Pro Tools vs Ableton Live: Which Is Right For You? 2023

Are you debating between Pro Tools and Ableton Live for your next music production project?

It’s a difficult decision to make, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at both programs and give you the facts so that you can decide which one is right for your needs.

So let’s dive in and explore the pros and cons of Pro Tools vs Ableton Live!

Pro Tools vs Ableton Live: Which Is Right For You? 2023

What We Know About Pro Tools

PRO TOOLS

Many audio professionals use Pro Tools, which is a DAW, to record, edit, and mix audio. It is thought by many to be one of the best DAWs, along with Ableton Live and Logic Pro.

Pro Tools has a lot of features and tools for working with audio, such as the ability to work with different audio formats, import and export audio, and record and edit multiple tracks at the same time.

It also has a number of plug-ins and effects that can be used to improve audio, as well as support for plug-ins and virtual instruments from third parties.

Pro Tools comes in many different versions, some of which are free, like Pro Tools First. Other versions, like Pro Tools and Pro Tools Ultimate, cost money.

Each version has a different set of features and tools, so it’s important to compare them carefully to figure out which one is best for your needs.

To use Pro Tools, you need a computer with a compatible operating system, like macOS or Windows, and an audio interface that lets you connect microphones or instruments from the outside.

To enter MIDI data, you will also need a MIDI controller that works with Pro Tools, like a keyboard or pad controller.

Pro Tools has a lot of tutorials and resources to help users get started and learn how to use the software.

There is also an online community where users can share tips and advice with each other. Overall, it’s a strong and professional DAW that works well for a wide range of audio production tasks.

Pro Tools Price: $29.99/month or $599

Pro Tools Specs: 

  • Pro Tools works on Windows and macOS
  • Offers audio recording, editing, mixing, and virtual instruments/effects
  • Supports WAV, AIFF, MP3, and MIDI
  • Uses non-destructive audio editing system
  • Includes Xpand!2, AIR virtual instrument suite, and Avid Channel Strip plug-in
  • Integrates with Avid Video Engine and Avid S6 control surface
  • Available in three versions: Pro Tools First (free), Pro Tools, and Pro Tools Ultimate
  • Minimum system requirements for Pro Tools on Windows:
    • Intel Core i5 processor or higher
    • 8 GB RAM
    • 15 GB free hard drive space
    • Windows 10 64-bit
    • ASIO-compatible audio interface or built-in sound card
  • Minimum system requirements for Pro Tools on macOS:
    • Intel Core 2 Duo processor or higher
    • 8 GB RAM
    • 15 GB free hard drive space
    • macOS 10.14 (Mojave) or higher
    • Core Audio-compatible audio interface or built-in sound card

Pro Tools Official Site / Where To Download:  Pro Tools Official Website

They have many useful tutorials over on the  Pro Tools Official Youtube Channel


What We Know About Ableton Live

ableton

Ableton Live is a powerful software that allows users to create and edit music in a variety of ways, including recording audio, arranging and editing audio clips, and synthesizing and manipulating audio using a range of virtual instruments and effects.

Key features of Ableton Live

  • Non-linear, intuitive workflow: Ableton Live allows users to create and arrange music in a flexible, non-linear manner, using a variety of techniques such as looping, chopping, and rearranging audio clips.
  • Virtual instruments and effects: Ableton Live comes with a range of virtual instruments and effects that can be used to create and shape audio in a variety of ways. These include synthesizers, drum machines, samplers, and a range of effects such as EQ, reverb, and delay.
  • Audio recording and editing: Ableton Live allows users to record audio from a variety of sources, including microphones, instruments, and external audio devices. It also includes a range of tools for editing audio, including the ability to cut, copy, and paste audio clips, and apply effects and processing to individual clips or the entire mix.
  • Live performance: Ableton Live is often used for live performances, as it allows users to trigger and control audio clips and virtual instruments in real-time using a variety of controllers, such as MIDI keyboards and drum pads. It also includes features such as the ability to automate parameters and automate the mixing process.
  • Collaboration and sharing: Ableton Live includes features that make it easy to collaborate with other musicians and share music with others. It allows users to export their projects as audio files or share them online using platforms such as SoundCloud.

Overall, Ableton Live is a powerful and versatile software that is widely used by electronic music producers, DJs, and live performers.

It offers a wide range of features and tools for creating and editing music, and is highly customizable and adaptable to a variety of musical styles and workflow preferences.

Ableton Live Price: $99-$749

Specs: 

  • Supported operating systems: Windows (7 or later) and macOS (10.13 or later)
  • Processor: Intel® or AMD multicore processor
  • RAM: 4 GB (8 GB or more recommended)
  • Display: 1024×768 or higher
  • Storage: 3 GB free disk space
  • Internet connection: Required for activation, account setup, and updates

Ableton Live comes in three different editions: Intro, Standard, and Suite. The main differences between the editions are the number of audio and MIDI tracks, effects, and virtual instruments included.

Here is a summary of the main features and differences between the editions:

  • Ableton Live Intro: This edition is the most basic and affordable option, and is suitable for beginners or those on a budget. It includes 16 audio and MIDI tracks, 8 effects, and 6 virtual instruments.
  • Ableton Live Standard: This edition is suitable for more advanced users who need more tracks and effects. It includes an unlimited number of audio and MIDI tracks, 45 effects, and 15 virtual instruments.
  • Ableton Live Suite: This is the most feature-rich edition, and is suitable for professional users who need the most powerful tools. It includes everything in the Standard edition, as well as an additional suite of virtual instruments, effects, and sounds.

Ableton Live Official Site / Where To Download:  Ableton Live Official Website

They have many useful tutorials over on the  Ableton Live Official Youtube Channel


Pro Tools vs Ableton Live: What’s The Difference?

FeaturePro ToolsAbleton Live
Price$599.99 for a perpetual license$449 for a perpetual license
PlatformWindows, macOSWindows, macOS
Audio recording and editingPro Tools is well-known for its professional audio recording and editing capabilities. It supports a wide range of audio file formats and has a range of tools for recording, editing, and processing audio.Ableton Live also has robust audio recording and editing capabilities, with support for a wide range of audio file formats and a range of tools for recording, editing, and processing audio.
Music productionPro Tools has a range of features for music production, including a virtual instrument library, MIDI editing, and audio loops. It also has a range of audio effects and processing tools.Ableton Live has a wide range of features for music production, including a virtual instrument library, MIDI editing, audio loops, and a range of audio effects and processing tools. It also includes a built-in sampler and the ability to create and edit loops in real-time.
Collaboration and integrationPro Tools has a range of features for collaborating with other musicians and producers, including the ability to share sessions and tracks with other users. It also has integration with other DAWs and audio software, such as Avid’s Media Composer video editing software.Ableton Live has a range of features for collaborating with other musicians and producers, including the ability to share sessions and tracks with other users. It also has integration with other audio software, such as Logic Pro.
User interfacePro Tools has a professional-grade user interface that may be more complex for new users to learn. It has a range of customization options, including customizable workspaces and keyboard shortcuts.Ableton Live has a user-friendly interface that is easy for new users to learn. It also has a range of customization options, including customizable workspaces and keyboard shortcuts. It also has a unique interface with two main views: the Arrangement view for linear arrangement of tracks and the Session view for improvisation and real-time editing of tracks.

Both Pro Tools and Ableton Live are digital audio workstations (DAWs) that enable users to create, edit, and produce music on their computers. They do, however, differ in terms of features and pricing.

One of the primary distinctions between the two DAWs is the type of plugins available.

Pro Tools comes with a large library of audio and video plugins, as well as a subscription-based plugin library that users can access for an additional fee. Ableton’s library, on the other hand, is primarily made up of MIDI instruments and sample packs.

Another distinction between the two DAWs is their pricing structures. Pro Tools has a subscription model that starts at $299 for one year or $99 per year with academic eligibility.

Ableton Live, on the other hand, operates on the software ownership model, in which users pay a one-time fee to purchase the software. Ableton Live Suite 11 costs slightly more than $700 for a lifetime licence.

Both Pro Tools and Ableton Live have their own strengths and are appropriate for a variety of users. Pro Tools is popular among professional producers and studios due to its extensive plugin library and professional-grade features.

Ableton Live, on the other hand, is popular among electronic music producers and live performers due to its user-friendly interface and real-time performance capabilities.


If you found this comparison useful, but are still undecided on what tool is best for you, you might want to check out my other Pro Tools comparison articles. A DAW isn’t a small investment, so take your time and make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck!