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    Ableton Live 11: The largest upgrades explained

    Ableton announced Live 11 in mid November and now it’s finally here. The most recent version of its popular DAW has gone out of beta and open to all incredibly.

    The set of new features in Live 11 is long and impressive: Comping; linked track editing; MPE support; expression editing; live tempo following; macro improvements; updated soundpacks and devices; five new devices, including a hybrid reverb and new pitch shifting plugin; chance tools; and also a host of improvements to Max for Live.

    That’s along with plenty of little interface tweaks and updates to Push support.

    I am utilizing the beta because it was announced back November even though I haven’t put every new feature through its paces, I could say unequivocally that Live 11 is really a solid upgrade from 10 and really worth your time and effort. Just understand that Live 11 is really a little more resource intensive that Live 10. And Live 10 was a whole many more resource intensive than Live 9. So if your machine was struggling following the last big update already, you might want to wait and soon you can upgrade your hardware too. Here is a quick summary of what’s new and the standout features (if you ask me).


    Ableton Live 11

    Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

    Lets start with the marquee feature – MPE support arguably. Ableton Live is among the last major DAWs to include support for MIDI polyphonic expression. Bitwig has it, Logic has it, garage band has it even. Which means instruments that react to MPE like Arturia’s Pigments and sonicLAB’s Fundamental could be that a lot more expressive when paired with the proper controller, just like the Sensel Morph. I mention those two specifically because they are my go-to testbeds for exploring MPE. (In addition they couldn’t become more not the same as a sonic standpoint.)

    Ableton was smart enough to update some of its stock instruments to aid MPE too, like Sampler and Wavetable. You will find presets under “MPE Sounds” in the browser in order to quickly dabble and explore. Ableton included MPE Control and Expression Control devices also, which you’ll want to find under MIDI Effects. These enable you to determine how exactly you need various MPE functions to be utilized and map them efficiently. MPE Control also enables you to benefit from a few of the tools accessible to you on an MPE controller, even though the instrument you’re using doesn’t support it. So, for instance, you could turn up Ableton’s Analog, tick a few boxes in MPE Control and slide your fingers around to trigger pitch bends and move the mod wheel. To be clear, you can do that always, but it’s only a lot simpler to get create now.

    This may sound minor, but I believe among the barriers to adoption of MPE controllers gets them to play nice with non-MPE software. I don’t desire to spend one hour building custom mapping for each virtual instrument. I wish to connect my Morph or Roli and also have it are expected just. It is a big part of that direction. Since especially, if you ask me, your settings will require plenty of fine tuning to help make the the majority of MPE which really simplifies the procedure.

    It is possible to still benefit from a lot of MPE’s features even though you don’t possess a compatible controller through the use of Ableton’s new expression editing tools. These enable you to dive in and tweak pitch bends manually, aftertouch and modulation on a per-note basis, as if you would any automation lane just. It’s intuitive and simple, and may even convince some more visitors to embrace MPE once they’ve gotten a taste of what it provides.


    Ableton Live 11


    Another headlining feature, at the very least for me personally, is comping. This simply lets you record multiple takes of exactly the same portion of a song without stopping and combine the very best parts easily. (I could already hear a lot of purists screaming “that’s cheating”, but they’re wrong.) Now, I’m fully ready to admit my technical skills as a musician are mediocre at best and I could be considered a bit sloppy, so just having the ability to record eight consumes a row without stopping is huge.

    Plus, this can be a feature that lots of other DAWs experienced for quite sometime, so Ableton is playing some catch up here actually. And you may get creative with comping to generate harsh glitchy juxtapositions or even to just pullout the very best elements of a jam.

    Comping works together with both audio and too MIDI, so whether you’re attempting to nail a vocal, a guitar solo or perhaps a complicated chord progression with a VST there’s something to be studied advantage of. And it’s really incredibly simple to use. Basically each take is really a “clip” (which will seem sensible to existing Ableton users) and they are grouped as take lanes beneath the main track in arrangement view. Afterward you simply drag markers back also to indicate where you intend to switch in the middle of your takes forth. And then, if you’d like, it is possible to bring those clipped bits to session view in order to trigger them separately to generate new variations and combinations.

    Linked track editing

    That is straightforward pretty, nonetheless it makes finetuning multi-tracked parts a piece of cake. It is possible to link a lot of tracks and together, anything you do to 1, is put on the others aswell automatically. This is ideal for cutting up and automating double-tracked rhythm guitar parts, or if you a melody being played on a piano and a synth at the same time, you sync them up once just, start editing then.

    This makes Ableton far more flexible if you are deploying it to edit say a podcast, or dealing with audio and video simultaneously. Once you have got everything synced up properly, you merely link the tracks in order that any changes you make don’t cause the tracks to become misaligned.

    And again, this ongoing works together with MIDI in addition to audio. In fact, it is possible to link MIDI and audio edit and tracks them both simultaneously. I’ll sometimes utilize this in an effort to grab new musical ideas from the long jam. I’ll record the MIDI and audio simultaneously, return back and edit them as a linked track then. The audio track gives me a preview of what the brand new part shall appear to be, and when I wish to record the pieced together melody minus the harsh cuts freshly, The MIDI is had by me all set.

    Inspired naturally

    Ableton Live 11

    Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

    There is a amount of new sounds and devices in Live 11, but few have captured my attention just like the Inspired naturally pack quite. These effects and instruments use physical and natural models to find out sounds, sequencing and modulation. Probably the most straightforward of the is Bouncy Notes which drops a virtual ball once you play an email so when it bounces, that note repeats. Nevertheless, you can draw walls and obstacles in the “sequencer” (when you can call it that) that deflect the balls, or alter things such as the launch speed and angle to generate generative patterns. Similarly Vector Delay runs on the gravitational model and orbiting spheres to look for the parameters of a multitap delay.

    Ableton Live 11

    Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

    Then there’s Emit, another bouncing ball / moving particle style device, but that one is really a granular synthesizer and looper. It has so many modulation and controls options, that it could do from glitchy percussion loops, to atonal drones, to plucked melodies pretty, but all with a distinctive and unpredictable bent slightly. The 10,000-foot view is: you have particle emitters that fire either automatically as your track plays, or when set off by MIDI. The particles careen through the spectrogram of one’s sample then. Honestly it’s probably deep enough to obtain its 1,000 word article. Take note the Emit is fairly resource intensive just. So, I recommend you record your outcomes as audio or at the very least freeze the track once you’re done.

    Vector FM and Vector Grain function the same as Vector Delay almost, except they depend on FM and granular synthesis respectively. Then there’s Tree Tone which really is a strange type of generative resonator instrument that’s built for drones and gentle random melodies.

    Probability and randomization

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