Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

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Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby kendallob » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:29 pm

One of my collaborators in particular has been pushing me to make the switch to Ableton...I write film/ad/video game type music.

As he states it, "not only can Ableton do what any other Composition based DAW can do, but has the added advantage of amazing workflow"..

I've been with cubase since sx3 and am thoroughly integrated.. I dont even want to begin to imagine the 3-6 mth set back learning a whole new system. Fyi, i tried the trial the other week and it gave me a headache. It was like learning a new language!

But, being open minded im willing to consider anything, if it is indeed a better, faster, and more effective alternative. I've managed to set up a pretty good workflow/system with cubase, and frankly i cant find any reason to seriously consider anything else.

Has anyone ever owned ableton? Has anyone ever made to switch to or from ableton? Positive or negative, is it indeed a comparable or better alternative? This would be for midi/sample based compositions.

I ask primarily in terms of workability, ease of use, speed, stability. Thanks for any advice and input!! :D

P.s.. Also i really just dont like the look of it.. kind of looks a bit cheap (no offense to anyone)
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby UltimateOutsider » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:41 pm

I have done a fair amount of real work in Live 8 and 9. People who love the Ableton "workflow" are usually talking about Session View, which I simply never found a use for. Every track I completed in live was done entirely in Live's Arrangement view, which is more or less like Cubase's piano roll. I understand Session View, and think it offers lots of opportunities for both DJs and composers- but it's just not how I think when I'm making music. I write and track in a very linear fashion, so Session View's no good to me.

I actually really like Live's "everything in one window" philosophy. Even now that they added dual monitor support, you still see nearly everything you need on a single screen without having to shift around a bunch of windows. Live also has really nice audio and MIDI routing capabilities.

Even though I had fun working in Live, I always came back to Cubase, and the reason is pretty simple: Cubase does more. Much more powerful MIDI editing. SysEx support. VST3. VariAudio. More (and often better) bundled plugins. Plus the Cubase Mix Console- much as folks seem to complain about it- is much more useful and usable than anything Live currently offers for mixing.

Live is a fine DAW. I think it actually might be the best "beginner's DAW" too because of all the built-in help and the simple layout. But Cubase just plain does more. (EDIT: Especially Cubase 7.5. The track visibility and track instruments updates were entirely worth it for me.)
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby Headlands » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:48 pm

I would wait for Bitwig, which is coming out pretty soon. It takes what's great about Live and (from what I've seen so far) mixes it with some of what's great about DAWs like Cubase. It'll be the first version when it comes out, so we'll have to see what it's like for composing. No worse than Ableton, that's for sure. I'm also not sure that it will be as deep as Cubase in some ways. But I'm personally evaluating other DAWs to switch to, and am very interested in it.
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby kendallob » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:03 pm

Thanks for the input!

Yea i agree.. the session view in ableton just had no use for me. Of course if i were a dj, it would've been a different story. I do however work with tons of samples, but i've found that cubases media bay works above and beyond what i expec. I tried working in their arranger, but basically gave up. If even for the simple detail of the track info being on the right side(couldn't for the life of me get used to this!)

i've been writing in cubase for a couple years now using 3 monitors.. it shocks me that they only recently added dual monitor support.

Cubase is clearly a more powerful and customizable software. Obviously im a bit biased, but i really wanted to know what all the fuss was about :)

One gripe i have with cubase is the constant clicking, finding, and arranging of the audio/midi editor windows. Thats certainly a useful tool abelton has with their all in one arrangement. Im sure there are more.

i supposed its a matter of choice... but these days with volume/speed being a huge part of the "all in one" composer workflow etc. is clearly a game changer.
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby kendallob » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:06 pm

Headlands wrote:I would wait for Bitwig, which is coming out pretty soon. It takes what's great about Live and (from what I've seen so far) mixes it with some of what's great about DAWs like Cubase. It'll be the first version when it comes out, so we'll have to see what it's like for composing. No worse than Ableton, that's for sure. I'm also not sure that it will be as deep as Cubase in some ways. But I'm personally evaluating other DAWs to switch to, and am very interested in it.


I had no idea about this!! Looks nice.. and their arrangement tracks read left to right! :D

wish i wouldve gotten in on the beta.. i'll definitely look into the trial when its out.
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby Stealth » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:22 pm

I was thinking about getting Ableton too, until I saw feature request forum on the official Ableton forum. Reading through it I kept saying to myself "what? it doesn't have THAT?!". Its just missing so many essential Cubase features there's no way I could ever switch over. I will say the two main features I really want from Ableton Live in Cubase is their macros (stackable quick controls maybe?), and something similar to Live's session view (at least an advanced Arranger Track).
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby Headlands » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:34 pm

Stealth wrote:I was thinking about getting Ableton too, until I saw feature request forum on the official Ableton forum. Reading through it I kept saying to myself "what? it doesn't have THAT?!". Its just missing so many essential Cubase features there's no way I could ever switch over. I will say the two main features I really want from Ableton Live in Cubase is their macros (stackable quick controls maybe?), and something similar to Live's session view (at least an advanced Arranger Track).


I agree, and won't be switching to Live for those same reasons. That said, the workflow for some things in Live makes Cubase feel like ancient software, which is why I'm looking forward to what Bitwig might offer. The majority of major label songwriters I write with are on Live, and seeing them work I can see why -- it's simply lighting fast to get a song going and arrange/re-arrange/etc., compared to old school DAWs like Pro Tools and Cubase that are long in the tooth and have very fixed/linear ways of working that require a lot more clicking and fiddling in general.

For the final album cut mixing they will usually go into Pro Tools (Cubase for us), since Live is not as fully developed that way for someone who does very deep and complex mixes, though it does have some automation features that are much faster and more efficient than either Pro Tools or Cubase.
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby kendallob » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:50 pm

I'm in a session of live at this very moment.. it kind of makes me want to cry...

i think i'll try writing a song using ableton so i can see first hand what the differences are. So far its got my brain completely in knots!

This talk of automation and arrangement benefits has me optimistic...

If it werent for particular collaborative requirements.. i'd never even consider it.

hopefully i'll be able to find some harmony between the two.. or let it sit on my hard drive and keep writing away in cubase :)
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby mbourque » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:16 am

I bought Live 9 last year, after many years of Cubase and Pro Tools. I still use those 3 DAWs. PT is for postproduction mixing. For music writing, Cubase and Live have different workflow that drive my creativity in different ways. I think both have their place for my needs. Live has powerful tools to manipulate audio clips and samples. Cubase has chords track (ok, I'm kidding). Cubase has a lot more to do with in a more linear way.

What helps me to dig into Live, I looked some good tutorials (on Lynda and Groove3) to understand the basis.

Anyway, there's no need to like both, it could be just another tool in your bin.
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby kendallob » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:38 am

mbourque wrote:I bought Live 9 last year, after many years of Cubase and Pro Tools. I still use those 3 DAWs. PT is for postproduction mixing. For music writing, Cubase and Live have different workflow that drive my creativity in different ways. I think both have their place for my needs. Live has powerful tools to manipulate audio clips and samples. Cubase has chords track (ok, I'm kidding). Cubase has a lot more to do with in a more linear way.

What helps me to dig into Live, I looked some good tutorials (on Lynda and Groove3) to understand the basis.

Anyway, there's no need to like both, it could be just another tool in your bin.


Thats good to know!

Have found a way to easily exchange your projects between cubase and ableton?

Besides rendering the audio to track stems..
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby curteye » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:44 am

kendallob wrote:As he states it, "not only can Ableton do what any other Composition based DAW can do,


Score/Notation features.

Not unless something has really changed in the recent past,
this statement is doubtful.

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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby mbourque » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:51 am

kendallob wrote:Have found a way to easily exchange your projects between cubase and ableton?


I only create new projects in Live. I decided to not bother with that !
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby kendallob » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:23 am

mbourque wrote:
kendallob wrote:Have found a way to easily exchange your projects between cubase and ableton?


I only create new projects in Live. I decided to not bother with that !


Yea i figured that would have to be the case..

I've been playing around with it the past few hours.. minus a few perks, it leaves much to be desired.

To be continued.....bleh
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby foolomon » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:03 am

Headlands wrote:The majority of major label songwriters I write with are on Live, and seeing them work I can see why -- it's simply lighting fast to get a song going and arrange/re-arrange/etc.


Well now I know why most songs on the radio now sound the same. :D :D :D
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Re: Cubase 7.5 vs Ableton live

Postby mbourque » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:16 am

I just took a look to a new player in the game, Bitwig. Nothing to compete Cubase directly, but a big foot in Ableton's field.. It will be presented at NAMM and launch in March. Looks promising, at least for those considering bying Live but have not yet.
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