Reaper vs Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X is one of the most popular DAWs for Mac, and it’s a fully capable app that will allow you to record and sculpt all sorts of music and other audio projects. It’s widely used in the music industry and relatively affordable compared to other similar options. 

Reaper is one of the best open-source DAWs around, with a unique approach to giving musicians and producers everything they need to create excellent soundscapes. You can also get Reaper at a discounted rate if you don’t make much money. 

I’m Donovan, a lifelong musician and home studio enthusiast with years of experience writing, recording, and producing music. I’ve spent a lot of time working with Logic Pro X and have enough experience with Reaper to know how they both function. 

This post will compare and contrast Logic Pro X versus Reaper. I’ll provide you with plenty of details on each DAW so you can get a good idea of its features, how they function, and which might be the best choice for your situation. 

Let’s get rolling.

Quick Comparison

Logic Pro XReaper
Ease of UseFairly intuitive to learn the basics with a user-friendly interface. Complex to master. More challenging to learn and not as intuitive. Lots of community support
Features/FunctionsMany features and functions to take advantage of for all types of recording and production projectsPlenty of features to use, including plugins and other effects. Open source allows these to be customizable
Pro Production CapabilitiesPro-level production capabilities with comprehensive tools that working musicians and producers loveCapable of pro-level production but not as often used in the industry as other DAWs. Also very stable and rarely crashes. 
WorkflowMany workflow considerations and lots of customizable featuresPlenty of workflow considerations including support of unlimited tracks, extendable options, and shortcuts. 
LimitationsOnly compatible with MacOpen source with expansive compatibility. Not many limitations. 
Pricing$199.99 one-time purchase$225 commercial license/$60 discounted license

Detailed Comparison

Here is an in-depth look at how Logic Pro X and Reaper compare to one another to give you a better understanding of each DAW. 

1. Ease of Use

If you are new to audio production or setting up your first home studio, there will be an initial learning curve no matter which DAW you choose to use. But some options are easier than others, which can be good for beginners. 

Logic Pro X has a very intuitive user interface that makes it easy to use on a basic level. To master the app will take years of experience and plenty of trial and error, but you can get started with a basic recording session in a matter of minutes. 

The layout of Logic Pro X will feel very familiar if you have experience using other Apple apps like GarageBand. This is intentional on Apple’s part, and Logic is set up to feel comfortable and approachable, no matter how much experience you have. 

Reaper isn’t quite as user-friendly, although it’s still pretty approachable. The initial layout of this DAW isn’t as straightforward, so it might take time to get the hang of things if you have never used it before. 

And if you want to become really proficient with Reaper, the learning curve is pretty steep. It has many great features, which I’ll explain more in-depth below, but unlocking the true potential of all of these can take some time. 

If you are comfortable with open-source platforms and have a general idea of how a DAW works, then Reaper won’t be all that complicated initially. But if you are a complete beginner and looking for a user-friendly experience, Logic Pro X is a better option.

Winner: Logic Pro X

Screenshot taken in Logic Pro X on my Mac

2. Features/Functions

The features and functions of a DAW ultimately dictate what’s possible as you create projects in it. You can only go as far as the app will allow, so you must be sure that any option you choose has everything you want or need. 

Logic Pro X is packed full of useful features and functions that will benefit musicians and producers of all kinds. It is an extremely capable DAW built for professionals who demand high-level tools to make their music. 

Logic comes with many plugins and other settings that you can use to start making music immediately. On top of that, you can also purchase third-party plugins to help you expand your possibilities even further. 

Reaper also has a ton of functions and features to take advantage of. And if you are a fan of open-source software and want the ability to write your own script to customize or expand these tools, you can do so. 

Reaper is constantly updated, which means everything it offers is improved or expanded upon often. This is great news for active musicians and producers who want access to high-level tools for their projects. 

Both of these DAWs have too many features and functions to mention here, but that means they are both a good choice if you want or need many options. You can create just about any type of audio project with them. 

Winner: Tie 

3. Pro Production Capabilities

Both Logic Pro X and Reaper are used by professional musicians and producers to great effect. These DAWs can give you everything you need to stay creative and competent in the studio. 

Logic Pro X is one of the most commonly used DAWs by professional musicians. This is because it has an intuitive interface that isn’t overly complex while still giving you high-end tools to create professional-sounding tracks from top to bottom. 

Logic comes with many software instruments and samples, which are great to have on your side if you make electronic or hip-hop music. The app also supports just about every piece of external equipment you can imagine, adding to your home studio capabilities. 

Reaper also gives you professional production capabilities and has plenty of features to support this. The app isn’t quite as widely used in professional studios as Logic Pro or Pro Tools, but it’s still a good option for a number of reasons. 

Reaper supports an unlimited number of tracks and effects, which means you can set up huge projects without worrying about crashes or glitches. The editing process is also very functional, which is a benefit for producers and engineers. 

Either of these options can be a good solution for a professional-level home studio. It really just depends on what type of system you want to run and other preferences you might have. 

Winner: Tie  

4. Workflow

As you become a better producer or engineer, workflow considerations are critical. These help you speed up and streamline your processes, allowing for more productivity in the studio. 

Logic Pro X has many features that help you dial in a solid workflow. The expansive nature of the app supports many customizable workflow options, and there are also a lot of shortcuts and key commands that take things to another level. 

I like all of the different views and windows that are possible within Logic, and these have helped me dial in a very effective workflow over the years. Switching from the mixer view to the editing window can happen with a single click.

Reaper also has many excellent workflow considerations. It’s a highly-customizable program that delivers near-endless options with that in mind. And if you have the skills or know-how to write your own script, the custom options expand even further. 

Reaper also comes with shortcuts and other features that are designed to help you save time and effort. These aren’t as straightforward to figure out as they are in Logic, but once you get the hang of things, they will help improve workflow. 

Spending the time to refine workflow will significantly improve how you function and operate in your studio setup. So it’s worth getting a DAW that helps support this, and both Logic Pro X and Reaper allow you to do just that. 

Winner: Tie

Screenshot taken in Logic Pro X on my Mac

5. Limitations

Nearly every app you’ll ever use has its limits, and DAWs are no exception to this. So it’s always good to know these before you choose which one you want to use in your home or professional studio setup.

Logic Pro X has a glaring limitation in that it’s only available for Mac. You need a Mac computer to run it, and no Windows or any other version is available. There also isn’t a mobile version of Logic. 

If you already run a Mac-based studio, then the compatibility limitations don’t really apply. There aren’t a lot of other limits to mention with Logic, and it should meet nearly all your needs in this situation. 

Reaper doesn’t have many limitations and is compatible with just about any system you want to use it on. It will work with Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. But there isn’t a mobile version for this one, either. 

Reaper is also open-source, which really helps to get rid of any limitations. If you encounter something that holds you back, you can change it on your own. Not many DAWs offer that type of customization. 

Reaper does have a steeper learning curve to master, which can be a limitation, depending on how you look at things. If you want to get started with recording right away, Logic Pro X might be a better option.  

Winner: Reaper

6. Pricing

If you are a working musician or producer, then getting a DAW is a must. And most of the good ones will cost you money. But it’s always good to compare the prices of your options so you can budget properly and plan ahead. 

Logic Pro X is available for a $199.99 one-time purchase. This gives you unlimited use of the app and also includes future updates. It also allows you to run the app on several computers as long as you sign in with the same Apple ID. 

Reaper has a somewhat different pricing model. You can download the app for a 60-day free trial to see if you like it. There is also an option for a $60 discounted license that is for individuals or personal use or if you use the app commercially and make less than $20,000. 

The full version of Reaper will cost you $225, and this is a commercial license that gives you unlimited use of everything. 

Winner: Reaper

Final Verdict

Both Logic Pro X and Reaper are solid choices for a DAW that can work well in many different types of home studios. Logic Pro X is more commonly used in professional settings, but Reaper is a cool open-source option that makes it somewhat unique. 

Have you used both Logic Pro X and Reaper? Which did you like better and why? Let me know in the comments below. 

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  • bobo

    There is a famous saying in China: “the road is simple”, but it is a pity that REAPER’s UI designers obviously like complexity to show their greatness. Much like a work of art, great work usually doesn’t need much explanation.

    • Donovan

      Hi Bobo,

      I think you are spot on in your assessment there. Reaper is a little much in terms of design, and its UI is overly complicated. Some tech heads and engineers might appreciate that, but it can also get overwhelming in a hurry for the beginner or average person looking for a good DAW to record and make music with. What’s your favorite option to work with? Logic is straightforward but also has a lot of depth when you want to explore more high-end functions. But I’ll take a more seamless UI any day with that in mind.