Ableton Live 11 Suite £539
Future Music|April 2021
The immensely popular DAW enters its eleventh chapter with an array of new features. Tim Cant goes Live

THE PROS & CONS

+ Comping and track linking features are well executed

MPE is a bonus for the advanced user

New instruments and effects in the Suite edition

Adds a bunch of new features without bloating the package as a whole

- Not as essential an update as the last few versions

Plugin delay compensation is still an issue for a few of the effects

Ableton has a long-held tradition of incrementally improving its software rather than radically altering it. Live 11, in that vein, features a large number of changes and improvements. These can be broadly split into three categories: enhanced tracking capabilities, new tools that will be primarily useful in a live performance context, and upgrades to Live’s existing sound generation, processing and sequencing capabilities.

For those who use Live to track MIDI and audio performances, the new comping and linked track capabilities will be the most exciting addition. Comping works in a straightforward manner: record audio or MIDI over a looped section of the project and the data will still be recorded to a single clip, but each cycle will be placed on a new take lane. Take lanes can be viewed by right-clicking on a track header and selecting Show Take Lanes, and they’re displayed under the main lane in a fashion similar to multiple automation lanes. To comp the recorded material one selects the desired section of a track lane, and presses the enter key to place it on the main lane. Alternatively, draw mode can be used – just drag over part of a clip and it will be placed on the main lane. It’s an easy-to-use solution to a long-requested feature that will no doubt delight those eagerly awaiting it.

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