Ableton has announced Live 6, its professional music production tool that's widely used by working musicians and DJs, such as Pete Tong and Sacha.

The release offers a range of new features, including Quicktime video support, a professional multisample library, and customisable racks of instruments and effects. Live 6 provides multicore support, enhanced project management tools, and improved MIDI control.

Workflow and functionality see major improvement 

"Live 6 upholds Ableton's tradition of responding to and respecting our vocal user base while maintaining our vision for the software," said Ableton CEO and co-founder Gerhard Behles.

"The results are exciting - Live 6 is our most versatile and powerful version to date. We also spent significant development resources on workflow improvements to make sure Live continues to feel good as the functionality grows."

The Quicktime video support lets users drag and drop movies into Live's Arrangement View, and monitor the result on a video window or second screen. Music can then be linked to visuals.
New instrument sounds

The Essential Instrument Collection provides Live 6 users with a comprehensive library of multi-sampled instruments: orchestral strings and brasses, classic guitars and electric keyboards, harps, glockenspiels and more.
Instrument and Effect Racks have also been introduced, which users can employ to create, save and control groupings of instruments, effcts and plug-ins. Any number of parameters can then be adjusted using a single knob or fader. The software ships with many preconfigured racks with both instruments and common processing tools, like guitar and bass distortion, drum processing and mastering.

The company has also announced a technology licensing partnership with leading soundware provider SONiVOX (formerly Sonic Implants). Under the terms of their agreement, Ableton will incorporate a selection of premium SONiVOX instruments into Live 6. An initial set of multi-sampled instruments will ship free with Live 6 with additional Expansion Sound Sets to be released in the near future.
Multicore and Multiprocessor support allow the computational workload from instruments and effects to be distributed to other processors or cores, speeding up system performance.
Deep Freeze expands editing functionality with frozen tracks (temporary rendered files created to free system resources). Cut, copy, paste, duplicate and consolidate clips without having to re-freeze.
A wide array of additional improvements have also been introduced, including a more powerful EQ, a powerful tool to add analogue warmth to digital creations and new automation features.

The company is hosting an interactive tour of the new software on its website.
The software ships in September 2006 and will cost €549.