Some features/lacks of features in Ableton are still annoying (as of 2023) especially vs. Logic

Discussion in 'Live' started by spncart, Jan 8, 2023.

  1. spncart

    spncart Producer

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    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but after using Ableton for 3 years here's my feedback on a few UI/UX flaws:

    1. It's impossible to select all the folders (Cmd+A) to remove them in the side bar. I have 50 folders I need to remove them one by one. And there's not even a keyboard shortcut or assignable shortcut to link to the "Remove from Sidebar" right-click function - THIS IS HELL

    2. The search function is very limited since, when you search for specific files you have only one choice it's to display them all in All results. If not, you can move the mouse and that will show you the said results in each folder/sub-folder, or Place, you select with your mouse. But conversely, no: it's impossible to display the actual folder of each file(s) being shown in the results window. The only thing you can do is: sort by modified date, size, etc. on the right side. Or right-click > show in Finder (Mac view) or Folder (Ableton view). But impossible to KNOW/DISPLAY THE ACTUAL FILE LOCATION of a particular file in the Search results window. Which causes a lot of headaches especially when you have a copy of multiple files in multiples folders > you can't know which is which > plain dumb.

    3. There's still only 7 custom colours/labels as of 2023. I NEED AT LEAST 9. I don't see why it would be a problem from a shortcut point of view since 8 and 9 are still free. Who designed this back in 2006 and never changed it WTF? These 2 missing colours are a pain since 7 are too few for my daily use. And ideally we would need 12+/unlimited numbers, I don't care about the # shortcuts on the keyboard

    4. There's no Bounce in Place function, UNLIKE LOGIC. This feature only is making me considering Logic switch this year because I just saw a Masterclass from a producer where his workflow is amazingly fast in mixing as he constantly uses the Bounce in Place function of Logic - it takes 2 seconds to turn the current track/group of tracks he's working on to audio in a new track below, without even recording it. In Ableton, however, you need to record manually each track and it's HELL. Imagine with a project of 50+ tracks. Expect wasting hours of your time creating new tracks and recording them in full each time. Or you need to do Export > Export Some or All Stems which is kind not intuitive as well since it's more something you'd do in the final step before exporting the project to your mixing engineer in an external folder. Whereas in Logic, again, the BIP function takes 2 seconds > right click > bounce in place > there you go it's just there below your recorded track/group of tracks.

    Also I tested the BIP MaxforLive plugin (https://maxforlive.com/library/device/4782/bip-bounce-in-place) which is supposedly coming as a replacement, but it's not really, it took me the same amount of time. So yeah this alone is huge let down by Ableton, still in 2023 no native Bounce in Place function...

    5. Still too many crashes in 2023 although a lot less yes versus before v11. BUT STILL SOME occasionally. Frustrating when it happens, as you need to re-open everything. That's often caused by Midi/CC overloads or 3rd party plugins messing around or even Ableton themselves having bugs they only correct in updates later on without much strict quality control during releases. On the other hand BitWig never crashes as it has implemented its own native process.

    6. Still too much CPU use versus other DAWs I have tested with similar projects to benchmark. Hopefully new VST3s and CLAP plugins coming lately/soon/later will fix this but I feel like Ableton's architecture is the cause of it. I have a mid-range 2020 M1 Macbook and plan to invest 6/8'000 EUR in a forthcoming max out M3 Macbook Pro Ultra coming out end of 2023 or 2024 with 30+ core CPU and 128GB RAM because in my experience if you work heavily with plugins from start to end in your mixing + mastering you need the most capable machine with Ableton. My current setup will reach 80/90% at the end of each of my projects that's too much whereas in Logic I get no more than 50%. It's like the more powerful our machines have become, the more Ableton increased the relative CPU use.

    7. When working on a Midi clip in Piano Roll view, I can't manage to place my mouse on the grid and start the playback by pressing Play at this very location (that is in the middle of it, not necessarily at the start of the clip). Whereas I can do this if I place my mouse on the grid at a specific time anywhere within the Midi clip in Arrangement view. I tried Logic and it's not an issue with Logic, you can place your mouse anywhere in the Piano Roll view on the Midi Clip and it will not constantly restart the playback at the start of the Midi clip. There's even an on/off feature to turn this feature on/off in Logic, which is great.
    This is a heavy waste in my process since in Ableton I need to double click on the upper bar to randomly start playback at this aimed location, or go back to Arrangement view to make sure it will start at the very time mark I placed my mouse.

    8. There's no contextual menu in Ableton with the ENTIRE LIST OF ALL ACTIVE PLUGINS active and in use in the track BEING ACTUALLY DISPLAYED AS A DROP-DOWN MENU. I have tried This is one of Logic's advantages too vs. Ableton.

    I have tried https://enhancementsuite.me/ but it doesn't come even near close to Logic's native drop-down menu.

    9. Some stock plugins are better in Logic vs. Ableton, from what I've seen watching Masterclasses demonstrating projects in Logic:

    9a > The Arpeggiator is better/unique in Logic (more features - yes, there are 3rd party plugins for Ableton but in my exploration they don't come as immediate and simple and yet as advanced and CPU friendly as the Logic stock Arpeggiator one)

    9b > Multimeter is better/unique/doesn't exist the same for Ableton - I had to dig a lot to find an alternative plugin like TB Spectogram which BOTH shows the Spectrum + Showing Peak Values (but not very accurately on the graph) in real time in the same window/plugin, which I haven't found to be the case in many 3rd party plugins available in Ableton as stock plugin replacement. For instance I would need to use Swiss Army Meter from Noir Labs (for the LUFS but no other numbers) + Voxengo SPAN (graph only and btw not pretty). Or like Metricab but again only levels and no spectrum graph.

    Whereas, Logic Multimeter is just perfect with them all + native so CPU friendly.

    9c > Dual Mono (
    ) is a unique Logic feature which I also saw being demonstrated in some Masterclasses and omg it's a game changer while mixing since you can immediately open any 3rd-party plugin in "Dual Mono" mode and instantly on the fly do some parallel processing on both channels and make your track sound ideally treated in your soundstage.

    I haven't managed to find this feature in Ableton - I'm not even sure we can even reach that result in Ableton through combining the Utility/stock plugins/racks etc.

    9d > Some Logic Delay stock plugins (Sample Delay/Stereo/Tape Delay) I also saw being demonstrated seem better sounding/more capable and did a better job in mixing context vs. Ableton ones

    10. The Preview/Cue volume fader interrupts the playback of samples in the left menu as you touch the volume level. This is quite annoying since I sometimes need to change this cue level depending on the samples or the Input I change (soundcard > monitors > headphones > Macbook speakers etc.). Anyway it should not interrupt the playback of samples as you touch the volume WTF

    11. There should be more customization options in terms of Project Templates, for instance like Logic with having the option at the startup to have the choice of custom Templates, because sometimes I want to use X Template for some projects I'd like to start, sometimes X Template, sometimes Z Template, etc.

    12. stock .ALC files (known as Clips) are cool but you can't open the sample sound it's playing when selecting them in the menu, which kinda sucks since like you're listening to some cool sounds and can't open them in an editor or something on the fly to start jamming (like in Maschine). Lack of immediacy here.

    13. Many times discussed also, but the Modwheel parameter not being designed in Ableton to show up in arrangement view like any other parameter is another waste of time. In order to prevent this annoyance I have to set by default in each Midi Track this MaxforLive plugin MIDI Wheels - https://www.maxforlive.com/library/device/6382/midi-wheels - which contains Octave Change and Modulation wheel with MIDI control selector. So it's easy to assign the modulation wheel in arrangement view as an automation line just like any other 'automatable' parameter, as it should be the case NATIVELY. Not ideal since sometimes the MaxforLive plugin doesn't work properly when opening projects I need to make sure they are as they should. So implement it natively Ableton thanks.

    14. The stock Tuner isn't great. I have to use better 3rd party plugins like Mixed in Key SE to get accurate results on the whole range of sounds I'm using. Ableton should have a better, more comprehensive Tuner (and Scaler too by the way) by default for each track natively.

    15. The note taking capability isn't great either. You have to purchase NTPD by ELPHT which costs 10 bucks to make the most of it -
    this should be stock

    16. EnableArmOnSelection should be a possible native function to be turned on/off quickly in Settings or in the upper panel. One needs to manually add -EnableArmOnSelection in Options.txt to do so

    17. Auto Track Colors based on custom tagging your tracks accordingly should also be native since it's really time saving in your process - another 10 bucks for 3rd party plugin (
    )

    18. Finally, the stock sounds/librairies are also better in Logic once you download them, although I don't care too much about it since there's so many amazing 3rd party sounds we can get anywhere but it was worth just mentioning Apple took care of delivering very good organic synths/percs etc. sounds with Logic, which I don't find particularly inspiring and of high quality in Ableton (even with Suite package). That said, MaxforLive in itself + all the other Packs once downloaded through Ableton are just amazing and provide endless capabilities which then win over Logic for me and make Ableton a beast nevertheless overall.

    But yes still, these annoying features/lacks of features in Ableton are really ANNOYING in terms of the overall experience. Hopefully v12 will fix/improve it. Please correct me if I got something wrong here.
     
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  3. Garageraver

    Garageraver Newbie

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    4. there is a little workaround for this one: freeze midi or audio track, create new audio track(CTRL+ T) and then CTRL drag frozen track to the newly made track there is your bounce.
    7. if you left click on the area you wanna start playback and hit CTRL + space bar it will start playback from that area in the piano roll
     
  4. birdboi

    birdboi Producer

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    One of the biggest turnoffs for me when I tried ableton is that you can only select ONE folder for all your vst plugins. That's so stupid, how have they not implemented multiple folders for it yet? I know you can make a folder with all the shortcuts to the folders, but cmon man..

    After that, I was like what else could go wrong? Then I looked at the midi note menu. I didn't like how it was organized at all, selecting scales was crazy weird as they hide the notes not in the scale, which is just like.. why? Just turn it off from being able to be played...
     
  5. spncart

    spncart Producer

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    +1 this is also on the list thanks for that indeed!
     
  6. Stuck In The 80s

    Stuck In The 80s Platinum Record

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    you know this isn’t abletons user forum yes?
     
  7. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    So he has no right to post his opinion in the dedicated sub-forum???
     
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  8. naitguy

    naitguy Rock Star

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    As a Reaper user, I was kind of jealous of Ableton for a bit... would watch some YouTube videos, and be like.. wow, that built-in plugin (several) is pretty cool. So then I tried it, and I'm like.. "wow.. nope. No thank you." It felt so limited compared to Reaper. Yes, of course there was the VST plugin folder thing (I did end up using shortcuts though, which was fine)... but the biggest thing for me was when I put a MIDI plugin on a track (ex, Stepic sequencer) and then noticed I can't put an audio plugin (Serum) in the chain. I was like.. "wow!!! I have it so good with Reaper" and I've got no desire to switch now. And yes, I know you can just route two tracks, but doing it all in one track is so much easier.

    Reaper can be a pain in the ass for some MIDI stuff, but it's easy to take for granted just how unlimited the program is. And I paid $60 for this, for two full, unrestricted versions. It's of course significantly more for Ableton. From what I can tell, it comes with several great built-in plugins and there are some plugins and hardware that are designed to work specifically with it, but it's not worth it for me, to handle it's fundamental shortcomings. I'm eyeballing Bitwig now, but I think I'll still to Reaper for quite a while.
     
  9. Stuck In The 80s

    Stuck In The 80s Platinum Record

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    Well it’s always possible that Ableton developers read this but I would have thought posting on the official site may get more attention. Or is he expecting R2R to implement his wish list?
     
  10. spncart

    spncart Producer

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    I'm not expecting R2R to implement you brain implants anytime soon, though, Einstein.

    Relax, no they most likely won't read it here obviously, Einstein. I did repost it on many other forums and will repost it on the official Ableton forum too, Einstein.

    Audiosex is a cool forum with (mostly) like-minded people that understand and talk about these things, so I thought sharing my list with, glad to see they agree with them and feel free to add more bullet points so I can include them on the Ableton forum too when I'll repost.
     
  11. spncart

    spncart Producer

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    It would be useful to add the 'Dumbest Answer' button next to the 'Best Answer' button.
     
  12. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Audiosexual

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    Here are my top 5!
    1. A good damn shortcut for freeze and flattering. How hard could it be, that have this native?
    2. Turn the good damn vst startup scan off via the settings.
    3. Pitch shifter device
    4. native LFO device
    5. VST3 sorting by developer? Why not let us arrange the plugins yourself, like we could with VST2? (creating racks, to solve this dumb annoyance, works, but i would prefer a better solution)
    Otherwise Live 11, best DAW for me. (almost 15 years of ableton Live. started with 8.0.0)
     
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  13. spncart

    spncart Producer

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    1. I know right? so annoying. The Bounce in Place feature (such as Logic one) would be better though since it takes 2 seconds and you get a bounced track already (then can turn off the entire track to save CPU if you need). This freezing concept is a bit old-fashioned in 2023 tbh. It's faster (and cleaner) working with bounced stems and grouping stuff. Frozen tracks also look horrible in this colour as well anyway I would never use them it's counter-intuitive and slowing things in the creative process.

    2. HAHA yes

    3. YES (I have to get 3rd-party ones because Ableton Shift sucks)

    4. YES (not critical but would def improve the current stock LFO)

    5. YES omg so annoying, why VST3 doesn't have the same sorting system as .VST/.AU? AGAIN A FAILURE

    BEST yes overall Logic wins one big thing - the Bounce in Place feature (but I'd still use Ableton though, as annoying as this can be in my process) and Reason also wins a big thing which is all the native sequencers and addons they have (although now you can use them in Ableton with the Rack which is cool but still it's always best when it's native). Because the Maxforlive is a bit deep for most people and requires a lot of exploration I'd like something more straightward like Reason sequencers somehow a collab or smth to make them native in Ableton.
     
  14. Hazen

    Hazen Platinum Record

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    Ableton Live prioritizes straightforward workflow over quantity of features. I'm not saying that there is no room for improvement, but I don't think Ableton will ever cover all features that a "general purpose DAW" like Logic, Cubase or Studio One includes.

    I agree with the "bounce in place" feature. It's really essential to have. I've met some Ableton developers here in Berlin, I might discuss this next time I meet one of them. In the meantime you could also discuss this issue in the official Ableton forum, since this will be more likely to gain attention.
     
  15. xbitz

    xbitz Rock Star

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  16. DiabeticAnna

    DiabeticAnna Newbie

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    Some incredibly valid points, but for #4 literally just right click > Freeze, right click > Flatten. Leaves the audio in place on the track it was on.
     
  17. spncart

    spncart Producer

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    Yes my bad I actually forgot about the Freeze + Flatten feature haha

    I guess they could still improve it though since in Logic it only takes one click, not two, which is even faster - but okay it sort of exists in Ableton too.

    Thanks for agreeing on the other points, please feel free to add any, I'm now going to create an account on ableton official forum and report these.
     
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