Steve Jarvis sets a new speed record for providing impressions of new software. Here’s how Ableton Live 6 is working for him on his Macbook (pictured):

A few impressions from about an hour of playing around with the Live6 beta last night:

It’s BETA. Still lots of bugs (mostly small) and missing features (e.g., no Mackie Control support — or any other sort of control surface support, as far as I can tell). I submitted three things in the first hour, once of which I got a response from Ableton about, so I assume it’s the first time it popped up. Ed.: I’ll be curious to check this out with Novation Remote SL support, which I’ve heard did make it into the beta … more soon. -PK

New algorithms and filters in Operator are great. I really like Operator, so having more options in there is a real treat for me.

Sampler is freakin’ AWESOME! The morphing, the synthesis, just WOW. I can’t wait to spend more time with it.

Racks rule. You knew this as soon as you read the specs, but they really are cool.

Multiple processor/core support is impressive. For example: a set that in Live 5.2 would push my MacBook (2.0Ghz CoreDuo) to about 80% CPU runs at roughly 30%! Wow. 🙂

Lots of SMALL but nice interface tweaks, esp. in the layout of the prefs.

I’ll send more over the weekend, when I have more time to spend with it.

Today’s my birthday, so this was a nice birthday present from Ableton.

Happy birthday, Steve! (You can visit him on his site, Iterate.)

I’m sure a lot of us will be playing with this over the weekend and coming weeks, so feel free to leave your impressions here. There’s the Ableton forum, yes — but I like the refined tastes and thoughts of CDM readers.

  • The control support I specifically found missing was for the M-Audio Axiom 49 (a little disappointing since I just bought myself one for my birthday!). It's IN there, but it doesn't seem to work yet. I've heard from a friend who has a Mackie Control unit that it doesn't work with the built-in support that's supposed to be in Live 6.

    The usual MIDI mapping support is there and works fine. My Live 5 template, which I adapted from the templates that came with my Faderfox LV2, works just fine with Live 6 and my LV2 and LX2 via an M-Audio Uno USB MIDI interface.

  • Oh, and there are PILES and PILES of beta reports on the Ableton forums:

  • Yes, ironically I have to say part of what I appreciate about reading the comments, forum, and mailbag here on this site: low volume, high quality. (Actually, even the quality aside, low volume!) The Ableton forum is fantastic — I just wish I had the time to read it!

  • Yeah, it's a wee bit like drinking from a firehose lately. 🙂 The forums here ARE tops, btw.

  • Also, Steve and myself and some other guys are going to be playing a live set this Wednesday (if you happen to be in or near Northwest Arkansas, come out and hear us play). I'll be interested to see if he uses the Beta.

  • Steven Jarvis

    I'll be interested to see if I use the beta, too, Pete! Signs are leaning toward "NO" at the moment. Too much to absorb too fast, I think.

  • Talk about overload – the beta came out the same day my Remote 25 SL came! This has led to one embarrasing little discovery about the remote – the mod axis of the joystick is mapped to cc0 in the Ableton automap by default. Playing around with Sampler directly after waking led me to post to the Beta forum that Sampler wasn't receiving Modwheel… It was then pointed out to me that Modwheel is CC1. 🙂

    What else so far? Sampler is a monster! The loop-modulation granular tricks are almost worth the price of admission, and the LFO/mod routing reminds me of the K2000 series – not quite as deep, but almost as flexible,

    Racks are incredible – like we had suspected, set up multiple effect/instrument chains and set them up in specific "select zones" this will let you switch in between chains OR fade in between them. This will be incredible during live sets.

    As far as controller support, the SL seems to be working great with it so far (minus quirky modwheel assignments). The right hand fader side seems to act a bit differently than in 5.2 – Where I can only ever get control over send 1 in 5.2, it wants to control send 2 in 6. I'm still on the learning curve with the controller tho.

    Let's see – what else? Pulling in tracks from other session files is much faster now. It's buggy, but not too buggy. Definately some small touches with the interface (value boxes now have "slider" interface, turning from grey to yellow). So far, so good though!

  • G-ravity

    You guys are really getting me excited about Live 6 and Sampler! More please?

  • subbasshead

    I've only found one bug/lacking feature in the video implementation

    in L6 beta1 & they are fixing it

    (timecode ruler using the offset/tc start in prefs so the timecode

    ruler matches the burnt in timecode on a dub)

    but this dude gives a good run down of what hes found:

    Sales Dude McBoob

    Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:17 pm Post subject: Video Functionality

    I've been messing around with video in the beta and wanted to share what functionality I've figured out. I want to know what stuff you guys have figured out too.

    Warping > It works. Mutate your audio and the video follows along. Fun stuff. When you first drop in a clip in the arranger, it appears unwarped. What's interesting is that you can speed up or slow down the BPM, or tap in another tempo, and the audio from the video is not altered. It's kinda wild to see the playhead suddenly zipping along with the audio not changing. Then, if you click the warp button in the clip view, you can now mess with the BPM and the video will follow along. A new slave button appears under the warp button. This is when all of time and space gets fucked with. Say you click the warp button and slow the video down to 60 PBM. If you click the Slave button it turns into the Master button. You are now in 'Master' mode, and the BPM is locked at 60. If you click the Master button it turns into Slave again, and as a slave you are free (irony intended) to change the BPM again if you wish.

    Full Screen Mode > As easy as double clicking on the video screen. Double click and boom, the video image takes up your entire monitor. Want to quickly get out? Just double click again, you're back home.

    Reverse Button > It will reverse the audio but it makes the video functionality cease. Kind of a bummer. I'd like to see the video image reverse as well. It can inspiring + other worldly to simply watch normal things happen in reverse. This other-worldliness would be right at home in Live.

    Multiple Video Clips > You can load multiple video clips but you're allowed only one video screen. The clip that is at the bottom of the tracks in the arrangement screen gets the right to be viewed in the video screen. So, if a clip of a monkey eating a banana is in track one and a video of a hippy on a unicycle is on track two, the hippy will be on the video screen. If you want to watch the monkey you have to drag that clip from track one and drop it in track three, which requires a redraw of the track. So on a Mac you get the spinning beach ball for a few seconds and the image on the video screen will freeze + along with the GUI, but the audio keeps playing without a burp.

    Session View > If you launch video clips in session view you do not have video screen capability. For now it is in arrangement only. If you launch a video clip in arrangement view and then tab over to session view, the video screen will remain and keep playing. There must be a reason why it was decided to only have video in arrangement. But I think it would be cool to have video launchable in session. That way a DJ can become a VJ pretty easily. If you have video clips associated with the cells of clips you are launching in session view in a DJ set, Live's new video screen could be used as simplified video show for the people shaking their bootys on the dance floor.

  • Angstrom

    you can find a lot of info on the Live wiki which some of us Beta testers are maintaining. It's not 'official' and it's subject to change


    it has lots of other info about Live in there if you care.

  • m:ck

    what about the overall sound quality of live 6?

    i'm not referring to the warped samples but to the poor summing mixing quality and loss of punch that live 5 has if compared to other DAW. i really hope that they have improved this way.

  • jimboj

    hey guys,

    have you noticed the intel integrated video affecting your audio performance versus a dedicated card like on the macbook pro?

    like.. does it cause clicks and pops at low latency?