Ableton Live

What are the benefits

I’m sure I’m going to get a biased response from this forum about choosing a recording software, but what are the benefits, if any, to using the bundled version of Ablteon Live that came with my Delta 44? Just wondering if it is more stable or has more options than N-track. I haven’t been using N for that long, but I don’t have any complaints about it so far… what ya’ll think?

Ah - Hm… The room just went quiet… ???

O.K. Everyone… Take-Two… this time with feeling… I forgot to hit the record button… lol…

I think I can hear a Cough-Drop… :O :laugh:

My Rule of Recording Software: “Use Whatever Works For You…”

Hi super-newb and TimOBrien:
My reply is ment to guarner replies to his post.

Tim… you are so right. I think most of the Hardware Makers test their hardware out on the editors that they supply so there is little or no issues to the purchaser… But in lots of cases the version they supply is a Demo, or at-best- an early build of the application.

After the inital install and on some machines IT becomes a hectic night-mare as to staying current with the latest software builds verses the latest hardware drivers…

But… in-the-end… IT’s whatever combination of both, that works… on the machine that the hardware and apps. are installed…


Use them both! :)

I haven’t used it but some guy at guitar center was telling me how cool it is. apparently you can cut and paste stuff and it’ll shrink/expand it to fit the time so you can loop stuff. he said he and his buddies would record stuff and loop it, building it up until eventually you quit playing all together and have this layered mix. sounded kinda’ neat.

Ableton Live is a very different program than n-Track and it depends on what you are doing as to which one will work better for you.

n-Track is designed as a recording console in your computer. It excels at recording live tracks and then mixing those tracks to achieve a song. If you are mainly recording real musicians playing real intruments and then mixing those tracks into a song using compression, reverb, and other effects, n-Track is the better choice. It is extremely intuitive and easy to use for this purpose.

Ableton Live works better if you are a musician who is composing your works on your computer. It will record live tracks just fine but it is really designed for creating electronic compositions on your PC. It has a number of features that make it very powerful to create and arrange loops and it handles midi more effectively than n-Track. One very powerful feature of Live is that you can rearrange and change the way it plays loops on the fly. For example, lets say you play a regular solo gig at a piano bar. You put together drum, bass, and other loops as backing instrumentation to make your stuff more interesting. Before Live came along, you were stuck with the background stuff you put together as a fixed song. You had to play it the same way everytime. With Live you can hit a key on the fly, while you’re playing, and get a different chorus, or you can repeat the same verse a couple more times. You can adjust your performance in real time.

Go through the Live tutorial - it’s worth the time. You’ll be amazed at what this program can do. From what I know about DAW software, if I could only have two programs on my PC they would be n-Track and Ableton Live.

Thanks for the good summary comparison, 8th note.

n-Track doesn’t have support for “loops” per se. (You can “loop” stuff by shift-pasting and telling how many copies, but if you change your mind … ugh … delete that track and start over.) So for folks like hip-hoppers where they take samples of existing music and turn it on its ear, repeat it, etc., n-Track isn’t the best tool – at least not to start with.

On the other hand, n-Track has just about all the features you’d want in a digital audio recording workstation. Not just for real instruments but also MIDI and plug-in synths, with flexible routing such as auxiliary and group channels, master plugins, as well as parameter automation for programming volume or FX parameter changes. You can record, mix, and master all in n-Track (plus using VST and DX plugins).

Lots of folks use Fruity Loops or Acid Pro for creating looped tracks, and then import them into n-Track for mixing. I couldn’t tell you why, other than that they like it. I don’t remember hearing anyone say this about Ableton specifically, though it sounds like a “live-able” version of Fruity and Acid.

In n-Track, you can rearrange parts if you change your mind about number of verses & such, but it’s a relatively tedious process involving using the grid and cut-paste-drag. It’s fine when you only have a few tracks, but it’s messy when you have a lot of them, and especially if you have a track with a lot of different wave file parts (snippets of recordings at different times). My sense is that Ableton is better at this kind of rearranging, but only assuming you’ve recorded the parts so they fit any which way. (I bet that’s somewhat true in any case: if only the chorus leads nicely into the bridge, you’ll have a hard time putting it after a verse instead. I’d like to see how programs like Ableton deal with pickups, where a verse is always the same except with different endings depending on what comes next.)