Ableton Live had its last full update to Live 9 in 2013. Five years later, Ableton releases a completely new DAW in 2018–Ableton Live 10.
The new Live 10 has several new exciting updates, building upon the success and growing popularity of the previous 9.
These include four new plugin devices, a redesigned sound library, and enhances to the workflow. Push, the Live’s dedicated controller, is also new, with workflow to enable fast music making. And Max comes integrated into the software now, which has some hidden benefits that you might find a relief…
That said, what’s new in Live 10?
Let’s check it out…
What’s new in Ableton Live 10
As I said, there are four new plugin devices to pay attention to:
One new addition is a synthesizer aptly named “Wavetable.” And guess what it is? It’s a wavetable synthesizer…
Wavetable synthesis has been a growing trending in music production, with the popularity of Serum leading the Wavetable synth pack. Ableton seems to want to satisfy user demands by adding this to their collection of synthesizers such as Analog, Operator, Simpler, and so on.
Within Wavetable, you can derive wavetable samples from other analog synths and instruments. Naturally, you can shape your sound using modeled analog filters and other modulation tools.
Another cool plugin is Echo. Again aptly named, Echo is a multipurpose effects delay plugin. It brings together the classic analog sounds of digital hardware delays in a single VST. This go-to plugin promises to turn up noises and wobbles for “vintage imperfections,” add modulations and reverb that sculpt sonic landscapes, and shape and shift sounds with its analog modeled filters.
Pretty neat. Can’t wait.
Drum Buss is another cool tool. Anyone creating heavy beat driven music knows the importance of getting the right drum sounds out of your DAW. This plugin is a “one-stop workstation” for drums, where you can take command of the dynamics with compression and transient shaping, make subtle changes, and add warmth or distortion when you need it. There’s also a dedicated low end section tool where you can control bass decay, and tune the boom and bass. Nifty additions, I should say.
Finally, Pedal is a plugin device that allows you do add warm and rich overdrive distortions to your audio signals. You get the character of an analog stomp box with this go-to plugin. Even though Pedal was modeled on guitar pedals, you can use them to your heart’s content on practically any other sound signal.
Ableton has also improved the workflow of their already workflow intensive interface…
With the growing popularity of DAWs that are entirely focused on quickly creating and producing music seamlessly, such as Bitwig Studio and PreSonus Studio One, Ableton has, without a doubt, felt the pressure to reaffirm what has been their main selling point in the first place: instant music making for pro users.
Workflow refinements has hence been improved to make music making and production as seamless as possible. Here are some of these improvements:
A new addition is called “Collections” by Ableton. A very simple feature that, to some, will completely enhance their workflow.
Collections allow you to group your plugins and effects under titles and colors so that you can more quickly find what you need when you need them without too much searching around.
For instance, something as simple as “Favorite Effects” or “Mixing” or “Grime” can go a long way to keeping your creative process from being a chaotic struggle through your DAW’s digital jungle.
A very cool feature. Ableton keeps a tempory cache of every MIDI note you enter.
So, let’s say you’re fooling around trying to find something that works in your track. A second ago, you “accidentally” played a nice chord or hook but you don’t remember it. Don’t worry, Capture already remembers it. Just click Capture and the notes are recalled. It will even guess the tempo for you. That’s pretty cool.
Other cool features
Of course, you get a multitude of new keyboard shortcuts. And Push has been updated to enhancing faster music making (more on that in a bit).
Users will finally be able to export MP3s. Who says MP3 is dead?
Note chasing will finally be supported, so if you start playing a track which has a long evolving pad, for instance, you don’t need to start from four bars ago when the notes started. The note is already re-triggered no matter where you start. This is something I’d wish to see in Studio One. It’s already supported in Pro Tools and Cubase, but it’s nice to see that Ableton users will get this feature as well.
The New Look
…. and by “new look” I mean “not so new look.”
True, the design has been changed to look more modern and sleeker. But I’m more amazed at the fact that a DAW that hasn’t been updated in 5 years hasn’t shown its age.
Everything in the Live 10 is cleaner and more contemporary, but there’s not a big difference in design from 9. This could actually be a relief, as there is nothing you’d have to “get used to.”
There are some new skins designed to help aid in visibility, however. Particularly to aid in navigating your menus and arranger while using the software in dark clubs, or bright outdoor daytime festivals, as well as moderately lit workspaces. The fonts and colors are chosen to help assist you being able to see things more clearly, no matter where you’r working. An essential improvement on a DAW that’s known as a workhorse for producers and DJs constantly on the go.
This is perhaps one of the most exciting changes. Max for Live will now come full integrate into Live. This means a faster load time and less demand on CPU resources.
Multiple MIDI clip editing
This will allow you to see more than one MIDI clips in one view, for faster editing.
There are improvements to nudging, time stretching, one-key zooming, and drag-and-drop track duplication making editing more convenient.
Groups within Groups
An improvement upon Set organization, allows you to fold multiple tracks and groups together for a simple overview, even with all the tracks and detailed arrangements in your session.
Allows you to rename of inputs and outputs. Users can now use labels to select the right routing in Live’s inputs and outputs to match the device’s in the studio.
There are some well-needed improvements to the sound engine inside Live. Gain range has been improved, plus a new feature called Bass Mono in Utlity, extensions to the frequency slopes in EQ Eight, and the Split Stereo Pan feature.
New Sound Library
Live has always had to really good sound packs in their libraries. The promises to provide “richer, more detailed sounds.”
Live 10 comes with four new sound packs. These include synths, samples electric keys, and drums. Their “Curated Collections” promise to “capture the music threads that tie together evolving styles and scenes.”
The hardware component for Live, Push, has a few new updates as well. The display on this all-in-one controller has been upgraded to include viewing notes in a clip, as well as interfaces for the devices Wavetable, EQ Eight, and Compressor. The workflow improvements makes what was already an attractive alternative to NI’s Maschine even more enticing.
When’s it coming out?
Look out for Ableton Live 10 in the first quarter of 2018. You can get more information from their website here.