Should You Update to Ableton Live 9?
Ableton Live 9 has been released! Is it to early to celebrate?
Well it's been close to four years or so since Ableton Live 8 came out and today the wait is over. Ableton Live 9 is upon us! One of the big concerns with a new release of any software is stability. Is it safe to use? Will it crash like crazy? I've had the chance to spend the last few months messing around and testing the beta version of Live 9. I suppose safe practice is to wait a little bit to make sure any bugs get ironed out, but I am not so patient. I've been using the Live 9 beta for everything, including live gigs (I know it's playing with fire). And guess what? It has been rock solid. I think in the entire time I was testing, I had one crash, and I remember feeling like I deserved it. I was overloading the system with non Ableton plugins. Other than that one time, everything was smooth as can be. Personally I love the new Ableton 9. Live is my favorite piece of computer software ever, and one of my favorite musical inventions ever (including things like the guitar). So having an even more amazing version of this product that I love so much is such a treat.
Some of the coolest additions in Ableton Live 9
I plan on spending a little more time discussing the awesome new features of Ableton Live 9, but I thought I'd give you a run down of just a few of my favorite features.
The first time I used Live I was a little let down that there was no session automation. I learned to work around it and in time sort of forgot how cool it would have been to have. Now, with Live 9, I can tell you that Session Automation is one of the coolest features of the whole program. The ability to record automation into my clips has added so much life to every sound I create. Electronic music has never sounded so alive and organic. The implementation is great. It does take a little while to get used to, but the best way to explain it is that it works kind of like midi overdub does in 8. If you have ever used midi overdub to build a drum clip one drum at a time, this is the way you might think of session automation recording. Basically, I will record a part, then on as the clip loops, start moving knobs on my midi controller. You can keep adding layers of movement and it all gets recorded. Honestly, it is so freaking awesome!
Max For Live Updates
Max for Live has been integrated into Ableton much more thoroughly and is stabler than ever before. There are some amazing new effects like the convolution reverb and the updated Buffer Shuffler. Buffer Shuffler is totally amazing and super deep; you can really work some magic with this one. The new reverb sounds amazing. I think it is the coolest bundled reverbs I've ever used. The Envelop Follower allows you to use any sound to manipulate any other sound. It's sort of like side-chaining on steroids (steroids are bad, don't do them). You can do things like control a filter with your voice or add delay to a guitar every time a snare drum hits. An updated Max for Live might sound like 1 new feature, but make no mistake, there are so many cool new things that result from this update. Amazing.
The Browser Previews Instruments and Drums
The browser now previews instruments before you even load them into a track. You know how you have to drop a drum kit on to a track and test out all the different sounds to determine if it will fit in your song? Yea, that nonsense is over. Now when you click on an instrument in Live's browser, Ableton previews the sound or the drum kit. It's the same way Live 8 lets you preview a sample before dropping it in. This is such a HUGE timesaver and I love it so much. One thing that kinda sucks though: it currently only works on factory presets. I hope they change that soon, because as you know, I have a library full of custom sounds.
So Should You Update?
Should you continue breathing air? Of course! My verdict is definitely! What are you even reading this for? Why am I even writing this? Lets go make some music! Go update now! I won't even write some silly disclaimer stating if you run into problems it's not my fault. Do it!