The latest iteration of Ableton‘s creative and performance DAW has been announced. Live 11 introduces a host of highly requested features, including track comping, MPE support, enhanced clip editing, new devices, an emphasis on chance, and much more. Check out our video walkthrough above to see the update in action.
Comping in Live 11
Ableton Live has often been praised for its audio editing capabilities, with excellent warping algorithms and an intuitive interface. But, historically, it’s not been known for its tracking abilities. To remedy that, comping has been implemented in Live 11 to allow producers and engineers to stitch together the best takes of a performance. This means that you can easily pick the best sections from multiple passes of audio or MIDI data into one consolidated file, making tedious splicing and track duplicating a thing of the past.
With Linked-track Editing, you can edit and comp multiple tracks and their content simultaneously for an even more fluid experience. This suddenly makes multi-track recording as straightforward as in other DAWs. This isn’t just a utility tool, though – comping can also be tinkered with to explore new realms of sound design.
MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) gets support in Live 11, letting users add bends, slides and pressure to subtly modulate individual notes. The Expression View grants editing of the pitch, slide and pressure envelopes to further refine the nuances of a performance. Wavetable, Sampler and Arpeggiator are all capable of MPE support, as are compatible third-party plug-ins.
Live 11 boasts five new devices, including Hybrid Reverb, Spectral Resonator, Spectral Time, Inspired by Nature and PitchLoop89.
Hybrid Reverb brings together algorithmic and convolution reverbs for a super time-based effect. The two engines can be run in series, in parallel or individually, with an on-board EQ, plus controls for freeze and tempo-synced pre-delay. The two new spectral devices are a sound designer’s dream; Spectral Resonator allows you to turn audio tracks into MIDI-triggered soundscapes while Spectral Time uses spectral processing for unusual delays.
Developer and sound artist, Dillon Bastan, chipped in for the Inspired by Nature device, which comprises six playful instruments and effects with nature and physicals as the inspiration. PitchLoop89 was made in collaboration with audiovisual artist Robert Henke, and creates glitches and delayed digital effects.
Six new sound collections are available in Live 11, too, including Voice Box, Mood Reel and Drone Lab. British sampling expert Spitfire Audio teamed up with Ableton to create the Upright Piano, Brass Quartet and String Quartet collections, so expect some high-quality instruments here.
Ableton wants you to take a chance on Live 11 with Note Chance and Velocity Chance. The two tools allow you to set the probability that notes and drum hits will occur and at what velocity they might occur. This can add an element of randomness and humanisation to your parts and make for more dynamic patterns.
A variety of other additions and updates come to Ableton’s revered DAW, including improved CPU metering; improved Clip Detail View; an updated Core Library; updated Packs; updated Devices; and improvements to the MIDI editor.
Interestingly, Push 2 fails to get a mention in Ableton’s update. However, MusicTech expects that the brand’s flagship instrument will receive future firmware updates to accompany Live 11’s new features.
When does Live 11 come out?
Unfortunately, this is a bit of a tease; Ableton Live 11 isn’t available until early 2021. However, a discount offer is running now until the release of Live 11, giving customers 20% off all Live 10 editions which will automatically ensure a free upgrade to its corresponding Live 11 edition upon release. This is a great opportunity for those looking to get familiar with Ableton Live at a more affordable price.
Ableton Live 11 Intro will cost €79/$99, Live 11 Standard will cost €349/$449 and Live 11 Suite will cost €599/$749. Existing Ableton Live owners should log into their accounts to check upgrade prices.
To find out more about Ableton Live 11, head to ableton.com
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