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NAMM 2009: Ableton Live 8

Ableton announce new products galore!
Ableton have announced the next installment of Live, their Audio + MIDI Sequencer. Live 8 features a groove engine that can extract MIDI grooves from an audio file, and even quantize audio in real time, which sounds impressive. There are also new warping algorithms, which will slice audio at hit points by analysing the transients in the material. A new looping module is also included in the latest version of Live, giving the user the benefits of a hardware looper within the Live interface.

A swathe of new plug-in effects come with Live 8 too. A vocoder; a multiband dynamics-processor; an overdrive; a limiter and Frequency Shifter all add to the Live user's sonic palette.
Ableton have also introduced a number of what they call 'workflow enhancements', which give the user the ability to crossfade in real time in the Arrangement window.
The company have also updated Ableton Suite, which comprises Live and the full range of plug-in instruments and effects. New to Suite is Collision (below), a physical-modelled percussion instrument, and Corpus, which is the resonator module from Collision in separate plug-in form. There's also a selection of Latin Percussion instruments, complete with sampled clips and grooves, for "authentic" Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and African percussion.
Operator, Ableton's existing synthesizer that comes with Suite, has seen an update too. There are new types of filter, more modulation options, and a new facility that lets you draw your own waveforms for use as oscillator sources.
You'd have thought that all these announcements would be enough for one trade show, but there's more: Ableton are launching new 'initiatives' that they will develop in 2009. One, called Max For Live, is a product co-developed by Cylcling ’74 that "puts the power of Max/MSP inside Live". This gives users the tools to build new instruments and effects, or, as Ableton call them, "radical new music machines".
Another initiative, Share Live, is an on-line collaboration tool built into Live that lets users contribute to and edit sets and projects. All they need is Live 8 and a web connection.
Pricing for Live 8 and Suite 8 are as follows: Download-only versions cost $449 and $699 respectively, while the full boxed versions cost $549 and $849 respectively.

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