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Type AG
Founded 1999
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Key people Gerhard Behles (CEO), Jan Bohl (COO/CFO)
Products Ableton Live, Operator, Analog, Electric, Sampler, Tension, Ableton Push
Employees ~150
Subsidiaries Ableton, Inc. (US Subsidiary)

Ableton AG is a Berlin-based music software company that produces and distributes the production and performance program Ableton Live and the more advanced Ableton Suite, as well as a collection of related instruments and sample libraries.


Ableton was founded in 1999 by Gerhard Behles, Robert Henke of Monolake and Bernd Roggendorf. After Behles' work on granular synthesis features for Native Instruments' Reaktor, as well as earlier software using a Silicon Graphics workstation at the Technical University of Berlin, Live was first released as commercial software in 2001. The new logo is black but the old is green as shown in the picture. Behles remains the chief executive officer of Ableton, while Henke remains in a role of technical leadership and focuses on Live's included effects and instruments. Ableton's office is located in the Mitte district of Berlin, Germany with a second office in Pasadena, California.

In March 2007, Ableton announced it was beginning a collaboration with Cycling '74, producers of Max/MSP. This collaboration will not be directly based on Live or Max/MSP, rather will combine the two companies' strengths in a new product.

In January 2009 the Ableton/Cycling '74 product "Max for Live" was announced. "Max for Live" makes it possible to create Max/MSP patches directly inside of Live. The patches will act like other plug-ins in Live do, supporting preset saving, automation, and other features. It will be possible to create both customized hardware plug-ins and patches as well as actions within those plug-ins that control every aspect of Live, essentially anything that can be clicked with a mouse.

Ableton Live is currently in its ninth version. There are three versions of the software available for purchase: Live 9 Standard (the core software for music performance and creation), Live 9 Suite (Ableton Live, Max for Live + all of Ableton's software instruments/effects) and Live 9 Intro (an introductory version of Live with fewer track and effect slots). Ableton Live is designed to be used with a wide range of USB and MIDI controllers, as well as instruments and virtual instruments. It is also possible to extend its control through TheArchitect and LiveCompagnons developed by Cyrille Brissot.

Ableton holds many music production sessions and seminars to learn to use their software, and licenses "certified Ableton trainers."[1]

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