Monday, July 15, 2013

Mixcraft vs Reaper vs Audacity

UPDATE: Mixcraft 6.1 as far as DAWS go is a very good DAW. 6 had issues typical of most of today's DAWS. Acoustica now makes a respectable DAW that is very easy to learn and it has a great workflow. While I don't recommend any DAW software I can safely say that if you like DAWs, Mixcraft 6.1 will not disappoint and Reaper still sucks.


This is from Acoustic Guitar Forum

A newbie asks:

I'm looking at learning a DAW for solo acoustc guitar only. MIxcraft looks like it might be the most user-freindly; Reaper seems to get the best overall reviews, and Audacity is free. I'm leaning toward Mixcraft if that would greatly minimize the learning curve!
Any suggestions or comments? 

Here are the responses:

Reaper ... by a long shot! You can evaluate a 100% functional, non-expiring copy of Reaper for free, and only register when you decide it's what you need (just $40 ... a real steal). I use it extensively. I've added EZDrummer for percussion, and it works seamlessly with Reaper.

Audacity doesn't come close.  

For just solo guitar any of them will work, Audacity is not bad for one or 2 instruments but does not support VST effects very well.

Mixcraft has a timing problem, it drifts something bad as the song progresses....and yes, I am talking about the newest version also.

Reaper s much better, but a larger learning curve.....

There is another DAW that slips under the radar a lot by Zynewave called Podium that has a very workable Free version. I felt the included effects were fine, and it was pretty easy to figure the price is right!

Are you using Audacity 1.3.x beta when you have issues with the VST support? I'm getting the full UI with VSTs I've installed in the latest beta version, which is the one recommended by the devs.

I'd heard a glancing mention of the Mixcraft timing issue but foolishly _assumed_ that it only applied to MIDI. Sounds pretty annoying.

I came from Adobe Audition/Cool Edit Pro and my recording was limited to using the two track editor for a number of years. Man, was I doing things the hard way <grin>. The first time I tried REAPER I couldn't grasp the concept at all.

Just as I started transitioning to the multi-track non-destructive way of editing in AA I ran into a snag with Adobe's license validation process and it made me so mad I became determined to learn to use REAPER. Fortunately I found a number of free video tutorials which got me over the first humps and I made the switch without significant self-inflicted injury.

A long winded way of saying that the user created resources for REAPER are pretty wonderful and can help ease the learning a lot.


Reaper sucks. The native plugins are horrible and unusable and when you install a plugin Reaper crashes. Reaper is ugly, unstable and difficult to learn. Mixcraft wins by a mile. -Mark-

Mixcraft mentions timing of some computers here

Audacity is what I used originally, and it's ok for getting ideas down. However, REAPER is awesome, and relatively user friendly. It takes a little learning, but so does Audacity; and once you start learning REAPER you're already starting to put that time and knowledge into a program that professionals use.     Eli

I've used both and now I am using Mixcraft. Reaper crashes and freezes to the point it is worthless. Reaper is also bare bones and to get it to where it has enough plugins you have to pay through the ass because the free plugins and loops suck and many of the are not compatible with Reaper aka Raper.

Reaper is just some shitty software that remains in perpetual buggy beta mode.

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Here is a side by side comparison of Reaper vs Mixcraft



  1. Hey PFA,

    Another sleazy company is XLN audio the seller of Addictive Drums. Please expose those fucking cocksuckers they way you have Acoustica.


  2. Mixcraft beats the shit of of Reaper in one resepect. The plug ins in Reaper are mostly garbage and before you can really use Reaper you need to put in decent effect and amp models but good luck with that. It's a major pain in the ass.

    Reaper is no deal.

    1. Reaper sucks more than Mixcraft

    2. Reaper's plugins are among the cleanest and most cpu efficient I know. They aren't beautiful, they doesn't color the sound but they do the job and they do it well. They only weak point would be the reverb.

    3. Reaper plugins sound like shit and I mean no disrespect to shit and they turn an already unstable DAW into a fucking worse nightmare.

  3. It's not Addictive Drums. Sure it's buggy but not as buggy as Reaper. Reaper is $40. You get what you pay for.

    1. I agree, Reaper, inspite of all hype from the geeks becomes untsable and unusable when you add plugins even good ones.

      Reaper is betaware like most DAWS.

    2. I have tons of plugins and I almost never had a crash (I use Reaper every day), except with one plugin, and it's a vst that cause problems with other daws too. Personally I think you definitely don't always get what you pay for. College gave me ProTools 11 and Digital Performer... but I still use Reaper, especially since the 4.5 update which made it one of the best DAWs for MIDI (before it was the weak point).

    3. You may be the exception that proves the rule.

      Hopefully this upgrade will make Reaper and acceptable DAW but so far is stinks on ice.

  4. Reaper is far worse than Mixcraft. It has a horrible learning curve, it's nearly as unstable and the VST sucks ass.

    1. Mixcraft is vastly improved and Reaper aka Raper still sucks ass.