Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
vinz89
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Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by vinz89 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:23 pm

Hi there,
So now that the (Beta) of Live 9 is officially here, i thought i could post my first impressions of this "new" version of my favorite daw... so here we go:

- Things i like:
- the "new" gui is smoother and easier on the eye now that it uses different contrast to highlight the timing in arrangement timeline.
- the new browser is really cool and helps very much for finding sounds, effects and instruments (including vst's). This was not difficult compared to Live 8's browser which search function doesn't work well...
- the new versions of the effects seems to be cool, but i don't use them that much regarding to my 3rd party plugs...
- the new audio to midi conversion algos seems to be working fine, even if it's not accurate like say, melodyne for instance...
- automation curves are cool, even if i think i won't be using this feature that much (and it's still very limited in regard of other daws like cubase or studio one for example).

- Things i (really) dislike:
- these new session view buttons are IMO useless: the new session record button is really useless, all it does is steel the session overdub button and makes it pretty difficult working on session and arrangement. And the "new scene" button just don't work because it stops recording when pressed... useless!
I mean, why didn't they leave the transport buttons like they were before? we don't need a single button to launch scenes and record, we can already do that by launching scenes with the record option enabled in preferences...
Moreover, using an APC40, this button is now controlled by the overdub switch and i can't use it anymore to activate the overdub button in arrangement view... pretty sad for me.
Finally, it was way more intuitive to have the back to arrange button on the top with the transport buttons... even if having an individual back to arrange per track is a nice idea.
- I don't like the way transport buttons now works: pressing record shouldn't start recording directly, and should behave like in Live 8: arming for recording and start recording by pressing play... i don't like the new way to do that: holding shift while pressing record...
- i don't like the way recording count-in now behaves: it's always activated now when recording starts... In Live 8, count-in was only activated when one or more tracks were armed, and this is far more logical for me that the new method... In live 8, when you heard the count-in, you knew that a track was armed when no count-in, only automation changes were recorded, that should stay the same...
- i don't like the fact that clicking anywhere on the left side of the window opens the browser... this leads to open the browser accidentally which is not a good thing for workflow.
- cmd+F should continue activating the follow action option and not the search in browser option. They should have leaved that like in Live 8: cmd+F = follow action, shift+cmd+F = search in browser instead of inverting these key commands...
- Automation recording in arrangement view now doesn't eliminate breakpoints anymore, there is no more "thinning aggressiveness" like in Live 8... that's pretty bad and really annoying when editing automation...
Also, in Live 8, selecting a portion of automation and moving around lets you see the initial position of the automation while moving, this have been deleted and i think it's a really bad idea for automation edition...

I hope i'm not the only person who is very disappointed with the changes made to some essential Live functions that shouldn't have been changed at all because there simply was no reason to do that!!! and i hope ableton will take that in consideration for the next update...

For the moment, i'll stick with Live 8...
Cheers
Vinz

pencilrocket
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by pencilrocket » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:40 pm

Good review, thanks. It helps.
Image

agent314
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by agent314 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:27 pm

My advice: use it for a week and see if you're still as outraged at the changes.

I was all "WHY DID THEY CHANGE THIS" when I first started using the beta, then a week or two later I couldn't remember it being any other way.

sporkles
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by sporkles » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:57 pm

Yeah, +1, agent314.

Even though some of the changes Ableton have made seem very unwarranted, you can't judge by your first impression. It's 99% a matter of habit. Do you see anyone complaining about the "new" warp method introduced in L8 any more?

What does bother me, though, is that the note snap behaviour in the MIDI editor actually made it into the release version. Ableton's reps have acknowledged that it "probably has to go" in the beta forum, because they don't want to make it an OPTION (apparently that would be admitting that the feature was flawed, and there's no place for a flawed feature in Live ........ *COUGH*)

justchris86
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by justchris86 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:02 pm

I agree! knowing ableton its like the for a reason. and im sure there are setting to change it
agent314 wrote:My advice: use it for a week and see if you're still as outraged at the changes.

I was all "WHY DID THEY CHANGE THIS" when I first started using the beta, then a week or two later I couldn't remember it being any other way.
"Do not quote or read this text"

https://soundcloud.com/modernmaestros

jsn
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by jsn » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:15 pm

Ah, I am seriously loving it. It is easy as pie to get something going. I wasn't much of a Session composer before, but using it for this purpose now feels much better than I recall in prev versions. Great job Ableton! Love the new editing features in Note view. I for one do like the Session Record button. Just great. Will provide more details later with the whys and such, for now you have to just start building to really get into all the nicities...back to play. Just wished to express my gratitude. Can't wait for the Push to arrive
Live Suite 9.5 (32-bit), MFL 6.1.3 (416a295), Win7HP

agent314
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by agent314 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:15 pm

the note snap behaviour in the MIDI editor actually made it into the release version
What behavior is this?

I have actually been a big fan of how they changed the snapping for 9. It would be nice if the snap-to-grid area were ~15% bigger, but I'd take how it is now over how it was in 8. Much less Alt+dragging for me

bosonHavoc
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by bosonHavoc » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:48 pm

agent314 wrote:My advice: use it for a week and see if you're still as outraged at the changes.

I was all "WHY DID THEY CHANGE THIS" when I first started using the beta, then a week or two later I couldn't remember it being any other way.
This is the best advice.. give it some time.
as with any update keep doing mission critical functions in the old version until you are comfortable in live 9

their are a number of workflow changes that when you get used to them you may really like.

like the New function which the OP seemed to not like at all.. I personally love it.
with one click of a button the next available clip cues up for recording and all playing clips automatically
duplicate into the same scene and keep playing. I use this to lay out ideas really fast.
so for me it is anything but useless.

agent314
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by agent314 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:53 pm

like the New function which the OP seemed to not like at all.. I personally love it.
with one click of a button the next available clip cues up for recording and all playing clips automatically
Whoa, I did not know this!

The record button does that? Is that only while in Session?

bosonHavoc
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by bosonHavoc » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:00 pm

agent314 wrote:
like the New function which the OP seemed to not like at all.. I personally love it.
with one click of a button the next available clip cues up for recording and all playing clips automatically
Whoa, I did not know this!

The record button does that? Is that only while in Session?
it is a button called NEW that is next to the session record button.
and only while in session view.

peeddrroo
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by peeddrroo » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:34 pm

bosonHavoc wrote:
agent314 wrote:
like the New function which the OP seemed to not like at all.. I personally love it.
with one click of a button the next available clip cues up for recording and all playing clips automatically
Whoa, I did not know this!

The record button does that? Is that only while in Session?
it is a button called NEW that is next to the session record button.
and only while in session view.
unfortunately, clicking it not only cues the next clip for recording, but also stops the currently playing clip.
that makes it unusable for me (if i want to stop a clip, i click on stop, i don't select the next available slot...).

anyway, it's one of those little things that make me think L9 was not conceived for my workflow. and there are plenty of those.
plenty of little things that would well deserve options at least.

and i've been using L9 for long enough to know it's not just a question of time.
that's too bad...

CFM
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by CFM » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:56 pm

Not used all the new features but I'm enjoying the changes - Most of the changes on the surface seem to be small (apart from the new convert features). The new GUI is an improvement and so is the file organisation.

I suppose the question to ask - is it worth the upgrade cost? If you can live without 'convert to midi' I don't see a 'new' killer feature that will tempt you to upgrade. Live 9 makes 'what I'd say' general improvements all around. If Live 8 does all you want then there is perhaps little point. Existing suit owners (without M4L)like myself then M4L in the suit should tempted you and is surely worth the upgrade cost.

bosonHavoc
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by bosonHavoc » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:16 am

peeddrroo wrote:
unfortunately, clicking it not only cues the next clip for recording, but also stops the currently playing clip.
that makes it unusable for me (if i want to stop a clip, i click on stop, i don't select the next available slot...).

anyway, it's one of those little things that make me think L9 was not conceived for my workflow. and there are plenty of those.
plenty of little things that would well deserve options at least.

and i've been using L9 for long enough to know it's not just a question of time.
that's too bad...
sounds like scene down should do the trick then :P

vinz89
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by vinz89 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:20 am

Hi there,

Another thing i noticed dealing with automation is that now in L9 you can't select an automation line in arrangement view without automating it, as clicking on the line automatically creates a breakpoint... You cannot just grab the unautomated line to adjust a parameter directly from arrangement like in L8...

It would be useful to be able to "grab" unautomated automation lines like before in L8, i think this could be possible by just getting the mouse pointer close to the dotted line, making it turns blue and then moving it to adjust the parameter value but without creating an automation... what do you think of that?

Appart from that you're all probably right about the fact that these were my first impressions and that i must use it for a week or two to get used to the new "workflow" of L9.
But what really annoys me and will certainly continue to is:
- back to arrangement button should be on top with the transport controls (easier to see)
- count-in should not be activated when no track is armed for recording, making it a real recording count-in and easier to know when you are just recording automation parameters changes...

I also found workarounds for:
- Automation breakpoints elimination: i just created the Options.txt file in L9 preferences with the ThinningAggressiveness set to 0.45 (as in L8) and it works...
- overdub button not mapped to APC40: i just mapped it with midi mapping and saved that in my default set... but it don't lghts up anymore when activated...

Cheers
Vinz

david.barker
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Re: Ableton Live 9 first impressions...

Post by david.barker » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:33 am

Although I spent some of the evening downloading my live packs,he,he :D

I'm really excited and raring to go with these new features

As usual I'm going to take a step at a time,read up on the new stuff,and look at the videos that are about too.

The browser is very easy to get to grips with,the sounds are excellent,(so much choice,lol),

When Im off work on rest days and holidays, I will be diving in, and figuring out,and playing with the new kit :D

features,etc .And of course making some new tracks eventually too,he,he

Despite the problems of yesterday (which was expected ) Its a big thumbs up from me,great product Ableton!

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