Reaper is an excellent DAW 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.
Reaper has two types of licenses; the individual license for personal use and the commercial license if you plan on using it for making money. Although you can use Reaper for free without paying the license at all, there are still a couple of things you should know.
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.
The message basically states that you should pay if you are going to continue to use the software. It is a very cheap recording software compared to other DAWs. At $60, you get to create high-quality radio-ready tracks. 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 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.
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!
If you plan to produce music as a hobby, then paying for the license is probably not something you would be interested in doing. 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!
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. 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.
With that being said, you can probably share the $60 license fee, right? 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.
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!
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.
Is Reaper suitable for Beginners?
Reaper is a professional DAW, but beginners can learn on it as well. 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.