As I walked into TheMusic’Scool this morning, the entire squad was in a frenzy. The buzz seems to be about something you might have heard of before – Ableton. Specifically, the launch of their new DAW – Ableton Live 11.
Just to be clear, this is something of a big deal. Because it’s been three years since the industry giants announced a ‘full’ new version of their DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). But now, the 11 is here to break that streak.
The folks over at Ableton hint at a mix of refinements, additional devices & features as updates to the 11’s predecessors. So we’re expecting a greater experience for performance & recording alike.
UPDATE : Ableton 11.1
Probably the biggest update with Live 11.1 is that you now have native support for Apple computers running on the M1 Silicon chip.
There’s also a number of small improvements. An updated shifter device adds a new mode for real-time monophonic pitch shifting as well as delay, an envelope section, LFO and glide functionality.
Align delay and MIDI Shaper are two new Max for Live utilities that have been added. Artists can now compensate for lag when sending signals throughout their system with Align Delay, while the MIDI shaper generates modulation data that can bring more expression to MIDI performances.
Improvements to comping, updates to clip handling and few more features neatly wraps up the new update.
Live 11.1 is now in public beta. If you own a Live 11 license, you can test Live 11.1
Let’s talk about some of the new updates.
First off, we’re promised a perfect take with comping. Live organizes multiple passes of an audio or MIDI performance into individual takes. Combine the best moments from each performance to get that perfect take.
Now, we can also edit the contents of two or more tracks simultaneously – a great tool when working with multiple musicians. This feature also works with MIDI tracks.
Moving on, Live 11 now supports MPE controllers, allowing us to immediately add bends, slides and pressure for each individual note in a chord.
While we’re discussing devices, let’s talk about experimenting with the new ones on this new DAW. We get access to Hybrid Reverb, Spectral Resonator, Spectral Time & PitchLoop89, the last of which was created with the help of Robert Henke. These handy inclusions, giving us a range of sounds to play with.
Keeping with the theme, we’re also treated to the Inspired By Nature Collection – Six playful instruments and effects created in collaboration with Dillon Bastan that use natural and physical processes as their inspiration.
While these additions might excite you about your next studio session, let’s not forget that Ableton has been an integral part of several live performances. So it’s no surprise that we’re seeing the inclusion of some handy performance-friendly features.
The most exciting of which promises to be the tempo flow. Ableton claims that Live 11 listens to and adjusts its tempo based on incoming audio in real time, making it a dynamic part of the band instead of the tempo source that everyone has to follow. You might be keen to check this one out the next time you’re on stage.
We also get Macro Snapshots & Rack Improvements.
To wrap things up, we also get some new instruments created in collaboration with Spitfire Audio & some nifty curated collections.
Additionally Live devices have been improved, and the core library has been updated and expanded. Improvements have also been made in the areas of clip editing and CPU metering.
Our first look at Ableton Live 11, promises a well thought out update that should gain approval from Ableton enthusiasts. We expect to see a release date in early 2021, with the Live Suit giving you access to every new feature, while the Live Standard & Intro will have progressively fewer.
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