VERSION 9 IMPROVEMENTS ARE GREAT
I think the improvements in v9 have been awesome. The main improvements for me have been the browser and the shading in the midi editor and the arrangement view. Now I can find everything, hear everything, and see where I am. The duplicate button is great too.
I don't know if the Abes read this forum, but here are my suggestions for further improvements for accelerating workflow:
Every relevant music creation function should be available in the right-click menu. For example, when you are in Arrangement view, these functions should be in the right-click menu:
- Insert silence
- Duplicate time
- Paste time
I would also add things like Fold/unfold all tracks and Show/hide detail view. I would also add something like "Minimalist view", which would hide the browser, info view, overview, and detail view all with one click (perhaps the items that get minimised with such a button could be chosen in preferences). This would be great for small laptops where screen real estate is at a premium. Sometimes the screen gets really cluttered, so it would be great to have a one-click fix.
It would be fantastic if users could edit the right-click menu - adding and subtracting any item in Ableton.
It would be fantastic if File, Edit, Create, etc, and their sub-menus were in the right-click menu. This would be great when users are in full-screen mode on small laptops.
Perhaps as an alternative to empowering the right-click menu, or in addition to it, there could be keyboard shortcuts for everything that doesn't currently have one:
- Save a copy
- Collect all and save
- Edit info text
- Extract groove
- Consolidate time to new scene
Can you fix the bug that stops you alt-tabbing out of full-screen mode into another program? If I am watching an instructional video on my laptop while practicing what I'm learning on Ableton in full-screen, I have to use a keyboard shortcut to go to the desktop then click on the video, then click on Live again to get back. It would be much better if I can alt-tab and win-tab to go between the two programs. Also, I have outlook sending me a reminder every half-hour to blink and relax but the message currently doesn't come through when I'm in full-screen mode because Ableton is hogging everything.
USER SHORTCUT BUTTON/MENU
As an alternative or in addition to right-click improvements or added keyboard shortcuts:
It would be great if there was something like the floating drop box in Free Download Manager, but where you added all your own personalised shortcuts. Basically everything that each individual user wants would be available with one click. In Free Download Manager, you right-click and a menu of options pops up. But in Ableton, you would left click on it (or even just hover over it) for a list of user-added shortcuts to pop up, and you would right click to add or delete shortcuts. That would be cute and an amazing workflow enhancer. The one thing about Ableton that is a constant annoyance is not being able to customise it. This would be a great fix in one button! Or it could be like a drop-down menu item that is available in full-screen mode. It could be placed to the right of the Quantisation Menu or the NEW button or the Loop-Punch button. Or it could be to the left of the Draw Mode Switch button. Actually, next to the Key Map Mode Switch button would be best. When you click that button - it has similar functionality - it allows you to map keys to functions - but when you right-click this suggested button users can add shortcuts to it. Or you could just right-click any button or function anywhere in Ableton and there would be an "Add to Personal Shortcut Menu" option. That's a bit like Word 2010 too.
Nevertheless, I think just adding the power to fully customise the right-click menu would be the simplest and most powerful improvement because everything the user wants would be available right were the user wants to use it.
Ableton insists on keeping the interface that many of us find dispiriting. If that is going to continue, can you please fix one thing? Make it so that dark skins maintains the visibility of all writing and buttons. For example, the drum names to the left of the midi editor currently become invisible when using a dark skin. Perhaps it would be great if important items like buttons and words change to white when the skin turns dark, like in Adobe Premiere. That program is an example of a simple minimally changeable interface being very attractive even though it is simple.