Hold onto your hi-hats, producer friends: Ableton has announced the release of their latest flagship software, Ableton Live 11, slated for release in early 2020. And from what we’ve seen thus far, it’s a massive update that adds some long-awaited features, as well as offers more tools for creative expression.
Let’s take a look at some of the new updates.
On Live 11, you can now organize multiple passes of a MIDI or audio performance into individual takes (it’s about time!). Pick and choose your preferred pieces of each and combine them to hit that sweet spot you want, or splice together sounds at your heart’s pleasure with the new comping feature.
With this also comes linked-track editing, which allows you to connect two or more tracks to simultaneously edit their content – available for both MIDI and audio tracks. This is a huge plus for artists using multi-tracked instruments or playing with multiple artists.
MPE – MIDI Polyphonic Expression
MPE, or MIDI Polyphonic Expression, is a Live 11 feature that allows you to use any MPE-capable device to control multiple parameters of each note – in real time. This opens the door to a variety of creative expressions at your fingertips – subtle expression variations, morphs between chords, bends, slides, and more – that can be layered into your instruments.
Worth noting that of Ableton’s native devices, Wavetable, Arpeggiator, and Sampler are the three updated to support MPE. Third-party plug-ins are also usable.
A swath of new devices come with the release of Live 11, including:
- Hybrid Reverb
- Inspired by Nature
- Spectral Time
- Spectral Resonator
These devices are also now able to be grouped into folders, which is an organizer’s dream. More details on the devices here:
Ableton teamed up with Spitfire Audio to release three new Instrument Packs to Live 11 – you can listen to them all here:
- Upright Piano
- Brass Quartet
- String Quartet
For the live artist, a number of new features have been added to Ableton Live in the new update:
- Tempo Following – Live will listen to and adjust the tempo based on incoming audio, all in real time
- Macro Snapshots – allowing you to save your Macros’ settings for later, which provides a great route for building variations of your sounds while performing
- Rack improvements – customize your rack the way you want it, with any amount between 1 and 16 Macros. You can even randomize the state of your Macros, as well as map this control to MIDI.
Adding a bit of chance
Ableton refers to it as “being unpredictable” – tools that make space for more variety and variation that come with Live 11:
- Note chance – with Note Chance, you can set the probability that a note or drum hit will happen; from there, Live generates variations to your pattens that will shift over time.
- Velocity chance – similar to note chance, but with velocity; define the range you’d like, and Ableton will create subtle variations in your pattern dynamics.
- Improved Follow Actions – You can now link Follow Ations to the clip length for a faster workflow.
Pricing & timing
As for timing: though a specific date has not been slated yet, keep your eyes peeled for early next year.
The pricing for current Ableton users is also currently a bit vague. You’ll need to log into your Ableton account to see what the upgrade cost is, since it seems to vary per user. (ps: we’re curious to know – what price are you seeing? Let us know in the comments.)
Ableton is currently running a sale up until the release of 11, where all Live 10 editions are 20% off. We know you may be wanting to hold off for 11, but if you buy a 10 during this run, you’ll get a free upgrade to its Live 11 correspondent once it’s released. I mean – why wait?
At a standalone cost, Ableton Live 11 will be $99 USD for Live Intro, $449 for Live Standard, and $749 for Live Suite. For more details, head to Ableton here.