Ableton Live 10 – The DAW to rule them all

Ableton Live 10 – The DAW to rule them all


It’s no secret that I think Ableton Live is the best software for music production. Logic and Fruity Loops come close behind, but Ableton just has everything in a nice little package. Now Ableton Live 10 is out, and what are the features that are getting the SDS producers excited?


Cleaner look

The GUI has been given a subtle facelift with a new font and themes visually optimized for different environments e.g. the darker theme above.


New devices & effects

Wavetable, a wavetable synth using waveforms from analog synths and other instruments to design sounds. There is a modulation system included, as well as modelled analog filters. Live’s previous synths Analog and Operator still exist, but will be obscured by the new Wavetable. There has been prevalent inspiration from Steve Duda’s Xfer Serum synth (which I still think is the best wavetable synth).

There are 3 new awesome effects too. Echo, an experimental echo plugin with digital and analog attributes. Drum Buss, an “an all-in-one drum sculpting tool for adding warmth, adjusting transient response, injecting low end and more”; and Pedal, which uses circuit-level modelling to create virtual guitar pedals for overdrive distortion and fuzz. Ableton says these aren’t just for guitars but warming up vocals, drums and synths too. Get your vox chords wet.


Faster workflow with ‘Capture’

Did an amazing jam on your MIDI controller but forgot to press record? Live 10 now has a feature called ‘Capture’ which “recalls an idea after it has been played and turns it into a MIDI clip with feel and groove intact”. Ideas onto canvas has never been faster, easier and accidental.

Other workflow improvements include:

  • Multiple MIDI clip editing;
  • Arrangement View speed improvements;
  • Browser Collections – tag clips for better organisation, groups within groups;
  • ‘Note-chasing’ triggers MIDI even if playback is in the middle of the note – you don’t need to play at the beginning of the MIDI note to trigger it; and
  • I/O Renaming for better routing


Improved Mixing & Sound Engine

Live 10 now has improved gain range, Bass Mono feature on Utility (very useful), extended low frequency slopes on EQ Eight and Split Stereo Pan for ‘more detailed control’ when mixing.



New sound library

Whilst Native Instrument’s “Komplete 8” is the industry standard for high quality sound libraries and instruments, Live 10 now has a “richer, more detailed” sound library organised so it’s easier to find desired clips.



Push now does more with Live 10. You can look at sequenced clips and notes on the screen with added colors for visualisation. The new Live 10 features and interfaces on EQ Eight, Wavetable, Echo, Compressor can be displayed on the Push, as well as workflow improvements to layouts, editing patterns and track arming from the controller.


Max for Live

Max 8 will resemble Max 7 but with ‘improved features under the hood’. There’s a new multi-channel audio routing feature for surround sound performances in sound installations and theaters. There’s also updated Max for Live devices (including upgraded Drum Synths), improved modulation and improved mapping if you want to go deeper with your patch creation.


Finally, Max for Live devices can now send and receive SysEx data, making advanced MIDI-hardware integration possible. This means stuff like preset backup dumps and parameter controls over your hardware synths. You can use Max for Live to create your own custom control surfaces for external gear as well.


Release Date & Price

With the release date to be Q1 (Jan – Mar) 2018, the Ableton Live 10 price will stay the same as the Ableton Live 9. Live 9 users should check their individual accounts for upgrade prices. If you can’t wait until the release date, Ableton is offering 20% off the purchase price of Live 9 and a free upgrade to Live 10 when it launches. If you’re not already a Live owner, this is a great chance to get an early buyer’s discount.


Article is adapted from FACT Magazine: