Live 5 is here, with a huge list of new features. If MIDI made a big splash with Live 4, Live 5 could be even bigger. Aside from two things you begged them to add (MP3 support and an Arpeggiator, there’s plenty you probably didn’t expect.


The short list: pro DAW features like freeze and Mackie Control support, totally automatic tempo-matching and warping, and finally a better file browser, preset management with folders, instant file searching, vastly-expanded handling of clips, and a mess of new audio effects for starters. (More after the jump / hit ‘read more.’)

Pro DAW features: Clip freeze, plug-in delay compensation, marker-style “locators” in your arrangement, and support for Mackie Control. Logic? SONAR? Nope, Live.


Automatic Tempo-Matching and New Warping Features Drop in audio, and Live automatically syncs it to project tempo with automatic Warp Markers (that’s new, folks). No more rigid warping — even irregular audio like voice now automatically syncs. There’s also a new “Complex” warp mode for higher-quality warping of frequency-dense material. And new Clip view lets you set the beginning point of a loop with a mouse or controller, which I think allows on-the-fly scratching and the like. (got to clarify that one)

New preset management: The good news? New preset management, with folders, FINALLY. The bad news? All those third-party libraries that will probably break.


Instant file browsing: Search your entire hard drive at once, a la Apple’s Spotlight / search functions. You can even drag tracks and clips out of other sessions.


Live Clips: MIDI, regions, audio, variations, all can combined into a Live Clip with all the settings intact. Insane. Oh, and those LiveFills from TrackTeam are sadly, again, now totally outdated.


New instruments: Guess what? There are none, perhaps meaning we’ll still see instruments a la carte, a la Operator. There is one major improvement to an instrument: Simpler (Live’s ultra-basic sampler) is still simple, but it now has independent envelopes, glide, and a better LFO.


New effects:Beat Repeat lets you reorganize beats on the fly for re-grooving and stuttering. Simple, elegant, very Ableton-like — though no substitute for plasq’s free (Mac-only) Musolomo. This will be better for straightforward “shredding” of beats. But check this out: a new Phaser, Flanger, Auto Pan and (for distortion/warmth, presumably a wave shaper) Saturator.


Select multiple clips at once and edit properties for all of them


Right-click context menus (woo-hoo!)


VST MIDI effect support


Count-in for recording (I’ll resist the temptation to make a snarky comment about how this was lost in the first place, but thank God it’s here now!)

Public beta starts soon, with a release in July. Upgrades are EUR/US$ 119 for a download; if you bought after May 1, they’re EUR/US$ 49, and anyone who unlocks Live 4 after June 1 gets the upgrade for free.

  • EricRichmond

    I really thought they were going to add all the DJ features (which they did), but I didn't expect all the DAW centric stuff. Looks like Sonar will be getting less use in a few months.

  • jayfly

    Looks like TrackTeam Audio is on the ball with their . LiveFills. It will be interesting to see if they release any updates to take advantage Live Clips function in Live 5.

  • theo

    For the price of the Berklee credit class 1 could pay for plane tickets from Melbourne Aus and fly to erichmond.
    (or fly him here.)

    For an additional reference "Ableton 4 Power" by Chad Carrier and Dave Hill Jr. provide extra explanation and some more ideas on using Live.

    I surprisingly did manage to grab a copy of the beta and i am impressed. I particulaly liked the Saturator and the Arpeggiator as effects.

    The preset managment has changed as they now apear in the side panels rather than accessed from a list on the instrument. Presets can also now include multiple effects and clip and an instrument. This gives a lot more options for preset saving and recalling but it initially took a bit to get used to.

    The mp3 ( and others) import is handy as is the ability to scrub through a clip in quantize amounts with your midi controller which the clip is playing gives some performance options. Similary the abilty to jump between named points on the arrangment screen.

    And the Live rewire still works well with Storm

    I am not a systematic beta tester.