10 Ableton Live Performance Tips and Tricks

Ten simple Ableton Live performance tips and tricks to guide you on the already very user-friendly interface of this popular music production software. A DAW landmark in the music production scene. 

There is a big debate on whether or not Ableton Live is the best music production software (DAW) for music producers. Even if there are some amazing software out there, such as Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, and more, the latest version of Live (Ableton 10) fulfills the expectations of professional audio engineers.

For more info and Ableton Live 10 review check the best music production software on the market.

Ableton Live 10 is an amazingly powerful digital audio workstation that every professional producer out there has tried, used, or still works with it. We collect and present to you useful tips to help and guide you into an easier and proper use of the software. 

Below we have a very beginner’s Ableton Live performance tips and tricks to get started with music production.

10 Performance Tips and Tricks For Ableton Live 

global djs guide - ableton live tips

1. Add quality music libraries

The best DJs and music producers in the world use samples, loops, and pre-recorded hits in most of their tracks. Music libraries that are created by your favorite producer or record label are highly recommended. Loopmasters offers a massive variety of free and premium libraries. Including the biggest and most popular labels and categorized by genre and formats. Only by registering to their website you will get 1GB free samples and loops. Prime Loops is also an excellent website that presents a well-categorized menu to find anything you want. From music libraries and samples to DAW and plug-in presets as well as FREE music production tutorials and tips. 

2. Take it easy with downloading

One thing you don’t want is a library with a thousand music packs, effects, plug-ins, and digital instruments. Pick the best music libraries, exceptional plug-ins that overcome Ableton’s tools, and a few instruments such as Massive by NI, Sylenth, Absynth, and a couple more. You don’t want to end up with TB of hard disc captured space by tools you never use. 

“First two tips apply before you enter Ableton Live are for all DAW’s.”

3.  Use both GUI views of Ableton Live 10

One of the reasons for Ableton’s success is the existence of 2 GUI views. The traditional arrangement view with vertical-track display and time moving is ideal for mixing and mastering. However, the session view gives us the opportunity to improvise, record, and perform our musical ideas extremely easy by creating short clips. You will discover it’s advantages during time and experience. The session view is perfect for djing and lives performances as well. 

4. Create and edit MIDI

Ableton Live offers a wide variety of devices such as Analog, Drum Rack, Impulse, Operator, and more. After you add the instrument to your MIDI channel, you create the clips. MIDI clips are created with the help of your computer keyboard. However, if you want a more natural way to produce music, check the best MIDI keyboards and the best cheap MIDIs for limited budgets. Change NOTE position, velocity, quantization, and overdubbing are standard procedures of all productions. 

5. Recording audio

You can record audio with a built-in microphone. For better quality recordings use the inputs of an audio interface. Check the best audio interfaces that you can buy for under $200. You can record audio or MIDI clips on both Live’s session. I personally prefer the session view, but it’s all up to you.

6. Processing audio 

Two of the most significant production tools of all DAWs are the Compressor and Auto Filter.

  • The compressor is probably the most crucial device of music production. This is the way to control the dynamics of a signal as well as add sidechain mode that is essential for kicks and other drum sounds.
  • If you perform mixing by using the filter FX, then you will feel familiar with the Auto Filter. It is another essential device that allows you to isolate parts of a frequency range.

In total the library of Ableton Live 10 offers over 30 audio effects such as Reverb, Auto Pan, Ping Pong Delay, and Filter Delay.  

If you do not understand how a filter or device works don’t randomly adjust its knobs. Learn and study well the purpose behind an effect and how you can improve it to match the results you desire. It is time-saving to sit and survey than just experiment and hope for the best. Thankfully there are limitless free tutorials on the web to guide you.

7. Mixing your tracks

After you arrange and edit your musical ideas, it is essential to adjust the sound level of each track properly. It might be personal preference, but don’t overdo it and turn up the level of all channels. That’s because first with equalization and second with the mastering you will achieve great results. EQ8 is the tool we use for equalization. It is an effect to shape the frequency content of a sound and change its tone characteristics. 

8. Mastering

The last process before you make your track available to the crowd is the mastering. Ableton Live offers four extraordinary effects to master your audio file before export. Multi-band Dynamics, EQ, Compressor, and Limiter must always appear in your Master channel. Mastering is the action that will give boost your track and add color. 

9. Save CPU

When you start mixing and mastering your final track with more than 30 channels, you might want to reduce the CPU. “Freeze” your channels is one way that you will save CPU. You can also deactivate the effects that you do not use.

10. DJing with Live

It is not easy to find a music production software with which you will be able to perform live and DJ as well. Ableton has no competitors as it is perfect for both uses. The session view works not only to easily record your ideas but add tracks and create a perfect layout for DJing. 

In the market, there are fantastic performance tools that offer perfect compatibility with Ableton. Likely you can get some of the best Ableton controllers for an excellent price.

Techniques and effect devices suited for DJing:

  • Warping your tracks will make sure that your tunes have their beats laid out correctly. Also, you have a crossfader that allows you to blend between two or more tracks. Live’s cueing system gives you the ability to listen to one track on headphones as another song is playing.
  • EQ3 simulates the three-band EQ of a DJ mixer with low, middle and high frequencies with “full kill”. Simple DelayReverbFilter, and many more effects to add on each channel and perform a smooth mixing set.

BONUS TIP: Be patient

Music production is an art that requires practice, hard work, experiment, inspiration, and talent. If you are not patient, you will never succeed to go from a bedroom producer to a pro. Don’t worry; you will get there…



Before you leave, take a look at 20 sound recording and music production tips.

We hoped you found our list with Ableton live performance tips and tricks useful, and put that knowledge into work. 

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