Performance Pack, included with the upcoming Ableton Live 12, is capable of all sorts of feats for using Live as a performance instrument. That includes custom layouts, stored variations, looping in Arrangement, and a way of setting up arrangements on the fly. But it’s easier to see it in action than to explain – so creator Iftah has been laboring on an extensive video manual.

Here’s a look. Iftah is co-creator of this set with Matt Jackson, both at Ableton.

There’s something to love in each one of these tools. Performer is a terrific way of focusing your live performance on particular elements – choose a few parameters and set up a custom layout with extras like curved interpolation. Variations is ideal both live and as a way of finishing tracks, because you can find those “sweet spots” of devices, settings, and clips, then turn them into different points in an arrangement as you jam live. The Arrangement Looper and Prearranger both open up new ways of working with arrangements, too, outside of what you can do in Session View.

Just looking at the index to the video should give you a taste of why you’ll want to sit down with this one:

00:00 Intro
01:21 Performer: Overview
02:07 Performer: Basics
03:55 Performer: Output Destinations
04:07 Performer: Mapping
05:24 Performer: CV
06:03 Performer: MIDI
07:11 Performer: Tempo
07:28 Performer: The importance of Curves
08:23 Performer: The Curve editing area
12:18 Performer: External Midi and Push
13:26 Performer: Push Performance

15:20 Variations: Overview
15:51 Variations: Storing and recalling Variations
16:21 Variations: Renaming and deleting Variations
16:47 Variations: Set vs Track modes
17:13 Variations: Quantize & Include Section
17:53 Variations: Quick Snapshots
18:53 Variations: Linking Clips/Scenes and Snapshots
19:33 Variations: Linking snapshots to different Instruments
20:28 Variations: The Floating Window
21:12 Variations: Excluding Parameters and Devices

22:32 Arrangement Looper: Overview
22:49 Arrangement Looper: The Interface
23:35 Arrangement Looper: Quantize Loop Start
23:55 Arrangement Looper: Multiple Instances

24:14 Prearranger: Overview
24:36 Prearranger: Setup
26:19 Prearranger: Guitar Demo
27:01 Prearranger: Effect Switcher
27:38 Prearranger: Multi-Instrument Prearrangement Demo

(Those index points are bookmarked in the video above.)

I’m really excited to play with this one, and I might even be brave enough to try it in a live performance I have on the 20th. Thanks for all this amazing work, Iftah.

I’m proud to say CDM broke some of the early details on this one (alongside some other Live 12 exclusives). And there’s a lot more detail the guide I wrote on Live 12, though there’s still more to come: