Ableton Live 9: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Forum!

Just days after the leaked video, Ableton have formally announced Live 9.
Here’s a summary of the most important bits.

The Good…

The most surprising, and applauded new addition is not to the software at all, but a new hardware controller called Ableton Push.
Designed in collaboration with AKAI Professional, Push has been described on the Ableton Forums as “Maschine fucked a Launchpad”, and for good reason. It has the slim, light, bus powered coolness of the Novation Launchpad, but the expansive features of Native Instruments Maschine .. and more ..

Buy Push Hardware

Push features 9 rotaries, and over 100 buttons, 80 of which are backlit, velocity sensitive pads, which can be used to trigger clips in Session View, bash out beats, MPC style, or program step sequences, ala 808/909 etc. It can also be “played” in various chromatic modes and is in itself, a unique MIDI instrument.

With the arrival of the AKAI Renaissance, and the evolution of NI Maschine into a full blown DAW combo, it looks like 2013 will be the year of the integrated hardware/software combination DAW.

Ableton live 9 push vs AKAI renaissance vs NI maschine

Session View Automation Recording.
Yep, finally we can record automation in Session View. There’s not much more to say on the matter other than Ableton have addressed the single most requested featured for the last ten years. Combined with Push, this will be a real game changer for Live users.

Other improvements include:

  • Improved Browser
  • Automation Curves
  • Max For Live included with Suite
  • Audio To Midi functionality
  • Improved devices such as EQ8, Compressor, Gate, etc.
  • Midi Editing Enhancements

Should I upgrade?
Live 9 doesn’t have a long list of improvements, but those listed offer a lot of power, especially for remixers. If you are recording instruments or a band, there is considerably less to get excited about.


The Bad…

Some users have complained that their feature requests have not been addressed, and aside from the Session View Automation Recording feature, there have been other long standing requests over the years, which apparently have not been addressed, such as plug-in delay compensation, midi recording latency, and features requested by DJs such as multiple waveform views and launch markers within clips.

Still, there is a lot to love about the new feature list, and apart from the ugly website overhaul, the reaction in the community has been one of excitement.

The ugly…

Ableton have changed the look and feel of their website and forum, and the reaction has been mostly one of disgust.

badly designed website

Pretty disappointing stuff coming from a company who were once famed for their branding, usability, and taste.

Overall though, the forum isn’t too important if you spend your time actually making music, and with that in mind, Live 9 and Ableton Push are no-brainer upgrades for every Live fan.

Watch the Live 9 video here: