Put on your dancing shoes and your #discoskin.

Put on your dancing shoes and your #discoskin.

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 that, so you’ll have to have a look at the changelog and see if it looks like this is an issue you were having – and do give it a try.

Visibly, of course, the most noticeable change is the new Disco user interface skin. That features a black background with brownish-orange and light-gray highlights, plus icy-blue waveforms. It’s not such an ideal skin for studio use, I think; it seems best for stage use. Turning the brightness down on my laptop, the high contrast becomes perfectly visible. This skin’s colors have earned some comparisons to upstart rival Bitwig Studio. But Bitwig still isn’t shipping, and the comparison might just as easily fit apps like Renoise. (Or Winamp. Or any number of things.) Anyway, dark skins are generally welcome and nothing new.

In fact, if this doesn’t fit your fancy, be sure to check out the beautiful skins produced by our friend Madeleine Bloom:


6 Free Skins for Ableton Live 9

I prefer her black-background Live skin to Ableton’s own, in fact.

Having just gotten sidetracked, though, other updates here are far more important.

First, in 9.0.4 we see an explanation for why 9.0.3 was suddenly pulled:

VST / AU plug-in devices could be inactive after loading a Live set containing a large number of plug-ins (regression in Live 9.0.3).
The “grab_control” function which allows to gain control over a control surface’s button matrix via Max for Live would not work anymore (regression in Live 9.0.3).
Fixed a bug which could cause the File Manager window to reopen after launching Live.

But there are a bunch of changes which, as I said regarding 9.0.3 before it disappeared, are vital to Live 9 users.

This includes, vitally, solving a lot of issues having to do with new indexing features. I’m very keen to hear from someone suffering from that issue with big libraries in Live 9.0.2 and earlier to tell us if they had this problem.

And, if you don’t like the new instant-on record behavior, it also adds a preference that waits for you to launch a clip or hit Play to start recording.

I had been lucky with other Live 9 issues and crashes, but colleagues who hadn’t fared so well are already liking the update as of the 9.0.4 beta. Read the release notes for details on what might impact you, Live users:

Live 9 Release Notes

And then grab the update via your account on Ableton.com.