Ableton Live

Ableton Live 10.1

Records, mixes and modifies audio tracks
4.3  (19 votes)
10.1 (See all)
Create musical composition by recording audio tracks or entire streams, editing them, altering clips, managing the flow of signals, applying, sound synthesis algorithms, adding various effects, processing and mixing the resulting files, etc. Sampling is available.

Ableton Live is mainly intended for music composers, songwriters and DJs, as it can help them create, record and edit their own compositions. Besides, it can alter the way a musical piece sounds by adding various effects and adjustments in real time. The product is distributed in three different editions Intro, Standard and Suite, which you should explore as they greatly differ in terms of features. Unluckily, the installer is really huge (more than 1 GB), which takes some time to download and requires considerable disk space compared with other programs.

The tool’s interface was made to resemble a real recording deck. However, it may seem a little overloaded of functions, mainly at first sight, which could scare beginners away. However, the program’s benefits really make it deserve your spending some hours reading the accompanying user manual and watching some tutorials to see what you can do with this software.

Ableton Live comes with those functions you can usually find in similar tools, such as recording and editing. Yet, it offers much more. It allows working with more than 16 tracks, and depending on the edition, the number of tracks can be unlimited. These tracks can be independently edited with operations like copying, cutting and pasting. Likewise, you can use them for mixing various different sounds and give an old composition a touch of modernity, for instance.

Not only can the program import MIDI files but also synthesize new ones. Thus, it supports from 4 in the Intro to 16 instruments in the Suite edition, which you can easily drag and drop to the desired track. Likewise, you can create your own presets and store them in a library for recurrent use. What is more, there is a huge collection of sounds (from 1500 to 5000).

The main asset of Ableton Live is probably its audio effects. In this regard, again depending on the edition, you can use 21 to 55 of such effects. Just as an example, there is one that allows changing speed without altering the pitch. The Echo effect, in turn, can simulate the sound of analogue and digital delays at the same time. Likewise, you can add reverb to create diffuse landscapes.

In general, Ableton Live could be the dream audio software for many musicians and DJs. It is really powerful and filled with unique features. The price of the Intro edition is quite affordable if you feel right with what it has to offer. The other two editions are more expensive but maybe you find they are better choices based on your specific needs. Fortunately, there are special offers for institutions as well as for educational purposes.

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Multiple powerful effects
  • Various instruments
  • Huge sound library
  • Unlimited tracks

Cons

  • Overloaded interface
  • Huge installer
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