Ableton Live 12 Now Available, Here’s What’s New

Ableton today announced the availability of Live 12, a major update that adds new MIDI tools, support for alternate tuning system, new modulation options, workflow improvements, better accessibility and more.

Here’s what’s new in Ableton Live 12:

  • MIDI Transformations and Generators – Use MIDI Transformations to add ornaments and articulations, draw acceleration and deceleration curves, connect successive notes and chords, and simulate the strum of a guitar. And take advantage of MIDI Generators that let you conjure up playful and original ideas for you to develop and turn into your own.
  • Max for Live MIDI Tools – Try out additional Max for Live Transformations and Generators that give you deeper ways of working with MIDI, or go even further by building new ones.
  • MIDI Editor improvements – Use your keyboard and mouse to edit MIDI in new ways. Split a note in two, or chop it into several parts. Select a set of notes and join them together, or make them fill a selected time range. Get access to more tools from the Note Utilities panel, like Fit Scale, Humanize, Add Intervals, and more.
  • Keys and Scales – Transform or generate ideas within the confines of the selected scale, or sync the scale of MIDI devices to the clip being played.
  • Tuning Systems – Work outside 12-tone equal temperament, and use your chosen tuning with Live’s devices as well as any MPE-capable plugin or hardware.
  • Modulate more flexibly – Stay in control of a parameter even after it’s been mapped to a modulation source; Max for Live devices like LFO, Shaper and Envelope Follower now let you freely adjust a destination that’s being modulated.
  • Freeze and Flatten – Freeze and flatten a track in a single step using the Edit menu or the right-click context menu of a Track Title Bar.
  • Meld – A highly expressive 12-voice MPE-capable synthesizer that uses FM, subtractive and granular synthesis. Its two independent engines can be individually fed through a range of filter types, letting you produce a wide array of textural and experimental sounds.
  • Roar – Create everything from subtle and precise mastering-grade warmth to wild and unpredictable sound degradation. Roar is made up of three saturation stages for serial, parallel or even mid/side and multiband configurations. Its built-in compressor and feedback routing give you even more ways to shape your sound, and its modulation section lets you add dynamic, evolving saturation and color.
  • Granulator III – The latest iteration of Robert Henke’s granular instrument now has MPE capability, giving you expressive control over parameters like note bend, vibrato and glissando. Plus, you can now capture audio in real time and start manipulating it immediately.
  • New Packs – Find new tricks for performing on the fly with the four Max for Live devices of Performance Pack, explore unlikely instruments and unique foley recordings with the Lost and Found collection, and get your hands on authentic hip-hop and trap beats with two drum Packs from Sound Oracle.
  • Stacked Detail Views – Stack Live’s Clip and Device Views to see more of what’s going on in your track at a glance. View the Clip Editor or automation and the Instrument or Effect you’re working on at the same time, so you don’t have to repeatedly switch between views.
  • View styling – Live 12’s cleaner, more modern look removes visual complexity and keeps the focus on your music.
  • Mixer improvements – Use Live’s Mixer in Arrangement View to get more information and control without moving to Session View and breaking the flow. Toggle the visibility of each Mixer section to fit your needs, and benefit from improved readability and feedback.
  • Sound Similarity Search – Start with a sample and tell Live’s browser to find comparable sounds and instrument or drum presets – with the help of a set of advanced machine learning algorithms.
  • Similar Sample Swapping – Use sound similarity to find and swap comparable samples in Simpler or Drum Rack.
  • Browser tagging – Discover new sounds and find them again more easily with Live’s new tagging system. All factory sound content – including Packs – now comes labeled in the Browser with categories and descriptors. And if you want more tags, you can create your own.
  • Accessibility and navigation improvements – Visually impaired musicians can now access core workflows in Live with screen readers and other assistive technologies, and use new keyboard shortcuts to navigate to nearly every part of Live.

Ableton Live 12 Video Overviews:


Pricing and Availability:

Ableton Live 12 is available now, with the following pricing:

  • Ableton Live 12 Intro costs 79 EUR / 99 USD / 69 GBP
  • Live 12 Standard costs 279 EUR / 439 USD / 259 GBP
  • Live 12 Suite costs 599 EUR / 749 USD / 539 GBP.

Current Ableton Live owners can log in to their accounts to see upgrade pricing.

20 thoughts on “Ableton Live 12 Now Available, Here’s What’s New

  1. Surprise upgrade! Had no idea they were releasing an upgrade any time soon so im super excited. i hope youtube creators have their content ready for Ableton 12, I have so much to learn about this new and surprising update.

    1. It’s been around for months now. Beta versions and what not. Youtube has been loaded with videos. Not sure how you could have missed it

  2. Amazing Update, well done Ableton
    My favourite browser in any DAW now- love sound search.
    The future is very bright for Live users,

  3. I was excited to check out the new Variations device from the Performance pack by Iftah, where you can save and trigger variations of devices, mixers, and sends. Seemed like it would be great for playing out with.

    Sadly it seems to choke up my otherwise fine M1 laptop pretty badly when you trigger the variations. Dang maybe i gotta go find something to optimize :/.

  4. I’m devoted to Logic, but I have to say that Live has been growing steadily. Its not just a clip-monster anymore. With this new incarnation, the additions are extra-juicy. IMO, its now the best DAW for wilder-minded experimentation. The potential of the MIDI Transformations alone is boggling. Now that’s an upgrade.

    1. I used Logic in work for years but for music I have used Ableton for over 10 years now

      My favourite feature in Logic is that it will display to you what chord you are playing if you hold down a bunch of keys. Even if the keys form a complex chord – it will try and get it

    1. You can use OpenCore to update your old Mac.
      I have a late 2012 iMac 27″ and I used High Sierra. With OpenCore I could update to Monterrey (macOS 12) and I am running Live 12. For now, everything is ok!

  5. I still use Logic but added Live to my Macs with 11. Since then been using Live more and more and this upgrade is awesome. Great job Ableton!

  6. Live 11 user here, I’m still not convinced to upgraded 12.

    Plus I’m concerned that they will force me to buy a new MacBook to be able to run this with all these non-sense features

    1. if you system runs good and your happy with it
      stick too it

      the features are great imo but if your happy there’s no reason to change anything

  7. On the Intel side, it now requires a CPU with AAX2 instruction set. 5th Generation i5 and newer. For most it shouldn’t be a problem – do note that requirement as it won’t load without it now.

  8. This is the best update Ableton has ever had. The performance pack alone makes it worth the upgrade. All the things I used to do with the Octatrack I can now do with Ableton far easier and with better quality. Variations also allows me to mangle then reload like I do with my Model:Cylces and Digitakt. It’s almost like going DAWless now if you have the right midi gear and a half decent CPU. Just more good at everything.

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