In the closing keynote at last weekend’s Loop conference, an Ableton-organized “summit for music makers”, the ubiquitous music software manufacturer announced updates for Live and the Push hardware controller. New features for Live 9.5 include improved analog modeled filters, higher resolution waveforms, a rejigged Simpler device and extra Max synth instruments for Suite users. Mix down nerds will also appreciate a new metering system which simultaneously displays both peak and RMS levels on the same fader. The update is free for those with a Live 9 license.
Amidst deafening applause from an enraptured audience, Ableton also announced Push 2, the sequel to their flagship hardware controller. The tastiest new feature is an improved sampler engine which allows you to slice waveforms and assign them to pads with ease. In addition, an improved display and the ability to control third-party VSTs makes Push 2 quite an enticing prospect. It also bears mention that Ableton have cut ties with Akai, with whom they’ve collaborated on numerous controllers in the past. Another initiative surrounding Push 2 reflects Ableton’s increasing interaction with the educational field: all owners of the original Push receive a 30% discount on Push 2, and Ableton will send your outmoded controller to an educational facility for free, along with a copy of Ableton software. The announcement earned Ableton CEO Gerhard Behles a standing ovation.
The final bombshell revealed was a new syncing protocol called Link. Where chaining laptops and other devices in the past has proven a constant headache, Link allows automatic syncing via WiFi and does away with the master/slave system, meaning everyone controls the tempo and players can start and stop individually without messing everyone else up. Pretty neat.
For more details, check Ableton’s website.