updated 06:05 am EDT, Thu June 2, 2005
Ableton debuts Live 5
Ableton today announced , an update to the company's music software solution that offers new features for creation, production and performance. Version 5 brings 'Clip Freeze' functionality to conserve CPU power and help transfer projects between computers; new plugin delay compensation; new arrangement/song-position markers with MIDI mapping and quantized recall; and support for Mackie Control. Other new features include MP3 support, automatic tempo-matching, frequency-domain warping, improved clip export, more effects, etc. It will ship in late July for $500; upgrades are free to all purchases of Live 4 after June 1, 2005, $50 for Live 4 purchases in May 2005, and $120 for others. Owners of previous versions can upgrade for $170. Beta testing for Live 5 will begin in June.
"Version 5 adds our users’ most sought-after features," says Ableton CEO Gerhard Behles, "along with an abundance of innovative new sound-shaping and organizational tools. Most importantly, Live 5 strengthens every aspect of Live while making the program more fun and easier to use."
Live 5 includes advanced and creative DAW features to satisfy any audio professional.
- Clip Freeze serves two purposes: freeing up CPU power and easing the transfer of projects between computers. Unique to Live 5, "frozen" clips retain their real-time launch capabilities, allowing for improvisation, performance or song arrangement. A project with frozen tracks can also be transferred from your main computer and run easily on one with less-than-optimal CPU specs.
- Plug-In Delay Compensation automatically delays tracks to compensate for latencies caused by effects and plug-ins, including those on the return tracks. In addition, both audio and MIDI tracks have a manual delay setting to compensate for human, acoustic, hardware and other real-world delays.
- Launchable Arrangement Locators offer arrangement/song-position markers with MIDI mapping and quantized recall. Using the mouse, computer keys or MIDI messages, you can drop locators on the fly during playback or recording. Each locator can be named and assigned to a computer key or MIDI message. Jumping to a locator is subject to real-time quantization, just like launching Session View clips and scenes. Previous/Next buttons allow you to jump from locator to locator.
- Mackie Control Support enables full implementation of compatible mixer surfaces such as Tascam’s FW-1082/1884, Yamaha’s 01X and Mackie Control, allowing for mouse-free program operation. Easily navigate arrangements and the Session View grid; launch clips, scenes and locators; and access instruments and effects.
Live 5 will also include a host of new remix-minded features:
- MP3 support makes your entire music library available for use in Live.
- Automatic Tempo-Matching tracks the tempo of imported songs and sets Warp Markers for you—instantly synchronizing your files to the project tempo.
- Complex Warp Mode is a frequency-domain warping method specifically designed to accommodate composite signals such as mixed-down music.
- New Clip Transport allows for performance-enhancing looping, editing and shuffling on the fly for any clip in Live. Click anywhere in a waveform to jump there—in sync and subject to real-time quantization.
Ableton will also include improved tools for saving, previewing and accessing projects:
- Live Clips. Clips can now be exported to disk for easy retrieval and reuse in any project. The exported Live Clip not only retains MIDI, audio, envelopes, warping and other clip settings but also the associated instrument, effects and plug-ins. In Live’s Browser, Live Clips are as easy to browse and preview as samples.
- Better Browsing. Live's built-in Browser now features a search field and standard file organization capabilities such as creating folders and dragging files into folders. In the Browser, Live Sets (.als files) can be "unfolded" to reveal their tracks and clips—which can then be selectively previewed and dragged in. It is also possible to drag a Live Set from the Browser into the currently open Set to merge the two.
- New Preset Management. Presets for Ableton instruments and effects are now managed through the Browser as well. You can organize presets in folders at will and search for presets across folders using the search field. A new “browse" button on every device temporarily links the Browser to the device, allowing for easy preset recall.
- Device Groups allow you to save powerful multi-effect creations, effectively adding all the capabilities of Ableton’s MIDI and audio effects to Simpler, Impulse and Operator presets.
Live 5 will also feature new effects, including Beat Repeat for subtle-to-extreme reorganization of beats and vocals; Phaser and Flanger, which are modeled after popular ‘70s guitar effects and augmented with a beat-synced LFO (with variable waveforms) and a unique envelope follower function; new LFO-driven manipulation of amplitude and panning; the ability to add dirt, punch or warmth to your sound with five different shapes and a set of powerful tone controls; and Arpeggiator, which all the classic arpeggiator applications and more—strum notes.