Gear Alert: Ableton Live 7
- Words: Fred Miketa
A growing number of producers swear by Ableton Live, and more will likely follow suit with the seventh edition of the software, which comes with a bounty of new features. From an enhanced audio engine to new EQs and better memory management, these additions to Live’s already limitless possibilities will shake up any bedroom or club alike. Here is a brief glimpse into what to expect.
Enhanced Audio Engine
Now with 64-bit summing throughout the program, the software allows for better fidelity before the mixing and mastering process, making writing and final mixing a pleasant experience.
Enhanced Memory Management
Perhaps the most important aspect of Ableton’s update, the internal SmartPriming feature allows users to instantly pull from a number of instrument libraries without delays, processing glitches, or inconvenient processor freezing. In effect, if producers pull a MIDI instrument from within Live’s interface, they will no longer have to worry about CPU issues, as the program instantly recognizes resources in real time and reallocates the samples where they are needed.
Ableton isn’t best known for its outstanding preset drum sounds, but with the introduction of its new Drum Rack device, users will be able to utilize a convenient drag-and-drop interface to sample or create a plethora of drum sounds and sequences from any number of files–including WAV, AIF, and REX.
New EQs, Compressors, and Hi-Quality Modes
Live has finally updated its EQ8 function with a brand-new, thoroughly detailed interface for extreme precision. It also features an advanced 64-bit mode. Aside from the software’s already powerful I and II Compressors, it also includes a new feedback-based model, reminiscent of vintage compressors. The Operator, Saturator, and Dynamic Tube functions now have a “Hi-Quality” mode, which relieves the digital scratching of the effects’ past.
Automation Advances, Time Signature Changes, and Spectrum
In Live’s Pro Tools-esque Arrangement view, each track now contains multiple automation lanes that allow users to edit volumes, effects, and sends in separate fields, rather than having to use the (somewhat confusing) pull-down menus. Both the Arrangement and Session views now also come equipped with the ability to support time-signature changes, which can be automated both during and after the recording process. And what good would Live be without a cool Spectrum device that provides visual feedback of any audio waveform playing in real time?
Ableton Live 7.0 is available in late 2007.
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