1. Live mimics the way a lot of creative people's brains actually work and creates an environment which promotes creativity. Music, especially songs, don’t happen in a straight line from the first note to the last. Ableton is a forward thinking DAW that understands and promotes that process.
2. Sampling in Ableton is very easy and very fun. Its sampler, which comes with all versions of Live, allows you to chop samples for playback or create custom instruments out of audio files in a heartbeat.
3. Warping is the processes of making audio elastic, which allows you to speed up or slow down the timing of a piece of audio without affecting the pitch, and vice versa, allows you to pitch files up and down without affecting the speed. If you want to incorporate warped audio or are into creating remixes, Ableton is the place to be.
4. The software was originally created for live performance and that real time approach to making music is the cornerstone of the platform. If you’re interested in live looping, having playback tracks on stage, doing live effects processing, DJing, launching clips, synching two laptops etc or any combination thereof, Live is it.
5. There is a slew or hardware options to use with Live that allow you to do everything from compose to arrange to mix and perform with options at lots of price points. Live will also allow you to custom MIDI map pretty much any controller around.
1. Since Live was developed for live performance, it lacks some key audio editing functionality that you’ll find in other DAWs, most specifically comping. If you are the person who wants to record several takes of a vocal or instrumental and then edit them together, you don’t want to do this in Live. Can it be done? Yes. Is it meant for that? No.
2. If you’re coming from a linear DAW, Live can be quite an adjustment and one that you might not like at first. With anything innovative and new, sometimes you wish it worked like the other stuff and get frustrated when it doesn't. There’s a lot of functionality which is very Ableton, and that can be tough for those who have worked in another environment for a long time. That being said, once you hurdle that initial confusion, you get why so many people are using this DAW.
3. Most of virtual instruments in Live aren’t easy to visually navigate, with the exception of Wavetable.
Studio One is becoming more popular every day and for a lot of good reasons, especially when it comes to writing songs. It has a few different workflows that borrow ideas from other DAWs and caters to different users which include the writer, the producer as well as the mix and mastering engineer. Studio One is generally easy to get started with and is a great choice if you’re feeling apprehensive about going down the tech rabbit hole.
1. The scratchpad gives you alternative arrangements so you can have several different versions of a composition, each with their own arrangement of regions, automation, tempo etc all within the same session. It’s like an internal Save As, which will allow you to A/B things quickly or work on multiple iterations of the same idea.
2. The native effects, instruments and loops that come with Studio One sound great so you’re getting a lot of value and functionality when you purchase the software.
3. There’s a chord chooser tool which will allow you to try out different chords and progressions as well as modulate keys without completely rewriting your regions. It can also detect the key and chords of an audio file which makes it a powerful transcription tool.
4. It will do all your send/return routing for you so you don’t have to go through the whole processes of creating aux tracks and routing via busses.
5. There’s an artist version for $99, which is slightly truncated, but has most if not all of the tools a songwriter would be looking for.
1. Not everyone is using Studio One yet so if you’re collaborating or sharing sessions, chances are that the other person probably isn’t a user and doesn’t have the software.
2. If you’re trying to import session data, like MIDI files, you’ll find this difficult.
3. It’s not the most stable of programs and it crashes more than one would like.