Ableton Live 11.3 Now Available As A Public Beta

Ableton today released Live 11.3 as a public beta, an update that adds a new synth, updates for MPE and more.

Live 11.3 adds Drift, an all-new MPE-capable synth and the first for all editions of Live – including Live Lite. Drift is described as “a characterful device”, capable of a wide variety of sounds from every era of modern music.

Inspired by classic hardware, but borrowing heavily from modern synths and Eurorack modules, Drift has been carefully tuned by ear to deliver great sound at any setting, quickly and easily. Its minimal layout and interactive controls make adjusting the sound easy for musicians new to synthesis, while the sounds it can produce will give even experienced sound designers a broader sonic palette.

More MPE-capable Instruments

This free update to Live 11 also adds MPE capability to Analog, Collision, Electric and Tension, giving you more options when you want to add more expressive control to your music.

Many features in Live 11 have now been updated to support MPE:

  • The MPE Control device now has added functionality, an updated UI and reduced CPU load.
  • Note Echo now supports MPE with feedback controls for each dimension. This offers a creative way for MPE modulation to change over time.
  • An updated Core Library with expressive content is available in 11.3.

If you’re a Live 11 user, you join the Beta program to get the update now.

30 thoughts on “Ableton Live 11.3 Now Available As A Public Beta

    1. bit wig was supposed to be Ableton killer and was hyped when it was first being developed since then it’s almost been radio silence this is the first time in the last couple years I heard somebody drop the BW however I have yet to see bit wig convince me

      1. Everything is supposed to be the killer of something else. It’s all taste and your own workflow but Bitwig has surpassed Ableton in more areas than any Ableton user would like to admit. MPE being one of them. Bounce in place, another. Session view aligned with the arranger, another. Audio containers that hold audio clips so I can treat the scene view like audio tracks, another. Again, depends on how you work. Ableton has the instruments and filters (browser is garbage though) so they win there but everything else I wanted to do needed a M4L device aka Bitwig Modulators(Native).

      2. Bitwig v0 public beta was in 2012, already 11 years of “Ableton-Killer” posts, yet no sign of Ableton slowing down, in fact they are speeding up, Live 11.1 and 11.2 in 2022 (plus Ableton Note and other stuff), and now 11.3 in early 2023, 3 big fkiupdates in a bit more than a year.

        Bitwig is not a Ableton-killer.

        Bitwig is the Audiomulch/Bidule/Usine Hollyhock/Renoise/EnergyXT/Mixcraft/Tracktion Waveform/Audulus/small alternative DAW-Killer.

        Ableton was unaffected by Bitwig, while all the small alternative DAWs lost (very rapidly) all the space they had to Bitwig in forums like KVR, trade mags like CM, and sites like CDM and Synthtopia.

        For example, last news about Usine here is from 2017, about Usine HollyHock 3’s launch, Usine is currently v5, so Usine v4 and v5 were completely ignored here in favor of Bitwig, whose coverage here starts speeding up exactly from 2017 (Bitwig v2) onwards.

    2. Used it from version 1, because of linux version… but they are sort of lazy now, the only thing they are improving is their pricing model…
      So ready to jump back to Live as soon as they stop ignoting linux…

    3. I would love to try bitwig but I always feel like the pricing structure pushes me off. the idea of annual maintenance vs. buying a version outright bothers me – I feel like I can live with my decision of always having one version of a piece of software and optionally upgrading it if I feel like it rather than figuring out when to get in that I feel like I will get the best out of a year

      1. agreed. Bitwig pricing scheme is weird. It should be per full version. As it is it feels like a subscription or what if the year I pay a year and they go lazy and release nothing interesting? At least with Ableton I can see the features to be added in the upcoming version and decide if I want them or not and skip to next version. Does Bitwig do sales? Ableton do them 20% off sales every once in a while.

  1. None of these marginal improvments motivate me to upgrade from 10, especially the sound content. Perhaps I need a hearing exam, but the included sound packs have always sounded like generic midi to me. Logic and DP’s content isn’t exceptional either, but it’s better than Live in that regard.

  2. This is true, but to be fair the supplied MPE instruments are not a patch on the MPE AAS stuff so this is a great free update…

  3. I agree boring update! They should add workflow features and copy the functions from FL Studio Piano Roll instead of another useless synth.

    1. 100% with you there. They should be focus on work flow or anything that just makes live a lot easier to do that requires less than you dive in an easier ways to throw together songs and ideas on the fly they pretty much have it dumb down to a good science however they definitely don’t need any more additional synthesizer instruments. Between hardware and the vsts I already use I don’t need any more help in the synthesizer department I believe or when it comes to live depending on if I’m coming up with a song idea or if I’m trying to mix and master something that’s where it starts to decline for me. when it comes to mixing and mastering you can only go so far and live I feel and then the next best move is to bring your track possibly into pro tools if you want to get more serious or move it into a better studio and environment. it’s like they couldn’t come up with anything better to do this year and just said whatever we’ll just come out with this thing instead of trying to address the more forefront issues at hand. I primarily just use live and would prefer to keep it that way however 11 has been the first version I haven’t been a fan of they’ve just dropped all the audio stuff I was using if that’s wise personally between ping pong delay the multi-band delay the 8 th point EQ completely threw off my workflow.

  4. its a .3 update. and giving you a new synth and fixing some things. people love to complain and seem to forget what they have given in the past. Ableton is def fair with upgrades features and price imo. and bitwig is more like bugwig

  5. Ableton have such an amazingly talented group of designers and programmers with new ideas popping into reality all the time. This is a very useful update that expands on the expression possibilities for artists. What I would like to see next is the ability to natively switch to quadraphonic master outputs or even, as a bonus, ambisonic outputs. Ableton is used by many electronic artists and audiences often expect spatial quadraphonic soundscapes. It would be nice not to have to rely on complicated third party software and difficult routing to accomplish this easily.

    1. With the kind of updates they have been doing over the last couple of years, I can very much imagine your niche request will be addressed sooner than any of the structural improvements that a large part of the user base has been begging for in the last decade; like ‘bounce-in-place’, ‘same playback hotkeys across editors’, or (perhaps most importantly) an overhaul of the library browser with the implementation of a proper tagging system.

      I mean, why it is still sorted on plugin type (native/vst/vst3/au/m4l) is a mystery to me. It makes no sense in a creative context – instead it seems organised from a dev mindset. For the end-user to have next to no organisational control over this seems somewhat perverse.
      The addition of the colour tags (Collections) that came with Live 10 is a superficial workaround that was oddly limited to just 7 colours, but for what reason? Why add a ‘solution’ that is not really a solution to what has been requested. It’s almost as if they don’t use their own software and therefore do not understand its issues.

      I definitely get the excitement that comes with (free) added features, especially if making music is a past-time. But as a professional user, after having paid for the last two upgrade cycles in the vain hope that the new version would finally bring these structural improvements, I feel Ableton is now lacking compared to its competitors and also extremely sluggish at picking up on what their users actually want (judging by the most popular feature requests on Centercode).

      Against that background ‘a new MPE synth’ seems to cater (yet again) to the wishes of a niche, rather than to those of their loyal core users, which I feel is a shame and has me (and apparently many others) consider alternatives now.

      1. re: Collections – Before anyone says anything about colour blindness and the amount of colours being limited because of their distinctiveness or whatever: the colour part was not specifically necessary for the tagging system. This is something they cooked up at Ableton. All tags could be grey for all I care.
        What is weird about this is that it feels like some kind of internal compromise; “alright alright, we’ll add tags, but only 7 – let’s not go crazy there”. Honestly, why?

        Also, the browser does not allow for true work-arounds either (which could have been another solution in this matter); you can sort your M4L plugins for example if you add them in a separate folder to the browser. You can also structure your VST folder however you like… but the VSTs and M4Ls cannot be in the same folder since you cannot add a separate folder containing VSTs/VST3s.
        And then VST3s are “of course” completely separate and sorted on developer by default and allow no additional structuring whatsoever.

        Since Live 11 they have added some M4L devices to the native collection and subsequently sorted all these plugins into categories that the user cannot alter – almost as if they don’t understand what the real issue is. It’s an absolute mess.

        1. Yeah, when it came to using live which is fundamentally dealing with the browers, thats when i switched to Bitwig. I played with Bitwig for a while, loved the browser and I couldnt get it out of my head. Plugins sorted by their function?! Unlimited collection folders. Samples, plugins, presets and clips all in a nice clean window to access, tagged, structured by type or function. Was the biggest improvement over Ableton. I fly through my samples now, have tons of collections per drum-type. The biggest difference between the 2 DAW’s since they are so similar. I’ve even followed a few ableton tutorials using bitwig. They ain’t that different and you find yourself doing what the tutorial is doing but faster like note din the piano roll keeping the last placed note length unlike ableton and every note starts from the grid size so everyone ALT+drags everything. Small stuff, big impact.

  6. I played around with Drift today and I think it’s a pretty decent synth. Nothing mindblowing on paper, but it has a vibe. As for Bitwig, it really is miles ahead in so many areas. It’s frustrating how stubbornly slow Ableton seem to address the many, many shortcomings that Live users have been complaining about for years (and decades in some cases).

  7. I use bitwig – bitwig is great – live sucks
    I use live – live is great – bitwig suck

        1. Reaper is indeed the creeping menace, heh. Switched to Reaper about a year ago and very rarely touch Ableton now. All respect to Live but Reaper is just a vastly more powerful tool.

  8. Uh…Logic user here. Everyone tells me “move to Ableton!”…just cant see the benefits yet to do so. Hoping someone will announce a “perfect” midi controller at NAMM to help me decide!

    I know…the endless struggle!

  9. I have a complicated live setup. Want to migrate to bitwig, but there are so many issues to work through. When I email bitwig for support, they try to answer the questions w/i 24 hours, but by the time we nail down the issue, a week goes by. It’s not worth it – because there are dozens of issues. So it will take months to work through. I gave up. Live is like DOS in its design, but at least it works. Re the new synth, I could care less — I’m into zebra and diva.

  10. I love Bitwig but may finally upgrade to 11 Suite due AUv3 support. I’ve missed M4L, don’t use The Grid that much so I’m not sure what’s holding me back.

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