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Ableton Live review: This digital audio workstation does it all

Jon L. Jacobi | March 3, 2016
The best software for creating and recording music, as well as live performance. A bit pricey, but worth it.

Stagnant no longer

Ableton didn’t offer a major update for several years, starting right after I previously reviewed it in 2009. But the company has again found its mojo and new releases are arriving every few months. More importantly, they are arriving without screwing up the program’s stellar usability or adding needless complexity.


Words can’t do this DAW justice. The only way to truly appreciate its abilities and easy workflow is to use it. But the learning curve is steep, and you might have to set aside the prejudice that advanced capabilities require a complex bitmapped interface.

Telling you that Ableton has torn me away form my old standbys is the highest praise I can bestow. Anyone who’s spent the countless hours that it takes to become facile with a DAW knows that is no mean feat. For quickly laying down tracks, or live performance, Live has no real peers.


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