Electronic musicians have been living with the idea of Live 10 for a while. Now, the actual software is available in a public beta. Here’s how it works.
Who can join the public beta?
You need a registered copy of Ableton Live 9 Standard or Live 9 Suite. Earlier versions and entry level/bundled versions of the software don’t qualify.
How do I join in?
Ableton uses bug tracker Centercode to share current in-development testing builds of their software, and to collect data on how you’re using it. If you have one of those Live 9 serials, you can sign up directly:
Why is it a public beta?
Ableton say they use this stage of the process to collect data on how you’re using the software and how stable it is. So, they are actively looking for bugs.
Back in the day, that meant you had to write extensive reports for developers to know what wasn’t working in the software. Now, a lot of that process is automated (though if you encounter some very specific bug, for instance with a particular third-party setup, you may want to write some report to Ableton).
Is it stable?
Okay, officially, it’s beta software, so strictly speaking it isn’t as stable as a finished release.
But Ableton betas are unique, in that certified trainers, some members of the press (hi there), Ableton employees, and some artists have been using Live 10 since the fall. I’ve probably opened Live 9 only a couple of times since September, and have played with Live 10 onstage and finished tracks in it.
Just be advised that any really essential files you’ll want to keep in Live 9; once you save as a Live 10 file, you can’t go back. And you can keep Live 9 and Live 10 installed side-by-side on the same machine. I’ve done that on both my Mac and PC and intend to leave it that way until Live 10 ships (and maybe a few months after).
Where can I find out what’s new?
Our monster guide covers pretty much everything:
Plus Tom Cosm has an extensive video walkthrough at the bottom of that post, and a handy, printable quick reference guide to shortcuts and new features – which is great for getting more productive in the refreshed Arrange view!
I’ll do an updated round-up of videos next week, and you can expect more guides in words (because reading is cool) around the release.
What’s up with Max?
Live 10 also includes the new version of Cycling ’74 Max/MSP, Max 8. Cycling haven’t revealed all of the new features in Max 8, and in particular what hard-core Max users will get from the authoring tool, but a pre-release version of Max 8 is shipping with Live 10 – meaning Ableton and Cycling ’74 are testing the new generation of each of their products at the same time.
That’s one small step in the direction we confirmed Ableton and Cycling intended to take as the two companies merged efforts:
What’s the best feature that no one would immediately imagine is the best feature?
Drum Buss. (Search your feelings: you know it to be true.)
Enjoy the beta.