Ableton Live – Intro, Standard Or Suite. Which One To Get?


Ableton Live is a fast, fluid, and flexible DAW for music creation and performance. It is available in three different editions: Intro, Standard, and Suite, according to the artist’s needs in terms of features and budget.

So which version of Ableton Live you should get? To make your choice easier if you don’t know which version to get, the best option is to get the Standard Edition. For most users, it will give you more features than the very limited Intro version while saving your money from the most expensive Suite version.

In order to help the undecided music producers wanting to know the differences between these three editions, we will explore the functionalities of each of them below. 

IntroStandardSuite
Instruments4515
Audio and MIDI effects294272
Audio and MIDI tracks16UnlimitedUnlimited
Audio input and output channels8256256
Editing Linked TracksNoYesYes
Max for LiveNoNoYes
MIDI CaptureYesYesYes
Tempo trackingYesYesYes
Current price$79$359$599

Overview Of The Three Editions: Which One Is The Best?

Let’s begin our Ableton’s Live introduction by noticing the differences between the three editions. To make their comparison easier, you’ll find below the table of each of their characteristics. Except those mentioned below, note each version have common features. 

How Much Does Ableton Live Cost?

As you might understand reading this chart, there already is a price gap between the $79 Intro version and the $359 Standard version. Although the experimented producers will tend to choose the $599 Suite edition containing the most completed features, most beginners or intermediate should consider the Standard version as it is the best value for money.

While this comparative table above only mentions a few of the features that differ between the editions, there are more than are crucial in any DAW.

As established, Intro is the most limited version of Ableton Live. It introduces what the software has to offer in terms of features and ideas to produce music and sounds. But, the most basic features are missing. For example in Intro, there is no audio recording, and is not possible to extract a harmony, melody, or drum rhythm from an audio sample and convert it to MIDI. 

This fact will already put off most producers. But to get further, there is also a lack of instruments such as Analog retro synth and the classic Bass synthesizer or even Operator, the wavetable to shape your waveforms and create unique sounds. 

So to return to the low price of Intro, it is clearly balanced by the lack of features. It is probably better to get a real complete DAW version.

More than all the features of Ableton, Suite contains Packs that are only available with this edition, here is some examples:

  • Beat Tool
  • Brass Quartet 
  • Electric Keyboard
  • Session Drums Club
  • Grand Piano
  • Skitter and Step
  • Chop and Swing (available in Intro)
  • Loopmasters Mixtape (available in Intro)

Depending on your style, these are really useful to add pre-recorded loops to your track or just to find inspiration if needed. 

It is crucial to consider your goals and the projects you want to create in the music industry. If you are just starting in the industry and want to see if music is something you might want to pursue, then Intro is an ideal entry point. But, if you are planning a more concrete future in music then the Standard and Suite versions are a great investment. Besides being attractively priced, Intro is very limited music producers sometimes prefer to think about the future by investing in software containing all the features available. But even if all these tools are useful in creation, how could you know if you will need all of them? To answer this question, the trial version will help.

The Free Trial, A Good Alternative

As this brand understood that “Try it and love it”, the Ableton website offers a 30 days trial version for Suite for free. Then, you will have full access to the software to create, save, and export your tracks. This an excellent way to take a look at the software, get used to its various features, and decide whether you will need access to the Intro, Standard, or Suite version.

Is Ableton Live Worth The Money?

Indeed, Ableton Live worth the money. First of all, you have nothing to lose trying the free version for 30 days. Besides, it contains a lot of features that other DAW do not. That’s why it is often compared to Logic in terms of advanced functionalities because they both are the most used by music producers. Therefore, Live allows a better experience of live performance and improvisation with the Live Session view, this is one of the only software containing this useful characteristic. 

What Is The Session View In Ableton Live For?

This functionality is making this DAW different from the others because it is widely used for live performance and improvisation. In the Session View, you can freely mix and match musical ideas without the constraints of a timeline. Fix ideas effectively while enjoying an ideal environment for improvisation. You can play MIDI and audio loops of different lengths in any combination, without ever stopping the music. 

What Is The Session View In Ableton Live For?

Arrange mode allows you to organize music along a timeline. Set up the musical parts and build the sections of your song. Go into detail without losing sight of your musical goals when developing an idea or arranging a complete piece. In the Arrangement View, you can record everything you do in Session Mode; improvising the final structure of your composition. 

Is Ableton Accurate For Composition And Live Performance?

Yes, the Ableton Live software has been designed to optimize for live use. First of all, it is intentionally reduced to the maximum so that it can be played in the best conditions and used on a single screen. The single window is divided into 5 categories; therefore, it can be used on equipment as light as a laptop. 

Create a classic linear arrangement or improvise without the constraints of a timeline in Live’s Session mode. Move freely between musical elements and play with the ideas without stopping the music or interrupting your flow.

Related Questions

Is Ableton Live Available On A Tablet Or A Smartphone?

Unfortunately, this software is not available on an Ipad or a smartphone. As a DAW, the file would be too heavy to be set on other devices than a laptop or a computer and will require at least one of them. 

Is Ableton Available On Windows?

Yes, Ableton Live is available on Mac and Windows allowing all producers to use it. Minimum system requirements for Live 10 are Windows 7 and OS X 10.11.6 or later for Mac.

Is Ableton Live good for beginners?

Ableton Live is a good DAW to start but it will probably take time to get used to the software as it is designed for professional and containing advanced features. To step in, the trial version is available for free for 30 days. It is a good option for beginners to start slowly learning how it works.

Mori B

I'm a music producer, a dj and a blogger.

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