Ableton Standard vs Ableton Suite

Hey There,

I am thinking about getting Ableton, which Iwould like to mainly use for aranging, mixing, eqing and mastering my music.
While I could imagine to add a little bit of sound here and there, I would like to stick mainly to my hardware gear to produce the music.
My gear is: Digitakt, A4, Microfreak and DB-01.

With that in mind, I am asking myself, if I should buy the standard version or go for the more expensive suite version. Are there any must haves in the suite version for my purposes?

Happy to hear about your experiences.


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I think you’ll be good with standard. You’ll not get max 4 live, and sampler is great. But if you’re mainly thinking about composing out of the box, standard should be fine. I’m not sure, but I think you can upgrade to suite for the price difference if you feel like doing that after a while

Edit: If you haven’t checked it out, here’s a comparison: Compare Live editions | Ableton

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I think if you need to ask that you will likely be fine with the standard version :wink:

M4L is probably the biggest thing you might miss out on, but that’s only if you want to get more creative with the computer. Operator is one of my favorite soft synths but if more into creating with hardware I’d rather put the difference towards a Digitone.

Maybe try Lite or Intro first?
I was using Standard/Suite in the past and sold it as it was overkill for me.
Now I’m on Intro only and do not miss a thing.


I went Lite instead of standard. You don’t get much more in terms of instruments etc in standard but you get more tracks. if you’re ok with minimal stuff then go lite.

I only use it for mastering (if I do it) and any editing I might want to do.


You definitely should not get suite if those are your intended uses. It’s overkill for a lot more money.

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Suite gives you something like 70GB of sounds, instruments, samples, clips, loops, etc. And that’s on top of M4L and the extra synths & effects. If you’re composing in the box and your musical imagination can make use of anything like that breadth and depth of sources, then it’s good value.

I had a licence for Suite through two or three versions, but I’ve come to realise it’s overkill for my needs, and a headache to manage. If I upgrade to v11, it’ll be to Standard or even Lite.

Everytime I pay for my bi-yearly upgrade I think I should have bought standard. However… despite this, having max for live really is an important part of the experience I think. Even for basic recording duties you’ll run across times when you wish you had max for live to try out some device that you read about.

If I was starting over the real question for me would be live or bitwig!


Probably best to start with Standard, and then when a new version is out, consider what Suite could offer.

My daily use of Live is almost entirely of the Standard features, except, as so many here have said, for MaxForLive. But I used Live + a single Operator license for ages and was very productive with that, before M4L was offered. It is something you kind of grow into.

Getting Suite from the start could be too much and take you away from focusing on getting fluent with the core features.


Thinking about upgrading from lite to standard when there is the next sale. I want to record all 8 tracks from the digitakt and also plan to buy a digitone. Maybe also Bitwig 16 tracks will do it… let’s see :slight_smile:

They run a sale each year around summer so if you purchase Standard now, you’ll have plenty of time to think about getting Suite (or not) and wether you get it or not you’ll save some money.

Just click the Try Live for Free link on the Ableton site.

Don’t even have to buy Standard.

Wow, so many answers and all of the point to standard. I think I know, where I am going.

My biggest concern was, that a super good compressor or everyones favorite effect might be missing, bit I never thought of the aspect, that I might get an overload of possibilities, which is definitely valid gor me.

So thank you all to save me 250 EUR.
(Never thought this forum would ever help me to save money :joy:)


As addition to the discussion:
Max4Live? Wtf, didn‘t new about this and just watched the video for the Max4Live connection kit. Is this something, someone here is working with?
Would love to see videos about that…

I had already used Cycling 74 Max/MSP, so when Ableton had a package deal to get Max For Live and upgrade to Suite, I jumped on it.

When I would buy the standard version. What kind of other vst/au do you recommend to buy?
Fabfilters eq?
Sonic charge microtonic?

Next question: what synths can I buy for €250? :rofl:

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