With every new tool goes the good intention to learn it, to know it. Not only a little bit but from the inside out. In the old days, this started with reading the manual… or better starting to read the manual and trying to stay on track ’til the end.
For Ableton manuals I started three times yet: First, the manual of Live intro. I think it was chapter 4 when I decided that it’s not that important and watched a few tutorial videos instead. Maybe it was a little bit painful to read about cool instruments/effects which were not included in the intro version.
Then I made the update to (full) Ableton 8 and tried it again with the same rate of success. I didn’t make the leap from “know that already” to “interesting”.
Now, I have Ableton 9 and fully motivated I already made it to chapter 22. Yeah! So, what’s up this time? Maybe it’s that I not only read the manual but practicing the important parts, too. This seems to be quiet simple, but for me, it’s not. See, I tend to read in bed or while commuting, obvious without an Ableton Live at hand (no laptop). Therefore I copy tasks to RTM on my iPad and try it later when I have the time and energy like today/sunday evening. And guess what? Some of the “cool video tutorial stuff” is just there, printed in the manual. What a surprise.
The second reason is the new cool features like converting audio to MIDI and stuff like that. Awesome.
Is the manual helpful? Yes, sure. Do I have to read the full document? No, don’t think so (ignorance maybe bliss when your music is still cool). But I recommend it that you give it a (full) try. It will be worth your time.