Can’t get enough Live 9 information? In cased you missed it, here’s a nearly hour-long presentation. It’s notable for Ableton founder and CEO Gerhard Behles talking about what matters in an instrument, then “discovering” that Push fits in a backpack, for Dennis DeSantis doing a beautiful job of showing what really musical workflow looks like, and Jesse Terry brave enough to do a live set on hardware that’s only just been finished. I say this partly because I have to do presentations, too, and – it’s not easy. I think they do a good job of sharing their ideas honestly and clearly; it’s up to you to judge whether those ideas fit your music and whether you invest in their creation.

Bonus: isomorphic pitch layouts.

The setting is the private event you may have heard about. Last week in Berlin, a number of artists, partners, and press were gathered along with Ableton employees to witness a private event launching Live 9. I became briefly concerned that I was going to find out I was already dead, or having some strange dream, given the number of people I knew who were there. (Crap – really, we didn’t manage to get off the island? Did the plane crash on the way to LAX for NAMM ever happen? I’m so confused.) People came all the way from New Zealand. I came all the way from Kreuzberg.

It’s also worth noting that Robert Henke is not in this video. While, even viewed from the outside, Robert clearly continues to influence what Ableton does, the best place to find him is doing extraordinary work in performance and research, internationally. I point this out only because I think some people assume everything in Live springs from Robert’s head. That’s not the case – and it fails to appreciate all the other things springing from Robert’s head. It must be nice to focus on being a user of Live; I’m sure given what I’ve heard about gen that he’ll do some incredible work there.

Anyway, now the content of this presentation is available to all of you. Let us know if you see anything you missed. And enjoy the dog and pony show. (Darn, now I want to see a show with dogs and ponies.)

  • dennisdesantis

    Thanks Peter. And great to see you last week.

  • Frank Carroll

    Thanks Peter, good to see the full presentation.

  • Leon Trimble

    what’s the name of the guy who does live looping at poetry slams?

  • Keynote

    Stop cheering. Stop it. It’s horrible.

    • Peter Kirn

      Really – you mean just the applause in the video? I hadn’t watched the video. Being in the audience, cheers seemed largely pretty muted, like, what you’d expect with a room full of people watching a presentation.

      I’ve been at some Apple keynotes. It didn’t feel like that, if that’s what you’re afraid of. (Yes, Jobs was amazing as a presenter, but it feels weird when press are hooting at sales numbers!)

  • Synthi

    Screw Live 9, give me all that vintage hardware in the video!!!!

  • crundle

    hmm fine beatmaker, indeed

  • David

    Ugh, I wish companies would stop trying to imitate an old jobs-era Apple keynote. Not even Apple can pull it off anymore. It’s time to find a new paradigm for these things. Gerhard Behles is a great guy and it’s okay if he doesn’t come across super slick, because he’s a straight up guy, not a sweet talker. When he tries to anyway though it feels odd.

    • Derp

      “jobs-era Apple keynote.” — I honestly didn’t get that impression at all.

    • David

      I said “imitate”, not “emulate”. 😉

    • ging

      If you look at the pop charts, when Germans embrace being what they are, German, they do really well in mainstream culture outside their own country: Kraftwerk, Falco, George Kranz, Nina even had the world singing in German…when they don’t do so good is when they being too constructed: Milli Vanilli!

      I think ableton at the moment is looking reactionary not visionary. The above video just looks like an assertion of power and size in the face of Bitwig rather than anything truly innovative. Also hardware with buttons, wow. This again is more reactionary and looks like an attempt to distance themselves from bitwig through doing something that bitwig supposedly can’t do. I won’t bet the farm on this fact since they developed their software super snappy and we all know china is full of factories. Also it seems ableton are missing the big picture, just look at desktop sales and also windows 8 for the future. This is all abit fiddling while rome burns, which can only be because of their focus on Bitwig too much.

      Also I think this kind of stale marketing is only making things worse, it’s like there is a big massive elephant in the room and this big power ego driven self obsorbed marketing only alienates the customer, considering they are struggling bedroom musicians, probably even more. If you want an example of how to a come back properly, just look at the new myspace video: Then at the end have all the staff gather in an open space in Berlin and shot in unison “We’re Back!”

      Just what ever you do, think different and please please please don’t ever resort to brainwashing interruptive youtube adverts or minor dj celebrity cooking events like native instruments if the going gets tuff over the next years.

    • ging

      “Then at the end have all the staff gather in an open space in berlin and shot in unison”…a basil faultian slip if ever was one!

  • marv

    argh. the intro. i really hope the rest of his version of giant steps wasnt so horrible

  • Marco Raaphorst

    I would check Blue In Green as well first for that polyphonic-midi convertion. it doesn’t seem to convert velocity, but that’s not an issue. cool feature!!!

  • Jim Jones

    Hey I’m sorry but I’m really not feeling it. I do applaud Ableton for doing Something, but there were so many basic little things that they could have done to easily expand it’s current capabilities. I mean it’s OK for geeks to create things, but why do they have to dominate the direction electronic music is going. Example: look on YouTube for songs created with NI Maschine, and see if you find any that is musical. Of course nothing stops us from recording instruments with some feel / vibe / soul in them. Live 9 and Push just looks like a lot of knob tweakers to me. In my opinion the ability to view Session and Arrange View simultaneously, see multiple Waveforms in clips, ability to set and trigger cue points in clips, and ability to have Follow Actions be smart enough to go to the next clip at the End marker would allow a lot of new capabilities/functionality. As with NI, I think first they do a market analysis to see what new thing they can sell and then build around that, versus listening to what loyal users for years have been asking for (just some basic “obvious” enhancements). I think Ableton is way too much focused on (min tech) “sounds” and tweaking. Max for Live is more of a “science lab” then what the resultant sonic value brings. Most of this is a reaction to Maschine. I think I’ll wait and see how Bitwig goes. (I’ve been using Live since Live 5). To finish, manage and remix songs, I ultimately found Cubase and I love it. Rewiring Live (loops, ideas) into and recording in Cubase has been a dream.

    • Redoom

      Dear party poopers,

      I am really tired of hearing people complain about the exciting news of live 9 and all the great new features. If you don’t like it use something else for gods sake instead of crapping on it. You said it yourself ideas… that is the best part of live that and performance. I don’t recall them ever pretending to be anything else than what they are.

    • Jim Jones

      Think about what the cost will be for new users (and current users) to purchase a Push and L9 Suite. Then when Push comes out, use it for 30 days and see if it adds any value to your music making. The Editing enhancements make sense to me, and Audio to Midi has possibilities. But, I think loyal long-time users have a right to express disappointment on “things that can implemented in 5 minutes” constantly being overlooked and ignored. You know Apple makes a lot of money saying Black is in, then in a year saying White is in, and then in a year saying Silver is in. The Sheep follow. L9 Suite + Push is high entry cost for a mee-beep science kit. Enjoy.

    • Tony Torres

      I definitely have to agree with you because I have been using live since version 7 and the suite version, I feel that I should probably get a discount on the push controller, but seeing that I have live suite 8 max for live and if I want push I have to pay 600+ euros thats insane already, I bought live 7 suite for about 600 euros upgrade to live suite 8 for 300 euros, and now with push another 600 euros thats a lot of money for someone who has been a loyal ableton user.

    • griotspeak

      “Things that can be implemented in 5 minutes” – ah, the mythical ‘5 minute feature’. I will catch you one day or you can stop calling me Ishmael!

    • Greg Lőrincz

      Agree. Ten years ago Live was a loop player, now it’s a fully fledged DAW. Fiften years ago music software was expensive and computers had much lower performance. Twenty years ago… I could go on. Get a perspective people and be happy with what you have. Or start making your own tools. Buy an Arduino, learn coding, etc. Stop moaning bitches!

    • Peter Kirn

      I’m puzzled on one point – you’d rather have market analysis than asking users for feedback?

      The software is only just hitting beta, there are certainly ways of using Live – and any other software – without just being a button presser, and nothing posted here is really either a comprehensive feature list or a review. I hear you on the things you’re asking for, in specific features, and they’re not there, that’s true. But we’ll have more details of what is there and how you might use it on which to base any judgment. And, incidentally, yes, we do need to spend some more time with Maschine as it has evolved.

      I know both NI and Ableton do add features users are asking for – both of them. Neither of them can do it all at once.

    • Jim Jones

      >> you’d rather have market analysis than asking users for feedback?

      That’s not what I wrote Peter.

      “As with NI, I think first they do a market analysis to see what new thing they can sell and then build around that, versus listening to what loyal users for years have been asking for (just some basic “obvious” enhancements)”.

    • mh

      peter mentioned awhile back that it’s about time for daws to sandbox their plugins so crashes can be prevent from loading buggy instances. this is the most professional feature ableton could have brought to the table. hyper consumerist flashy machinery might be titillating and help contend with competition but doesn’t necessarily make for a solid and thorough product.

    • mh

      furthermore unfortunately most users want novelty features. morton subotnick called it by saying 99% of people who traditionally never made music, but now do because of access. they are the ones who keep companies in business and therefore are responsible for the future.

    • Nikola

      I really like the direction Live took with Max for Live – making distinctive sounds availible to everyone makes them less distinctive over time – so instead of doing only that Ableton is giving everyone a toolkit to make unique things. That’s great. More power to that !(sysex? etc) I’m no programmer, but isn’t sandboxing more like getting bloat for safety?

    • PaulDavisTheFirst

      this isn’t possible to do in a way that scales effectively. if any marketing person claims otherwise, tell them to come and talk to me. warn them that i will use terms like “address space”, “pointer walk”, “process/task” and “thread” with extreme comfort and great ease.

    • Peter Kirn

      Actually, I said that I thought the feature intuitively made sense, not that DAWs reliant on existing plug-in specs would even be able to do it. Now I’m intrigued by Paul’s answer here…

  • Gingi

    I expect ableton live 9 will swing nicely out of sync with any kind of outboard equipment

  • Jim Jones

    Example: Put a Song, Tracks, Clips in Arrangement View. Set Locators. Hit a Function Button to allow Translate all the Music between the Locators to new (Consolidated) Clips in a new Session Track with the Follow Actions all ready to go so that the song can play from first clip to last clip. This allows the Artist to mashup/re-arrange the song (live performance) and/or make something new out of it. Everyone has different ideas and needs, but Ableton couldn’t see/figure out the high value of this type of feature/enhancement? They can make that feature in a week of time (or less). Think of the musical benefits of such a feature. But nothing sexy, or “new” to sell. IMHO.

  • ging

    Bitwig makes ableton up their game, on the marketing front at least. Some one got steve jobs autobiography for christmas last year…

  • ExpDog

    I’ve always been intrigued by those that have found ways to use the features of Live or any equipment beyond their intended purposes. What I see here is just a release demo of one approach, mostly for production and a current trend in controllersim. In all honesty, there is a lot that M4L can do that rarely gets mentioned, especially in terms of creating Live devices for live performances. The emphasis is still on Production and Performance as two separate camps. With the move to 64bit, it will be interesting to see more actual live use of plugins and features in Live. I’m interested in seeing more ways to improvise with Live on stage and a move beyond pre-determined content in sets. I think it would be fun if a set could be quite different each night and that the system will provide some surprises.

  • Grumpy

    Looks interesting – shame they screwed up on the pricing of upgrades for exisiting users advertised on the web site for first day.

  • YETI

    I sometimes talk with my producer friend who used flstudio and talk about how much i love ableton and almost every time he has features I dont. Like the audio to midi? fl’s had that for a while. curved automatons? who doesn’t have that. I guess the session view is the only thing ableton really had. now renoise, fl, bitwig, and i’m sure others have it. I think it’s time I finish my projects and move on to more forward thinking software. Maybe my views are skewed and I’m talking out of my ass. either way, time for a change.

  • unger


    Haz scroll wheel support??


    • unger

      No…I don’t think so.

  • Natalie

    nice, I also been getting a lot out of drummer Brian Doherty’s website as well. He has some interesting views on music and the music industry at