Cubase Vs Ableton


I’m new to “beat making”.

What can Ableton do, that Cubase can’t?

This is perhaps an over generalization since both products can do many of the same kinds of things.

Ableton is oriented to Loop-based music and DJ-style live mixing. Cubase is more like an actual recording studio and more oriented to typical recording studio production. Of course, Ableton Live can do “normal” production and Cubase can do loop-based music but, imho, this is the primary difference between the two.

Thanx, for the response!

Ableton Live is used for live backing track playback, clicks. It allows you to trigger audio events with foot controllers, keyboards, key commands. It allows you to loop sections of a song then skip around if needed.

Very cool for live event and used by many for this function. Def used a LOT in churches to run lighting, backing tracks, playing sound beds etc.

Cubase is your traditional DAW

You make me want to get a copy of it. It is a very cool program and it is in wide use by some great artists in so many ways. So…, there is that. :slight_smile:

Thanks! I was thinking of testing Ableton but wasn’t quite sure if I should test it. After your reply, I’m confident that I should try it.

MANY live acts are using this Start about 14 min into video

Keith Urbans MD uses it as well, the list is LONG.

Just to add, a lot of very established performers that are not EDM or DJ’s use Ableton professionally in recording and live settings.

I hate it’s workflow. It’s way too fiddly. I’ve tried a few times to get into it, and Bitwig, which is very similar in many ways, but I could never get into its groove. OTOH, I only bought Cubase last week and I have already got more done in it than I did in Bitwig or Ableton in 3 months. Transferring songs across from Orion, my old sequencer, to Cubase takes a couple of hours per song, whereas it was tens of hours in Ableton or Bitwig. To be fair, I might have just watched some better Cubase videos but whatever it was, my experiences with Albeton and Bitwig were not great.

Ableton loops circles around Cubase.

Whilst Orion is pattern based and that’s something I really like about it, I don’t find that Cubase’s approach is antithetical to working in a similar way. I still start with a riff/pattern for the verse, a variation or something else for the chorus and then I build an arrangement in pretty much the same way. If anything, it makes it quicker and easier to go from a few patterns to a finished arrangement because you do it all in the one place and the tools in Cubase make it simple and painless.

I think Ableton and Cubase are every different DAWs. I come from a Maschine background and adjusting to the Ableton workflow is quite smooth in my case because I already got me head around the Maschine non-linear workflow process.

Your brain doesn’t jive with the way it works, simple. I too have brain strain when trying to use Ableton Live but it is still widely used to run backing tracks for live events. It is used everywhere.
Cubase is more traditional design to us is all and works for our brains. Reaper makes my brain cramp as well but it is just me and I know that

That’s not it at all. I come from a hardware background. When I first decided to start using my computer to replace my giant workstation synth (a fully loaded Korg Trinity at the time), I bought Cubase VST 3.5 and I absolutely hated it. It seemed like the least musical way of working every. Luckily I had a really good relationship with the shop where I bought it and they let me return it after a month. I ended up with Orion because it felt more like the way I was used to working in a real studio environment. Over the years I’ve often thought that if I couldn’t use Orion any more, I’d probably end up back with a hardware sequencer but they seem to have gone off in a different direction, too.

Cubase seems to have come a long way since those days, as have I, but there are still frustrating things. e.g. I still don’t think there is any way to do something as simple as play from the first bar and the GUI seems very inflexible, which means I am going to have to change my workflow drastically to work with it. I think it works better for me because of what I want to do with it. Live suits dance music and the way that’s presented, where what I do is what a rock band does. It’s repetitive but linear and we only ever rehearse and perform the song one way. There is no changing the arrangement on the fly or any of that nonsense. Yes, Live can do that but it’s not the focus of the workflow.

Sounds like you need to use a an old sequencer and an old HD recorder. I started with a Korg T3 and Master Tracks Pro sequencing software BTW. When I got Cubase SX1 I hated it as well. I synced it to the Korg and a Tascam TSR 8 8 track deck. That said, without Cubase or StudioOne or Logic etc I could still get the sequencing done on my Korg Triton here, only thing left would be the audio part.

Good luck on learning Cubase, it aint bad once you get rolling IMO. Its somewhat archaic and non fluid sometime. StudioOne is a little less difficult IMO. Reaper is a nice minefield of choices

Unfortunately our old hardware sequencers and reel to reels are long gone now.

I’m late to this, but you may really miss these keys things as below, there are the things missing that frustrate me most with Cubase’s arsenal

  • Live clips .alc - the ability to drag drop musical parts into the arrnagement directly from the Library - basically the abulity to manage musical parts as easily as you do any file in a library folder type view. Cubase’s track archives are not the same, for instance you cannot audtition them OR drag drop from mediabay

  • Session view - It’s famous for this, and simply is a way of exploring various arrangements easily by using clips in an innovative way

Don’t hold me to the explanations exactlty I haven’t moved over to live yet, but these are some of the things that are most likely to get me to move despite my massive investment in Cubase.

I´m a former Hardcore Ableton User!
Then I ctested Cubase. And - I stick with it. Much better then Ableton.
It´s a great and wonderful DAW for all electronic music styles, like EBM/Dance/Tekkno/House/Trance e.g.
With the use of Midi plugins, Beat Designer, Groove Agent Styles (!), Arranger Track (you can trigger it´s parts Live with Midi Notes, works like Abelton!) are you on the right side with Cubase.
Cubase is much better in Arrange View, Automation, Midi, VSTi´s, Mixing and Mastering - all in one daw.
Check it out too and have fun with Cubase! :sunglasses:

Thank you, for the responses!

Agreed Cubase has some plusses but Arranger view is nothing like Live’s session view. It’s a very weak alternative at best.

****Hello GTBannah, both programs are very useful, in my opinion the main difference that exists, although with Ableton Live you can do the same, but you will need in principle a License Pen or may not be necessary, all it depends, and I am talking about some useful tools for the production and composition of music, these are the so-called VST´s plugins, and or digital music instruments that are bought separately to be able to use them in both Live and Cubase, but The Cubase PRO version comes with at least 3 fantastic digital instruments to produce and compose that fit the same for Ableton Live! But in my view the big difference, but it’s also all a matter of patience and practice, Live is much simpler to do for example the musical arrangements and for example you can consolidate the samples, which does not happen in Cubase, and only this is a big difference in terms of more practical use in relation to all the work involved in production, in my view it is one of the weaknesses of Cubase, but both are truly fantastic programs and worth the investment, I hope I helped friend! :wink: