Compare nTrack to Reaper, for starter

Compare n-Track to Reaper

I realize this is an nTrack users forum, and my question won’t really add value in that sense.
Moderator feel free to delete in a few days if you wish, after I try to get the info I need.

We’re just now starting out with trying to use recording SW.
Before we invest a lot of effort trying to work our way up the learning curve, we want to make sure we’re selecting the best fit.
We’ve narrowed it down to nTrack or Reaper.
Both seem great, we’re blessed to have either one.
But we haven’t really even scratched the surface yet, so not able to appreciate the differences that might exist.
Mainly recording multiple guitar tracks, some vocals, and hopefully some digital piano in the future.

For someone starting out, would you recommend one over the other?
I can’t really find a good comparison.
From reading comments in forums I’ve kind of taken unofficial count of how many recommend one over the other, but there wasn’t much explanation why, and most of the comments weren’t very recent.

If you can point me to any good comparisons, or could share your thoughts, I would greatly appreciate it.

ooooooh. This could be fun :slight_smile:

N-track is really easy to get up and running for a beginner. Reaper can be a bit cryptic with lots of right-clicks and control keys etc.

N-track forum is great. Reaper forum is big and you could get easily lost.

Support from both is great.

N-track is more mature. Reaper probably has more features.

You can make great songs with both.

Both programs have there advocates. There will be at least on hard liner who visits this site to promote his love for Reaper. I have tried both, and by far I prefer N-Track. It is more intuitive and easier to set up and record a song without a lot of programs setup. Reaper has so many settings it just over whelms many folks who just want to be able to make a good quality multi-track recording without having to invest a great deal of time just trying figure out how to set up the program (that will be argued against by some.) I am an audio recorder and don’t use midi much at all, and I have been using N-track for years with few problems and when I had one the owner/programmer of N_Track Flavio fixed the issue. I think it mostly comes down to a matter of personal taste. Both programs have trial/demo. Down load the manuals, down load the demos and try them out.

n-Track was lovingly crafted and is dutifully cared for by a small lame child in a tree-house.

Reaper was developed by dark forces at NASA.

If you want a PC based “tape deck”, then flip a coin. If you want a STABLE, EFFICIENT program for virtual instrument use, editing, and mixing that won’t crap on you all the time, you want Reaper. I used n for a long, long, time. I didn’t switch for NO reason.

Reaper does more, makes better use of your PC’s resources, is easier to use and costs less compared to n-Track.


UJ - Hardliner

PS It’s really up to you to decide. Download the demos and try them out. IMO Reaper wins here hands down as well. The demo is fully functional not crippled in any way. YOu can run the snot out of it for 30 days. After that? A nag screen… that’s all. n-Track? IF you can use the demo at all, you only get ten days. Hmph! What a joke…

Oh yeah… have you looked at Orion, Energy XT, Podium etc… Personally, they didn’t appeal to me but hey… different strokes for different folks I reckon.


PS Another good, fairly inexpensive package is Magix Samplitude Studio. Very nice indeed but the “Studio” version limits how many simultaneous inputs you can record at once. I believe it’s limited to 8 stereo pair or 16 mono sources.

PPS Reaper was/is developed by musicians, for musicians. NASA not involved… yet.

Quote: (Mark A @ Feb. 22 2011, 11:13 PM)

N-track is more mature.
Reaper probably has more features.

Reaper has more features AND is significantly more stable. Sorry, but that is a simple fact. N may be older, but Reaper kills it in stability. Sound wise (when N actually works and isn't crashing all over) they should sound identical. For me the reason I went with R initially was the fact I could install it on any old computer with any old sound card with any heap of plug ins and it just worked.

Although our good forum friend, the staunch advocate of Reaper and unholy basher of n-track, I will not delete this thread because the discussion is a good one. I holy expected our good friend to make his point, which he has, but it’s important not to overlook his point. He does believe in his heart that Reaper is WAY better than n-track in a perceived perspective.

When I look back at the time I first used n-track, it was the biggest headache of my life. I had no end of trouble getting it setup and wasn’t very stable. Was this n-Tracks fault? No. Like any other highly modified feature rich program like n-Track or even Reaper, starting out will be very difficult, that is until you have got a good understanding of the features and how to use the program. It took me a long time to understand n-Track and I’ve recently given Reaper a look see. Given I’ve had a lot of experience now with n-Track, it wasn’t long before I was able to record a few tracks with Reaper because of my experience with n-Track. Nevertheless, I found Reaper to be difficult to use. Many functions are not readily at hand, however the features are there, just buried in menu’s.

I suppose if I had started out with Reaper I’d be saying the same things as our good friend about Reaper, except in a more intuitive manner, but my point is, it’s clear some people just have more experience with these programs. That being perspective, from what I’ve seen of the two programs, and from comments, I think Reaper is most likely a more stable program, sorry Flavio, however from a work flow stand point, I’d give n-Track the lead in this department. Although, I have only limited experience with Reaper I do know from using it the work flow is not as good a n-Tracks. Because my time is important and when I weigh the work flow/cost/stability benefit between the two program, I choose n-Track. It seems a better fit to put up with a few issues the program has to have a decent work flow.

Customer service with n-track is very high, the program is constantly being improved and has improved a great deal since I first started using it. Any bugs that are found are taken into consideration and most are fixed, however some bugs are difficult to find or even reproduce and this leads to some bugs taking a long time to fix, but regardless of this inherit problem the developer Flavio, who takes an active role on this forum, is doing everything that can be done to make the program better. I can’t say this about Reaper. I hope this information is useful to you.


“unholy basher of n-Track”?

That’s a tad over the top… but whatever…

Give a more polished DAW a SERIOUS try for a while. You’ll see WHY. You think all the “old guard” left because they didn’t like the forum color scheme?

I want n-Track to succeed. Sometimes a poke with a sharp stick gets the horse movin’…


kcartn. Not everyone here is familiar with n-T V6.

Quote: (TonyR @ Feb. 24 2011, 7:47 AM)

kcartn. Not everyone here is familiar with n-T V6.

Excellent point. Still on v5 here.

all unholiness aside…(we all have fallen short)…

For me there is no comparison, I loaded reaper and tried to get it to work, in ASIO nothing showed up for my ONYX just a big grey blank area with no soundcard of any kind to chose (although I have 3 soundcards on my machine, one USB, one firewire and one built into the motherboard)…so was unable to even test it.

I Ntrack V6, no problem, I went into it and everything I have was there and clickable, all the ASIO drivers, wmd, mme all the different devices showed up and could be assigned.

Then again I am much more familiar with Ntrack having used it for nearly a decade and I am easily frustrated when learning new software so after an hour or two I give up…it’s not that I have a life or anything but do hold a high value on anyone’s time as it is not a renewable resource…yuo only get so much and when it runs out it’s the big dirt nap.

As it stands I own both programs and one day do hope to get Reaper up and running…to see what all the hoopla is about…but until then I just use the one that worked right out of the box.
However, if I were to have to chose today as a newb not knowing anything about either program I would probably go with Reaper since it is cheaper and get’s good reviews by it’s users, has better free plugs IMHO and I am not a wealthy man and just would keep hounding them in their forum till I got it to work! that’s what I did here ten years ago…(thanx guys! lol)


Quote: (dontcare @ Feb. 24 2011, 8:25 AM)

Tangent Mode = ON

I managed a software development team for 15+ years and programmed before that. Without fail every software product I have ever worked starts out well planned, well designed and well implemented... before it gets to market.

Once in the market the users come up with a plethora of requirements - especially those who cam across from other products. "It must create this kind of report because we need to give that to our management team every week" or "we could do that in three clicks on our old software - now it's 5". (Semi-trivial examples).

Then of course the dev team set about trying to get those features into the software. My favourite saying - when asked by my bosses why something was going to take so long to develop was the punchline to that old joke "well I wouldn't start from here if I were you". In otherwords if we'd known that was going to be a requirement we might've done things differently in the first place. Inevitably the original "beautiful design" gets a little bit compromised. Over time, more and more compromises until...

And I'm only guessing here, Flavio correct me if I'm wrong, but I wonder if that is what happened around V4 of n-track. Clearly there has been a lot of work to make the later versions more stable which is great. And we all appreciate the hard work that must've taken.

Anyway, coming to the point, I hope that the Reaper dev team doesn't bow down too much to the "screaming fans" saying - "must have, must have". I mostly lurk over there but I've started to see posts with the words "freeze" and "crash" more often. Perhaps it's coming to that fated V4 thing.


Tangent Mode = OFF

I’ve never used Reaper but that’s probably because I’ve never had too many problems with N.

I’m using V6 and have never had any crashes or stability problems. The only problems I’ve had is when I pressed something I didn’t know about…that caused something I didn’t know how to get rid of.

Now…if reaper is more complicated (as is suggested here) then I’d be stuffed…

nTrack for me :agree:

I hear ya Mark,

Reaper is at that age it’s going to hit the impasse Ntrack did with V4,
if they aren’t careful they will be leaving the average user that really doesn’t want or need all those trendy add-ons frustrated as it chokes, time goes by price goes up relative value goes down and it looses out to another slimmer newer cheaper generation of DAWS that are just starting out with simple codes and that were built from the ground up with all the trendy stuff so more stable…


that reminds me of all those years of error reports I used to read on here…this freezes, that won’t load…crashes…etc etc

leaving me shaking my head wondering what the heck they were talking about as I was only on 2.3 for 7 years stable as a brick sh-thouse…but those that upgraded…eek. :heart-break:

You have solved that mystery Mark quite well having the inside scoop on the programming industry…


So… “stability” equals staying with a '79 Pinto? I don’t think so… :laugh:

However, IF the Pinto is getting you from point A to point B… why not? (Just avoid rear-end collisions!) Some of us just need a Lamborghini.

I suspect an appropriate analogy here is taking the '79 Pinto, putting 3K worth of wheels on it, a 2K paint job and reupholstering the seats. It’s STILL a '79 Pinto underneath.


It truly depends on what you want.

Superior virtual instrument handling? Reaper.

Superior audio/MIDI routing? Reaper

Superior third party support? Reaper

Truly, you need to wring them both out thoroughly to see what is “right” for you. If you’re asking ME, I’d give n the big PASS… at least for now. Who knows what the future may bring?


PS Superior editing features? Reaper. (Big time…)

All, thanks very much for the feedback.
I’ve read through all the comments, and will read through a second time.
Beyond that will do more with the demos for the comparison.
I was kind of hoping to hear more about some specific feature differences between them, in terms of capability.
Since there weren’t a lot of those type comments, I take it that they can both accomplish about the same things.
I agree with the comment that work flow is important, so I guess I need to reach my own conclusions on that. And good to know about the stability comparison. Thanks again.

If you want the best performance from n-track or Reaper treat the computer you use as a dedicated audio tool fit two hard discs one for one for Windows and programs and a separate one for your audio files.

Install the bare minimum of software on it No office suites or anti virus and don’t go on the net with it.

Get a decent soundcard with good drivers, don’t expect the motherboard onboard sound to work well.


Quote: (nick @ Feb. 24 2011, 4:01 AM)

If you want the best performance from n-track or Reaper treat the computer you use as a dedicated audio tool fit two hard discs one for one for Windows and programs and a separate one for your audio files.

Not at all necessary with R. Just works.