Ableton Note is almost Live for iPhone

Ableton Note is almost Live for iPhone

Have you ever had a great idea for a riff that rattles around in your head while you’re riding the bus or waiting in line? Well, if you’re using Ableton Live, there’s now a way to capture those busts of inspiration wherever you are thanks to the new Note the iOS app.

The name is important here. It’s not Ableton Live Mobile or Live Go or anything like that. The idea of ​​”Note” is as much about writing things down as it is a reference to semiquavers. Think of it as a scratch pad for ideas on the go. Ideas that can then be seamlessly picked up in Ableton Live itself when you get to your computer.

Users of Ableton’s Live desktop DAW will recognize Note’s main interface. It bears more than a striking resemblance to Live’s “Session” view – a sandbox of sorts for experimentation in itself. In Note, you can have up to eight tracks each with a maximum of eight clips.

For those no Familiar with Live or its Session View, each track can be considered a musical part (drums, synth, vocals, and so on) and each “clip” represents a sequence or short arrangement that uses that part. From there, you can create different collections of clips that form the basis for different parts of the song.

Note comes preloaded with 261 synth presets, 56 drum kits, melodic samples and more. Basically, most of the things you need to compose a song. Everything in the app is also part of Ableton Live, allowing you to export it to Live so easily.

However, you are not limited to the sounds included in Notes. You have the ability to sample into the app via your phone’s microphone. The good news is that it includes an external microphone and I was even able to get into the app via a synth with a 3.5mm to lightning adapter. All of which should mean that this is pretty flexible when it comes to sound palettes.

Three screenshots from the new 'Note' mobile app from Ableton


There’s also a surprising amount of control depth. In addition to sampling, there are all the essential editing tools such as quantize, pan and transpose. There are also two effects slots, and each can have its own performance “automation” – if you change the filter over time, that performance is captured in the clip.

While there are plenty of music-making apps out there, a true “DAW on your phone” might be a bit ambitious. Ableton seems to have the balance right here, it’s familiar, deep enough, but also easy to use. Best of all is the integration with Ableton Live – something that is apparently unique to Note.

There is a setting in Note for Ableton Cloud. Activate this and your current Note projects will appear in the Live browser on your desktop (provided your computer has an internet connection, of course). This cloud functionality is free, but limited to five “ideas” or slots (which should be enough for most).

While the cloud functionality is free, the app is now. The note will cost $6 (£5/€7) and requires Live 11.2 and above to share projects on the desktop.

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#Ableton #Note #Live #iPhone

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