Can You Use Ableton Push with FL Studio?
Every digital musician grows accustomed to their DAW (digital audio workstation). Purchasing a new instrument like Ableton Push may be concerning if it is not compatible with one’s preferred program, such as FL Studio.
Can you use Ableton Push with FL Studio? While some FL Studio users claim that they can jerry-rig compatibility, Ableton Push is not designed to be compatible with FL Studio. Ableton Push’s companion software sequencer is Ableton Live.
While this may come as unfortunate news to loyal FL Studio users, a full Ableton setup has its benefits. Ableton Live is used by numerous professionals in the music industry and has a solid reputation.
What is Ableton Live?
Ableton Live is a software tool that allows musicians to compose, record and mix. It offers a number of controls for beatmatching and crossfading. It is considered a pioneer in beatmatching songs. It is available in three versions: intro, standard, and suite.
Unsurprisingly, the Intro package contains the most limited key features, instruments, sounds, and audio and MIDI effects. However, both Standard and Suite come with full key features. Suite boasts the most software instruments, audio and MIDI effects and 3200 more sounds than Standard.
For further information, and a detailed table on key features, visit the Ableton Live website.
How is Ableton Live Different from FL Studio?
Ableton Live’s software approach is more streamlined and minimalistic, while FL studio is more accessible to amateurs. Below I compare several key differences between the programs.
- Layout: Ableton Live uses a more minimalistic layout which allows you to work more effectively and intuitively from a single screen. On the other hand Fl Studio has various screens for different tasks, which means you will have to jump around while creating music.
- MIDI: FL Studio requires more page navigation when working with MIDI controllers while Ableton live, staying true to its minimalistic tendencies, offers a more streamline experience.
- Compatibility: Before you run out and purchase a new DAW, make sure that your operating system and RAM are compatible with Ableton Live by referring to the chart below.
|Ableton Live||FL Studio|
|Operating system||Windows 7, 8, 10Mac OS X 10.11.6 or later||Windows 8.1, 10 or laterMac 10.13.6 or later|
|RAM||4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended)||4 GB of RAM or higher recommended|
For further details concerning compatibility visit the Ableton Live website
or the FL studio website.
Live Performance: Ableton Live lives up to its namesake. It was designed with live performances in mind. Due to features like its sessions view, Ableton Live is a better option for those considering taking to the stage.
Overall, it seems that FL Studio is aimed at beginners who are unfamiliar with music software tools, while Ableton Live’s intuitive style works well for performers and veteran audio engineers.
What are Some Unique Features of Ableton Live?
Seeing that FL Studio and Ableton Live are both sequencing programs for your DAW, they are similar in more ways than they are different. This means the learning curve won’t be so steep for the veteran audio engineer. However, Ableton Live has some unique features that set it apart from other programs.
One unique feature of Ableton Live is the Ableton Push 2 itself. The Push 2 is designed to allow the user to create on the instrument with minimal switch over to the computer. It boasts a full color pixel display to enhance the view of the Push 2’s features, such as:
- Spectrum analysis
Most DAW’s have the ability to save channel presets, making it easier to load your favorite parameters. However, Ableton Live adds further efficiency and speed to workflow with Racks.
So, what exactly are Racks?
“The best way to describe a rack in Ableton is to imagine a chain of a synthesizer, EQ, delay, reverb, and a flanger. Now take all of those and group them into one device. We can still go in and change whatever settings we want, or add/remove effects, but we now have them all wrapped up into one nice little package, with 8 knobs that we can assign to control virtually any parameter(s) inside the rack. “
There are four different types:
- Audio effect
- MIDI effect
To give you a better idea of Racks, let’s take a more in depth look at the drum rack.
The drum rack provides a typical drum-pad style grid. Each section allows space for other drum samples, synths and other racks. The drum rack for Ableton Live is unique in that it allows the user to access macros on any rack. You can discover your favorite presets, save them as a single rack, and easily bring them up any time.
Link was first offered in the 2015 beta version of Ableton Live.
“Link is a technology that allows multiple devices to sync and keep in time over a wired or wireless network. This means that two (or more) instances of Live can join and sync tempos, which is a great feature when collaborating, but Link isn’t exclusive to Live.”
One of Link’s primary goals is to reintroduce the spontaneity of a jam session with the Ableton Push. You can link with others on multiple devices, allowing any member to jump in or out at any time. This means anyone can adjust the tempo and the rest can follow naturally.
Link doesn’t require any technical installation or MIDI cables. It’s ready to go.
There are a number of compatible software and hardware devices that work with live/link, namely:
- Algoriddim’s Djay
- KORG Electribe Wave
- Akai MPC Live
- MPC X
You can view a full at list here.
Max for Live
This feature allows Ableton Live to be more customizable. Max/MSP is a visual programming language specifically geared toward music and multimedia.
Max gives you the power of creation. You can design your own:
- Audio effects
Max for live also comes with ready made instruments, effects and tutorials. While this may sound daunting for those that are unfamiliar with Max/MSP and programming in general, there are plenty of resources to help initiate the amateur.
Ableton Live comes equipped with an enormous log of tutorials and documentation that are accessible by simply clicking on ‘Max Help’ from the menu.
Because Max Live allows users to modify and create their Ableton Live experience, there is a worldwide community of users who are constantly producing new and unique devices that can be downloaded from the web.
For more on Max Live check out the Ableton website.
Ableton Live 10
This is the newest version of Ableton which you can download for a free 90 trial trail. Ableton Live 10 has added new features to enhance user experience and give more control to the user.
Ableton has collaborated with artists and sound engineers to bring the user four new instrument packs. Each bundle features curated sounds that range from organic to experimental:
- Drum essentials
- Synth essentials
- Electric keyboards
- Drum booth
Who uses Ableton Push and Ableton Live?
Here is a list of just some of the artists that use Ableton Live:
- Armin Van Buuren
- 7 skies
- Dada Life
- Wolfgang Gartner
Information provided by topmusicarts.com
In his introduction to a masterclass on electronic music production, Deadmau5, the famous DJ who wears a massive mouse helmet when he performs says, “90% of my time is just goofing around and trying to come up with something, that’s how I spend my time. . . If you can impact just one person with your music then its worth it. Sometimes it happens in 1 year, sometimes it happens in 10 years, sometimes it doesn’t happen at all, but its definitely not going to happen if you don’t go out there and try it for yourself.”