What is Ableton Live?
Live is fast, fluid and flexible software for music creation and performance. It comes with all kinds of effects, instruments, sounds and creative tools – everything you need to make any kind of music.
Create with Live
With Live's two modes of working, and a ton of creative tools and sounds with endless ways to combine them, the only limit on your music is your imagination.
Session View lets you sketch ideas fast: play, mix and match MIDI and audio loops of different lengths and tempos without ever stopping the music. The Arrangement View is where you organize music along a timeline and build sections of your song. Or record an arrangement directly from the Session View and improvise a finished composition.
Live has the tools to both capture your ideas and discover ones you never expected. Record hardware synths, software instruments, guitars, vocals or any audio from the real world. Combine the best of multiple audio or MIDI passes into your perfect take with Live’s new comping feature. Use Capture MIDI to record notes after you’ve played them, turning spontaneous moments and happy accidents into music. And generate surprising variations to your drum patterns and melodies with chance tools.
Live’s synthesizers offer a full spectrum of sound using wavetable, FM, and analog- and physical-modeling architectures. A pair of sampling devices bring built-in slicing and warping, as well as multisampling and extensive sound-shaping capabilities. MIDI effects let you manipulate notes, and a rich range of clean to characterful audio effects help you tidy up your mix or make a creative mess. Live 11’s new devices include two spectral processing effects, a reverb that combines algorithmic and convolution reverbs, and six effects inspired by natural and physical processes – entirely new ways to explore sound within Live.
Every edition of Live includes the Core Library, with vintage synths, analog drum machines, keys, multi-sampled drums, and much more. Curated Collections provide toolkits of clips, kits, and other sounds for exploring sonic scenes or themes; Live 11 adds Voice Box for experimental vocal manipulation, Mood Reel for modern narrative-setting, and Drone Lab for sustained tones and textures.
Perform with Live
On stage you can trigger, resequence and remix your music in real time. Use flexible MIDI mapping to set up almost any part of Live for hands-on tweaking with your controller. You can design your own unique combinations of instruments and effects, and use up to 16 Macro knobs to control any number of parameters. Find settings you like and save them as Macro snapshots to create builds, drops and instant variations during your performance.
Use Live to pull your show together. Control external hardware, integrate outboard effects or mixing desks. Improvise on your own, resample sounds, or process audio played by others, all in real-time. And now Live can be a dynamic part of the band — with tempo following it can listen to incoming audio adjust its tempo in real time. DJs can even use Live as a tempo-synced FX box.
Connect, extend and customize
Not only does Live come with everything you need, you can use it almost any way you want. Connect Live to any MIDI controller – even MPE-compatible hardware, which lets you add bends, slides and pressure to individual notes in a chord, make subtle expression variations and create evolving sonic textures with your hands.
Extend your setup using Ableton Link, technology built into Live that keeps multiple devices in perfect time over a network connection. It makes it easy to play alongside other music applications like Reason, Serato and an ever-growing number of iOS apps and Link-integrated hardware.
Even more imaginative ways to connect and customize are made possible through Max for Live, which brings the Max programming environment directly inside of Live. It lets you customize many of Live’s devices, build your own from scratch, and even hack how Live works. You can connect Live to lights, cameras, sensors, surround-sound setups and more. And explore a world of ready-made instruments, effects and tools produced by the Max for Live community.
For more information, please visit the manufacturer's website.
Technical feature spec/compatibility
- Nondestructive editing with unlimited undo
- Multitrack recording up to 32-bit/192 kHz
- Automatic plug-in delay compensation
- Ableton Link integration
- MPE support
- MIDI remote control instant mapping
- MIDI output to hardware synths
- MIDI Clock/sync
- Generate or receive Pitch, Control, Clock and Trigger CV
- Multicore/multiprocessor support
- WAV, AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC file support
- Unlimited Audio and MIDI tracks
- Unlimited Scenes
- 12 Send and return tracks
- 256 Audio inputs, 256 outputs
- Rex file support
- POW-r dithering
- Groove Pool and extract groove
- Capture MIDI
Live 11 Suite key features:
- Multitrack Audio recording and MIDI sequencing of software and hardware instruments
- Unique Session View for nonlinear composition, flexible performance and improvisation
- Real-time warping of audio: automatically sync music and loops, regardless of tempo
- MIDI-mappable controls for hands-on creation onstage or in the studio – plus automatic mapping for popular hardware controllers
- Comping: select and combine the best of multiple passes of an audio or MIDI performance.
- Linked-track editing: link two or more tracks to edit their content simultaneously.
- Group tracks: use multiple levels of groups to mix with greater flexibility and manage detailed arrangements more easily.
- Audio-to-MIDI conversion tools: extract harmony, melody or drums from an audio sample and convert it into MIDI.
- Tempo following: Live adjusts its tempo in real time based on an incoming audio signal
- Note chance and velocity chance: set the probability that a MIDI note or drum hit will occur and define ranges for velocity probability to generate pattern variations and humanize dynamics.
- Combine multiple instruments and effects into a single device with Instrument Racks
- Combine MIDI effects into a single device with MIDI Effect Racks
- Comprehensive selection of built-in audio effects for creative sound design, mixing or mastering
- Advanced sampling and slicing tools
- VST2, VST3 and Audio Unit support
- MIDI Polyphonic Expression: allows MPE-capable devices to control multiple parameters of every note in real time for more expressive instrumental performances.
- Groove engine to apply swing to audio or MIDI, or extract rhythmic feel from other audio files
- Import video as a clip and save modified video and audio
- Time signature changes
- Built-in Max for Live software with more instruments, audio and MIDI effects, and the ability to customize Live
Instruments, effects and sounds:
- 17 instruments: Wavetable, Operator, Analog, Sampler, Simpler, Electric,Tension, Collision, Bass, Poli, Drum Rack, Drum Synths, Impulse, CV Instrument and CV Triggers, Instrument Racks and the External Instrument device
- 59 audio- and 15 MIDI effects, including Hybrid Reverb, Spectral Time and Spectral Resonator
- 5000+ sounds
- 70+GB of loops and samples
New in Live 11
- Comping: combine the best of multiple passes of an audio or MIDI performance into your perfect take. Or approach sound design in a new way by splicing together random samples from your library.
- MPE compatibility: get your hands on an MPE controller and add bends, slides and pressure for each individual note in a chord, make subtle expression variations, morph between chords, and create evolving sonic textures.
- New devices: stretch, shift and blur signals with Spectral Resonator and Spectral Time. Put sounds in any real or unreal space with the Hybrid Reverb. Generate ideas with Inspired by Nature – six devices based on natural and physical processes – or add jittery glitches, delayed digital shimmers and more with Pitch Loop89.
- Features for the stage: with tempo following, Live adjusts its tempo in real time based on incoming audio, making it a dynamic part of your band. Create builds, drops and instant variations to sounds during a performance using Macro Snapshots. Racks now offer between 1 and 16 Macros, and you can randomize their states with the push of a button.
- Tools to add chance: note chance and velocity chance features let you define probability of notes and velocity values, generating surprising variations to your patterns, or humanized variation in their dynamics.
- New sound packs: Voice Box for experimental vocal manipulation, Mood Reel for modern narrative-setting, and Drone Lab for sustained tones and textures. Plus the three new Upright Piano, String- and Brass Quartet Packs – created in collaboration with Spitfire Audio – capture popular orchestral instrument combinations in intimate, expressive detail.
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