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Ableton vs Cubase Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 6th August 2014
  #1
Gear Head
 

Ableton vs Cubase

Hi everyone

I am currently producing music with Ableton Live 9.

I'm thinking about switching to Cubase, but I am not sure if I should do it (because it's expensive). Ableton is truly the best DAW for playing Live-Sets (in my opinion), but is it really for producing?

I heard from many sources that Cubase (or Logic and some others) are the best choices there. I know today you can produce perfectly with every DAW, but I wonder what you guys think. Ableton or Cubase?

I couldn't find another post that already describes exactly the difference or the opinions between them. So let me know what you think.

Have a good one!
Old 6th August 2014
  #2
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Session view workflow is priceless for me. If you work in arrangement 100% then ableton isn't all that necessary, i would probably go with logic over cubase but I'm a mac user. As it stands I rely too heavily on session view for recording freely and organizing quickly before moving into arrangement for song production. I can't sacrifice this so Ableton is the only real choice for me. If you don't need session view, you don't need to use ableton, even though it's still a great daw in arrangement.
Old 7th August 2014
  #3
223904
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Me rocking Live 9 as well. Top notch DAW.

The part you said it's only good playing live sets is stupid because they created a full DAW with all features like recording and mixing and creating

The biggest issues people def have when they are new is clip view. The look is different but great compared to others.

The rest like workflow and creating stuff is incredible. It's one of the most powerfull DAW's today.
Old 7th August 2014
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

PDC for Automation works better in Cubase. Cubase has a better mixer view. Cubase has multilayer simultaneous multitrack midi editing. These are my biggies with Ableton making me thinking about the switch.
Old 7th August 2014
  #5
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by d7791 View Post
PDC for Automation works better in Cubase. Cubase has a better mixer view. Cubase has multilayer simultaneous multitrack midi editing. These are my biggies with Ableton making me thinking about the switch.
Having used both (mainly Cubase) I'd go along with this.

Live has a fantastic workflow for sketching stuff out, but I don't know how anybody uses it for mixing.

As a traditional multi track mixing tool Cubase is fantastic.

If you're on Mac, then Logic will do the same job for waaaaay less money.
Old 7th August 2014
  #6
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enossified's Avatar
Cubase has much deeper MIDI features than Live, including an Event List which is the MIDI editor of last resort. Sadly you have to buy the "full" version to get all the important features.

I find Cubase a lot fussier to work in than Live and hate the multiple window interface, so I only use it when I need what it can do (which is not often).
Old 7th August 2014
  #7
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El-Burrito's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by raffael77 View Post
Me rocking Live 9 as well. Top notch DAW.
The rest like workflow and creating stuff is incredible. It's one of the most powerfull DAW's today.
No it's not and that is not personal view. I'm Live 9 user, but i'm forced to visit Logic at times as Live is not in par with other DAW's. There is plenty of DAW functions still missing. Ableton have not much updated Live's DAW functions over the years. They still think that most ppl use session view.

Cubase or live: It depends. Live has some things like racks that Cubase don't have, but when comes to midi sequencing then it's cubase. Also audio editing and recording is better in Cubase (or in any other daw than live).

I like to work in Live so much that these days i even mix everything in it. I used to use Cubase a lot before moving to Logic. Now it's 90:10 Live-logic.

For me Racks in live are priceless. Can create so creative things that previously could not even think about. Like assign one knob to tweak 10 parameters at time with different values.
Old 7th August 2014
  #8
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paeo View Post
I heard from many sources that Cubase (or Logic and some others) are the best choices there.

I know today you can produce perfectly with every DAW
These two sentences contradict eachother.

The difference is mostly one of taste/compatibility. Learning a DAW is subscribing to the philosophy of that DAW.

If you use Arrangement mode at all times, then Cubase might offer something better in terms of editing. Personally, I found it such a hassle to even assign/automate things that I gave up. Cubase to me is as exciting as doing your taxes on Friday night.
Old 7th August 2014
  #9
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For simple recording I prefer Cubase. I do not have very much experience with Ableton Live, but it seems awesome for ITB and DJ'ing.
Just my quick opinion.
Old 7th August 2014
  #10
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Synthbuilder's Avatar
Live 9 user here. I've been using Live for nearly ten years now. I do like it but it's not without its faults and that does lead me to look at the competition from time to time. Even so, I still keep coming back to Live.

I use Live pretty much solely in the arrangement window. I very rarely use the session view. So why do I use Live:

1. Sampler. Easy to use built in sampler that really suits my workflow.

2. midi editing is simple but effective. Zoom the editor to full screen though - I can't be working right down the bottom. I do prefer the older Live 8 midi note editing though - this new auto snap is horrid.

3. Clear and uncluttered user interface. Very rarely do I come across things that are missing. Proper automation curves, overlapping clips and comping would be good though.

4. Mixing is fine. A quick TAB moves you from arrange to mixer window (as I call the session view). Just drag the slider window to full size and it's a nice enough environment to mix.

5. Good built in compressor, EQ and delays.

6. Max For Live

Never could get into Cubase past the pre VST days. I liked it on the Atari but newer versions always seemed far too complex. And the windows never zoomed to the right size for me.

Tony
Old 7th August 2014
  #11
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mike vee's Avatar
ableton makes me want to throw up

Cubase all the way
Old 7th August 2014
  #12
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El-Burrito's Avatar
Or maybe you need Reason as it: Brings flow back to workflow :D

Old 7th August 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRAZZ View Post
For simple recording I prefer Cubase. I do not have very much experience with Ableton Live, but it seems awesome for ITB and DJ'ing.
Just my quick opinion.


If recording and mixing is a priority I'd say Cubase.

Hard to resist using Live occasionally though. If you hardware/direct monitor external hardware then recording issues in Live aren't really an issue, but PDC issues can still be a problem for mixing.
Old 7th August 2014
  #14
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
If you use Arrangement mode at all times, then Cubase might offer something better in terms of editing. Personally, I found it such a hassle to even assign/automate things that I gave up. Cubase to me is as exciting as doing your taxes on Friday night.
All you need to do is hit 'W' on the channel view and move what you want to automate. An automation channel is automatically created.
Old 7th August 2014
  #15
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pointsource's Avatar
 

Having tried both, and used live for a couple of years, I say:

Get Studio One from Presonus and never look back, best DAW ever
Old 7th August 2014
  #16
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enossified's Avatar
Studio One is also weak in the MIDI department, just like Live.
Old 7th August 2014
  #17
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What about rewirering Ableton in Cubase and have the best of both worlds?
Old 7th August 2014
  #18
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BlackBackDrop's Avatar
 

Cubase, its ridiculously good!

and improved since the atari days.
Old 7th August 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Burrito View Post
Or maybe you need Reason as it: Brings flow back to workflow :D

DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE!!!!! I've been waiting for this announcement drop. WOOOOOOOoooooooo
Old 7th August 2014
  #20
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enossified's Avatar
Geez, I'm still using Reason 2.5...
Old 7th August 2014
  #21
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by opeth13 View Post
DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE!!!!! I've been waiting for this announcement drop. WOOOOOOOoooooooo
lol congrats you got a new browser and the ability to drag and drop files... Seems like a pretty **** upgrade, how can they call that "The most radical change" ?
Old 7th August 2014
  #22
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mike vee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
Geez, I'm still using Reason 2.5...
get in the game bro
Old 8th August 2014
  #23
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pointsource's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
Studio One is also weak in the MIDI department, just like Live.
It has all I'll ever need in the MIDI department, and much more.... So... dunno about your needs.
Old 8th August 2014
  #24
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Burrito View Post
Or maybe you need Reason as it: Brings flow back to workflow :D


I don't know how people even write electronic music without it...???
Old 8th August 2014
  #25
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WOLF424's Avatar
I switched to Live after about 10 years of Cubase. Mostly out of boredom but I haven't gone back because I seem to work faster with it. I don't use the session view much and use it more like a regular DAW. The only things I miss from Cubase is device panels and sysex.
Old 30th September 2014
  #26
Here for the gear
 

I didn't think I would write this but... Ableton doesn't sound as good as Cubase. At least it sounds different.
I just re-opened ancient sessions in Ableton 9 and thought I was going to mix them within Ableton. Electro pop productions à la Naked & Famous (lots of "layers"...)
After having worked a lot on Cubase lately (large mix sessions), the overall sound in Ableton sounded like "compressed" and a bit unclear to my ears. So I've exported the audio tracks of the song and imported them in Cubase.
The mix in Cubase 7.5 is clearer with more headroom. The overall definition is better. It's more "3D". The low frequencies are really there. Like a more real or natural thing. I didn't expect such a big difference.
Sorry for the approximate english.
Old 30th September 2014
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakir77 View Post
I didn't think I would write this but... Ableton doesn't sound as good as Cubase. At least it sounds different.
I just re-opened ancient sessions in Ableton 9 and thought I was going to mix them within Ableton. Electro pop productions à la Naked & Famous (lots of "layers"...)
After having worked a lot on Cubase lately (large mix sessions), the overall sound in Ableton sounded like "compressed" and a bit unclear to my ears. So I've exported the audio tracks of the song and imported them in Cubase.
The mix in Cubase 7.5 is clearer with more headroom. The overall definition is better. It's more "3D". The low frequencies are really there. Like a more real or natural thing. I didn't expect such a big difference.
Sorry for the approximate english.
I have to say I agree with all this, even though it will probably start an argument. Ableton was a lot easier to work with but I could never get it to sound as clear as Cubase. This was not based on the current version of Live, so maybe it's different now.

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? Any traditional-style recording, like vocals or solo instruments that extended across several Live scenes, could also be done as overdubs in Cubase if that was easier than doing 'em in Live.

If you are not using Session View, just using Live as a traditional multitrack: Cubase is a better fit for that workflow, imo.
Old 1st October 2014
  #28
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billcarroll's Avatar
 

Every single time you put a third-party plug-in or Max for Live device on a track in ableton live you increase the latency that is not reported to any of the plug-ins in that chain that follow. That unreported latency is equal to your buffer size plus any latency the plugin adds itself. Plug-ins like delays or sidechain devices, anything that needs that latency timing back from the host, do not get it. If you write automation and then add a new third-party plug-in or Max for live device to the track, your automation will now be off just as the timing of the subsequent plug-ins in that chain. Very quickly this creates a mess of stuff out of time at the track level. Track delay cannot compensate for this because it's designed to compensate the timing of the entire track, and not fix issues related to unreported latency on the track plugin chain itself.

Unless you deal with this unreported latency, ableton will sound worse as your mix goes on. Your automation will begin to be out of time, and any plug-ins that need latency reporting from the host simply don't get it. You can very quickly end up with a jangly mess that doesn't sound good.
Old 1st October 2014
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Cubase to me is as exciting as doing your taxes on Friday night.
lmao, cubase is really rigid.....it's Cubic........geomatric....but it is a really good production tool, and good for audio recording..
Quote:
Every single time you put a third-party plug-in or Max for Live device on a track in ableton live you increase the latency that is not reported to any of the plug-ins in that chain that follow
almost every time i try to use M4L in ableton it ****s something up, it crashes ableton or it starts eating way too myuch cpu, dont even get me started on conv reverb. M4L is trash, and needs so much imporvement in compatbility with live it not funny...
Old 1st October 2014
  #30
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Recently been playing with Ableton more - finding its workflow superb. Very streamlined - limited but efficient. I can do 80-90% of what I need, even in MIDI (so easy to change the grid setting - CMD+1 / 2). I've noticed I need to touch my mouse a lot less than with other DAWs. Haven't found another DAW where I can load a drum sampler (eg. Drum Rack), and navigate and load all the sounds purely using the keyboard.

I also own Cubase, but that'd be my last choice to mix in. Pro Tools all the way. If not that, then Logic. I don't finish the productions in Ableton - vocal tracking would be a nightmare along with mixing with their tiny mixer. But Cubase is a click fest IMO - lot of features, poorly implemented from a workflow standpoint. Tons of windows opening up.
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