Percussa micro super signal processor
Side by side by Live 9.1. Dennis DeSantis shows new dual monitor support at the Kompakt pop-up in Berlin. Photo by Zoya Bassi for CDM.

Side by side by Live 9.1. Dennis DeSantis shows new dual monitor support at the Kompakt pop-up in Berlin. Photo by Zoya Bassi for CDM.

In the midst of a pop-up week of events held with Köln’s Kompakt Records, Ableton has offered a surprise peek into what’s coming soon to Live.

9.1 is a free update for all users, adding some widely-requested features. There’s no release date yet – we’re awaiting a more formal announcement with details soon – but we have gotten a look at what’s in store.

Ableton’s Dennis DeSantis gave attendees a demo of three upcoming features:
1. Dual-monitor support, finally allowing you to see Arrangement and Session Views side by side
2. More functionality in Push, including step sequencing of melodies (not just drums), and step sequencing of automation
3. Improved rendering when downsampling

The dual monitor support you can see in our images. This of course makes Live’s UI more useful in a range of scenarios, additionally aiding laptop users connecting an external display, people wanting side-by-side views on a single big monitor (having used a 27″ iMac recently, that’s almost as enormous as two dedicated displays), and so on. And we know Live users have wanted this, as you’ve told us, sometimes loudly.

Editing patterns/MIDI is also made easier with new multiple window support. Photo by Zoya Bassi.

Editing patterns/MIDI is also made easier with new multiple window support. Photo by Zoya Bassi.

Push users also get tools they’ve been requesting. Push already has an interesting melodic layout, but now step sequencing can work with melodic content and not only drums. And all the parameters you can automate normally in Live – Devices, Mixer settings, and the lot – can now be step-sequenced using the encoders. So, in addition to drawing in automation curves with the encoders in real-time, you can now add automation values by step.

Dennis DeSantis shows CDM's Zoya Bassi how pattern automation works when step sequencing. Push the step, turn the encoder, naturally.

Dennis DeSantis shows CDM’s Zoya Bassi how pattern automation works when step sequencing. Push the step, turn the encoder, naturally.

Render quality in this case is not likely to impact everyone, but may improve results for quickly exporting renders of certain projects from inside Live. Assuming your project is at a higher sample rate than the one you’re exporting – for instance, going from 96k to 44.1k – Live now renders first natively at that project sample rate, then uses the newly-added SoX Resampler library to do the downsampling. The “higher quality” results come from avoiding aliasing of high-frequency content in some projects.

The updated sample rate conversion options, demonstrated again by Ableton's Dennis DeSantis. Photo by Ralf Kleinermanns, Kompakt.

The updated sample rate conversion options, demonstrated again by Ableton’s Dennis DeSantis. Photo by Ralf Kleinermanns, Ableton.

This library itself isn’t new, so you may want to have a look at the library’s own explanation of how the process works:
http://sox.sourceforge.net/SoX/Resampling

And, nicely enough, it’s a cool, free and open source library that can be accessed directly from the terminal on any of your audio, not just Ableton Live projects.

There are also some comparative SRC tests here:
http://src.infinitewave.ca/

That isn’t all that’s slated for 9.1, but it gives you a sense of some of the banner features of the free update. Since so many CDM readers are using Live as their host of choice, let us know what questions you may have and we’ll address those along with other details of 9.1 as it nears release.

We’ll have more coverage from Berlin of some of the artist discussions at the Kompakt pop-up, too – that is, music, and not just software and updates – so do stay tuned.

https://www.ableton.com/
20 Years of Kompakt at Ableton HQ: Aug. 31st – Sep. 7th

Ableton's Dennis DeSantis - also a skilled percussionist and composer, by the way.

Ableton’s Dennis DeSantis – also a skilled percussionist and composer, by the way.