Berlin-based music software company Ableton is renowned for creating and producing the production and performance program Ableton Live, as well as their proprietary software controller Ableton Push. The company was founded in 1999, and first released Live as commercial software in 2001. Now in its ninth incarnation, Live can be purchased in any of three versions: Live 9 Intro (obviously enough, an introductory version with limited options), Live 9 Standard (basic equipment for performance or creation), or Live 9 Suite (which encompasses all the standard Live features plus “Max for Live” (a feature which makes it possible to create Max/MSP patches inside of Live) as well as all of Ableton’s software and effects.
The Push controller, made in cooperation with Akai, was designed for use with Live 9. It allows access to every element in the digital audio workstation, including playing notes, sequencing melodies, and triggering clips.
So many options and abilities obviously make for rather complex software, so Ableton conducts production sessions and seminars to educate their users, and also licenses certified Ableton trainers. Their own staff consists of over two-hundred people from twenty-eight different countries, most of whom are working musicians, DJs, or producers. Staffers originate from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, which the company believes leads to teams that are able to approach creative endeavors with a broad spectrum of experience and a variety of perspectives. Many of their own staff members use Ableton products on a daily basis.
All in all, Ableton is one of the most unique and powerful music studio software applications available. From it production capabilities to its overall design and interface, Ableton is a sterling product whose recording features propel it from “worthwhile” to “must have.” Built-in tutorials will help beginners to get acclimated, and from there—the sky’s the limit.
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