If your Audacity isn't working in real time with standard plugins, you may need to update your Audacity? Real time analysis of plugins work fine now w/ latest version.
And I agree that the TDR Plugins are powerful and really well designed. All of them.
I've also used Izotope RX with Audacity and that works in real time as well.
I'm using 2.1.2 and don't see how the real time standard plugin works? I just want to make some EQ adjustments--hopefully cleaner sounding. Looking at Reaper I'm lost. I don't know what to do with TDR. I'm on a Mac as a reminder.
I am on a mac too. You need to download the plugin, add it into the VST add-ins folder on your machine, and then on main Audacity menu go to Effect > Manage and "enable" the new plugin you just added to the appropriate folder on you mac. You may want to read some of the Audacity instructions on adding new plugins for more detailed info, but it's pretty straightforward. From there, you simply choose Effect > TDR Nova or whatever plug-in you want to use for EQ and make sure the "enable" checkbox is checked at the bottom of the window which contains the plug-in.
Audacity works great for simple tasks like tracking/mixing/editing. I've played around with Reaper and some of the others and I'm sure they're great but I've gotten used to Audacity. It's simple and straightforward. The critical components for mastering/editing are the plugins you're using (like Izotope or TDR). They all work well within Audacity. I'd question whether the "front-end" matters in any audible way (i.e. use an Izotope or any other plug-in via Audacity vs. on Reaper to do the same task). Sure if you're mixing 24 tracks I doubt you would want to use Audacity...
Use whatever you're comfortable with.