The significant update to Ableton Live promises new features like comping and MIDI Polyphonic Expression, new devices, performance enhancements, expanded probability functionality, and new sounds.

Ableton has announced a major update to Live, bringing the DAW up to number 11. This includes a number of new features, devices, and improvements.

The biggest feature in Live 11 is likely comping. With comping, you will now be able to record different takes of audio or MIDI and compile (or ‘comp’) the best takes into one, new track. Along with comping, Live 11 will also have linked-track editing, allowing users to edit the content simultaneously on two or more tracks.

Another big change to Live 11 is MIDI Polyphonic Expression, which allows the editing of bends, slides and pressure for each individual note in a chord. This can be done either by an MPE-equipped controller or by editing the notes individually. Wavetable, Sampler and Arpeggiator will support MPE. Live 11 will also be able to host MPE-compatible third-party plugins.

Live 11 will include a clutch of new devices. They include Hybrid Reverb, which combines convolution and algorithmic reverbs into one device. The two reverb sections can be run individually, in serial, or in parallel. Live 11 also includes two spectral devices, Spectral Resonator and Spectral Time. Spectral Resonator converts the spectrum of an incoming audio signal into partials, then changes the result by a frequency or a note in unique ways. There’s a MIDI sidechain input to allow users to process material in key and play the device like an instrument. The Spectral Delay similarly converts incoming signal into partials and then feeds them into a delay. The new native plugins are rounded out by Inspired By Nature, six devices that use nature as an inspiration, and PitchLoop89 for glitch effects.

The performative side of Live 11 is being addressed with a number of new features as well. Live Tempo Following will alter the tempo of a project in real-time based on an incoming signal and Macro Snapshots means users can save macro states for quick recall. Macros have also been expanded, with up to 16 macros now possible. There is also a new random button.

Random functions, in general, have been expanded in Live 11. Note chance adds probability to whether a note or drum sound will occur, while velocity chance defines ranges for velocity probability to add variations to the dynamics of patterns. Follow Actions have also been spruced up and can now be linked to clip length, can jump to specific clips, and be enabled and disabled globally. Additionally, Scene Follow Actions now make evolving arrangements possible.

Live 11 also includes new six new sound packs that run the gamut from voice, layered instruments and drones to upright piano and string and brass quartets, the latter three made in collaboration with Spitfire Audio.

The DAW will also see a number of changes and improvements, including refined clip editing, improved CPU metering, keys and scales for constraining visible notes to only those in a predetermined scale, improved clip detail view, updated devices (including Redux, Phaser-Flanger and Chorus-Ensemble), updated core library, and updated packs.

Ableton Live 11 is set for an early 2021 release and will be priced at €79/$99 for Live Intro, €349/$449 for Live Standard and €599/$749 for Live Suite. Existing Ableton Live owners can check their accounts now for upgrade pricing. Ableton is also offering a 20% off discount on Live 10 good until the release of the update, at which time customers will be able to receive a free upgrade.

Check out the Ableton site for more.

Author Adam Douglas
11th November, 2020

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