Normally Ableton takes its sweet time between major releases of Live. And that’s not a bad thing. Performing musicians and recording artists demand rock solid reliability and performance. So, you don’t want to be throwing dramatic overhauls of their favorite DAW at them all the time. It was nearly five years between the release of Ableton Live 9 and Live 10. And it was almost four years between Live 8 and Live 9. So, it’s something of a surprise that less than three years after the launch of Live 10, we’re already getting official word of the next entry: Ableton Live 11.
The latest version of the influential DAW comes just after two years after the introduction of Ableton 10 and integrates several major aspects into the popular Ableton workflow. Live 11 makes comping, or piecing together the best moments of multiple performances, far easier. The new comping tool also allows for quicker and more precise splicing and sampling, allowing for radical, on-the-fly experimentation with arrangement, e.g. easily splicing and substituting samples into the timeline of an existing track.
Another major development is the integration of MPE, or MIDI Polyphonic Expression, which allows for touch sensitivity and other subtle, acoustic-instrument style expressions—such as”bends, slides and pressure for each individual note in a chord”—with a MIDI environment. Owners of MPE-compatible hardware can begin using Live 11’s MPE features right away, but those without MPE hardware can edit MPE automation data using Ableton’s new “Expression View.” While Ableton is integrating MPE after competing DAWs like Bitwig and even GarageBand, popular Ableton devices like Wavetable, Sampler, and Arpeggiator will now have native MPE support.