Ableton Live vs Reason: Which DAW Is Right For You? 2024

Let's face it, if you're an aspiring music producer, you know the importance of having a great DAW to bring your production ideas to life.

But with so many options out there, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.

In this article we'll compare two popular DAWs: Ableton Live and Reason, breaking down their advantages and disadvantages so that you can make an informed decision on which one best suits your needs.

So dive in and let's get started!

Ableton Live vs Reason: Which DAW Is Right For You? 2024

What We Know About Ableton Live

Ableton Live

Many musicians and sound engineers use Ableton Live, a DAW.

A lot of people use it to create electronic music, perform live, and record audio because of its user-friendly interface and robust features.

Ableton Live's non-linear arrangement view is a powerful tool for creating and editing arrangements out of audio and MIDI clips.

This facilitates the testing of various configurations and the exploration of various concepts.

Ableton Live also includes numerous virtual instruments and effects that can be used to modify and enhance your existing audio.

Instruments and effects such as equalisation, compression, reverb, and delay are included in this category, as are drum machines, samplers, and synthesisers.

Furthermore, Ableton Live has a number of features that make it ideal for use in a live setting. Such features include real-time clip and loop triggering and MIDI control of external hardware.

In sum, Ableton Live is an effective and flexible digital audio workstation that can be used for many different kinds of music production.

If you're an audio engineer or producer in search of a DAW, Ableton Live is among the best options out there.

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.

Different Ableton DAW Editions

If you are wondering “why is Ableton Live so expensive?”, you might find the cheapest edition is all you need and thus, save some money there.

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:

Edition Price Range Audio & MIDI Tracks Send & Return Tracks Mono Audio I/O Channels Special Features Instruments & Effects
Intro Most Affordable 16 2 4 Basic Features Limited Set
Standard Mid-Range Unlimited 12 256 Advanced Features Operator, Sampler, Analog, Wavetable
Suite Premium Unlimited 12 256 Max for Live Tension, Electric, Collision

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 Reason


Reason is a music producing software created by Sweden's Reason Studios (formerly known as Propellerhead Software).

Because of its strong and versatile sequencer, outstanding audio recording and time-stretching capabilities, and extensive range of virtual instruments, effects, and other tools.

It is a favourite choice among music producers, particularly for electronic music production.

Reason's virtual rack is a key feature that allows users to create their own modular synthesisers and effect processors using a range of virtual modules including as synthesisers, drum machines, samplers, and more.

Rack Extensions, which are third-party modules produced by other developers that may be added to the rack and utilised alongside the built-in modules, can be used to expand the rack.

Reason includes a variety of editing and arranging capabilities, in addition to virtual instruments and effects, such as a quick and flexible sequencer, audio and MIDI editing tools, and support for automation and plug-ins.

It also has a variety of built-in effects such as reverb, delay, and compression, as well as five new Reason 11 effects such as the Quartet Chorus Ensemble.

Reason also includes a number of usability improvements, such as the ability to use the software as a plugin within another DAW, support for Ableton Link, which allows users to synchronise Reason with other music software and hardware, and support for a wide range of audio and MIDI hardware controllers.

Overall, Reason is a strong and adaptable DAW well-suited to electronic music composition, with a variety of features that make it a great choice for music producers.

How Much Does Cost? $399

Reason DAW Specs: 

  • Operating system compatibility: Reason is compatible with Windows and macOS operating systems.
  • Processor and memory requirements: Reason requires a computer with a 2.0 GHz processor and at least 4 GB of RAM.
  • Supported file formats: Reason supports a wide range of audio file formats, including WAV, AIFF, MP3, and Ogg Vorbis, as well as its own proprietary file format, known as the Reason Song File (.rns).
  • Editing features: Reason includes a range of tools for editing audio, including the ability to cut, copy, and paste audio, as well as support for undo and redo actions. It also includes a range of audio effects, such as EQ, compression, and reverb.
  • Recording capabilities: Reason allows users to record audio from various sources, including microphones and line-in inputs. It also supports the ability to record multiple tracks at once, allowing users to create multi-track recordings.
  • Support for plug-ins: Reason supports the use of plug-ins, which are additional software modules that can be used to extend the functionality of the program. This includes support for VST and AU plug-ins.
  • User interface: Reason has a user-friendly interface that allows users to easily navigate and use its various features. It includes a sequencer for arranging audio, as well as a range of controls for adjusting audio levels and applying effects.
  • Other features: Reason also includes features such as support for MIDI and virtual instruments, as well as the ability to import and export audio in a variety of formats.

Reason Official Site / Where To Download:  Reason Official Website

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

AKAI Controllers are some of the best performing controllers out there, check out our Akai Controller guides to help you choose the right one.

Reason Vs Ableton: Key Features Compared

First, let's look at the Ableton Live Cost Vs Reason software cost; If you're concerned mostly with the price tag, Reason's got you covered at only 19.99 bucks a month. Ableton Live Suite? That's a one-time hit of 749 USD.

Now, if you're all about pushing creative boundaries, Ableton Live is like a playground with its killer audio effects and MIDI/ASIO sequencer.

Reason, though? It's a two-in-one deal: a DAW and a sampler rolled into one. No need to juggle between different software.

When it comes to the UI, Ableton Live keeps it clean and straightforward, focusing on arrangement and session views.

You can line up your tracks or go wild experimenting.

Reason takes you back to the good ol' days with a traditional interface that's all about that virtual instrument rack (even allowing you to see and switch wires around in the back!)

ableton vs reason

Sound-wise, both are packed with virtual instruments and effects, plus solid audio recording and editing.

Ableton Vs Reason For Bigger Projects

Here's the kicker: Ableton Live gives you more audio and MIDI effects for some serious sound bending. Reason lets you tweak the interface to fit your style with its “scalability” feature.

If you're the type to hit the stage, Ableton Live is your backstage buddy with its live performance features like clip and loop triggering. Reason? Not so much about the live gigs, but it's got your back with editable REX files.

And for the gearheads, Ableton Live plays nice with a broader range of hardware controllers.

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