How Much is Ableton Live and How to Get It Cheaper

Ableton Live 11 has several price tiers, with $79, $349, and $599 versions. You can also use the software free for 30 days or can get half off any of the versions if you are a student or teacher. It also goes on sale from time to time. 

My name is Donovan, and I’m an avid musician, engineer, and home studio enthusiast. I’ve set up many different studios over the years and have used several different DAWs. I have extensive experience using Ableton Live. 

This post will explain how much Ableton Live costs and how to get it cheaper. I’ll break down the various prices of this popular software and provide you with some tips to save more money to help you get the most out of it. 

Let’s get started. 

How Much is Ableton Live? 

One cool feature about Ableton Live is that you have several different versions of the software, and each has a different price. This can allow you to get whichever option best suits your music production or budget needs. 

There are three different versions of Ableton Live 11. The Intro version costs $79, the Standard version costs $349, and the Suite version costs $599. I’ll break these down more so you understand what each offers, but that’s the initial look at costs. 

Image from Ableton

There is also a free way to get Ableton live, although the offer is only good for 30 days. This trial option is good to explore if you are unsure which version best meets your needs or if you just want to check out what Ableton can do before committing to it. 

I initially signed up for this free trial period when I started using Ableton. I thought it was a great option, and it helped me learn the basics of the program compared to some other DAWs that I was used to. 

After using Ableton fairly extensively for about a month, I chose one of the versions that I thought hit all the marks for what I needed and wanted from it. I recommend taking advantage of the trial period for just about everyone.  

I want to break down the features of each available version a bit, to help you understand which one you might like. I also highly suggest exploring as many features as possible in the trial version to help you determine which option works best. 

Ableton Live 11 Intro Cost and Features

Ableton Live 11 Intro is the most basic version of the program, and it’s also the most affordable at $79. This is a good option for anyone who just wants to learn the ropes of the software or those on a tight budget who can’t afford the full version. 

The Intro version gives you the ability to use 16 audio or MIDI tracks, which is plenty for most beginner or average projects. It would definitely not be enough for most professional situations, but it’s a good starting point. 

Here are some key features you can use with this version: 

  • 4 software instruments
  • 21 audio effects
  • 11 MIDI effects
  • Over 1500 sounds
  • 8 mono audio input channels
  • 8 mono audio output channels
  • 2 send and return tracks
  • 16 scenes
  • Capture MDID

As you can see, this is a pretty robust set of features for under $100. I think this Intro version is a solid option for the average home studio owner, musician, or producer who wants to start working with Ableton but doesn’t want to spend hundreds. 

Ableton Live 11 Standard Cost and Features

The next level up is the Ableton Live 11 Standard version, which will cost you $349. This is a full version of the program, so you’ll get hooked up with a complete set of features that enable you to tackle all kinds of projects. 

This version is an excellent option for anyone who wants to have access to virtually all of the features of Ableton at a still relatively affordable price. It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s also a few hundred dollars less than the full option. 

One great feature here is that you get unlimited audio and MIDI tracks. In my experience, that’s a basic requirement for tackling professional-level projects. You don’t want to be limited in what you can do based on available tracks. 

Some other key features of this version include: 

  • 6 software instruments
  • 37 audio effects
  • 14 MIDI effects
  • Over 1800 sounds
  • 12 send and return tracks
  • 256 audio input channels
  • 256 audio output channels
  • Unlimited scenes
  • Audio-slicing
  • Audio to MIDI

I think this version of Ableton can work for both professionals and beginners. It’s a good middle ground between an affordable price and still giving users access to a wide range of features that will help them create great-sounding projects. 

Ableton Live 11 Suite Cost and Features

The best and most extensive version of Ableton is the Suite, which will cost you $599. While that’s a pretty high price tag, it will unlock all of the program’s high-end tools, features, and functions to give you plenty to work with. 

This is the option to go with if you want to run Ableton at a truly professional level or if cost is not an issue. It’s the best of the best version, and you get a ton of amazing tools and functions that give you complete studio-level control. 

If you have or plan on taking on projects that require extensive tracks, inputs, or outputs, getting this version is a must. You won’t be limited and can explore your creativity and the needs of your recording clients to the max. 

Some key features of this version include: 

  • 17 software instruments
  • 60 audio effects
  • 16 MIDI effects
  • Over 5000 sounds
  • Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks
  • Unlimited scenes
  • 256 mono audio input channels
  • 256 mono audio output channels
  • 12 send and return tracks
  • Capture MIDI 
  • Complex warp modes
  • Audio-slicing
  • Audio to MIDI
  • Max for Live

Obviously, this is the most expensive version of Ableton, so it won’t be an option for everyone. But if you can afford it and need or want everything the platform has to offer, this is the best option to do that with. 

How to Get Ableton Live for Cheaper

You can get Ableton Live cheaper than the standard pricing options I broke down above in a few different ways. These are good to know about in case you are on a budget or just don’t want to spend full price. 

I briefly mentioned the first option – take advantage of the free 30-day trial version. You won’t need to pay anything during those first 30 days, which gives you plenty of time to try things out and see what you like. 

After that initial trial run, you’ll need to pay for one version or another. So this isn’t a free-forever sort of situation. But if you are on the fence about which version to purchase or if you want Ableton or not, go with the free trial. 

Free Trial Sample Window Screenshot on my Mac

Ableton also offers all of the versions for half-off if you are a student or teacher. This promotional pricing is another great way to take advantage of the program’s features without paying full price. 

You need to prove that you are a student or teacher to use this promotion, so be sure to have your credentials on hand. I’m not a student or teacher, so have never used this option. But I bet you’ll need to have a student/teacher ID or provide the school you are affiliated with. 

Ableton also runs several other promotions occasionally, so keep an eye on their website or sign up for the email list to know when these go live. It’s a great way to save a little to a lot of money off the list price. 

There is no exact schedule for these promotions, so you just need to keep looking. You also might be able to find a discount code from associated or partner brands, but that also just depends on timing and situation. 

One other thing to consider is that you also have the option to make payments on any version of Ableton rather than pay for the entire cost upfront. While this doesn’t technically save you any money, it limits what you need to spend at the initial time of purchase. 

You can just click on the installment payment option during checkout. The portal will ask for your payment information, and then you will be automatically billed monthly from there. 

Final Thoughts

Ableton Live is available at several different price points to match your needs or budget. Even though the full version is pretty expensive, you can go with the basic version that will cost under $100 and still give you plenty to work with. 

Remember that you can use Ableton for free for 30 days. This trial version is a great way to get some experience with the program before you commit to purchasing it. You can also save some money on the purchase price if you are a student or teacher. 

What version of Ableton Live best meets your needs? Did you sign up for the free trial? Let me know in the comments below.

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