When comparing Reaper vs Studio One, the Slant community recommends Reaper for most people. In the question“What are the best DAWs? ” Reaper is ranked 1st while Studio One is ranked 2nd. The most important reason people chose Reaper is:
You can easily customize a GUI.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Highly customizable
You can easily customize a GUI.
Pro Extremely stable, rarely crashes
Reaper receives high praise for its stability. It's one of the many talking points of the software.
Pro Supports unlimited number of tracks with unlimited number of effects
There are no limits to the amount of tracks or effects that Reaper can run. Reaper is stable enough to handle comically dense projects with style.
Pro Constantly updated
Reaper's developers add features based on user request at lightspeed. This is what makes Reaper reliable and trustworthy. Fans of Reaper are so adamant about the software because of this.
Contrary to Music Radar's review of FL Studio, Reaper is the true "People's DAW".
Pro Very low cpu usage
Reaper's will tailor itself to fit your computer's processing power by automatically using the "anticipative FX processing" feature.
Pro Auto-bridges 32-bit plugins in a 64-bit environment
When using a 64-bit installation of Reaper, all 32-bit plugins will still work alongside 64-bit plugins. On computers with an x86-64 CPU and an OS that supports multi-architecture, you can also run bridged 64-bit plugins on 32-bit Reaper.
Pro Easy to install
No complex activation shenanigans. No dongle and such.
Pro Multiple recording and playback formats
Records in WAV, AIFF, FLAC, WAVPACK, OGG and MP3.
Reaper is lightweight enough to be run off of a flash drive; the installer weights less than 20 MB and the portable installation option is included in it.
Pro Huge community support
Pro Comes with ~300 free plugins
In addition to its powerful inbuilt plugins, Reaper comes bundled with about 300 little plugins written in its own EEL2 (aka Jesusonic) scripting language. This is also open-source so the end user can create or edit preexisting ones to get exactly what they want.
Pro Multi-level freezing
A freeze can be applied to a group, and then picked apart track by track.
Although it may seem otherwise, Reaper is shareware. After your 60-day free trial runs out, the program remains full-featured. Like WinRAR, the only person forcing you to get a license is you.
Pro Free Reaplugs VST/VSTi bundle
Allows usage of the basic bundled like EQ's and comp plugins in any DAW.
Pro Application is extendable
Reaper has no limitations. Once you understand it, Reaper becomes a mixing, mastering and editing mainstay. Reaper punches way above its price range in terms of sheer brevity.
Pro Editing audio can be done on track
You don't have to go to a separate editor to edit audio files. You can work directly on the track, and drop/drag pieces to other tracks, sew them together. It's a fun sandbox and easy peasy.
Pro Very full featured but basic recording and production can be learned and done in a few hours
Without prior experience with DAW, you can install Reaper, set up ASIO drivers, connect to your amp and mikes, get the hang of recording/re-recording tracks, and render an mp3 in just a few hours. You can accomplish the basics very fast.
Pro Highly Affordable
Reaper can be purchased in two different ways: A commercial license (225 USD) and a discounted license (60 USD).
You can use Reaper unhindered with either license. You can only get the discount if your salary does not exceed 20,000 USD.
Pro Supports ReWire
Pro Lua scripting can be done in the DAW with a built-in IDE
Pro Many time-saving features
Thought has been given to many time-saving features and shortcuts which speed up workflow considerably.
Pro Tool-less interface
Set the cursor, press a key, done. Reaper's cursor is extremely intuitive. A monkey could understand it.
Unlike Cakewalk, Bitwig, etc., there is no need to switch cursor editing modes or work around "smart" cursors.
Pro Universal tracks
In Reaper, you can record MIDI and Audio onto the same track. As well, there are no distinctions between any form of audio. Surround Sound, Mono, Stereo files, and anything else you can think of; all of this can be recorded onto the same track.
Pro Tabbing multiple projects
You can have multiple projects open via tabs at the top left. You can then drag and drop clips, instruments or ideas between projects with ease.
Pro Notation editing
Miraculously, composition-focused musicians can now find a home in Reaper.
Pro The software advances with you
If you want to use it as a glorified tape machine and nothing else, you'll still be able to get work done. If you want to learn all the shortcuts, scripts, custom actions and macros and really unlock what Reaper can do, you can do that as well. Either way, you'll still be able to make music.
Pro Runs well on Wine in Linux
While other DAWs drag their feet on Windows, Reaper hits a solid stride even on Linux.
Pro Clean, easy-to-read GUI
While some may disagree, the GUI has been widely celebrated for its informative nature. Everything you need to see is there or reachable. For more analytical types, Reaper can be of use.
Pro OSC support
You can control almost everything via OSC (and MIDI, too).
Pro Native Linux support
No need to install Wine, Reaper supports Linux natively!
Pro Potential to be the most beautiful DAW
You can customize Reaper with hundreds of themes, or make them yourself.
Pro Lightweight and affordable price
These two things are the biggest advantage of Reaper. No other DAW can beat it based on CPU efficiency. Some people say Reaper isn't a professional DAW by look, but it's not true. Reaper is a full-featured professional DAW. You can do anything whatever you want for music production.
The price is also reasonable. They are even generous with the evaluation policy. If they offer the simple and intuitive version, I'll be back to Reaper.
Pro Can edit while you're recording
Reaper allows editing while you're recording for a performative and fluid workflow. This feature can also help save time when mixing.
Running smoothly with 50 tracks on i5 gen3 RAM 4GB laptop (mixing and mastering work done separately).
Pro Script Tools
Can run edited Script tools programmed by users.
Pro Excellent License Model
You can have one version and the future version when its out .
Pro Can Mix On Arranger View Without Console (Mixer) Or Inspector
Pro Melodyne built-in
The Real Melodyne is integrated in the actual DAW. No other DAW is set up to streamline Melodyne.
Pro Efficient DAW workflow
The Studio One DAW doesn't expect users to deal with a lot of windows, answer questions, or use the mouse excessively. This DAW is known for lettings users be creative without getting in the way.
Pro Easy to use DAW interface
All components are laid out in an understandable fashion and almost everything is drag and drop.
Pro Good interface compatibility
Works great with interfaces, and doesn't fight with ASIO drivers.
Pro Creative songwriting and arrangement tools
Use the 'scratch pad' work on multiple versions for your song without leaving the main window.
Pro Awesome smart tool
Hovering over different parts of the events in the arrange window activates different tools.
Pro Lightweight on lower CPU
Pro Very stable DAW
Performance is rock solid and very efficient, even on lower spec computers.
Pro Automatic delay compensation
When a plugin takes time to process a sound, the Studio One DAW detects the gap and compensates.
Pro Multiple key command templates
Possible to use key commands from Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, etc.
Pro Drag and Drop feature is quite flexible and allows for massive free form modification on the fly
Pro Eficient quality , all more easy and fast
Pro Insert plugins on actual events, not just tracks
Have you ever wanted a delay on just a word or so. No need to automate or move to a separate track. No need to print it to the clip and run out of room on the audio file. Simply amazing feature.
Pro Dedicated mastering page
Studio one has a page dedicated specifically to mastering which can be very useful when trying to finish your song.
Pro Chord track
Chord track can be used by inserting chords or getting them from an inserted track.
Pro Bounces MIDI in place
When bouncing from MIDI to audio, a new track won't be created, the clip will stay in the same place. When bouncing a specific part of a MIDI clip, it will be placed in a new track.
Pro The best DAW in Market and future standard
Pro Vocalign built in
Vocalign Project is can be integrated with the option to upgrade to Vocalign Pro.
Pro Available with a rent-to-own option from Splice
For those that can't afford to pay for a full professional DAW in one swoop, this is an amazing opportunity to get Studio One 4 Professional in monthly payments.
Pause and resume payments when you want or cancel at any time.
Pro Score view
This view is very powerful because it not only “shows” the MIDI notes as a score, but it also lets you add, edit and remove notes in standard music notation. It includes all the formatting rules, articulations, note values, clefs and general symbols from Presonus’ Notion software.
Pro Show page
Allows you to go from the studio to the stage or stream with other musicians through the interface. You can create a Setlist using your Songs created in Studio One, and combine them with a mix of live instruments, pre-recorded tracks, and virtual instruments.
Each song in the Setlist can have its own unique instrumentation. Songs in your set can be rearranged on the fly using drag-and-drop, and any element from your Song files can be added to your Show via simple copy-and-paste or direct export.
Switching to Performance view with a meter and customisable control over each parameter, means you can adjust in real-time while on Stage.
Pro Almost perfect
Can't complain about Studio One so much. It is almost perfect.
Pro Working with your iPad makes it easier
Pro Full Screen MIDI editor
Pro Clip gain envelopes
Clip Gain Envelopes represent a new layer of gain introduced in Studio One 5, which is independent from the audio event as well as the volume automation. This feature is ideal for applying gain correction before the signal hits the inserts, specially useful when dealing with extremely dynamic vocal tracks and sections in general that are too soft or too loud.
The user can create breakpoints within the clip by clicking on the curve, and then dragging either up or down in order to increment or reduce the clip’s gain. These gain modifications will be shown on the waveform.
The process is simple, fast, and extremely effective.
Pro Powerful Track/Channel search and filter options
Managing large projects with a huge track and channel count is now faster and easier than ever with the addition of powerful search and filter options.
Pro Notion 6 easy and full integration for scoring
Pro Has retrospective recording
Retrospective Recording captures everything you play on your keyboard or controller—even without hitting record! It works invisibly in the background on a track-by-track basis.
Pro Secondary Timeline Ruler option
View minutes:seconds with bars and beats at the same time! A must for film composers.
Pro Version 5 is the law
Con Long drop down menus
There are many features that you'll find nested deep in the menu system. This is fine, but can be a bit of a workflow-stopper. Everything is there but somethings are difficult to find. This can be remedied, somewhat, using the action list.
Con Midi latency is still an issue
Con Overwhelming amount of features available
The programmable interface means that tweaking features is daunting for some.
Con Lacks VSTis
Doesn't come with a wealth of VSTis. Plugins for things like piano, cello, guitar have to be found elsewhere. But is highly compatible with other providers of those products.
The privacy conscious may be unnerved to find that Reaper is closed-source. This means that what the software may or may not know about you is invisible. Try to protect your data when using closed-source software.
Con Super complicated and unintuitive DAW
Although many users have asked to make it simple, the dev team hasn't listened to it at all. Plus, many things are opposite comparing to other DAWs and it's pretty annoying. They may have reverse psychology. They're trying to make musicians to coders. You'll waste your time for tweaking it. Reaper also gives you a challenge how your memory function sucks. You'll easily forget anything if you don't use it for several days. Even though Reaper offers many time-saving features, you'll waste time remembering all of them. It's non-sense.
Con Unreliable controller interface support
Reaper may or may not natively support your control surface. If it doesn't, you can add it manually, but it may often lose connection to it (and will constantly nag you about the lost connection).
Con Feels like an unfinished product
There are lots of menu options and shortcuts, but then there's a ton of other stuff that's hidden away in options and "actions" screens, and absolutely none of it is intuitive. Also, many controls default to text boxes or basic sliders, when knobs would be more useful.
Con Poor MIDI editor
Con The MIDI editor is not intuitive and feels very clumsy and inconsistent
It costs time and extra clicks to control the MIDI velocities. If you use the MIDI editor a lot, Reaper is just not for you.
Con No native groove quantize feature
Straight quantization is available, but the Reaper 4 DAW is still missing groove integration. This feature can be made available with the free SWS extension.
Con Midi drum editing not so fast or easy
Cubase has more features for creating and editing midi drum tracks.
Con Some edge features come across as somewhat janky
The video editor acts as its own little IDE rather than a polished plugin with a frontend like other JS plugins. The MIDI export function is not integrated with the larger render window. It's a sort of death by a thousand paper cuts - although many of the features that are janky here simply don't exist in other DAWs.
Con Midi dropout or inconsistent when render a track
When rendering a track with multiple vst, the midi note either having drop out issue, or not playing on time in render. Tried all render method such as offline full speed, offline 1x and online render, with both case of enabling or disabling the "allow anticipative FX processing", even tried to change the performance options on individual track, the problem still occurs. However, it is still nice to do mixing and recording with all these handful of tools.
Con Potentially unattractive GUI
For some, Reaper appears very dated or clunky. The GUI is nowhere near as fluid as its competitors. Ableton, Bitwig, Reason (and others) all provide smoother animations or skeuomorphic feedback.
Reaper's instruments and effects come in the form of sliders and very small knobs. It takes the user out of the fantasy of working with certain equipment. This makes Reaper very boring to watch from a distance for some.
However, this means nothing in terms of Reaper's raw power. By trading appearance and initial impression for functionality, Reaper stays ahead.
Con The DAW can't be used as a ReWire component
The DAW can be used as a ReWire host, but cannot be used as a ReWire component. This is frustrating if you like some of the instrument sounds and virtual synths in Studio One, but prefer another DAW to do your main work in.
Con Bad customer service
Con Free version does not support 3rd party plugins
He can limit the tracks or etc., but no vst support for free version makes this piece of software a garbage!
Con Frustrating controls
The mouse wheel is used for both scrolling and for controls (fader, pan, etc.) manipulation, depending on what's under the pointer; you may very well be scrolling through the tracks in the mixer only to suddenly discover that you are changing the volume of a track because the pointer entered the fader space. Users have been requesting a fix for this for several years now (there can't possibly be anyone who thinks this is a good design), but it's still a problem. Also, you may try to select a track only to end up changing its color or some other unexpected behavior.
The interface Graphical is comic bookish. While the DAW is useful there are better interfaces out there. One of the biggest issues is how the signal path is selected. Other DAW's work more like a patchbay allowing for a more visual interaction with the program. Studio One is different and a little obtuse. For example, Digital performer 11, Protools 11, Sonar Producer provide a better experience.
Con Limited feature set
Con No Dolby Atmos / surround
Con Crashes often, not very stable and runs poorly even on powerful systems
Con Non-free software
Does not respect your freedom. Does not provide source code.
Con Interface signal selection is obtuse and not as intuitive as other DAWs
Con Not always clear how to undo your changes
Some controls are very easy to set, only to be nearly impossible to figure out how to undo. For example, hiding a track is a simple right-click away, but unhiding the track requires finding a hidden screen and clicking on a dot beside the track name.
Only my complaint so far is the automation. It affects the fader, so if you use automation for the volume, the fader gets useless. Other DAWs such as Reaper and Mixcraft offers separate automation function and it doesn't affect the fader.
Another one if I pick, the design of the plugins has been changed too colorful and it's not necessary though. I prefer the design of version 4, simple grey and white style. The prettier, the more CPU usage.