Ableton Live 12: Standard vs Suite - Which Should You Buy?

ableton live ableton live 12 Apr 12, 2024
Ableton Live 12: Standard vs Suite

Ableton Live 12: Standard vs Suite - Which Should You Buy?



When purchasing Ableton Live, one common dilemma is deciding between the Standard and Suite versions. Let's look at the differences between the two to help you choose the right one for your needs.


Main Differences

All the main key features of Ableton Live are the same in both Standard and Suite versions, but where you will see the main differences between the two different versions in the following:

  • Software Instruments - Suite includes exclusive instruments like Operator, Sampler, Wavetable, And, new to Live 12 Meld and Grandular III, which are unavailable in the Standard versions.
  • Audio Effects - Suite comes packed with many additional effects, such as Amp, Cabinet, Color Limiter, and, new to Live, 12 Roar, plus many more. These are not included in the Standard version.
  • Max for Live - Suite includes Max for Live, which allows you to create custom instruments and effects within the software. Although this is not included in the standard version, it can be added as an add-on.


Standard Version Pros and Cons


  • Affordable price point
  • Full key features
  • Unlimited tracks/scenes
  • Ability to use third-party plugins
  • Option to upgrade to Suite later for additional features


  • Limited samples and instruments compared to Suite
  • No access to new Ableton 12 instruments and effects
  • Lack of Max for Live integration


Suite Version Pros and Cons


  • Complete package with all instruments, effects, and samples
  • Includes new Ableton 12 features
  • Max for Live integration for custom creations


  • Higher price tag
  • No option to downgrade to Standard later


Who Should Buy Standard?

  • Music production beginners or casual users
  • Live performers using backing tracks
  • Audio-focused users prioritise recording


Who Should Buy Suite?

  • Serious producers and sound designers seeking a comprehensive music creation environment
  • Beginners wanting all-inclusive features without third-party plugins
  • Users who enjoyed the Suite features during the Ableton Live trial period


Price and Educational Discounts

  • There is a significant price gap between Standard and Suite versions
  • Students and teachers can enjoy a 50% discount on Suite (check for current offers)
  • Note that educational discounts may not be applicable for upgrades



While Standard is a solid choice for most users due to its affordability and upgradeability, Suite is highly recommended for students and teachers with an educational discount. Keep in mind that upgrading later is an option, but it may not be the most cost-effective in the long run.

If you want to learn more about Ableton Live 12 and all its amazing features, check out my Ableton Live 12 course here -

If you are interested in learning Ableton Live 12 or the Push 3 in a bit more detail, check the course here:

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