Have Ableton succeeded? Thirdly, Live's interface is clear and simple: Combining sophistication with ease of use is incredibly difficult, but Live manages to do so, with an ableton suite 8 that promotes flexible working without clutter or distraction.
But this elegance of design tends to fly in the face of the software industry, where an arms race pushes vendors to add more and more features to their products to win on press release bullet points. Does it still hold itself together in version 8? The sample libraries are packaged as 'Live Packs' — compressed archives which Live itself unpacks and installs — so you have some ableton suite 8 as to what you want to install.
All the instruments and sample sets occupy ableton suite 8 same hierarchical navigation tree, and it's not immediately clear which instruments are part of which Live Packs: Arguably this doesn't matter much — who cares what instruments are used so long as the result is good?
Subtle Changes Thankfully, Live 8 looks and works almost identically to Live 7. The audio file warping and grooving machinery has been given something of an overhaul in Live 8. Live attempts some aspects of this itself, but others require guidance, either to correct mistakes or to add some creativity into the editing and synchronisation process.
If the rhythm of the sample is regular, then the bar and beat divisions between ableton suite 8 warp markers will fall on the sample's beats. Additional warp markers can be dropped onto bar and beat lines, and markers can be dragged back and forth along the waveform; bar and beat lines between adjacent warp markers are scaled linearly. Transient markers can be added, deleted or moved if Live has not been totally accurate in its analysis.
Holding the Shift key while dragging does the same in Ableton suite 8 8, although in the new scheme the waveform display moves while the timeline stays linear: Live 8's groove features have also been significantly overhauled. Live 7's groove functions were rather elementary: Lastly, and most intriguingly, Live claims to be able to extract groove templates from existing MIDI and audio clips.
In Live 8, this kind of parallel nesting of channels can be done directly in the mixer. Two or ableton suite 8 tracks can be grouped together under ableton suite 8 enclosing group track.
Cross Clip Cleverness Another improvement in the area of arranging is the addition of programmable crossfades between adjacent audio clips on the same track. In the Arrangement view, crossfade curves can be dragged and reshaped at the boundaries between clips, and, rather cleverly, the waveform is actually redrawn to reflect the effect of the fade.
Even for isolated clips, it's now possible to edit the in and out fade curves without having to mess around with volume automation. Crossfading between two clips in the Arrangement. There are also additional filter types, and the filter response curve can now be viewed and edited graphically.
Collision, meanwhile, is new for Live 8. Collision excels at modelling instruments like vibraphones and glockenspiels, producing sounds ableton suite 8 are clear, responsive and organic.
The cost, though, is CPU load, which can be quite hefty with certain choices of resonator algorithm. Bundled ableton suite 8 Collision is an audio effect named Corpus, which is roughly equivalent to one of Collision's resonators with its own dedicated LFO.
The Looper 'instrument' is actually an audio effect, since it generally needs an audio feed which can, of ableton suite 8, be from an audio clip, soft synth or effectalthough you can drag existing audio clips directly into Looper's buffer, as well as exporting loops as new clips.
Looper also saves its current buffer with the Live Set. Looper can reverse its buffered audio and vary playback speed by up ableton suite 8 three octaves up or down, but that's about the extent of its abilities. The playback speed control which ableton suite 8 also used for matching loop tempo to ableton suite 8 Live Set does not feature audio warping, so if the speed varies, so does the pitch. Compared to other looping systems, Looper is rather basic, but that rather misses the point: The filter bands can ableton suite 8 be gated.
As an audio effect, Vocoder takes the modulator signal as input. The collection contains acoustic and electric keyboards, strings, ableton suite 8, woodwinds, plucked instruments harp, guitars, bassesmallets, choirs and drums: Suite 8 also ships with two whole DVDs of Session Drums, again constructed as sophisticated chains of instruments and effects. With all of Ableton's drum kits, the mappings from keyboard notes to drum parts is standard, so it's easy to assemble customised kits drawn from different presets without too many clashes across the keyboard.
I'm used to auditioning sample CDs, so had to remind myself that these clips are fully editable MIDI sequences driving instrument racks which are themselves editable. The scope for creative exploration is immense. Ableton Suite 8 also ships with the existing set of instruments: Conclusions Live 8 is the fourth major revision of Ableton Live that I've used, and, contrary to the usual software upgrade practice, the environment still gives an overriding impression of stability.
All in all, Ableton have ableton suite 8 in producing an upgrade which adds considerable value to the Live environment and also points to an exciting future. Live's display can now be zoomed between 50 and percent of its normal scale: Mixer settings can be altered for multiple selected tracks at the same time.
Tracks and scenes can now be assigned colours, as can chains and macro controls in instrument racks. At the moment the sharing service is free, but Ableton have not ruled out charging ableton suite 8 it in future. Since there is no guarantee that all collaborators will have the same selection of MIDI sound sources and effects — hardware or software — Live ableton suite 8 the option of freezing any tracks that use internal or external instruments prior to upload.
Since Live does not provide any means to convert files between different formats, Live Sets containing such files ableton suite 8 be shared. Ableton suite 8 might also be worth perusing ableton suite 8 small print of the licences of any sample libraries that you're using, since uploading and making available Live Sets containing copyrighted samples probably violates numerous bits of licence agreement.
Maximum Potential The most intriguing, and almost certainly the most powerful, enhancement for Live 8 is one that, alas, isn't shipping yet, despite having its own chapter in the manual. Pros Still sleekly designed, robust and beautifully ergonomic.
Cons No clear mapping between Live Packs and the instrument library. Prices include VAT.
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