Should I upgrade to Ableton Live 11?

Published: Wed 05 May 2021
Updated: Sat 18 February 2023 by Ludo In Music
tags: ableton ableton live

Ableton Live 11 is the latest version of a digital audio workstation (DAW) that has been around for over 20 years. It's a complete software package that includes all the tools you need to record and perform electronic music, including MIDI sequencing, electronic drums and virtual analog synths. New features in Live 11 continue to expand its capabilities as a leading live performance and studio production tool, making it an excellent choice for any type of music production or performance...

As you would expect from this pro software, it has thousands of features; some that you probably didn’t even know existed. But these are the key features that push it into the legendary status this software deserves.

Compare lots of takes at the same time

Have you ever wondered if you could record lots of ‘takes’ and then compare them all next to each other? Well, now you can! Live will let you record lots of takes and then put them all in different ‘lanes’ on the screen. You can then select the best bits of each take and use all the bits as a single, final track.

Live 11 comping

Tempo Following

With Tempo Following, Live 11 can now automatically adjust the tempo of your project in real-time to match the tempo of incoming audio signals, making it easier to play with other musicians or sync to external sources.

There is now an element of chance

Live music isn’t perfect. Slight differences between each note make it interesting. Ableton 11 now has a ‘chance’ feature that adds an element of randomness to drum beats and notes. It just makes everything seem a bit more human.

There are 3 new instrument packs and curated collections

Ableton has added an upright piano pack, a brass quartet pack and a string quartet as well as 3 new curated collections which are instruments, clips and samples. On top of this, 6 new instruments and effects have been introduced that are inspired by nature and developed with Dillon Bastan.

MIDI Polyphonic Expression is now possible

Apply bends, slides, and pressure to each individual note in a chord, experiment with tiny expression alterations, morph across chords, and effortlessly build dynamic audio soundscapes, in real-time, right on MPE enabled controllers for Ableton live.

For example, you can play chords with individual note expression: MPE allows you to play chords with each note having its own unique expression, such as pitch bend, vibrato, or timbre changes. This means you can create more expressive and nuanced chord progressions. MPE allows you to apply aftertouch pressure to each note individually, which can be used to control different parameters like filter cutoff, envelope release, and more, and all Ableton Live native instruments now support MPE.

Rafts of new devices have been added

  • Hybrid Reverb: This new reverb plugin combines convolution and algorithmic reverbs, giving you a wide range of sound-shaping options and a unique, versatile sound.
  • Spectral Resonator: This new audio effect plugin uses spectral processing to create complex harmonic textures and drones from any sound source.

Note Compatibility

With Live 11.2, you can start musical ideas with Note, an iOS and iPad app, then send them to Live on your desktop using Ableton Cloud. Note is a launching pad for ideas, a realm to experiment with sounds. Integrating it into your routine music-making process can sharpen your ability to initiate and seamlessly transition into a creative mindset at the onset of a session.

Is it worth Upgrading to Live 11?

All in all, this latest offering from Ableton is just a perfect music creation suite. The new comping, MPE and randomization features are great and Live offers even more efficiency and simplified workflow than ever before. Even Ableton Live Lite has less limitations with this upgrade. Ableton don’t seem to put a foot wrong, and this latest version is no exception.

Comment below with the new Live 11 feature that made you upgrade ;)

LD. --

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