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Ableton Live Quality Discussions in the Blogospher + Live 8.1.1 Release


The blogosphere is all a buzz with people discussing Gerhard Behles’s (CEO of Ableton) recent post on Ableton Quality on the Ableton forum -

“We have now decided to:

  • suspend all development towards new features while the whole team joins forces to address the current issues. This effort is open ended and will result in a free Live 8 update;
  • make process changes to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.

We hope this plan finds your understanding and agreement. We'd like to wish you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful 2010!"

And on the heels of this announcement. A new bug fix release was just posted!!! Live 8.1.1 is now online -

Three Common Responses
Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music has categorized response to Ableton’s post as:

1. “Boy, I’m frustrated that this has come to this in the first place. Live isn’t reliable for me, and I paid for it.”
2. “I’m really happy with Live, so I don’t know what the fuss is about.”
3. “I have seen some issues, but Ableton is working through them, and I’m glad they’re open about it.”

My Take on This
I put myself category 2. I've been on Live 8 Suite since it's release and have found very few issues - and I'm on Vista no less. I'm currently on 8.0.9. I didn't got to 8.1.1 yet. I use it every day with piles of VSTs. I composed, produced and mastered my recent album with it.

Clearly some people are having some issues. I’ve seen reports of issues with 8.1. Perhaps 8.1.1 will improve the situation.

If you were just about to take the 8 upgrade plunge don't let this announcement dissuade you from at least trying out 8 via the trial. You can test it and see if it works for you.

Software companies are all in a race for market share while balancing quality. The pendulum swings to innovation and then back to stability. I've always felt Ableton has “baked” quality in. Clearly they feel they've lost a bit of focus in process of "baking it in". This announcement is just good transparent customer service and an acknowledgement that after a big year of new features they are going to stabilize the platform before the do the next round.

Seems reasonable to me.

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Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist