Re: Looking for a DAW that isn't impossible to use
I've had the opposite experience of Logic. It has always 'just worked' for me and I bought it with a student discount, so it only cost me £120. This was four years ago when Reaper was relatively new and I had been using Logic for several years (in fact, I'm versed in Logic 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 - version 5 being made in 2002 by eMagic before Apple bought the rights) so it was familiar. I meet people all the time that swear by Pro Tools and I've had a lot of experience there, too - I've just never really found it coherent with my workflow.
Logic is more popular because it's been around a lot longer and has the backing of Apple. Logic has been around in one form or another since the early 90s. In fact, its roots go back to before I was born in the Atari ST days. It now has seamless integration with Apple computers since the takeover in 2002. Honestly? Logic is a great platform. I still have a version on my 32-bit machine.
In terms of load time, Reaper is good. The lack of bundled LAME encoder is a little irritating (especially seeing as there's a bug on one of my systems) but it certainly was very well priced. It works with my hardware (which is a little esoteric) so I certainly have no complaints. It's just different. Reaper is a great DAW that I need to spend more time with to be efficient. I really like what the company are doing and recommend it if somebody doesn't have a DAW but the original poster already has a DAW and introducing new software (which is no easier to use - just different) is only going to be incredibly confusing.
The best course of action is to go and buy 'Modern Recording Techniques' (Huber & Runstein, Focal Press) and learn the principles. Once you're equipped with the basic principles of digital audio, everything makes sense. It's the reason I can look at a horrible Behringer digital desk with no discernible user interface and still work it well.
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