From Orion Platinum to Sonar to Reaper: My Music Production Journey with DAWs

The process of choosing the right Daw for my music production.

Ketil Lien

2/6/20242 min read

As a passionate music producer and ambient artist, I've journeyed through various Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) - from Synapse Audio Orion Platinum to Cakewalk Sonar, and finally to my current favorite, Reaper. Each DAW has contributed to my musical journey, but it's Reaper that has truly resonated with my creative process. Here's an in-depth look at why Reaper has become my go-to DAW for music production.

The Early Days: Orion Platinum

My journey began with Synapse Audio Orion Platinum, a comprehensive music production suite. Orion Platinum was an excellent starting point with its user-friendly interface and a variety of built-in generators and effects. It taught me the basics of digital music production and was instrumental in my early development as an artist.

The Transition: Cakewalk Sonar

After Orion Platinum, I transitioned to Cakewalk Sonar. Sonar offered a more advanced set of tools and features, which were crucial in my growth as a music producer. Its powerful mixing and editing capabilities, along with a wide range of plugins, allowed me to explore more complex compositions and sound designs. Sonar was a significant step up in my production capabilities, enabling me to refine my sound further.

The Game Changer: Reaper

Finally, I discovered Reaper, and it was a game changer. Here’s why Reaper stands out as my preferred DAW for creating ambient music:

1. Customizability and Flexibility

Reaper is incredibly customizable and flexible. It allows me to tailor the interface and workflow to match my specific needs, something I didn't fully experience with other DAWs. The ability to customize everything from the appearance to the functionality means that Reaper adapts to my way of working, not the other way around.

2. Efficient Workflow

Reaper’s efficient workflow is a significant factor in my preference for it. Its well-designed interface, coupled with the ability to create custom shortcuts and macros, streamlines my production process. This efficiency is invaluable, especially when working on complex ambient tracks that require a delicate balance of sounds and layers.

3. Powerful Audio Manipulation

As an ambient music producer, the ability to manipulate audio precisely is crucial. Reaper offers advanced audio editing features, including pitch shifting, time stretching, and more, without compromising the audio quality. This level of control is essential for crafting the ethereal soundscapes characteristic of my music.

4. Extensive Plugin Support

Reaper’s support for a wide range of plugins, both third-party and its own robust set of built-in effects, provides me with an expansive sonic palette. This versatility is crucial for ambient music, which often relies on unique sounds and effects.

5. Cost-Effective with Regular Updates

Reaper is not only affordable, but it also offers continuous updates and improvements. This commitment to regular updates means that it constantly evolves to meet the changing needs of music producers.

6. Community and Resources

The Reaper community is an invaluable resource. The forums and user-created content provide a wealth of knowledge, tips, and tricks that have been instrumental in my learning and mastering of Reaper.


My progression from Orion Platinum to Sonar, and finally to Reaper, reflects my growth and evolving needs as a music producer. Reaper stands out for its unparalleled flexibility, efficiency, and depth, aligning perfectly with my ambient music production requirements. It’s more than just a DAW; it’s a tool that has grown with me, shaping and defining the soundscapes I create.

Discover the ambient worlds I create with Reaper on platforms like Spotify and Bandcamp, and experience the sonic versatility that this DAW offers.

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