A free update to Ableton Live, version 9.2, is now available and out of beta. We covered this in some detail before:
Live 9.2 Answers Your Warp, Automation, Tuner, and Pad Wishes
Hands on with the Ableton Live 9.2 Tuner [Video]

But today, in addition to the release, we get a closer look at the free Mad Zach sample pack included to help you exploit all 64 pads of Ableton’s Push hardware — plus some insider details on changes to the Live API that will impact power users and add-ons for Live.

First, let’s review what 9.2 adds. It’s some subtle stuff, but details I think a lot of you were anticipating:

  • Better latency compensation. Lower latency for plug-ins and Max for Live, plus latency-compensated automation.
  • Warping sounds and works better. Downbeat detection is better (phew!) and you can Warp Selection for the first time. Also, warping is more precise and punchier (in the better-sounding Complex and Complex Pro modes).
  • There’s a tuner. Hardly earth-shaking, but good that’s finally standard – whether you’re using a guitar or synth.
  • Max 7. The latest-and-greatest Max is now baked into Live – and that’s a great thing, given the cool stuff Max 7 includes (a lot of it waiting on this very Ableton update).
  • Push is better at aftertouch. Push harder. Aftertouch implementation itself is improved, and it’s supported in more factory sound patches, too.
  • Push touch strip does mod. You can now add modulation with the Push touch strip – maybe even more useful than pitch bend (already supported).
  • Push has a 64-pad layout. Whereas previously triggering samples and such split the Push layout into a separate step sequencer and pads, now you can use all 64 pads if you choose.

And, the bonus: to exploit those 64 pads, you get a free pack from Mad Zach pre-loaded with samples to try out. He walks you through that video here:

It’s called “The Lab,” and the sound pack and accompanying video walkthrough help you work with those 64 pads (at least if you haven’t already lined up four MPCs in your sets), sound design, and production.

There’s more in Live 9.2 though, beyond just the features Ableton announced today. The developers at Isotonik tell us they’re excited about new improvements to the API. In fact, it brings some of the first major Live Object Model updates since Max for Live was released half a decade ago.

Say wha?

Well, the “LOM” is the means by which add-ons built by users and third-party developers in Max for Live interact with Live itself.

If you’re a hard-core Live geek, this means more power for you to create new tools. But even if you aren’t, it means that those add-ons will be able to do things they couldn’t previously.

And some of these changes came from – well, you. You users asked developers like Isotonik and the Crashologists team for changes. They asked Ableton for those changes. And Ableton – as of today – delivers.

I’ll cover the first round of add-ons separately, but here are some highlights under the hood:

  • Load a clip into RAM, right from the API (for greater performance
  • Move around playhead positions without losing sync with Live
  • Integrate more tightly with hardware
  • Set loops to resolution as fine as 1/32 notes (not just quarter notes)

If you’re interested, we can go into more detail.

But all in all, this looks like a good update – and it makes me excited to see what’s next from Ableton in terms of Live itself, and support for external hardware.

Live 9.2 Out Now [Ableton]