Ableton is 10. Does that make anyone feel old? Live in action; photo: Marco Raaphorst.

As the company turns 10, Ableton has introduced a set of discounts and giveaways, the most notable of which is a new entry-level edition of Live. Live Intro smooths out a lot of the wrinkles between different starter versions of Live, from LE to hardware bundles. At $99, “Intro” finally gets a logical feature set:

  • Full ReWire support, both as host and client (or “Slave” and “Master,” if you want to be all kinky about it)
  • Full MIDI support, including remote control, output, MIDI clock (though none of the nifty “external device” support for outboard gear)
  • Warping and time stretching, minus the “Complex” and “Complex Pro” modes
  • 4 VST/AU instruments, 4 VST/AU effects per project
  • Missing Vocoder, Looper, Multiband Dynamics, Overdrive, Frequency Shifter – but you do get SImpler and Impulse
  • 2 in, 2 out audio, though you can have up to 64 tracks and unlimited MIDI tracks
  • No track grouping
  • Full WAV, AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC support
  • New extras: 7 GB of audio content in the boxed version, 1 GB in the download version

In other words, you get a more-than-capable version of Live for a hundred bucks. It’s certainly enough for anyone who just wants to inject some Live functionality into their ReWire host of choice, and allows people interested in experimenting with Live a non-crippled version they can use. Mercifully, Ableton is offering a free upgrade to Intro from Live LE users — a good thing, because Intro includes some features and content LE lacks. (Okay, it’s still probably not great news if you spent $200 on LE, but at least you don’t miss out on the features.)

Live Intro product page
Live Intro comparison

Sound Packs, Discounts

Already a Live owner? Through January 10, Ableton has a number of deals for existing Live users:

Discounts on Live upgrades, up to 20%

Free artist packs — from some wonderful artists, too, including Apparat, Mum, Thavias Beck, and our friends at Covert Operators, among others.

The artist packs are especially nice. And Novation is shipping the Launchpad. Of course, the big news today is really Max for Live, so I’d better … keep typing. (Damn you, fingers!)