Cockos Reaplugs

The “ReaPlugs VST FX Suite” is a small library of technical and efficient plugins, greatly underrated and in many cases unknown (or not mentioned).

If you use Reaper as your DAW you’ll find these pre-installed but Cockos provides these as seperate download for any other DAW.

If you are familiar with the basic principles of these standard effects you gonna find a simple and minimalistic GUI (not pretty though) and VSTs that will do what they are supposed to. If not you should read some tutorials because these are mostly the basic stuff you gonna need.

Note: The pictures on the official page are not all up to date and some minor changes have been made to the GUI and or functions.

The stuff they offer:

ReaComp:

You get a bunch of controls, all basic and some advanced options.

Basics: Attack and release, ratio and knee, threshold and gain (implemented in the “wet” fader).

Advanced:

Pre-Comp (that is looking ahead to effect before the threshold).

Some sidechain options. High/lowpass, “detector” (which channel to use to trigger the compression – l+r, l, r, aux (these are the acutal sidechain)).

Limitation and dry/wet mix (sometimes reffered as parallel compression).

ReaXcomp:

Basically the reacomp for many bands (frequencies, not musicans!).

ReaDelay:

A delay with all the basic functions you need. Delay time in ms or musical notes (like half, quarter and so on – changing with the speed of your project).

ReaEQ:

This is a PEQ! It does everything you need and possibly more. You do not need, I repeat, you do not need anything else for a basic eq!

Possible exceptions:

  1. You do not like the GUI.
  2. You come from analog consoles and prefer the feeling of these EQs over graphical stuff
  3. You get distracted by the GUI, because you do not know how to interpret it.
ReaFIR:

This is a FIR EQ which means you get a linear phase even when you eq stuff. There are some disadvantages (it is very technical and can be googled – the main downside is a probably weird behaviour with sharp EQing).

It offers some more stuff like “compressing” simial to multiband-compression, “gate” –>multiband gate (I have to admit I do not like these two, the results in the mix are weird).

Substract: Choose this and it will allow you to supress mic hissing and other “constant noise”. You can find a tutorial here.

ReaGate:

The GUI is very alike to the ReaComp GUI and that makes sense – the principles are similar. The newer version includes a (not intuitive) ducking option not mention yet.

Can send a configured midi event on open/close.

ReaVerb and ReaVerbate:

Well, these are Reapers reverb plugins. I do not really like ReaVerbate, it will not give me a good sound even after some experimenting – and there are not that many options. I do not like the presets either.

ReaVerb works in another way (convolution instead of algorithmic). It has some nice features and is not the most intuitive one. SIR will give you better results faster but ReaVerb offers some more possibilities.

In comparison both are efficient, other reverbs consume more CPU (or will give you massive latency)

Other Stuff:

There ist more, like streaming options, JS stuff, midi stuff…. but these are not the basic stuff and need some more explaining.

All of these plugins offer usefull metering and/or analyzing for their respective function.

Score:

GUI: 6/10

It gets the job done. You wouldn’t call it pretty though.

Function: 9/10

Overall good stuff. Gets the job done. With the exception* of some functions in the ReaFIR really nice.

Efficiency: 10/10

CPU load is (compared to others I’ve seen) quiet low.

Personal opinion: 8,5/10

Yeah, the GUI is not that nice but in terms of function these are really great. I use the ReaComp, the ReaEQ, ReaFir on a regular basis, the ReaDelay, ReaVerb, ReaXcomp and ReaGate sometimes.

I recommend to have these in your arsenal!

For the occasional dynamic eq I’d use other stuff.

*personal opinion

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