Ableton Live Intro review

Price when reviewed

While other packages concentrate on dragging loops onto a timeline, Ableton Live Intro takes a different tack: an unconventional input and looping method that centres on live performance. The interface looks complicated at first glance, with a mass of small buttons that look difficult to navigate. However, the built-in tutorials do a great job of clarifying the working process, particularly the step-by-step guides that teach the basics to more complicated music-producing tasks. Meanwhile, a live lnfo box provides helpful information on everything the mouse hovers over, so it isn’t difficult to get to grips with the tools.

Ableton Live Intro review

While this isn’t the ideal package for primary schools, secondary schools will like the program’s gradual learning curve, particularly since it leaves room for experimentation and encourages the user to produce high-quality work.

Ableton Live Intro

And if Ableton Live isn’t a program you can jump into, it provides a far richer experience than many other packages. There’s a good expandable library of instruments, effects and processors to explore, and most of the audio processors and plugins wouldn’t sound out of place on a studio recording. This can give students a real sense of achievement, and the ability to record audio that can be re-sampled and looped opens up even more creative possibilities. Students can mix up each others’ work into new creations. With Time Warping, the tempo is flawlessly altered on-the-fly, making

remixing a breeze.

Delving deeper reveals new ways to create music almost entirely by PC, using random beats, audio generators and other filters to create tracks that can be combined with the built-in drum machines and synthesizers. These features are aimed towards performance, but the results can be recorded into an arrangement and then exported as audio. There’s a lot of tweaking involved, but the results are worth the effort.

The “Live” in Ableton Live is there for a reason, but if the package feels skewed towards live performance, production and DJ work, then at least it packs a punch when it comes to beats, effects and high-quality sound. If you can get beyond the unusual workflow, it’s an exceptionally effective tool.


Software subcategory Audio production software

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