What users are saying about
17 Ratings
87 Ratings
17 Ratings
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Score 9.3 out of 100
87 Ratings
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Score 8.2 out of 100

Attribute Ratings

  • Ableton Live is rated higher in 2 areas: Likelihood to Recommend, Support Rating

Likelihood to Recommend

10.0

Ableton Live

100%
7 Ratings
8.8

Audacity

88%
23 Ratings

Support Rating

9.6

Ableton Live

96%
6 Ratings
7.7

Audacity

77%
19 Ratings

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
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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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Pricing Details

Ableton Live

Starting Price

$79

Editions & Modules

Ableton Live editions and modules pricing
EditionModules
Live 10 Intro791
Live 10 Standard3592
Live 10 Suite5993
Live 11 Intro994
Live 11 Standard4495
Live 11 Suite7496
Live 10 Intro - Push7997
Live 10 Standard - Push1,0788
Live 10 Suite - Push1,2789
Live 10 Standard - Students & Teachers26910
Live 10 Suite - Students & Teachers44911
Push + Live 10 Standard - Students & Teachers1,06812
Push + Live 10 Suite - Students & Teachers1,24813
Max for Live15914
Max for Live - Crossgrade7915

Offerings

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services

Entry-level set up fee?

No setup fee

Additional Details

Audacity

Starting Price

Editions & Modules

Audacity editions and modules pricing
EditionModules

Footnotes

    Offerings

    Free Trial
    Free/Freemium Version
    Premium Consulting/Integration Services

    Entry-level set up fee?

    No setup fee

    Additional Details

    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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    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.
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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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