It’s time to make sense of brand names / bundles / pricing / feature sets again! Today’s victim: Ableton Live. Here goes; let me know if I make this make sense.

If you bought an M-Audio or Digidesign interface with Ableton Live Lite and haven’t upgraded to the full version of Live, Ableton has a free upgrade offer for you. “Lite Enhanced” (erm, Diet Live? Live Rite? Tab?) has some pretty serious features in it from the full-blown Live:

Plug-in Delay Compensation, MIDI remote control, full ReWire support, high-definition recording and rendering (up to 32-bit), Mackie Control support, Track Freeze, and the â€Å“Complexâ€Â? warp mode for high-fidelity, on-the-fly time stretching.

Okay, rewind: one feature there is very important. Live Lite previously didn’t allow MIDI control, so that you could use your knobs on your new M-Audio keyboard (or any other MIDI device) to control the software. That’s well worth downloading the upgrade. With the more advanced features, this is a pretty terrific deal for a freebie (more so for many users, I would think, than M-Audio’s homegrown entry-level app Session).

So why does Ableton still think you’ll upgrade to the full version? As with previous versions of Lite, you’re limited in number of tracks and scenes. This should still be more powerful enough to play around with and use in your music, but naturally Ableton would save something for the full Live experience. Keep in mind, as well, Live 5 Lite lagged pretty far behind Live 5, and Ableton told us at NAMM in January we’d see Live 6 later this year. All that aside, we love freebies:

Grab it, M-Audio customers (including Live Delta users), or Digidesign users

How about you: are you using software you got via a hardware bundle? Or did you buy your software a la carte? (Sorry, we don’t talk about five-fingered / one-hook discounts round these parts.)