So, this just happened – Ableton quietly announced an SDK for working with file export. That follows up the company’s wildly popular Ableton Link platform for sync and jamming, which is available both as an open source project and as a mobile and desktop SDK.

Novation’s Blocs Wave uses this export functionality, as mentioned today here on CDM. But it’s got company.

Here is Ableton’s official video explaining what’s happening:

Ben from Patterning and Sebastian from Triqtraq join Martin from Ableton to show this off.

And those apps now have support today:

Don’t have a license for Ableton Live? Triqtraq has you covered – just as Live Lite has historically been bundled with hardware, now it’s bundled with the app. (The copy is available via the export feature.) You get separate tracks and scenes on export from your Triqtraq sessions.

Here’s their own export demo video:

Patterning also includes Live Lite bundled free. And it smooths out export in general:

• Export audio from “All Patterns” at once.
• Consolidated export window for generating Audio, Ableton Live Sets, or Patterning (.onps) files.


Patterning, Now With Ableton Live Set Export

Developers, you can read up on the SDK. The focus is entirely on iOS. That’s actually not a no-brainer — I’d be interested to see Windows support, as Windows mobile devices are getting better and seem likely to be the next mobile platform (more so than Android). But it’s where the market’s at for the moment, so it still makes sense.

By the way, if you wonder why this is export and not import, that part is easy to explain. The XML-based file format is something you can look at if you open an existing project, and quite frankly, it’s a jungle. (“Thar be dragons!”) Basically, it’s a whole heck of a lot easier to export something reliably than it is to accurately deconstruct an existing file.

And it makes more sense logically, too. A Live project is reliant on existing instruments and plug-ins and so on to function. In the case of a mobile app, you can guarantee that you’re exporting something to be used elsewhere.

But regardless, this is good news. And it shows a sector of our industry that generally is moving toward cooperation an interoperability.

  • itchy

    very nice 🙂

  • The Fantastix

    Assuming this year’s Ableton Loop has a keynote speech like last year I wonder what Ableton still have up their sleeves… as they are dropping the goods way before the event… (Ableton Link Desktop SDK a couple of weeks ago and now this)

    • itchy

      i enjoyed get little drips of new ableton stuff hoping 10 will be soon with some new workflows and functions.

      • Neil

        Yes, I’d rather it was all in a 9.x release, though 😉

  • Very happy with these updates. It looks a little bit like you can export from all those devices into 1 set, but I can’t see how you would do that in practice.

    • Ben Kamen

      From the file browser in Ableton (on the left) you can drag in tracks from another Live Set…

  • Without even knowing what it does, I have to say, what a gorgeous little UI that patterning app has…

    • paradiddle

      brilliant drum machine to say the least.

  • msl

    This is fantastic news! Along with Link getting open sourced the future is bright!

  • SevenEyeballs

    Aaaaaand the iPad drum machine is back in the fight for “Most Useful Musical Equipment”

  • Gabriel Rey-Goodlatte

    I love that they’re opening this up. What I wish it had that it doesn’t seem to is a way for iOS apps to create drum racks filled with simplers. I’d love to be able to sequence my own drum samples on my phone, create patterns / scenes, then be able to export that to a Live set in a way where the patterns are fully editable – MIDI clips controlling drum tracks with samplers. Doesn’t seem like that would necessarily be too hard – I wonder if it would be reverse-engineerable. That’s always been the mobile-to-desktop workflow I’ve hoped for. I think it’s doable with FL studio mobile and desktop, but I’m on OS X and I really love Ableton. Looks like the SDK can create MIDI clips, so that’s a big part of it.

    • Agreed. Audio export in a more structured manner than what we’ve got with AudioCopy and the likes is a great thing. But what I would look most forward to is full control of the MIDI content of beats and melodies I would sketch in a given iOS app on the go. That is lacking with pretty much every DAW – except Maschine and iMaschine, which cannot be considered a “proper” DAW (yet.)

      • The Fantastix

        Agreed. I think the next step could be iPad versions of Ableton instruments like Operator, Analog etc, where you could model patches on the move, play them in a set with Ableton Link and move the patches, midi and settings to Ableton on a desktop.

      • I think this SDK includes support for MIDI clips, even if none of the currently supported apps use it.

        Ideally i’d want both, bounced audio and midi tracks, in one project for ultimate flexibility.

  • paradiddle

    This is great for everybody on the long run! I’m so glad they opened up link also to any apps. Brillant move from Ableton.

  • The Fantastix

    Does anyone know if there is a list available of apps that implemented Ableton Live set export like ?

  • I think the real reason why there is no import SDK is not the complexity of the file format, it is to protect it’s market. Allowing any other DAW to implement an .als import would make it much easier for the people to converse to, Bitwig, for instance.