Uhh, there's built-in step-by-step lessons with accompanying screenshots in the help menu to get you to grips with the basic functionality. From there you have all the basic information to get started. Once you use the provided resources to figure out how everything works, it becomes pretty simple.
I mean, double-clicking (or hitting the unfold button in arrangement view) on a clip to get it's waveform is not exactly an insurmountable feat.
Although I agree that the initial shock of trying to get to grips with Live can seem a bit daunting, a modicum of effort will reveal it to be quite straightforward and intuitive. Audacity is an audio editor, that is the very thing it is designed to do, so obviously, when you're looking to edit audio, in Audacity it will be slightly more straightforward. because it isn't crowded by the many other options necessary to making full musical works. Then again, it doesn't have the wealth of functions a full-fledged daw like Ableton has.
then hire clever graphic designers to make the software look cool on a computer screen.
I think if you compare Live to other programs, you will find it has a very stripped-down, utilitarian interface.
The average Joe or Suzie creative musical type in the street wasn't invited to that party. And you can hear the result in the music featured in those Live tutorials on YouTube. It all sounds like the product of a souped-up drum machines. Not like music from a real person's hand or voice.
I know, all ableton music sounds like shitty techno, It's quite embarrassing actually, I mean, it's all just this crappy 4/4 ooontz ooontz garbage that people like this guy Hecq puts out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eBGipAL ... re=related
Also, Ableton was conceived of, and developed by musicians, so thinking it was just some programmers with no background in music production is a bit of an uninformed stance to take on the whole thing. A large number of the devices were actually programmed by those musicians, who oversaw all the other elements of the program as well.
"In 1999 Gerhard Behles, Robert Henke (both of the musical act Monolake), and a number of software developers started working on a new type of music software, called Live (...) Henke designed the audio effects of the early versions of Live, he wrote the Operator synthesiszer and is a member of the general specification team at Ableton. Henke is a driving force behind the integration of Max MSP into Live, called MaxForLive."
So, based on this:
Better yet, written with musicians.
I'd say you've found it, now get to work!