Ableton Live 11.1 is an update to Ableton Live designed to add native support for Apple computers using Apple Silicon (M1) chips. We’ve been keeping an eye on the beta releases of this update and have now done some preliminary testing with this open release to see how it performs on Apple Silicon Macs, especially as it regards Sunday Keys for Live. Here’s what we’ve found:
M1 Mac Users: If you’re using an Apple Silicon Mac you should absolutely upgrade to 11.1, as performance is quite improved, especially CPU usage.
Intel-based Mac/Windows Users: If you are already using Live 11 we anticipate you’ll see similar or slightly improved performance with Live 11.1 compared to Live 11.0. It still appears that CPU performance is not as optimized in Live 11.1 compared to Live 10.1.42 for Intel machines.
If you have Live 10: Live 11 now appears to be a viable upgrade path for M1 Mac users, as it is vastly superior to running either Live 10 or Live 11.0 on an M1 Mac. For Intel-based machines the decision of whether to upgrade should be focused more on whether Live 11's new and improved features are compelling.
Sunday Keys Users: CPU usage in Live 11 has consistently appeared to be somewhat higher than Live 10, across all computers and that still seems to be the case with Live 11.1. You may find that you need to set a higher audio buffer size in Live 11 than you would in Live 10, on identical hardware, to achieve usable results. With that being said, it does appear that Live 11.1 does enough to address the primary performance issues that affected M1 Mac users attempting to use a previous version of Live.
Sunday Keys for Live remains fully compatible w/ Live 10.1.42 on Intel machines.
Sunday Keys users running Live 11 on Intel Mac/Windows machines should expect similar performance w/ Live 11.1 as they experienced w/ Live 11.0.
Before performing at church w/ Live 11.1: Make sure to test out Live 11.1 on your computer prior to taking it to the stage to make sure you experience solid performance and have a chance to perform any necessary adjustments to your audio preferences. This will help you determine which version of Live is best for you, especially if you’re using an older computer.
If you already own a Live 11 license, you can download Live 11.1 from your account page for free.