Ableton Live 12 Features and Review: Yes or No?

Ableton Live 12: Yes or No?


Ableton Live has consistently set the bar for what a digital audio workstation (DAW) can do, offering a blend of powerful music creation and performance features. With the release of Ableton Live 12, the excitement in the music production community is palpable – but is it really worth it? This latest version introduces a host of new features designed to enhance workflow, creativity, and performance. Here’s a look at the 12 most exciting features of Ableton Live 12 that are stirring the most buzz.

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Ableton Live 12 Features and Review

1. Advanced MIDI Capabilities

Live 12 takes audio-to-MIDI conversion to the next level, offering more accuracy and flexibility. Convert melodies, harmonies, and rhythms from audio samples into MIDI clips, allowing for endless creative possibilities. I haven’t experimented much with the audio to MIDI (as it wasn’t very accurate in Live 11), but the added MIDI features are great for adding a more human feel to programmed MIDI. Also, the global scale function is great!

2. Enhanced MPE Support

MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) support has been significantly improved, giving users more expressive control over individual notes within chords. This opens up a new dimension of expressiveness when using MPE-compatible hardware and software instruments. I personally don’t have an MPE device yet, but if you do – this is great.

3. Integrated Dolby Atmos Support

Ableton Live 12 introduces native support for mixing in Dolby Atmos, enabling musicians and producers to create spatial audio mixes without needing external software. This feature is a game-changer for those looking to produce music for films, games, and VR. Looking forward to digging into this as Dolby becomes more widely used!

4. New and Improved Devices

Live 12 introduces several new devices and updates to existing ones. There aren’t many, but Meld (synth) is nice, Granulator 3 is great, and Roar (the multi-band saturator) is awesome! I expect to be using that a LOT.

5. Comprehensive Clip Editing

The clip view has been overhauled to offer more comprehensive editing features directly within the clip. This means less toggling between views and a smoother workflow for editing MIDI notes and audio clips.

6. Enhanced Max for Live Integration

Max for Live is more deeply integrated into Live 12, offering even smoother performance and stability. This enhancement makes it easier to use custom devices and effects, enriching your creative palette. Again, looking forward to digging into this.

7. High-Resolution Interface

Ableton Live 12 boasts a high-resolution interface, making it more accessible and enjoyable to use on large and high-DPI screens. This update ensures a crisp, clear visual experience, enhancing workflow and reducing eye strain.

8. Improved Browser

Finding the right sounds and samples is faster than ever with an improved browser. Enhanced search capabilities and tagging make it simple to manage and locate your library’s vast resources. This will be amazing for me once I’ve tagged all my favourite samples.

9. Cloud Collaboration

Live 12 introduces cloud-based project collaboration, making it easier to work with other musicians and producers remotely. Share projects, collaborate in real-time, and manage versions without leaving the DAW.

10. Advanced Tempo Following

Ableton Live 12’s tempo following feature has been enhanced, allowing Live to automatically adjust its tempo based on incoming audio in real-time. This is particularly useful for live performances, ensuring seamless integration with live musicians.

11. Voice Isolation and Separation

New tools for voice isolation and separation make it possible to extract vocals from complex audio tracks with remarkable precision. This feature is invaluable for remixing, sampling, and creating acapellas.

12. AI-Powered Sound Design Tools

Ableton Live 12 introduces AI-powered sound design tools that analyze and suggest adjustments to your sounds. This feature can inspire new creative directions and help refine your sound to perfection.

Ableton Live 12 Conclusion

I’ve been using the Ableton Live 12 beta version for a few months now. There are a couple of teething issues with the browser workflow for me (not having the plugin folders makes it a bit clunky), but there is the tagging workaround (as shown in the video above). I know that once I get used to it, I’ll be working faster, and producing better music (especially using the “Roar” multi-band saturator that I love!) Honestly – I am excited to start using these extra features, but – if you know you don’t need them – I wouldn’t upgrade from 11 yet.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Are you planning to get Ableton Live 12? Is it worth it, in your opinion? Let me know in the comments 👇


About the Author

My name's Will Darling. I've been making and playing dance music for over 25 years, and share what I've learnt on EDM Tips. Get in touch on Facebook.

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