Ableton Live 8 – Review

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by Cari Live

The software I use and highly recommend is Ableton Live 8 Suite. It is a complete software studio. It includes Ableton Live, 11 instruments and a huge sound library. It gives you all of the features in Live 8 plus sound and a library with beautiful sounds and useful resources. I have been using Ableton for almost a year, experimenting with the effects including synths, a sampler, electric and acoustic drums, mallets, numerous sampled instruments. I am still learning about the new, reworked Operator effects. Totally compatible, Live allows you to work with controller hardware and assigning custom MIDI controls is simple. Even I can do it! Live supports AIFF, WAV, MP3, and many other files, effects, and instruments. Live can handle REX files and runs as a ReWire Master or Slave, so it works together with other DAWs like Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase or Reason.

Writing music with MIDI, Synthesizer and Acoustic Instruments can create unique challenges, but the program easily sets up to allow for variable types of recordings. The Session View is a flexible way to write music, but my experience has been with the Arrangement View which runs linear, as if notating the music in a continuous stream. I work better in this format and appreciate having the choice to use the program either way. The Help menu provides lessons and examples of how to use each of the features. The manual is just a click away and I use it often to search for specific instructions. Another useful feature is the ability to make changes to the tracks while the music is playing. It saves time and is a wonderful too.

The Product support is extremely important to me and the wealth of resources is available through Downloads, Community (Forum) and the many video tutorials available on their youtube.com channel. I have had many opportunities to use the Ableton Forum to discuss issues, read the Ableton Blog, and use the tutorials to learn how the other amazing features work with step by step directions. The quality of my work has been commended and I owe it to the ease of use and powerful software program of Ableton Live 8. Often Live Packs are given free and are files that add content to the Ableton library.

As a classically trained musician, I was concerned this program would not provide the writing experience I was expecting. It surprised me by the user friendly and organic approach to writing. I am able to write music with subtle nuances, powerful strings, and combined electronic sounds with my own live instruments. Although I have a great deal to learn about recording and mastering my music, Ableton Live 8 provides a quality product with a dependable and professional sound that works.

Visit Ableton for movies regarding Audio Interface, Working with Session View, Products, Artists, and a variety of insider tips. I highly recommend this program for your composition needs. Ableton instruments and effects include software synthesizers, physical modeling, advanced sampling and an eclectic range of sampled instruments. Ableton’s software instruments provide a well-balanced and comprehensive tool set. I have only scratched the surface of this powerful program. Try it for yourself!

One thought on “Ableton Live 8 – Review

  1. I’ve had Live 8 sitting on my PC for several weeks waiting for me to have enough time to mess with it (hopefully this week I’ll get the chance). I’ve briefly used Ableton before and I’ve found that working in Session View provides a different way to approach my arranging skills. Live 8 should be just as cool.

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