Ableton Live alternative?

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chromaform
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Ableton Live alternative?

Post by chromaform » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:22 am

I'm new here and just trying out the Demo version of Live 8.

I've heard many good things about Live but I am very disappointed- so far. Firstly the non-standard user interface. I know that I will have to read instructions if I plan on doing "advanced" things. But it took me about half an hour just to figure out how to zoom in to a waveform, and 5 more minutes to figure out how to scroll. These things should just use standard controls, and should not require one read instructions for such a basic task. You know, like a SCROLL BAR. I understand Ableton is trying to look cool and different with their user interface, but things like this just ruin the user experience for me. Com on, would a scroll bar have killed anyone? I am thinking.. if scrolling is this unusual, is the rest of the program even more non-standard? It probably just goes downhill from here.

Then I read all the horror stories about the "activation" messing up if you switch off ethernet, etc etc. Not only do I disagree with the general idea of hardware codes, they are proven to cause problems, sometimes at the worst times.

All this said, what are the other options out there? In my case I just want to load some tracks, have their tempos detected, break them up into smaller clips, and then cue the clips in any desired order with tempo-matching. Options? I don't care if it costs $1000, I'm more than willing to plop out the cash for a good program, it just has to work and use industry-standard interface elements.

Thanks in advance!

evolwizard
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by evolwizard » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:24 am

...fishy...
...to the prelevator....
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
=======================================================
17" macBook pro 2.93ghz 8GB RAM OSX 10.6-APC40-Axiom 25-Trigger Finger-Fast Track Ultra-MicroTrack II
Ableton Live 7 Suite Boxed-Reason 4

chromaform
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by chromaform » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:31 am

evolwizard wrote:...fishy...
Gee, that was helpful. Thanks!
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dinaiz
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by dinaiz » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:23 am

To the OP : I had the exact same feeling when I started with Live . Live is very different from any other DAW, and I'd dare to say, any application (at least if you come from windows world, I don't know about macs....) . That means that you have to go through a quite long phase of learning again how to perform every basic functionality you would do without thinking in any other DAW, which is, I admit quite frustrating.

That being said, once you get used to it, you won't be able to use anything else than Live, believe me ! It's up to you to decide if you are ok to spend the hours (days ? weeks ? months ? :-) ) required to master it !

Anyway, I can't think of any Live alternative.

capo-wear-i
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by capo-wear-i » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:40 am

chromaform wrote:I'm new here and just trying out the Demo version of Live 8.

I've heard many good things about Live but I am very disappointed- so far. Firstly the non-standard user interface. I know that I will have to read instructions if I plan on doing "advanced" things. But it took me about half an hour just to figure out how to zoom in to a waveform, and 5 more minutes to figure out how to scroll. These things should just use standard controls, and should not require one read instructions for such a basic task. You know, like a SCROLL BAR. I understand Ableton is trying to look cool and different with their user interface, but things like this just ruin the user experience for me. Com on, would a scroll bar have killed anyone? I am thinking.. if scrolling is this unusual, is the rest of the program even more non-standard? It probably just goes downhill from here.

Then I read all the horror stories about the "activation" messing up if you switch off ethernet, etc etc. Not only do I disagree with the general idea of hardware codes, they are proven to cause problems, sometimes at the worst times.

All this said, what are the other options out there? In my case I just want to load some tracks, have their tempos detected, break them up into smaller clips, and then cue the clips in any desired order with tempo-matching. Options? I don't care if it costs $1000, I'm more than willing to plop out the cash for a good program, it just has to work and use industry-standard interface elements.

Thanks in advance!
Just man up and learn the program.

R.A.W.
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by R.A.W. » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:55 am

first of all... what is "standard"??

i'm on windows and know win apps best. but i guess on mac there are things done differently. as ableton live is available for both platforms, what do you expect? should it work like win or mac apps? the best way is to use another approach and make that the same on both platforms so that's what happened here.
i'm a long time live user and i can't remember what it felt like when i used it first, but tbh i think the gui is very intuitive and straight forward for main tasks.
you can do advanced stuff as well, but then you have to read or trial and error, but that's the same for every other app.

when you look for an advice on alternatives, have a look at energyXT, though you might also find things that are different than your standard, as eXT is cross-platform for win, linux and mac.. it started out as a win only app, though, so it's very similar to standard win apps.
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Palmer Eldritch
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by Palmer Eldritch » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:07 pm

chromaform wrote: Then I read all the horror stories about the "activation" messing up if you switch off ethernet,
Just curious, what exactly did you mean with that?
Live 8_3_4 + 4b7_32+64 -Suite- Max4Live 5_1_9 _ core2DuoMacBook 2*2,16 Ghz + external FW HD _ OSX 10.6.8 _ 3G RAM _ M.H. MIO 2882 + 5.4d208 Driver _ Faderfox LV1 _ Akai MPK25 _ Logitec wheel mouse _______ PeacE will be the SOLution of LIVE

outershpongolia
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by outershpongolia » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:16 pm

I thought the unusual GUI was refreshing..

I never think about music in a linear time frame, I think about it like:
'oh i want this bass line with this guitar riff, holy shit if I put that drum beat from a few minutes ago here it sounds awesome!'

You could just use arrangement view if you don't like session.

H20nly
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by H20nly » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:53 pm

Non-standard??

I think you were looking for Pro-Tools. Wrong app guy.

Rinsemeister
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by Rinsemeister » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:07 am

Yeah, took me a day or two to get into it.

Never going back!

I live in "arrangement" but occasionally visit "session" for all the
graphical goodness and final mix.

Still got Reason (but no reason to use it) and Cubase. (can't remember what it looks like.)

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Yeah but, No but......

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chromaform
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by chromaform » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:00 am

By standard, I mean making use of the operating system's GUI toolbox Items such as: scroll bars, scroll bar arrows, etc. That's what I mean by "standard" GUI elements. Oddly enough, some parts of the screen do use scroll bars while others give you a custom object for scrolling which does not in any way resemble a scroll bar. (waveform zoom/scroll is a fine example) So not only is it confusing, it's inconsistent :) I develop databases and GUIs for them all day for a living but this is just... you get where I'm going. I've heard that it is intuitive, maybe there's just something wrong with me :) Even Kyma X was more intuitive. Perhaps someone can commission Ableton to make a second "skin" for Live, based on regular (Mac) OS GUI elements. For $450-800 bucks per seat, you'd think it would have been done already....

Thanks for the input tho! It's nice to hear there ARE options out there. Just have to look into it. Although it looks like I'll just have to cave in and make myself learn to like Live's interface.
R.A.W. wrote:first of all... what is "standard"??

i'm on windows and know win apps best. but i guess on mac there are things done differently. as ableton live is available for both platforms, what do you expect? should it work like win or mac apps? the best way is to use another approach and make that the same on both platforms so that's what happened here.
i'm a long time live user and i can't remember what it felt like when i used it first, but tbh i think the gui is very intuitive and straight forward for main tasks.
you can do advanced stuff as well, but then you have to read or trial and error, but that's the same for every other app.

when you look for an advice on alternatives, have a look at energyXT, though you might also find things that are different than your standard, as eXT is cross-platform for win, linux and mac.. it started out as a win only app, though, so it's very similar to standard win apps.
Macbook Pro, Powerbook G4, Beige G3, LC475, Capybara 320.

Kyma X, Digital Performer 2.7 & 6, Logic Express, Master Trax Pro 5.2.

MS-20, Juno-106, Prodigy, JEN SX1000, Sherman Filterbank, Doepfer-A100 modules, Andromeda A6, TR-909, Control Freak SE.

chromaform
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Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:10 am

Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by chromaform » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:09 am

Palmer Eldritch wrote:
chromaform wrote: Then I read all the horror stories about the "activation" messing up if you switch off ethernet,
Just curious, what exactly did you mean with that?

This is part of what I was referring to:
http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=112064

As a database developer (by day) it's not uncommon for me to occasionally change my machine's MAC address and/or make multiple changes to network interfaces during testing of my work. Apparently, this kills the Ableton authorization for some people. I'd hate to bump into that at the wrong moment and realize I have to call Ableton up... 11PM on a friday night from a club...

The other thing is, what do you do when Ableton goes out of business? How do you "authorize" any future machines when you upgrade/change out your own hardware? Hopefully they won't go out of business. But it's all too common in music. Opcode? Passport Designs? G-Vox? Remember those? Luckily the old software I have from those companies don't need to "authorize" or I'd be out of a large chunk of money and cool programs. Just a consideration. If I'm going to plop down $800 for the full enchilada, I want a guarantee it will work even if the company goes kaput.
Macbook Pro, Powerbook G4, Beige G3, LC475, Capybara 320.

Kyma X, Digital Performer 2.7 & 6, Logic Express, Master Trax Pro 5.2.

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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by R.A.W. » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:24 am

the ethernet-authorization-problem was fixed in one of the latest updates, don't remember if it was 8.0.3 or 8.0.4.
i don't think ableton will ever vanish as the userbase and people willing to pay for the updates is huge. but if they'd do, there's always the h4xx0r scene left that gets the app "authorized" (i'm legit, no need for flames.. just saying there's always a way! ;)).

and again on the use of OS elements... that makes it harder to maintain cross-platform apps. in my dayjob i'm a consultant and developer for it service management tools, most of them now are web-based with custom GUIs. and whenever there's the need for using apps on different OSs, we tend to build GUIs that are "similar" to the use in the OS, but still not the same. that's similar to the solution in live.
just take some time to learn the interface and you'll love it! :)
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by AceLuby » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:11 pm

This is my first DAW and I think it is extremely intuitive.

My guess is that users of other DAW's are stuck in thinking a certain way and when Live doesn't behave the same way it's somehow 'wrong'.

That being said, I would probably do the same thing w/ another DAW after learning all I have about Live.
levimoniz wrote:yes i'm a hypocrite and not intelligent

d-track
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Re: Ableton Live alternative?

Post by d-track » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:55 pm

maybe i am too old but i used trackers as fast tracker, scream tracker, impulse tracker, then fruity loops, logic, cubase sx, and finally: live.
all of them are easy to learn if u start playing with them for some days, but none of those was that easy learning curve that live has.
this interface is definitely "logic"
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