arranger keyboards

Is Ableton a DAW?

arranger keyboards

Is Ableton a DAW?

A lot of people wonder how music is being made. Some think that they are being made in big studios and large theatres where musicians can record music. Even if that was the case about 20 years ago, things have dramatically shifted in the last 20 years.

Anyone can make music by using their laptops at their studio apartments. This is how much the music industry has changed. If you don’t know about Billie Eilish and finneas they released an album from their bedroom and that became the Grammy-winning album in 2019.

Yes, Ableton is a digital audio workstation also called has all the DAW features including live performance, arrangement, and recording. Ableton’s live costs around 99$ for their starter package.

All these things were made possible by the use of computers but at the same time, all the music producers are now using a digital audio workstation to make their music. Digital audio workstations are also called as DAW.

Many developers have come and made amazing digital audio workstations for music producers starting with logic pro x from apple and protools from avid. One of the amazing software solutions for music producers nowadays who are also involved in performing live in Ableton.

Ableton is the pioneer of the session view that they have for amazing live performance.

What is DAW?

A digital audio workstation is nothing but software that assists you to make music on a pc or a laptop. Digital audio workstations were made in the early ’90s as soon as the computers started to creep into people’s homes. The way music was made started to change as soon as music production software’s like protocols and FL studio, as well as Ableton, live came into the scene

The digital audio workstations replaced a lot of things in the music production industry. The first thing that digital audio workstations reduced is the time required to make music. You don’t even have to wait for your instrumentalist to come to a studio anymore. You can play all instruments using software plugins. Check my post on the top 3 plugins to get when you are getting started.

All these things have given digital audio workstations being the front end systems of music production in the 20th century. Although all digital audio workstations do the same things there are differences when it comes to the user interface and workflow. Some personality types may like one version some don’t. Some people start with one and get addicted to it and then become a fanboy of that Digital audio workstation. Once they become a fanboy all they do is throw shade on other music production software.

Any seasoned music producer will never care about which software you are using, instead, they will look at your music and help you with the consultation.

Functions of a DAW 

A digital audio workstation has a lot of functions let’s start with some basic functions that you might get in a digital audio workstation.


Every digital audio workstation can record external instruments into their software. They convert the analog audio and convert it into digital using an audio interface.

If you don’t know what an audio interface is check my blog post on how to pick an audio interface.

The converted digital music is recorded in the form of wav in tracts inside a digital audio workstation.

Some DAW offers free recording with their lite version of software some don’t.


This is the next most used function in a digital audio workstation. Using this feature you can arrange different sections of a song after recording them from an external instrument or a singer who sang for you in a studio.

Ableton has a separate section also called an arrangement view separated for making awesome arrangements for music composition or even for any other work.

To be honest with you there is software with a poor arrangement view, there are some with perfect arrangement view. It also comes down to preference and workflow.

Audio and Midi Editing

Audio editing and midi editing are some of the advanced works you can do in music production software like pro tools and Ableton live.

This software helps you in chopping sounds, putting them together as well.

If you are into any type of content creation work I would suggest you check out Ableton and learn a little bit of music production which can help you in making the content even better.

If you are making YouTube videos or any kind of filmmaking learn Ableton or even any one of the digital audio workstations.

Mixing and Mastering

Mixing and mastering is another area where these digital audio workstations play a major role in creating a polished song.

Ableton’s session view helps a lot in mixing and mastering purposes and in the arrangement of all the plugins in the bottom which gives a proper idea of what you are doing and what you can do. Big props to Ableton for its organization.

How Ableton works as a DAW 

Ableton is amazing for all the work that you do in music production and music composition. 

You can use Ableton for DJ’ing but will require a bit of skill in navigation.

You can use Ableton for performing using a midi controller

You can use Ableton for music composition for games and movies.

You can use Ableton for making beats and songs.

If you are interested in getting Ableton there are three versions to Ableton I would recommend you to get the intro version first and upgrade to standard. If you are going to be in music production as a business invest n standard version. Here are the links to the various versions of Ableton live

Ableton live intro

Ableton live standard

Ableton live suite


Doesn’t matter which software you use for music production it’s important to know that learning the software is the first step in understanding how music is produced.

If you learn all the digital audio workstations you will come to a conclusion in the end that will be something like this “they all do the same darn thing”

Yes, and it’s true when it comes to the digital audio workstation.

Every digital audio workstation does the same thing and some do it in one way and the other ones differently

You have to be willing to choose on and just get on with it.

Don’t sit and research for a month trying to choose music production software when you can use that time to work on making music.

Be patient with learning because as soon as you reach month 4 in music production you will see a rapid spike in your understanding of music.

If you are interested check out my article on the easiest music production software to use here.

If you are interested in FL studio check my article on the different versions of FL studio that are available as well.

Hustle harder.

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