Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
ovorigin
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Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by ovorigin » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:29 am

So Ive been using ableton about 2 years now, I used Logic exclusively before that but saw ableton as the way to go for live purposes and its looper is why I bought version 8.

Since then Ive really liked its layout and how it mostly makes sense and plays back audio above all other tasks.

BUT

The looper has never worked reliably enough to use live, emails back and forth with ableton have solved nothing making me feel like I didnt get what I paid for and what ableton advertised.

It has other advantages though, which Ive been playing with instead but its sound quality is also coming into question for me as it is others on this forum. While I wont go into the debatable discussion of its clarity and Imaging of sound I will definitely comment on its auxiliary function.

I moved a waves Trueverb from a track to aux B trying to save some cpu by routing other tracks to it and was shocked at how much it effected the sound quality. It was one Ive been using on my voice for sometime now so I was very familiar with how it should sound, its effect was one of making it sound harsher in the mid range with a subtle phasing not unlike the difference between monitoring at 128 samples vs 64 with headphones.

How can this be?

Auxiliary should not change the sound in ANYWAY in my experience and is completely unacceptable from a 'pro' audio application! No response from ableton again, the last time I heard from them was that they had never seen the problem I was having with the looper before (i sent them a video of its behavior).

I guess when you know someone is right in their criticism of your product the silent treatment is best?

There are other issues to, Like how efficiently it uses the cpu, I have only 2 tracks with effects on them (one for vocals and the other gtr) with 4 or 5 more just for clip play back, Admittedly I monitor at 64 sample buffer which does increase the stress on my set up. Still I start to experience crackling at %40 cpu in ableton (of course this means nearly double in activity monitor) and is another thing to question about ableton. It doesnt say its a 64 bit application either in activity monitor and I hear ableton doesnt multi thread! how in this long reining age of virtual cores can a pro app not support this? (this is on a fully tricked out 2.4 core 2 mbp)

As a Daw compared to logic it is simply a no contest, ableton simply doesnt have the tool set, which I never expect it to do, I do however as an audio app priced similarly to a daw like logic, expect it to be reliable for live use, which it isnt hence the title of this topic.

I could go on but is it past time for me to be re thinking my software of choice?

would like to here from other users, do you think I am asking to much from ableton?

Are you even noticing the problems that I am talking about?
Last edited by ovorigin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

LeifonMars
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by LeifonMars » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:44 am

ovorigin wrote:I moved a waves Trueverb from a track to aux B trying to save some cpu by routing other tracks to it and was shocked at how much it effected the sound quality. It was one Ive been using on my voice for sometime now so I was very familiar with how it should sound, its effect was one of making it sound harsher in the mid range with a subtle phasing
Did you set your Trueverb 100% wet?
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madlab
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by madlab » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:46 am

You should probably stick to Logic. A friend of mine who has been working with Logic for about 15 years now recently came to my place and asked me to watch me work with Live for an hour. He was simply amazed by the fact I could o everything without stopping the music and the speed of all the actions. If this what you're after, come to Live, if you're looking for something else, stick to Logic. Many people, including me, work with Looper in live performance without problems.
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Khazul
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by Khazul » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:13 am

Sounds like a case of UFWE.
Nothing to see here - move along!

dazzer
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by dazzer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:14 am

1 - Live's CPU meter goes up to 100%, on a Core 2 activity monitor goes up to 200%

2 - Logic is owned by Apple, hence its pricing

3 - Live doesn't say its 64 bit 'cos it's not. Live 9?

4 - You're right, if you don't want to continue with the software, I'd suggest stopping.

macmurphy
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by macmurphy » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:45 am

'Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application'?'

no. they're a company. they make a 'pro' audio application. ffs :roll:

i've been using Live since version 3 along with various other sequencers, editors etc and have never found any difference in audio quality at all. none.

as for stability, yeah well v8 has been a bit of a mess for quite a few people. this happens to all daws at various points.

if it's not doing what you want maybe it is time to move on..

madlab
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by madlab » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:49 am

And FWIW, except during experimental patching sessions with M4L with my very limited skills, which I obviously don't practise live, I never experience a crash and use Live extensively in real time for music or theater work with up to 14 speakers. Live 8.2.2, M4L 5.1.8.
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friend_kami
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by friend_kami » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:45 pm

looper has never worked properly for me. it plays back snippets of previously cleared buffers (which should be cleared and nonexistant).
i have artifacts with loopr too + live tended to crash alot when i used to use looper.
i have had your problem with the reverb you are describing aswell, although with live's native reverb.

i've had alot of problems with live both when running osx and when running windows, everything from instantenous crashes for no apaprent reason, audio problems, audio artifacts, not enough memory (even on an empty set with just one (empty) looper wtf?), not starting at all, serious program errors and so forth and so on.
then we have all the little annoyances with live. i recently had to rewrite a piece of music because i couldn't get my automation precise enough.

the only reason i am still staying with live is because i know it by the back of my hand. the more i use it the more i require from it and this is when the problems ramps up.
right now i am recording alot of music as opposed to using live itself to generate it for me (guitars, basses, drums, vocals etcetera) and this is when it show that live really isn't a program geared for production at all. it's a sketch pad, but not for anyone doing serious audio work (perhaps your standard techhouse producer is happy (instant haus anyone? seriously? lazy much?), but that's about it.

macmurphy
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by macmurphy » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:07 pm

friend_kami wrote: live really isn't a program geared for production at all.
if this is true, friend_kami, would you mind telling me how i use it for exactly that? and no, i don't make tech house :wink:

shuutobi
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by shuutobi » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:23 pm

LeifonMars wrote:
ovorigin wrote:I moved a waves Trueverb from a track to aux B trying to save some cpu by routing other tracks to it and was shocked at how much it effected the sound quality. It was one Ive been using on my voice for sometime now so I was very familiar with how it should sound, its effect was one of making it sound harsher in the mid range with a subtle phasing
Did you set your Trueverb 100% wet?
This unfortunately.
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anybody human
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by anybody human » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:35 pm

I'd say it has multiple strengths, just as other programs do. They all have their strengths.

Looper has never worked for me, too clicky and clumsy compared to some hardware/pedal loopers. I use an electro harmonix 2880 4 track looper, also have a Digitech Jam Man (saves but clumsy punch in) and a Line 6 DL4 (accurate but 14 seconds). Took me awhile to find the right one obviously, it's all about accuracy when punching in/out. Cheers to those who have figured out how to make Looper work for them. It was clicky, the cardinal sin for loopers, so I just gave up on it after a few sessions. Not really surprising that a software looper would be hard to pull off. Not a big deal to me.

kanuck
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by kanuck » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:22 pm

anybody human wrote:I'd say it has multiple strengths, just as other programs do. They all have their strengths.

Looper has never worked for me, too clicky and clumsy compared to some hardware/pedal loopers. I use an electro harmonix 2880 4 track looper, also have a Digitech Jam Man (saves but clumsy punch in) and a Line 6 DL4 (accurate but 14 seconds). Took me awhile to find the right one obviously, it's all about accuracy when punching in/out. Cheers to those who have figured out how to make Looper work for them. It was clicky, the cardinal sin for loopers, so I just gave up on it after a few sessions. Not really surprising that a software looper would be hard to pull off. Not a big deal to me.
on a slight off topic note I'd like to say Line 6's DL4 looper actually noramlly loops at 28 seconds. If you loop with the "1/2 speed" on.. then you get 28 seconds of loop time.

ikeaboy
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by ikeaboy » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:31 pm

LeifonMars wrote:
ovorigin wrote:I moved a waves Trueverb from a track to aux B trying to save some cpu by routing other tracks to it and was shocked at how much it effected the sound quality. It was one Ive been using on my voice for sometime now so I was very familiar with how it should sound, its effect was one of making it sound harsher in the mid range with a subtle phasing
Did you set your Trueverb 100% wet?
My thoughts exactly

Piplodocus
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by Piplodocus » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:09 pm

I'm not gonna bother joining the full conversation of all the points, but if you want low CPU resources then use Logic. Made by Apple to use on Apple's computers, and Apple's OS. They can afford to sell it at a much lower margin as it encourages people to buy their computers. It uses less CPU: that's completely without argument.

However, it doesn't let you do some stuff live without glitching. Ableton Live will always be more power hungry than any other DAW since it's designed so you can enable and do things without glitches that other DAWs can't, because it's primed for the unexpected click/part change/start/stop/etc. Hence the "Live" name. I'm sure they could make "Ableton Studio" be less CPU intensive if they liked.

Just like audio buffers there's a payoff between the instantaneous events and CPU.

Piplodocus
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Re: Is Ableton really a 'pro audio application' ?

Post by Piplodocus » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:11 pm

P.S. What's the problem with looper? I never use it, but was thinking about it for an upcoming project so would be interested to know. I've seen lots of cool stuff done with it live and never heard of reliability issues, so am interested to know.
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