More than three and a half years ago Live 8 was released. In terms of software cycles that's a very long time. So long in fact, that when the beta for Bitwig Studio was announced a lot of people thought (and some still think) it was just an elaborate promotional stunt by Ableton and it would turn out to be Live 9 in the end. Now we can say with absolute certainty that this is not the case. Today Ableton has finally announced the upcoming of Live 9 which means the long wait is now drawing to a close.

You might have already seen the leaked video on YouTube about the new and improved effects that was accidentally made public on Ableton's own YouTube channel. There's the new Glue Compressor, a model of a classic analogue desk compressor, developed in partnership with Cytomic. The Compressor, EQ8 and Gate all have gotten an overhaul including visual displays for better finetuning. But see for yourself:

What other features can you expect?

Session View Automation and Automation Curves

A major feature request by lots of users. Alongside the modulation envelopes that were only available before in Session View, you can now finally record automation in Session View Clips just like in Arrangement View. In both views automation curves are available to create smoother transitions.

Workflow Improvements

Envelopes can be edited now with a single click instead of the dreaded double-click. MIDI editing has been overhauled as well allowing for much faster manipulations of your already recorded MIDI notes.

Redesigned Browser

The Live Browser got a complete redesign offering now a better overview of Live's devices, presets, sounds and third-party plug-ins as well as your own folders. Previously divided into Device Browser, Plug-in Browser and three File Browsers, it's now all combined into one browser window with two subdivisions allowing for a faster access to anything you want to use in a Live Set.

Convert Audio To MIDI

In Live 9 it will be possible to convert audio to MIDI. There are three separate functions to achieve this:
Convert Melody to MIDI for monophonic sounds (e.g. voice)
Convert Harmony to MIDI for polyphonic sounds (e.g. piano or guitar)
Convert Drums to MIDI for drums and percussive sounds

Defaults for MIDI and Audio Tracks

You can now save defaults for MIDI and audio tracks that will automatically load your preferred devices when creating a new track.

Max for Live will be included in the Suite 9 and comes with the following new devices:


An assortment of 13 Max for Live instruments that use synthesis to create a wide range of electronic drum as well as percussive sounds.

Envelope Follower

This Max for Live device uses the changes of volume of an incoming audio signal to modulate a mapped parameter of your choosing.

GrainFreeze / LFO / PitchDrop

These Max for Live devices are already available, but will be included in Max for Live and Suite 9. As far as I understand it, they've also been revamped.

Push controller

A dedicated controller called Push developed together with Akai will be up for grabs that will work seamlessly and out of the box. Judging by the photo it comes with red, green and blue LEDs as well as a sleek design. Although I must say, it reminds me of a certain other controller by another Berlin-based company.

The Ableton website has gotten a redesign indicating that both product packaging and the Live logo will also come with a new look. Beta testing will start next week, but the actual release of Live 9 won't happen before early 2013. If you buy Live 8 now, it’s 25% off and includes a free Live 9 upgrade, which makes this the cheapest way to get Live 9.

I will keep reporting as more news on Live 9 come in and give you a more detailed description of the individual features once I can get my hands on a beta.

So what do you think of the new features, the Push controller and the redesign? Was the long wait worth it? Any features missing you were desperately waiting for?