FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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Website & Member Questions

Website & Membership Questions

There’s a lot of features in the Live Producers membership. This article will help you get the most value out of your account to learn and connect with producers around the world.

* visit the FAQ’s page for in-depth look at member features on the site *

Tip #1 – Your Profile Is Everything.

Have you heard the saying “It’s all about who you know”? Well, in the music industry it’s more about “who knows you.” Creating a solid “brand image” of yourself is essential. Here’s several tips to achieve this using your profile…

  • Add a high quality artistic photo of yourself. Choose an image authentic to the music you make and who you are.
  • Update your profile Bio!! Read this great article on How To Write An Effective Band Bio by Ari Herstand.
  • Add social media links.
  • Share your profile! Your profile URL is public, and can be viewed by non-members. Your profile is basically a personal website including all your necessary artist info. Telling other artists your part of a Ableton Live membership can help you look good when trying to collaborate…AND not everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Add members as friends and NETWORK. One of the best things you can do for your music career is connecting and collaborating with other upcoming producers.
  • Networking tips in the membership:
    • All our Teachers and Webinar guests have a profile, so make sure to connect with these influencers in the industry. Add these members as friends.
    • When logged in, visit the Member Activity or Search Members pages. Add these members as friends. Send them a private message telling them what you like about their music, something you have in common, and encourage them to check out your profile with a link to your newest single/ EP (USE LESS THAN 8 SENTENCES).
    • Post in the Forum. Ask questions and interact with other producers. Don’t be afraid to encourage people to visit your profile or listen to your music AFTER you provided value to them, such as answering a question, etc.

 

TIP #2 – Suggest Webinars, Downloads, and Courses.

Are there specific downloads, webinars, or courses you want? Visit the Forum thread MEMBER REQUESTS and post things you would like to learn or see in the membership. We’ll respond and let you know when it’s available!

 

TIP #3 – Join As An Affiliate.

Have friends or know people that want to learn to produce music? Signup for the Live Producers affiliate program, and we’ll pay you anytime you refer a new Basic or Pro member. Send an email to Contact@liveproducersonline.com and tell us you’re interested being an affiliate. We’ll hook you up!

 

TIP #4 – Get Help On Your Projects.

Need help producing, mixing, or performing your songs? Visit the Private Lessons tab and get 1-on-1 help via web conference from an experienced professional. We have several Teachers that are the best at what they do, so make sure to visit their artist pages to see who might be a best fit for your needs. It’s also a good way to make friends and network.

Project Feedback is available for members on the PRO plan. Submit your projects once a month to a Teacher and receive video feedback with the help you need.

Yes! When a member chooses to downgrade, they will see it take effect on the next recurring monthly/ annual payment date. The member’s recurring payment date remains the same.

When a member chooses to upgrade, they are charged a pro-rated amount at checkout based on the number of days left in the current payment period. The member’s recurring payment date remains the same, and the subscription is changed to charge the new amount.

 

WEBINARS

Watch all webinar video replays on the Webinars page. Get access to all future webinar replays, including project files and materials shared after each event.

 

DOWNLOADS

Basic members get unlimited downloads on the Downloads page. We’ve partnered with creators of packs, devices, etc that charge for these products. Basic members get them all.

 

PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP

Join the members-only Facebook Group. Ask questions, interact with other Ableton members, and share your tracks.

 

START BASIC PLAN

Yes, the membership allows you to purchase month-to-month or a discounted annual subscription. You can cancel anytime by choosing Cancel in the Account tab from your Profile view. If you’re trying to save money, we recommend keeping your account and downgrading to a lesser plan (like Basic) to access valuable features.

If you want to downgrade or upgrade your plan, visit this page to learn how! 

You must have a membership profile to book private lessons. Members can purchase new credits for lessons, and all lessons are 1 hour each. You’ll have a private message area (on Private Lessons page) to communicate with the Teacher leading up to your lesson after booking with them.

Most Teachers average 45 credits for one lesson. 1 credit = $1.

To book a lesson, sign into your membership account, visit the main Private Lessons tab (on the left). On this page you can:

  • Book private lessons from a list of Teachers
  • See previous lessons and your message history under My Teachers.
  • Buy credits to use for new lessons (see image below)

Credits never expire! You can hoard them for months and use later.

Watch the video below for a step by step guide on how to purchase and book Private Lessons.

You can change your current membership plan anytime. Login your membership and visit the UPGRADE PLAN tab. Checkout with the new plan you want to subscribe to. That’s it.

Upgrading or downgrading your current plan will be pro-rated, so you will not be over-charged. To view previous payments, you can visit your Profile and access the Billing tab to see all payment history.

Go to Membership Plan page

 

You can also change plans doing the following…

Login your account and go to Profile > Account 

Then select Change and choose the plan you’re wanting!

 

The Pro membership gives you access to all features on the website AND personalized help on your projects.

 

PROJECT FEEDBACK

Pro members can submit weekly questions (and Ableton projects) for quick video feedback. Whatever you need, Dan Giffin and other Ableton Certified Trainers are here to help. Pro members can submit up to 1x per week (every 7 days)

Submit a form using the Project Feedback tab in the membership, and receive a private video message in your membership inbox.

WHAT MEMBERS ARE SAYING…

“Thanks Dan for helping me so much. Oftentimes, I can figure out stuff on my own, but you really speed things up for me….”

 

“Whenever I run into a road block with my producing or mixing, i can trust dan to help guide me in the right direction to get things done.”

 

 

WEBINARS

Watch webinar video replays by Certified Ableton Trainers & producers on the Webinars page.

 

EDU DISCOUNTS ON SOFTWARE & PLUGINS

Many companies provide up to 50% off plugins and music software with an educational status. Pro members can request Proof Of Enrollment with Live Producers and get an educational discount with many of today’s popular music software. More details here.

 

COURSES

Pro members get 25% off all courses. Watch videos learning at your own pace, and join interactive webinars with Teachers.

 

DOWNLOADS

Get unlimited downloads to everything on the Downloads page. We’ve partnered with creators of packs, devices, etc that charge for these products, Get it all. 

 

PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP

Join the members-only Facebook Group. Ask questions, interact with other Ableton members, and share your tracks.

 

JOIN PRO MEMBERSHIP

 

Watch this short video as Founder of Live Producers- Dan Giffin shares several quick tips and features for new members getting started with their account.

There’s 3 types of membership subscriptions you can purchase monthly or annually, with the option of upgrading/ downgrading from one to another anytime.

Click HERE to see membership plans and their features.

You can view all previous payments for your membership by logging into your membership profile and going to the following…

From your Profile page –> Click on ACCOUNT tab

 

Scroll down and you will see Past Invoices

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Ableton Questions

Questions about Authorizing & Installing Ableton?

Authorizing & Installing

Ableton Live has 3 different versions; Intro, Standard and Suite (We recommend Suite). They share common features, but Standard and Suite have additional features, instruments, effects, and Packs. Max For Live is only available in Live Suite.

See the comparison breakdown on their site.

https://www.ableton.com/en/live/compare-editions/

Buy Ableton directly from their site here.

https://www.ableton.com/en/shop/live/

There are also resellers such as Sweetwater and Musicians Friend that may sell a bundled package that includes Ableton Live and a Push2.

Yes.

1) To process a license transfer, the current license owner can login to their account and click ‘Transfer ownership of your license to another person‘:

2) Fill out the recipient’s email address, choose the license you wish to transfer and click ‘Submit’:

3) An email requesting confirmation will then be sent to your email address (check your spam folder or ‘All Mail’ in Gmail):

4) Click ‘Confirm license transfer’ in the email:

5) You will then be redirected to Ableton.com to confirm the transfer:

6) A final email will then be sent to both parties to confirm once the license has been transferred.

“Please note that only an entire Live license can be transferred: all Live versions and corresponding serial numbers contained in the license will also be acquired by the buyer. This applies to Suite and upgrades; you can only transfer the whole thing.”

Yes. If both of those computers are yours. According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

If you want to know how to Sync 2 computers running Ableton, see “Play Together with Ableton Link”

 

To authorize Ableton Live, go to Preferences, Licenses Maintenance, then click “authorize at ableton.com.” You will then be redirected to Ableton’s site and asked to login to your account if you aren’t already. Once logged in, select the license to authorize. Click on “Authorize” and the ableton.com server will send authorization information to your computer.

Authorizing Live online

“Authorizing online is the easiest way to authorize, as Live connects directly to the Ableton server and authorizes automatically. To authorize online, you will need internet access for the computer on which you have installed Live and an internet browser.”

Authorizing Live offline

“If the computer on which you’ve installed Live is not connected to the internet, follow these instructions to authorize:

  • When starting Live, you will see an authorization dialog. Please click on “No Internet on this computer”:
  • Live will display another dialog window in which the Hardware-Code of your computer is shown, as well as further information regarding the Offline Authorization process
  • You can  save this information as a text file to make it easier to refer to in the following steps (just click on “Save…” on the bottom right corner).
  • Take your hardware code (or the saved text file) as well as a portable storage device such as a USB key to a computer with an internet connection.
  • On the internet-connected computer, log into your Ableton user account.
  • Enter your hardware code from Live and click “Download File.” The Ableton server will generate an authorization (.auz) file for the computer you want to authorize Live on.
  • Save the authorization file to your portable storage device and bring it back to the computer Live is installed on.
  • Open Live 10 and drag the .auz file onto the authorization dialog”
According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

Ableton allows for you to authorize 2 of your own computers. If you need to authorize an additional computer, login to your Ableton.com account and contact support directly. (Click the help tab, and scroll near to the bottom to the Contact Support section).

 

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Beginner Ableton Questions? We all start somewhere

Beginner Questions

If you’ve previously recorded something in a track in Session View, then toggled to Arrangement View, the track will be greyed out. This is because it is still playing that same clip in Session View while you’re looking at Arrangement View.

You can enable this track for Arrangement playback by pressing the grey arrow to the left of the track.

To enable ALL tracks for Arrangement playback, press the orange, “Back To Arrangement” button in the upper right corner of the arrangement panel.

Session View is the default view when opening Ableton Live. It serves as both an “idea board” for musical clips or phrases as well as a way to trigger those same musical clips for live performance. The workflow here is usually top to bottom.

Tab to Toggle to Arrangement View. Arrangement view is the timeline view that all DAW’s have. The musical ideas from session view can be copied or recorded into Arrangement View to linearly write a song from left to right. You can record new ideas into Arrangement View as well.

Ableton Live has many quality stock instruments that come with the program and also supports third party plugin instruments.

To load stock instruments:

Simply click on the Instruments tab in the Live browser (the left vertical panel of categories). Once the Instruments category is selected, you will see all of the available types of instruments. Click on the arrow to the left of an instrument type, for instance “Analog.” Inside “Analog” you will see different presets organized by sound such as “Bass” or “Piano and Keys” Click any .adv preset to load that instrument into a new track.

To load third party plugins:

(assuming you’ve already installed them on your computer), the next thing you need to do is make sure you’ve pointed Live to the folder where you installed your plugins. YOU ONLY HAVE TO DO THIS ONCE.

On Windows, for example you might install your plugins to C:\Program Files\VSTPlugins, but it completely depends on where the specified the location is when you installed the third party plugins. Then go to Options, Preferences, File Folder. Turn On “Use VST Plug-In Custom Folder,” then click the “Browse” button underneath and point to the folder where your plugins are stored.

On a Mac, the process is similar. Go to Live, Preferences, File Folder. On Mac OS, Ableton Live understands 2 different formats of third party plugins; Audio Units (AUs) and VSTs. These formats are very similar and you won’t notice much difference between them. Most plugin developers will have installers that offer both formats. However, Audio Units do not exist on Windows. If you are a Mac user and want to collaborate with Windows users, use VSTs so that your projects are compatible. On a Mac, third party plugins will be installed in a premade system folder “Library\Audio\Plug-Ins.” Audio Units are stored under the subfolder, “Components.” You can turn on both Audio Units and VSTs from the File Folder Preferences. In Live on a Mac, you can also specify a Custom Folder for VSTs in addition to the system folder.

Once your plugins are enabled and pointed, on both Mac and PC you can easily access and load them from the Plug-Ins tab in Live’s Browser. You can click and drag them to a desired track. Remember, there are midi only Plugins that are virtual synthesizers (these go only on midi tracks), and there are audio effect plugins that can either go on an audio track or on a midi track after the synthesizer instrument.

Ableton Live allows you to have up to 12 return tracks; Send/Return Tracks A through L.

Ableton Live has 3 different options to monitor a track; Auto, In, and Off. “Auto” will allow you to hear the audio input (post fx) of a track only if the track is record armed. “In” will always allow you to hear the audio input (post fx) of a track regardless of whether the track is record armed or not. “Off” will mute the audio input from that track. Also note that when monitoring is set to “In”, you will not be able to hear the playback of a recorded clip until you switch monitoring back to Auto.

This monitoring behavior is also the same for midi track input for played notes.

To get to Arrangement View in Ableton, simply press the Tab key on your keyboard. Pressing Tab again will toggle you back to Session View. You can also press one of the two Session/ Arrangement View Selector buttons in the top-right corner of the screen.

Ableton Live Suite versions include a free download of Max for Live. in Live 9 Suite, you can login to your account on Ableton.com and download Max for Live, or purchase it if you have a lesser version than Suite (such as Standard or Intro). Ableton Live 10 Suite automatically has Max for Live included during the original installation of the Ableton software, so no additional download or installation of Max for Live is necessary.

To stop all clips in session view, simply click the stop button located on the Master track.

To stop all clips with a Push 2, hold the Shift button on the Push2 then press the Stop Clip button.

You can also press space bar.

To record midi in Ableton Live, you must first have a midi track that is armed. To arm a midi track, in session view click the arm button, which is located below the track’s solo button. To arm a midi track in arrangement view, click the arm button which is located to the right of the track’s solo button. You’ll also need to make sure that track input for the midi device is your playing on is enabled in Live’s midi preferences.  (Live, Preferences or on PC, Options, Preferences, then click track on the midi input for the desired midi device). You can also play notes from your computer keyboard by clicking the piano keyboard button which is in the upper right corner of the screen, to the right of the Key button.

Once the track is armed and your midi device input is enabled, you should be ready to record played notes. In session view click any of the circle record buttons on the available clip slots on the track, then play notes. Click the square stop clip button on that track to stop recording. In arrangement view, click the global record button at the top center of the screen (providing that the desired track is armed. Click the global square stop button at the  top center of the screen to stop recording.

To record the midi output of one track to the midi input of a new midi track, simply set the midi input of the new track to the name of the existing midi track, then arm the new midi track. Again, if you’re in session keyboard by clicking the piano keyboard button which is in the upper right corner of the screen, to the right of the Key button.

Once the track is armed and your midi device input is enabled, you should be ready to record played notes. In session view click any of the circle record buttons on the available clip slots on the track after the existing track is playing. In arrangement view, click the global record button at the top center of the screen.

Warping is the terminology used when referring to stretching audio in Ableton Live.

Tag: Warping
To unfreeze a track simply right click on the track and click unfreeze.

A Drum Rack is one of Live’s most versatile and popular instruments. The Drum Rack is made up of 128 “slots” that can playback audio samples, plugins and effects in a variety of ways. Drum racks allow you to build a huge library of sounds in a single instrument on a track. Some artists have built entire songs using nothing but drum racks!

Common uses include layering multiple drum sounds, manipulating audio loops, chopping up vocals, and much more.

You can create multiple chains in any of the drum rack’s 128 slots, and go really deep inside what you create with a drum rack. This allows users to take full creative control of playback individual musical ideas, while manipulating how they are performed, whether being a one-shot or audio loop.

A scene is a horizontal row of clips in session view (both midi or audio) that contain sounds. All clips within this horizontal row can be played at once by pressing the corresponding play button of that row on the Master track.

Ableton Live allows you to bus audio out from multiple tracks (say vocals, drums, lead synth, and pads) to a single track that has FX on it (for example reverb). This bussed track is only for FX. You can independently dial in how much volume from each track will be sent to this FX track. Hence the term send and return. You would think that there are 2 stages, but there is really only 1 FX track in this scenario. The FX track then routes its audio to the master (by default, but you can change the routing to a track separate from the master.)

Note, return tracks act in parallel, meaning that even when a track’s set to send 100% to the return track, the original audio is still going to the master, meaning 100% wet is really 50% wet, 50% dry.

There are also Pre/Post buttons for sends. These buttons are located on the master track, above the master fader in session view. Post is the default. When set to Pre, the input of the return track will ignore where the fader is set on the source track that is being sent to the return track. This means that if the source track’s fader is pulled all the way down, but it still is set to send some amount of its audio to the return track, you will still hear the return track fx. When set to Post, if the source track’s fader is pulled all the way down, you won’t hear anything on the return track fx.

Warp Markers are the yellow notches above audio clips when warping is enabled.  You can create new warp markers by clicking anywhere above the waveform. These serve as a way to snap or pin the audio to specific time based intervals. Live will also show grey arrows where potential warp markers could be. This is Live’s suggestion on warp marker placement based on transient peaks.

Tag: Warping
When you freeze a track, the track will appear greyed out. To freeze a track simply right click on the track and click freeze. Live will make reference audio files in your project’s folder both for session and arrangement view midi and audio clips. Because the track is frozen and is now playing audio files rather than generating a sound real time, your CPU usage is reduced. You can then commit a track by flattening, which just pulls those reference audio files back into your project, replacing any devices that were in the frozen track.

Consolidate will combine 2 or more clips of either audio or midi. To consolidate a clip, highlight 2 or more clips, right click, then click Consolidate  Consolidate is NOT a way to reduce CPU. It is designed to simplify and clean up your project file. When you consolidate 2 or more audio clips, a new audio clip will be created that replaces the old. Likewise a new midi clip is created to combine 2 or more midi clips. Consolidate is ALWAYS PreFX. Meaning the devices on a track will still remain after consolidating.

Digital Duct Tape.

Max for Live is a visual programming environment that allows users to build instruments and effects for use within Ableton Live.

Often times advanced users will create brilliant solutions to common problems such as, BeatSeeker, which allows Ableton’s global tempo to be synced to the average rhythmic audio timing.

https://www.ableton.com/en/packs/beatseeker/

The growing community centred around sites such as max4live.com and maxforlive.info are helpful and creative with a wealth of devices available in addition to the ones included within the Ableton Live Packs. Often times, a device or effect will nearly do what you want but not quite…That’s where Max For Live Comes into help.

Max for Live is only available in Ableton Live Suite.

To add a Max For Live device to an Ableton project simply take the downloaded .amxd file from Finder or Windows File Explorer and drag it onto the desired track in Ableton Live.

If you have a folder of Max For Live Devices (such as Users/Username/Desktop/MaxDevices), it might make sense to add that folder to Live’s browser by clicking “Add Folder…” at the bottom of Live’s Browser. That way you can add Max For Live devices to tracks directly from Ableton Live.

The session record button IS NOT the record button next to the stop and the play button. The session record button is near the top center of the screen, next to the “new” button. This button is only available in Session View. When pressed, the session record button will record a new clip in all armed tracks (midi and audio) if an empty scene/row is selected. For midi clips, if you press the session record button and are playing an existing clip, you will OVERDUB new notes to add to existing ones.

Warping is the way Live will stretch audio to a specific grid. The best analogy is this…You have a ruler, a rubber band, and some thumb tacks. The ruler is a timed based grid of evenly spaced intervals. The rubberband is the audio clip. It can be stretched or shrunk down to a specific space between intervals. The thumb tacks are Warp Markers. These serve as a way to snap or pin the audio to those specific intervals.

Tag: Warping
Ableton Live will work with any midi controller, however here are 10 really good ones that we love.

Ableton Push 2
Novation Launchpad Pro
Akai APC40 MKII
Akai Professional Advance 49
Arturia Keylab 49
Akai MPK Mini MKII 25
Native Instruments Machine MK3
DJTechTools Midi Fighter 3D
DJTechTools Midi Fighter Twister
Novation LaunchControl XL

Yes, it is convenient to DJ from CDJ’s using RecordBox, or DJ with Traktor or Serato, but Ableton Live offers way more versatility in the Live realm in a way that no other program can.

You can take your live performance to a whole new level. Instead of just playing your Deck A and transitioning back to your Deck B all night…Ableton Live can do that and more. What if you wanted to play instruments along with your backing tracks, and have a platform that can support third party plugins on your backing tracks as well as your live inputs? Ableton can do it all.

Everyone is a DJ nowadays, Ableton will help you stand out for the right reasons.

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Ableton and your computer?

Computer Stuff

Category: Computer Stuff
If you are running the 64 bit version of the software, Ableton Live can use as much RAM as your computer has to supply or Ableton Live needs. Having a computer with at least 8GB of ram is recommended, especially if you intend on using third party plugin-ins

According to an article on Ableton’s site:

“Due to persistent out-of-memory crashes during use, Ableton will discontinue the 32-bit version of Live for new updates of the software from late 2017. The 32-bit version of Live (like all 32-bit applications) can use a maximum of 4GB of RAM only, which can quickly be exceeded when using large multisamples or memory-hungry plug-ins, resulting in crashes.”

Ableton Live will tell you whether you have 32 or 64 bit upon opening Live in the gray splash screen that appears while the program loads. If you have 32 bit, please consider upgrading.

Category: Computer Stuff
The hardware recommendations for running Ableton Live 9 or 10 include at least:

  • Ableton takes 6GB of hard drive space to install. We highly recommend getting at least 250GB or more space for producing music.
  • A multicore processor (preferably an Intel i7); 4 GB RAM MINIMUM; However, we recommend getting at least 8GB for producing, especially if you are using third party plugins .
  • MacOS X 10.7 or later (with Live 10, MacOS 10.11.6 & up) , or PC Windows 7, 8, or 10;
  • You’ll want to have USB ports on your computer, as most MIDI controllers are still USB. However, you can find many adapters for Thunderbolt 3 to USB, and most computers are continuing to adopt Thunderbolt 3 ports now.
Category: Computer Stuff
To troubleshoot issues with Live, you can reset to default settings in case the problem has been caused by corrupted setting files. Resetting Live won’t delete any important files, such as project files and presets.

Note: Resetting Live performs the following actions:
Your template set project file will be erased if you have one
Live’s preferences will be deleted; audio and MIDI hardware needs to be setup again, plug-in support needs to be re-enabled and will rescan, custom preferences need to be set again

If you don’t want permanently delete Template.als and Preferences.cfg, you can copy those files to another location on your computer. If the reset has not solved the issue, then you can place them back into their former locations.

In order to perform a full reset of Live, please take the following steps:

1. Close Live
2. Delete the files “Preferences.cfg”, and if available “Template.als” and “Undo.cfg” in the following folder, where Live x.x.x corresponds to the version number of Live installed on your computer.

Windows:
Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\

Mac:
Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/

Note: These folders are hidden by default, here’s how to access hidden folders on Windows and Mac.

3. If you have previous versions of Live installed you should also delete the same files in their respective folders

4. Restart Live

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Organizing your Ableton Projects?

Organization

Category: Organization
After opening an .als project which has missing files, Ableton Live will notify you that is has missing files with an Orange banner located in the bottom left corner of the screen that reads, “Media files are missing. Please click here to learn more.” If you click the word “here” on that banner, Live will take you to the Missing Media Files option that is a panel that will appear on the right side of the screen. In the Search Folder section, specify the folder where you keep your samples or the folder where you believe your missing files to be located, then select Go in the Automatic Search section. If you specified the correct folder, in a few moments Live should find the missing files. Then hit save to update the Project on where those files are located so you don’t have to go through that process again.

To avoid doing all of that, you should get into the habit of selecting File, Collect All and Save, which creates copies of the sample files used to the project file folder so that your project is portable.

Category: Organization
Ableton Live 10 has introduced a file handling improvement that automatically creates a Backup folder within a Project after a Live Set is saved.

This folder contains the 10 most recently saved versions of the Set. You can access the backups either via the Live Browser or directly from within the Project Folder on your hard drive. Watch this video for more info~

When sharing Ableton Live project files to another computer, you’ll want to collect all and save to prevent missing audio and devices.

Category: Organization
When sharing Ableton Live project files to another computer, you’ll want to collect all and save to prevent missing audio and devices.

Watch the video below on how to do this.

Ableton Live lets you create a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format. Read this and learn how to make a .alp file

.alp stands for “Ableton Live Pack.”

It’s a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format.

Why use it?

It makes it super easy to archive Ableton Live projects and share them.

How to make an .alp?

1. File –> Collect All and Save.  -This will copy any samples, packs, recorded audio, and Max for Live devices to your project folder.

2. File –> Manage Files…

3. Click Manage Project (Center option on the right pane)

 

4. Click Create Pack (name your .alp)

Category: Organization
If you find that you’re frequently missing files when opening project files, it’s important to save your project files using the “Collect All and Save” option (located in the same menu as “File, Save As.”)

If you have a folder on your computer where you keep all your samples, and for some reason that folder is moved (or if you share your project with someone and they don’t have that sample folder), your project will have missing files.

To prevent this from happening, you need to “Collect All and Save,” which will copy any of the samples or files used in other folders on your computer into that project file’s folder.

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Ableton and Midi Controllers?

Controllers

Category: Controllers
The Ableton Push and Push2 are custom midi controllers instruments developed by Ableton to specifically work with Ableton Live. The Ableton Push (Gen 1) came out the at the same time Ableton 9 was released in March 2013. According to what was written on the back of the box that the Push came in “Push is a new instrument that solves an old problem: how to make a song from scratch. With hands-on control of of Melody and harmony, beats, sounds, and song structure, Push puts all of the fundamental elements of music making at your fingertips – and it fits in a backpack.”

The concept is how could you write electronic music on a computer without using a mouse.

Ableton furthered this concept with the release of the Push2 and Live 9.5 in Nov 2015. The Push2 has several improvements. One obvious addition is a colored screen instead of an LED screen. But the pads are more sensitive, the buttons are more recessed so it feels smoother to the touch, and the menus on the screen are just more intuitive to navigate.

Image taken from Andri Søren youtube channel.

Tags: Push 2, Push2
Category: Controllers
Our opinion is the Push2. It’s built by Ableton for Ableton.

However, since Ableton Live supports almost any MIDI controller on the market, that is more of an opinionated question. That’s like asking what is the best car? It depends.

It really depends on what your use is for it and your workflow. Are you looking for something more for production or for live performance? Also it’s very useful just to have a plain old piano keyboard around too.

Want to know more about controllers? —> See the linked FAQ below

What MIDI controllers work with Ableton?

Tags: Push 2, Push2
Ableton Live will work with any midi controller, however here are 10 really good ones that we love.

Ableton Push 2
Novation Launchpad Pro
Akai APC40 MKII
Akai Professional Advance 49
Arturia Keylab 49
Akai MPK Mini MKII 25
Native Instruments Machine MK3
DJTechTools Midi Fighter 3D
DJTechTools Midi Fighter Twister
Novation LaunchControl XL

Category: Controllers
It depends on your workflow. The Push2 is a great controller for in the studio as well as performing on stage. If your workflow is more like a traditional DJ where you would need a crossfader (the Push2 can work as a crossfader) BUT you want to “crab”, the APC40MK2 is a solid option.

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Ableton Instruments?

Instruments

Ableton Live has many quality stock instruments that come with the program and also supports third party plugin instruments.

To load stock instruments:

Simply click on the Instruments tab in the Live browser (the left vertical panel of categories). Once the Instruments category is selected, you will see all of the available types of instruments. Click on the arrow to the left of an instrument type, for instance “Analog.” Inside “Analog” you will see different presets organized by sound such as “Bass” or “Piano and Keys” Click any .adv preset to load that instrument into a new track.

To load third party plugins:

(assuming you’ve already installed them on your computer), the next thing you need to do is make sure you’ve pointed Live to the folder where you installed your plugins. YOU ONLY HAVE TO DO THIS ONCE.

On Windows, for example you might install your plugins to C:\Program Files\VSTPlugins, but it completely depends on where the specified the location is when you installed the third party plugins. Then go to Options, Preferences, File Folder. Turn On “Use VST Plug-In Custom Folder,” then click the “Browse” button underneath and point to the folder where your plugins are stored.

On a Mac, the process is similar. Go to Live, Preferences, File Folder. On Mac OS, Ableton Live understands 2 different formats of third party plugins; Audio Units (AUs) and VSTs. These formats are very similar and you won’t notice much difference between them. Most plugin developers will have installers that offer both formats. However, Audio Units do not exist on Windows. If you are a Mac user and want to collaborate with Windows users, use VSTs so that your projects are compatible. On a Mac, third party plugins will be installed in a premade system folder “Library\Audio\Plug-Ins.” Audio Units are stored under the subfolder, “Components.” You can turn on both Audio Units and VSTs from the File Folder Preferences. In Live on a Mac, you can also specify a Custom Folder for VSTs in addition to the system folder.

Once your plugins are enabled and pointed, on both Mac and PC you can easily access and load them from the Plug-Ins tab in Live’s Browser. You can click and drag them to a desired track. Remember, there are midi only Plugins that are virtual synthesizers (these go only on midi tracks), and there are audio effect plugins that can either go on an audio track or on a midi track after the synthesizer instrument.

A Drum Rack is one of Live’s most versatile and popular instruments. The Drum Rack is made up of 128 “slots” that can playback audio samples, plugins and effects in a variety of ways. Drum racks allow you to build a huge library of sounds in a single instrument on a track. Some artists have built entire songs using nothing but drum racks!

Common uses include layering multiple drum sounds, manipulating audio loops, chopping up vocals, and much more.

You can create multiple chains in any of the drum rack’s 128 slots, and go really deep inside what you create with a drum rack. This allows users to take full creative control of playback individual musical ideas, while manipulating how they are performed, whether being a one-shot or audio loop.

Category: Instruments
An instrument rack is a container device that can house multiple instruments (both stock and third party plugins) as well as insert fx after the instrument. You can layer multiple sounds to play at once in an instrument rack. These layers are known as chains. In this way you can have one clip of midi notes that send midi to multiple instruments. An instrument will also have 8 macro knobs, which allow you to map parameters from a nested device to the outer macro knobs.

An advanced trick in an instrument rack is to split the layers into zones so certain instruments only trigger at certain times.

Zones can be split by note range so higher notes play a different layer than lower notes.

Zones can also be split by velocity values so harder played notes will be a sent to a separate zone.

Lastly zones, also known as chains, can be split by “chain selector.” In this way, each individual chain can have its own value or range of values that it will be enabled. The orange chain selector value can be mapped to a macro knob so that you can have multiple instruments nested in a rack but be able to manage which one is on at a time. This can be very useful in a live performance scenario or even when producing (especially when you want various sounds to fire in rapid succession but only 1 or 2 at a time).

Category: Instruments
Sampler is an Instrument that allows users to import audio and manipulate the key, timing, and playback of the audio sample. It is one of Ableton’s most advanced Instruments and has a profound amount of capabilities and options for sound design.

Common uses of the Sampler include;

  • Playback of one-shot samples and loops while manipulating the sounds of the sample being performed in the desired key/ pitch.
  • Altering the original sound of the audio sample for a unique effect or specific sound.
  • Layering multiple samples together to interact together

The Sampler includes several modules within it that allow you to alter the sample using Filters, Modulation, LFO’s, Oscillators, MIDI routing, Envelopes, and much more.

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