Reaper is an excellent DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for recording instruments and creating full-blown professionally-made tracks. Music producers of different skill levels prefer Reaper over other DAWs because of its user-friendliness and intuitive user interface.
Although it is quite underrated, it is truly a phenomenal DAW that deserves more attention than what it is getting. Anyone can download and use Reaper right now, but many people wonder if it is an entirely free DAW.
Reaper is free to use for 60 days. After this trial period, the developers expect you to pay for the $60 personal license, but you can still use it for free, thanks to its Unlimited Trial License — basically making it a FREE DAW. If you are making an annual revenue of more than $20,000 using Reaper, you will need to purchase the commercial license for $225.
One of the great things about reaper is that even after 60 day trial, you can use it for free under some conditions. Here’s what you should keep in mind.
What Happens if I Don’t Buy a Reaper License?
Reaper expects people to either pay or stop using the software after the 60-day trial period. However, there are no real consequences if you continue to use the software after the trial period ends. All you get is a message when you open the software that you can close after 5 seconds which is not that bothering to be honest!
The message basically states that you should pay if you are going to continue to use the software. It tries to convey that your evaluation period has ended and you should buy reaper or not use it. It is a very cheap recording software compared to other DAWs.
At $60, you get to create high-quality radio-ready tracks, unlimited audio tracks, lifetime updates and upgrades and some decent mixing plugins. They might not enforce a licensing policy, but the message is quite an eye-opener.
Now, if you have the money, you can choose to pay. It will help the developers make a living, and it will show them that you appreciate the hard work they put in to create this DAW for the music production community. It’s a way to support the developers of the DAW.
However, if you don’t have the budget right now, you can continue to use it without paying. All you will get is the 5-second message upon starting up the DAW which we believe should never be a problem
NOTE : We do not promote to use reaper for free
Can you make money producing music on Reaper without a License?
You can make money if you get hired to create music and get paid to do it. It is, however, unethical. And I don’t think you would be able to make a reasonable claim if you manage to produce a worldwide chart-topping hit using unlicensed software—but only if they find out! It’s a risk and it’s totally your call. We don’t promote unethical stuff here.
If you plan to produce music as a hobby, then paying for the license is probably not something you would be interested in doing or if you don’t make any money from your music, then as well one wouldn’t be willing to pay.
On the other hand, if you want to make money by making music—you should pay for the personal or commercial license as a sign of respect and appreciation to the developers. It is also the right thing to do! You might get into legal troubles if your song hits charts and you don’t have a license key for the DAW on which the song was made.
Types of Reaper Licenses
If you decide to pay for the Reaper License, it is good to know that they have two types of licenses. The personal license is for personal use, and the commercial license is for producing companies that use the software to make a ton of money.
Here are the differences between the two licenses.
You can still make money using the $60 personal license. However, it should not exceed an annual revenue of $20,000. Once it exceeds this amount, you will need to purchase the commercial license.
However, educational and non-profit organizations are exempted from paying the commercial license.
You should get the commercial license if you plan on making more than $20,000 using Reaper that means your yearly gross revenue using reaper crosses $20,000. It is pretty cheap compared to other DAWs, and if you make that much money—then you should probably give the developers their fair share.
Can I Install Reaper on Multiple Computers?
One of the good things about buying the Reaper license is that you can install it on multiple computers. It means that you can install Reaper on your personal computer, and you can probably install it on your friend’s computer, too. This makes it possible for a group of people to buy a single license.
With that being said, you can probably share the $60 license fee, right? You with a few friends can collectively pay for the DAW and use the same license key. It might not be considered piracy since you are just sharing the software and not selling it. But if you have the budget, just make sure you pay for it, so the developers are happy and keep it up and running.
Is Reaper Worth Paying for?
Reaper is an excellent DAW, and it is definitely worth every penny. At $60, it is even worth more than what you are paying for. However, you should keep in mind that Reaper doesn’t come with a lot of software instruments—so you might have to spend to get a full sound library.
Apart from instrument vsts, there’s no down point in reaper. It always impresses its user with its easy to use and understand interface. The unlimited audio track feature allows you to record and mix huge projects without any worry.
For this price, reaper is a must buy DAW for any beginner. It has everything you need to make music ranging from multitrack audio, midi recording, unlimited free updates etc. It has a great software support team and an online forum to resolve any issue that you might face while using the DAW. It can be used for commercial and home studios without any issues.
What comes with the Reaper License?
When you pay for the license, you can now use the software legally, meaning you can make money off of it, and you have helped the developers make money, too. They would definitely appreciate the help and continue to make more updates and improvements to the already excellent DAW.
Since you already have the license, you are also entitled to make suggestions, complaints, and more. One of the other things that come with paying for Reaper is a clear conscience. Now, you can use the software worry-free! It also comes with a bunch of free plugins. You can read about them here.
Where can I learn about Reaper?
Since the arrival of internet, there’s nothing you cannot learn online. Hence it won’t be difficult learning about reaper and music production online. There are a lot of sources to learn from such as :
- Youtube : Youtube has everything you want. Ranging from music theory to sound design tutorials, lyric writing tips to learning an instrument lectures. Similarly it also has a ton of videos regarding reaper and its tips tricks.
- Reaper official video lectures : Reaper has video lectures on their official website One can learn about reaper from 0 to 100 using these lectures.
- Reddit community : The Reaper community on reddit consists of over 47k+ people. You can post about any issue you are facing and there is always someone who wishes to help. You can also network with other musicians and music producers.
- Reaper Forum : The official reaper forum is an amazing place to look for solutions for your problems regarding reaper. You can post if you have any unanswered question and scroll through hundreds of queries of the people who use reaper, just like you.
Is Reaper a good DAW?
Reaper is an excellent DAW. It might lack in software instruments, effects, and loops compared to other DAWs. Still, it comes with all of the professional tools you need to produce professional-sounding music you can play on the radio or upload on streaming platforms. It allows multichannel support, custom skins and a vast range of mixing plugins.
Is Reaper suitable for Beginners?
Reaper is a professional DAW which is loved by beginners. Compared to beginner DAWs such as GarageBand, Reaper has a somewhat steep learning curve. But since it is cheap and free to use at first, it can be an excellent DAW that beginners can use to improve their DAW mastery and use of professional music production tools. It is much more affordable that its competition DAWs like fl studio, pro tools etc.
What are some reaper alternatives?
Though reaper is an amazing DAW, there are some people who might not vibe with it. Here are some other DAWs that you can consider.
(Note – They are not that cheap though)
1) Fl Studio – Epic for music production
2) Pro Tools – Industry favorite DAW
3) Ableton – Perfect for electronic music
4) Cubase – All in one DAW
5) Logic Pro – Power packed beast (Only for IOS users)
The conclusion : Is reaper actually free?
Yes, you may use reaper for free forever but NO, reaper is not legally free. It is your own personal risk to use reaper unethically after 60 days. Since the developers worked hard for creating this amazing DAW, they deserve to make a living from it.
If you don’t want to spend $60 on a DAW, you and your friends can collectively buy the reaper license key. It would reduce per person cost and you will no longer be using the DAW unethically. We highly recommend reaper in every aspect.
We hope that this article helped you. We wish you all the best for your musical journey. Have a successful future ahead:)