Free Ableton Live Suite & Standard Device Alternatives

The all-in version of Ableton Live, called Live Suite comes packed with some pretty powerful devices for creating and effecting sound; it's got powerful synths like Operator and AnalogSampler is an incredible sound design tool and the built-in FX cover everything you'll ever need for mixing and effecting your music. You could get away with using nothing but native Ableton devices and still make high quality, professional sounding music. In fact, 90% of the music I make uses nothing but Live Suite's native devices and I find I get by quite easily.

All this comes with a cost though, Live Suite will set you back quite a bit of 💰💰💰 and for a lot of people who are just making music for their own enjoyment (i.e. not making money from it professionally) it's not worth the investment. Unfortunately for most people this means getting a pirated copy of Live Suite (don't do that, that's bad! ☝🏻) but there's a much better, far more legal way of getting all the power and versatility of Live Suite at a fraction of the price.

The answer lies in the incredible array of free plugins that exists covering everything from synthesisers to compressors to things you could never even dream of doing with sound. The beautiful thing about Ableton Live is that every version includes all of the base features and only limits the number of available sounds and instruments you have (and in the case of Live Intro and Lite also limits the total number of tracks you can use). So if you can't or don't want to fork our for the full version of Ableton you can start off with the cheaper versions like Live Intro and supplement it with some great free plugins.

You can check out the full list of differences between the different Live versions here: https://www.ableton.com/en/live/feature-comparison/

As an Ableton Live trainer I am frequently asked for alternatives to some of the devices that come with Live Suite. Many of my students only have Live Intro or Standard, sometimes even Live Lite and can't afford to upgrade to Suite but fortunately all of the versions of Ableton Live support VSTs (and Audio Units if you're on a Mac) so it's quite easy to fill those gaps with some great free plugins no matter what version of Live you have.

 
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THE LIST

Compiled here is a list of all the devices that are available in Live Suite. Next to each device I've indicated what versions of Live that device is available in. I've then listed several good plugin alternatives to those devices, including links to where you can download them. I've even included alternatives for devices that are available in all of Live's versions, just in case you want to try something different. I've also only listed plugins that are available for both Mac & PC (no discrimination here!)

If you want to explore an even more comprehensive list, including plugins that might not be available on both Mac & PC you should check out the incredible list available on Bedroom Producer's Blog.

There are unfortunately certain Live devices that I could not find alternatives for but rest assured I will keep my eyes open and update this list as new options become available!

Enjoy!

 

INSTRUMENTS

Analog (Suite)u-he TyrellN6 ; TAL Noisemaker ; Greenoak Crystal ; Obxd ; HY Mono

Collision (Suite) - No known free alternatives...

Drum Rack (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - No known free alternatives. Drum Rack is available in all versions of Live anyway so that's not such an issue.

Electric (Suite)NoiseAsh Sweetcase EP ; 4Front R-Piano

External Instrument (Standard, Suite) - No known free alternatives...

Impulse (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite)Monade Sounds Mini909 Free

Instrument Rack (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - No known free alternatives. Instrument Racks are available in all versions of Live anyway so that's not such an issue.

Operator (Suite)Greenoak Crystal ; Dexed

Sampler (Suite)Native Instruments Kontakt 5 Player ; IK Multimedia SampleTank Free ; UVI Workstation + Demo Soundpack ; Magic Independence + Free Library

Simpler (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - Same as Sampler (above)

Tension (Suite) - No known free alternatives...

 

AUDIO EFFECTS

Amp (Suite) - Native Instruments, Guitar Rig Player ; IK Multimedia, Amplitude Custom Shop ; Studiodevil British Valve Custom ; Lepou Amp Sim Pack ; Audiffex ampLion Free ; Ignite Amps Emissary, TPA-1, NRR-1, The Anvil, SHB-1Kuassa Amplification LiteNick Crow Lab 8505 Lead, 7170 Lead, Wagner Sharp

Audio Effect Rack (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - No known free alternatives. Audio Effect Racks are available in all versions of Live anyway so that's not such an issue.

Auto Filter (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - Audio Assault Filter CrusherAudio Damage FuzzPlus3 brainworx bx_cleansweepelysia niveau filterTogu Audio Line TAL-FilterStillwell Audio Oligarc Filter ; HY Filter2 Free

Auto Pan (Intro, Standard, Suite)MeldaProductions MAutoPanMeldaProductions MTremolo

Beat Repeat (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - No known free alternatives...

Cabinet (Suite)Native Instruments, Guitar Rig PlayerIK Multimedia, Amplitude Custom ShopAudiffex ampLion FreeIgnite Amps NadIR + IR SamplesLepou Lecab + IR SampleVoxengo Boogex

Chorus (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) Acon Digital Multiply ; Blue Cat Chorus ; TAL-Chorus-LX ; Oblivion Sound Lab OSL Chorus

Compressor (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - Tokyo Dawn Labs TDR Kotelnikov ; MeldaProductions MCompressor ; Audio Damage RoughRider

Corpus (Suite) - No known free alternatives...

Dynamic Tube (Standard, Suite) - Mercurial JCM800, Harlequin, Tomato ; Nick Crow Labs Tube Driver

EQ Eight (Standard, Suite) - MeldaProductions MEqualizer ; Blue Cat Triple EQ ; SPL Free Ranger ; DDMF ColourEQ ; Photo sounder SplineEQ Free ; Voxengo Marvel GEQ ; Acustica Audio OCHRE ; 2nd Sense Audio 2S EQ

EQ Three (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - Tokyo Dawn Labs TDR VOS Slick EQ ; Blue Cat Triple EQ ; DDMF ColourEQ ; Photo sounder SplineEQ Free ; Kuassa basiQ, Acustica Audio Red FREE

Erosion (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - No known free alternatives. Erosion is available in all versions of Live anyway so that's not such an issue.

External Audio Effect (Standard, Suite) - No known free alternatives...

Filter Delay (Standard, Suite)Sound hack Delay Bundle ; ValhallaDSP ValhallaFreqEcho ; HY Delay2 Free

Flanger (Intro, Standard, Suite) - MeldaProductions MFlanger ; Blue Cat Flanger

Frequency Shifter (Standard, Suite) - MeldaProductions MFrequencyShifter ; MeldaProductions MRingModulator

Gate (Intro, Standard, Suite) - No known free alternatives...

Glue Compressor (Standard, Suite) - Klanghelm DC1A ; Klanghelm MJUCjr ; VladG Sounds Molot ; Audio Damage RoughRider ; FXPansion DCAM FreeComp

Grain Delay (Intro, Standard, Suite) - Sound hack Delay Bundle

Limiter (Intro, Standard, Suite) - Tokyo Dawn Labs TDR Kotelnikov ; VladG Sounds Limiter No. 6 ; MeldaProductions Limiter ; LoudMax

Looper (Intro, Standard, Suite)No known free alternatives...

Multiband Dynamics (Standard, Suite) - Tokyo Dawn Labs TDR Nova

Overdrive (Standard, Suite) - Audio Assault DefacerAudio Assault KlipFreak ; Audio Damage FuzzPlus3 ; Ignite Amps TSB-1, TS-999Mercuriall Tubes Creamer

Phaser (Intro, Standard, Suite) - MeldaProductions Phaser ; Blue Cat Phaser

Ping Pong Delay (Intro, Standard, Suite) - Sound hack Delay Bundle

Redux (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - Soundhack ++decimate ; MeldaProduction MBitFunInear Display Regressif

Resonators (Standard, Suite)No known free alternatives...

Reverb (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - TAL Reverb ; Voxengo OldSkoolVerb ; Balance Mastering Tuefelsberg Reverb

Saturator (Intro, Standard, Suite) - Audio Assault Defacer ; Audio Assault KlipFreak ; Klanghelm IVGI ; Softube Saturation Knob ; MeldaProductions MWaveShaper ; MedlaProductions MWaveFolder ; LVC Audio PhreePhuzz ; Shattered Glass Audio SGA1566

Simple Delay (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - Sound hack Delay Bundle ; ValhallaDSP ValhallaFreqEcho ; HY Delay2 Free

Spectrum (Standard, Suite) - MeldaProductions MAnalyzer ; Voxengo AnSpec, SPAN ; Blue Cat FreqAnalyst ; TB Software mvMeter

Tuner (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite)No known free alternatives... Tuner is available in all versions of Live anyway so that's not such an issue.

Utility (Lite, Intro, Standard, Suite) - MeldaProductions MStereoExpander ; Auburn Sound Panagement Free ; Blue Cat Gain Suite ; brainworx bx_solo ; HOFA 4U Meter Fader & MS Pan ; Voxengo Stereo Touch ; DMG Audio TrackControl

Vinyl Distortion (Standard, Suite) - iZotope Vinyl

Vocoder (Standard, Suite) - Togu Audio Line TAL-Vocoder

 

MIDI EFFECTS

All of Live's MIDI Effects are available in all versions so no alternatives are needed!

 
 
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Tom aka ELPHNT