Ableton have announced the upcoming launch of a major update to their popular DAW software. Live 12 introduces a set of new features designed to spark musical creativity, including new MIDI tools that help to generate unexpected ideas, new devices and sounds, and a range of improvements that allow users to work more intuitively.
The latest version of Live brings with it MIDI Transformations and Generators, a pair of new tools which make it possible to create simple or complex variations of MIDI clips. They will make it possible to add ornaments and articulations, draw in acceleration and deceleration curves, connect successive notes and chords, simulate guitar strums or choose from a set of generative algorithms to create new melodies, rhythms and chords that follow a set of user-defined constraints.
Improvements have been made to the MIDI Editor, allowing users to rearrange the order of a selection of notes by pitch, velocity or duration, as well as stretch, split, chop or join notes in new ways, and shape their velocity more easily. The DAW’s keys and scales functions have been upgraded, too: choosing a key in the Control Bar will now reveal its notes in any clips created, serving as a guide for editing clips or creating new musical ideas. It is also possible to sync the scale of MIDI devices and instruments to the clip being played.
New tuning systems are also present, with tunings outside of the 12-tone equal temperament system now available for Live’s devices and any MPE-capable plug-ins.
Devices & Sounds
Live 12 introduces some new devices and sounds, as well as making improvements to the existing line-up.
- Meld: a bi-timbral, MPE-capable sound design instrument that generates a wide array of textural and experimental sounds with a pair of intuitive macro oscillators
- Roar: a new saturation effect capable of producing everything from subtle and precise mastering-grade warmth to wild and unpredictable sound degradation. Roar boasts three saturation stages that can be used in series, parallel, mid-side and multi-band configurations – and also comes equipped with an extensive modulation matrix
- Granulator III: The latest iteration of Robert Henke’s granular instrument now has MPE capability, offering expressive control over parameters such as note bend, vibrato and glissando, and can now capture audio in real time and start manipulating it immediately
- Lost and Found: a new pack which provides a collection of sounds created using unusual materials, along with unique foley recordings that promise to add character and authenticity to productions
- Performance Pack: a set of innovative devices aimed at live performances that allow users to capture and play back snapshots of their set, control multiple parameters with layered macros and curves, set up looping in the Arrangement View and more
Along with the major features, the update also implements a wide range of enhancements that aim to improve user experience. The overall appearance has adopted a more minimal look, removing unnecessary visual complexities with the aim of allowing users to keep their focus on creating music, whilst new themes offer some extra customisation options. Stacked views make it possible to view devices and the Clip Editor, or automation and device parameters at the same time, reducing the need to switch between views, and the Mixer can now be used in the Arrangement View rather than just the Session View.
New tagging and search filter parameters make it easier to find sounds in the Browser, and in addition to the DAW’s built-in tags, users are now able to create their own custom categories in the sidebar for easy access to their favourite sounds and devices.
Ableton have also implemented new accessibility and navigation features, improving the experience for those using assistive technologies such as screen readers, and new keyboard shortcuts offer a quick and easy way to navigate almost every part of the software.
Pricing & Availability
Ableton Live 12 will be available in early 2024, with pricing as follows:
- Live Intro: $99€79
- Live Standard: $439€279
- Live Suite: $749€599
Ableton are running a discount offer until the release, with all Live 11 editions available to new customers at a 20% discount, with a free upgrade to the corresponding 12 version upon its release. Existing owners will be able to access upgrade pricing offers via their online accounts.
Push Standalone Offer
Until 30 November 2023, Ableton are also offering a 20% discount on Push 3 Standalone devices. You can find more information on the offer here.