Live 3 to Make Debut at AES

Oct 7, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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M-Audio and Ableton will release Live 3—a new upgrade to their audio sequencing instrument for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows—on October 10 at AES; it is currently available for public beta testing from

Live 3 is an integrated audio sequencing tool that gives users control “inside” of the sample. It offers sound designers and musicians to easily and flexibly animate their samples. Changes in volume, pitch, pan, effects controls and more can be drawn onto any section of a sample as clip envelopes, as well as allowing the user to create infinite variations from just one sample in real time.

“We are very proud to release the first audio sequencer that will allow you to ‘get into the loop,’” said Gerhard Behles, CEO and founder of Ableton AG. “As we know, making music with samples and loops is fast and fun. To a lot of people, though, an annoying problem has been that samples always sound the same. Live 3 now ends this problem and allows you to 'open up' or 'unfold' your samples and work 'from within.' In Live 3, you will be able to reveal the millions of sounds a sample can make as you draw volume, pitch and effect curves onto it. With Live's new clip envelopes, an arsenal of built-in effects and all VST plug-in effects become the building blocks of a dream (re-)synthesizer.”

New features of Live 3 include clip envelopes that extend Live’s “elastic” approach to audio by allowing musicians to achieve endless variation of a sample. Every clip in Live 3 contains independent envelopes to draw pitch, volume, warping, mixer and effects parameters. The sample is processed nondestructively and in real time. In conjunction with Live's beat-synchronized playback and real-time quantization, the MIDI keyboard becomes a powerful song arrangement aid. Users can improvise new melodies over vocal phrases or spoken passages, or play variations of an instrumental solo on the fly—and capture it all in the Arrangement for further editing. Live 3 has a new Consolidate command that turns each track within a selected time range of the Arrangement into a new clip, ready to be looped or dragged into the Session View for instant use. New effects include resonators, compressor II, EQ three and utility. The Insert Captured Scene command captures all running clips as a new Session View scene. The Quantization menus now include triplet-note values; the global Quantization setting includes values greater than one bar, and many more features.

Live 3 is available for U.S. $399 on October 10. Upgrades from previous Live versions will be available online at Upgrades from Live 2 are $69 for the download version and $99 for the boxed version. Upgrades from Live1 are $99 for the download version and $129 for the boxed version.

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