- Looking to get started with music production but don’t know which DAW to buy?
- Wondering which is the better DAW for you out of Ableton Live &
- Find out whether
FL Studioor Ableton Live is the right fit for you.
In this FREE course, you'll develop a strong understanding of Ableton Live's interface and its many preference settings. Understand how to use Live's browser to quickly sample sounds in your tracks without having to spend time inefficiently searching your computer. We'll also discuss the build blocks of Live - clips.
FL Studio vs Ableton Live: Side By Side Comparison
When it comes to producing music, there are a wide array of engaging and capable Digital Audio Workstations (DAW’s) on the market. With some getting a seemingly endless bad rap and some receiving seemingly endless praise; it can be difficult to know what’s useful and what to ‘filter out’ (excuse the pun), especially when you’re hearing the same for-and-against arguments polarised over and over between the same two sides.
When asking around it can also be hard to find an unbiased and objective review or opinion regarding which software is right for you. Hopefully, this guide can give a quick and comprehensive idea of what to expect from 2 of the biggest hitters in the DAW market, and help you decide which one is right for you.
To help you make your decision, we break this review down into the 5 following sections:
- Stock Plugins
- Sample Libraries
- Price & Final Thoughts
This is important to consider when deciding what software to use as you do not want to be distracted while trying to be creative but you also want to feel inspired by what you’re looking at.
Ableton has a much more compressed GUI, with more information on the screen at one time than you would have in
Ableton displays in one of two modes, production mode and ‘live’ mode — pressing the ‘tab’ key will switch between the two.
Live mode allows for the live launching of clips and triggering of samples in a live or stage capacity. Production mode allows for audio input recording and/or midi audio recording onto separate tracks; with the ability to mix, edit and process that audio directly on the track itself or by adding FX/filters/processing on the audio effects window attached to the track that is displayed down the bottom of the screen.
The overall visual aspect of
For beginners, this might be one of the most useful features as (in most cases, when using native plugins) the user is able to see a visual representation of what they are hearing, which can allow for more of a ‘feeling’ when mixing and also help the user understand the effect of their actions on screen in relation to what they hear coming out of their speakers or headphones.
The trade-off regarding this visual improvement over Ableton is a higher usage of CPU and RAM.
This means that for you to run two identical projects of the exact same size, across the two different DAW’s, the computer operating
Winner: Ableton Live
This is not to say that Ableton has more to offer, it is more so a suggestion that anyone looking seriously at buying the full version of one or the other should take the time to look into the specifics of what instruments and effects they might consider to be more important to the specific end-user.
For example, Ableton has the ‘Arpeggiator’ and ‘Scale’ MIDI effects, while
Both programs have extremely capable and creative ability when it comes to sound design, although it can be said with much certainty that playing around with the dials on
Winner: Ableton Live
Along with the wide selection of plugins and midi effects, the full (Suite) version of Live comes with an impressive collection of over 5000 individual sounds and samples, over 70GB of data ready to be used in your latest and greatest productions, more than enough samples to get you on your way to your goal of song creation, although it is worth noting that as you move down the tiers of Live bundles, you are offered fewer sounds.
It is worth noting that these libraries, while vast in their own right, may wind up feeling rather generic.
If you’re after more underground, niche-specific samples, it’s worth expanding your collection of sounds via Loopmasters. Check out their sales page for some awesome discounts.
Image-Line do offer a wide selection of paid DLC sample packs and sound libraries on their website, ranging from cosmic funk loops, pitched vocal instrument banks and smooth hip hop drums, so there’s plenty of building blocks there to help you get started.
Winner: Ableton Live
Ableton Live has an extremely functional way of dealing with audio editing and manipulation. It features an extremely intuitive set of hotkeys and a hands-on approach to the way you interact with the audio, it is easy to click on any aspect of the clip in Ableton and find yourself with a whole host of user-friendly options.
This includes, but is not limited to BPM warping (manual and automatic), easy automation of any control parameters across a whole host of hardware and software and an overall much more professional take on the whole aspect of audio recording and editing.
The automatic organization of track-based automation is almost non-existent, and you must create automation clips and adjust lengths and parameters in a much more convoluted (albeit user-friendly) way. Auto warping isn’t as intuitive as Ableton’s, and editing tools are somewhat clunky by comparison. Long, multiple edits in
Ableton Live is more geared towards the niche creative, meaning the producers that want to work across a broader range of media, potentially working on projects of a corporate or film-based nature, or even working on podcasts.
The application of audio editing and the way it works in Ableton is a lot more in-depth and coherent, while
Price And Final Thoughts
When comparing both flagship bundles of the two companies,
This might make Ableton the clear winner for some — as Live contains a huge host of extras in terms of overall content and functionality.
If you’re just starting out, I would recommend the Signature bundle as the ideal medium, if you do decide to opt for
Although the decision between the two will ultimately be dependent on your individual needs, it would be recommended that recording musicians, professional audio engineers and the more experienced/technical-minded would want to lean towards Ableton Live and the more creative and less experienced/less technical minded producers would want to go with
Not to box anyone up in saying that, but its best to be realistic about what you are looking for when purchasing a DAW and to choose one carefully that fits your needs as a producer.
- This item is shipped as a download card with a serial code and instructions to redeem your software from the Ableton...
- Multitrack audio recording and MIDI sequencing of software and hardware instruments
- Unique session View for nonlinear composition, flexible performance and improvisation
- Real-time warping of audio: automatically sync music and loops, regardless of tempo
- Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks
- Powerful mixing and automation
- Powerful MIDI editing and recording
- Flexible Browser and workflow features
- Support for all VST standards
- Over 80 instruments and plug-in effects included
Let us know in the comments if you found this
Last update on 2020-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API