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Ableton vs Cubase Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 1st October 2014
  #31
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My first real DAW was Cubase SX3 in 05 then changed to Ableton Live 6.07 .. I never looked back. Ableton Live's arrange view made my arranging songs much much faster .. I love it.. It was also easy on the eye. I've made more demos in Ableton Live than in Cubase . I see Ableton as this giant super sampler, looper, arranger, audio mangler.. I can put my favorite track in Ableton and then extract it's kick and put that kick in Simpler or Sampler with ease, it's amazing. When I started with Ableton, I remember just sitting there and making loops the whole weekend.. Ableton ROX.. I wonder how BITWIG is ..

One thing I didn't like about Ableton was, I did not like it's MIDI step sequencing feature.. Unlike Cubase, I was able to punch in notes step by step using my piano keyboard.. Has Ableton changed this in 9? if they did, I'll convert.. but for now, because I'm a step sequencer programmer, I use RENOISE 3. and will be switching to LOGIC PROX because i'm on a MAC and MIDI rox there( So I heard)..
Old 1st October 2014
  #32
I think ableton would be much better if you could draw envelopes and lfo in the midi automation much like the ability in NI MASSIVE. Seems to limited only being able to ramp or bezzier curve.
Old 1st October 2014
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d33psp33d View Post
I think ableton would be much better if you could draw envelopes and lfo in the midi automation much like the ability in NI MASSIVE. Seems to limited only being able to ramp or bezzier curve.
you can, just you have to be in session view.
Old 1st October 2014
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonkified View Post
I also own Cubase, but that'd be my last choice to mix in.
Since version 7 with the new mix console, Cubase is my 1st choice tool for mixing.
Didn't want to start an argument, everybody knows about habits, conditioning, etc.
But for this purpose (mixing), Ableton in comparison looks like a toy. And the latency problem is a nightmare, I don't understand how this is possible in 2014.
It's too bad that Ableton has this great workflow on one hand, and this poor qualities for mixing on the other hand. (not to mention this particular "compressed" sound)
Old 1st October 2014
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by percussion boy View Post
If audio quality of Ableton is okay to the OP, how about starting in Live (loading up clips, then recording the "performance" triggering the clips in session view); then exporting the Ableton tracks as WAVs and doing the actual mix with plug-ins in Cubase, in the mixer view?
Yes I'm going to do that, import those Ableton tracks in Cubase for mixing, even though I didn't expect to do it... It will take a little time (several sessions to export) but the result is the most important thing to me.
Old 1st October 2014
  #36
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As a tape machine/mixing desk type DAW, Live shouldn't be anyone's first choice. Can still mix in it though.

As a tool for performing, improvisation, jamming, composing, arranging, sound design, pretty much anything thats not simply recording/mixing and more about creativity, yet to use a better DAW.
Old 1st October 2014
  #37
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
I just don't get Ableton..it's weird
Old 1st October 2014
  #38
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I love ableton. Everything is so easy, and straightforward when you get the hang of it.

The only downside IMO is the design. The way it looks. I wish ableton looked more like fl studio.
Old 1st October 2014
  #39
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honestly, ableton is confusing, because of its session view and arrangmeent view.....recording into arrangment vs session, and how automation works between these modes is very hard to get a handle on.....but the more you use it, the better you get at it. using it with Push is good too....as a sequencer live kicks ass.....and the automation methods, they end up getting really messy.....but if you understand it, you can avoid alot of mess

ive used cubase and reason before and FL...and Live is the best for me......Live is not great when it comes to metering, and monitor levels.....cubase is good for that.....but cubase is not good for making music...imo


no way dude, ableton's look is perfect....i hate fl's look......the only bad thing on ableton is the clip colours...they still have to fix that, because some of the dark clips have black letters and they should have white letters.
Old 1st October 2014
  #40
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I bought Ableton and Push several months ago and haven't had the chance to start digging into those. I've used Nuendo and Cubase predominantly and wanted to try something different to get me a bit out of my tracks.

I did not know that Ableton doesn't have automatic latency compensation. But since I work a lot for video, and as far as I know you can't import a video file in Ableton, I was planing to connect Ableton and Cubase through rewire, and just use Live as an additional set of insrtruments.

Does anyone here have the same workflow? Could it be a smooth experience or I should expect problems? Years ago I used to own Reason and worked with Reason and Nuendo through rewire a lot and everything was peachy....I hope Live behaves the same...
Old 1st October 2014
  #41
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I think it's better not to over complicate your workflow if you can. I've got a complicated make music in Reason and mix in Pro Tools workflow and its a pain in the ass sometimes. Pro Tools (like Cubase) might offer better mixing and editing, but they don't offer much else to the electronic musician over Reason and Ableton. I find I'm a lot more creative in Reason than I am with Pro Tools and to me that's a lot more important than getting a slightly better mix.
Old 1st October 2014
  #42
Cubase us a fave here and u been through the daws.
Old 1st October 2014
  #43
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybay View Post
I wish ableton looked more like fl studio.
FL Studio's looks are all over the place. There's the tiny 3-band EQ. There's the VFD-like screen for the track sampler. Newer included plugins look really nice, but older plugins - you can just see how they're made for smaller monitors, design trends from the early 2000s - the 3-band EQ on the mixer should say enough.

FL Studio 12 finally does something about the mixer, but the whole File Edit Channels View part of the screen claims a whole lot of vertical real estate for what it actually is supposed to do. The vector redesign is a good step in making things scaleable but it looks like they're just going to repeat the design to keep their existing clients satisfied. Run FL at 1920 x 1080 and you'll chop off a good part of vertical space while wasting horizontal space.
Old 1st October 2014
  #44
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
I really wish Reason would enable the use VST plug ins...can you imagine how cool that would be..
Old 1st October 2014
  #45
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login's Avatar
I don't why people don't like ableton GUI, is the only daw with a UI designed for usability that doesn't get in your way. it's simple pure good design.

FL Studio? They design like kids, all is about flashy lights.

basically is like comparing Helvetica vs Comic Sans
Old 1st October 2014
  #46
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For those who have issues with how Live sounds, I really hope you took the time to learn about the different warping modes (and when not to use it). Keeping everything on beats/transients (the default) is a potential reason why some people think it doesn't sound as good as other DAWs.

Here's a good guide:
Effective WarpingTips iIn Ableton Live 9 : AskAudio Magazine
Old 1st October 2014
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
For those who have issues with how Live sounds, I really hope you took the time to learn about the different warping modes (and when not to use it). Keeping everything on beats/transients (the default) is a potential reason why some people think it doesn't sound as good as other DAWs.

Here's a good guide:
Effective WarpingTips iIn Ableton Live 9 : AskAudio Magazine
When I was using Live 6, I think there was another relevant default setting too. iirc the default was to enable warping for any audio clips that were created, and audio quality seemed to improve if the user turned this off, disabling the warping (so that only the original tempo/pitch of the clip could be used). Once the audio clips were "warpable" the fidelity seemed to suffer, even if a clip wasn't actually being warped.

Whether the warp stuff is the only reason for the murky mix bus sound that some of us have heard in Live, I don't know. I wonder now if I was running levels too hot when I used it; I know more now about what levels to aim for and the Cubase mixer makes it easy to see where your headroom is at.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #48
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barryfell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by percussion boy View Post
When I was using Live 6, I think there was another relevant default setting too. iirc the default was to enable warping for any audio clips that were created, and audio quality seemed to improve if the user turned this off, disabling the warping (so that only the original tempo/pitch of the clip could be used). Once the audio clips were "warpable" the fidelity seemed to suffer, even if a clip wasn't actually being warped.
Yeah I often turn warping off if there is no need for it. If you are recording in at the BPM you want then of course there is no need for it.

Quote:
Whether the warp stuff is the only reason for the murky mix bus sound that some of us have heard in Live, I don't know. I wonder now if I was running levels too hot when I used it; I know more now about what levels to aim for and the Cubase mixer makes it easy to see where your headroom is at.
Indeed Live's poor metering is another reason why some people can think it doesn't sound as good as other DAWs or 'compressed', as it's easier to run levels too hot.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
FL Studio's looks are all over the place. There's the tiny 3-band EQ. There's the VFD-like screen for the track sampler. Newer included plugins look really nice, but older plugins - you can just see how they're made for smaller monitors, design trends from the early 2000s - the 3-band EQ on the mixer should say enough.

FL Studio 12 finally does something about the mixer, but the whole File Edit Channels View part of the screen claims a whole lot of vertical real estate for what it actually is supposed to do. The vector redesign is a good step in making things scaleable but it looks like they're just going to repeat the design to keep their existing clients satisfied. Run FL at 1920 x 1080 and you'll chop off a good part of vertical space while wasting horizontal space.
I didn't like ableton's default grey, but now i just found out that i can change the colors.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #50
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Gbar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post

If you're on Mac, then Logic will do the same job for waaaaay less money.
No expression maps in Logic.

Not a Cubase user, but I have been contemplating a switch for a while now for this feature alone.

That's a big one if you are using a lot of midi instruments with many articulations and such.

And it's weird that other DAWs don't do it. People have been writing directions for articulations and such on scores for centuries, but one DAW lets you do it that way.

Think about Spitfire's UACC for example. The advantage of using this over key switching is that it works if you start the composition past a given point;whereas, whereas, anybody who has worked with key switching can tell you how annoying it is to have to insert additional key switches just to work on a looped part. SA's UACC is done all on CC32 by default, and it controls all the articulation switching depending on the value of CC32 which is something that is going to be hard to do drawing free hand. Enter expression maps--you map the articulations once, then you just insert the symbol/direction when the articulation switch needs to happen, and even if you loop a portion past that direction, you have the correct
articulation.

Of course, you could use expression maps to manage key switching too (with the earlier mentioned caveats about limitations of key switching). If fact, you could create expression maps for any CC controllable parameter on any VST instrument. To me, that sounds very nice. Imagine ff = CC21=78, for example. fff = CC21= 98, etc.

Expression maps are so basic it makes you wonder why all DAWs do not have the ability to create them. It defies Logic (intentional pun).
Old 2nd October 2014
  #51
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Ableton is so much fun, it's like jamming with a person except that person is a computer
Old 2nd October 2014
  #52
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barryfell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dariva View Post
I did not know that Ableton doesn't have automatic latency compensation.
It does. The issue is that when working with high latency plugins automation isn't delay compensated. This may or may not be an issue depending on how much latency the plugins you use produce.

Quote:
But since I work a lot for video, and as far as I know you can't import a video file in Ableton, I was planing to connect Ableton and Cubase through rewire, and just use Live as an additional set of insrtruments.

Does anyone here have the same workflow? Could it be a smooth experience or I should expect problems? Years ago I used to own Reason and worked with Reason and Nuendo through rewire a lot and everything was peachy....I hope Live behaves the same...
You can import video. https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/working-with-video/
Old 2nd October 2014
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
I really wish Reason would enable the use VST plug ins...can you imagine how cool that would be..
Nirvana and strawberry jam :-)
Old 2nd October 2014
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
It does. The issue is that when working with high latency plugins automation isn't delay compensated. This may or may not be an issue depending on how much latency the plugins you use produce.



You can import video. https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/working-with-video/
No, Ableton does not have any latency compensation inside a track plugin chain. Ableton simply does not report any latency. This is true for "zero" latency plugins, as well as plugins with latency.

Buffer setting + plugin latency = total unreported latency

Every third party plugin or max 4 live device you put on a track causes latency equal to your buffer settings plus any latency the plugin has if it is not "zero" latency. None of the plugins down a plugin chain receive any of that latency info. Any plugins that require that latency information will be out of time. And yes, in addition to the unreported latency mess inside a track plugin chain, automation that was written before adding a plugin is not adjusted for the added latency.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billcarroll View Post
No, Ableton does not have any latency compensation inside a tack plugin chain. Ableton simply does not report any latency. This is true for "zero" latency plugins, as well as plugins with latency.

Buffer setting + plugin latency = total unreported latency

Every third party plugin or max 4 live device you put on a track causes latency equal to your buffer settings plus any latency the plugin has if it is not "zero" latency. None of the plugins down a plugin chain receive any of that latency info. Any plugins that require that latency information will be out of time. And yes, in addition to the unreported latency mess inside a track plugin chain, automation that was written before adding a plugin is not adjusted for the added latency.
Fair enough when it comes to rack chains that is true, but that's a specific atypical situation. I personally just don't use rack chains for that reason and use Bluecat Patchwork if I want to run inserts in parallel on one track. Other DAWs can't natively run inserts in parallel on one track anyway.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
Other DAWs can't natively run inserts in parallel on one track anyway.
Not true, Reason does this.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #57
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barryfell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemosit View Post
Not true, Reason does this.
OK, except Reason which is in its own little world.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
I just don't get Ableton..it's weird
Ableton started as an audio only tool, while Cubase started as MIDI only which is why they are so different.

Do you use drum machines?

Ableton's session mode is like programming a drum machine or a groovebox, with the clips similar to the patterns that you chain together into a song. I latched onto that concept immediately.

As the name suggests, Ableton was designed from day one to be used in live performance as well as studios. You can drag and drop new audio and MIDI clips, even instruments and FX into the session as it plays and adjust your arrangements in real time. It's the only DAW you can "jam" with.

The built-in plugs (both FX and instrument) have UIs that don't bother to look like hardware but are well designed for mouse control.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
when working with high latency plugins automation isn't delay compensated
If you go to Ableton forums people act like this is the end of the world. These are the same people who agonize over tests about sample accurate timing.

It only matters if you are trying to make very tight automation tweaks with third party plugins that have high audio latency. The audio is not delayed, just the timing of the automation. When using automation to do effects like drawing volume gating at 64th note intervals it is a problem, for a lot of automation tasks it's not even noticeable.

Some Live users switched to Bitwig which has no automation latency only to find that Bitwig was buggy in other places and lacked features that Live has had for years. Horses for courses.
Old 2nd October 2014
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
Fair enough when it comes to rack chains that is true, but that's a specific atypical situation. I personally just don't use rack chains for that reason and use Bluecat Patchwork if I want to run inserts in parallel on one track. Other DAWs can't natively run inserts in parallel on one track anyway.
We are not talking just about rack chains, we are talking about any plugins you put on a track. Rack chain, plugin on the track, or plugin loaded into patchwork it doesn't matter. Ableton does not report the latency to any of the plugins on the track.
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