How does Ableton's instruments stack up against others

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
bodhi71
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How does Ableton's instruments stack up against others

Post by bodhi71 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:28 am

Just wondering you're thoughts. Especially vs Omnisphere , Analog Factory , and Reason.

hoffman2k
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Post by hoffman2k » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:37 am

How do Ableton's instruments stack up to a synth that is driven by gigabytes of samples, a synth with 3500 presets and several nearly accurate virtual analog engines and a different piece of software that is about as modular as they come?
I'm afraid the results are poor.

Ask again when we can add every form of physical modeling thru Max, routing from device to device and quality samples sets of virtually every hardware synth you can get your hands on.

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Post by xh9o » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:42 am

exactly. live has more chances being premier in organizing your work flow and being a solid and transparent interface for any more specified module out there (especially with max, this could prepare another break through). the instruments in the live package may introduce some people into producing, synths and samplers and indeed they have their relevance in that. but being honest any instrument in live is among the worst sounding virtual instruments. operator bits outside, you can hide its weaknesses better than those of lets say analog or tension. they are awful to my ears.
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Post by hoffman2k » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:34 pm

xh9o wrote:exactly. live has more chances being premier in organizing your work flow and being a solid and transparent interface for any more specified module out there (especially with max, this could prepare another break through). the instruments in the live package may introduce some people into producing, synths and samplers and indeed they have their relevance in that. but being honest any instrument in live is among the worst sounding virtual instruments. operator bits outside, you can hide its weaknesses better than those of lets say analog or tension. they are awful to my ears.
Hold on, that not what I said. So I don't know why you started with "exactly".
The Ableton synths sound great for the task they're designed to do.
Combine them and you're able to get virtually any sound. There's still a kickass Sampler too and now you can create your own waveforms in Live 8.

But the 3 products the OP mentioned can't be realistically compared to the Live Suite. Thats 4 different products, all with a sound library that is very impressive. Including Live 8.

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Post by jonny72 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:44 pm

xh9o wrote:but being honest any instrument in live is among the worst sounding virtual instruments. operator bits outside, you can hide its weaknesses better than those of lets say analog or tension. they are awful to my ears.
Maybe to your ears, but the AAS instruments are all pretty highly rated stand alone.

The Live Suite instruments may not be perfect for everyone, but I don't think there is anything that is - everything has it pros and cons. If you use Live as your main DAW then going for the Suite version is a bit of a no brainer for me at €200 extra for 8 instruments.
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Post by glitchrock-buddha » Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:07 pm

All the products you mention are just so drastically diffferent. If you look at the fact that omnisphere alone is about the price of Live alone, you can see it's hard to imagine Live's instruments stacking up to a synth with that much power. Spectrasonics are also above all else some of the best sound designers out there. Arturia synths have a very unique sound in that they are some of the warmest analog modeled synths there are (Not necessarily the best or beefiest though). Ableton's offerings are very interesting but don't exactly excel at that warm analog character that arturia's do. But on the other hand artuia's synths can't sound like ableton's either. And then there's reason. Haven't really used it since V1, except briefly at V2.5. Just long enough for me to think "Why the hell am I using this again?". Synths sound ok though. Very different type of sound that ableton's. I think the quality is about on par, but I could see how someone used to the reason sound wouldn't like the ableton sound so much and vice verse.
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miqueas1
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Post by miqueas1 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:11 am

xh9o wrote:exactly. live has more chances being premier in organizing your work flow and being a solid and transparent interface for any more specified module out there (especially with max, this could prepare another break through). the instruments in the live package may introduce some people into producing, synths and samplers and indeed they have their relevance in that. but being honest any instrument in live is among the worst sounding virtual instruments. operator bits outside, you can hide its weaknesses better than those of lets say analog or tension. they are awful to my ears.
Actually you can make any sound you want in Live.. you just need to know how to program the synths and work at it..

I don't agree with you saying they sound horrible.. it is all about sound design... layering.... and adding effects to get the sound you want... You can literally do anything in live.. you just have to spend time and learn how to use the tools...

Many of my tracks have loads of live's instruments... and they sound just as good as anything else... it more about how you use them.. .and what you do to create them... Live is fully capable of making professional sounds...

I used to feel this way a few years ago.. and after taking a class at Berklee school of music on Ableton Live last semester... I learned that you really can use live and live only... provided you disect everything and learn what does what.. and how to get the sound you want...


Analog is very powerful as is Tension... and operator is flawless... I didn't think they were about 6 months ago... but I am convinced now... also it is amazing how you can make multi timbral instruments out of one basic sound in Sampler.. you just have to know how to work it and what to do...

Good luck... play around... :)
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Post by mholloway » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:17 am

more and more I'm realizing how great Live's instruments actually are. I usually reach for 3rd party stuff as I have tons of great NI synths and others, but lately Analog keeps creeping into my mixes, and Operator, well, it's as good as anything, or better.

And now with the 8 library....well, it's definitely WOW. does a great job of showing off these instruments in a way that wasn't explored/revealed before, if you didn't take the time on your own. the new library stuff (in instrument rack form) does amazing things with sampler, analog, and of course operator....i could see my 3rd party plugin count per session getting lower and lower as I delve deeper into this stuff.

oh, and drum racks are absolutely my go-to drum module. use 'em way more than Battery3 these days.
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Post by miqueas1 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:21 am

I also wanted to mention... I would have saved loads of cash.... before I went out an bought tons of synths.... and you know I dont' even use half of them..

Native istruments Komplete synths.... honestly... I don't even use them anymore... they sound nothing like Live instruments.... I mean you have to pick and choose what you want... but please don't go out wasting money on synths that you may not end up using or even need to buy b/c you can create those types of sounds in Live..

I mean when it comes down to it... it is your choice and how you work...

I also use Nexus 2 ...for sounds too... their new mix function is great.. you can take layers out of the sounds and layer other sounds on them... Also their sounds are loud.. and sound fat and amazing...

but it is nice to move more to Ableton Insturments and way from Nexus... and I am actually using Reason 4 alot now.. .it is amazing what processing in live can do... especially when you use it as an External instrument rather than just rewire....

That class I was talking about at berklee was the Advanced ableton Live class.... and I was shocked at the sounds you can make in Tension, Analog, and Sampler...

Before I hardly used any Live instruments.... now... I use literally every single one when I make a track (other than impulse and simpler... they are basically useless for me now that I have drum racks under control as well as sampler).


It really is all about the combination of every element and how your work out your space and frequencies... :):) and also routing!
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Post by xh9o » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:57 am

miqueas1 wrote:Actually you can make any sound you want in Live.. you just need to know how to program the synths and work at it..

no, especially not when talking about the quality of sound. you can "program" a whole year and not getting a bass nearly as 3d as when you just plug in an analog synth on the line in (which needs a minute).
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Post by xh9o » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:06 am

jonny72 wrote:Maybe to your ears, but the AAS instruments are all pretty highly rated stand alone.
by whom but some online magazine writers who get paid to sell any lie, and some glueless internet honks? aas is not the worst company in that (i did use their ultra analog some years ago for arps), but they´re not superior at all. and further their contributions for ableton are the worst they have done so far. maybe it all relative "subtle", but its music, where the subtle is the essential. but what do you know wbout music? you probably just wanna fuck an fat ugly chick like lilly allen once in your lifetime.
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Post by Jekblad » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:33 am

wow dude, a little crazy on that last post.

I'm planning on buying the Live 8 Suite when it comes out, and then Alchemy later on. I just want stuff that works and is fun and fast and acceptable sounding. I apply this train of thought when i play guitar professionally and many other things i do. Not everyone is an aficionado when it comes to this stuff, so as long as it doesn't sound "bad" to these people then you could argue that it sounds "good".

I guess i'm just saying different tools for different people? I know they aren't the best, but they are a good value and i still have a lot to learn about synthesis and sound design. If i bought those crazy expensive synths it would take me years to grow into them. Not saying Suite is for noobs, but, in many ways the Suite instruments can be a better choice for someone. But i wouldn't rest it all on 'sound'. Everyone hears sound differently anyway... Workflow could be a big plus for suite instruments.

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Post by Chang » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:42 am

xh9o wrote:
jonny72 wrote:Maybe to your ears, but the AAS instruments are all pretty highly rated stand alone.
by whom but some online magazine writers who get paid to sell any lie, and some glueless internet honks? aas is not the worst company in that (i did use their ultra analog some years ago for arps), but they´re not superior at all. and further their contributions for ableton are the worst they have done so far.

Being an analog synth user, I have to agree here.

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Post by Khazul » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:58 am

I wouldnt say analog sounds aweful, however there are many jobs for which only a real analog synth will do and TBH, of all the analog, hardware didgital and soft VA capable synths I have - it is the one I will use last on its own (partly down to its UI as well).

Analog is fine when you are going to layer it with something else and drown it in fx etc, but if you want a fat ass dry bass sound with lots of character - then look elsewhere.

My other winge about analog is it seems rediculously CPU heavy for what it is compared to some much much better sonding soft synths - thats another reaon I rarely use it. If it was very lightweight - then it would get used far more for spot noises, layering etc.

Sampler I quite like - allthough I rarely use it for multi-sample, I do use it alot for loading in samples and for that its just fine, allbeit (IMHO) rather expensive for what it is, though the same is true for all of Lives extras.

Operator - what can I say - it does its job - nothing special - sounds like any other FM synth I have used - its convenient in Live, but TBH the FM synth inside my Alesis fusion is way way way better and way more flexible.

The modelling synths are IMHO good for getting that flavour of sound rather than trying to do true emulation, great for house synthy stabs and general wierdness etc however there is simply too much missing from the resulting sound complexity to actually use for true emulation, however I dont mind that. The one exception is the EPs you can get out of them - they are good, but then thats hardly surprising as even most VAs can manage a convincing job of these.
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Post by twisted-space » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:00 am

I quite like Analog, but I would agree that it's a bit of a cpu hog.
I don't think it sounds like a RA, but name a VA that does!
Operator is always usefull, great for drum sounds in particular
Love sampler for creative sampling, if you just want a straight forward sampler for multisampling I think there are better options.
I personally don't get much use from tension or electric, but they sound cool, just not my style.
Overall I think the suite is great value, I don't think I'd buy the instruments individually though.

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