Finding the right tools for your DJ career is often easier said than done. There’s so much to consider, from which decks you’re going to use, to what kind of speakers will deliver the best audio.
Perhaps one of the most essential choices you’ll have to make, is which DAW you’re going to use. For DJ newbies, a digital audio workstation is the canvas on which you’ll create your musical masterpieces. This technology ensures that you can make some really unique sounds.
So, how do you choose which DAW is right for you?
Today, we’re going to be assessing two of the top performers: Ableton vs Logic Pro.
What is a DAW? The Basics
Let’s start with a quick introduction. A Digital Audio Workstation is the recording software and platform where you’ll create your music. To unlock the perfect sounds, you’ll need to make sure you know which kind of DAW is most suitable for your style.
A digital audio workstation is an electronic device, or an app that you can use for editing, recording, and producing your audio. These solutions come in a wide variety of different styles and configurations. Some DJs use DAWs in the form of a program on their laptop, others have their own stand-alone units.
Regardless of the kind of system you choose, your DAW will feature a central interface where you can manipulate recordings and alter tracks into something brand-new.
You’ll need a DAW to:
- Record multiple audio channels
- Edit and manipulate the audio
- Balance audio channels together
In this article, we’re looking at two of the market leaders in the DAW landscape – Ableton vs Logic Pro. Apple’s Logic Pro and Ableton Live are two of the most popular options on the market for creating and managing your music. Ableton technology often stands out for its flexibility and ability to perform admirably in a live club environment.
On the other hand, Logic Pro is more of a dedicated studio engine for mixing at home. Saying that Ableton do like to point out that their solution can work just as well in the studio as in live settings.
Points to consider when thinking about Ableton vs Logic Pro?
The important thing to remember is that there’s no one-size-fits-all option when choosing a DAW.
There are various points to consider when making your choice, from what kind of operating system to use, to your budgetary requirements. Here are just some of the most important things to think about:
1. Your computer operating system (OS)
Are you using a Mac OS or a Windows computer?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. However, some DAW technology will work better on Apple computers than Windows, and the same is true the other way around. For instance, the Logic Pro solution is an Apple system. That means that you need a Mac computer to run it.
On the other hand, Ableton Live is better suited to both Mac and Windows users. You might also need to think about the kind of audio plugins that you use on your computer or Mac when making your choice. For instance, Audio Units are native to Mac operating systems, while VST, or Virtual Studio Technology works for both Mac and Windows.
One bonus for the Ableton vs Logic Pro debate is that they can both work with iPads, iPhones, and other touch-screen devices. This could make it easier to mix tracks on the move.
2. The style of music that you make
The functionality of your chosen DAW will have a massive impact on the kind of audio that you can create. For instance, Logic Pro is usually the better choice for mix-downs. It comes with a selection of flexible routing options, and you can see all the plugins and inserts at once.
Ableton also offers a much faster workflow experience than most other DAW technology. The layout is remarkably similar to that of an analogue desk, and it’s easy for you to get a full view of your music as you work. Ableton provides a great advantage for people who want to create electronic music that utilizes more audio manipulation and sampling.
Logic Pro can be a little clunkier than Ableton when it comes to workflow. However, it’s a good choice for songwriters who don’t want to get too involved in the technicalities of production. You can get quick ideas down in seconds, which makes it easier to be creative in the moment.
Logic is great for singers and songwriters or vocalists that are working on their own content and want to produce their own music.
3. Will you be performing live with it?
As mentioned above, one of the main things that makes Ableton Live stand out as a DAW is its ability to work well in a live environment.
One of the things that makes Ableton a better choice for live performers is how quickly and efficiently it works. A lot of Logic users will tell you that this technology can be more prone to screen freezes and other application crashing issues. This can happen frequently, which is bad news for your live performances.
The good news is that both Ableton and Logic Pro can save your content in the background. That means that even if your system crashes when you’re creating at home, you won’t lose too much information. However, this feature won’t mean much to a live performer.
4. Budget restrictions
Price should rarely be the top consideration that you keep in mind when choosing technology for your DJ career. Sometimes you do need to spend more to get better value. However, we all have budgets that we need to think about.
Logic Pro X is available at a very affordable price for entry-level producers. This means that you can get started much faster if you haven’t got a lot of cash. If you’ve experimented with things like Garage Band in the past, then you’ll find that stepping into Logic Pro feels very natural.
Ableton Live comes with a range of different products to choose from. The entry level option for beginners is available at a great price, but you only get the essentials. If you’re looking at the Standard or Suite versions, which are both available in the several-hundred dollar mark, then you get more functionality.
Ableton Live is the more expensive product of the two, but it may be worth the extra cash if you get the right features from it.
5. What are your peers and friends using?
Just because your friends are using Ableton or Logic Pro doesn’t mean that you need to take the same route. However, it can sometimes be helpful to consider using the same technology as the people in your social circle.
If you want to mimic the music styles of your peers, then it makes sense to use the same audio tools as them when you’re creating your own mixes.
At the same time, if you’re trying to develop your skills and you like to bounce ideas off your friends, than using the same technology as them will make sharing thoughts a lot simpler. Just don’t let the actions of other people influence you too much.
Ableton vs Logic Pro: The Ableton Live Low Down
Ableton Live offers a fast and fluid way for people to create music, manage tracks, and even perform in live situations. The technology comes with all the instruments, effects, and creative features you need to make a wide selection of different kinds of music.
One of the biggest advantages of Ableton Live is that you’re not limited to using a specific operating system. You can use this product on both Mac and PC.
DJs love this music sequencer and DAW because of its flexibility and functionality. The application was specifically designed with electronic dance music and live DJing in mind. Where Ableton really excels is in it’s fantastic and user-friendly interface. After you open the program, you’ll be able to immediately immerse yourself in a user-friendly session view with a layout that makes perfect sense.
Even if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll have a great time with Ableton Live. There are helpful tips in the lower left corner to help you figure out how to use different features. Once you get the hang of all the rich functionality, you’ll fall in love with this system, and it’s hard to fall out again.
Another major benefit of Ableton Live is it’s preset return and send tracks. This makes it easy to put effects into any of your tracks quickly and easily. The whole workflow for Ableton Live is lightning fast, with fewer freezing issues than you get from Logic Pro.
Every aspect of your workflow is easy to follow, and once you spend some time finding your favorite effects, you can even place them into a template for later use.
A great deal of Ableton’s benefits come from its rich selection of stock plugins, and how easy they are to use. There’s no limit to what you can accomplish when you start experimenting.
Ableton Live Offers Incredible Functionality
Quick and versatile, Ableton allows you to switch between sounds within seconds. You can access drum patterns easily without having to re-sequence and create an original soundtrack in no time. What’s more, there’s a lite version available, so you can start with minimal features and gradually work your way up as you get more confident.
Getting the hang of this DAW is like learning how to ride a bike. Once you’re into it, ideas go from concept all the way to completion in no time at all. That makes this product an excellent choice for those who want to take advantage of flashes of creativity and inspiration.
One interesting point to note is that the software for Ableton is actually just called “Live”. However, many performers refer to it as Ableton, which highlights it’s focus. This is a product that was clearly designed with Live performers in mind, and there’s even a Live Sessions view just for that.
Live sessions view is a unique feature for Ableton. You can use it to store audio clips and trigger them into unique combinations. This makes it easier to come up with interesting arrangements for all the music you want to produce. Another bonus feature is the “Places” section.
On the left-hand side of your sessions view, you can see shortcuts to folders of samples that you want to access quickly from your Mac or PC.
Ableton Live Pricing:
There are three different tiers of Ableton Live available. The Lite or “Intro” version is available for £69, which is great if you’re just getting into the software for the first time. The latest version of Live is also available in free trial format for 90 days.
The Standard version of Ableton Live is £319, while the Suite, or “fully featured” version is £539. The more you spend, the more features you get. For instance, features like Audio slicing and complex warp modes are only available on the Standard version or Suite version of the product.
For the most advanced DJs, the Suite package offers a virtual analog synthesizer, drum synths, and various other software instruments.
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Ableton vs Logic Pro X: The Logic Pro Low Down
The first thing you should know is that this software is only available for Mac users. That will be a serious problem to anyone who has a Windows computer, as you’ll need a new laptop to start mixing.
On the plus side, if you are comfortable with a Mac computer, then Logic Pro offers a very convenient environment for experimenting with music. You’ll feel right at home on this system if you’ve used tools like garage band in the past. The ease of use is a massive pro in this software’s favor.
If you already have Apple products and you’re comfortable with the OS, then this is going to be a natural fit for you. The designs of Logic Pro are designed to ensure simplicity and straight-forward performance. This means that beginners can jump straight in and have a lot of fun straight away.
Logic Pro is a well-rounded software solution that’s great for music producing and recording. The low price point makes it a top choice for beginners, and the quick swipe composing tool makes it great for creating audio without a lot of learning.
Another bonus is that although Logic Pro is easy to use, that doesn’t mean it sacrifices any power or performance. You can still do some excellent things with this software, including assembling tracks from loops and stock instruments.
Over the years, the team behind Logic Pro have consistently added a range of new features and functionality. The graphical user interface is better than ever. What’s more, the mixer view is very convenient and straightforward. If you need to add extra elements to your mixer environment, you can find a wide variety of sound libraries and stock plugins to help you.
Logic Pro Is Great for Beginners
Logic Pro is a convenient tool for beginners that offers a valuable entry point into the DJ landscape. The wide variety of plugins to choose from makes it a great choice if you’re ready to start customizing fast. Logic Pro can also be expanded with extra content libraries, which give you more space to work with.
Though it’s true that Logic Pro can have some compatibility issues at times, these are usually quite simple to fix. The stock library of sounds available for Logic Pro is huge. There are literally thousands of FX and loops to choose from. You can experiment with bass, drunks, guitars, synths, and even wooden instruments. Most of these libraries are extremely high quality.
Logic Pro runs with a reasonably low CPU usage, which means that you don’t need the most advanced computing system to get started. Logic Pro also has the smart control system that you can bring up by pressing the B button. This allows you to explore multiple plugin options quickly.
Another great feature of Logic is that it has a quite simple plug-in manager system. You can integrate a selection of third-party plugins with any existing plugin. There’s also a customized folder option too. Since you’re getting something specifically made for Apple, you know that the experience is going to look and feel great.
Logic Pro Pricing
The latest version of Logic Pro from Apple is pretty affordable, with a price of around $199.99. If you have an earlier version of the system, then you can upgrade for free too. Logic is a highly capable too with an excellent and straightforward workflow, and it gives you all the functionality you need without breaking the bank.
One slight downside for some users is that there’s only one version or package option to choose from. You can’t spend more or less on Logic to get just the plugins and addons you need with nothing more. This means that it’s a lot tougher to get the perfect setup for your DJ environment.
Logic is a highly capable and affordable system which is excellent for beginners that are somewhat restricted by their budget. Additionally, you get the benefit of knowing that if there’s an upgrade available on the market, you’ll get it for free.
Pros and Cons of Ableton Live
There are positives and negatives to consider for any DAW that you’re thinking of buying. To help you make your final choice, here are just some of the positives and negatives that you’ll need to think about for Ableton Live.
Pros and Cons of Logic Pro X
So, how does Logic Pro X compare to Ableton Live? Well, hopefully, the information above has given you some insight into this. However, let’s take a bit of a closer look.
Ableton vs Logic Pro: So Which One is Best?
Making the right choice for your DJ technology isn’t always easy. There are a lot of different tools out there, and many of them come with avid fan bases, full of people claiming that their software is the best. However, as any music producer or creator will know, we all have different preferences.
Experimenting with different systems like Logic Pro and Ableton Live will give you a better overview of what works best for you. Once you’ve had a chance to try different software, you’ll discover what you feel more comfortable with.
If you’re already an Apple user, and you’re looking for something that’s simple and affordable for beginners, then Logic Pro makes a lot of sense. However, if you need something that’s more flexible and scalable, then we’d probably recommend Ableton Live. The Ableton technology gives you the freedom to grow and adapt new skills over time Ableton vs Logic Pro. A big question! What is your choice?