Ableton Live is about making music; for composition, songwriting, recording, production, remixing and live performance. Live's nonlinear, intuitive flow, alongside powerful real-time editing and flexible performance options, make it a unique studio tool and a favorite with live performers. If you'd rather be "making music" than just "using music software," Ableton Live is for you. Live 8, the latest version, includes a wealth of new techniques and improvements with a new groove engine, revamped warping, live looping, new effects, crossfades in the Arrangement View and a reworked MIDI editor.
One of the ways Ableton Live software is an advantage to you, especially in the live setting, is its two main views which allow you to do all your work within a single application. The Session View is essentially a musical scratch pad.
You can work out new ideas and improvise in a free and easy production environment. Each cell in the Session View grid can hold a recording, MIDI file, or any other musical idea, whether they're recorded on the spot or dragged in from the browser. Then you can play your musical ideas in any order or any time you wish. The Arrangement View takes a more traditional, timeline-based approach to multitrack recording, MIDI sequencing, and other music production tasks. It will record all your actions as you improvise in the Session View, allowing you to edit them whenever you like. Either view you use is simple and basic enough to make your tasks simple and efficient, which is especially useful during a live performance. This makes it a perfect creative tool for studios, beat creators, DJs, sound designers, and anyone who wants to have fun producing music.Version 8 enhances the Ableton vision of creative, real-time digital music with a wealth of improved techniques, effects, and workflow improvements: New groove engine Groove patterns can add life and swing to straight sequences. Live 8's groove engine lets you apply groove patterns in real time, extract grooves from audio or MIDI sources, and quantize audio and MIDI in real time.
Ableton Live also comes with a groove library. New warping engine Ableton Live 8 introduces a more direct way of working with warping and some important Warp Mode enhancements. You can now warp audio events by adjusting the events themselves on the timeline. Beats Mode has been updated, and there's a Complex Warp Mode. Plus, you can slice audio files to MIDI tracks based on transients.Looper A much-requested feature, the Ableton Looper effect gives you classic sound-on-sound looping without the limitations of a hardware devices.
Live is the only music production software with the "Session View": a unique grid for recording and playing musical ideas and phrases. The Session View is non-linear, so you can record and play back your ideas in any order you want. When you're working on a new track, this is a smart, flexible way to write and record. If you're performing music live, it gives you complete flexibility and freedom to improvise.
Live also has a second view: the "Arrangement View," a complete music production environment. This is the linear counterpart to the Session View and is well-suited to "traditional" recording, arranging and mixing. These two views interact with one another, each with its own strengths and intricacies. Both views are based on the single principle of creative, intuitive music-making.
Uninterrupted Creative Flow
Drag and Drop Effects and Instruments
Random Access Loop Recording
Beats Made Easy
Live's unique Drum Rack combines drag-and-drop simplicity in a familiar pad-style interface. Each of the 128 drum pads can have its own instrument or sample plus effects. Slice beats, loops or REX files to MIDI for additional control options and use the new groove feature (which includes grooves from the legendary MPC and SP1200 machines) to add swing to your beats.
Drag. Drop. Simple.
Drum Racks are seamlessly integrated with Live's workflow. Drag any sample, virtual instrument or anything that makes sound onto a pad. It'll be automatically mapped to MIDI notes, and your pad controller will always match—ready to play. This makes it easy to swap drum presets and customize kits. For instance, replace a sampled kick drum with a synthesized kick from Operator or your favorite sampled break—simply drag and drop.
Each of the 128 pads has its own device chain, including instruments and effects. For deeper tweaking of each drum, double-click its pad to reveal its device chain. Drop effects behind the Drum Rack to process the whole kit or onto the pads to process individual drums. In the Session View mixer, unfold the drum track to reveal individual channels for each drum, for easy mixing.
Slice and Dice
Ableton Live's slicing feature fills a Drum Rack with the individual hits from REX files or your audio loops. The original groove is represented as a MIDI clip with individual notes for each slice, making it easy to replace, reshuffle or re-record the events and process them individually.
Need drums? Ableton Session Drums is an add-on collection of acoustic drums that give you full mix control of the close mics for each drum as well as the overheads and room mics. Drum Machines is a choice selection of classic drum machines, meticulously sampled to faithfully reproduce the original sounds. Session Drums and Drum Machines include MIDI grooves in various styles and are programmed as Drum Racks so you can customize, tweak and abuse them as much as you like.
Creative Expression for DJs
Mix and match tracks and loops automatically, remix on the fly, capture audio loops in real time from decks and other external sources, incorporate your own productions into the mix, and much more. Whether it's the centerpiece of the DJ rig or just a creative sidearm, Live gives DJs entirely new worlds of creative expression.
Powerful Real-Time Remix Features
Live's Elastic Audio engine allows for real-time remixing and endless experimentation. Mix as many tracks or track elements as you want, Live keeps everything in sync all the time. Create remixes on the fly by reworking song structures and mashing up beats and a cappellas from different tracks. Play the loops and tracks you produce in your sets.
Find your own sound with Live's uniquely creative effects. Live's effects are easy to use, yet allow you to dig deep and experiment. Create your own custom effects and assign the key effects parameters to a simplified, performance-friendly interface for quick tweaking. Or choose from Live's studio-proven palette of EQs, filters, delays and more. Full VST and AU plug-in support opens up even more possibilities.
From DJing to Production
Take your DJ skills to the production realm with Live's powerful production tools and inspiring workflow. Live makes it easy to create your own loops, customized remixes, rearranged songs and unbelievable mash-ups, and incorporate them into your DJ sets. Before you know it you will be producing completely original tracks within Live.
At Home in the Booth
Live integrates easily into existing DJ setups and brings new creative possibilities along. Simply plug your audio interface into your DJ mixer and add Live to the mix. Mixing from decks to Live and back is as simple as mixing with two decks. Live also acts as a powerful effects box, sampler and, of course, recording device for capturing and mastering your mixes.
Looping with Live
Not only for guitarists, the Ableton Looper gives you classic sound-on-sound looping without the limitations of a hardware device. Looper is set up for remote operation, so you can record, overdub, undo and more without touching the computer.
Launchpad is a dedicated controller for Ableton Live, co-developed by Novation and Ableton. Perfect for DJing, performing live or working in the studio, Launchpad features a multi-color, 64-button grid, control modes for the Session View and Live's mixer, two fully-programmable User Modes and dedicated scene-launch/function buttons. Despite the big grid, Launchpad is neat, compact and portable: 239 x 239 mm with a slim 24 mm profile and weighing only 717 g.
Launchpad uses four different modes:
Launchpad features a multi-color, 64-button grid for launching clips plus eight dedicated scene-launch buttons. The buttons are lit by LEDs displaying clip status so you can see at a glance what's loaded (orange), what's playing (green), and what's being recorded (red).
Despite the big grid, Launchpad is compact and portable: it'll fit in your bag for gigs and won't hog your desk space in the studio. It's slim, sturdy, weighs less than a hardback book and it's USB powered, so there's no power adapter to drag around.
4 modes for flexibility
It's not just about launching clips: as well as the Session Mode, Launchpad offers Mixer Mode—a unique way to control Ableton Live's mixer—and two fully-customizable User Modes.
Innovative mixer control
In Mixer Mode, the rows and columns of the grid become virtual faders, sliders and knobs controlling track volume, pan, sends, mute, solo, Clip Stop Buttons and record arm, depending on the function selected. Use the scene launch/mixer function buttons to select the function you want to control.
The two fully-customizable User Modes transform the grid into a drum pad controller, DJ effect controller or anything else you can think of. The default state for User Mode 1 provides drum pad control for Live's Drum Racks—great for sketching out beats. Using Live's simple MIDI mapping, it's easy to create custom control environments, whatever devices you're using and however your Live Sets are configured.
Made for Max for Live
The User Modes make Launchpad the ideal hardware counterpart for Max for Live. Launchpad is flexible enough to deal with even the most detailed Max for Live devices and can handle generic parameters and controls with ease. Eleven LED states provide visual feedback that's precise enough for complex devices. Launchpad users will soon be able to download a Max for Live step sequencer patch from Novation and more Max for Live patches are planned for the future.
Communication goes both ways
Live and Launchpad are in a constant, two-way, hardware-software dialog. The back-lit grid buttons show what's happening in Live and Live, in turn, shows which section of the Session View is currently under Launchpad control: a red border around the current clip group let's you see where you are with a just a cursory glance at your screen.
Navigating the Session View
Obviously, you're not limited to controlling only 64 clips. The arrow buttons move the grid up, down, left and right one track or scene at a time. Hold down the 'Session' button in Session Mode, and you can use the arrow keys to jump eight tracks or rows at a time—very useful for navigating around large, complex Live Sets.imageMore buttons? More LaunchpadsWant more buttons? Launchpads are designed to work together, with up to six units at once. That's more than 400 assignable buttons! Launchpads running on the same system can run in different modes, so you can control the Session View, mixer and custom setups all at once, with one Launchpad for each.
Akai Professional APC40
The APC40 (Ableton Performance Controller) is a dedicated controller for Ableton Live, designed by the same engineering team responsible for Akai's iconic MPC range of products. This is a dream come true for the Ableton Live community and an exciting first step into the world of Ableton Live for new users.
The APC40 features high quality controls for real-time mixing, remixing and production. 109 buttons, 16 endless encoders with LED rings, nine 45mm faders and a replaceable crossfader give musicians and producers complete control of Live's Session View, effect devices and virtual instruments.Whether you're in the studio or on stage, DJing, making beats, running backing tracks, firing MIDI loops or triggering sound effects, you can kiss your mouse goodbye.The APC40 was co-designed by Ableton and Akai Professional.
Before you make the final decision you should also
compare Ableton Live with other recording studio software.
Ableton Live is the "Large" version. It provides a comprehensive environment for writing, producing and performing music plus a basic sound set.
Start making music: Get started quickly with intuitive composition tools, beats, samples, instruments and interactive lessons.
Enhance your studio setup: Inject your sequencer with Ableton Live power via ReWire. Plus full AU and VST support, and up to 32-bit/192-kHz quality.
Play live on stage: Perform, improvise and remix live: Intro plays like an instrument and it's completely stable.
DJs, get creative: Enter the world of digital DJing or power-up your current DJ set with live remixing, effects and recording.
Ableton Live 8 Power! is the all-inclusive guide to making music with Ableton?s revolutionary live performance and studio software, Live 8. Written for all Live users, from digital audio beginners to seasoned pros, this book explores each fundamental feature in Live. The book provides power-user tips and insider tricks for integrating Ableton Live into your home or professional studio. But Live?s in-studio capabilities are just the beginning. Every last feature, button, fader, instrument, and effect in Live 8 was also designed with the live performer in mind. Ableton Live 8 Power! is a book written for musicians by a musician who uses and teaches the software on a daily basis. Whether you use Live for producing, composing, DJing, or film and television, Ableton Live 8 Power! will help you put the fun back into making music with computers, while taking your music to the next level.
In this brand new title for Ableton Live 8 and Suite 8 users, author Keith Robinson details exactly what Abelton Live can deliver. The book is engineered to follow Live's non-linear music environment - the book look and feels like the program! Its unique format utilizes the terms and creative features of Live - tabs, keys, pointers, and labels.
Packed with professional testimonials, concepts, definitions, hundreds of tips, tricks and hidden features, Ableton Live 8 and Suite 8 covers the software's nuts and bolts and creative technique to create, produce, perform and make music on the fly.