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Maximum PC Staff Jun 24, 2008

Ableton Live 6

At A Glance

Light-switch rave

Fun to tinker around with, even if you have no audio-creation experience whatsoever.

Pacifiers

Could stand an interface overhaul; a few more tutorials would be nice.

You can do so much with Live 6, it’s hard to know exactly where to begin describing this masterful software sequencer. So we’ll start at the top. With just a few clicks of an in-application help system, we were up and running with the program’s Operator add-on, creating notes and beats that sound as though they were pulled straight from a Keith Schofield music video. Awesome.

While the program references a number of functions that are a lot to swallow for a beginner—filter frequencies, resonances, waveshapes—the simple interface encourages the ol’ “try it” approach to learning the program. That said, audio enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunity for experimentation under Live 6’s hood: You can create your music using a MIDI-attached keyboard, directly edit the MIDI notes within your loops, and then change up your beats with a ton of plugin-style effects.

Live 6 would benefit from a better navigation system to simplify accessing its many functions, and the drab gray program needs some Apple interface treatment. But these are paltry concerns for such a sweet, learner-friendly music application

THE VERDICT

Ableton Live 6

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