Ableton Live 9 new features: what we want to see

The next update to Ableton Live is long overdue and highly anticipated, so we thought we'd round up a selection of Ableton experts and superstars to find out what they would really like to see in Ableton Live version 9.

UPDATE: Ableton Live 9 has been officially announced with a release date of Q1 2013.

When will Ableton push the update out to its users? We don't know, but when it does, the pros would like it to contain the following...

Dada Life, Electro House DJ and production duo

  • "We just want to see delay compensation. That's it! To achieve this, Ableton will have to have two modes; one 'producer' mode and one 'live' mode. In 'producer' mode we don't need Ableton to be 'stand-by' if we willpush a knob or do something on the fly. It only needs to read the automation that has been written and be super-tight and delay compensated. In 'live' mode Ableton can be as it is now."

James Wiltshire from House production duo, Freemasons

  • "Fader groups (level only) similar to old desk VCA groups. There's nothing more annoying that trying to select a batch of faders in live and bring them all down or up - the group function is OK but by no meas ideal for this."
  • "Direct bounce in place on a object level as the current system is freeze then flatten and it takes too long - Logic's version of it is perfect and sped up everyone's workflow - Live needs the same."
  • "Ableton needs a gain control at the input and output of every plug-in. This shouldn't be too CPU intensive. It's so easy to start clipping chains and everyone is overloading stuff and it's not always for the better."
  • "Stereo width control to stop all those flat over-stereo'd mixes as too much width results in a mess."
  • "Waves Support that works."
  • "I'd like an LFO tool to draw in cyclic automation. Digital Performer has it and it's awesome
  • "Hi rez LFO MIDI / pattern generator just like NI's Massive'sperformers."

Claude VonStroke, international DJ and Producer

  • "A super quick sample preview where you can switch out samples that are playing in a sequence straight from the browser. For example: so you have a kick and you are in your kicks folder in your sample library and you can simply cycle down the list of kicks in real-time while a sequence is playing until you like one. Similar functions for REX loops too would make this an epic feature.
  • "An ability to make custom plug-in folders for third-party plugs unlimited macros or at least 16. Features from Impulse available on the sampler like stretch and multi-outs."
  • "There needs to be a super functional step sequencer that's not built in Max For Live."
  • "Having resizable windows for Ableton devices or at least some way to see all those tiny functions without a spyglass."
  • "I'd like the sound engine to be a little warmer; even if it's fake I'll take it."

Martin Delaney, Ableton Live expert and writer for Future Music Magazine

  • "Ableton is going to get its ass severely kicked if I don't see some acknowledgement of iOS. I want Live running on iPad, or at least some kind of 'connected' app, like Propellerhead's Figure app. This should be priority number one for Ableton as it should have done this already."
  • "Ableton also needs to make sure it covers everything that Bitwig claims it will do. Plus, things like comping in loop mode, freezing of sidechained tracks and to be able to freeze, flatten and consolidate without stopping the transport are really needed."
  • "They also need a cheaper, or even free version of Max For Live."

Funkagenda, international DJ and producer

  • "I want floating windows! C'mon Ableton. We all want the ability to look at two waveforms at once, view VSTs from two different channels simultaneously at once etc. At this point, denying your users this feature is a matter of pride rather than anything else."
  • "Quite often I will create an awesome percussion sound by layering three snares for example. I'll group them, EQ them, compress them and then I'll realise I have to ungroup them again because I want to put them into my drum buss. And yes I know that I could recreate my work as an instrument rack... but I don't want to. I want in-group grouping."
  • "A 'real' mixer page - that is all."
  • "It would be nice to have LFO and envelope generators for plug-in parameters. I had a Max LFO generator built for me by Isotonik Studios, but one that is integrated would be far more reliable I think. Imagine being able to create those fluctuating glitchy minimal delays by having an LFO on your channel that altered delay times for you... that would be boss."
  • "Where is autosave? I'm pretty sure that the code involved in telling the software to recreate your work from the undo history is far more complicated than a piece of code that tells the software to automatically save at user specified intervals, with an appended file name."

NEXT: More Ableton Live 9 new feature suggestions

Iason from international dance music duo, Mason

  • "We're really Logic users in the studio and only use Ableton only for our live show. However, as we've built a system with Arttech and Deepred.tv for our Mason live show that synchronises all the venue lights and video from within Ableton, there are some rather geeky tweaks that would help us in the synchronising field.Things such as video playback with clips within the Session View and the ability to be able to 'get location of Session clips' from within Max For Live."
  • "The ability to edit patterns in multiple (floating) windows, so you can use multiple monitors. This would make things easier if you're programming video, light and audio within one tool."

Rob Jones, Ableton Live expert from live-courses.com

  • "There are a few things I'd like to see in the next version of Live. The first one would be improved automation in the Session view. It'd be great if you could record in parameter movements, rather than just drawing in envelopes in the Clip view. Plus, I'd like to see actual parameter values on the envelope display, rather than arbitrary numbers."
  • "The effects range can always be expanded too of course. I'd like to see an envelope shaping effect, for bringing out the transients of drums for example, and maybe a modulation effect such as a universal LFO tool, for more easily creating your own automated patterns with tracks."
  • "Lastly, moving up to 64-bit like some of the other pro apps have done recently would be a good move I think. This would allow increased RAM access, meaning that big sessions containing heaps of audio clips, as well as using instruments with huge sample libraries, would run much faster and more efficiently."

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