Ableton Live X

It's been a while since Ableton updated their Live software to version nine and I thought I'd suggest a few things I'd like to see in the next iteration.

One area I'd like to see overhauled is the way the software handles video. Admittedly my hardware is a few years old but exporting video from Live remains the leading cause of software crashes. Sometimes I can get around this by exporting shorter parts and assembling them in a video editing program. Other times Live will steadfastly refuse to export parts with short loops.

The video exported from Live seems to default to an NTSC-style codec with around 30 frames a second, which is less than ideal for me as I usually work with PAL-style 25 frames per second. It also gains a black border, which suggests the resolution of the exported video is decreased from the original. Since I'm not producing material for local TV, this isn't such an issue but it does seem to slow the process of rendering. So it'd be great if a new version of Live provided more options for handling and exporting video.

Another suggestion involves revamping the effect Beat Repeat. I've been using Live long enough to remember the original Coldcutter effect the Beat Repeat was based on and back then it introduced me to generative approaches to composition. These days Beat Repeat is often my first step when manipulating field recordings, as the ability to gate and re-pitch loops means it can quickly make a series of transients into a melody. It would be great if I could pitch these sounds upward as well as down and at present the control only goes in the latter direction.

Finally, I'm not sure how practical this is but it'd be great if effects like Beat Repeat's stutters could be seen in the video export. I realise video is more of a value-added exercise for a DAW like Ableton Live but I think that by taking a multimedia approach would really separate this software from competitors and open new directions in production.