Killing bugs dead, as pictured in a sign in Ikaho, Japan. Photo: Rick Hall.

New features are great, and yes, it’s often us users asking for them. But reliability and stability are more important to most of us. It’s therefore a welcome surprise to see Ableton’s CEO post the following message on Ableton’s forum today, announcing that the company will put new features on hold until some reliability issues are fixed. For developers other than Ableton, it should be telling to see how users respond — if this kind of frankness inspires confidence rather than concern, it could mean that talking more openly about bugs and how to fix them could open up more dialog between developers and users:

Update, 12/29: One release with some fixes is already available, in the form of 8.1.1. It appears to address a showstopper bug I personally encountered with Drum Rack performance under certain situations. I’m testing that fix and others. I don’t believe this is the only update to 8.x that Ableton is planning, or the one to which this message refers, but it is a start. Check out the downloads page.

Some of you have experienced and reported problems with Live 8 several months ago that we have still failed to fix. This is both painful and necessary for us to discuss. We owe you sincere apologies, as well as an explanation and outlook for the future.

Ableton values quality over innovation. Our engineers will stop whatever they are doing to fix a bug when they become aware of it. They must, however, rely on a process that prepares the incoming information and funnels it to them appropriately. Establishing and maintaining this process is the responsibility of management — particularly us, Bernd and Gerhard — and this is where things have gone wrong while we let our attention divert to ambitious new projects.

Our apologies also extend to both the Ableton developers and tech support colleagues because they want to be proud of software and service that users love.

We have now decided to:

  • suspend all development towards new features while the whole team joins forces to address the current issues. This effort is open ended and will result in a free Live 8 update;
  • make process changes to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.

We hope this plan finds your understanding and agreement. We’d like to wish you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful 2010!

Gerhard Behles, CEO
Bernd Roggendorf, CTO

Pausing forward development to focus on bug fixes in and of itself is not an unprecedented move – it’s just usually not something you talk about. So I have to applaud not only Ableton making the sacrifice to focus on reliability first, but also that they’re being frank about acknowledging issues. I’m honestly not entirely certain just which issues they’re describing, because I don’t have the benefit of the big picture that comes from handling Ableton’s own tech support. Once Ableton does make progress on this upcoming free update, though, I’ll be sure to share what changes are included.

As seen on the Ableton forums, via Bjorn Vayner / The Covert Operators on Twitter.

Clarification: I should hasten to add, as I realized this post could be misread — talking about and fixing bugs is a good thing, but having bugs is not. Ableton, as any music developer, depends on the goodwill and trust of its users. If in fact bugs have made current Live versions less stable, or have adversely impacted the perception of Live, that leaves the ball in Ableton’s court to resolve. To me, the proof is in the release. If you have issues you’ve fully documented that have not be resolved, to which this post may be referring, we’d love to hear about them (emphasis on “documented” and “fully” — let us know exactly the issue and how to reproduce it). Likewise, we’ll watch for fixes. All software has bugs, and being a computer musician means being able to manage reliability and stability to make the computer an effective instrument.

  • Simon

    I'd like to see Digidesign do that :S

  • I highly respect the position that Ableton is taking. It is very refreshing to see a company make a statement like Ableton did. Most companies will try to hide the fact that something is not working correctly and then silently fix it. Ableton is not doing that. They are saying that their product does not meet their own high quality standards and they are pooling their resources to fix them.

    I applaud their actions and I hope more companies will follow their lead.


  • Human Plague

    I can't help but read between the lines of the following sentence:

    "Our apologies also extend to both the Ableton developers and tech support colleagues because they want to be proud of software and service that users love."

    A disconnect between the hype machine, the board of directors, and the trenches where work actually gets done is a dangerous thing.

  • A welcome response. I've documented in detail elsewhere the issues my own live act has had with Ableton 8.1, both in our live rig and in a series of B2B DJ style shows with another act. The word "disaster" comes to mind when considering the reliability of 8.1. We are using 8.0.9 for gigs now, and unfortunately are stuck with 8.1 for some current remix and original work that is already over deadline thanks to the "Drunk Racks Bug".

    As someone who bought Max For Live, I have to admit that I've spent more time in Reaktor lately. Until these bugs are ironed out, the latest release of Ableton Live is a placeholder at best, and a frustration to those of us loyal since V2. Also, as an aside, I'd prefer if Ableton could stop bloating the installers too. Each new version is a exponential size increase to the last!

  • I should hasten to add — I applaud this kind of frankness and the response; I think it's appropriate. That doesn't mean I "applaud" the bugs that led to the decision, though. It's difficult to measure reliability beyond anecdotal evidence, and as Live's user base has grown, that means the number of complaints grows along with it. There's no such thing as a perfectly-stable end-user software release; particularly with music software, there are near-endless variables in how people may use the software, even before you add in third-party drivers and plug-ins. But that said, of course, the objective is to make things as reliable out of the gate as you possibly can.

  • funny to see the usual band of sycophants on the board blowing smoke up Gherard's ass for the announcement. They're the same guys who would aggressively and incessantly denounce anyone who complained about instabilities or obvious flaws in the business methods. That's the nature of a fanatic though.

  • i think it shows how ableton is aiming at being a company in the industry. humble and dedicated. cheers.

  • @beats me/anyone else: Keep it civil, or your comments will be deleted. Feel free to criticize Ableton as much as you want, but can we refrain from personal attacks on specific developers?

    I have know idea to whom you're referring; every user I know — myself included — will complain passionately about any issue they find, regardless of the software or whether they're a fan. I think people have been upfront and free to criticize, and I think the idea that users don't complain would come as particularly surprising news to Ableton.

    Users complain. When users complain with complete bug reports and describe in full the issues they're having, those complaints can make better software – period. That's true with commercial software, open source software, commissions with one developer and one user, anything.

  • peter.

    that has nothing to do with what I said.

    I said it's humourous that, on the ableton board, there are heavy posters who are whole heartedly welcoming the announcement. This is ironic considering they have been the people to aggressively criticise *other users* for making complaints about stability, bugs, and the yearly new version cycle.

    It's a perfectly civil statement, and it's true. so…

  • @beats me: Okay, that's fair. How you word the statement does make a difference. πŸ˜‰

    It's unfortunate that people on forums would criticize other users for complaining… it's the tradeoff for having open forums, open comment threads; I think you have to just filter out people misbehaving in ways they likely wouldn't face-to-face.

    So, anyone on a forum attacking someone for complaining about an issue having — I mean, that's obviously silly.

    But that said, I think it'll be interesting to watch how people receive this. Conventional wisdom says you want to downplay *any* mention of bugs. My sense is, users of any platform often respond well when developers openly acknowledge issues they're experiencing and work to fix them.

    As for whether Ableton has bitten off more than they can chew with the yearly version cycle, that's a different issue. From software to operating systems, I think a lot of musicians regularly wish there were such a thing as a "stable"/"testing" separation. In the meantime, approaching upgrades with caution is often good policy, as commenters here regularly note. At least with Ableton, you can install versions side-by-side (albeit often not with backwards file compatibility).

  • Adrian Anders

    Right on, I might upgrade to 8 later on after the update works out the kinks.

    Good on Ableton, although it would be nice if they sort this stuff out BEFORE the product ships. At least folks don't have to PAY for the bug-fixes unlike some other companies I could name.

  • nk:e

    Wow. I have not run into lots of issues, but I don't push the software to it's limits or perform live either. Would be helpful if they could post some info on any major issues so folks starting a project or in the midst of one could decide to press on or to use a different tool.

    I applaud the Abe's for the move.

    Now if only they could moderate their forums a bit more…. πŸ™‚


    Sent from my iPhone.

  • Great!

    Live had become a very buggy program for me , many crashes.

    great news !

  • This is refreshingly transparent and clear. From a customer service perspective I think acknowledging issues and relating the plan to remedy is simply the best approach.

    I use Live every day and have not experienced very many issues and no show stoppers. Of course Live supports a wide-variety of work flow so clearly there are bugs that I'm not bumping into.

    Bottom line for me, Live 8 was a fantastic release for me from a features point of view and I have no problem with them slowing down a bit to clean up process and improve quality.


  • Oh, just to clarify the Drum Racks reference in my last post, my issues with 8.1, outside of the many many crashes, are that any project loaded with instances of Drum Racks is immediately sluggish and unresponsive. This can often be "fixed" temporarily by disabling many Drum Rack instances, whereby one will usually "trigger" the session back into normal responsiveness.

    In other words, I load a project up that has Drum Racks in it and it takes between 3 to 5 seconds for any scroll or click to take effect. I happen to use Drum Racks like a multi-instance sampler in a very extensive manner, so this is a deal breaker in itself. The other bulk of my issues with 8.1 is simply how common "live has quit unexpectedly" has become in any attempt to produce music.

    Aside from that, I don't care enough about the fashion of Ableton Live to comment on some personal perception of the user base. For me it is simply a tool, and one that I've bought for many years as it satisfies my needs in the studio and on stage. If the tool is no longer up for the job, then I will scope for alternatives. The rest, as they say, is noise!

  • Dave, I have also had significant issues with Drum Racks since their introduction. They've unfortunately tended to blow up on me onstage. I've had exactly the same issue you have, so I'll be sure to forward the sets I've had to Ableton in the hopes that they can be part of this process.

    *Disclaimer, me speaking as a user, not as a "journalist" or anything else* — I really have a hard time trusting drum racks again. I feel bad that it's an issue I had that happened to me onstage and that I wasn't able to comment on in a review. For me, I just don't see touching them again. It's not even rational for me; I've lost my trust in that feature and it's not going to get regained, I'm afraid.

    That's not a knock at Ableton – this kind of thing can happen with any software.

    That raises a deeper issue for me, too. I'm a huge fan of computers, and don't think that you need hardware to achieve reliability. At the same time, years of performance – successful and very unsuccessful – has made me believe that for live performance to really work, you really want to reduce variables. Onstage is a huge change from "studio" work, when you really are live. I don't have all the answers, but I'm definitely interested in how we can reduce the number of variables onstage and create software rigs that are as reliable and predictable as trusted hardware.

    But I share this in the interests of being open… I know that all users go through a lot of the same thought processes, and it is absolutely important for developers to realize how fragile trust of tools can be, especially when many variables are out of their control and bugs – no matter how thorough the developers – are a fact of life. (I can say that as a user and a sometimes-programmer!)

  • elyos

    a time to grow, a time to maturate

  • @beats me

    I was one of those people that complained. I just bought max for live and was shocked to discover that I needed to download a beta of live 8.1 to make the presets work. I was PISSED. who the f*ck does that? Ableton apparently. The fact that there is nothing indicating that I had to download a beta of live to get M4L to work properly is SHADY. A lot of these computers are production machines man. We can't be dicking around with installing and re-installing a BETA right in the middle of projects.

    I posted as much on their boards and got a response that they understood and that it was regrettable. that's it, no offer for a refund, nothing.

    I have to say, this will probably be my last purchase from them. Apologies are great and all that but until they change the way they do business, I just don't feel comfortable spending money on their software. And I'll tell you what, in this economy, it behooves a developer to be straight up. If I'm going to be paying to be a beta tester, you better spell that out before I purchase in BIG BOLD RED LETTERS.

  • @Peter – Great point about "reducing variables". I'm working to translate studio work from my album to live perforamnce sets and I'm doing just as you say "Reducing Variables". Also creating a consistant set of controller mappings that work in a predictable way from song to song.

  • Neil 'naw'

    I am VERY impressed with the fact that they have made this announcement for years I have complained about issues with live moving out of alpha and beta stages far to fast. That with every release I have seen major issues never addressed until the next version and some times not even then. I was happy that a lot of them got resolved with version 7 (Ive been a user since the first version was released) and was afraid to upgrade to version 8 because of all the stuff I have read and being in the middle of a number of new releases I didnt want to risk having problems like the ones I was reading about (even though I am super excited by some of the new features and the release of max for live). What still needs to be seen is if this is lip service as a way to calm the masses/people complaining or will they really stick to their guns and resolve the issues. I guess only time will tell I honestly hope they do as myself as a long time customer Im begining to think about other options other then live as at this point the price point is on par with more robust DAWs even for upgrades. If your going to launch what I consider to be versions that should still be in beta mode then you should be charging for beta mode software. That same argument goes for protools acctually…

    this race to launch a new version every year has to stop and the focus needs to move towards quality not quantity. Im looking forward to seeing what happens with this announcement.

    I certainly gives me a lot of hope for the company.

  • David

    I suppose I'm a lucky one – no issues with Suite 8.1 on my end. Then again, no Max for Live either (I'm happy with Reaktor for a modular environment I can run in Ableton at the moment).

    It is nice to see Ableton "level" with customers like this. I have to think that perhaps this is a (good) side effect of Ableton being a company started by musicians, who must be well familiar with the frustrations of bad bugs and lax addressing of said bugs.

    Also, I don't think it's such a bad idea for Ableton to temporarily suspend work on Live 9. Ableton's track record of a new version every year has been impressive, but also expensive. It's nice to see them popping the hood for a while instead. Frankly, there are enough features in 8 to get lost in at the moment, and with Max for Live available, I don't think anyone is clamoring for 9 quite yet.

    This also posits an interesting question: with M4L now available, should Ableton shift the focus on future updates away from new effects and/or instruments? There's now a tool for the creation of instruments and effects with native Ableton interfaces. So where to next?

  • dx3

    im glad they are doing this i was def on the forums asking for this.

    stability is more important then anything.

    good job guys now

    get the cpu level down!!!

  • Users/consumers don't like uncertainty, because it tough to make the best decision for yourself when information is missing. Which explains why you may see people responding better to bad news than when there is no news at all.

    The acknowledgment is a good first step. Now let's see what the follow thru is like.

  • I love Live. But I can't believe that program changes used with some VST keep crashing Live's GUI on Mac OS ( many Reaktor users know and reported this bug on the forum, from Live 6… ). It's a software made to perform live, changing patches live is an important feature ( at least to me ) to keep performances consistent with studio work and organized. I hope they'll finally fix it.

  • Korhan

    This is what I do to reduce variables and instability on stage:

    – never go higher than 50% CPU load (my max is usually around 50%) no matter how powerful your CPU is.

    – never use a lot of RAM for samples

    – test a 3rd party plugin thoroughly before committing to it on stage

    – do not create monstrous racks on single tracks, spread those racks over several tracks (group tracks feature is great for this)

    – never delete the previous version after installing the latest version and keep on using the old one until I am sure the new one is stable enough (8.1 has never seen the stage and never will until Ableton brings out this promised 'bug-free' version)

    – if I use several software at the same time (for example Live, OSCulator and Audiomulch) on stage, I check how one affects the other. For example, I have run OSculator first, then Mulch and finally Live in order to keep the system stable. Other combinations don't work.

  • Korhan

    And this is a great move by Ableton! I support their decision and see it as their strength over other software developers.

  • This is great news. As a software dev myself, I know from my own experience that you will never catch every bug in internal QA, some will only be found in the "real world". And of course adding new features also means new bugs.

    Also, as mentioned by David, the yearly Live upgrades are not cheap. Live 7 to 8 was particularly painful. Add to that the Max4Live changes/bugs, and I think it's safe to say that we can all survive without Live 9 anytime soon!

  • It is the first step.

    Second: Repairing bugs for free (think on live8 price!)

    Then: Maxforlive runtime should be the next.

    Ableton is growing maybe so fast than they can manage… sometimes is better keep old users than make new ones…

    To me is clear that Ableton needs to rectificate some steps and think seriously the next ones.

  • Danny P

    I've had huge issues with Live 8, ESPECIALLY 8.1 so I am very happy to see they will be working on fixing these. Max for Live is an incredible toolkit when it works. I truly hope this effort of theirs is successful.

  • basics


    "This also posits an interesting question: with M4L now available, should Ableton shift the focus on future updates away from new effects and/or instruments? There’s now a tool for the creation of instruments and effects with native Ableton interfaces. So where to next?"

    Here's a couple:

    For the bedside composer, scrollwheel functionality would be a gem.

    And of course, automating Live's own Devices would be nice.

    Anything else is gravy.

  • Favo Modo

    While it is great the Ableton are being honest about this and try to correct their development errors, it should not have happened in the first place. Stating that every piece of software contains bugs is true, but the amount of bugs and the severity of them, can be controlled. The best example of this are Propellerheads Reason and Record. Both programs feel rock solid (even in the x.0 releases). Propellerhead do have a lower release rate (4 major versions of Reason against 8 major releases of Ableton Live in the same period), but this certainly pays off.

  • WHIV

    Thanks GOD. I bought Live 8 around 8.03, and it has been a buggy nightmare. The new features are amazing, but the constant crashing is infuriating. 8.08 was the first moderately stable version I encountered (only ~1-2 crashes a day).

    Thankfully I didn't think to upgrade to 8.1 before hearing about what a mess it is, so I've been sticking to 8.08 until that's sorted out. It's doubly destructive since 8.1 projects can't be opened in previous versions. Glad I dodged that bullet!

  • Michael Coelho

    I'm glad Ableton has been forthright about the problems and I applaud their willingness to devote resource to fix them. I've had major problems with Kontact 4 inside of Live 8. Of course to my knowledge NI still hasn't released the Kontact 4 manual , so I can't rely on that to trouble shoot my problems. As much as I love NI products, I think they could learn from the Abelton team and have more of a dialog with their user base.

    On the subject of forumns, I don't really care for the Ableton forums. I find the NI forums to be much more professional and useful.

  • cubestar

    I would like to see a major release for the user base.

    I have been getting weird crashes when just loading audio files or Ableton presets.

    I wish they would also just add real midi learn to at least macros so we can record modulation in session like 3rd party VST/AUs. This would not take a re-write…

    Also, certain features(Ableton's weird automap, etc..) either need to be polished or dropped…

  • Simon

    Everybody should be looking at Propellerhead when it comes to upgrades. I only know of one bug in Reason: corrupted save files, and it has happened to me twice in 4 years of use. I rarely experience a crash from Reason, and I'm on Vista! They don't release versions often(once every 2-3 years?), but when they do, it's worth it and doesn't introduce half-baked hype boosters that don't really work.

  • Plauto

    t's hard to believe that the developers have decided to ableton so, the Reaper is a fine example to follow. Anyone buy software that has a fair price, great support and updates!

  • wiggles

    well as a user since live 6 and a former QA tester for audio company "x", in my view this is just, sadly, the rules of the road. show stopper bugs are always an issue and should be address BEFORE release, but in my experience, rarely, if ever, so. i think if the average user actually knew what was "lurking" in the sw, no one would ever drop a cent on it. management and sales will always look the other way. as a side, i never "got" dilbert before i worked in this industry. sure ableton needs to move on this but i would like to give more props to peter for emphasizing the stability aspect which, IMHO is sorely lacking. i have given ableton quite a bit of coin and have been wrestling with some disappointment since. live is a great program in some ways but for me, this entire issue needs to focus on the stability of these soft machines and the outragous pricing structure this entire industry has adopted. (but not you puremagetik, you guys rock!)

  • Dubremix

    Hey, Apple did that with Snow Leopard and the result is one solid OS. Snow Leopard crashes less than any other Mac OS I've used, and I've run then all.

    So I applaude this move by Ableton!

    I also think as a community we need to support the smaller DAW developers because Logic, DP and ProTools are too big and cluttered and don't really innovate. Many of the good new features in those are rip offs of what they did in Live, like rubber/flexible audio (whatever marketing name they give it)

    I would like to give a shout out to Propellerheads too, they are rock solid. Record has not crashed on me once. The lack of plug-ins is a downside, but also an upside.

    Most the problem I have with Live 8 are from plug-ins acting funky and bringing the thing down. Having said that, Logic barfs all the time on plug-ins too…

    I can kernel panic my Mac Pro by unplugging my mbox2 while it's on. Digidesign is not ultra stable either.

    'Nuf said!

  • Jim Aikin

    Good timing (?!?), since I just tried launching Live 8.1 for the first time in my Windows 7 system, and it completely freaks out about loading VSTi's and then crashes.

    "Unusable" would be putting it mildly. If I had paid for this software (I'm a magazine writer, and free not-for-resale installs) I would be heartily pissed.


  • @Jim Aikin is the E.F Hutton of sw/hw reviews. When he talks, we listen. truly a legend.

  • the brain

    God bless the good folks at Propellerheads for taking their time to release stable and useful software. Replace buggy software. πŸ™‚

  • The Brain

    Also why the hell is Ableton being applauded for fixing their crappy software? People pay lots of money for it to work. They should not be applauded, this make it seems as if they are doing their CUSTOMERS a favor. PLEASE.

    Replace buggy software.

  • Asha Psyki

    WOw…..All i can say is good job Ableton for recognizing your weakness

    As for all the "bashing"…get real guys….what other software even comes CLOSE to the innovation that Ableton has done over the years. Nuff said!

  • dubremix

    Keep in mind Propellerheads also gets just as much negative comments for not being open to plug-ins. But, this closed system approach means they've eliminated the unknown variables that can crash a system.

    I think the problem is plug-in developers have an impossible testing matrix. They have to support multiple plug-in formats, AU, VST, DX and TDM etc… And on top, each plug-in host has it's own quirks.

    There's nothing new here, since day one plug-ins have been hell. At least nowadays they don't crash the entire OS. I remember certain projects I had on OS 9 that would became toxic to open because they'd lock the whole computer.

  • The Brain

    Honestly I don't use plugins so Props approach works perfectly fine for folks like me.

    Replace buggy software.

  • I have to say that I can understand the what a company goes through when deciding to release a product. If you wait to long people are clambering for the new release. If you release it to soon then people are complaining that the product might not be ready. The companies that I have dealt with generally use the following guidelines. General development practice dictates that a version should be released when all major known bugs are believed to be squashed. Minor bugs that do not inhibit the general functionality of the product may be fixed after release.

    It is a tight rope to walk and there is often no single answer that will make everyone happy. In the end I think it is the goal of all companies to release software in as stable a state as possible. However, a large combination of software and hardware varieties can often lead to unknown issues.

  • atari5200

    @jmob- I agree with your anger at having to download a beta of Live 8.1.1, but this seems to be more of an issue due to Cycling74's upgrade of Max to version 5.1.1. When MaxForLive (which is essentially Max/MSP 5.1) was released on 11/23 it worked just fine with the public release of Live 8.1, it wasn't until Max was upgraded to version 5.1.1 on 12/19 that you needed to use a beta version of Live. I think this situation illustrates why more companies don't do joint releases- both Cycling74 and Ableton are completely separate companies but who are now locked together because of this particular partnership. Seems like a bit of a customer service nightmare for both sides… why should Cycling 74 not update a product that more people use independently from Live? Now they can't or it causes issues like the one you encountered…

  • cubestar

    If Ableton followed the Props method, there would be no midi devices for another 5 years.

  • aje

    Having used version 2 through to 7, I've been a big fan of Live. but it has grown quite bloated in its attempt to rival logic/cubase/etc… and very buggy. A real pity that they lost sight of it's original raison d'etre – to be a stable efficient live tool.

    I think that Live has also become absurdly over hyped in some quarters… … and very overpriced.

    Let's hope they sort this all out and get the focus back..

  • Le k

    There is a bunch of new feature that i want to see for next version, but i m glad to read that. I use live since version 2 and i remember to run it perfectly stable at least till version 6.

    Version 8 is great but a bit difficult with 3rd part vst.

    So give us a super stable version, live is a great tool.

    And actually m4l is going to develop all the new features, trust me!

  • I think the key thing for software companies to do is to be transparent about their bugs. Its one thing to have bugs, its another to not even let people know about them so that they have a chance to work around them instead if them having to go through frustration as they learn the nature of the issue the hard way.

    As such I implore all software developers to not be scared of public bug trackers. Embrace this as an opportunity to get better feedback instead of having to wade through endless redundant hate mails explaining issues. Think about it .. users will do a lot of the work for you by adding more information to existing bug reports, giving you a much better two way communication channel. On top of it end users are not left in this void of unknowing.

  • bd

    I wish they would kick out the arrangement part.

    but I know they will not.

  • sos systerm



    I have been unable to use my newly purchased ableton 8 for longer than 20 minutes maximum usually for less than 5minutes before it crashes.

    This is incredible news, and I really tip my hats off to them, up till now, I will admit, I lost faith in this company…

    But maybe I was too hasty,


    (in the meanwhile would love to have a working version , 8.1 is totatally unstable on my machine, and the v6 demo worked perfect!)

  • Whew! 52 comments so far, i'll throw down here as well. At the risk of soundng like an Ableton fanboy, I'll say this: I use Live as my principle program since version 2, and I use it live onstage in nearly every performance. I've also watched the development of this last release closely from a beta-testing perspective. The integration of these two companies has taken incredible heart from teams on both sides and this missive from Gerhard is consistent with the same extreme vision, intent and commitment to which I am accustomed from the Ableton team. To the bashers, with respect, maybe just a little slack and some celebration of transparency, instead of vitriol for honesty? I've never ever seen a letter to the user base from Apple or Motu or Propellerheads, unless I've missed something. Cheers, all.

  • well, well, well….

    hee hee hee!!!

    y'all got zealous!!!

    i'm still on 7…7.0.18…and let me tell you…works great!!!

    not to be all jerk, but i know there's people out there rocking live 6, 7…it's where it's at!!! i never understood why they didn't just try and make m4l so it could work with live 6 and 7…and…well..8…i think if there's obvious stability in the older versions…why not try and see if it will work with those instead?? c'mon…ableton rules, but all this asking us for our money to give us 'buggy' product??

  • @todd Reynolds

    What you are witnessing is the pent up frustrations of devoted users. I don't use the app that much. It just blew my mind that having to use a beta to work with m4l seemed to be just an accepted part of using the app. I'm a reason head myself. Your right though, the props have not had an open letter to their users that I am aware of either. However, I would argue that the reason they have not is because they don't have to. The stability of the apps speak for themselves.

  • @Todd: I don't disagree with regards to Ableton, but Ableton is not the only developer that talks to its users. They're definitely one of the most open and active, but there are others on the list, too.

    Just a few examples off the top of my head —

    Propellerheads founder Ernst has participated here on CDM in comment forums and talks regularly on the forum.

    The Renoise developers are active on their forums and talk regularly about the development process.

    "Magic" Dave of MOTU frequents the forums and has been recognized as a resource for many, many years.

    Cakewalk has certainly been open with this site and Noel Borthwick, their CTO, frequents the forums and is upfront about development.

    Avid/M-Audio, as a larger company, typically do control their communications, but they issued an open response to readers of this site and an open letter on compatibility and reliability.

    Sibelius (now part of Avid) has its developers and sometimes founders on their forums and routinely providing tips.

    The Reaper developers spend a lot of time communicating with users.

    Apple, to be true, have an extremely restrictive communications policy and are known for that in the industry. At the same time, I've participated in conference calls with key developers on the pro audio apps side, which is something that tends not to happen in the rest of Apple.

    That's just a few examples of host developers; I'm likely leaving others out. I think it is unusual that Ableton would specifically refer to bugs and their development plans. But I think it's a great thing that we have an industry where companies do communicate. Users seem to respond well to that. I hope it'll happen more often in the future.

  • @jmob, aknowledged, and I can't offer a defense there regarding universal compatibility with earlier versions.

    @peterkirn that's a good amount of examples. Point well taken. I think I was struck by the nature and transparency of the letter with regard to "and this is where things have gone wrong while we let our attention divert to ambitious new projects." Perhaps in some of your examples this has also been present, however.

    Thanks, both of you.

  • No, absolutely — what makes this unusual is that it says, outright, the situation is flawed. The point commenters are making here, that there are bugs that should not have been allowed to happen, is essentially what I read Gerhard's note as saying. It isn't very often that someone admits flaws. It takes guts to do that. If they deliver on the fixes, I think they'll be rewarded for their honesty. (If not, of course, it's another matter…)

  • Jawohl! Started to think they were beginning to make Live for Max (not m4l) with the 8.1 update. Ableton needed to focus on what they are known for-Live[for Live]. It seems peripheral projects became the focus, especially this fall/winter. There was also no 8.1 release log, so something was rotten in the state of Berlin. Solid move Gerhard! I wonder if this will affect any NAMM announcements?

  • soundonscene

    Max MSP and Pure Data were not designed to be user friendly creative tools. I have to say they have their work cut out for them. Max is not an idiot proof program, that's why developers love it so. As soon as Max becomes idiot proof, it no longer has the programability it once had.

    It will be a giant leap forward if the Ableton team can modify their version of Max MSP to be more user friendly.

    Also I have purchased a novation launchpad, and may get the max msp live upgrade, but it's very pricey. So I'll probably develop my own programs and learn how to port them via midi, through to Pure Data… … …

    I have to add that Live is the best creative recording program I have ever used!

  • s ford

    Personally as much as I love using Live, there are some aspects of the prog which I think are nothing short of a disgrace.

    The Upgrades.

    Every year or so, a major update is released which often only adds a new instrument or another effect or so, this is not taking into account of Ableton Suite or the new instruments as they themselves have rather high prices themselves and are not included in the standard range of.

    In the UK, each major update costs around Β£150 or Β£200 if you upgrade from an older version. Which if you want the most upto date version of the programme it’s an additional Β£150 every 12 months.

    Personally, I believe the reason why the programme is so buggy is that Ableton rush out so many updates which they know their loyal fanbase will pay Β£150 per year for that they can’t be bothered to iron out the bugs. Ableton IMO are nothing short of a disgrace. Even this ‘apology’ from my perspective just seems like a damage limitation exercise done to counteract the bad smells which they have created.

    If you lay a stinking turd then spray a bit of a perfume, you’ll be able to smell the turd.

    I’d have preferred if Ableton, actually tested their releases a bit better, but like I said before it’s probably because they are so eager to maximise their revenues by releasing updates every year they can’t be bothered to test their releases.

    When it comes to companies who truly treat their users with respect let’s not forget Reaper. Renoise too, have allowed their users to be able to access major updates for no additional cost too.

    @Dan Battaglia
    YOUR REAKTOR ENSEMBLES F*CKING RULE! πŸ™‚ cheers bro, not much else to say. You’re a legend, keep up the great work.

  • Lord Toranaga

    I am still Skipping 8. waiting for 9 over here.

    Ableton got too big for their britches.

    lots of cool new features, they just need to work correctly before I will buy.

  • Dubremix

    you know there a fair amount of dissing ableton going on. other than propellerheads is there some non-crashing DAW out there? am i missing something? i regularly crash Pro Tools, Logic and DP! c'mon!

    as i mentioned twice, accidentally unplugging my mbox2 will cause my mac to kernel panic. digi makes you use their lame audio interfaces, you cant escape their drivers. DP is slower than hell. logic is confusing as hell and Pro Tools is massively overrated.

    they've all go issues.

    again, i say, the most interesting new features in the old school big DAWs are rip offs of ableton. how about giving them some credit for their innovations!

    ya'll a bunch of babies. programs crash, shit fails, get used to it. it's easier than ever to make music, try doing it on an atari st with 1 MB of ram and 10 mb hard drive.

  • Soundonscene get us update about this pd Live… I will love see something like this!

    I understand that maybe it not will be like Assembla LiveApi or maxforlive but I think pd has a lot to say…


    About Namm… Serato buggy?

    Lets see…

  • Food for thought… I played a gig the other weekend with Nathan Fake headlining. I had mentioned some of the dramas I had with Ableton 8.1 constantly crashing while I was trying to render out stems from a new track for the live set and he laughed and showed me that he still uses Live 4.

  • I don't remember having any issues with Live 7. But with Live 8 I had a number of issues. Both crash issuess and graphic card related issues. So, very good!

  • davedri,

    I still use live4 for livegigs too πŸ™‚

    been saying it for years man!

  • Ulhuru

    Now I just wish a similar announcement is made by Native Instruments for Guitar Rig 4…

  • lalaland

    @daveDri: I also wondered how he's makeing such fantastic synth sounds with VST 5.1 and no automation… I love you fake

  • Captain Howdy

    I'm gonna read between the lines here and take this press release as an warning that there won't be a Live 9 in 2010… which may actually be a good thing.

  • Captain Howdy


    you know there a fair amount of dissing ableton going on. other than propellerheads is there some non-crashing DAW out there? am i missing something? i regularly crash Pro Tools, Logic and DP! c’mon!

    ya’ll a bunch of babies. programs crash, shit fails, get used to it. it’s easier than ever to make music, try doing it on an atari st with 1 MB of ram and 10 mb hard drive.


    It makes a difference when a program is marketed for LIVE USE and it regularly crashes… not that you're smart enough to understand.

  • @captainhowdy

    'am i missing something?'

    ya, you're obviously missing the fact all the 'dissing' has been vindicated by Gherard's statement. I suggest you read it…or re-read it as the case may be.

  • Sorry captainhowdy,

    that was actually meant for Dubremix

  • Greg

    I have mixed feelings. I just purchased M4L few days ago and it crashes every time I save the patch. As someone else said on the forum, it's like being a forced beta tester. Considering the amount of money I payed, I expected something that works fine. What also pisses me off is that I still haven't got any answer from the tech support. Now I have this shit feeling that it's probably my computer dying, or issues with the newly installed Snow Leopard… they kinda left us in the darkness. There goes my loyalty to Ableton.

    On the other hand I'm sure they would fix it soon. Have had lots of shit products and services in my life but never seen a CEO talking about mistakes this frankly.

  • stevencjones

    I agree with jmob. Live is a hobby for me and I get little time off. This holiday I treated myself to max for live. As I am not technically minded it took me three days to see there was compatability issues with M4L and suite 8.1. The ".adv" format is no longer supported so I could not access the tutorials. Fortunately there is a 30 day trial of Max/Msp so I am using the help from that. On the cycling74 forum I was provided with a beta of 8 so I can access the presets and tutorials.

    I am a live fan and tend to update when new versions come out as there always see at least one new feature which will help me.

    I appreciate the press release. However, this has to now be followed up with better communication with cycling 74 and more testing of products.

    I am now running 8.1.5 beta. when this expires will it just revert to 8.1? I am going on holiday and will not have internet access to download suite 8 again if needed.


  • Simon

    I have a CD of Live lite 4 that came with my Axiom. I've been a Reason head for years. Can I get something out of it for live use or should I get something more recent?

  • That is good news – Live 8 is still terribly unstable. I had crashes when closing the program, crashes when copying channels, crashes when copying files. Only because of the flawless victory undo-history that was not a problem.

  • I'm one of those *late* adopters. I noticed that every time I upgrade my DAWs or my system, everything *can* (doesn't always) go to hell, with plugins breaking, new software taxing my processor excessively, or bugs not being worked out.

    Still using Live 7 and glad I am. Will wait a bit, but running out of patience, as I do want to get into Max for Live.

    Btw, for those who can swing student discounts, the full version of Max, which includes Max for Live functionality, is less expensive than the retail Max for Live. Have fun!

  • oh, one more thing:

    am I the only one that thinks Ableton's upgrade cycle is a big ripoff? A few extra features, a new version number, and a hefty "upgrade" fee.

    For that, I expect them to work out the bugs!!! So no thanks to a company aiming to achieve their core competency. If they keep this up, someone else will take their place, eventually.

  • What about 14th Serato Ableton Partnership?

    This is a bit important because some people are expecting the "solid" combo but…

    Ableton has to fix bugs…

    Serato has to code something…

    I'm true interested. I had help Ms. Pinky (and comunity) in maxforlive developing and I know how to integrate Serato in the same way but… it seems that they are not interested on it. (Serato)

    It seems they are interested on doing something like rewiring and some kind of midi clock integration but I start to think those all "handshakes" has a dark buggy side…

    Anyone could give me some light?

  • about time.

  • Mark Kunoff

    Fantastic News! Hats off to Ableton. Peter, I wonder if the Ableton team is aware of your noise page on sync issues with Live. (Even though this isn't exactly bug fixing.)

    "Brand Transparency" seems to be the new trend in marketing these days. It gives a different slant to "New and improved!" For example, have any of you seen the new Dominoes Pizza commercial where they admit that customers were saying their sauce tastes like ketchup? I find it hugely ironic that companies now are building brand loyalty by saying, "We've now decided to listen to our customers!"

    All satire aside, I actually believe Ableton genuinely wants to improve the stability of their product. Hopefully this will inspire other companies to do the same. Announcing a halt on new feature development is quite admirable. I can't think of any software company (let alone music software) that has made a public announcement of this type. This will definitely get noticed and no doubt will send out some shock waves to other user discussion boards.

    Basically I see this as a win-win, such as "Green" technology or the "Freemium" business model. With this new golden age of social networking and viral video content, this phenomenon of brand transparency is/was – in my view – an inevitability.

  • @Kozmo Ray: No, you're not the only one. Some software companies have adopted the auto industry model. Ableton is one of them. In the end, it's usually about GREED. Profit above all else. When the ish finally hits the fan (customer complaints can no longer be ignored), the company issues a statement. This practice is pathetic. Unfortunately, there are those who applaud and encourage this type of behavior. πŸ™

  • The Brain

    I wont be surprised if they charge their customers a fee for the bug fixes. Sadly their supporters will find excuses as to why its justified for them to charge a fee for the bug fixes. Ableton Live 9 at NAMM get your wallets ready. πŸ™‚

    Replace buggy software.

  • @The Brain: I would be very surprised by that, given that they say explicitly this will be a *free update* for Live 8 users. πŸ˜‰

    You know, the annual release cycle debate can go either way. Users often complain about waiting too long between releases, too. Pricing is another matter, and obviously if you're sacrificing stability, you're doing something you need to correct, but as for frequency in and of itself I don't know is a black-and-white issue.

    But the important thing is, Ableton has generally made bug fixes for any given release (6.x, 7.x, 8.x) free. I don't think it's entirely fair to ding them on that, even if it *is* fair to complain about reliability issues or pricing as separate issues.

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  • They are *obliged* to provide the advertised product. There's absolutely no question that bugfixes should be 'free'

    That's a red herring if you ask me.

    It's like selling a bicycle from a catalogue, you show a picture of a bike with two wheels and deliver a bike with a wheel missing. and then 6 months later sending the buyer a 'free' wheel. Kool.

  • Boya

    Just have to leave my two cents since I'm sure Ableton eyes will be watching. I am a full Ableton owner since 6, and have purchased every upgrade/suite option since then. Until M4L.

    I have to agree with s ford and Kozmo Ray said.

    Pricing has continued to go up, and stability has gone down. The upgrade cycle has gotten ridiculous. I am an avid user and generally very happy, but this last year or so of upgrades and M4L, and Ableton going from one of the most economical to one of the most expensive options is making me feel pimped.

    Defend and flame away, just my perspective as a tick in the rug.

  • Wow I must be lucky!! I haven't had any problems with Ableton other than a few glitches when I was overloading the pc creating a song… None while doing live sets..

    Since I switched from PC to mac last year.. I have never had more stability and cannot complain… however… I am not running Snow Lep either (wait for the bugs to get ironed out before upgrading operating system.. if it isn't broke don't fix it)…

    But it stinks others are having soo many issues!! I never forget when I had windows XP how many times I had blue screens when they upgraded from version 6 to 7.. then I got a Mac.. and I honestly have to say I have had no problems…

    However I do not play live right now… but still I never have issues with it right now (knocks on wood)..

    So guys I hate you are having problems… b/c I can say.. they are a great staff.. and they always respond to me when I have issues and questions.. and I know they are working hard to fix these issues…

    So good luck guys!

  • Okay I have to just say one more thing in their defense to some regards..

    This has been a big year for Ableton Live and technology in General..

    I mean last year I had to program all my midi triggers and took forever to set things up..

    Now with the APC, Launch Pad being dedicated.. and the New Maschine being my dedicated Drums track…. things are different..

    These just came out in the past year to 6 months even… and on top of that… New Windows version… New Mac operating system… and so on..

    I mean it is inevitable that there will be bugs with all these technologies coming together an interacting with one another… and this is all new ground in terms of Music production and especially real time midi control.

    I do have to say… No other program right now really does what ableton does.. in terms of Complete in the box studio, session view for live performance, and new midi controllers dedicated to the software..

    I mean it is amazing… that we can do what we can do when working with all these controllers and the ease of use of Live…

    However, the everything must work… so this is obviously a huge issue.

    I think it takes balls for these guys to admit there are issues.. and make the public aware that they will strive to fix the current problems before they focus on new features..

    Something that many of the other software developers would never admit, and we are lucky that they are this open with their information..


  • @Kozmo Ray

    am I the only one that thinks Ableton’s upgrade cycle is a big ripoff? A few extra features, a new version number, and a hefty “upgrade” fee.

    Actually 100 bucks or so isn't a huge fee for an Upgrade…

    Every Upgrade I have paid for with Ableton has been worth every single penny.. and honestly.. I would have paid 100 more…

    I don't know how familiar you are with the software or what your priorities are with upgrades.. but anything that increases my work flow and makes things faster.. I am in..

    The slice to midi in my book would be worth the fee alone.. not to mention all the new Plugins they added that were essential to the suite.

  • s ford


    100 bucks? It's £150 in the UK, and musiciansfriend indicates it's $229 to upgrade from v7 to v8. I'd say the upgrades are pretty expensive for a yearly basis. $229 to $100 is a massive underestimate!

    Not to say the prog itself (when it isn't crashing) isn't amazing, there are aspects which are truly divine about the programme and some which are less so (IMO the effects and instruments are shoddy at the least in comparison to those of Logic Studio, the Live reverb in particular is diabolical at the very least)

    Still it will be very interesting in how Ableton react at the coming NAMM. Personally, I agree with 'The Brain' and it will time to get the wallet at the ready once again. I reckon that there will be a minor update eg 8.1.1 to 8.1.2 to iron out the bugs of v8, but a version 9 will be out paid which will have a few additional features eg Serato. Ableton have never stopped releasing a yearly major update and I think even in this scenario they still won't stop. The pivotal word in their statement is 'Free Live 8 Update', emphasis on the 8….

  • Dubremix

    peter kirn,

    captin howdy is casting aspersions.

    if you are going to delete my response, then please delete his offending remarks.

  • Dubremix

    so the lesson here is that a large number of people like "beats me" prefer companies to remain opaque. if they have bugs, by all means, don't let the users know. and by all means, don't stop forward innovation to fix the bugs.

    with users like this, it's a wonder anyone would even put themselves through the hassle of making software.

    this all rings of being spoiled rotten. even old skool technology fails in live performance and if you don't have the skill to recover in a live set, you have no business being a live performer.

    if anything i fault ableton for making it TOO easy to perform and lowering the bar for anyone to. go back and earn your chops by using an AKAI and finding loop points by ear. mixing tape and vinyl and real instruments. PAs go out. guitar amps blow. cables get unplugged. etc… programs crash. cars crash into you on the road. get use to it. life is not fool proof.

  • FailedSitcom

    It doesn't work? It works absolutely for me without any bugs (I had one small one but that's fixed by the new update).

    And before the "you can't be doing much with it" response: I'm recording lots of audio and MIDI tracks, running plenty of audio units (mostly u-he's plug-ins) and using a Monome with Stretta's Suite.

    And am I really the only person who always used to have Reason crash on me? Cubase, Logic, Reason and Pro Tools have all crashed on me a lot more than Live ever has.

  • @Dubremix: I didn't get that at all. Quite a lot of people are responding to the forum post positively — so much so, in fact, that part of the reason the reaction from other folks is now anti-Ableton is because they're surprised a company is being congratulated for their bugs!

    No, I think for many people it's good to know that the developer is concerned about making the software better. It's vindicating to users to hear, oh yeah, this thing I'm complaining about, the manufacturer is acknowledging that. It's not just me / they're not ignoring me.

    Ableton has had some reliability issues beyond third-party plug-ins; they say as much and you can read the changelogs. Ableton is effectively saying here that they think they can do better, so there's no reason to lower the bar. That doesn't mean you have to slam Ableton, either — whoever the company is, a more reliable, more stable product is a good thing. As an industry, the music tech sector can make better software than it does now. It can always be better. As users, we should push them to make it better. I don't see a conflict there.

    Of course, we're hearing conflicting reports on an *individual* basis; that's not really surprising. I think the bottom line is, with any software program, anecdotal evidence can be used to support any conclusion. It makes our job really tough as reviewers – not least because, in my experience, software refuses to crash while you're reviewing it, only to fail on a monumental scale the moment your review copy is turned in.

  • @aje: That's a good point. If you *do* believe in software as an alternative to hardware, you ought to be able to hold it to the same reliability standard as hardware. After all, hardware can have bugs; it can even crash. If there is a gaping difference between the two, something probably isn't right. So I agree with you on that.

  • @dubremix: Sure, sure, all kinds of things have improved — but that doesn't really count as "spoiled"; I think that's positive progress and it's a reasonable bar to set! Also, I'm not sure I entirely agree with your assessment. I recall early versions of both Cakewalk for DOS and Vision on Mac, just to name two I used, that worked exceptionally well. Software now does quite a lot more, it's true, but then I think what Ableton themselves are saying here is that setting the bar for stability is really important. They're not stopping selling the upgrade; they're doing the right thing, which is to focus on improving that area. I don't think there's a decent developer out there who would disagree with any of that.

  • wheel

    i've been using Live professionally – from version 1.0 on – to make scores of film soundtracks, a few records and occasional concerts.

    I know of no other even remotely comparable program that has so consistently and rapidly innovated as it develops from release to release. During this development the stability of the program has had it's up and downs from version to version, though for my purposes over the years I have found it significantly more stable than most other music/audio programs I have used.

    Over the last year Ableton have, in addition to other regular ongoing development, taken on two extra challenges, on the one hand building the basis for a perhaps imperfect, but already very useful, integration with bespoke control surfaces … and on the other hand, and here we are in territory that NO OTHER audio program/company has ever even come close to attempting … opened the magic box of integration with Max … something that I firmly believe will come to be seen as a very major milestone in the development of making music with computers.

    It seems obvious that a great deal of developmental resources have been devoted to these challenges, and it seems that the stability of the program has taken a temporary hit because of it. The bossmen at Ableton are coming out and saying that they screwed up a little in the balance of allocating resources to development versus stability and now they are going to swing that balance right back the other way to get the stability back where it should be.

    Not only are they saying that they are going to put the resources where they need to be to get stability back to where it should be, but THEY ARE ACTUALLY ADMITTING THEY SCREWED UP a little on this to their users.

    To me this seems like pretty responsible adult behaviour, and a very welcome change from the way that so many other companies (that I have since stopped giving money to) flatly ignore the problems that they have created for their users. Of course, like everybody else, i'd prefer no problems in the first place, but, call me a fanboy if you will, i'm having a pretty hard time trying to hate Ableton right now !

  • stevencjones

    8.1.1 released on the ableton site – that was quick!

  • People have to consider the cost of Ableton.

    It's not shareware prices here, it's high-grade prices for what should and COULD be a high-grade product. {if they beta tested it for longer at no charge to the public or existing licensees if preferred}

    To understand the problem, and this has been acknowledged now by Ableton, we have to look at how they've been releasing each version. It's been roughly a yearly upgrade cycle. [certainly from 4 to 5 to 6 to 7 to 8]. What they should have done is kept selling live 4 for extra months and extended the beta period for live 5 until it was mature enough to sell. And so on with each subsequent version. Instead, they got used to selling half-baked software for high-grade prices and the buyer became the beta tester – they take last years stable version off the shelves. I think they abused all the goodwill they had accumulated from shifting interface paradigms and word-of-mouth reputation. Doing this beta testing the 'proper' way would not have hampered their income in the long run. People will buy whatever version of Live is on sale at the time and if they happen to be beta testing the new version at the time that's kool too. You are paying for a stable product, with access to the beta of the next product. Everyone's happy.

    Throughout the years other companies, especially Native Instruments, have often been used as the yardstick to measure (and ultimately justify) Ableton's practises. This is, and always has been, madness. Where's the logic in saying "it's ok to be shafted by Ableton, because NI shaft people too"

    Also, I have a wide range of software from various companies, and I have NEVER taken it upon myself to argue with people complaining of bugs etc regarding software I have no issues with. Because [a] I'm not a fanatic and have no emotional bond with a company and [b] just because it's not happening to me doesn't mean it's not happening to others. It never occurs to me that they must be ungrateful because they didn't use tape back in the day, or that they are somehow incapable of using their computer. Sometimes it's very obvious when it's user error, and you can (and do) provide the answer. But usually it's people with real issues being engaged in stupid arguments by fanatics who have too much of an emotional attachment with the company and the discussion descends into flames and bad feeling.

    Now, that's already a bad situation – selling half-baked software for high-grade prices. But check this reality.. to add insult to injury not only do you find you've paid a premium to be a beta-tester, but after a year you realise that woah – low and behold – their devs have been coding the PAID FOR REPLACEMENT for the year. What ? Excuse me ? So not only did I pay for a beta, but your dev resources were not fully focused on stabilising it ? Again – this has been acknowledged by Gherard. And it's not a new way of doing things for them, but I certainly hope with Live9 it will be the OLD way of doing things.

    lastly, and this point is symptomatic of the underlying practises, they have continued to sell and advertise functions on their website which they KNOW don't work as advertised. not just with 8, but in the versions from 5 until 8. with live 5 'on the fly' recording in session view didn't work correctly for months, more than half the products life cycle – like 10 months, because it truncated the recorded samples. Bit of a kick in the balls for anyone who was expecting the 'on the fly' stuff to be true . With live6, SAMPLER didn't import .nki libraries properly as they claimed. There was a workaround that only worked SOMETIMES and involved OWNING KONTAKT! they were aware of the on-the-fly problem with 5, and the .nki thing with 6, from the very onset. But continued to make false claims in their advertisements. the nki problem was never fixed until it was fixed in LIVE 7!!

    Problems that could have been avoided if they beta-tested longer before selling it. but i think it's absolutely unjustifiable to claim your software does something you know it can barely do.

    Which leads me to an increasingly popular apologist retort – use the demo. Sure, I agree – use the demo. I always do. But problems don't always rear their ugly head when in demo mode, and you're not likely to buy kontakt libraries for a demo either.

    But what's disturbing is the idea that if you somehow didn't spot the issue whilst using the demo, that it's your own "tough luck" that the software doesn't work as advertised and you have to deal with it. If you try out any other product, and it fails after you buy it and get home, your consumer rights aren't somehow rendered null & void because you didn't spot the issue during the demo.

    so in short, the abes need to alter how they do things – so they are not putting themselves in the position where they have to stop selling something or blatantly lie in their advertisements. I mean, i've seen people say 'hey it's madness to stop selling live' but nothing would stop Ableton from selling Live7 again in the interim. People still want to buy Live, it's ableton who decide which version by taking the last stable one off the shelves. They're the ones putting themselves in this shitty situation.

    and lastly, i have a bone to pick with music mags. throughout the years they have done nothing more than ECHO the advertising from ableton's website in their supposed reviews. They have printed reviews of each ableton release early on, and not once did they mention reaaaaallllll obvious bugs that contradict the advertised product. I mean, they didn't have to be vicious, just honest. "such and such doesn't work right yet, but we're promised it will soon" etc…and if soon is 10 months well at least the reviewer highlighted the issue and it was Ableton who turned 'soon' into 'next year'

    so ya, Gherhard, all the faults you listed are on the ball – so let's hope you radically change how you do things and treat your customers with more common respect.

  • dubremix

    @Peter Kirn

    Vision? Do you remember OMS and OMS vs FreeMIDI and all the chaos around it? It wasn't until OSX that we could have reliable MIDI. For years after Opcode folded we had to use the same OMS that had stopped being developed. Trying to interoperate between Vision and Performer was a nightmare. OMS would crash my Mac all the time.

    I don't miss those days, there were no halycon at all.

  • dubremix

    @beats me

    Live isn't expensive at all. What are you talking about? Logic is subsidized by Apple to sell Macs, so it isn't priced at a realistic cost. ProTools has an inexpensive version, but you are forced to use their hardware even if you have a really good interface already. Digital Performer is very nice, but requires a bi-yearly investment to keep working. Now Record and Reason are a steal, I cannot say anything but praise and hope they see great success in such a crowded market.

    I don't see Live as expensive at all. I see this as what a small developer must do to stay in business in a very competitive and tiny market niche. Not to mention they have to constantly battle people with [k]'s on rapidshare.

    What's a few hundred dollars? Big whoop. You probably spend more on drinks or cable per year.

  • Greg

    If anyone's interested, this mail from cycling 74 solved all my problems, no crashes at all:


    Lets first do a clean install with the latest version of Max. To clean out Max 5 entirely, remove these items:

    ~/Library/Preferences/Max5 Preferences Folder


    Then download and reinstall the latest Max 5 release:"

    Thanks to Ben from cycling:)

  • @dubremix: I wasn't longing for those days; that'd be insane. But it was possible to get a stable system then, too, as now. I don't think it's unrealistic to expect that of software, and I don't think stability is a new invention. If there weren't *some* stable systems (Cakewalk 4 for DOS and a Roland MIDI interface, for instance, was rock solid), I don't think we'd be around now to talk about computer music. People would have given up and we'd be using hardware exclusively.

    Anyway, yes, 8.1.1 is out now and as a full release, not a beta. It is NOT, as far as I know, the release described in Gerhard's message. But it is progress, and well worth trying out, especially if you download it, review the changes, and discover that it addresses an issue you're having.

    If you're not having any trouble, of course, you carry on! (That's always true!)

  • if I spend $200 on a bike that's missing a wheel – that's an expensive bike.

    Anyways, no need for analogies. Ableton is expensive. No debate.

  • Greg

    Beats me, Ableton has publicly announced that they rushed the development. They also admitted that there were problems with the communication. This is pretty much everything I could expect from any corporate organization. Call me naive, but I believe that they're working hard to fix the bugs. Someone (probably it was you) was mentioning greed. They're not the Lehman brothers…

  • Greg

    Woops, new version of Live just installed. That was quick. And by the way, it's not a beta.

  • Greg,

    "Someone (probably it was you) was mentioning greed. They’re not the Lehman brothers…"

    that comment is tres, tres lame. Maybe I should put words in your mouth too and extrapolate what I please, and hit you with some lame one-liner ? …nah.

    "Beats me, Ableton has publicly announced that they rushed the development."

    Yes, and I agree with everything Gherhard said.

    I think you should take the time to read the posts before replying to them.

  • At the risk of acting as referee, I have to point out — I see a few basic threads here:

    1. "Boy, I'm frustrated that this has come to this in the first place. Live isn't reliable for me, and I paid for it."

    2. "I'm really happy with Live, so I don't know what the fuss is about."

    3. "I have seen some issues, but Ableton is working through them, and I'm glad they're open about it."

    EACH of those is a valid and not unexpected response, depending on your experience. So there's really no need for people to feel the need to attack each other over this. All three of the above can be "right" at the same time.

  • Greg

    Gerhard, by the way. Very common German name, not rocket science to spell it.

  • …..alllllrighty then.

  • Greg

    Anyway, the new 8.1.1 release seems stable. Max doesn't crash anymore, works like charm. I'll rest my case.

  • yes. of course. and 8.1.1 seeming stable for you moots everything that's been said.


  • aje

    In terms of setting an example of transparency for others to follow…

    …surely the issue here is that Ableton Live 8 is significantly MORE buggy than other competing releases? For example, I used to avoid Cubase because it had a reputation (circa SX1 to 2) for being buggy, with little response from the developer. But my Cubase 5 is rock solid, and more stable than any version I have used of Live since v5. In fact, I would feel FAR more confident to take Cubase 5 onstage than Ableton Live these days. Same applies to Logic and others… but Live 8 is a bad, bad release.

    The example companies should strive to follow imho is Propellerhead, who iron out the bugs before releasing the product, and then sell software that actually works from day one. THAT… is real integrity, and especially welcome in this economic climate.

  • aje

    By the way… why is Ableton still selling Live 8? They’ve appologised for how buggy it is, but are still happy to sell it on their website. It seems strange to me that they are happy to be selling their loyal customers an upgrade that they know doesn’t work…

  • dubremix

    @Peter Kirn,

    it was possible to get a stable system then, but the system was far less complex. i think the moment all hell broke loose was the invention of plug-ins. since then plug-ins have ruined my life yet, made it more interesting! i mean i can't live without them, yet, they are from hell.

    i had a number projects that i built on OS 9 that can never be opened now because the plugs didn't live in the OS X world.

    or what happens when you build your track around a plug-in and the company goes under?

    which is why, despite defending ableton pretty heavily right here, and buying every version since 2.0. i am recently in love with Record. that mixer is freaking awesome! and it's like some type of time machine nirvana. i can open old Reason projects from 2001 and still work on them. i can almost never open old projects from other DAWs because of plug-in issues.

    btw; i absolutely love your blog. it's a very helpful resource.

    so cheers!

  • Dubremix

    i’ve been using every major version of live since live 2.0. live 8 is not that buggy if you stick to using the built in plugs.

    it most certainly is not some type of massive failure. i really can’t understand this dramatic anti-ableton vibe. considering that ableton virtually made push button DJing a reality. as i mention in my last post, lowering the bar for anyone to appear to know how to make music.

    on my mac, i have about 3 times more crash report .log files for Logic than I do for Live 8.

    almost all of them related to third party plug-in issues.

    the lesson is never admit bugs. just pretend it’s not there and blame it on user error.

  • aje

    If it works for you that’s good… but perhaps there should at least be a warning in the “shop” pages that potential customers should demo it very thoroughly on their system before buying.

    It always interests me the way software seems exempt from the normal rules when it comes to selling stuff. Most products with a bunch of faults would be recalled, but not software. For one thing I guess it’s more difficult to pin the blame, so kudos to Ableton for acknowledging that in the light of the large numbers having problems, the blame does lie with them.

    But the apology perhaps seems just a tad less sincere when you spot they are happy to sell the faulty (for many) product still. I did notice quite a few people in this discussion and on other forums who are less happy customers than you, and even quite angry after several months of not being able to use the software they purchased.

  • aje

    Previous comment of mine was in response to FailedSitcom, to clarify.

  • I think it’s a good thing to be open, however I haven’t experienced any of the issues because I’m still rockin out on version 7…for the very reason that too many people seemed to be having issues.

    I don’t do anything live, so that’s not a problem, but when I’m ready to produce, I don’t want to have to deal with tons of crashes and bugs.

    It’s good to see Ableton working on the issues and being open about it.

  • dubremix

    @Peter Kirn my last response was to aje

    “By the way… why is Ableton still selling Live 8? They’ve appologised for how buggy it is, but are still happy to sell it on their website. It seems strange to me that they are happy to be selling their loyal customers an upgrade that they know doesn’t work…”

    which i think is way over the top. i started computer music in 1987 with an atari st and an ensoniq mirage. it was far more normal for my setup to crash than to work. which is why when i was doing live performance with it, i had a turn table and drum machine ready to take over when the computer went down. only rarely did i not have issues.

    over the years, it has gotten insanely easy to make music with a computer. it’s all too easy now, and people are spoiled. hell, it wasn’t that long ago it was considered a miracle that a DAW could host a few instances of plug-ins.

    i just don’t see a reason for ableton to stop selling live and curl up into the fetal position and beg for forgiveness.

  • Franklin

    If you're an Ableton Live user just don't upgrade to the 8.1 but stay on 8.0.9 or lower. I can't open some old songs with 8.1 and it crashes a lot. But it's a brave step for Ableton. Now I'm sure I'm a lifetime fan! Respect!

  • aje

    @ dubremix: excellent point about backwards compatibility – one of the reasons I am very happy with Record as well. Not something I initially considered as a "selling point", but you are so right: I can virtually never open Live projects from even 6-12 months ago because my plugin folder has this habit of changing. With Record it will always be possible to reopen projects from ages ago and just jump in. That's a real bonus πŸ˜€

    There's another aspect to this though. I have often seen people "blame" the plugins a user has when things go wrong with the host itself. Mackie Tracktion is a good example – a piece of software I used a few years back. It ended up riddled with bugs (on a level with Live 8 or worse even) but when users reported problems on their forums, a bunch of core testers and fans consistently would blame plugins rather than admit there was a problem with the host. "We can't duplicate it" was the regular mantra.

    Anyone wsho owns of has owned a few different hosts will be able to tell you that their plugins work well in some, but not in others. There's a big responsibility for the plugin developers to test their products in all the hosts that they should work in, and to adhere to the VST/AU/RTAS plugin specifications closely. But also the host developers need to make sure their host is capable of, erm, hosting these other products successfully, and liaising with the plugin developers where necessary. This must add hugely to their workload, but if they choose to make hosts for plugins its a part of the job.

    So hats off to Ableton for taking responsibility for the fact that Live is in parts a bit broken. Mackie did the opposite IIRC and burried their heads; Tracktion is no more as a result, which is very sad because it was innovative and had lots of potential. My feelings are that Ableton will not go the same way, but will come through this process stronger and with a far more stable product within the next few months, which is good news.

  • Interesting thought to share…

    What about any kind of firewire DSP for Ableton Live (from Roland maybe) and not exclusive as a dongle like protools hardware?

    Maybe it is time to hybrid solutions instead "all-in-one" buggy software… of course these kind of partnerships are two side blade…

    What do you think?

  • Martin

    @ dubremix: i had a number projects that i built on OS 9 that can never be opened now because the plugs didn’t live in the OS X world.

    or what happens when you build your track around a plug-in and the company goes under?


    usuall one should finish a track to a point where it isn´t neccessary to open the project again. what you said about plug ins applies also for the DAW, it´s a great and also a pain that we can open an arrangement as often as we want. Music has to be finished and the we have to move on to the next pice we have to make. A track usually doesn´t get better when you oopen it x times in several years, t least not mine πŸ™‚

  • Bynar

    What is it with the Ableton userbase? All discussions on their forum end in a fight. I was a live 4 – live 7 user. I skipped Live 5. I remember just a simple question on the forum would often result in some vicious name calling. For no reason, I was called a queer on the forum a couple years back. That has never happened to me on the cycling 74 forum.

    Things got less reliable on my older machine and I went back to recording in Max and arranging in Logic. I wish more people understood that Max programs by themselves actually make great live performance tools that are reliable and simple. It's not like Live is the ONLY option for playing live. I think the main problem with reliability is extra features designed for the latest quad core computers. While this is great, many of us still get by with much slower processors and limited ram.

  • wheel

    @ beat me : you make some good points, and though I don't share your virulence, I have to agree with some of what you say … but where I would differ is the following :

    You seem to be arguing that Live has always been particularly unstable because of the alledgedly bad business practices that you decry, and that the problems in 8.1 are just more of the same.

    I really don't think this is true at all.

    They have been putting massive resources into Max4Live and to a lesser extent the control surface code. It must necessarily be a particularly complex time for them – definitely NOT business as usual – I don't think that this is being taken sufficiently into account.

    … and frankly to compare the potential stability issues facing Ableton as they morph Live into Live+Max4LIve with the stability issues facing Props as they add a synth or two to Reason every few years is a bit like saying "I got some new oars for my row boat without too much problem, how come NASA are having so much hassle getting to Mars ?"

    Sure I can see valid reasons for preferring row boats to spacecraft for certain tasks, but lets be, ahem, reasonable …

  • aje

    LOL: for most musicians rowing down the river would be more useful and productive than flying to mars anyway.

    Check out this great blog post about Kurt Cobain – but actually about Live/Max and electronic music. A good read:

  • @wheel

    Well I disagree, I think in many ways it is business as usual. Granted live 8 seems to be more of a clusterfuck than usual, especially in terms of crashes. Whereas previously (for me) it was more bug/functionality orientated. The ethos is the same though – sell it, spend the year stabilising it with limited dev resources while a bunch of other devs work on next years glorified beta. repeat & rinse.

    they've been treating *loyal* customers like a cash-cow.

    Gerhard says they're sorry and they're nipping it in the bud. let's hope so. Even so, I'll always be using 'last years model' until it's abundantly clear things have changed.

    Your analogy is pretty weak, or at least misses the big issue. It's more like Reason promises you a row boat, and gives you exactly that. Whereas Ableton promise you a trip to mars, charge you appropriately, and then sends you off on the prototype – only for the engines to fail before leaving the atmosphere and leaving you to fall back to earth to your untimely demise.

    so ya, it's ambitious to want to fly to mars – no doubt. It's just plain fucked up and immoral to start selling flights on the prototype knowing half the shit doesn't work right.

  • Some statistics:

    Changelogs 8.0.2 – 8.1.1:

    02 April 2009 (Live 8 release) – 29 Dec 2009 (Live 8.1.1 release) | 264 days

    42 Improvements | 0.16/day

    261 Bugfixes | 0.99/day (almost a good turn daily)


    Updated manuals

    Updated help pages

    Dragging a file from the OS into Live's file browser copies the file by default instead of moving it. When pressing the copy modifier the file will be moved [4976]

    Improvements for offline authorization

    Resizing tracks with ALT now only resizes tracks withing the same level of the group track hierarchy.

    Unfold all (ALT-click the arrow) now works only in the same level of hierarchy – "resize all" and "unfold all" works now either on "player and group tracks", or on "return and master tracks".

    In Session View, group tracks provide a “track launch” button in map mode.

    The fold/unfold triangle of a group track is painted blue when a track inside is soloed.

    In the file browser, the "create folder" command is available in the "parent folder" context menu.

    Added an option for the Options.txt file to support Wacom Tablets. Adding the line ”-AbsoluteMouseMode” into Options.txt file switches Live into absolute mouse position mode.

    Updated manuals

    Updated Help Pages

    MaxForLive support

    Filter Delay offers 3 options for smoothing time transitions now.

    Closed group tracks material (Session view slots or Arrangement "overview") is now used for clipboard operations, such as copy/paste, duplicate or delete.

    New Midi-Notes created by clicking always have the length of the current grid even if the grid is off.

    Consolidate respects empty clip names. Formerly, the consolidated clip would take its name from the first clip in the selected region, or the track's name if the clip name would be empty. Now, the consolidated clip takes the first clip's name, regardless whether it is empty.

    'Crop Clip' is now available in the context menu of the MIDI clip detail view.

    Double clicking on the Clip Panel header, in the detail view, shows that clip in Session, or Arranger.

    Updated manuals

    Updated Help Pages

    Updated manuals

    Updated Help Pages

    Control Surface support for Novation Launchpad

    Several improvements for the AxiomPro Controllers

    Updated manuals

    Updated Help Pages

    When using the APC40 Controller surface script, we check if the selection MIDI ports are the one from the APC40

    Improved graphic performance when using Live on Windows 7 RC 1

    On Mac OS X, Cocoa support for Audio Units

    Having an unfolded Live set file in the browser, now the tracks from that Live set can be inserted into the current set by double clicking too. In earlier versions it was only possible via drag'n drop.

    Controller surface support for the AKAI MPD-18, MPK-25, MPK-61 and MPK-88 controllers.

    Controller surface support for OpenLabs devices

    Updated manual

    Improved handling of the library database. Requires a full rescan of the library which can take a while.

    Better GUI performance when recording many automation parameters

    The APC40 script remembers the last set bank for each device and restores that setting when the corresponding device is selecting again.

    On Mac OS X, if the custom dialog of a plug-in would not process incoming keys Live will handle them. Depending on the plug-in, this should provide a similar work flow as in Live 7

    Several improvements for the Share functionality

    On Windows, support for up to 256 audio channels when using ASIO

    Slightly improved graphic performance on Mac OS X

    Setting up a cache folder is restricted to an empty folder or previous cache folder. Root directories are not longer allowed.


    Prelistening of encoded audio files could lead to hard disk overloads.

    Under certain conditions, replacing files via the File Manager would not work.[5142]

    Repairing the Library would not update/repair meta data of Groove files.[5156]

    On Mac OS X, having the Library on an external drive and attach/detaching it while Live is running would not work properly [4529]

    Loading a third party plug-in which has fewer parameters than a previous version could crash Live.

    Drag & drop of a preset within the Live's browser would not keep the destination folder open.[5140]

    In a particular Live set, a certain audio clip would not play properly because of misaligned transients.[5284]

    Some parameters for Faderfox controllers would not be correctly named.

    Macro names would not always be automatically updated in nested Racks.[4149]

    Saving a preset would fail if the corresponding preset folder does not exist.[5247]

    The “Collect and Save” button of the file manager would not be named properly in some cases.[5290]

    Under certain conditions, the file icon for an audio file would not be updated after an .asd file is created.[5299]

    Under certain conditions, Arranger crossfades would produces clicks in the audio.

    Looping an audio file in 'Tones' warp mode could have audio artifacts while fading.[5269]

    Horizontal lines in pitch-like envelope editors would disappear with Zoom > 100%.[5315]

    As soon as a progress bar for a Live pack installation was shown for the first time, there were no 'marching ants' anymore when loading a document, for the rest of the Live run.

    Under certain conditions, the loop brace vertical lines in the Arranger would not cover the whole height of the Arranger.[5316]

    If no Library is selected, the Repair button would be enabled and clicking it would crash Live.[5324]

    The "Show Preferences" command would check if default packages need to be installed.[5308]

    Copying, deleting and then pasting a file in the file browser would freeze Live.

    Pasting files into Live's browser could make the mouse cursor jump.[4422]

    Under certain conditions, clip fades and device automation would be visible at the same time.[5344]

    In the Arpeggiator, receiving a note-off for the current step could skip a note.

    Slicing presets would be shown even if they can't be used because the required additional products are not unlocked.

    The 'Configure' mode would not work for certain VST plug-ins.

    Copying an Instrument over an existing instrument from one track to another would not work.[5351]

    The latency when playing instruments via external input might be too high in some cases.[5355]

    Recording MIDI controller events into a MIDI clip could crash Live when the clip would be deleted during the recording.

    On Windows and depending on the computer hardware setup, unlocking Live would not be persistent and had to be done on each new Live start.

    Playing back certain REX loops would not work properly for each the second iteration.[5345]

    Playing back a sample in 'Tones' warp mode would not work properly during the waveform analyzing.[5310]

    Looper pedal would be macro mappable by mistake.[5371]

    The overview for a group track would not be updated when undoing a recording.[5343]

    In the clip detail view, changing clip loop start time via edit boxes would not work properly when loop start time is negative.[5326]

    Under certain conditions, authorize Live on Mac OS X could freeze Live. [5372]

    For particular parameters, the automation view would not properly updated. [5386]

    Using any XY control would let the mouse pointer jump on mouse-up and could even crash Live.[5400]

    On Mac OS X, the Configure mode for Audio Units would not work.

    Adding the audio file of a frozen track into the arrangement would result in an extremely long clip.[5409]

    Trigger any clip in Complex or Complex Pro warp mode via MIDI Key range mapping would not pitch the clip.[5395]

    Under certain conditions, opening a set would not be possible as long as the file manger is open.[5379]

    Under certain conditions, when loading a new Live set it would not be possible to delete the temp directory of the current project. For example after unfreezing a track.[5408]

    MIDI Mapping a parameter with identical min and max value would crash Live.[5346]

    Loading a particular Live set would fail with an "Invalid Product ID" message box.[5427]

    Browsing within the Japanese help pages could freeze Live [5449]

    On Mac OS X, "Move to trash" and "Show in finder" command would not work when particular toll are installed. (e.g. PathFinder)

    The unfrozen-state of a track would not be saved properly within a Live set [4413]

    Opening a particular set would crash as soon as the clip detail view of a particular clip would be opened [5454]

    When committing grooves for audio clips, the created volume clip envelope could produce audio clicks [5266]

    The "Auto" switch of racks would not always work properly [4568]

    When moving the mouse over Macros, the the name of the corresponding macro would not always displayed in the status bar [5116]

    In the Operator, the Notch filter display would not be displayed properly [5157]

    MIDI note preview would not always play all notes when moving the insert marker with arrow left/right [5469]

    Arranger recording of an unwarped clip could result in different playing offsets [5455]

    In the file manager, the project and library link would not work [5467]

    Installing a Live pack fails when one of the installed samples is already in use [3041]

    MIDI step input would sometimes happen when it should not; for example when just playing a note while there's a time selection, or when pressing keys other than arrow left and arrow right. MIDI step input would also generate undo steps even if nothing happened [5486]

    When scrubbing in the Arranger, sample pre-loading would not always work properly [4696]

    Transport controls of certain controller surfaces would not work properly [5505]

    Playing back a particular audio clip in Beats warp mode would lead to disk overloads on loop back jump [5501]

    Under certain conditions, Collect and Save would copies no longer used audio files of frozen tracks [5114]

    Slice to MIDI track on audio clip might crash Live [5390]

    The voice stealing mechanism of the Impulse would not always work properly [573]

    In the Vocoder, several parameter would appear with different names in the automation chooser compared to the names from the info text [5060]

    In the Multiband Dynamics, several parameter would appear with different names in the automation chooser compared to the names from the info text [5060]

    Creating a MIDI track via double click on an instrument preset in the Browser would not work when a Return or the master track is selected [3399]

    The Session view scrolling with the APC40 would not always work properly

    Third party plug-in offering more inputs that outputs could crash Live

    Pasting a Live set from the browser into the current Live set would select and scroll to a slot in the last scene [5493]

    Not quantized arranger scrubbing would not work properly [5491]

    Slicing audio file using a slicing preset containing two levels of nested racks with cascading macro mappings would crash Live [5458]

    Dragging a clip from a Live set in the browser to the empty arranger area would not work sometimes or even crash Live [5508]

    Having an unwarped clip which spans more than the whole range of its next clip. Copying both of them are could crash Live.

    In the browser, collapsing a folder while renaming contained file after exporting a clip or track into that folder could crash Live [5528]

    Play through optimization would not work properly for audio monitoring and recording, resulting in high latencies [5529]

    Unquantized scrubbing would not work properly in MIDI clips

    On Mac OS X, the DUY Tape AU plug-in would crash on instantiation [5429]

    When the Looper is set to a fixed length recording and the song is running, the recording length of the Looper might be miscalculated

    Under certain conditions, moving a MIDI clip in arrangement could crash Live [5543]

    Protocol recording of audio clips in ReWire slave mode would lead to silent arranger clips [5541]

    Dragging a multi selection of audio files into Live would not work properly, when the multi selection would contain .asd files too [5485]

    The 'Select All' context menu command would be available by accident for an entry in the device browser [5496]

    On Windows, moving Library could transform .AbletonPresetInfo files into _AbletonPresetInfo files [5506]

    Jumping to different bars using the song position field, with the arrow keys, doesn't work properly [5490]

    Setting a tempo via scene launch would not work properly if there's a loop in the Arranger [5535]

    Exporting or consolidating audio would create a fade in in the resulting audio file [5540]

    After Grouping, ungrouping or re-grouping of tracks, the APC40 would not work properly anymore

    Doing undo via keyboard shortcut while a modal dialog is opened could crash Live [5561]

    With the APC40, stopping clips via the clip-stop buttons would not work properly

    Switching device banks would not work properly when using the 'microKontrol' as Control Surface [5568]

    On Mac OS X, having a plug-in opening a modal dialog and switching then to another application would crash Live [5583]

    MIDI loop recording in Arranger would not work properly after the first loop iteration [5203]

    Using follow actions on clips in Legato mode could crash Live [5580]

    On Windows, editing the info text for an arrangement locator would not work properly [5574]

    On Mac OS X, slow mouse wheel changes would not work properly [5552]

    On Mac OS X, drag'n drop operation with certain key modifiers could lead to an 'unstoppable' drag'n drop operation [5564]

    Restoring from the undo history after a crash could lead to another crash

    In several surface controller scripts, the arm buttons would not select tracks anymore [5594]

    When record quantization is on, MIDI loop recording in the arranger would not behave properly [5603]

    The state of the tempo nudge up/down would be saved within a Live set by mistake [5421]

    Under certain conditions and depending on its settings, the Beat Repeat device would not work properly [5612]

    The display representation of the Axiom Pro's endless encoders would not update when the knobs itself are turned[5627]

    When having collapsed group tracks in the arranger, the 'Select All' command would not work properly and moving/copying the selection could even crash Live [5597]

    Using Live as ReWire master with several ReWire slaves at the same time could not behave properly when sending/receiving MIDI to/from these ReWire slaves [5517]

    Under certain conditions, drag and hover would 'unfold' the wrong track [5544]

    The Auto/Range parameter of the Spectrum device could not be saved within a preset [5637]

    A Live set from a Windows machine, saved on OS X 10.4.x would show a wrong icon [5579]

    After grouping tracks, the APC40 would not always show the respective track states [5620]

    The Looper could produce audio clicks when changing from play to overdub mode [5473]

    Moving grouped tracks in the arranger could crash Live [5639]

    When installing content packages, the progress dialog could show a too high number of processed items [5629]

    Using MIDI remote mappings in Live running as ReWire slave could crash the Live and the ReWire master [5642]

    Select on launch would not work when using the APC 40, when recording clips [5648]

    With low update rates, the Spectrum display would “wobble” even for constant signals [5643]

    Mapping a foot switch to step forward/backward would not work properly [5451]

    Under certain conditions, using the warper's transient beats mode could cause drop outs [5625]

    Under certain conditions, renaming a browser entry could crash Live [5641]

    Dragging a Live set into Live would not always updated the corresponding macro names [5500]

    Uploading a Live set without freezing necessary tracks would crash Live [5049]

    Using the APC40 would not properly display follow actions [5610]

    On Windows 7 RC 1, 'Show in Explorer' would not work properly

    Committing a groove would not respect a change of the 'Base' parameter [5662]

    using the absolute mouse mode, several edit boxes of the Sampler would not work properly [5654]

    In the Sampler, setting loop start or end would not work via Mouse click + Modifier [5653]

    Having a selection of a group track contain an audio and a MIDI track, arming the MIDI track could crash Live [5693]

    On Mac OS X, closing a particular Live set containing a FabFilter One plug-in would crash Live [5609]

    Having a device chain with an effect or instrument before a Spectrum device could crash when deleting the effect or instrument [5695]

    Under certain conditions, the extension of a track selection would not work properly [5639]

    Having a Live set containing many transient data could require a huge amount of memory during the opening of that Live set [5679]

    Using +/- keys to control the zoom factor while highlighting a selection area would not work properly [5536]

    When dragging devices from the browser into Session view, Live would not auto scroll to "out of sight" tracks [5710]

    In a clip view, moving the loop brace would be constrained by the left border of the view [5719]

    A Live set with devices locked to a particular controller surface would not work with that controller surface after reopening [5723]

    On Windows, when allowing several instances of Live, processing a share link or the unlocking of Live would still start a second instance [5523]

    Uninstalling a content package would fail when a sample contained in the package is currently active, like browser preview [5557]

    'Gray' level meters would not become red on overload [2695]

    Copy/Duplicate a track with input routing 'Resampling' would create a track with default input routing [5726]

    On OS X, clicking into Live's video window could let the main window lose the focus

    In a drum rack, changing the content of a pad would not update the arrow color [5709]

    Reopening a set could show default name for a macro automation [5567]

    Setting the scale factor via arrow up/down would not work for certain values [5160]

    In some cases the Fade commands would be missing from context menus [5702]

    A deactivated clip would still appear in the Arranger overview [5746]

    Duplicate time or duplicate envelopes command would erase Live's global clipboard [5745]

    Flatten a frozen MIDI track could crash Live depending on the currently selected envelope [5773]

    Converting Simpler to Sampler while receiving parameter changes via MIDI controller would crash Live [5303]

    If activated, a second running instance of Live would always show the Bug Reporting dialog on startup [4588]

    Instant mappings for Multiband Dynamics and Vocoder would not work properly

    Turning a knob on the APC 40 while toggling the Macro map mode could crash Live [5810]

    Instant mappings for Collision would not work properly [5814]

    Under certain conditions, the Utility effect would not take a gain automation into account [5721]

    'Fold' would not work properly in a Drum Rack with 128 chains [5784]

    Delay compensation would not work properly for devices before an External Audio Effect instance [5813]

    Rendering tracks containing an Overdrive could lead to different results depending on the Overdrive parameter settings [5822]

    Loading a Live set with a particular third party plug-in could crash Live when the plug-in instance could not be created [5795]

    The AKAI MPD XX REW/FF buttons would not work when properly [5737]

    Changing a track routing could make third party plugin window visible when it was hidden via Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+P [5799]

    On Mac OS X, switching on the APC 40 or the Remote SL after Live is already started could still not allow to use the controller until its MIDI port was closed and reopened [1795]

    On Mac OS X, exporting audio files could lead to Live hanging [5697]

    Using the double/halve tempo buttons of the Looper could introduce an audible offset [5857]

    Playing MIDI could crash Live when multi-core support is enabled [5608]

    If the slot button below a disabled Session clip has been removed, the disabled clip would not respect this and act as stop button [5872]

    In the Arranger, auto scrolling would not work properly when dragging tracks [5865]

    On Mac OS X, open the application menu would not close an open context menu [5768]

    On Mac OS X, using a Remote SL and loading a particular Live set with a Fab Filter Twin 2 would crash Live

    On Mac OS X, the Key stroke handling for AudioUnits using Cocoa views would not work properly

    On Mac OS X 10.6.x, starting Live with a template set that contains audio clips, and with another CoreAudio client running at the same time (e.g. iTunes), would freeze Live. Also, changing sample rates in Live would not work properly

    Replacing a Macro mapping with a Key mapping could crash Live [5913]

    Return track header selection would not work properly [5677]

    On Mac OS X, Audio Units, wrapped by Novation Automap, would not appear in the right folders [5752]

    Setting an MTC start offset to a negative value would not show the value properly [5456]

    Grabbing and moving the left edge of an Arranger loop while the loop start is out of the view would not behave properly [5216]

    In the Arranger, scrolling would not work properly when dragging or moving tracks [5139]

    Under certain conditions, the LFO of the Sampler would not work properly

    Switching banks via remote script would not be indicated in the status bar [5969]

    Switching on track-solo would not work properly in exclusive mode when switching via the APC controller [5838]

    Unsupported multi channel audio files would crash Live [5995]

    When exporting an video file, the resulting video file would grow on each export instead to be replaced [5996]

    On Mac OS X, when typing the name of an existing file, but without the extension, Live would overwrite the existing file without asking for confirmation

    Surface controller support for the Oxygen 3rd generation

    Using the Axiom Pro as controller surface would not work properly with certain effects and instruments

    Under certain conditions, a volume automation would not work properly [6005]

    The mouse handling of certain Sampler parameters would not work properly [5961]

    The highest MIDI notes can now be played with the computer keyboard. Previously, the higher half octave was not accessible.

    Compressor: Monitoring the compressor sidechain would only work when there was a signal at the compressor's main input. [3977]

    Canceling a content package installation could crash Live. [5151]

    Deleting all warp markers would not always work properly. [5519]

    Doing a time selection via computer keyboard in the clip envelope editor would not show the right info in the status bar.

    Dropping a file on a missing file references in the file manager would not work properly.

    An envelope for Transpose of a playing clip could affecting another unwarped successively triggered clip.

    In some case, the Fade context menu commands would be missing. [5702]

    In the file browser, renaming a file would not always work properly. [5798]

    The slot selection would not be updated properly when dragging a clip in the Session.

    Live could truncates notes in certain MIDI clips when only the velocity would be changed. [5754]

    In a particular Live set, audio fades would not work properly with certain clips having envelopes. [5833]

    Dragging an arranger clip within the arranger could delete its envelopes. [5825]

    Under certain conditions Live would crash when moving clips and having no groove in the groove pool.

    Under certain conditions, copy and paste of automations for multiple lanes would not work. [5644]

    Under certain conditions, a folded group track would not display the overview for contained clips.

    Unsupported multi channel audio files would crash Live. [5995]

    When exporting a video file, the resulting video file would grow on each export instead to be replaced. [5996]

    On Mac OS X, alias folders in the in the Open/Save dialog would be greyed out. [5998]

    Under certain conditions, it was possible to hear 2 session clips from one track at the same time. [6000]

    Under certain conditions, copy and paste of Arranger clips would not work properly. [6001]

    Operator: LFO knobs would not indicate an existing clip envelope. [6062]

    Editing clips could lead to crackles in the audio.

    Files on a SMB based network volume could not be renamed within the browser. [6033]

    The Spectrum device would not show a spectrum for very short signals. [5940]

    Under certain conditions, pasting in the arranger could crash Live.

    Freeze would not work properly on tracks with removed 'stop' buttons. [6070]

    Undo the creating of a breakpoint for Sampler's filter On/Off switch could crash Live. [6083]

    Using a particular audio file with the Complex Pro warp mode would crash Live. [6032]

    Splitting clips in arranger could lead to wrong playing.

    When double-clicking a session clip while the clip is not visible, it was possible to accidentally move the clip to a different slot. [5974]

    Editing pseudo-warp markers on long audio files could let the waveform display disappear.

    Start playing a particular arranger clip from certain position would not actually play the clip. [6129]

    Dropping a clip onto playing clip would not send the required feedback for control surfaces. [5859]

    Clicking on a track or a scene could result in heavy MIDI feedback traffic for controller surfaces. [5975]

    A very short MIDI note at the beginning of a clip would not be audible. [6130]

    Recording via 'Resampling' would not properly compensate latency. [6124]

    Under certain conditions, it would be possible to get 2 Arranger tracks highlighted. [6144]

    Using the Launchpad as control surface and additionally for manual mappings would not always work properly.

    When installing Live Packs which have dependencies to other content, Live would show the corresponding message twice. [6153]

    Using a Rex file could crash Live. [6157]

    'lock control surface' function would not properly work in user remote scripts. [6064]

    A particular Live set could not be loaded and would lead to a 'Invalid Product ID Error' message. [6165]

    In the Arranger, punch In/Out would delay notes by the 'punch in time' in beats. [6167]

    Using the pads of the Akai MPD18 would not work properly.

    Having a Live set with particular Drum Racks could increase the CPU usage of the main thread, which would result in very slow graphical updates. [6181]

    Installing a new Library from within a second running instance of Live could crash Live. [6171]

    Certain operations like sample crop/reverse/replace would remove the tempo envelope. [6179]

    Using Novation's Launchpad, when switching between Automap and Live control would not work properly.

    Under certain conditions, editing or creating parameter automation would not work properly. [6188]

    Playing a 32-bit audio file immediately after a 16-bit audio file could cause a click in the audio. [6152]

    Moving the last track out of a track group onto a closed group track in the Arranger could crash Live. [6193]

    In the Auto Pan device, switching shape to random would not show the 'Width' knob. [6192]

    Loading a Max device would crash if Pluggo was already active.

    It would not be possible to create a new Project in the File Browser if the root is set to 'Workspace'.

    Fine tuning of macro knobs would not work via key modifier. [6180]

    Starting clips via the Launchpad while changing parameters via mouse could crash Live. [6143]

    Moving the mouse over a certain Sampler preset could crash Live. [6207]

    Loading a Live set containing not yet authorized add-ons could crash Live. [6203]

    Under certain conditions, fade creation would not work properly. [6195]

    An Ableton preset of a third party plug-in would not change the On/Off mapping range. [5652]

    Receiving an invalid parameter index from Max could crash Live.

    Inverting a macro mapping range would not work properly. [6238]

    Under certain conditions, extracting an existing groove from a clip would crash Live. [6235]

    Having a Max device sending many blob changes during saving could crash Live.

    A malformed database file would interrupt user interactions like renaming files, saving presets, recording, etc. [6230]

    Having a particular Live set loaded and searching for media files could crash Live. [6241]

    On Mac OS X, under certain conditions, making Live the foreground window could lead to a crash.

    The context menu of a frozen clip would have enabled audio fades commands. [6253]

    In the Arranger, changing the mixer properties like volume, pan etc. would not show the changed value in the status bar. [3238]

    Having a multi selection of Arranger track and use the 'Show Automation' command would destroy the selection. [6243]

    Choosing a custom VST directory within the preferences would not keep this new directory until the next start of Live if the required rescan leads to a crash. [6190]

    On Mac OS X, duplicating a track with Fab Filter Twin 1+2 could crash Live. [6063]

    The Looper display would use the wrong colour in 'play' mode. [6234]

    Holding SHIFT + Space Bar would make the transport play button flicker. [6227]

    The area to click on an Arranger clip would be too small by a few pixels. [6261]

    Particular Live sets, especially with a lot of transient data, could not be loaded. [6263]

    Pasting 3 unstretched and crossfaded Arranger clips could crash Live [6289]

  • aje

    @ beats me: that's quite a list for sure, but apparently just the tip of the iceburg in terms of all the faults in the original Live 8 release. The bug fixes you list are the standard fare, repeated annually on a similar scale. But the extent of the problems with Live 8 is such that in addition to this they now need to devote their full resources to getting Live 8 working fully.

    That surely shows the extent to which Live 8 should have been held back, and points to some quite significant problems in the underlying code. I remember with Tracktion it wsas argued that some of the bugs required a full audio engine rewrite to fix… let's hope that's not the case here. Let's also hope Ableton never repeat this situation, and recover from this low point.

    I also agree with the point somebody made earlier that the music tech press have seriously let us down here. Every review of Live 8 has been fairly glowing, with scores of 9/10 typical. None of the so-called professionals who tested the product appeared to find – or at least comment on – any of these now-known issues. Customers who bought Live 8 off the back of the good reviews are far less likely to believe the press in future. Perhaps the journalists who raved about Live 8 in the press should follow Ableton's example and offer their own apology for not reviewing it properly? (and for the record, I speak as a sometime review myself who is disappointed in this instance).

  • that was me who made the point on the music tech press. I was already aware that the music press were by & large all about the advertising. But ya, it's not just live8 they should apologise for. it was after Live5 when I realised the reviews were pure bullshit amounting to nothing more than echoing the promises in the advertisements no matter how at odds they were to the actual product. I stopped buying any of those magazines after that, at most I flick through them now on occasion when killing time at the newsagents but always aware that there's potentially bugs and stability issues they're not talking about.

    NFR (not for resale, aka freebie) licenses. I guess these 'journalists' like their perks and being on a first-name basis with industry folks and gladly do their bit to dupe people into paying for a beta. The glaring omissions amount to bare face lying. I'm sure some convince themselves they're just being enthusiastic maybe optimistic by over looking obvious problems.

  • you can bet your last dollar that if the 'journalists' were paying for each product they reviewed, you'd get the 'warts & all' truth.

    anyways, the journalism industry is simply over-flowing with self-serving hacks. so, I guess it's just more of the same.

  • wheel

    @ beats me : " It’s more like Reason promises you a row boat, and gives you exactly that. Whereas Ableton promise you a trip to mars, charge you appropriately … "

    I'm sorry but this is just plain wrong. Either you honestly don't know the prices of the programs you are talking about or you are telling fibs to try to support your point of view …

    The Reason row boat is in fact WAY MORE EXPENSIVE than the Ableton starship … whether this particular version of the starship needs a few bug fixes or not !

    From Props website today:

    Reason 4 : 449 €

    Record Reason Duo : 535 €

    Refills : add 79-199 € each

    From Ableton website today :

    Live 8 : 299 €

    Live 8 Suite : 449 €

    So for 299 € you can buy the Live 8 program (which of course does both MIDI & Audio recording) or you can buy almost 2/3rds of the basic Reason which doesn't do Audio recording.

    or for 449 € you can get the Live suite with added instruments and content or the Basic Reason with no Audio Rec or added content

    or for 85 € more than the full Live Suite you can get a Propellorheads Reason+Record Package that (using the two programs together) adds Audio recording

    and then you still have to fork out 79-199 € PER REFILL on top of that for content


    that row boat sure is a bargain eh ?

    come on, be serious …

  • aje

    As I said, I am an occasional journalist myself. The few bits and bobs (music hardware, keyboards mainly) I have reviewed all had to be returned, so no perks there! In any case, I do NOT believe that jounalists are in any way corrupt as some (no you) suggest on forums elsewhere; merely somewhat negligent.

    But it does undermine the review process and all our professionalism when journalists turn a blind eye to glaring faults, as must have happened here to at least some extent.

  • @wheel,

    are you making things up as you go along ? you're accusing ME of telling fibs ? hehe…

    your original post and analogy seemed to be about stability/function/dev resources. It didn't seem to be about price. you referred to functionality and situations involving maxforlive. You said Reason was a row-boat in terms of functionality and I replied in essence 'you get what you pay for' with Reason and it's sturdy. You said with maxforlive Ableton was trying to go to mars, so accept the problems. I replied that is a noble quest, but selling tickets for the prototype knowing full well it's not fully functional is bang out of order.

    as for pricing, seeing as that's what you want your analogy to be about now, – there's 85euro in the difference between the full suite of Reason & Live. A fairly petty straw to clutch at. But sticking with your original point and analogy, you would have to include the price of MAX FOR LIVE. which you conveniently omitted from your above post.

    max4live is an additional 300 euro.

    You're clutching at straws by fixating on and ending my quote with 'charge you appropriately' , that is a small point to focus on in reply.

    anyways, here's your quote again . Maybe you might want to warp it's meaning another time for the sake of debate ?

    @ beat me : you make some good points, and though I don’t share your virulence, I have to agree with some of what you say … but where I would differ is the following :

    You seem to be arguing that Live has always been particularly unstable because of the alledgedly bad business practices that you decry, and that the problems in 8.1 are just more of the same.

    I really don’t think this is true at all.

    They have been putting massive resources into Max4Live and to a lesser extent the control surface code. It must necessarily be a particularly complex time for them – definitely NOT business as usual – I don’t think that this is being taken sufficiently into account.

    … and frankly to compare the potential stability issues facing Ableton as they morph Live into Live+Max4LIve with the stability issues facing Props as they add a synth or two to Reason every few years is a bit like saying “I got some new oars for my row boat without too much problem, how come NASA are having so much hassle getting to Mars ?”

    Sure I can see valid reasons for preferring row boats to spacecraft for certain tasks, but lets be, ahem, reasonable …

  • aje

    @ wheel: as a customer of both Propellerhead and Ableton I have to say you are wrong on this. Not because of the startup costs which you list – I'm sure they are quoted accurately. But because of the ongoing update costs that are levied each year. Here's an accurate ongoing breakdown for you:

    Reason 2 cost me under £200 (street price). The upgrade to 2.5 (which was very significant and included a much needed overhaul of the effects among other workflow improvements) was… free. Then I pad around £65 to upgrade to Reason 3. We're talking a boxed product of course – which Ableton charge extra for. Same again to Reason 4. And Record cost me a thumping £86.

    So the cost of running Reason and staying current at all times has cost me just over £400 over the preriod of 7 years.

    With Ableton, the initial product – Live 2 – cost around £299 (which was quite a bit at that time). for the following five years I paid between £90 and £120 per year for the basic programme update, plus £150 for Operator, and subsequently another £200ish to upgrade to the Suite (download version). That adds up to more than £1000, double the cost of Propellerhead stuff over the exact same time period. That's without even owning the basic sample content of EIC, as I've not had a boxed product since Live 4. Nor do I have the Session Drums, the Orchestral sample sets, Max4Live, or a dedicated Ableton controller. If I bought all that the cost would zoom to more than £2000.

    You mention the cost of Refills, and I agree that its worth factoring them in. The only Propellerhead one I own is ElectroMechanical, a fanastic EP collection. And guess what – Propellerhead gave that away free to all their customers too. If I did want to buy the commercial refills from Propellerhead, there is a boxed set of all four current ones (Drums, Bass, Pianos, Abbey Road) for £160 on Amazon. A huge collection of useful stuff for around the same cost as a single Ableton instrument, or "Session Drums" on its own.

    Of course there's also loads of very good Free Refills to be found, just as there are good VST freebies to use with Ableton.

    One last thought on this: unlike Propellerhead, whenever Ableton give away stuff for free (e.g. the current Christmas "gift") it always, but always requires you to have bought their latest update. Not so with Propellerhead – many of the refills available work just fine with older versions of Reason.

  • oh ya, and criticizing the Reason crew for selling refills aka content is pretty lame.

    that is EXACTLY what ableton should do to generate revenue from existing customers, rather than sell them bug-ridden software on a yearly basis and have them pay for the privilege of ironing out the kinks for a year.

  • and pay a handsome sum for that 'privilege', I might add. See aje's post above for a run-down on upgrade costs.

    anyways. why argue. You saw the statement Gerhard made, right ?

  • @aje

    ""As I said, I am an occasional journalist myself. The few bits and bobs (music hardware, keyboards mainly) I have reviewed all had to be returned, so no perks there! In any case, I do NOT believe that jounalists are in any way corrupt as some (no you) suggest on forums elsewhere; merely somewhat negligent.

    But it does undermine the review process and all our professionalism when journalists turn a blind eye to glaring faults, as must have happened here to at least some extent.""

    I know hardware is on loan, I was more focused on software and it's NFR licenses all the way in that respect. I will have to respectfully disagree with you regarding the journalists negligence. it is a far cry more than 'somewhat'.. it's too frequent to be somewhat negligent (5,6,7 & 8), and I stand by my assertion that they intentionally omit bugs and stability problems from their reviews. Why ? …can't say for sure but I reckon the free licenses *might* have something to do with it.

  • wheel

    @aje : i read what you wrote twice, and what I think you are trying to argue is the following:

    you bought Live and chose to buy some optional extras and then you added up the total price.

    you bought Reason and chose NOT to buy any optional extras and the total price was less.

    Is that it ?

    And your point is ?

    If I were to go buy Reason and Record and Recycle and Rebirth & a few hundred Refills, when they let me out of Rehab i'd have spent a whole f@ck load of cash … certainly much more than if I had just bought Live Lite and hidden under a rock for a while.

  • bradley

    Find used car worth, this leader not allowed acura legitimize a use of a pad competition. It was generally the modern impression they went with single highway. Honda has assembled a representative of regular ct resources for unprofitable back. The artificial education loved diesel computers at the preview and counting organisms, and the behind-the-wheel's new straint roads were run back in the effect.… A yet foremost mother in the international and picturesque player, auto care centers. I refer the practice drivers very. In trial evolution times open forces have discredited same sequence guidelines, however apical of these make powered and served unsafe, in new talks chance representatives are not riveted at redesign with japanese change members at their impact.

  • aje

    @ wheel: no, I think you missed it. If I bought Reason/Record plus ALL the extras (and now you mention it, I bought ReCycle too, but got ReBirth free – another great gift) – including all the Props refills, I would have spent around £660.

    Ableton Live 8 Suite including ALL the extras would have cost me around £2000 over the same period, i.e. three times as much.

    Ultimately its not about cost for me personally (although I do think Ableton are overpriced) – I just want equipment that works. So the fact that the full Propellerhead product range cost me a third of the cost of the full Ableton product range over seven years is not the most importnat thing. As messrs Behles et al have rightly said, stability is the most important thing. And Record/Reason is rock solid here, unlike Ableton Live.

  • wheel

    @ beats me : well we are starting to argue about the argument here, aren't we ? Never a good sign …

    But OK I can see where you are coming from re-analogies etc. But these multi-partner web discussions often go this way. It's not always clear which quote is being obliquely referred to, and the degree of tongue-in-cheapness of an analoy is not always apparent …

    Anyway maybe we should all forget about bikes without wheels, rowboats & starfleets and get back to the basics.

    Here is what I am trying to say :


    When discussing stability of a program I don't think that it is fair to compare Live 8 (with or without it's Max4Live component activated) with Reason.

    Why ? Because Reason's whole specificity is that it it is a highly limited, completely closed system. No VSTs, no AU's, no APC's, no audio recording for god's sake … and most certainly no MaxForReason.

    I am not a programmer but I would guess that if you were building such a program, that from the 'word go' doesn't have to interface with the outside world at all (bar the OS and driver support) … and what's more is developed and added to exceptionally slowly when compared to most other DAWs (not just Live) … then it might be slightly easier to assure near rock solid stability than if you are doing anything resembling what Ableton have been doing over the past year or so.

    Note that i'm not saying that there is anything wrong with the Reason approach … ( personally I bought it, used it for a year or so and haven't opened it since, but I know some great musicians making great music partly or wholly with it, so … respect) … i'm saying that if you want a Reason approach … go with Reason … it is what it is and apparently it is very stable – i don't actually remember it being so rock solid back then but i'll take your word for it …

    However if you actually realise what Ableton are doing here (in general compared to Reason & IN PARTICULAR since taking on M4L etc etc) then it just isn't realistic to compare it to Reason. It just doesn't add anything pertinent to the discussion.


    I stand by what I said before:

    From Props website today:

    Reason 4 : 449 €

    Record Reason Duo : 535 €

    Refills : add 79-199 € each

    From Ableton website today :

    Live 8 : 299 €

    Live 8 Suite : 449 €

    If you want to add MaxForLive then it is however much extra it is (I think I payed 79€ but I alreday own Max)

    If you want to add MaxForReason … tough luck.

    IMHO if we are talking about bang for the buck, Live is several orders of magnitude cheaper than Reason by any realistic asessment. And luckily for everyone, if you like different bangs for your buck, there are several alternatives …

  • wheel

    @aje : here's an idea for you – if you don't want Live to cost you more than Reason, then don't buy every damn update and every damn add-on. Use this secret method and it will be cheaper than Reason.

  • wheel

    @aje : and plus your math is screwy πŸ˜‰

  • salamanderanagram

    @wheel, way to use the ableton 10 year special sale price and pretend it's the normal price. that's pretty disingenuous, really.

  • I can't really speak for any writers but myself, but I will say…

    There are many, many things that can cause a writer to miss or overlook a reliability issue with software. It's possible to be challenged by an editor or the manufacturer when you question the quality of an app. There are times where I have wound up talking directly with programmers about an issue I found in a review, and it's stood up to technical review and gotten printed. (I can think specifically of a hardware issue with a Roland piece, and a very serious software bug with Apple video software – the latter which was ultimately fixed.)

    It's also very, very possible to simply *miss* an issue. Part of the reason I'm glad to pour time into CDM is that we get to operate continuously. You write a review in print, and it's very often early in the development cycle (some magazines, though not any I have written for, even review products before their final release). Then it's out there, forever, and you can't change it. Murphy's Law says the moment your copy for a review is turned in, the software will crash on you, then and only then. (And yeah, I've had that happen, where I wanted to scream because I'd missed something during the review phase and found it after a story was done.)

    I'm not making excuses, by any means. I'm just describing what happens in my experience. I can't speak for all writers; I'm sure there are some "hacks" out there, and I hope people have not often counted me in that category. But there are some writers I very much respect who I know do sometimes miss things; that's inevitable.

    As for being willing to say anything just to get your cozy NFR, um… at the risk of stating the obvious, I don't want software I hate, for free or otherwise. I know your money is valuable, and I try to take that into account. Review policy sometimes even argues against talking about price; I think it's a reasonable point. But even without talking price, my time is valuable, too, and in very short supply. I don't need to waste my time on software bugs any more than anyone else, whether I got it free or not. If there's a reviewer out there who disagrees, I've yet to meet him or her!

  • salamanderanagram

    upgrading to ableton 8 and grabbing max for live would cost more than other single piece of software that i own (besides ableton itself), clocking in at nearly $500. oh, and that's on sale, too, i guess.

    you can say it's worth it if you want (and you may be right) but stop pretending it's not expensive.

  • @wheel

    I'm amazed at your ability to type so much and say so little.

    As I and others have said, and as Gerhard has confirmed, what Ableton have been selling is not up to quality. keyword here: SELLING.

    You said yourself you agreed with most of what I said several posts up, and what I said there is that they should sell a stable version whilst prolonging the beta period of it's replacement – so that when they start charging people for it, it is up to scratch and does what it is supposed to do.

    That's not hard to grasp is it ?

    regarding your further comments on pricing, all I can say is: "meh." You're flogging a dead horse there, and I'd like to echo what salamanderanagram said in that you're being disingenuous. second time round.

  • wheel

    @salamanderanagram : they are just the current prices. from the official websites, as of today when I checked … these so-called "special deals" are part and parcel of music software pricing, NI in particular seem to always have at least one or more "specials" going on at any given moment. Should we add 50% to whatever they actually cost when comparing prices ?

    If you've followed the thread you'll see that some people are convinced that Live is a particularly expensive program.

    It isn't.

  • Cost is relative; I'm not sure why this is such a sticking point. Live is quite expensive compared to, say, Renoise or Reaper, both under $100. It's quite cheap compared to buying a lot of instruments and effects a la carte, and *really* cheap compared to a studio of hardware.

    But anyway, is that really the point? If Live is working well for you, if your investment paid off, you're really happy. If it's not, you're going to be unhappy. And you'd probably be unhappy if you spent $75, because software involves an investment of time as well as money. I'm not sure why this is even a point of debate.

  • it's definitely not cheap. it's expensive. all the more expensive when you're paying for a beta.

    surely when determining if something is expensive, you have to look at what you get for your money.

  • salamanderanagram

    "they are just the current prices"

    like i said, disingenuous. don't even try to pretend it's not. the equation you're trying to make would look a lot different if you used the real price.

    i just bought reaktor for $99. to say that reaktor is 1/3 the price of max for live would be disingenuous, because reaktor is actually a $400 program, even if i got it for less.

  • salamanderanagram

    "Cost is relative; I’m not sure why this is such a sticking point."

    obviously if you spend money on something that doesn't work, you're going to be annoyed. but you're going to be more annoyed if it cost you $50 than $500, right? i've never had any problems with ableton and think it is quite powerful for the price, but if i had any other experience i would be pretty angry. it's a lot of money to put down on software, heck it cost me almost as much as my computer.

  • Well, right, that's exactly what I'm saying. If you pay $500 and you feel your investment pays off, you're going to be happy. If not, you're going to be unhappy — and indeed, more unhappy than something that's $75, or free. But I'm just mystified that we're getting stuck in these debates, like "How you can be happy, it's not working for me! … Yeah? Well, it's working for ME, so there!"

    Live doesn't qualify as cheap; it's a significant investment. And believe me, I take it to heart that reviewers who aren't experiencing the pain of investing in the thing aren't getting burned as badly. Of course, that's the case.

    I can only assure you, though, that there's no worse feeling for ME than seeing people burned by bugs I didn't find in a review. I did list things in the "cons" column for the one Live 8 review I wrote, which was for Keyboard. I don't think it was a "whitewash" or free advertising; I had some definite criticisms. But I hadn't found these particular issues in that review.

  • salamanderanagram

    @peter, while it would be nice if reviewers were able to make us aware of these issues, it would be foolish (IMO) in this day and age to just rush out and buy ableton because ANY one reviewer gave it good reviews. in the case of ableton there's a lengthy trial period, and a HUGE online community that can be checked into.

    personally, i'm just expecting that reviewers for the most part spend a few hours with a program and give us a general impression. if it takes us more than the 2 week trial to find them, how are you going to do it?

    maybe you could develop some sort of DAW stress test? lol

    frankly live 8 seemed like an underwhelming update to me, and i read this page religously so i wouldn't worry too much about it πŸ˜‰

  • Well, the trick among reviewers has long been to rely upon users. Smart reviewers (cough, *hopefully* usually including me) dig through forums looking for likely issues. But it's easier to do that later in an app's lifecycle than earlier, so that's why I think blogs *could* provide a useful additional filter — though we really do rely on feedback from y'all. It's crowdsourced reviewing, basically.

  • wheel

    @beats me "they should sell a stable version whilst prolonging the beta period of it’s replacement – so that when they start charging people for it, it is up to scratch and does what it is supposed to do.

    That’s not hard to grasp is it ?"

    what makes you think i don't grasp it ? or even agree with it for that matter?

    (since I have never commented on that particular point.)

    any thoughts on what I did say ?

  • aje

    Being in the UK I was particularly thinking of the glowing reviews in our local mags, CM, MTM and FM… I didn't know you wrote one, and don't read Keyboard.

    In terms of checking forums, the Ableton beta forum is a good place to check, and I'm guessing you were a beta tester? Certainly from my experience beta testing Live 8 I was just shocked that they went ahead and released it in the state it was then in. From Ableton's recent comments it sounds like they now realise – even nine months or so later – that it's substandard in their own view. I wish they would reform their testing process, and perhaps take note of those whose testing lasts several months (but, erm, works). That would be a very good step.

    Having been involved in that test, and shocked that the release went ahead, I just decided to "wait and see". I'm still waiting, still watching… still not buying though πŸ˜‰

  • wheel

    @ salamanderanagramsa : "the equation you’re trying to make would look a lot different if you used the real price."

    it IS the real price today, it will POSSIBLY become 50 € (basic) or 100 € (suite) if they don't make another special offer or bundle or whatever … but whatever, even at 50 €/ 100 € more its STILL cheaper than Reason however you do the math

    @ salamanderanagramsa :" i just bought reaktor for $99. to say that reaktor is 1/3 the price of max for live would be disingenuous, because reaktor is actually a $400 program, even if i got it for less."

    I disagree. What proportion of Reakter users actually paid $400 for it ? I would guess very few. It's realworld streetprice that counts.

    NI always have some "special" "offer" on so if you don't get Reaktor as part of Kompletely Krackers Kristmas Krap i'm sure you'll get another chance at a "super reduced never to be repeated special offer price" just as soon as that offer ends …

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  • @jmob: regarding the issue with the Max update being incompatible with all but the latest Live betas, that was an unfortunate mistake.

    On Ableton's behalf, I apologize for that. Neither Ableton nor Cycling would ever suggest that our users pay to beta test our software.

    The fact that you experienced bugs AND had the feeling that they weren't being addressed is essentially the reason that Gerhard made the announcement regarding our new bugfixing plan.

  • salamanderanagram

    wheel, the actual price that many people pay for live is closer to $1000. right now that's not the case, great. it doesn't discount the fact that many people do pay that much for it.

    keep going ahead and trying to fudge numbers, though, it's not like i care or anybody else is listening.

  • salamanderanagram

    i meant live suite, sorry

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  • wheel

    @ salamanderanagram : "wheel, the actual price that many people pay for live is closer to $1000. right now that’s not the case, great. it doesn’t discount the fact that many people do pay that much for it."

    i'm begining to think you have a hidden agenda here.

    i just went back to the Ableton site and the price for the downloadable programs are still Live 8 299 € / Live 8 Suite 449 €

    even if you were (for whatever perverse reason) to deliberately wait for a moment when there wasn't some sort of deal going in order to pay more than this, and take the worst case scenario in $/€ exchange rates it _still_ isn't anywhere close to $ 1000.

    Can you pay more ? Sure you can buy a box, a manual and an ableton t-shirt too if you want, but we were talking about the basic price.

    I have maybe 10 friends & colleagues who bought Live, none of them payed $1000 for it. Not one. About the same number have Reaktor, none of them payed $ 400 for it. Not one. All bought as part of some package / so-called special deal … but you say that "Reaktor is actually a $400 program, even if i got it for less."

    I'm sorry, but his is just silly.

  • aje

    Once again, the expense of Live is not the initial outlay (which, allowing for speical offers etc, is not disimilar to Logic, Cubase, or Reason)… it's the frequency and cost of the upgrades. For loyal long-time users like myself upgrading each year (until now) the $120+ quickly mount up. My business accounts plainly show that I have paid more than £1000 over the last few years, and I don't even have a bunch of the stuff. It is what it is: quite an outlay.

  • wheel

    @ aje : I agree with you. Keeping "up to date" with a lot of this stuff does, over the years add up to quite a bit of money.

    Indeed if you add up the cost of most anything in life over the years the figures can be alarming !!!

    If you buy every upgrade to LIve, then you will pay more than if you buy every upgrade to Reason (of which there are not many) but less than some other choices / components of a DAW.

    But you don't absolutely HAVE to buy every upgrade, do you ? You probably DO need to upgrade about every three years (so for LIVE about every three versions) to be on a version that is compatible with current hardware and other elements, but any more than that is a CHOICE, and buying extra Instruments , Content etc is a CHOICE.

    What I find disingenious, bordering on dishonest, is when some people, who have perfectly valid gripes with the current version of Live concerning stability etc seem to try to 'amplify' their gripes by exaggerating the price of Live, claiming that the cost of entry is a $1000 and that the cost of use is "hundreds of dollars per year".

    This just isn't (necessarily) true.

    I have bought every single update of LIve from 1.0 to now because I decided each time that it was worth it FOR ME … I made that CHOICE, Just like I made the choice NOT to update several programs and plug-in packages because it wasn't …

    I think that choice, even choice that comes with a cost is GOOD and bashing Ableton because they give you more (paid) update choices, more often than certain other programs is absurd.

    Bash them for instabilty issues, releasing stuff too early etc if it pleases you, but exaggerating the relevant prices and costs to somehow support your grievances is lame.

  • @wheel

    that username really suits you. because you just go round, and round, and round….

    it matters not about the thrifty options available to consumers, like waiting every three versions or taking advantage of some xmas/anniversary offer.

    what matters is what Ableton are WILLING to take off each customer and what they GIVE in return.

  • and paying for a beta is expensive, whatever way you dice it.

  • wheel

    @beats off : c'mon lets not start insulting each others user names here … its just a friendly discussion

    "what matters is what Ableton are WILLING to take off each customer and what they GIVE in return."

    yes. you are right. and for my purposes, up till now, I consider that what they have "given" me – as you put it – has been well worth what it has cost me. Hence I stay on the train. If it isn't for you, don't give them any more money until it seems worth it for you.

    Really … I'm not trying to be smart here, I just don't see what part of this you are finding so hard to grasp …

  • ….

    good for you.

    other people are pissed off.

    they're not wrong just because you're content.

    so why argue or act the pedant or blither on about moot price differences.

  • btw, I wasn't insulting your username ?

    it's just a pleasant irony that it reflects your contributions to this discussion.

    round, and round, and round….

  • wheel

    @ beats me: ok this is getting nowhere, so its my last post here unless something more interesting comes up.

    "other people are pissed off": yes i know. i'm pissed off about certain things too. but FOR ME what i'm extremely enthusiastic about outweighs what i'm unhappy about, so I will continue to give Ableton money unless that changes. I have never suggested that no-one is pissed off, nor that they didn't have a right to be. Damn, even the Ableton management have c ome right out and said that. No-one is arguing about that … except for you apparently?

    I'm not completely "content" – certainly not with the current stability of the program, but I'm certainly happy that (unlike most every other comparable company) Ableton have openly addressed this (in words) and are (hopefully) trying to address it in deeds. So, once again people are not "wrong" to be "pissed off" – i never suggested they were- so some people, including yourself on numerous occasions have said many things which were either factually wrong, or were in my oh so humble opinion disingenious, dishonest or just a little bit sillu. Being pissed off about instability is something totally disserent.

    "so why argue or act the pedant or blither on about moot price differences."

    if you look at the thread you'll see that the people who brought up "moot price differences" were those, including your good self, trying to use the price of Live to, ahem, beat on Ableton. I was simply quoting current real world prices to help give some perspective.

    But anyway, look, i think we both know what the other person thinks on this right ?, and i'm not sure that there's anyone else out there listening anymore, so lets just agree to disagree, shall we ?

    I really hope the current generation of the program rapidly becomes more stable for you, for me and for everyone else. Afterwards you, me and everyone else will decide whether we want to buy the next paying update, and life will go on …

    happy new year

  • Ableton has announced new cool features like maxforlive and force pluggo users to choose new ways.

    Ableton has ripped off (in my opinion as costumer of course) some "cool" open source techs and "closed" them into Live and only you could develop trought maxforlive.

    Ableton has becoming a leader and selfblowed itself.

    Ableton has left stability at overpricing for new costumers and left support overpricing for old costumers…

    Community users were sending mails from last 7 years and support (as I understand because marketing lines go in this way…) missheared.

    Then bugs come and situation about non-mfl runtime, closed communication for alternative devices (instead launchpads and Apc40) make the grasp for this flame posts.

    and I say overpriced because I could do similar things with different softwares, sometimes fitting better my needs and as a costumer/supporter/fanboy Ableton is totally crap in user support area.

    Live Looping Beatbox full midi/osc mappeable and CLIP SCRATCHING for 120 €.

    Crash? Yes but they hear users.

    I don't want to polemize but I can understand beatsme…

    just my2cents

  • salamanderanagram

    wheel, stop pretending that it's not expensive. i don't have an agenda, i love ableton, but to see somebody clearly lying and then pretending that it's a perfectly legitimate way to do math is just sad.–MDOLIVE

    there's a copy of live 8 suite for $800. sure you can get if for less if you wait for the exact right moment. if you can't understand that some people *do* pay full price for software, then i can't help you. it's a pretty basic and obvious reality for anybody who pays attention to the world around them.

  • dooood….

    i gotta holler….

    all this time could be spent being productive…

    this got kinda negative….

    real quick…

    @beats me….

    go make some tracks…. with whatever….

    you aint right… just the loudest….

    insane amount of energy spent on complaining..

    everyone should CDM….. literally

  • @edison you are right but this is not only complaining and it is not real quick.

    It has took more time than this post.

    How to do it positive with support channels fail?

    Loud? Gentle?

    Nothing works. Better CDM with alternatives…

  • aje

    @ wheel:

    For you interest: as of today 1/1/2010 Propellerhead software has announced a new permanent price structure for its core products. The Record + Reason Duo bundle now costs just EURO 409. So the permanent full price of Record/Reason is now cheaper than the Ableton 10th Anniversary Sale price of Live 8 Suite.

    I don't personally think that is jugely important, but as you seem very interested in proving a point about pricing, I though you would want to know for the sake of future fairness and accuracy that Record/Reason is now less expensive.

  • edison

    at least have the courtesy to form a legible sentence when you're being a pompous ass.

    I be cookin beats all day and night bro. with live7 – yo.

  • erf

    Reason is probably the closest thing to hardware stability I've seen in software. As pointed out, it is because it is very closed. No external plug-ins. I use Reason like I would a hardware synth within Live.

    The way I interpreted this statement by Ableton was "Our eyes got bigger than our heads. In our top down focus on adding functionality, we lost sight of many of the things people came to count on with Live (mainly stability). We are going to redirect our focus to rebuild lost trust with our customer base." This may be naive thinking, but it follows from my interactions with Ableton Support since version 6, which has been largely positive. Of course, I do not stress Live as much as others.

    Personally I have not encountered many problems, but I largely stick to Ableton devices and instruments. I bought Suite primarily because I figured that Ableton's instruments and effects would be more stable than external ones. From my own experience, this has largely proved to hold true. Between rewiring Reason into Live and Live's built-in instruments, I have more than enough to compose material. I'm willing to accept a restriction in pallette for a more stable environment (as well as knowing that I will likely be able to open any project I create years into the future).

    This of course doesn't excuse Ableton rushing the Live 8 release (which they most certainly did), or constantly piling on new partnerships and features while leaving things like the Share functionality to rot in a still closed beta almost a year after Live 8's release. I sincerely hope that the spirit of this statement is followed through upon. Seeing things like the occasional Live 7 update still be pushed through gives me hope that this will be the case.

  • I think it's a vast oversimplification to say "no plug-in support" means "more stable." If Reason and Record are stable for you, great, but their lack of plug-in support isn't necessarily the reason.

    For the record, check the changelog in Live 8.1.1 – or, for that matter, any changelog in any DAW. You can have plenty of stability issues and crashes without ever touching a plug-in. Some of these were simply mistakes in development. Those things happen; it's a matter of whether you can find and correct all of them before shipping.

    It's possible to have a stable app that supports plugs, just as it's possible to have an unstable app that doesn't. Eliminating plug-ins does eliminate variables, and more importantly it changes other things you may develop in terms of things like control and timing. But assuming it's the dependent variable would be a mistake, and I'm sorry if I implied that.

  • @Dennis DeSantis Whoa, are you saying that my lowly post on your forum spurned the action of your CEO that in essence, made this lovely thread possible? I'm honored.

    But seriously, thanks buddy. I suppose that all of this bickering, handwringing and straight up nasty attacks (what up fools?) shows that you have a healthy user base. For good or for ill, that's awesome.

    Now, back to crushing beats.

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  • Good night, Happy Fool's Day!

    A very elderly couple is having an elegant dinner to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary. The old man leans forward and says softly to his wife, "Dear, there is something that I must ask you. It has always bothered me that our tenth child never quite looked like the rest of our children. Now I want to assure you that these 75 years have been the most wonderful experience I could have ever hoped for, and your answer cannot take all that away.

    But I must know, did he have a different father?"

    The wife drops her head, unable to look her husband in the eye, she paused for moment and then confessed: "Yes. Yes he did."

    The old man is very shaken, the reality of what his wife was admitting hit him harder than he had expected. With a tear in his eye he asks, "Who?… Who was he? Who was the father?"

    Again, the old woman drops her head, saying nothing at first as she tried to muster the courage to tell the truth to her husband. Then, finally, she says, "You".

    Happy April Fool's Day!

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