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Migrating from Ableton to Logic
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author Migrating from Ableton to Logic
Hi there, I use Ableton atm. I want to migrate to Logic though, cause Ableton barely updates, and it seems their main focus in on the Push 2. Also, I tend to keep f*cking around in the session view, and barely finish tracks within it.

Logic in that regard is more mature for actual composing. But the workflow is way slower ATM for me. So please, could you list me your key commands that you use the most within logic? This way I can assign them the same way as Ableton does (so i can keep rocking Rockin' Banana! )

There are so many hotkeys though in Logic, and alot of them seem to be of no use for me.

Hi Alexander,
I cannot help you with the shortcuts in Logic, since I use Ableton.

But I question the reasons why you want to shift to another DAW.
1. You loose the experience you had in your old DAW. Mastering a certain piece of software takes a lot of time.
2. I never ever use session view in Ableton
3. A mature platform for composing should not update itself continuously. Most composers prefer stability over continuous change
4. After using Ableton for 4 years, I probably use only 1% or less of the possibilities that are build in that piece of software. Instead of waiting for the next update, I try to go from 1% to 2%.
5. Finishing songs is not something that a new DAW or new hardware will solve, it is a switch in your head you have to turn

On the other hand, if Logic really suits your style, that's maybe the way to go grin
Thank for your answer. Finishing tracks is something which I struggled with. I understand that Logic isn't going to help me with that. But I'm just so bored of Ableton. Maybe I need to take break and step away for a while.

Mastering Logic indeed takes alot of time. I tend to work off-line when producing(no annoying distractions). There is not even a off-line manual for Logic. When I go the online manual I see a boy and a girl from Mac in a blue shirt, which is absolutely worthless too me. And wtf the routing in Logic?

The fun I had the most was with the hardware I had. Due to circumstances(being a student) I had to sell it. Ultra fun times, just recording on a four track, mpc , a synth and a electribe. Never a computer insight and could go on for days.

Software is convenient aswel, a hybrid workflow suits me the best. I want to invest in the Digitakt. And perhaps Reaktor cause alot of people seem to to like it alot and the idea behind this program is fresh. Im sick of those "super analog synths emulations" which all sound flat and boring imo. I just want something refreshing so I get the the 'thrill' again so to speak.
I'm personally also try to keep music making as fun as possible.
I don't have a Digitakt, but I see the fun in that instrument, since it is very direct and invites to experiment with sounds in a playful way.

And Reaktor is a bottomless pit if you are not careful grin
The possibilities are endless.
logic is great for hotkeys and actually pretty quick once you get used to them. very different workflow. just read through the manual and make a text doc with whatever you want to do.

but i would warn you that switching DAWs doesnt neccesarily make you more productive wink
I'm actually thinking the same. I used Logic for a couple years as my DAW. Switched maybe 4 years ago to Ableton. I'm thinking of going back to Logic for a change but the learning curve and down time makes me hesitate. I think a change in workflow can be inspiring. And it can make you break out of old habits. To me, Ableton has always made MIDI and audio routing so intuitive. I felt logic was particularly cumbersome but maybe it's because I didn't know my elbows from my asshole back then. Also I never got to know the environment. One thing I really liked about Logic is the ability to name your audio channels. This may seem trivial but I have 50 some channels of inputs so it actually matters. And maybe even more importantly for output routing.

As an aside I do think updates matter. I begged Ableton to increase the number of channels of audio that could be routed to a track. The limit of 8 made me lose 2 outputs for each of my expert sleepers cv and gate expanders. I know other people requested the same. Nothing. Of course that's anecdote. But sometimes small changes can make a big difference.
Of course updates matter.
For example, I really would like to edit multiple midi tracks in Ableton in one view, to be able to use the chord track to edit the lead and bass track.
Bitwig has that and probably a lot of other DAWs.
And sidechaining with third party plugins is also not really optimal.
But personally, I prefer that they take their time for it instead of bringing out an update that is not stable.
The pitfall is that we use the argument of waiting for the next update to not finish songs.
There will always be a bigger synth, a faster computer, a plugin with more options, ...
funny i saw this today because a client just bought me Logic for a Mastering/Mixdown project so i am grabbing it today. For me it's not a question of either/Or but BOTH as per usual

Any Caveats for an Ableton user?

phase ghost
I don't know that hotkeys are going to speed things up for you in a noticeable way. Logic is great for straight forward recording. Comping is easy (compared to Ableton, which is a bitch), the layout is much more "traditional mixer", and the build in effects are pretty awesome. Plus, the GUI is much better looking. Imo.

However, if I didn't use comping so much when I record guitar/bass, I'd drop Logic in a heartbeat. Ableton's MIDI routing/recording is leagues ahead. And, as a Max/Msp user, the integration is obviously much better.
phase ghost wrote:
I don't know that hotkeys are going to speed things up for you in a noticeable way. Logic is great for straight forward recording. Comping is easy (compared to Ableton, which is a bitch), the layout is much more "traditional mixer", and the build in effects are pretty awesome. Plus, the GUI is much better looking. Imo.

However, if I didn't use comping so much when I record guitar/bass, I'd drop Logic in a heartbeat. Ableton's MIDI routing/recording is leagues ahead. And, as a Max/Msp user, the integration is obviously much better.

I think I agree with most of that. I've considered running Ableton slaved to Logic. But I find running two DAWs and having to save two projects every time, open both projects, etc to be very cumbersome. I still may do it. But I've gotten used to Ableton. Ha I've also gotten a little complacent I guess.
And sidechaining with third party plugins is also not really optimal

actually you can use the stock comp to sidechain
your signal in both DAWS wink

the only thing that would make me switch from Live to Bitwig is the MPE integration, and again, i'd just use it for certain sounds
(even tho i'm pretty sure Ableton's next major update will include it)

but yeah i understand that working in the same daw all the time can be boring
that's why i found myself starting my songs in Reaktor/Blocks lately
just to break my habits and have fun !
when i do that, i generally use Ableton later,
to sequence everything and turn my patterns it into an actual song
So I've been recording guitar based stuff lately, still with some synths and drums machines. I'm pretty committed to transitioning back to Logic, but upgrading to X. I think I'm going to snag a Behringer X Touch controller as well, which is only slightly wider than my Push. I'm actually pretty excited to have a dedicated mixer controller. I'm sure I'll keep using Ableton, but I'm looking forward to changing up my workflow a bit, while going back to something a little familiar at the same time.

My thought process....

I got into Ableton for the flexible audio routing so I could get the most out of Expert Sleepers. I feel in love with some of the other features, particularly the MIDI functions that I wish Logic had but never did. Simple things like arpeggiator or MIDI LFO. I also found M4L stuff nice, though I didn't use it often. I liked having a dedicated controller in the Push. And I thought I might eventually would play out, which made Ableton desirable. But to be honest, I'm by no means a power Live user.

What I don't like about Ableton. Mostly, I find it's MIDI timing pretty sloppy. For sequenced stuff it can be a little frustrating, but a lot of that can be fixed in Ableton. But for tracking guitar or bass, particularly with time based effects like delay that synced to Ableton's clock things can be a little messy. I also find the DAW to be a little unstable, but honestly more more or less stable than any other DAW I've used. Other small annoyances... I'd like to be able to create subgroups within groups. Not even sure if Logic can do this. Agree with above, comping sucks in Ableton (can you even do anything really close to comping the way Logic does it?). I'm sure there's other stuff that I can nit pick.

Logic X seems to have made the improvements that make me want to explore it again. Part of the motivation is changes to my workflow. Most sequencing I'm doing through a few Elektron boxes and an MPC Live. I tend to play in my keyboard parts, and I do use the DAW to record that MIDI. Maybe quantize a bit. But the DAW is mainly a recorder, FX processor and then for higher level arranging. The basic MIDI features that have been added to Logic are pretty much all I'll need. And I do think it's a little easier to arrange in Logic. I find the UI a little more natural for me. I like having the mixer window. And the idea of a mixer controller is awesome.

i started with Logic a LONG time ago. dont much use short cuts.
i guess the ONE short cut i rely on is my templates. it took a while to iron the ones have have out [3]. but, creating those made getting at going on a track immediate.
no setting anything up. load scene and im off. all MIDI is routed, tracks set to record, fx all bussed. its THE biggest time saver and removes the biggest inspiration blocker.

i did use ableton for a little, my buds wanted to start an online band. everyone was to have ableton and use only what ableton provides so we could pass scene files back and forth over messenger or whatever. but i found the UI in ableton is a vibe killer. everything is so small, and a pain in the ass to access.
that idea died a quick hard one.

Logic also has its MIDI environment, which is super powerful. you can have as much control over what you want. but it takes a little time to learn.
ive been using Logic for 20 years? still learning stuff. but there is no way im gonna switch. i think its worth learning.
just dont try to learn it all at once. do it as it comes. repeat steps over and over. i would repeat setup a few times, so it gets engrained before creating a template. i made one while still green, and totally forgot how to set things up. so i held off till i felt like i had a good grasp.

i also just added Reaktor/Blocks into the mix, so i could reduce modules in my rack as im in a freakin financial crisis. Blocks is amazing. easy enough to get into. creating Blocks is a little tuffer, but lots of user generated stuff online you can learn from.

i recommend Logic. yes changing DAWs will slow you down. but i think Logic is worth the effort. i used to use Cubase and Neundo way back....i dont think i could ever go back.

just my experience with Logic.
I switched over and so far I'm loving it. There are still some things that are very far from intuitive in Logic, and from time to time it does some really weird shit that I can't figure out. But still, I'm digging it. I got the Behringer X Touch open box for a good deal. I really like the tactile and visual aspect of the hardware controller. Motorized faders are awesome, it's my first controller that has those features. And the comping is much better. I'm still sorting stuff out, but it's actually come back faster than I expected.
I'm interesting, where did you think guys midi mapping more intuitive and easy, in Logic or Ableton?
Ableton hands down for me. But I think with Logic it just takes a minute to learn the environment.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Logic is much cheaper now than it used to be, but I don't believe you can sell / transfer your license to another person if you no longer use it, as you can with Ableton Live.

Personally I feel Ableton has been adding useful features to Live, while Logic seems to have been going in the direction of Garageband, which is not very interesting to me.
I like that I can do whole projects in ableton on my MacBook with 4gb ram. On the same laptop I can hardly get something started in logic.
Switching DAWs can improve your workflow and speed up your writing (Logic is much better for orchestral compositions due to the CC automation implementation while Ableton is better for electronic production), but it can only speed up your writing if you already have ideas to speed up thumbs up not to mention you have to learn the new DAW... Unless your career is based on a type of music production that a different DAW is better at, there isn't much point changing unless you just have time and cash to burn seriously, i just don't get it
It might make sense to join the beta community if you want more updates on Ableton. I did it but lately have skipped all the beta versions as I'm quite satisfied with the current features
lerba wrote:
It might make sense to join the beta community if you want more updates on Ableton. I did it but lately have skipped all the beta versions as I'm quite satisfied with the current features

I signed up for that actually, but never participated. Because I'm an asshole. Ha. But truth be told, Ableton is not always that responsive to feature requests. I hassled them for two years about increasing the number of audio tracks that could be routed to a track from 8 to 10 to get the most out of Expert Sleepers. Never happened. And I know I'm not the only one. Ok, so that's a pretty specific scenario. What about something simple like being able to label the audio inputs/outputs so you don't have to memorize where everything is, or keep a running list. I know for normal folks, it's not a big deal. But I have two UAD Apollos expanded with ADDAs, and a Soundcraft Signature MTK 22 for an insane number of IO. It's nice to have everything labelled. I know countless people have requested that, and Ableton has ignored that. Just saying....

Other things that drive me nuts about Ableton. My MTK 22 crashed. I had to reset my aggregate device. Load up Ableton again. Now I have to go through audio inputs on my aggregate device in Ableton and reactive all of them. It's a pain. Not the end of the world. But Logic makes it much easier.

In the end, for certain applications, I might say that Ableton slaved to Logic will be my ideal set up. But the further I go, the more the DAW becomes just a audio recorder and effects processor. Logic works very well for that.
The keys I use most are;
X for mixer,
E for edit window,
I for inspector,
< and > to move back and forth on the timeline.
command T to cut
ctrl M to mute

There are a bunch more but those I can recall of the top of my head.
When I jump into a piece of software I just get like a Peachpit Press book, or in the case of Logic, Apple publishes a book that is pretty definitive, and a touch out of date. If you just kill a chapter every couple days on that book you will be a total rockstar with Logic. Albeit without the groupies and record contracts.
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