Ableton Link Makes Live Unnecessary

One of the most intriguing elements of Ableton’s Live 9.5 release, earlier this week, was the announcement of Ableton Linka technology that keeps devices in time over a wireless network. 

The idea behind Ableton Link is to streamline syncing of multiple devices – both computers running Live and iOS devices running music apps – you just connect & sync wirelessly.

Link will soon be available to Live users as a free update, so two Live users will be able to sync wirelessly.

But what’s even more interesting is that Ableton Link is making Link available to developers via a free software development kit. And Live isn’t even necessary to use Ableton Link

In the video above, developer Oliver Greschke demonstrates three iOS devices running a copy of Elastic Drums, which has been updated with Ableton Link.

Here’s Ableton’s official intro video to Link, which shows it being used, with and without Live in the loop:

Here’s an example, via developer developer Sebastian Schatz, that shows multiple copies of triqtraq syncing via Ableton Link:

The video shows two iPhones and an iPad connected via Link through a wireless network. Devices can start playing at any time & they always stay in sync.

Ableton Link support has already been announced for these apps:

  • A Tasty Pixels Loopy
  • Akai iMPC Pro
  • Audiobus
  • Finger Pro Bassline
  • Finger Pro LP-5 loop player
  • Finger Pro MoDrum x0x beat making app
  • Korg Gadget for iPad
  • Korg iElectribe for iPhone
  • Korg iPolysix for iPad
  • Korg iKaossilator
  • Korg SyncKontrol
  • Zaplin Musics triqtraq

The decision to make Live unnecessary for using Ableton Link is an interesting one and probably a necessary one, in order to get widespread adoption.

With more than a dozen major iOS apps on board already, Ableton Link promises to make your iOS apps more useful once it is available, even if you’re not a Live user.

And, if you are a Live users, widespread adoption of Link promises to make Live a more powerful tool, too.

Check out the preview videos and let us know what you think of Ableton Link!

11 thoughts on “Ableton Link Makes Live Unnecessary

    1. This works between apps on the same device.

      Link allows a (theoretically) unlimited number of connections.

      There is no idea of master and slave.

      Link will not send anything like a start or continue command. 🙁

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  1. That is one funny heading (unnecessary live), nihilism much? 🙂

    Anyway, interesting product, and music is the only reason I would consider buying Apple product for… but I do not want to get involved in that ecosystem, I would spend too much time there, wanting to explore everything, and creating nothing. I know myself that much. 🙂

    Thumb up 5
  2. looks promising… never could use any digital midi clock to sync machines right, hope ableton resolved this

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  3. I’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time now. Now if we can get it implemented into hardware, that would really be something. Or even a box that plugs into MIDI that will convert the link signal from ableton’s sequencer (latency would probably be an issue though?). I’ve dreamed of wireless sequencing of my hardware.

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