When comparing Ableton Live vs Pro Tools 2018.7, the Slant community recommends Ableton Live for most people. In the question“What are the best DAWs? ” Ableton Live is ranked 9th while Pro Tools 2018.7 is ranked 21st. The most important reason people chose Ableton Live 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 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 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 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 starting with Live 9 Suite.
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. Up until Ableton Live 9, the EQ only cut by 12 db.
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 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 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 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 Comes with 70GB included sounds, 15 software instruments, 55 audio effects and 17 midi effects.
Pro Dual monitor support
Starting with Live 9, users can see session and arrangement views at the same time with dual monitor support.
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 MIDI notes can be forced to a scale
With a simple plugin, Ableton allows the user to pick from a wide variety of scales when triggering notes.
Pro Can play a midi note from the middle
In Live V10, you can trigger MIDI notes without having to do so from the start.
Pro Widespread Online Support
The amount of well-versed tutorials and guides online can help you master Live in a few hours. Secret tips and tricks are also widespread. Forums are filled to the brim with support for any issue you can think of.
Pro VST3 support as of Ableton 10.1
VST3s now run smoothly in Ableton 10.1 and up. However, be careful when loading in CPU-heavy plugins.
Pro Able to to download own skin/theme
You can make your own skin/themes online and use it in "preferences" tab!
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 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 Comes with 8GB of included sounds and 55 included effects
Pro Much faster than Pro Tools 10
The improvement from the Pro Tools 10 DAW to the Pro Tools 11 DAW is highly noticeable.
Pro If you're an audio engineer, you already know how to use it
Pro Easy to understand file system
Pro Designed with proper session organization habits in mind
Pro Constantly updated software to accommodate Post/Film industry requirements
Pro A signal flow that makes sense when working with a hybrid setup
At 749 USD, Ableton Live Suite (the most fully-featured edition) is more expensive than other DAWs.
Ableton Live Standard can be bought for 449 USD.
Ableton Live Intro can be bought for 99 USD.
Rounding up, all three versions will set you back triple digits. That's before you get into additional sample and plugin packs, which also cost hundreds of dollars. Consider the price of the software before you enter the Live ecosystem.
Con No comping / playlist feature when tracking
Confusingly, Ableton's comping abilities (or lack thereof) cannot hold a candle to other industry standards like Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, etc.
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 Can't save keyboard shortcuts globally
There are no global keyboard shortcut editing mechanisms in Live. You are only able save keyboard shortcuts per project. This makes production a long-winded endeavor.
To edit shortcuts on Live, use Ctrl + K, or CMD + K.
Con No SF2 support
Soundfonts need to be imported as samples, and they don't work as intended since the zoning is lost.
Con No 32 bit VST support on newer
The ability to load 32 bit VST was dropped for some godawful reason. At $700 - a hefty price tag - and most of the code already in the software, you'd think they would be able to keep that functionality, but no.
Con Not very stable
Live has been known for its hilariously bad stability on weaker systems. But this is only when it is under enormous strain. It will be under enormous strain, too.
Most people that work in this software love to fill their projects up with tons of cool ideas. Ableton should bear this in mind when continuing to update Live.
Con no LV2 support
Does not support the LV2 plugin standard
Con Non-Free Software
It's not free. Worse yet, there's no source code. This can be a privacy concern for some.
Con You can’t comp your tracks
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 Sometimes very slow reaction, if you switch from one track to another with APC- or Push-Controller
Con Max makes startup longer
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 MIDI and composition tools are a bit dated
Con Slow, old, outdated
Highest processor usage of any DAW, poor software optimization and patching of outdated code has left a slow bloated husk of a DAW that struggles to run smoothly on even the highest end modern computers.
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 non-free software
Con No batch export
You can not pick separate tracks to export in one pass that gives you separated files.
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.