I (Paul) recently did an interview for a DAWbench podcast episode and in preparation for that, listened to Justin Frankel (lead developer of Reaper) appearing on the same series. I was struck by the many similarities in the story and experiences Justin spoke about, and thought it might be interesting to reach out to him and just have the two of us talk about the audio software development that we’ve both been doing for many years. I even began to imagine a series of conversations with a variety of audio software developers.
Justin graciously agreed to the idea, and so in early January we sat down, both running Reaper (Linux on my end, of course) connected via Ninjam’s Voice Chat mode. We actually talked for nearly 3.5 hours, so afterwards I sat down with Ardour and edited the conversation down to a just slightly more manageable 2.5 hours.
Our conversation ranged across many different aspects of the journey we’ve both been on (myself for 21+ years, Justin for 16+), including the similarities and differences in starting to work on a DAW without it necessarily needing to generate revenue, Reaper’s (at the time) innovative “anticipatory processing”, the workload of dealing with both support and 3rd party contributions, realtime development and lots, lots more.
This is my first time trying to do an “interview” like this, and I don’t think I was very good at it. Hopefully some of the other developers I’m interested in chatting with will say yes, and I’ll get the chance to improve. I don’t think I’m ever going to match Terri Gross (NPR/USA), but then again, I don’t think Terri would do so well discussing locking strategies with Justin either.
The above player uses Ogg/Vorbis, which Safari and iOS users can’t play by default, thanks to choices made by Apple. Below is an MP3 version for the poor souls left behind by their platform makers.