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Author Topic:

Ableton - is it any good?

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Peter_JamesDJ
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« on: December 01, 2012, 15:43:51 »

Keep hearing Ableton getting panned as a production tool - does anyone here use, and what do you think?
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bloke
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 16:01:38 »

lots of people use it, there is a knowledge share event sometimes, suzuki on here runs it i think, you can go and meet some users and try it out perhaps Smiley
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Peter_JamesDJ
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 23:50:29 »

That might be a great shout.....

Further feedback needed before investment me thinks!
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 11:24:59 »

I love it, having tried loads of other DAW's before Ableton it's the first one that really clicked. Built in instruments are great and you have VST support so pretty much an unlimited supply of third party plugins.

There are some silly deals out there for Live 8 at the moment and you get a free upgrade to Live 9 when it get's released next year.

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Block Party
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 12:21:32 »

It was designed to be a live performance software, hence the name Live! (not Ableton as many call it, that is the company name). Some have complained about the audio quality and the handling of MIDI, but I've never used it (except for a very early version 5 or more years ago). The best thing to do is try it out with someone who knows it. If it doen't look right for you try another DAW. They all do the same job essentially, but they have different bells and whistles and workflows, the latter being the really important part. If you can get used to the workflow (which takes a while on any piece of software or hardware) then you will get more out of it.
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Snoo
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 16:58:56 »

Having used a few DAWS: Logic, Sony Acid, Presonus, Cubase etc I've found that I've picked the basics up very quickly. I've tried playing with Ableton quite a few times and still don't have half a clue how you are supposed to do make music with it! Other than beat matching loops...

It comes down to what works for you though really. What Block said is true. If I was needing to put something together for a live show I'd stick it out I reckon. But for producing the actual music I'd go elsewhere.
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 17:28:37 »

it's more loop based, define some loops then start and stop them live to make your track, or you can use the timeline view

was designed for live use but 75% started using it for production pretty quickly, liking the real time nature of dramatically starting and stopping their hi hats as the muse took them, rather than deciding how many they should draw in. - plus you could assign loops to midi keys which was less common in daws at the time

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tomgrant(headrush)
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 13:19:58 »

I have had Ableton live lite 8 for about a month now. Its ok but you can't really do much in the way of straight forward production in it unless you upgrade. It good for making loops etc so if you ever want to play live in that sort of way it is worth getting a good grip. That is the main focus of the program. I find that Ableton stuff, from my rudimentary knowledge of it, tends to sound very synthetic. Some of the effects are pretty bad too. Also the sample pack i got with it is awful.

Try out the demo version online, play around and see what you think before buying.

Generally though its probably better to have a DAW that is aimed for making music like Reason or Cubase etc, then consider getting Ableton for if or when you want to do live performances. If you want to go cheap and get a lot of features consider getting the light versions of two DAWs. Say Cubase and Ableton Live. that way you can produce the elements of the track, record and edit in cubase, rewire it into Ableton Live then use Live to make the track as a live performance sort of thing. Not ideal but for 200 you would cover all bases without splashing out into one DAW that you end up not liking much

thirdly if you think you will use Ableton Live for Djing then that is an extra consideration and would be a big incentive for Live.
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 14:36:26 »

Try Reaper, it is very cheap and free to demo without restrictions.
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 21:43:06 »

i use ableton for production these days. it seems to do it all and everything is very well linked up and immediate which is ideal to get those ideas jammed out quickly.

i usually start tracks in the loop view and record a basic timline version and tweek it all from there.  its a quick

as someone said you can put ya VSTs / VSTi's in there and my UAD plugins work well too.
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Peter_JamesDJ
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 23:02:08 »

Bewn playing around with free version of Ableton for a few days and gotta say I'm impressed. Pretty easy to get basic format laid down pretty quickly and build a tune even with my limited knowledge.

Think I'm going to invest.....seems the best investment at this stage although still see it being badly rinsed for all its users stuff sounding the same. I guess its how creative you are.

Thanks for the feedback guys.
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 10:03:28 »

(...) Some have complained about the audio quality (...)

I'm no expert but I've lost count of the amount of times I've heard people come out with things like "oh the Ableton/Reason/PerceivedNumptyDAW7 engine sounds a bit flat", which I think has more to do with different DAWs naturally delivering a different flavour of sound out of the box. Anyone who knows what kind of sound they want to achieve will work out how to get that sound out of their chosen software in time. Familiarity breeds niftiness.

As Blocko says, workflow is important. I've been meaning to move over to Ableton for production for some time, as I really like the way it handles loops. The most befuddling thing about it for me is the relationship between Session View and Clip View, and how you're looking at Clip View when you're using the mixer. I still don't really get Clip View, though I understand it's there so you can quickly trigger stuff.
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Block Party
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 12:44:34 »

I don't know enough about it, but I think the Audio Engine is probably fine in Ableton, but it is the stretching of audio which leads to some degredation (which happens on any audio which is pitch shifted/timestretch in any DAW).
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[sic] / Powdermonkey
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2012, 18:23:09 »

Don't most people route Ableton through Logic (Rewire) to get generally better sound?

I would still like to learn Ableton properly (I find the MIDI a bit of a 'mare) as arranging does some much more natural.
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bloke
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2012, 18:30:08 »

i've found midi a bit cumbersome - especially when you export only allowing one track at a time - this may have changed now
i suppose if you're rewiring you could route midi into logic and record it there - look at ableton as a live midi loop player, not sure if you'd be able to record on more than one midi channel at a time, but there might be a hacky way of doing it - perhaps using a basic piano or synth sound to do bass & lead parts then separating them into their own tracks in logic

but then you could record all the midi in live and do drums & melody at the same time - then copy and paste the data for each track into logic for tidying up
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2012, 18:13:33 »

(...) Some have complained about the audio quality (...)

I'm no expert but I've lost count of the amount of times I've heard people come out with things like "oh the Ableton/Reason/PerceivedNumptyDAW7 engine sounds a bit flat", which I think has more to do with different DAWs naturally delivering a different flavour of sound out of the box. Anyone who knows what kind of sound they want to achieve will work out how to get that sound out of their chosen software in time. Familiarity breeds niftiness.

As Blocko says, workflow is important. I've been meaning to move over to Ableton for production for some time, as I really like the way it handles loops. The most befuddling thing about it for me is the relationship between Session View and Clip View, and how you're looking at Clip View when you're using the mixer. I still don't really get Clip View, though I understand it's there so you can quickly trigger stuff.

Forget clip view, you never ever have to use it, the volume control is available in the session view too.

I'm also completely at a loss to explain people's problem with the midi side of it. Maybe that's cause I don't use a keyboard or any outboard kit any more and have always drawn things in with piano roll sequencing? It's the same as any other sequencer I've ever used. You draw in a selection and tell it to create a midi clip using the selection, double click on the new clip you've created and there you are - piano roll at the ready.
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