A Live 9 That Works Better, and Better in the Dark, Finally Here [Plus More Skins]

Community service announcement! If you play or care about the guitar, skip past this story to the one immediately thereafter, using scrolling! (suggested by readership feedback) A new Live 9 with bug fixes, improvements, and a Disco skin ideal for use in low-light situations. No, not like that other time when we said it was and then it was promptly pulled. This time, for real – as in, I just downloaded it. What you can’t see is what matters: badly-needed reliability fixes should address performance and stability complaints we were hearing from Live 9 users. There’s no way to picture …

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Live 9 Update Fixes Bugs, Addresses Indexing Issues

One of the tough things about reviewing software is that your own experience is intensely personal. So, I’ve regularly reviewed software and gotten an angry response from someone who didn’t understand why I didn’t comment on a particular stability experience they had found. Those readers are right to be frustrated, but I can tell you that it software experiences are highly variable. So, I do know that some people found some issues with Live 9’s newest features. None of it is so out of the ordinary for this kind of upgrade. A big culprit: the new smart browser indexing features. …

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Push, In-Depth Test: What’s it Like Playing The New Hardware from Ableton?

When Ableton Live was first released over ten years ago, it was labeled a “sequencing instrument.” The radical idea was that you could “play” your production tool, which had (and has) big implications in studios, at home, and onstage. “Playing” with a mouse and keyboard is unsatisfying for most, so even that relatively primitive first version had MIDI controller mapping. In the intervening decade-plus timespan, musicians have found a variety of ways to connect their hands and bodies to the software model of music contained in their laptops. They’ve constructed massive custom hardware (DJ Sasha’s Maven and Robert Henke’s Monodeck …

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Ableton Releases Live 9, Push Preorder; Watch Live-streamed Push Tutorials

Ableton has just launched their new site with Live 9 available for purchase and download, and the new Push hardware available for preorder. If you’re an existing Live user logged into your user account, you’ll see upgrade options for the software. Push can be preordered direct online, and Ableton has for the first time announced shipping information, listed as “2-4 weeks.” It’ll be interesting to see if the preorder sells out. http://ableton.com Updated: Apparently in response to demand, Ableton is having some issues with their webshop. Readers report some problems with accessing the site and ordering. We’ll let you know …

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Good Reading: Matmos, In the Studio, In and Out of Boxes, with XLR8R and Ableton

Now with the release of The Marriage of True Minds, the duo’s album based on parapsychological telepathy experiments, it’s worth visiting again with Matmos. The Baltimore-based duo offer dueling interviews. One, with XLR8R, ventures into their basement full of sonic wonders, full of handmade instruments and electronics and oddities, like wooden creations built around contact mics and some thing covered with knobs called The Polygamist. (And yes, there’s really no excuse for using generic sounds for the components of a song when the world of sound is so wide.) Of the two, it’s Drew Daniel (PhD!) who seems more comfortable …

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Ableton Gives Dates: March 5 for Live 9 Release, Push Pre-Order

If you’re eagerly awaiting Live 9, we now have solid dates from Ableton. The Berlin developer will release Live 9 to the public on March 5, available for immediate download. Their new Push hardware should be available shortly thereafter; from March 5, you’ll be able to preorder. CDM will have a full hands-on review of Live 9, and the world-exclusive first online English review of Push for the launch date. So, if there’s something you’d like us to test or something you want to know, shout out in comments. Now, that review will focus on how to actually make music …

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Hands-on Live 9, with Robert Lippok: Producer Talks Process in Videos

Ableton visits the home studio of Berlin-based producer Robert Lippok (Raster Noton, To Rococo Rot). I’m a great fan of Robert’s work; to me, it’s full of musical imagination, and I like his reflective-but-free approach to his music. I had the fortune of interviewing Robert about iOS over the summer in front of the CDR Berlin crowd. (CDR is an excellent, multi-city event that puts production technique under the spotlight.) I know one of the things Robert probably wanted to talk about was the new stuff in Live 9. Now, he can – and it’s interesting to hear what moves …

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Ableton Posts Nearly Hour-Long Live 9 and Push Preview Event from Berlin

Can’t get enough Live 9 information? In cased you missed it, here’s a nearly hour-long presentation. It’s notable for Ableton founder and CEO Gerhard Behles talking about what matters in an instrument, then “discovering” that Push fits in a backpack, for Dennis DeSantis doing a beautiful job of showing what really musical workflow looks like, and Jesse Terry brave enough to do a live set on hardware that’s only just been finished. I say this partly because I have to do presentations, too, and – it’s not easy. I think they do a good job of sharing their ideas honestly …

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The new Session View. Yes, it's a different color. But mostly, look to the bottom of your screen: automation recording in clips, and curves in automation, at last.

Ableton 9 Live: More Tools For Starting – and Finishing – Music [First Hands-On Details]

Ableton today has revealed the details of Live 9, alongside new hardware called Push. The software update brings new ways of transforming sound into MIDI, new and improved devices for shaping sounds, tools for automation that work inside clips and with curved interpolation, a new Browser, and a number of interface and usability enhancements. There are also some features, conceived for Push, that could benefit people using any hardware controller they choose. And alongside these enhancements, you’ll also find a host of new sounds and preset content with which to work. First, here’s a quick look at what’s new, before …

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Ableton Push: Integrated, Touch-Sensitive Hardware Control for Live [Details]

Now, Ableton is doing its own hardware. Sure, Ableton’s logo was on the Akai APC40 and Novation Launchpad, and yes, “engineering by Akai” is stamped on the Push. But make no mistake: this is really the first Ableton hardware, and it shows. Push is a grid controller with extra keys and encoders for navigating features. It shows the influence of devices like the monome (and divides up that grid like the Pages and 7up patches from the community). But it also includes controller features that are specifically integrated with Live, recalling custom controllers used by Monolake. Ableton pitches this as …

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