Live 7 gains an ingenious new way of working with drums, and an optional library packed with new instruments. Software develops at such a pace nowadays that buying a music package can feel like making a down-payment on an annual subscription. The last major Live upgrade still feels warm from the oven, and another one is here. In our generally enthusiastic review of Live 6, we suggested that the most significant weak spot was its paucity of instruments and drum kits. Enter Live 7, with a whole new framework for working with drums, and the new Ableton Suite, featuring a host of new synths, plus electronic and acoustic drums. This is an admirable move, as the temptation is always to prioritise shiny, new, marketing-friendly features. There are some intriguing results showing the wide difference in timing accuracy between a selection of MIDI interfaces; now we just need someone to leak out what those interfaces were! On the audio side, the mixer now features bit summing, which eliminates rounding errors when combining signals.
Wavetable synthesiser — sounds good, looks good, especially in full-screen Revamped Live Pack content and handling directly from the Browser Capture — recall the last MIDI phrase you played before you hit record Push 2 integration — MIDI notes are viewable on the Push display Max For Live fully integrated, no separate installation or startup, better performance Multiple clip editing Groups within groups Push has a new melodic step sequencer Ableton Live 10 is here, which has, of course, triggered the usual combination of celebrations and rioting in the streets.
Advertisement Live 10 includes a new synthesiser instrument, new and updated audio effects, deeper Push integration and a pile of small workflow improvements. There are also new audio effects — Echo, a tape-style delay; Drum Buss, which combines distortion, compression, and transient shaping into one go-to solution, and Pedal, which finally in my opinion brings a worthwhile guitar distortion effect to Live.
Both Drum Buss and Pedal include dedicated sub controls — Live 10 contains a lot of low end! Do I really need this? Live 10 is one of the most versatile DAWs around, particularly for performers or those who are looking to take their mixes out of the studio. The integration with Push is seamless and the creative possibilities that its use can conjure is worth the price of admission alone.
Aside from that, Live 10 is also a great studio DAW, with the new effects expanding the scope of what it can do. Good advice which I ignored completely — as the beta progressed, I began to incorporate it into my projects, starting with a year-old remix that came back to haunt me. I had a message: I keep everything, so I had the stems and the Live set, which would have been originated in Live 7, I think.
The project opened without a glitch, and all the MIDI and audio material was intact. I rendered the stereo file, sent it off, and got a message back saying how much better it sounded than the original.
I also used Live 10 to originate a new project, with drum programming, guitars, and a two different vocalists. The project required around 10 tracks of backing vocals and each one of them contained EQ Eight, Waves Tune and Waves Vocal Rider — Live 10 handled them all perfectly on a late iMac. This was also the first instance where I used group tracks within other group tracks to process each vocal separately, as well as the entire vocal structure as a single entity.
This project was also the perfect opportunity to to make use of the newfound ability to name inputs and outputs. Live 10 was sounding crisp, and as I was memorising the new Arrangement View workflow tweaks, it was getting faster and more comfortable to use.
Push squeezes a major element of the Live user experience out into a tactile interactive form, and Live 10 includes many Device updates which make the most of the colourful Push display. Push also gets an extra MIDI-sequencing mode, showing playable notes in the lower four rows, and the sequencer section in the top four — this quickly became my go-to sequencing routine for Push. Live 10 overview 1. It feels much more cohesive now, and easy to explore.
Max factor While I was taking the time to live with and try the new Packs, I moved them all to one of the colour-coded Collections, so I could see them all in one place — separately from the non-standard Packs I also have installed, which was very useful. Max For Live Devices, including the new drum synths, load faster, work better, and feel more like part of the family than ever before.
What really makes Wavetable come alive is movement in the form of automation or LFOs, just a few simple adjustments and assignments can sound great. However, I know it was a hot one for a lot of users, so there you go! On the other hand, the new Capture feature has totally crept in; I use it all the time. No need to break the flow to hit the record button. Simple and awesome.
If you insist on talking about the more marketing-friendly features, then check out Wavetable, a fantastic synth in itself, and the new Live Packs. But the real value is in the more subtle features, the workflows, and especially those in Arrangement view. Companies like Arturia make hardware drum machines, synthesisers, and sequencers, and of course there are very trendy modular systems.
Hardware is limited, but sometimes creativity will come from this.