Ableton Live 9 Intro is the beginner’s edition of the fully functional Ableton Live 9 Suite. The introduction version of this beat making software is not nearly as strenuous on your computer as the suite edition, which can take up to 55GB of space (the Intro version takes up only 6GB) and is a more affordable option compared to the suite edition.
Although Ableton Live 9 Intro is a starter version of its full-edition counterpart, it certainly isn’t watered down. The introductory version of this beat software comes preloaded with over 700 sounds ready to be used, tweaked and arranged to create songs.
Ableton Live caters to those of you who have never used beat making software before, let alone Ableton. When you first begin exploring the program, there is a tutorial window on the right side of the workspace that explains what each button does, gives you tips and shortcuts to processes within Ableton. The tutorial window is an excellent resource to learn the software on the fly.
Ableton is comprised of two main workspaces ??? the session window and the arrangement window. One of the main differences between this arrangement window compared to other software is that the track information is on the right side of the screen instead of the left. If you have any previous experience, this takes some getting used to. The arrangement window is where all of your recorded audio and loops are stored and arranged to create entire songs.
The session window is exclusive to Ableton. In the session window, you don’t piece songs together as you would in the arrangement window. Pieces of music are represented in clips and are placed in channel strips. If you press play on two or more clips, the clips will quantize (play on beat) automatically. This opens up different possibilities for creating music. You can load multiple clips of music in the session window and press play on clips to see how they sound together until you find a sequence of clips that you enjoy. This also opens up the opportunity for live performance improvising, as you won’t have to be worried about loops coming in off-beat.
One of the drawbacks to using Ableton Intro is the restrictive nature of recording space and equalization. Ableton Intro only allows you to record up to 16 audio or MIDI tracks per session. The mixer also only allows up to two insert effects per channel, which is less than the majority of the music creation software that we reviewed.
Ableton is a unique take on beat creation software. The intro version helps novice users along with its built-in tutorial, but it has restrictive recording and mixing capabilities. Ableton Live 9 Intro is an affordable way to get acquainted with the software.