New features include MIDI tools, three new devices, and work flow improvements

Ableton Live 12 due out in 2024

New features include MIDI tools, three new devices, and work flow improvements

Portrait of musicmanta author Christof Baer with blue tint in circular shape
Christof Baer
last updated this article on 
November 14, 2023
 and first floated it on 
November 14, 2023
Ableton Live 12

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Ableton Live 12: A New Era in Music Production

Ableton's upcoming release, Live 12, scheduled for early 2024, brings significant enhancements to freshen up the music creation process. This update is focused on introducing playful MIDI tools, novel devices, and intuitive workflow improvements.

Key Features in Live 12:

  • MIDI Transformations and Generators: These tools offer innovative ways to manipulate MIDI clips, enabling the creation of complex variations and inspiring new musical ideas.
  • MIDI Editor Improvements: Enhancements in MIDI editing include the ability to rearrange notes by various attributes, providing a more fluid composition experience.
  • Keys and Scales: An intuitive feature for selecting and editing clips within a specific musical scale, aiding in cohesive and harmonious compositions.
  • Tuning Systems: Offers the flexibility to work with different tuning systems, accommodating a broader range of musical styles and preferences.

New Instruments and Effects:

  • Meld: A versatile, bi-timbral, MPE-capable instrument designed for creating a wide spectrum of sounds, from textural to experimental.
  • Roar: This effect allows for a range of sound manipulations, from subtle warmth to more pronounced sound degradation, enhancing the creative possibilities.
  • Granulator III: The latest iteration of this granular instrument, now with MPE support, brings a new level of expressiveness to sound manipulation.

Workflow and Design Enhancements:

  • Stacked Detail Views: Improves the efficiency of track editing by displaying multiple aspects of a track simultaneously.
  • Modernized View Styling: The updated interface aims to reduce visual complexity, allowing for a more focused music production experience.
  • Mixer and Browser Improvements: Enhancements to the mixer and browser functionalities, including tagging and sound similarity search, streamline the music production process.

Accessibility and Navigation:

  • Improved Accessibility: Live 12 includes features that are more accessible to users with disabilities, such as compatibility with assistive technologies.
  • Enhanced Navigation: New keyboard shortcuts and navigation options aim to make using Live 12 more efficient and user-friendly.

How does the update from Ableton Live 11 to 12 compare to Ableton Live 10 to 11?

Ableton Live 12 represents a significant step forward in music production capabilities compared to its predecessors, Live 10 and 11. Each version brought its own set of advancements, shaping the evolution of the software.

Ableton Live 10:

Live 10 introduced several key features, enhancing both sound creation and workflow:

  1. New Plugins: Including the 'Wavetable' synthesizer, 'Echo' delay plugin, 'Drum Buss' for dynamic drum processing, and 'Pedal' for overdrive distortions​​.
  2. Workflow Enhancements: Such as 'Collections' for organizing plugins and effects, and the 'Capture' feature that remembers MIDI inputs for easy recall​​.

Ableton Live 11:

Live 11 built upon these foundations with significant additions:

  1. MPE Support: One of the standout features, allowing for expressive MIDI polyphonic expression and enhanced control over instruments​​.
  2. Comping: Simplified the process of combining the best parts of multiple takes into one, streamlining the recording process​​.
  3. Other Improvements: Included tempo following, macro improvements, updated devices, new soundpacks, and enhanced Max for Live functionality​​.

Ableton Live 12:

The leap to Live 12 brought further advancements:

  1. MIDI Transformations and Generators: Facilitating creative MIDI editing and pattern generation​​.
  2. Advanced Instruments and Effects: Like the bi-timbral MPE-capable instrument 'Meld' and the sound coloring effect 'Roar'​​.
  3. Workflow Enhancements: Stacked detail views, improved mixer in Arrangement View, and advanced browser features like tagging and filtered searches​​.

Comparison and Evolution:

  • Live 10 to 11: The transition from Live 10 to 11 marked a significant upgrade in MIDI capabilities, recording ease (through comping), and overall workflow. The introduction of MPE support in Live 11 was a major step in enhancing expressiveness and creativity.
  • Live 11 to 12: Moving to Live 12, the focus shifted towards more innovative MIDI tools, unique instruments, and workflow refinements. The MIDI Transformations and Generators in Live 12 represent a major evolution in MIDI editing and creativity, while new instruments and effects offer advanced sound shaping capabilities.

Live 12 vs. The Competition

  • Compared to Cubase 13: While Steinberg's Cubase 13 is praised for its comprehensive feature set and professional environment, Live 12 stands out with its unique MIDI transformations and creative instruments and effects.
  • Against Logic Pro: Logic Pro is known for its seamless Apple integration, but Live 12 offers a distinct set of features emphasizing creativity and experimentation.
  • Versus FL Studio: FL Studio is favoured for its simplicity, but Live 12 provides more advanced tools for both MIDI and audio, catering to a wider range of music production needs.

Our View

Ableton Live 12 appears to be a significant update, balancing creative innovations with practical workflow enhancements. The new MIDI features, combined with advanced instruments and effects, suggest a strong focus on fostering musical creativity. The improved workflow and design elements reflect an understanding of the diverse needs of modern music producers.


Ableton Live 12 Release Date:

Ableton Live 12 Pricing:

Full prices remain will unchanged from Ableton Live 11. Any purchase after 14 November 2023 is eligible for a free update to Ableton 12 upon release.

  • Ableton Live 12 Intro: $99
  • Ableton Live 12 Standard: $439
  • Ableton Live 12 Suite: $749

Upgrades from Ableton Live 11 and lower to Ableton 12 will be discounted. Log into your account to see you personal upgrade price.

Ableton Live 11 Sale (with free upgrade to Ableton Live 12)

Alongside the Live 12 announcement, Ableton started a 20% off sale, which will last until Ableton Live 12 is released early in 2024.

  • Ableton Live 12 Intro: $79 (20% off $99)
  • Ableton Live 12 Standard: $351 (20% off $439)
  • Ableton Live 12 Suite: $599 (20% off $749)

Ableton Live 11 at the cheapest official retailer: save up to 71%*

Thomann has been by far the cheapest official Ableton retailer for year, where you can consistently save even more that during the Ableton Sale.

  • Ableton Live 11 Intro: $56 (43% off $99)
  • Ableton Live 11 Standard: $199 (55% off $439)
  • Ableton Live 11 Suite: $429 (41% off $749)

Educational versions.

  • Ableton Live 11 Standard: $125 (71% off $439)
  • Ableton Live 11 Suite EDU: $268 (64% off $749)

For all details, including used licenses, and educational versions, read our comprehensive guide to the cheapest way to buy Ableton Live.

Ableton Push 3 Sale (14 to 30 November 2023)



Ableton Live 12 Overview

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