Is Suite worth it?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Is Suite worth it?

Post by 2be » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:54 pm

Hey guys,

I've been using the Ableton Suite 8 for quiet a while at a friends studio and have been testing the demo myself in the last few weeks. I guess I'll purchase either Suite or Live 8 in the next month or so, as I'm totally amazed by this wonderful DAW.
But should I get the Suite or just Live?

Suite instruments I didn't really fell for:
Analog: Didn't impress me. I already own Minimonsta, and they don't seem to be very different from each other
Collision: Didn't manage to get very nice sounds out of it. Presets seemed okay, but didn't really understand how to sound design with it. Maybe needs further exploration by me, as I heard it was very nice for minimal percussion stuff...
Electric: I prefer Rhodes samples, didn't really like the sound of it.
Tension: Not a huge fan of strings, not sure if I really need a strings synthesizer

Suite instruments I loved:
Operator: I don't own any FM synthesizer yet and know shit about FM synthesis, but this one seems fairly easy to understand and get nice sounds from. Don't really like the way to detune if you use the subtractive algorithm, but I already have enough subtractive synths I think.
Sampler: I don't own any sampler VST and it's just very quick to create your own multisampled-instruments. Also extreme possibilities of sound design. Too bad you can't midi-map everything though :?

I don't really care for extra samples and stuff, I already have enough. So, is Suite really worth it for me?

I see the following options (in case you wonder about the prices, I'm a student :wink: ):

1. 209 € for Ableton Live 8 (and maybe get another FM synthie like FM8; use drumracks for multi-sampling instruments)
2. 329 € for Ableton Suite 8
3. 209 € for Ableton Live 8 + 228 € for Operator and Sampler (this doesn't seem to make sense, but I read somewhere that upgrading the full suite was more expensive than upgrading Live 8 + instruments. Is this true?)

So, what would you choose?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by beatflux » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:07 pm

Sampler is the only must have.

FM8 might be better for FM synthesis, but Operator is pretty straightforward and easy to use.

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by H20nly » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:52 pm

I have the whole suite and this may sound like a dumb reason, but I hate getting popups that tell me I don't have a feature installed... if I'm trying to make something happen the last thing I want is a nasty surprise. Also, I'm not much on synths, but if someone rolls through that is... I'm ready. We have something to work with.

If you have the loot, getting it while you have the student discount would be the way to go. Once you have the licenses you're all set. Upgrading Live is fairly affordable after the initial plunge.

There is a lot to learn and infinite possibilities. Still, if you KNOW you are never going to use those features, then you have your answer.
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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by ShelLuser » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:54 pm

Note that I'm writing this with some bias but I'd go for the full Suite. In your list Suite is cheaper than Live 8 + 2 instruments which is a situation which I kinda recognize.. Last year I initially also started out with Live 8 yet got suckered in by 2 instruments. And after doing a little math I concluded that Suite was a better bargain.

You didn't mention what your plans for Live are, which can make a difference, but when looking at this in the overall; Suite is more complete (gets you all the instruments). I read your post, but things which might seem unappealing (or not interesting enough) at first could draw your interest later on. That's what happened to me anyway..

You may already own stuff some similar instruments (like with Analog), but why focus on a single instrument anyway? Diversity could be a good thing for your work.

And finally; even though Live works quite well with vst's (I mostly use the ableton instruments myself though) sometimes you can have situations where this is different. For example where a vst might gobble up more cpu cycles, or when messing with rewire where Live can't use plugins (like vsts).

It all heavily depends on some issues, but in the overall Suite would still be my favorite.
With kind regards,


Using the 'Power' Trio: Live 10 Suite (+ Push & Max 8 ), Reason 10 and Maschine Mk3 (+ the ultimate Komplete 12).
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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by rustig » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:26 am

For only 120 euro extra you buy ableton live suite!!!!, My choice would be suite.
Most of my gear is external I`m only using uad and ableton live suite internal but Operator and sampler are two instruments i can`t live without. :D

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by Punky921 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:44 pm

For the money you're talking about, go with the Suite. I use the Suite and I don't need to go outside of the DAW for my sounds. It's nice to have everything in one clean package.

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by Rave » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:49 pm

Suite ftw

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by leedsquietman » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:56 pm

also remember, that Live's devices don't require an extra latency buffer unlike 3rd party vsts, so integrate well with Live.

Electric a.k.a. AAS Lounge Lizard is quite possibly the finest electric piano sounds out there and raved about not just by me but many respectable magazines - with some tweaking it goes far beyond samples.

Tension is also a great device and if you layer it with sampled strings you get amazing realism, with the samples sounding a touch nicer but with all the realism of the bowing and string interaction provided by Tension.

Analog can sound good if you rack it up with FX - most VA synths are drenched in reverb and mod fx, whereas many of Analog's sounds are dry. Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by 2be » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:26 am

Alright, looks like I'll be getting the download version of Suite when I have saved a few extra bucks :)

Thanks for the advice!

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by Machinesworking » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:13 am

First off I love Live, great product.

Secondly, I've not much love for embedded instruments. I know every DAW manufacture just figures you'll stick with them through thick and thin. but that's
not me. At this point I own 3+ DAWs, and anything done in Lives embedded plug ins isn't transferable to another DAW if I have a need to.

Suite looks like a good deal, but I've had to abandon the awesome filter and EQ in Digital Performer when I switched to Logic, and the really sweet Sculpture, convolution reverb, EXS Sampler, and other goodies when I switched to Live mainly. Over the years I've collected third party plug ins, and honestly, they're mostly better than embedded instruments
(Sculpture is an exception), it allows me to jump around a bit if I want to, this is great for me, I tend to want to push DAWs. Routing limitations in Logic? on to Live; no SysEx in Live? on to Digital Performer.

If you're certain you'll stick to Live then go for it, but from personal experience, I though I was going to use Digital Performer forever ten years ago. :|

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by H20nly » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:47 pm

^ I see your point, but you can still render before exporting the file(s). You can also re-wire. Either option allows you to keep elements that you like, as a whole, while still working in logical stages. We ask a lot, but at least its not tape. Imagine how Ummagumma was recorded. 8O
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by Khazul » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:51 pm

I wouldnt bother with the suite. TBH - got it on a bit of a whim for 6 to live 7 suite when it first came out, and the bits are sometimes useful, but in retrospect - other 3rd party stuff would have been far far more useful, for eg, get yourself a decent reverb etc.

I echo that the two most useful bits are sampler and operator. There is nothing normal you can do with the others that cant be done far better by something else, however excepting analog (which I think is monumentally useless relative to other VA plugins) the rest can be useful for unusual sounds at times - ie abuse them rather than use them :)
Nothing to see here - move along!

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by DJ Tequila » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:19 pm

SIR is a good, free convolution reverb if that's your kinda thing.

I got the suite very recently and it's been good to me so far. Sampler is great - it imports patches from other soft samplers so sample CDs with multi-sample instruments are suddenly more open to me. Patches are simple to build... I can take a bassline on a sample CD, cut it up in the sequencer, then just drag the resultant clips into Sampler layers. Sweet.

The other instruments are nice enough, but Corpus, the effect based on Collision's resonant body modelling, is REALLY interesting. Especially on bass. I probably wouldn't have thought of getting it if I didn't get the suite.

I like the way you can handle saving sampler patches (and other inbuilt instrument patches) with drag and drop in the instrument menu, and organise them with folders. It makes using in-built effects and instruments more attractive.

I'm pretty happy all round right now, but we'll see how much I use the other plug-ins over time...

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by ze2be » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:22 pm

Is it worth it?

Yes and no...

I wanted to buy Operator, because it does not use cpu when idle, and its great for percussion sounds. You can use a bunch of them in a rack with no problems, cpu or ram vise.

The upgrade difference to suite vs operator was very little, so little it would be stupid NOT to get suite. So I bought it.

What to be said about Abletons Synths and samplers:
These are NOT VSTs.

1. They do NOT have floating window options.
2. They have tiny, crammed little interfaces with tons of pages.
3. They do not record automation to clips in Session, like VSTs.
4. They can not be vst automation assigned, you have to use up/lock your ccs with Abletons own system.

however, if you use an apc40, nr 4 might not matter to you. I use an apc, and "rack" everything. hence I get 8 macros auto assigned when selecting a track. Similare to vst automation assigning.

The only pros I can see is that they do not use cpu when idle, and very little ram.
I like to use them from time to time.. Its fun to create racks you can easily shear with other users. And they will never get corrupted because you deleted that silly vst long time ago.

You can get some original sounds out of them!

? ? ? ? ?

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Re: Is Suite worth it?

Post by LoopStationZebra » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:33 pm

I'll never buy the Suite again. Don't use 80% of it...

However, if Ableton wants to offer a deal with 9 that includes a GREATLY reduced M4L price I'd be interested. :lol:
I came for the :lol:
But stayed for the :x

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