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Two questions about Ableton: Audacity and acapella arrangements

permalink   Mon, May 11, 2009 @ 5:03 AM
I have been doing a whole heck-of-a-lot of reading, and viewing videos, on Ableton, and it seems to be what I want. I’m especially impressed with three things: the improvisational on-the-fly aspect of creating music, the large user community, and the upcoming max-for-live. Here is a video that blew me away:

Pretending for the moment that Ableton is not going to cost an arm-and-a-leg…on top of the cost of building a new computer for it to run on (although compared to Pro Tools, Ableton is downright cheap)…I have two questions hopefully some of you ccmixter-s may have perspective on. I may also ask this on the ableton forums, but that would obviously get some biased (although interesting in their own way, I’m sure) responses.

First, are there any significant features in Audacity that are NOT in Ableton?

Second, my thing is to write acapella arrangements. I can’t find any information or documentation or videos or anything, related to doing this type of thing in Ableton. There’s really not much singing-related info on Ableton that I can find.

I know Ableton is way WAY more than just editing vocal tracks, but I’m wondering if I’ll be able to do what I did in Audacity—create acapella arrangements—or if Ableton is somehow biased AGAINST this in any way (not that Audacity is the most convenient piece of software…).

I’m not even sure what I’m asking here. I want to keep doing acapella pieces, because it’s what I know, but I am jazzed about everything else Ableton allows you to do. Will I be limiting myself in anyway, as it relates to creating acapella pieces, by getting Ableton? Is there any advantage—aside from free—to sticking with Audacity (or another recommended program)?

Sorry if this is not clear. I’m not dipping my toe here, I am gleefully taking a dive off of a cliff.

permalink   Mon, May 11, 2009 @ 6:25 AM
It’s a very reasonable question.

To your first question, I would say no for all core functions.

For your second, Ableton records audio, and doesn’t much care what you record - so there’s no bias against singing vs. bass or trumpet or whatever.

The real reason you should look at another tool is that Audacity only records audio as if it was a tape recorder (with some additional functions you can use once the audio is in).

You get two major benefits of using Ableton or any of the other famous programs:
- the ability to record audio with some actual music creation tools (drums, synths, samplers),
- recording to a specific tempo / beats per minuts

The latter means that since Ableton is aware of the bpm, you can easily change the tempo / stretch, etc. as part of the larger song instead of manually tweaking in Audacity.

Hope this helps.
permalink   aliteralmind Tue, May 19, 2009 @ 3:51 PM
It does. Thanks for the advice, colab.
permalink   Thu, May 21, 2009 @ 12:08 AM
in Ableton you can use live effects (without rendering first like in Audacity). it’s quicker and more non-destructive than audacity.

Audacity is great, but a rather basic audio-editor in my opinion.