Ableton Live 9 Lite

An inspirational blank canvas for freeform musical experimentation

In Session

With all the core features and streamlined workflow of the hugely popular Ableton Live 9, Ableton Live 9 Lite is uniquely geared up for making dance and electronic music, blurring the lines between performance and production.

An inspirational blank canvas for freeform musical experimentation, Live 9 Lite’s innovative Session View enables you to record audio and MIDI loops into ‘clip slots’ on up to eight tracks, and jam with them in real time. The powerful audio warping engine ensures that everything plays back in perfect sync and locked to the beat at all times, even if you change the project tempo.

Live 9 Lite’s mixer and device controls are integrated directly into the Session View, too, so volume levels, panning, instruments and effects are always within reach; while the integrated Browser houses all your devices, plugins, clips and samples.

Making arrangements

While you’ll usually begin a Live 9 Lite project in the Session View, triggering clips in real time to come up with rough arrangement ideas, when the time comes to bring concrete structure to your track, you’ll want to record your Session View jam into the Arrangement View.

Here, your eight audio and/or MIDI tracks are laid out on a ‘traditional’ linear timeline like that of any other DAW. Resize clips and drag them out as loops, freeze tracks and clips to free up system resources, automate mixer and device parameters at the track or clip level, and generally take your track from rough sketch to finished masterpiece.

Again, mixer controls are built directly into the Arrangement View, so you can ‘mix as you go’ or take the old-school approach and treat the mixdown as a separate stage of the process.

Live in every sense

Live 9 Lite is just as at home on stage as it is in the studio, with the Session View doing double duty as a flexible live performance and DJing platform that makes the traditional turntables/mixer combo seem positively archaic – simply load a few clip slots up with full tracks and loops, and get busy! With Live 9 Lite’s warping engine keeping everything in time, you don’t even need to know how to beatmatch to pull off awesome sets, seamlessly mixing your own tunes with those of your favourite artists.

Bring real-time processing into the mix with Beat Repeat, Auto Filter and live 9 Lite’s other devices, and record virtual instrument parts on the fly to create amazing new sounds before your audience’s very ears. Playing live with Live 9 Lite doesn’t have to be a solo affair, either, as the built-in Ableton Link technology wireless (and effortlessly!) syncs playback of multiple laptops running Live 9 Lite, and an increasing number of Link-enabled iOS music apps, including Novation’s Blocs Wave.

Ready for Launch

Partnered with one or more MIDI controllers from Novation’s Launch series, Live 9 Lite becomes a truly hands-on production and performance system. Trigger clips with the LaunchPad or LaunchPad Pro, tweak the mix with the LaunchControl or LaunchControl XL, and play Live 9 Lite’s instruments with the LaunchKey or LaunchKey Mini.

All Launch controllers automatically map their rotaries, faders, pads and buttons to Live 9 Lite’s mixer parameters and clip launchers, giving an infinitely more tactile experience you’ll ever get with the mouse and keyboard.

Getting started with Ableton Live 9 Lite and Focusrite Scarlett 2nd Gen

The best place to get started with Live 9 Lite is in the Session View. Hook a MIDI controller keyboard up to the Scarlett 2nd Gen’s MIDI In port to play Live 9 Lite’s Drum Rack, Impulse and Simpler instruments and capture the results as MIDI clips; connect mics, synths and/or other instruments to up to four of the Scarlett 2nd Gen’s audio inputs to record them as audio clips; and import samples from the Core Library or third-party sample packs by dragging them in from the Browser.

Transform and polish your samples and recordings with Effect Devices, and adjust levels and pan positions in the mixer section. One you’ve got a few clips looping, jam around with them and record your improvisation into the Arrangement View to use as the basis for a final track layout. Then, work through the arrangement, adding builds, drops, sound effects and anything else required to flesh it out into a full track. Finally, apply a mastering Audio Effect Rack to the Master channel to maximise and polish the mix, and you’re done!