Live 4.0 vs Cubase SX

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
dafonk
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Live 4.0 vs Cubase SX

Post by dafonk » Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:57 am

Hello everybody,
I've been wondering if Live 4.0 could be used instead of Cubase SX, since it has MIDI, VST and Audio. I've tried the Demo but not quite sure.
Anybody has left Cubase SX to work with Live ?

rikhyray
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Post by rikhyray » Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:54 pm

I hope so but too early to say yes. Have to spend some more time and I still have some songs to be finished in SX. I hated Cubase till the SX2 appeared . it is excellent but Live is just another concept ( much better for my needs).

anonymouse
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Post by anonymouse » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:28 pm

both have their distinct purpose.

Are you a loop-oriented real-time groovy doodler or are you engineering complex multitrack productions?

Either application can deliver a cool finished product in the right hands.

Cubase is much more detailed and precision production focused; but it requires discipline and forethought. You must know what you want; then Cubase is an expert professional deep application.

Live is almost instant gratification. You can be swept along by the ease with which you can throw things together and generate ideas. Live sort of influences the creative process into a structured path.

Personally, I think Cubase is better if you are striving to be a unique and non-loopy innovator... Sure it is linear; but it is much more of a blank page than Live.

If you can afford both, I'd recommend that. Neither company really wants to venture into the others space. They both excel at what they do.

I wouldn't be without either of them. I prefer Ableton as a company as it markets itself as the punchy little guy; and delivers cool upgrades. Steinberg on the other hand had a sort of professional snootiness. But SX is a superb DAW on a sensibly configured platform.

Buy both!

Per Boysen
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Post by Per Boysen » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:12 pm

Having worked with Cubase, Logic and Live I think I would start with Live 4 if I had to make a choice for only one application. Just because Live is more of "an instrument". But I agree that a traditional linear DAW is a very good complement to Live. I liked Cubase long ago, on Atari, but after trying out SX1 I sold it again and stayed with Logic/Live which is great IMO. For PC maybe Nuendo is a good second choice for a Live 4 complement?
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Rx
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Post by Rx » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:19 pm

i used Cubase since 3.5 and wasn't totally happy with it until SX 2. but i find Live 4 to be a lot easier to work with and much more spontaneously creative. coming up with arrangements is a piece of cake, and my songwriting process is much faster with Live.

keep in mind that i used almost none of Cubase's advanced features over the years.
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majestic
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Post by majestic » Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:06 am

Live doesn't have Cubase's scoring features or full PDC. It also doesn't have video sync, but that's covered by an inexpensive 3rd-party plugin called ReVision. And really, that's about it.

However, look at what you get with Live 4 that's NOT provided in SX2: real-time warping, pattern-based sequencing, support of AU instruments (for starters). And if you're not comfortable with the lateral, pattern-based approach of Session View, that's OK, you don't have to use it! Instead, just do everything in Arrange View, which is a conventional linear sequencer, where your music runs left to right along a timeline. Live 4 gives you the choice to work the way you want, rather than forcing you to adapt to a particular method of operation.

I would also add that the interface in Live is way superior to SX2, but I guess that's subjective. I can get stuff done so much faster in Live though.

An example: I just completed a song that modulates through three keys. As I'm not a trained musician, in SX2 that would've taken me many hours of trial-and-error: transposing samples to a different key using MPEX, waiting 5 minutes for the transpose algorithm to complete, finding out it doesn't sound that great, undoing and trying again with a different interval, etc. etc. etc. In Live 4 though, I just looped from a couple of bars prior to each key change and cranked the transpose up a semitone at a time until I found the killer key changes that knocked me over. Total time spent: roughly 10 minutes. Now try doing that without granular resynthesis!

Bottom line: if you need scoring or full PDC, stay with SX2. Otherwise, I can only highly recommend that you switch to Live.

olafmol
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Post by olafmol » Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:40 am

for me the biggest difference is that in Live4 you actually can arrange using your ears, instead of moving blocks of audio and midi around with the mouse and not hearing anything..

Olaf

AdamJay
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Post by AdamJay » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:03 am

i'd never perform live on stage using cubase either.

the fact that i can use only 1 software for the software aspect of writing - AND performing.... i cant think of anything else that gives me that versatility.

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Post by elemental » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:57 am

olafmol wrote:for me the biggest difference is that in Live4 you actually can arrange using your ears, instead of moving blocks of audio and midi around with the mouse and not hearing anything..

Olaf
This for me is also one of the important things. Dropping something in or out or switching up a bassline because it feels right - now - not because it looks right!

And the fact u can assign anything (nearly) to a MIDI cc, I got real frustrated going back to cubase cos I had to draw the bloody automation!

Rx
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Post by Rx » Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:10 pm

AdamJay wrote:i'd never perform live on stage using cubase either.
isn't Cubase what Monolake used to use to perform live? which in turn inspired him (i assume) to make something better?
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The Hulk
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Post by The Hulk » Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:53 pm

Cubase is good if you're layering a bunch of audio tracks. I've done a few 3 minute tracks in Live with only 3 audio tracks and 3 midi tracks and once I added effects I was maxing out the program. Cubase can just handle more if you're working linearly. I also think if you're working traditionally, if you know how to use the program, it's a better work flow than live. But if you're into pattern sequencing, you're going to be creatively liberated once you start working with Live.
The best, best songs are utterly forgettable.

Rx
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Post by Rx » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:24 pm

Cubase has gotten more efficient. I'm sure Ableton is aware of the cpu issues, but i can cut them some slack for this first version with vsti. Live is still way more flexible than Cubase, so when i'm using a synth & fx that are sucking up too much cpu, i bounce the clip and play with it using clip envelopes. it's a limitation but in the process i'm amassing a pile of nice home-made loops.
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david122
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Post by david122 » Sat Aug 28, 2004 11:19 am

Steinberg will be releasing SX3 next month. It's rumoured to have real-time warping, pattern-based sequencing etc. One to watch...
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majestic
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Post by majestic » Sat Aug 28, 2004 12:29 pm

Yeah, the upgrade to SX3 is apparently listed on audiomidi as US$49, about half the price of their usual upgrade fee. Personally, I love Live way too much to go back though!!! :D

david122
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Post by david122 » Sat Aug 28, 2004 12:36 pm

By the end of this year there will be a whole crop of apps that do warping, already there's Sonar then there's SX3 and Samplitude 8.0 will do it also.

Remember, Cuabse already supports the Rex format and beat-slicing which is useful if like me you've got a whole load of them.
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