Open Mic: What Would You Like To See In Ableton Live 9?

Back in 2009, Ableton surprised many people by announcing that they had ceased development on Live so that they could focus on bug fixes:

Dear Ableton users,

Some of you have experienced and reported problems with Live 8 several months ago that we have still failed to fix.

We have now decided to suspend all development towards new features while the whole team joins forces to address the current issues; and make process changes to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.

Bug fixes are important and Ableton has released several updates to Live 8 that address stability.

But, after three years of bug fixes, the biggest question that Live users have is “When is Ableton Live 9 coming?” Over at the official Live forum, users debate “Will Live 9 be released before year 2015?

We haven’t heard any official word on Ableton Live 9 or when it will be coming. But, if you’re a Live user, you’ve obviously had some time to think about it.

What would you like to see in Ableton Live 9? And what do you think are the most important things for a major update to live to address?

133 thoughts on “Open Mic: What Would You Like To See In Ableton Live 9?

  1. I’m not asking for much, NRPN and sysex support, Online collab (a feature in Live 8 manual by the way) 64 bit support (This might be present already, I’m not so sure) and recording automation in clips.

    Thumb up 7
  2. Digital music making / performing has gone through incredible changes in the last few years, i think ableton are wise to carefully model their next release. with super creative apps for tablets and boutique electric instruments going mainstream, live 9 needs to be ahead of the game if they want to keep their image of cutting edge.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 4
  3. I would like to see them put out a better output algorithm, maybe they could license Neuendo’s. I’m not a fan of Neuendo, but (IMHO) their final bounce/render has the best sound of any DAW I have used, it blew ProTools out of the water and was more on par with mix busses on Univrsal Audio’s 8ch summing amp, or an API mix buss

    Thumb up 19
    1. People who dislike the idea of a better mix buss algorithm, need to learn better critical listening skills, ableton sounds like shit compared to other DAWs, 2 steppes better than Reason & 2 steppes behind Logic (and Logic sounds like ass)…

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 3
      1. I gave your comment a thumbs up because your listening skills are up to par. Now you just need to work on your mixing skills so that you aren’t depending on the software to make your work sound good. Listen to how your software bounces shit out, and adjust both pre and post bounce to taste.

        It isn’t “wrong,” but I’ve found it to be bad practice to do all your post work inside *most* DAWs because of precisely the reason you’ve explained. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy a whole new DAW, you need to just not be lazy and not suck at taking your critical listening skills and using them to make something sound better.

        Remember when making music was a “creative” process instead of a “wait for a software that can do that” process?

        Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  4. OSC support….just like the midi learn but with OSC. tighter integration with M4L….already awesome…but maybe they can be creative in that field?

    Thumb up 11
  5. People were making great music with Ableton Live 1, 2, 3, etc. As long as the software is not buggy, I don’t really care when the next version comes out. From my experience on the Ableton forum, the people who are anxious to see the next version are people who spend too much time on the forum and very little time on music. Noone sees the really good musicians who make great music whining on the Live forum. Then there are those who request features that would be useful only to a handful of people or that are beyond/outside Live’s purpose.

    I congratulate Ableton on their effort to focus on the bugs instead of satisfying the consumption freaks. If you can’t really make good music with Live, it is most probably not because of Live lacks this feature or that capability.

    Yes, I know this sounds harsh, but seems to be the case.


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  6. I want something really simple: when you double click a fader or a knob that it goes back to 0… And also when you double click a midi channel that it opens up the virtual synth (in case it’s not one of live synths’).

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
  7. For all the DJs out there –
    For Live 9 to be a truly viable DJing software suite, it NEEDS a functioning file browser/music library. It is quite limiting to have to sort only by file name, and it almost forces the DJ to compile a setlist before arriving at the gig.

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    1. What features does BitWig have that aren’t in Ableton Live already?

      It seemed like it was going to be a sort of Live clone.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
      1. Is this is a joke? Unified midi/audio tracks, per-note midi editing, multi monitor support, LAN support, support for multiple projects open at the same time, plus most of the interface types we’ve grown to love from Ableton.

        If it delivers on even half of these then it’s already a vast improvement.

        Thumb up 10
  8. I would love to see 64bit support so it can use more ram. Out of memory error is the most frustrating thing I have ever come across when working on a track!

    Ability to draw curves in the automation would also be a bonus!

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  9. The only things I can think of would be 64-bit support and the clip-automation as already suggested – but these wouldn’t be deal-breakers for me as I find Live is pretty stable. I guess people calling for ways to put your Live setup across multiple screens – v9 might see new bundle options to include Max4Live and/or some new instruments – though I genuinely think Ableton have their work cut-out as Live 8 is pretty full-featured already IMO

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 4
  10. Automation snap to grid. The interface is OK, and I’m not a UI designer so I don’t know exactly how to articulate this…but if they could just some how make it look a little bit more crisper and cleaner that would help too. The sample searching mechanism is absolutely atrocious. Whatever algorithm they are using is terrible. It’s much faster to use another program or locate samples or even the native OS search instead of the search within the sample browser. I wish they had some kind of database or another solution to manage the als files as well instead of cluttering up my drive. Hiding and showing the plugin–my god, having to click that stupid wrench icon all the time drives me up the wall. There should be a quicker way to show hide the plugin, or at the least remove the bug where you close a plugin, the ctrl+alt+p shortcut will not show it.

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  11. 1) The ability to loop a clip without it being in Warp mode.
    2) Automation recorded directly into clips
    3) Most importantly, an envelope tail for audio clips so that switching to the next clip down allows the previous clip to ring off. Without this Live will forever be stuck in the land of banging dutch/german house/trance/techno fail where every clip truncates the previous. This one isn’t rocket science, just make a clip behave like a real sampler with an envelope release that can play polyphonically ‘over itself’ or the next selected clip.
    4) Fix the turgid zipper noise in modulating Live’s filter in the Sampler/Simpler
    5 Allow Live’s stretch modes to work in Sampler/Simpler

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    1. Dual screen and current processor support seem like must-haves – but I’d really like to see Ableton do something interesting with iPad support. None of the big DAWs have done much with tablets yet, so maybe Ableton could be first.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
    2. I agree – besides 64 bit support the possibility to split Live across several displays would be the most important change request for me 🙂

      It’s nice to have everything in one window as long as you work on a laptop screen, but as soon as you sit down at home and connect a second, bigger screen, Live’s one-screen-policy becomes quite annoying…

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
  12. integrated sample/wave editor
    integrated score editor
    integrated virtual piano instrument
    better and native integration with keyboard controllers that allows for instance :
    – switching instrument racks from the keyboard/controller
    – switching / loading scenes from the keyboard/controller

    Maybe be ableton should release its own keyboard controllers, with a nice and expressive keybeds.

    The are the weaknesses of an “Ableton + Kb” setup for live music imho.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 8
  13. They really should incorporate the Clyphx functionality into live. This remote script. greatly enhances the live 8 workflow already. Also I like deeper midi mapping functionality, a little bit like Mapulator already does in Max4Live. Quantize BEFORE note recording would be badass as well; this doable now, but involves a lott of midi mapping or Max4Live.

    And for (RGB) grid-like surfaces: The ability to adjust the clip color on both the control surface and the liveset simultaneously. Green clip in liveset is green led button on surface, red clip is red led button on surface, etc.

    And while were at it: An easier way to edit/compile remote scripts. This really would give Ableton an edge over the competition (iOS or software wise).

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 3
  14. I echo the need for 64bit support, that’s an obvious one! The ONLY other thing I’d love to see is higher resolution grid editing for audio. 32nd note resolution isn’t high enough. I remember the days of toying with audio in Acid and you could tighten the grid up to the grain of the audio file. It was also easier to cut, reverse, copy, and move audio in Acid… something I miss in Live.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
    1. Right click the open grid in the arrange view, go to “fixed grid” and select “off.” now you have adaptive guidelines that you are not anchored to.

      Ableton has had this feature for multiple versions. You were never limited to 32nd note resolution on audio.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
      1. Right, I should have elaborated that as you pointed out, the grid only goes up to 32nd note resolution…after that the grid is gone. After working with both DAWs, I find ACID’s implementation superior because you can still get those grids up to the grain. This allows you to do grid-based editing that keeps in time with the tempo of the track. Ableton, to my knowledge does not allow for this.

        Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
        1. I dunno. i just set Live’s grid to narrowest, started at 8th note resolution, and kept zooming in. I got to 4096 divisions per measure before the grid disappeared and reverted to “off”

          And at that point you can’t even see the time marker pass through the screen as it plays. it literally skips over you, invisible.

          you sure it’s only 32nd note?

          Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  15. real time render would be nice
    output in flac-mp3
    ability to share project between 2 ableton users

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 4
  16. Better video support in Windows (recognize and sync better to other formats than QT), job automation features (export clips or clip groups to files with given names).

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  17. A lot of the features here are already implemented guys, go read the manual or do a google search.
    Things I’d like to see improve?

    -if you truly want to call it a DJ software this should have a DJ view (A la traktor, LIVE BEATMATCHING capabilities, Auto Beat and Tempo sync etc.etc.)
    -The ability to have Multi-takes(a la logic) this is HUGE!!!! it makes comping so easy and intuitive.
    -Easier ways to hide and show non-ableton plug ins
    – Recording Automation unto clips I have done but it’s a bit Wonky
    -Dual Monitor Support
    -Much Much Much Much Much MUCH Better audio renders ( Logic’s renders blow live out of the water)
    -Support of AU plug ins while in re-wire mode (This annoys the SHIT out of me)

    Thumb up 10
    1. This is the best list of potential feature I have seen so far. Thanks for mentioning these. Especially the audio rendering. My mixes in logic blow ableton mixes away entirely. Plus, most of these aforementioned gripes exist, such as input quantize and audio cross fades. It’s not that difficult to find this stuff in the manual. Also, networking sessions is pretty easy.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  18. Word search in clips. Using my browser, I can search for a word on this web page and it hilights all instances. Just do that in Live among loaded clips and DJing with it will become easier.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  19. I don’t understand the article. We HAVE heard about the next Ableton. It was mockingly called “Bitwig” but that was floating ideas about Ableton 9. There is no Bitwig.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  20. Add the Eucon protocol in. It’s really becoming the standard in control surfaces. And Your options are more limited setting up a surface in Mackie control.
    Also vertical zoom! I mean really, we are on version 8 and there is no real vertical zoom..

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 5
  21. How about some funky GUI options for Live’s on board instruments and effects? There are lots of great skins out there that inspire creativity. See Stillwell audio, Ohm Force, The Piz etc.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  22. Arrange and Session View on multiple screens. Record automation directly in Clips. Multiple waveform views (stacked). Per track timecode control. Mappable zoom commands.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  23. Hi! I would like better audio quality, to be able to set fixed loop length, a FULLY MIDI controllable polyphonic step sequencer that works with my LaunchPad, super steady MIDI sync, to be able to assign MIDI CC to parameters per selected channel strip (like Logic) and ways to better integrate all sorts of external devices like CV support and a synth editor where you can create a GUI to edit external devices. Not to forget, being able to musically transpose everything in real-time via MIDI, musically within a given scale (not only diatonic).

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  24. Full Screen Piano Roll with the following tool changes:
    -Draw mode should be the default setting.
    -A grid selection of realistic note values. Sorry, but an 8 bar grid value is nearly useless when composing small clips. Start at 1 bar, then go all the way down to 16ths, 32nds, 64ths and 128ths, if you dare. Adaptive Grid isn’t a bad solution, but there’s no way to hotkey to choose between the Adaptive Grid settings.
    -New Follow Action option: Target. This would allow you to specify a specific clip slot to trigger upon completion of the current clip. This would be useful for splitting up individual loop sections within a single track.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 5
  25. better UI and themes. I know it’s just aesthetics, but sometimes I feel like when i go to a darker theme (for some night performances) it becomes all pixelated cheesy.. like stock windows 95 themes.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 3
  26. the ability to tempo nudge cued clips independently… this would allow for better beatmatching when djing. also, double clicking to set values to zero, as well as most of the other things mentioned already. also, having independent midi maps for control surfaces and keyboards. when using a device such as the apc40, if u midi map things custom, it interferes with keyboard notes- THIS is the worst ever when you are playing live and you have a lick on your keyboard that overlaps with a custom mapping. it can straight up destroy the set. i think they can figure something out that would solve this midi mapping overlap when using a control surface as well as a midi keyboard.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  27. * Detachable panels (like Photoshop)
    * Bezier curves for envelopes
    * Better cpu-utilization
    * mp3 export
    * Improved display in piano roll (so silly to have to zoom to see the notes)

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
  28. improved custom midi mapping.
    for example users should be able to create their own template for their controller within live. and include various assignable buttons like toggle mapping and navigate. instead of having to import an external script to do so.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 4
  29. I adore Ableton but I wish it was less CPU and memory Intensive. I was previously using Sonar and had less of the freeze/flatten tracks happening, but I love the Ableton Interface. 64 Bit, and better multi-core support would be at the top of my list.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 3
  30. Single tier pricing… I truly do not like this pay more… Get more… Give us ONE good product that is the same for all… This way… Other then plug-ins and samples found or bought from 3rd parties… A copy of Live is the same for everyone… No more watching a YouTube video lesson and realizing you do not have the correct version that is over 2x as much! Also calling a 3rd party purchase only add-on a feature of a new version (i.e. Max for Live) is just cheap… Add it into the package or do not advertise it (that was the big WOW of live 8 and it was a seperate purchase!!!! VERY BAD FORM GUYS!!!! Live is the DAW I purchased and have used for years and I am getting to doubt my choice… It’s buggy software that you make me pay extra for every time you add anything new and truly cool to… And you STILL charge for upgrades… Give me some worth for my dollar Ableton… Or I ditch ya!!! You have become the “trophy wife” in my software collection… Except live does not even look that good… And it still takes all my cash… 😉
    (Sorry for the rant… But you are lagging Ableton… Lagging BADLY!!!)

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 5
  31. being able to label/color code literally everything, send knob names, sliders, all tracks.
    and, of course, less load on the computer.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  32. I’d like to see that function Logic has where you can import hotkeys. I know you can create those little markers but I’d like to be able to skip that step and use all the same hotkeys for each program I use. For instance if i’m rewiring it into protools I hate having to remember a different set of hotkeys. Unless…you guys know a better workaround?

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  33. dual bounce to mp3 and wav
    A one click name all siblings from track header to clips below

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  34. I would like to be able to make small “pie chart” showing loop playing progress much bigger. Ideally to be able to place it in separate area (instead of context help for example) and also to be able to lock its view to specific track or clip (so I would see the same progress piechart even when I select another track). I think it would be possible to make such thing in Max for Live but it is quite expensive for that.
    And allow me to export song in mp3!

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  35. – Automate the cell envelope into the clip, goodbye to dumiclips method please
    – Shooting video in the session view and add tools vj

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  36. Automate the cell envelope into the clip, goodbye to dummy clips method please
    – Shooting video in the session view and add tools vj

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  37. 64bit support.
    Docking options ala Reaper.
    Multi monitor support
    Ability to hide Clip view for those who compose only in a linear fashion so the mixer can utilise more space.
    General Stability improvements.

    I have just recently picked up Logic as the Stability issues and Plugin conflicts are just unbearable and just waste a hell of alot of time.
    I know their original target market with Live was for Live performance and DJs but I think the platform of Live has matured enough for them to explorer more flexibility in the composition side of things.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  38. I am a power Logic Pro user and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around Live for a while now. The interface of Logic makes so much more sense. Screen sets, the ability to hit a button and now I change tracks (in Logic) and the single plugin window changes to the plugin on the next track I select automatically. These are huge huge time savers. I am always having to call up the plug-in interface by hitting either the top of a mixer or the wrench icon – drives me nuts. I love the timing of Live but the mix quality is not as good as Logic now that I’ve done test comparisons. You can save mp3 and wave in one pass with Logic. I think automation in clips would be really importnat but the most important aspects for me are making the user interface easier to understand and more flexible. I have 2 monitors and that does’t help much with Live.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 2

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