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Is there anything else for creative composing along the lines of Ableton Live? The session views make a lot of sense. It's a nice program. And ultimately I believe professional music can be make on any software, especially Live/Logic/Reason/etc.

I ask because I'm locked into Logic due to my hardware constraints and my actual physical studio–I record a lot of serious audio (32 audio tracks at a time sometimes) and need Logic's very mature audio editing engine.

However, on a personal level, I'm composing a lot of electronic music, DnB (old Aphex Twin stuff :), so let's just say "EDM". And Live makes that a lot easier.

The thing is, Ableton's pricing structure is totally out of whack.

The entire Logic Pro X package–the FULL package–sells for $200. That's with far more instruments and effects, a huge sample library, and a much mature editing system, so on and so forth. Ableton just has this jazzy tab button thing going for it. I guess I could get over it, but still.

Ableton sells a dumbed down version with barely anything for $99, and then their "standard" version is $450, and the real standard version (which they call "suite") is $750! Suite mainly just comes with Max for Live, which is a free license (for personal use) piece of software anyway, so Ableton seems to be taking advantage of something... probably EDM's peak in commercialization right now. Oh well, karma... It won't last long.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions on sequencers or other apps with interfaces that are great for putting together beats/sections/grooves and even arrangements in a more intuitive way than the standard sequencer arrange view (kinda like Live's Session view, but not so expensive), please let me know... Even something with a more modern interface like Live would help (Logic is a bit long in the tooth, not that I'd go with anything else for recording a serious session besides Pro Tools, and its plugin architecture is outdated among other things).

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    I haven't tested it yet, but Bitwig Studio was inspired in Live, and has a similar session/arrange view dynamic (in general it is very similar to Live). It is around $300 USD. bitwig.com/en/bitwig-studio/overview.html – Lyd Feb 1 '15 at 17:25
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    +1 For Bitwig. I am still an Ableton guy but I tried Bitwig out for a while and it does everything Ableton can do and more. Worth checking out. – Charles Feb 1 '15 at 19:22
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You can use ReWire to essentially turn the basic version of Ableton Live into a plug-in that runs inside Logic. This is a very common way to use Live inside Logic or Pro Tools. Typically it is done for exactly the reason you describe: to add the Session View to an existing studio.

If you have Logic, you don’t need Live Suite, because you already have “Logic Suite.” You can use the instruments and effects and sounds that you already have in Logic with the basic version of Live and you won’t miss the additional instruments and effects and sounds from Live Suite.

I would never recommend Live Suite to a new Ableton user anyway, because there is great upgrade pricing. So it is best to start with the smallest version and only move up if and when you find that you have a real need for the larger version. If you are not doing live DJ shows or generating videos, there is no need to pay for the features that are applicable to those use cases.

  • Excellent answer. And the correct one. I did eventually end up using ReWire to connect Live to Logic. Works perfectly fine. – rcd Aug 6 '17 at 7:09
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Ableton offers a trial version for around $49, It has some limitations but you can do a good bit of composing in it before running out of trackspace. This entry level edition comes free with a lot of inexpensive controllers as well, such as launchpad mini.

Akai has a similar product that comes bundled with some of their controllers, its called ignite. It has a similar composition style as ableton and the learning curve is fairly quick.

Happy Dawing@!

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Logic sucks. Avoid it like the plague. Unless they jave fixed the multitimbral bug, you will run an instance of ko takt for every midi track you use. Almost 500mb per instance!!! Tracks will not route to channels independently and every sample loaded will receive the other tracks automation. MADDENING!

If you are serious spend the 750 and keep using a DAW that you are comfortable with. Also, producing the genre you want to produce...Live is the way to go. Plugs are WAY superior, sidechains and ducking etc way more user friendly.

Rewire is great until you decide to change meter or tempo. Then you are effed.

Cubase is the best balance of audio and MIDI that I have used.

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Have you looked at bitwig studio? It's basically Ableton's first contender. The only bad thing at the moment is that it doesn't support AU plugins.

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