Things are looking rosey for Ableton users in 2009. Both Cycling 74 and AKAI having been working in concert with Ableton to create new tightly intergrated environments. Ableton, Max and Akai samplers... it really doesn't get much better :)
Ableton & Cycling 74 earlier today released details of the promised intergration between the two enviroments. It looks pretty sweet as well. "-
In short you can load a type of Max/Msp patch in Ableton as a device and then still have it editable in Max. It's kind of a MAX for LIVE. In the picture above you can see a new icon on the degrader effect in Lives effect lane. Pressing this icon open's the patch up in MAX/MSP for further editing. Cycling 74 have updated their front page so you can read all about it there, including David Zicaelli's article.
Next up is Akai's new APC40 a new controller interface for Ableton. The difference between this and other controllers is that it was again designed in concert with and for Ableton Live. You don't have to do any mapping it works straight out of the box. According to Akai's blurbing it's a solid piece of hardware. Over on Akai's page you can read an interview with the CEO of Gerhard Behles where he talks about the the partnership between Ableton and Akai.
These two new partnerships set Ableton up to straddle a very large area of electronic music. From hardware based production to laptop to modular environment. For me personally it's great news I love Ableton, Max and my MPC. The addition of the new APC will help me integrate my entire studio, hardware and software, loop and modular based production.