Cockos Reaper 5 Now Available – Here’s What’s New


Cockos has released Reaper 5, its multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing, and mastering environment for Windows and Mac.

New in Reaper 5:

  • FX:VST3 support, sample-accurate automation for VST3 and JSFX, FX browser improvements.
  • ReaScript:API and scripting improvements, including a built-in development environment for creating and debugging scripts in LUA, EEL, or Python. Create anything from simple macros, to complex new functionality.
  • Control grouping:Flexible, automatable VCA control. Link groups of track controls together at any point in the signal flow.
  • Video:Many improvements to video support and performance, including real-time programmable track and item effect processing.
  • FX parameter automation:Full automation and MIDI/OSC learn support for per-take FX, improved FX envelope and modulation management via the Project Bay, increased automation recording speed.
  • And more:New GUI layouts, Media Explorer improvements, metronome beat patterns, Opus support, MIDI note-off editing, new volume envelope modes, new actions and API functions, and many other fixes and improvements.

Here are the details on what’s new in Cockos Reaper 5:


  • massive improvements to video support
  • allow user configurable video decoder priorities with per-file-extension controls
  • configurable video output display latency
  • dockable video window
  • per-source option to not decode audio for video files
  • pooled audio decoders, reducing RAM use for heavily edited videos
  • project framerate is used instead of media framerate to determine display timing
  • projects can now specify preferred video width/height/colorspace, resizing options
  • real-time programmable (EEL) effect processors insertable as track and item FX
  • support for AVFoundation video encoding/decoding on OSX 10.7+


  • per-take FX automation and MIDI learn support
  • browser smart folders (filter-folders)
  • browser options to view JSFX by description and/or filename
  • support for parameters with inverted ranges
  • VST3 support, including sample-accurate automation
  • inform VST plug-ins of offline rendering state, by default
  • duplicating Take FX copies channel counts
  • user-adjustable parameter modulation LFO phase

Media Explorer

  • added option ‘Play through selected track’
  • search in subfolders
  • improved accessibility/tabbing navigation
  • fixed various UTF-8 issues on Windows ..
  • fixed issues when using preserve-pitch and tempo-match options
  • fixed MIDI/OSC action binding


  • integrated development environment (IDE) for running, editing, debugging scripts
  • IDE supports syntax highlighting, multiple editing panes, watch lists, structure matching, and more
  • integrated Lua 5.3 scripting support
  • EEL and Lua scripts can query various information (incl. MIDI/OSC input values) via get_action_context()
  • EEL/Lua graphics/UI API (gfx*) extensions
  • toggle state support (script toolbar buttons can have on/off states)


  • increased automation recording speed by 3x
  • internal changes and performance improvements to FX parameter automation
  • more consistent behavior when changing FX preset
  • new volume envelope mode that mimics track fader scaling


  • sample-accurate automation support
  • added support for inverted slider ranges
  • editor improvements (scrollbars, multiple editing panes, Ctrl+Mousewheel font size change)
  • fixed potential crash from gfx_circle() with bad parameters .

Multichannel media

  • support Ambisonic WAVE_FORMAT_EXTENSIBLE .wav files
  • improved zero crossing navigation
  • improved tab-to-transient behavior
  • improved support for chained OGG Vorbis files

Default theme

  • extra fancy new theme
  • many layout choices for different uses (small, large, meters, live recording, media, item)
  • better track panel and item tinting appearance


  • language packs can specify scale for dialog windows using (for example) 5CA1E00000000000=xsc ysc
  • all codec (wav, video, mp3, etc) dialog boxes and related strings can now be translated
  • new template LangPack


  • configurable beat patterns
  • improved count-in behavior/quality


  • do not automatically enable MIDI vol/pan faders when creating MIDI-only sends/receives .
  • note-off velocity support in piano roll and list view editors

MIDI editor

  • added mouse modifiers to edit note edges ignoring selection
  • changed default note edge mouse modifiers to match default media item edge modifiers
  • optionally display project tempo and time signature markers in the ruler


  • updated default worker thread scheduling logic for lower CPU use
  • disabled anticipative FX processing on tracks with open MIDI editors, by default
  • automatically disable anticipative FX in routed-to tracks for open MIDI editors

Project Bay

  • new tab for managing FX parameter envelopes, modulation, and MIDI learn
  • fixed replace FX in project .
  • fixed source/item/fx deletion and undo issues .


  • improved touch-automation behavior for various check/combo/edit controls
  • improved ReaInsert behavior in many real world scenarios (PDC, looping, heavy load)


  • improved display for frame grid and HH:MM:SS:FF
  • absolute frames time display mode


  • added theme tweak window (and removed outdated preferences pane)
  • improved theme color tinting support (requires ‘version 5’ in rtconfig, themes can override tint/peaks preferences via rtconfig ‘tinttcp’ and ‘peaksedges’)
  • scrollbar_2 and scrollbar_3 images can override scrollbar images for arrange and MIDI editor respectively

Time Map

  • better behavior when changing time signatures
  • improved behavior when inserting/removing time in project (fixed auto-create of new time signature markers)
  • improved time signature behavior when moving/copying regions


  • options to include envelope point selection in undo state
  • improved FX envelope undo behavior


  • added propagate take and propagate item actions


  • support for up to 512 channels of input and output

Configuration import/export

  • optionally include media explorer databases


  • support for VIDEO media type in Vegas EDL TXT


  • ignore mouse wheel on all faders, by default

Opus support

  • full decode/encode support for OGG Opus files

Ripple editing

  • removing time in one-track and all-track mode better respects timebase:beats preferences for markers, items, and envelopes

Stretch Markers

  • improved behavior when changing tempo map/moving items across tempo maps


  • up to 16 general and 8 MIDI toolbars

Track grouping

  • VCA slave track group setting


  • fixed color picker potentially appearing offscreen


  • added Envelope, Tempo Map, Project Extension State, improved MIDI and Toolbar APIs

Reaper 5 is available for purchase, starting at $60 for an individual non-commercial license. A fully-operational demo version that works for 60 days is available as a free download.

16 thoughts on “Cockos Reaper 5 Now Available – Here’s What’s New

  1. Here’s something interesting that I only recently became aware of… I had no idea that the developer of Reaper, Justin Frankel, also developed Winamp. When that badboy came out in the late 90’s, it became THE media player to use… “It kicked the Llama’s Ass!”.

    Although I’m mainly a Cubase user, I still use Reaper from time to time… it’s ust a solid DAW through and through. Definitely have a lot of respect for Justin… you can just tell he codes for the love of making something cool.

  2. psyched to try out the new version!

    Been using Reaper for a year or two now, I like it a lot. I have steadily moved away from software, so now I only use it as a tape machine. My needs might be more minimal than most, but you sure can’t complain about the price.

  3. I don’t know why Reaper isn’t absolutely everywhere. Everyone who uses it loves it, and it’s testament to how bloated and overdeveloped other DAWs are, that a cheap, 20mb program can out perform and out- feature just about all of them. I’m still primarily a Cubase user out of habit, but I can see me switching completely once my current version gets a bit too obsolete. I recommend anyone (especially jaded Pro Tools users) give it a shot.

  4. If Reaper came with some recognised plugins, or at least one or two good VST synths a lot more people would probably buy it over the other major daws. When I used it, I wished it came with some synths to use. by the time you go buy some VSTs from a third party, you are reaching the same proce as all of the other DAWs

    1. not everyone uses VSTs.

      I think Reaper is designed to meet everyone’s basic needs in a stock form, and be easily customized to meet advanced needs as required, thus reducing unnecessary the bloat that affects all the major DAWs.

      Sometimes this makes Reaper feel a little skeletal to start out with, but I have grown to appreciate it.

    2. There are so many great free VST instruments and effects available now; not having them bundled with Reaper should not be a deal breaker at all.

  5. Never liked it. The way it developed shows, like a huge patchwork getting ideas from all over the place. No character. It always felt like a bad samplitude clone. On the other hand, at this price and licence freedom it is difficult not to recommend

  6. I used Reaper for a few years. Can not be beat for the money. Thing is, for me anyway, it’s *so* full featured that it gets in its own way. I mean, how many menu and sub-menu and sub-sub-menu items do you need? You can customize it all and make shortcuts to reduce the noise but it could really really use a UX overhaul. I feel like it’s selling itself short.

  7. Agreed, I use Reaper and mostly love it, but it has a very steep learning curve due to many things being hidden, too complex to set up (compared to other DAWs, until you figure it out), or as you said, buried in menus and submenus. There definitely is that lack of focus, partly due to constantly being developed and features added (which is both good and bad, the regular changes alone are tricky to keep track of, and some bugs never get fixed if they’re not fashionable).

    Reaper is a power-user’s wet dream, but you really need to spend the time to start with, like with all similar programs (Photoshop is a good example). When you have, it then rewards you plenty and you may never change to anything else. Not only is it super-configurable (you can even create your own skin if you’re so inclined, I did), but there is actually tons of high-quality stuff built-in that, once discovered, is either super-handy or downright invaluable. Right down to being able to write your own audio or MIDI processing scripts that run like effects, right in the program. I’ve written a ton of simple and advanced MIDI scripts to do things that weren’t possible, and even the odd audio effect. Sometimes you need to do some simple MIDI massaging that isn’t built-in, well a simple script can do things in minutes you would normally need something external like Midi-OX for. But again, you have to learn how it works and that takes time.

    So yeah, more focus, tidy things up a bit, compartmentalise the advanced stuff a bit out of the way, and fix long-standing bugs just because they shouldn’t be there and it’s the right thing to do. But I’m never going back.

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