FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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Website & Member Questions

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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Ableton Questions

Questions about Authorizing & Installing Ableton?

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.

Load More

Beginner Ableton Questions? We all start somewhere

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.

Load More

Ableton and your computer?

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.

Load More

Organizing your Ableton Projects?

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.

Load More

Ableton and Midi Controllers?

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.

Load More

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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