Ableton has announced the beta release of Live's next step, version 8.4, which for the first time in the program's history includes native 64-bit support. The new level of processing (Live has always operated at 32-bit) means, among other things, that users will now be able to utilize four gigabytes of RAM to run their sessions, which should allow for much more complex and CPU-intensive sessions to take shape even if, we're told, they include multiple third-party plug-ins and ReWire configurations. However, not all users will have access to Live's newest version, as it requires a bit more from one's computer—working only on Intel-based Macs with OS X 10.5 and higher or on Windows machines running 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, 7, or 8. Per usual with beta releases, Ableton is calling on its community of users to help navigate the program and find the bugs and issues that may still exist. And at this point, the 64-bit version does not work with Max for Live, video, or the Bridge (Ableton's partnership that allows for Live's seamless use with Serato).
Those users whose computers meet the requirements and have a registered version of Live 8, Suite 8, Live Intro, or Live Lite 8 can sign up and download 8.4 Beta for free, here. Of course, considering this is the Beta release and that the program is essentially jumping to a new processing platform, there's bound to be a few pesky issues, such as the fact that third-party plug-ins used on previous sessions (usually with 32-bit support) may not work properly in Live 8.4 and will likely require a third-party add-on to make them work unless the plug-in also exists in 64-bit form. Thankfully, it appears that all earlier Live sets, clips, and devices are completely operational in the new version. You can read up on all the benefits and limitations inherent with this updated Live software, as well as sign up to be a brave Beta tester, here.