Akai Force Grid-Based Music Production System

A standalone music production platform with a 64-pad grid and multi-touch 7" color screen, the Akai Force unleashes your creativity -- no computer required.


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Ableton Live 8 Music Production Software (Macintosh and Windows)

No longer available at zZounds
Ableton Live 8 is the ultimate in modern recording software: improvise, sample, compose, arrange and record intuitively.

A lot of music production software is based on the recording technology, techniques, and workflow of the past. Not Ableton Live. The developers of this revolutionary software recognized that the digital realm enabled them to forge a music production program that didn't have to be tethered to the concept, workflow, or application of anything that came before. As a result, Ableton Live is a program that can be used to record, remix, arrange, compose, and even perform anything you hear in your head. The music you produce with Ableton Live is limited only to your imagination.

Non-Linear Music Composition

Live operates in two basic views: Session and Arrange. Arrange view is the standard, timeline-based view you'll find in any multitrack recording software or DAW. Where Live is truly different -- and where it will revolutionize the way you think about composition -- is the Session view. Live looks at music in segments called clips. Clips can be any length, from an entire song or a verse or a four-bar figure. From session view you're able to launch any clip in your project at any time and in perfect synch with what's already playing. You don't even have to stop playback while creating clips, or parts. You'll be generating themes, rhythmic variations, counterpoints, harmonies, and melodic ideas and developments faster than ever before. Freed from a timeline approach to composition, you don't even have think about where in the ultimate composition your germinating idea will end up. read more It could be an intro, a chorus, a verse, or any sonic idea that sparks your creativity. It's not hard to see how this method of creation will facilitate remixing as well, and how Session view makes Ableton Live such a sophisticated performance tool. They don't call it "Live" for nothing.

Advanced Support for VST and Audio Units Plug-ins

Lest you think Live is designed for only electronic music or live remixing, think again. Live supports all your favorite VST and Audio Units plug-ins, which can be applied to MIDI as well as audio clips. Live also features deep MIDI automation over plug-ins that's easier to edit and access than on most DAWs. Anything a traditional multitrack recording platform can do, Live can do too, only with more flexibility.

Built-In Help to Get You Up and Running

While Ableton Live is a deep and sophisticated program, anyone can quickly scale its learning curve, thanks to a couple of built-in support and training features. The Info Box is a dedicated window that provides instant feedback on whatever button or display your mouse cursor is hovering over, a boon to anyone who likes to dive headfirst into a program. For the more linear training approach, Live offers an extensive help function with a number of tutorials to help familiarize you with the main features and functions of Live.

Near-Universal Hardware Support

Support for just about every audio interface and hardware controller on the market makes the switch to Live even easier. If you're in love with the sound of your FireWire interface, keep it. If your workflow is tied to a certain controller, no need to switch. The intuitive mapping and learning functions within Live mean you'll not only be able to hang on to your beloved hardware, but you'll probably get even more use out of it. Plus, there's an ever-growing selection of controllers being made exclusively for use with Live that'll improve your studio and composition workflow and give you even deeper tactile control over effects and mixing functions on stage.

Three Flavors of Live to Fit Any Level

zZounds offers Ableton Live in three versions. Ableton Live Suite is the most inclusive Live package. It's bursting at the seams with preloaded loops, samples, MIDI groove patterns and effects that'll upgrade the sonic arsenal of the serious producer or composer. Live Suite 8 includes the latest versions of Ableton instruments like Operator (a powerful virtual synth), Sampler, and more, as well as sample instrument packs that cover every genre of music. Ableton Live is the core program powerhouse, offering all the functionality and lots of useful instruments and effects. Live 8 offers effects like distortion, pitch shifter, and an awesome vocoder, as well as mastering-class multi-band dynamics and a brick-wall limiter for producing radio-ready final tracks. Ableton Live LE is the perfect low-cost alternative for those just getting into computer-based music production, and is a great introduction for the Ableton Live concept.

If you're feeling creatively constrained by your current software, or you're ready to tap into the full potential of digital music production, Ableton Live is your next step. Whether you're an electronic musician, a pop music producer, or a performing DJ, Live is the total music creation solution.
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System Requirements

Macintosh 1.25 GHz G4/G5 or faster (Intel Mac recommended)

1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)

Mac OS X 10.4.11 (10.5 or later recommended) DVD-ROM drive

Windows 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 or Celeron compatible CPU or faster (Multicore CPU recommended)

1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)

Windows XP or Windows Vista

Windows compatible sound card (ASIO driver support recommended)

DVD-ROM drive

QuickTime recommended

Ableton Suite requires 48 GB of hard drive space

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 323-924-3808

Ableton Live 8 Recording Software

Ableton Live 8 Music Production Software is revolutionary software that allows you to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise and edit your musical ideas in a seamless audio/MIDI environment.

The winner of countless industry awards, Live integrates loop-based and linear production methodologies, including unique virtual instruments and effects, together in a single interface for unparalleled creative freedom.

Additional features in Live 8 include Movie Import, Deep Freeze editing technology, multicore/multiprocessor support, upgraded Ableton Devices, project management tools, and a comprehensive collection of instruments sampled at supreme fidelity. Live 8 is a complete music production system and also works perfectly with Pro Tools M-Powered. If you haven't experienced Live 8, you owe it to yourself to see what all the buzz is about. Your music will never be the same.

Ableton Live Version 8

Version 8 enhances the Ableton vision of creative, real-time digital music with a wealth of various techniques, effects and most-wanted workflow improvements.

- Multicore/multiprocessor support multiplies Live's processing power on Macs and PCs
- Movie Import feature including warping sound to picture
- Instrument and Effect Racks multiply the creative power of Live's devices and any plug-ins
- Deep Freeze allows you to edit tracks even while they're frozen
- Improved Devices let you shape sound with precision and add warmth and dirt
- Project management tools insure you stay on top of the creative chaos
- Essential Instrument Collection with comprehensive collection of instruments sampled at supreme fidelity
- Complete or track-wise merging of Live sets
- Stretch markers to proportionally scale durations and start times of notes in the MIDI Editor
- Copying and pasting for Warp Markers
- Easier Warp Marker manipulations for multitrack recordings
- Multi-destination MIDI and key mappings, with each mapping able to have its own range and polarity
- Option to define any locator or the loop start as the song start point
- Browser able to display file type, size and modification date

Groove Engine

Groove patterns can add life and swing to straight sequences. Live 8's groove engine lets you apply groove patterns in real time, extract grooves from audio or MIDI sources, quantize audio and MIDI in real time. It also comes with a groove library.

Warping Engine

Live 8 introduces a more direct way of working with warping and some important Warp Mode enhancements. You can now warp audio events by adjusting the events themselves on the timeline. Beats Mode has been updated, and there's a Complex Warp Mode. Plus you can slice audio files to MIDI tracks based on transients.


A much-requested feature, the Ableton Looper effect gives you classic sound-on-sound looping without the limitations of a hardware device. Looper is set up for remote operation, so you can record, overdub, undo and more without touching the computer.


Live 8 includes five powerful effects: Vocoder, Multiband Dynamics, Overdrive, Limiter and Frequency Shifter. These effects cover all the well-known aspects of these devices, but really shine due to some innovative features and enhancements from the Ableton labs.

Workflow Enhancements

Version 8 makes Live easier with a number of most-wanted enhancements and some deceptively simple detail work including real-time crossfades in the Arrangement View, enhanced MIDI editing, group tracks, a screen magnifier and more.

Ableton Suite 8

Ableton Suite 8 is a package which gives you a rich world of sound, perfectly complementing the tools and features in Live 8. Suite 8 provides all the instruments a musician could hope for, including a wide range of synths, a powerful sampler, electric and acoustic drums, mallets, numerous sampled instruments: 10 instruments in all. Here's what's you'll find in Suite 8.

World-class library

Ableton Suite 8's library completely surpasses everything that Ableton has ever offered before. With the creative professional in mind, Ableton has put together a well-balanced and comprehensive tool set and, above all, a wide-ranging set of beautiful sounds.


Collision is a unique instrument for authentic mallet sounds and creative percussion. Co-developed with AAS, it uses physical modeling technology to reproduce real-world instruments such as xylophones, marimbas and glockenspiels, but also provides enough depth to create dramatic instruments and sounds.

Latin Percussion

Latin Percussion is a collection of acoustic percussion instruments such as congas, bongos, timbales, claves, shakers, tambourines and bells from the worlds of Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and African music. It also comes with clips and grooves, so you don't only get the drums, you also get the drummer.

More Operator, more power

Operator, Ableton's renowned do-it-all synthesizer, has been given a major overhaul. They opened up the hood, took a long hard look inside and did some serious hot-rod stuff. Creative filter types, more modulation routing options and additive wavetable synthesis with drawable partials make Operator more powerful and flexible than ever.

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. (143 ratings)
Submitted July 2, 2005 by a customer from

"Ableton Live: a must-have for live production and worth a look for non-live applications"

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Whether or not you should buy Ableton Live depends on a few factors. First of all, if you want to add live remixing to your DJ sets, improv beats as a part of a "livetronica" band, or preform live solo sets, you won't find a better suited product anywhere. One could use more traditional sequencing (such as Logic) or loop-based (i.e. Acid) production software, but you won't be able to record audio or sequences (midi) while playing as easily as in live (if at all). If you just need production software, and don't plan on preforming live, then the choice is more difficult. Live does a good job at allowing you to use loops, sequences, and audio all together. That said, the sequencing in Live is quite limited compared to other programs such as logic. There is no score editor and the piano roll/ matrix editor isn't as powerful as Logic's (note: logic costs about twice as much, but includes a better collection of software instruments and mastering tools). If audio editing is more important to you, then Pro Tools LE might be a better fit for a similar price (with some hardware included). That said, if you don't want to spend $1000 on production software and are not comfortable with the limitations in "lite" versions of other products, Ableton Live definitlely deserves a look. Additionally, Live's layout is similar to Acid, so I would certainly recommend Live to Acid users looking to step up to something more powerful. I give it 8/10 only 1)because of the issues I've had with read more VST plug-ins and 2) the piano-roll sequence editor could be much better. Other than that, it is a unique piece of software that gets the job done easily and in style. If the sequence editing improves in subsequent versions, I may replace Logic with Live

sounds good, supports 24 bit resolution. The included plug-ins sound good and allow the user to quickly and easily tweak or completely warp a sound. I give it 9/10 only because the effects are more geared towards fun, quick results rather than sober, precise mastering type applications.

the piano roll editor is simple and easy to use, but not as powerful as other programs. Reason (standalone) users will feel right at home, though. The plug-ins include everything you expect: eq, dynamics (compression), delay, reverb, and chorus. There are also a few that you might not expect, such as the "resonator" and "grain delay," that allow you to radically reshape your sound, get some lo-fi grit or do just about whatever you please. All that's missing are more mastering oriented tools, although meticulously polishing a finished piece of music is not what Live is designed for.

I've had some issues getting VST up and running, and this has caused some crashes. For a product designed for live use, I find this a little scary. It seems that once you get it working with your particular set-up, however, Live is solid.

without the live preformance abilities, it would still be a decent value. With its unmatched preformance capabilites its a steal.

Manufacturer Support
Good support website (if this is a big deal to you, you can check out their support site before buying the product: I have not personally contacted their service personnel, so I can't say how good they are/aren't.

The Wow Factor
If you want to use a computer to improv music, nothing else will do nearly as well as live. British DJ Sasha uses it, so there's some star appeal as well.

Musical Background:
Active Musician

Musical Style:
livetronica when using this product, house/progressive dance music as well
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