Ableton is one of the most popular software producers out there when it comes to making music with MIDI controllers. The major software it offers for working with MIDI controllers is Ableton Live. The most current and updated version of which is Ableton Live 9.6. However, Ableton released the recent version of the software in February 2016. And Ableton Live 9 was originally released in March of 2013.
- 1 Some features of Ableton Live
- 2 Additional offerings of Ableton Suite
- 3 Special effects offered in Ableton MIDI controller software
- 4 Different versions of Ableton available
Some features of Ableton Live
One big distinguishing characteristic of Ableton Live is that the maker designed it to function well in live performances and in a production environment. This is further strengthened with the user-interface, which is designed to be compact enough to fit all on one screen. Consequently, you can utilize the interface under two different views.
The first is a view for making arrangements. The second is a view for holding sessions. The session view makes it more convenient to organize and set off clips. Consequently, the arrangement view features manual MIDI sequencing and an overall setup that’s more conducive to creating recorded tracks.
You may also like: Finding the Best MIDI Guitar Controllers
Additional offerings of Ableton Suite
You can use Ableton Live to add sound to a MIDI controller and make music. In addition, Ableton Suite comes with additional add-ons that enhance the offerings of Ableton Live. These add-ons include the following:
- An amp that can offers sounds produced by numerous amplifiers
- A sampler with some additional features
- An FM synthesizer
- An electric piano sound
- An analog synthesizer feature
- A collection of percussion sounds unique to Latin music
- Orchestral instrument sound offerings
The recent developments to Ableton Live in recent versions include latency compensation features. In addition, these features make both mixer and plug-in automation possible.
Special effects offered in Ableton MIDI controller software
The effects in Live MIDI controller software are designed for people who use software for work in DJing and creating electronic music. However, many other features are also beneficial in other situations e.g. processing guitar rigs.
The Ableton software offers many effects, including MIDI effects and audio effects. The following are some of the special audio effects, as well as an explanation of what they contribute:
- Chorus effect – this effect allows multiple sounds to be given off with the same timbre for a fuller sound to a single note.
- Compressor effect – this effect will lower sound volume for low sounds and amplify quiet sounds.
- Flanger effect – this effect results by combining two signals so that one is delayed. The result is a swept comb filter effect that allows sounds to relate to one another in a harmonic series.
- Gate effect – when a MIDI controller program offers a gate effect, the volume of sounds can be controlled using an audio signal. Noise gates will attenuate the signals given off by a certain range or fixed amount.
- Limiter effect – the limiter effect works very much like the compression effect, but it uses a higher ratio and faster attack time in amplifying or silencing sounds.
- Reverb effect – reverberation refers to making a sound persist even after it has been produced, thereby sustaining the sound.
- Spectrum effect – the spectrum effect will give the user of the software important information on the spectrum power of signals given off during amplification.
- Vinyl distortion effect – this effect enhances a recording by making it sound like it is coming from an old record player.
The following are a few of the MIDI effects offered by Ableton software, as well as what they contribute to performance or recording:
- Arpeggio effect – the arpeggio effect will automatically sound through a sequence of notes entered as a chord.
- Chord effect – this effect will create simultaneous sounding of a chord rather than the broken sounding of the chord offered by the arpeggio effect.
- Pitch effect – this effect allows for a special sound recording technique whereby a sound’s pitch can be automatically made higher or lower.
- Scale effect – this can allow a scale to sound according to inputs regarding information such as key signature, etc.
Different versions of Ableton available
Ableton Live Intro and Ableton Live LE
Performers and producers who are not looking for a software that can be used on the professional level may want to resort to these simpler versions of Ableton Live software. More information can be found here.
Ableton Live 8
Live 8 added new features like the integrated Max/MSP platform. It also had some piracy protection features added. In addition, this version of Ableton Live was released in April of 2009.
Ableton Suite 8
This offering by Ableton added a Library onto the offerings of Ableton Live 8. This library included a variety of new sounds and special resources. Two new instrument types were included in Suite 8: Collision and Tension.
Ableton Live 9
This version of the software came out in 2013. Ableton Live 9 was introduced along with a special hardware device known as “Push”. This is Ableton’s own device that can replace a typical MIDI controller to create sound using Ableton Live software. Also, more information here for this version.
Ableton Suite 9
Probably the biggest addition offered in this Ableton product is Max For Live. It is a visual programming environment that enhances the special sound and instrument effects of Ableton Live software. You can find more information here.