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DAW to use with Live 9 for mastering/mixing DAW Software
Old 15th March 2014
  #1
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DAW to use with Live 9 for mastering/mixing

Hi

I am looking for a DAW to use with Live 9 for mixing and mastering purposes, since Live is not very capable in that area. I produce various kinds of EDM music as well as the occasional rap beat. The DAW's considering are Cubase 7, Pro Tools 11 and Studio One Professional 2.6 (i'm a PC guy). Like I said, this DAW will just be used for mastering and mixing with everything else done in Live. I don't have a lot of experience and I hope that someone more experienced could help me. I have tried demos for both Cubase and Studio One and I don't really prefer the one over the other in terms of workflow, looks etc. Pro Tools also looks good as far as I can tell, but the high price tag and no VST support annoys me a bit.

PS: I haven't actually used Live yet, but i'm planning to buy it since it suits my creative needs perfectly. I don't have any real ties to a specific DAW, so i'm open to any DAW if it's good and suits my needs.
Old 15th March 2014
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
Hi
PS: I haven't actually used Live yet, but i'm planning to buy it since it suits my creative needs perfectly. I don't have any real ties to a specific DAW, so i'm open to any DAW if it's good and suits my needs.
How do you know Live is bad for mixing and mastering then?

I enjoy the simplicity of the effects. Also when mastering a stereo track you can see all your effects nicely.

But yeah Live definitely isnt buitd for mixing. I would recommend Reaper as an add on to Live. Cheap, highly customizable, pretty much the same features as any other in terms of mixing (maybe even more), lightweight... so good for many tracks.
Old 15th March 2014
  #3
DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR ON THE INTERWEBZ!!!

Ableton 9 is perfectly capable for mixing and mastering! It has some oddities, sure - the broken PDC automation and sends being the most obvious ones - but those are either barely noticeable (ie, you won't notice them until you are much more experienced) or easily worked around.

If you are dead-set on getting two DAWs, I'd recommend Cubase over PT - AVID being in a less-than-stable position at the moment and all. Personally, I used Logic+PT pretty well exclusively until around 3 years ago, and now use Ableton, Reason, and Cubase for just about everything. Cubase is a lot more "fun" than Logic or PT, mostly because (IMHO) it is easier to get around and more "obvious" when it comes to many advanced functions.

That being said, if you are truly a beginner as you claim, you are much better off picking a program and learning it well. Live does seem like it would fit your needs particularly well - as would Reason, IMHO - so, instead of worrying about the "internet only opinion" that Live isn't any good for mixing and mastering (which is absolute bs), just get it and learn it! You'll know when you actually start hitting problems...
Old 15th March 2014
  #4
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Studio One is great for mixing, the workflow is so natural with great sound quality.
Old 15th March 2014
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
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thanks for the helpful replies.
Old 15th March 2014
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi7777 View Post
How do you know Live is bad for mixing and mastering then?

I enjoy the simplicity of the effects. Also when mastering a stereo track you can see all your effects nicely.

But yeah Live definitely isnt buitd for mixing. I would recommend Reaper as an add on to Live. Cheap, highly customizable, pretty much the same features as any other in terms of mixing (maybe even more), lightweight... so good for many tracks.
I've seen videos, heard discussions on various forums and checked the feature list. But even IF Live had enough, I would still enjoy to use two DAW's because of the variaton.
Old 15th March 2014
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
I've seen videos, heard discussions on various forums and checked the feature list. But even IF Live had enough, I would still enjoy to use two DAW's because of the variaton.
Well.. In the end you have to try, trust me ive been there. Decide what is most important to you and choose the DAW that does it the best. You won't find the perfect DAW. They all have major flaws, if you dig a little deeper. For me songwriting, quickly bringing ideas down was the most important... So Live made sense.
Old 15th March 2014
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dented42ford View Post
DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR ON THE INTERWEBZ!!!

Ableton 9 is perfectly capable for mixing and mastering! It has some oddities, sure - the broken PDC automation and sends being the most obvious ones - but those are either barely noticeable (ie, you won't notice them until you are much more experienced) or easily worked around.

If you are dead-set on getting two DAWs, I'd recommend Cubase over PT - AVID being in a less-than-stable position at the moment and all. Personally, I used Logic+PT pretty well exclusively until around 3 years ago, and now use Ableton, Reason, and Cubase for just about everything. Cubase is a lot more "fun" than Logic or PT, mostly because (IMHO) it is easier to get around and more "obvious" when it comes to many advanced functions.

That being said, if you are truly a beginner as you claim, you are much better off picking a program and learning it well. Live does seem like it would fit your needs particularly well - as would Reason, IMHO - so, instead of worrying about the "internet only opinion" that Live isn't any good for mixing and mastering (which is absolute bs), just get it and learn it! You'll know when you actually start hitting problems...
Thank you for the long and helpful answer! I think I may have been unclear about this, but I plan to buy Live first, learn it, and when I've got the necessary skills and experience, buy the second DAW.
Old 15th March 2014
  #9
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Bottom line: Which DAW is the best for EDM mixing/mastering (top priority, other features come second)
Old 15th March 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
Bottom line: Which DAW is the best for EDM mixing/mastering (top priority, other features come second)
As I said in my initial response, Live is perfectly capable for this. I'd even go so far as to say it is excellent for mixing EDM-style productions - though mastering is another thing. Personally, for mastering, I tend to use dedicated programs - Audition or Wavelab, depending on the project and my mood. I'm really curious about Samplitude for mastering (and perhaps everything else), but am stranded on the Mac platform due to my Apogee gear.

If you REALLY want to get into the nitty gritty of mixing, Cubase is probably your best option, in spite of certain limited options (side-chaining is good as of 6.0, but still less intuitive than PT, Live, or Logic). Personally, when I'm doing EDM-inspired stuff (which, I will admit, isn't that often), I usually stick to Live for the whole production prior to mastering. I find that mixing in Live isn't nearly as "bad" as people make it out to be - and for strictly-electronic stuff, it is really set up to work well. Just watch out for the PDC issue (automation isn't compensated) and you'll be fine.

Reaper would work fine as well, but it has a bit of a learning curve. I can't in good conscience recommend it to someone who is a DAW neophyte with the monetary resources to use one of the more "established" programs. That being said, there isn't much it can't do.

This is coming from someone with all the major Mac-platform DAW's - I have and use them all, but usually stick to Live/Reason/Cubase when time is an issue. I'm still getting my head around DP (though I like the idea of it for scoring), I'm tired of Logic (mostly the little annoyances they'll never change), and PT is just plain boring to me (though I'm really proficient in it and use it for film-post projects). Studio One 2 isn't quite "there" for me yet - but I have pretty high demands, and for someone who isn't as experienced it may be an excellent choice.
Old 15th March 2014
  #11
Registered User
I think if you are only a beginner then you might not need to be worrying about mastering at all. Buy Ozone or something similar and learn to use that so you'll get an appreciation of what mastering is and what the pitfalls are.

The best advice anyone to give a user is "Learn your tools inside out". Starting out with two DAWs won't help with this and seems a bit foolhardy to me. Pick one DAW and learn as much as you can. Then you'll be able to appreciate each DAWs weaknesses and strengths.

I'd advise Live, thats what i use and love but each to his own. Just don't get bogged down in buying this that and the other, especially because someone talked about it on a forum. To be honest any of the Daws you mentioned and their stock plugins will be more than enough to get you started.
Old 15th March 2014
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dented42ford View Post
As I said in my initial response, Live is perfectly capable for this. I'd even go so far as to say it is excellent for mixing EDM-style productions - though mastering is another thing. Personally, for mastering, I tend to use dedicated programs - Audition or Wavelab, depending on the project and my mood. I'm really curious about Samplitude for mastering (and perhaps everything else), but am stranded on the Mac platform due to my Apogee gear.

If you REALLY want to get into the nitty gritty of mixing, Cubase is probably your best option, in spite of certain limited options (side-chaining is good as of 6.0, but still less intuitive than PT, Live, or Logic). Personally, when I'm doing EDM-inspired stuff (which, I will admit, isn't that often), I usually stick to Live for the whole production prior to mastering. I find that mixing in Live isn't nearly as "bad" as people make it out to be - and for strictly-electronic stuff, it is really set up to work well. Just watch out for the PDC issue (automation isn't compensated) and you'll be fine.

Reaper would work fine as well, but it has a bit of a learning curve. I can't in good conscience recommend it to someone who is a DAW neophyte with the monetary resources to use one of the more "established" programs. That being said, there isn't much it can't do.

This is coming from someone with all the major Mac-platform DAW's - I have and use them all, but usually stick to Live/Reason/Cubase when time is an issue. I'm still getting my head around DP (though I like the idea of it for scoring), I'm tired of Logic (mostly the little annoyances they'll never change), and PT is just plain boring to me (though I'm really proficient in it and use it for film-post projects). Studio One 2 isn't quite "there" for me yet - but I have pretty high demands, and for someone who isn't as experienced it may be an excellent choice.
I definetely get your point dented42ford. I don't have the demands of a sound engineer, and dedicated mastering software like Wavelab looks (and feels, I've heard) very outdated and slow. The reason why I want a second DAW to compliment Live in the future is that it can fill Live's limited mastering capabilities and add some handy features as well.
Old 15th March 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistikuffs View Post
I think if you are only a beginner then you might not need to be worrying about mastering at all. Buy Ozone or something similar and learn to use that so you'll get an appreciation of what mastering is and what the pitfalls are.

The best advice anyone to give a user is "Learn your tools inside out". Starting out with two DAWs won't help with this and seems a bit foolhardy to me. Pick one DAW and learn as much as you can. Then you'll be able to appreciate each DAWs weaknesses and strengths.

I'd advise Live, thats what i use and love but each to his own. Just don't get bogged down in buying this that and the other, especially because someone talked about it on a forum. To be honest any of the Daws you mentioned and their stock plugins will be more than enough to get you started.
I've briefly tried Ozone and I felt that I could achieve more than capable mixes in a very short time. It's definitely a nice plugin for beginners like me. I'm just wondering since I have never been sure about this: If I buy some dedicated mastering plugins like Ozone and run them in live, will that fill the void that i'm trying to fill with buying another DAW? I've noticed that most pro's as well as lot of amateurs use two or three different DAW's, so there has to be a reason for that or what?

(Sorry if i'm annoying you with all these stupid question, I just want to know what to get or not and why before I buy anything )
Old 15th March 2014
  #14
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
I've briefly tried Ozone and I felt that I could achieve more than capable mixes in a very short time. It's definitely a nice plugin for beginners like me. I'm just wondering since I have never been sure about this: If I buy some dedicated mastering plugins like Ozone and run them in live, will that fill the void that i'm trying to fill with buying another DAW? I've noticed that most pro's as well as lot of amateurs use two or three different DAW's, so there has to be a reason for that or what?

(Sorry if i'm annoying you with all these stupid question, I just want to know what to get or not and why before I buy anything )
You're not annoying at all.

Remember, nothing is prescriptive. What works for person a doesn't necessarily work for anyone else.

The best reason for you to start looking at more than one Daw is when you understand why and when you need another Daw. Or in other words when you've become knowledgeable enough to appreciate the limitations of your current software and how and why it's stopping you doing what you want.

Don't get hung up on Mastering. Most professional mastering is done by highly trained and skilled engineers in dedicated Mastering studios. Products like Ozone are great for people to get a "mastered" sound with small budgets and I'd definitely recommend something like that if you're interested in mastering. It will add a nice finish to your mixes (or ruin it depend on how you use it!) and will help you learn the concepts around mastering.

Again, don't get caught up in this Daw/that Daw. All of the mentioned Daws have more than enough for any new user to cut their teeth with and can be augmented (in most cases) with plugins.

Try all the demo's and go with what feels most intuitive to you as that's the most crucial part, how it feels.
Old 15th March 2014
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistikuffs View Post
You're not annoying at all.

Remember, nothing is prescriptive. What works for person a doesn't necessarily work for anyone else.

The best reason for you to start looking at more than one Daw is when you understand why and when you need another Daw. Or in other words when you've become knowledgeable enough to appreciate the limitations of your current software and how and why it's stopping you doing what you want.

Don't get hung up on Mastering. Most professional mastering is done by highly trained and skilled engineers in dedicated Mastering studios. Products like Ozone are great for people to get a "mastered" sound with small budgets and I'd definitely recommend something like that if you're interested in mastering. It will add a nice finish to your mixes (or ruin it depend on how you use it!) and will help you learn the concepts around mastering.

Again, don't get caught up in this Daw/that Daw. All of the mentioned Daws have more than enough for any new user to cut their teeth with and can be augmented (in most cases) with plugins.

Try all the demo's and go with what feels most intuitive to you as that's the most crucial part, how it feels.
Thank you, I will buy Live 9 as soon as possible, and then see if I feel some crucial limitations. I'm going slightly off topic here, but are the extra 300 bucks that Suite costs worth it, or should I spend it on plugins instead?
Old 15th March 2014
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
Thank you, I will buy Live 9 as soon as possible, and then see if I feel some crucial limitations. I'm going slightly off topic here, but are the extra 300 bucks that Suite costs worth it, or should I spend it on plugins instead?
Hmm, that's tough to answer. With suite you'll get loads of samples, good quality imo, various instruments, some great some ok (operator and sampler are great, analog is ok, I find collision and tension to be useful too) and of course you get Max4Live which you may not need but at a very basic level gives you access to thousands of free devices to use in Live.

Maybe you should price up a few vst's and samples and see if you would get more bang for your buck.

One nice feature of the suite instruments is that the are very stable with low cpu use because of their integration with Live. But you can certainly buy better instruments and samples outside of the suite.
Old 15th March 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistikuffs View Post
Hmm, that's tough to answer. With suite you'll get loads of samples, good quality imo, various instruments, some great some ok (operator and sampler are great, analog is ok, I find collision and tension to be useful too) and of course you get Max4Live which you may not need but at a very basic level gives you access to thousands of free devices to use in Live.

Maybe you should price up a few vst's and samples and see if you would get more bang for your buck.

One nice feature of the suite instruments is that the are very stable with low cpu use because of their integration with Live. But you can certainly buy better instruments and samples outside of the suite.
I think I will buy the Suite and buy some plugins after that. But I have two questions. Why would an EDM producer need Max? When does Ableton have sales, do they have like annual summer sales or something? If I picked up Suite on sale, I could buy some useful plugins right away.
Old 15th March 2014
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
I think I will buy the Suite and buy some plugins after that. But I have two questions. Why would an EDM producer need Max? When does Ableton have sales, do they have like annual summer sales or something? If I picked up Suite on sale, I could buy some useful plugins right away.
Right now until April, but you may want to wait for Bitwig on March 25 i think. As a beginner you wont need MAX. Only if youd like to design your own instruments and effects or use others.
Old 15th March 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
Why would an EDM producer need Max?
Loads of great EDM style tools come with Max like Buffer Shuffler and many more.

Also have a look here www.maxforlive.com - Download Max for Live Devices to see all the other free Max devices you can get. Plenty of EDM type stuff there

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
When does Ableton have sales, do they have like annual summer sales or something? If I picked up Suite on sale, I could buy some useful plugins right away.
I think there's a sale on now due to the upcoming Bitwig release.
Old 16th March 2014
  #20
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The sale they have right now is only if you upgrade (but you could buy intro and then upgrade, I guess)
Old 16th March 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
The sale they have right now is only if you upgrade (but you could buy intro and then upgrade, I guess)
Yeah or if your in the market for a controller or interface many of them come with Live lite and you can upgrade from that
Old 16th March 2014
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi7777 View Post
but you may want to wait for Bitwig


I think he wants to learn how to use a Daw not be a beta-tester for a V1 release
Old 16th March 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistikuffs View Post
Yeah or if your in the market for a controller or interface many of them come with Live lite and you can upgrade from that
Lite is free, right?
Old 16th March 2014
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistikuffs View Post


I think he wants to learn how to use a Daw not be a beta-tester for a V1 release
Bitwig definitely looks interesting and has some serious potential, but I think I will pass because of the lack of users and content (probably). The always-present bugs in new releases is also a drawback :/. But in the future, who knows?
Old 16th March 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
Thank you for the long and helpful answer! I think I may have been unclear about this, but I plan to buy Live first, learn it, and when I've got the necessary skills and experience, buy the second DAW.
who knows where the world will be in about 6 months from now, which if you intend on really getting to know Live is as about as long as it will tale you to really understand it (if you are a very fast learner.)

IMO put the decision of a 2nd DAW off until you actually need one.

Things change fast research now is a waste of time.
Old 16th March 2014
  #26
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I don't know of any obvious problems using Ableton Live for final mastering, provided you purchase good mastering tools that Ableton Live lacks with their (price-wise expensive) default plugin set configuration.
Old 16th March 2014
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
Lite is free, right?
I think it comes free with certain hardware, I'm not entirely sure though.
Old 16th March 2014
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Controllers sometimes come with cut down verisons of popular DAWs. They have it on the box if they do.

Id get an Arturia mini and a launchpad that should give you live lite to learn on as well as pyshical control of basically anything within the software. Then get the full verison if its for you.

My desert island DAW would actually be Ableton live, i would be fine if it was only the intro.

And live is completely fine for mastering. Where are you getting this idea that its unable to do that well?
Old 16th March 2014
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTee View Post
Controllers sometimes come with cut down verisons of popular DAWs. They have it on the box if they do.

Id get an Arturia mini and a launchpad that should give you live lite to learn on as well as pyshical control of basically anything within the software. Then get the full verison if its for you.

My desert island DAW would actually be Ableton live, i would be fine if it was only the intro.

And live is completely fine for mastering. Where are you getting this idea that its unable to do that well?
Because it lacks a proper mixer (not bad, but not as good as some of the competition ) and lacks some important mastering plugins (planning to eventually buy my own anyway)
Old 16th March 2014
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistikuffs View Post


I think he wants to learn how to use a Daw not be a beta-tester for a V1 release
I seriously doubt that Bitwig 1.0 will be useless, or in any kind inappropriate for beginners. They had an extensive beta phase and are highly aware that a bugged release will damage the faith of all potential users.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nimano45 View Post
Because it lacks a proper mixer (not bad, but not as good as some of the competition ) and lacks some important mastering plugins (planning to eventually buy my own anyway)
Which plugins? And how is abletons mixing approach in your mastering way?
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