The Bridge, the software resulting from collaboration between Ableton and Serato we first saw in January, is available today. The integration is free, provided you have the right software: you need both a copy of a full version of Ableton Live or Live Suite 8.2 or above and Serato Scratch Live 2.1.1. (Live LE, for instance, is not compatible.) You need the Serato Scratch Live hardware in order to run Scratch Live, for those of you unfamiliar with the Serato side.

Check out our past coverage for more details of what The Bridge is about:

At top, Ableton has released a video that shows off what may be The Bridge’s most popular feature: for people who have Live and Serato, the software makes it ridiculously easy to use Live to fine-tune mixes you’ve made live in Serato. (Yeah, Percussion Lab should be all over this feature, as big Live and Serato fans who regularly make mixes with Serato that they stream live on the Internet and later release… you get the idea. Ditto anyone else in the same boat.)

Thanks, GearJunkies, for spotting the vid.

The basic features:

  • Transport control syncs up Live and Scratch Live, so that a turntable or CDJ can pitch, nudge, and loop Live. (“It’s like having Ableton Live on one of your decks,” explains Ableton PR.) Beatgrid syncs beats, too.
  • View your Ableton Session View from inside a window in Scratch Live, with control over clips, scenes, instruments, devices, and mixing.
  • Record Serato performances as Live Sets, then tweak them, as in in the video above.

Ableton has high hopes; Gerhard Behles says in the press release, “The Bridge encourages DJs to become producers and producers to become DJs.” That may be, but my guess is that Live has already done that to some extent. What’s been missing is that the people who, um, “bridge” those two roles have wound up with somewhat split personalities, working in Serato and Live but without any workflow between them. Initially, I’d imagine it’s that crowd – the people who already own the two products – who will give this a try. If it works well for them, that means a still-larger army of Ableton advocates who tell their Serato-using friends to try the other tool, and visa versa, but that may be down the road. (Conclude arbitrary speculation; check back with me in about a year and see if I was right.) I’m not sure Live users will be rushing out to buy Scratch Live hardware, but eventually this could make Serato users more comfortable getting their feet wet on the production side.

Official site: