In addition to passing MPE information to third-party plug-ins, many of Ableton’s native tools have been updated with support. Most notably, the Sampler and Wavetable, which should cover a lot of ground – especially multi-sample acoustic instruments. You can also plot the pitch, slide, and pressure envelopes for each note in the new expression view.
Another major addition to Live is compilation, which combines multiple tracks of audio or MIDI into single shots so you can put the best parts together. You could always have done something similar manually in Live before, but this greatly simplifies the process. It can even be a sound design tool where you can combine dramatically different sections of the same melody or tone to create contrasting juxtaposition, for example.
Of course, there are also a number of new tools and effects. There’s a new hybrid frequency that combines Ableton’s physical modeling torsion engine and its algorithmic engine, plus a spectral resonator and spectral time blanking out incoming sound in various ways allowing you to turn almost anything into a playable instrument or surround texture. There are also new audio packages, including Inspired by Nature which, as the name suggests, features six tools and effects drawn from nature and PitchLoop89, which is all about digital bugs and sparkling delays.
There are also some new tools to add a bit of unpredictability, such as chance of notice and speed. Plenty of small updates to edit basic clips, sounds and benchmarking. In short, Ableton Live 11 is about catch-up as much as looking ahead.
Possibly the best part about the Live 11 release is that from now until that day (whenever that is), Live 10 is available at a 20 percent discount and includes a free upgrade to Live 11 when it drops.