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In the 21st century, music production is all about technology. Compositions that would have taken a whole rack full of hardware to produce decades ago can easily be created today on a single laptop with the right software. That's where Ableton comes into the picture - they released the first version of their digital audio workstation, Live, in 2001 and it quickly became the industry standard. Today, Ableton Live is up to version 9.1, and it's still the top choice for music and audio professionals all over the world.
With its history of powering pro studios that create media for the recording, film and TV industries, it's no surprise that Live is the bread and butter of the Ableton lineup. You'll find several versions of the software here, and you don't have to worry about growing pains if you'd rather try one of the basic editions before going all-out: there are upgrades available so you can easily step up to higher versions.
If you're a hobbyist or just looking to get a feel for the basics of Live, check out the Intro version. It's the perfect way to try the essentials of Live 9 before committing to a bigger investment. On the other hand, if you're ready to go all-out from the start, you can also opt for the Standard edition or even the incredibly powerful Ableton Live 9 Suite. Don't like the idea of waiting for shipping? No problem: each version of the Ableton Live DAW gives you the choice between a boxed copy and a download, so you can get it the way you prefer.
To make the most of Live, you'll also want to consider the Ableton Push Software Controller Instrument. It's more than just an average pad controller: Akai and Ableton teamed up to design the Push specifically for Live, so it gives you better control over the DAW than a generic controller could. Any studio that works extensively with Ableton Live should seriously look into adding a Push to its setup.
There are plenty of reasons why Ableton Live has been such a successful DAW, including a fluid, easy-to-use interface and specialized views that make your creative workflow feel natural and inspired. If you've been agonizing over which DAW to use in your own studio, you can rest assured that Ableton software is a solid choice for any musician.
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