From Ableton to?

I started using Ableton Lite because it was the only DAW to let me output a sound out-of-the-box

I then upgraded to Standard, and I recently added Max 4 Live hoping to have an easier way to use the BBCSO (but actually it doesn’t work YUK)

So I am thinking to change my DAW, but I am in doubt, because:

  1. I certainly don’t want a DAW so difficult to transform my hobby in a moonlighting :grin:

  2. And I certainly don’t want spending my last penny to acquire it :cold_face:

  3. Possibly, I want a DAW that is not bloated by instruments, effects, etc., because I just want using my own plugins

  4. The new DAW must work perfectly with Scaler

  5. Reaper is not an option

  6. Possibly, I want a simple way to migrate Ableton project (.als files), even if I suspect this is impossible

  7. I don’t play any real instrument

Any suggestions?

Well, there are only a limited number of choices, and that number will be cut down by your work focus etc. Maybe the place to start is

Another review at

A buying guide at Sweetwater, one of the USA’s largest distributors

The problem with asking the board is maybe that (as would be entirely expected) responders will cite their own tool as being the best choice - naturally, since after some research that’s what they chose. However, the best choice for ,say ,. orchestral music might not be the same for , say D’ n’ B

The Sweet water review tries to cover usage type, and so is maybe the best of the above.

It’s hard to advise you because you don’t always follow through completely. Also you don’t say why M4L doesn’t work with BBCSO. What are your trying to do? M4L has lots of plugins for it, some free, some cheap. I have some great M4L stuff that make Live fun to use.
Back to DAW. I have used them all and my advise is stick with one and get to know it inside and out. They all do the job.
All DAWs come with plugins and instruments. Most of the time you don’t have to install them all. Especially the instruments. Just use the basics if that what you want but there are some gems in there. In any event there are 2 I would recommend -
1 Cubase
2 Studio One
They both have excellent workflow and features for music. They both work well with Scaler. They both have Artist, Producer and Full versions at various price tiers.
I would suggest that you try them out. They both have 30 day trials that AFAIK are full featured and complete. But until you actually try them out yourself there is no way to know if they will work for you. Lots of tutorials that you don’t like to watch but they are there.
I use both Cubase and Live for different things. Cubase in my main DAW and overall I love it.
I used and really liked Studio One but I do music for films and it’s video handling, while functional doesn’t address the things I need most. But Studio One has a great work flow that is completely different from Live so there will be a learning curve with either of these. That’s where you usually get frustrated and stop. But I’ve seen your layouts with Live that aren’t simple so I know if you want to figure it out you can.
Again - try them out first! I can’t stress that enough.
Good luck!

Sounds like you are looking for Bitwig Studio as it addresses most of your points.

Particularly points 6 as Bitwig can load Ableton ALS files and 4 as you can just slide Scaler onto the same track as the synth you want it to control, no messing around doubling up tracks with tedious midi routing like in Ableton.

You also might like Bitwigs Grid which is a bit like MAX but targeted at musicians rather than programmers.

The Youtuber Quanta has some useful beginner tutorials which might be worth a watch to see if the workflow works for you before you part with any cash.

Also you don’t say why M4L doesn’t work with BBCSO.

I don’t tell that
I just tried and got nothing
I know it’s my limit, but I am a very lazy pupil, when it comes to hobbies

thanks to all insights

Cubase is KO already (tried and uninstalled)

I’ll try Bitwig Studio

Yep. I would have bet good money you wouldn’t spend more then 15 minutes “learning” something new. I’ll wager you go back to Live by tomorrow.

@bernd went to Bitwig from Live (sort of) so he might have some insights into the rationale for that switch. The problem is that genre (IMHO) is an important factor in DAW choice so, as we have all come to know and love, with your exceptionally eclectic works that might make your choice trickier :smiling_face:

BTW, Spitfire link to a couple of BBCSO templates for Live, if you haven’t already tried these. PluginGuru have also ‘Unified’ BBCSO.

That’s not a bet I would like to take :slight_smile:

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Actually, Jamie is right

But it is a reasoned move, not just because the laziness

Differently from my work where the interoperability is real, so that I can receive and work on files created with a software I don’t have, when coming to DAW projects (not MIDI or AUDIO) there is no interoperability

Moreover, the philosophy behind many GUIs (and the user experience behind) is very different

I tried any DEMO available, and I found that Ableton Live is the closest to a hardware mixer (I had one some dozen years ago and I used it extensively)

You “plug” your jack in a plug, increase the volume maybe, and play: job done
The same is in Ableton: you drop an instrument on a track, increase the volume maybe, and play: job done

No strange routings, In/Out workarounds, no need to read a manual for most tasks
This is the right philosophy for an amateur and a jammer IMHO

P.S. I went past 5 years in a senior high school specialized in science education, and I am a veterinarian (with my vet office managed for 19 years), I am a medical translator since 2000, with more than 40 years spent working and studying, so when I say I’m a “lazy pupil” I mean I don’t want study too much for one of my hobbies, not that I don’t want study at all :wink:

Actually I spent even more with the MA 4 Live BBCSOdivisi Project, and it worked producing a classic orchestra, but each time I opened it, my Ableton authorization was removed, so that I had to issue a ticket to the support

This just to say that I don’t give up so fast, but I certainly dislike complications

In this case I would use no DAW, because no DAW is suitable with the music I do
:thinking: :grin:

Anyway, thank you for your input
Speaking about something is always useful

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But that’s not possible for you since you play no real instrument. If you wanted to do that you would just buy an electric guitar and Band in a Box. Jam along to BIAB all night long. But the way you Jam a DAW is really the only way.

I was just joking with Panda…

I propose a new DAW called Prog Jam Jungle. Scaler and EZ instruments are built in - B3, guitar, bass, moog and drums. Just has an Era setting for Jam year. That’s it! :sunglasses:


Plese the link to buy it
:grin: :rofl:

In the meanwhile I received the refund for Max4Live
certainly fine for others, not for me (lot of issues during installation and use)

tonight I’ll test an idea about a sort-of divisimate DIY

While I personally use Cubase (Nuendo actually at this point), based on what you’ve said, it’s probably not for you. You would have to spend a good deal of time working at learning the UI and all it’s intricacies. I had to work at it and I’m rather quick at picking up new DAWs and software, if I do say so myself. (Maybe not as fast as my 20 something self was but still pretty quick)
Yet if you really want to work on Orchetral stuff, a traditional DAW (not Live or Bitwig… sorry no offense to those users) is really the best UI because you need to spend a lot of time editing MIDI data and the faster and more comprehensive you can do that, the better. I always try to use the best tool for the job, and I treats DAWs just like a carpenter would use different saws for different tasks and plug ins and virtual instruments I equate to the many different brushes a painter might use.

One DAW you should probably check out is Tracktion’s Waveform. There is a free, multi platform version that has no real restrictions and if you find you like it, the full version doesn’t break the bank at all. It’s not the greatest for building up some large orchestral template like Cubase, Logic or Performer or Studio One, etc… But it does have a more traditional timeline and you can kind of ignore the mixer window if you’re doing more simple stuff. It’s very graphical based rather than a lot of windows you have to open or close or spread across numerous monitors like the kitchen sink DAWs require. (Kitchen sink being tools like Cubase and Logic, they try to do everything for everyone)


I can only give one like, but that’s very funny … I laughed out loud. I wonder which decade wuold get used most …

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I’m sure users would acknowledge their focus … these are out and out loop frameworks - with the capability for live performance, which you probably wouldn’t want to do with Cubase; horses for courses.

Years ago , I bought ACID Pro, which was ahead of the pack in seeing the scope for drag and drop loops - it seems to be trying to make a comeback. Speaking of which, @ClaudioPorcellana, if you want something in the Cubase mould, Cakewalk seems to have a bad reputation, but is of the same era as Cubase and Logic, was let slide by Gibson, but Bandlab release updates quite frequently and at EUR 0 has to be a bang for your buck bargain.;

I think I might have posted this before, so skip if you have seen it. But as a great example of the level of skill in some musicians adopting looping approaches for performance work , check out this link. She uses Push 2 and Live, and was classically trained. Great wokr on the Roli - see solo at 3:08 on.

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It’s easy when you know how. :grinning:

Which Max 4 Live device was this? I have many and may have used it.