Why is Ableton no good for mixing and mastering?

Hi Danny and everyone in the forum

I use Ableton, and I noticed how you said people who use Ableton should be bouncing stems into logic or cubase, I’m not sure why you believe this as I know tons of people that mix and master in Ableton as well as big name producers who have also said Ableton is what they use all the way through.

As long as everything has been converted to audio I don’t see a prob, but maybe I’m missing something, could you tell me what the issues are, thanks

I think it comes down to work flow.

I used to use logic before I got into ableton and have mixed and produced all my stuff in ableton for the past 3-4 years.

The other day I had to re-buy logic as my old logic version 9 was no longer compatible with os highsierra and I wanted to open old projects.

The speed at which you can mix in logic is so much faster from a tweaking and chain perspective. Being able to see all the plugin chains at once, as opposed to one at time for ableton, is just awesome.

Am I exporting all my ableton tracks into logic? Personally no. BUT, if I was ever importing stems or working on someone else’s track, I would NEVER do it in ableton. Logic 100%.

Some always bounce from ableton into logic, but for me I mix as I go now especially after doing all of Danny’s courses and I just cant be bothered to stem them down.

Ok so it’s a work flow thing, the way Danny made it sound in one of his videos was like it was detrimental to the audio lol just Messing with ya Danny, but for real that’s how it sounded to me

Well, this has been a long-standing topic forever, and actually it deserves updating for sure.

Back when I was designing the Mixing and Mastering curriculum for Dubspot, there was a lot of pressure on me to keep everyone in Live. Dubspot was the (a) church of Ableton Live and although they also taught Logic – Logic sort of enjoyed a second-class citizenship there.

Personally I was a ProTools guy who became a Cubase guy, but there was hardly any Cubase happening at Dubspot at that time.

And, although I was a Cubase user, I always had a deep respect for the sound of in-the-box Logic mixes.

Live in-the-box mixes at that time sounded dull, narrow, fuzzy, and small to me – reverbs seems to collapse and the dynamics were stiff.

And on really big mixes with lots of 3rd party plugins, Live would crash and complain like crazy.

In short, Live seemed like the ultimate sound design, production platform – but not so good for mixing at that time.

The problem seemed to me to be issues in Live regarding plugin-delay-compensation and the internal mix buss summing. These perceptions were entirely impressionistic and not based on any hard data. It’s just the way it sounded to me.

As Live matured, it seemed to me that they fixed some stuff – and the sound seemed to improved quite a bit, maybe around 9 to 9.5.

I am not sure exactly what changed. Some of my very smart friends say that nothing changed.

But what I did notice is the students at nextlevelsound starting completing the Mixing and Mastering Program all in Live and had totally awesome results!

So I changed/updated my opinion about mixing in Live. Lots of my students all over the world now achieve excellent results staying in Live for the entire production/mixing and mastering cycle.

That being said, I still have many students who prefer to use Live for composition, production and sound design – but switch to Logic, Cubase, or Studio One for the final mixing and mastering.

And these students have amazing, world-class results as well.

So I think now that the multi-daw approach is more of a personal option than a recommendation.

Well…that’s the update from me.

Hope that all makes sense.

Let’s keep this conversation going :wink:

  • Danny

thanks Danny, makes sense

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hello there! I am also a Live user, and I really love it for compositon and sound design, It really feels the best flow for me at the time.

Anyways, the only thing that I’ve been struggling with, is the PARALLEL DRUMS BUS MIX, since we can’t use the VCAs as @Danny taught us.

I feel like if I use Groups maybe Reverbs (pre fader) ,won’t work as they should.
I’ve been trying workarounds on this, and sometimes i get doubts about if I will get the result is expected from this particular ‘‘trick’’ and I would like to know some other LIVE user’s workaround on this topic!

I will maybe open a new poll to this to check what the talented NLM people here found!
maybe @justinc the brain of Live could know something !

If anybody has a insight on this, I will be very thankful :smiley:

Ableton is not as bad in sound quality as everyone thinks. One thing you need to REALLY learn and understand is the warping styles as these really affect the sound. Choose wisely and listen and understand what they are actually doing to your audio!!!

I believe Ableton have updated at the audio engine in the release of v.10

My workflow is that I only use the 12 sends for reverbs and delays…or any effect that I will use across multiple tracks.

The fun begins when you start to group your plugins and make effects racks within each individual track. Here is where I would do ALL my parallel processing suck as parallel compression and parallel EQ.

Hope that gives you some food to thought and some ideas for experemintion.