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NAMM 2009Ableton announces Live 8, Suite 8 and New Initiatives

Ableton has announced its agenda for 2009: Ableton Live 8, Ableton Suite 8, new instruments and three completely new product initiatives.

Live 8 and Suite 8 enhance the Ableton vision of creative, real-time digital music with a wealth of new techniques, effects and most-wanted workflow improvements. These include a new groove engine, revamped warping techniques, live looping, five new effects (including the Ableton Vocoder), crossfades in the Arrangement View, group tracks and a reworked MIDI editor. Ableton Suite 8 includes all that plus a massive sound library and "all the instruments a musician could hope for", including a wide range of synths, a sampler, electric and acoustic drums (new: Latin percussion), mallets (new: Collision), numerous sampled instruments and a new, even-mightier Operator.

New in Ableton Live 8:

  • New groove engine: new groove library, extract grooves from audio or MIDI, real time groove quantize.
  • New warping engine: warp audio events by adjusting the events on the timeline, updated Beats Warp Mode, new Complex Warp Mode, slice audio files to MIDI tracks based on transients.
  • Looper: classic sound-on-sound looping without the limitations of a hardware device. Record, overdub, undo and more without touching the computer. "First loop sync," simple loop management.
  • New effects: Vocoder, Multiband Dynamics, Overdrive, Limiter and Frequency Shifter.
  • Workflow enhancements: including real-time crossfades in the Arrangement View, enhanced MIDI editing, group tracks, multiple track selection, a screen magnifier and more.

New in Ableton Suite 8:

  • World-class sound library: completely new sound library with real-world "Sound Objects," presets, grooves, templates and, above all, over 1600 beautiful sounds.
  • Collision and Corpus: a unique physical-modeling instrument for authentic mallet sounds and creative percussion. Includes Corpus, a separate effect that reproduces Collision's resonator section.
  • Latin Percussion: a collection of acoustic percussion instruments from the worlds of Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and African music plus a wide selection of clips and grooves for authentic usage.
  • Operator, Ableton's renowned do-it-all synthesizer, has been given a major overhaul. New filter types, more modulation routing options and additive wavetable synthesis with drawable partials make Operator more powerful and flexible than ever.

Plus these existing Ableton instruments: Sampler, Electric, Tension, Analog, Drum Machines, Session Drums* and the Essential Instrument Collection 2*.

* Boxed version only.

New Initiatives for 2009

Share: effortless remote collaboration
Share Live Sets with others via the Web using this special feature in Live 8. Ableton's simple and intelligent solution for online musical collaboration streamlines the sharing process with easy sharing and loading, a simple system of setting access permission, speedy transfers and no issues with external plug-ins and instruments.

Extend: Max for Live
Max for Live is a new product, co-developed by Ableton and Cycling '74. Quite simply, it puts the power and potential of Max/MSP inside Live. With Max for Live, it's possible to create completely new instruments, effects and extensions that go beyond the common and predictable and transcend the limits that conventional tools impose. The possibilities are virtually endless, from completely unique synths and effects, algorithmic composition tools or radical, new music machines fusing Live and controller hardware. Max for Live is a chance to join a society of makers and share ingenuity.

Touch: dedicated controllers for Ableton Live
Ableton and Akai Professional are proud to announce the APC40, a new hardware controller specially designed for Ableton Live. The APC40 features high quality controls for real-time mixing, remixing and production. 109 buttons, 16 endless encoders with LED rings, nine 45mm faders and a replaceable crossfader give musicians and producers complete control of Live's Session View, effect devices and virtual instruments. For anyone in the studio or on stage, DJing, making beats, running backing tracks, firing MIDI loops or triggering sound effects, it's time to kiss the mouse goodbye.

These three initiatives combine in interesting ways:

  • Live 8 + Max for Live: Swap extensions, effects and instruments created with Max for Live using the sharing technology in Live 8. So Max for Live owners also get access to any number of additional instruments, effects and extensions created by the Max for Live community.
  • Live 8 + Max for Live + APC40: with Max for Live, it's possible to customize the APC40, turning its Clip Launch Matrix into a step sequencer, for instance. Live 8's sharing features allow users to share APC40 mods with other APC40 users. And because communication is two-way, this also means access to all the other shared APC40 goodies that the Ableton community has to offer.

Pricing & Availability

Ableton Live 8 and Ableton Suite 8 should be available in the second quarter of 2009, following extensive testing and bug fixing. A public beta version of these products will be available soon.

  • Prices for Ableton Suite 8 start at €549 / $699 (download version).
  • Prices for Ableton Live 8 start at €349 / $449 (download version).
  • Upgrades to Live 8/Suite 8 vary in price, depending on the Ableton products you already own. More details here.

Collision and Latin Percussion will be available individually or as part of Ableton Suite 8. Both instruments will be available with the Live 8 release. Collision will cost €129 / $159; Latin Percussion €79 / $99.

Max for Live will be available later this year. Max for Live is a separate product: it is not part of Ableton Live 8 or Ableton Suite 8. No price available yet.

The feature "Share Live Set" is initially included in Ableton Live 8. As the technology develops, Ableton may introduce new models for handling this feature.

More information on pricing and availability of the APC40 will be available here.

Can't Wait for 8?
Customers who buy Live 7 now get big savings on upgrades to Live 8 and also get two Ableton instruments (Operator and Drum Machines, worth €198 / $238 in total) for free. Customers who buy Ableton Suite now will get a free upgrade to Ableton Suite 8. This offer is valid until March 31st 2009. More details here.

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