May 11, 2023

The Big Three Battle: Pro Tools vs Logic vs Ableton Live

Electronic Music Production has taken over the music industry since the 1980s when the first computers and DAWs were entering households and recording studios. DAWs, which stands for Digital Audio Workstations, allows users to produce music on their own personal computers and laptops. Artists and musicians use a DAW for mixing, mastering, audio recording, editing audio tracks, MIDI editing, using virtual instruments, playing and creating with midi effects, and more. So, let’s take a closer look at the three most popular digital audio workstations in the recording industry. Avid Pro ToolsPro Tools, first released in 1991, has become a household name for a lot of people and quickly became the most popular DAW in the music industry. Professional recording studios began to use Pro Tools almost exclusively and it has held the title of the industry standard for decades.Many music producers swear by Pro Tools as the only DAW they use to produce, mix, and master music. Pro Tools is detailed, and reliable, giving the producer control with the ability to manipulate audio clips and audio files, live instruments, and advanced features. Pro Tools sessions give audio engineers, electronic music producers, and overall music creators the ability to access the same software at home as they would in a professional studio.Famous music engineers/mixers like Louis Bell (who produces music for Justin Bieber & Ed Sheran) and Stuart White (best known for his work with Beyoncé) love working with and recommend Pro Tools. Musical icon, George Clinton, says that Pro Tools is the “toy of choice, nothing short of magic.”

Avid Pro Tools has four different software options; Pro Tools Intro (Free Version), Pro Tools Artist, Pro Tools Studio, and Pro Tools Ultimate. Apple Logic ProA few years after Pro Tools was released, Logic was released by Emagic. Apple acquired Emagic in 2002 and renamed the DAW - Logic Pro. If you are familiar with Apple's GarageBand, Logic Pro is a great upgrade option as it offers similar features but with more advanced options comparable to other professional-level DAWs.Logic Pro X's workflow and high-quality stock plug-ins and software instruments have made it a popular choice for audio professionals and pro studios. Famous music producers such as Kygo, Calvin Harris, and Pharrell all use Logic Pro X often to produce their hits.

Logic Pro prides itself on its excellent tools, audio interface, and enhanced plug-ins with good reason. Logic has many royalty-free producer/sound packs full of instruments, loops, and samples to choose from.Tommy Lozure, the Music Production Department Chair at Visible Music College, showing some of the basics of the live loop function in Logic Pro X. Enjoy![embed][/embed] 

Ableton LiveAbleton makes software, hardware, and other creative tools for a global community of music makers. Ableton Live soon found popularity for excelling at sound design and electronic-based music.One of the main differences is the unique session view. Ableton Live will allow you to build your track with a grid of short clips, rather than the traditional left-to-right timeline, but you are still able to use timeline style editing if you prefer that arrangement view.There are three different versions of Ableton Live to choose from; Live Intro – This is best for beginners who do not want to spend that much money trying it out. Live Standard – Includes all the key features, but without some of the upgraded effects and instruments. Lastly, Live Suite – Which is the whole complete edition with all upgrades, full audio suite, and all effective tools for audio production.In the most recent version of Ableton Live 11 some new features include comping, recording multiple takes into lanes, MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression), link tracks for synced editing, new device capabilities, combine convolution and algorithmic reverbs, stretch, shift, and blur with Spectral Resonator, improved follow actions, new sound packs, and more! All of these create a better experience for the Ableton Live user. 


It is ultimately a personal preference which of these three is the best DAW or the perfect DAW. It may be a great option to sign up for a free trial or a free version and test out the audio samples and audio quality, different features, and experience the key differences between the three and decide for yourself which one is the best option. Many music producers and sound engineers desire complete control you need to create and arrange the music that you want.

Want to learn more about Music Production and different DAWs? Visible Music College has both a bachelor's degree and certificate programs available in Music Production. Be introduced to the tools and techniques used to produce music in the professional world and gain an in-depth knowledge of current technology, recording techniques, audio editing, and music production skills all while nurturing your passion to serve the church or industry with Christian character. Click here for more information:

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