Ableton Archive

back to

Press Release

January 20th, 2005


Berlin, Germany (January 20, 2005) - Ableton proudly announces the worldwide release of Operator, a powerful new software synthesizer instrument optimized for use inside Live 4, Ableton's award-winning real-time music production platform. Operator brings an eclectic spectrum of sonic possibilities and musical inspiration to Ableton Live users. True to Ableton's philosophy, Operator invites creativity through the fusion of depth and usability, allowing even the most complex sounds to be created quickly. Whether you long for evolving synthetic textures, rich expressive leads, gritty percussion, rhythmic atmospheres or anything in between, Operator has the cure.

Describing the vision and research behind Operator, Ableton conceptualist Robert Henke explains, "Our aim was to create a truly unique and inspiring instrument that combined the sonic richness and character of hardware synthesizers with the power of Ableton Live. By integrating Operator with Live, we were able to give users the flexibility and power of clip envelopes, hands-on control and zero latency. More importantly, Operator sounds amazing!"

Easy to Operate. Like Live, Operator's design is geared toward promoting creativity and maximizing workflow efficiency. A set of highly varied and musical presets, sorted by category, is provided for quick access to Operator's sonic spectrum. At the next level, two intuitive macro controls called "Time" and "Tone" can be used to modify the overall characteristics of the sound, handling complex operations through a single action. The most essential parameters of Operator's synthesis engine are individually represented on the front panel. Musicians who enjoy detailed sonic surgery can use Operator's central display to access the instrument's graphic envelope editors and other advanced controls.

Hearing is believing. The core of Operator's voice architecture consists of four oscillators and a resonant multimode filter. This setup allows for both subtractive and frequency modulation (FM) synthesis. In addition to a wide selection of sine waveforms, which faithfully emulate the aliasing artifacts of classic hardware FM synthesizers, each of Operator's oscillators can also generate "virtual analog" synthesis waveforms such as saw, square, triangle and noise. Each oscillator can either deliver audio signals to the output or modulate other oscillators. To allow further dissection of your sound, Operator's filter section, LFO and pitch envelope add great flexibility and expressive modulation possibilities.

Integration. Following Live's refreshing design philosophy, Operator is powerful without demanding screen real estate. Every parameter of Operator can be automated or remote-controlled via MIDI, allowing you to get completely hands on. Parameters can also be controlled via Live's clip envelopes.

Learn to Operate. To learn Operator is to love it. Operator includes several integrated lessons, complete with screenshots and sound examples, so that you can quickly discover the power of Operator's flexible sound design ability. The Operator lessons even take you through creating a variety of sounds from scratch. Each lesson is accessible via the Live 4 Help menu.

Operator Pricing and Availability

To purchase or try Operator, simply download the 4.1 update of Live from the Ableton website An activation code for Operator can be purchased online for EUR 129/USD 149.

About Live

Live is the only music-production solution that allows you to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise and edit your musical ideas. Live brings your acoustic, electronic and virtual instruments, as well as your digital audio recordings, together in a single interface with unparalleled ease of use. In the end, Live lets you focus on what really matters: your music.

About Ableton

Ableton develops modern software technology to inspire creative people. Since the company started in 1999, more than thirty-five developers and business professionals have joined Ableton - many of them active musicians or DJs. The company has received outstanding press and customer feedback since the unveiling of Live in October 2001.

High-res images and logos of Ableton, Live and Operator are available at

For more information on Ableton, contact:

Dave Hill Jr., Public Media
32-36 42nd Street
Astoria, NY 11103
Claudia Weidner, Public Relations
Schönhauser Allee 6/7
10119 Berlin, Germany
ph: +49-(0)30 288763-211
fax: +49-(0)30 288763-11