When comparing Ableton Live 9 vs Pro Tools 11, the Slant community recommends Ableton Live 9 for most people. In the question“What are the best DAWs?” Ableton Live 9 is ranked 2nd while Pro Tools 11 is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Ableton Live 9 is:
Ableton's session view gives a much quicker, more flexible way of experimenting with ideas than a typical linear interface. In session view, each instrument part is a separate entity that can be mixed and matched with other parts without having to rearrange anything. Any and every effect is consolidated into one clean looking interface. It allows users to experiment with effects and other manipulations very quickly. Because of this, Ableton is known as one of the most creative DAWs out there.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Great creative DAW workflow
Ableton's session view gives a much quicker, more flexible way of experimenting with ideas than a typical linear interface. In session view, each instrument part is a separate entity that can be mixed and matched with other parts without having to rearrange anything. Any and every effect is consolidated into one clean looking interface.
It allows users to experiment with effects and other manipulations very quickly. Because of this, Ableton is known as one of the most creative DAWs out there.
Pro Advanced automation
You can add curves to automation. Additionally, Ableton lets users duplicate certain automations quickly.
Pro Great for sampling
The Ableton DAW offers a great sampling experience, which can be approached in many different ways. Audio can be directly chopped, quantized, warped, and even chopped into MIDI clips. Ableton's built in sampler also allows clean pitching along with useful loop functions.
Pro Optimized for playing live music
While all DAWs are capable of playing music live, Ableton Live is the most DJ friendly DAW out there as it allows mixing and mashing various MIDI or audio clips together in real-time while still making sure that they're in sync.
Pro Max for Live lets users build custom tools
With Max for Live, users can create custom synthesizers, audio effects, sequencers, samplers, and more. Max for Live is a feature that is available with Live 9 Suite.
Pro Advanced content browser
The browser lets users choose from live Sets, tracks, clips, devices, presets, samples, etc. There is also an auto-play function for audio clips that enables users to browse samples quickly. The search function is also handy, but only for clips that are labeled appropriately.
Pro Minimum skeuomorphism
Skeuomorphism is described as retaining antiquated aesthetic features on an updated version of a device. For DAWs, this happens when an interface is littered with analog nobs, wires, and other things that are reminiscent of older technology. While this can be considered a stylistic choice for some DAWs, it tends to block progress towards better practices in music production.
Pro Many software specific controllers
Many MIDI controllers have been developed for the exclusive purpose of being used with Ableton. Some popular Live controllers include Push, APC40, and Launchpad.
Pro Outstanding EQ
Ableton's new EQ includes an integrated spectrum analyzer so users can see exactly which frequencies need to be adjusted. Additionally, this EQ cuts by 48 db. In the previous version of Ableton, the EQ only cut by 12 db.
Pro Dual monitor support
Live 9 lets users see session and arrangement views at the same time with dual monitor support.
Pro Comes with 54GB included sounds and 40 effects
Pro Supports "scales" plugin
If you want to write in a specific scale, choose it from the scale plugin and your music will automatically be configured to be that key.
Pro Exemplary time stretching facilities
Not only can the time stretching can be done in real-time, there are about a dozen of TC/E algorithms to choose from.
Pro Endless creativity
After some training this daw can be used for doing anything. There are basically no limits.
Pro Multiple "workflows" or ways of achieving an outcome
Not everyone realizes this, but anything can be done in multiple ways in Live. Multiple ways of playing samples, multiple ways of slicing samples, multiple ways of sequencing MIDI, etc.
Pro Can play a midi note from the middle
Since Live 10, you can play a midi note without having to play it from the start.
Pro Very fast precision editing
The Pro Tools DAW is know for making clip manipulation a fun and productive experience.
Pro Mature editing and mixing facilities
As the Pro Tools DAW was originally developed to be an audio-only system with recording, editing and mixing in mind, these core features have been the most developed over time. It can be argued that the Pro Tools DAW has the best editing and mixing capabilities of any DAW, and for these reasons is considered by many to be an industry standard. As such it is an excellent DAW for multi-track mixing and recording.
Pro 64 Bit
This long awaited feature has finally been added.
Pro Extremely clean DAW interface
The Pro Tools DAW is known for being simple and easy to use. The UI is straightforward and isn't weighed down with useless features.
Pro Comes with 8GB of included sounds and 55 included effects
Pro Clean, Uncluttered Interface
The UI is very clean and uncluttered so there's not too much going on onscreen to have to try to focus on, do wish they would implement a theme system though, so you could change the colors of the UI, I prefer a dark theme as they are easier on the eyes
Pro Free version available
The new version of Pro Tools is called Pro Tools First. It is free with some limited features. Pro Tools First allows four track inputs and three projects.
Pro Much faster than Pro Tools 10
The improvement from the Pro Tools 10 DAW to the Pro Tools 11 DAW is highly noticeable.
At around $749, the Ableton Live 9 Suite DAW is more expensive than other DAWs. Ableton live 9 standard can be bought for $449, and Ableton Live 9 Intro can be bought for $99.
Con Plugins on frozen tracks are loaded and unloaded as the session opens slowing down opening and creating DSP limitations.
For example: If you freeze more than the allowed number of plugins on a UAD DSP device, when you open your session, Ableton will open and close all the frozen plugins on every channel even though they are not active in the session. The UAD control panel application displays the DSP usage of the hardware. During loading the levels (bars) will fluctuate by extreme amounts and typically will produce errors once the Ableton session is loaded.
After the session is loaded, UAD plugins that should be running are disabled because there wasn't enough DSP available during load.
The user then has to open and look at each UAD plug in to see if they are disabled and turn them off and on again to enable them. This illustrates there is enough room for the DSP load for unfrozen plugins, but that the loading process was at fault.
Con Interface looks terrible
It really looks shoddy. The fonts are much too small to be comfortable and there is no return to beginning button included in the navigation controls. (But font size can be increased)
Con No comping / playlist feature when tracking
Con No VST3 Support
Con Sometimes very slow reaction, if you switch from one track to another with APC- or Push-Controller
Con Limited routing
Tracks can go into groups and sub-groups (as of Live 10), and sends are available, but that's the extent of routing.
Con Too damn expensive
Con No RTAS or VST plugin support
The Pro Tools 11 DAW dropped RTAS support in favor of their own AAX (Avid Audio eXtension) format. Without AAX availability, a VST wrapper is required.
Con No built in pitch correction
While some other DAWs are equipped with pitch correction, the Pro Tools DAW is missing this feature. In order to use pitch correction, it must be added as a plugin.
Con No batch export
You can not pick separate tracks to export in one pass that gives you separated files.
Con MIDI and composition tools are a bit dated
Con Audio Drivers and ASIO
You cannot change the audio outs in ASIO on the fly, like in some other software, without having to save and restart the entire program, plus it's very finicky about audio drivers
Con Prone to crashes
While it might be the "Industry Standard" for recording award winning albums, Avid has focused more on anti piracy and security while sacrificing stability, it seems to me they just change their plugin standard and slap a new version number on it and rush it to market.