Ableton Live vs. Audacity

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Ableton Live
Score 10.0 out of 10
N/A
Ableton headquartered in Berlin offers Ableton Live, the company's flagship digital audio workstation and audio editing suite.
$79
Audacity
Score 8.5 out of 10
N/A
Audacity is a free and open source audio recording and editing software.N/A
Pricing
Ableton LiveAudacity
Editions & Modules
Live 10 Intro
$79
Max for Live - Crossgrade
$79
Live 11 Intro
$99
Max for Live
$159
Live 10 Standard - Students & Teachers
$269
Live 10 Standard
$359
Live 11 Standard
$449
Live 10 Suite - Students & Teachers
$449
Live 10 Suite
$599
Live 11 Suite
$749
Live 10 Intro - Push
$799
Push + Live 10 Standard - Students & Teachers
1,068
Live 10 Standard - Push
1,078
Push + Live 10 Suite - Students & Teachers
1,248
Live 10 Suite - Push
1,278
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Ableton LiveAudacity
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Ableton LiveAudacity
Considered Both Products
Ableton Live
Chose Ableton Live
These software are not direct competitors of Ableton, but yes we use them in conjunction with Ableton. Filmora is used for video production and Audacity is used for Audio Editing. So we use all the three software for getting our work done. This combination is highly successful …
Chose Ableton Live
Ableton Live has just the right feature set for electronic music production. It offers more professional features than GarageBand, while not featuring the level of hardware integration or other high end features that you find in Avid Pro Tools. However, I prefer Ableton Live …
Chose Ableton Live
While I love Cubase and used it for many years (still do for certain projects), I definitely love Ableton better when it comes to writing music. The shortcuts are much easier to learn and make more sense than Cubase's, which means the time you have to spend setting things up is …
Audacity
Chose Audacity
All of the DAW's listed above are great for scoring to picture, which is something Audacity doesn't do. But it's an excellent standalone audio editor, which is a vital tool in any studio. It's very easy to transfer the clip, make the changes, and import it back into your session.
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Ableton LiveAudacity
Small Businesses
Descript
Descript
Score 8.8 out of 10
Descript
Descript
Score 8.8 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Enterprises
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Ableton LiveAudacity
Likelihood to Recommend
10.0
(7 ratings)
8.4
(25 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Usability
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
9.6
(3 ratings)
5.0
(11 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
7.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
8.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Ableton LiveAudacity
Likelihood to Recommend
Ableton
Ableton Live is a perfect fit for loop-based music like electronic music of all varieties. It is especially suited to minimal techno and IDM, but is really suitable for any style of music that relies extensively on loops and samples. Ableton Live is also well-suited for sequencing out loop-based music through its Live view, while the Composer view allows for enough arranging features that you can take a song from concept to completion fairly easily. Ableton Live is less well-suited for fully recorded music that has no sample-based or looping components. It is less well-suited for non-electronic genres, although it is perfectly fine, but many of the features would not be useful or necessary in these cases.
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Audacity
For just a quick down and dirty audio recording from computer source, Audacity is a no-frills solution that any user can get up and running with quickly without the intimidating functions seen in most standard DAWs. This would be a great tool to start with to record church services, or basic live performances where someone wouldn't want to use a full DAW like Ableton Live or Studio One.
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Pros
Ableton
  • Session View: This is the biggest advantage of Ableton. It provides you this view in which you can create different tracks for the same part of the song. For example:- If you are making the chorus of the song, you can save one thread. Now if you want to try and listen to a different drum set in a new thread, you can simply do that and listen to the new track while preserving the older one. Once you are satisfied with what you're listening, simple record the same in arrangement view and you are done. You can switch to the arrangement view and listen to the final song.
  • Pre-installed instruments and loops:- Ableton's library which is included with the software itself while you purchase it is amazing. I bet you will ever need third-party plugins for it. It comes loaded with hundreds of loops and number of instruments which are completely professional and free to use.
  • Amazing Graphical User Interface:- Even if you're a beginner in this field, Ableton can be learned within a few hours. The basic functionality of this software is very easy to understand and use. Of course, advanced stuff comes with practice but the basic functioning can be learned and within a few hours you are producing your own music.
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Audacity
  • Audacity has a wide variety of controls and capabilities for editing, making it a very robust tool for audio editing.
  • Even though it's a robust tool, it is very easy to use to get many basic things done in audio editing. The learning curve is small.
  • Love that audacity is free! What else could you ask for? There really is no reason not to use it.
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Cons
Ableton
  • Version 10 chews up all my CPU but prior versions didn't
  • Midi channel automation isn't intuitive, have to make an instrument group
  • New version install should overwrite older versions
Read full review
Audacity
  • Although the UI is very simple, it's not great to look at. Making the program more exciting visually would be a great plus.
  • The functionality has never been lacking for what it is, but has also not seen major additions in a long time.
  • The support base of the community is truly impressive, but is also very intimidating to wade through. Having better standardized help avenues would be a benefit to new users.
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Likelihood to Renew
Ableton
No answers on this topic
Audacity
With no subscription fees unlike other products on the market, I am very confident I will continue using Audacity for my simple audio editing needs. I'm not an expert in audio editing, I'm sure what works for me as a more general user in a public institution would not suit someone more experienced, but I'm very happy with the quality of work I'm able to produce.
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Usability
Ableton
No answers on this topic
Audacity
Audacity is decently user friendly, while any questions generally have to be answered by externally searching for tutorials or other users encountering the same issue, it is still straightforward, simple, and easily resolved. It's installable on any type of computer, compact, and easy to install. Beginners may have a harder time, but once you know what you're doing, it's very easy to use.
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Reliability and Availability
Ableton
No answers on this topic
Audacity
Audacity is great for this, it doesn't require a network connection once downloaded, and previous versions of the software are still functional in my experience. I have never experienced the program crashing, lost work, corrupted files, anything of the sort.
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Performance
Ableton
No answers on this topic
Audacity
I have never had issues with speed in Audacity, I don't integrate it with other software but the program runs smoothly even with larger jobs. I haven't measured the CPU while using Audacity, but I imagine it's not high compared to other, more professional or specialized programs in the same category.
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Support Rating
Ableton
I haven't had to reach out to support yet, but they're great at keeping me abreast with updates, compatibility issues, new features, and tons of videos on how to use the software. I feel like they're helping me success by giving me tools I can use in my daily work.
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Audacity
We have not used direct support for Audacity, other than using the information available on their website, which resolved the issues we were experiencing so we had a good experience in that regard. As this is Open Source FREE software, I don't believe there is direct support available. In saying that, it has the following great support options:
  • Online documentation and FAQ
  • Online tutorials covering all functions
  • Online user forums where questions are asked and answered by other users
  • Online wiki with more information
With these options most issues should be able to be resolved to get full use from Audacity.
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Implementation Rating
Ableton
No answers on this topic
Audacity
Again I found it helpful to write up a step-by-step tutorial for coworkers based on our institution's standard practices. This combined with support from coworkers to answer questions is very effective for simple everyday use of Audacity. The support in-program is minimal but troubleshooting in the internet age is straightforward.
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Alternatives Considered
Ableton
I cannot say that the other programs listed aren't capable. They surely are. But for what I do and my workflow environment, Ableton suits my needs better. I know a lot of people that use Pro Tools and Logic Pro. They are both very powerful programs. I have knowledge of how to use them all. Going into different studios and collaborating with people, you need to know at least the basics of them all. But for me and my studio, we will continue to primarily use Ableton for the foreseeable future.
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Audacity
All of the DAW's listed above are great for scoring to picture, which is something Audacity doesn't do. But it's an excellent standalone audio editor, which is a vital tool in any studio. It's very easy to transfer the clip, make the changes, and import it back into your session.
Read full review
Scalability
Ableton
No answers on this topic
Audacity
I feel that Audacity is useful, simple, and suited both to casual users and more advanced use cases. There are options for expanding functionality in complex situations, but the option to not mess with it as a beginner is perfectly fine and suited to most everyday uses in my institution.
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Return on Investment
Ableton
  • Ableton Live allows me to rapidly sequence multitrack music as needed, without getting stuck at any step of the process.
  • Ableton Live also allows me to quickly export or upload to SoundCloud for easy sharing. This is a big time-saver.
  • The only negative ROI I can think of is the cost. There are competitors like Reaper that are much more affordable and have many of the same features.
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Audacity
  • Audacity is completely free, so it has helped us to eliminate the expense of paying for recording software.
  • It is fast and efficient, which helps us save time and generate a great workflow.
  • Even though we have what we need there are some features that cannot be found on Audacity, this affects the quality of our audio in a way.
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ScreenShots