Ableton Suite Worth It?
- This topic has 6 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 4 months ago by ,carapacednb.
2019-05-11 at 03:03:34 #79550,carapacednbParticipant
I’ve been on Standard for about a year now. Been thinking about upgrading to suite but am wondering if it’s worth it given all the third-party plug ins I’ve already purchased, including Serum, Pro-Q, Nuetron, Slate’s suite of mixing/compression plug ins, Trash and Saturn. I’m a bit tired Serum as the wave tables all sound a bit “same-y” to me after while, so am looking for new ways to approach synthesis. Suite’s wavetable seems cool.
Curious to see if any Suite users have noticed any powerful part of Suite that would make the $370 jump worth it. Looking through the comparisons, it looks like Suite’s instruments would be a nice addition, as would the additional effects, mainly for just creative fuckery and what not.
Also, if this question has been asked before or discussed, feel free to let me know and I’ll bin it :).
2019-05-11 at 07:12:00 #79562,shrikeParticipant
I’m not sure I can help with the upgrade question fully, but if the reason is you’re bored of Serum’s WT’s, or you want more synth options, I might say…no?
Serum allows you to *create* new WT’s within the synth, and to *import* any WT’s from anywhere, so if you’ve exhausted all of that and are still bored, you will be mightily disappointed with the Ableton WT synth, which does not allow for either. Although in the upcoming 10.1 update, they are finally introducing WT import…something that they arguably should have done from the jump.
Operator & Wavetable are fine synths. There is actually a lot you can do with Operator. But is it worth $370? I have a hard time saying yes. For that much you could go get UVI Falcon and have exponentially more synthesis & sampling capabilities than what you would get back from the Live synths (flame on!). There are some pretty decent audio FX that you would get with Suite, but it sounds like you’ve already got a pretty decent hoard of those. And the other Live (or should I say A/A/S) synths, like analog, poli, collision, etc…I just don’t ever use. I have other synths that I prefer. I will admit that I do use Sampler often, as my bread and butter sampler. I’ve never liked Kontakt, mostly because of the UI, and haven’t since its inception…I was well-disappointed in NI’s decision to just regurgitate the early 2000’s design for Kontakt 6…Fucking. Horrendous.
The place where you might really get your money’s worth is in Max4Live, and the additional Midi & Audio FX it provides. Max4Live is pretty powerful, but honestly, if it were me, I would take that money and buy a new copy of Bitwig 3, which kinda kicks the shit out of what M4L tries to be, at least on the user side (as opposed to creating M4L devices…if you want that then the decision is made, although BW’s new feature, The Grid looks to even that playing field as well). M4L isn’t a terrible attempt to expand the modulation capabilities of Live, but Bitwig is leagues better in that department, with the concepts at the heart of how BW was built, as opposed to being bolted on, as M4L is. And maybe I am a little biased right now, as currently ALL of my Max devices have taken a shit and won’t work AT ALL, and haven’t for almost a month now. I’m afraid it’s going to take a full re-install to fix it, which pisses me off, and I have just been working around it. Also, BW is easy to learn…in fact if you know Live, you already know 95% of BW, and even many of the hotkeys are the same or similar.
Finally, if you are bored with Serum’s included WT’s, I am happy to share my entire WT collection for DL. You can’t possibly be bored with this many WT’s, and again, if you are, Wavetable isn’t gonna scratch that itch.
On Windows, extract these to:
On Mac side you are on your own, but it shouldn’t be hard to find.
There are literally 1,000’s of WT’s in that link, some that I have created myself.
I don’t think I’ve made your decision any easier, but these are my honest thoughts.
_-| get to work |-_
2019-05-11 at 07:23:11 #79564,shrikeParticipant
Want some new synth fun? Cheggidout:
_-| get to work |-_
2019-05-11 at 16:03:45 #79597,FakeParticipant
I’d agree with Shrike saying it’s not worth the $370 (!?!?!) upgrade price unless you plan on getting into the Max side of things.
I’ve never actually used anything other than Suite, but Ableton’s list of extra features is extremely deceptive (https://www.ableton.com/en/live/compare-editions/), as it includes M4L effects and instruments as if they’re native to Suite, like Poli, Bass, Colour Limiter and Spectral Blur to name a few.
There’s a lot of free Max stuff that does integrate pretty well into Suite, it’s nice being able to automate any parameter with a Max LFO or envelope follower, but I feel like the improvements to automation in 10.1 are gonna make this a bit less appealing. From what I’ve seen of Bitwig their modulation system is a lot more seamless than Max which I’ve found pretty unreliable at times. Having written this I skimmed the rest of Shrike’s post and seen he’s written basically the same thing lol.
Another thing to consider is if you ever want to get into plugin coding then Max is a great entry point and is a lot easier to follow than C++ if you were to do VSTs, but even then there’s a free alternative called Pure Data (not integrated with live but still a great learning tool).
I know what you mean with Serum, it does have a very harsh sound which can get quite wearing (and the FM is pretty weak), Wavetable is a bit more fluid but it is extremely CPU intensive so I tend not to use it.
Having said all this, I’d recommend getting the 30 day free trial of Suite and see if you actually use the extra features on a daily basis, I’d say there’s probably other stuff you can get for that much money that’d be more useful but you might become a die-hard Operator fan like me and have to splash out!
2019-05-11 at 20:46:51 #79616,carapacednbParticipant
Big up Shrike and Fake for the insight. Definitely good considerations to think about.
BW seems appealing from a modulation standpoint, but after reading the logs of Shrike on the BW thread, it sounds too buggy for me to make it my main DAW at the moment.
The insight about the analog and collider instruments aligns with what I was thinking. They seem great but probably don’t offer enough modulation to be interesting enough for sound-design heavy genres like DnB.
One thing I’d love is the Sampler, but is it worth $370? (Which is more than the entire price of Standard I think??) probably not.
Shrike, many thanks for the Wave table folder. I’ll snag those today.
I’ve already got operator, since you can buy it standalone. I’m by no means a master of FM synthesis, but it wet my appetite enough to look further into FM based synths. I downloaded FM8 demo last night and am blown away by the diversity of the sounds it can churn out.
The verdict so far is to hold off on suite and demo BW to see how I’d like all the modulation capabilities.
For the time being, I’ll think I’ll work more on FM synthesis, and see if I can pick up Ableton’s Sampler or a similar quality sampler for a fraction of the cost.
2019-05-12 at 08:46:22 #79646,FakeParticipant
Oh dang I didn’t realise you don’t have Sampler in standard! It’s probably my second most used stock instrument, it’s got a really unique feature of having an FM Oscillator to modulate whatever you load into it, really fantastic for resampling basses. The only thing I’ve heard of having something remotely similar is Native Instruments Form but I haven’t got round to upgrade to Komplete 11 so couldn’t tell you any more about it, might be worth looking into.
I think Sampler is only $70ish which I’d say is still way better value than Suite where you seem to basically be paying for all the extra packs and Max more than anything else.
2019-05-13 at 04:22:29 #79712,carapacednbParticipant
Yeah it’s kind of bull shit if you ask me. Standard comes with Simpler, but there’s only so much you can do with it. Maybe I’ll pick up Sampler!
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