So, you want to work in game audio but are unsure of which daw is best for you. This article will explain why reaper is our favorite daw for game audio.
The truth is with game audio there is no standard like in the film industry. Pro Tools is still used at game studios especially if you live in California but that has started to change.
This article will cover why Reaper has become a favorite in the game audio community and why you should consider learning it if you are going to take that path. We will explore the cost of Reaper, the massive loyal community, Reaper’s highly flexible and customizable usability, and finally, we will cover some useful game audio features that you will love.
(This article is not a hit piece on Pro Tools or any other DAW as they are all fantastic. I am offering my opinion on Reaper and why I believe it’s the best for game audio.)
- Future Proof
- Game Audio Features
Coming in at around $60 with a lifetime of updates for the license makes Reaper one of the most cost-efficient digital audio workstations on the market.
There is a $225 commercial license, but both are the same so unless you are currently making a full-time living off it then just get the cheaper one.
You also get a 60-day evaluation of the software and while you can technically trial it forever, we don’t recommend you do that.
Just to compare costs: Pro Tools Studio cost $30/per month and Pro Tools Ultimate cost $99/per month.
Reaper has a large game audio community, which makes it easy to find game audio resources and tutorials.
You will also see plenty of professional sound designers using it as well.
The Reaper community is consistently creating new themes, plugins, and other reaper features so you can always find some cool new add-ons to improve your workflow.
Working with files
Reaper allows you to use any file size, sample rate, and format in any audio project and on any track. This is great because you don’t have to worry about converting any files or creating specific tracks. If for some reason you wanted a stereo file, an ambisonic file, and a video on the same track, you can do that.
Sub-projects allow you to contain one project within another, so you can keep your projects neat and save on CPU. This is very beneficial in-game audio because you can have 1 reaper master session for a game, and then have a bunch of mini subprojects contained within the master project. Games can contain thousands of sound effects, so organization is key to finding things quickly.
Scripting in reaper is a very powerful toolset that can allow you to create your own macros and extensions. this article won’t go too much into this as it’s more advanced, but it’s a great toolset, especially for game audio. Check out these resources HERE if you would like to learn more about scripting.
Reaper will run on a potato.
Do you have a lousy computer? No problem, reaper will more than likely run just fine on it. In fact, Reaper can run on just about anything making it an easy DAW to get started with. This is great especially if you are going to have a game engine and audio middleware open at the same time.
You can customize your own themes or download new themes to make Reaper look however you want.
Basic Video Editing
Reaper can also do very basic video editing, which is great if you are putting together a demo reel or preparing a piece of media for a client.
Reaper’s popularity has been growing larger every year. More studios are adopting Reaper or offering it as an option. Even Electronic Arts has reaper listed as an option in their audio artist applications.
Because of the huge loyal community, Reaper will surely be around for a long time.
Game audio features
Connects to Wwise and FMOD.
You can connect reaper to various game audio middleware such as Wwise and FMOD and pass files back and forth easily.
I recommend you check out the article HERE for Wwise, and HERE for FMOD.
Connects to Game Synth by Tsugi.
If you are a PC user and you use Game Synth you can export files directly to your Reaper project making a faster and cleaner workflow.
Rendering options using regions.
This one is not just for game audio but is incredibly useful. In Reaper, you can use regions to export variations of your sounds easily which is very common in-game audio. Learn more HERE.
File naming using wildcards.
Wildcards allow for auto-naming files quickly in reaper. You can also create your own naming workflow which is good for keeping all your file names consistent on a project. Learn more HERE.
This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of everything Reaper can do. Hopefully, you have a good idea of how you can use Reaper and why you should consider using it as your main DAW or even as a supplement to another DAW you already use.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this article. If you are already a Reaper user maybe leave a comment letting us know your favorite features.
If you are looking to expand your sound effects library, we currently have a free library call The House Is Alive which you can receive HERE.
Links and additional resources below.
Reaper DAW Download: https://www.reaper.fm/
Extra Reaper Extensions and Tools
Extra Resources to Get You Started: