Ableton Live 12 gets new MIDI editing tools, bi-timbral synth and user-friendly interface changes
The developers spoke about the innovations of the upcoming Ableton Live 12 in a note on the official website. The program will receive an improved interface for more convenient operation, new devices and MIDI tools designed to “ignite the flame of creativity.”
Ableton Live 12 will be the first major workstation update in years. In addition to external changes aimed at improving usability, the DAW will feature a bi-timbral synthesizer with full MPE support, a powerful multi-section saturation effect, and other changes.
Despite numerous changes and improvements, the main innovations in the 12th version of the DAW are the Meld and Roar devices. The first is a bi-timbral synthesizer, fully compatible with the MPE protocol, which provides flexibility in the issue of sound production dynamics. The second one is designed for saturation and coloration of the signal.
Meld is an experimental synthesizer designed to “profoundly change the sound.” The instrument is based on the idea of creating new sounds through layering and combining two timbres.
The synthesizer’s two oscillators support a variety of sound waveforms, including complex waves to create textured signals. Each of the oscillators is equipped with macros for quick settings, and the synthesizer itself promises impressive modulation options and signal routing capabilities.
The synthesizer supports polyphonic expression within the MPE standard. It is noted that Meld works best with the “new generation of MIDI controllers”, and the developers themselves advise using the tool – what a surprise! – together with Ableton Push 3 .
Roar is positioned as an effect for saturation and colorization of an audio signal, and the developers themselves hope that the plugin will become “a classic along with other stock processing.” The effect promises a wide range of changes: from slight insulation and a vintage feel, to complete destruction and distortion of sound.
The saturator can operate in serial, parallel, Mid/Side and multi-band mode. The processing features its own modulation matrix and supports audio routing, making it a powerful effects processor.
Another innovation in Ableton Live 12 is an update to the Granulator device, created by Ableton co-founder Robert Henke. Like previous versions, Granulator III is a granular sampler with features to isolate, repeat, and process even the smallest granules of an audio signal. The third version of the instrument received a new interface, the ability to record audio into a plugin in real time, and MPE support for vibrato, glissando, and bend parameters.
In addition to devices, version 12 of the workstation will increase the number of MIDI instruments available to users. According to the developers, the new tools are aimed at simplifying work with the melodic and harmonic content of projects. Some instruments are generative, allowing Live to automatically generate melodies, rhythms, and chord progressions based on rules specified by the user.
The changes also affected the workstation’s MIDI editor. In particular, the developers have made it easier to stretch, split, combine and slice notes within melodic and rhythmic regions, and at the same time make it easier to mix and shuffle content. Commenting on the innovations, the company noted that the changes in Ableton Live 12 will make the transformation of existing parties into new forms much easier.
It is reported that the workstation has received a number of interface changes: for example, the developers have updated the browser and tag display, which makes searching and classifying sounds easier and more understandable. The program also added a Stacked Detail View window, which allows you to place the Clip Editor above the Device View window for a “more visual display of everything that is happening inside a specific track.” In addition to this, the mixer window is now available in arranger mode.
Another innovation in Ableton Live 12 was the introduction of a search engine for similar sounds, Sound Similarity Search. With its help, users can search for samples and presets that are similar in content and sound in their own library. The workstation scans the source sound, after which it analyzes the timbres of the samples in the library and selects similar files.
It is noted that the search is carried out even inside racks. For example, samples inside devices like a Drum Rack can also serve as a source for searching for similar sounds. All found matches can be listened to in a separate window before adding to the project.
Ableton Live 12 is in beta testing, with the final version of the workstation scheduled for release in early 2024. The developers promise to reveal the exact release date of the update before the end of the year. You can find out more about the list of changes to the program on the official Ableton website .
To participate in beta testing of the 12th version of the program, you must log into your user account and download the workstation installer. Participation in the beta test is only available to registered users of Live 9, 10 and 11 Standard and Suite editions. At the end of beta testing, users will be offered special conditions for updating to the new version.