CEO Gerhard Behles charts the course of the revolutionary music software.
It's difficult to imagine how electronic music would sound today without Ableton Live. Where most music software before it basically digitized the workflow of a traditional recording studio, Live envisioned making music as you only could on a computer. Its major innovation was in the way it conceptualized time: you could sync audio through a process called warping, and individual musical events, called clips, could be rearranged on the fly. It made Live, now in its ninth version, popular not only with producers but with DJs and live performers as well. The boundaries between these three have never been hazier—a fact Gerhard Behles, Ableton's CEO, couldn't have imagined when he, his former Monolake bandmate Robert Henke and their partner Bernd Roggendorf formed the company in 1999. RA's Jordan Rothlein spoke to Behles in Berlin recently about the endless possibilities Live opened up, and how their latest product, a hardware device called Push, might help narrow them down.