Ableton Live Lite vs Intro

Published: Wed 07 April 2021 by L.Drolez In Music

Ableton Live Lite and Intro are two limited versions of Ableton Live that are very useful if you are starting out in computer music. You are hesitating between Lite and Intro? Here are the differences between these two versions.

Ableton Live is a reference in the world of music production, but if you're just starting out you may not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a Standard or Suite version. So if you want to get started with Ableton Live and discover its incredible power and smooth workflow in Session Mode, the Intro and Lite versions may be just what you need.

live lite session view

Both versions are very affordable. The price of Ableton Live Lite varies between nothing and 20 euros, and the Intro version between 59 and 79 euros ($80 and $99).

Ableton Live Lite for free?

Sometimes...😁 Splice has offered Ableton Live Lite for free for a limited time. Check out their web site they might renew the offer. I'll keep you updated here.

You should be able to get a license if you have some of the following apps for iOS: EG Puls‪e, Patterning 2, Koala Sampler, Triqtraq and KORG iKaossilato‪r.

But if you can't get Live Lite for free from Splice or an app on your iPad, what are the other options?

The problem is that this version only comes "free" with keyboards or MIDI controllers. Anyway, if you are starting out in music, you will need a mini MIDI keyboard, or a MIDI controller. There are plenty of them for less than 100 euros that offer a Live Lite license (see 1).

Otherwise, on some Ableton groups on Facebook or Reddit, some users give their Lite license or for a small fee (20 euros). Just ask! You can also buy unused licences on this marketplace for audio production software licenses.

Ableton Live Lite vs Intro differences

So if you can't get Live Lite for free, you still have Ableton Live Intro which is normally 79 euros ($99). If you wait for the special offers that usually come in spring or for Black Friday, you can buy it for 59 euros (or $70).

But what are the advantages of Live Intro over Live Lite?

  • 16 audio and MIDI tracks (instead of 8)
  • 16 scenes (instead of 8)
  • The new features of Live 11, such as MPE support, Comping, an LFO, Note Chance and Velocity Chance. For the moment Live Lite is limited to version 10
  • 5 GB of sounds in total, effects sounds and audio loops, against 1 GB for Lite.
  • 9 more audio effects: Auto Pan, Channel EQ, Advanced Delay, Gate, Grain Delay, Limiter, Looper, Phaser Flanger, Saturator
  • No differences on MIDI effects, same for both versions 👍

So in the end that's a lot of quality audio effects. And the 8 tracks of Live Lite can be a big limitation that can be reached very quickly, as soon as your compositions are a bit complex.

Anyway, you can always make up for the missing plugins with free VSTs that you can find on:

With the latter for the price of buying a single copy of the magazine, you will have access to a hundred quality audio effects, as well as many quality synthesizers.

Should I try Ableton Live Lite?

Ableton Live Intro and Lite are both totally worthwhile.

Once you get to know the software and experience the benefits of a Session View-based workflow, you'll understand why Ableton Live is so popular.

The limitations of the Lite and Intro versions can be easily overcome with a myriad of free plugins. (by the way, do you know the free Surge synth?)

And later, if you want to upgrade to Ableton Standard or Suite, despite the high price, I can certify you that it is worth it. If you calculate the cost of buying additional VSTs and Audio Units, effects and virtual instruments to reach the level of Live Suite, you will see that you are far beyond the price of Live Suite!


  1. Cheap MIDI controllers with Ableton Lite included on Thomann: * Novation Launchpad Mini mk3 * Arturia MiniLab MKII * AKAI Professional APC Keys * M-Audio Oxygen 25 Mk4 

LD. --

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