Ableton this week has released 8.2.5; it’s worth mentioning here primarily as it adds Lion support on Mac OS. I still strongly recommend against upgrading to 10.7 for the time being, until you’ve verified that your particular mix of plug-ins and hardware is also compatible, but it’s a promising sign. Other improvements are also worth a look; via the Ableton forum:

– MIDI sync has been improved when Live is a MIDI clock slave
– Imported tracks (from the Live Browser) now route to Master if their original output routing can’t be resolved, instead of “Sends Only.”
– The default for the Takeover mode in the MIDI Preferences is now Value Scaling instead of Pick-up.
– We now prevent choosing the root of the system hard drive (or the Windows system folders on Windows machines) as the third-party plugin location. Doing that would crash Live on startup, because these folders contain files that are interpreted as third-party plugins.

Registered users can download the new release from the Ableton site.

Also, Ableton quietly introduced a new Support site with searchable direct Q&A.

Okay, since dot releases aren’t terribly thrilling, let’s use this an excuse to check out some artists. Christian Andersen, aka XI talks working with the Operator synth and shares some custom patches; Bruce Pronsato chats Resonator (one of my favorites, going back to the pre-Ableton AAS days).

We’re still working on catching up with Nicolas Jaar himself, especially after some comments, without much context, caused controversy. (See our previous coverage, which I personally still think points to a pretty good video!) But here’s more on Mr. Jaar’s live performance approach, and how he’s set up Ableton with live band and vocals. Some nice stuff; it’s always great to get some live band performance, and something that dates back to the origins of Ableton Live.

By the way, speaking of Operator, here’s a terrific-looking download of Operator patches, accompanying live clips, and tutorial videos, all for the absurdly-low price of $10. Samples:

Operator Ambience Vol. 1 by nickmaxwell

20 Operator Patches. 20 Live Clips. 21 Videos. Inspiration + Education In 1 Pack! [Nick’s Tutorials]

Heck, I may give myself the day off from being the one writing the tutorials and doing the sound design and check it out myself. Nick’s been doing great stuff.