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Anyone checked out 'Live' online demo yet?

In concept, this looks quite interesting at first glance. Anyone checked 
the on-site demo at www.ableton.com yet?

>From the site;
Live is an audio sequencer that you can play like an instrument. On its 
or with other musicians or DJs, live on stage, or when remixing in the 
all you need is Live and a Mac or PC.

Live allows you to bring together audio material from various sources. All 
the samples used are adjusted to the tempo of the song in real time and 
without changing the pitch. Even long pieces with tempo variations play in 
perfect sync.

Samples can be played back and new ones can be recorded using the mouse, 
computer keyboard or MIDI notes. Drag-and-drop can be used to put together 
any sequences of effects for sound editing - all this whilst the music 
continues to play.

Everything you do during the session is recorded and can be post-edited in 
detail, including all the automation of the mixer and effects.

With Live, you can:

*   Play and record disk-based audio live;
*   Process sounds in unrestrained chains of effects;
*   Browse and cue the samples on hard disk;
*   Post-edit your performances in full detail;
*   Time-warp samples while they are playing;
*   Easily interface with any professional studio or stage environment.

Live lets you compile live sets from any audio clips, e.g. loops, phrases, 
entire tracks. All the clips play in-sync with each other, irrespective of 
the original tempo. You can "fire off" clips live, using the mouse, 
assignable computer keys, or MIDI notes. Real-time quantization can be 
to prevent rhythmical error. Any clip can play at any time. You are not 
constrained to a fixed arrangement.
Since audio is played directly from disk, there is space enough even for 
large live sets.
Recording new clips is as easy as playing existing ones: play a MIDI note 
start the recording; play the note again to jump to playback mode without 
interruption. This way, you can capture loops or phrases from external 
sources and directly work them into your performance, without stopping the 
music. Thanks to the real-time quantization, you will always get perfectly 
cut loops.

Live can also use it's own Master output as a signal source for recording, 
allowing you to resample your session while it's going on.
Every track, each of four send-channels and the master, can have a chain 
effects. Any number of effects can be pasted in and moved around using 
drag-and-drop, while the music is playing. 

Live comes with a special range of high-impact effects, suitable for 
and drastic manipulations. Live's effects are controlled by intuitive 2-D 
displays, which are ideal for live articulation.
VST plug-ins are also supported. A VST plug-in can have its own editor 
window, but you can also use an integrated panel with a 2-D display to 
control the plug-in.

Live's mixer and all of its effect parameters can be mapped to arbitrary 
controllers, and are fully automate, including every VST plug-in parameter.
Samples can be sought in Live's built-in browser, and privately auditioned 
headphone, without the public or other musicians hearing them. There are 
three browsers for samples and Live Sets, one for the Live effects, and 
for VST plug-ins.

Every action carried out in a session can be recorded. The session's 
is graphically displayed in Live's Arranger view and can be edited, down 
the smallest detail. Every movement of the controls is displayed and 
as an envelope curve. Just click on a control to view and edit its 

Editing audio is extremely fast. Snap to Grid does away with having to 
in on wave patterns to find musical counting intervals.

Live offers you the ability to improvise arrangements, and to develop 
improvisations into pieces later on. And should you decide the previous 
version was better after all, you can undo as many edit steps as you like.
Live's Time Warping Engine stretches and shrinks audio clips as they're 
read from the hard disk. The pitch remains unaltered and can be adjusted 
independently. All clips are automatically synchronized to your session 
or to an external sync-source.

The Time Warping Engine is controlled by Warp Markers, which can be 
positioned freely. A Warp Marker attaches a position in a sample to a 
particular time in the song. During play-back, the Warping Engine 
and shrinks audio clips so that each marker is reached at a precise 
irrespective of the song-tempo or whether Live is being driven by external 

If you only use short loops for your songs, you won't need warp markers. 
however, you want to work a ten-minute piece into a set, then just 
position a 
few markers to line up the rhythms. The more tempo irregularities there 
in the take, the more markers you'll need. With warp markers, you can get 
even the sloppiest recordings to jive perfectly.
Audio Interfaces:

All of Live's tracks can be routed individually to the outputs of an 
arbitrary ASIO device; the same is true for the inputs. Of course, DirectX 
(PC) and SoundManager (Mac) are also supported. 

Software Interfaces:

Live supports VST plug-ins and can host any ReWire client application. You 
can process the ReWire client's audio output with Live's effects and VST 
plug-ins, and record audio coming from the client application.

Live slaves to any MIDI clock or MIDI timecode source. That means, if the 
drum machine slows down, Live plays its audio files slower too, without 
altering the pitch or the groove.

Macintosh System Requirements: G3 Macintosh or faster. 128 MB RAM or more. 
CD-ROM drive. Mac OS 8.6 or later. Monitor resolution 800 x 600 pixels (or 
higher), 256 colours.

PC System Requirements: 300 MHz CPU or faster. 64 MB RAM (128 MB 
recommended). CD-ROM drive. Windows 95/98/NT 4.0/2000 or later. Monitor 
resolution 800 x 600 pixels (or higher), 256 colours. Windows-compatible 
soundcard, preferably with DirectX or ASIO driver.
A printed copy of the Live Owners Manual is included with the Live package.
The Live Installation CD contains top class sample material from Big Fish 
Audio and E-Lab.
Live connects to the Sonomic online sample service.
*   Download the Live demo version. 
*   Download the Live product sheet in English, French, German, Japanese.* 
*   Download Live screenshots.
*   Download the introductory chapters of the Live Owners Manual.
*   Download a free Live Update.

Jeff Kalnitz
(looper artist new to this user group)