Reason vs Ableton vs Bitwig


I’m going to disagree with Ableton because I use arrangement view all the time. I take my session loops, work vertically to get a bunch of complimentary grooves going, then spread them out over time in the arrangement view and work primarily in that view from there on. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Quick update on MPE in Bitwig: it doesn’t work with all MPE synths atm… It’s perfect for the BW synths and some other VSTis, but for some synths, it can actually be better to use a workaround in Ableton with x MIDI tracks instead of just using it in Bitwig… I guess this stuff will be sorted out soonish, but a dev from Tone2 just wrote in KVR that the BW guys actually gave him a support ticket instead of just connecting him with the responsible programmers lol… well, nothing is perfect I guess?


I’m curious if anyone that hasn’t used Reason before or has, has any feedback on the 3 different packages you can buy it at. $99 / $399 / $599. I tried it once and enjoyed it but the DAW aspect wasn’t that great for me workflow-wise. Same as OP. It as a VST however, more intriguing. Obviously they don’t repack it price-wise so I’m curious if the offerings between the different available sets are worth, even at the low-end of $99. I remember it having a really cool synth and some sick drums(i think it was redrum?).

Not to side track the convo. I’ve not tried Bitwig but I remember them having some decent offerings, plus it was supposed to have an easy, to amazing, way to collab, right? Like a seamless process to make stuff work, if I remember. Maybe that never came to fruition.

Ableton has always been my baby. But out of the 3 I feel like Reason would maybe be the neatest to fuck around in, but the most difficult to build a complete thought, initially. With Ableton being easier and Bitwig possibly just as easy, depending on which you hooked into first. If you’re looking for controllers or a way to drop mousing, maybe Live takes a substantial lead here. No idea what Bitwig offers again, just know sometimes market shares % drives price up or down, depending.

At least, I assume controllers are more prevalent on Live which means 2nd-hand and even new stuff would be easier to find and cheaper.


I think the only difference is the amount of reason racks (reason « plugins ») that come at each price point. I’d say go middle of the road if you are going to use it as a plugin in ableton. I am really thinking of updating mine because I hate the sequencer but like the rack a lot.


Over the years I went from Sonic foundry Acid 2.0 to Reason 2.0 to 2.5 then Cubase SX 2/SX 3/SX4 then Logic 8/9 and now using Ableton live.
From my experience you can make great music on any DAW, I really like where i am with Live at the moment as Push 2 is a beautiful piece of hardware, can’t see myself leaving Live anytime soon as id have to ditch push 2.



I ended up getting Ableton Live 10 Standard, upgraded to Reason 11 Suite to use it as a VST in Ableton, and bought a second-hand Push (one).

And I’ve never been happier with my set-up. Only minor gripe is that I don’t like Reason’s convolution reverb as much as the the convolution reverb I used to have in M4L on Live 9 Suite. But I don’t think it warrants spending a bunch of money on M4L or Ableton Suite for what is essentially only hobby stuff.

I’ll just have to rely more on subtle sound design, less on convolution reverb in my soundscapes. This is arguably a good thing. :smile:


The basic reverb in live was pretty good too iirc


Yeah, Live’s stock regular reverb is pretty good and I’ve used it a lot.

But I do love convolution reverb for the creative stuff you can do with it. I make a lot of ambient music and made some epic pads with the M4L reverb at almost 100% wet. Reason’s convolution reverb doesn’t have the power to it. And regular reverb just doesn’t carry the impulse in the same way.

I tried the same impulse responses which I used on the M4L devices (favourites being Open Air Library’s free York Minster and Hamilton Mausoleum impulse responses) and the Reason device’s processing doesn’t have the same weight to it.

There’s a chance I just haven’t tweaked the Reason device’s settings enough to get the same beefiness out of it, I guess.


There’s also free convolution reverb VSTs you could try.


Thanks, I will look around. :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ve read so many people complain about it and im like…


must be those folk that love a sexy UI.


I like the Live UI. It’s clean, distinctive and consistent.


I agree 100%