Ableton Announces Live 4

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Ableton has announced Live 4 (Mac/Win, $499), which adds MIDI tracks, effects, and instruments to this popular digital audio sequencer. The new features extend Live's real-time capabilities to encompass a wider range of music production techniques.

Live now operates as a full-fledge MIDI sequencer that supports Audio Units (Mac only) and VST plug-ins, including software instruments. Two new virtual samplers, Simpler and Impulse, let you process and play any sound polyphonically. Track view offers quick access to all parameter controls for instruments and effects.

MIDI tracks in Live 4 can play external MIDI instruments or software instruments in other ReWire-compatible programs. Record and overdub linear MIDI tracks in the Arrangement View. Create MIDI Clips by dragging Standard MIDI Files into the Browser, and then edit data in the Clip View''s Note Editor. Build patterns by overdubbing MIDI onto clips as they play in a loop. Other new features include variable swing and groove, greater routing flexibility, and five MIDI effects.

Ableton has also announced that a Live 4 Public Beta Test program will begin in late June. To sign up to receive the Ableton newsletter and stay informed about the latest details, visit