper for audio processing and post production. Thats under MacOs.
I have Logic Pro, not pro Tools. I've read that Logic and Pro Tools are the industry leaders among the sighted. However, I totally agree that Pro Tools is over-priced. I also agree that Avid makes life very difficult for blind folks needing technical support, or at least, that's what I ran into with their music notation software, Sibelius.
I agree that Logic has a great music library with an incredible number of instruments to play with. Smile. Also has a great drummer, oodles of plug ins, and is 95% accessible.
I also think it's excellent that I can import a music.xml file into Logic Pro and in a few keystrokes turn it into midi tracks with the instruments of my choice. I like to do this with my Sibelius compositions and then record audio tracks to take the place of the midi tracks I made from the music.xml I imported into Logic.
Really, I think my only meaningful complaint about Logic Pro is the learning curve. In the beginning, it was pretty steep. Nowadays, it's much more manageable. Still, that first year or so was rough. Happily, though, I found a good tutor who's blind. You can find him by googling logic.band, which is a great place for blind Logic Pro beginners.
Regarding the conversation of Logic VS Reaper I think others here have already said the most important points, both are great for different reasons. Logic has a ton of really good built-in plugins and effects so it's a much nicer starting point for music production, while Reaper is lighter on resources and is much better for audio editing and mastering. The 2 also have very different workflows - I personally love that in Reaper everything is 1 or 2 keystrokes away while logic requires learning the UI layout and more interacting/item chooser searching, but there are people that prefer logic over Reaper just for this reason.
I'd like to talk about how Reaper handles on Mac VS Windows though. I've used Reaper on Windows for a few years, but then also started to use the Mac version after getting the M1 air last year, and I gotta say I didn't realize just how underwhelming the state of Windows Audio is before really getting into this Mac, and this was with a good desktop CPU (Core I7-6700) and an ASIO capable interface. I can consistently get much lower buffer sizes, run more CPU intensive plugins and I don't experience any audio dropouts. NVDA also has a habit of getting in the way more than help. Loading certain large dialogs, like the one to add an effect, NVDA would lag out for a few seconds before recovering. The standard windows open/save dialogs meanwhile have about a 1/5 chance to freeze NVDA completely. Plugins that are based on the more accessible Juce versions work a lot better on Mac, partially because VoiceOver is much more suited to navigating very complex interfaces thanks to how controls are grouped together. Komplete Kontrol, which is often used to access Kontakt libraries or plugins, also works a lot better on Mac, with the self voicing being much more responsive than on Windows.
Regarding OCR, it's true that there is no Sibiac or LDL for Mac, so if you use any plugins that these ad-ons support you might benefit from it, though keep in mind these solutions are rather frail and depend on specific screen resolutions and plugin versions - for instance the addictive drums overlay broke this morning due to a major update going by what I read on a mailing list. However, the Mac OS OCR works much better than either the Microsoft OCR uses or Omnipage used by JAWS. I found multiple pieces of software where Windows OCR was useless that I was Able to get past easily on Mac- IE the plugin alliance installers or the Org software center.
@Bruce Harrell, sibelius is fully accessible now days, I mean yes it has a quite has learning curve, but its usable by the blind, I use it myself, both on mac and windows, and know other blind sibelius composers as well. As far as protools, at least for me its way easier than logic and reaper, have tried both and haven't been able to get the hang of them at all. I wouldn't say that customer support avid wize sucks, I have so far, good experiences myself. Protools is pricy yes, but again, I've found that editing audio and doing midi on protools is a breeze, I don't need to switch between two daws to do one thing on one and another on another, because x daw is better at this and x daw is better at this other thing. Its worth saying this though, protools and logic are the top tools in the sighted world as said, so we should learn to use at least one of said tools, which is a matter of choice. Btw protools isn't that pricy, if you go for a subscription.
If you'll want to use windows though, logic is not a option.
Thanks for this reply. Clears a lot up.
One question, you refer to the Mac OCR, what are you talking about here? As far as I knew the Mac doesn't have the same ability as IOS to attempt to automatically label up apps that are not directly compatible or is this something available on M1 Macs that I've overlooked? Still on intel here. This isn't actually music production related, rather trying to find a way around small budget apps that didn't have the dev budget for accessibility.
Please forgive my ignorance. :)
Hi Oliver, I was referring to VOCR, which is a free app that uses Apple's OCR API. It works fine both on Intel and M1 Macs. It's sadly not as impressive as iOS screen recognition and works more like NVDA or JAWS where you can review the result line by line and then click on something that interests you. Never the less, like I said earlier it works very well and comes in very useful not just in audio production.
Countless times I have heard the argument that one DAW is objectively better thananother. Or even that there are differences in the audio after rendering projects...
If it wasn't so sad I would just laugh about such claims. It is as if one has to justify their purchase.
DAWs tnowadays are pretty much interchangable. And yes, you might prefer one over the other. But tat is where it ends. All of them are cool for one reason or another.
I think it's also important to recognise that not all of us are in the fortunate position of having the finances, time or technical experience to switch operating systems on the fly. Some solutions might be for light users where the main aspect of the OS is preferable.
It's also important to consider environment. If you're working with other musicians or producers, what platform are they on? There may be value in being on the same for consistency and assistance.
I've been out of the music making game for a long while. QBase was where I cut my teeth if anyone remembers that, but there was really no accessible solutions at all. We're very lucky now that we can argue which is better because it means there are options.
The whole Mac/windows conflict for conflict sake is boring. We don't have to defend our choices quite so rigorously.
If I get some xmas money towards it, I will probably have a look into getting Logic Pro. The way things are looking it might be a long and dark winter... WITH BEATS!!!
What I'm getting from this thread is that Logic is better for editing MIDI and Reaper is better for basically everything else. Thanks to everyone who's contributed. As someone staring at the fifty octodecillion features in DAWs, this has been very helpful. I'm gonna keep at it with Reaper and maybe get like a Mac Mini next year for Logic. I work entirely with synthesizers, so MIDI is important to me, but so is good... everything else. I'll keep playing with Garageband on my phone for now. If anybody has any thoughts on this, I'd appreciate it.
I thought I'd Chime in here as someone who has used and completed multiple projects in everything from Sonar, Samplitude, Reaper (on Windows And Mac), Pro Tools and Logic for both my own musical projects as well as for others. I wasn't going back and forth between each DAW, but was using them each as my sole DAW for daily work at a time. I switched to each for multiple reasons at one point in time or another for workflow over the years, the details of which I'll skip here for brevity but it started with Sonar in about 2000.
All the currently accessible DAWs (Samplitude on Windows, Reaper on Mac and Windows, Pro Tools and Logic on the Mac are all very capable DAWS for professional work in 2021. While they all have strengths and annoyances or weaknesses if you'd like to call them that, They all are pretty comparable.
These days I live in Logic and still use Reaper very regularly, however these days Reaper is mostly for editing videos for https://logic.band the website and Youtube channel I run that teaches Logic, MacOS and Voiceover. (btw if you sign up for the email list on https://logic.band you will get a free getting started with Logic Course).
The Pros of Logic. If you are a songwriter or composer, Logic could be an excellent home for you as that is its strength. It comes with a wealth of software instruments from piano's, Bass, synths, Drums (both electronic and Acoustic as well as doing multi out for the stock acoustic kits are fully accessible), among others. And if you are into sound design, there are plenty of synths to get lost in designing your own sound all day. If you are the type that wants to get to work quickly however, the library has a ton of patches organized by instruments, which are full signal chains to get you started with good sounds so you can get creating quickly.
The stock plug-ins and effects are excellent and can rival paid options, especially the delays and reverbs.
Conversely Reaper at times feels like something designed by technical people for technical people. The plug-ins while excellent, aren't the most intuitive or easy to use at first for a new person. Like anything they can be learned and used well, but the lack of intuitiveness when first learning can be a bit off-putting. Also Reaper doesn't come with much in the way of sounds, so one will need to acquire a library of 3rd party sounds before getting to work. For the average person or musician just wanting to get Ideas down without first searching out sounds or configuring things, Logic may be a better fit.
The cons of Logic - editing can be a bit annoying, especially if you are used to how another daw works previously (trust me I'd know, I've used them all as stated prior), but like any other skill it can be learned and done efficiently. Though I won't promise that you won't invent a few creative strings of curse words along the way.
As for the issue with overlapping audio, I just put the overlapping regions ( what reaper calls items), on seperate tracks. Problem solved.
Also if you are coming from Windows, I will say my general advice is to get familiar with the Mac and VoiceOver first. VoiceOver is a different paradigm and will require building some new muscle memory after years of holding down the down arrow and pressing tab to navigate Windows. However, it can be efficient and isn't as cumbersome as it first seems. You really don't have to interact as much as others may have you believe, VO+J is its best kept secret and Keyboard Commanders are a power user hack few blind users barely scratch the surface of, if they even use at all. Unfortunately I have not yet seen a really good resource for getting people up to speed on VoiceOver (it's possible one exists that I haven't seen yet), but I am working on that too. Additionally, the Youtube channel has a VoiceOver and MacOS playlist that is a work in progress and is still being updated.
If you do decide to try the Mac, I believe you'll also see why a lot of pros prefer it for its stability with audio interfaces etc. I have a cheap Behringer interface, that while requiring drivers on Windows doesn't on the Mac, and is more rock solid on Mac OS, maintaining super low latency for things like recording guitar with out ever causing any issues.
Windows has come along way and there are plenty of professionals who use it as well and it can be quite stable. However less needs to be done to make a Mac perform well when setting things up.
In the end I won't tell you this will be an easy journey if you switch to the Mac, but I believe it will be a fun and rewarding experience if you are willing to take on the challenge. I'd highly suggest getting an M1 Mac, (as I am seeing improved performance there with both VoiceOver and Logic in the little experience I have had with it so far.
If you decide to stay on Windows, I hope you are able to get your audio issues sorted out and you are able to get work done and make some music.
If interested here are some links to useful stuff
Producing a song in Logic. - This tutorial goes from creating a project to recording some basic tracks using both audio and MIDI.
This page on Logic.band has a list of Youtube Playlists among other resources.
Best of Luck with Whichever way you decide to go
And Happy Recording!
Thank you. This is actually super helpful. As someone who has a crippling addiction to purchasing expensive synthesizers, Logic sounds lovely. VSTs are hit-and-miss so far. Sounds like I should stick it out with Reaper for now and truck on with a hardware sequencer until I can get a Mac and play with Logic. I love the keystroke-centric control philosophy of NVDA and Windows, but ouch, their peripheral support is the shakiest tower of duct tape I've ever tried climbing. Audio is particularly bad.
Well said. :-)
I use Logic and love using it. I also love watching the tutorial videos you produce. Keep up the amazing work.
Hello, so here's the deal. I've been a logic user for years and reaper for a couple and here's what I'll say to all of this. Whatever feels right for whatever you wanna do, it really doesn't matter as long as you can get the job done. For me, I use logic for making all my beats and have done engineering on it and also mixing but reaper, I'll use if I'm editing audio just because I hate the way logic is when editing audio and I just can't seem to do it fast enough. I can edit an hours worth of Pease of audio in some what 10 minutes because I'm able to navigate proficiently then logic. I also use reaper to do mastering engineering also but these are just some examples. I'd love to use reaper to make beats in as well but ah, well, I don't have a numpad on this keyboard to do midi work for editing if I need to and it's lots, especially if I'm making hi-hats. Unless I can change midi editor shortcut keys, that would be fine or if there's another layout that I have no idea about.
Hey Jenna and all,
Last year, I took part in a collective effort to present an unbiased comparison of the accessibility you'll encounter in four DAWs (Reaper, Logic, Pro Tools and Samplitude). The presentation is audio recordings of 10 everyday tasks being performed in each DAW. Each task is its own file, and each file is chapterized so you can skip straight to the start of each DAW segment if your player supports chapters.
To be clear about my biases from the start, I presented the Reaper segments, I admin most of the community spaces focused on its accessibility, I contribute to OSARA (the most widely adopted accessibility extension) and I sweat to keep its accessibility moving forward week in, week out like it's my life's work.
Here comes a link to the presentation, listen through this and decide what's gonna suit you best for yourself. Pay close attention to how the presenters are navigating and the feedback they're getting as they do what they're doing, go with whichever option seems closest to clicking with how you think. That way, you'll set yourself up for the shortest journey toward getting the software to feel intuitive, and more importantly, the shortest journey toward getting back to thinking about what you're using the software to create. Nobody does their best work when they're squandering grey matter trying to remember where the next button they need lives.
If you decide to keep pushing on with Reaper once you've heard that and you want someone to help kick your Windows rig into shape, I'd gladly meet up, remote in, walk you through some tweaks and check you've got everything configured the best it can be. Declaring intent upfront again, I teach one-on-one for an hourly rate here, but I'm happy to give a free hour of time to anyone who needs help with zero obligation to hire me going forward. It keeps me connected with new folks coming into the community spaces, helps inform what topics we need to cover next with our community resources, and yeah ok, it doesn't hurt that I'm top of mind if a newbie decides they need a good teacher. :)
Hope something in there is helpful. I don't post on AppleVis much, but will try to keep an eye on this thread for a while.
Hey there. I'm happy to report that I am now an owner of an M1 Mac Mini running Logic Pro. I took advantage of the student discount since I am, in fact, a student and scored a great deal on their pro software bundle.
Mac OS is still, well Mac OS. I had to modify bootloader security just to get Discord to share my screen audio for crying out loud, but now that I'm using it as a production machine instead of a daily driver, it makes more sense. I'm currently working on my second song and learning the ins and outs of the DAW, largely thanks to logic.band. Streaming has gotten harder due to the incompetence of whoever programmed OBS, but I'll manage. The simple fact that I've been able to do in 2 weeks in Logic what I failed to do in over a year with Reaper makes the Mac worthwhile. The included sounds are already more than I could ever hope to buy as discrete hardware modules in my entire life (seriously, I could buy like 2 or 3 hardware synths at most for what I paid for this thing). Next step: stick this thing in my equipment rack and make it look pretty.
Also, all my equipment just works. No reinstalling drivers 57 times because the Yamaha mixer driver and Korg MIDI driver are conflicting with the Thunderbolt driver for some reason. I plug stuff in and stuff works.
Hello. Super happy you got Logic and everything is working. Feel free to contact me on Applevis and I can help you out if you get stuck. I also use Logic. :-)
Not sure if this is the right thread to ask my question, but it was already on top and I hesitated to create a new forum post just to make one single yes/no inquiry...
Due to my 2016 base model Mac, I have to uninstall and reinstall Logic around once a week when I need to use it to enhance Voiceovers. My Final Cut projects take up most of my storage space, and I prioritize rendering my videos before I turn to editing my audio. Do any of you know if VoiceOver will delay more significantly if I run Logic from an External Hard Drive? Or would it take just as much time to reinstall the program/move my video projects. I only need to do minor editing by Logic standards. If or when I actually used Logic to create music, I would certainly find a more long-term solution.
Thanks in advance for your input! Logic is currently being installed as I type this. It would be so great if I could just move it to my Hard Drive and never do this again! 🥲
PS Jenna, glad you're having a great experience!