Getting started

In by phoenixgreen

Ableton Live 10 Essential Training

Creating sets, setting preferences and saving

To create a new set, open up Ableton 10 and a new set will open automatically. If you are already working on a project, then select File > New Live Set, or use the keyboard shortcut: Command + N (Mac)/Control + N (PC)
Once your new project is open, it’s time to set preferences. Open up the preferences window by selecting Live > Preferences, or by using the keyboard shortcut: Command + , (Mac)/Control + , (PC).

In the Preferences menu, all of the options are spread across several tabs:

  • Look/Feel: From here, you can adjust some small ways in which Live behaves, as well as changing the screen colours and size.
  • Audio: This tab is used to adjust the settings for audio input and output, like audio devices, sample rate and buffer size. You can also generate test tones from this pane. A new feature for Ableton 10 is being able to label inputs. This is useful for those who have a lot of inputs or if you generally keep inputs reserved for one purpose.
  • Link/MIDI: This tab is mainly used to set up MIDI devices and MIDI ports. Each MIDI port can serve different functions, so it is important to enable the correct settings for each port input and output. Enabling Track allows MIDI notes to be sent or received by each port. Enabling Sync sets the chosen MIDI port to be a MIDI clock slave. This means that if you were to connect a drum machine to Ableton via MIDI, you can enable Sync on the drum machine’s output port to send a MIDI clock signal. The drum machine will then follow Ableton’s tempo, and play in sync. You can also do this the other way around, and set Ableton to be a MIDI slave, following an external signal. Enabling Remote allows an external MIDI source to act as a remote control for parameters in Ableton itself. This means that if you have a keyboard which is connected to Ableton via a MIDI cable, you can map any knob on that keyboard to control tempo, or volume, and effect or anything! The Link/MIDI tab is also used to enable the Ableton Link button, which allows Ableton to quickly sync with any software which also uses Link.
  • File/Folder: this tab is used to set locations for temporary files and plug-in locations. Generally it is best to use the default location, unless you use a custom location for your plug-ins. If this is the case, use this tab to select the correct folder and then hit “rescan”.
  • Library: This tab sets the location for Ableton content packs and also for the User Library, which is an easy to find location for all of your samples, grooves and clips.
  • Record/Warp/Launch: This tab sets default recording behaviour, and what file type and bit depth those recordings will be made in. The tab also sets the warp and clip launching behaviours.

Licences/Maintenance: This tab handles authorisation of Live. Generally, you only have to do this once when you install Live

Ableton Live 10 handles saving a little differently than the way that you might be used to from Logic Pro X. In Ableton, each workspace is called a set. When you save a set in a new location, it will create a project folder with the name of your set. A project can contain multiple sets, and will share anything recorded in those sets between them.
  • Task

    Create a new set. Using the preferences window, change Live’s theme (the colour scheme) and also set up your audio interface. Save your set to a new project in your Documents folder.