It’s time to make sense of brand names / bundles / pricing / feature sets again! Today’s victim: Ableton Live. Here goes; let me know if I make this make sense.

If you bought an M-Audio or Digidesign interface with Ableton Live Lite and haven’t upgraded to the full version of Live, Ableton has a free upgrade offer for you. “Lite Enhanced” (erm, Diet Live? Live Rite? Tab?) has some pretty serious features in it from the full-blown Live:

Plug-in Delay Compensation, MIDI remote control, full ReWire support, high-definition recording and rendering (up to 32-bit), Mackie Control support, Track Freeze, and the â€Å“Complexâ€Â? warp mode for high-fidelity, on-the-fly time stretching.

Okay, rewind: one feature there is very important. Live Lite previously didn’t allow MIDI control, so that you could use your knobs on your new M-Audio keyboard (or any other MIDI device) to control the software. That’s well worth downloading the upgrade. With the more advanced features, this is a pretty terrific deal for a freebie (more so for many users, I would think, than M-Audio’s homegrown entry-level app Session).

So why does Ableton still think you’ll upgrade to the full version? As with previous versions of Lite, you’re limited in number of tracks and scenes. This should still be more powerful enough to play around with and use in your music, but naturally Ableton would save something for the full Live experience. Keep in mind, as well, Live 5 Lite lagged pretty far behind Live 5, and Ableton told us at NAMM in January we’d see Live 6 later this year. All that aside, we love freebies:

Grab it, M-Audio customers (including Live Delta users), or Digidesign users

How about you: are you using software you got via a hardware bundle? Or did you buy your software a la carte? (Sorry, we don’t talk about five-fingered / one-hook discounts round these parts.)

  • Is this the same upgrade they announced a few months ago, or have the bumped it up again?

    If it's the same, it is well worth doing if anyone was once inclined to use their old lite version. I had a version which I think was called Live Delta, which was like a bad version of Live v2. Pretty much unusable. This new one is essentially v5.2 with track/plugin limitations.

    I'm not in love with Live enough yet to to get the full package, but it has been handy to have for doing plugin beta testing.

  • I think MIDI support was missing. The combination of all these features means it is probably worth upgrading.

  • i have live lite that came with the emu 0404 card. so new free upgrade for me. anyway, i never really used the software, although this site has proven time and again that live is teh awesome.

    anyway, what initially turned me off was the fact that if you tried to do something not allowed in the lite version, it'd automatically go into demo mode. cool feature, but didn't seem like such a great thing if you're working on something you want to save and then accidently slip into demo mode and can't save.

    i didn't try very hard, so maybe there's a way to disable this or get back into non-demo mode. (this problem is in addition to the fact that i've been too lazy to learn the software and that it's tied to my desktop while i'd be more willing to use it on my laptop. and, of course, it was free, so i can't feel too bad about it.)

  • Hmm, I haven't seen that. I suspect that that was an earlier version. Live now gives you fair warning (and an opportunity to cancel) if you want to use a feature that's available as a demo only, like the Operator synth.