Pro Tools & Ableton Live

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I've been using Ableton for some years now, bought the whole suite and invested a lot of time into learning it to record on ans synthesise everything else. I recently started collaborating with an engineer in a local studio who uses Pro tools. He tells me that it is a better DAW for audio recording than Ableton which is more suited for EDM/DJ stuff but also does the job of audio recording just fine.  

A quick search on here shows that people like Reaper a lot and I haven't seen too much mention of Pro tools so my questions is - is Pro Tools in some way better for recording audio/guitar signals  - or is that more down to the interface/gear? 

Reason I'm considering it is that there is a free version of pro tools (first) I can get and then 'rewire' with Ableton if it provides a better audio recording as I do everything else in Live (I make jazzy/funky/EDM type stuff). Is this worth doing or should I just stick with Ableton which I know and am used to now? 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3616
    Protools free is a terrible piece of software in terms of restrictions. Reaper will do you just just fine and is very cheap, essentially nagware
    Studios use Protools because it is the best software for editing multitracked drums and other areas of real audio. Plus it has the most universal acceptance amongst professional studios, bit like MS Office does in the business world. For the home user it's not essential 
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  • wave100wave100 Frets: 125
    In some ways your collaborator is right however the workflow in Ableton is different to Pro Tools. PT is (in my opinion) better suited to stuff like recording a live band, kind of like a tape recorder with enhanced editing, whereas that kind of recording is not very well suited to Ableton which excels at loop based song construction.

    My own way of working is usually to start a tune in Ableton, get a rough arrangement going and then export the individual tracks as audio files which I then import into Cubase (similar workflow to PT and Reaper) for final editing and mixing. This is probably because I'm too lazy to learn how to use Ableton properly, but as a long term Cubase guy I just find this way easier.

    There is no inherent reason for PT to be better at recording audio than Ableton, that is down to your audio interface and recording chain. It used to be the case that a (very expensive) Pro Tools rig was the only way to do low latency multi channel recording, however with today's interfaces and fast computers that is no longer true.

    It's definitely worth trying Reaper, which you can do for free, to see if it suits your workflow, but at the end of the day the best DAW is the one that you can be the most creative with in the shortest possible time, so for your style of music it sounds like Ableton may well be the right choice.
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3416
    IMHO ProTools digitizes the old world Studio functions of TapeOps, razor blades and what have you. Ableton is a totally different workflow, and therefore not better/worse, just different. It is good for DJing and sample triggering, but there's a load more uses besides - I love it for building things from patterns. I've never used it for live audio, I used to use ReWire with Tracktion (re-launched recently) as my DAW.

    Ableton & Reason (again via ReWire) is a monster setup. You can record audio in either these days.

    It depends what you're trying to achieve really. If you want to exchange parts/ideas then whatever will work ought to be fine, rather than HAVING to go ProTools.
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  • LuminousLuminous Frets: 207
    The only proper way to record is straight to 8 track cartridge, replaying via an ear trumpet....everything else is cheating.
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  • ijontyijonty Frets: 28
    I've just bought a Focusrite which has free versions of Ableton and Pro Tools bundled with it. I'm new to DAW, so is one better for the beginner? I see @Danny1969 says PT free is shit, so do I avoid that? I won't be doing anything fancy - just recording guitar, vocals and maybe putting a drum machine through it. I just want something that's fairly simple to get started with, but has the capacity to do more if and when I get more comfortable with it. I've played around with Garageband a bit, but that's it.


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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18876
    Danny1969 said:
    Protools free is a terrible piece of software in terms of restrictions. Reaper will do you just just fine and is very cheap, essentially nagware
    Studios use Protools because it is the best software for editing multitracked drums and other areas of real audio. Plus it has the most universal acceptance amongst professional studios, bit like MS Office does in the business world. For the home user it's not essential 
    This.

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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 7461
    TBH, I've used Ableton for years (probably nearly 10) and know it inside out. *Yes* it can be used for loop based/DJ stuff, but it also does normal DAW stuff very well, is not very memory hungry and I actually like the workflow/layout etc.
    I've recently been persuaded to use Reaper for a new project, and so I've had to learn how to do the same things in that DAW that I find come naturally in Abelton. I'm not so keen on it, as its 'new' and I'm less comfortable with it as I am with Abelton - I'm sure its great, and there's lots of extra potential that I haven't scratched the surface of yet but I still find myself drawn to what I know when I have an idea that I want to persue.

    The point is... if using a new piece of software connects you to someone who you want to work with, its worth making the leap. However, there is nothing intrinsically "wrong" with Ableton as a DAW if its what you like using. The other option, of course, is to render stuff to WAV (ensure all the tracks are flattened - ie include all the plug in information etc) then send the files to the other party to use within their own software, and visa vera. That is a faff, though.



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