Ableton Live vs Reaper: Which Is The Best DAW For You? 2024

If you're a music producer, it's likely that you've heard of Ableton Live and Reaper.

Both are extremely popular Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) for creating, recording and mixing music.

But which one is the best choice for your needs?

In this article we'll take an in-depth look at both DAWs, compare their features and help you decide which one will give you the best results.

So whether you're just starting out or have been making music for years, read on to find out which DAW is right for you!

Ableton Live vs Reaper: Which Is The Best DAW For You? 2024

What We Know About Ableton Live


Ableton Live is a DAW that is widely used by music producers and engineers. It is popular for electronic music production, live performance, and audio recording due to its user-friendly interface and powerful features.

Ableton Live's non-linear arrangement view is a key feature that allows you to arrange and edit audio and MIDI clips in a flexible and visual manner. This makes it simple to experiment with different arrangements and ideas.

Ableton Live also comes with a wide range of virtual instruments and effects, which can be used to shape and enhance your sounds.

Synthesizers, drum machines, samplers, and effects such as EQ, compression, reverb, and delay are examples.

Furthermore, Ableton Live has a number of features that make it ideal for live performance.

These include the ability to real-time trigger clips and loops, as well as control external hardware via MIDI.

Overall, Ableton Live is a powerful and versatile DAW that can handle a variety of music production tasks. If you're a music producer or engineer looking for a DAW to help you create professional-quality music, Ableton Live is a great option.

Ableton Live Price: $99-$749

Ableton Live Specs: 

Supported operating systems: Windows (7 or later) and macOS (10.13 or later)
Processor: Intel® or AMD multicore processor
RAM: 4 GB (8 GB or more recommended)
Display: 1024×768 or higher
Storage: 3 GB free disk space
Internet connection: Required for activation, account setup, and updates

Ableton Live comes in three different editions: Intro, Standard, and Suite. The main differences between the editions are the number of audio and MIDI tracks, effects, and virtual instruments included.

Here is a summary of the main features and differences between the editions:

  • Ableton Live Intro: This edition is the most basic and affordable option, and is suitable for beginners or those on a budget. It includes 16 audio and MIDI tracks, 8 effects, and 6 virtual instruments.
  • Ableton Live Standard: This edition is suitable for more advanced users who need more tracks and effects. It includes an unlimited number of audio and MIDI tracks, 45 effects, and 15 virtual instruments.
  • Ableton Live Suite: This is the most feature-rich edition, and is suitable for professional users who need the most powerful tools. It includes everything in the Standard edition, as well as an additional suite of virtual instruments, effects, and sounds.

Ableton Live Official Site / Where To Download:  Ableton Live Official Website

They have many useful tutorials over on the  Ableton Live Official Youtube Channel

What We Know About Reaper


Reaper is a piece of music software that allows users to record, edit, and create audio files. It has a variety of features that make it a popular choice among musicians, producers, and audio engineers.

One of Reaper's key features is its ability to record and edit audio. Users can record multiple tracks at once and then use the software's editing tools to cut, copy, and paste audio segments.

It also has a number of audio effects that can be applied to the audio, such as reverb, delay, and EQ, which can help shape the sound of the recording.

Another feature of Reaper is its support for virtual instruments.

These are software versions of real instruments that can be played with a MIDI controller or a computer keyboard. Users can add their own virtual instruments to Reaper's library.

This enables users to create full music productions entirely within the software.

Reaper also includes a flexible mixing console that allows users to adjust the volume, panning, and other settings for each audio track.

This can assist users in creating a balanced mix of all the different elements in their music.

To use Reaper, users will need a computer with a stable internet connection and enough processing power to run the software.

If they want to record audio, they will also need a microphone or another audio recording device. After installing the software, users can begin creating their own music by adding audio tracks, recording audio, and using the various editing and mixing tools.

Overall, Reaper is a powerful music software with a wide range of features for recording, editing, and producing audio.

It is simple to use and can be used by people of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced musicians and audio engineers.

Reaper Price: $60


  • REAPER allows users to import and edit audio and MIDI, synthesize and sample, and mix and master songs or other audio projects.
  • It is suitable for recording a wide range of audio, from soloists to orchestras, and is used by both home hobbyists and professional studios.
  • Users can record and overdub audio and MIDI, and record directly to a variety of audio formats and sample rates.
  • REAPER allows users to drag and drop to import, arrange, and render audio and media, and offers a range of tools for editing and manipulating audio and MIDI.
  • It supports almost any third-party audio or MIDI plug-in, including VST, VST3, VSTi, LV2, LV2i, DX/DXi (Windows only), AU/AUi (macOS only), and JSFX.
  • REAPER also offers real-time network FX processing, ReWire support, automatic plug-in delay compensation, and real-time pitch shifting and time stretch.
  • Users can customize REAPER's appearance and configure the layout to their liking, and can trigger almost any action within REAPER using customizable actions and macros.
  • REAPER is compatible with Windows and macOS and offers support for multiple languages.
  • Reaper Official Site / Where To Download:  Reaper Official Website

    They have many useful tutorials over on the  Reaper Official Youtube Channel

    Ableton Live vs Reaper: What's The Difference?

    Ableton Live and Reaper both include a plethora of virtual instruments, effects, and other plugins to help you shape and manipulate the sound of your tracks.

    Ableton Live includes a number of pre-installed instruments and effects, as well as support for third-party plugins.

    Reaper also includes a variety of built-in instruments and effects, as well as VST plugin support, allowing users to expand their sound design capabilities.

    In terms of audio editing, both Ableton Live and Reaper provide a set of tools that allow users to manipulate audio clips without causing any damage.

    Reaper, on the other hand, has a more advanced audio editing feature set, including audio quantization, pitch correction, and time stretching.

    Finally, the decision between Ableton Live and Reaper will be based on your specific requirements and workflow as a producer.

    Ableton Live may be a better choice if you want a more traditional DAW with a linear track-based interface.

    Reaper's object-oriented interface and advanced audio editing capabilities may be a better fit if you prefer a more flexible and customizable approach to music production.

    If you found this comparison useful, but are still undecided on what tool is best for you, you might want to check out my other Ableton Live comparison articles. A DAW isn't a small investment, so take your time and make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck!

    About Author

    Arielle P

    Arielle P

    Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

    With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

    📧 Email Arielle