Warning: Live 9 breaks ReWire!


If you upgraded to Live 9 and suddenly got runtime errors whenever you started another DAW (like Max stand alone, or Samplitude) then there’s no need to panic. This isn’t because your software stopped working or got infected or so; it merely tried to load the broken ReWire engine of Live 9.

Because we’re monitoring the issue this section remains on top for a while. Last update: March 15, 2013

What is ReWire again?

ReWire is a protocol which was designed by Propellerhead Software, and allows for DAW’s to easily “talk” to each other. In a rewire setup you have a ReWire master which is in control of your (audio) hardware, and then you can have one (or more) rewire slaves.

A rewire slave basically connects to a rewire master and waits for the master to send it MIDI data. After this data is received it gets processed and then the generated sound (if any) is send back to the master.

Rewire has always been a key component of Propellerhead’s own daw Reason. Reason is a rewire slave only, and as such can be used in combination with merely every DAW out there which supports Rewire. I often use Reason together with Live.

For a demonstration of that see this YouTube video tutorial with Huston Singletary. Although it addresses Live 7, the same still applies to Live 8 and Live 9 (and while there are more modern tutorials, I’m simply a big fan of Huston’s movies).

So what is going wrong?

Every time you install (or start) a DAW with rewire capabilities it will register its so called rewire engine. This is a library which allows other software to “talk” to it. And every time you start a rewire master it will automatically load the engines for all the installed rewire slaves out there.

Max_ReWire5This allows such programs to ‘see’ all the other installed rewire slaves.

For example; to the right you see my ‘ReWire controller’, a patch I wrote years ago to allow me and use the Max runtime more easily with Live (or other software).

As you can see it immediately lists all the available Rewire slaves; from Max 5 and 6 right down to Live and Reason.

And that’s where the error messages are coming from; the moment such a program tries to load the engine of Live 9 it triggers an error. And that runtime error then gets displayed.

Max 6 runtime error
Runtime error seen after starting Max 6.

Ever since I started using Live 9 I got these strange errors whenever I started Max 5 in a stand alone fashion. At first I blamed Max 6; maybe it somehow interfered with Max 5, but then I discovered this post on the Ableton forum where someone mentioned that he couldn’t get Live to work as a rewire slave.

I started experimenting and soon discovered what others (link to another forum thread) also discovered: there is a severe issue with Live 9’s rewire engine. On both the 64bit and 32bit platforms.

How to fix this?

It heavily depends. If you still have Live 8 around I suggest starting and closing it, then try to run your other program again. Most likely your runtime errors won’t show up anymore.

By starting Live 8 it will automatically register its rewire engine. And because Live 8 and Live 9 use the same registration keys for that both versions basically overrule the other.

If you don’t have Live 8 installed anymore the only option is to either uninstall Live 9 (thus it will also unregister its rewire engine) or download and re-install Live 8 again.

Of course; the real fix will only happen as soon as Ableton releases an update for Live 9. And here’s hoping that will be very soon.

Status updates:

March 13, 2013

Today someone from the Ableton support desk got back to me and said that they would look into this.

And another visitor on the Ableton forum has shared that Ableton support is already aware of the rewire issues with the 64bit version of Live.

March 13, 2013

Several hours after I sent in a so called “Ableton Status Report” I got another e-mail response from Ableton support; this time they told me that they are aware of problems with the Live 9 rewire engine in general (so no more 64 vs. 32 bit) and that they are working on it.

However; it could take a little while for the actual fix to be released due to the increased workload on Ableton.

March 15, 2013

Got an e-mail yesterday which I just noticed; one of the guys from Ableton support told me they’d inform me as soon as they managed to fix this rewire issue.

May 9, 2013

Earlier this week, 7-5-2013 to be exact, Ableton has released update 9.04 which also fixes the bug in the Rewire engine. Finally Live 9 can be used as a rewire slave, almost 2 months after release.

You can read up on the full story here.

Needless to say, but this is an issue we’re closely monitoring!



  1. Thx for the warning.

    I guess its why Bitwig doesn’t support rewire; those guys dont know how to write the engine. LOL

    Just too bad Ableton didnt rewrite the engine which those guys obviously wrote just before they left. 😈

  2. Ablteon seems to do it again and again…

    Happy Live 9 Bugfest to all !!!

    …more bugs and fixes to come…!

    1. Well, fortunately they have improved their bugs. After all, this issue basically crashes all the other DAW’s on your system except for Live itself 😈

  3. I found a fix to get Reason and Ableton rewire working again into other DAW (for instance running them as rewire slaves to Pro Tools)

    And just to get Reason running again!

    On 64 Bit OS try going to c:windows/syswow64 , find the Rewire.Dll file and rename to Rewire.Dl_.

    It worked for me! Hope that’s helpful.

  4. My above comment relates to getting Reason and Ableton 8 running again as rewire slaves and working again as normal programs.

    Ableton 9 64 bit still wont run as slave in Pro Tools. I imagine this is because PT is still 32 bit.

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