I want you to take this review with a grain of salt as you read through because I am an avid user of Ableton so my answer might be a little bit biased when it comes to if reaper is better than Ableton or not.
As you read through you will find out that the functionalities that both of them bring to the table are so different when it comes to music production. Reaper is a software developed by cockus.
I tried reaper and the only thing as a first impression that I can say is it’s like a little brother to pro tools. That’s what it is. But it doesn’t have that many advanced functions like pro tools which has cloud collaboration on projects.
No, reaper is not better than Ableton at all. Ableton scores better in live performance and in-studio recording environments whereas reaper is useful only in studio environments.
In this article let’s look at what is reaper the specifications of reaper and how it stacks up to Ableton Live.
How good is reaper?
The first thing I should talk about reaper is the fact that reaper is free to use for 60 days as a trial version which is not offered by any other digital audio workstations at all. Even if other workstations offer a trial period the functions are really limited.
Reaper is made as a recording studio tool when compared to Ableton which is a tool to perform and record.
When it comes to reaper everything is customizable. This is not the case in some other digital audio workstations.
There are no three versions, there is only one version of reaper and which is used by studio professionals and hobbyists. This makes it appealing for anyone to invest in it.
The functionality in terms of recording, overdubbing, and adding layers, everything is available in reaper.
Where Ableton’s excels
Ableton is a solid digital audio workstation that excels in putting the ideas into the software without any issues as fast as possible. This is made possible with the help of the session view which has been copied by the logic pro-people recently. The midi capture function which is also available in Cubase makes sure that you don’t lose any of your ideas or inspiration pieces that you played in your midi controller when you aren’t recording.
The arrangement view, I can’t stop praising about this at all. If you look at other digital audio workstations you have to do all the audio clip and midi clip editing using different functions and effect plugins. In the case of Ableton, this is completely different as you will be able to access all of the functions.
The integration with the arrangement view and the session view is fascinating as it allows the producer to quickly capture the idea and convert it into a song.
The next function would be the use of Ableton live max. this is an amazing feature that allows producers to create advanced plugins through which they can make effects and processes much easier.
If one thing that deserves praise in Ableton live that would be the browser section on the left of the screen. No other music production software has this level of organization for all the plugins and effects.
The difference between Ableton vs reaper
the main difference would be that Ableton is made to work as a live performing software as well as a recording studio software whereas reaper is completely focused on the recording part of music production.
Ableton comes at three versions starting from 99$ to 749$ whereas reaper comes in only one version at 225$.
Reaper cannot be compared to Ableton because of the limitations in the functionality. Ableton can do various things that reaper can’t do. This fight isn’t fair at all. Ableton wins in each section and takes the price.
Check this article on why Ableton is the best DAW as well as the difference between the suite and the standard version.
If you are interested click the links for the different versions of Ableton below.
You can get Ableton live intro here
You can get Ableton live standard here
You can get Ableton live suite here
If I have to be honest Ableton outranks reaper in all the departments, you would be better off to go with Ableton rather than reaper.
In the end, the digital audio workstation you use doesn’t matter than much in comparison to how you execute with your skill.
Your software no matter what you use will never be a limitation to you at all. You would be the bottleneck to all your progress.
If you are interested check out my article on how long does it take to learn Ableton and my other article on how long does it take to be a pro in music production.
If you are in a mood to buy a studio desk check my interview here with the studio desk CEO.