Finally, I made an executive decision to buy Ableton Suite 8. I’ve been using it for about two weeks and I’m in love with it. I don’t know why I did not buy it much earlier.
Anyway, if you haven’t, I recommend to try the free download version from the Ableton web site. Watch video tutorials in YouTube to get yourself familiarized with it.
Once you know how to navigate it using the keyboard shortcuts and trackpad (Mac or Win laptop), it becomes really fun. My advise is to stay away from mouse.
Ableton set the screen layout so that most of the things are done without opening up a new dialog box except when you are setting options like screen color, etc.
I think Ableton is really good when you are dong remixes. It’s really easy to manipulate your audio files thanks to the time-stretch feature called Warping. You can add lots of interesting sound effects and automations very very easily.
It does have sound making facilities like Analog and Operator. But some people might prefer to use Native Instruments’ MASSIVE and/or FM8 for that purpose. You can load them into Ableton as Audio Unit plugins. Even Maschine software can be run as a plugin inside Ableton.
Ableton has two types of screens: session view and arrangement view.
You start collecting pieces of music sketches (called “clip”) in the session view. Those clips become part of your song’s intro, verse, hook, outro, etc when you record them into the arrangement view, which is like a traditional DAW screen with multi tracks.
Even after you record your song into the arrangement view, you can still do lots of editing as much as you want.
I like this workflow very much. You can do lots of experiments and patches to build up songs. My main DAW is going to be Ableton, and that’s it!
I really don’t know why I did not buy it much earlier.