Reaper vs Pro tools: DAW Comparisons and Reviews

Are you considering music production as a career? If you have a love for music and passionate about it, then the journey can be very satisfying for you. Diving into music production these days starts with the digital audio workstation or DAW.

The Reaper vs. Pro tools feud is a pretty common event you may come across among many DAW applications. Choosing one of these two gets very difficult solely because of their features and performance in the music production aspect.

Here, we will unravel all the things you will need to know to choose one of these two applications for your music production purposes. So, let’s get going.


Reaper vs. pro tools, The Differences Between reaper and pro tools

When it comes to comparing these two applications, it gets very tough. Sure, there are some differences between them, but none of them are bad in what they do. So, let’s check out the differences with the software and see which one suits your need more.

Reaper Specs

  • Compatibility: MAC, Windows, Linux
  • MIDI: Available
  • Plugins: Included free plugin package
  • VSTs: VST 1,2,3 I and AU, DX
  • Customization: Many available

Pro tools Specs

  • Compatibility: MAC, Windows
  • MIDI: 512
  • Plugins: Needs purchase
  • VSTs: AAX native and AAX audio suite
  • Customization: Not much


There are several differences among the features of both these DAW’s. In some instances, the Reaper has the upper hand, and, in some cases, the pro tools have the upper hand. Let’s check out the features to find out.

  • Pro tools have a faster rate of editing than you can't get from Reaper. With these features, the whole thing gets much more efficient and productive.
  • Reaper is much more stable than the Pro tools. Here, stability means that Reaper has almost zero software issues and hard crashes. At the same time, Pro Tools may crash at times due to bugs.
  • Reaper receives a lot of updates over the period to make it perform better. Pro tools rarely get any update from the developers, but it gets some major changes when it does.
  • The user interface of Pro tools is much cleaner and sorted than Reaper. However, Reaper can customize themes and looks, which makes it a better appealing software.
  • CPU usage on the Reaper is comparatively lower than the Pro tools. So, it’s a better option for a lower-end PC.
  • Reaper is more of an affordable option, whereas Pro tools may cost quite a lot.
  • Reaper has an option to use with a portable flash drive and features portable installation as well.
  • Pro Tools is great for producing industry-quality music; doing the same with Reaper will require a lot of work.
  • Reaper is DRM-free software. This means even after the trial period is over, you can still use it with all of its features. On the other hand, Pro Tools has limitations in using features after the free trial.

As you can see, some differences are significantly effective for decision-making. Now, depending on these, you can determine what you need more.

However, you only got to know the differences between the two applications. We think it wouldn’t be justice to these DAW’s if we don’t explain all the possibilities they provide. So, let’s take a look at both of them individually to know the real worth of these applications.

Reaper Review

Many people are still unaware of this software as this one is a new DAW among many other options. Despite being new software, it gained enough popularity among music producers to be considered an option for music production.

What sets this one apart from the other DAW software is that it comes with some unique features that aren’t typical of DAW’s.

Variety of customization 

Do you love things that come with customization options? Well, many people out there want to have a touch of their own in everything they use. You can't get the customization option in any DAW software. So, this feature alone makes Reaper an attractive option already.

You can customize the theme, look, workspace functionality, toolbars, menus, and so much more with Reaper. With this, you can get accustomed to this software even if you are moving from another software. Also, this plays a huge role in slightly boosting your efficiency.

Plugins and functionalities 

Reaper comes with a lot of possibilities for you with the package. First of all, so many plugins are included in the initial package that you might not even need third-party plugins. But if you choose to go for third-party plugins, you won't have any trouble with that either. This software is compatible with most plugins available for DAW applications.

Along with plugins, you get a lot of functionalities as well. With proper knowledge of editing, you can take your music production to a new level using Reaper.

Optimized software 

You will love the experience of using this software because of the optimization. It doesn’t use too much of your CPU memory which makes work go much smoother and faster. It comes with regular updates that keep the software stable at all times. So, you won’t have to worry about the software crashing while you are working on a project, now that’s a great thing to have.

If you ever had to cut down a long file to work on it, then you can say goodbye to that trouble on this software. It doesn’t matter how large the file is; you can work on the file to its entirety at once; no hassle of cutting and stitching is required.

Issues with the Reaper 

While the customization option on the software is so good, it has its bad impacts as well. Sometimes you may get overwhelmed with all the different options and settings you get on the software. Going through all of them may be troublesome. Also, the interface can get confusing at times which eventually leads to lower efficiency.

If you are a beginner at music production, then this software can be a little overwhelming as you have to figure out all the things about the software as well as the details of music production.


Pro Tools Review

This professional DAW has been a reliable choice for many music producers for more than 30 years. Some great songs came out of this DAW, which was completely made and edited on this software.

The reason for the fame of this software is the capability it holds. You can pretty well assume that if professional music is made using this software, then it must be something good. Let’s check out some features.

Complete and quick solution to audio production 

Whether it's creating, recording, mixing, or editing music, you can do it all on this software. This is why many professional music producers use this, as they don’t have to move between software to get their desired results. To get the best results, you will just need to know about the perfect plugins for the software and combine them.

Aside from that functionality, working on this software is extremely fast. You can do all the work very quickly because the operations are executed on this software rapidly.

Easy and simple user interface 

One thing to love about this software is the simplicity of the user interface. You can navigate through all the different options of the software with ease. This makes your work much more productive and efficient. Also, the same feature makes it a great tool for any beginner music producer as they are in their learning curve. Even the mixing features of this software are easy to learn.

Professional and reliable 

You can rely on this software for the output quality of your music. You won’t have any second thoughts about the quality you put out there. The integration of some advanced plugins lets you get top-notch music quality every time. And doing all that is very simple and easy to follow along.

Issues with Pro Tools 

One thing you might not like is the price you have to pay for this software. It's much higher than the comparing Reaper. It might seem a bit overpriced because this software isn't perfect. Why do we say this?

Well, this doesn't come with many customization options. Also, it only supports VST plugins that are AAX format. This takes away a lot of possibilities from the software. You won’t get many updates of the software, which can be problematic in some scenarios. Lastly, this one has a high percentage of CPU usage.

Final words

Summing it up, there is no clear winner in this Reaper vs. Pro Tool battle. They both have their good and bad sides. When it comes down to making a choice, you will have to see what you prefer. If you want to have professional-grade audio production right from the get-go, then Pro tools is a better choice, even though it's expensive.

But if you want an affordable option that comes with a lot of customization possibilities and functions, then Reaper is the way to go. Now, no matter which one you choose, you will get a lot out of it, and they will eventually benefit your music production career.

1 thought on “Reaper vs Pro tools: DAW Comparisons and Reviews”

  1. I’ve used both believe me. If you know to use Reaper. It does better audio editing than pro tools. Also you get lots of options to customize your action to editing. And eventually that surpasses audio editing capabilities of Pro tools.
    No offense to anyone, “the best daw is the one you are most comfortable with”.


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