Quick Answer: Liquid Notes is a standalone version that connects to all DAWs, whereas Liquid Notes for Live is a MIDI effect that only works with Ableton Live 9 and requires Max for Live.
Liquid Notes vs. Liquid Notes for LiveLiquid Notes is a powerful tool for fast editing of complex harmonic progressions in multi-track MIDI arrangements. For example, it only takes a twist of a knob to substitute a chord with the software applying all necessary changes on a single note level on all tracks simultaneously.
This is the core of Liquid Notes, which is the same for both versions of the software. Underneath it sits the communication architecture that is responsible for interfacing with your DAW, which had to be developed separately for both products. Read more on this topic in this article - http://www.re-compose.com/differences-between-liquid-notes-products-and-plugin-standards-explained.html.
Liquid Notes is a standalone version that connects to all DAWs using the IAC bus on Mac or the LoopBe30 virtual MIDI cable on Mac. While it does allow you to trigger the original software instruments of an arrangement, it requires you to set up the routing through input and output channels for all tracks of an arrangement in Liquid Notes and the sequencer, respectively. You’ll have to go through a routing setup, for which we provide a variety of automatisms for the major sequencers.
Liquid Notes for Live is a MIDI effect for Ableton Live 9 that only connects to Live and requires Max for Live. Because it operates as MIDI effect in Live it allows for a very simple import of Ableton Live Clips which can then be manipulated harmonically. It also feels like working with a plug-in that operates from within the sequencer, though it is not possible to apply changes to notes directly in Live - you still have to export your arrangement at the end of the session and drag it back into Live.
Both versions of the product allow you to record your output to the DAW, and to improvise to a song using LN Live.